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Title: Count Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV
Author: Parkman, Francis
Language: English
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[Transcriber's Note: Lengthy footnotes, or those consisting of more
than one paragraph, have been numbered and relocated to the end of the
chapter in which they occur. They are marked by [1], [2], etc.]









The events recounted in this book group themselves in the main about a
single figure, that of Count Frontenac, the most remarkable man who
ever represented the crown of France in the New World. From strangely
unpromising beginnings, he grew with every emergency, and rose equal
to every crisis. His whole career was one of conflict, sometimes petty
and personal, sometimes of momentous consequence, involving the
question of national ascendancy on this continent. Now that this
question is put at rest for ever, it is hard to conceive, the anxiety
which it wakened in our forefathers. But for one rooted error of
French policy, the future of the English-speaking races in America
would have been more than endangered.

Under the rule of Frontenac occurred the first serious collision of
the rival powers, and the opening of the grand scheme of military
occupation by which France strove to envelop and hold in check the
industrial populations of the English colonies. It was he who made
that scheme possible.

In "The Old Regime in Canada," I tried to show from what inherent
causes this wilderness empire of the Great Monarch fell at last before
a foe, superior indeed in numbers, but lacking all the forces that
belong to a system of civil and military centralization. The present
volume will show how valiantly, and for a time how successfully, New
France battled against a fate which her own organic fault made
inevitable. Her history is a great and significant drama, enacted
among untamed forests, with a distant gleam of courtly splendors and
the regal pomp of Versailles.

The authorities on which the book rests are drawn chiefly from the
manuscript collections of the French government in the Archives
Nationales, the Bibliotheque Nationale, and, above all, the vast
repositories of the Archives of the Marine and Colonies. Others are
from Canadian and American sources. I have, besides, availed myself of
the collection of French, English, and Dutch documents published by
the State of New York, under the excellent editorship of Dr.
O'Callaghan, and of the manuscript collections made in France by the
governments of Canada and of Massachusetts. A considerable number of
books, contemporary or nearly so with the events described, also help
to throw light upon them; and these have all been examined. The
citations in the margins represent but a small part of the authorities

This mass of material has been studied with extreme care, and peculiar
pains have been taken to secure accuracy of statement. In the preface
of "The Old Regime," I wrote: "Some of the results here reached are of
a character which I regret, since they cannot be agreeable to persons
for whom I have a very cordial regard. The conclusions drawn from the
facts may be matter of opinion: but it will be remembered that the
facts themselves can be overthrown only by overthrowing the evidence
on which they rest, or bringing forward counter-evidence of equal or
greater strength; and neither task will be found an easy one."

The invitation implied in these words has not been accepted. "The Old
Regime" was met by vehement protest in some quarters; but, so far as I
know, none of the statements of fact contained in it have been
attacked by evidence, or even challenged. The lines just quoted are
equally applicable to this volume. Should there be occasion, a
collection of documentary proofs will be published more than
sufficient to make good the positions taken. Meanwhile, it will, I
think, be clear to an impartial reader that the story is told, not in
the interest of any race or nationality, but simply in that of
historical truth.

When, at the age of eighteen, I formed the purpose of writing on
French-American history, I meant at first to limit myself to the great
contest which brought that history to a close. It was by an
afterthought that the plan was extended to cover the whole field, so
that the part of the work, or series of works, first conceived, would,
following the sequence of events, be the last executed. As soon as the
original scheme was formed, I began to prepare for executing it by
examining localities, journeying in forests, visiting Indian tribes,
and collecting materials. I have continued to collect them ever since,
so that the accumulation is now rather formidable; and, if it is to be
used at all, it had better be used at once. Therefore, passing over
for the present an intervening period of less decisive importance, I
propose to take, as the next subject of this series, "Montcalm and the
Fall of New France."

   BOSTON, 1 Jan., 1877.





Mademoiselle de Montpensier and Madame de Frontenac.--Orleans.--The
Maréchale de Camp.--Count Frontenac.--Conjugal Disputes.--Early Life
of Frontenac.--His Courtship and Marriage.--Estrangement.--Scenes at
St. Fargeau.--The Lady of Honor dismissed.--Frontenac as a Soldier.--
He is made Governor of New France.--Les Divines.




Arrival.--Bright Prospects.--The Three Estates of New France.--Speech
of the Governor.--His Innovations.--Royal Displeasure.--Signs of
Storm.--Frontenac and the Priests.--His Attempts to civilize the
Indians.--Opposition.--Complaints and Heart-burnings.




La Salle.--Fort Frontenac.--Perrot.--His Speculations.--His
Tyranny.--The Bush-rangers.--Perrot revolts.--Becomes alarmed.--
Dilemma of Frontenac.--Mediation of Fénelon.--Perrot in
Prison.--Excitement of the Sulpitians.--Indignation of Fénelon.--
Passion of Frontenac.--Perrot on Trial.--Strange Scenes.--Appeal to
the King.--Answers of Louis XIV. And Colbert.--Fénelon rebuked.




Frontenac receives a Colleague.--He opposes the Clergy.--Disputes in
the Council.--Royal Intervention.--Frontenac rebuked.--Fresh
Outbreaks.--Charges and Countercharges.--The Dispute grows hot.--
Duchesneau condemned and Frontenac warned.--The Quarrel
continues.--The King loses Patience. More Accusations.--Factions and
Feuds.--A Side Quarrel.--The King threatens.--Frontenac denounces the
Priests.--The Governor and the Intendant recalled.--Qualities of




His Arrival at Quebec.--The Great Fire.--A Coming Storm.--Iroquois
Policy.--The Danger imminent.--Indian Allies of France.--Frontenac and
the Iroquois.--Boasts of La Barre.--His Past Life.--His
Speculations.--He takes Alarm.--His Dealings with the Iroquois.--His
Illegal Trade.--His Colleague denounces him.--Fruits of his
Schemes.--His Anger and his Fears.




Dongan.--New York and its Indian Neighbors.--The Rival Governors.--
Dongan and the Iroquois.--Mission to Onondaga.--An Iroquois
Politician.--Warnings of Lamberville.--Iroquois Boldness.--La Barre
takes the Field.--His Motives.--The March.--Pestilence.--Council at La
Famine.--The Iroquois defiant.--Humiliation of La Barre.--The Indian
Allies.--Their Rage and Disappointment.--Recall of La Barre.




Troubles of the New Governor.--His Character.--English Rivalry.--
Intrigues of Dongan.--English Claims.--A Diplomatic Duel.--Overt
Acts.--Anger of Denonville.--James II. checks Dongan.--Denonville
emboldened.--Strife in the North.--Hudson's Bay.--Attempted
Pacification.--Artifice of Denonville.--He prepares for War.




Treachery of Denonville.--Iroquois Generosity.--The Invading
Army.--The Western Allies.--Plunder of English Traders.--Arrival of
the Allies.--Scene at the French Camp.--March of Denonville.--
Ambuscade.--Battle.--Victory.--The Seneca Babylon.--Imperfect Success.




Altercations.--Attitude of Dongan.--Martial Preparation.--Perplexity
of Denonville.--Angry Correspondence.--Recall of Dongan.--Sir Edmund
Andros.--Humiliation of Denonville.--Distress of Canada.--Appeals for
Help.--Iroquois Diplomacy.--A Huron Macchiavel.--The Catastrophe.--
Ferocity of the Victors.--War with England.--Recall of Denonville.


1689, 1690.


Versailles.--Frontenac and the King.--Frontenac sails for Quebec.--
Projected Conquest of New York.--Designs of the King.--Failure.--
Energy of Frontenac.--Fort Frontenac.--Panic.--Negotiations.--The
Iroquois in Council.--Chevalier d'Aux.--Taunts of the Indian
Allies.--Boldness of Frontenac.--An Iroquois Defeat.--Cruel
Policy.--The Stroke parried.




Measures of Frontenac.--Expedition against Schenectady.--The
March.--The Dutch Village.--The Surprise.--The Massacre.--Prisoners
spared.--Retreat.--The English and their Iroquois Friends.--The
Abenaki War.--Revolution at Boston.--Capture of Pemaquid.--Capture of
Salmon Falls.--Capture of Fort Loyal.--Frontenac and his
Prisoner.--The Canadians encouraged.




English Schemes.--Capture of Port Royal.--Acadia reduced.--Conduct of
Phips.--His History and Character.--Boston in Arms.--A Puritan
Crusade.--The March from Albany.--Frontenac and the Council.--
Frontenac at Montreal.--His War Dance.--An Abortive Expedition.--An
English Raid.--Frontenac at Quebec.--Defences of the Town.--The Enemy




Phips on the St. Lawrence.--Phips at Quebec.--A Flag of Truce.--Scene
at the Chateau.--The Summons and the Answer.--Plan of Attack.--Landing
of the English.--The Cannonade.--The Ships repulsed.--The Land
Attack.--Retreat of Phips.--Condition of Quebec.--Rejoicings of the
French.--Distress at Boston.




Iroquois Inroads.--Death of Bienville.--English Attack.--A Desperate
Fight.--Miseries of the Colony.--Alarms.--A Winter Expedition.--La
Chesnaye burned.--The Heroine of Verehères.--Mission Indians.--The
Mohawk Expedition.--Retreat and Pursuit.--Relief arrives.--Frontenac




Appeal of Frontenac.--His Opponents.--His Services.--Rivalry and
Strife.--Bishop Saint-Vallier.--Society at the Chateau.--Private
Theatricals.--Alarm of the Clergy.--Tartuffe.--A Singular
Bargain.--Mareuil and the Bishop.--Mareuil on Trial.--Zeal of
Saint-Vallier.--Scandals at Montreal.--Appeal to the King.--The Strife
composed.--Libel against Frontenac.




State of that Colony.--The Abenakis.--Acadia and New England.--
Pirates.--Baron de Saint-Castin.--Pentegoet.--The English
Frontier.--The French and the Abenakis.--Plan of the War.--Capture of
York.--Villebon.--Grand War-party.--Attack of Wells.--Pemaquid
rebuilt.--John Nelson.--A Broken Treaty.--Villieu and Thury.--Another
War-party.--Massacre at Oyster River.




The Frontier of New England.--Border Warfare.--Motives of the
French.--Needless Barbarity.--Who were answerable?--Father Thury.--
The Abenakis waver.--Treachery at Pemaquid.--Capture of Pemaquid.--
Projected Attack on Boston.--Disappointment.--Miseries of the
Frontier.--A Captive Amazon.




Le Moyne d'Iberville.--His Exploits in Newfoundland.--In Hudson's
Bay.--The Great Prize.--The Competitors.--Fatal Policy of the
King.--The Iroquois Question.--Negotiation.--Firmness of
Frontenac.--English Intervention.--War renewed.--State of the
West.--Indian Diplomacy.--Cruel Measures.--A Perilous Crisis.--
Audacity of Frontenac.




March of Frontenac.--Flight of the Enemy.--An Iroquois Stoic.--Relief
for the Onondagas.--Boasts of Frontenac.--His Complaints.--His
Enemies.--Parties in Canada.--Views of Frontenac and the
King.--Frontenac prevails.--Peace of Ryswick.--Frontenac and
Bellomont.--Schuyler at Quebec.--Festivities.--A Last Defiance.




His Last Hours.--His Will.--His Funeral.--His Eulogist and his
Critic.--His Disputes with the Clergy.--His Character.




The New Governor.--Attitude of the Iroquois.--Negotiations.--Embassy
to Onondaga.--Peace.--The Iroquois and the Allies.--Difficulties.--
Death of the Great Huron.--Funeral Rites.--The Grand Council.--The
Work of Frontenac finished.--Results.


[Illustration: Map of Canada and Adjacent Countries towards the Close
of the 17th century.]





At Versailles there is the portrait of a lady, beautiful and young.
She is painted as Minerva, a plumed helmet on her head, and a shield
on her arm. In a corner of the canvas is written _Anne de La
Grange-Trianon, Comtesse de Frontenac_. This blooming goddess was the
wife of the future governor of Canada.

Madame de Frontenac, at the age of about twenty, was a favorite
companion of Mademoiselle de Montpensier, the grand-daughter of Henry
IV. and daughter of the weak and dastardly Gaston, Duke of Orleans.
Nothing in French annals has found more readers than the story of the
exploit of this spirited princess at Orleans during the civil war of
the Fronde. Her cousin Condé, chief of the revolt, had found favor in
her eyes; and she had espoused his cause against her cousin, the king.
The royal army threatened Orleans. The duke, her father, dared not
leave Paris; but he consented that his daughter should go in his place
to hold the city for Condé and the Fronde.

The princess entered her carriage and set out on her errand, attended
by a small escort. With her were three young married ladies, the
Marquise de Bréauté, the Comtesse de Fiesque, and the Comtesse de
Frontenac. In two days they reached Orleans. The civic authorities
were afraid to declare against the king, and hesitated to open the
gates to the daughter of their duke, who, standing in the moat with
her three companions, tried persuasion and threats in vain. The
prospect was not encouraging, when a crowd of boatmen came up from the
river and offered the princess their services. "I accepted them
gladly," she writes, "and said a thousand fine things, such as one
must say to that sort of people to make them do what one wishes." She
gave them money as well as fair words, and begged them to burst open
one of the gates. They fell at once to the work; while the guards and
officials looked down from the walls, neither aiding nor resisting
them. "To animate the boatmen by my presence," she continues, "I
mounted a hillock near by. I did not look to see which way I went, but
clambered up like a cat, clutching brambles and thorns, and jumping
over hedges without hurting myself. Madame de Bréauté, who is the most
cowardly creature in the world, began to cry out against me and
everybody who followed me; in fact, I do not know if she did not swear
in her excitement, which amused me very much." At length, a hole was
knocked in the gate; and a gentleman of her train, who had directed
the attack, beckoned her to come on. "As it was very muddy, a man took
me and carried me forward, and thrust me in at this hole, where my
head was no sooner through than the drums beat to salute me. I gave my
hand to the captain of the guard. The shouts redoubled. Two men took
me and put me in a wooden chair. I do not know whether I was seated in
it or on their arms, for I was beside myself with joy. Everybody was
kissing my hands, and I almost died with laughing to see myself in
such an odd position." There was no resisting the enthusiasm of the
people and the soldiers. Orleans was won for the Fronde. [Footnote:
_Memoires de Mademoiselle de Montpensier_, I. 358-363 (ed. 1859).]

The young Countesses of Frontenac and Fiesque had constantly followed
her, and climbed after her through the hole in the gate. Her father
wrote to compliment them on their prowess, and addressed his letter _à
Mesdames les Comtesses, Maréchales de Camp dans l'armee de ma fille
contre le Mazarin_. Officers and soldiers took part in the pleasantry;
and, as Madame de Frontenac passed on horseback before the troops,
they saluted her with the honors paid to a brigadier.

When the king, or Cardinal Mazarin who controlled him, had triumphed
over the revolting princes, Mademoiselle de Montpensier paid the
penalty of her exploit by a temporary banishment from the court. She
roamed from place to place, with a little court of her own, of which
Madame de Frontenac was a conspicuous member. During the war, Count
Frontenac had been dangerously ill of a fever in Paris; and his wife
had been absent for a time, attending him. She soon rejoined the
princess, who was at her chateau of St. Fargeau, three days' journey
from Paris, when an incident occurred which placed the married life of
her fair companion in an unexpected light. "The Duchesse de Sully came
to see me, and brought with her M. d'Herbault and M. de Frontenac.
Frontenac had stopped here once before, but it was only for a week,
when he still had the fever, and took great care of himself like a man
who had been at the door of death. This time he was in high health.
His arrival had not been expected, and his wife was so much surprised
that everybody observed it, especially as the surprise seemed to be
not at all a pleasant one. Instead of going to talk with her husband,
she went off and hid herself, crying and screaming because he had said
that he would like to have her company that evening. I was very much
astonished, especially as I had never before perceived her aversion to
him. The elder Comtesse de Fiesque remonstrated with her; but she only
cried the more. Madame de Fiesque then brought books to show her her
duty as a wife; but it did no good, and at last she got into such a
state that we sent for the curé with holy water to exorcise her."
[Footnote: _Memoires de Mademoiselle de Montpensier_, II. 265. The
curé's holy water, or his exhortations, were at last successful.]

Count Frontenac came of an ancient and noble race, said to have been
of Basque origin. His father held a high post in the household of
Louis XIII., who became the child's god-father, and gave him his own
name. At the age of fifteen, the young Louis showed an incontrollable
passion for the life of a soldier. He was sent to the seat of war in
Holland, to serve under the Prince of Orange. At the age of nineteen,
he was a volunteer at the siege of Hesdin; in the next year, he was at
Arras, where he distinguished himself during a sortie of the garrison;
in the next, he took part in the siege of Aire; and, in the next, in
those of Callioure and Perpignan. At the age of twenty-three, he was
made colonel of the regiment of Normandy, which he commanded in
repeated battles and sieges of the Italian campaign. He was several
times wounded, and in 1646 he had an arm broken at the siege of
Orbitello. In the same year, when twenty-six years old, he was raised
to the rank of _marechal de camp_., equivalent to that of
brigadier-general. A year or two later, we find him at Paris, at the
house of his father, on the Quai des Celestins. [Footnote: Pinard,
_Chronologie Historique-militaire_, VI; _Table de la Gazette de
France_; Jul, _Dictionnaire Critique, Biographique, et d'Histoire_,
art. "Frontenac;" Goyer, _Oraison Funebre du Comte de Frontenac_.]

In the same neighborhood lived La Grange-Trianon, Sieur de Neuville, a
widower of fifty, with one child, a daughter of sixteen, whom he had
placed in the charge of his relative, Madame de Bouthillier. Frontenac
fell in love with her. Madame de Bouthillier opposed the match, and
told La Grange that he might do better for his daughter than to marry
her to a man who, say what he might, had but twenty thousand francs a
year. La Grange was weak and vacillating: sometimes he listened to his
prudent kinswoman, and sometimes to the eager suitor; treated him as a
son-in-law, carried love messages from him to his daughter, and ended
by refusing him her hand, and ordering her to renounce him on pain of
being immured in a convent. Neither Frontenac nor his mistress was of
a pliant temper. In the neighborhood was the little church of St.
Pierre aux Boeufs, which had the privilege of uniting couples without
the consent of their parents; and here, on a Wednesday in October,
1648, the lovers were married in presence of a number of Frontenac's
relatives. La Grange was furious at the discovery; but his anger soon
cooled, and complete reconciliation followed. [Footnote: _Historiettes
de Tallemant des Réaux_, IX. 214 (ed. Monmerqué); Jal, _Dictionnaire
Critique_, etc.]

The happiness of the newly wedded pair was short. Love soon changed to
aversion, at least on the part of the bride. She was not of a tender
nature; her temper was imperious, and she had a restless craving for
excitement. Frontenac, on his part, was the most wayward and
headstrong of men. She bore him a son; but maternal cares were not to
her liking. The infant, François Louis, was placed in the keeping of a
nurse at the village of Clion; and his young mother left her husband,
to follow the fortunes of Mademoiselle de Montpensier, who for a time
pronounced her charming, praised her wit and beauty, and made her one
of her ladies of honor. Very curious and amusing are some of the
incidents recounted by the princess, in which Madame de Frontenac bore
part; but what is more to our purpose are the sketches traced here and
there by the same sharp pen, in which one may discern the traits of
the destined saviour of New France. Thus, in the following, we see him
at St. Fargeau in the same attitude in which we shall often see him at

The princess and the duke her father had a dispute touching her
property. Frontenac had lately been at Blois, where the duke had
possessed him with his own views of the questions at issue.
Accordingly, on arriving at St. Fargeau, he seemed disposed to assume
the character of mediator. "He wanted," says the princess, "to discuss
my affairs with me: I listened to his preaching, and he also spoke
about these matters to Préfontaine (_her man of business_). I returned
to the house after our promenade, and we went to dance in the great
hall. While we were dancing, I saw Préfontaine walking at the farther
end with Frontenac, who was talking and gesticulating. This continued
for a long time. Madame de Sully noticed it also, and seemed disturbed
by it, as I was myself. I said, 'Have we not danced enough?' Madame de
Sully assented, and we went out. I called Préfontaine, and asked him,
'What was Frontenac saying to you?' He answered: 'He was scolding me.
I never saw such an impertinent man in my life.' I went to my room,
and Madame de Sully and Madame de Fiesque followed. Madame de Sully
said to Préfontaine: 'I was very much disturbed to see you talking
with so much warmth to Monsieur de Frontenac; for he came here in such
ill-humor that I was afraid he would quarrel with you. Yesterday, when
we were in the carriage, he was ready to eat us.' The Comtesse de
Fiesque said, 'This morning he came to see my mother-in-law, and
scolded at her.' Préfontaine answered: 'He wanted to throttle me. I
never saw a man so crazy and absurd.' We all four began to pity poor
Madame de Frontenac for having such a husband, and to think her right
in not wanting to go with him." [Footnote: _Mémoires de Mademoiselle
de Montpensier_, II. 267.] Frontenac owned the estate of Isle Savary,
on the Indre, not far from Blois; and here, soon after the above
scene, the princess made him a visit. "It is a pretty enough place,"
she says, "for a man like him. The house is well furnished, and he
gave me excellent entertainment. He showed me all the plans he had for
improving it, and making gardens, fountains, and ponds. It would need
the riches of a superintendent of finance to execute his schemes, and
how anybody else should venture to think of them I cannot comprehend."

"While Frontenac was at St. Fargeau," she continues, "he kept open
table, and many of my people went to dine with him; for he affected to
hold court, and acted as if everybody owed duty to him. The
conversation was always about my affair with his Royal Highness (_her
father_), whose conduct towards me was always praised, while mine was
blamed. Frontenac spoke ill of Préfontaine, and, in fine, said every
thing he could to displease me and stir up my own people against me.
He praised every thing that belonged to himself, and never came to sup
or dine with me without speaking of some _ragoút_ or some new
sweetmeat which had been served up on his table, ascribing it all to
the excellence of the officers of his kitchen. The very meat that he
ate, according to him, had a different taste on his board than on any
other. As for his silver plate, it was always of good workmanship; and
his dress was always of patterns invented by himself. When he had new
clothes, he paraded them like a child. One day he brought me some to
look at, and left them on my dressing-table. We were then at Chambord.
His Royal Highness came into the room, and must have thought it odd to
see breeches and doublets in such a place. Préfontaine and I laughed
about it a great deal. Frontenac took everybody who came to St.
Fargeau to see his stables; and all who wished to gain his good graces
were obliged to admire his horses, which were very indifferent. In
short, this is his way in every thing." [Footnote: _Mémoires de
Mademoiselle de Montpensier_, II. 279; III. 10.]

Though not himself of the highest rank, his position at court was,
from the courtier point of view, an enviable one. The princess, after
her banishment had ended, more than once mentions incidentally that
she had met him in the cabinet of the queen. Her dislike of him became
intense, and her fondness for his wife changed at last to aversion.
She charges the countess with ingratitude. She discovered, or thought
that she discovered, that in her dispute with her father, and in
certain dissensions in her own household, Madame de Frontenac had
acted secretly in opposition to her interests and wishes. The
imprudent lady of honor received permission to leave her service. It
was a woeful scene. "She saw me get into my carriage," writes the
princess, "and her distress was greater than ever. Her tears flowed
abundantly: as for me, my fortitude was perfect, and I looked on with
composure while she cried. If any thing could disturb my tranquility,
it was the recollection of the time when she laughed while I was
crying." Mademoiselle de Montpensier had been deeply offended, and
apparently with reason. The countess and her husband received an order
never again to appear in her presence; but soon after, when the
princess was with the king and queen at a comedy in the garden of the
Louvre, Frontenac, who had previously arrived, immediately changed his
position, and with his usual audacity took a post so conspicuous that
she could not help seeing him. "I confess," she says, "I was so angry
that I could find no pleasure in the play; but I said nothing to the
king and queen, fearing that they would not take such a view of the
matter as I wished." [Footnote: _Memoires de Mademoiselle de
Montpensier_, III. 270.]

With the close of her relations with "La Grande Mademoiselle," Madame
de Frontenac is lost to sight for a while. In 1669, a Venetian embassy
came to France to beg for aid against the Turks, who for more than two
years had attacked Candia in overwhelming force. The ambassadors
offered to place their own troops under French command, and they asked
Turenne to name a general officer equal to the task. Frontenac had the
signal honor of being chosen by the first soldier of Europe for this
most arduous and difficult position. He went accordingly. The result
increased his reputation for ability and courage; but Candia was
doomed, and its chief fortress fell into the hands of the infidels,
after a protracted struggle, which is said to have cost them a hundred
and eighty thousand men. [Footnote: _Oraison funèbre du Comte de
Frontenac, par le Père Olivier Goyer_. A powerful French contingent,
under another command, co-operated with the Venetians under

Three years later, Frontenac received the appointment of Governor and
Lieutenant-General for the king in all New France. "He was," says
Saint-Simon, "a man of excellent parts, living much in society, and
completely ruined. He found it hard to bear the imperious temper of
his wife; and he was given the government of Canada to deliver him
from her, and afford him some means of living." [Footnote: _Memoires
du Duc de Saint-Simon_, II. 270; V. 336.] Certain scandalous songs of
the day assign a different motive for his appointment. Louis XIV. was
enamoured of Madame de Montespan. She had once smiled upon Frontenac;
and it is said that the jealous king gladly embraced the opportunity
of removing from his presence, and from hers, a lover who had
forestalled him. [1]

Frontenac's wife had no thought of following him across the sea. A
more congenial life awaited her at home. She had long had a friend of
humbler station than herself, Mademoiselle d'Outrelaise, daughter of
an obscure gentleman of Poitou, an amiable and accomplished person,
who became through life her constant companion. The extensive building
called the Arsenal, formerly the residence of Sully, the minister of
Henry IV., contained suites of apartments which were granted to
persons who had influence enough to obtain them. The Duc de Lude,
grand master of artillery, had them at his disposal, and gave one of
them to Madame de Frontenac. Here she made her abode with her friend;
and here at last she died, at the age of seventy-five. The annalist
Saint-Simon, who knew the court and all belonging to it better than
any other man of his time, says of her: "She had been beautiful and
gay, and was always in the best society, where she was greatly in
request. Like her husband, she had little property and abundant wit.
She and Mademoiselle d'Outrelaise, whom she took to live with her,
gave the tone to the best company of Paris and the court, though they
never went thither. They were called _Les Divines_. In fact, they
demanded incense like goddesses; and it was lavished upon them all
their lives."

Mademoiselle d'Outrelaise died long before the countess, who retained
in old age the rare social gifts which to the last made her apartments
a resort of the highest society of that brilliant epoch. It was in her
power to be very useful to her absent husband, who often needed her
support, and who seems to have often received it.

She was childless. Her son, François Louis, was killed, some say in
battle, and others in a duel, at an early age. Her husband died nine
years before her; and the old countess left what little she had to her
friend Beringhen, the king's master of the horse. [Footnote: On
Frontenac and his family, see Appendix A.]

[1] Note of M. Brunet, in _Correspondance de la Duchesse d'Orléans_,
I. 200 (ed. 1869). The following lines, among others, were passed
about secretly among the courtiers:--

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

Mademoiselle de Montpensier had mentioned in her memoirs, some years
before, that Frontenac, in taking out his handkerchief, dropped from
his pocket a love-letter to Mademoiselle de Mortemart, afterwards
Madame de Montespan, which was picked up by one of the attendants of
the princess. The king, on the other hand, was at one time attracted
by the charms of Madame de Frontenac, against whom, however, no
aspersion is cast.

The Comte de Grignan, son-in-law of Madame de Sévigné, was an
unsuccessful competitor with Frontenac for the government of Canada.





Frontenac was fifty-two years old when he landed at Quebec. If time
had done little to cure his many faults, it had done nothing to weaken
the springs of his unconquerable vitality. In his ripe middle age, he
was as keen, fiery, and perversely headstrong as when he quarrelled
with Préfontaine in the hall at St. Fargeau.

Had nature disposed him to melancholy, there was much in his position
to awaken it. A man of courts and camps, born and bred in the focus of
a most gorgeous civilization, he was banished to the ends of the
earth, among savage hordes and half-reclaimed forests, to exchange the
splendors of St. Germain and the dawning glories of Versailles for a
stern gray rock, haunted by sombre priests, rugged merchants and
traders, blanketed Indians, and wild bush-rangers. But Frontenac was a
man of action. He wasted no time in vain regrets, and set himself to
his work with the elastic vigor of youth. His first impressions had
been very favorable. When, as he sailed up the St. Lawrence, the basin
of Quebec opened before him, his imagination kindled with the grandeur
of the scene. "I never," he wrote, "saw any thing more superb than the
position of this town. It could not be better situated as the future
capital of a great empire." [Footnote: _Frontenac au Ministre_, 2
_Nov._, 1672.]

That Quebec was to become the capital of a great empire there seemed
in truth good reason to believe. The young king and his minister
Colbert had labored in earnest to build up a new France in the west.
For years past, ship-loads of emigrants had landed every summer on the
strand beneath the rock. All was life and action, and the air was full
of promise. The royal agent Talon had written to his master: "This
part of the French monarchy is destined to a grand future. All that I
see around me points to it; and the colonies of foreign nations, so
long settled on the seaboard, are trembling with fright in view of
what his Majesty has accomplished here within the last seven years.
The measures we have taken to confine them within narrow limits, and
the prior claim we have established against them by formal acts of
possession, do not permit them to extend themselves except at peril of
having war declared against them as usurpers; and this, in fact, is
what they seem greatly to fear." [Footnote: _Talon au Ministre_, 2
_Nov_., 1671.]

Frontenac shared the spirit of the hour. His first step was to survey
his government. He talked with traders, colonists, and officials;
visited seigniories, farms, fishing-stations, and all the infant
industries that Talon had galvanized into life; examined the new ship
on the stocks, admired the structure of the new brewery, went to Three
Rivers to see the iron mines, and then, having acquired a tolerably
exact idea of his charge, returned to Quebec. He was well pleased with
what he saw, but not with the ways and means of Canadian travel; for
he thought it strangely unbecoming that a lieutenant-general of the
king should be forced to crouch on a sheet of bark, at the bottom of a
birch canoe, scarcely daring to move his head to the right or left
lest he should disturb the balance of the fragile vessel.

At Quebec he convoked the council, made them a speech, and
administered the oath of allegiance. [Footnote: _Registre du Conseil
Souverain._] This did not satisfy him. He resolved that all Quebec
should take the oath together. It was little but a pretext. Like many
of his station, Frontenac was not in full sympathy with the
centralizing movement of the time, which tended to level ancient
rights, privileges, and prescriptions under the ponderous roller of
the monarchical administration. He looked back with regret to the day
when the three orders of the state, clergy, nobles, and commons, had a
place and a power in the direction of national affairs. The three
orders still subsisted, in form, if not in substance, in some of the
provinces of France; and Frontenac conceived the idea of reproducing
them in Canada. Not only did he cherish the tradition of faded
liberties, but he loved pomp and circumstance, above all, when he was
himself the central figure in it; and the thought of a royal governor
of Languedoc or Brittany, presiding over the estates of his province,
appears to have fired him with emulation.

He had no difficulty in forming his order of the clergy. The Jesuits
and the seminary priests supplied material even more abundant than he
wished. For the order of the nobles, he found three or four
_gentilshommes_ at Quebec, and these he reinforced with a number of
officers. The third estate consisted of the merchants and citizens;
and he formed the members of the council and the magistrates into
another distinct body, though, properly speaking, they belonged to the
third estate, of which by nature and prescription they were the head.
The Jesuits, glad no doubt to lay him under some slight obligation,
lent him their church for the ceremony that he meditated, and aided in
decorating it for the occasion. Here, on the twenty-third of October,
1672, the three estates of Canada were convoked, with as much pomp and
splendor as circumstances would permit. Then Frontenac, with the ease
of a man of the world and the loftiness of a _grand seigneur_,
delivered himself of the harangue he had prepared. He wrote
exceedingly well; he is said also to have excelled as an orator;
certainly he was never averse to the tones of his own eloquence. His
speech was addressed to a double audience: the throng that filled the
church, and the king and the minister three thousand miles away. He
told his hearers that he had called the assembly, not because he
doubted their loyalty, but in order to afford them the delight of
making public protestation of devotion to a prince, the terror of
whose irresistible arms was matched only by the charms of his person
and the benignity of his rule. "The Holy Scriptures," he said,
"command us to obey our sovereign, and teach us that no pretext or
reason can dispense us from this obedience." And, in a glowing eulogy
on Louis XIV., he went on to show that obedience to him was not only a
duty, but an inestimable privilege. He dwelt with admiration on the
recent victories in Holland, and held forth the hope that a speedy and
glorious peace would leave his Majesty free to turn his thoughts to
the colony which already owed so much to his fostering care. "The true
means," pursued Frontenac, "of gaining his favor and his support, is
for us to unite with one heart in laboring for the progress of
Canada." Then he addressed, in turn, the clergy, the nobles, the
magistrates, and the citizens. He exhorted the priests to continue
with zeal their labors for the conversion of the Indians, and to make
them subjects not only of Christ, but also of the king; in short, to
tame and civilize them, a portion of their duties in which he plainly
gave them to understand that they had not hitherto acquitted
themselves to his satisfaction. Next, he appealed to the nobles,
commended their gallantry, and called upon them to be as assiduous in
the culture and improvement of the colony as they were valiant in its
defence. The magistrates, the merchants, and the colonists in general
were each addressed in an appropriate exhortation. "I can assure you,
messieurs," he concluded, "that if you faithfully discharge your
several duties, each in his station, his Majesty will extend to us all
the help and all the favor that we can desire. It is needless, then,
to urge you to act as I have counselled, since it is for your own
interest to do so. As for me, it only remains to protest before you
that I shall esteem myself happy in consecrating all my efforts, and,
if need be, my life itself, to extending the empire of Jesus Christ
throughout all this land, and the supremacy of our king over all the
nations that dwell in it." He administered the oath, and the assembly
dissolved. He now applied himself to another work: that of giving a
municipal government to Quebec, after the model of some of the cities
of France. In place of the syndic, an official supposed to represent
the interests of the citizens, he ordered the public election of three
aldermen, of whom the senior should act as mayor. One of the number
was to go out of office every year, his place being filled by a new
election; and the governor, as representing the king, reserved the
right of confirmation or rejection. He then, in concert with the chief
inhabitants, proceeded to frame a body of regulations for the
government of a town destined, as he again and again declares, to
become the capital of a mighty empire; and he farther ordained that
the people should hold a meeting every six months to discuss questions
involving the welfare of the colony. The boldness of these measures
will scarcely be appreciated at the present day. The intendant Talon
declined, on pretence of a slight illness, to be present at the
meeting of the estates. He knew too well the temper of the king, whose
constant policy it was to destroy or paralyze every institution or
custom that stood in the way of his autocracy. The despatches in which
Frontenac announced to his masters what he had done received in due
time their answer. The minister Colbert wrote: "Your assembling of the
inhabitants to take the oath of fidelity, and your division of them
into three estates, may have had a good effect for the moment; but it
is well for you to observe that you are always to follow, in the
government of Canada, the forms in use here; and since our kings have
long regarded it as good for their service not to convoke the
states-general of the kingdom, in order, perhaps, to abolish
insensibly this ancient usage, you, on your part, should very rarely,
or, to speak more correctly, never, give a corporate form to the
inhabitants of Canada. You should even, as the colony strengthens,
suppress gradually the office of the syndic, who presents petitions in
the name of the inhabitants; for it is well that each should speak for
himself, and no one for all." [Footnote: _Frontenac au Roi_, 2 _Nov._,
1672; _Ibid._, 13 _Nov._, 1673; _Harangue du Comte de Frontenac en
l'Assemblée à Quebec_; _Prestations de Serment_, 23 _Oct._, 1672;
_Réglement de Police fait par Monsieur le Comte de Frontenac_;
_Colbert à Frontenac_, 13 _Juin_, 1673.]

Here, in brief, is the whole spirit of the French colonial rule in
Canada; a government, as I have elsewhere shown, of excellent
intentions, but of arbitrary methods. Frontenac, filled with the
traditions of the past, and sincerely desirous of the good of the
colony, rashly set himself against the prevailing current. His
municipal government, and his meetings of citizens, were, like his
three estates, abolished by a word from the court, which, bold and
obstinate as he was, he dared not disobey. Had they been allowed to
subsist, there can be little doubt that great good would have resulted
to Canada.

Frontenac has been called a mere soldier. He was an excellent soldier,
and more besides. He was a man of vigorous and cultivated mind,
penetrating observation, and ample travel and experience. His zeal for
the colony, however, was often counteracted by the violence of his
prejudices, and by two other influences. First, he was a ruined man,
who meant to mend his fortunes; and his wish that Canada should
prosper was joined with a determination to reap a goodly part of her
prosperity for himself. Again, he could not endure a rival; opposition
maddened him, and, when crossed or thwarted, he forgot every thing but
his passion. Signs of storm quickly showed themselves between him and
the intendant Talon; but the danger was averted by the departure of
that official for France. A cloud then rose in the direction of the

"Another thing displeases me," writes Frontenac, "and this is the
complete dependence of the grand vicar and the seminary priests on the
Jesuits, for they never do the least thing without their order: so
that they (_the Jesuits_) are masters in spiritual matters, which, as
you know, is a powerful lever for moving every thing else." [Footnote:
_Frontenac au Ministre, 2 Nov_., 1672.] And he complains that they
have spies in town and country, that they abuse the confessional,
intermeddle in families, set husbands against wives, and parents
against children, and all, as they say, for the greater glory of God.
"I call to mind every day, Monseigneur, what you did me the honor to
say to me when I took leave of you, and every day I am satisfied more
and more of the great importance to the king's service of opposing the
slightest of the attempts which are daily made against his authority."
He goes on to denounce a certain sermon, preached by a Jesuit, to the
great scandal of loyal subjects, wherein the father declared that the
king had exceeded his powers in licensing the trade in brandy when the
bishop had decided it to be a sin, together with other remarks of a
seditious nature. "I was tempted several times," pursues Frontenac,
"to leave the church with my guards and interrupt the sermon; but I
contented myself with telling the grand vicar and the superior of the
Jesuits, after it was over, that I was very much surprised at what I
had heard, and demanded justice at their hands. They greatly blamed
the preacher, and disavowed him, attributing his language, after their
custom, to an excess of zeal, and making many apologies, with which I
pretended to be satisfied; though I told them, nevertheless, that
their excuses would not pass current with me another time, and, if the
thing happened again, I would put the preacher in a place where he
would learn how to speak. Since then they have been a little more
careful, though not enough to prevent one from always seeing their
intention to persuade the people that, even in secular matters, their
authority ought to be respected above any other. As there are many
persons here who have no more brains than they need, and who are
attached to them by ties of interest or otherwise, it is necessary to
have an eye to these matters in this country more than anywhere else."
[Footnote: _Frontenac au Ministre_, 13 _Nov._, 1673.]

The churchmen, on their part, were not idle. The bishop, who was then
in France, contrived by some means to acquaint himself with the
contents of the private despatches sent by Colbert in reply to the
letters of Frontenac. He wrote to another ecclesiastic to communicate
what he had learned, at the same time enjoining great caution; "since,
while it is well to acquire all necessary information, and to act upon
it, it is of the greatest importance to keep secret our possession of
such knowledge." [Footnote: _Laval à_ ----, 1674. The letter is a
complete summary of the contents of Colbert's recent despatch to
Frontenac. Then follows the injunction to secrecy, "estant de
très-grande conséquence que l'on ne sache pas que l'on aye rien appris
de tout cela, sur quoi néanmoins il est bon que l'on agisse et que
l'on me donne tous les advis qui seront nécessaires."]

The king and the minister, in their instructions to Frontenac, had
dwelt with great emphasis on the expediency of civilizing the Indians,
teaching them the French language, and amalgamating them with the
colonists. Frontenac, ignorant as yet of Indian nature and
unacquainted with the difficulties of the case, entered into these
views with great heartiness. He exercised from the first an
extraordinary influence over all the Indians with whom he came in
contact; and he persuaded the most savage and refractory of them, the
Iroquois, to place eight of their children in his hands. Four of these
were girls and four were boys. He took two of the boys into his own
household, of which they must have proved most objectionable inmates;
and he supported the other two, who were younger, out of his own
slender resources, placed them in respectable French families, and
required them to go daily to school. The girls were given to the
charge of the Ursulines. Frontenac continually urged the Jesuits to
co-operate with him in this work of civilization, but the results of
his urgency disappointed and exasperated him. He complains that in the
village of the Hurons, near Quebec, and under the control of the
Jesuits, the French language was scarcely known. In fact, the fathers
contented themselves with teaching their converts the doctrines and
rites of the Roman Church, while retaining the food, dress, and habits
of their original barbarism.

In defence of the missionaries, it should be said that, when brought
in contact with the French, the Indians usually caught the vices of
civilization without its virtues; but Frontenac made no allowances.
"The Jesuits," he writes, "will not civilize the Indians, because they
wish to keep them in perpetual wardship. They think more of beaver
skins than of souls, and their missions are pure mockeries." At the
same time he assures the minister that, when he is obliged to correct
them, he does so with the utmost gentleness. In spite of this somewhat
doubtful urbanity, it seems clear that a storm was brewing; and it was
fortunate for the peace of the Canadian Church that the attention of
the truculent governor was drawn to other quarters.





Not long before Frontenac's arrival, Courcelle, his predecessor, went
to Lake Ontario with an armed force, in order to impose respect on the
Iroquois, who had of late become insolent. As a means of keeping them
in check, and at the same time controlling the fur trade of the upper
country, he had recommended, like Talon before him, the building of a
fort near the outlet of the lake. Frontenac at once saw the advantages
of such a measure, and his desire to execute it was stimulated by the
reflection that the proposed fort might be made not only a safeguard
to the colony, but also a source of profit to himself.

At Quebec, there was a grave, thoughtful, self-contained young man,
who soon found his way into Frontenac's confidence. There was between
them the sympathetic attraction of two bold and energetic spirits; and
though Cavelier de la Salle had neither the irritable vanity of the
count, nor his Gallic vivacity of passion, he had in full measure the
same unconquerable pride and hardy resolution. There were but two or
three men in Canada who knew the western wilderness so well. He was
full of schemes of ambition and of gain; and, from this moment, he and
Frontenac seem to have formed an alliance, which ended only with the
governor's recall.

In telling the story of La Salle, I have described the execution of
the new plan: the muster of the Canadians, at the call of Frontenac;
the consternation of those of the merchants whom he and La Salle had
not taken into their counsels, and who saw in the movement the
preparation for a gigantic fur trading monopoly; the intrigues set on
foot to bar the enterprise; the advance up the St. Lawrence; the
assembly of Iroquois at the destined spot; the ascendency exercised
over them by the governor; the building of Fort Frontenac on the
ground where Kingston now stands, and its final transfer into the
hands of La Salle, on condition, there can be no doubt, of sharing the
expected profits with his patron. [Footnote: Discovery of the Great
West, chap. vi.]

On the way to the lake, Frontenac stopped for some time at Montreal,
where he had full opportunity to become acquainted with a state of
things to which his attention had already been directed. This state of
things was as follows:--When the intendant, Talon, came for the second
time to Canada, in 1669, an officer named Perrot, who had married his
niece, came with him. Perrot, anxious to turn to account the influence
of his wife's relative, looked about him for some post of honor and
profit, and quickly discovered that the government of Montreal was
vacant. The priests of St. Sulpice, feudal owners of the place, had
the right of appointing their own governor. Talon advised them to
choose Perrot, who thereupon received the desired commission, which,
however, was revocable at the will of those who had granted it. The
new governor, therefore, begged another commission from the king, and
after a little delay he obtained it. Thus he became, in some measure,
independent of the priests, who, if they wished to rid themselves of
him, must first gain the royal consent.

Perrot, as he had doubtless foreseen, found himself in an excellent
position for making money. The tribes of the upper lakes, and all the
neighboring regions, brought down their furs every summer to the
annual fair at Montreal. Perrot took his measures accordingly. On the
island which still bears his name, lying above Montreal and directly
in the route of the descending savages, he built a storehouse, and
placed it in charge of a retired lieutenant named Brucy, who stopped
the Indians on their way, and carried on an active trade with them, to
the great profit of himself and his associate, and the great loss of
the merchants in the settlements below. This was not all. Perrot
connived at the desertion of his own soldiers, who escaped to the
woods, became _coureurs de bois_, or bush-rangers, traded with the
Indians in their villages, and shared their gains with their
commander. Many others, too, of these forest rovers, outlawed by royal
edicts, found in the governor of Montreal a protector, under similar

The journey from Quebec to Montreal often consumed a fortnight. Perrot
thought himself virtually independent; and relying on his commission
from the king, the protection of Talon, and his connection with other
persons of influence, he felt safe in his position, and began to play
the petty tyrant. The judge of Montreal, and several of the chief
inhabitants, came to offer a humble remonstrance against disorders
committed by some of the ruffians in his interest. Perrot received
them with a storm of vituperation, and presently sent the judge to
prison. This proceeding was followed by a series of others, closely
akin to it, so that the priests of St. Sulpice, who received their
full share of official abuse, began to repent bitterly of the governor
they had chosen.

Frontenac had received stringent orders from the king to arrest all
the bush-rangers, or _coureurs de bois_; but, since he had scarcely a
soldier at his disposal, except his own body-guard, the order was
difficult to execute. As, however, most of these outlaws were in the
service of his rival, Perrot, his zeal to capture them rose high
against every obstacle. He had, moreover, a plan of his own in regard
to them, and had already petitioned the minister for a galley, to the
benches of which the captive bush-rangers were to be chained as
rowers, thus supplying the representative of the king with a means of
transportation befitting his dignity, and at the same time giving
wholesome warning against the infraction of royal edicts. [Footnote:
_Frontenac au Ministre_, 2 _Nov._, 1672.] Accordingly, he sent orders
to the judge, at Montreal, to seize every _coureur de bois_ on whom he
could lay hands.

The judge, hearing that two of the most notorious were lodged in the
house of a lieutenant named Carion, sent a constable to arrest them;
whereupon Carion threatened and maltreated the officer of justice, and
helped the men to escape. Perrot took the part of his lieutenant, and
told the judge that he would put him in prison, in spite of Frontenac,
if he ever dared to attempt such an arrest again. [Footnote: _Mémoire
des Motifs qui ont obligé M. le Comte de Frontenac de faire arrêter le
Sieur Perrot._]

When Frontenac heard what had happened, his ire was doubly kindled. On
the one hand, Perrot had violated the authority lodged by the king in
the person of his representative; and, on the other, the mutinous
official was a rival in trade, who had made great and illicit profits,
while his superior had, thus far, made none. As a governor and as a
man, Frontenac was deeply moved; yet, helpless as he was, he could do
no more than send three of his guardsmen, under a lieutenant named
Bizard, with orders to arrest Carion and bring him to Quebec.

The commission was delicate. The arrest was to be made in the
dominions of Perrot, who had the means to prevent it, and the audacity
to use them. Bizard acted accordingly. He went to Carion's house, and
took him prisoner; then proceeded to the house of the merchant Le Ber,
where he left a letter, in which Frontenac, as was the usage on such
occasions, gave notice to the local governor of the arrest he had
ordered. It was the object of Bizard to escape with his prisoner
before Perrot could receive the letter; but, meanwhile, the wife of
Carion ran to him with the news, and the governor suddenly arrived, in
a frenzy of rage, followed by a sergeant and three or four soldiers.
The sergeant held the point of his halberd against the breast of
Bizard, while Perrot, choking with passion, demanded, "How dare you
arrest an officer in my government without my leave?" The lieutenant
replied that he acted under orders of the governor-general, and gave
Frontenac's letter to Perrot, who immediately threw it into his face,
exclaiming: "Take it back to your master, and tell him to teach you
your business better another time. Meanwhile you are my prisoner."
Bizard protested in vain. He was led to jail, whither he was followed
a few days after by Le Ber, who had mortally offended Perrot by
signing an attestation of the scene he had witnessed. As he was the
chief merchant of the place, his arrest produced a great sensation,
while his wife presently took to her bed with a nervous fever.

As Perrot's anger cooled, he became somewhat alarmed. He had resisted
the royal authority, and insulted its representative. The consequences
might be serious; yet he could not bring himself to retrace his steps.
He merely released Bizard, and sullenly permitted him to depart, with
a letter to the governor-general, more impertinent than apologetic.
[Footnote: _Mémoire des Motifs, etc._]

Frontenac, as his enemies declare, was accustomed, when enraged, to
foam at the mouth. Perhaps he did so when he learned the behavior of
Perrot. If he had had at command a few companies of soldiers, there
can be little doubt that he would have gone at once to Montreal,
seized the offender, and brought him back in irons; but his body-guard
of twenty men was not equal to such an enterprise. Nor would a muster
of the militia have served his purpose; for the settlers about Quebec
were chiefly peaceful peasants, while the denizens of Montreal were
disbanded soldiers, fur traders, and forest adventurers, the best
fighters in Canada. They were nearly all in the interest of Perrot,
who, if attacked, had the temper as well as the ability to make a
passionate resistance. Thus civil war would have ensued, and the anger
of the king would have fallen on both parties. On the other hand, if
Perrot were left unpunished, the _coureurs de bois_, of whom he was
the patron, would set no bounds to their audacity, and Frontenac, who
had been ordered to suppress them, would be condemned as negligent or

Among the priests of St. Sulpice at Montreal was the Abbé Salignac de
Fénelon, half-brother of the celebrated author of _Télémaque_. He was
a zealous missionary, enthusiastic and impulsive, still young, and
more ardent than discreet. One of his uncles had been the companion of
Frontenac during the Candian war, and hence the count's relations with
the missionary had been very friendly. Frontenac now wrote to Perrot,
directing him to come to Quebec and give account of his conduct; and
he coupled this letter with another to Fénelon, urging him to
represent to the offending governor the danger of his position, and
advise him to seek an interview with his superior, by which the
difficulty might be amicably adjusted. Perrot, dreading the
displeasure of the king, soothed by the moderate tone of Frontenac's
letter, and moved by the assurances of the enthusiastic abbé, who was
delighted to play the part of peace-maker, at length resolved to
follow his counsel. It was mid-winter. Perrot and Fénelon set out
together, walked on snow-shoes a hundred and eighty miles down the
frozen St. Lawrence, and made their appearance before the offended

Frontenac, there can be little doubt, had never intended that Perrot,
once in his power, should return to Montreal as its governor; but
that, beyond this, he meant harm to him, there is not the least proof.
Perrot, however, was as choleric and stubborn as the count himself;
and his natural disposition had not been improved by several years of
petty autocracy at Montreal. Their interview was brief, but stormy.
When it ended, Perrot was a prisoner in the château, with guards
placed over him by day and night. Frontenac made choice of one La
Nouguère, a retired officer, whom he knew that he could trust, and
sent him to Montreal to command in place of its captive governor. With
him he sent also a judge of his own selection. La Nouguère set himself
to his work with vigor. Perrot's agent or partner, Brucy, was seized,
tried, and imprisoned; and an active hunt was begun for his _coureurs
de bois_. Among others, the two who had been the occasion of the
dispute were captured and sent to Quebec, where one of them was
solemnly hanged before the window of Perrot's prison; with the view,
no doubt, of producing a chastening effect on the mind of the
prisoner. The execution was fully authorized, a royal edict having
ordained that bush-ranging was an offence punishable with death.
[Footnote: _Édits et Ordonnances_, I. 73.] As the result of these
proceedings, Frontenac reported to the minister that only five
_coureurs de bois_ remained at large; all the rest having returned to
the settlements and made their submission, so that farther hanging was

Thus the central power was vindicated, and Montreal brought down from
her attitude of partial independence. Other results also followed, if
we may believe the enemies of Frontenac, who declare that, by means of
the new commandant and other persons in his interest, the
governor-general possessed himself of a great part of the trade from
which he had ejected Perrot, and that the _coureurs de bois_, whom he
hanged when breaking laws for his rival, found complete impunity when
breaking laws for him.

Meanwhile, there was a deep though subdued excitement among the
priests of St. Sulpice. The right of naming their own governor, which
they claimed as seigniors of Montreal, had been violated by the action
of Frontenac in placing La Nouguère in command without consulting
them. Perrot was a bad governor; but it was they who had chosen him,
and the recollection of his misdeeds did not reconcile them to a
successor arbitrarily imposed upon them. Both they and the colonists,
their vassals, were intensely jealous of Quebec; and, in their
indignation against Frontenac, they more than half forgave Perrot.
None among them all was so angry as the Abbé Fénelon. He believed that
he had been used to lure Perrot into a trap; and his past attachment
to the governor-general was turned into wrath. High words had passed
between them; and, when Fénelon returned to Montreal, he vented his
feelings in a sermon plainly levelled at Frontenac. [Footnote:
_Information faite par nous, Charles le Tardieu, Sieur de Tilly._
Tilly was a commissioner sent by the council to inquire into the
affair.] So sharp and bitter was it, that his brethren of St. Sulpice
hastened to disclaim it; and Dollier de Casson, their Superior,
strongly reproved the preacher, who protested in return that his words
were not meant to apply to Frontenac in particular, but only to bad
rulers in general. His offences, however, did not cease with the
sermon; for he espoused the cause of Perrot with more than zeal, and
went about among the colonists to collect attestations in his favor.
When these things were reported to Frontenac, his ire was kindled, and
he summoned Fénelon before the council at Quebec to answer the charge
of instigating sedition.

Fénelon had a relative and friend in the person of the Abbé d'Urfé,
his copartner in the work of the missions. D'Urfé, anxious to conjure
down the rising storm, went to Quebec to seek an interview with
Frontenac; but, according to his own account, he was very ill
received, and threatened with a prison. On another occasion, the count
showed him a letter in which D'Urfé was charged with having used
abusive language concerning him. Warm words ensued, till Frontenac,
grasping his cane, led the abbé to the door and dismissed him,
berating him from the top of the stairs in tones so angry that the
sentinel below spread the report that he had turned his visitor out of
doors. [Footnote: _Mémoire de M. d'Urfé à Colbert_, extracts in

Two offenders were now arraigned before the council of Quebec: the
first was Perrot, charged with disobeying the royal edicts and
resisting the royal authority; the other was the Abbé Fénelon. The
councillors were at this time united in the interest of Frontenac, who
had the power of appointing and removing them. Perrot, in no way
softened by a long captivity, challenged the governor-general, who
presided at the council board, as a party to the suit and his personal
enemy, and took exception to several of the members as being
connections of La Nouguère. Frontenac withdrew, and other councillors
or judges were appointed provisionally; but these were challenged in
turn by the prisoner, on one pretext or another. The exceptions were
overruled, and the trial proceeded, though not without signs of doubt
and hesitation on the part of some of the councillors. [Footnote: All
the proceedings in the affair of Perrot will be found in full in the
_Registre des Jugements et Délibérations du Conseil Supérieur_. They
extend from the end of January to the beginning of November, 1674.]

Meanwhile, other sessions were held for the trial of Fénelon; and a
curious scene ensued. Five councillors and the deputy attorney-general
were seated at the board, with Frontenac as presiding judge, his hat
on his head and his sword at his side, after the established custom.
Fénelon, being led in, approached a vacant chair, and was about to
seat himself with the rest, when Frontenac interposed, telling him
that it was his duty to remain standing while answering the questions
of the council. Fénelon at once placed himself in the chair, and
replied that priests had the right to speak seated and with heads

"Yes," returned Frontenac, "when they are summoned as witnesses, but
not when they are cited to answer charges of crime."

"My crimes exist nowhere but in your head," replied the abbé. And,
putting on his hat, he drew it down over his brows, rose, gathered his
cassock about him, and walked in a defiant manner to and fro.
Frontenac told him that his conduct was wanting in respect to the
council, and to the governor as its head. Fénelon several times took
off his hat, and pushed it on again more angrily than ever, saying at
the same time that Frontenac was wanting in respect to his character
of priest, in citing him before a civil tribunal. As he persisted in
his refusal to take the required attitude, he was at length told that
he might leave the room. After being kept for a time in the anteroom
in charge of a constable, he was again brought before the council,
when he still refused obedience, and was ordered into a sort of
honorable imprisonment. [Footnote: _Conteste entre le Gouverneur et
l'Abbé de Fénelon; Jugements et Déliberations du Conseil Supérieur_,
21 _Août_, 1674.]

This behavior of the effervescent abbé, which Frontenac justly enough
characterizes as unworthy of his birth and his sacred office, was,
nevertheless, founded on a claim sustained by many precedents. As an
ecclesiastic, Fénelon insisted that the bishop alone, and not the
council, had the right to judge him. Like Perrot, too, he challenged
his judges as parties to the suit, or otherwise interested against
him. On the question of jurisdiction, he had all the priests on his
side. Bishop Laval was in France; and Bernières, his grand vicar, was
far from filling the place of the strenuous and determined prelate.
Yet the ecclesiastical storm rose so high that the councillors,
discouraged and daunted, were no longer amenable to the will of
Frontenac; and it was resolved at last to refer the whole matter to
the king. Perrot was taken from the prison, which he had occupied from
January to November, and shipped for France, along with Fénelon. An
immense mass of papers was sent with them for the instruction of the
king; and Frontenac wrote a long despatch, in which he sets forth the
offences of Perrot and Fénelon, the pretensions of the ecclesiastics,
the calumnies he had incurred in his efforts to serve his Majesty, and
the insults heaped upon him, "which no man but me would have endured
so patiently." Indeed, while the suits were pending before the
council, he had displayed a calmness and moderation which surprised
his opponents. "Knowing as I do," he pursues, "the cabals and
intrigues that are rife here, I must expect that every thing will be
said against me that the most artful slander can devise. A governor in
this country would greatly deserve pity, if he were left without
support; and, even should he make mistakes, it would surely be very
pardonable, seeing that there is no snare that is not spread for him,
and that, after avoiding a hundred of them, he will hardly escape
being caught at last." [Footnote: _Frontenac au Ministre, 14 Nov.,
1674_. In a preceding letter, sent by way of Boston, and dated 16
February, he says that he could not suffer Perrot to go unpunished
without injury to the regal authority, which he is resolved to defend
to the last drop of his blood.]

In his charges of cabal and intrigue, Frontenac had chiefly in view
the clergy, whom he profoundly distrusted, excepting always the
Récollet friars, whom he befriended because the bishop and the Jesuits
opposed them. The priests on their part declare that he persecuted
them, compelled them to take passports like laymen when travelling
about the colony, and even intercepted their letters. These
accusations and many others were carried to the king and the minister
by the Abbé d'Urfé, who sailed in the same ship with Fénelon. The
moment was singularly auspicious to him. His cousin, the Marquise
d'Allègre, was on the point of marrying Seignelay, the son of the
minister Colbert, who, therefore, was naturally inclined to listen
with favor to him and to Fénelon, his relative. Again, Talon, uncle of
Perrot's wife, held a post at court, which brought him into close
personal relations with the king. Nor were these the only influences
adverse to Frontenac and propitious to his enemies. Yet his enemies
were disappointed. The letters written to him both by Colbert and by
the king are admirable for calmness and dignity. The following is from
that of the king:--

"Though I do not credit all that has been told me concerning various
little annoyances which you cause to the ecclesiastics, I nevertheless
think it necessary to inform you of it, in order that, if true, you
may correct yourself in this particular, giving to all the clergy
entire liberty to go and come throughout all Canada without compelling
them to take out passports, and at the same time leaving them perfect
freedom as regards their letters. I have seen and carefully examined
all that you have sent touching M. Perrot; and, after having also seen
all the papers given by him in his defence, I have condemned his
action in imprisoning an officer of your guard. To punish him, I have
had him placed for a short time in the Bastile, that he may learn to
be more circumspect in the discharge of his duty, and that his example
may serve as a warning to others. But after having thus vindicated my
authority, which has been violated in your person, I will say, in
order that you may fully understand my views, that you should not
without absolute necessity cause your commands to be executed within
the limits of a local government, like that of Montreal, without first
informing its governor, and also that the ten months of imprisonment
which you have made him undergo seems to me sufficient for his fault.
I therefore sent him to the Bastile merely as a public reparation for
having violated my authority. After keeping him there a few days, I
shall send him back to his government, ordering him first to see you
and make apology to you for all that has passed; after which I desire
that you retain no resentment against him, and that you treat him in
accordance with the powers that I have given him." [Footnote: _Le Roi
a Frontenac_, 22 _Avril_, 1675.]

Colbert writes in terms equally measured, and adds: "After having
spoken in the name of his Majesty, pray let me add a word in my own.
By the marriage which the king has been pleased to make between the
heiress of the house of Allègre and my son, the Abbé d'Urfé has become
very closely connected with me, since he is cousin german of my
daughter-in-law; and this induces me to request you to show him
especial consideration, though, in the exercise of his profession, he
will rarely have occasion to see you."

As D'Urfé had lately addressed a memorial to Colbert, in which the
conduct of Frontenac is painted in the darkest colors, the almost
imperceptible rebuke couched in the above lines does no little credit
to the tact and moderation of the stern minister.

Colbert next begs Frontenac to treat with kindness the priests of
Montreal, observing that Bretonvilliers, their Superior at Paris, is
his particular friend. "As to M. Perrot," he continues, "since ten
months of imprisonment at Quebec and three weeks in the Bastile may
suffice to atone for his fault, and since also he is related or
connected with persons for whom I have a great regard, I pray you to
accept kindly the apologies which he will make you, and, as it is not
at all likely that he will fall again into any offence approaching
that which he has committed, you will give me especial pleasure in
granting him the honor of your favor and friendship." [Footnote:
_Colbert a Frontenac,_ 13 _Mai,_ 1675.]

Fénelon, though the recent marriage had allied him also to Colbert,
fared worse than either of the other parties to the dispute. He was
indeed sustained in his claim to be judged by an ecclesiastical
tribunal; but his Superior, Bretonvilliers, forbade him to return to
Canada, and the king approved the prohibition. Bretonvilliers wrote to
the Sulpitian priests of Montreal: "I exhort you to profit by the
example of M. de Fénelon. By having busied himself too much in worldly
matters, and meddled with what did not concern him, he has ruined his
own prospects and injured the friends whom he wished to serve. In
matters of this sort, it is well always to stand neutral." [Footnote:
_Lettre de Bretonvilliers, 7 Mai, 1675_; extract in Faillon. Fénelon,
though wanting in prudence and dignity, had been an ardent and devoted
missionary. In relation to these disputes, I have received much aid
from the research of Abbé Faillon, and from the valuable paper of Abbé
Verreau, _Les deux Abbés de Fenelon,_ printed in the Canadian _Journal
de l'Instruction Publique,_ Vol. VIII.]





While writing to Frontenac in terms of studied mildness, the king and
Colbert took measures to curb his power. In the absence of the bishop,
the appointment and removal of councillors had rested wholly with the
governor; and hence the council had been docile under his will. It was
now ordained that the councillors should be appointed by the king
himself. [Footnote: _Édits et Ordonnances_, I. 84.] This was not the
only change. Since the departure of the intendant Talon, his office
had been vacant; and Frontenac was left to rule alone. This seems to
have been an experiment on the part of his masters at Versailles, who,
knowing the peculiarities of his temper, were perhaps willing to try
the effect of leaving him without a colleague. The experiment had not
succeeded. An intendant was now, therefore, sent to Quebec, not only
to manage the details of administration, but also to watch the
governor, keep him, if possible, within prescribed bounds, and report
his proceedings to the minister. The change was far from welcome to
Frontenac, whose delight it was to hold all the reins of power in his
own hands; nor was he better pleased with the return of Bishop Laval,
which presently took place. Three preceding governors had quarrelled
with that uncompromising prelate; and there was little hope that
Frontenac and he would keep the peace. All the signs of the sky
foreboded storm.

The storm soon came. The occasion of it was that old vexed question of
the sale of brandy, which has been fully treated in another volume,
[Footnote: The Old Régime in Canada.] and on which it is needless to
dwell here. Another dispute quickly followed; and here, too, the
governor's chief adversaries were the bishop and the ecclesiastics.
Duchesneau, the new intendant, took part with them. The bishop and his
clergy were, on their side, very glad of a secular ally; for their
power had greatly fallen since the days of Mézy, and the rank and
imperious character of Frontenac appear to have held them in some awe.
They avoided as far as they could a direct collision with him, and
waged vicarious war in the person of their friend the intendant.
Duchesneau was not of a conciliating spirit, and he felt strong in the
support of the clergy; while Frontenac, when his temper was roused,
would fight with haughty and impracticable obstinacy for any position
which he had once assumed, however trivial or however mistaken. There
was incessant friction between the two colleagues in the exercise of
their respective functions, and occasions of difference were rarely

The question now at issue was that of honors and precedence at church
and in religious ceremonies, matters of substantial importance under
the Bourbon rule. Colbert interposed, ordered Duchesneau to treat
Frontenac with becoming deference, and warned him not to make himself
the partisan of the bishop; [Footnote: _Colbert à Duchesneau_, 1
_Mai_, 1677.] while, at the same time, he exhorted Frontenac to live
in harmony with the intendant. [Footnote: _Ibid._, 18 _Mai_, 1677.]
The dispute continued till the king lost patience.

"Through all my kingdom," he wrote to the governor, "I do not hear of
so many difficulties on this matter (_of ecclesiastical honors_) as I
see in the church of Quebec." [Footnote: _Le Roy à Frontenac_, 25
_Avril_, 1679.] And he directs him to conform to the practice
established in the city of Amiens, and to exact no more; "since you
ought to be satisfied with being the representative of my person in
the country where I have placed you in command."

At the same time, Colbert corrects the intendant. "A memorial," he
wrote, "has been placed in my hands, touching various ecclesiastical
honors, wherein there continually appears a great pretension on your
part, and on that of the bishop of Quebec in your favor, to establish
an equality between the governor and you. I think I have already said
enough to lead you to know yourself, and to understand the difference
between a governor and an intendant; so that it is no longer necessary
for me to enter into particulars, which could only serve to show you
that you are completely in the wrong." [Footnote: _Colbert à
Duchesneau_, 8 _Mai_, 1679]

Scarcely was this quarrel suppressed, when another sprang up. Since
the arrival of the intendant and the return of the bishop, the council
had ceased to be in the interest of Frontenac. Several of its members
were very obnoxious to him; and chief among these was Villeray, a
former councillor whom the king had lately reinstated. Frontenac
admitted him to his seat with reluctance. "I obey your orders," he
wrote mournfully to Colbert; "but Villeray is the principal and most
dangerous instrument of the bishop and the Jesuits." [Footnote:
_Frontenac au Ministre_, 14 _Nov._, 1674] He says, farther, that many
people think him to be a Jesuit in disguise, and that he is an
intriguing busybody, who makes trouble everywhere. He also denounces
the attorney-general, Auteuil, as an ally of the Jesuits. Another of
the reconstructed council, Tilly, meets his cordial approval; but he
soon found reason to change his mind concerning him.

The king had recently ordered that the intendant, though holding only
the third rank in the council, should act as its president. [Footnote:
_Declaration du Roy,_ 23 _Sept._, 1675.] The commission of Duchesneau,
however, empowered him to preside only in the absence of the governor;
[Footnote: "Présider au Conseil Souverain _en l'absence du dit Sieur
de Frontenac."--Commission de Duchesneau,_ 5 _Juin_, 1675.] while
Frontenac is styled "chief and president of the council" in several of
the despatches addressed to him. Here was an inconsistency. Both
parties claimed the right of presiding, and both could rest their
claim on a clear expression of the royal will.

Frontenac rarely began a new quarrel till the autumn vessels had
sailed for France; because a full year must then elapse before his
adversaries could send their complaints to the king, and six months
more before the king could send back his answer. The governor had been
heard to say, on one of these occasions, that he should now be master
for eighteen months, subject only to answering with his head for what
he might do. It was when the last vessel was gone in the autumn of
1678 that he demanded to be styled _chief and president_ on the
records of the council; and he showed a letter from the king in which
he was so entitled. [Footnote: This letter, still preserved in the
_Archives de la Marine,_ is dated 12 _Mai_, 1678. Several other
letters of Louis XIV. give Frontenac the same designation.] In spite
of this, Duchesneau resisted, and appealed to precedent to sustain his
position. A long series of stormy sessions followed. The councillors
in the clerical interest supported the intendant. Frontenac, chafed
and angry, refused all compromise. Business was stopped for weeks.

Duchesneau lost temper, and became abusive. Auteuil tried to interpose
in behalf of the intendant. Frontenac struck the table with his fist,
and told him fiercely that he would teach him his duty. Every day
embittered the strife. The governor made the declaration usual with
him on such occasions, that he would not permit the royal authority to
suffer in his person. At length he banished from Quebec his three most
strenuous opponents, Villeray, Tilly, and Auteuil, and commanded them
to remain in their country houses till they received his farther
orders. All attempts at compromise proved fruitless; and Auteuil, in
behalf of the exiles, appealed piteously to the king.

The answer came in the following summer: "Monsieur le Comte de
Frontenac," wrote Louis XIV., "I am surprised to learn all the new
troubles and dissensions that have occurred in my country of New
France, more especially since I have clearly and strongly given you to
understand that your sole care should be to maintain harmony and peace
among all my subjects dwelling therein; but what surprises me still
more is that in nearly all the disputes which, you have caused you
have advanced claims which have very little foundation. My edicts,
declarations, and ordinances had so plainly made known to you my will,
that I have great cause of astonishment that you, whose duty it is to
see them faithfully executed, have yourself set up pretensions
entirely opposed to them. You have wished to be styled chief and
president on the records of the Supreme Council, which is contrary to
my edict concerning that council; and I am the more surprised at this
demand, since I am very sure that you are the only man in my kingdom
who, being honored with the title of governor and lieutenant-general,
would care to be styled chief and president of such a council as that
of Quebec."

He then declares that neither Frontenac nor the intendant is to have
the title of president, but that the intendant is to perform the
functions of presiding officer, as determined by the edict. He

"Moreover, your abuse of the authority which I have confided to you in
exiling two councillors and the attorney-general for so trivial a
cause cannot meet my approval; and, were it not for the distinct
assurances given me by your friends that you will act with more
moderation in future, and never again fall into offences of this
nature, I should have resolved on recalling you." [Footnote: _Le Roy à
Frontenac_, 29 _Avril_, 1680. A decree of the council of state soon
after determined the question of presidency in accord with this
letter. _Édits et Ordonnances_ I. 238.]

Colbert wrote to him with equal severity: "I have communicated to the
king the contents of all the despatches which you have written to me
during the past year; and as the matters of which they treat are
sufficiently ample, including dissensions almost universal among those
whose duty it is to preserve harmony in the country under your
command, his Majesty has been pleased to examine all the papers sent
by all the parties interested, and more particularly those appended to
your letters. He has thereupon ordered me distinctly to make known to
you his intentions." The minister then proceeds to reprove him sharply
in the name of the king, and concludes: "It is difficult for me to add
any thing to what I have just said. Consider well that, if it is any
advantage or any satisfaction to you that his Majesty should be
satisfied with your services, it is necessary that you change entirely
the conduct which you have hitherto pursued." [Footnote: _Colbert à
Frontenac_, 4 _Dec_., 1679. This letter seems to have been sent by a
special messenger by way of New England. It was too late in the season
to send directly to Canada. On the quarrel about the presidency,
_Duchesneau au Ministre_, 10 _Nov_., 1679; _Auteuil au Ministre_, 10
_Aug_., 1679; _Contestations entre le Sieur Comte de Frontenac et M.
Duchesneau, Chevalier_. This last paper consists of voluminous
extracts from the records of the council.]

This, one would think, might have sufficed to bring the governor to
reason, but the violence of his resentments and antipathies overcame
the very slender share of prudence with which nature had endowed him.
One morning, as he sat at the head of the council board, the bishop on
his right hand, and the intendant on his left, a woman made her
appearance with a sealed packet of papers. She was the wife of the
councillor Amours, whose chair was vacant at the table. Important
business was in hand, the registration of a royal edict of amnesty to
the _coureurs de bois_. The intendant, who well knew what the packet
contained, demanded that it should be opened. Frontenac insisted that
the business before the council should proceed. The intendant renewed
his demand, the council sustained him, and the packet was opened
accordingly. It contained a petition from Amours, stating that
Frontenac had put him in prison, because, having obtained in due form
a passport to send a canoe to his fishing station of Matane, he had
afterwards sent a sail-boat thither without applying for another
passport. Frontenac had sent for him, and demanded by what right he
did so. Amours replied that he believed that he had acted in
accordance with the intentions of the king; whereupon, to borrow the
words of the petition, "Monsieur the governor fell into a rage, and
said to your petitioner, 'I will teach you the intentions of the king,
and you shall stay in prison till you learn them;' and your petitioner
was shut up in a chamber of the château, wherein he still remains." He
proceeds to pray that a trial may be granted him according to law.
[Footnote: _Registre du Conseil Supérieur_, 16 Aoûst, 1681.]

Discussions now ensued which lasted for days, and now and then became
tempestuous. The governor, who had declared that the council had
nothing to do with the matter, and that he could not waste time in
talking about it, was not always present at the meetings, and it
sometimes became necessary to depute one or more of the members to
visit him. Auteuil, the attorney-general, having been employed on this
unenviable errand, begged the council to dispense him from such duty
in future, "by reason," as he says, "of the abuse, ill treatment, and
threats which he received from Monsieur the governor, when he last had
the honor of being deputed to confer with him, the particulars whereof
he begs to be excused from reporting, lest the anger of Monsieur the
governor should be kindled against him still more." [Footnote:
_Registre du Conseil Supérieur_, 4 _Nov_., 1681.] Frontenac, hearing
of this charge, angrily denied it, saying that the attorney-general
had slandered and insulted him, and that it was his custom to do so.
Auteuil rejoined that the governor had accused him of habitual lying,
and told him that he would have his hand cut off. All these charges
and countercharges may still be found entered in due form on the old
records of the council at Quebec.

It was as usual upon the intendant that the wrath of Frontenac fell
most fiercely. He accuses him of creating cabals and intrigues, and
causing not only the council, but all the country, to forget the
respect due to the representative of his Majesty. Once, when Frontenac
was present at the session, a dispute arose about an entry on the
record. A draft of it had been made in terms agreeable to the
governor, who insisted that the intendant should sign it. Duchesneau
replied that he and the clerk would go into the adjoining room, where
they could examine it in peace, and put it into a proper form.
Frontenac rejoined that he would then have no security that what he
had said in the council would be accurately reported. Duchesneau
persisted, and was going out with the draft in his hand, when
Frontenac planted himself before the door, and told him that he should
not leave the council chamber till he had signed the paper. "Then I
will get out of the window, or else stay here all day," returned
Duchesneau. A lively debate ensued, and the governor at length yielded
the point. [Footnote: _Registre de Conseil Supérieur_, 1681.]

The imprisonment of Amours was short, but strife did not cease. The
disputes in the council were accompanied throughout with other
quarrels which were complicated with them, and which were worse than
all the rest, since they involved more important matters and covered a
wider field. They related to the fur trade, on which hung the very
life of the colony. Merchants, traders, and even _habitants_, were
ranged in two contending factions. Of one of these Frontenac was the
chief. With him were La Salle and his lieutenant, La Forêt; Du Lhut,
the famous leader of _coureurs de bois_; Boisseau, agent of the
farmers of the revenue; Barrois, the governor's secretary; Bizard,
lieutenant of his guard; and various others of greater or less
influence. On the other side were the members of the council, with
Aubert de la Chesnaye, Le Moyne and all his sons, Louis Joliet,
Jacques Le Ber, Sorel, Boucher, Varennes, and many more, all supported
by the intendant Duchesneau, and also by his fast allies, the
ecclesiastics. The faction under the lead of the governor had every
advantage, for it was sustained by all the power of his office.
Duchesneau was beside himself with rage. He wrote to the court letters
full of bitterness, accused Frontenac of illicit trade, denounced his
followers, and sent huge bundles of _procès-verbaux_ and attestations
to prove his charges.

But if Duchesneau wrote letters, so too did Frontenac; and if the
intendant sent proofs, so too did the governor. Upon the unfortunate
king and the still more unfortunate minister fell the difficult task
of composing the quarrels of their servants, three thousand miles
away. They treated Duchesneau without ceremony. Colbert wrote to him:
"I have examined all the letters, papers, and memorials that you sent
me by the return of the vessels last November, and, though it appears
by the letters of M. de Frontenac that his conduct leaves something to
be desired, there is assuredly far more to blame in yours than in his.
As to what you say concerning his violence, his trade with the
Indians, and in general all that you allege against him, the king has
written to him his intentions; but since, in the midst of all your
complaints, you say many things which are without foundation, or which
are no concern of yours, it is difficult to believe that you act in
the spirit which the service of the king demands; that is to say,
without interest and without passion. If a change does not appear in
your conduct before next year, his Majesty will not keep you in your
office." [Footnote: _Colbert à Duchesneau_, 15 _Mai,_ 1678.]

At the same time, the king wrote to Frontenac, alluding to the
complaints of Duchesneau, and exhorting the governor to live on good
terms with him. The general tone of the letter is moderate, but the
following significant warning occurs in it: "Although no gentleman in
the position in which I have placed you ought to take part in any
trade, directly or indirectly, either by himself or any of his
servants, I nevertheless now prohibit you absolutely from doing so.
Not only abstain from trade, but act in such a manner that nobody can
even suspect you of it; and this will be easy, since the truth will
readily come to light." [Footnote: _Le Roy à Frontenac_, 12 _Mai_,
1678.] Exhortation and warning were vain alike. The first ships which
returned that year from Canada brought a series of despatches from the
intendant, renewing all his charges more bitterly than before. The
minister, out of patience, replied by berating him without mercy. "You
may rest assured," he concludes, "that, did it not appear by your
later despatches that the letters you have received have begun to make
you understand that you have forgotten yourself, it would not have
been possible to prevent the king from recalling you." [Footnote:
_Colbert à Duchesneau_, 25 _Avril_, 1679.] Duchesneau, in return,
protests all manner of deference to the governor, but still insists
that he sets the royal edicts at naught; protects a host of _coureurs
de bois_ who are in league with him; corresponds with Du Lhut, their
chief; shares his illegal profits, and causes all the disorders which
afflict the colony. "As for me, Monseigneur, I have done every thing
within the scope of my office to prevent these evils; but all the
pains I have taken have only served to increase the aversion of
Monsieur the governor against me, and to bring my ordinances into
contempt. This, Monseigneur, is a true account of the disobedience of
the _coureurs de bois_, of which I twice had the honor to speak to
Monsieur the governor; and I could not help telling him, with all
possible deference, that it was shameful to the colony and to us that
the king, our master, of whom the whole world stands in awe, who has
just given law to all Europe, and whom all his subjects adore, should
have the pain of knowing that, in a country which has received so many
marks of his paternal tenderness, his orders are violated and scorned;
and a governor and an intendant stand by, with folded arms, content
with saying that the evil is past remedy. For having made these
representations to him, I drew on myself words so full of contempt and
insult that I was forced to leave his room to appease his anger. The
next morning I went to him again, and did all I could to have my
ordinances executed; but, as Monsieur the governor is interested with
many of the _coureurs de bois_, it is useless to attempt to do any
thing. He has gradually made himself master of the trade of Montreal;
and, as soon as the Indians arrive, he sets guards in their camp,
which would be very well, if these soldiers did their duty and
protected the savages from being annoyed and plundered by the French,
instead of being employed to discover how many furs they have brought,
with a view to future operations. Monsieur the governor then compels
the Indians to pay his guards for protecting them; and he has never
allowed them to trade with the inhabitants till they had first given
him a certain number of packs of beaver skins, which he calls his
presents. His guards trade with them openly at the fair, with their
bandoleers on their shoulders."

He says, farther, that Frontenac sends up goods to Montreal, and
employs persons to trade in his behalf; and that, what with the beaver
skins exacted by him and his guards under the name of presents, and
those which he and his favorites obtain in trade, only the smaller
part of what the Indians bring to market ever reaches the people of
the colony. [Footnote: _Duchesneau au Ministre_, 10 _Nov.,_ 1679.]

This despatch, and the proofs accompanying it, drew from the king a
sharp reproof to Frontenac.

"What has passed in regard to the _coureurs de bois_ is entirely
contrary to my orders; and I cannot receive in excuse for it your
allegation that it is the intendant who countenances them by the trade
he carries on, for I perceive clearly that the fault is your own. As I
see that you often turn the orders that I give you against the very
object for which they are given, beware not to do so on this occasion.
I shall hold you answerable for bringing the disorder of the _coureurs
de bois_ to an end throughout Canada; and this you will easily succeed
in doing, if you make a proper use of my authority. Take care not to
persuade yourself that what I write to you comes from the ill offices
of the intendant. It results from what I fully know from everything
which reaches me from Canada, proving but too well what you are doing
there. The bishop, the ecclesiastics, the Jesuit fathers, the Supreme
Council, and, in a word, everybody, complain of you; but I am willing
to believe that you will change your conduct, and act with the
moderation necessary for the good of the colony." [Footnote: _Le Roy à
Frontenac_, 29 _Avril,_ 1680.]

Colbert wrote in a similar strain; and Frontenac saw that his position
was becoming critical. He showed, it is true, no sign of that change
of conduct which the king had demanded; but he appealed to his allies
at court to use fresh efforts to sustain him. Among the rest, he had a
strong friend in the Maréchal de Bellefonds, to whom he wrote, in the
character of an abused and much-suffering man: "You exhort me to have
patience, and I agree with you that those placed in a position of
command cannot have too much. For this reason, I have given examples
of it here such as perhaps no governor ever gave before; and I have
found no great difficulty in doing so, because I felt myself to be the
master. Had I been in a private station, I could not have endured such
outrageous insults without dishonor. I have always passed over in
silence those directed against me personally; and have never given way
to anger, except when attacks were made on the authority of which I
have the honor to be the guardian. You could not believe all the
annoyances which the intendant tries to put upon me every day, and
which, as you advise me, I scorn or disregard. It would require a
virtue like yours to turn them to all the good use of which they are
capable; yet, great as the virtue is which has enabled you to possess
your soul in tranquillity amid all the troubles of the court, I doubt
if you could preserve such complete equanimity among the miserable
tumults of Canada." [Footnote: _Frontenac au Maréchal de Bellefonds_,
14 _Nov.,_ 1680.]

Having given the principal charges of Duchesneau against Frontenac, it
is time to give those of Frontenac against Duchesneau. The governor
says that all the _coureurs de bois_ would be brought to submission
but for the intendant and his allies, who protect them, and carry on
trade by their means; that the seigniorial house of Duchesneau's
partner, La Chesnaye, is the constant resort of these outlaws; and
that he and his associates have large storehouses at Montreal, Isle
St. Paul, and Rivière du Loup, whence they send goods into the Indian
country, in contempt of the king's orders. [Footnote: _Mémoire et
Preuves du Désordre des Coureurs de Bois._] Frontenac also complains
of numberless provocations from the intendant. "It is no fault of mine
that I am not on good terms with M. Duchesneau; for I have done every
thing I could to that end, being too submissive to your Majesty's
commands not to suppress my sharpest indignation the moment your will
is known to me. But, Sire, it is not so with him; and his desire to
excite new disputes, in the hope of making me appear their principal
author, has been so great that the last ships were hardly gone, when,
forgetting what your Majesty had enjoined upon us both, he began these
dissensions afresh, in spite of all my precautions. If I depart from
my usual reserve in regard to him, and make bold to ask justice at the
hands of your Majesty for the wrongs and insults I have undergone, it
is because nothing but your authority can keep them within bounds. I
have never suffered more in my life than when I have been made to
appear as a man of violence and a disturber of the officers of
justice: for I have always confined myself to what your Majesty has
prescribed; that is, to exhorting them to do their duty when I saw
that they failed in it. This has drawn upon me, both from them and
from M. Duchesneau, such cutting affronts that your Majesty would
hardly credit them." [Footnote: _Frontenac au Roy,_ 2 _Nov.,_ 1681.]

In 1681, Seignelay, the son of Colbert, entered upon the charge of the
colonies; and both Frontenac and Duchesneau hastened to congratulate
him, protest their devotion, and overwhelm him with mutual
accusations. The intendant declares that, out of pure zeal for the
king's service, he shall tell him every thing. "Disorder," he says,
"reigns everywhere; universal confusion prevails throughout every
department of business; the pleasure of the king, the orders of the
Supreme Council, and my ordinances remain unexecuted; justice is
openly violated, and trade is destroyed; violence, upheld by
authority, decides every thing; and nothing consoles the people, who
groan without daring to complain, but the hope, Monseigneur, that you
will have the goodness to condescend to be moved by their misfortunes.
No position could be more distressing than mine, since, if I conceal
the truth from you, I fail in the obedience I owe the king, and in the
fidelity that I vowed so long since to Monseigneur, your father, and
which I swear anew at your hands; and if I obey, as I must, his
Majesty's orders and yours, I cannot avoid giving offence, since I
cannot render you an account of these disorders without informing you
that M. de Frontenac's conduct is the sole cause of them." [Footnote:
_Duchesneau au Ministre_, 13 _Nov_., 1681.]

Frontenac had written to Seignelay a few days before: "I have no doubt
whatever that M. Duchesneau will, as usual, overwhelm me with
fabrications and falsehoods, to cover his own ill conduct. I send
proofs to justify myself, so strong and convincing that I do not see
that they can leave any doubt; but, since I fear that their great
number might fatigue you, I have thought it better to send them to my
wife, with a full and exact journal of all that has passed here day by
day, in order that she may extract and lay before you the principal

"I send you in person merely the proofs of the conduct of M.
Duchesneau, in barricading his house and arming all his servants, and
in coming three weeks ago to insult me in my room. You will see
thereby to what a pitch of temerity and lawlessness he has transported
himself, in order to compel me to use violence against him, with the
hope of justifying what he has asserted about my pretended outbreaks
of anger." [Footnote: _Frontenac au Ministre,_ 2 _Nov.,_ 1681.]

The mutual charges of the two functionaries were much the same; and,
so far at least as concerns trade, there can be little doubt that they
were well founded on both sides. The strife of the rival factions grew
more and more bitter: canes and sticks played an active part in it,
and now and then we hear of drawn swords. One is reminded at times of
the intestine feuds of some mediæval city, as, for example, in the
following incident, which will explain the charge of Frontenac against
the intendant of barricading his house and arming his servants:--

On the afternoon of the twentieth of March, a son of Duchesneau,
sixteen years old, followed by a servant named Vautier, was strolling
along the picket fence which bordered the descent from the Upper to
the Lower Town of Quebec. The boy was amusing himself by singing a
song, when Frontenac's partisan, Boisseau, with one of the guardsmen,
approached, and, as young Duchesneau declares, called him foul names,
and said that he would give him and his father a thrashing. The boy
replied that he would have nothing to say to a fellow like him, and
would beat him if he did not keep quiet; while the servant, Vautier,
retorted Boisseau's abuse, and taunted him with low birth and
disreputable employments. Boisseau made report to Frontenac, and
Frontenac complained to Duchesneau, who sent his son, with Vautier, to
give the governor his version of the affair. The bishop, an ally of
the intendant, thus relates what followed. On arriving with a party of
friends at the château, young Duchesneau was shown into a room in
which were the governor and his two secretaries, Barrois and Chasseur.
He had no sooner entered than Frontenac seized him by the arm, shook
him, struck him, called him abusive names, and tore the sleeve of his
jacket. The secretaries interposed, and, failing to quiet the
governor, opened the door and let the boy escape. Vautier, meanwhile,
had remained in the guard-room, where Boisseau struck at him with his
cane; and one of the guardsmen went for a halberd to run him through
the body. After this warm reception, young Duchesneau and his servant
took refuge in the house of his father. Frontenac demanded their
surrender. The intendant, fearing that he would take them by force,
for which he is said to have made preparation, barricaded himself and
armed his household. The bishop tried to mediate, and after protracted
negotiations young Duchesneau was given up, whereupon Frontenac locked
him in a chamber of the chateau, and kept him there a month.
[Footnote: _Mémoire de l'Évesque de Quebec, Mars,_ 1681 (printed in
_Revue Canadienne,_ 1873). The bishop is silent about the barricades
of which Frontenac and his friends complain in several letters.]

The story of Frontenac's violence to the boy is flatly denied by his
friends, who charge Duchesneau and his partisans with circulating
libels against him, and who say, like Frontenac himself, that the
intendant used every means to exasperate him, in order to make
material for accusations. [Footnote: See, among other instances, the
_Défense de M. de Frontenac par un de ses Amis,_ published by Abbé
Verreau in the _Revue Canadienne,_ 1873.]

The disputes of the rival factions spread through all Canada. The most
heinous offence in the eyes of the court with which each charged the
other was the carrying of furs to the English settlements; thus
defrauding the revenue, and, as the king believed, preparing the ruin
of the colony. The intendant farther declared that the governor's
party spread among the Indians the report of a pestilence, at
Montreal, in order to deter them from their yearly visit to the fair,
and thus by means of _coureurs de bois_ obtain all their beaver skins
at a low price. The report, according to Duchesneau, had no other
foundation than the fate of eighteen or twenty Indians, who had lately
drunk themselves to death at La Chine. [Footnote: _Plumitif du Conseil
Souverain,_ 1681.]

Montreal, in the mean time, was the scene of a sort of by-play, in
which the chief actor was the local governor, Perrot. He and Frontenac
appear to have found it for their common interest to come to a mutual
understanding; and this was perhaps easier on the part of the count,
since his quarrel with Duchesneau gave sufficient employment to his
natural pugnacity. Perrot was now left to make a reasonable profit
from the illicit trade which had once kindled the wrath of his
superior; and, the danger of Frontenac's anger being removed, he
completely forgot the lessons of his imprisonment.

The intendant ordered Migeon, bailiff of Montreal, to arrest some of
Perrot's _coureurs de bois_. Perrot at once arrested the bailiff, and
sent a sergeant and two soldiers to occupy his house, with orders to
annoy the family as much as possible. One of them, accordingly, walked
to and fro all night in the bed-chamber of Migeon's wife. On another
occasion, the bailiff invited two friends to supper: Le Moyne
d'Iberville and one Bouthier, agent of a commercial house at Rochelle.
The conversation turned on the trade carried on by Perrot. It was
overheard and reported to him, upon which he suddenly appeared at the
window, struck Bouthier over the head with his cane, then drew his
sword, and chased him while he fled for his life. The seminary was
near at hand, and the fugitive clambered over the wall. Dollier de
Casson dressed him in the hat and cassock of a priest, and in this
disguise he escaped. [Footnote: _Conduite du Sieur Perrot, Gouverneur
de Montréal en la Nouvelle France_, 1681; _Plainte du Sieur Bouthier_,
10 _Oct._, 1680; _Procès-verbal des huissiers de Montréal_.] Perrot's
avidity sometimes carried him to singular extremities. "He has been
seen," says one of his accusers, "filling barrels of brandy with his
own hands, and mixing it with water to sell to the Indians. He
bartered with one of them his hat, sword, coat, ribbons, shoes, and
stockings, and boasted that he had made thirty pistoles by the
bargain, while the Indian walked about town equipped as governor."
[Footnote: _Conduite du Sieur Perrot_. La Barre, Frontenac's
successor, declares that the charges against Perrot were false,
including the attestations of Migeon and his friends; that Dollier de
Casson had been imposed upon, and that various persons had been
induced to sign unfounded statements without reading them. _La Barre
au Ministre,_ 4 _Nov.,_ 1683.]

Every ship from Canada brought to the king fresh complaints of
Duchesneau against Frontenac, and of Frontenac against Duchesneau; and
the king replied with rebukes, exhortations, and threats to both. At
first he had shown a disposition to extenuate and excuse the faults of
Frontenac, but every year his letters grew sharper. In 1681 he wrote:
"Again I urge you to banish from your mind the difficulties which you
have yourself devised against the execution of my orders; to act with
mildness and moderation towards all the colonists, and divest yourself
entirely of the personal animosities which have thus far been almost
your sole motive of action. In conclusion, I exhort you once more to
profit well by the directions which this letter contains; since,
unless you succeed better herein than formerly, I cannot help
recalling you from the command which I have intrusted to you."
[Footnote: _Le Roy à Frontenac,_ 30 _Avril,_ 1681.]

The dispute still went on. The autumn ships from Quebec brought back
the usual complaints, and the long-suffering king at length made good
his threat. Both Frontenac and Duchesneau received their recall, and
they both deserved it. [Footnote: La Barre says that Duchesneau was
far more to blame than Frontenac. _La Barre au Ministre,_ 1083. This
testimony has weight, since Frontenac's friends were La Barre's

The last official act of the governor, recorded in the register of the
council of Quebec, is the formal declaration that his rank in that
body is superior to that of the intendant. [Footnote: _Registre du
Conseil-Supérieur_, 16 Fév., 1682.] The key to nearly all these
disputes lies in the relations between Frontenac and the Church. The
fundamental quarrel was generally covered by superficial issues, and
it was rarely that the governor fell out with anybody who was not in
league with the bishop and the Jesuits. "Nearly all the disorders in
New France," he writes, "spring from the ambition of the
ecclesiastics, who want to join to their spiritual authority an
absolute power over things temporal, and who persecute all who do not
submit entirely to them." He says that the intendant and the
councillors are completely under their control, and dare not decide
any question against them; that they have spies everywhere, even in
his house; that the bishop told him that he could excommunicate even a
governor, if he chose; that the missionaries in Indian villages say
that they are equals of Onontio, and tell their converts that all will
go wrong till the priests have the government of Canada; that directly
or indirectly they meddle in all civil affairs; that they trade even
with the English of New York; that, what with Jesuits, Sulpitians, the
bishop, and the seminary of Quebec, they hold two-thirds of the good
lands of Canada; that, in view of the poverty of the country, their
revenues are enormous; that, in short, their object is mastery, and
that they use all means to compass it. [Footnote: Frontenac, _Mémoire
adressé à Colbert_, 1677. This remarkable paper will be found in the
_Découvertes et Établissements des Français dans l'Amérique
Septentrionale; Mémoires et Documents Originaux,_ edited by M. Margry.
The paper is very long, and contains references to attestations and
other proofs which accompanied it, especially in regard to the trade
of the Jesuits.] The recall of the governor was a triumph to the
ecclesiastics, offset but slightly by the recall of their instrument,
the intendant, who had done his work, and whom they needed no longer.

Thus far, we have seen Frontenac on his worst side. We shall see him
again under an aspect very different. Nor must it be supposed that the
years which had passed since his government began, tempestuous as they
appear on the record, were wholly given over to quarrelling. They had
their periods of uneventful calm, when the wheels of administration
ran as smoothly as could be expected in view of the condition of the
colony. In one respect at least, Frontenac had shown a remarkable
fitness for his office. Few white men have ever equalled or approached
him in the art of dealing with Indians. There seems to have been a
sympathetic relation between him and them. He conformed to their ways,
borrowed their rhetoric, flattered them on occasion with great
address, and yet constantly maintained towards them an attitude of
paternal superiority. When they were concerned, his native haughtiness
always took a form which commanded respect without exciting anger. He
would not address them as _brothers,_ but only as _children_; and even
the Iroquois, arrogant as they were, accepted the new relation. In
their eyes Frontenac was by far the greatest of all the "Onontios," or
governors of Canada. They admired the prompt and fiery soldier who
played with their children, and gave beads and trinkets to their
wives; who read their secret thoughts and never feared them, but
smiled on them when their hearts were true, or frowned and threatened
them when they did amiss. The other tribes, allies of the French, were
of the same mind; and their respect for their Great Father seems not
to have been permanently impaired by his occasional practice of
bullying them for purposes of extortion. Frontenac appears to have had
a liking not only for Indians, but also for that roving and lawless
class of the Canadian population, the _coureurs de bois_, provided
always that they were not in the service of his rivals. Indeed, as
regards the Canadians generally, he refrained from the strictures with
which succeeding governors and intendants freely interlarded their
despatches. It was not his instinct to clash with the humbler classes,
and he generally reserved his anger for those who could retort it. He
had the air of distinction natural to a man familiar all his life with
the society of courts, and he was as gracious and winning on some
occasions as he was unbearable on others. When in good humor, his
ready wit and a certain sympathetic vivacity made him very agreeable.
At times he was all sunshine, and his outrageous temper slumbered
peacefully till some new offence wakened it again; nor is there much
doubt that many of his worst outbreaks were the work of his enemies,
who knew his foible, and studied to exasperate him. He was full of
contradictions; and, intolerant and implacable, as he often was, there
were intervals, even in his bitterest quarrels, in which he displayed
a surprising moderation and patience. By fits he could be magnanimous.
A woman once brought him a petition in burlesque verse. Frontenac
wrote a jocose answer. The woman, to ridicule him, contrived to have
both petition and answer slipped among the papers of a suit pending
before the council. Frontenac had her fined a few francs, and then
caused the money to be given to her children. [Footnote: Note by Abbé
Verreau, in _Journal de l'Instruction Publique_ (Canada), VIII. 127.]

When he sailed for France, it was a day of rejoicing to more than half
the merchants of Canada, and, excepting the Récollets, to all the
priests; but he left behind him an impression, very general among the
people, that, if danger threatened the colony, Count Frontenac was the
man for the hour.





When the new governor, La Barre, and the new intendant, Meules,
arrived at Quebec, a dismal greeting waited them. All the Lower Town
was in ashes, except the house of the merchant Aubert de la Chesnaye,
standing alone amid the wreck. On a Tuesday, the fourth of August, at
ten o'clock in the evening, the nuns of the Hôtel-Dieu were roused
from their early slumbers by shouts, outcries, and the ringing of
bells; "and," writes one of them, "what was our terror to find it as
light as noonday, the flames burned so fiercely and rose so high."
Half an hour before, Chartier de Lotbinière, judge of the king's
court, heard the first alarm, ran down the descent now called Mountain
Street, and found every thing in confusion in the town below. The
house of Etienne Planchon was in a blaze; the fire was spreading to
those of his neighbors, and had just leaped the narrow street to the
storehouse of the Jesuits. The season was excessively dry; there were
no means of throwing water except kettles and buckets, and the crowd
was bewildered with excitement and fright. Men were ordered to tear
off roofs and pull down houses; but the flames drove them from their
work, and at four o'clock in the morning fifty-five buildings were
burnt to the ground. They were all of wood, but many of them were
storehouses filled with goods; and the property consumed was more in
value than all that remained in Canada. [Footnote: Chartier de
Lotbiniere, _Procès-verbal sur l'Incendie de la Basse Ville; Meules au
Ministre,_ 6 _Oct.,_ 1682; Juchereau, _Histoire de l'Hôtel-Dieu de
Québec,_ 256.]

Under these gloomy auspices, Le Febvre de la Barre began his reign. He
was an old officer who had achieved notable exploits against the
English in the West Indies, but who was now to be put to a test far
more severe. He made his lodging in the château; while his colleague,
Meules, could hardly find a shelter. The buildings of the Upper Town
were filled with those whom the fire had made roofless, and the
intendant was obliged to content himself with a house in the
neighboring woods. Here he was ill at ease, for he dreaded an Indian
war and the scalping-knives of the Iroquois. [Footnote: _Meules au
Ministre,_ 6 _Oct.,_ 1682.]

So far as his own safety was concerned, his alarm was needless; but
not so as regarded the colony with whose affairs he was charged. For
those who had eyes to see it, a terror and a woe lowered in the future
of Canada. In an evil hour for her, the Iroquois had conquered their
southern neighbors, the Andastes, who had long held their ground
against them, and at one time threatened them with ruin. The hands of
the confederates were now free; their arrogance was redoubled by
victory, and, having long before destroyed all the adjacent tribes on
the north and west, [Footnote: Jesuits in North America.] they looked
for fresh victims in the wilderness beyond. Their most easterly tribe,
the Mohawks, had not forgotten the chastisement they had received from
Tracy and Courcelle. They had learned to fear the French, and were
cautious in offending them; but it was not so with the remoter
Iroquois. Of these, the Senecas at the western end of the "Long
House," as they called their fivefold league, were by far the most
powerful, for they could muster as many warriors as all the four
remaining tribes together; and they now sought to draw the confederacy
into a series of wars, which, though not directed against the French,
threatened soon to involve them. Their first movement westward was
against the tribes of the Illinois. I have already described their
bloody inroad in the summer of 1680. [Footnote: Discovery of the Great
West.] They made the valley of the Illinois a desert, and returned
with several hundred prisoners, of whom they burned those that were
useless, and incorporated the young and strong into their own tribe.
This movement of the western Iroquois had a double incentive, their
love of fighting and their love of gain. It was a war of conquest and
of trade. All the five tribes of the league had become dependent on
the English and Dutch of Albany for guns, powder, lead, brandy, and
many other things that they had learned to regard as necessities.
Beaver skins alone could buy them, but to the Iroquois the supply of
beaver skins was limited. The regions of the west and north-west, the
upper Mississippi with its tributaries, and, above all, the forests of
the upper lakes, were occupied by tribes in the interest of the
French, whose missionaries and explorers had been the first to visit
them, and whose traders controlled their immense annual product of
furs. La Salle, by his newly built fort of St. Louis, engrossed the
trade of the Illinois and Miami tribes; while the Hurons and Ottawas,
gathered about the old mission of Michillimackinac, acted as factors
for the Sioux, the Winnebagoes, and many other remote hordes. Every
summer they brought down their accumulated beaver skins to the fair at
Montreal; while French bush-rangers roving through the wilderness,
with or without licenses, collected many more. [Footnote: Duchesneau,
_Memoir on Western Indians in N. Y. Colonial Docs.,_ IX. 160.]

It was the purpose of the Iroquois to master all this traffic, conquer
the tribes who had possession of it, and divert the entire supply of
furs to themselves, and through themselves to the English and Dutch.
That English and Dutch traders urged them on is affirmed by the
French, and is very likely. The accomplishment of the scheme would
have ruined Canada. Moreover, the Illinois, the Hurons, the Ottawas,
and all the other tribes threatened by the Iroquois, were the allies
and "children" of the French, who in honor as in interest were bound
to protect them. Hence, when the Seneca invasion of the Illinois
became known, there was deep anxiety in the colony, except only among
those in whom hatred of the monopolist La Salle had overborne every
consideration of the public good. La Salle's new establishment of St.
Louis was in the path of the invaders; and, if he could be crushed,
there was wherewith to console his enemies for all else that might

Bad as was the posture of affairs, it was made far worse by an
incident that took place soon after the invasion of the Illinois. A
Seneca chief engaged in it, who had left the main body of his
countrymen, was captured by a party of Winnebagoes to serve as a
hostage for some of their tribe whom the Senecas had lately seized.
They carried him to Michillimackinac, where there chanced to be a
number of Illinois, married to Indian women of that neighborhood. A
quarrel ensued between them and the Seneca, whom they stabbed to death
in a lodge of the Kiskakons, one of the tribes of the Ottawas. Here
was a _casus belli_ likely to precipitate a war fatal to all the
tribes about Michillimackinac, and equally fatal to the trade of
Canada. Frontenac set himself to conjure the rising storm, and sent a
messenger to the Iroquois to invite them to a conference.

He found them unusually arrogant. Instead of coming to him, they
demanded that he should come to them, and many of the French wished
him to comply; but Frontenac refused, on the ground that such a
concession would add to their insolence, and he declined to go farther
than Montreal, or at the utmost Fort Frontenac, the usual place of
meeting with them. Early in August he was at Montreal, expecting the
arrival of the Ottawas and Hurons on their yearly descent from the
lakes. They soon appeared, and he called them to a solemn council.
Terror had seized them all. "Father, take pity on us," said the Ottawa
orator, "for we are like dead men." A Huron chief, named the Rat,
declared that the world was turned upside down, and implored the
protection of Onontio, "who is master of the whole earth." These
tribes were far from harmony among themselves. Each was jealous of the
other, and the Ottawas charged the Hurons with trying to make favor
with the common enemy at their expense. Frontenac told them that they
were all his children alike, and advised them to live together as
brothers, and make treaties of alliance with all the tribes of the
lakes. At the same time, he urged them to make full atonement for the
death of the Seneca murdered in their country, and carefully to
refrain from any new offence.

Soon after there was another arrival. La Forêt, the officer in command
at Fort Frontenac, appeared, bringing with him a famous Iroquois chief
called Decanisora or Tegannisorens, attended by a number of warriors.
They came to invite Frontenac to meet the deputies of the five tribes
at Oswego, within their own limits. Frontenac's reply was
characteristic. "It is for the father to tell the children where to
hold council, not for the children to tell the father. Fort Frontenac
is the proper place, and you should thank me for going so far every
summer to meet you." The Iroquois had expressed pacific intentions
towards the Hurons and Ottawas. For this Frontenac commended him, but
added: "The Illinois also are children of Onontio, and hence brethren
of the Iroquois. Therefore they, too, should be left in peace; for
Onontio wishes that all his family should live together in union." He
confirmed his words with a huge belt of wampum. Then, addressing the
flattered deputy as a great chief, he desired him to use his influence
in behalf of peace, and gave him a jacket and a silk cravat, both
trimmed with gold, a hat, a scarlet ribbon, and a gun, with beads for
his wife, and red cloth for his daughter. The Iroquois went home
delighted. [Footnote: For the papers on this affair, see _N. Y.
Colonial Docs_., IX.]

Perhaps on this occasion Frontenac was too confident of his influence
over the savage confederates. Such at least was the opinion of
Lamberville, Jesuit missionary at Onondaga, the Iroquois capital. From
what he daily saw around him, he thought the peril so imminent that
concession on the part of the French was absolutely necessary, since
not only the Illinois, but some of the tribes of the lakes, were in
danger of speedy and complete destruction. "Tegannisorens loves the
French," he wrote to Frontenac, "but neither he nor any other of the
upper Iroquois fear them in the least. They annihilate our allies,
whom by adoption of prisoners they convert into Iroquois; and they do
not hesitate to avow that after enriching themselves by our plunder,
and strengthening themselves by those who might have aided us, they
will pounce all at once upon Canada, and overwhelm it in a single
campaign." He adds that within the past two years they have reinforced
themselves by more than nine hundred warriors, adopted into their
tribes. [Footnote: _P. Jean de Lamberville à Frontenac_, 20 _Sept_.,

Such was the crisis when Frontenac left Canada at the moment when he
was needed most, and Le Febvre de la Barre came to supplant him. The
new governor introduces himself with a burst of rhodomontade. "The
Iroquois," he writes to the king, "have twenty-six hundred warriors.
I will attack them with twelve hundred men. They know me before seeing
me, for they have been told by the English how roughly I handled them
in the West Indies." This bold note closes rather tamely; for the
governor adds, "I think that if the Iroquois believe that your Majesty
would have the goodness to give me some help, they will make peace,
and let our allies alone, which would save the trouble and expense of
an arduous war." [Footnote: _La Barre au Roy_, (4 Oct.?) 1682.] He
then begs hard for troops, and in fact there was great need of them,
for there were none in Canada; and even Frontenac had been compelled
in the last year of his government to leave unpunished various acts of
violence and plunder committed by the Iroquois. La Barre painted the
situation in its blackest colors, declared that war was imminent, and
wrote to the minister, "We shall lose half our trade and all our
reputation, if we do not oppose these haughty conquerors." [Footnote:
_La Barre à Seignelay_, 1682.]

A vein of gasconade appears in most of his letters, not however
accompanied with any conclusive evidence of a real wish to fight. His
best fighting days were past, for he was sixty years old; nor had he
always been a man of the sword. His early life was spent in the law;
he had held a judicial post, and had been intendant of several French
provinces. Even the military and naval employments, in which he
afterwards acquitted himself with credit, were due to the part he took
in forming a joint-stock company for colonizing Cayenne. [Footnote: He
was made governor of Cayenne, and went thither with Tracy in 1664. Two
years later, he gained several victories over the English, and
recaptured Cayenne, which they had taken in his absence. He wrote a
book concerning this colony, called _Description de la France
Équinoctiale_. Another volume, called _Journal du Voyage du Sieur de
la Barre en la Terre Ferme et Isle de Cayenne_, was printed at Paris
in 1671.] In fact, he was but half a soldier; and it was perhaps for
this reason that he insisted on being called, not _Monsieur le
Gouverneur_, but _Monsieur le Général_. He was equal to Frontenac
neither in vigor nor in rank, but he far surpassed him in avidity.
Soon after his arrival, he wrote to the minister that he should not
follow the example of his predecessors in making money out of his
government by trade; and in consideration of these good intentions he
asked for an addition to his pay. [Footnote: _La Barre à Seignelay_,
1682.] He then immediately made alliances with certain merchants of
Quebec for carrying on an extensive illicit trade, backed by all the
power of his office. Now ensued a strange and miserable complication.
Questions of war mingled with questions of personal gain. There was a
commercial revolution in the colony. The merchants whom Frontenac
excluded from his ring now had their turn. It was they who, jointly
with the intendant and the ecclesiastics, had procured the removal of
the old governor; and it was they who gained the ear of the new one.
Aubert de la Chesnaye, Jacques Le Ber, and the rest of their faction,
now basked in official favor; and La Salle, La Forêt, and the other
friends of Frontenac, were cast out. There was one exception.
Greysolon Du Lhut, leader of _coureurs de bois_, was too important to
be thus set aside. He was now as usual in the wilderness of the north,
the roving chief of a half savage crew, trading, exploring, fighting,
and laboring with persistent hardihood to foil the rival English
traders of Hudson's Bay. Inducements to gain his adhesion were
probably held out to him by La Barre and his allies: be this as it
may, it is certain that he acted in harmony with the faction of the
new governor. With La Forêt it was widely different. He commanded Fort
Frontenac, which belonged to La Salle, when La Barre's associates, La
Chesnaye and Le Ber, armed with an order from the governor, came up
from Montreal, and seized upon the place with all that it contained.
The pretext for this outrage was the false one that La Salle had not
fulfilled the conditions under which the fort had been granted to him.
La Forêt was told that he might retain his command, if he would join
the faction of La Barre; but he refused, stood true to his chief, and
soon after sailed for France.

La Barre summoned the most able and experienced persons in the colony
to discuss the state of affairs. Their conclusion was that the
Iroquois would attack and destroy the Illinois, and, this
accomplished, turn upon the tribes of the lakes, conquer or destroy
them also, and ruin the trade of Canada. [Footnote: _Conference on the
State of Affairs with the Iroquois, Oct_., 1682, _in N. Y. Colonial
Docs_., IX. 194.] Dark as was the prospect, La Barre and his
fellow-speculators flattered themselves that the war could be averted
for a year at least. The Iroquois owed their triumphs as much to their
sagacity and craft as to their extraordinary boldness and ferocity. It
had always been their policy to attack their enemies in detail, and
while destroying one to cajole the rest. There seemed little doubt
that they would leave the tribes of the lakes in peace till they had
finished the ruin of the Illinois; so that if these, the allies of the
colony, were abandoned to their fate, there would be time for a
profitable trade in the direction of Michillimackinac.

But hopes seemed vain and prognostics illusory, when, early in spring,
a report came that the Seneca Iroquois were preparing to attack, in
force, not only the Illinois, but the Hurons and Ottawas of the lakes.
La Barre and his confederates were in dismay. They already had large
quantities of goods at Michillimackinac, the point immediately
threatened; and an officer was hastily despatched, with men and
munitions, to strengthen the defences of the place. [Footnote: _La
Barre au Ministre_, 4 _Nov_., 1683.] A small vessel was sent to France
with letters begging for troops. "I will perish at their head," wrote
La Barre to the king, "or destroy your enemies;" [Footnote: _La Barre
au Roy_, 30 _Mai_, 1683.] and he assures the minister that the Senecas
must be attacked or the country abandoned. [Footnote: _La Barre au
Ministre_, 30 _Mai_, 1683.] The intendant, Meules, shared something of
his alarm, and informed the king that "the Iroquois are the only
people on earth who do not know the grandeur of your Majesty."
[Footnote: _Meules au Roy_, 2 _Juin_, 1683.]

While thus appealing to the king, La Barre sent Charles le Moyne as
envoy to Onondaga. Through his influence, a deputation of forty-three
Iroquois chiefs was sent to meet the governor at Montreal. Here a
grand council was held in the newly built church. Presents were given
the deputies to the value of more than two thousand crowns. Soothing
speeches were made them; and they were urged not to attack the tribes
of the lakes, nor to plunder French traders, _without permission_. [1]

They assented; and La Barre then asked, timidly, why they made war on
the Illinois. "Because they deserve to die," haughtily returned the
Iroquois orator. La Barre dared not answer. They complained that La
Salle had given guns, powder, and lead to the Illinois; or, in other
words, that he had helped the allies of the colony to defend
themselves. La Barre, who hated La Salle and his monopolies, assured
them that he should be punished. [Footnote: Belmont, _Histoire du
Canada_ (a contemporary chronicle).] It is affirmed, on good
authority, that he said more than this, and told them they were
welcome to plunder and kill him. [Footnote: See Discovery of the Great
West. La Barre denies the assertion, and says that he merely told the
Iroquois that La Salle should be sent home.] The rapacious old man was
playing with a two-edged sword.

Thus the Illinois, with the few Frenchmen who had tried to defend
them, were left to perish; and, in return, a brief and doubtful
respite was gained for the tribes of the lakes. La Barre and his
confederates took heart again. Merchandise, in abundance, was sent to
Michillimackinac, and thence to the remoter tribes of the north and
west. The governor and his partner, La Chesnaye, sent up a fleet of
thirty canoes; [Footnote: _Mémoire adressé a MM. les Intéressés en la
Société de la Ferme et Commerce du Canada,_ 1683.] and, a little
later, they are reported to have sent more than a hundred. This forest
trade robbed the colonists, by forestalling the annual market of
Montreal; while a considerable part of the furs acquired by it were
secretly sent to the English and Dutch of New York. Thus the heavy
duties of the custom-house at Quebec were evaded; and silver coin was
received in payment, instead of questionable bills of exchange.
[Footnote: These statements are made in a memorial of the agents of
the custom-house, in letters of Meules, and in several other
quarters. La Barre is accused of sending furs to Albany under pretext
of official communication with the governor of New York.] Frontenac
had not been faithful to his trust; but, compared to his successor, he
was a model of official virtue.

La Barre busied himself with ostentatious preparation for war; built
vessels at Fort Frontenac, and sent up fleets of canoes, laden or
partly laden with munitions. But his accusers say that the king's
canoes were used to transport the governor's goods, and that the men
sent to garrison Fort Frontenac were destined, not to fight the
Iroquois, but to sell them brandy. "Last year," writes the intendant,
"Monsieur de la Barre had a vessel built, for which he made his
Majesty pay heavily;" and he proceeds to say that it was built for
trade, and was used for no other purpose. "If," he continues, "the two
(_king's_) vessels now at Fort Frontenac had not been used for
trading, they would have saved us half the expense we have been forced
to incur in transporting munitions and supplies. The pretended
necessity of having vessels at this fort, and the consequent employing
of carpenters, and sending up of iron, cordage, sails, and many other
things, at his Majesty's charge, was simply in the view of carrying on
trade." He says, farther, that in May last, the vessels, canoes, and
men being nearly all absent on this errand, the fort was left in so
defenceless a state that a party of Senecas, returning from their
winter hunt, took from it a quantity of goods, and drank as much
brandy as they wanted. "In short," he concludes, "it is plain that
Monsieur de la Barre uses this fort only as a depot for the trade of
Lake Ontario." [Footnote: _Meules à Seignelay,_ 8 _July,_ 1684. This
accords perfectly with statements made in several memorials of La
Salle and his friends.]

In the spring of 1683, La Barre had taken a step as rash as it was
lawless and unjust. He sent the Chevalier de Baugis, lieutenant of his
guard, with a considerable number of canoes and men, to seize La
Salle's fort of St. Louis on the river Illinois; a measure which,
while gratifying the passions and the greed of himself and his allies,
would greatly increase he danger of rupture with the Iroquois. Late in
the season, he despatched seven canoes and fourteen men, with goods to
the value of fifteen or sixteen thousand livres, to trade with the
tribes of the Mississippi. As he had sown, so he reaped. The seven
canoes passed through the country of the Illinois. A large war party
of Senecas and Cayugas invaded it in February. La Barre had told their
chiefs that they were welcome to plunder the canoes of La Salle. The
Iroquois were not discriminating. They fell upon the governor's
canoes, seized all the goods, and captured the men. [2] Then they
attacked Baugis at Fort St. Louis. The place, perched on a rock, was
strong, and they were beaten off; but the act was one of open war.

When La Barre heard the news, he was furious. [Footnote: "Ce qui mit
M. de la Barre en fureur." Belmont, _Histoire du Canada_.] He trembled
for the vast amount of goods which he and his fellow-speculators had
sent to Michillimackinac and the lakes. There was but one resource: to
call out the militia, muster the Indian allies, advance to Lake
Ontario, and dictate peace to the Senecas, at the head of an imposing
force; or, failing in this, to attack and crush them. A small vessel
lying at Quebec was despatched to France, with urgent appeals for
immediate aid, though there was little hope that it could arrive in
time. She bore a long letter, half piteous, half bombastic, from La
Barre to the king. He declared that extreme necessity and the despair
of the people had forced him into war, and protested that he should
always think it a privilege to lay down life for his Majesty. "I
cannot refuse to your country of Canada, and your faithful subjects,
to throw myself, with unequal forces, against the foe, while at the
same time begging your aid for a poor, unhappy people on the point of
falling victims to a nation of barbarians." He says that the total
number of men in Canada capable of bearing arms is about two thousand;
that he received last year a hundred and fifty raw recruits; and that
he wants, in addition, seven or eight hundred good soldiers. "Recall
me," he concludes, "if you will not help me, for I cannot bear to see
the country perish in my hands." At the same time, he declares his
intention to attack the Senecas, with or without help, about the
middle of August. [Footnote: _La Barre au Roy_, 5 _Juin_, 1684.] Here
we leave him, for a while, scared, excited, and blustering.

[1] Soon after La Barre's arrival, La Chesnaye is said to have induced
him to urge the Iroquois to plunder all traders who were not provided
with passports from the governor. The Iroquois complied so promptly,
that they stopped and pillaged, at Niagara, two canoes belonging to La
Chesnaye himself, which had gone up the lakes in Frontenac's time, and
therefore were without passports. _Recueil de ce qui s'est passé en
Canada au Sujet de la Guerre, etc., depuis l'année_ 1682. (Published
by the Historical Society of Quebec.) This was not the only case in
which the weapons of La Barre and his partisans recoiled against

[2] There appears no doubt that La Barre brought this upon himself.
His successor, Denonville, writes that the Iroquois declared that, in
plundering the canoes, they thought they were executing the orders
they had received to plunder La Salle's people. Denonville, _Mémoire
adressé ou Ministre sur les Affaires de la Nouvelle France,_ 10
_Août,_ 1688. The Iroquois told Dongan, in 1684, "that they had
not don any thing to the French but what Monsr. delaBarr Ordered them,
which was that if they mett with any French hunting without his passe
to take what they had from them." _Dongan to Denonville,_ 9
_Sept.,_ 1687.





The Dutch colony of New Netherland had now become the English colony
of New York. Its proprietor, the Duke of York, afterwards James II of
England, had appointed Colonel Thomas Dongan its governor. He was a
Catholic Irish gentleman of high rank, nephew of the famous Earl of
Tyrconnel, and presumptive heir to the earldom of Limerick. He had
served in France, was familiar with its language, and partial to its
king and its nobility; but he nevertheless gave himself with vigor to
the duties of his new trust.

The Dutch and English colonists aimed at a share in the western fur
trade, hitherto a monopoly of Canada; and it is said that Dutch
traders had already ventured among the tribes of the Great Lakes,
boldly poaching on the French preserves. Dongan did his utmost to
promote their interests, so far at least as was consistent with his
instructions from the Duke of York, enjoining him to give the French
governor no just cause of offence. [1]

For several years past, the Iroquois had made forays against the
borders of Maryland and Virginia, plundering and killing the settlers;
and a declared rupture between those colonies and the savage
confederates had more than once been imminent. The English believed
that these hostilities were instigated by the Jesuits in the Iroquois
villages. There is no proof whatever of the accusation; but it is
certain that it was the interest of Canada to provoke a war which
might, sooner or later, involve New York. In consequence of a renewal
of such attacks, Lord Howard of Effingham, governor of Virginia, came
to Albany in the summer of 1684, to hold a council with the Iroquois.

The Oneidas, Onondagas, and Cayugas were the offending tribes. They
all promised friendship for the future. A hole was dug in the
court-yard of the council house, each of the three threw a hatchet
into it, and Lord Howard and the representative of Maryland added two
others; then the hole was filled, the song of peace was sung, and the
high contracting parties stood pledged to mutual accord. [Footnote:
Report of Conferences at Albany, in Colden, _History of the Five
Nations_, 50 (ed. 1727, Shea's reprint).] The Mohawks were also at the
council, and the Senecas soon after arrived; so that all the
confederacy was present by its deputies. Not long before, La Barre,
then in the heat of his martial preparations, had sent a messenger to
Dongan with a letter, informing him that, as the Senecas and Cayugas
had plundered French canoes and assaulted a French fort, he was
compelled to attack them, and begging that the Dutch and English
colonists should be forbidden to supply them with arms. [Footnote: _La
Barre à Dongan_, 15 _Juin_, 1684.] This letter produced two results,
neither of them agreeable to the writer: first, the Iroquois were
fully warned of the designs of the French; and, secondly, Dongan
gained the opportunity he wanted of asserting the claim of his king to
sovereignty over the confederacy, and possession of the whole country
south of the Great Lakes. He added that, if the Iroquois had done
wrong, he would require them, as British subjects, to make reparation;
and he urged La Barre, for the sake of peace between the two colonies,
to refrain from his intended invasion of British territory. [Footnote:
_Dongan à La Barre_, 24 _Juin_, 1684.]

Dongan next laid before the assembled sachems the complaints made
against them in the letter of La Barre. They replied by accusing the
French of carrying arms to their enemies, the Illinois and the Miamis.
"Onontio," said their orator, "calls us his children, and then helps
our enemies to knock us in the head." They were somewhat disturbed at
the prospect of La Barre's threatened attack; and Dongan seized the
occasion to draw from them an acknowledgment of subjection to the Duke
of York, promising in return that they should be protected from the
French. They did not hesitate. "We put ourselves," said the Iroquois
speaker, "under the great sachem Charles, who lives over the Great
Lake, and under the protection of the great Duke of York, brother of
your great sachem." But he added a moment after, "Let your friend
(_King Charles_) who lives over the Great Lake know that we are a free
people, though united to the English." [Footnote: Speech of the
Onondagas and Cayugas, in Colden, _Five Nations_, 63 (1727).] They
consented that the arms of the Duke of York should be planted in their
villages, being told that this would prevent the French from
destroying them. Dongan now insisted that they should make no treaty
with Onontio without his consent; and he promised that, if their
country should be invaded, he would send four hundred horsemen and as
many foot soldiers to their aid.

As for the acknowledgment of subjection to the king and the Duke of
York, the Iroquois neither understood its full meaning nor meant to
abide by it. What they did clearly understand was that, while they
recognized Onontio, the governor of Canada, as their father, they
recognized Corlaer, the governor of New York, only as their brother.
[Footnote: Except the small tribe of the Oneidas, who addressed
Corlaer as _Father. Corlaer_ was the official Iroquois name of the
governor of New York; _Onas_ (the Feather, or Pen), that of the
governor of Pennsylvania; and _Assarigoa_ (the Big Knife, or Sword),
that of the governor of Virginia. Corlaer, or Cuyler, was the name of
a Dutchman whom the Iroquois held in great respect.] Dongan, it seems,
could not, or dared not, change this mark of equality. He did his
best, however, to make good his claims, and sent Arnold Viele, a Dutch
interpreter, as his envoy to Onondaga. Viele set out for the Iroquois
capital, and thither we will follow him.

He mounted his horse, and in the heats of August rode westward along
the valley of the Mohawk. On a hill a bow-shot from the river, he saw
the first Mohawk town, Kaghnawaga, encircled by a strong palisade.
Next he stopped for a time at Gandagaro, on a meadow near the bank;
and next, at Canajora, on a plain two miles away. Tionondogué, the
last and strongest of these fortified villages, stood like the first
on a hill that overlooked the river, and all the rich meadows around
were covered with Indian corn. The largest of the four contained but
thirty houses, and all together could furnish scarcely more than three
hundred warriors. [Footnote: _Journal of Wentworth Greenhalgh_, 1677,
in _N. Y. Col. Docs_., III. 250.]

When the last Mohawk town was passed, a ride of four or five days
still lay before the envoy. He held his way along the old Indian
trail, now traced through the grass of sunny meadows, and now
tunnelled through the dense green of shady forests, till it led him to
the town of the Oneidas, containing about a hundred bark houses, with
twice as many fighting men, the entire force of the tribe. Here, as in
the four Mohawk villages, he planted the scutcheon of the Duke of
York, and, still advancing, came at length to a vast open space where
the rugged fields, patched with growing corn, sloped upwards into a
broad, low hill, crowned with the clustered lodges of Onondaga. There
were from one to two hundred of these large bark dwellings, most of
them holding several families. The capital of the confederacy was not
fortified at this time, and its only defence was the valor of some
four hundred warriors. [Footnote: _Journal of Greenhalgh_. The site of
Onondaga, like that of all the Iroquois towns, was changed from time
to time, as the soil of the neighborhood became impoverished, and the
supply of wood exhausted. Greenhalgh, in 1677, estimated the warriors
at three hundred and fifty; but the number had increased of late by
the adoption of prisoners.]

In this focus of trained and organized savagery, where ferocity was
cultivated as a virtue, and every emotion of pity stifled as unworthy
of a man; where ancient rites, customs, and traditions were held with
the tenacity of a people who joined the extreme of wildness with the
extreme of conservatism,--here burned the council fire of the five
confederate tribes; and here, in time of need, were gathered their
bravest and their wisest to debate high questions of policy and war.

The object of Viele was to confirm the Iroquois in their very
questionable attitude of subjection to the British crown, and persuade
them to make no treaty or agreement with the French, except through
the intervention of Dongan, or at least with his consent. The envoy
found two Frenchmen in the town, whose presence boded ill to his
errand. The first was the veteran colonist of Montreal, Charles le
Moyne, sent by La Barre to invite the Onondagas to a conference. They
had known him, in peace or war, for a quarter of a century; and they
greatly respected him. The other was the Jesuit Jean de Lamberville,
who had long lived among them, and knew them better than they knew
themselves. Here, too, was another personage who cannot pass
unnoticed. He was a famous Onondaga orator named Otréonati, and called
also Big Mouth, whether by reason of the dimensions of that feature or
the greatness of the wisdom that issued from it. His contemporary,
Baron La Hontan, thinking perhaps that his French name of La Grande
Gueule was wanting in dignity, Latinized it into Grangula; and the
Scotchman, Colden, afterwards improved it into Garangula, under which
high-sounding appellation Big Mouth has descended to posterity. He was
an astute old savage, well trained in the arts of Iroquois rhetoric,
and gifted with the power of strong and caustic sarcasm, which has
marked more than one of the chief orators of the confederacy. He
shared with most of his countrymen the conviction that the earth had
nothing so great as the league of the Iroquois; but, if he could be
proud and patriotic, so too he could be selfish and mean. He valued
gifts, attentions, and a good meal, and would pay for them abundantly
in promises, which he kept or not, as his own interests or those of
his people might require. He could use bold and loud words in public,
and then secretly make his peace with those he had denounced. He was
so given to rough jokes that the intendant, Meules, calls him a
buffoon; but his buffoonery seems to have been often a cover to his
craft. He had taken a prominent part in the council of the preceding
summer at Montreal; and, doubtless, as he stood in full dress before
the governor and the officers, his head plumed, his face painted, his
figure draped in a colored blanket, and his feet decked with
embroidered moccasins, he was a picturesque and striking object. He
was less so as he squatted almost naked by his lodge fire, with a
piece of board laid across his lap, chopping rank tobacco with a
scalping-knife to fill his pipe, and entertaining the grinning circle
with grotesque stories and obscene jests. Though not one of the
hereditary chiefs, his influence was great. "He has the strongest head
and the loudest voice among the Iroquois," wrote Lamberville to La
Barre. "He calls himself your best friend.... He is a venal creature,
whom you do well to keep in pay. I assured him I would send him the
jerkin you promised." [Footnote: _Letters of Lamberville in N. Y. Col.
Docs_., IX. For specimens of Big Mouth's skill in drawing, see
_ibid_., IX. 386.] Well as the Jesuit knew the Iroquois, he was
deceived if he thought that Big Mouth was securely won.

Lamberville's constant effort was to prevent a rupture. He wrote with
every opportunity to the governor, painting the calamities that war
would bring, and warning him that it was vain to hope that the league
could be divided, and its three eastern tribes kept neutral, while the
Senecas were attacked. He assured him, on the contrary, that they
would all unite to fall upon Canada, ravaging, burning, and butchering
along the whole range of defenceless settlements. "You cannot believe,
Monsieur, with what joy the Senecas learned that you might possibly
resolve on war. When they heard of the preparations at Fort Frontenac,
they said that the French had a great mind to be stripped, roasted,
and eaten; and that they will see if their flesh, which they suppose
to have a salt taste, by reason of the salt which we use with our
food, be as good as that of their other enemies." [Footnote:
_Lamberville to La Barre_, 11 _July_, 1684, in _N. Y. Col. Docs_., IX.
253.] Lamberville also informs the governor that the Senecas have made
ready for any emergency, buried their last year's corn, prepared a
hiding place in the depth of the forest for their old men, women, and
children, and stripped their towns of every thing that they value; and
that their fifteen hundred warriors will not shut themselves up in
forts, but tight under cover, among trees and in the tall grass, with
little risk to themselves and extreme danger to the invader. "There is
no profit," he says, "in fighting with this sort of banditti, whom you
cannot catch, but who will catch many of your people. The Onondagas
wish to bring about an agreement. Must the father and the children,
they ask, cut each other's throats?"

The Onondagas, moved by the influence of the Jesuit and the gifts of
La Barre, did in fact wish to act as mediators between their Seneca
confederates and the French; and to this end they invited the Seneca
elders to a council. The meeting took place before the arrival of
Viele, and lasted two days. The Senecas were at first refractory, and
hot for war, but at length consented that the Onondagas might make
peace for them, if they could; a conclusion which was largely due to
the eloquence of Big Mouth.

The first act of Viele was a blunder. He told the Onondagas that the
English governor was master of their country; and that, as they were
subjects of the king of England, they must hold no council with the
French without permission. The pride of Big Mouth was touched. "You
say," he exclaimed to the envoy, "that we are subjects of the king of
England and the Duke of York; but we say that we are brothers. We must
take care of ourselves. The coat of arms which you have fastened to
that post cannot defend us against Onontio. We tell you that we shall
bind a covenant chain to our arm and to his. We shall take the Senecas
by one hand and Onontio by the other, and their hatchet and his sword
shall be thrown into deep water." [Footnote: Colden, _Five Nations_,
80 (1727).]

Thus well and manfully did Big Mouth assert the independence of his
tribe, and proclaim it the arbiter of peace. He told the warriors,
moreover, to close their ears to the words of the Dutchman, who spoke
as if he were drunk; [Footnote: _Lamberville to La Barre_, 28 _Aug_.,
1684, in _N. Y. Col. Docs_., IX. 257.] and it was resolved at last
that he, Big Mouth, with an embassy of chiefs and elders, should go
with Le Moyne to meet the French governor.

While these things were passing at Onondaga, La Barre had finished his
preparations, and was now in full campaign. Before setting out, he had
written to the minister that he was about to advance on the enemy,
with seven hundred Canadians, a hundred and thirty regulars, and two
hundred mission Indians; that more Indians were to join him on the
way; that Du Lhut and La Durantaye were to meet him at Niagara with a
body of _coureurs de bois_ and Indians from the interior; and that,
"when we are all united, we will perish or destroy the enemy."
[Footnote: _La Barre au Ministre_, 9 _July_, 1684.] On the same day,
he wrote to the king: "My purpose is to exterminate the Senecas; for
otherwise your Majesty need take no farther account of this country,
since there is no hope of peace with them, except when they are driven
to it by force. I pray you do not abandon me; and be assured that I
shall do my duty at the head of your faithful colonists." [Footnote:
_La Barre au Roy, même date_.]

A few days after writing these curiously incoherent epistles, La Barre
received a letter from his colleague, Meules, who had no belief that
he meant to fight, and was determined to compel him to do so, if
possible. "There is a report," wrote the intendant, "that you mean to
make peace. It is doing great harm. Our Indian allies will despise us.
I trust the story is untrue, and that you will listen to no overtures.
The expense has been enormous. The whole population is roused."
[Footnote: _Meules à La Barre_, 15 _July_, 1684.] Not satisfied with
this, Meules sent the general a second letter, meant, like the first,
as a tonic and a stimulant. "If we come to terms with the Iroquois,
without first making them feel the strength of our arms, we may expect
that, in future, they will do every thing they can to humiliate us,
because we drew the sword against them, and showed them our teeth. I
do not think that any course is now left for us but to carry the war
to their very doors, and do our utmost to reduce them to such a point
that they shall never again be heard of as a nation, but only as our
subjects and slaves. If, after having gone so far, we do not fight
them, we shall lose all our trade, and bring this country to the brink
of ruin. The Iroquois, and especially the Senecas, pass for great
cowards. The Reverend Father Jesuit, who is at Prairie de la
Madeleine, told me as much yesterday; and, though he has never been
among them, he assured me that he has heard everybody say so. But,
even if they were brave, we ought to be very glad of it; since then we
could hope that they would wait our attack, and give us a chance to
beat them. If we do not destroy them, they will destroy us. I think
you see but too well that your honor and the safety of the country are
involved in the results of this war." [Footnote: _Meules à La Barre_,
14 _Août_, 1684. This and the preceding letter stand, by a copyist's
error, in the name of La Barre. They are certainly written by Meules.]

While Meules thus wrote to the governor, he wrote also to the
minister, Seignelay, and expressed his views with great distinctness.
"I feel bound in conscience to tell you that nothing was ever heard of
so extraordinary as what we see done in this country every day. One
would think that there was a divided empire here between the king and
the governor; and, if things should go on long in this way, the
governor would have a far greater share than his Majesty. The persons
whom Monsieur la Barre has sent this year to trade at Fort Frontenac
have already shared with him from ten to twelve thousand crowns." He
then recounts numerous abuses and malversations on the part of the
governor. "In a word, Monseigneur, this war has been decided upon in
the cabinet of Monsieur the general, along with six of the chief
merchants of the country. If it had not served their plans, he would
have found means to settle every thing; but the merchants made him
understand that they were in danger of being plundered, and that,
having an immense amount of merchandise in the woods in nearly two
hundred canoes fitted out last year, it was better to make use of the
people of the country to carry on war against the Senecas. This being
done, he hopes to make extraordinary profits without any risk, because
one of two things will happen: either we shall gain some considerable
advantage over the savages, as there is reason to hope, if Monsieur
the general will but attack them in their villages; or else we shall
make a peace which will keep every thing safe for a time. These are
assuredly the sole motives of this war, which has for principle and
end nothing but mere interest. He says himself that there is good
fishing in troubled waters. [2]

"With all our preparations for war, and all the expense in which
Monsieur the general is involving his Majesty, I will take the liberty
to tell you, Monseigneur, though I am no prophet, that I discover no
disposition on the part of Monsieur the general to make war against
the aforesaid savages. In my belief, he will content himself with
going in a canoe as far as Fort Frontenac, and then send for the
Senecas to treat of peace with them, and deceive the people, the
intendant, and, if I may be allowed with all possible respect to say
so, his Majesty himself.

"P. S.--I will finish this letter, Monseigneur, by telling you that he
set out yesterday, July 10th, with a detachment of two hundred men.
All Quebec was filled with grief to see him embark on an expedition of
war _tête-à-tête_ with the man named La Chesnaye. Everybody says that
the war is a sham, that these two will arrange every thing between
them, and, in a word, do whatever will help their trade. The whole
country is in despair to see how matters are managed." [Footnote:
_Meules au Ministre_, 8-11 _Juillet_, 1684.]

After a long stay at Montreal, La Barre embarked his little army at La
Chine, crossed Lake St. Louis, and began the ascent of the upper St.
Lawrence, In one of the three companies of regulars which formed a
part of the force was a young subaltern, the Baron la Hontan, who has
left a lively account of the expedition. Some of the men were in flat
boats, and some were in birch canoes. Of the latter was La Hontan,
whose craft was paddled by three Canadians. Several times they
shouldered it through the forest to escape the turmoil of the rapids.
The flat boats could not be so handled, and were dragged or pushed up
in the shallow water close to the bank, by gangs of militia men,
toiling and struggling among the rocks and foam. The regulars,
unskilled in such matters, were spared these fatigues, though
tormented night and day by swarms of gnats and mosquitoes, objects of
La Hontan's bitterest invective. At length the last rapid was passed,
and they moved serenely on their way, threaded the mazes of the
Thousand Islands, entered what is now the harbor of Kingston, and
landed under the palisades of Fort Frontenac.

Here the whole force was soon assembled, the regulars in their tents,
the Canadian militia and the Indians in huts and under sheds of bark.
Of these red allies there were several hundred: Abenakis and
Algonquins from Sillery, Hurons from Lorette, and converted Iroquois
from the Jesuit mission of Saut St. Louis, near Montreal. The camp of
the French was on a low, damp plain near the fort; and here a
malarious fever presently attacked them, killing many and disabling
many more. La Hontan says that La Barre himself was brought by it to
the brink of the grave. If he had ever entertained any other purpose
than that of inducing the Senecas to agree to a temporary peace, he
now completely abandoned it. He dared not even insist that the
offending tribe should meet him in council, but hastened to ask the
mediation of the Onondagas, which the letters of Lamberville had
assured him that they were disposed to offer. He sent Le Moyne to
persuade them to meet him on their own side of the lake, and, with
such of his men as were able to move, crossed to the mouth of Salmon
River, then called La Famine.

The name proved prophetic. Provisions fell short from bad management
in transportation, and the men grew hungry and discontented. September
had begun; the place was unwholesome, and the malarious fever of Fort
Frontenac infected the new encampment. The soldiers sickened rapidly.
La Barre, racked with suspense, waited impatiently the return of Le
Moyne. We have seen already the result of his mission, and how he and
Lamberville, in spite of the envoy of the English governor, gained
from the Onondaga chiefs the promise to meet Onontio in council. Le
Moyne appeared at La Famine on the third of the month, bringing with
him Big Mouth and thirteen other deputies. La Barre gave them a feast
of bread, wine, and salmon trout, and on the morning of the fourth the
council began.

Before the deputies arrived, the governor had sent the sick men
homeward in order to conceal his helpless condition; and he now told
the Iroquois that he had left his army at Fort Frontenac, and had come
to meet them attended only by an escort. The Onondaga politician was
not to be so deceived. He, or one of his party, spoke a little French;
and during the night, roaming noiselessly among the tents, he
contrived to learn the true state of the case from the soldiers.

The council was held on an open spot near the French encampment. La
Barre was seated in an arm-chair. The Jesuit Bruyas stood by him as
interpreter, and the officers were ranged on his right and left. The
Indians sat on the ground in a row opposite the governor; and two
lines of soldiers, forming two sides of a square, closed the
intervening space. Among the officers was La Hontan, a spectator of
the whole proceeding. He may be called a man in advance of his time;
for he had the caustic, sceptical, and mocking spirit which a century
later marked the approach of the great revolution, but which was not a
characteristic of the reign of Louis XIV. He usually told the truth
when he had no motive to do otherwise, and yet was capable at times of
prodigious mendacity. [Footnote: La Hontan attempted to impose on his
readers a marvellous story of pretended discoveries beyond the
Mississippi; and his ill repute in the matter of veracity is due
chiefly to this fabrication. On the other hand, his account of what he
saw in the colony is commonly in accord with the best contemporary
evidence.] There is no reason to believe that he indulged in it on the
present occasion, and his account of what he now saw and heard may
probably be taken as substantially correct. According to him, La Barre
opened the council as follows:--

"The king my master, being informed that the Five Nations of the
Iroquois have long acted in a manner adverse to peace, has ordered me
to come with an escort to this place, and to send Akouessan (_Le
Moyne_) to Onondaga to invite the principal chiefs to meet me. It is
the wish of this great king that you and I should smoke the calumet of
peace together, provided that you promise, in the name of the Mohawks,
Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas, to give entire satisfaction
and indemnity to his subjects, and do nothing in future which may
occasion rupture."

Then he recounted the offences of the Iroquois. First, they had
maltreated and robbed French traders in the country of the Illinois;
"wherefore," said the governor, "I am ordered to demand reparation,
and in case of refusal to declare war against you."

Next, "the warriors of the Five Nations have introduced the English
into the lakes which belong to the king my master, and among the
tribes who are his children, in order to destroy the trade of his
subjects, and seduce these people from the obedience they owe him. I
am willing to forget this; but, should it happen again, I am expressly
ordered to declare war against you."

Thirdly, "the warriors of the Five Nations have made sundry barbarous
inroads into the country of the Illinois and Miamis, seizing, binding,
and leading into captivity an infinite number of these savages in time
of peace. They are the children of my king, and are not to remain your
slaves. They must at once be set free and sent home. If you refuse to
do this, I am expressly ordered to declare war against you."

La Barre concluded by assuring Big Mouth, as representing the Five
Nations of the Iroquois, that the French would leave them in peace if
they made atonement for the past, and promised good conduct for the
future; but that, if they did not heed his words, their villages
should be burned, and they themselves destroyed. He added, though he
knew the contrary, that the governor of New York would join him in war
against them.

During the delivery of this martial harangue, Big Mouth sat silent and
attentive, his eyes fixed on the bowl of his pipe. When the
interpreter had ceased, he rose, walked gravely two or three times
around the lines of the assembly, then stopped before the governor,
looked steadily at him, stretched his tawny arm, opened his capacious
jaws, and uttered himself as follows:--

"Onontio, I honor you, and all the warriors who are with me honor you.
Your interpreter has ended his speech, and now I begin mine. Listen to
my words.

"Onontio, when you left Quebec, you must have thought that the heat of
the sun had burned the forests that make our country inaccessible to
the French, or that the lake had overflowed them so that we could not
escape from our villages. You must have thought so, Onontio; and
curiosity to see such a fire or such a flood must have brought you to
this place. Now your eyes are opened; for I and my warriors have come
to tell you that the Senecas, Cayugas, Onondagas, Oneidas, and Mohawks
are all alive. I thank you in their name for bringing back the calumet
of peace which they gave to your predecessors; and I give you joy that
you have not dug up the hatchet which has been so often red with the
blood of your countrymen.

"Listen, Onontio. I am not asleep. My eyes are open; and by the sun
that gives me light I see a great captain at the head of a band of
soldiers, who talks like a man in a dream. He says that he has come to
smoke the pipe of peace with the Onondagas; but I see that he came to
knock them in the head, if so many of his Frenchmen were not too weak
to fight. I see Onontio raving in a camp of sick men, whose lives the
Great Spirit has saved by smiting them with disease. Our women had
snatched war-clubs, and our children and old men seized bows and
arrows to attack your camp, if our warriors had not restrained them,
when your messenger, Akouessan, appeared in our village."

He next justified the pillage of French traders on the ground, very
doubtful in this case, that they were carrying arms to the Illinois,
enemies of the confederacy; and he flatly refused to make reparation,
telling La Barre that even the old men of his tribe had no fear of the
French. He also avowed boldly that the Iroquois had conducted English
traders to the lakes. "We are born free," he exclaimed, "we depend
neither on Onontio nor on Corlaer. We have the right to go
whithersoever we please, to take with us whomever we please, and buy
and sell of whomever we please. If your allies are your slaves or your
children, treat them like slaves or children, and forbid them to deal
with anybody but your Frenchmen.

"We have knocked the Illinois in the head, because they cut down the
tree of peace and hunted the beaver on our lands. We have done less
than the English and the French, who have seized upon the lands of
many tribes, driven them away, and built towns, villages, and forts in
their country.

"Listen, Onontio. My voice is the voice of the Five Tribes of the
Iroquois. When they buried the hatchet at Cataraqui (_Fort Frontenac_)
in presence of your predecessor, they planted the tree of peace in the
middle of the fort, that it might be a post of traders and not of
soldiers. Take care that all the soldiers you have brought with you,
shut up in so small a fort, do not choke this tree of peace. I assure
you in the name of the Five Tribes that our warriors will dance the
dance of the calumet under its branches; and that they will sit quiet
on their mats and never dig up the hatchet, till their brothers,
Onontio and Corlaer, separately or together, make ready to attack the
country that the Great Spirit has given to our ancestors."

The session presently closed; and La Barre withdrew to his tent,
where, according to La Hontan, he vented his feelings in invective,
till reminded that good manners were not to be expected from an
Iroquois. Big Mouth, on his part, entertained some of the French at a
feast which he opened in person by a dance. There was another session
in the afternoon, and the terms of peace were settled in the evening.
The tree of peace was planted anew; La Barre promised not to attack
the Senecas; and Big Mouth, in spite of his former declaration,
consented that they should make amends for the pillage of the traders.
On the other hand, he declared that the Iroquois would fight the
Illinois to the death; and La Barre dared not utter a word in behalf
of his allies. The Onondaga next demanded that the council fire should
be removed from Fort Frontenac to La Famine, in the Iroquois country.
This point was yielded without resistance; and La Barre promised to
decamp and set out for home on the following morning. [Footnote: The
articles of peace will be found in _N. Y. Col. Docs_., IX. 236.
Compare _Memoir of M. de la Barre regarding the War against the
Senecas, ibid_., 239. These two documents do not agree as to date, one
placing the council on the 4th and the other on the 5th.]

Such was the futile and miserable end of the grand expedition. Even
the promise to pay for the plundered goods was contemptuously broken.
[Footnote: This appears from the letters of Denonville, La Barre's
successor.] The honor rested with the Iroquois. They had spurned the
French, repelled the claims of the English, and by act and word
asserted their independence of both.

La Barre embarked and hastened home in advance of his men. His camp
was again full of the sick. Their comrades placed them, shivering with
ague fits, on board the flat-boats and canoes; and the whole force,
scattered and disordered, floated down the current to Montreal.
Nothing had been gained but a thin and flimsy truce, with new troubles
and dangers plainly visible behind it. The better to understand their
nature, let us look for a moment at an episode of the campaign.

When La Barre sent messengers with gifts and wampum belts to summon
the Indians of the Upper Lakes to join in the war, his appeal found a
cold response. La Durantaye and Du Lhut, French commanders in that
region, vainly urged the surrounding tribes to lift the hatchet. None
but the Hurons would consent, when, fortunately, Nicolas Perrot
arrived at Michillimackinac on an errand of trade. This famous
_coureur de bois_--a very different person from Perrot, governor of
Montreal--was well skilled in dealing with Indians. Through his
influence, their scruples were overcome; and some five hundred
warriors, Hurons, Ottawas, Ojibwas, Pottawatamies, and Foxes, were
persuaded to embark for the rendezvous at Niagara, along with a
hundred or more Frenchmen. The fleet of canoes, numerous as a flock of
blackbirds in autumn, began the long and weary voyage. The two
commanders had a heavy task. Discipline was impossible. The French
were scarcely less wild than the savages. Many of them were painted
and feathered like their red companions, whose ways they imitated with
perfect success. The Indians, on their part, were but half-hearted for
the work in hand, for they had already discovered that the English
would pay twice as much for a beaver skin as the French; and they
asked nothing better than the appearance of English traders on the
lakes, and a safe peace with the Iroquois, which should open to them
the market of New York. But they were like children with the passions
of men, inconsequent, fickle, and wayward. They stopped to hunt on the
shore of Michigan, where a Frenchman accidentally shot himself with
his own gun. Here was an evil omen. But for the efforts of Perrot,
half the party would have given up the enterprise, and paddled home.
In the Strait of Detroit there was another hunt, and another accident.
In firing at a deer, an Indian wounded his own brother. On this the
tribesmen of the wounded man proposed to kill the French, as being the
occasion of the mischance. Once more the skill of Perrot prevailed;
but when they reached the Long Point of Lake Erie, the Foxes, about a
hundred in number, were on the point of deserting in a body. As
persuasion failed, Perrot tried the effect of taunts. "You are
cowards," he said to the naked crew, as they crowded about him with
their wild eyes and long lank hair. "You do not know what war is: you
never killed a man and you never ate one, except those that were given
you tied hand and foot." They broke out against him in a storm of
abuse. "You shall see whether we are men. We are going to fight the
Iroquois; and, unless you do your part, we will knock you in the
head." "You will never have to give yourselves the trouble," retorted
Perrot, "for at the first war-whoop you will all run off." He gained
his point. Their pride was roused, and for the moment they were full
of fight. [Footnote: _La Potherie_, II. 159 (ed. 1722). Perrot
himself, in his _Moeurs des Sauvages_, briefly mentions the incident.]

Immediately after, there was trouble with the Ottawas, who became
turbulent and threatening, and refused to proceed. With much ado, they
were persuaded to go as far as Niagara, being lured by the rash
assurance of La Durantaye that three vessels were there, loaded with a
present of guns for them. They carried their canoes by the cataract,
launched them again, paddled to the mouth of the river, and looked for
the vessels in vain. At length a solitary sail appeared on the lake.
She brought no guns, but instead a letter from La Barre, telling them
that peace was made, and that they might all go home. Some of them had
paddled already a thousand miles, in the hope of seeing the Senecas
humbled. They turned back in disgust, filled with wrath and scorn
against the governor and all the French. Canada had incurred the
contempt, not only of enemies, but of allies. There was danger that
these tribes would repudiate the French alliance, welcome the English
traders, make peace at any price with the Iroquois, and carry their
beaver skins to Albany instead of Montreal.

The treaty made at La Famine was greeted with contumely through all
the colony. The governor found, however, a comforter in the Jesuit
Lamberville, who stood fast in the position which he had held from the
beginning. He wrote to La Barre: "You deserve the title of saviour of
the country for making peace at so critical a time. In the condition
in which your army was, you could not have advanced into the Seneca
country without utter defeat. The Senecas had double palisades, which
could not have been forced without great loss. Their plan was to keep
three hundred men inside, and to perpetually harass you with twelve
hundred others. All the Iroquois were to collect together, and fire
only at the legs of your people, so as to master them, and burn them
at their leisure, and then, after having thinned their numbers by a
hundred ambuscades in the woods and grass, to pursue you in your
retreat even to Montreal, and spread desolation around it." [Footnote:
_Lamberville to La Barre, 9 Oct_., 1684, in _N. Y. Col. Docs_., IX.
260.] La Barre was greatly pleased with this letter, and made use of
it to justify himself to the king. His colleague, Meules, on the other
hand, declared that Lamberville, anxious to make favor with the
governor, had written only what La Barre wished to hear. The intendant
also informs the minister that La Barre's excuses are a mere pretence;
that everybody is astonished and disgusted with him; that the sickness
of the troops was his own fault, because he kept them encamped on wet
ground for an unconscionable length of time; that Big Mouth shamefully
befooled and bullied him; that, after the council at La Famine, he
lost his wits, and went off in a fright; that, since the return of the
troops, the officers have openly expressed their contempt for him; and
that the people would have risen against him, if he, Meules, had not
taken measures to quiet them. [Footnote: _Meules au Ministre_, 10
_Oct_., 1684.] These, with many other charges, flew across the sea
from the pen of the intendant.

The next ship from France brought the following letter from the

MONSIEUR DE LA BARRE,--Having been informed that your years do not
permit 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 Monsieur 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 France.


La Barre sailed for home; and the Marquis de Denonville, a pious
colonel of dragoons, assumed the vacant office.

[1] _Sir John Werden to Dongan_, 4 _Dec_., 1684; _N. Y. Col. Docs_.,
III. 353. Werden was the duke's secretary.

Dongan has been charged with instigating the Iroquois to attack the
French. The Jesuit Lamberville, writing from Onondaga, says, on the
contrary, that he hears that the "governor of New England (_New
York_), when the Mohawk chiefs asked him to continue the sale of
powder to them, replied that it should be continued so long as they
would not make war on Christians." _Lamberville à La Barre_, 10
_Fév_., 1684.

The French ambassador at London complained that Dongan excited the
Iroquois to war, and Dongan denied the charge. _N. Y. Col. Docs_.,
III. 506, 509.

[2] The famous _voyageur_, Nicolas Perrot, agrees with the intendant.
"Ils (_La Barre et ses associés_) s'imaginèrent que silost que le
François viendroit à paroistre, l'Irroquois luy demanderoit
miséricorde, quil seroit facile d'establir des magasins, construire
des barques dans le lac Ontario, et que c'estoil un moyen de trouver
des richesses." _Mémoire sur les Moeurs, Coustumes, et Réligion des
Sauvages_, chap. xxi.

The Sulpitian, Abbé Belmont, says that the avarice of the merchants
was the cause of the war; that they and La Barre wished to prevent the
Iroquois from interrupting trade; and that La Barre aimed at an
indemnity for the sixteen hundred livres in merchandise which the
Senecas had taken from his canoes early in the year. Belmont adds that
he wanted to bring them to terms without fighting.





Denonville embarked at Rochelle in June, with his wife and a part of
his family. Saint-Vallier, the destined bishop, was in the same
vessel; and the squadron carried five hundred soldiers, of whom a
hundred and fifty died of fever and scurvy on the way. Saint-Vallier
speaks in glowing terms of the new governor. "He spent 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 any thing
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." [Footnote:
Saint-Vallier, _État Présent de l'Église_, 4 (Quebec, 1856).]

When they landed, the nuns of the Hôtel-Dieu were overwhelmed with the
sick. "Not only our halls, but our church, our granary, our hen-yard,
and every corner of the hospital where we could make room, were filled
with them." [Footnote: Juchereau, _Hôtel-Dieu_, 283.]

Much was expected of Denonville. He was to repair the mischief wrought
by his predecessor, and restore the colony to peace, strength, and
security. The king had stigmatized La Barre's treaty with the Iroquois
as disgraceful, and expressed indignation at his abandonment of the
Illinois allies. All this was now to be changed; but it was easier to
give the order at Versailles than to execute it in Canada.
Denonville's difficulties were great; and his means of overcoming them
were small. What he most needed was more troops and more money. The
Senecas, insolent and defiant, were still attacking the Illinois; the
tribes of the north-west were angry, contemptuous, and disaffected;
the English of New York were urging claims to the whole country south
of the Great Lakes, and to a controlling share in all the western fur
trade; while the English of Hudson's Bay were competing for the
traffic of the northern tribes, and the English of New England were
seizing upon the fisheries of Acadia, and now and then making
piratical descents upon its coast. The great question lay between New
York and Canada. Which of these two should gain mastery in the west?

Denonville, like Frontenac, was a man of the army and the court. As a
soldier, he had the experience of thirty years of service; and he was
in high repute, not only for piety, but for probity and honor. He was
devoted to the Jesuits, an ardent servant of the king, a lover of
authority, filled with the instinct of subordination and order, and,
in short, a type of the ideas, religious, political, and social, then
dominant in France. He was greatly distressed at the disturbed
condition of the colony; while the state of the settlements, scattered
in broken lines for two or three hundred miles along the St. Lawrence,
seemed to him an invitation to destruction. "If we have a war," he
wrote, "nothing can save the country but a miracle of God."

Nothing was more likely than war. Intrigues were on foot between the
Senecas and the tribes of the lakes, which threatened to render the
appeal to arms a necessity to the French. Some of the Hurons of
Michillimackinac were bent on allying themselves with the English.
"They like the manners of the French," wrote Denonville; "but they
like the cheap goods of the English better." The Senecas, in collusion
with several Huron chiefs, had captured a considerable number of that
tribe and of the Ottawas. The scheme was that these prisoners should
be released, on condition that the lake tribes should join the Senecas
and repudiate their alliance with the French. [Footnote: _Denonville
au Ministre_, 12 _Juin_, 1686.] The governor of New York favored this
intrigue to the utmost.

Denonville was quick to see that the peril of the colony rose, not
from the Iroquois alone, but from the English of New York, who
prompted them. Dongan understood the situation. He saw that the French
aimed at mastering the whole interior of the continent. They had
established themselves in the valley of the Illinois, had built a fort
on the lower Mississippi, and were striving to entrench themselves at
its mouth. They occupied the Great Lakes--and it was already evident
that, as soon as their resources should permit, they would seize the
avenues of communication throughout the west. In short, the grand
scheme of French colonization had begun to declare itself. Dongan
entered the lists against them. If his policy should prevail, New
France would dwindle to a feeble province on the St. Lawrence: if the
French policy should prevail, the English colonies would remain a
narrow strip along the sea. Dongan's cause was that of all these
colonies; but they all stood aloof, and left him to wage the strife
alone. Canada was matched against New York, or rather against the
governor of New York. The population of the English colony was larger
than that of its rival; but, except the fur traders, few of the
settlers cared much for the questions at issue. [Footnote: New York
had about 18,000 inhabitants (Brodhead, _Hist. N. Y._, II. 458).
Canada, by the census of 1685, had 12,263.] Dongan's chief difficulty,
however, rose from the relations of the French and English kings.
Louis XIV. gave Denonville an unhesitating support. James II., on the
other hand, was for a time cautious to timidity. The two monarchs were
closely united. Both hated constitutional liberty, and both held the
same principles of supremacy in church and state; but Louis was
triumphant and powerful, while James, in conflict with his subjects,
was in constant need of his great ally, and dared not offend him.

The royal instructions to Denonville enjoined him to humble the
Iroquois, sustain the allies of the colony, oppose the schemes of
Dongan, and treat him as an enemy, if he encroached on French
territory. At the same time, the French ambassador at the English
court was directed to demand from James II. precise orders to the
governor of New York for a complete change of conduct in regard to
Canada and the Iroquois. [Footnote: _Seignelay to Barillon, French
Ambassador at London_, in _N. Y. Col. Docs_., LX. 269.] But Dongan,
like the French governors, was not easily controlled. In the absence
of money and troops, he intrigued busily with his Indian neighbors.
"The artifices of the English," wrote Denonville, "have reached such a
point that it would be better if they attacked us openly and burned
our settlements, instead of instigating the Iroquois against us for
our destruction. I know beyond a particle of doubt that M. Dongan
caused all the five Iroquois nations to be assembled last spring at
Orange (_Albany_), in order to excite them against us, by telling them
publicly that I meant to declare war against them." He says, further,
that Dongan supplies them with arms and ammunition, incites them to
attack the colony, and urges them to deliver Lamberville, the priest
at Onondaga, into his hands. "He has sent people, at the same time, to
our Montreal Indians to entice them over to him, promising them
missionaries to instruct them, and assuring them that he would prevent
the introduction of brandy into their villages. All these intrigues
have given me not a little trouble throughout the summer. M. Dongan
has written to me, and I have answered him as a man may do who wishes
to dissimulate and does not feel strong enough to get angry."
[Footnote: _Denonville à Seigneloy_, 8 _Nov_., 1686.]

Denonville, accordingly, while biding his time, made use of counter
intrigues, and, by means of the useful Lamberville, freely distributed
secret or "underground" presents among the Iroquois chiefs; while the
Jesuit Engelran was busy at Michillimackinac in adroit and vigorous
efforts to prevent the alienation of the Hurons, Ottawas, and other
lake tribes. The task was difficult; and, filled with anxiety, the
father came down to Montreal to see the governor, "and communicate to
me," writes Denonville, "the deplorable state of affairs with our
allies, whom we can no longer trust, owing to the discredit into which
we have fallen among them, and from which we cannot recover, except by
gaining some considerable advantage over the Iroquois; who, as I have
had the honor to inform you, have labored incessantly since last
autumn to rob us of all our allies, by using every means to make
treaties with them independently of us. You may be assured,
Monseigneur, that the English are the chief cause of the arrogance and
insolence of the Iroquois, adroitly using them to extend the limits of
their dominion and uniting with them as one nation, insomuch that the
English claims include no less than the Lakes Ontario and Erie, the
region of Saginaw (_Michigan_), the country of the Hurons, and all the
country in the direction of the Mississippi." [Footnote: _Denonville à
Seignelay_, 12 _Juin_, 1686.]

The most pressing danger was the defection of the lake tribes. "In
spite of the king's edicts," pursues Denonville, "the _coureurs de
bois_ have carried a hundred barrels of brandy to Michillimackinac in
a single year; and their libertinism and debauchery have gone to such
an extremity that it is a wonder the Indians have not massacred them
all to save themselves from their violence and recover their wives and
daughters from them. This, Monseigneur, joined to our failure in the
last war, has drawn upon us such contempt among all the tribes that
there is but one way to regain our credit, which is to humble the
Iroquois by our unaided strength, without asking the help of our
Indian allies." [Footnote: _Ibid_.] And he begs hard for a strong
reinforcement of troops.

Without doubt, Denonville was right in thinking that the chastising of
the Iroquois, or at least the Senecas, the head and front of mischief,
was a matter of the last necessity. A crushing blow dealt against them
would restore French prestige, paralyze English intrigue, save the
Illinois from destruction, and confirm the wavering allies of Canada.
Meanwhile, matters grew from bad to worse. In the north and in the
west, there was scarcely a tribe in the French interest which was not
either attacked by the Senecas or cajoled by them into alliances
hostile to the colony. "We may set down Canada as lost," again writes
Denonville, "if we do not make war next year; and yet, in our present
disordered state, war is the most dangerous thing in the world.
Nothing can save us but the sending out of troops and the building of
forts and blockhouses. Yet I dare not begin to build them; for, if I
do, it will bring down all the Iroquois upon us before we are in a
condition to fight them."

Nevertheless, he made what preparations he could, begging all the
while for more soldiers, and carrying on at the same time a
correspondence with his rival, Dongan. At first, it was courteous on
both sides; but it soon grew pungent, and at last acrid. Denonville
wrote to announce his arrival, and Dongan replied in French: "Sir, I
have had the honor of receiving your letter, and greatly rejoice at
having so good a neighbor, whose reputation is so widely spread that
it has anticipated your arrival. I have a very high respect for the
king of France, of whose bread I have eaten so much that I feel under
an obligation to prevent whatever can give the least umbrage to our
masters. M. de la Barre is a very worthy gentleman, but he has not
written to me in a civil and befitting style." [Footnote: _Dongan to
Denonville_, 13 _Oct_., 1685, in _N. Y. Col. Docs_., IX, 292.]

Denonville replied with many compliments: "I know not what reason you
may have had to be dissatisfied with M. de la Barre; but I know very
well that I should reproach myself all my life if I could fail to
render to you all the civility and attention due to a person of so
great rank and merit. In regard to the affair in which M. de la Barre
interfered, as you write me, I presume you refer to his quarrel with
the Senecas. As to that, Monsieur, I believe you understand the
character of that nation well enough to perceive that it is not easy
to live in friendship with a people, who have neither religion, nor
honor, nor subordination. The king, my master, entertains affection
and friendship for this country solely through zeal for the
establishment of religion here, and the support and protection of the
missionaries whose ardor in preaching the faith leads them to expose
themselves to the brutalities and persecutions of the most ferocious
of tribes. You know better than I what fatigues and torments they have
suffered for the sake of Jesus Christ. I know your heart is penetrated
with the glory of that name which makes Hell tremble, and at the
mention of which all the powers of Heaven fall prostrate. Shall we be
so unhappy as to refuse them our master's protection? You are a man of
rank and abounding in merit. You love our holy religion. Can we not
then come to an understanding to sustain our missionaries by keeping
those fierce tribes in respect and fear?" [Footnote: _Denonville to
Dongan_, 5 _Juin_, 1686, _N. Y. Col. Docs_., III. 456.]

This specious appeal for maintaining French Jesuits on English
territory, or what was claimed as such, was lost on Dongan, Catholic
as he was. He regarded them as dangerous political enemies, and did
his best to expel them, and put English priests in their place.
Another of his plans was to build a fort at Niagara, to exclude the
French from Lake Erie. Denonville entertained the same purpose, in
order to exclude the English; and he watched eagerly the moment to
execute it. A rumor of the scheme was brought to Dongan by one of the
French _coureurs de bois_, who often deserted to Albany, where they
were welcomed and encouraged. The English governor was exceedingly
wroth. He had written before in French out of complaisance. He now
dispensed with ceremony, and wrote in his own peculiar English: "I am
informed that you intend to build a fort at Ohniagero (_Niagara_) on
this side of the lake, within my Master's territoryes without
question. I cannot beleev that a person that has your reputation in
the world would follow the steps of Monsr. Labarr, and be ill advized
by some interested persons in your Governt. to make disturbance
between our Masters subjects in those parts of the world for a little
pelttree (_peltry_). I hear one of the Fathers (_the Jesuit Jean de
Lamberville_) is gone to you, and th'other that stayed (_Jacques de
Lamberville_) I have sent for him here lest the Indians should insult
over him, tho' it's a thousand pittys that those that have made such
progress in the service of God should be disturbed, and that by the
fault of those that laid the foundation of Christianity amongst these
barbarous people; setting apart the station I am in, I am as much
Monsr. Des Novilles (_Denonville's_) humble servant as any friend he
has, and will ommit no opportunity of manifesting the same. Sir, your
humble servant, Thomas Dongan." [Footnote: _Dongan to Denonville_, 22
_May_, 1686, in _N. Y. Col. Docs_., III. 455.]

Denonville in reply denied that he meant to build a fort at Niagara,
and warned Dongan not to believe the stories told him by French
deserters. "In order," he wrote, "that we may live on a good
understanding, it would be well that a gentleman of your character
should not give protection to all the rogues, vagabonds, and thieves
who desert us and seek refuge with you, and who, to gain your favor,
think they cannot do better than tell nonsensical stories about us,
which they will continue to do so long as you listen to them."
[Footnote: _Denonville à Dongan_, 20 _Juin_, 1686.] The rest of the
letter was in terms of civility, to which Dongan returned: "Beleive me
it is much joy to have soe good a neighbour of soe excellent
qualifications and temper, and of a humour altogether differing from
Monsieur de la Barre, your predecessor, who was so furious and hasty
and very much addicted to great words, as if I had bin to have bin
frighted by them. For my part, I shall take all immaginable care that
the Fathers who preach the Holy Gospell to those Indians over whom I
have power bee not in the least ill treated, and upon that very
accompt have sent for one of each nation to come to me, and then those
beastly crimes you reproove shall be checked severely, and all my
endevours used to surpress their filthy drunkennesse, disorders,
debauches, warring, and quarrels, and whatsoever doth obstruct the
growth and enlargement of the Christian faith amongst those people."
He then, in reply to an application of Denonville, promised to give up
"runawayes." [Footnote: _Dongan to Denonville_, 26 _July_, 1686, in
_N. Y. Col. Docs_., III. 460.]

Promise was not followed by performance; and he still favored to the
utmost the truant Frenchmen who made Albany their resort, and often
brought with them most valuable information. This drew an angry letter
from Denonville. "You were so good, Monsieur, as to tell me that you
would give up all the deserters who have fled to you to escape
chastisement for their knavery. As most of them are bankrupts and
thieves, I hope that they will give you reason to repent having
harbored them, and that your merchants who employ them will be
punished for trusting such rascals." [Footnote: _Denonville à Dongan_,
1 _Oct_., 1686.] To the great wrath of the French governor, Dongan
persisted in warning the Iroquois that he meant to attack them. "You
proposed, Monsieur," writes Denonville, "to submit every thing to the
decision of our masters. Nevertheless, your emissary to the Onondagas
told all the Five Nations in your name to pillage and make war on us."
Next, he berates his rival for furnishing the Indians with rum. "Think
you that religion will make any progress, while your traders supply
the savages in abundance with the liquor which, as you ought to know,
converts them into demons and their lodges into counterparts of Hell?"

"Certainly," retorts Dongan, "our Rum doth as little hurt as your
Brandy, and, in the opinion of Christians, is much more wholesome."
[Footnote: _Dongan to Denonville_, 1 _Dec_., 1686, in _N. Y. Col.
Docs_., III. 462.]

Each tried incessantly to out-general the other. Denonville, steadfast
in his plan of controlling the passes of the western country, had
projected forts, not only at Niagara, but also at Toronto, on Lake
Erie, and on the Strait of Detroit. He thought that a time had come
when he could, without rashness, secure this last important passage;
and he sent an order to Du Lhut, who was then at Michillimackinac, to
occupy it with fifty _coureurs de bois_. [Footnote: _Denonville à Du
Lhut_, 6 _Juin_, 1686.] That enterprising chief accordingly repaired
to Detroit, and built a stockade at the outlet of Lake Huron on the
western side of the strait. It was not a moment too soon. The year
before, Dongan had sent a party of armed traders in eleven canoes,
commanded by Johannes Rooseboom, a Dutchman of Albany, to carry
English goods to the upper lakes. They traded successfully, winning
golden opinions from the Indians, who begged them to come every year;
and, though Denonville sent an officer to stop them at Niagara, they
returned in triumph, after an absence of three months. [Footnote:
Brodhead, _Hist. of New York_, II. 429; _Denonville au Ministre_, 8
_Mai_, 1686.] A larger expedition was organized in the autumn of 1686.
Rooseboom again set out for the lakes with twenty or more canoes. He
was to winter among the Senecas, and wait the arrival of Major
McGregory, a Scotch officer, who was to leave Albany in the spring
with fifty men, take command of the united parties, and advance to
Lake Huron, accompanied by a band of Iroquois, to form a general
treaty of trade and alliance with the tribes claimed by France as her
subjects. [Footnote: Brodhead, _Hist. of New York_, II. 443;
_Commission of McGregory_, in _N. Y. Col. Docs_., IX. 318.]

Denonville was beside himself at the news. He had already urged upon
Louis XIV. the policy of buying the colony of New York, which he
thought might easily be done, and which, as he said, "would make us
masters of the Iroquois without a war." This time he wrote in a less
pacific mood: "I have a mind to go straight to Albany, storm their
fort, and burn every thing." [Footnote: _Denonville au Ministre_, 16
_Nov_., 1686.] And he begged for soldiers more earnestly than ever.
"Things grow worse and worse. The English stir up the Iroquois against
us, and send parties to Michillimackinac to rob us of our trade. It
would be better to declare war against them than to perish by their
intrigues." [Footnote: _Ibid_., 15 _Oct_., 1686.]

He complained bitterly to Dongan, and Dongan replied: "I beleeve it is
as lawfull for the English as the French to trade amongst the remotest
Indians. I desire you to send me word who it was that pretended to
have my orders for the Indians to plunder and fight you. That is as
false as 'tis true that God is in heaven. I have desired you to send
for the deserters. I know not who they are but had rather such
Rascalls and Bankrouts, as you call them, were amongst their own
countrymen." [Footnote: _Dongan to Denonville_, 1 _Dec_., 1686;
_Ibid_., 20 _June_, 1687, in _N. Y. Col. Docs_., III. 462, 465.]

He had, nevertheless, turned them to good account; for, as the English
knew nothing of western geography, they employed these French
bush-rangers to guide their trading parties. Denonville sent orders to
Du Lhut to shoot as many of them as he could catch.

Dongan presently received despatches from the English court, which
showed him the necessity of caution; and, when next he wrote to his
rival, it was with a chastened pen: "I hope your Excellency will be so
kinde as not desire or seeke any correspondence with our Indians of
this side of the Great lake (_Ontario_): if they doe amisse to any of
your Governmt. and you make it known to me, you shall have all justice
done." He complained mildly that the Jesuits were luring their
Iroquois converts to Canada; "and you must pardon me if I tell you
that is not the right way to keepe fair correspondence. I am daily
expecting Religious men from England, which I intend to put amongst
those five nations. I desire you would order Monsr. de Lamberville
that soe long as he stayes amongst those people he would meddle only
with the affairs belonging to his function. Sir, I send you some
Oranges, hearing that they are a rarity in your partes." [Footnote:
_Dongan to Denonville_, 20 _Juin_, 1687, in _N. Y. Col. Docs_., III.

"Monsieur," replies Denonville, "I thank you for your oranges. It is a
great pity that they were all rotten."

The French governor, unlike his rival, felt strong in the support of
his king, who had responded amply to his appeals for aid; and the
temper of his letters answered to his improved position. "I was led,
Monsieur, to believe, by your civil language in the letter you took
the trouble to write me on my arrival, that we should live in the
greatest harmony in the world; but the result has plainly shown that
your intentions did not at all answer to your fine words." And he
upbraids him without measure for his various misdeeds: "Take my word
for it. Let us devote ourselves to the accomplishment of our masters'
will; let us seek, as they do, to serve and promote religion; let us
live together in harmony, as they desire. I repeat and protest,
Monsieur, that it rests with you alone; but do not imagine that I am a
man to suffer others to play tricks on me. I willingly believe that
you have not ordered the Iroquois to plunder our Frenchmen; but,
whilst I have the honor to write to you, you know that Salvaye, Gédeon
Petit, and many other rogues and bankrupts like them, are with you,
and boast of sharing your table. I should not be surprised that you
tolerate them in your country; but I am astonished that you should
promise me not to tolerate them, that you so promise me again, and
that you perform nothing of what you promise. Trust me, Monsieur, make
no promise that you are not willing to keep." [Footnote: _Denonville à
Dongan_, 21 _Aug_., 1687; _Ibid., no date_ (1687).]

Denonville, vexed and perturbed by his long strife with Dongan and the
Iroquois, presently found a moment of comfort in tidings that reached
him from the north. Here, as in the west, there was violent rivalry
between the subjects of the two crowns. With the help of two French
renegades, named Radisson and Groseilliers, the English Company of
Hudson's Bay, then in its infancy, had established a post near the
mouth of Nelson River, on the western shore of that dreary inland sea.
The company had also three other posts, called Fort Albany, Fort
Hayes, and Fort Rupert, at the southern end of the bay. A rival French
company had been formed in Canada, under the name of the Company of
the North; and it resolved on an effort to expel its English
competitors. Though it was a time of profound peace between the two
kings, Denonville warmly espoused the plan; and, in the early spring
of 1686, he sent the Chevalier de Troyes from Montreal, with eighty or
more Canadians, to execute it. [Footnote: The Compagnie du Nord had a
grant of the trade of Hudson's Bay from Louis XIV. The bay was
discovered by the English, under Hudson; but the French had carried on
some trade there before the establishment of Fort Nelson. Denonville's
commission to Troyes merely directs him to build forts, and "se saisir
des voleurs coureurs de bois et autres que nous savons avoir pris et
arrêté plusieurs de nos François commerçants avec les sauvages."] With
Troyes went Iberville, Sainte-Hélène, and Maricourt, three of the sons
of Charles Le Moyne; and the Jesuit Silvy joined the party as

They ascended the Ottawa, and thence, from stream to stream and lake
to lake, toiled painfully towards their goal. At length, they neared
Fort Hayes. It was a stockade with four bastions, mounted with cannon.
There was a strong blockhouse within, in which the sixteen occupants
of the place were lodged, unsuspicious of danger. Troyes approached at
night. Iberville and Sainte-Hélène with a few followers climbed the
palisade on one side, while the rest of the party burst the main gate
with a sort of battering ram, and rushed in, yelling the war-whoop. In
a moment, the door of the blockhouse was dashed open, and its
astonished inmates captured in their shirts.

The victors now embarked for Fort Rupert, distant forty leagues along
the shore. In construction, it resembled Fort Hayes. The fifteen
traders who held the place were all asleep at night in their
blockhouse, when the Canadians burst the gate of the stockade and
swarmed into the area. One of them mounted by a ladder to the roof of
the building, and dropped lighted hand-grenades down the chimney,
which, exploding among the occupants, told them unmistakably that
something was wrong. At the same time, the assailants fired briskly on
them through the loopholes, and, placing a petard under the walls,
threatened to blow them into the air. Five, including a woman, were
killed or wounded; and the rest cried for quarter. Meanwhile,
Iberville with another party attacked a vessel anchored near the fort,
and, climbing silently over her side, found the man on the watch
asleep in his blanket. He sprang up and made fight, but they killed
him, then stamped on the deck to rouse those below, sabred two of them
as they came up the hatchway, and captured the rest. Among them was
Bridger, governor for the company of all its stations on the bay.

They next turned their attention to Fort Albany, thirty leagues from
Fort Hayes, in a direction opposite to that of Fort Rupert. Here there
were about thirty men, under Henry Sargent, an agent of the company.
Surprise was this time impossible; for news of their proceedings had
gone before them, and Sargent, though no soldier, stood on his
defence. The Canadians arrived, some in canoes, some in the captured
vessel, bringing ten captured pieces of cannon, which they planted in
battery on a neighboring hill, well covered by intrenchments from the
English shot. Here they presently opened fire; and, in an hour, the
stockade with the houses that it enclosed was completely riddled. The
English took shelter in a cellar, nor was it till the fire slackened
that they ventured out to show a white flag and ask for a parley.
Troyes and Sargent had an interview. The Englishman regaled his
conqueror with a bottle of Spanish wine; and, after drinking the
health of King Louis and King James, they settled the terms of
capitulation. The prisoners were sent home in an English vessel which
soon after arrived; and Maricourt remained to command at the bay,
while Troyes returned to report his success to Denonville. [1]

This buccaneer exploit exasperated the English public, and it became
doubly apparent that the state of affairs in America could not be
allowed to continue. A conference had been arranged between the two
powers, even before the news came from Hudson's Bay; and Count d'Avaux
appeared at London as special envoy of Louis XIV. to settle the
questions at issue. A treaty of neutrality was signed at Whitehall,
and commissioners were appointed on both sides. [Footnote: _Traité de
Neutralité pour l'Amérique, conclu à Londres le_ 16 _Nov., 1686_, in
_Mémoires des Commissaires_, II. 86.] Pending the discussion, each
party was to refrain from acts of hostility or encroachment; and, said
the declaration of the commissioners, "to the end the said agreement
may have the better effect, we do likewise agree that the said serene
kings shall immediately send necessary orders in that behalf to their
respective governors in America." [Footnote: _Instrument for
preventing Acts of Hostility in America_ in _N. Y. Col. Docs_., III.
505.] Dongan accordingly was directed to keep a friendly
correspondence with his rival, and take good care to give him no cause
of complaint. [Footnote: _Order to Gov. Dongan_, 22 _Jan., 1687_, in
_N. Y. Col. Docs_., III. 504.]

It was this missive which had dashed the ardor of the English
governor, and softened his epistolary style. More than four months
after, Louis XIV. sent corresponding instructions to Denonville;
[Footnote: _Louis XIV. à Denonville_, 17 _Juin_, 1687. At the end of
March, the king had written that "he did not think it expedient to
make any attack on the English."] but, meantime, he had sent him
troops, money, and munitions in abundance, and ordered him to attack
the Iroquois towns. Whether such a step was consistent with the recent
treaty of neutrality may well be doubted; for, though James II. had
not yet formally claimed the Iroquois as British subjects, his
representative had done so for years with his tacit approval, and out
of this claim had risen the principal differences which it was the
object of the treaty to settle.

Eight hundred regulars were already in the colony, and eight hundred
more were sent in the spring, with a hundred and sixty-eight thousand
livres in money and supplies. [Footnote: _Abstract of Letters_, in _N.
Y. Col. Docs_., IX. 314. This answers exactly to the statement of the
_Mémoire adressé au Régent_, which places the number of troops in
Canada at this time at thirty-two companies of fifty men each.]
Denonville was prepared to strike. He had pushed his preparations
actively, yet with extreme secrecy; for he meant to fall on the
Senecas unawares, and shatter at a blow the mainspring of English
intrigue. Harmony reigned among the chiefs of the colony, military,
civil, and religious. The intendant Meules had been recalled on the
complaints of the governor, who had quarrelled with him; and a new
intendant, Champigny, had been sent in his place. He was as pious as
Denonville himself, and, like him, was in perfect accord with the
bishop and the Jesuits. All wrought together to promote the new

It was not yet time to preach it, or at least Denonville thought so.
He dissembled his purpose to the last moment, even with his best
friends. Of all the Jesuits among the Iroquois, the two brothers
Lamberville had alone held their post. Denonville, in order to deceive
the enemy, had directed these priests to urge the Iroquois chiefs to
meet him in council at Fort Frontenac, whither, as he pretended, he
was about to go with an escort of troops, for the purpose of
conferring with them. The two brothers received no hint whatever of
his real intention, and tried in good faith to accomplish his wishes;
but the Iroquois were distrustful, and hesitated to comply. On this,
the elder Lamberville sent the younger with letters to Denonville to
explain the position of affairs, saying at the same time that he
himself would not leave Onondaga except to accompany the chiefs to the
proposed council. "The poor father," wrote the governor, "knows
nothing of our designs. I am sorry to see him exposed to danger; but,
should I recall him, his withdrawal would certainly betray our plans
to the Iroquois." This unpardonable reticence placed the Jesuit in
extreme peril; for the moment the Iroquois discovered the intended
treachery they would probably burn him as its instrument. No man in
Canada had done so much as the elder Lamberville to counteract the
influence of England and serve the interests of France, and in return
the governor exposed him recklessly to the most terrible of deaths.
[Footnote: _Denonville au Ministre_, 9 _Nov_., 1686; _Ibid_., 8
_Juin_, 1687. Denonville at last seems to have been seized with some
compunction, and writes: "Tout cela me fait craindre que le pauvre
père n'ayt de la peine à se retirer d'entre les mains de ces barbares
ce qui m'inquiete fort." Dongan, though regarding the Jesuit as an
insidious enemy, had treated him much better, and protected him on
several occasions, for which he received the emphatic thanks of
Dablon, superior of the missions. _Dablon to Dongan_ (1685?), in _N.
Y. Col. Docs_., III. 454.]

In spite of all his pains, it was whispered abroad that there was to
be war; and the rumor was brought to the ears of Dongan by some of the
Canadian deserters. He lost no time in warning the Iroquois, and their
deputies came to beg his help. Danger humbled them for the moment; and
they not only recognized King James as their sovereign, but consented
at last to call his representative _Father_ Corlaer instead of
_Brother_. Their father, however, dared not promise them soldiers;
though, in spite of the recent treaty, he caused gunpowder and lead to
be given them, and urged them to recall the powerful war-parties which
they had lately sent against the Illinois. [Footnote: Colden, 97
(1727), _Denonville au Ministre_, 8 _Juin_, 1687.]

Denonville at length broke silence, and ordered the militia to muster.
They grumbled and hesitated, for they remembered the failures of La
Barre. The governor issued a proclamation, and the bishop a pastoral
mandate. There were sermons, prayers, and exhortations in all the
churches. A revulsion of popular feeling followed; and the people,
says Denonville, "made ready for the march with extraordinary
animation." The church showered blessings on them as they went, and
daily masses were ordained for the downfall of the foes of Heaven and
of France. [Footnote: Saint-Vallier, _État Présent_. Even to the
moment of marching, Denonville pretended that he meant only to hold a
peace council at Fort Frontenac. "J'ai toujours publié que je n'allois
qu'à l'assemblée générale projetée à Cataracouy (_Fort Frontenac_),
J'ai toujours tenu ce discours jusqu'au temps de la marche."
_Denonville au Ministre_, 8 _Juin_, 1687.]

[1] On the capture of the forts at Hudson's Bay, see La Potherie, I.
147-163; the letter of Father Silvy, chaplain of the expedition, in
Saint-Vallier, _État Présent_, 43; and Oldmixon, _British Empire in
America_, I. 561-564 (ed. 1741). An account of the preceding events
will be found in La Potherie and Oldmixon; in Jerémie, _Relation de la
Baie de Hudson_; and in _N. Y. Col. Docs_., IX. 796-802. Various
embellishments have been added to the original narratives by recent
writers, such as an imaginary hand-to-hand fight of Iberville and
several Englishmen in the blockhouse of Fort Hayes.





A host of flat-boats filled with soldiers, and a host of Indian
canoes, struggled against the rapids of the St. Lawrence, and slowly
made their way to Fort Frontenac. Among the troops was La Hontan. When
on his arrival he entered the gate of the fort, he saw a strange
sight. A row of posts was planted across the area within, and to each
post an Iroquois was tied by the neck, hands, and feet, "in such a
way," says the indignant witness, "that he could neither sleep nor
drive off the mosquitoes." A number of Indians attached to the
expedition, all of whom were Christian converts from the mission
villages, were amusing themselves by burning the fingers of these
unfortunates in the bowls of their pipes, while the sufferers sang
their death songs. La Hontan recognized one of them who, during his
campaign with La Barre, had often feasted him in his wigwam; and the
sight so exasperated the young officer that he could scarcely refrain
from thrashing the tormentors with his walking stick. [Footnote: _La
Hontan_, I. 93-95 (1709).]

Though the prisoners were Iroquois, they were not those against whom
the expedition was directed; nor had they, so far as appears, ever
given the French any cause of complaint. They belonged to two neutral
villages, called Kenté and Ganneious, on the north shore of Lake
Ontario, forming a sort of colony, where the Sulpitians of Montreal
had established a mission. [Footnote: Ganneious or Ganéyout was on an
arm of the lake a little west of the present town of Fredericksburg.
Kenté or Quinte was on Quinte Bay.] They hunted and fished for the
garrison of the fort, and had been on excellent terms with it.
Denonville, however, feared that they would report his movements to
their relations across the lake; but this was not his chief motive for
seizing them. Like La Barre before him, he had received orders from
the court that, as the Iroquois were robust and strong, he should
capture as many of them as possible, and send them to France as galley
slaves. [Footnote: _Le Roy à La Barre_, 21 _Juillet_, 1684; _Le Roy à
Denonville et Champigny_, 30 _Mars_, 1687.] The order, without doubt,
referred to prisoners taken in war; but Denonville, aware that the
hostile Iroquois were not easily caught, resolved to entrap their
unsuspecting relatives.

The intendant Champigny accordingly proceeded to the fort in advance
of the troops, and invited the neighboring Iroquois to a feast. They
came to the number of thirty men and about ninety women and children,
whereupon they were surrounded and captured by the intendant's escort
and the two hundred men of the garrison. The inhabitants of the
village of Ganneious were not present; and one Perré, with a strong
party of Canadians and Christian Indians, went to secure them. He
acquitted himself of his errand with great address, and returned with
eighteen warriors and about sixty women and children. Champigny's
exertions did not end here. Learning that a party of Iroquois were
peaceably fishing on an island in the St. Lawrence, he offered them
also the hospitalities of Fort Frontenac; but they were too wary to be
entrapped. Four or five Iroquois were however caught by the troops on
their way up the river. They were in two or more parties, and they all
had with them their women and children, which was never the case with
Iroquois on the war-path. Hence the assertion of Denonville, that they
came with hostile designs, is very improbable. As for the last six
months he had constantly urged them, by the lips of Lamberville, to
visit him and smoke the pipe of peace, it is not unreasonable to
suppose that these Indian families were on their way to the colony in
consequence of his invitations. Among them were the son and brother of
Big Mouth, who of late had been an advocate of peace; and, in order
not to alienate him, these two were eventually set free. The other
warriors were tied like the rest to stakes at the fort.

The whole number of prisoners thus secured was fifty-one, sustained by
such food as their wives were able to get for them. Of more than a
hundred and fifty women and children captured with them, many died at
the fort, partly from excitement and distress, and partly from a
pestilential disease. The survivors were all baptized, and then
distributed among the mission villages in the colony. The men were
sent to Quebec, where some of them were given up to their Christian
relatives in the missions who had claimed them, and whom it was not
expedient to offend; and the rest, after being baptized, were sent to
France, to share with convicts and Huguenots the horrible slavery of
the royal galleys. [1]

Before reaching Fort Frontenac, Denonville, to his great relief, was
joined by Lamberville, delivered from the peril to which the governor
had exposed him. He owed his life to an act of magnanimity on the part
of the Iroquois, which does them signal honor. One of the prisoners at
Fort Frontenac had contrived to escape, and, leaping sixteen feet to
the ground from the window of a blockhouse, crossed the lake, and gave
the alarm to his countrymen. Apparently, it was from him that the
Onondagas learned that the invitations of Onontio were a snare; that
he had entrapped their relatives, and was about to fall on their
Seneca brethren with all the force of Canada. The Jesuit, whom they
trusted and esteemed, but who had been used as an instrument to
beguile them, was summoned before a council of the chiefs. They were
in a fury at the news; and Lamberville, as much astonished by it as
they, expected instant death, when one of them is said to have
addressed him to the following effect: "We know you too well to
believe that you meant to betray us. We think that you have been
deceived as well as we; and we are not unjust enough to punish you for
the crime of others. But you are not safe here. When once our young
men have sung the warsong, they will listen to nothing but their fury;
and we shall not be able to save you." They gave him guides, and sent
him by secret paths to meet the advancing army. [2]

Again the fields about Fort Frontenac were covered with tents,
camp-sheds, and wigwams. Regulars, militia, and Indians, there were
about two thousand men; and, besides these, eight hundred regulars
just arrived from France had been left at Montreal to protect the
settlers. [Footnote: Denonville. Champigny says 832 regulars, 930
militia, and 300 Indians. This was when the army left Montreal. More
Indians afterwards joined it. Belmont says 1,800 French and Canadians
and about 300 Indians.] Fortune thus far had smiled on the enterprise,
and she now gave Denonville a fresh proof of her favor. On the very
day of his arrival, a canoe came from Niagara with news that a large
body of allies from the west had reached that place three days before,
and were waiting his commands. It was more than he had dared to hope.
In the preceding autumn, he had ordered Tonty, commanding at the
Illinois, and La Durantaye, commanding at Michillimackinac, to muster
as many _coureurs de bois_ and Indians as possible, and join him early
in July at Niagara. The distances were vast, and the difficulties
incalculable. In the eyes of the pious governor, their timely arrival
was a manifest sign of the favor of Heaven. At Fort St. Louis, of the
Illinois, Tonty had mustered sixteen Frenchmen and about two hundred
Indians, whom he led across the country to Detroit; and here he found
Du Lhut, La Forêt, and La Durantaye, with a large body of French and
Indians from the upper lakes. [Footnote: Tonty, _Mémoire_ in Margry,
_Relations Inédites_.] It had been the work of the whole winter to
induce these savages to move. Presents, persuasion, and promises had
not been spared--and while La Durantaye, aided by the Jesuit Engelran,
labored to gain over the tribes of Michillimackinac, the indefatigable
Nicolas Perrot was at work among those of the Mississippi and Lake
Michigan. They were of a race unsteady as aspens and fierce as
wild-cats, full of mutual jealousies, without rulers, and without
laws; for each was a law to himself. It was difficult to persuade
them, and, when persuaded, scarcely possible to keep them so. Perrot,
however, induced some of them to follow him to Michillimackinac, where
many hundreds of Algonquin savages were presently gathered: a perilous
crew, who changed their minds every day, and whose dancing, singing,
and yelping might turn at any moment into war-whoops against each
other or against their hosts, the French. The Hurons showed more
stability; and La Durantaye was reasonably sure that some of them
would follow him to the war, though it was clear that others were bent
on allying themselves with the Senecas and the English. As for the
Pottawatamies, Sacs, Ojibwas, Ottawas, and other Algonquin hordes, no
man could foresee what they would do. [Footnote: The name of Ottawas,
here used specifically, was often employed by the French as a generic
term for the Algonquin tribes of the Great Lakes.] Suddenly a canoe
arrived with news that a party of English traders was approaching. It
will be remembered that two bands of Dutch and English, under
Rooseboom and McGregory, had prepared to set out together for
Michillimackinac, armed with commissions from Dongan. They had rashly
changed their plan, and parted company. Rooseboom took the lead, and
McGregory followed some time after. Their hope was that, on reaching
Michillimackinac, the Indians of the place, attracted by their cheap
goods and their abundant supplies of rum, would declare for them and
drive off the French; and this would probably have happened, but for
the prompt action of La Durantaye. The canoes of Rooseboom, bearing
twenty-nine whites and five Mohawks and Mohicans, were not far
distant, when, amid a prodigious hubbub, the French commander embarked
to meet him with a hundred and twenty _coureurs de bois._ [Footnote:
Attestation of N. Harmentse and others of Rooseboom's party. N. Y.
Col. Docs., III. 436. La Potherie says, three hundred.] Behind them
followed a swarm of Indian canoes, whose occupants scarcely knew which
side to take, but for the most part inclined to the English. Rooseboom
and his men, however, naturally thought that they came to support the
French; and, when La Durantaye bore down upon them with threats of
instant death if they made the least resistance, they surrendered at
once. The captors carried them in triumph to Michillimackinac, and
gave their goods to the delighted Indians.

"It is certain," wrote Denonville; "that, if the English had not been
stopped and pillaged, the Hurons and Ottawas would have revolted and
cut the throats of all our Frenchmen." [Footnote: _Denonville au
Ministre_, 25 _Août_, 1687.] As it was, La Durantaye's exploit
produced a revulsion of feeling, and many of the Indians consented to
follow him. He lost no time in leading them down the lake to join Du
Lhut at Detroit; and, when Tonty arrived, they all paddled for
Niagara. On the way, they met McGregory with a party about equal to
that of Rooseboom. He had with him a considerable number of Ottawa and
Huron prisoners whom the Iroquois had captured, and whom he meant to
return to their countrymen as a means of concluding the long projected
triple alliance between the English, the Iroquois, and the tribes of
the lakes. This bold scheme was now completely crushed. All the
English were captured and carried to Niagara, whence they and their
luckless precursors were sent prisoners to Quebec.

La Durantaye and his companions, with a hundred and eighty _coureurs
de bois_ and four hundred Indians, waited impatiently at Niagara for
orders from the governor. A canoe despatched in haste from Fort
Frontenac soon appeared; and they were directed to repair at once to
the rendezvous at Irondequoit Bay, on the borders of the Seneca
country. [Footnote: The above is drawn from papers in _N. Y. Col.
Docs_., III. 436, IX. 324, 336, 346, 405; Saint-Vallier, _État
Présent_, 92; Denonville, _Journal_; Belmont, _Histoire du Canada_; La
Potherie, II. chap. xvi; La Hontan. I. 96. Colden's account is
confused and incorrect.]

Denonville was already on his way thither. On the fourth of July, he
had embarked at Fort Frontenac with four hundred bateaux and canoes,
crossed the foot of Lake Ontario, and moved westward along the
southern shore. The weather was rough, and six days passed before he
descried the low headlands of Irondequoit Bay. Far off on the
glimmering water, he saw a multitude of canoes advancing to meet him.
It was the flotilla of La Durantaye. Good management and good luck had
so disposed it that the allied bands, concentring from points more
than a thousand miles distant, reached the rendezvous on the same day.
This was not all. The Ottawas of Michillimackinac, who refused to
follow La Durantaye, had changed their minds the next morning,
embarked in a body, paddled up the Georgian Bay of Lake Huron, crossed
to Toronto, and joined the allies at Niagara. White and red,
Denonville now had nearly three thousand men under his command.
[Footnote: _Recueil de ce qui s'est passé en Canada depuis 1682_;
_Captain Duplessis's Plan for the Defence of Canada_, in _N. Y. Col.
Docs_., IX. 447.] All were gathered on the low point of land that
separates Irondequoit Bay from Lake Ontario. "Never," says an
eye-witness, "had Canada seen such a sight; and never, perhaps, will
she see such a sight again. Here was the camp of the regulars from
France, with the general's head-quarters; the camp of the four
battalions of Canadian militia, commanded by the _noblesse_ of the
country; the camp of the Christian Indians; and, farther on, a swarm
of savages of every nation. Their features were different, and so were
their manners, their weapons, their decorations, and their dances.
They sang and whooped and harangued in every accent and tongue. Most
of them wore nothing but horns on their heads, and the tails of beasts
behind their backs. Their faces were painted red or green, with black
or white spots; their ears and noses were hung with ornaments of iron;
and their naked bodies were daubed with figures of various sorts of
animals." [Footnote: The first part of the extract is from Belmont;
the second, from Saint-Vallier.]

These were the allies from the upper lakes. The enemy, meanwhile, had
taken alarm. Just after the army arrived, three Seneca scouts called
from the edge of the woods, and demanded what they meant to do. "To
fight you, you blockheads," answered a Mohawk Christian attached to
the French. A volley of bullets was fired at the scouts; but they
escaped, and carried the news to their villages. [Footnote:
_Information received from several Indians_, in _N. Y. Col. Docs_.,
III. 444.] Many of the best warriors were absent. Those that remained,
four hundred or four hundred and fifty by their own accounts, and
eight hundred by that of the French, mustered in haste; and, though
many of them were mere boys, they sent off the women and children, hid
their most valued possessions, burned their chief town, and prepared
to meet the invaders.

On the twelfth, at three o'clock in the afternoon, Denonville began
his march, leaving four hundred men in a hastily built fort to guard
the bateaux and canoes. Troops, officers, and Indians, all carried
their provisions at their backs. Some of the Christian Mohawks guided
them; but guides were scarcely needed, for a broad Indian trail led
from the bay to the great Seneca town, twenty-two miles southward.
They marched three leagues through the open forests of oak, and
encamped for the night. In the morning, the heat was intense. The men
gasped in the dead and sultry air of the woods, or grew faint in the
pitiless sun, as they waded waist-deep through the rank grass of the
narrow intervales. They passed safely through two dangerous defiles,
and, about two in the afternoon, began to enter a third. Dense forests
covered the hills on either hand. La Durantaye with Tonty and his
cousin Du Lhut led the advance, nor could all Canada have supplied
three men better for the work. Each led his band of _coureurs de
bois_, white Indians, without discipline, and scarcely capable of it,
but brave and accustomed to the woods. On their left were the Iroquois
converts from the missions of Saut St. Louis and the Mountain of
Montreal, fighting under the influence of their ghostly prompters
against their own countrymen. On the right were the pagan Indians from
the west. The woods were full of these painted spectres, grotesquely
horrible in horns and tail; and among them flitted the black robe of
Father Engelran, the Jesuit of Michillimackinac. Nicolas Perrot and
two other bush-ranging Frenchmen were assigned to command them, but in
fact they obeyed no man. These formed the vanguard, eight or nine
hundred in all, under an excellent officer, Callières, governor of
Montreal. Behind came the main body under Denonville, each of the four
battalions of regulars alternating with a battalion of Canadians. Some
of the regulars wore light armor, while the Canadians were in plain
attire of coarse cloth or buckskin. Denonville, oppressed by the heat,
marched in his shirt. "It is a rough life," wrote the marquis, "to
tramp afoot through the woods, carrying one's own provisions in a
haversack, devoured by mosquitoes, and faring no better than a mere
soldier." [Footnote: _Denonville au Ministre_, 8 _Juin_, 1687.] With
him was the Chevalier de Vaudreuil, who had just arrived from France
in command of the eight hundred men left to guard the colony, and who,
eager to take part in the campaign, had pushed forward alone to join
the army. Here, too, were the Canadian seigniors at the head of their
vassals, Berthier, La Valterie, Granville, Longueuil, and many more. A
guard of rangers and Indians brought up the rear.

Scouts thrown out in front ran back with the report that they had
reached the Seneca clearings, and had seen no more dangerous enemy
than three or four women in the cornfields. This was a device of the
Senecas to cheat the French into the belief that the inhabitants were
still in the town. It had the desired effect. The vanguard pushed
rapidly forward, hoping to surprise the place, and ignorant that,
behind the ridge of thick forests on their right, among a tangled
growth of beech-trees in the gorge of a brook, three hundred ambushed
warriors lay biding their time.

Hurrying forward through the forest, they left the main body behind,
and soon reached the end of the defile. The woods were still dense on
their left and front; but on their right lay a great marsh, covered
with alder thickets and rank grass. Suddenly the air was filled with
yells, and a rapid though distant fire was opened from the thickets
and the forest. Scores of painted savages, stark naked, some armed
with swords and some with hatchets, leaped screeching from their
ambuscade, and rushed against the van. Almost at the same moment a
burst of whoops and firing sounded in the defile behind. It was the
ambushed three hundred supporting the onset of their countrymen in
front; but they had made a fatal mistake. Deceived by the numbers of
the vanguard, they supposed it to be the whole army, never suspecting
that Denonville was close behind with sixteen hundred men. It was a
surprise on both sides. So dense was the forest that the advancing
battalions could see neither the enemy nor each other. Appalled by the
din of whoops and firing, redoubled by the echoes of the narrow
valley, the whole army was seized with something like a panic. Some of
the officers, it is said, threw themselves on the ground in their
fright. There were a few moments of intense bewilderment. The various
corps became broken and confused, and moved hither and thither without
knowing why. Denonville behaved with great courage. He ran, sword in
hand, to where the uproar was greatest, ordered the drums to beat the
charge, turned back the militia of Berthier who were trying to escape,
and commanded them and all others whom he met to fire on whatever
looked like an enemy. He was bravely seconded by Callières, La
Valterie, and several other officers. The Christian Iroquois fought
well from the first, leaping from tree to tree, and exchanging shots
and defiance with their heathen countrymen; till the Senecas, seeing
themselves confronted by numbers that seemed endless, abandoned the
field, after heavy loss, carrying with them many of their dead and all
of their wounded. [Footnote: For authorities, see note at the end of
the chapter. The account of Charlevoix is contradicted at several
points by the contemporary writers.] Denonville made no attempt to
pursue. He had learned the dangers of this blind warfare of the woods;
and he feared that the Senecas would waylay him again in the labyrinth
of bushes that lay between him and the town. "Our troops," he says,
"were all so overcome by the extreme heat and the long march that we
were forced to remain where we were till morning. We had the pain of
witnessing the usual cruelties of the Indians, who cut the dead bodies
into quarters, like butchers' meat, to put into their kettles, and
opened most of them while still warm to drink the blood. Our rascally
Ottawas particularly distinguished themselves by these barbarities, as
well as by cowardice; for they made off in the fight. We had five or
six men killed on the spot, and about twenty wounded, among whom was
Father Engelran, who was badly hurt by a gun-shot. Some prisoners who
escaped from the Senecas tell us that they lost forty men killed
outright, twenty-five of whom we saw butchered. One of the escaped
prisoners saw the rest buried, and he saw also more than sixty very
dangerously wounded." [Footnote: _Denonville au Ministre_, 25 _Août_,
1687. In his journal, written afterwards, he says that the Senecas
left twenty-seven dead on the field, and carried off twenty more,
besides upwards of sixty mortally wounded.]

In the morning, the troops advanced in order of battle through a marsh
covered with alders and tall grass, whence they had no sooner emerged
than, says Abbé Belmont, "we began to see the famous Babylon of the
Senecas, where so many crimes have been committed, so much blood
spilled, and so many men burned. It was a village or town of bark, on
the top of a hill. They had burned it a week before. We found nothing
in it but the graveyard and the graves, full of snakes and other
creatures; a great mask, with teeth and eyes of brass, and a bearskin
drawn over it, with which they performed their conjurations."
[Footnote: Belmont. A few words are added from Saint-Vallier.] The
fire had also spared a number of huge receptacles of bark, still
filled with the last season's corn; while the fields around were
covered with the growing crop, ripening in the July sun. There were
hogs, too, in great number; for the Iroquois did not share the
antipathy with which Indians are apt to regard that unsavory animal,
and from which certain philosophers have argued their descent from the

The soldiers killed the hogs, burned the old corn, and hacked down the
new with their swords. Next they advanced to an abandoned Seneca fort
on a hill half a league distant, and burned it, with all that it
contained. Ten days were passed in the work of havoc. Three
neighboring villages were levelled, and all their fields laid waste.
The amount of corn destroyed was prodigious. Denonville reckons it at
the absurdly exaggerated amount of twelve hundred thousand bushels.

The Senecas, laden with such of their possessions as they could carry
off, had fled to their confederates in the east; and Denonville did
not venture to pursue them. His men, feasting without stint on green
corn and fresh pork, were sickening rapidly, and his Indian allies
were deserting him. "It is a miserable business," he wrote, "to
command savages, who, as soon as they have knocked an enemy in the
head, ask for nothing but to go home and carry with them the scalp,
which they take off like a skull-cap. You cannot believe what trouble
I had to keep them till the corn was cut."

On the twenty-fourth, he withdrew, with all his army, to the fortified
post at Irondequoit Bay, whence he proceeded to Niagara, in order to
accomplish his favorite purpose of building a fort there. The troops
were set at work, and a stockade was planted on the point of land at
the eastern angle between the River Niagara and Lake Ontario, the site
of the ruined fort built by La Salle nine years before. [Footnote:
_Procès-verbal de la Prise de Possession de Niagara_, 31 _Juillet_,
1687. There are curious errors of date in this document regarding the
proceedings of La Salle.] Here he left a hundred men, under the
Chevalier de Troyes, and, embarking with the rest of the army,
descended to Montreal.

The campaign was but half a success. Joined to the capture of the
English traders on the lakes, it had, indeed, prevented the defection
of the western Indians, and in some slight measure restored their
respect for the French, of whom, nevertheless, one of them was heard
to say that they were good for nothing but to make war on hogs and
corn. As for the Senecas, they were more enraged than hurt. They could
rebuild their bark villages in a few weeks; and, though they had lost
their harvest, their confederates would not let them starve.
[Footnote: The statement of some later writers, that many of the
Senecas died during the following winter in consequence of the loss of
their corn, is extremely doubtful. Captain Duplessis, in his _Plan for
the Defence of Canada_, 1690, declares that not one of them perished
of hunger.] A converted Iroquois had told the governor before his
departure that, if he overset a wasps' nest, he must crush the wasps,
or they would sting him. Denonville left the wasps alive.

       *       *       *       *       *

this matter are the journal of Denonville, of which there is a
translation in the _Colonial Documents of New York_, IX.; the letters
of Denonville to the Minister; the _État Présent de l'Église de la
Colonie Française_, by Bishop Saint-Vallier; the _Recueil de ce qui
s'est passé en Canada au Sujet de la Guerre, tant des Anglais que des
Iroquois, depuis l'année 1682_; and the excellent account by Abbé
Belmont in his chronicle called _Histoire du Canada_. To these may be
added La Hontan, Tonty, Nicolas Perrot, La Potherie, and the Senecas
examined before the authorities of Albany, whose statements are
printed in the _Colonial Documents_, III. These are the original
sources. Charlevoix drew his account from a portion of them. It is
inexact, and needs the correction of his learned annotator, Mr. Shea.
Colden, Smith, and other English writers follow La Hontan.

The researches of Mr. O. H. Marshall, of Buffalo, have left no
reasonable doubt as to the scene of the battle, and the site of the
neighboring town. The Seneca ambuscade was on the marsh and the hills
immediately north and west of the present village of Victor; and their
chief town, called Gannagaro by Denonville, was on the top of
Boughton's Hill, about a mile and a quarter distant. Immense
quantities of Indian remains were formerly found here, and many are
found to this day. Charred corn has been turned up in abundance by the
plough, showing that the place was destroyed by fire. The remains of
the fort burned by the French are still plainly visible on a hill a
mile and a quarter from the ancient town. A plan of it will be found
in Squier's _Aboriginal Monuments of New York_. The site of the three
other Seneca towns destroyed by Denonville, and called Totiakton,
Gannondata, and Gannongarae, can also be identified. See Marshall, in
_Collections N. Y. Hist. Soc., 2d Series_, II. Indian traditions of
historical events are usually almost worthless; but the old Seneca
chief Dyunehogawah, or "John Blacksmith," who was living a few years
ago at the Tonawanda reservation, recounted to Mr. Marshall with
remarkable accuracy the story of the battle as handed down from his
ancestors who lived at Gannagaro, close to the scene of action.
Gannagaro was the Canagorah of Wentworth Greenalgh's Journal. The old
Seneca, on being shown a map of the locality, placed his finger on the
spot where the fight took place, and which Avas long known to the
Senecas by the name of Dyagodiyu, or "The Place of a Battle." It
answers in the most perfect manner to the French contemporary

[1] The authorities for the above are Denonville, Champigny, Abbé
Belmont, Bishop Saint-Vallier, and the author of _Recueil de ce qui
s'est passé en Canada au Sujet de la Guerre, etc., depuis l'année_

Belmont, who accompanied the expedition, speaks of the affair with
indignation, which was shared by many French officers. The bishop, on
the other hand, mentions the success of the stratagem as a reward
accorded by Heaven to the piety of Denonville. _État Présent de
l'Église_, 91, 92 (reprint, 1856).

Denonville's account, which is sufficiently explicit, is contained in
the long journal of the expedition which he sent to the court, and in
several letters to the minister. Both Belmont and the author of the
_Recueil_ speak of the prisoners as having been "pris par l'appât d'un

Mr. Shea, usually so exact, has been led into some error by
confounding the different acts of this affair. By Denonville's
official journal, it appears that, on the 19th June, Perré, by his
order, captured several Indians on the St. Lawrence; that, on the 25th
June, the governor, then at Rapide Plat on his way up the river,
received a letter from Champigny, informing him that he had seized all
the Iroquois near Fort Frontenac; and that, on the 3d July, Perré,
whom Denonville had sent several days before to attack Ganneious,
arrived with his prisoners.

[2] I have ventured to give this story on the sole authority of
Charlevoix, for the contemporary writers are silent concerning it. Mr.
Shea thinks that it involves a contradiction of date; but this is
entirely due to confounding the capture of prisoners by Perré at
Ganneious on July 3d with the capture by Champigny at Fort Frontenac
about June 20th. Lamberville reached Denonville's camp, one day's
journey from the fort, on the evening of the 29th. (_Journal of
Denonville_.) This would give four and a half days for news of the
treachery to reach Onondaga, and four and a half days for the Jesuit
to rejoin his countrymen.

Charlevoix, with his usual carelessness, says that the Jesuit Milet
had also been used to lure the Iroquois into the snare, and that he
was soon after captured by the Oneidas, and delivered by an Indian
matron. Milet's captivity did not take place till 1689-90.





When Dongan heard that the French had invaded the Senecas, seized
English traders on the lakes, and built a fort at Niagara, his wrath
was kindled anew. He sent to the Iroquois, and summoned them to meet
him at Albany; told the assembled chiefs that the late calamity had
fallen upon them because they had held councils with the French
without asking his leave; forbade them to do so again, and informed
them that, as subjects of King James, they must make no treaty, except
by the consent of his representative, the governor of New York. He
declared that the Ottawas and other remote tribes were also British
subjects; that the Iroquois should unite with them, to expel the
French from the west; and that all alike should bring down their
beaver skins to the English at Albany. Moreover, he enjoined them to
receive no more French Jesuits into their towns, and to call home
their countrymen whom these fathers had converted and enticed to
Canada. "Obey my commands," added the governor, "for that is the only
way to eat well and sleep well, without fear or disturbance." The
Iroquois, who wanted his help, seemed to assent to all he said. "We
will fight the French," exclaimed their orator, "as long as we have a
man left." [Footnote: _Dongan's Propositions to the Five Nations;
Answer of the Five Nations, N. Y. Col. Docs_., III. 438, 441.]

At the same time, Dongan wrote to Denonville demanding the immediate
surrender of the Dutch and English captured on the lakes. Denonville
angrily replied that he would keep the prisoners, since Dongan had
broken the treaty of neutrality by "giving aid and comfort to the
savages." The English governor, in return, upbraided his correspondent
for invading British territory. "I will endevour to protect his
Majesty's subjects here from your unjust invasions, till I hear from
the King, my Master, who is the greatest and most glorious Monarch
that ever set on a Throne, and would do as much to propagate the
Christian faith as any prince that lives. He did not send me here to
suffer you to give laws to his subjects. I hope, notwithstanding all
your trained souldiers and greate Officers come from Europe, that our
masters at home will suffer us to do ourselves justice on you for the
injuries and spoyle you have committed on us; and I assure you, Sir,
if my Master gives leave, I will be as soon at Quebeck as you shall be
att Albany. What you alleage concerning my assisting the Sinnakees
(_Senecas_) with arms and ammunition to warr against you was never
given by mee untill the sixt of August last, when understanding of
your unjust proceedings in invading the King my Master's territorys in
a hostill manner, I then gave them powder, lead, and armes, and united
the five nations together to defend that part of our King's dominions
from your jnjurious invasion. And as for offering them men, in that
you doe me wrong, our men being all buisy then at their harvest, and I
leave itt to your judgment whether there was any occasion when only
foure hundred of them engaged with your whole army. I advise you to
send home all the Christian and Indian prisoners the King of England's
subjects you unjustly do deteine. This is what I have thought fitt to
answer to your reflecting and provoking letter." [Footnote: _Dongan to
Denonville, 9 Sept._, 1687, in _N. Y. Col. Docs.,_ III. 472.]

As for the French claims to the Iroquois country and the upper lakes,
he turned them to ridicule. They were founded, in part, on the
missions established there by the Jesuits. "The King of China,"
observes Dongan, "never goes anywhere without two Jessuits with him. I
wonder you make not the like pretence to that Kingdome." He speaks
with equal irony of the claim based on discovery: "Pardon me if I say
itt is a mistake, except you will affirme that a few loose fellowes
rambling amongst Indians to keep themselves from starving gives the
French a right to the Countrey." And of the claim based on
geographical divisions: "Your reason is that some rivers or rivoletts
of this country run out into the great river of Canada. O just God!
what new, farr-fetched, and unheard-of pretence is this for a title
to a country. The French King may have as good a pretence to all those
Countrys that drink clarett and Brandy." _Dongan's Fourth Paper to the
French Agents, N. Y. Col. Docs_., III. 528. In spite of his sarcasms,
it is clear that the claim of prior discovery and occupation was on
the side of the French.

The dispute now assumed a new phase. James II. at length consented to
own the Iroquois as his subjects, ordering Dongan to protect them, and
repel the French by force of arms, should they attack them again.
[Footnote: _Warrant, authorizing Governor Dongan to protect the Five
Nations_, 10 _Nov_., 1687, _N. Y. Col. Docs_., III. 503.] At the same
time, conferences were opened at London between the French ambassador
and the English commissioners appointed to settle the questions at
issue. Both disputants claimed the Iroquois as subjects, and the
contest wore an aspect more serious than before.

The royal declaration was a great relief to Dongan. Thus far he had
acted at his own risk; now he was sustained by the orders of his king.
He instantly assumed a warlike attitude; and, in the next spring,
wrote to the Earl of Sunderland that he had been at Albany all winter,
with four hundred infantry, fifty horsemen, and eight hundred Indians.
This was not without cause, for a report had come from Canada that the
French were about to march on Albany to destroy it. "And now, my
Lord," continues Dongan, "we must build forts in ye countrey upon ye
great Lakes, as ye French doe, otherwise we lose ye Countrey, ye Bever
trade, and our Indians." [Footnote: _Dongan to Sunderland, Feb.,_
1688, _N.Y. Col. Docs.,_ III. 510.] Denonville, meanwhile, had begun
to yield, and promised to send back McGregory and the men captured
with him. [Footnote: _Denonville à Dongan_, 2 _Oct._, 1687. McGregory
soon arrived, and Dongan sent him back to Canada as an emissary with a
civil message to Denonville. _Dongan to Denonville,_ 10 _Nov._, 1687.]
Dongan, not satisfied, insisted on payment for all the captured
merchandise, and on the immediate demolition of Fort Niagara. He added
another demand, which must have been singularly galling to his rival.
It was to the effect that the Iroquois prisoners seized at Fort
Frontenac, and sent to the galleys in France, should be surrendered as
British subjects to the English ambassador at Paris or the secretary
of state in London. [Footnote: _Dongan to Denonville,_ 31 _Oct._,
1687; _Dongan's First Demand of the French Agents, N. Y. Col. Docs.,_
III. 515, 520.]

Denonville was sorely perplexed. He was hard pressed, and eager for
peace with the Iroquois at any price; but Dongan was using every means
to prevent their treating of peace with the French governor until he
had complied with all the English demands. In this extremity,
Denonville sent Father Vaillant to Albany, in the hope of bringing his
intractable rival to conditions less humiliating. The Jesuit played
his part with ability, and proved more than a match for his adversary
in dialectics; but Dongan held fast to all his demands. Vaillant tried
to temporize, and asked for a truce, with a view to a final settlement
by reference to the two kings. [Footnote: The papers of this
discussion will be found in _N. Y. Col. Docs_., III.] Dongan referred
the question to a meeting of Iroquois chiefs, who declared in reply
that they would make neither peace nor truce till Fort Niagara was
demolished and all the prisoners restored. Dongan, well pleased,
commended their spirit, and assured them that King James, "who is the
greatest man the sunn shines uppon, and never told a ly in his life,
has given you his Royall word to protect you." [Footnote: _Dongan's
Reply to the Five Nations, Ibid_., III. 535.] Vaillant returned from
his bootless errand; and a stormy correspondence followed between the
two governors. Dongan renewed his demands, then protested his wish for
peace, extolled King James for his pious zeal, and declared that he
was sending over missionaries of his own to convert the Iroquois.
[Footnote: _Dongan to Denonville_, 17 _Feb_., 1688, _Ibid_., III.
519.] What Denonville wanted was not their conversion by Englishmen,
but their conversion by Frenchmen, and the presence in their towns of
those most useful political agents, the Jesuits. [Footnote: "II y a
une nécessité indispensable pour les intérais de la Religion et de la
Colonie de restablir les missionaires Jesuites dans tous les villages
Iroquois: si vous ne trouvés moyen de faire retourner ces Pères dans
leurs anciennes missions, vous devés en attendre beaucoup de malheur
pour cette Colonie; car je dois vous dire que jusqu'icy c'est leur
habilité qui a soutenu les affaires du pays par leur sçavoir-faire à
gouverner les esprits de ces barbares, qui ne sont Sauvages que de
nom." _Denonville, Mémoire adressé au Ministre_, 9 _Nov_., 1688.] He
replied angrily, charging Dongan with preventing the conversion of the
Iroquois by driving off the French missionaries, and accusing him,
farther, of instigating the tribes of New York to attack Canada.
[Footnote: _Denonville à Dongan_, 24 _Avril_, 1688; _Ibid._, 12 _Mai_,
1688. Whether the charge is true is questionable. Dongan had just
written that, if the Iroquois did harm to the French, he was ordered
to offer satisfaction, and had already done so.] Suddenly there was a
change in the temper of his letters. He wrote to his rival in terms of
studied civility; declared that he wished he could meet him, and
consult with him on the best means of advancing the cause of true
religion; begged that he would not refuse him his friendship; and
thanked him in warm terms for befriending some French prisoners whom
he had saved from the Iroquois, and treated with great kindness.
[Footnote: _Denonville à Dongan,_ 18 _Juin_, 1688; _Ibid._, 5
_Juillet_, 1688; _Ibid._, 20 _Aug._, 1088. "Je n'ai donc qu'à vous
asseurer que toute la Colonie a une très-parfaite reconnoissance des
bons offices que ces pauvres malheureux ont reçu de vous et de vos

This change was due to despatches from Versailles, in which Denonville
was informed that the matters in dispute would soon be amicably
settled by the commissioners; that he was to keep on good terms with
the English commanders, and, what pleased him still more, that the
king of England was about to recall Dongan. [Footnote: _Mémoire pour
servir d'Instruction au Sr. Marquis de Denonville_, 8 _Mars_, 1688;
_Le Roy à Denonville, même date_; _Seignelay à Denonville, même date._
Louis XIV. had demanded Dongan's recall. How far this had influenced
the action of James II. it is difficult to say.] In fact, James II.
had resolved on remodelling his American colonies. New York, New
Jersey, and New England had been formed into one government under Sir
Edmund Andros; and Dongan was summoned home, where a regiment was
given him, with the rank of major-general of artillery. Denonville
says that, in his efforts to extend English trade to the Great Lakes
and the Mississippi, his late rival had been influenced by motives of
personal gain. Be this as it may, he was a bold and vigorous defender
of the claims of the British crown.

Sir Edmund Andros now reigned over New York; and, by the terms of his
commission, his rule stretched westward to the Pacific. The usual
official courtesies passed between him and Denonville; but Andros
renewed all the demands of his predecessor, claimed the Iroquois as
subjects, and forbade the French to attack them. [Footnote: _Andros to
Denonville_, 21 _Aug._, 1688; _Ibid._, 29 _Sept._, 1688.] The new
governor was worse than the old. Denonville wrote to the minister: "I
send you copies of his letters, by which you will see that the spirit
of Dongan has entered into the heart of his successor, who may be less
passionate and less interested, but who is, to say the least, quite as
much opposed to us, and perhaps more dangerous by his suppleness and
smoothness than the other was by his violence. What he has just done
among the Iroquois, whom he pretends to be under his government, and
whom he prevents from coming to meet me, is a certain proof that
neither he nor the other English governors, nor their people, will
refrain from doing this colony all the harm they can." [Footnote:
_Mémoire de l'Estat Présent des Affaires de ce Pays depuis le 10me
Aoust, 1688, jusq'au dernier Octobre de la mesme année_. He declares
that the English are always "itching for the western trade," that
their favorite plan is to establish a post on the Ohio, and that they
have made the attempt three times already.]

While these things were passing, the state of Canada was deplorable,
and the position of its governor as mortifying as it was painful. He
thought with good reason that the maintenance of the new fort at
Niagara was of great importance to the colony, and he had repeatedly
refused the demands of Dongan and the Iroquois for its demolition. But
a power greater than sachems and governors presently intervened. The
provisions left at Niagara, though abundant, were atrociously bad.
Scurvy and other malignant diseases soon broke out among the soldiers.
The Senecas prowled about the place, and no man dared venture out for
hunting, fishing, or firewood. [Footnote: Denonville, _Mémoire du_ 10
_Aoust_, 1688.] The fort was first a prison, then a hospital, then a
charnel-house, till before spring the garrison of a hundred men was
reduced to ten or twelve. In this condition, they were found towards
the end of April by a large war-party of friendly Miamis, who entered
the place and held it till a French detachment at length arrived for
its relief. [Footnote: _Recueil de ce qui s'est passé en Canada depuis
l'année_ 1682. The writer was an officer of the detachment, and
describes what he saw. Compare La Potherie, II. 210; and La Hontan, I.
131 (1709).] The garrison of Fort Frontenac had suffered from the same
causes, though not to the same degree. Denonville feared that he
should be forced to abandon them both. The way was so long and so
dangerous, and the governor had grown of late so cautious, that he
dreaded the risk of maintaining such remote communications. On second
thought, he resolved to keep Frontenac and sacrifice Niagara. He
promised Dongan that he would demolish it, and he kept his word.
[Footnote: _Denonville à Dongan_, 20 _Aoust_, 1688; _Procès-verbal of
the Condition of Fort Niagara_, 1688; _N. Y. Col. Docs._, IX. 380. The
palisades were torn down by Denonville's order on the 15th of
September. The rude dwellings and storehouses which they enclosed,
together with a large wooden cross, were left standing. The commandant
De Troyes had died, and, Captain Desbergères had been sent to succeed

He was forced to another and a deeper humiliation. At the imperious
demand of Dongan and the Iroquois, he begged the king to send back the
prisoners entrapped at Fort Frontenac, and he wrote to the minister:
"Be pleased, Monseigneur, to remember that I had the honor to tell you
that, in order to attain the peace necessary to the country, I was
obliged to promise that I would beg you to send back to us the
prisoners I sent you last year. I know you gave orders that they
should be well treated, but I am informed that, though they were well
enough treated at first, your orders were not afterwards executed with
the same fidelity. If ill treatment has caused them all to die,--for
they are people who easily fall into dejection, and who die of
it,--and if none of them come back, I do not know at all whether we
can persuade these barbarians not to attack us again." [Footnote:
Denonville, _Mémoire de_ 10 _Aoust_, 1688.]

What had brought the marquis to this pass? Famine, destitution,
disease, and the Iroquois were making Canada their prey. The fur trade
had been stopped for two years; and the people, bereft of their only
means of subsistence, could contribute nothing to their own defence.
Above Three Rivers, the whole population was imprisoned in stockade
forts hastily built in every seigniory. [Footnote: In the Dépot des
Cartes de la Marine, there is a contemporary manuscript map, on which
all these forts are laid down.] Here they were safe, provided that
they never ventured out; but their fields were left untilled, and the
governor was already compelled to feed many of them at the expense of
the king. The Iroquois roamed among the deserted settlements or
prowled like lynxes about the forts, waylaying convoys and killing or
capturing stragglers. Their war-parties were usually small; but their
movements were so mysterious and their attacks so sudden, that they
spread a universal panic through the upper half of the colony. They
were the wasps which Denonville had failed to kill. "We should
succumb," wrote the distressed governor, "if our cause were not the
cause of God. Your Majesty's zeal for religion, and the great things
you have done for the destruction of heresy, encourage me to hope that
you will be the bulwark of the Faith in the new world as you are in
the old. I cannot give you a truer idea of the war we have to wage
with the Iroquois than by comparing them to a great number of wolves
or other ferocious beasts, issuing out of a vast forest to ravage the
neighboring settlements. The people gather to hunt them down; but
nobody can find their lair, for they are always in motion. An abler
man than I would be greatly at a loss to manage the affairs of this
country. It is for the interest of the colony to have peace at any
cost whatever. For the glory of the king and the good of religion, we
should be glad to have it an advantageous one; and so it would have
been, but for the malice of the English and the protection they have
given our enemies." [Footnote: _Denonville au Roy_, 1688; _Ibid._,
_Mémoire du_ 10 _Aoust_, 1688; _Ibid._, _Mémoire du_ 9 _Nov._, 1688.]

And yet he had, one would think, a reasonable force at his disposal.
His thirty-two companies of regulars were reduced by this time to
about fourteen hundred men, but he had also three or four hundred
Indian converts, besides the militia of the colony, of whom he had
stationed a large body under Vaudreuil at the head of the Island of
Montreal. All told, they were several times more numerous than the
agile warriors who held the colony in terror. He asked for eight
hundred more regulars. The king sent him three hundred. Affairs grew
worse, and he grew desperate. Rightly judging that the best means of
defence was to take the offensive, he conceived the plan of a double
attack on the Iroquois, one army to assail the Onondagas and Cayugas,
another the Mohawks and Oneidas. [Footnote: _Plan for the Termination
of the Iroquois War_, _N. Y. Col. Docs._, IX. 375.] Since to reach the
Mohawks as he proposed, by the way of Lake Champlain, he must pass
through territory indisputably British, the attempt would be a
flagrant violation of the treaty of neutrality. Nevertheless, he
implored the king to send him four thousand soldiers to accomplish it.
[Footnote: Denonville, _Mémoire du_ 8 _Août_, 1688.] His fast friend,
the bishop, warmly seconded his appeal. "The glory of God is
involved," wrote the head of the church, "for the Iroquois are the
only tribe who oppose the progress of the gospel. The glory of the
king is involved, for they are the only tribe who refuse to recognize
his grandeur and his might. They hold the French in the deepest
contempt; and, unless they are completely humbled within two years,
his Majesty will have no colony left in Canada." [Footnote:
Saint-Vallier, _Mémoire sur les Affaires du Canada pour Monseigneur le
Marquis de Seignelay_.] And the prelate proceeds to tell the minister
how, in his opinion, the war ought to be conducted. The appeal was
vain. "His Majesty agrees with you," wrote Seignelay, "that three or
four thousand men would be the best means of making peace, but he
cannot spare them now. If the enemy breaks out again, raise the
inhabitants, and fight as well as you can till his Majesty is prepared
to send you troops." [Footnote: _Mémoire du Ministre adressé à
Denonville_, 1 _Mai_, 1680.]

A hope had dawned on the governor. He had been more active of late in
negotiating than in fighting, and his diplomacy had prospered more
than his arms. It may be remembered that some of the Iroquois
entrapped at Fort Frontenac had been given to their Christian
relatives in the mission villages. Here they had since remained.
Denonville thought that he might use them as messengers to their
heathen countrymen, and he sent one or more of them to Onondaga with
gifts and overtures of peace. That shrewd old politician, Big Mouth,
was still strong in influence at the Iroquois capital, and his name
was great to the farthest bounds of the confederacy. He knew by
personal experience the advantages of a neutral position between the
rival European powers, from both of whom he received gifts and
attentions; and he saw that what was good for him was good for the
confederacy, since, if it gave itself to neither party, both would
court its alliance. In his opinion, it had now leaned long enough
towards the English; and a change of attitude had become expedient.
Therefore, as Denonville promised the return of the prisoners, and was
plainly ready to make other concessions, Big Mouth, setting at naught
the prohibitions of Andros, consented to a conference with the French.
He set out at his leisure for Montreal, with six Onondaga, Cayuga, and
Oneida chiefs; and, as no diplomatist ever understood better the
advantage of negotiating at the head of an imposing force, a body of
Iroquois warriors, to the number, it is said, of twelve hundred, set
out before him, and silently took path to Canada.

The ambassadors paddled across the lake and presented themselves
before the commandant of Fort Frontenac, who received them with
distinction, and ordered Lieutenant Perelle to escort them to
Montreal. Scarcely had the officer conducted his august charge five
leagues on their way, when, to his amazement, he found himself in the
midst of six hundred Iroquois warriors, who amused themselves for a
time with his terror, and then accompanied him as far as Lake St.
Francis, where he found another body of savages nearly equal in
number. Here the warriors halted, and the ambassadors with their
escort gravely pursued their way to meet Denonville at Montreal.
[Footnote: _Relation des Évenements de la Guerre_, 30 _Oct_., 1688.]

Big Mouth spoke haughtily, like a man who knew his power. He told the
governor that he and his people were subjects neither of the French
nor of the English; that they wished to be friends of both; that they
held their country of the Great Spirit; and that they had never been
conquered in war. He declared that the Iroquois knew the weakness of
the French, and could easily exterminate them; that they had formed a
plan of burning all the houses and barns of Canada, killing the
cattle, setting fire to the ripe grain, and then, when the people were
starving, attacking the forts; but that he, Big Mouth, had prevented
its execution. He concluded by saying that he was allowed but four
days to bring back the governor's reply; and that, if he were kept
waiting longer, he would not answer for what might happen. [Footnote:
_Declaration of the Iroquois in presence of M. de Denonville, N. Y.
Col. Docs._, IX. 384; _Relation des Evénements de la Guerre_, 30
_Oct_., 1688; Belmont, _Histoire du Canada_.] Though it appeared by
some expressions in his speech that he was ready to make peace only
with the French, leaving the Iroquois free to attack the Indian allies
of the colony, and though, while the ambassadors were at Montreal,
their warriors on the river above actually killed several of the
Indian converts, Denonville felt himself compelled to pretend
ignorance of the outrage. [Footnote: _Callières à Seignelay, Jan._,
1689.] A declaration of neutrality was drawn up, and Big Mouth affixed
to it the figures of sundry birds and beasts as the signatures of
himself and his fellow-chiefs. [Footnote: See the signatures in _N. Y.
Col. Docs._, IX. 385, 386.] He promised, too, that within a certain
time deputies from the whole confederacy should come to Montreal and
conclude a general peace.

The time arrived, and they did not appear. It became known, however,
that a number of chiefs were coming from Onondaga to explain the
delay, and to promise that the deputies should soon follow. The chiefs
in fact were on their way. They reached La Famine, the scene of La
Barre's meeting with Big Mouth; but here an unexpected incident
arrested them, and completely changed the aspect of affairs. Among the
Hurons of Michillimackinac there was a chief of high renown named
Kondiaronk, or the Rat. He was in the prime of life, a redoubted
warrior, and a sage counsellor. The French seem to have admired him
greatly. "He is a gallant man," says La Hontan, "if ever there was
one;" while Charlevoix declares that he was the ablest Indian the
French ever knew in America, and that he had nothing of the savage but
the name and the dress. In spite of the father's eulogy, the moral
condition of the Rat savored strongly of the wigwam. He had given
Denonville great trouble by his constant intrigues with the Iroquois,
with whom he had once made a plot for the massacre of his neighbors,
the Ottawas, under cover of a pretended treaty. [Footnote: Nicolas
Perrot, 143.] The French had spared no pains to gain him; and he had
at length been induced to declare for them, under a pledge from the
governor that the war should never cease till the Iroquois were
destroyed. During the summer, he raised a party of forty warriors, and
came down the lakes in quest of Iroquois scalps. [Footnote:
_Denonville à Seignelay_, 9 _Nov._, 1688. La Hontan saw the party set
out, and says that there were about a hundred of them.] On the way, he
stopped at Fort Frontenac to hear the news, when, to his amazement,
the commandant told him that deputies from Onondaga were coming in a
few days to conclude peace, and that he had better go home at once.

"It is well," replied the Rat.

He knew that for the Hurons it was not well. He and his tribe stood
fully committed to the war, and for them peace between the French and
the Iroquois would be a signal of destruction, since Denonville could
not or would not protect his allies. The Rat paddled off with his
warriors. He had secretly learned the route of the expected deputies;
and he shaped his course, not, as he had pretended, for
Michillimackinac, but for La Famine, where he knew that they would
land. Having reached his destination, he watched and waited four or
five days, till canoes at length appeared, approaching from the
direction of Onondaga. On this, the Rat and his friends hid themselves
in the bushes.

The new comers were the messengers sent as precursors of the embassy.
At their head was a famous personage named Decanisora, or
Tegannisorens, with whom were three other chiefs, and, it seems, a
number of warriors. They had scarcely landed when the ambushed Hurons
gave them a volley of bullets, killed one of the chiefs, wounded all
the rest, and then, rushing upon them, seized the whole party except a
warrior who escaped with a broken arm. Having secured his prisoners,
the Rat told them that he had acted on the suggestion of Denonville,
who had informed him that an Iroquois war-party was to pass that way.
The astonished captives protested that they were envoys of peace. The
Rat put on a look of amazement, then of horror and fury, and presently
burst into invectives against Denonville for having made him the
instrument of such atrocious perfidy. "Go, my brothers," he exclaimed,
"go home to your people. Though there is war between us, I give you
your liberty. Onontio has made me do so black a deed that I shall
never be happy again till your five tribes take a just vengeance upon
him." After giving them guns, powder, and ball, he sent them on their
way, well pleased with him and filled with rage against the governor.

In accordance with Indian usage, he, however, kept one of them to be
adopted, as he declared, in place of one of his followers whom he had
lost in the skirmish; then, recrossing the lake, he went alone to Fort
Frontenac, and, as he left the gate to rejoin his party, he said
coolly, "I have killed the peace: we shall see how the governor will
get out of this business." [Footnote: "Il dit, J'ai tué la paix."
Belmont, _Histoire du Canada_. "Le Rat passa ensuite seul à Catarakouy
(_Fort Frontenac_) sans vouloir dire le tour qu'il avoit fait, dit
seulement estant hors de la porte, en s'en allant, Nous verrons comme
le gouverneur se tirera d'affaire." Denonville.] Then, without loss of
time, he repaired to Michillimackinac, and gave his Iroquois prisoner
to the officer in command. No news of the intended peace had yet
reached that distant outpost; and, though the unfortunate Iroquois
told the story of his mission and his capture, the Rat declared that
it was a crazy invention inspired by the fear of death, and the
prisoner was immediately shot by a file of soldiers. The Rat now sent
for an old Iroquois who had long been a prisoner at the Huron village,
telling him with a mournful air that he was free to return to his
people, and recount the cruelty of the French, who, had put their
countryman to death. The liberated Iroquois faithfully acquitted
himself of his mission. [1]

One incident seemed for a moment likely to rob the intriguer of the
fruits of his ingenuity. The Iroquois who had escaped in the skirmish
contrived to reach Fort Frontenac some time after the last visit of
the Rat. He told what had happened; and, after being treated with the
utmost attention, he was sent to Onondaga, charged with explanations
and regrets. The Iroquois dignitaries seemed satisfied, and Denonville
wrote to the minister that there was still good hope of peace. He
little knew his enemy. They could dissemble and wait; but they neither
believed the governor nor forgave him. His supposed treachery at La
Famine, and his real treachery at Fort Frontenac, filled them with a
patient but unextinguishable rage. They sent him word that they were
ready to renew the negotiation; then they sent again, to say that
Andros forbade them. Without doubt they used his prohibition as a
pretext. Months passed, and Denonville remained in suspense. He did
not trust his Indian allies, nor did they trust him. Like the Rat and
his Hurons, they dreaded the conclusion of peace, and wished the war
to continue, that the French might bear the brunt of it, and stand
between them and the wrath of the Iroquois. [Footnote: _Denonville au
Ministre_, 9 _Nov_., 1688.]

In the direction of the Iroquois, there was a long and ominous
silence. It was broken at last by the crash of a thunderbolt. On the
night between the fourth and fifth of August, a violent hail-storm
burst over Lake St. Louis, an expansion of the St. Lawrence a little
above Montreal. Concealed by the tempest and the darkness, fifteen
hundred warriors landed at La Chine, and silently posted themselves
about the houses of the sleeping settlers, then screeched the
war-whoop, and began the most frightful massacre in Canadian history.
The houses were burned, and men, women, and children indiscriminately
butchered. In the neighborhood were three stockade forts, called Rémy,
Roland, and La Présentation; and they all had garrisons. There was
also an encampment of two hundred regulars about three miles distant,
under an officer named Subercase, then absent at Montreal on a visit
to Denonville, who had lately arrived with his wife and family. At
four o'clock in the morning, the troops in this encampment heard a
cannon-shot from one of the forts. They were at once ordered under
arms. Soon after, they saw a man running towards them, just escaped
from the butchery. He told his story, and passed on with the news to
Montreal, six miles distant. Then several fugitives appeared, chased
by a band of Iroquois, who gave over the pursuit at sight of the
soldiers, but pillaged several houses before their eyes. The day was
well advanced before Subercase arrived. He ordered the troops to
march. About a hundred armed inhabitants had joined them, and they
moved together towards La Chine. Here they found the houses still
burning, and the bodies of their inmates strewn among them or hanging
from the stakes where they had been tortured. They learned from a
French surgeon, escaped from the enemy, that the Iroquois were all
encamped a mile and a half farther on, behind a tract of forest.
Subercase, whose force had been strengthened by troops from the forts,
resolved to attack them; and, had he been allowed to do so, he would
probably have punished them severely, for most of them were helplessly
drunk with brandy taken from the houses of the traders. Sword in hand,
at the head of his men, the daring officer entered the forest; but, at
that moment, a voice from the rear commanded a halt. It was that of
the Chevalier de Vaudreuil, just come from Montreal, with positive
orders from Denonville to run no risks and stand solely on the
defensive. Subercase was furious. High words passed between him and
Vaudreuil, but he was forced to obey.

The troops were led back to Fort Roland, where about five hundred
regulars and militia were now collected under command of Vaudreuil. On
the next day, eighty men from Fort Rémy attempted to join them; but
the Iroquois had slept off the effect of their orgies, and were again
on the alert. The unfortunate detachment was set upon by a host of
savages, and cut to pieces in full sight of Fort Roland. All were
killed or captured, except Le Moyne de Longueuil, and a few others,
who escaped within the gate of Fort Rémy. [Footnote: _Recueil de ce
qui s'est passé en Canada depuis l'année_ 1682; _Observations on the
State of Affairs in Canada_, 1689, _N. Y. Col. Docs_., IX. 431;
Belmont, _Histoire du Canada_; _Frontenac au Ministre_, 15 _Nov_.,
1689. This detachment was commanded by Lieutenant de la Rabeyre, and
consisted of fifty French and thirty Indian converts.]

Montreal was wild with terror. It had been fortified with palisades
since the war began; but, though there were troops in the town under
the governor himself, the people were in mortal dread. No attack was
made either on the town or on any of the forts, and such of the
inhabitants as could reach them were safe; while the Iroquois held
undisputed possession of the open country, burned all the houses and
barns over an extent of nine miles, and roamed in small parties,
pillaging and scalping, over more than twenty miles. There is no
mention of their having encountered opposition; nor do they seem to
have met with any loss but that of some warriors killed in the attack
on the detachment from Fort Rémy, and that of three drunken stragglers
who were caught and thrown into a cellar in Fort La Présentation. When
they came to their senses, they defied their captors, and fought with
such ferocity that it was necessary to shoot them. Charlevoix says
that the invaders remained in the neighborhood of Montreal till the
middle of October, or more than two months; but this seems incredible,
since troops and militia enough to drive them all into the St.
Lawrence might easily have been collected in less than a week. It is
certain, however, that their stay was strangely long. Troops and
inhabitants seem to have been paralyzed with fear.

At length, most of them took to their canoes, and recrossed Lake St.
Louis in a body, giving ninety yells to show that they had ninety
prisoners in their clutches. This was not all; for the whole number
carried off was more than a hundred and twenty, besides about two
hundred who had the good fortune to be killed on the spot. As the
Iroquois passed the forts, they shouted, "Onontio, you deceived us,
and now we have deceived you." Towards evening, they encamped on the
farther side of the lake, and began to torture and devour their
prisoners. On that miserable night, stupefied and speechless groups
stood gazing from the strand of La Chine at the lights that gleamed
along the distant shore of Châteaugay, where their friends, wives,
parents, or children agonized in the fires of the Iroquois, and scenes
were enacted of indescribable and nameless horror. The greater part of
the prisoners were, however, reserved to be distributed among the
towns of the confederacy, and there tortured for the diversion of the
inhabitants. While some of the invaders went home to celebrate their
triumph, others roamed in small parties through all the upper parts of
the colony, spreading universal terror. [2]

Canada lay bewildered and benumbed under the shock of this calamity;
but the cup of her misery was not full. There was revolution in
England. James II., the friend and ally of France, had been driven
from his kingdom, and William of Orange had seized his vacant throne.
Soon there came news of war between the two crowns. The Iroquois alone
had brought the colony to the brink of ruin; and now they would be
supported by the neighboring British colonies, rich, strong, and
populous, compared to impoverished and depleted Canada.

A letter of recall for Denonville was already on its way. [Footnote:
_Le Roy à Denonville_, 31 _Mai_, 1689.] His successor arrived in
October, and the marquis sailed for France. He was a good soldier in a
regular war, and a subordinate command; and he had some of the
qualities of a good governor, while lacking others quite as essential.
He had more activity than vigor, more personal bravery than firmness,
and more clearness of perception than executive power. He filled his
despatches with excellent recommendations, but was not the man to
carry them into effect. He was sensitive, fastidious, critical, and
conventional, and plumed himself on his honor, which was not always
able to bear a strain; though as regards illegal trade, the besetting
sin of Canadian governors, his hands were undoubtedly clean. [3] It is
said that he had an instinctive antipathy for Indians, such as some
persons have for certain animals; and the _coureurs de bois_, and
other lawless classes of the Canadian population, appeared to please
him no better. Their license and insubordination distressed him, and
he constantly complained of them to the king. For the Church and its
hierarchy his devotion was unbounded; and his government was a season
of unwonted sunshine for the ecclesiastics, like the balmy days of the
Indian summer amid the gusts of November. They exhausted themselves in
eulogies of his piety; and, in proof of its depth and solidity, Mother
Juchereau tells us that he did not regard station and rank as very
useful aids to salvation. While other governors complained of too many
priests, Denonville begged for more. All was harmony between him and
Bishop Saint-Vallier; and the prelate was constantly his friend, even
to the point of justifying his worst act, the treacherous seizure of
the Iroquois neutrals. [Footnote: Saint-Vallier, _État Présent_, 91,
92 (Quebec, 1856).] When he left Canada, the only mourner besides the
churchmen was his colleague, the intendant Champigny; for the two
chiefs of the colony, joined in a common union with the Jesuits, lived
together in unexampled concord. On his arrival at court, the good
offices of his clerical allies gained for him the highly honorable
post of governor of the royal children, the young Dukes of Burgundy,
Anjou, and Berri.

[1] La Hontan, I. 180 (1709). Most of the details of the story are
drawn from this writer, whose statement I have compared with that of
Denonville, in his letter dated Nov. 9, 1688; of Callières, Jan.,
1689; of the _Abstract of Letters from Canada_, in _N.Y. Col. Docs_.,
IX. 393; and of the writer of _Relation des Évenements de la Guerre_,
8 _Oct._, 1688. Belmont notices the affair with his usual conciseness.
La Hontan's account is sustained by the others in most, though not in
all of its essential points. He calls the Huron chief _Adario, ou le
Rat_. He is elsewhere mentioned as Kondiarouk, Kondiaront, Souoias,
and Souaiti. La Hontan says that the scene of the treachery was one of
the rapids of the St. Lawrence, but more authentic accounts place it
at La Famine.

[2] The best account of the descent of the Iroquois at La Chine is
that of the _Recueil de ce qui s'est passé en Canada_, 1682-1712. The
writer was an officer under Subercase, and was on the spot. Belmont,
superior of the mission of Montreal, also gives a trustworthy account
in his _Histoire du Canada_. Compare La Hontan, I. 193 (1709), and La
Potherie, II. 229. Farther particulars are given in the letters of
Callières, 8 Nov.; Champigny, 16 Nov.; and Frontenac, 15 Nov.
Frontenac, after visiting the scene of the catastrophe a few weeks
after it occurred, writes: "Ils (_les Iroquois_) avoient bruslé plus
de trois lieues de pays, saccagé toutes les maisons jusqu'aux portes
de la ville, enlevé plus de six vingt personnes, tant hommes, femmes,
qu'enfants, après avoir massacré plus de deux cents dont ils avoient
cassé la teste aux uns, bruslé, rosty, et mangé les autres, ouvert le
ventre des femmes grosses pour en arracher les enfants, et fait des
cruautez inouïes et sans exemple." The details given by Belmont, and
by the author of _Histoire de l'Eau de Vie en Canada_, are no less
revolting. The last-mentioned writer thinks that the massacre was a
judgment of God upon the sale of brandy at La Chine.

Some Canadian writers have charged the English with instigating the
massacre. I find nothing in contemporary documents to support the
accusation. Denonville wrote to the minister, after the Rat's
treachery came to light, that Andros had forbidden the Iroquois to
attack the colony. Immediately after the attack at La Chine, the
Iroquois sachems, in a conference with the agents of New England,
declared that "we did not make war on the French at the persuasion of
our brethren at Albany; for we did not so much as acquaint them of our
intention till fourteen days after our army had begun their march."
_Report of Conference_ in Colden, 103.

[3] "I shall only add one article, on which possibly you will find it
strange that I have said nothing; namely, whether the governor carries
on any trade. I shall answer, no; but my Lady the Governess (_Madame
la Gouvernante_), who is disposed not to neglect any opportunity for
making a profit, had a room, not to say a shop, full of goods, till
the close of last winter, in the château of Quebec, and found means
afterwards to make a lottery to get rid of the rubbish that remained,
which produced her more than her good merchandise." _Relation of the
State of Affairs in Canada_, 1688, in _N. Y. Col. Docs_., IX. 388.
This paper was written at Quebec.


1689, 1690.


The sun of Louis XIV had reached its zenith. From a morning of
unexampled brilliancy it had mounted to the glare of a cloudless noon;
but the hour of its decline was near. The mortal enemy of France was
on the throne of England, turning against her from that new point of
vantage all the energies of his unconquerable genius. An invalid built
the Bourbon monarchy, and another invalid battered and defaced the
imposing structure: two potent and daring spirits in two frail bodies,
Richelieu and William of Orange.

Versailles gave no sign of waning glories. On three evenings of the
week, it was the pleasure of the king that the whole court should
assemble in the vast suite of apartments now known as the Halls of
Abundance, of Venus, of Diana, of Mars, of Mercury, and of Apollo. The
magnificence of their decorations, pictures of the great Italian
masters, sculptures, frescoes, mosaics, tapestries, vases and statues
of silver and gold; the vista of light and splendor that opened
through the wide portals; the courtly throngs, feasting, dancing,
gaming, promenading, conversing, formed a scene which no palace of
Europe could rival or approach. Here were all the great historic names
of France, princes, warriors, statesmen, and all that was highest in
rank and place; the flower, in short, of that brilliant society, so
dazzling, captivating, and illusory. In former years, the king was
usually present, affable and gracious, mingling with his courtiers and
sharing their amusements; but he had grown graver of late, and was
more often in his cabinet, laboring with his ministers on the task of
administration, which his extravagance and ambition made every day
more burdensome. [Footnote: Saint-Simon speaks of these assemblies.
The halls in question were finished in 1682; and a minute account of
them, and of the particular use to which each was destined, was
printed in the _Mercure Français_ of that year. See also Soulié,
_Notice du Musée impérial de Versailles_, where copious extracts from
the _Mercure_ are given. The _grands appartements_ are now entirely
changed in appearance, and turned into an historic picture gallery.]

There was one corner of the world where his emblem, the sun, would not
shine on him. He had done his best for Canada, and had got nothing for
his pains but news of mishaps and troubles. He was growing tired of
the colony which he had nursed with paternal fondness, and he was more
than half angry with it because it did not prosper. Denonville's
letters had grown worse and worse; and, though he had not heard as yet
of the last great calamity, he was sated with ill tidings already.

Count Frontenac stood before him. Since his recall, he had lived at
court, needy and no longer in favor; but he had influential friends,
and an intriguing wife, always ready to serve him. The king knew his
merits as well as his faults; and, in the desperate state of his
Canadian affairs, he had been led to the resolution of restoring him
to the command from which, for excellent reasons, he had removed him
seven years before. He now told him that, in his belief, the charges
brought against him were without foundation. [Footnote: _Journal de
Dangeau_, II. 390. Frontenac, since his recall, had not been wholly
without marks of royal favor. In 1685, the king gave him a
"gratification" of 3,500 francs. _Ibid_., I. 205.] "I send you back to
Canada," he is reported to have said, "where I am sure that you will
serve me as well as you did before; and I ask nothing more of you."
[Footnote: Goyer, _Oraison Funèbre du Comte de Frontenac_.] The post
was not a tempting one to a man in his seventieth year. Alone and
unsupported,--for the king, with Europe rising against him, would give
him no more troops,--he was to restore the prostrate colony to hope
and courage, and fight two enemies with a force that had proved no
match for one of them alone. The audacious count trusted himself, and
undertook the task; received the royal instructions, and took his last
leave of the master whom even he after a fashion honored and admired.

He repaired to Rochelle, where two ships of the royal navy were
waiting his arrival, embarked in one of them, and sailed for the New
World. An heroic remedy had been prepared for the sickness of Canada,
and Frontenac was to be the surgeon. The cure, however, was not of his
contriving. Denonville had sent Callières, his second in command, to
represent the state of the colony to the court, and beg for help.
Callières saw that there was little hope of more troops or any
considerable supply of money; and he laid before the king a plan,
which had at least the recommendations of boldness and cheapness. This
was to conquer New York with the forces already in Canada, aided only
by two ships of war. The blow, he argued, should be struck at once,
and the English taken by surprise. A thousand regulars and six hundred
Canadian militia should pass Lake Champlain and Lake George in canoes
and bateaux, cross to the Hudson and capture Albany, where they would
seize all the river craft and descend the Hudson to the town of New
York, which, as Callières stated, had then about two hundred houses
and four hundred fighting men. The two ships were to cruise at the
mouth of the harbor, and wait the arrival of the troops, which was to
be made known to them by concerted signals, whereupon they were to
enter and aid in the attack. The whole expedition, he thought, might
be accomplished in a month; so that by the end of October the king
would be master of all the country. The advantages were manifold. The
Iroquois, deprived of English arms and ammunition, would be at the
mercy of the French; the question of English rivalry in the west would
be settled for ever; the king would acquire a means of access to his
colony incomparably better than the St. Lawrence, and one that
remained open all the year; and, finally, New England would be
isolated, and prepared for a possible conquest in the future.

The king accepted the plan with modifications, which complicated and
did not improve it. Extreme precautions were taken to insure secrecy;
but the vast distances, the difficult navigation, and the accidents of
weather appear to have been forgotten in this amended scheme of
operation. There was, moreover, a long delay in fitting the two ships
for sea. The wind was ahead, and they were fifty-two days in reaching
Chedabucto, at the eastern end of Nova Scotia. Thence Frontenac and
Callières had orders to proceed in a merchant ship to Quebec, which
might require a month more; and, on arriving, they were to prepare for
the expedition, while at the same time Frontenac was to send back a
letter to the naval commander at Chedabucto, revealing the plan to
him, and ordering him to sail to New York to co-operate in it. It was
the twelfth of September when Chedabucto was reached, and the
enterprise was ruined by the delay. Frontenac's first step in his new
government was a failure, though one for which he was in no way
answerable. [1]

It will be well to observe what were the intentions of the king
towards the colony which he proposed to conquer. They were as follows:
If any Catholics were found in New York, they might be left
undisturbed, provided that they took an oath of allegiance to the
king. Officers, and other persons who had the means of paying ransoms,
were to be thrown into prison. All lands in the colony, except those
of Catholics swearing allegiance, were to be taken from their owners,
and granted under a feudal tenure to the French officers and soldiers.
All property, public or private, was to be seized, a portion of it
given to the grantees of the land, and the rest sold on account of the
king. Mechanics and other workmen might, at the discretion of the
commanding officer, be kept as prisoners to work at fortifications and
do other labor. The rest of the English and Dutch inhabitants, men,
women, and children, were to be carried out of the colony and
dispersed in New England, Pennsylvania, or other places, in such a
manner that they could not combine in any attempt to recover their
property and their country. And, that the conquest might be perfectly
secure, the nearest settlements of New England were to be destroyed,
and those more remote laid under contribution. [2]

In the next century, some of the people of Acadia were torn from their
homes by order of a British commander. The act was harsh and violent,
and the innocent were involved with the guilty; but many of the
sufferers had provoked their fate, and deserved it.

Louis XIV. commanded that eighteen thousand unoffending persons should
be stripped of all that they possessed, and cast out to the mercy of
the wilderness. The atrocity of the plan is matched by its folly. The
king gave explicit orders, but he gave neither ships nor men enough to
accomplish them; and the Dutch farmers, goaded to desperation, would
have cut his sixteen hundred soldiers to pieces. It was the scheme of
a man blinded by a long course of success. Though perverted by
flattery and hardened by unbridled power, he was not cruel by nature;
and here, as in the burning of the Palatinate and the persecution of
the Huguenots, he would have stood aghast, if his dull imagination
could have pictured to him the miseries he was preparing to inflict.
[Footnote: On the details of the projected attack of New York, _Le Roy
à Denonville_, 7 _Juin_, 1689; _Le Ministre à Denonville, même date_;
_Le Ministre à Frontenac, même date_; _Ordre du Roy à Vaudreuil, même
date_; _Le Roy au Sieur de la Caffinière, même date_; _Champigny au
Ministre_, 16 _Nov._, 1689.]

With little hope left that the grand enterprise against New York could
succeed, Frontenac made sail for Quebec, and, stopping by the way at
Isle Percée, learned from Récollet missionaries the irruption of the
Iroquois at Montreal. He hastened on; but the wind was still against
him, and the autumn woods were turning brown before he reached his
destination. It was evening when he landed, amid fireworks,
illuminations, and the firing of cannon. All Quebec came to meet him
by torchlight; the members of the council offered their respects, and
the Jesuits made him an harangue of welcome. [Footnote: La Hontan, I.
199.] It was but a welcome of words. They and the councillors had done
their best to have him recalled, and hoped that they were rid of him
for ever; but now he was among them again, rasped by the memory of
real or fancied wrongs. The count, however, had no time for
quarrelling. The king had told him to bury old animosities and forget
the past, and for the present he was too busy to break the royal
injunction. [Footnote: _Instruction pour le Sieur Comte de Frontenac_,
7 _Juin_, 1689.] He caused boats to be made ready, and in spite of
incessant rains pushed up the river to Montreal. Here he found
Denonville and his frightened wife. Every thing was in confusion. The
Iroquois were gone, leaving dejection and terror behind them.
Frontenac reviewed the troops. There were seven or eight hundred of
them in the town, the rest being in garrison at the various forts.
Then he repaired to what was once La Chine, and surveyed the miserable
waste of ashes and desolation that spread for miles around.

To his extreme disgust, he learned that Denonville had sent a Canadian
officer by secret paths to Fort Frontenac, with orders to Valrenne,
the commandant, to blow it up, and return with his garrison to
Montreal. Frontenac had built the fort, had given it his own name, and
had cherished it with a paternal fondness, reinforced by strong hopes
of making money out of it. For its sake he had become the butt of
scandal and opprobrium; but not the less had he always stood its
strenuous and passionate champion. An Iroquois envoy had lately with
great insolence demanded its destruction of Denonville; and this
alone, in the eyes of Frontenac, was ample reason for maintaining it
at any cost. [Footnote: _Frontenac au Ministre_, 15 _Nov._, 1689.] He
still had hope that it might be saved, and with all the energy of
youth he proceeded to collect canoes, men, provisions, and arms;
battled against dejection, insubordination, and fear, and in a few
days despatched a convoy of three hundred men to relieve the place,
and stop the execution of Denonville's orders. His orders had been but
too promptly obeyed. The convoy was scarcely gone an hour, when, to
Frontenac's unutterable wrath, Valrenne appeared with his garrison. He
reported that he had set fire to every thing in the fort that would
burn, sunk the three vessels belonging to it, thrown the cannon into
the lake, mined the walls and bastions, and left matches burning in
the powder magazine; and, further, that when he and his men were five
leagues on their way to Montreal a dull and distant explosion told
them that the mines had sprung. It proved afterwards that the
destruction was not complete; and the Iroquois took possession of the
abandoned fort, with a large quantity of stores and munitions left by
the garrison in their too hasty retreat. [Footnote: _Frontenac au
Ministre_, 15 _Nov._, 1689; _Recueil de ce qui s'est passé en Canada
depuis l'année_ 1682.]

There was one ray of light through the clouds. The unwonted news of a
victory came to Montreal. It was small, but decisive, and might be an
earnest of greater things to come. Before Frontenac's arrival,
Denonville had sent a reconnoitring party up the Ottawa. They had gone
no farther than the Lake of Two Mountains, when they met twenty-two
Iroquois in two large canoes, who immediately bore down upon them,
yelling furiously. The French party consisted of twenty-eight
_coureurs de bois_ under Du Lhut and Mantet, excellent partisan
chiefs, who manoeuvred so well that the rising sun blazed full in the
eyes of the advancing enemy, and spoiled their aim. The French
received their fire, which wounded one man; then, closing with them
while their guns were empty, gave them a volley, which killed and
wounded eighteen of their number. One swam ashore. The remaining three
were captured, and given to the Indian allies to be burned. [Footnote:
_Frontenac au Ministre_, 15 _Nov._, 1689; _Champigny au Ministre_, 16
_Nov._, 1689. Compare Belmont, whose account is a little different;
also _N.Y. Col. Docs._, IX. 435.]

This gleam of sunshine passed, and all grew black again. On a snowy
November day, a troop of Iroquois fell on the settlement of La
Chesnaye, burned the houses, and vanished with a troop of prisoners,
leaving twenty mangled corpses on the snow. [Footnote: Belmont,
_Histoire du Canada_; _Frontenac à--_, 17 _Nov._, 1689; _Champigny au
Ministre_, 16 _Nov._, 1689. This letter is not the one just cited.
Champigny wrote twice on the same day.] "The terror," wrote the
bishop, "is indescribable." The appearance of a few savages would put
a whole neighborhood to flight. [Footnote: _N. Y. Col. Docs._, IX.
435.] So desperate, wrote Frontenac, were the needs of the colony, and
so great the contempt with which the Iroquois regarded it, that it
almost needed a miracle either to carry on war or make peace. What he
most earnestly wished was to keep the Iroquois quiet, and so leave his
hands free to deal with the English. This was not easy, to such a
pitch of audacity had late events raised them. Neither his temper nor
his convictions would allow him to beg peace of them, like his
predecessor; but he had inordinate trust in the influence of his name,
and he now took a course which he hoped might answer his purpose
without increasing their insolence. The perfidious folly of Denonville
in seizing their countrymen at Fort Frontenac had been a prime cause
of their hostility; and, at the request of the late governor, the
surviving captives, thirteen in all, had been taken from the galleys,
gorgeously clad in French attire, and sent back to Canada in the ship
which carried Frontenac. Among them was a famous Cayuga war-chief
called Ourehaoué, whose loss had infuriated the Iroquois. [Footnote:
Ourehaoué was not one of the neutrals entrapped at Fort Frontenac, but
was seized about the same time by the troops on their way up the St.
Lawrence.] Frontenac gained his good-will on the voyage; and, when
they reached Quebec, he lodged him in the château, and treated him
with such kindness that the chief became his devoted admirer and
friend. As his influence was great among his people, Frontenac hoped
that he might use him with success to bring about an accommodation. He
placed three of the captives at the disposal of the Cayuga, who
forthwith sent them to Onondaga with a message which the governor had
dictated, and which was to the following effect: "The great Onontio,
whom you all know, has come back again. He does not blame you for what
you have done; for he looks upon you as foolish children, and blames
only the English, who are the cause of your folly, and have made you
forget your obedience to a father who has always loved and never
deceived you. He will permit me, Ourehaoué, to return to you as soon
as you will come to ask for me, not as you have spoken of late, but
like children speaking to a father." [Footnote: _Frontenac au
Ministre_, 30 _Avril_, 1690.] Frontenac hoped that they would send an
embassy to reclaim their chief, and thus give him an opportunity to
use his personal influence over them. With the three released
captives, he sent an Iroquois convert named Cut Nose with a wampum
belt to announce his return.

When the deputation arrived at Onondaga and made known their errand,
the Iroquois magnates, with their usual deliberation, deferred
answering till a general council of the confederacy should have time
to assemble; and, meanwhile, they sent messengers to ask the mayor of
Albany, and others of their Dutch and English friends, to come to the
meeting. They did not comply, merely sending the government
interpreter, with a few Mohawk Indians, to represent their interests.
On the other hand, the Jesuit Milet, who had been captured a few
months before, adopted, and made an Oneida chief, used every effort to
second the designs of Frontenac. The authorities of Albany tried in
vain to induce the Iroquois to place him in their hands. They
understood their interests too well, and held fast to the Jesuit.
[Footnote: Milet was taken in 1689, not, as has been supposed, in
1690. _Lettre du Père Milet_, 1691, printed by Shea.]

The grand council took place at Onondaga on the twenty-second of
January. Eighty chiefs and sachems, seated gravely on mats around the
council fire, smoked their pipes in silence for a while; till at
length an Onondaga orator rose, and announced that Frontenac, the old
Onontio, had returned with Ourehaoué and twelve more of their captive
friends, that he meant to rekindle the council fire at Fort Frontenac,
and that he invited them to meet him there. [Footnote: Frontenac
declares that he sent no such message, and intimates that Cut Nose had
been tampered with by persons over-anxious to conciliate the
Iroquois, and who had even gone so far as to send them messages on
their own account. These persons were Lamberville, François Hertel,
and one of the Le Moynes. Frontenac was very angry at this
interference, to which he ascribes the most mischievous consequences.
Cut Nose, or Nez Coupé, is called Adarahta by Colden, and Gagniegaton,
or Red Bird, by some French writers.]

"Ho, ho, ho," returned the eighty senators, from the bottom of their
throats. It was the unfailing Iroquois response to a speech. Then Cut
Nose, the governor's messenger, addressed the council: "I advise you
to meet Onontio as he desires. Do so, if you wish to live." He
presented a wampum belt to confirm his words, and the conclave again
returned the same guttural ejaculation.

"Ourehaoué sends you this," continued Cut Nose, presenting another
belt of wampum: "by it he advises you to listen to Onontio, if you
wish to live."

When the messenger from Canada had ceased, the messenger from Albany,
a Mohawk Indian, rose and repeated word for word a speech confided to
him by the mayor of that town, urging the Iroquois to close their ears
against the invitations of Onontio.

Next rose one Cannehoot, a sachem of the Senecas, charged with matters
of grave import; for they involved no less than the revival of that
scheme, so perilous to the French, of the union of the tribes of the
Great Lakes in a triple alliance with the Iroquois and the English.
These lake tribes, disgusted with the French, who, under Denonville,
had left them to the mercy of the Iroquois, had been impelled, both by
their fears and their interests to make new advances to the
confederacy, and had first addressed themselves to the Senecas, whom
they had most cause to dread. They had given up some of the Iroquois
prisoners in their hands, and promised soon to give up the rest. A
treaty had been made; and it was this event which the Seneca sachem
now announced to the council. Having told the story to his assembled
colleagues, he exhibited and explained the wampum belts and other
tokens brought by the envoys from the lakes, who represented nine
distinct tribes or bands from the region of Michillimackinac. By these
tokens, the nine tribes declared that they came to learn wisdom of the
Iroquois and the English; to wash off the war-paint, throw down the
tomahawk, smoke the pipe of peace, and unite with them as one body.
"Onontio is drunk," such was the interpretation of the fourth wampum
belt; "but we, the tribes of Michillimackinac, wash our hands of all
his actions. Neither we nor you must defile ourselves by listening to
him." When the Seneca sachem had ended, and when the ejaculations that
echoed his words had ceased, the belts were hung up before all the
assembly, then taken down again, and distributed among the sachems of
the five Iroquois tribes, excepting one, which was given to the
messengers from Albany. Thus was concluded the triple alliance, which
to Canada meant no less than ruin.

"Brethren," said an Onondaga sachem, "we must hold fast to our brother
Quider (_Peter Schuyler, mayor of Albany_) and look on Onontio as our
enemy, for he is a cheat."

Then they invited the interpreter from Albany to address the council,
which he did, advising them not to listen to the envoys from Canada.
When he had ended, they spent some time in consultation among
themselves, and at length agreed on the following message, addressed
to Corlaer, or New York, and to Kinshon, the Fish, by which they meant
New England, the authorities of which had sent them the image of a
fish as a token of alliance: [Footnote: The wooden image of a codfish
still hangs in the State House at Boston, the emblem of a colony which
lived chiefly by the fisheries.]--

"Brethren, our council fire burns at Albany. We will not go to meet
Onontio at Fort Frontenac. We will hold fast to the old chain of peace
with Corlaer, and we will fight with Onontio. Brethren, we are glad to
hear from you that you are preparing to make war on Canada, but tell
us no lies.

"Brother Kinshon, we hear that you mean to send soldiers against the
Indians to the eastward; but we advise you, now that we are all united
against the French, to fall upon them at once. Strike at the root:
when the trunk is cut down, all the branches fall with it.

"Courage, Corlaer! courage, Kinshon! Go to Quebec in the spring; take
it, and you will have your feet on the necks of the French and all
their friends."

Then they consulted together again, and agreed on the following answer
to Ourehaoue and Frontenac:--

"Ourehaoué, the whole council is glad to hear that you have come back.

"Onontio, you have told us that you have come back again, and brought
with you thirteen of our people who were carried prisoners to France.
We are glad of it. You wish to speak with us at Cataraqui (_Fort
Frontenac_). Don't you know that your council fire there is put out?
It is quenched in blood. You must first send home the prisoners. When
our brother Ourehaoué is returned to us, then we will talk with you of
peace. You must send him and the others home this very winter. We now
let you know that we have made peace with the tribes of
Michillimackinac. You are not to think, because we return you an
answer, that we have laid down the tomahawk. Our warriors will
continue the war till you send our countrymen back to us." [3]

The messengers from Canada returned with this reply. Unsatisfactory as
it was, such a quantity of wampum was sent with it as showed plainly
the importance attached by the Iroquois to the matters in question.
Encouraged by a recent success against the English, and still
possessed with an overweening confidence in his own influence over the
confederates, Frontenac resolved that Ourehaoué should send them
another message. The chief, whose devotion to the count never wavered,
accordingly despatched four envoys, with a load of wampum belts,
expressing his astonishment that his countrymen had not seen fit to
send a deputation of chiefs to receive him from the hands of Onontio,
and calling upon them to do so without delay, lest he should think
that they had forgotten him. Along with the messengers, Frontenac
ventured to send the Chevalier d'Aux, a half-pay officer, with orders
to observe the disposition of the Iroquois, and impress them in
private talk with a sense of the count's power, of his good-will to
them, and of the wisdom of coming to terms with him, lest, like an
angry father, he should be forced at last to use the rod. The
chevalier's reception was a warm one. They burned two of his
attendants, forced him to run the gauntlet, and, after a vigorous
thrashing, sent him prisoner to Albany. The last failure was worse
than the first. The count's name was great among the Iroquois, but he
had trusted its power too far. [Footnote: _Message of Ourehaoué_, in
_N. Y. Col. Docs._, III. 735; _Instructions to Chevalier d'Eau, Ibid.,
_733; _Chevalier d'Aux au Ministre_, 15 _Mai_, 1693. The chevalier's
name is also written _d'O_, He himself wrote it as in the text.]

The worst of news had come from Michillimackinac. La Durantaye, the
commander of the post, and Carheil, the Jesuit, had sent a messenger
to Montreal in the depth of winter to say that the tribes around them
were on the point of revolt. Carheil wrote that they threatened openly
to throw themselves into the arms of the Iroquois and the English;
that they declared that the protection of Onontio was an illusion and
a snare; that they once mistook the French for warriors, but saw now
that they were no match for the Iroquois, whom they had tamely allowed
to butcher them at Montreal, without even daring to defend themselves;
that when the French invaded the Senecas they did nothing but cut down
corn and break canoes, and since that time they had done nothing but
beg peace for themselves, forgetful of their allies, whom they
expected to bear the brunt of the war, and then left to their fate;
that they had surrendered through cowardice the prisoners they had
caught by treachery, and this, too, at a time when the Iroquois were
burning French captives in all their towns; and, finally, that, as the
French would not or could not make peace for them, they would make
peace for themselves. "These," pursued Carheil, "are the reasons they
give us to prove the necessity of their late embassy to the Senecas;
and by this one can see that our Indians are a great deal more
clear-sighted than they are thought to be, and that it is hard to
conceal from their penetration any thing that can help or harm their
interests. What is certain is that, if the Iroquois are not stopped,
they will not fail to come and make themselves masters here."
[Footnote: _Carheil à Frontenac_, 1690. Frontenac did not receive this
letter till September, and acted on the information previously sent
him. Charlevoix's version of the letter does not conform with the

Charlevoix thinks that Frontenac was not displeased at this bitter
arraignment of his predecessor's administration. At the same time, his
position was very embarrassing. He had no men to spare; but such was
the necessity of saving Michillimackinac, and breaking off the treaty
with the Senecas, that when spring opened he sent Captain Louvigny
with a hundred and forty-three Canadians and six Indians to reinforce
the post and replace its commander, La Durantaye. Two other officers
with an additional force were ordered to accompany him through the
most dangerous part of the journey. With them went Nicolas Perrot,
bearing a message from the count to his rebellious children of
Michillimackinac. The following was the pith of this characteristic

"I am astonished to learn that you have forgotten the protection that
I always gave you. Do you think that I am no longer alive; or that I
have a mind to stand idle, like those who have been here in my place?
Or do you think that, if eight or ten hairs have been torn from my
children's heads when I was absent, I cannot put ten handfuls of hair
in the place of every one that was pulled out? You know that before I
protected you the ravenous Iroquois dog was biting everybody. I tamed
him and tied him up; but, when he no longer saw me, he behaved worse
than ever. If he persists, he shall feel my power. The English have
tried to win him by flatteries, but I will kill all who encourage him.
The English have deceived and devoured their children, but I am a good
father who loves you. I loved the Iroquois once, because they obeyed
me. When I knew that they had been treacherously captured and carried
to France, I set them free; and, when I restore them to their country,
it will not be through fear, but through pity, for I hate treachery. I
am strong enough to kill the English, destroy the Iroquois, and whip
you, if you fail in your duty to me. The Iroquois have killed and
captured you in time of peace. Do to them as they have done to you, do
to the English as they would like to do to you, but hold fast to your
true father, who will never abandon you. Will you let the English
brandy that has killed you in your wigwams lure you into the kettles
of the Iroquois? Is not mine better, which has never killed you, but
always made you strong?" [Footnote: _Parole (de M. de Frontenac) qui
doit être dite à l'Outaouais pour le dissuader de l'Alliance qu'il
vent faire avec l'Iroquois et l'Anglois_. The message is long. Only
the principal points are given above.]

Charged with this haughty missive, Perrot set out for Michillimackinac
along with Louvigny and his men. On their way up the Ottawa, they met
a large band of Iroquois hunters, whom they routed with heavy loss.
Nothing could have been more auspicious for Perrot's errand. When
towards midsummer they reached their destination, they ranged their
canoes in a triumphal procession, placed in the foremost an Iroquois
captured in the fight, forced him to dance and sing, hung out the
_fleur-de-lis_, shouted _Vive le Roi_, whooped, yelled, and fired
their guns. As they neared the village of the Ottawas, all the naked
population ran down to the shore, leaping, yelping, and firing, in
return. Louvigny and his men passed on, and landed at the neighboring
village of the French settlers, who, drawn up in battle array on the
shore, added more yells and firing to the general uproar; though, amid
this joyous fusillade of harmless gunpowder, they all kept their
bullets ready for instant use, for they distrusted the savage
multitude. The story of the late victory, however, confirmed as it was
by an imposing display of scalps, produced an effect which averted the
danger of an immediate outbreak.

The fate of the Iroquois prisoner now became the point at issue. The
French hoped that the Indians in their excitement could be induced to
put him to death, and thus break their late treaty with his
countrymen. Besides the Ottawas, there was at Michillimackinac a
village of Hurons under their crafty chief, the Rat. They had
pretended to stand fast for the French, who nevertheless believed them
to be at the bottom of all the mischief. They now begged for the
prisoner, promising to burn him. On the faith of this pledge, he was
given to them; but they broke their word, and kept him alive, in order
to curry favor with the Iroquois. The Ottawas, intensely jealous of
the preference shown to the Hurons, declared in their anger that the
prisoner ought to be killed and eaten. This was precisely what the
interests of the French demanded; but the Hurons still persisted in
protecting him. Their Jesuit missionary now interposed, and told them
that, unless they "put the Iroquois into the kettle," the French would
take him from them. After much discussion, this argument prevailed.
They planted a stake, tied him to it, and began to torture him; but,
as he did not show the usual fortitude of his country men, they
declared him unworthy to die the death of a warrior, and accordingly
shot him. [4]

Here was a point gained for the French, but the danger was not passed.
The Ottawas could disavow the killing of the Iroquois; and, in fact,
though there was a great division of opinion among them, they were
preparing at this very time to send a secret embassy to the Seneca
country to ratify the fatal treaty. The French commanders called a
council of all the tribes. It met at the house of the Jesuits.
Presents in abundance were distributed. The message of Frontenac was
reinforced by persuasion and threats; and the assembly was told that
the five tribes of the Iroquois were like five nests of muskrats in a
marsh, which the French would drain dry, and then burn with all its
inhabitants. Perrot took the disaffected chiefs aside, and with his
usual bold adroitness diverted them for the moment from their purpose.
The projected embassy was stopped, but any day might revive it. There
was no safety for the French, and the ground of Michillimackinac was
hollow under their feet. Every thing depended on the success of their
arms. A few victories would confirm their wavering allies; but the
breath of another defeat would blow the fickle crew over to the enemy
like a drift of dry leaves.

[1] _Projet du Chevalier de Callières de former une Expédition pour
aller attaquer Orange, Manatte, etc.; Résumé du Ministre sur la
Proposition de M. de Callières; Autre Mémoire de M. de Callières sur
son Projet d'attaquer la Nouvelle York; Mémoire des Armes, Munitions,
et Ustensiles nécessaires pour l'Entreprise proposée par M. de
Callières; Observations du Ministre sur le Projet et le Mémoire
ci-dessus; Observations du Ministre sur le Projet d'Attaque de la
Nouvelle York; Autre Mémoire de M. de Callières au Sujet de
l'Entreprise proposée; Autre Mémoire de M. de Callières sur le même

[2] _Mémoire pour servir d'Instruction à Monsieur le Comte de
Frontenac sur l'Entreprise de la Nouvelle York_, 7 _Juin_,
1689. "Si parmy les habitans de la Nouvelle York il se trouve des
Catholiques de la fidelité desquels il croye se pouvoir asseurer, il
pourra les laisser dans leurs habitations après leur avoir fait
prester serment de fidelité à sa Majesté.... Il pourra aussi garder,
s'il le juge à propos, des artisans et autres gens de service
nécessaires pour la culture des terres ou pour travailler aux
fortifications en qualité de prisonniers.... II faut retenir en prison
les officiers et les principaux habitans desquels on pourra retirer
des rançons. A l'esgard de tous les autres estrangers (_ceux qui ne
sont pas Français_) hommes, femmes, et enfans, sa Majesté trouve à
propos qu'ils soient mis hors de la Colonie et envoyez à la Nouvelle
Angleterre, à la Pennsylvanie, ou en d'autres endroits qu'il jugera à
propos, par mer ou par terre, ensemble ou séparement, le tout suivant
qu'il trouvera plus seur pour les dissiper et empescher qu'en se
réunissant ils ne puissent donner occasion à des entreprises de la
part des ennemis contre cette Colonie. Il envoyera en France les
Francais fugitifs qu'il y pourra trouver, et particulièrement ceux de
la Religion Prétendue-Réformée (_Huguenots_)." A translation of
the entire document will be found in _N. Y. Col. Docs._, IX. 422.

[3] The account of this council is given, with condensation and the
omission of parts not essential, from Colden (105-112, ed. 1747). It
will serve as an example of the Iroquois method of conducting
political business, the habitual regularity and decorum of which has
drawn from several contemporary French writers the remark that in such
matters the five tribes were savages only in name. The reply to
Frontenac is also given by Monseignat (_N. Y. Col. Docs_., IX.
465), and, after him, by La Potherie. Compare Le Clercq,
_Établissement de la Foy_, II. 403. Ourehaoué is the Tawerahet of

[4] "Le Père Missionnaire des Hurons, prévoyant que cette affaire
auroit peut-être une suite qui pourrait être préjudiciable aux soins
qu'il prenoit de leur instruction, demanda qu'il lui fut permis
d'aller à leur village pour les obliger de trouver quelque moyen qui
fut capable d'appaiser le ressentiment des François. Il leur dit que
ceux ci vouloient absolument que l'on mit _l'Iroquois à la
chaudière_, et que si on ne le faisoit, on devoit venir le leur
enlever." La Potherie, II. 237 (1722). By the "result prejudicial to
his cares for their instruction" he seems to mean their possible
transfer from French to English influences. The expression _mettre à
la chaudière_, though derived from cannibal practices, is often
used figuratively for torturing and killing. The missionary in
question was either Carheil or another Jesuit, who must have acted
with his sanction.





While striving to reclaim his allies, Frontenac had not forgotten his
enemies. It was of the last necessity to revive the dashed spirits of
the Canadians and the troops; and action, prompt and bold, was the
only means of doing so. He resolved, therefore, to take the offensive,
not against the Iroquois, who seemed invulnerable as ghosts, but
against the English; and by striking a few sharp and rapid blows to
teach both friends and foes that Onontio was still alive. The effect
of his return had already begun to appear, and the energy and fire of
the undaunted veteran had shot new life into the dejected population.
He formed three war-parties of picked men, one at Montreal, one at
Three Rivers, and one at Quebec; the first to strike at Albany, the
second at the border settlements of New Hampshire, and the third at
those of Maine. That of Montreal was ready first. It consisted of two
hundred and ten men, of whom ninety-six were Indian converts, chiefly
from the two mission villages of Saut St. Louis and the Mountain of
Montreal. They were Christian Iroquois whom the priests had persuaded
to leave their homes and settle in Canada, to the great indignation of
their heathen countrymen, and the great annoyance of the English
colonists, to whom they were a constant menace. When Denonville
attacked the Senecas, they had joined him; but of late they had shown
reluctance to fight their heathen kinsmen, with whom the French even
suspected them of collusion. Against the English, however, they
willingly took up the hatchet. The French of the party were for the
most part _coureurs de bois_. As the sea is the sailor's element, so
the forest was theirs. Their merits were hardihood and skill in
woodcraft; their chief faults were insubordination and lawlessness.
They had shared the general demoralization that followed the inroad of
the Iroquois, and under Denonville had proved mutinous and
unmanageable. In the best times, it was a hard task to command them,
and one that needed, not bravery alone, but tact, address, and
experience. Under a chief of such a stamp, they were admirable
bushfighters, and such were those now chosen to lead them. D'Aillebout
de Mantet and Le Moyne de Sainte-Hélène, the brave son of Charles Le
Moyne, had the chief command, supported by the brothers Le Moyne
d'Iberville and Le Moyne de Bienville, with Repentigny de Montesson,
Le Ber du Chesne, and others of the sturdy Canadian _noblesse_, nerved
by adventure and trained in Indian warfare. [Footnote: _Relation de
Monseignat_, 1689-90. There is a translation of this valuable paper in
_N. Y. Col. Docs._, IX. 462. The party, according to three of their
number, consisted at first of 160 French and 140 Christian Indians,
but was reduced by sickness and desertion to 250 in all. _Examination
of three French prisoners taken by the Maquas (Mohawks), and brought
to Skinnectady, who were examined by Peter Schuyler, Mayor of Albany,
Domine Godevridus Dellius, and some of the Gentlemen that went from
Albany a purpose._]

It was the depth of winter when they began their march, striding on
snow-shoes over the vast white field of the frozen St. Lawrence, each
with the hood of his blanket coat drawn over his head, a gun in his
mittened hand, a knife, a hatchet, a tobacco pouch, and a bullet pouch
at his belt, a pack on his shoulders, and his inseparable pipe hung at
his neck in a leather case. They dragged their blankets and provisions
over the snow on Indian sledges. Crossing the forest to Chambly, they
advanced four or five days up the frozen Richelieu and the frozen Lake
Champlain, and then stopped to hold a council. Frontenac had left the
precise point of attack at the discretion of the leaders, and thus far
the men had been ignorant of their destination. The Indians demanded
to know it. Mantet and Sainte-Hélène replied that they were going to
Albany. The Indians demurred. "How long is it," asked one of them,
"since the French grew so bold?" The commanders answered that, to
regain the honor of which their late misfortunes had robbed them, the
French would take Albany or die in the attempt. The Indians listened
sullenly; the decision was postponed, and the party moved forward
again. When after eight days they reached the Hudson, and found the
place where two paths diverged, the one for Albany and the other for
Schenectady, they all without farther words took the latter. Indeed,
to attempt Albany would have been an act of desperation. The march was
horrible. There was a partial thaw, and they waded knee-deep through
the half melted snow, and the mingled ice, mud, and water of the
gloomy swamps. So painful and so slow was their progress, that it was
nine days more before they reached a point two leagues from
Schenectady. The weather had changed again, and a cold, gusty
snow-storm pelted them. It was one of those days when the trees stand
white as spectres in the sheltered hollows of the forest, and bare and
gray on the wind-swept ridges. The men were half dead with cold,
fatigue, and hunger. It was four in the afternoon of the eighth of
February. The scouts found an Indian hut, and in it were four Iroquois
squaws, whom they captured. There was a fire in the wigwam; and the
shivering Canadians crowded about it, stamping their chilled feet and
warming their benumbed hands over the blaze. The Christian chief of
the Saut St. Louis, known as Le Grand Agnié, or the Great Mohawk, by
the French, and by the Dutch called Kryn, harangued his followers, and
exhorted them to wash out their wrongs in blood. Then they all
advanced again, and about dark reached the river Mohawk, a little
above the village. A Canadian named Gignières, who had gone with nine
Indians to reconnoitre, now returned to say that he had been within
sight of Schenectady, and had seen nobody. Their purpose had been to
postpone the attack till two o'clock in the morning; but the situation
was intolerable, and the limit of human endurance was reached. They
could not make fires, and they must move on or perish. Guided by the
frightened squaws, they crossed the Mohawk on the ice, toiling through
the drifts amid the whirling snow that swept down the valley of the
darkened stream, till about eleven o'clock they descried through the
storm the snow-beplastered palisades of the devoted village. Such was
their plight that some of them afterwards declared that they would all
have surrendered if an enemy had appeared to summon them. [Footnote:
Colden, 114 (ed. 1747).]

Schenectady was the farthest outpost of the colony of New York.
Westward lay the Mohawk forests; and Orange, or Albany, was fifteen
miles or more towards the south-east. The village was oblong in form,
and enclosed by a palisade which had two gates, one towards Albany and
the other towards the Mohawks. There was a blockhouse near the eastern
gate, occupied by eight or nine Connecticut militia men under
Lieutenant Talmage. There were also about thirty friendly Mohawks in
the place, on a visit. The inhabitants, who were all Dutch, were in a
state of discord and confusion. The revolution in England had produced
a revolution in New York. The demagogue Jacob Leisler had got
possession of Fort William, and was endeavoring to master the whole
colony. Albany was in the hands of the anti-Leisler or conservative
party, represented by a convention of which Peter Schuyler was the
chief. The Dutch of Schenectady for the most part favored Leisler,
whose emissaries had been busily at work among them; but their chief
magistrate, John Sander Glen, a man of courage and worth, stood fast
for the Albany convention, and in consequence the villagers had
threatened to kill him. Talmage and his Connecticut militia were under
orders from Albany; and therefore, like Glen, they were under the
popular ban. In vain the magistrate and the officer entreated the
people to stand on their guard. They turned the advice to ridicule,
laughed at the idea of danger, left both their gates wide open, and
placed there, it is said, two snow images as mock sentinels. A French
account declares that the village contained eighty houses, which is
certainly an exaggeration. There had been some festivity during the
evening, but it was now over; and the primitive villagers, fathers,
mothers, children, and infants, lay buried in unconscious sleep. They
were simple peasants and rude woodsmen, but with human affections and
capable of human woe.

The French and Indians stood before the open gate, with its blind and
dumb warder, the mock sentinel of snow. Iberville went with a
detachment to find the Albany gate, and bar it against the escape of
fugitives; but he missed it in the gloom, and hastened back. The
assailants were now formed into two bands, Sainte-Hélène leading the
one and Mantet the other. They passed through the gate together in
dead silence: one turned to the right and the other to the left, and
they filed around the village between the palisades and the houses
till the two leaders met at the farther end. Thus the place was
completely surrounded. The signal was then given: they all screeched
the war-whoop together, burst in the doors with hatchets, and fell to
their work. Roused by the infernal din, the villagers leaped from
their beds. For some it was but a momentary nightmare of fright and
horror, ended by the blow of the tomahawk. Others were less fortunate.
Neither women nor children were spared. "No pen can write, and no
tongue express," wrote Schuyler, "the cruelties that were committed."
[Footnote: "The women bigg with Childe rip'd up, and the Children
alive throwne into the flames, and their heads dashed to pieces
against the Doors and windows." _Schuyler to the Council of
Connecticut_, 15 _Feb_., 1690. Similar statements are made by Leisler.
See _Doc. Hist. N. Y._, I. 307, 310.] There was little resistance,
except at the block-house, where Talmage and his men made a stubborn
fight; but the doors were at length forced open, the defenders killed
or taken, and the building set on fire. Adam Vrooman, one of the
villagers, saw his wife shot and his child brained against the
door-post; but he fought so desperately that the assailants promised
him his life. Orders had been given to spare Peter Tassemaker, the
domine or minister, from whom it was thought that valuable information
might be obtained; but he was hacked to pieces, and his house burned.
Some, more agile or more fortunate than the rest, escaped at the
eastern gate, and fled through the storm to seek shelter at Albany or
at houses along the way. Sixty persons were killed outright, of whom
thirty-eight were men and boys, ten were women, and twelve were
children. [Footnote: _List of ye. People kild and destroyed by ye.
French of Canida and there Indians at Skinnechtady_, in _Doc. Hist. N.
Y._, I. 304.] The number captured appears to have been between eighty
and ninety. The thirty Mohawks in the town were treated with studied
kindness by the victors, who declared that they had no quarrel with
them, but only with the Dutch and English.

The massacre and pillage continued two hours; then the prisoners were
secured, sentinels posted, and the men told to rest and refresh
themselves. In the morning, a small party crossed the river to the
house of Glen, which stood on a rising ground half a mile distant. It
was loopholed and palisaded; and Glen had mustered his servants and
tenants, closed his gates, and prepared to defend himself. The French
told him to fear nothing, for they had orders not to hurt a chicken of
his; whereupon, after requiring them to lay down their arms, he
allowed them to enter. They urged him to go with them to the village,
and he complied; they on their part leaving one of their number as a
hostage in the hands of his followers. Iberville appeared at the gate
with the Great Mohawk, and, drawing his commission from the breast of
his coat, told Glen that he was specially charged to pay a debt which
the French owed him. On several occasions, he had saved the lives of
French prisoners in the hands of the Mohawks; and he, with his family,
and, above all, his wife, had shown them the greatest kindness. He was
now led before the crowd of wretched prisoners, and told that not only
were his own life and property safe, but that all his kindred should
be spared. Glen stretched his privilege to the utmost, till the French
Indians, disgusted at his multiplied demands for clemency, observed
that everybody seemed to be his relation.

Some of the houses had already been burned. Fire was now set to the
rest, excepting one, in which a French officer lay wounded, another
belonging to Glen, and three or four more which he begged the victors
to spare. At noon Schenectady was in ashes. Then the French and
Indians withdrew, laden with booty. Thirty or forty captured horses
dragged their sledges; and a troop of twenty-seven men and boys were
driven prisoners into the forest. About sixty old men, women, and
children were left behind, without farther injury, in order, it is
said, to conciliate the Mohawks in the place, who had joined with Glen
in begging that they might be spared. Of the victors, only two had
been killed. [1]

At the outset of the attack, Simon Schermerhorn threw himself on a
horse, and galloped through the eastern gate. The French shot at and
wounded him; but he escaped, reached Albany at daybreak, and gave the
alarm. The soldiers and inhabitants were called to arms, cannon were
fired to rouse the country, and a party of horsemen, followed by some
friendly Mohawks, set out for Schenectady. The Mohawks had promised to
carry the news to their three towns on the river above; but, when they
reached the ruined village, they were so frightened at the scene of
havoc that they would not go farther. Two days passed before the alarm
reached the Mohawk towns. Then troops of warriors came down on
snow-shoes, equipped with tomahawk and gun, to chase the retiring
French. Fifty young men from Albany joined them; and they followed the
trail of the enemy, who, with the help of their horses, made such
speed over the ice of Lake Champlain that it seemed impossible to
overtake them. They thought the pursuit abandoned; and, having killed
and eaten most of their horses, and being spent with fatigue, they
moved more slowly as they neared home, when a band of Mohawks, who had
followed stanchly on their track, fell upon a party of stragglers, and
killed or captured fifteen or more, almost within sight of Montreal.

Three of these prisoners, examined by Schuyler, declared that
Frontenac was preparing for a grand attack on Albany in the spring. In
the political confusion of the time, the place was not in fighting
condition; and Schuyler appealed for help to the authorities of
Massachusetts. "Dear neighbours and friends, we must acquaint you that
nevir poor People in the world was in a worse Condition than we are at
Present, no Governour nor Command, no money to forward any expedition,
and scarce Men enough to maintain the Citty. We have here plainly laid
the case before you, and doubt not but you will so much take it to
heart, and make all Readinesse in the Spring to invade Canida by
water." [Footnote: _Schuyler, Wessell, and Van Rensselaer to the
Governor and Council of Massachusetts,_ 15 _Feb.,_ 1690, in _Andros
Tracts,_ III. 114.] The Mohawks were of the same mind. Their elders
came down to Albany to condole with their Dutch and English friends on
the late disaster. "We are come," said their orator, "with tears in
our eyes, to lament the murders committed at Schenectady by the
perfidious French. Onontio comes to our country to speak of peace, but
war is at his heart. He has broken into our house at both ends, once
among the Senecas and once here; but we hope to be revenged. Brethren,
our covenant with you is a silver chain that cannot rust or break. We
are of the race of the bear; and the bear does not yield, so long as
there is a drop of blood in his body. Let us all be bears. We will go
together with an army to ruin the country of the French. Therefore,
send in all haste to New England. Let them be ready with ships and
great guns to attack by water, while we attack by land." [Footnote:
_Propositions made by the Sachems of ye. Maquase (Mohawk) Castles to
ye. Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonality of ye. Citty of Albany, ye. 25
day of february_, 1690, in _Doc. Hist. N. Y._, II. 164-169.] Schuyler
did not trust his red allies, who, however, seem on this occasion to
have meant what they said. He lost no time in sending commissioners to
urge the several governments of New England to a combined attack on
the French.

New England needed no prompting to take up arms; for she presently
learned to her cost that, though feeble and prostrate, Canada could
sting. The war-party which attacked Schenectady was, as we have seen,
but one of three which Frontenac had sent against the English borders.
The second, aimed at New Hampshire, left Three Rivers on the
twenty-eighth of January, commanded by François Hertel. It consisted
of twenty-four Frenchmen, twenty Abenakis of the Sokoki band, and five
Algonquins. After three months of excessive hardship in the vast and
rugged wilderness that intervened, they approached the little
settlement of Salmon Falls on the stream which separates New Hampshire
from Maine; and here for a moment we leave them, to observe the state
of this unhappy frontier.

It was twelve years and more since the great Indian outbreak, called
King Philip's War, had carried havoc through all the borders of New
England. After months of stubborn fighting, the fire was quenched in
Massachusetts, Plymouth, and Connecticut; but in New Hampshire and
Maine it continued to burn fiercely till the treaty of Casco, in 1678.
The principal Indians of this region were the tribes known
collectively as the Abenakis. The French had established relations
with them through the missionaries; and now, seizing the opportunity,
they persuaded many of these distressed and exasperated savages to
leave the neighborhood of the English, migrate to Canada, and settle
first at Sillery near Quebec and then at the falls of the Chaudière.
Here the two Jesuits, Jacques and Vincent Bigot, prime agents in their
removal, took them in charge; and the missions of St. Francis became
villages of Abenaki Christians, like the village of Iroquois
Christians at Saut St. Louis. In both cases, the emigrants were
sheltered under the wing of Canada; and they and their tomahawks were
always at her service. The two Bigots spared no pains to induce more
of the Abenakis to join these mission colonies. They were in good
measure successful, though the great body of the tribe still clung to
their ancient homes on the Saco, the Kennebec, and the Penobscot.
[Footnote: The Abenaki migration to Canada began as early as the
autumn of 1675 (_Relation,_ 1676-77). On the mission of St. Francis on
the Chaudière, see Bigot, _Relation,_ 1684; _Ibid.,_ 1685. It was
afterwards removed to the river St. Francis.]

There were ten years of critical and dubious peace along the English
border, and then the war broke out again. The occasion of this new
uprising is not very clear, and it is hardly worth while to look for
it. Between the harsh and reckless borderer on the one side, and the
fierce savage on the other, a single spark might at any moment set the
frontier in a blaze. The English, however, believed firmly that their
French rivals had a hand in the new outbreak; and, in fact, the
Abenakis told some of their English captives that Saint-Castin, a
French adventurer on the Penobscot, gave every Indian who would go to
the war a pound of gunpowder, two pounds of lead, and a supply of
tobacco. [Footnote: Hutchinson, _Hist. Mass.,_ I. 326. Compare _N. Y.
Col. Docs.,_ IV. 282, 476.] The trading house of Saint-Castin, which
stood on ground claimed by England, had lately been plundered by Sir
Edmund Andros, and some of the English had foretold that an Indian war
would be the consequence; but none of them seem at this time to have
suspected that the governor of Canada and his Jesuit friends had any
part in their woes. Yet there is proof that this was the case; for
Denonville himself wrote to the minister at Versailles that the
successes of the Abenakis on this occasion were due to the "good
understanding which he had with them," by means of the two brothers
Bigot and other Jesuits. [2]

Whatever were the influences that kindled and maintained the war, it
spread dismay and havoc through the English settlements. Andros at
first made light of it, and complained of the authorities of Boston,
because in his absence they had sent troops to protect the settlers;
but he soon changed his mind, and in the winter went himself to the
scene of action with seven hundred men. Not an Indian did he find.
They had all withdrawn into the depths of the frozen forest. Andros
did what he could, and left more than five hundred men in garrison on
the Kennebec and the Saco, at Casco Bay, Pemaquid, and various other
exposed points. He then returned to Boston, where surprising events
awaited him. Early in April, news came that the Prince of Orange had
landed in England. There was great excitement. The people of the town
rose against Andros, whom they detested as the agent of the despotic
policy of James II. They captured his two forts with their garrisons
of regulars, seized his frigate in the harbor, placed him and his
chief adherents in custody, elected a council of safety, and set at
its head their former governor, Bradstreet, an old man of
eighty-seven. The change was disastrous to the eastern frontier. Of
the garrisons left for its protection the winter before, some were
partially withdrawn by the new council; while others, at the first
news of the revolution, mutinied, seized their officers, and returned
home. [3] These garrisons were withdrawn or reduced, partly perhaps
because the hated governor had established them, partly through
distrust of his officers, some of whom were taken from the regulars,
and partly because the men were wanted at Boston. The order of
withdrawal cannot be too strongly condemned. It was a part of the
bungling inefficiency which marked the military management of the New
England governments from the close of Philip's war to the peace of

When spring opened, the Indians turned with redoubled fury against the
defenceless frontier, seized the abandoned stockades, and butchered
the helpless settlers. Now occurred the memorable catastrophe at
Cocheco, or Dover. Two squaws came at evening and begged lodging in
the palisaded house of Major Waldron. At night, when all was still,
they opened the gates and let in their savage countrymen. Waldron was
eighty years old. He leaped from his bed, seized his sword, and drove
back the assailants through two rooms; but, as he turned to snatch his
pistols, they stunned him by the blow of a hatchet, bound him in an
arm-chair, and placed him on a table, where after torturing him they
killed him with his own sword. The crowning event of the war was the
capture of Pemaquid, a stockade work, mounted with seven or eight
cannon. Andros had placed in it a garrison of a hundred and fifty-six
men, under an officer devoted to him. Most of them had been withdrawn
by the council of safety; and the entire force of the defenders
consisted of Lieutenant James Weems and thirty soldiers, nearly half
of whom appear to have been absent at the time of the attack. [4]
The Indian assailants were about a hundred in number, all Christian
converts from mission villages. By a sudden rush, they got possession
of a number of houses behind the fort, occupied only by women and
children, the men being at their work. [Footnote: _Captivity of John
Gyles._ Gyles was one of the inhabitants.] Some ensconced themselves
in the cellars, and others behind a rock on the seashore, whence they
kept up a close and galling fire. On the next day, Weems surrendered,
under a promise of life, and, as the English say, of liberty to
himself and all his followers. The fourteen men who had survived the
fire, along with a number of women and children, issued from the gate,
upon which some were butchered on the spot, and the rest, excepting
Weems and a few others, were made prisoners. In other respects, the
behavior of the victors is said to have been creditable. They tortured
nobody, and their chiefs broke the rum barrels in the fort, to prevent
disorder. Father Thury, a priest of the seminary of Quebec, was
present at the attack; and the assailants were a part of his Abenaki
flock. Religion was one of the impelling forces of the war. In the
eyes of the Indian converts, it was a crusade against the enemies of
God. They made their vows to the Virgin before the fight; and the
squaws, in their distant villages on the Penobscot, told unceasing
beads, and offered unceasing prayers for victory. [5]

The war now ran like wildfire through the settlements of Maine and New
Hampshire. Sixteen fortified houses, with or without defenders, are
said to have fallen into the hands of the enemy; and the extensive
district then called the county of Cornwall was turned to desolation.
Massachusetts and Plymouth sent hasty levies of raw men, ill-armed and
ill-officered, to the scene of action. At Casco Bay, they met a large
body of Indians, whom they routed after a desultory fight of six
hours; and then, as the approaching winter seemed to promise a respite
from attack, most of them were withdrawn and disbanded.

It was a false and fatal security. Through snow and ice and storm,
Hertel and his band were moving on their prey. On the night of the
twenty-seventh of March, they lay hidden in the forest that bordered
the farms and clearings of Salmon Falls. Their scouts reconnoitred the
place, and found a fortified house with two stockade forts, built as a
refuge for the settlers in case of alarm. Towards daybreak, Hertel,
dividing his followers into three parties, made a sudden and
simultaneous attack. The settlers, unconscious of danger, were in
their beds. No watch was kept even in the so-called forts; and, when
the French and Indians burst in, there was no time for their few
tenants to gather for defence. The surprise was complete; and, after a
short struggle, the assailants were successful at every point. They
next turned upon the scattered farms of the neighborhood, burned
houses, barns, and cattle, and laid the entire settlement in ashes.
About thirty persons of both sexes and all ages were tomahawked or
shot; and fifty-four, chiefly women and children, were made prisoners.
Two Indian scouts now brought word that a party of English was
advancing to the scene of havoc from Piscataqua, or Portsmouth, not
many miles distant. Hertel called his men together, and began his
retreat. The pursuers, a hundred and forty in number, overtook him
about sunset at Wooster River, where the swollen stream was crossed by
a narrow bridge. Hertel and his followers made a stand on the farther
bank, killed and wounded a number of the English as they attempted to
cross, kept up a brisk fire on the rest, held them in check till
night, and then continued their retreat. The prisoners, or some of
them, were given to the Indians, who tortured one or more of the men,
and killed and tormented children and infants with a cruelty not
always equalled by their heathen countrymen. [6]

Hertel continued his retreat to one of the Abenaki villages on the
Kennebec. Here he learned that a band of French and Indians had lately
passed southward on their way to attack the English fort at Casco Bay,
on the site of Portland. Leaving at the village his eldest son, who
had been badly wounded at Wooster River, he set out to join them with
thirty-six of his followers. The band in question was Frontenac's
third war-party. It consisted of fifty French and sixty Abenakis from
the mission of St. Francis; and it had left Quebec in January, under a
Canadian officer named Portneuf and his lieutenant, Courtemanche. They
advanced at their leisure, often stopping to hunt, till in May they
were joined on the Kennebec by a large body of Indian warriors. On the
twenty-fifth, Portneuf encamped in the forest near the English forts,
with a force which, including Hertel's party, the Indians of the
Kennebec, and another band led by Saint-Castin from the Penobscot,
amounted to between four and five hundred men. [Footnote: _Declaration
of Sylvanus Davis; Mather, Magnalia_, II. 603.] Fort Loyal was a
palisade work with eight cannon, standing on rising ground by the
shore of the bay, at what is now the foot of India Street in the city
of Portland. Not far distant were four block-houses and a village
which they were designed to protect. These with the fort were occupied
by about a hundred men, chiefly settlers of the neighborhood, under
Captain Sylvanus Davis, a prominent trader. Around lay rough and
broken fields stretching to the skirts of the forest half a mile
distant. Some of Portneuf's scouts met a straggling Scotchman, and
could not resist the temptation of killing him. Their scalp-yells
alarmed the garrison, and thus the advantage of surprise was lost.
Davis resolved to keep his men within their defences, and to stand on
his guard; but there was little or no discipline in the yeoman
garrison, and thirty young volunteers under Lieutenant Thaddeus Clark
sallied out to find the enemy. They were too successful; for, as they
approached the top of a hill near the woods, they observed a number of
cattle staring with a scared look at some object on the farther side
of a fence; and, rightly judging that those they sought were hidden
there, they raised a cheer, and ran to the spot. They were met by a
fire so close and deadly that half their number were shot down. A
crowd of Indians leaped the fence and rushed upon the survivors, who
ran for the fort; but only four, all of whom were wounded, succeeded
in reaching it. [Footnote: _Relation de Monseignat_; La Potherie, III.

The men in the blockhouses withdrew under cover of night to Fort
Loyal, where the whole force of the English was now gathered along
with their frightened families. Portneuf determined to besiege the
place in form; and, after burning the village, and collecting tools
from the abandoned blockhouses, he opened his trenches in a deep gully
within fifty yards of the fort, where his men were completely
protected. They worked so well that in three days they had wormed
their way close to the palisade; and, covered as they were in their
burrows, they lost scarcely a man, while their enemies suffered
severely. They now summoned the fort to surrender. Davis asked for a
delay of six days, which was refused; and in the morning the fight
began again. For a time the fire was sharp and heavy. The English
wasted much powder in vain efforts to dislodge the besiegers from
their trenches; till at length, seeing a machine loaded with a
tar-barrel and other combustibles shoved against their palisades, they
asked for a parley. Up to this time, Davis had supposed that his
assailants were all Indians, the French being probably dressed and
painted like their red allies. "We demanded," he says, "if there were
any French among them, and if they would give us quarter. They
answered that they were Frenchmen, and that they would give us good
quarter. Upon this, we sent out to them again to know from whence they
came, and if they would give us good quarter for our men, women, and
children, both wounded and sound, and (to demand) that we should have
liberty to march to the next English town, and have a guard for our
defence and safety; then we would surrender; and also that the
governour of the French should hold up his hand and swear by the great
and ever living God that the several articles should be performed: all
which he did solemnly swear."

The survivors of the garrison now filed through the gate, and laid
down their arms. They with their women and children were thereupon
abandoned to the Indians, who murdered many of them, and carried off
the rest. When Davis protested against this breach of faith, he was
told that he and his countrymen were rebels against their lawful king,
James II. After spiking the cannon, burning the fort, and destroying
all the neighboring settlements, the triumphant allies departed for
their respective homes, leaving the slain unburied where they had
fallen. [7]

Davis with three or four others, more fortunate than their companions,
was kept by the French, and carried to Canada. "They were kind to me,"
he says, "on my travels through the country. I arrived at Quebeck the
14th of June, where I was civilly treated by the gentry, and soon
carried to the fort before the governour, the Earl of Frontenack."
Frontenac told him that the governor and people of New York were the
cause of the war, since they had stirred up the Iroquois against
Canada, and prompted them to torture French prisoners. [Footnote: I am
unable to discover the foundation of this last charge.] Davis replied
that New York and New England were distinct and separate governments,
each of which must answer for its own deeds; and that New England
would gladly have remained at peace with the French, if they had not
set on the Indians to attack her peaceful settlers. Frontenac admitted
that the people of New England were not to be regarded in the same
light with those who had stirred up the Indians against Canada; but he
added that they were all rebels to their king, and that if they had
been good subjects there would have been no war. "I do believe,"
observes the captive Puritan, "that there was a popish design against
the Protestant interest in New England as in other parts of the
world." He told Frontenac of the pledge given by his conqueror, and
the violation of it. "We were promised good quarter," he reports
himself to have said, "and a guard to conduct us to our English; but
now we are made captives and slaves in the hands of the heathen. I
thought I had to do with Christians that would have been careful of
their engagements, and not to violate and break their oaths. Whereupon
the governour shaked his head, and, as I was told, was very angry with
Burniffe (_Portneuf_)."

Frontenac was pleased with his prisoner, whom he calls a _bonhomme_.
He told him in broken English to take courage, and promised him good
treatment; to which Davis replied that his chief concern was not for
himself, but for the captives in the hands of the Indians. Some of
these were afterwards ransomed by the French, and treated with much
kindness, as was also Davis himself, to whom the count gave lodging in
the château.

The triumphant success of his three war-parties produced on the
Canadian people all the effect that Frontenac had expected. This
effect was very apparent, even before the last two victories had
become known. "You cannot believe, Monseigneur," wrote the governor,
speaking of the capture of Schenectady, "the joy that this slight
success has caused, and how much it contributes to raise the people
from their dejection and terror."

One untoward accident damped the general joy for a moment. A party of
Iroquois Christians from the Saut St. Louis had made a raid against
the English borders, and were returning with prisoners. One evening,
as they were praying at their camp near Lake Champlain, they were
discovered by a band of Algonquins and Abenakis who were out on a
similar errand, and who, mistaking them for enemies, set upon them and
killed several of their number, among whom was Kryn, the great Mohawk,
chief of the mission of the Saut. This mishap was near causing a
rupture between the best Indian allies of the colony; but the
difference was at length happily adjusted, and the relatives of the
slain propitiated by gifts. [Footnote: The attacking party consisted
of some of the Abenakis and Algonquins who had been with Hertel, and
who had left the main body after the destruction of Salmon Falls.
Several of them were killed in the skirmish, and among the rest their
chief, Hopehood, or Wohawa, "that memorable tygre," as Cotton Mather
calls him.]

[1] Many of the authorities on the burning of Schenectady will be
found in the _Documentary History of New York_, I. 297-312. One
of the most important is a portion of the long letter of M. de
Monseignat, comptroller-general of the marine in Canada, to a lady of
rank, said to be Madame de Maintenon. Others are contemporary
documents preserved at Albany, including, among others, the lists of
killed and captured, letters of Leisler to the governor of Maryland,
the governor of Massachusetts, the governor of Barbadoes, and the
Bishop of Salisbury; of Robert Livingston to Sir Edmund Andros and to
Captain Nicholson; and of Mr. Van Cortlandt to Sir Edmund Andros. One
of the best contemporary authorities is a letter of Schuyler and his
colleagues to the governor and council of Massachusetts, 15 February,
1690, preserved in the Massachusetts archives, and printed in the
third volume of Mr. Whitmore's _Andros Tracts_. La Potherie,
Charlevoix, Colden, Smith, and many others, give accounts at

Johannes Sander, or Alexander, Glen, was the son of a Scotchman of
good family. He was usually known as Captain Sander. The French wrote
the name _Cendre_, which became transformed into _Condre_, and then
into _Coudre_. In the old family Bible of the Glens, still preserved
at the place named by them Scotia, near Schenectady, is an entry in
Dutch recording the "murders" committed by the French, and the
exemption accorded to Alexander Glen on account of services rendered
by him and his family to French prisoners. See _Proceedings of N. Y.
Hist. Soc._, 1846, 118.

The French called Schenectady Corlaer or Corlar, from Van Curler, its
founder. Its treatment at their hands was ill deserved, as its
inhabitants, and notably Van Curler himself, had from the earliest
times been the protectors of French captives among the Mohawks.
Leisler says that only one-sixth of the inhabitants escaped unhurt.

[2] "En partant de Canada, j'ay laissé une très grande disposition à
attirer au Christianisme la plus grande partie des sauvages Abenakis
qui abitent les bois du voisinage de Baston. Pour cela il faut les
attirer à la mission nouvellement établie près Québec sous le nom de
S. François de Sale. Je l'ai vue en peu de temps au nombre de six
cents âmes venues du voisinage de Baston. Je l'ay laissée en estat
d'augmenter beaucoup si elle est protegée; j'y ai fait quelque dépense
qui n'est pas inutile. _La bonne intelligence que j'ai eue avec ces
sauvages par les soins des Jésuites, et surtout des deux pères Bigot
frères a fait le succès de toutes les attaques qu'ils ont faites sur
les Anglois cet esté_, aux quels ils ont enlevé 16 forts, outre celuy
de Pemcuit (_Pemaquid_) ou il y avoit 20 pièces de canon, et leur ont
tué plus de 200 hommes." _Denonville au Ministre, Jan._, 1690.

It is to be observed that this Indian outbreak began in the summer of
1688, when there was peace between France and England. News of the
declaration of war did not reach Canada till July, 1689. (Belmont.)
Dover and other places were attacked in June of the same year.

The intendant Champigny says that most of the Indians who attacked the
English were from the mission villages near Quebec. _Champigny au
Ministre_, 16 _Nov._, 1689. He says also that he supplied them with
gunpowder for the war.

The "forts" taken by the Indians on the Kennebec at this time were
nothing but houses protected by palisades. They were taken by
treachery and surprise. _Lettre du Père Thury_, 1689. Thury says that
142 men, women, and children were killed.

[3] _Andros, Account of Forces in Maine,_ in 3 _Mass. Hist. Coll.,_ I.
85. Compare _Andros Tracts,_ I. 177; _Ibid.,_ II. 181, 193, 207, 213,
217; _Ibid.,_ III. 232; _Report of Andros_ in _N. Y. Col. Docs.,_ III.
722. The order for the reduction of the garrisons and the return of
the suspected officers was passed at the first session of the council
of safety, 20 April. The agents of Massachusetts at London endeavored
to justify it. See _Andros Tracts,_ III. 34. The only regular troops
in New England were two companies brought by Andros. Most of them were
kept at Boston, though a few men and officers were sent to the eastern
garrison. These regulars were regarded with great jealousy, and
denounced as "a crew that began to teach New England to Drab, Drink,
Blaspheme, Curse, and Damm." _Ibid.,_ II. 50.

In their hatred of Andros, many of the people of New England held the
groundless and foolish belief that he was in secret collusion with the
French and Indians. Their most dangerous domestic enemies were some of
their own traders, who covertly sold arms and ammunition to the

[4] Andros in 3 _Mass. Hist. Coll.,_ I. 85. The original commanding
officer, Brockholes, was reputed a "papist." Hence his removal.
_Andros Tracts,_ III. 35. Andros says that but eighteen men were left
in the fort. A list of them in the archives of Massachusetts,
certified by Weems himself, shows that there were thirty. Doubt is
thrown on this certificate by the fact that the object of it was to
obtain a grant of money in return for advances of pay made by Weems to
his soldiers. Weems was a regular officer. A number of letters from
him, showing his condition before the attack, will be found in
Johnston, _History of Bristol, Bremen, and Pemaquid_.

[5] Thury, _Relation du Combat des Canibas_. Compare Hutchinson,
_Hist. Mass_., I. 352, and Mather, _Magnalia_, II. 590 (ed. 1853). The
murder of prisoners after the capitulation has been denied. Thury
incidentally confirms the statement, when, after saying that he
exhorted the Indians to refrain from drunkenness and cruelty, he adds
that, in consequence, they did not take a single scalp, and "_tuèrent
sur le champ ceux qu'ils voulurent tuer_."

English accounts place the number of Indians at from two to three
hundred. Besides the persons taken in the fort, a considerable number
were previously killed, or captured in the houses and fields. Those
who were spared were carried to the Indian towns on the Penobscot, the
seat of Thury's mission. La Motte-Cadillac, in his _Mémoire sur
l'Acadie_, 1692, says that 80 persons in all were killed; an evident
exaggeration. He adds that Weems and six men were spared at the
request of the chief, Madockawando. The taking of Pemaquid is
remarkable as one of the very rare instances in which Indians have
captured a fortified place otherwise than by treachery or surprise.
The exploit was undoubtedly due to French prompting. We shall see
hereafter with what energy and success Thury incited his flock to

[6] The archives of Massachusetts contain various papers on the
disaster at Salmon Falls. Among them is the report of the authorities
of Portsmouth to the governor and council at Boston, giving many
particulars, and asking aid. They estimate the killed and captured at
upwards of eighty, of whom about one fourth were men. They say that
about twenty houses were burnt, and mention but one fort. The other,
mentioned in the French accounts, was, probably a palisaded house.
Speaking of the combat at the bridge, they say, "We fought as long as
we could distinguish friend from foe. We lost two killed and six or
seven wounded, one mortally." The French accounts say fourteen. This
letter is accompanied by the examination of a French prisoner, taken
the same day. Compare Mather, _Magnalia_, II. 595; Belknap, _Hist. New
Hampshire_, I. 207; _Journal of Rev. John Pike (Proceedings of Mass.
Hist. Soc_. 1875); and the French accounts of Monseignat and La
Potherie. Charlevoix adds various embellishments, not to be found in
the original sources. Later writers copy and improve upon him, until
Hertel is pictured as charging the pursuers sword in hand, while the
English fly in disorder before him.

[7] Their remains were buried by Captain Church, three years later. On
the capture of Fort Loyal, compare Monseignat and La Potherie with
Mather, _Magnalia_, II. 603, and the _Declaration of Sylvanus Davis_,
in 3 _Mass. Hist. Coll_., I. 101. Davis makes curious mistakes in
regard to French names, his rustic ear not being accustomed to the
accents of the Gallic tongue. He calls Courtemanche, Monsieur Corte de
March, and Portneuf, Monsieur Burniffe or Burneffe. To these
contemporary authorities may be added the account given by Le Clercq,
_Établissement de la Foy_, II. 393, and a letter from Governor
Bradstreet of Massachusetts to Jacob Leisler in _Doc. Hist. N. Y_.,
II. 259. The French writers of course say nothing of any violation of
faith on the part of the victors, but they admit that the Indians kept
most of the prisoners. Scarcely was the fort taken, when four English
vessels appeared in the harbor, too late to save it. Willis, in his
_History of Portland_ (ed. 1865), gives a map of Fort Loyal and the
neighboring country. In the Massachusetts archives is a letter from
Davis, written a few days before the attack, complaining that his fort
is in wretched condition.





When Frontenac sent his war-parties against New York and New England,
it was in the hope not only of reanimating the Canadians, but also of
teaching the Iroquois that they could not safely rely on English aid,
and of inciting the Abenakis to renew their attacks on the border
settlements. He imagined, too, that the British colonies could be
chastised into prudence and taught a policy of conciliation towards
their Canadian neighbors; but he mistook the character of these bold
and vigorous though not martial communities. The plan of a combined
attack on Canada seems to have been first proposed by the Iroquois;
and New York and the several governments of New England, smarting
under French and Indian attacks, hastened to embrace it. Early in May,
a congress of their delegates was held in the city of New York. It was
agreed that the colony of that name should furnish four hundred men,
and Massachusetts, Plymouth, and Connecticut three hundred and
fifty-five jointly; while the Iroquois afterwards added their
worthless pledge to join the expedition with nearly all their
warriors. The colonial militia were to rendezvous at Albany, and
thence advance upon Montreal by way of Lake Champlain. Mutual
jealousies made it difficult to agree upon a commander; but Winthrop
of Connecticut was at length placed at the head of the feeble and
discordant band.

While Montreal was thus assailed by land, Massachusetts and the other
New England colonies were invited to attack Quebec by sea; a task
formidable in difficulty and in cost, and one that imposed on them an
inordinate share in the burden of the war. Massachusetts hesitated.
She had no money, and she was already engaged in a less remote and
less critical enterprise. During the winter, her commerce had suffered
from French cruisers, which found convenient harborage at Port Royal,
whence also the hostile Indians were believed to draw supplies Seven
vessels, with two hundred and eighty-eight sailors, were impressed,
and from four to five hundred militia-men were drafted for the
service. [Footnote: _Summary of Muster Roll, appended to A Journal of
the Expedition from Boston against Port Royal_, among the papers of
George Chalmers in the Library of Harvard College.] That rugged son of
New England, Sir William Phips, was appointed to the command. He
sailed from Nantasket at the end of April, reached Port Royal on the
eleventh of May, landed his militia, and summoned Meneval, the
governor, to surrender. The fort, though garrisoned by about seventy
soldiers, was scarcely in condition to repel an assault; and Meneval
yielded without resistance, first stipulating, according to French
accounts, that private property should be respected, the church left
untouched, and the troops sent to Quebec or to France. [Footnote:
_Relation de la Prise du Port Royal, par les Anglois de Baston_, piece
anonyme, 27 _Mai_, 1690.] It was found, however, that during the
parley a quantity of goods, belonging partly to the king and partly to
merchants of the place, had been carried off and hidden in the woods.
[Footnote: _Journal of the Expedition from Boston against Port
Royal_]. Phips thought this a sufficient pretext for plundering the
merchants, imprisoning the troops, and desecrating the church. "We cut
down the cross," writes one of his followers, "rifled their church,
pulled down their high altar, and broke their images." [Footnote:
_Ibid_.] The houses of the two priests were also pillaged. The people
were promised security to life, liberty, and property, on condition of
swearing allegiance to King William and Queen Mary; "which," says the
journalist, "they did with great acclamation," and thereupon they were
left unmolested. [1] The lawful portion of the booty included twenty-one
pieces of cannon, with a considerable sum of money belonging to the
king. The smaller articles, many of which were taken from the
merchants and from such of the settlers as refused the oath, were
packed in hogsheads and sent on board the ships. Phips took no
measures to secure his conquest, though he commissioned a president
and six councillors, chosen from the inhabitants, to govern the
settlement till farther orders from the crown or from the authorities
of Massachusetts. The president was directed to constrain nobody in
the matter of religion; and he was assured of protection and support
so long as he remained "faithful to our government," that is, the
government of Massachusetts. [Footnote: _Journal of the Expedition,
etc._] The little Puritan commonwealth already gave itself airs of

Phips now sent Captain Alden, who had already taken possession of
Saint-Castin's post at Penobscot, to seize upon La Hêve, Chedabucto,
and other stations on the southern coast. Then, after providing for
the reduction of the settlements at the head of the Bay of Fundy, he
sailed, with the rest of the fleet, for Boston, where he arrived
triumphant on the thirtieth of May, bringing with him, as prisoners,
the French governor, fifty-nine soldiers, and the two priests, Petit
and Trouvé. Massachusetts had made an easy conquest of all Acadia; a
conquest, however, which she had neither the men nor the money to
secure by sufficient garrisons.

The conduct of the New England commander in this affair does him no
credit. It is true that no blood was spilt, and no revenge taken for
the repeated butcheries of unoffending and defenceless settlers. It is
true, also, that the French appear to have acted in bad faith. But
Phips, on the other hand, displayed a scandalous rapacity. Charlevoix
says that he robbed Meneval of all his money; but Meneval himself
affirms that he gave it to the English commander for safe keeping, and
that Phips and his wife would return neither the money nor various
other articles belonging to the captive governor, whereof the
following are specified: "Six silver spoons, six silver forks, one
silver cup in the shape of a gondola, a pair of pistols, three new
wigs, a gray vest, four pair of silk garters, two dozen of shirts, six
vests of dimity, four nightcaps with lace edgings, all my table
service of fine tin, all my kitchen linen," and many other items which
give an amusing insight into Meneval's housekeeping. [2]

Meneval, with the two priests, was confined in a house at Boston,
under guard. He says that he petitioned the governor and council for
redress; "but, as they have little authority and stand in fear of
Phips, who is supported by the rabble, to which he himself once
belonged, and of which he is now the chief, they would do nothing for
me." [Footnote: _Mémoire présenté à M. de Ponchartrain par M. de
Meneval, 6 Avril_, 1691.] This statement of Meneval is not quite
correct: for an order of the council is on record, requiring Phips to
restore his chest and clothes; and, as the order received no
attention, Governor Bradstreet wrote to the refractory commander a
note, enjoining him to obey it at once. [Footnote: This note, dated 7
Jan., 1691, is cited by Bowen in his _Life of Phips_, Sparks's
_American Biography_, VII.] Phips thereupon gave up some of the money
and the worst part of the clothing, still keeping the rest. [Footnote:
_Mémoire de Meneval_.] After long delay, the council released Meneval:
upon which, Phips and the populace whom he controlled demanded that he
should be again imprisoned; but the "honest people" of the town took
his part, his persecutor was forced to desist, and he set sail
covertly for France. [Footnote: _Ibid_.] This, at least, is his own
account of the affair.

As Phips was to play a conspicuous part in the events that immediately
followed, some notice of him will not be amiss. He is said to have
been one of twenty-six children, all of the same mother, and was born
in 1650 at a rude border settlement, since called Woolwich, on the
Kennebec. His parents were ignorant and poor; and till eighteen years
of age he was employed in keeping sheep. Such a life ill suited his
active and ambitious nature. To better his condition, he learned the
trade of ship-carpenter, and, in the exercise of it, came to Boston,
where he married a widow with some property, beyond him in years, and
much above him in station. About this time, he learned to read and
write, though not too well, for his signature is like that of a
peasant. Still aspiring to greater things, he promised his wife that
he would one day command a king's ship and own a "fair brick house in
the Green Lane of North Boston," a quarter then occupied by citizens
of the better class. He kept his word at both points. Fortune was
inauspicious to him for several years; till at length, under the
pressure of reverses, he conceived the idea of conquering fame and
wealth at one stroke, by fishing up the treasure said to be stored in
a Spanish galleon wrecked fifty years before somewhere in the West
Indian seas. Full of this project, he went to England, where, through
influences which do not plainly appear, he gained a hearing from
persons in high places, and induced the admiralty to adopt his scheme.
A frigate was given him, and he sailed for the West Indies; whence,
after a long search, he returned unsuccessful, though not without
adventures which proved his mettle. It was the epoch of the
buccaneers; and his crew, tired of a vain and toilsome search, came to
the quarterdeck, armed with cutlasses, and demanded of their captain
that he should turn pirate with them. Phips, a tall and powerful man,
instantly fell upon them with his fists, knocked down the ringleaders,
and awed them all into submission. Not long after, there was a more
formidable mutiny; but, with great courage and address, he quelled it
for a time, and held his crew to their duty till he had brought the
ship into Jamaica, and exchanged them for better men.

Though the leaky condition of the frigate compelled him to abandon the
search, it was not till he had gained information which he thought
would lead to success; and, on his return, he inspired such confidence
that the Duke of Albemarle, with other noblemen and gentlemen, gave
him a fresh outfit, and despatched him again on his Quixotic errand.
This time he succeeded, found the wreck, and took from it gold,
silver, and jewels to the value of three hundred thousand pounds
sterling. The crew now leagued together to seize the ship and divide
the prize; and Phips, pushed to extremity, was compelled to promise
that every man of them should have a share in the treasure, even if he
paid it himself. On reaching England, he kept his pledge so well that,
after redeeming it, only sixteen thousand pounds was left as his
portion, which, however, was an ample fortune in the New England of
that day. He gained, too, what he valued almost as much, the honor of
knighthood. Tempting offers were made him of employment in the royal
service; but he had an ardent love for his own country, and thither he
presently returned.

Phips was a rude sailor, bluff, prompt, and choleric. He never gave
proof of intellectual capacity; and such of his success in life as he
did not owe to good luck was due probably to an energetic and
adventurous spirit, aided by a blunt frankness of address that pleased
the great, and commended him to their favor. Two years after the
expedition to Port Royal, the king, under the new charter, made him
governor of Massachusetts, a post for which, though totally unfit, he
had been recommended by the elder Mather, who, like his son Cotton,
expected to make use of him. He carried his old habits into his new
office, cudgelled Brinton, the collector of the port, and belabored
Captain Short of the royal navy with his cane. Far from trying to hide
the obscurity of his origin, he leaned to the opposite foible, and was
apt to boast of it, delighting to exhibit himself as a self-made man.
New England writers describe him as honest in private dealings; but,
in accordance with his coarse nature, he seems to have thought that
any thing is fair in war. On the other hand, he was warmly patriotic,
and was almost as ready to serve New England as to serve himself.
[Footnote: An excellent account of Phips will be found in Professor
Bowen's biographical notice, already cited. His Life by Cotton Mather
is excessively eulogistic.]

When he returned from Port Royal, he found Boston alive with martial
preparation. A bold enterprise was afoot. Massachusetts of her own
motion had resolved to attempt the conquest of Quebec. She and her
sister colonies had not yet recovered from the exhaustion of Philip's
war, and still less from the disorders that attended the expulsion of
the royal governor and his adherents. The public treasury was empty,
and the recent expeditions against the eastern Indians had been
supported by private subscription. Worse yet, New England had no
competent military commander. The Puritan gentlemen of the original
emigration, some of whom were as well fitted for military as for civil
leadership, had passed from the stage; and, by a tendency which
circumstances made inevitable, they had left none behind them equally
qualified. The great Indian conflict of fifteen years before had, it
is true, formed good partisan chiefs, and proved that the New England
yeoman, defending his family and his hearth, was not to be surpassed
in stubborn fighting; but, since Andros and his soldiers had been
driven out, there was scarcely a single man in the colony of the
slightest training or experience in regular war. Up to this moment,
New England had never asked help of the mother country. When thousands
of savages burst on her defenceless settlements, she had conquered
safety and peace with her own blood and her own slender resources; but
now, as the proposed capture of Quebec would inure to the profit of
the British crown, Bradstreet and his council thought it not unfitting
to ask for a supply of arms and ammunition, of which they were in
great need. [Footnote: _Bradstreet and Council to the Earl of
Shrewsbury, 29 Mar., 1690; Danforth to Sir H. Ashurst, 1 April,
1690._] The request was refused, and no aid of any kind came from the
English government, whose resources were engrossed by the Irish war.

While waiting for the reply, the colonial authorities urged on their
preparations, in the hope that the plunder of Quebec would pay the
expenses of its conquest. Humility was not among the New England
virtues, and it was thought a sin to doubt that God would give his
chosen people the victory over papists and idolaters; yet no pains
were spared to ensure the divine favor. A proclamation was issued,
calling the people to repentance; a day of fasting was ordained; and,
as Mather expresses it, "the wheel of prayer was kept in continual
motion." [Footnote: _Mass. Colonial Records, 12 Mar., 1690_; Mather,
_Life of Phips._] The chief difficulty was to provide funds. An
attempt was made to collect a part of the money by private
subscription; [Footnote: _Proposals for an Expedition against Canada_,
in 3 _Mass. Hist. Coll._, X. 119.] but, as this plan failed, the
provisional government, already in debt, strained its credit yet
farther, and borrowed the needful sums. Thirty-two trading and fishing
vessels, great and small, were impressed for the service. The largest
was a ship called the "Six Friends," engaged in the dangerous West
India trade, and carrying forty-four guns. A call was made for
volunteers, and many enrolled themselves; but, as more were wanted, a
press was ordered to complete the number. So rigorously was it applied
that, what with voluntary and enforced enlistment, one town, that of
Gloucester, was deprived of two-thirds of its fencible men. [Footnote:
_Rev. John Emerson to Wait Winthrop, 26 July, 1690_. Emerson was the
minister of Gloucester. He begs for the release of the impressed men.]
There was not a moment of doubt as to the choice of a commander, for
Phips was imagined to be the very man for the work. One John Walley, a
respectable citizen of Barnstable, was made second in command with the
modest rank of major; and a sufficient number of ship-masters,
merchants, master mechanics, and substantial farmers, were
commissioned as subordinate officers. About the middle of July, the
committee charged with the preparations reported that all was ready.
Still there was a long delay. The vessel sent early in spring to ask
aid from England had not returned. Phips waited for her as long as he
dared, and the best of the season was over when he resolved to put to
sea. The rustic warriors, duly formed into companies, were sent on
board; and the fleet sailed from Nantasket on the ninth of August.
Including sailors, it carried twenty-two hundred men, with provisions
for four months, but insufficient ammunition and no pilot for the St.
Lawrence. [Footnote: Mather, _Life of Phips_, gives an account of the
outfit. Compare the _Humble Address of Divers of the Gentry, Merchants
and others inhabiting in Boston, to the King's Most Excellent
Majesty_. Two officers of the expedition, Walley and Savage, have left
accounts of it, as Phips would probably have done, had his literary
acquirements been equal to the task.]

While Massachusetts was making ready to conquer Quebec by sea, the
militia of the land expedition against Montreal had mustered at
Albany. Their strength was even less than was at first proposed; for,
after the disaster at Casco, Massachusetts and Plymouth had recalled
their contingents to defend their frontiers. The rest, decimated by
dysentery and small-pox, began their march to Lake Champlain, with
bands of Mohawk, Oneida, and Mohegan allies. The western Iroquois were
to join them at the lake, and the combined force was then to attack
the head of the colony, while Phips struck at its heart.

Frontenac was at Quebec during most of the winter and the early
spring. When he had despatched the three war-parties, whose hardy but
murderous exploits were to bring this double storm upon him, he had an
interval of leisure, of which he made a characteristic use. The
English and the Iroquois were not his only enemies. He had opponents
within as well as without, and he counted as among them most of the
members of the supreme council. Here was the bishop, representing that
clerical power which had clashed so often with the civil rule; here
was that ally of the Jesuits, the intendant Champigny, who, when
Frontenac arrived, had written mournfully to Versailles that he would
do his best to live at peace with him; here were Villeray and Auteuil,
whom the governor had once banished, Damours, whom he had imprisoned,
and others scarcely more agreeable to him. They and their clerical
friends had conspired for his recall seven or eight years before; they
had clung to Denonville, that faithful son of the Church, in spite of
all his failures; and they had seen with troubled minds the return of
King Stork in the person of the haughty and irascible count. He on his
part felt his power. The country was in deadly need of him, and looked
to him for salvation; while the king had shown him such marks of
favor, that, for the moment at least, his enemies must hold their
peace. Now, therefore, was the time to teach them that he was their
master. Whether trivial or important the occasion mattered little.
What he wanted was a conflict and a victory, or submission without a

The supreme council had held its usual weekly meetings since
Frontenac's arrival; but as yet he had not taken his place at the
board, though his presence was needed. Auteuil, the attorney-general,
was thereupon deputed to invite him. He visited the count at his
apartment in the chateau, but could get from him no answer, except
that the council was able to manage its own business, and that he
would come when the king's service should require it. The councillors
divined that he was waiting for some assurance that they would receive
him with befitting ceremony; and, after debating the question, they
voted to send four of their number to repeat the invitation, and beg
the governor to say what form of reception would be agreeable to him.
Frontenac answered that it was for them to propose the form, and that,
when they did so, he would take the subject into consideration. The
deputies returned, and there was another debate. A ceremony was
devised, which it was thought must needs be acceptable to the count;
and the first councillor, Villeray, repaired to the château to submit
it to him. After making him an harangue of compliment, and protesting
the anxiety of himself and his colleagues to receive him with all
possible honor, he explained the plan, and assured Frontenac that, if
not wholly satisfactory, it should be changed to suit his pleasure.
"To which," says the record, "Monsieur the governor only answered that
the council could consult the bishop and other persons acquainted with
such matters." The bishop was consulted, but pleaded ignorance.
Another debate followed; and the first councillor was again despatched
to the château, with proposals still more deferential than the last,
and full power to yield, in addition, whatever the governor might
desire. Frontenac replied that, though they had made proposals for his
reception when he should present himself at the council for the first
time, they had not informed him what ceremony they meant to observe
when he should come to the subsequent sessions. This point also having
been thoroughly debated, Villeray went again to the count, and with
great deference laid before him the following plan: That, whenever it
should be his pleasure to make his first visit to the council, four of
its number should repair to the château, and accompany him, with every
mark of honor, to the palace of the intendant, where the sessions were
held; and that, on his subsequent visits, two councillors should meet
him at the head of the stairs, and conduct him to his seat. The envoy
farther protested that, if this failed to meet his approval, the
council would conform itself to all his wishes on the subject.
Frontenac now demanded to see the register in which the proceedings on
the question at issue were recorded. Villeray was directed to carry it
to him. The records had been cautiously made; and, after studying them
carefully, he could find nothing at which to cavil.

He received the next deputation with great affability, told them that
he was glad to find that the council had not forgotten the
consideration due to his office and his person, and assured them, with
urbane irony, that, had they offered to accord him marks of
distinction greater than they felt were due, he would not have
permitted them thus to compromise their dignity, having too much
regard for the honor of a body of which he himself was the head. Then,
after thanking them collectively and severally, he graciously
dismissed them, saying that he would come to the council after Easter,
or in about two months. [3] During four successive Mondays, he had
forced the chief dignitaries of the colony to march in deputations up
and down the rugged road from the intendant's palace to the chamber of
the château where he sat in solitary state. A disinterested spectator
might see the humor of the situation; but the council felt only its
vexations. Frontenac had gained his point: the enemy had surrendered

Having settled this important matter to his satisfaction, he again
addressed himself to saving the country. During the winter, he had
employed gangs of men in cutting timber in the forests, hewing it into
palisades, and dragging it to Quebec. Nature had fortified the Upper
Town on two sides by cliffs almost inaccessible, but it was open to
attack in the rear; and Frontenac, with a happy prevision of
approaching danger, gave his first thoughts to strengthening this, its
only weak side. The work began as soon as the frost was out of the
ground, and before midsummer it was well advanced. At the same time,
he took every precaution for the safety of the settlements in the
upper parts of the colony, stationed detachments of regulars at the
stockade forts, which Denonville had built in all the parishes above
Three Rivers, and kept strong scouting parties in continual movement
in all the quarters most exposed to attack. Troops were detailed to
guard the settlers at their work in the fields, and officers and men
were enjoined to use the utmost vigilance. Nevertheless, the Iroquois
war-parties broke in at various points, burning and butchering, and
spreading such terror that in some districts the fields were left
untilled and the prospects of the harvest ruined.

Towards the end of July, Frontenac left Major Prévost to finish the
fortifications, and, with the intendant Champigny, went up to
Montreal, the chief point of danger. Here he arrived on the
thirty-first; and, a few days after, the officer commanding the fort
at La Chine sent him a messenger in hot haste with the startling news
that Lake St. Louis was "all covered with canoes." [Footnote: "Que le
lac estoit tout convert de canots." _Frontenac au Ministre_, 9 _et_ 12
_Nov_., 1690.] Nobody doubted that the Iroquois were upon them again.
Cannon were fired to call in the troops from the detached posts; when
alarm was suddenly turned to joy by the arrival of other messengers to
announce that the new comers were not enemies, but friends. They were
the Indians of the upper lakes descending from Michillimackinac to
trade at Montreal. Nothing so auspicious had happened since
Frontenac's return. The messages he had sent them in the spring by
Louvigny and Perrot, reinforced by the news of the victory on the
Ottawa and the capture of Schenectady, had had the desired effect; and
the Iroquois prisoner whom their missionary had persuaded them to
torture had not been sacrificed in vain. Despairing of an English
market for their beaver skins, they had come as of old to seek one
from the French.

On the next day, they all came down the rapids, and landed near the
town. There were fully five hundred of them, Hurons, Ottawas, Ojibwas,
Pottawatamies, Crees, and Nipissings, with a hundred and ten canoes
laden with beaver skins to the value of nearly a hundred thousand
crowns. Nor was this all; for, a few days after, La Durantaye, late
commander at Michillimackinac, arrived with fifty-five more canoes,
manned by French traders, and filled with valuable furs. The stream of
wealth dammed back so long was flowing upon the colony at the moment
when it was most needed. Never had Canada known a more prosperous
trade than now in the midst of her danger and tribulation. It was a
triumph for Frontenac. If his policy had failed with the Iroquois, it
had found a crowning success among the tribes of the lakes.

Having painted, greased, and befeathered themselves, the Indians
mustered for the grand council which always preceded the opening of
the market. The Ottawa orator spoke of nothing but trade, and, with a
regretful memory of the cheapness of English goods, begged that the
French would sell them at the same rate. The Huron touched upon
politics and war, declaring that he and his people had come to visit
their old father and listen to his voice, being well assured that he
would never abandon them, as others had done, nor fool away his time,
like Denonville, in shameful negotiations for peace; and he exhorted
Frontenac to fight, not the English only, but the Iroquois also, till
they were brought to reason. "If this is not done," he said, "my
father and I shall both perish; but, come what may, we will perish
together." [Footnote: La Potherie, III. 94; Monseignat, _Relation;
Frontenac au Ministre_ 9 _et_ 12 _Nov._, 1690.] "I answered," writes
Frontenac, "that I would fight the Iroquois till they came to beg for
peace, and that I would grant them no peace that did not include all
my children, both white and red, for I was the father of both alike."

Now ensued a curious scene. Frontenac took a hatchet, brandished it in
the air and sang the war-song. The principal Frenchmen present
followed his example. The Christian Iroquois of the two neighboring
missions rose and joined them, and so also did the Hurons and the
Algonquins of Lake Nipissing, stamping and screeching like a troop of
madmen; while the governor led the dance, whooping like the rest. His
predecessor would have perished rather than play such a part in such
company; but the punctilious old courtier was himself half Indian at
heart, as much at home in a wigwam as in the halls of princes. Another
man would have lost respect in Indian eyes by such a performance. In
Frontenac, it roused his audience to enthusiasm. They snatched the
proffered hatchet and promised war to the death. [4]

Then came a solemn war-feast. Two oxen and six large dogs had been
chopped to pieces for the occasion, and boiled with a quantity of
prunes. Two barrels of wine with abundant tobacco were also served out
to the guests, who devoured the meal in a species of frenzy.
[Footnote: La Potherie, III. 96, 98.] All seemed eager for war except
the Ottawas, who had not forgotten their late dalliance with the
Iroquois. A Christian Mohawk of the Saut St. Louis called them to
another council, and demanded that they should explain clearly their
position. Thus pushed to the wall, they no longer hesitated, but
promised like the rest to do all that their father should ask.

Their sincerity was soon put to the test. An Iroquois convert called
La Plaque, a notorious reprobate though a good warrior, had gone out
as a scout in the direction of Albany. On the day when the market
opened and trade was in full activity, the buyers and sellers were
suddenly startled by the sound of the death-yell. They snatched their
weapons, and for a moment all was confusion; when La Plaque, who had
probably meant to amuse himself at their expense, made his appearance,
and explained that the yells proceeded from him. The news that he
brought was, however, sufficiently alarming. He declared that he had
been at Lake St. Sacrement, or Lake George, and had seen there a great
number of men making canoes as if about to advance on Montreal.
Frontenac, thereupon, sent the Chevalier de Clermont to scout as far
as Lake Champlain. Clermont soon sent back one of his followers to
announce that he had discovered a party of the enemy, and that they
were already on their way down the Richelieu. Frontenac ordered cannon
to be fired to call in the troops, crossed the St. Lawrence followed
by all the Indians, and encamped with twelve hundred men at La Prairie
to meet the expected attack. He waited in vain. All was quiet, and the
Ottawa scouts reported that they could find no enemy. Three days
passed. The Indians grew impatient, and wished to go home. Neither
English nor Iroquois had shown themselves; and Frontenac, satisfied
that their strength had been exaggerated, left a small force at La
Prairie, recrossed the river, and distributed the troops again among
the neighboring parishes to protect the harvesters. He now gave ample
presents to his departing allies, whose chiefs he had entertained at
his own table, and to whom, says Charlevoix, he bade farewell "with
those engaging manners which he knew so well how to assume when he
wanted to gain anybody to his interest." Scarcely were they gone, when
the distant cannon of La Prairie boomed a sudden alarm.

The men whom La Plaque had seen near Lake George were a part of the
combined force of Connecticut and New York, destined to attack
Montreal. They had made their way along Wood Creek to the point where
it widens into Lake Champlain, and here they had stopped. Disputes
between the men of the two colonies, intestine quarrels in the New
York militia, who were divided between the two factions engendered by
the late revolution, the want of provisions, the want of canoes, and
the ravages of small-pox, had ruined an enterprise which had been
mismanaged from the first. There was no birch bark to make more
canoes, and owing to the lateness of the season the bark of the elms
would not peel. Such of the Iroquois as had joined them were cold and
sullen; and news came that the three western tribes of the
confederacy, terrified by the small-pox, had refused to move. It was
impossible to advance; and Winthrop, the commander, gave orders to
return to Albany, leaving Phips to conquer Canada alone. [5] But
first, that the campaign might not seem wholly futile, he permitted
Captain John Schuyler to make a raid into Canada with a band of
volunteers. Schuyler left the camp at Wood Creek with twenty-nine
whites and a hundred and twenty Indians, passed Lake Champlain,
descended the Richelieu to Chambly, and fell suddenly on the
settlement of La Prairie, whence Frontenac had just withdrawn with his
forces. Soldiers and inhabitants were reaping in the wheat-fields.
Schuyler and his followers killed or captured twenty-five, including
several women. He wished to attack the neighboring fort, but his
Indians refused; and after burning houses, barns, and hay-ricks, and
killing a great number of cattle, he seated himself with his party at
dinner in the adjacent woods, while cannon answered cannon from
Chambly, La Prairie, and Montreal, and the whole country was astir.
"We thanked the Governor of Canada," writes Schuyler, "for his salute
of heavy artillery during our meal." [Footnote: _Journal of Captain
John Schuyler_, in Doc. Hist. N. Y., II. 285. Compare La Potherie,
III. 101, and _Relation de Monseignat_.]

The English had little to boast in this affair, the paltry termination
of an enterprise from which great things had been expected. Nor was it
for their honor to adopt the savage and cowardly mode of warfare in
which their enemies had led the way. The blow that had been struck was
less an injury to the French than an insult; but, as such, it galled
Frontenac excessively, and he made no mention of it in his despatches
to the court. A few more Iroquois attacks and a few more murders kept
Montreal in alarm till the tenth of October, when matters of deeper
import engaged the governor's thoughts.

A messenger arrived in haste at three o'clock in the afternoon, and
gave him a letter from Prévost, town major of Quebec. It was to the
effect that an Abenaki Indian had just come over land from Acadia,
with news that some of his tribe had captured an English woman near
Portsmouth, who told them that a great fleet had sailed from Boston to
attack Quebec. Frontenac, not easily alarmed, doubted the report.
Nevertheless, he embarked at once with the intendant in a small
vessel, which proved to be leaky, and was near foundering with all on
board. He then took a canoe, and towards evening set out again for
Quebec, ordering some two hundred men to follow him. On the next day,
he met another canoe, bearing a fresh message from Prévost, who
announced that the English fleet had been seen in the river, and that
it was already above Tadoussac. Frontenac now sent back Captain de
Ramsay with orders to Callières, governor of Montreal, to descend
immediately to Quebec with all the force at his disposal, and to
muster the inhabitants on the way. Then he pushed on with the utmost
speed. The autumnal storms had begun, and the rain pelted him without
ceasing; but on the morning of the fourteenth he neared the town. The
rocks of Cape Diamond towered before him; the St. Lawrence lay beneath
them, lonely and still; and the Basin of Quebec outspread its broad
bosom, a solitude without a sail. Frontenac had arrived in time.

He landed at the Lower Town, and the troops and the armed inhabitants
came crowding to meet him. He was delighted at their ardor. [Footnote:
_Frontenac au Ministre, 9 et 12 Nov., 1690._] Shouts, cheers, and the
waving of hats greeted the old man as he climbed the steep ascent of
Mountain Street. Fear and doubt seemed banished by his presence. Even
those who hated him rejoiced at his coming, and hailed him as a
deliverer. He went at once to inspect the fortifications. Since the
alarm a week before, Prévost had accomplished wonders, and not only
completed the works begun in the spring, but added others to secure a
place which was a natural fortress in itself. On two sides, the Upper
Town scarcely needed defence. The cliffs along the St. Lawrence and
those along the tributary river St. Charles had three accessible
points, guarded at the present day by the Prescott Gate, the Hope
Gate, and the Palace Gate. Prévost had secured them by barricades of
heavy beams and casks filled with earth. A continuous line of
palisades ran along the strand of the St. Charles, from the great
cliff called the Saut au Matelot to the palace of the intendant. At
this latter point began the line of works constructed by Frontenac to
protect the rear of the town. They consisted of palisades,
strengthened by a ditch and an embankment, and flanked at frequent
intervals by square towers of stone. Passing behind the garden of the
Ursulines, they extended to a windmill on a hillock called Mt. Carmel,
and thence to the brink of the cliffs in front. Here there was a
battery of eight guns near the present Public Garden; two more, each
of three guns, were planted at the top of the Saut au Matelot; another
at the barricade of the Palace Gate; and another near the windmill of
Mt. Carmel; while a number of light pieces were held in reserve for
such use as occasion might require. The Lower Town had no defensive
works; but two batteries, each of three guns, eighteen and twenty-four
pounders, were placed here at the edge of the river. [Footnote:
_Relation de Monseignat; Plan de Québec, par Villeneuve_, 1690;
_Relation du Mercure Galant_, 1691. The summit of Cape Diamond, which
commanded the town, was not fortified till three years later, nor were
any guns placed here during the English attack.]

Two days passed in completing these defences under the eye of the
governor. Men were flocking in from the parishes far and near; and on
the evening of the fifteenth about twenty-seven hundred, regulars and
militia, were gathered, within the fortifications, besides the armed
peasantry of Beauport and Beaupré, who were ordered to watch the river
below the town, and resist the English, should they attempt to land.
[Footnote: _Diary of Sylvanus Davis_, prisoner in Quebec, in _Mass.
Hist. Coll._ 3, I. 101. There is a difference of ten days in the
French and English dates, the _New Style_ having been adopted by the
former and not by the latter.] At length, before dawn on the morning
of the sixteenth, the sentinels on the Saut au Matelot could descry
the slowly moving lights of distant vessels. At daybreak the fleet was
in sight. Sail after sail passed the Point of Orleans and glided into
the Basin of Quebec. The excited spectators on the rock counted
thirty-four of them. Four were large ships, several others were of
considerable size, and the rest were brigs, schooners, and fishing
craft, all thronged with men.

[1] _Relation de Monseignat_. Nevertheless, a considerable number seem
to have refused the oath, and to have been pillaged. The _Relation de
la Prise du Port Royal par les Anglois de Baston_, written on the spot
immediately after the event, says that, except that nobody was killed,
the place was treated as if taken by assault. Meneval also says that
the inhabitants were pillaged. _Meneval au Ministre_, 29 _Mai_, 1600;
also _Rapport de Champigny_, _Oct._, 1690. Meneval describes the New
England men as excessively irritated at the late slaughter of settlers
at Salmon Falls and elsewhere.

[2] _An Account of the Silver and Effects which Mr. Phips keeps back
from Mr. Meneval_, in _3 Mass. Hist. Coll._, I. 115.

Monseignat and La Potherie describe briefly this expedition against
Port Royal. In the archives of Massachusetts are various papers
concerning it, among which are Governor Bradstreet's instructions to
Phips, and a complete invoice of the plunder. Extracts will be found
in Professor Bowen's _Life of Phips_, in Sparks's _American
Biography_, VII. There is also an order of council, "Whereas the
French soldiers lately brought to this place from Port Royal _did
surrender on capitulation_," they shall be set at liberty. Meneval,
_Lettre au Ministre_, 29 _Mai, 1690_, says that there was a
capitulation, and that Phips broke it. Perrot, former governor of
Acadia, accuses both Meneval and the priest Petit of being in
collusion with the English. _Perrot à de Chevry, 2 Juin_, 1690. The
same charge is made as regards Petit in _Mémoire sur l'Acadie_, 1691.

Charlevoix's account of this affair is inaccurate. He ascribes to
Phips acts which took place weeks after his return, such as the
capture of Chedabucto.

[3] "M. le Gouverneur luy a répondu qu'il avoit reconnu avec plaisir
que la Compagnie (_le Conseil_) conservoit la considération qu'elle
avoit pour son caractère et pour sa personne, et qu'elle pouvoit bien
s'assurer qu'encore qu'elle luy eust fait des propositions au delà de
ce qu'elle auroit cru devoir faire pour sa reception au Conseil, il ne
les auroit pas acceptées, l'honneur de la Compagnie luy estant
d'autant plus considerable, qu'en estant le chef, il n'auroit rien
voulu souffrir qui peust estre contraire à sa dignité." _Registre du
Conseil Souverain, séance du_ 13 _Mars_, 1690. The affair had occupied
the preceding sessions of 20 and 27 February and 6 March. The
submission of the councillors did not prevent them from complaining to
the minister. _Champigny au Ministre_, 10 _Mai_, 1691; _Mémoire
instructif sur le Canada_, 1691.

[4] "Je leur mis moy-mesme la hache à la main en chantant la chanson
de guerre pour m'accommoder à leurs façons de faire." _Frontenac au
Ministre_, 9 _et_ 12 _Nov_., 1690.

"Monsieur de Frontenac commença la Chanson de guerre, la Hache à la
main, les principaux Chefs des François se joignant a luy avec de
pareilles armes, la chanterent ensemble. Les Iroquois du Saut et de la
Montagne, les Hurons et les Nipisiriniens donnerent encore le branle:
l'on eut dit, Monsieur, que ces Acteurs étoient des possedez par les
gestes et les contorsions qu'ils faisoient. Les _Sassakouez_, où les
cris et les hurlemens que Mr. de Frontenac étoit obligé de faire pour
se conformer à leur manière, augmentoit encore la fureur bachique." La
Potherie, III. 97.

[5] On this expedition see the _Journal of Major General Winthrop_, in
_N. Y. Col. Docs._, IV. 193; _Publick Occurrences_, 1690, in
_Historical Magazine_, I. 228; and various documents in _N. Y. Col.
Docs._, III. 727, 752, and in _Doc. Hist. N. Y._, II. 266, 288.
Compare La Potherie, III. 126, and _N. Y. Col. Docs._, IX. 513. These
last are French statements. A Sokoki Indian brought to Canada a
greatly exaggerated account of the English forces, and said that
disease had been spread among them by boxes of infected clothing,
which they themselves had provided in order to poison the Canadians.
Bishop Laval, _Lettre du_ 20 _Nov_., 1690, says that there was a
quarrel between the English and their Iroquois allies, who, having
plundered a magazine of spoiled provisions, fell ill, and thought that
they were poisoned. Colden and other English writers seem to have been
strangely ignorant of this expedition. The Jesuit Michel Germain
declares that the force of the English alone amounted to four thousand
men (_Relation de la Défaite des Anglois_, 1690). About one tenth of
this number seem actually to have taken the field.





The delay at Boston, waiting aid from England that never came, was not
propitious to Phips; nor were the wind and the waves. The voyage to
the St. Lawrence was a long one; and when he began, without a pilot,
to grope his way up the unknown river, the weather seemed in league
with his enemies. He appears, moreover, to have wasted time. What was
most vital to his success was rapidity of movement; yet, whether by
his fault or his misfortune, he remained three weeks within three
days' sail of Quebec. [Footnote: _Journal of Major Walley_, in
Hutchinson, _Hist. Mass_., I. 470.] While anchored off Tadoussac, with
the wind ahead, he passed the idle hours in holding councils of war
and framing rules for the government of his men; and, when at length
the wind veered to the east, it is doubtful if he made the best use of
his opportunity. [Footnote: "Ils ne profitèrent pas du vent favorable
pour nous surprendre comme ils auroient pu faire." Juchereau, 320.]

He presently captured a small vessel, commanded by Granville, an
officer whom Prévost had sent to watch his movements. He had already
captured, near Tadoussac, another vessel, having on board Madame
Lalande and Madame Joliet, the wife and the mother-in-law of the
discoverer of the Mississippi. [Footnote: "Les Demoiselles Lalande et
Joliet." The title of _madame_ was at this time restricted to married
women of rank. The wives of the _bourgeois_, and even of the lesser
nobles, were called _demoiselles_.] When questioned as to the
condition of Quebec, they told him that it was imperfectly fortified,
that its cannon were dismounted, and that it had not two hundred men
to defend it. Phips was greatly elated, thinking that, like Port
Royal, the capital of Canada would fall without a blow. The statement
of the two prisoners was true, for the most part, when it was made;
but the energy of Prévost soon wrought a change.

Phips imagined that the Canadians would offer little resistance to the
Puritan invasion; for some of the Acadians had felt the influence of
their New England neighbors, and shown an inclination to them. It was
far otherwise in Canada, where the English heretics were regarded with
abhorrence. Whenever the invaders tried to land at the settlements
along the shore, they were met by a rebuff. At the river Ouelle,
Francheville, the curé put on a cap and capote, took a musket, led his
parishioners to the river, and hid with them in the bushes. As the
English boats approached their ambuscade, they gave the foremost a
volley, which killed nearly every man on board; upon which the rest
sheared off. It was the same when the fleet neared Quebec. Bands of
militia, vigilant, agile, and well commanded, followed it along the
shore, and repelled with showers of bullets every attempt of the enemy
to touch Canadian soil.

When, after his protracted voyage, Phips sailed into the Basin of
Quebec, one of the grandest scenes on the western continent opened
upon his sight: the wide expanse of waters, the lofty promontory
beyond, and the opposing heights of Levi; the cataract of Montmorenci,
the distant range of the Laurentian Mountains, the warlike rock with
its diadem of walls and towers, the roofs of the Lower Town clustering
on the strand beneath, the Château St. Louis perched at the brink of
the cliff, and over it the white banner, spangled with _fleurs-de-lis_,
flaunting defiance in the clear autumnal air. Perhaps, as he gazed, a
suspicion seized him that the task he had undertaken was less easy
than he had thought; but he had conquered once by a simple summons to
surrender, and he resolved to try its virtue again.

The fleet anchored a little below Quebec; and towards ten o'clock the
French saw a boat put out from the admiral's ship, bearing a flag of
truce. Four canoes went from the Lower Town, and met it midway. It
brought a subaltern officer, who announced himself as the bearer of a
letter from Sir William Phips to the French commander. He was taken
into one of the canoes and paddled to the quay, after being completely
blindfolded by a bandage which covered half his face. Prévost received
him as he landed, and ordered two sergeants to take him by the arms
and lead him to the governor. His progress was neither rapid nor
direct. They drew him hither and thither, delighting to make him
clamber in the dark over every possible obstruction; while a noisy
crowd hustled him, and laughing women called him Colin Maillard, the
name of the chief player in blindman's buff. [Footnote: Juchereau,
323.] Amid a prodigious hubbub, intended to bewilder him and impress
him with a sense of immense warlike preparation, they dragged him over
the three barricades of Mountain Street, and brought him at last into
a large room of the château. Here they took the bandage from his eyes.
He stood for a moment with an air of astonishment and some confusion.
The governor stood before him, haughty and stern, surrounded by French
and Canadian officers, Maricourt, Sainte-Hélène, Longueuil, Villebon,
Valrenne, Bienville, and many more, bedecked with gold lace and silver
lace, perukes and powder, plumes and ribbons, and all the martial
foppery in which they took delight, and regarding the envoy with keen,
defiant eyes. [Footnote: "Tous ces Officiers s'étoient habillés le
plus proprement qu'ils pûrent, les galons d'or et d'argent, les
rubans, les plumets, la poudre, et la frisure, rien ne manquoit," etc.
_Ibid_.] After a moment, he recovered his breath and his composure,
saluted Frontenac, and, expressing a wish that the duty assigned him
had been of a more agreeable nature, handed him the letter of Phips.
Frontenac gave it to an interpreter, who read it aloud in French that
all might hear. It ran thus:--

"_Sir William Phips, 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 to avoid all inhumane and unchristian-like
actions, and to prevent shedding of blood as much as may be,

"I, the aforesaid William Phips, Knight, do hereby, in the name and in
the 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 the
Massachuset-colony in New England, demand a present surrender of your
forts and castles, undemolished, and the King's and other stores,
unimbezzled, with a seasonable 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 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 tendered.

"Your answer positive in an hour, returned by your own trumpet, with
the return of mine, is required upon the peril that will ensue."
[Footnote: See the Letter in Mather, _Magnalia_, I. 186. The French
kept a copy of it, which, with an accurate translation, in parallel
columns, was sent to Versailles, and is still preserved in the
Archives de la Marine. The text answers perfectly to that given by

When the reading was finished, the Englishman pulled his watch from
his pocket, and handed it to the governor. Frontenac could not, or
pretended that he could not, see the hour. The messenger thereupon
told him that it was ten o'clock, and that he must have his answer
before eleven. A general cry of indignation arose; and Valrenne called
out that Phips was nothing but a pirate, and that his man ought to be
hanged. Frontenac contained himself for a moment, and then said to the

"I will not keep you waiting so long. Tell your general that I do not
recognize King William: and that the Prince of Orange, who so styles
himself, is a usurper, who has violated the most sacred laws of blood
in attempting to dethrone his father-in-law. I know no king of England
but King James. Your general ought not to be surprised at the
hostilities which he says that the French have carried on in the
colony of Massachusetts; for, as the king my master has taken the king
of England under his protection, and is about to replace him on his
throne by force of arms, he might have expected that his Majesty would
order me to make war on a people who have rebelled against their
lawful prince." Then, turning with a smile to the officers about him:
"Even if your general offered me conditions a little more gracious,
and if I had a mind to accept them, does he suppose that these brave
gentlemen would give their consent, and advise me to trust a man who
broke his agreement with the governor of Port Royal, or a rebel who
has failed in his duty to his king, and forgotten all the favors he
had received from him, to follow a prince who pretends to be the
liberator of England and the defender of the faith, and yet destroys
the laws and privileges of the kingdom and overthrows its religion?
The divine justice which your general invokes in his letter will not
fail to punish such acts severely."

The messenger seemed astonished and startled; but he presently asked
if the governor would give him his answer in writing.

"No," returned Frontenac, "I will answer your general only by the
mouths of my cannon, that he may learn that a man like me is not to be
summoned after this fashion. Let him do his best, and I will do mine;"
and he dismissed the Englishman abruptly. He was again blindfolded,
led over the barricades, and sent back to the fleet by the boat that
brought him. [Footnote: _Lettre de Sir William Phips à M. de
Frontenac, avec sa Réponse verbale; Relation de ce qui s'est passé à
la Descente des Anglois à Québec au mois d'Octobre_, 1690. Compare
Monseignat, _Relation_. The English accounts, though more brief,
confirm those of the French.]

Phips had often given proof of personal courage, but for the past
three weeks his conduct seems that of a man conscious that he is
charged with a work too large for his capacity. He had spent a good
part of his time in holding councils of war; and now, when he heard
the answer of Frontenac, he called another to consider what should be
done. A plan of attack was at length arranged. The militia were to be
landed on the shore of Beauport, which was just below Quebec, though
separated from it by the St. Charles. They were then to cross this
river by a ford practicable at low water, climb the heights of St.
Geneviève, and gain the rear of the town. The small vessels of the
fleet were to aid the movement by ascending the St. Charles as far as
the ford, holding the enemy in check by their fire, and carrying
provisions, ammunition, and intrenching tools, for the use of the land
troops. When these had crossed and were ready to attack Quebec in the
rear, Phips was to cannonade it in front, and land two hundred men
under cover of his guns to effect a diversion by storming the
barricades. Some of the French prisoners, from whom their captors
appear to have received a great deal of correct information, told the
admiral that there was a place a mile or two above the town where the
heights might be scaled and the rear of the fortifications reached
from a direction opposite to that proposed. This was precisely the
movement by which Wolfe afterwards gained his memorable victory; but
Phips chose to abide by the original plan. [Footnote: _Journal of
Major Walley_; Savage, _Account of the Late Action of the New
Englanders_ (Lond. 1691).]

While the plan was debated, the opportunity for accomplishing it ebbed
away. It was still early when the messenger returned from Quebec; but,
before Phips was ready to act, the day was on the wane and the tide
was against him. He lay quietly at his moorings when, in the evening,
a great shouting, mingled with the roll of drums and the sound of
fifes, was heard from the Upper Town. The English officers asked their
prisoner, Granville, what it meant. "Ma foi, Messieurs," he replied,
"you have lost the game. It is the governor of Montreal with the
people from the country above. There is nothing for you now but to
pack and go home." In fact, Callières had arrived with seven or eight
hundred men, many of them regulars. With these were bands of _coureurs
de bois_ and other young Canadians, all full of fight, singing and
whooping with martial glee as they passed the western gate and trooped
down St. Louis Street. [Footnote: Juchereau, 325, 326.] The next day
was gusty and blustering; and still Phips lay quiet, waiting on the
winds and the waves. A small vessel, with sixty men on board, under
Captain Ephraim Savage, ran in towards the shore of Beauport to
examine the landing, and stuck fast in the mud. The Canadians plied
her with bullets, and brought a cannon to bear on her. They might have
waded out and boarded her, but Savage and his men kept up so hot a
fire that they forbore the attempt; and, when the tide rose, she
floated again.

There was another night of tranquillity; but at about eleven on
Wednesday morning the French heard the English fifes and drums in full
action, while repeated shouts of "God save King William!" rose from
all the vessels. This lasted an hour or more; after which a great
number of boats, loaded with men, put out from the fleet and rowed
rapidly towards the shore of Beauport. The tide was low, and the boats
grounded before reaching the landing-place. The French on the rock
could see the troops through telescopes, looking in the distance like
a swarm of black ants, as they waded through mud and water, and formed
in companies along the strand. They were some thirteen hundred in
number, and were commanded by Major Walley. [Footnote: "Between 12 and
1,300 men." Walley, _Journal_. "About 1,200 men." Savage,
_Account of the Late Action_. Savage was second in command of the
militia. Mather says, 1,400. Most of the French accounts say, 1,600.
Some say, 2,000; and La Hontan raises the number to 3,000.] Frontenac
had sent three hundred sharpshooters, under Sainte-Hélène, to meet
them and hold them in check. A battalion of troops followed; but, long
before they could reach the spot, Sainte-Hélène's men, with a few
militia from the neighboring parishes, and a band of Huron warriors
from Lorette, threw themselves into the thickets along the front of
the English, and opened a distant but galling fire upon the compact
bodies of the enemy. Walley ordered a charge. The New England men
rushed, in a disorderly manner, but with great impetuosity, up the
rising ground; received two volleys, which failed to check them; and
drove back the assailants in some confusion. They turned, however, and
fought in Indian fashion with courage and address, leaping and dodging
among trees, rocks, and bushes, firing as they retreated, and
inflicting more harm than they received. Towards evening they
disappeared; and Walley, whose men had been much scattered in the
desultory fight, drew them together as well as he could, and advanced
towards the St. Charles, in order to meet the vessels which were to
aid him in passing the ford. Here he posted sentinels, and encamped
for the night. He had lost four killed and about sixty wounded, and
imagined that he had killed twenty or thirty of the enemy. In fact,
however, their loss was much less, though among the killed was a
valuable officer, the Chevalier de Clermont, and among the wounded the
veteran captain of Beauport, Juchereau de Saint-Denis, more than
sixty-four years of age. In the evening, a deserter came to the
English camp, and brought the unwelcome intelligence that there were
three thousand armed men in Quebec. [1] Meanwhile, Phips, whose fault
hitherto had not been an excess of promptitude, grew impatient, and
made a premature movement inconsistent with the preconcerted plan. He
left his moorings, anchored his largest ships before the town, and
prepared to cannonade it; but the fiery veteran, who watched him from
the Château St. Louis, anticipated him, and gave him the first shot.
Phips replied furiously, opening fire with every gun that he could
bring to bear; while the rock paid him back in kind, and belched flame
and smoke from all its batteries. So fierce and rapid was the firing,
that La Hontan compares it to volleys of musketry; and old officers,
who had seen many sieges, declared that they had never known the like.
[Footnote: La Hontan, I. 216; Juchereau, 326.] The din was prodigious,
reverberated from the surrounding heights, and rolled back from the
distant mountains in one continuous roar. On the part of the English,
however, surprisingly little was accomplished beside noise and smoke.
The practice of their gunners was so bad that many of their shot
struck harmlessly against the face of the cliff. Their guns, too, were
very light, and appear to have been charged with a view to the most
rigid economy of gunpowder; for the balls failed to pierce the stone
walls of the buildings, and did so little damage that, as the French
boasted, twenty crowns would have repaired it all. [Footnote: Père
Germain, _Relation de la Défaite des Anglois._] Night came at
length, and the turmoil ceased. Phips lay quiet till daybreak, when
Frontenac sent a shot to waken him, and the cannonade began again.
Sainte-Hélène had returned from Beauport; and he, with his brother
Maricourt, took charge of the two batteries of the Lower Town, aiming
the guns in person, and throwing balls of eighteen and twenty-four
pounds with excellent precision against the four largest ships of the
fleet. One of their shots cut the flagstaff of the admiral, and the
cross of St. George fell into the river. It drifted with the tide
towards the north shore; whereupon several Canadians paddled out in a
birch canoe, secured it, and brought it back in triumph. On the spire
of the cathedral in the Upper Town had been hung a picture of the Holy
Family, as an invocation of divine aid. The Puritan gunners wasted
their ammunition in vain attempts to knock it down. That it escaped
their malice was ascribed to miracle, but the miracle would have been
greater if they had hit it.

At length, one of the ships, which had suffered most, hauled off and
abandoned the fight. That of the admiral had fared little better, and
now her condition grew desperate. With her rigging torn, her mainmast
half cut through, her mizzen-mast splintered, her cabin pierced, and
her hull riddled with shot, another volley seemed likely to sink her,
when Phips ordered her to be cut loose from her moorings, and she
drifted out of fire, leaving cable and anchor behind. The remaining
ships soon gave over the conflict, and withdrew to stations where they
could neither do harm nor suffer it. [Footnote: Besides authorities
before cited, Le Clercq, _Établissement de la Foy_, II. 434; La
Potherie, III. 118; _Rapport de Champigny, Oct_., 1690; Laval, _Lettre
à_ ----, 20 _Nov_., 1690.]

Phips had thrown away nearly all his ammunition in this futile and
disastrous attack, which should have been deferred till the moment
when Walley, with his land force, had gained the rear of the town.
Walley lay in his camp, his men wet, shivering with cold, famished,
and sickening with the small-pox. Food, and all other supplies, were
to have been brought him by the small vessels, which should have
entered the mouth of the St. Charles and aided him to cross it. But he
waited for them in vain. Every vessel that carried a gun had busied
itself in cannonading, and the rest did not move. There appears to
have been insubordination among the masters of these small craft, some
of whom, being owners or part-owners of the vessels they commanded,
were probably unwilling to run them into danger. Walley was no
soldier; but he saw that to attempt the passage of the river without
aid, under the batteries of the town and in the face of forces twice
as numerous as his own, was not an easy task. Frontenac, on his part,
says that he wished him to do so, knowing that the attempt would ruin
him. [Footnote: _Frontenac au Ministre, 12 et 19 Nov_., 1690.] The New
England men were eager to push on; but the night of Thursday, the day
of Phips's repulse, was so cold that ice formed more than an inch in
thickness, and the half-starved militia suffered intensely. Six
field-pieces, with their ammunition, had been sent ashore; but they
were nearly useless, as there were no means of moving them. Half a
barrel of musket powder, and one biscuit for each man, were also
landed; and with this meagre aid Walley was left to capture Quebec. He
might, had he dared, have made a dash across the ford on the morning
of Thursday, and assaulted the town in the rear while Phips was
cannonading it in front; but his courage was not equal to so desperate
a venture. The firing ceased, and the possible opportunity was lost.
The citizen soldier despaired of success; and, on the morning of
Friday, he went on board the admiral's ship to explain his situation.
While he was gone, his men put themselves in motion, and advanced
along the borders of the St. Charles towards the ford. Frontenac, with
three battalions of regular troops, went to receive them at the
crossing; while Sainte-Hélène, with his brother Longueuil, passed the
ford with a body of Canadians, and opened fire on them from the
neighboring thickets. Their advance parties were driven in, and there
was a hot skirmish, the chief loss falling on the New England men, who
were fully exposed. On the side of the French, Sainte-Hélène was
mortally wounded, and his brother was hurt by a spent ball. Towards
evening, the Canadians withdrew, and the English encamped for the
night. Their commander presently rejoined them. The admiral had given
him leave to withdraw them to the fleet, and boats were accordingly
sent to bring them off; but, as these did not arrive till about
daybreak, it was necessary to defer the embarkation till the next

At dawn, Quebec was all astir with the beating of drums and the
ringing of bells. The New England drums replied; and Walley drew up
his men under arms, expecting an attack, for the town was so near that
the hubbub of voices from within could plainly be heard. The noise
gradually died away; and, except a few shots from the ramparts, the
invaders were left undisturbed. Walley sent two or three companies to
beat up the neighboring thickets, where he suspected that the enemy
was lurking. On the way, they had the good luck to find and kill a
number of cattle, which they cooked and ate on the spot; whereupon,
being greatly refreshed and invigorated, they dashed forward in
complete disorder, and were soon met by the fire of the ambushed
Canadians. Several more companies were sent to their support, and the
skirmishing became lively. Three detachments from Quebec had crossed
the river; and the militia of Beauport and Beaupré had hastened to
join them. They fought like Indians, hiding behind trees or throwing
themselves flat among the bushes, and laying repeated ambuscades as
they slowly fell back. At length, they all made a stand on a hill
behind the buildings and fences of a farm; and here they held their
ground till night, while the New England men taunted them as cowards
who would never fight except under cover. [Footnote: _Relation de la
Descente des Anglois_.] Walley, who with his main body had stood in
arms all day, now called in the skirmishers, and fell back to the
landing-place, where, as soon as it grew dark, the boats arrived from
the fleet. The sick men, of whom there were many, were sent on board,
and then, amid floods of rain, the whole force embarked in noisy
confusion, leaving behind them in the mud five of their cannon. Hasty
as was their parting, their conduct on the whole had been creditable;
and La Hontan, who was in Quebec at the time, says of them, "They
fought vigorously, though as ill-disciplined as men gathered together
at random could be; for they did not lack courage, and, if they
failed, it was by reason of their entire ignorance of discipline, and
because they were exhausted by the fatigues of the voyage." Of Phips
he speaks with contempt, and says that he could not have served the
French better if they had bribed him to stand all the while with his
arms folded. Some allowance should, nevertheless, be made him for the
unmanageable character of the force under his command, the
constitution of which was fatal to military subordination.

On Sunday, the morning after the re-embarkation, Phips called a
council of officers, and it was resolved that the men should rest for
a day or two, that there should be a meeting for prayer, and that, if
ammunition enough could be found, another landing should be attempted;
but the rough weather prevented the prayer-meeting, and the plan of a
new attack was fortunately abandoned.

Quebec remained in agitation and alarm till Tuesday, when Phips
weighed anchor and disappeared, with all his fleet, behind the Island
of Orleans. He did not go far, as indeed he could not, but stopped
four leagues below to mend rigging, fortify wounded masts, and stop
shot-holes. Subercase had gone with a detachment to watch the retiring
enemy; and Phips was repeatedly seen among his men, on a scaffold at
the side of his ship, exercising his old trade of carpenter. This
delay was turned to good use by an exchange of prisoners. Chief among
those in the hands of the French was Captain Davis, late commander at
Casco Bay; and there were also two young daughters of Lieutenant
Clark, who had been killed at the same place. Frontenac himself had
humanely ransomed these children from the Indians; and Madame de
Champigny, wife of the intendant, had, with equal kindness, bought
from them a little girl named Sarah Gerrish, and placed her in charge
of the nuns at the Hôtel-Dieu, who had become greatly attached to her,
while she, on her part, left them with reluctance. The French had the
better in these exchanges, receiving able-bodied men, and returning,
with the exception of Davis, only women and children. The heretics
were gone, and Quebec breathed freely again. Her escape had been a
narrow one; not that three thousand men, in part regular troops,
defending one of the strongest positions on the continent, and
commanded by Frontenac, could not defy the attacks of two thousand raw
fishermen and farmers, led by an ignorant civilian, but the numbers
which were a source of strength were at the same time a source of
weakness. [Footnote: The small-pox had left probably less than 2,000
effective men in the fleet when it arrived before Quebec. The number
of regular troops in Canada by the roll of 1689 was 1,418. Nothing had
since occurred to greatly diminish the number. Callières left about
fifty in Montreal, and perhaps also a few in the neighboring forts.
The rest were in Quebec.] Nearly all the adult males of Canada were
gathered at Quebec, and there was imminent danger of starvation.
Cattle from the neighboring parishes had been hastily driven into the
town; but there was little other provision, and before Phips retreated
the pinch of famine had begun. Had he come a week earlier or stayed a
week later, the French themselves believed that Quebec would have
fallen, in the one case for want of men, and in the other for want of

The Lower Town had been abandoned by its inhabitants, who bestowed
their families and their furniture within the solid walls of the
seminary. The cellars of the Ursuline convent were filled with women
and children, and many more took refuge at the Hôtel-Dieu. The beans
and cabbages in the garden of the nuns were all stolen by the
soldiers; and their wood-pile was turned into bivouac fires. "We were
more dead than alive when we heard the cannon," writes Mother
Juchereau; but the Jesuit Fremin came to console them, and their
prayers and their labors never ceased. On the day when the firing was
heaviest, twenty-six balls fell into their yard and garden, and were
sent to the gunners at the batteries, who returned them to their
English owners. At the convent of the Ursulines, the corner of a nun's
apron was carried off by a cannon-shot as she passed through her
chamber. The sisterhood began a _novena_, or nine days' devotion, to
St. Joseph, St. Ann, the angels, and the souls in purgatory; and one
of their number remained day and night in prayer before the images of
the Holy Family. The bishop came to encourage them; and his prayers
and his chants were so fervent that they thought their last hour was
come. [Footnote: _Récit d'une Réligieuse Ursuline_, in _Les Ursulines
de Québec_, I. 470.]

The superior of the Jesuits, with some of the elder members of the
Order, remained at their college during the attack, ready, should the
heretics prevail, to repair to their chapel, and die before the altar.
Rumor exaggerated the numbers of the enemy, and a general alarm
pervaded the town. It was still greater at Lorette, nine miles
distant. The warriors of that mission were in the first skirmish at
Beauport; and two of them, running off in a fright, reported at the
village that the enemy were carrying every thing before them. On this,
the villagers fled to the woods, followed by Father Germain, their
missionary, to whom this hasty exodus suggested the flight of the Holy
Family into Egypt. [Footnote: "Il nous ressouvint alors de la fuite de
Nostre Seigneur en Égypte." Père Germain, _Relation_.] The Jesuits
were thought to have special reason to fear the Puritan soldiery, who,
it was reported, meant to kill them all, after cutting off their ears
to make necklaces. [Footnote: _Ibid_.]

When news first came of the approach of Phips, the bishop was absent
on a pastoral tour. Hastening back, he entered Quebec at night, by
torchlight, to the great joy of its inmates, who felt that his
presence brought a benediction. He issued a pastoral address,
exhorting his flock to frequent and full confession and constant
attendance at mass, as the means of insuring the success of their
arms. [Footnote: _Lettre pastorale pour disposer les Peuples de ce
Diocèse à se bien déffendre contre les Anglois_ (Reg. de l'Évêché de
Québec).] Laval, the former bishop, aided his efforts. "We appealed,"
he writes, "to God, his Holy Mother, to all the Angels, and to all the
Saints." [Footnote: _Laval à ----, Nov_. 20, 1690.] Nor was the appeal
in vain: for each day seemed to bring some new token of celestial
favor; and it is not surprising that the head-winds which delayed the
approach of the enemy, the cold and the storms which hastened his
departure, and, above all, his singularly innocent cannonade, which
killed but two or three persons, should have been accepted as proof of
divine intervention. It was to the Holy Virgin that Quebec had been
most lavish of its vows, and to her the victory was ascribed.

One great anxiety still troubled the minds of the victors. Three
ships, bringing large sums of money and the yearly supplies for the
colony, were on their way to Quebec; and nothing was more likely than
that the retiring fleet would meet and capture them. Messengers had
been sent down the river, who passed the English in the dark, found
the ships at St. Paul's Bay, and warned them of the danger. They
turned back, and hid themselves within the mouth of the Saguenay; but
not soon enough to prevent Phips from discovering their retreat. He
tried to follow them; but thick fogs arose, with a persistent tempest
of snow, which completely baffled him, and, after waiting five days,
he gave over the attempt. When he was gone, the three ships emerged
from their hiding-place, and sailed again for Quebec, where they were
greeted with a universal jubilee. Their deliverance was ascribed to
Saint Ann, the mother of the Virgin, and also to St. Francis Xavier,
whose name one of them bore.

Quebec was divided between thanksgiving and rejoicing. The captured
flag of Phips's ship was borne to the cathedral in triumph; the bishop
sang _Te Deum_; and, amid the firing of cannon, the image of the
Virgin was carried to each church and chapel in the place by a
procession, in which priests, people, and troops all took part. The
day closed with a grand bonfire in honor of Frontenac.

One of the three ships carried back the news of the victory, which was
hailed with joy at Versailles; and a medal was struck to commemorate
it. The ship carried also a despatch from Frontenac. "Now that the
king has triumphed by land and sea," wrote the old soldier, "will he
think that a few squadrons of his navy would be ill employed in
punishing the insolence of these genuine old parliamentarians of
Boston, and crushing them in their den and the English of New York as
well? By mastering these two towns, we shall secure the whole
sea-coast, besides the fisheries of the Grand Bank, which is no slight
matter: and this would be the true, and perhaps the only, way of
bringing the wars of Canada to an end; for, when the English are
conquered, we can easily reduce the Iroquois to complete submission."
[Footnote: _Frontenac au Ministre, 9 et 12 Nov_., 1690.]

Phips returned crestfallen to Boston late in November; and one by one
the rest of the fleet came straggling after him, battered and
weather-beaten. Some did not appear till February, and three or four
never came at all. The autumn and early winter were unusually stormy.
Captain Rainsford, with sixty men, was wrecked on the Island of
Anticosti, where more than half their number died of cold and misery.
[Footnote: Mather, _Magnalia_, I. 192.] In the other vessels, some
were drowned, some frost-bitten, and above two hundred killed by
small-pox and fever.

At Boston, all was dismay and gloom. The Puritan bowed before "this
awful frown of God," and searched his conscience for the sin that had
brought upon him so stern a chastisement. [Footnote: _The Governor and
Council to the Agents of Massachusetts_, in _Andros Tracts_, III. 53.]
Massachusetts, already impoverished, found herself in extremity. The
war, instead of paying for itself, had burdened her with an additional
debt of fifty thousand pounds. [Footnote: _Address of the Gentry,
Merchants, and others, Ibid_., II. 236.] The sailors and soldiers were
clamorous for their pay; and, to satisfy them, the colony was forced
for the first time in its history to issue a paper currency. It was
made receivable at a premium for all public debts, and was also
fortified by a provision for its early redemption by taxation; a
provision which was carried into effect in spite of poverty and
distress. [2]

Massachusetts had made her usual mistake. She had confidently believed
that ignorance and inexperience could match the skill of a tried
veteran, and that the rude courage of her fishermen and farmers could
triumph without discipline or leadership. The conditions of her
material prosperity were adverse to efficiency in war. A trading
republic, without trained officers, may win victories; but it wins
them either by accident or by an extravagant outlay in money and life.

[1] On this affair, Walley, _Journal_; Savage, _Account of the
Late Action_ (in a letter to his brother); Monseignat, _Relation;
Relation de la Descente des Anglois; Relation de_ 1682-1712; La
Hontan, I. 213. "M. le comte de Frontenac se trouva avec 3,000
hommes." Belmont, _Histoire du Canada_, A.D. 1690. The prisoner
Captain Sylvanus Davis, in his diary, says, as already mentioned, that
on the day before Phips's arrival so many regulars and militia arrived
that, with those who came with Frontenac, there were about 2,700. This
was before the arrival of Callières, who, according to Davis, brought
but 300. Thus the three accounts of the deserter, Belmont, and Davis,
tally exactly as to the sum total.

An enemy of Frontenac writes, "Ce n'est pas sa présence qui fit
prendre la fuite aux Anglois, mais le grand nombre de François
auxquels ils virent bien que celuy de leurs guerriers n'étoit pas
capable de faire tête." _Remarques sur l'Oraison Funèbre de feu M. de

[2] The following is a literal copy of a specimen of this paper money,
which varied in value from two shillings to ten pounds:--

No. (2161) 10s

This Indented Bill of Ten Shillings, due from the Massachusetts Colony
to the Possessor, shall be in value equal to Money, and shall be
accordingly accepted by the Treasurer and Receivers subordinate to him
in all Publick Payments, and for any Stock at any time in the Treasury
Boston in New England, December the 10th. 1690. By Order of the
General Court.

   +--------------+  PETER TOWNSEND }
   | Seal of      |  ADAM WINTHROP  } Com'tee
   | Masachusetts |  TIM. THORNTON  }

When this paper came into the hands of the treasurer, it was burned.
Nevertheless, owing to the temporary character of the provisional
government, it fell for a time to the value of from fourteen to
sixteen shillings in the pound.

In the Bibliotheque Nationale is the original draft of a remarkable
map, by the engineer Villeneuve, of which a facsimile is before me. It
represents in detail the town and fortifications of Quebec, the
surrounding country, and the positions of the English fleet and land
forces, and is entitled _PLAN DE QUÉBEC, et de ses Environs, EN LA
jusqu'au 22 dud. mois qu'ils s'en allerent, apprès avoir esté bien
battus PAR Mr. LE COMTE DE FRONTENAC, gouverneur general du Pays._





One of Phips's officers, charged with the exchange of prisoners at
Quebec, said as he took his leave, "We shall make you another visit in
the spring;" and a French officer returned, with martial courtesy, "We
shall have the honor of meeting you before that time." Neither side
made good its threat, for both were too weak and too poor. No more
war-parties were sent that winter to ravage the English border; for
neither blankets, clothing, ammunition, nor food could be spared. The
fields had lain untilled over half Canada; and, though four ships had
arrived with supplies, twice as many had been captured or driven back
by English cruisers in the Gulf. The troops could not be kept
together; and they were quartered for subsistence upon the settlers,
themselves half famished.

Spring came at length, and brought with it the swallows, the
bluebirds, and the Iroquois. They rarely came in winter, when the
trees and bushes had no leaves to hide them, and their movements were
betrayed by the track of their snow-shoes; but they were always to be
expected at the time of sowing and of harvest, when they could do most
mischief. During April, about eight hundred of them, gathering from
their winter hunting-grounds, encamped at the mouth of the Ottawa,
whence they detached parties to ravage the settlements. A large band
fell upon Point aux Trembles, below Montreal, burned some thirty
houses, and killed such of the inmates as could not escape. Another
band attacked the Mission of the Mountain, just behind the town, and
captured thirty-five of the Indian converts in broad daylight. Others
prowled among the deserted farms on both shores of the St. Lawrence;
while the inhabitants remained pent in their stockade forts, with
misery in the present and starvation in the future. Troops and militia
were not wanting. The difficulty was to find provisions enough to
enable them to keep the field. By begging from house to house, getting
here a biscuit and there a morsel of bacon, enough was collected to
supply a considerable party for a number of days; and a hundred and
twenty soldiers and Canadians went out under Vaudreuil to hunt the
hunters of men. Long impunity had made the Iroquois so careless that
they were easily found. A band of about forty had made their quarters
at a house near the fort at Repentigny, and here the French scouts
discovered them early in the night. Vaudreuil and his men were in
canoes. They lay quiet till one o'clock, then landed, and noiselessly
approached the spot. Some of the Iroquois were in the house, the rest
lay asleep on the ground before it. The French crept towards them, and
by one close volley killed them all. Their comrades within sprang up
in dismay. Three rushed out, and were shot: the others stood on their
defence, fired from windows and loopholes, and killed six or seven of
the French, who presently succeeded in setting fire to the house,
which was thatched with straw. Young François de Bienville, one of the
sons of Charles Le Moyne, rushed up to a window, shouted his name like
an Indian warrior, fired on the savages within, and was instantly shot
dead. The flames rose till surrounding objects were bright as day. The
Iroquois, driven to desperation, burst out like tigers, and tried to
break through their assailants. Only one succeeded. Of his companions,
some were shot, five were knocked down and captured, and the rest
driven back into the house, where they perished in the fire. Three of
the prisoners were given to the inhabitants of Repentigny, Point aux
Trembles, and Boucherville, who, in their fury, burned them alive.
[Footnote: _Relation de Bénac_, 1691; _Relation de ce qui s'est passé
de plus considérable en Canada_, 1690, 1691; La Potherie, III. 134;
_Relation de_ 1682-1712; _Champigny au Ministre_, 12 _May_, 1691. The
name of Bienville was taken, after his death, by one of his brothers,
the founder of New Orleans.]

For weeks, the upper parts of the colony were infested by wolfish
bands howling around the forts, which they rarely ventured to attack.
At length, help came. A squadron from France, strong enough to beat
off the New England privateers which blockaded the St. Lawrence,
arrived at Quebec with men and supplies; and a strong force was
despatched to break up the Iroquois camp at the Ottawa. The enemy
vanished at its approach; and the suffering farmers had a brief
respite, which enabled them to sow their crops, when suddenly a fresh
alarm was sounded from Sorel to Montreal, and again the settlers ran
to their forts for refuge.

Since the futile effort of the year before, the English of New York,
still distracted by the political disorders that followed the
usurpation of Leisler, had fought only by deputy, and contented
themselves with hounding on the Iroquois against the common enemy.
These savage allies at length lost patience, and charged their white
neighbors with laziness and fear. "You say to us, 'Keep the French in
perpetual alarm.' Why don't you say, 'We will keep the French in
perpetual alarm'?" [Footnote: Colden, 125, 140.] It was clear that
something must be done, or New York would be left to fight her battles
alone. A war-party was therefore formed at Albany, and the Indians
were invited to join it. Major Peter Schuyler took command; and his
force consisted of two hundred and sixty-six men, of whom a hundred
and twenty were English and Dutch, and the rest Mohawks and Wolves, or
Mohegans. [Footnote: _Official Journal of Schuyler_, in _N. Y. Col.
Docs_., III. 800.] He advanced to a point on the Richelieu ten miles
above Fort Chambly, and, leaving his canoes under a strong guard,
marched towards La Prairie de la Madeleine, opposite Montreal.

Scouts had brought warning of his approach; and Callières, the local
governor, crossed the St. Lawrence, and encamped at La Prairie with
seven or eight hundred men. [Footnote: _Relation de Bénoe; Relation
de_ 1682-1712.] Here he remained for a week, attacked by fever and
helpless in bed. The fort stood a few rods from the river. Two
battalions of regulars lay on a field at the right; and the Canadians
and Indians were bivouacked on the left, between the fort and a small
stream, near which was a windmill. On the evening of the tenth of
August, a drizzling rain began to fall; and the Canadians thought more
of seeking shelter than of keeping watch. They were, moreover, well
supplied with brandy, and used it freely. [Footnote: "La débauche fut
extrême en toute manière." Belmont.] At an hour before dawn, the
sentry at the mill descried objects like the shadows of men silently
advancing along the borders of the stream. They were Schuyler's
vanguard. The soldier cried, "Qui vive?" There was no answer. He fired
his musket, and ran into the mill. Schuyler's men rushed in a body
upon the Canadian camp, drove its occupants into the fort, and killed
some of the Indian allies, who lay under their canoes on the adjacent

The regulars on the other side of the fort, roused by the noise,
sprang to arms and hastened to the spot. They were met by a volley,
which laid some fifty of them on the ground, and drove back the rest
in disorder. They rallied and attacked again; on which, Schuyler,
greatly outnumbered, withdrew his men to a neighboring ravine, where
he once more repulsed his assailants, and, as he declares, drove them
into the fort with great loss. By this time it was daylight. The
English, having struck their blow, slowly fell back, hacking down the
corn in the fields, as it was still too green for burning, and pausing
at the edge of the woods, where their Indians were heard for some time
uttering frightful howls, and shouting to the French that they were
not men, but dogs. Why the invaders were left to retreat unmolested,
before a force more than double their own, does not appear. The
helpless condition of Callières and the death of Saint-Cirque, his
second in command, scarcely suffice to explain it. Schuyler retreated
towards his canoes, moving, at his leisure, along the forest path that
led to Chambly. Tried by the standard of partisan war, his raid had
been a success. He had inflicted great harm and suffered little; but
the affair was not yet ended.

A day or two before, Valrenne, an officer of birth and ability, had
been sent to Chambly, with about a hundred and sixty troops and
Canadians, a body of Huron and Iroquois converts, and a band of
Algonquins from the Ottawa. His orders were to let the English pass,
and then place himself in their rear to cut them off from their
canoes. His scouts had discovered their advance; and, on the morning
of the attack, he set his force in motion, and advanced six or seven
miles towards La Prairie, on the path by which Schuyler was
retreating. The country was buried in forests. At about nine o'clock,
the scouts of the hostile parties met each other, and their war-whoops
gave the alarm. Valrenne instantly took possession of a ridge of
ground that crossed the way of the approaching English. Two large
trees had fallen along the crest of the acclivity; and behind these
the French crouched, in a triple row, well hidden by bushes and thick
standing trunks. The English, underrating the strength of their enemy,
and ignorant of his exact position, charged impetuously, and were sent
reeling back by a close and deadly volley. They repeated the attack
with still greater fury, and dislodged the French from their
ambuscade. Then ensued a fight, which Frontenac declares to have been
the most hot and stubborn ever known in Canada. The object of Schuyler
was to break through the French and reach his canoes: the object of
Valrenne was to drive him back upon the superior force at La Prairie.
The cautious tactics of the bush were forgotten. Three times the
combatants became mingled together, firing breast to breast, and
scorching each other's shirts by the flash of their guns. The
Algonquins did themselves no credit; and at first some of the
Canadians gave way, but they were rallied by Le Ber Duchesne, their
commander, and afterwards showed great bravery. On the side of the
English, many of the Mohegan allies ran off; but the whites and the
Mohawks fought with equal desperation. In the midst of the tumult,
Valrenne was perfectly cool, directing his men with admirable vigor
and address, and barring Schuyler's retreat for more than an hour. At
length, the French were driven from the path. "We broke through the
middle of their body," says Schuyler, "until we got into their rear,
trampling upon their dead; then faced about upon them, and fought them
until we made them give way; then drove them, by strength of arm, four
hundred paces before us; and, to say the truth, we were all glad to
see them retreat." [Footnote: _Major Peter Schuyler's Journal of his
Expedition to Canada_, in _N. Y. Col. Docs_., III. 800. "_Les ennemis
enfoncèrent notre embuscade_." Belmont.] He and his followers
continued their march unmolested, carrying their wounded men, and
leaving about forty dead behind them, along with one of their flags,
and all their knapsacks, which they had thrown off when the fray
began. They reached the banks of the Richelieu, found their canoes
safe, and, after waiting several hours for stragglers, embarked for

Nothing saved them from destruction but the failure of the French at
La Prairie to follow their retreat, and thus enclose them between two
fires. They did so, it is true, at the eleventh hour, but not till the
fight was over and the English were gone. The Christian Mohawks of the
Saut also appeared in the afternoon, and set out to pursue the enemy,
but seem to have taken care not to overtake them; for the English
Mohawks were their relatives, and they had no wish for their scalps.
Frontenac was angry at their conduct; and, as he rarely lost an
opportunity to find fault with the Jesuits, he laid the blame on the
fathers in charge of the mission, whom he sharply upbraided for the
shortcomings of their flock. [1] He was at Three Rivers at a ball when
news of the disaster at La Prairie damped the spirits of the company,
which, however, were soon revived by tidings of the fight under
Valrenne and the retreat of the English, who were reported to have
left two hundred dead on the field. Frontenac wrote an account of the
affair to the minister, with high praise of Valrenne and his band,
followed by an appeal for help. "What with fighting and hardship, our
troops and militia are wasting away." "The enemy is upon us by sea and
land." "Send us a thousand men next spring, if you want the colony to
be saved." "We are perishing by inches; the people are in the depths
of poverty; the war has doubled prices so that nobody can live." "Many
families are without bread. The inhabitants desert the country, and
crowd into the towns." [Footnote: _Lettres de Frontenac et de
Champigny_, 1691, 1692.] A new enemy appeared in the following summer,
almost as destructive as the Iroquois. This was an army of
caterpillars, which set at naught the maledictions of the clergy, and
made great havoc among the crops. It is recorded that along with the
caterpillars came an unprecedented multitude of squirrels, which,
being industriously trapped or shot, proved a great help to many

Alarm followed alarm. It was reported that Phips was bent on revenge
for his late discomfiture, that great armaments were afoot, and that a
mighty host of "Bostonnais" was preparing another descent. Again and
again Frontenac begged that one bold blow should be struck to end
these perils and make King Louis master of the continent, by
despatching a fleet to seize New York. If this were done, he said, it
would be easy to take Boston and the "rebels and old republican leaven
of Cromwell" who harbored there; then burn the place, and utterly
destroy it. [Footnote: Frontenac in _N. Y. Col. Docs._, IX. 496, 506.]
Villebon, governor of Acadia, was of the same mind. "No town," he told
the minister, "could be burned more easily. Most of the houses are
covered with shingles, and the streets are very narrow." [Footnote:
Villebon in _N. Y. Col. Docs_., IX. 507.] But the king could not spare
a squadron equal to the attempt; and Frontenac was told that he must
wait. The troops sent him did not supply his losses. [Footnote: The
returns show 1,313 regulars in 1691, and 1,120 in 1692.] Money came
every summer in sums which now seem small, but were far from being so
in the eyes of the king, who joined to each remittance a lecture on
economy and a warning against extravagance. [Footnote: _Lettres du Roy
et du Ministre_, 1690-1694. In 1691, the amount allowed for
_extraordinaires de guerre_ was 99,000 livres (_francs_). In 1692, it
was 193,000 livres, a part of which was for fortifications. In the
following year, no less than 750,000 livres were drawn for Canada, "ce
qui ne se pourroit pas supporter, si cela continuoit de la mesme
force," writes the minister. (_Le Ministre à Frontenac_, 13 _Mars_,
1694.) This last sum probably included the pay of the troops.]

The intendant received his share of blame on these occasions, and he
usually defended himself vigorously. He tells his master that
"war-parties are necessary, but very expensive. We rarely pay money;
but we must give presents to our Indians, and fit out the Canadians
with provisions, arms, ammunition, moccasons, snow-shoes, sledges,
canoes, capotes, breeches, stockings, and blankets. This costs a great
deal, but without it we should have to abandon Canada." The king
complained that, while the great sums he was spending in the colony
turned to the profit of the inhabitants, they contributed nothing to
their own defence. The complaint was scarcely just; for, if they gave
no money, they gave their blood with sufficient readiness. Excepting a
few merchants, they had nothing else to give; and, in the years when
the fur trade was cut off, they lived chiefly on the pay they received
for supplying the troops and other public services. Far from being
able to support the war, they looked to the war to support them.
[Footnote: "Sa Majesté fait depuis plusieurs années des sacrifices
immenses en Canada. L'avantage en demeure presque tout entier au
profit des habitans et des marchands qui y resident. Ces dépenses se
font pour leur seureté et pour leur conservation. Il est juste que
ceux qui sont en estat secourent le public." _Mémoire du Roy_, 1693.
"Les habitans de la colonie ne contribuent en rien à tout ce que Sa
Majesté fait pour leur conservation, pendant que ses sujets du Royaume
donnent tout ce qu'ils ont pour son service." _Le Ministre a
Frontenac_, 13 _Mars_, 1694.]

The work of fortifying the vital points of the colony, Quebec, Three
Rivers, and Montreal, received constant stimulus from the alarms of
attack, and, above all, from a groundless report that ten thousand
"Bostonnais" had sailed for Quebec. The sessions of the council were
suspended, and the councillors seized pick and spade. The old defences
of the place were reconstructed on a new plan, made by the great
engineer Vauban. The settlers were mustered together from a distance
of twenty leagues, and compelled to labor, with little or no pay, till
a line of solid earthworks enclosed Quebec from Cape Diamond to the
St. Charles. Three Rivers and Montreal were also strengthened. The
cost exceeded the estimates, and drew upon Frontenac and Champigny
fresh admonitions from Versailles. [2]

The bounties on scalps and prisoners were another occasion of royal
complaint. Twenty crowns had been offered for each male white
prisoner, ten crowns for each female, and ten crowns for each scalp,
whether Indian or English. [Footnote: _Champigny au Ministre_, 21
_Sept_., 1692.] The bounty on prisoners produced an excellent result,
since instead of killing them the Indian allies learned to bring them
to Quebec. If children, they were placed in the convents; and, if
adults, they were distributed to labor among the settlers. Thus,
though the royal letters show that the measure was one of policy, it
acted in the interest of humanity. It was not so with the bounty on
scalps. The Abenaki, Huron, and Iroquois converts brought in many of
them; but grave doubts arose whether they all came from the heads of
enemies. [Footnote: _Relation de_ 1682-1712.] The scalp of a Frenchman
was not distinguishable from the scalp of an Englishman, and could be
had with less trouble. Partly for this reason, and partly out of
economy, the king gave it as his belief that a bounty of one crown was
enough; though the governor and the intendant united in declaring that
the scalps of the whole Iroquois confederacy would be a good bargain
for his Majesty at ten crowns apiece. [Footnote: _Mémoire du Roy aux
Sieurs Frontenac et Champigny_, 1693; _Frontenac et Champigny au
Ministre_, 4 _Nov_., 1693. The bounty on prisoners was reduced in the
same proportion, showing that economy was the chief object of the

The river Ottawa was the main artery of Canada, and to stop it was to
stop the flow of her life blood. The Iroquois knew this; and their
constant effort was to close it so completely that the annual supply
of beaver skins would be prevented from passing, and the colony be
compelled to live on credit. It was their habit to spend the latter
part of the winter in hunting among the forests between the Ottawa and
the upper St. Lawrence, and then, when the ice broke up, to move in
large bands to the banks of the former stream, and lie in ambush at
the Chaudière, the Long Saut, or other favorable points, to waylay the
passing canoes. On the other hand, it was the constant effort of
Frontenac to drive them off and keep the river open; an almost
impossible task. Many conflicts, great and small, took place with
various results; but, in spite of every effort, the Iroquois blockade
was maintained more than two years. The story of one of the
expeditions made by the French in this quarter will show the hardship
of the service, and the moral and physical vigor which it demanded.

Early in February, three hundred men under Dorvilliers were sent by
Frontenac to surprise the Iroquois in their hunting-grounds. When they
were a few days out, their leader scalded his foot by the upsetting of
a kettle at their encampment near Lake St. Francis; and the command
fell on a youth named Beaucour, an officer of regulars, accomplished
as an engineer, and known for his polished wit. The march through the
snow-clogged forest was so terrible that the men lost heart. Hands and
feet were frozen; some of the Indians refused to proceed, and many of
the Canadians lagged behind. Shots were heard, showing that the enemy
were not far off; but cold, hunger, and fatigue had overcome the
courage of the pursuers, and the young commander saw his followers on
the point of deserting him. He called them together, and harangued
them in terms so animating that they caught his spirit, and again
pushed on. For four hours more they followed the tracks of the
Iroquois snow-shoes, till they found the savages in their bivouac, set
upon them, and killed or captured nearly all. There was a French slave
among them, scarcely distinguishable from his owners. It was an
officer named La Plante, taken at La Chine three years before. "He
would have been killed like his masters," says La Hontan, "if he had
not cried out with all his might, _'Miséricorde, sauvez-moi, je suis
Français'_" [Footnote: La Potherie, III. 156; _Relation de ce qui
s'est passé de plus considérable en Canada_, 1691, 1692; La Hontan, I.
233.] Beaucour brought his prisoners to Quebec, where Frontenac
ordered that two of them should be burned. One stabbed himself in
prison; the other was tortured by the Christian Hurons on Cape
Diamond, defying them to the last. Nor was this the only instance of
such fearful reprisal. In the same year, a number of Iroquois captured
by Vaudreuil were burned at Montreal at the demand of the Canadians
and the mission Indians, who insisted that their cruelties should be
paid back in kind. It is said that the purpose was answered, and the
Iroquois deterred for a while from torturing their captives.
[Footnote: _Relation_, 1682-1712.]

The brunt of the war fell on the upper half of the colony. The country
about Montreal, and for nearly a hundred miles below it, was easily
accessible to the Iroquois by the routes of Lake Champlain and the
upper St. Lawrence; while below Three Rivers the settlements were
tolerably safe from their incursions, and were exposed to attack
solely from the English of New England, who could molest them only by
sailing up from the Gulf in force. Hence the settlers remained on
their farms, and followed their usual occupations, except when
Frontenac drafted them for war-parties. Above Three Rivers, their
condition was wholly different. A traveller passing through this part
of Canada would have found the houses empty. Here and there he would
have seen all the inhabitants of a parish laboring in a field
together, watched by sentinels, and generally guarded by a squad of
regulars. When one field was tilled, they passed to the next; and this
communal process was repeated when the harvest was ripe. At night,
they took refuge in the fort; that is to say, in a cluster of log
cabins, surrounded by a palisade. Sometimes, when long exemption from
attack had emboldened them, they ventured back to their farm-houses,
an experiment always critical and sometimes fatal. Thus the people of
La Chesnaye, forgetting a sharp lesson they had received a year or two
before, returned to their homes in fancied security. One evening a
bachelor of the parish made a visit to a neighboring widow, bringing
with him his gun and a small dog. As he was taking his leave, his
hostess, whose husband had been killed the year before, told him that
she was afraid to be left alone, and begged him to remain with her, an
invitation which he accepted. Towards morning, the barking of his dog
roused him; when, going out, he saw the night lighted up by the blaze
of burning houses, and heard the usual firing and screeching of an
Iroquois attack. He went back to his frightened companion, who also
had a gun. Placing himself at a corner of the house, he told her to
stand behind him. A number of Iroquois soon appeared, on which he
fired at them, and, taking her gun, repeated the shot, giving her his
own to load. The warriors returned his fire from a safe distance, and
in the morning withdrew altogether, on which the pair emerged from
their shelter, and succeeded in reaching the fort. The other
inhabitants were all killed or captured. [Footnote: _Relation_,
1682-1712.] Many incidents of this troubled time are preserved, but
none of them are so well worth the record as the defence of the fort
at Verchères by the young daughter of the seignior. Many years later,
the Marquis de Beauharnais, governor of Canada, caused the story to be
written down from the recital of the heroine herself. Verchères was on
the south shore of the St. Lawrence, about twenty miles below
Montreal. A strong blockhouse stood outside the fort, and was
connected with it by a covered way. On the morning of the twenty-second
of October, the inhabitants were at work in the fields, and nobody was
left in the place but two soldiers, two boys, an old man of eighty,
and a number of women and children. The seignior, formerly an officer
of the regiment of Carignan, was on duty at Quebec; his wife was at
Montreal; and their daughter Madeleine, fourteen years of age, was at
the landing-place not far from the gate of the fort, with a hired man
named Laviolette. Suddenly she heard firing from the direction where
the settlers were at work, and an instant after Laviolette cried out,
"Run, Mademoiselle, run! here come the Iroquois!" She turned and saw
forty or fifty of them at the distance of a pistol-shot. "I ran for
the fort, commending myself to the Holy Virgin. The Iroquois who
chased after me, seeing that they could not catch me alive before I
reached the gate, stopped and fired at me. The bullets whistled about
my ears, and made the time seem very long. As soon as I was near
enough to be heard, I cried out, _To arms! to arms!_ hoping that
somebody would come out and help me; but it was of no use. The two
soldiers in the fort were so scared that they had hidden in the
blockhouse. At the gate, I found two women crying for their husbands,
who had just been killed. I made them go in, and then shut the gate. I
next thought what I could do to save myself and the few people with
me. I went to inspect the fort, and found that several palisades had
fallen down, and left openings by which the enemy could easily get in.
I ordered them to be set up again, and helped to carry them myself.
When the breaches were stopped, I went to the blockhouse where the
ammunition is kept, and here I found the two soldiers, one hiding in a
corner, and the other with a lighted match in his hand. 'What are you
going to do with that match?' I asked. He answered, 'Light the powder,
and blow us all up.' 'You are a miserable coward,' said I, 'go out of
this place.' I spoke so resolutely that he obeyed. I then threw off my
bonnet; and, after putting on a hat and taking a gun, I said to my two
brothers: 'Let us fight to the death. We are fighting for our country
and our religion. Remember that our father has taught you that
gentlemen are born to shed their blood for the service of God and the

The boys, who were twelve and ten years old, aided by the soldiers,
whom her words had inspired with some little courage, began to fire
from the loopholes upon the Iroquois, who, ignorant of the weakness of
the garrison, showed their usual reluctance to attack a fortified
place, and occupied themselves with chasing and butchering the people
in the neighboring fields. Madeleine ordered a cannon to be fired,
partly to deter the enemy from an assault, and partly to warn some of
the soldiers, who were hunting at a distance. The women and children
in the fort cried and screamed without ceasing. She ordered them to
stop, lest their terror should encourage the Indians. A canoe was
presently seen approaching the landing-place. It was a settler named
Fontaine, trying to reach the fort with his family. The Iroquois were
still near; and Madeleine feared that the new comers would be killed,
if something were not done to aid them. She appealed to the soldiers,
but their courage was not equal to the attempt; on which, as she
declares, after leaving Laviolette to keep watch at the gate, she
herself went alone to the landing-place. "I thought that the savages
would suppose it to be a ruse to draw them towards the fort, in order
to make a sortie upon them. They did suppose so, and thus I was able
to save the Fontaine family. When they were all landed, I made them
march before me in full sight of the enemy. We put so bold a face on
it, that they thought they had more to fear than we. Strengthened by
this reinforcement, I ordered that the enemy should be fired on
whenever they showed themselves. After sunset, a violent north-east
wind began to blow, accompanied with snow and hail, which told us that
we should have a terrible night. The Iroquois were all this time
lurking about us; and I judged by their movements that, instead of
being deterred by the storm, they would climb into the fort under
cover of the darkness. I assembled all my troops, that is to say, six
persons, and spoke to them thus: 'God has saved us to-day from the
hands of our enemies, but we must take care not to fall into their
snares to-night. As for me, I want you to see that I am not afraid. I
will take charge of the fort with an old man of eighty and another who
never fired a gun; and you, Pierre Fontaine, with La Bonté and Gachet
(our two soldiers), will go to the blockhouse with the women and
children, because that is the strongest place; and, if I am taken,
don't surrender, even if I am cut to pieces and burned before your
eyes. The enemy cannot hurt you in the blockhouse, if you make the
least show of fight.' I placed my young brothers on two of the
bastions, the old man on the third, and I took the fourth; and all
night, in spite of wind, snow, and hail, the cries of 'All's well'
were kept up from the blockhouse to the fort, and from the fort to the
blockhouse. One would have thought that the place was full of
soldiers. The Iroquois thought so, and were completely deceived, as
they confessed afterwards to Monsieur de Callières, whom they told
that they had held a council to make a plan for capturing the fort in
the night but had done nothing because such a constant watch was kept.

"About one in the morning, the sentinel on the bastion by the gate
called out, 'Mademoiselle, I hear something.' I went to him to find
what it was; and by the help of the snow, which covered the ground, I
could see through the darkness a number of cattle, the miserable
remnant that the Iroquois had left us. The others wanted to open the
gate and let them in, but I answered: 'God forbid. You don't know all
the tricks of the savages. They are no doubt following the cattle,
covered with skins of beasts, so as to get into the fort, if we are
simple enough to open the gate for them.' Nevertheless, after taking
every precaution, I thought that we might open it without risk. I made
my two brothers stand ready with their guns cocked in case of
surprise, and so we let in the cattle.

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

"We were a week in constant alarm, with the enemy always about us. At
last Monsieur de la Monnerie, a lieutenant sent by Monsieur de
Callières, arrived in the night with forty men. As he did not know
whether the fort was taken or not, he approached as silently as
possible. One of our sentinels, hearing a slight sound, cried, 'Qui
vive?' I was at the time dozing, with my head on a table and my gun
lying across my arms. The sentinel told me that he heard a voice from
the river. I went up at once to the bastion to see whether it was
Indians or Frenchmen. I asked, 'Who are you?' One of them answered,
'We are Frenchmen: it is La Monnerie, who comes to bring you help.' I
caused the gate to be opened, placed a sentinel there, and went down
to the river to meet them. As soon as I saw Monsieur de la Monnerie, I
saluted him, and said, 'Monsieur, I surrender my arms to you.' He
answered gallantly, 'Mademoiselle, they are in good hands.' 'Better
than you think,' I returned. He inspected the fort, and found every
thing in order, and a sentinel on each bastion. 'It is time to relieve
them, Monsieur' said I: 'we have not been off our bastions for a week.'"
[3] A band of converts from the Saut St. Louis arrived soon after,
followed the trail of their heathen countrymen, overtook them on Lake
Champlain, and recovered twenty or more French prisoners. Madeleine de
Verchères was not the only heroine of her family. Her father's fort
was the Castle Dangerous of Canada; and it was but two years before
that her mother, left with three or four armed men, and beset by the
Iroquois, threw herself with her followers into the blockhouse, and
held the assailants two days at bay, till the Marquis de Crisasi came
with troops to her relief. [Footnote: La Potherie, I. 326.]

From the moment when the Canadians found a chief whom they could
trust, and the firm old hand of Frontenac grasped the reins of their
destiny, a spirit of hardihood and energy grew up in all this rugged
population; and they faced their stern fortunes with a stubborn daring
and endurance that merit respect and admiration.

Now, as in all their former wars, a great part of their suffering was
due to the Mohawks. The Jesuits had spared no pains to convert them,
thus changing them from enemies to friends; and their efforts had so
far succeeded that the mission colony of Saut St. Louis contained a
numerous population of Mohawk Christians. [Footnote: This mission was
also called Caghnawaga. The village still exists, at the head of the
rapid of St. Louis, or La Chine.] The place was well fortified; and
troops were usually stationed here, partly to defend the converts and
partly to ensure their fidelity. They had sometimes done excellent
service for the French; but many of them still remembered their old
homes on the Mohawk, and their old ties of fellowship and kindred.
Their heathen countrymen were jealous of their secession, and spared
no pains to reclaim them. Sometimes they tried intrigue, and sometimes
force. On one occasion, joined by the Oneidas and Onondagas, they
appeared before the palisades of St. Louis, to the number of more than
four hundred warriors; but, finding the bastions manned and the gates
shut, they withdrew discomfited. It was of great importance to the
French to sunder them from their heathen relatives so completely that
reconciliation would be impossible, and it was largely to this end
that a grand expedition was prepared against the Mohawk towns.

All the mission Indians in the colony were invited to join it, the
Iroquois of the Saut and Mountain, Abenakis from the Chaudière, Hurons
from Lorette, and Algonquins from Three Rivers. A hundred picked
soldiers were added, and a large band of Canadians. All told, they
mustered six hundred and twenty-five men, under three tried leaders,
Mantet, Courtemanche, and La Noue. They left Chambly at the end of
January, and pushed southward on snow-shoes. Their way was over the
ice of Lake Champlain, for more than a century the great thoroughfare
of war-parties. They bivouacked in the forest by squads of twelve or
more; dug away the snow in a circle, covered the bared earth with a
bed of spruce boughs, made a fire in the middle, and smoked their
pipes around it. Here crouched the Christian savage, muffled in his
blanket, his unwashed face still smirched with soot and vermilion,
relics of the war-paint he had worn a week before when he danced the
war-dance in the square of the mission village; and here sat the
Canadians, hooded like Capuchin monks, but irrepressible in loquacity,
as the blaze of the camp-fire glowed on their hardy visages and fell
in fainter radiance on the rocks and pines behind them.

Sixteen days brought them to the two lower Mohawk towns. A young
Dutchman who had been captured three years before at Schenectady, and
whom the Indians of the Saut had imprudently brought with them, ran
off in the night, and carried the alarm to the English. The invaders
had no time to lose. The two towns were a quarter of a league apart.
They surrounded them both on the night of the sixteenth of February,
waited in silence till the voices within were hushed, and then
captured them without resistance, as most of the inmates were absent.
After burning one of them, and leaving the prisoners well guarded in
the other, they marched eight leagues to the third town, reached it at
evening, and hid in the neighboring woods. Through all the early
night, they heard the whoops and songs of the warriors within, who
were dancing the war-dance for an intended expedition. About
midnight, all was still. The Mohawks had posted no sentinels; and one
of the French Indians, scaling the palisade, opened the gate to his
comrades. There was a short but bloody fight. Twenty or thirty Mohawks
were killed, and nearly three hundred captured, chiefly women and
children. The French commanders now required their allies, the mission
Indians, to make good a promise which, at the instance of Frontenac,
had been exacted from them by the governor of Montreal. It was that
they should kill all their male captives, a proceeding which would
have averted every danger of future reconciliation between the
Christian and heathen Mohawks. The converts of the Saut and the
Mountain had readily given the pledge, but apparently with no
intention to keep it; at least, they now refused to do so.
Remonstrance was useless; and, after burning the town, the French and
their allies began their retreat, encumbered by a long train of
prisoners. They marched two days, when they were hailed from a
distance by Mohawk scouts, who told them that the English were on
their track, but that peace had been declared in Europe, and that the
pursuers did not mean to fight, but to parley. Hereupon the mission
Indians insisted on waiting for them, and no exertion of the French
commanders could persuade them to move. Trees were hewn down, and a
fort made after the Iroquois fashion, by encircling the camp with a
high and dense abatis of trunks and branches. Here they lay two days
more, the French disgusted and uneasy, and their savage allies
obstinate and impracticable.

Meanwhile, Major Peter Schuyler was following their trail, with a body
of armed settlers hastily mustered. A troop of Oneidas joined him; and
the united parties, between five and six hundred in all, at length
appeared before the fortified camp of the French. It was at once
evident that there was to be no parley. The forest rang with
war-whoops; and the English Indians, unmanageable as those of the
French, set at work to entrench themselves with felled trees. The
French and their allies sallied to dislodge them. The attack was
fierce, and the resistance equally so. Both sides lost ground by
turns. A priest of the mission of the Mountain, named Gay, was in the
thick of the fight; and, when he saw his neophytes run, he threw
himself before them, crying, "What are you afraid of? We are fighting
with infidels, who have nothing human but the shape. Have you
forgotten that the Holy Virgin is our leader and our protector, and
that you are subjects of the King of France, whose name makes all
Europe tremble?" [Footnote: _Journal de Jacques Le Ber_, extract in
Faillon, _Vie de Mlle. Le Ber, Appendix._] Three times the French
renewed the attack in vain; then gave over the attempt, and lay quiet
behind their barricade of trees. So also did their opponents. The
morning was dark and stormy, and the driving snow that filled the air
made the position doubly dreary. The English were starving. Their
slender stock of provisions had been consumed or shared with the
Indians, who, on their part, did not want food, having resources
unknown to their white friends. A group of them squatted about a fire
invited Schuyler to share their broth; but his appetite was spoiled
when he saw a human hand ladled out of the kettle. His hosts were
breakfasting on a dead Frenchman.

All night the hostile bands, ensconced behind their sylvan ramparts,
watched each other in silence. In the morning, an Indian deserter told
the English commander that the French were packing their baggage.
Schuyler sent to reconnoitre, and found them gone. They had retreated
unseen through the snow-storm. He ordered his men to follow; but, as
most of them had fasted for two days, they refused to do so till an
expected convoy of provisions should arrive. They waited till the next
morning, when the convoy appeared: five biscuits were served out to
each man, and the pursuit began. By great efforts, they nearly
overtook the fugitives, who now sent them word that, if they made an
attack, all the prisoners should be put to death. On this, Schuyler's
Indians refused to continue the chase. The French, by this time, had
reached the Hudson, where to their dismay they found the ice breaking
up and drifting down the stream. Happily for them, a large sheet of it
had become wedged at a turn of the river, and formed a temporary
bridge, by which they crossed, and then pushed on to Lake George. Here
the soft and melting ice would not bear them; and they were forced to
make their way along the shore, over rocks and mountains, through
sodden snow and matted thickets. The provisions, of which they had
made a dépôt on Lake Champlain, were all spoiled. They boiled
moccasons for food, and scraped away the snow to find hickory and
beech nuts. Several died of famine, and many more, unable to move, lay
helpless by the lake; while a few of the strongest toiled on to
Montreal to tell Callières of their plight. Men and food were sent
them; and from time to time, as they were able, they journeyed on
again, straggling towards their homes, singly or in small parties,
feeble, emaciated, and in many instances with health irreparably
broken. [4]

"The expedition," says Frontenac, "was a glorious success." However
glorious, it was dearly bought; and a few more such victories would be
ruin. The governor presently achieved a success more solid and less
costly. The wavering mood of the north-western tribes, always
oscillating between the French and the English, had caused him
incessant anxiety; and he had lost no time in using the defeat of
Phips to confirm them in alliance with Canada. Courtemanche was sent
up the Ottawa to carry news of the French triumph, and stimulate the
savages of Michillimackinac to lift the hatchet. It was a desperate
venture; for the river was beset, as usual, by the Iroquois. With ten
followers, the daring partisan ran the gauntlet of a thousand dangers,
and safely reached his destination; where his gifts and his harangues,
joined with the tidings of victory, kindled great excitement among the
Ottawas and Hurons. The indispensable but most difficult task
remained: that of opening the Ottawa for the descent of the great
accumulation of beaver skins, which had been gathering at
Michillimackinac for three years, and for the want of which Canada was
bankrupt. More than two hundred Frenchmen were known to be at that
remote post, or roaming in the wilderness around it; and Frontenac
resolved on an attempt to muster them together, and employ their
united force to protect the Indians and the traders in bringing down
this mass of furs to Montreal. A messenger, strongly escorted, was
sent with orders to this effect, and succeeded in reaching
Michillimackinac, though there was a battle on the way, in which the
officer commanding the escort was killed. Frontenac anxiously waited
the issue, when after a long delay the tidings reached him of complete
success. He hastened to Montreal, and found it swarming with Indians
and _coureurs de bois_. Two hundred canoes had arrived, filled with
the coveted beaver skins. "It is impossible," says the chronicle, "to
conceive the joy of the people, when they beheld these riches. Canada
had awaited them for years. The merchants and the farmers were dying
of hunger. Credit was gone, and everybody was afraid that the enemy
would waylay and seize this last resource of the country. Therefore it
was, that none could find words strong enough to praise and bless him
by whose care all this wealth had arrived. _Father of the People,
Preserver of the Country_, seemed terms too weak to express their
gratitude." [Footnote: _Relation de ce qui s'est passé de plus
remarquable en Canada_, 1692, 1693. Compare La Potherie, III. 185.]

While three years of arrested sustenance came down together from the
lakes, a fleet sailed up the St. Lawrence, freighted with soldiers and
supplies. The horizon of Canada was brightening.

[1] As this fight under Valrenne has been represented as a French
victory against overwhelming odds, it may be well to observe the
evidence as to the numbers engaged. The French party consisted,
according to Bénac, of 160 regulars and Canadians, besides Indians. La
Potherie places it at 180 men, and Frontenac at 200 men. These two
estimates do not include Indians; for the author of the Relation of
1682-1712, who was an officer on the spot at the time, puts the number
at 300 soldiers, Canadians, and savages.

Schuyler's official return shows that his party consisted of 120
whites, 80 Mohawks, and 66 River Indians (Mohegans): 266 in all. The
French writer Bénac places the whole at 280, and the intendant
Champigny at 300. The other French estimates of the English force are
greatly exaggerated. Schuyler's strength was reduced by 27 men left to
guard the canoes, and by a number killed or disabled at La Prairie.
The force under Valrenne was additional to the 700 or 800 men at La
Prairie (Relation, 1682-1712). Schuyler reported his loss in killed at
21 whites, 16 Mohawks, and 6 Mohegans, besides many wounded. The
French statements of it are enormously in excess of this, and are
irreconcilable with each other.

[2] _Lettres du Roy et du Ministre_, 1693, 1694. Cape Diamond was
now for the first time included within the line of circumvallation at
Quebec. A strong stone redoubt, with sixteen cannon, was built upon
its summit.

In 1854, in demolishing a part of the old wall between the fort of
Quebec and the adjacent "Governor's Garden," a plate of copper was
found with a Latin inscription, of which the following is a

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

[3] _Récit de Mlle. Magdelaine de Verchères, âgée de 14 ans_
(Collection de l'Abbé Ferland). It appears from Tanguay, _Dictionnaire
Généalogique_, that Marie-Madeleine Jarret de Verchères was born in
April, 1678, which corresponds to the age given in the _Récit_. She
married Thomas Tarleu de la Naudière in 1706, and M. de la Perrade, or
Prade, in 1722. Her brother Louis was born in 1680, and was therefore,
as stated in the Récit, twelve years old in 1692. The birthday of the
other, Alexander, is not given. His baptism was registered in 1682.
One of the brothers was killed at the attack of Haverhill, in 1708.

Madame de Ponchartrain, wife of the minister, procured a pension for
life to Madeleine de Verchères. Two versions of her narrative are
before me. There are slight variations between them, but in all
essential points they are the same. The following note is appended to
one of them: "Ce récit fut fait par ordre de Mr. de Beauharnois,
gouverneur du Canada."

[4] On this expedition, _Narrative of Military Operations in Canada_,
in _N. Y. Col. Docs_., IX. 550; _Relation de ce qui s'est passé de
plus remarquable en Canada_, 1692, 1693; _Callières au Ministre_, 1
_Sept_., 1693; La Potherie, III. 169; _Relation de_ 1682-1712;
Faillon, _Vie de Mlle. Le Bar_, 313; Belmont, _Hist. du Canada_;
Beyard and Lodowick, _Journal of the Late Actions of the French at
Canada_; _Report of Major Peter Schuyler_, in _N. Y. Col. Docs_., IV.
16; Colden, 142.

The minister wrote to Callières, finding great fault with the conduct
of the mission Indians. _Ponchartrain à Callières_, 8 _Mai_, 1694.





While the Canadians hailed Frontenac as a father, he found also some
recognition of his services from his masters at the court. The king
wrote him a letter with his own hand, to express satisfaction at the
defence of Quebec, and sent him a gift of two thousand crowns. He
greatly needed the money, but prized the letter still more, and wrote
to his relative, the minister Ponchartrain: "The gift you procured for
me, this year, has helped me very much towards paying the great
expenses which the crisis of our affairs and the excessive cost of
living here have caused me; but, though I receive this mark of his
Majesty's goodness with the utmost respect and gratitude, I confess
that I feel far more deeply the satisfaction that he has been pleased
to express with my services. The raising of the siege of Quebec did
not deserve all the attention that I hear he has given it in the midst
of so many important events, and therefore I must needs ascribe it to
your kindness in commending it to his notice. This leads me to hope
that whenever some office, or permanent employment, or some mark of
dignity or distinction, may offer itself, you will put me on the list
as well as others who have the honor to be as closely connected with
you as I am; for it would be very hard to find myself forgotten
because I am in a remote country, where it is more difficult and
dangerous to serve the king than elsewhere. I have consumed all my
property. Nothing is left but what the king gives me; and I have
reached an age where, though neither strength nor goodwill fail me as
yet, and though the latter will last as long as I live, I see myself
on the eve of losing the former: so that a post a little more secure
and tranquil than the government of Canada will soon suit my time of
life; and, if I can be assured of your support, I shall not despair of
getting such a one. Please then to permit my wife and my friends to
refresh your memory now and then on this point." [Footnote: _Frontenac
au Ministre_, 20 _Oct_., 1691.] Again, in the following year: "I have
been encouraged to believe that the gift of two thousand crowns, which
his Majesty made me last year, would be continued; but apparently you
have not been able to obtain it, for I think that you know the
difficulty I have in living here on my salary. I hope that, when you
find a better opportunity, you will try to procure me this favor. My
only trust is in your support; and I am persuaded that, having the
honor to be so closely connected with you, you would reproach
yourself, if you saw me sink into decrepitude, without resources and
without honors." [Footnote: _Frontenac au Ministre_, 15 _Sept_.,
1692.] And still again he appeals to the minister for "some permanent
and honorable place attended with the marks of distinction, which are
more grateful than all the rest to a heart shaped after the right
pattern." [Footnote: _Ibid_., 25 _Oct_., 1693.] In return for these
sturdy applications, he got nothing for the present but a continuance
of the king's gift of two thousand crowns.

Not every voice in the colony sounded the governor's praise. Now, as
always, he had enemies in state and Church. It is true that the
quarrels and the bursts of passion that marked his first term of
government now rarely occurred, but this was not so much due to a
change in Frontenac himself as to a change in the conditions around
him. The war made him indispensable. He had gained what he wanted, the
consciousness of mastery; and under its soothing influence he was less
irritable and exacting. He lived with the bishop on terms of mutual
courtesy, while his relations with his colleague, the intendant, were
commonly smooth enough on the surface; for Champigny, warned by the
court not to offend him, treated him with studied deference, and was
usually treated in return with urbane condescension. During all this
time, the intendant was complaining of him to the minister. "He is
spending a great deal of money; but he is master, and does what he
pleases. I can only keep the peace by yielding every thing."
[Footnote: _Champigny au Ministre_, 12 _Oct_., 1691.] "He wants to
reduce me to a nobody." And, among other similar charges, he says that
the governor receives pay for garrisons that do not exist, and keeps
it for himself. "Do not tell that I said so," adds the prudent
Champigny, "for it would make great trouble, if he knew it."
[Footnote: _Ibid_.,4 _Nov_., 1693.] Frontenac, perfectly aware of
these covert attacks, desires the minister not to heed "the falsehoods
and impostures uttered against me by persons who meddle with what does
not concern them." [Footnote: _Frontenac au Ministre_, 15 _Sept_.,
1692.] He alludes to Champigny's allies, the Jesuits, who, as he
thought, had also maligned him. "Since I have been here, I have spared
no pains to gain the goodwill of Monsieur the intendant, and may God
grant that the counsels which he is too ready to receive from certain
persons who have never been friends of peace and harmony do not some
time make division between us. But I close my eyes to all that, and
shall still persevere." [Footnote: _Ibid_., 20 _Oct_., 1691.] In
another letter to Ponchartrain, he says: "I write you this in private,
because I have been informed by my wife that charges have been made to
you against my conduct since my return to this country. I promise you,
Monseigneur, that, whatever my accusers do, they will not make me
change conduct towards them, and that I shall still treat them with
consideration. I merely ask your leave most humbly to represent that,
having maintained this colony in full prosperity during the ten years
when I formerly held the government of it, I nevertheless fell a
sacrifice to the artifice and fury of those whose encroachments, and
whose excessive and unauthorized power, my duty and my passionate
affection for the service of the king obliged me in conscience to
repress. My recall, which made them masters in the conduct of the
government, was followed by all the disasters which overwhelmed this
unhappy colony. The millions that the king spent here, the troops that
he sent out, and the Canadians that he took into pay, all went for
nothing. Most of the soldiers, and no small number of brave Canadians,
perished in enterprises ill devised and ruinous to the country, which
I found on my arrival ravaged with unheard-of cruelty by the Iroquois,
without resistance, and in sight of the troops and of the forts. The
inhabitants were discouraged, and unnerved by want of confidence in
their chiefs; while the friendly Indians, seeing our weakness, were
ready to join our enemies. I was fortunate enough and diligent enough
to change this deplorable state of things, and drive away the English,
whom my predecessors did not have on their hands, and this too with
only half as many troops as they had. I am far from wishing to blame
their conduct. I leave you to judge it. But I cannot have the
tranquillity and freedom of mind which I need for the work I have to
do here, without feeling entire confidence that the cabal which is
again forming against me cannot produce impressions which may prevent
you from doing me justice. For the rest, if it is thought fit that I
should leave the priests to do as they like, I shall be delivered from
an infinity of troubles and cares, in which I can have no other
interest than the good of the colony, the trade of the kingdom, and
the peace of the king's subjects, and of which I alone bear the
burden, as well as the jealousy of sundry persons, and the iniquity of
the ecclesiastics, who begin to call impious those who are obliged to
oppose their passions and their interests." [Footnote: "L'iniquité des
ecclésiastiques qui commencent à traiter d'impies ceux qui sont
obligés de resister à leurs passions et à leurs interêts." _Frontenac
au Ministre_, 20 _Oct_., 1691.]

As Champigny always sided with the Jesuits, his relations with
Frontenac grew daily more critical. Open rupture at length seemed
imminent, and the king interposed to keep the peace. "There has been
discord between you under a show of harmony," he wrote to the
disputants. [Footnote: _Mémoire du Roy pour Frontenac et Champigny_,
1694.] Frontenac was exhorted to forbearance and calmness; while the
intendant was told that he allowed himself to be made an instrument of
others, and that his charges against the governor proved nothing but
his own ill-temper. [Footnote: _Le Ministre à Frontenac_, 8 _May_,
1694; _Le Ministre à Champigny, même date_.] The minister wrote in
vain. The bickerings that he reproved were but premonitions of a
greater strife.

Bishop Saint-Vallier was a rigid, austere, and contentious prelate,
who loved power as much as Frontenac himself, and thought that, as the
deputy of Christ, it was his duty to exercise it to the utmost. The
governor watched him with a jealous eye, well aware that, though the
pretensions of the Church to supremacy over the civil power had
suffered a check, Saint-Vallier would revive them the moment he
thought he could do so with success. I have shown elsewhere the
severity of the ecclesiastical rule at Quebec, where the zealous
pastors watched their flock with unrelenting vigilance, and
associations of pious women helped them in the work. [Footnote: Old
Régime, chap. xix.] This naturally produced revolt, and tended to
divide the town into two parties, the worldly and the devout. The love
of pleasure was not extinguished, and various influences helped to
keep it alive. Perhaps none of these was so potent as the presence in
winter of a considerable number of officers from France, whose piety
was often less conspicuous than their love of enjoyment. At the
Château St. Louis a circle of young men, more or less brilliant and
accomplished, surrounded the governor, and formed a centre of social
attraction. Frontenac was not without religion, and he held it
becoming a man of his station not to fail in its observances; but he
would not have a Jesuit confessor, and placed his conscience in the
keeping of the Récollet friars, who were not politically aggressive,
and who had been sent to Canada expressly as a foil to the rival
order. They found no favor in the eyes of the bishop and his
adherents, and the governor found none for the support he lent them.

The winter that followed the arrival of the furs from the upper lakes
was a season of gayety without precedent since the war began. All was
harmony at Quebec till the carnival approached, when Frontenac, whose
youthful instincts survived his seventy-four years, introduced a
startling novelty which proved the signal of discord. One of his
military circle, the sharp-witted La Motte-Cadillac, thus relates
this untoward event in a letter to a friend: "The winter passed very
pleasantly, especially to the officers, who lived together like
comrades; and, to contribute to their honest enjoyment, the count
caused two plays to be acted, 'Nicomede' and 'Mithridate.'" It was an
amateur performance, in which the officers took part along with some
of the ladies of Quebec. The success was prodigious, and so was the
storm that followed. Half a century before, the Jesuits had grieved
over the first ball in Canada. Private theatricals were still more
baneful. "The clergy," continues La Motte, "beat their alarm drums,
armed cap-a-pie, and snatched their bows and arrows. The Sieur
Glandelet was first to begin, and preached two sermons, in which he
tried to prove that nobody could go to a play without mortal sin. The
bishop issued a mandate, and had it read from the pulpits, in which he
speaks of certain impious, impure, and noxious comedies, insinuating
that those which had been acted were such. The credulous and
infatuated people, seduced by the sermons and the mandate, began
already to regard the count as a corrupter of morals and a destroyer
of religion. The numerous party of the pretended devotees mustered in
the streets and public places, and presently made their way into the
houses, to confirm the weak-minded in their illusion, and tried to
make the stronger share it; but, as they failed in this almost
completely, they resolved at last to conquer or die, and persuaded the
bishop to use a strange device, which was to publish a mandate in the
church, whereby the Sieur de Mareuil, a half-pay lieutenant, was
interdicted the use of the sacraments." [Footnote: _La Motte-Cadillac
à_ -----, 28 _Sept_., 1694.]

This story needs explanation. Not only had the amateur actors at the
château played two pieces inoffensive enough in themselves, but a
report had been spread that they meant next to perform the famous
"Tartuffe" of Molière, a satire which, while purporting to be levelled
against falsehood, lust, greed, and ambition, covered with a mask of
religion, was rightly thought by a portion of the clergy to be
levelled against themselves. The friends of Frontenac say that the
report was a hoax. Be this as it may, the bishop believed it. "This
worthy prelate," continues the irreverent La Motte, "was afraid of
'Tartuffe,' and had got it into his head that the count meant to have
it played, though he had never thought of such a thing. Monsieur de
Saint-Vallier sweated blood and water to stop a torrent which existed
only in his imagination." It was now that he launched his two
mandates, both on the same day; one denouncing comedies in general and
"Tartuffe" in particular, and the other smiting Mareuil, who, he says,
"uses language capable of making Heaven blush," and whom he elsewhere
stigmatizes as "worse than a Protestant." [Footnote: _Mandement au
Sujet des Comédies_, 16 _Jan_., 1694; _Mandement au Sujet de certaines
Personnes qui tenoient des Discours impies, même date; Registre du
Conseil Souverain_.] It was Mareuil who, as reported, was to play the
part of Tartuffe; and on him, therefore, the brunt of episcopal
indignation fell. He was not a wholly exemplary person. "I mean," says
La Motte, "to show you the truth in all its nakedness. The fact is
that, about two years ago, when the Sieur de Mareuil first came to
Canada, and was carousing with his friends, he sang some indecent song
or other. The count was told of it, and gave him a severe reprimand.
This is the charge against him. After a two years' silence, the
pastoral zeal has wakened, because a play is to be acted which the
clergy mean to stop at any cost."

The bishop found another way of stopping it. He met Frontenac, with
the intendant, near the Jesuit chapel, accosted him on the subject
which filled his thoughts, and offered him a hundred pistoles if he
would prevent the playing of "Tartuffe." Frontenac laughed, and closed
the bargain. Saint-Vallier wrote his note on the spot; and the
governor took it, apparently well pleased to have made the bishop
disburse. "I thought," writes the intendant, "that Monsieur de
Frontenac would have given him back the paper." He did no such thing,
but drew the money on the next day and gave it to the hospitals.
[Footnote: This incident is mentioned by La Motte-Cadillac; by the
intendant, who reports it to the minister; by the minister
Ponchartrain, who asks Frontenac for an explanation; by Frontenac, who
passes it off as a jest; and by several other contemporary writers.]

Mareuil, deprived of the sacraments, and held up to reprobation, went
to see the bishop, who refused to receive him; and it is said that he
was taken by the shoulders and put out of doors. He now resolved to
bring his case before the council; but the bishop was informed of his
purpose, and anticipated it. La Motte says "he went before the council
on the first of February, and denounced the Sieur de Mareuil, whom he
declared guilty of impiety towards God, the Virgin, and the Saints,
and made a fine speech in the absence of the count, interrupted by the
effusions of a heart which seemed filled with a profound and infinite
charity, but which, as he said, was pushed to extremity by the
rebellion of an indocile child, who had neglected all his warnings.
This was, nevertheless, assumed; I will not say entirely false."

The bishop did, in fact, make a vehement speech against Mareuil before
the council on the day in question; Mareuil stoutly defending himself,
and entering his appeal against the episcopal mandate. [Footnote:
_Registre du Conseil Souverain_, 1 _et_ 8 _Fév_., 1694.] The battle
was now fairly joined. Frontenac stood alone for the accused. The
intendant tacitly favored his opponents. Auteuil, the attorney-general,
and Villeray, the first councillor, owed the governor an old grudge;
and they and their colleagues sided with the bishop, with the outside
support of all the clergy, except the Récollets, who, as usual, ranged
themselves with their patron. At first, Frontenac showed great
moderation, but grew vehement, and then violent, as the dispute
proceeded; as did also the attorney-general, who seems to have done
his best to exasperate him. Frontenac affirmed that, in depriving
Mareuil and others of the sacraments, with no proof of guilt and no
previous warning, and on allegations which, even if true, could not
justify the act, the bishop exceeded his powers, and trenched on those
of the king. The point was delicate. The attorney-general avoided the
issue, tried to raise others, and revived the old quarrel about
Frontenac's place in the council, which had been settled fourteen
years before. Other questions were brought up, and angrily debated.
The governor demanded that the debates, along with the papers which
introduced them, should be entered on the record, that the king might
be informed of every thing; but the demand was refused. The discords
of the council chamber spread into the town. Quebec was divided
against itself. Mareuil insulted the bishop; and some of his
scapegrace sympathizers broke the prelate's windows at night, and
smashed his chamber-door. [Footnote: _Champigny au Ministre,_ 27
_Oct_., 1694.] Mareuil was at last ordered to prison, and the whole
affair was referred to the king. [Footnote: _Registre du Conseil
Souverain; Requeste du Sieur de Mareuil, Nov_., 1694.]

These proceedings consumed the spring, the summer, and a part of the
autumn. Meanwhile, an access of zeal appeared to seize the bishop; and
he launched interdictions to the right and left. Even Champigny was
startled when he refused the sacraments to all but four or five of the
military officers for alleged tampering with the pay of their
soldiers, a matter wholly within the province of the temporal
authorities. [Footnote: _Champigny au Ministre,_ 24 _Oct.,_ 1694.
Trouble on this matter had begun some time before. _Mémoire du Roy
pour Frontenac et Champigny,_ 1694; _Le Ministre à l'Évêque,_ 8 _Mai,_
1694.] During a recess of the council, he set out on a pastoral tour,
and, arriving at Three Rivers, excommunicated an officer named
Desjordis for a reputed intrigue with the wife of another officer. He
next repaired to Sorel, and, being there on a Sunday, was told that
two officers had neglected to go to mass. He wrote to Frontenac,
complaining of the offence. Frontenac sent for the culprits, and
rebuked them; but retracted his words when they proved by several
witnesses that they had been duly present at the rite. [Footnote: _La
Motte-Cadillac à_ ----, 28 _Sept.,_ 1694; _Champigny au Ministre,_ 27
_Oct.,_ 1694.] The bishop then went up to Montreal, and discord went
with him.

Except Frontenac alone, Callières, the local governor, was the man in
all Canada to whom the country owed most; but, like his chief, he was
a friend of the Récollets, and this did not commend him to the bishop.
The friars were about to receive two novices into their order, and
they invited the bishop to officiate at the ceremony. Callières was
also present, kneeling at a _prie-dieu_, or prayer-desk, near the
middle of the church. Saint-Vallier, having just said mass, was
seating himself in his arm-chair, close to the altar, when he saw
Callières at the _prie-dieu_, with the position of which he had
already found fault as being too honorable for a subordinate governor.
He now rose, approached the object of his disapproval, and said,
"Monsieur, you are taking a place which belongs only to Monsieur de
Frontenac." Callières replied that the place was that which properly
belonged to him. The bishop rejoined that, if he did not leave it, he
himself would leave the church. "You can do as you please," said
Callières; and the prelate withdrew abruptly through the sacristy,
refusing any farther part in the ceremony. [Footnote: _Procès-verbal
du Père Hyacinthe Perrault, Commissaire Provincial des Récollets
(Archives Nationales); Mémoire touchant le Démeslé entre M. l'Évesque
de Québec et le Chevalier de Callières (Ibid.)_.] When the services
were over, he ordered the friars to remove the obnoxious _prie-dieu_.
They obeyed; but an officer of Callières replaced it, and, unwilling
to offend him, they allowed it to remain. On this, the bishop laid
their church under an interdict; that is, he closed it against the
celebration of all the rites of religion. [Footnote: _Mandement
ordonnant de fermer l'Église des Récollets_, 13 _Mai_, 1694.] He then
issued a pastoral mandate, in which he charged Father Joseph Denys,
their superior, with offences which he "dared not name for fear of
making the paper blush." [Footnote: "Le Supérieur du dit Couvent
estant lié avec le Gouverneur de la dite ville par des interests que
tout le monde scait et qu'on n'oscroit exprimer de peur de faire
rougir le papier." _Extrait du Mandement de l'Évesque de Québec
(Archives Nationales)_. He had before charged Mareuil with language
"capable de faire rougir le ciel."] His tongue was less bashful than
his pen; and he gave out publicly that the father superior had acted
as go-between in an intrigue of his sister with the Chevalier de
Callières. [1] It is said that the accusation was groundless, and the
character of the woman wholly irreproachable. The Récollets submitted
for two months to the bishop's interdict, then refused to obey longer,
and opened their church again.

Quebec, Three Rivers, Sorel, and Montreal had all been ruffled by the
breeze of these dissensions, and the farthest outposts of the
wilderness were not too remote to feel it. La Motte-Cadillac had been
sent to replace Louvigny in the command of Michillimackinac, where he
had scarcely arrived, when trouble fell upon him. "Poor Monsieur de la
Motte-Cadillac," says Frontenac, "would have sent you a journal to
show you the persecutions he has suffered at the post where I placed
him, and where he does wonders, having great influence over the
Indians, who both love and fear him, but he has had no time to copy
it. Means have been found to excite against him three or four officers
of the posts dependent on his, who have put upon him such strange and
unheard of affronts, that I was obliged to send them to prison when
they came down to the colony. A certain Father Carheil, the Jesuit who
wrote me such insolent letters a few years ago, has played an amazing
part in this affair. I shall write about it to Father La Chaise, that
he may set it right. Some remedy must be found; for, if it continues,
none of the officers who were sent to Michillimackinac, the Miamis,
the Illinois, and other places, can stay there on account of the
persecutions to which they are subjected, and the refusal of
absolution as soon as they fail to do what is wanted of them. Joined
to all this is a shameful traffic in influence and money. Monsieur de
Tonty could have written to you about it, if he had not been obliged
to go off to the Assinneboins, to rid himself of all these torments."
[Footnote: _Frontenac à M. de Lagny_, 2 _Nov_., 1695.] In fact, there
was a chronic dispute at the forest outposts between the officers and
the Jesuits, concerning which matter much might be said on both sides.

The bishop sailed for France. "He has gone," writes Callières, "after
quarrelling with everybody." The various points in dispute were set
before the king. An avalanche of memorials, letters, and
_procès-verbaux_, descended upon the unfortunate monarch; some
concerning Mareuil and the quarrels in the council, others on the
excommunication of Desjordis, and others on the troubles at Montreal.
They were all referred to the king's privy council. [Footnote: _Arrest
qui ordonne que les Procédures faites entre le Sieur Évesque de Québec
et les Sieurs Mareuil, Desjordis, etc., seront évoquez au Conseil
Privé de Sa Majesté_, 3 _Juillet_, 1695.] An adjustment was effected:
order, if not harmony, was restored; and the usual distribution of
advice, exhortation, reproof, and menace, was made to the parties in
the strife. Frontenac was commended for defending the royal
prerogative, censured for violence, and admonished to avoid future
quarrels. [Footnote: _Le Ministre à Frontenac_, 4 _Juin_, 1695;
_Ibid_., 8 _Juin_, 1695.] Champigny was reproved for not supporting
the governor, and told that "his Majesty sees with great pain that,
while he is making extraordinary efforts to sustain Canada at a time
so critical, all his cares and all his outlays are made useless by
your misunderstanding with Monsieur de Frontenac." [Footnote: _Le
Ministre à Champigny_, 4 _Juin_, 1695; _Ibid_., 8 _Juin_, 1695.] The
attorney-general was sharply reprimanded, told that he must mend his
ways or lose his place, and ordered to make an apology to the
governor. [Footnote: _Le Ministre à d'Auteuil_, 8 _Juin_, 1695.]
Villeray was not honored by a letter, but the intendant was directed
to tell him that his behavior had greatly displeased the king.
Callières was mildly advised not to take part in the disputes of the
bishop and the Récollets. [Footnote: _Le Ministre à Callières_, 8
_Juin_, 1695.] Thus was conjured down one of the most bitter as well
as the most needless, trivial, and untimely, of the quarrels that
enliven the annals of New France.

A generation later, when its incidents had faded from memory, a
passionate and reckless partisan, Abbé La Tour, published, and
probably invented, a story which later writers have copied, till it
now forms an accepted episode of Canadian history. According to him,
Frontenac, in order to ridicule the clergy, formed an amateur company
of comedians expressly to play "Tartuffe;" and, after rehearsing at
the château during three or four months, they acted the piece before a
large audience. "He was not satisfied with having it played at the
château, but wanted the actors and actresses and the dancers, male and
female, to go in full costume, with violins, to play it in all the
religious communities, except the Récollets. He took them first to the
house of the Jesuits, where the crowd entered with him; then to the
Hospital, to the hall of the paupers, whither the nuns were ordered to
repair; then he went to the Ursuline Convent, assembled the
sisterhood, and had the piece played before them. To crown the insult,
he wanted next to go to the seminary, and repeat the spectacle there;
but, warning having been given, he was met on the way, and begged to
refrain. He dared not persist, and withdrew in very ill-humor."
[Footnote: La Tour, _Vie de Laval, liv._ xii.]

Not one of numerous contemporary papers, both official and private,
and written in great part by enemies of Frontenac, contains the
slightest allusion to any such story, and many of them are wholly
inconsistent with it. It may safely be set down as a fabrication to
blacken the memory of the governor, and exhibit the bishop and his
adherents as victims of persecution. [2]

[1] "Mr. l'Évesque accuse publiquement le Rev. Père Joseph, supérieur
des Récollets de Montréal, d'être l'entremetteur d'une galanterie
entre sa soeur et le Gouverneur. Cependant Mr. l'Évesque sait
certainement que le Père Joseph est l'un des meilleurs et des plus
saints religieux de son ordre. Ce qu'il allègue du prétendu commerce
entre le Gouverneur et la Dame de la Naudière (_soeur du Père
Joseph_) est entièrement faux, et il l'a publié avec scandale, sans
preuve et contre toute apparence, la ditte Dame ayant toujours eu une
conduite irréprochable." _Mémoire touchant le Démeslé, etc._
Champigny also says that the bishop has brought this charge, and that
Callières declares that he has told a falsehood. _Champigny au
Ministre,_ 27 _Oct_., 1694.

[2] Had an outrage, like that with which Frontenac is here charged,
actually taken place, the registers of the council, the letters of the
intendant and the attorney-general, and the records of the bishopric
of Quebec would not have failed to show it. They show nothing beyond a
report that "Tartuffe" was to be played, and a payment of money by the
bishop in order to prevent it. We are left to infer that it was
prevented accordingly. I have the best authority--that of the superior
of the convent (1871), herself a diligent investigator into the
history of her community--for stating that neither record nor
tradition of the occurrence exists among the Ursulines of Quebec; and
I have been unable to learn that any such exists among the nuns of the
Hospital (Hôtel-Dieu). The contemporary _Récit d'une Religieuse
Ursuline_ speaks of Frontenac with gratitude, as a friend and
benefactor, as does also Mother Juchereau, superior of the Hôtel-Dieu.





Amid domestic strife, the war with England and the Iroquois still went
on. The contest for territorial mastery was fourfold: first, for the
control of the west; secondly, for that of Hudson's Bay; thirdly, for
that of Newfoundland; and, lastly, for that of Acadia. All these vast
and widely sundered regions were included in the government of
Frontenac. Each division of the war was distinct from the rest, and
each had a character of its own. As the contest for the west was
wholly with New York and her Iroquois allies, so the contest for
Acadia was wholly with the "Bostonnais," or people of New England.

Acadia, as the French at this time understood the name, included Nova
Scotia, New Brunswick, and the greater part of Maine. Sometimes they
placed its western boundary at the little River St. George, and
sometimes at the Kennebec. Since the wars of D'Aulnay and La Tour,
this wilderness had been a scene of unceasing strife; for the English
drew their eastern boundary at the St. Croix, and the claims of the
rival nationalities overlapped each other. In the time of Cromwell,
Sedgwick, a New England officer, had seized the whole country. The
peace of Breda restored it to France: the Chevalier de Grandfontaine
was ordered to reoccupy it, and the king sent out a few soldiers, a
few settlers, and a few women as their wives. [Footnote: In 1671, 30
_garçons_ and 30 _filles_ were sent by the king to Acadia, at the cost
of 6,000 livres. _État. de Dépenses_, 1671.] Grandfontaine held the
nominal command for a time, followed by a succession of military
chiefs, Chambly, Marson, and La Vallière. Then Perrot, whose
malpractices had cost him the government of Montreal, was made
governor of Acadia; and, as he did not mend his ways, he was replaced
by Meneval. [Footnote: Grandfontaine, 1670; Chambly, 1673; Marson,
1678; La Vallière, the same year, Marson having died; Perrot, 1684;
Meneval, 1687. The last three were commissioned as local governors, in
subordination to the governor-general. The others were merely military

One might have sailed for days along these lonely coasts, and seen no
human form. At Canseau, or Chedabucto, at the eastern end of Nova
Scotia, there was a fishing station and a fort; Chibuctou, now
Halifax, was a solitude; at La Hêve there were a few fishermen; and
thence, as you doubled the rocks of Cape Sable, the ancient haunt of
La Tour, you would have seen four French settlers, and an unlimited
number of seals and seafowl. Ranging the shore by St. Mary's Bay, and
entering the Strait of Annapolis Basin, you would have found the fort
of Port Royal, the chief place of all Acadia. It stood at the head of
the basin, where De Monts had planted his settlement nearly a century
before. Around the fort and along the neighboring river were about
ninety-five small houses; and at the head of the Bay of Fundy were two
other settlements, Beaubassin and Les Mines, comparatively stable and
populous. At the mouth of the St. John were the abandoned ruins of La
Tour's old fort; and on a spot less exposed, at some distance up the
river, stood the small wooden fort of Jemsec, with a few intervening
clearings. Still sailing westward, passing Mount Desert, another scene
of ancient settlement, and entering Penobscot Bay, you would have
found the Baron de Saint-Castin with his Indian harem at Pentegoet,
where the town of Castine now stands. All Acadia was comprised in
these various stations, more or less permanent, together with one or
two small posts on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and the huts of an errant
population of fishermen and fur traders. In the time of Denonville,
the colonists numbered less than a thousand souls. The king, busied
with nursing Canada, had neglected its less important dependency.
[Footnote: The census taken by order of Meules in 1686 gives a total
of 885 persons, of whom 592 were at Port Royal, and 127 at Beaubassin.
By the census of 1693, the number had reached 1,009.]

Rude as it was, Acadia had charms, and it has them still: in its
wilderness of woods and its wilderness of waves; the rocky ramparts
that guard its coasts; its deep, still bays and foaming headlands; the
towering cliffs of the Grand Menan; the innumerable islands that
cluster about Penobscot Bay; and the romantic highlands of Mount
Desert, down whose gorges the sea-fog rolls like an invading host,
while the spires of fir-trees pierce the surging vapors like lances in
the smoke of battle.

Leaving Pentegoet, and sailing westward all day along a solitude of
woods, one might reach the English outpost of Pemaquid, and thence,
still sailing on, might anchor at evening off Casco Bay, and see in
the glowing west the distant peaks of the White Mountains, spectral
and dim amid the weird and fiery sunset.

Inland Acadia was all forest, and vast tracts of it are a primeval
forest still. Here roamed the Abenakis with their kindred tribes, a
race wild as their haunts. In habits they were all much alike. Their
villages were on the waters of the Androscoggin, the Saco, the
Kennebec, the Penobscot, the St. Croix, and the St. John; here in
spring they planted their corn, beans, and pumpkins, and then, leaving
them to grow, went down to the sea in their birch canoes. They
returned towards the end of summer, gathered their harvest, and went
again to the sea, where they lived in abundance on ducks, geese, and
other water-fowl. During winter, most of the women, children, and old
men remained in the villages; while the hunters ranged the forest in
chase of moose, deer, caribou, beavers, and bears.

Their summer stay at the seashore was perhaps the most pleasant, and
certainly the most picturesque, part of their lives. Bivouacked by
some of the innumerable coves and inlets that indent these coasts,
they passed their days in that alternation of indolence and action
which is a second nature to the Indian. Here in wet weather, while the
torpid water was dimpled with rain-drops, and the upturned canoes lay
idle on the pebbles, the listless warrior smoked his pipe under his
roof of bark, or launched his slender craft at the dawn of the July
day, when shores and islands were painted in shadow against the rosy
east, and forests, dusky and cool, lay waiting for the sunrise.

The women gathered raspberries or whortleberries in the open places of
the woods, or clams and oysters in the sands and shallows, adding
their shells as a contribution to the shell-heaps that have
accumulated for ages along these shores. The men fished, speared
porpoises, or shot seals. A priest was often in the camp watching over
his flock, and saying mass every day in a chapel of bark. There was no
lack of altar candles, made by mixing tallow with the wax of the
bayberry, which abounded among the rocky hills, and was gathered in
profusion by the squaws and children.

The Abenaki missions were a complete success. Not only those of the
tribe who had been induced to migrate to the mission villages of
Canada, but also those who remained in their native woods, were, or
were soon to become, converts to Romanism, and therefore allies of
France. Though less ferocious than the Iroquois, they were brave,
after the Indian manner, and they rarely or never practised

Some of the French were as lawless as their Indian friends. Nothing is
more strange than the incongruous mixture of the forms of feudalism
with the independence of the Acadian woods. Vast grants of land were
made to various persons, some of whom are charged with using them for
no other purpose than roaming over their domains with Indian women.
The only settled agricultural population was at Port Royal,
Beaubassin, and the Basin of Minas. The rest were fishermen, fur
traders, or rovers of the forest. Repeated orders came from the court
to open a communication with Quebec, and even to establish a line of
military posts through the intervening wilderness, but the distance
and the natural difficulties of the country proved insurmountable
obstacles. If communication with Quebec was difficult, that with
Boston was easy; and thus Acadia became largely dependent on its New
England neighbors, who, says an Acadian officer, "are mostly fugitives
from England, guilty of the death of their late king, and accused of
conspiracy against their present sovereign; others of them are
pirates, and they are all united in a sort of independent republic."
[Footnote: _Mémoire du Sieur Bergier_, 1685.] Their relations with the
Acadians were of a mixed sort. They continually encroached on Acadian
fishing grounds, and we hear at one time of a hundred of their vessels
thus engaged. This was not all. The interlopers often landed and
traded with the Indians along the coast. Meneval, the governor,
complained bitterly of their arrogance. Sometimes, it is said, they
pretended to be foreign pirates, and plundered vessels and
settlements, while the aggrieved parties could get no redress at
Boston. They also carried on a regular trade at Port Royal and Les
Mines or Grand Pré, where many of the inhabitants regarded them with a
degree of favor which gave great umbrage to the military authorities,
who, nevertheless, are themselves accused of seeking their own profit
by dealings with the heretics; and even French priests, including
Petit, the curé of Port Royal, are charged with carrying on this
illicit trade in their own behalf, and in that of the seminary of
Quebec. The settlers caught from the "Bostonnais" what their governor
stigmatizes as English and parliamentary ideas, the chief effect of
which was to make them restive under his rule. The Church, moreover,
was less successful in excluding heresy from Acadia than from Canada.
A number of Huguenots established themselves at Port Royal, and formed
sympathetic relations with the Boston Puritans. The bishop at Quebec
was much alarmed. "This is dangerous," he writes. "I pray your Majesty
to put an end to these disorders." [Footnote: _L'Évêque au Roy_, 10
_Nov_., 1683. For the preceding pages, the authorities are chiefly the
correspondence of Grandfontaine, Marson, La Vallière, Meneval,
Bergier, Goutins, Perrot, Talon, Frontenac, and other officials. A
large collection of Acadian documents, from the archives of Paris, is
in my possession. I have also examined the Acadian collections made
for the government of Canada and for that of Massachusetts.]

A sort of chronic warfare of aggression and reprisal, closely akin to
piracy, was carried on at intervals in Acadian waters by French
private armed vessels on one hand, and New England private armed
vessels on the other. Genuine pirates also frequently appeared. They
were of various nationality, though usually buccaneers from the West
Indies. They preyed on New England trading and fishing craft, and
sometimes attacked French settlements. One of their most notorious
exploits was the capture of two French vessels and a French fort at
Chedabucto by a pirate, manned in part, it is said, from
Massachusetts. [Footnote: Meneval, _Mémoire_, 1688; Denonville,
_Mémoire_, 18 _Oct_., 1688; _Procès-verbal du Pillage de Chedabucto;
Relation de la Boullaye_, 1688.] A similar proceeding of earlier date
was the act of Dutchmen from St. Domingo. They made a descent on the
French fort of Pentegoet, on Penobscot Bay. Chambly, then commanding
for the king in Acadia, was in the place. They assaulted his works,
wounded him, took him prisoner, and carried him to Boston, where they
held him at ransom. His young ensign escaped into the woods, and
carried the news to Canada; but many months elapsed before Chambly was
released. [Footnote: _Frontenac au Ministre_, 14 _Nov_., 1674;
_Frontenac à Leverett, gouverneur de Baston_, 24 _Sept_., 1674;
_Frontenac to the Governor and Council of Massachusetts_, 25 _May_,
1675 (see 3 _Mass. Hist. Coll._, I. 64); _Colbert à Frontenac_, 15
_May_, 1675. Frontenac supposed the assailants to be buccaneers. They
had, however, a commission from William of Orange. Hutchinson says
that the Dutch again took Pentegoet in 1676, but were driven off by
ships from Boston, as the English claimed the place for themselves.]

This young ensign was Jean Vincent de l'Abadie, Baron de Saint-Castin,
a native of Béarn, on the slopes of the Pyrenees, the same rough,
strong soil that gave to France her Henri IV. When fifteen years of
age, he came to Canada with the regiment of Carignan-Salières, ensign
in the company of Chambly; and, when the regiment was disbanded, he
followed his natural bent, and betook himself to the Acadian woods. At
this time there was a square bastioned fort at Pentegoet, mounted with
twelve small cannon; but after the Dutch attack it fell into decay.
[Footnote: On its condition in 1670, _Estat du Fort et Place de
Pentegoet fait en l'année 1670, lorsque les Anglois l'ont rendu_. In
1671, fourteen soldiers and eight laborers were settled near the fort.
_Talon au Ministre, 2 Nov., 1671_. In the next year, Talon recommends
an _envoi de filles_ for the benefit of Pentegoet. _Mémoire sur le
Canada, 1672_. As late as 1698, we find Acadian officials advising the
reconstruction of the fort.] Saint-Castin, meanwhile, roamed the woods
with the Indians, lived like them, formed connections more or less
permanent with their women, became himself a chief, and gained such
ascendency over his red associates that, according to La Hontan, they
looked upon him as their tutelary god. He was bold, hardy, adroit,
tenacious; and, in spite of his erratic habits, had such capacity for
business, that, if we may believe the same somewhat doubtful
authority, he made a fortune of three or four hundred thousand crowns.
His gains came chiefly through his neighbors of New England, whom he
hated, but to whom he sold his beaver skins at an ample profit. His
trading house was at Pentegoet, now called Castine, in or near the old
fort; a perilous spot, which he occupied or abandoned by turns,
according to the needs of the time. Being a devout Catholic he wished
to add a resident priest to his establishment for the conversion of
his Indian friends; but, observes Father Petit of Port Royal, who knew
him well, "he himself has need of spiritual aid to sustain him in the
paths of virtue." [Footnote: Petit in Saint-Vallier, _Estat de
l'Église_, 39 (1856).] He usually made two visits a year to Port
Royal, where he gave liberal gifts to the church of which he was the
chief patron, attended mass with exemplary devotion, and then, shriven
of his sins, returned to his squaws at Pentegoet. Perrot, the
governor, maligned him; the motive, as Saint-Castin says, being
jealousy of his success in trade, for Perrot himself traded largely
with the English and the Indians. This, indeed, seems to have been his
chief occupation; and, as Saint-Castin was his principal rival, they
were never on good terms. Saint-Castin complained to Denonville.
"Monsieur Petit," he writes, "will tell you every thing. I will only
say that he (_Perrot_) kept me under arrest from the twenty-first of
April to the ninth of June, on pretence of a little weakness I had for
some women, and even told me that he had your orders to do it: but
that is not what troubles him; and as I do not believe there is
another man under heaven who will do meaner things through love of
gain, even to selling brandy by the pint and half-pint before
strangers in his own house, because he does not trust a single one of
his servants,--I see plainly what is the matter with him. He wants to
be the only merchant in Acadia." [Footnote: _Saint-Castin à
Denonville_, 2 _Juiliet_, 1687.]

Perrot was recalled this very year; and his successor, Meneval,
received instructions in regard to Saint-Castin, which show that the
king or his minister had a clear idea both of the baron's merits and
of his failings. The new governor was ordered to require him to
abandon "his vagabond life among the Indians," cease all trade with
the English, and establish a permanent settlement. Meneval was farther
directed to assure him that, if he conformed to the royal will, and
led a life "more becoming a gentleman," he might expect to receive
proofs of his Majesty's approval. [Footnote: _Instruction du Roy au
Sieur de Meneval_, 5 _Avril_, 1687.]

In the next year, Meneval reported that he had represented to
Saint-Castin the necessity of reform, and that in consequence he had
abandoned his trade with the English, given up his squaws, married,
and promised to try to make a solid settlement. [Footnote: _Mémoire du
Sieur de Meneval sur l'Acadie_, 10 _Sept_., 1688.] True he had
reformed before, and might need to reform again; but his faults were
not of the baser sort: he held his honor high, and was free-handed as
he was bold. His wife was what the early chroniclers would call an
Indian princess; for she was the daughter of Madockawando, chief of
the Penobscots.

So critical was the position of his post at Pentegoet that a strong
fort and a sufficient garrison could alone hope to maintain it against
the pirates and the "Bostonnais." Its vicissitudes had been many.
Standing on ground claimed by the English, within territory which had
been granted to the Duke of York, and which, on his accession to the
throne, became a part of the royal domain, it was never safe from
attack. In 1686, it was plundered by an agent of Dongan. In 1687, it
was plundered again; and in the next year Andros, then royal governor,
anchored before it in his frigate, the "Rose," landed with his
attendants, and stripped the building of all it contained, except a
small altar with pictures and ornaments, which they found in the
principal room. Saint-Castin escaped to the woods; and Andros sent him
word by an Indian that his property would be carried to Pemaquid, and
that he could have it again by becoming a British subject. He refused
the offer. [Footnote: _Mémoire présenté au Roy d'Angleterre_, 1687;
_Saint-Castin à Denonville_, 7 _Juillet_, 1687; _Hutchinson
Collection_, 562, 563; _Andros Tracts_, I. 118.]

The rival English post of Pemaquid was destroyed, as we have seen, by
the Abenakis in 1689; and, in the following year, they and their
French allies had made such havoc among the border settlements that
nothing was left east of the Piscataqua except the villages of Wells,
York, and Kittery. But a change had taken place in the temper of the
savages, mainly due to the easy conquest of Port Royal by Phips, and
to an expedition of the noted partisan Church by which they had
suffered considerable losses. Fear of the English on one hand, and the
attraction of their trade on the other, disposed many of them to
peace. Six chiefs signed a truce with the commissioners of
Massachusetts, and promised to meet them in council to bury the
hatchet for ever.

The French were filled with alarm. Peace between the Abenakis and the
"Bostonnais" would be disastrous both to Acadia and to Canada, because
these tribes held the passes through the northern wilderness, and, so
long as they were in the interest of France, covered the settlements
on the St. Lawrence from attack. Moreover, the government relied on
them to fight its battles. Therefore, no pains were spared to break
off their incipient treaty with the English, and spur them again to
war. Villebon, a Canadian of good birth, one of the brothers of
Portneuf, was sent by the king to govern Acadia. Presents for the
Abenakis were given him in abundance; and he was ordered to assure
them of support, so long as they fought for France. [Footnote:
_Mémoire pour servir d'Instruction au Sieur de Villebon_, 1691.] He
and his officers were told to join their war-parties; while the
Canadians, who followed him to Acadia, were required to leave all
other employments and wage incessant war against the English borders.
"You yourself," says the minister, "will herein set them so good an
example, that they will be animated by no other desire than that of
making profit out of the enemy: there is nothing which I more strongly
urge upon you than to put forth all your ability and prudence to
prevent the Abenakis from occupying themselves in any thing but war,
and by good management of the supplies which you have received for
their use to enable them to live by it more to their advantage than by
hunting." [1]

Armed with these instructions, Villebon repaired to his post, where he
was joined by a body of Canadians under Portneuf. His first step was
to reoccupy Port Royal; and, as there was nobody there to oppose him,
he easily succeeded. The settlers renounced allegiance to
Massachusetts and King William, and swore fidelity to their natural
sovereign. [Footnote: _Procès-verbal de la Prise de Possession du Port
Royal_, 27 _Sept_., 1691.] The capital of Acadia dropped back quietly
into the lap of France; but, as the "Bostonnais" might recapture it at
any time, Villebon crossed to the St. John, and built a fort high up
the stream at Naxouat, opposite the present city of Fredericton. Here
no "Bostonnais" could reach him, and he could muster war-parties at
his leisure.

One thing was indispensable. A blow must be struck that would
encourage and excite the Abenakis. Some of them had had no part in the
truce, and were still so keen for English blood that a deputation of
their chiefs told Frontenac at Quebec that they would fight, even if
they must head their arrows with the bones of beasts. [Footnote:
_Paroles des Sauvages de la Mission de Pentegoet_.] They were under no
such necessity. Guns, powder, and lead were given them in abundance;
and Thury, the priest on the Penobscot, urged them to strike the
English. A hundred and fifty of his converts took the war-path, and
were joined by a band from the Kennebec. It was January; and they made
their way on snow-shoes along the frozen streams, and through the
deathly solitudes of the winter forest, till, after marching a month,
they neared their destination, the frontier settlement of York. In the
afternoon of the fourth of February, they encamped at the foot of a
high hill, evidently Mount Agamenticus, from the top of which the
English village lay in sight. It was a collection of scattered houses
along the banks of the river Agamenticus and the shore of the adjacent
sea. Five or more of them were built for defence, though owned and
occupied by families like the other houses. Near the sea stood the
unprotected house of the chief man of the place, Dummer, the minister.
York appears to have contained from three to four hundred persons of
all ages, for the most part rude and ignorant borderers.

The warriors lay shivering all night in the forest, not daring to make
fires. In the morning, a heavy fall of snow began. They moved forward,
and soon heard the sound of an axe. It was an English boy chopping
wood. They caught him, extorted such information as they needed, then
tomahawked him, and moved on, till, hidden by the forest and the thick
snow, they reached the outskirts of the village. Here they divided
into two parties, and each took its station. A gun was fired as a
signal, upon which they all yelled the war-whoop, and dashed upon
their prey. One party mastered the nearest fortified house, which had
scarcely a defender but women. The rest burst into the unprotected
houses, killing or capturing the astonished inmates. The minister was
at his door, in the act of mounting his horse to visit some distant
parishioners, when a bullet struck him dead. He was a graduate of
Harvard College, a man advanced in life, of some learning, and greatly
respected. The French accounts say that about a hundred persons,
including women and children, were killed, and about eighty captured.
Those who could, ran for the fortified houses of Preble, Harmon,
Alcock, and Norton, which were soon filled with the refugees. The
Indians did not attack them, but kept well out of gun-shot, and busied
themselves in pillaging, killing horses and cattle, and burning the
unprotected houses. They then divided themselves into small bands, and
destroyed all the outlying farms for four or five miles around.

The wish of King Louis was fulfilled. A good profit had been made out
of the enemy. The victors withdrew into the forest with their plunder
and their prisoners, among whom were several old women and a number of
children from three to seven years old. These, with a forbearance
which does them credit, they permitted to return uninjured to the
nearest fortified house, in requital, it is said, for the lives of a
number of Indian children spared by the English in a recent attack on
the Androscoggin. The wife of the minister was allowed to go with
them; but her son remained a prisoner, and the agonized mother went
back to the Indian camp to beg for his release. They again permitted
her to return; but, when she came a second time, they told her that,
as she wanted to be a prisoner, she should have her wish. She was
carried with the rest to their village, where she soon died of
exhaustion and distress. One of the warriors arrayed himself in the
gown of the slain minister, and preached a mock sermon to the captive
parishioners. [2]

Leaving York in ashes, the victors began their march homeward; while a
body of men from Portsmouth followed on their trail, but soon lost it,
and failed to overtake them. There was a season of feasting and
scalp-dancing at the Abenaki towns; and then, as spring opened, a
hundred of the warriors set out to visit Villebon, tell him of their
triumph, and receive the promised gifts from their great father the
king. Villebon and his brothers, Portneuf, Neuvillette, and Desîles,
with their Canadian followers, had spent the winter chiefly on the St.
John, finishing their fort at Naxouat, and preparing for future
operations. The Abenaki visitors arrived towards the end of April, and
were received with all possible distinction. There were speeches,
gifts, and feasting; for they had done much, and were expected to do
more. Portneuf sang a war-song in their language; then he opened a
barrel of wine: the guests emptied it in less than fifteen minutes,
sang, whooped, danced, and promised to repair to the rendezvous at
Saint-Castin's station of Pentegoet. [Footnote: Villebon, _Journal de
ce qui s'est passé à l'Acadie_, 1691, 1692.] A grand war-party was
afoot; and a new and withering blow was to be struck against the
English border. The guests set out for Pentegoet, followed by
Portneuf, Desîles, La Brognerie, several other officers, and twenty
Canadians. A few days after, a large band of Micmacs arrived; then
came the Malicite warriors from their village of Medoctec; and at last
Father Baudoin appeared, leading another band of Micmacs from his
mission of Beaubassin. Speeches, feasts, and gifts were made to them
all; and they all followed the rest to the appointed rendezvous.

At the beginning of June, the site of the town of Castine was covered
with wigwams and the beach lined with canoes. Malecites and Micmacs,
Abenakis from the Penobscot and Abenakis from the Kennebec, were here,
some four hundred warriors in all. [Footnote: _Frontenac au Ministre_,
15 _Sept_., 1692.] Here, too, were Portneuf and his Canadians, the
Baron de Saint-Castin and his Indian father-in-law, Madockawando, with
Moxus, Egeremet, and other noted chiefs, the terror of the English
borders. They crossed Penobscot Bay, and marched upon the frontier
village of Wells.

Wells, like York, was a small settlement of scattered houses along the
sea-shore. The year before, Moxus had vainly attacked it with two
hundred warriors. All the neighboring country had been laid waste by a
murderous war of detail, the lonely farm-houses pillaged and burned,
and the survivors driven back for refuge to the older settlements.
[Footnote: The ravages committed by the Abenakis in the preceding year
among the scattered farms of Maine and New Hampshire are said by
Frontenac to have been "impossible to describe." Another French writer
says that they burned more than 200 houses.] Wells had been crowded
with these refugees; but famine and misery had driven most of them
beyond the Piscataqua, and the place was now occupied by a remnant of
its own destitute inhabitants, who, warned by the fate of York, had
taken refuge in five fortified houses. The largest of these, belonging
to Joseph Storer, was surrounded by a palisade, and occupied by
fifteen armed men, under Captain Convers, an officer of militia. On
the ninth of June, two sloops and a sail-boat ran up the neighboring
creek, bringing supplies and fourteen more men. The succor came in the
nick of time. The sloops had scarcely anchored, when a number of
cattle were seen running frightened and wounded from the woods. It was
plain that an enemy was lurking there. All the families of the place
now gathered within the palisades of Storer's house, thus increasing
his force to about thirty men; and a close watch was kept throughout
the night.

In the morning, no room was left for doubt. One John Diamond, on his
way from the house to the sloops, was seized by Indians and dragged
off by the hair. Then the whole body of savages appeared swarming over
the fields, so confident of success that they neglected their usual
tactics of surprise. A French officer, who, as an old English account
says, was "habited like a gentleman," made them an harangue: they
answered with a burst of yells, and then attacked the house, firing,
screeching, and calling on Convers and his men to surrender. Others
gave their attention to the two sloops, which lay together in the
narrow creek, stranded by the ebbing tide. They fired at them for a
while from behind a pile of planks on the shore, and threw many
fire-arrows without success, the men on board fighting with such cool
and dexterous obstinacy that they held them all at bay, and lost but
one of their own number. Next, the Canadians made a huge shield of
planks, which they fastened vertically to the back of a cart. La
Brognerie with twenty-six men, French and Indians, got behind it, and
shoved the cart towards the stranded sloops. It was within fifty feet
of them, when a wheel sunk in the mud, and the machine stuck fast. La
Brognerie tried to lift the wheel, and was shot dead. The tide began
to rise. A Canadian tried to escape, and was also shot. The rest then
broke away together, some of them, as they ran, dropping under the
bullets of the sailors.

The whole force now gathered for a final attack on the garrison house.
Their appearance was so frightful, and their clamor so appalling, that
one of the English muttered something about surrender. Convers
returned, "If you say that again, you are a dead man." Had the allies
made a bold assault, he and his followers must have been overpowered;
but this mode of attack was contrary to Indian maxims. They merely
leaped, yelled, fired, and called on the English to yield. They were
answered with derision. The women in the house took part in the
defence, passed ammunition to the men, and sometimes fired themselves
on the enemy. The Indians at length became discouraged, and offered
Convers favorable terms. He answered, "I want nothing but men to fight
with." An Abenaki who spoke English cried out: "If you are so bold,
why do you stay in a garrison house like a squaw? Come out and fight
like a man!" Convers retorted, "Do you think I am fool enough to come
out with thirty men to fight five hundred?" Another Indian shouted,
"Damn you, we'll cut you small as tobacco before morning." Convers
returned a contemptuous defiance.

After a while, they ceased firing, and dispersed about the
neighborhood, butchering cattle and burning the church and a few empty
houses. As the tide began to ebb, they sent a fire-raft in full blaze
down the creek to destroy the sloops; but it stranded, and the attempt
failed. They now wreaked their fury on the prisoner Diamond, whom they
tortured to death, after which they all disappeared. A few resolute
men had foiled one of the most formidable bands that ever took the
war-path in Acadia. [3]

The warriors dispersed to their respective haunts; and, when a band of
them reached the St. John, Villebon coolly declares that he gave them
a prisoner to burn. They put him to death with all their ingenuity of
torture. The act, on the part of the governor, was more atrocious, as
it had no motive of reprisal, and as the burning of prisoners was not
the common practice of these tribes. [Footnote: "Le 18me (_Août_) un
sauvage anglois fut pris au bas de la rivière de St. Jean. Je le
donnai à nos sauvages pour estre brulé, ce qu'ils firent le lendemain.
On ne peut rien adjouter aux tourmens qu'ils luy firent souffrir."
Villebon, _Journal_, 1691, 1692.]

The warlike ardor of the Abenakis cooled after the failure at Wells,
and events that soon followed nearly extinguished it. Phips had just
received his preposterous appointment to the government of
Massachusetts. To the disgust of its inhabitants, the stubborn colony
was no longer a republic. The new governor, unfit as he was for his
office, understood the needs of the eastern frontier, where he had
spent his youth; and he brought a royal order to rebuild the ruined
fort at Pemaquid. The king gave the order, but neither men, money, nor
munitions to execute it; and Massachusetts bore all the burden. Phips
went to Pemaquid, laid out the work, and left a hundred men to finish
it. A strong fort of stone was built, the abandoned cannon of Casco
mounted on its walls, and sixty men placed in garrison.

The keen military eye of Frontenac saw the danger involved in the
re-establishment of Pemaquid. Lying far in advance of the other
English stations, it barred the passage of war-parties along the
coast, and was a standing menace to the Abenakis. It was resolved to
capture it. Two ships of war, lately arrived at Quebec, the "Poli" and
the "Envieux," were ordered to sail for Acadia with above four hundred
men, take on board two or three hundred Indians at Pentegoet, reduce
Pemaquid, and attack Wells, Portsmouth, and the Isles of Shoals; after
which, they were to scour the Acadian seas of "Bostonnais" fishermen.

At this time, a gentleman of Boston, John Nelson, captured by Villebon
the year before, was a prisoner at Quebec. Nelson was nephew and heir
of Sir Thomas Temple, in whose right he claimed the proprietorship of
Acadia, under an old grant of Oliver Cromwell. He was familiar both
with that country and with Canada, which he had visited several times
before the war. As he was a man of birth and breeding, and a declared
enemy of Phips, and as he had befriended French prisoners, and shown
especial kindness to Meneval, the captive governor of Acadia, he was
treated with distinction by Frontenac, who, though he knew him to be a
determined enemy of the French, lodged him at the château, and
entertained him at his own table. [Footnote: _Champigny au Ministre_,
4 _Nov_., 1693.] Madockawando, the father-in-law of Saint-Castin,
made a visit to Frontenac; and Nelson, who spoke both French and
Indian, contrived to gain from him and from other sources a partial
knowledge of the intended expedition. He was not in favor at Boston;
for, though one of the foremost in the overthrow of Andros, his creed
and his character savored more of the Cavalier than of the Puritan.
This did not prevent him from risking his life for the colony. He
wrote a letter to the authorities of Massachusetts, and then bribed
two soldiers to desert and carry it to them. The deserters were hotly
pursued, but reached their destination, and delivered their letter.
The two ships sailed from Quebec; but when, after a long delay at
Mount Desert, they took on board the Indian allies and sailed onward
to Pemaquid, they found an armed ship from Boston anchored in the
harbor. Why they did not attack it, is a mystery. The defences of
Pemaquid were still unfinished, the French force was far superior to
the English, and Iberville, who commanded it, was a leader of
unquestionable enterprise and daring. Nevertheless, the French did
nothing, and soon after bore away for France. Frontenac was indignant,
and severely blamed Iberville, whose sister was on board his ship, and
was possibly the occasion of his inaction. [Footnote: _Frontenac au
Ministre_, 25 _Oct_., 1693.]

Thus far successful, the authorities of Boston undertook an enterprise
little to their credit. They employed the two deserters, joined with
two Acadian prisoners, to kidnap Saint-Castin, whom, next to the
priest Thury, they regarded as their most insidious enemy. The
Acadians revealed the plot, and the two soldiers were shot at Mount
Desert. Nelson was sent to France, imprisoned two years in a dungeon
of the Château of Angoulême, and then placed in the Bastile. Ten years
passed before he was allowed to return to his family at Boston. [4]
The French failure at Pemaquid completed the discontent of the
Abenakis; and despondency and terror seized them when, in the spring
of 1693, Convers, the defender of Wells, ranged the frontier with a
strong party of militia, and built another stone fort at the falls of
the Saco. In July, they opened a conference at Pemaquid; and, in
August, thirteen of their chiefs, representing, or pretending to
represent, all the tribes from the Merrimac to the St. Croix, came
again to the same place to conclude a final treaty of peace with the
commissioners of Massachusetts. They renounced the French alliance,
buried the hatchet, declared themselves British subjects, promised to
give up all prisoners, and left five of their chief men as hostages.
[Footnote: For the treaty in full, Mather, _Magnalia_, II. 625.] The
frontier breathed again. Security and hope returned to secluded
dwellings buried in a treacherous forest, where life had been a
nightmare of horror and fear; and the settler could go to his work
without dreading to find at evening his cabin burned and his wife and
children murdered. He was fatally deceived, for the danger was not

It is true that some of the Abenakis were sincere in their pledges of
peace. A party among them, headed by Madockawando, were dissatisfied
with the French, anxious to recover their captive countrymen, and
eager to reopen trade with the English. But there was an opposing
party, led by the chief Taxous, who still breathed war; while between
the two was an unstable mob of warriors, guided by the impulse of the
hour. [Footnote: The state of feeling among the Abenakis is shown in a
letter of Thury to Frontenac, 11 Sept., 1694, and in the journal of
Villebon for 1693.] The French spared no efforts to break off the
peace. The two missionaries, Bigot on the Kennebec and Thury on the
Penobscot, labored with unwearied energy to urge the savages to war.
The governor, Villebon, flattered them, feasted them, adopted Taxous
as his brother, and, to honor the occasion, gave him his own best
coat. Twenty-five hundred pounds of gunpowder, six thousand pounds of
lead, and a multitude of other presents, were given this year to the
Indians of Acadia. [Footnote: _Estat de Munitions, etc., pour les
Sauvages de l'Acadie_, 1693.] Two of their chiefs had been sent to
Versailles. They now returned, in gay attire, their necks hung with
medals, and their minds filled with admiration, wonder, and

The special duty of commanding Indians had fallen to the lot of an
officer named Villieu, who had been ordered by the court to raise a
war-party and attack the English. He had lately been sent to replace
Portneuf, who had been charged with debauchery and peculation.
Villebon, angry at his brother's removal, was on ill terms with his
successor; and, though he declares that he did his best to aid in
raising the war-party, Villieu says, on the contrary, that he was
worse than indifferent. The new lieutenant spent the winter at
Naxouat, and on the first of May went up in a canoe to the Malicite
village of Medoctec, assembled the chiefs, and invited them to war.
They accepted the invitation with alacrity. Villieu next made his way
through the wilderness to the Indian towns of the Penobscot. On the
ninth, he reached the mouth of the Mattawamkeag, where he found the
chief Taxous, paddled with him down the Penobscot, and, at midnight on
the tenth, landed at a large Indian village, at or near the place now
called Passadumkeag. Here he found a powerful ally in the Jesuit
Vincent Bigot, who had come from the Kennebec, with three Abenakis, to
urge their brethren of the Penobscot to break off the peace. The chief
envoy denounced the treaty of Pemaquid as a snare; and Villieu
exhorted the assembled warriors to follow him to the English border,
where honor and profit awaited them. But first he invited them to go
back with him to Naxouat to receive their presents of arms,
ammunition, and every thing else that they needed.

They set out with alacrity. Villieu went with them, and they all
arrived within a week. They were feasted and gifted to their hearts'
content; and then the indefatigable officer led them back by the same
long and weary routes which he had passed and repassed before, rocky
and shallow streams, chains of wilderness lakes, threads of water
writhing through swamps where the canoes could scarcely glide among
the water-weeds and alders. Villieu was the only white man. The
governor, as he says, would give him but two soldiers, and these had
run off. Early in June, the whole flotilla paddled down the Penobscot
to Pentegeot. Here the Indians divided their presents, which they
found somewhat less ample than they had imagined. In the midst of
their discontent, Madockawando came from Pemaquid with news that the
governor of Massachusetts was about to deliver up the Indian prisoners
in his hands, as stipulated by the treaty. This completely changed the
temper of the warriors. Madockawando declared loudly for peace, and
Villieu saw all his hopes wrecked. He tried to persuade his
disaffected allies that the English only meant to lure them to
destruction, and the missionary Thury supported him with his utmost
eloquence. The Indians would not be convinced; and their trust in
English good faith was confirmed, when they heard that a minister had
just come to Pemaquid to teach their children to read and write. The
news grew worse and worse. Villieu was secretly informed that Phips
had been off the coast in a frigate, invited Madockawando and other
chiefs on board, and feasted them in his cabin, after which they had
all thrown their hatchets into the sea, in token of everlasting peace.
Villieu now despaired of his enterprise, and prepared to return to the
St. John; when Thury, wise as the serpent, set himself to work on the
jealousy of Taxous, took him aside, and persuaded him that his rival,
Madockawando, had put a slight upon him in presuming to make peace
without his consent. "The effect was marvellous," says Villieu.
Taxous, exasperated, declared that he would have nothing to do with
Madockawando's treaty. The fickle multitude caught the contagion, and
asked for nothing but English scalps; but, before setting out, they
must needs go back to Passadumkeag to finish their preparations.

Villieu again went with them, and on the way his enterprise and he
nearly perished together. His canoe overset in a rapid at some
distance above the site of Bangor: he was swept down the current, his
head was dashed against a rock, and his body bruised from head to
foot. For five days he lay helpless with fever. He had no sooner
recovered than he gave the Indians a war-feast, at which they all sang
the war-song, except Madockawando and some thirty of his clansmen,
whom the others made the butt of their taunts and ridicule. The chief
began to waver. The officer and the missionary beset him with presents
and persuasion, till at last he promised to join the rest.

It was the end of June when Villieu and Thury, with one Frenchman and
a hundred and five Indians, began their long canoe voyage to the
English border. The savages were directed to give no quarter, and told
that the prisoners already in their hands would insure the safety of
their hostages in the hands of the English. [Footnote: Villebon,
_Mémoire, Juillet_, 1694; _Instruction du Sr. de Villebon au Sr. de
Villieu._] More warriors were to join them from Bigot's mission on the
Kennebec. On the ninth of July, they neared Pemaquid; but it was no
part of their plan to attack a garrisoned post. The main body passed
on at a safe distance; while Villieu approached the fort, dressed and
painted like an Indian, and accompanied by two or three genuine
savages, carrying a packet of furs, as if on a peaceful errand of
trade. Such visits from Indians had been common since the treaty; and,
while his companions bartered their beaver skins with the unsuspecting
soldiers, he strolled about the neighborhood and made a plan of the
works. The party was soon after joined by Bigot's Indians, and the
united force now amounted to two hundred and thirty. They held a
council to determine where they should make their attack, but opinions
differed. Some were for the places west of Boston, and others for
those nearer at hand. Necessity decided them. Their provisions were
gone, and Villieu says that he himself was dying of hunger. They
therefore resolved to strike at the nearest settlement, that of Oyster
River, now Durham, about twelve miles from Portsmouth. They cautiously
moved forward, and sent scouts in advance, who reported that the
inhabitants kept no watch. In fact, a messenger from Phips had assured
them that the war was over, and that they could follow their usual
vocations without fear.

Villieu and his band waited till night, and then made their approach.
There was a small village; a church; a mill; twelve fortified houses,
occupied in most cases only by families; and many unprotected
farm-houses, extending several miles along the stream. The Indians
separated into bands, and, stationing themselves for a simultaneous
attack at numerous points, lay patiently waiting till towards day. The
moon was still bright when the first shot gave the signal, and the
slaughter began. The two palisaded houses of Adams and Drew, without
garrisons, were taken immediately, and the families butchered. Those
of Edgerly, Beard, and Medar were abandoned, and most of the inmates
escaped. The remaining seven were successfully defended, though
several of them were occupied only by the families which owned them.
One of these, belonging to Thomas Bickford, stood by the river near
the lower end of the settlement. Roused by the firing, he placed his
wife and children in a boat, sent them down the stream, and then went
back alone to defend his dwelling. When the Indians appeared, he fired
on them, sometimes from one loophole and sometimes from another,
shouting the word of command to an imaginary garrison, and showing
himself with a different hat, cap, or coat, at different parts of the
building. The Indians were afraid to approach, and he saved both
family and home. One Jones, the owner of another of these fortified
houses, was wakened by the barking of his dogs, and went out, thinking
that his hog-pen was visited by wolves. The flash of a gun in the
twilight of the morning showed the true nature of the attack. The shot
missed him narrowly; and, entering the house again, he stood on his
defence, when the Indians, after firing for some time from behind a
neighboring rock, withdrew and left him in peace. Woodman's garrison
house, though occupied by a number of men, was attacked more
seriously, the Indians keeping up a long and brisk fire from behind a
ridge where they lay sheltered; but they hit nobody, and at length
disappeared. [Footnote: Woodman's garrison house is still standing,
having been carefully preserved by his descendants.]

Among the unprotected houses, the carnage was horrible. A hundred and
four persons, chiefly women and children half naked from their beds,
were tomahawked, shot, or killed by slower and more painful methods.
Some escaped to the fortified houses, and others hid in the woods.
Twenty-seven were kept alive as prisoners. Twenty or more houses were
burned; but, what is remarkable, the church was spared. Father Thury
entered it during the massacre, and wrote with chalk on the pulpit
some sentences, of which the purport is not preserved, as they were no
doubt in French or Latin.

Thury said mass, and then the victors retreated in a body to the place
where they had hidden their canoes. Here Taxous, dissatisfied with the
scalps that he and his band had taken, resolved to have more; and with
fifty of his own warriors, joined by others from the Kennebec, set out
on a new enterprise. "They mean," writes Villieu in his diary, "to
divide into bands of four or five, and knock people in the head by
surprise, which cannot fail to produce a good effect." [Footnote:
"Casser des testes à la surprise après s'estre divisés en plusieurs
bandes de quatre au cinq, ce qui ne peut manquer de faire un bon
effect." Villieu, _Relation_.] They did in fact fall a few days after
on the settlements near Groton, and killed some forty persons.

Having heard from one of the prisoners a rumor of ships on the way
from England to attack Quebec, Villieu thought it necessary to inform
Frontenac at once. Attended by a few Indians, he travelled four days
and nights, till he found Bigot at an Abenaki fort on the Kennebec.
His Indians were completely exhausted. He took others in their place,
pushed forward again, reached Quebec on the twenty-second of August,
found that Frontenac had gone to Montreal, followed him thither, told
his story, and presented him with thirteen English scalps. [Footnote:
"Dans cette assemblée M. de Villieu avec 4 sauvages qu'il avoit amenés
de l'Accadie présenta à Monsieur le Comte de Frontenac 13 chevelures
angloises." _Callières au Ministre_, 10 _Oct_., 1694.] He had
displayed in the achievement of his detestable exploit an energy,
perseverance, and hardihood rarely equalled; but all would have been
vain but for the help of his clerical colleague Father Pierre Thury. [5]

THE INDIAN TRIBES OF ACADIA.--The name _Abenaki_ is generic, and of
very loose application. As employed by the best French writers at the
end of the seventeenth century, it may be taken to include the tribes
from the Kennebec eastward to the St. John. These again may be
sub-divided as follows. First, the Canibas (Kenibas), or tribes of the
Kennebec and adjacent waters. These with kindred neighboring tribes on
the Saco, the Androscoggin, and the Sheepscot, have been held by some
writers to be the Abenakis proper, though some of them, such as the
Sokokis or Pequawkets of the Saco, spoke a dialect distinct from the
rest. Secondly, the tribes of the Penobscot, called Tarratines by
early New England writers, who sometimes, however, give this name a
more extended application. Thirdly, the Malicites (Marechites) of the
St. Croix and the St. John. These, with the Penobscots or Tarratines,
are the Etchemins of early French waiters. All these tribes speak
dialects of Algonquin, so nearly related that they understand each
other with little difficulty. That eminent Indian philologist, Mr. J.
Hammond Trumbull, writes to me: "The Malicite, the Penobscot, and the
Kennebec, or Caniba, are dialects of the same language, which may as
well be called _Abenaki_. The first named differs more considerably
from the other two than do these from each other. In fact the Caniba
and the Penobscot are merely provincial dialects, with no greater
difference than is found in two English counties." The case is widely
different with the Micmacs, the Souriquois of the French, who occupy
portions of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and who speak a language
which, though of Algonquin origin, differs as much from the Abenaki
dialects as Italian differs from French, and was once described to me
by a Malicite (Passamaquoddy) Indian as an unintelligible jargon.

[1] "Comme vostre principal objet doit estre de faire la guerre sans
relâche aux Anglois, il faut que vostre plus particulière application
soit de detourner de tout autre employ les François qui sont avec
vous, en leur donnant de vostre part un si bon exemple en cela qu'ils
ne soient animez que du désir de chercher à faire du proffit sur les
ennemis. Je n'ay aussy rien à vous recommander plus fortement que de
mettre en usage tout ce que vous pouvez avoir de capacité et de
prudence afin que les Canibas (_Abenakis_) ne s'employent qu'à la
guerre, et que par l'économie de ce que vous avez à leur fournir ils y
puissent trouver leur subsistance et plus d'avantage qu'à la chasse."
_Le Ministre à Villebon, Avril_, 1692. Two years before, the king
had ordered that the Abenakis should be made to attack the English

[2] The best French account of the capture of York is that of
Champigny in a letter to the minister, 5 Oct., 1692. His information
came from an Abenaki chief, who was present. The journal of Villebon
contains an exaggerated account of the affair, also derived from
Indians. Compare the English accounts in Mather, Williamson, and
Niles. These writers make the number of slain and captives much less
than that given by the French. In the contemporary journal of Rev.
John Pike, it is placed at 48 killed and 78 taken.

Two fortified houses of this period are still (1875) standing at York.
They are substantial buildings of squared timber, with the upper story
projecting over the lower, so as to allow a vertical fire on the heads
of assailants. In one of them some of the loopholes for musketry are
still left open. They may or may not have been originally enclosed by

[3] Villebon, _Journal de ce qui s'est passé à l'Acadie_, 1691, 1692;
Mather, _Magnalia_, II. 613; Hutchinson, _Hist. Mass._, II. 67;
Williamson, _History of Maine_, I. 631; Bourne, _History of Wells_,
213; Niles, _Indian and French Wars_, 229. Williamson, like Sylvanus
Davis, calls Portneuf _Barneffe_ or _Barniffe_. He, and other English
writers, call La Brognerie _Labocree_. The French could not recover
his body, on which, according to Niles and others, was found a pouch
"stuffed full of relics, pardons, and indulgences." The prisoner
Diamond told the captors that there were thirty men in the sloops.
They believed him, and were cautious accordingly. There were, in fact,
but fourteen. Most of the fighting was on the tenth. On the evening of
that day, Convers received a reinforcement of six men. They were a
scouting party, whom he had sent a few days before in the direction of
Salmon River. Returning, they were attacked, when near the garrison
house, by a party of Portneuf's Indians. The sergeant in command
instantly shouted, "Captain Convers, send your men round the hill, and
we shall catch these dogs." Thinking that Convers had made a sortie,
the Indians ran off, and the scouts joined the garrison without loss.

[4] Lagny, _Mémoire sur l'Acadie_, 1692; _Mémoire sur l'Enlèvement de
Saint-Castin; Frontenac au Ministre_, 25 _Oct_., 1693; _Relation de ce
qui s'est passè de plus remarquable_, 1690, 1691 (capture of Nelson);
_Frontenac au Ministre_, 15 _Sept_., 1692; _Champigny au Ministre_, 15
_Oct_., 1692. Champigny here speaks of Nelson as the most audacious of
the English, and the most determined on the destruction of the French.
Nelson's letter to the authorities of Boston is printed in Hutchinson,
I. 338. It does not warn them of an attempt against Pemaquid, of the
rebuilding of which he seems not to have heard, but only of a design
against the seaboard towns. Compare _N. Y. Col. Docs._, IX. 555. In
the same collection is a _Memorial on the Northern Colonies_, by
Nelson, a paper showing much good sense and penetration. After an
imprisonment of four and a half years, he was allowed to go to England
on parole; a friend in France giving security of 15,000 livres for his
return, in case of his failure to procure from the king an order for
the fulfilment of the terms of the capitulation of Port Royal. (_Le
Ministre à Bégon_, 13 _Jan_., 1694.) He did not succeed, and the king
forbade him to return. It is characteristic of him that he preferred
to disobey the royal order, and thus incur the high displeasure of his
sovereign, rather than break his parole and involve his friend in
loss. La Hontan calls him a "fort galant homme." There is a portrait
of him at Boston, where his descendants are represented by the
prominent families of Derby and Borland.

[5] The principal authority for the above is the very curious
_Relation du Voyage fait par le Sieur de Villieu ... pour faire la
Guerre aux Anglois au printemps de l'an 1694_. It is the narrative
of Villieu himself, written in the form of a journal, with great
detail. He also gives a brief summary in a letter to the minister, 7
Sept. The best English account is that of Belknap, in his _History
of New Hampshire_. Cotton Mather tells the story in his usual
unsatisfactory and ridiculous manner. Pike, in his journal, says that
ninety-four persons in all were killed or taken. Mather says, "ninety
four or a hundred." The _Provincial Record of New Hampshire_
estimates it at eighty. Charlevoix claims two hundred and thirty, and
Villieu himself but a hundred and thirty-one. Champigny, Frontenac,
and Callières, in their reports to the court, adopt Villieu's
statements. Frontenac says that the success was due to the assurances
of safety which Phips had given the settlers.

In the Massachusetts archives is a letter to Phips, written just after
the attack. The devastation extended six or seven miles. There are
also a number of depositions from persons present, giving a horrible
picture of the cruelties practised.





"This stroke," says Villebon, speaking of the success at Oyster River,
"is of great advantage, because it breaks off all the talk of peace
between our Indians and the English. The English are in despair, for
not even infants in the cradle were spared." [Footnote: "Ce coup est
très avantageux, parcequ'il rompte tous les pour-parlers de paix entre
nos sauvages et les Anglois. Les Anglois sont au désespoir de ce
qu'ils ont tué jusqu'aux enfants au berceau." _Villebon au Ministre_,
19 _Sept_., 1694.]

I have given the story in detail, as showing the origin and character
of the destructive raids, of which New England annalists show only the
results. The borders of New England were peculiarly vulnerable. In
Canada, the settlers built their houses in lines, within supporting
distance of each other, along the margin of a river which supplied
easy transportation for troops; and, in time of danger, they all took
refuge in forts under command of the local seigniors, or of officers
with detachments of soldiers. The exposed part of the French colony
extended along the St. Lawrence about ninety miles. The exposed
frontier of New England was between two and three hundred miles long,
and consisted of farms and hamlets, loosely scattered through an
almost impervious forest. Mutual support was difficult or impossible.
A body of Indians and Canadians, approaching secretly and swiftly,
dividing into small bands, and falling at once upon the isolated
houses of an extensive district, could commit prodigious havoc in a
short time, and with little danger. Even in so-called villages, the
houses were far apart, because, except on the sea-shore, the people
lived by farming. Such as were able to do so fenced their dwellings
with palisades, or built them of solid timber, with loopholes, a
projecting upper story like a blockhouse, and sometimes a flanker at
one or more of the corners. In the more considerable settlements, the
largest of these fortified houses was occupied, in time of danger, by
armed men, and served as a place of refuge for the neighbors. The
palisaded house defended by Convers at Wells was of this sort, and so
also was the Woodman house at Oyster River. These were "garrison
houses," properly so called, though the name was often given to
fortified dwellings occupied only by the family. The French and Indian
war-parties commonly avoided the true garrison houses, and very rarely
captured them, except unawares; for their tactics were essentially
Iroquois, and consisted, for the most part, in pouncing upon peaceful
settlers by surprise, and generally in the night. Combatants and
non-combatants were slaughtered together. By parading the number of
slain, without mentioning that most of them were women and children,
and by counting as forts mere private houses surrounded with
palisades, Charlevoix and later writers have given the air of gallant
exploits to acts which deserve a very different name. To attack
military posts, like Casco and Pemaquid, was a legitimate act of war;
but systematically to butcher helpless farmers and their families can
hardly pass as such, except from the Iroquois point of view.

The chief alleged motive for this ruthless warfare was to prevent the
people of New England from invading Canada, by giving them employment
at home; though, in fact, they had never thought of invading Canada
till after these attacks began. But for the intrigues of Denonville,
the Bigots, Thury, and Saint-Castin, before war was declared, and the
destruction of Salmon Falls after it, Phips's expedition would never
have taken place. By successful raids against the borders of New
England, Frontenac roused the Canadians from their dejection, and
prevented his red allies from deserting him; but, in so doing, he
brought upon himself an enemy who, as Charlevoix himself says, asked
only to be let alone. If there was a political necessity for
butchering women and children on the frontier of New England, it was a
necessity created by the French themselves.

There was no such necessity. Massachusetts was the only one of the New
England colonies which took an aggressive part in the contest.
Connecticut did little or nothing. Rhode Island was non-combatant
through Quaker influence; and New Hampshire was too weak for offensive
war. Massachusetts was in no condition to fight, nor was she impelled
to do so by the home government. Canada was organized for war, and
must fight at the bidding of the king, who made the war and paid for
it. Massachusetts was organized for peace; and, if she chose an
aggressive part, it was at her own risk and her own cost. She had had
fighting enough already against infuriated savages far more numerous
than the Iroquois, and poverty and political revolution made peace a
necessity to her. If there was danger of another attack on Quebec, it
was not from New England, but from Old; and no amount of frontier
butchery could avert it.

Nor, except their inveterate habit of poaching on Acadian fisheries,
had the people of New England provoked these barbarous attacks. They
never even attempted to retaliate them, though the settlements of
Acadia offered a safe and easy revenge. Once, it is true, they
pillaged Beaubassin; but they killed nobody, though countless
butcheries in settlements yet more defenceless were fresh in their
memory. [Footnote: The people of Beaubassin had taken an oath of
allegiance to England in 1690, and pleaded it as a reason for
exemption from plunder; but it appears by French authorities that they
had violated it (_Observations sur les Depêches touchant l'Acadie_,
1695), and their priest Baudoin had led a band of Micmacs to the
attack of Wells (Villebon, _Journal_). When the "Bostonnais" captured
Port Royal, they are described by the French as excessively irritated
by the recent slaughter at Salmon Falls, yet the only revenge they
took was plundering some of the inhabitants.]

With New York, a colony separate in government and widely sundered in
local position, the case was different. Its rulers had instigated the
Iroquois to attack Canada, possibly before the declaration of war, and
certainly after it; and they had no right to complain of reprisal. Yet
the frontier of New York was less frequently assailed, because it was
less exposed; while that of New England was drenched in blood, because
it was open to attack, because the Abenakis were convenient
instruments for attacking it, because the adhesion of these tribes was
necessary to the maintenance of French power in Acadia, and because
this adhesion could best be secured by inciting them to constant
hostility against the English. They were not only needed as the
barrier of Canada against New England, but the French commanders
hoped, by means of their tomahawks, to drive the English beyond the
Piscataqua, and secure the whole of Maine to the French crown.

Who were answerable for these offences against Christianity and
civilization? First, the king; and, next, the governors and military
officers who were charged with executing his orders, and who often
executed them with needless barbarity. But a far different
responsibility rests on the missionary priests, who hounded their
converts on the track of innocent blood. The Acadian priests are not
all open to this charge. Some of them are even accused of being too
favorable to the English; while others gave themselves to their proper
work, and neither abused their influence, nor perverted their teaching
to political ends. The most prominent among the apostles of carnage,
at this time, are the Jesuit Bigot on the Kennebec, and the seminary
priest Thury on the Penobscot. There is little doubt that the latter
instigated attacks on the English frontier before the war, and there
is conclusive evidence that he had a hand in repeated forays after it
began. Whether acting from fanaticism, policy, or an odious compound
of both, he was found so useful, that the minister Ponchartrain twice
wrote him letters of commendation, praising him in the same breath for
his care of the souls of the Indians and his zeal in exciting them to
war. "There is no better man," says an Acadian official, "to prompt
the savages to any enterprise." [Footnote: Tibièrge, _Mémoire sur
l'Acadie_, 1695.] The king was begged to reward him with money; and
Ponchartrain wrote to the bishop of Quebec to increase his pay out of
the allowance furnished by the government to the Acadian clergy,
because he, Thury, had persuaded the Abenakis to begin the war anew. [1]

The French missionaries are said to have made use of singular methods
to excite their flocks against the heretics. The Abenaki chief
Bomaseen, when a prisoner at Boston in 1696, declared that they told
the Indians that Jesus Christ was a Frenchman, and his mother, the
Virgin, a French lady; that the English had murdered him, and that the
best way to gain his favor was to revenge his death. [Footnote:
Mather, _Magnalia_, II. 629. Compare Dummer, _Memorial_, 1709, in
_Mass. Hist. Coll_., 3 _Ser_., I., and the same writer's _Letter to a
Noble Lord concerning the Late Expedition to Canada_, 1712. Dr.
Charles T. Jackson, the geologist, when engaged in the survey of Maine
in 1836, mentions, as an example of the simplicity of the Acadians of
Madawaska, that one of them asked him "if Bethlehem, where Christ was
born, was not a town in France." _First Report on the Geology of
Maine_, 72. Here, perhaps, is a tradition from early missionary

Whether or not these articles of faith formed a part of the teachings
of Thury and his fellow-apostles, there is no doubt that it was a
recognized part of their functions to keep their converts in hostility
to the English, and that their credit with the civil powers depended
on their success in doing so. The same holds true of the priests of
the mission villages in Canada. They avoided all that might impair the
warlike spirit of the neophyte, and they were well aware that in
savages the warlike spirit is mainly dependent on native ferocity.
They taught temperance, conjugal fidelity, devotion to the rites of
their religion, and submission to the priest; but they left the savage
a savage still. In spite of the remonstrances of the civil
authorities, the mission Indian was separated as far as possible from
intercourse with the French, and discouraged from learning the French
tongue. He wore a crucifix, hung wampum on the shrine of the Virgin,
told his beads, prayed three times a day, knelt for hours before the
Host, invoked the saints, and confessed to the priest; but, with rare
exceptions, he murdered, scalped, and tortured like his heathen
countrymen. [2]

The picture has another side, which must not pass unnoticed. Early in
the war, the French of Canada began the merciful practice of buying
English prisoners, and especially children, from their Indian allies.
After the first fury of attack, many lives were spared for the sake of
this ransom. Sometimes, but not always, the redeemed captives were
made to work for their benefactors. They were uniformly treated well,
and often with such kindness that they would not be exchanged, and
became Canadians by adoption.

Villebon was still full of anxiety as to the adhesion of the Abenakis.
Thury saw the danger still more clearly, and told Frontenac that their
late attack at Oyster River was due more to levity than to any other
cause; that they were greatly alarmed, wavering, half stupefied,
afraid of the English, and distrustful of the French, whom they
accused of using them as tools. [Footnote: _Thury à Frontenac_, 11
_Sept_., 1694.] It was clear that something must be done; and nothing
could answer the purpose so well as the capture of Pemaquid, that
English stronghold which held them in constant menace, and at the same
time tempted them by offers of goods at a low rate. To the capture of
Pemaquid, therefore, the French government turned its thoughts.

One Pascho Chubb, of Andover, commanded the post, with a garrison of
ninety-five militia-men. Stoughton, governor of Massachusetts, had
written to the Abenakis, upbraiding them for breaking the peace, and
ordering them to bring in their prisoners without delay. The Indians
of Bigot's mission, that is to say, Bigot in their name, retorted by a
letter to the last degree haughty and abusive. Those of Thury's
mission, however, were so anxious to recover their friends held in
prison at Boston that they came to Pemaquid, and opened a conference
with Chubb. The French say that they meant only to deceive him.
[Footnote: Villebon, _Journal_, 1694-1696.] This does not justify the
Massachusetts officer, who, by an act of odious treachery, killed
several of them, and captured the chief, Egeremet. Nor was this the
only occasion on which the English had acted in bad faith. It was but
playing into the hands of the French, who saw with delight that the
folly of their enemies had aided their own intrigues. [Footnote: _N.
Y. Col Docs._, IX. 613, 616, 642, 643; La Potherie, III. 258;
_Calières au Mlnistre_, 25 _Oct_., 1695; _Rev. John Pike to Governor
and Council_, 7 _Jan_., 1694 (1695), in Johnston, _Hist. of Bristol
and Bremen_; Hutchinson, _Hist. Mass._, II. 81, 90.]

Early in 1696, two ships of war, the "Envieux" and the "Profond," one
commanded by Iberville and the other by Bonaventure, sailed from
Rochefort to Quebec, where they took on board eighty troops and
Canadians; then proceeded to Cape Breton, embarked thirty Micmac
Indians, and steered for the St. John. Here they met two British
frigates and a provincial tender belonging to Massachusetts. A fight
ensued. The forces were very unequal. The "Newport," of twenty-four
guns, was dismasted and taken; but her companion frigate along with
the tender escaped in the fog. The French then anchored at the mouth
of the St. John, where Villebon and the priest Simon were waiting for
them, with fifty more Micmacs. Simon and the Indians went on board;
and they all sailed for Pentegoet, where Villieu, with twenty-five
soldiers, and Thury and Saint-Castin, with some three hundred
Abenakis, were ready to join them. After the usual feasting, these new
allies paddled for Pemaquid; the ships followed; and on the next day,
the fourteenth of August, they all reached their destination.

The fort of Pemaquid stood at the west side of the promontory of the
same name, on a rocky point at the mouth of Pemaquid River. It was a
quadrangle, with ramparts of rough stone, built at great pains and
cost, but exposed to artillery, and incapable of resisting heavy shot.
The government of Massachusetts, with its usual military fatuity, had
placed it in the keeping of an unfit commander, and permitted some of
the yeoman garrison to bring their wives and children to this
dangerous and important post.

Saint-Castin and his Indians landed at New Harbor, half a league from
the fort. Troops and cannon were sent ashore; and, at five o'clock in
the afternoon, Chubb was summoned to surrender. He replied that he
would fight, "even if the sea were covered with French ships and the
land with Indians." The firing then began; and the Indian marksmen,
favored by the nature of the ground, ensconced themselves near the
fort, well covered from its cannon. During the night, mortars and
heavy ships' guns were landed, and by great exertion were got into
position, the two priests working lustily with the rest. They opened
fire at three o'clock on the next day. Saint-Castin had just before
sent Chubb a letter, telling him that, if the garrison were obstinate,
they would get no quarter, and would be butchered by the Indians.
Close upon this message followed four or five bomb-shells. Chubb
succumbed immediately, sounded a parley, and gave up the fort, on
condition that he and his men should be protected from the Indians,
sent to Boston, and exchanged for French and Abenaki prisoners. They
all marched out without arms; and Iberville, true to his pledge, sent
them to an island in the bay, beyond the reach of his red allies.
Villieu took possession of the fort, where an Indian prisoner was
found in irons, half dead from long confinement. This so enraged his
countrymen that a massacre would infallibly have taken place but for
the precaution of Iberville. The cannon of Pemaquid were carried on
board the ships, and the small arms and ammunition given to the
Indians. Two days were spent in destroying the works, and then the
victors withdrew in triumph. Disgraceful as was the prompt surrender
of the fort, it may be doubted if, even with the best defence, it
could have held out many days; for it had no casemates, and its
occupants were defenceless against the explosion of shells. Chubb was
arrested for cowardice on his return, and remained some months in
prison. After his release, he returned to his family at Andover,
twenty miles from Boston; and here, in the year following, he and his
wife were killed by Indians, who seem to have pursued him to this
apparently safe asylum to take revenge for his treachery toward their
countrymen. [Footnote: Baudoin, _Journal d'un Voyage fait avec M.
d'Iberville_. Baudoin was an Acadian priest, who accompanied the
expedition, which he describes in detail. _Relation de ce qui s'est
passé, etc., 1695, 1696; Des Goutins au Ministre, 23 Sept., 1696_;
Hutchinson, _Hist. Mass._, II 89; Mather, _Magnalia_, II. 633. A
letter from Chubb, asking to be released from prison, is preserved in
the archives of Massachusetts. I have examined the site of the fort,
the remains of which are still distinct.]

The people of Massachusetts, compelled by a royal order to build and
maintain Pemaquid, had no love for it, and underrated its importance.
Having been accustomed to spend their money as they themselves saw
fit, they revolted at compulsion, though exercised for their good.
Pemaquid was nevertheless of the utmost value for the preservation of
their hold on Maine, and its conquest was a crowning triumph to the

The conquerors now projected a greater exploit. The Marquis de
Nesmond, with a powerful squadron of fifteen ships, including some of
the best in the royal navy, sailed for Newfoundland, with orders to
defeat an English squadron supposed to be there, and then to proceed
to the mouth of the Penobscot, where he was to be joined by the
Abenaki warriors and fifteen hundred troops from Canada. The whole
united force was then to fall upon Boston. The French had an exact
knowledge of the place. Meneval, when a prisoner there, lodged in the
house of John Nelson, had carefully examined it; and so also had the
Chevalier d'Aux; while La Motte-Cadillac had reconnoitred the town and
harbor before the war began. An accurate map of them was made for the
use of the expedition, and the plan of operations was arranged with
great care. Twelve hundred troops and Canadians were to land with
artillery at Dorchester, and march at once to force the barricade
across the neck of the peninsula on which the town stood. At the same
time, Saint-Castin was to land at Noddle's Island, with a troop of
Canadians and all the Indians; pass over in canoes to Charlestown;
and, after mastering it, cross to the north point of Boston, which
would thus be attacked at both ends. During these movements, two
hundred soldiers were to seize the battery on Castle Island, and then
land in front of the town near Long Wharf, under the guns of the
fleet. Boston had about seven thousand inhabitants, but, owing to the
seafaring habits of the people, many of its best men were generally
absent; and, in the belief of the French, its available force did not
much exceed eight hundred. "There are no soldiers in the place," say
the directions for attack, "at least there were none last September,
except the garrison from Pemaquid, who do not deserve the name." An
easy victory was expected. After Boston was taken, the land forces,
French and Indian, were to march on Salem, and thence northward to
Portsmouth, conquering as they went; while the ships followed along
the coast to lend aid, when necessary. All captured places were to be
completely destroyed after removing all valuable property. A portion
of this plunder was to be abandoned to the officers and men, in order
to encourage them, and the rest stowed in the ships for transportation
to France. [3]

Notice of the proposed expedition had reached Frontenac in the spring;
and he began at once to collect men, canoes, and supplies for the long
and arduous march to the rendezvous. He saw clearly the uncertainties
of the attempt; but, in spite of his seventy-seven years, he resolved
to command the land force in person. He was ready in June, and waited
only to hear from Nesmond. The summer passed; and it was not till
September that a ship reached Quebec with a letter from the marquis,
telling him that head winds had detained the fleet till only fifty
days' provision remained, and it was too late for action. The
enterprise had completely failed, and even at Newfoundland nothing was
accomplished. It proved a positive advantage to New England, since a
host of Indians, who would otherwise have been turned loose upon the
borders, were gathered by Saint-Castin at the Penobscot to wait for
the fleet, and kept there idle all summer. It is needless to dwell
farther on the war in Acadia. There were petty combats by land and
sea; Villieu was captured and carried to Boston; a band of New England
rustics made a futile attempt to dislodge Villebon from his fort at
Naxouat; while, throughout the contest, rivalry and jealousy rankled
among the French officials, who continually maligned each other in
tell-tale letters to the court. Their hope that the Abenakis would
force back the English boundary to the Piscataqua was never fulfilled.
At Kittery, at Wells, and even among the ashes of York, the stubborn
settlers held their ground, while war-parties prowled along the whole
frontier, from the Kennebec to the Connecticut. A single incident will
show the nature of the situation, and the qualities which it sometimes
called forth. Early in the spring that followed the capture of
Pemaquid, a band of Indians fell, after daybreak, on a number of
farm-houses near the village of Haverhill. One of them belonged to a
settler named Dustan, whose wife Hannah had borne a child a week
before, and lay in the house, nursed by Mary Neff, one of her
neighbors. Dustan had gone to his work in a neighboring field, taking
with him his seven children, of whom the youngest was two years old.
Hearing the noise of the attack, he told them to run to the nearest
fortified house, a mile or more distant, and, snatching up his gun,
threw himself on one of his horses and galloped towards his own house
to save his wife. It was too late: the Indians were already there. He
now thought only of saving his children; and, keeping behind them as
they ran, he fired on the pursuing savages, and held them at bay till
he and his flock reached a place of safety. Meanwhile, the house was
set on fire, and his wife and the nurse carried off. Her husband, no
doubt, had given her up as lost, when, weeks after, she reappeared,
accompanied by Mary Neff and a boy, and bringing ten Indian scalps.
Her story was to the following effect.

The Indians had killed the new-born child by dashing it against a
tree, after which the mother and the nurse were dragged into the
forest, where they found a number of friends and neighbors, their
fellows in misery. Some of these were presently tomahawked, and the
rest divided among their captors. Hannah Dustan and the nurse fell to
the share of a family consisting of two warriors, three squaws, and
seven children, who separated from the rest, and, hunting as they
went, moved northward towards an Abenaki village, two hundred and
fifty miles distant, probably that of the mission on the Chaudière.
Every morning, noon, and evening, they told their beads, and repeated
their prayers. An English boy, captured at Worcester, was also of the
party. After a while, the Indians began to amuse themselves by telling
the women that, when they reached the village, they would be stripped,
made to run the gauntlet, and severely beaten, according to custom.

Hannah Dustan now resolved on a desperate effort to escape, and Mary
Neff and the boy agreed to join in it. They were in the depths of the
forest, half way on their journey, and the Indians, who had no
distrust of them, were all asleep about their camp fire, when, late in
the night, the two women and the boy took each a hatchet, and crouched
silently by the bare heads of the unconscious savages. Then they all
struck at once, with blows so rapid and true that ten of the twelve
were killed before they were well awake. One old squaw sprang up
wounded, and ran screeching into the forest, followed by a small boy
whom they had purposely left unharmed. Hannah Dustan and her
companions watched by the corpses till daylight; then the Amazon
scalped them all, and the three made their way back to the
settlements, with the trophies of their exploit. [Footnote: This story
is told by Mather, who had it from the women themselves, and by Niles,
Hutchinson, and others. An entry in the contemporary journal of Rev.
John Pike fully confirms it. The facts were notorious at the time.
Hannah Dustan and her companions received a bounty of £50 for their
ten scalps; and the governor of Maryland, hearing of what they had
done, sent them a present.]

[1] "Les témoignages qu'on a rendu à Sa Majesté de l'affection et du
zêle du Sr. de Thury, missionaire chez les Canibas (_Abenakis_), pour
son service, et particulièrement dans l'engagement où il a mis les
Sauvages de recommencer la guerre contre les Anglois, m'oblige de vous
prier de luy faire une plus forte part sur les 1,500 livres de
gratification que Sa Majesté accorde pour les ecclésiastiques de
l'Acadie." _Le Ministre à l'Évesque de Québec_, 16 _Avril_, 1695.

"Je suis bien aise de me servir de cette occasion pour vous dire que
j'ay esté informé, non seulement de vostre zêle et de vostre
application pour vostre mission, et du progrès qu'elle fait pour
l'avancement de la religion avec les sauvages, mais encore de vos
soins pour les maintenir dans le service de Sa Majesté et pour les
encourager aux expeditions de guerre." _Le Ministre à Thury_, 28
_Avril_, 1697. The other letter to Thury, written two years before, is
of the same tenor.

[2] The famous Ouréhaoué, who had been for years under the influence
of the priests, and who, as Charlevoix says, died "un vrai Chrétien,"
being told on his death-bed how Christ was crucified by the Jews,
exclaimed with fervor: "Ah! why was not I there? I would have revenged
him: I would have had their scalps." La Potherie, IV. 91. Charlevoix,
after his fashion on such occasions, suppresses the revenge and the
scalping, and instead makes the dying Christian say, "I would have
prevented them from so treating my God."

The savage custom of forcing prisoners to run the gauntlet, and
sometimes beating them to death as they did so, was continued at two,
if not all, of the mission villages down to the end of the French
domination. General Stark of the Revolution, when a young man, was
subjected to this kind of torture at St. Francis, but saved himself by
snatching a club from one of the savages, and knocking the rest to the
right and left as he ran. The practice was common, and must have had
the consent of the priests of the mission.

At the Sulpitian mission of the Mountain of Montreal, unlike the rest,
the converts were taught to speak French and practise mechanical arts.
The absence of such teaching in other missions was the subject of
frequent complaint, not only from Frontenac, but from other officers.
La Motte-Cadillac writes bitterly on the subject, and contrasts the
conduct of the French priests with that of the English ministers, who
have taught many Indians to read and write, and reward them for
teaching others in turn, which they do, he says, with great success.
_Mémoire contenant une Description détaillée de l'Acadie, etc._, 1693.
In fact, Eliot and his co-workers took great pains in this respect.
There were at this time thirty Indian churches in New England,
according to the _Diary of President Stiles_, cited by Holmes.

[3] _Mémoire sur l'Entreprise de Boston, pour M. le Marquis de
Nesmond, Versailles, 21 Avril, 1697; Instruction à M. le Marquis de
Nesmond, même date; Le Roy à Frontenac, même date; Le Roy à Frontenac
et Champigny 27 Avril, 1697; Le Ministre à Nesmond, 28 Avril, 1697;
Ibid., 15 Juin, 1697; Frontenac au Ministre, 15 Oct., 1697; Carte de
Baston, par le Sr. Franquelin, 1697_. This is the map made for the use
of the expedition. A _fac-simile_ of it is before me. The conquest of
New York had originally formed part of the plan. _Lagny au Ministre,
20 Jan., 1695_. Even as it was, too much was attempted, and the scheme
was fatally complicated by the operations at Newfoundland. Four years
before, a projected attack on Quebec by a British fleet, under Admiral
Wheeler, had come to nought from analogous causes.

The French spared no pains to gain accurate information as to the
strength of the English settlements. Among other reports on this
subject there is a curious _Mémoire sur les Établissements anglois au
delà de Pemaquid, jusqu'a Baston_. It was made just after the capture
of Pemaquid, with a view to further operations. Saco is described as a
small fort a league above the mouth of the river Saco, with four
cannon, but fit only to resist Indians. At Wells, it says, all the
settlers have sought refuge in four _petits forts_, of which the
largest holds perhaps 20 men, besides women and children. At York, all
the people have gathered into one fort, where there are about 40 men.
At Portsmouth there is a fort, of slight account, and about a hundred
houses. This neighborhood, no doubt including Kittery, can furnish at
most about 300 men. At the Isles of Shoals there are some 280
fishermen, who are absent, except on Sundays. In the same manner,
estimates are made for every village and district as far as Boston.





No Canadian, under the French rule, stands in a more conspicuous or
more deserved eminence than Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville. In the
seventeenth century, most of those who acted a prominent part in the
colony were born in Old France; but Iberville was a true son of the
soil. He and his brothers, Longueuil, Serigny, Assigny, Maricourt,
Sainte-Hélène, the two Châteauguays, and the two Bienvilles, were, one
and all, children worthy of their father, Charles Le Moyne of
Montreal, and favorable types of that Canadian _noblesse_, to whose
adventurous hardihood half the continent bears witness. Iberville was
trained in the French navy, and was already among its most able
commanders. The capture of Pemaquid was, for him, but the beginning of
greater things; and, though the exploits that followed were outside
the main theatre of action, they were too remarkable to be passed in

The French had but one post of any consequence on the Island of
Newfoundland, the fort and village at Placentia Bay; while the English
fishermen had formed a line of settlements two or three hundred miles
along the eastern coast. Iberville had represented to the court the
necessity of checking their growth, and to that end a plan was
settled, in connection with the expedition against Pemaquid. The ships
of the king were to transport the men; while Iberville and others
associated with him were to pay them, and divide the plunder as their
compensation. The chronicles of the time show various similar bargains
between the great king and his subjects.

Pemaquid was no sooner destroyed, than Iberville sailed for
Newfoundland, with the eighty men he had taken at Quebec; and, on
arriving, he was joined by as many more, sent him from the same place.
He found Brouillan, governor of Placentia, with a squadron formed
largely of privateers from St. Malo, engaged in a vain attempt to
seize St. John, the chief post of the English. Brouillan was a man of
harsh, jealous, and impracticable temper; and it was with the utmost
difficulty that he and Iberville could act in concert. They came at
last to an agreement, made a combined attack on St. John, took it, and
burned it to the ground. Then followed a new dispute about the
division of the spoils. At length it was settled. Brouillan went back
to Placentia, and Iberville and his men were left to pursue their
conquests alone.

There were no British soldiers on the island. The settlers were rude
fishermen without commanders, and, according to the French accounts,
without religion or morals. In fact, they are described as "worse than
Indians." Iberville now had with him a hundred and twenty-five
soldiers and Canadians, besides a few Abenakis from Acadia. [Footnote:
The reinforcement sent him from Quebec consisted of fifty soldiers,
thirty Canadians, and three officers. _Frontenac au Ministre_, 28
_Oct_., 1696.] It was mid-winter when he began his march. For two
months he led his hardy band through frost and snow, from hamlet to
hamlet, along those forlorn and desolate coasts, attacking each in
turn and carrying havoc everywhere. Nothing could exceed the hardships
of the way, or the vigor with which they were met and conquered. The
chaplain Baudoin gives an example of them in his diary. "January 18th.
The roads are so bad that we can find only twelve men strong enough to
beat the path. Our snow-shoes break on the crust, and against the
rocks and fallen trees hidden under the snow, which catch and trip us;
but, for all that, we cannot help laughing to see now one, and now
another, fall headlong. The Sieur de Martigny fell into a river, and
left his gun and his sword there to save his life." A panic seized the
settlers, many of whom were without arms as well as without leaders.
They imagined the Canadians to be savages, who scalped and butchered
like the Iroquois. Their resistance was feeble and incoherent, and
Iberville carried all before him. Every hamlet was pillaged and
burned; and, according to the incredible report of the French writers,
two hundred persons were killed and seven hundred captured, though it
is admitted that most of the prisoners escaped. When spring opened,
all the English settlements were destroyed, except the post of
Bonavista and the Island of Carbonnière, a natural fortress in the
sea. Iberville returned to Placentia, to prepare for completing his
conquest, when his plans were broken by the arrival of his brother
Serigny, with orders to proceed at once against the English at
Hudson's Bay. [1]

It was the nineteenth of May, when Serigny appeared with five ships of
war, the "Pelican," the "Palmier," the "Wesp," the "Profond," and the
"Violent." The important trading-post of Fort Nelson, called Fort
Bourbon by the French, was the destined object of attack. Iberville
and Serigny had captured it three years before, but the English had
retaken it during the past summer, and, as it commanded the fur-trade
of a vast interior region, a strong effort was now to be made for its
recovery. Iberville took command of the "Pelican," and his brother of
the "Palmier." They sailed from Placentia early in July, followed by
two other ships of the squadron, and a vessel carrying stores. Before
the end of the month they entered the bay, where they were soon caught
among masses of floating ice. The store-ship was crushed and lost, and
the rest were in extreme danger. The "Pelican" at last extricated
herself, and sailed into the open sea; but her three consorts were
nowhere to be seen. Iberville steered for Fort Nelson, which was
several hundred miles distant, on the western shore of this dismal
inland sea. He had nearly reached it, when three sail hove in sight;
and he did not doubt that they were his missing ships. They proved,
however, to be English armed merchantmen: the "Hampshire" of fifty-two
guns, and the "Daring" and the "Hudson's Bay" of thirty-six and
thirty-two. The "Pelican" carried but forty-four, and she was alone. A
desperate battle followed, and from half past nine to one o'clock the
cannonade was incessant. Iberville kept the advantage of the wind,
and, coming at length to close quarters with the "Hampshire," gave her
repeated broadsides between wind and water, with such effect that she
sank with all on board. He next closed with the "Hudson's Bay," which
soon struck her flag; while the "Daring" made sail, and escaped. The
"Pelican" was badly damaged in hull, masts, and rigging; and the
increasing fury of a gale from the east made her position more
critical every hour. She anchored, to escape being driven ashore; but
the cables parted, and she was stranded about two leagues from the
fort. Here, racked by the waves and the tide, she split amidships; but
most of the crew reached land with their weapons and ammunition. The
northern winter had already begun, and the snow lay a foot deep in the
forest. Some of them died from cold and exhaustion, and the rest built
huts and kindled fires to warm and dry themselves. Food was so scarce
that their only hope of escape from famishing seemed to lie in a
desperate effort to carry the fort by storm, but now fortune
interposed. The three ships they had left behind in the ice arrived
with all the needed succors. Men, cannon, and mortars were sent
ashore, and the attack began. Fort Nelson was a palisade work,
garrisoned by traders and other civilians in the employ of the English
fur company, and commanded by one of its agents, named Bailey. Though
it had a considerable number of small cannon, it was incapable of
defence against any thing but musketry; and the French bombs soon made
it untenable. After being three times summoned, Bailey lowered his
flag, though not till he had obtained honorable terms; and he and his
men marched out with arms and baggage, drums beating and colors
flying. Iberville had triumphed over the storms, the icebergs, and the
English. The north had seen his prowess, and another fame awaited him
in the regions of the sun; for he became the father of Louisiana, and
his brother Bienville founded New Orleans. [Footnote: On the capture
of Fort Nelson, _Iberville au Ministre, 8 Nov., 1697_; Jérémie,
_Relation de la Baye de Hudson_; La Potherie, I. 86-109. All these
writers were present at the attack.]

These northern conflicts were but episodes. In Hudson's Bay,
Newfoundland, and Acadia, the issues of the war were unimportant,
compared with the momentous question whether France or England should
be mistress of the west; that is to say, of the whole interior of the
continent. There was a strange contrast in the attitude of the rival
colonies towards this supreme prize: the one was inert, and seemingly
indifferent; the other, intensely active. The reason is obvious
enough. The English colonies were separate, jealous of the crown and
of each other, and incapable as yet of acting in concert. Living by
agriculture and trade, they could prosper within limited areas, and
had no present need of spreading beyond the Alleghanies. Each of them
was an aggregate of persons, busied with their own affairs, and giving
little heed to matters which did not immediately concern them. Their
rulers, whether chosen by themselves or appointed in England, could
not compel them to become the instruments of enterprises in which the
sacrifice was present, and the advantage remote. The neglect in which
the English court left them, though wholesome in most respects, made
them unfit for aggressive action; for they had neither troops,
commanders, political union, military organization, nor military
habits. In communities so busy, and governments so popular, much could
not be done, in war, till the people were roused to the necessity of
doing it; and that awakening was still far distant. Even New York, the
only exposed colony, except Massachusetts and New Hampshire, regarded
the war merely as a nuisance to be held at arm's length. [Footnote:
See note at the end of the chapter.]

In Canada, all was different. Living by the fur trade, she needed free
range and indefinite space. Her geographical position determined the
nature of her pursuits; and her pursuits developed the roving and
adventurous character of her people, who, living under a military
rule, could be directed at will to such ends as their rulers saw fit.
The grand French scheme of territorial extension was not born at
court, but sprang from Canadian soil, and was developed by the chiefs
of the colony, who, being on the ground, saw the possibilities and
requirements of the situation, and generally had a personal interest
in realizing them. The rival colonies had two different laws of
growth. The one increased by slow extension, rooting firmly as it
spread; the other shot offshoots, with few or no roots, far out into
the wilderness. It was the nature of French colonization to seize upon
detached strategic points, and hold them by the bayonet, forming no
agricultural basis, but attracting the Indians by trade, and holding
them by conversion. A musket, a rosary, and a pack of beaver skins may
serve to represent it, and in fact it consisted of little else.

Whence came the numerical weakness of New France, and the real though
latent strength of her rivals? Because, it is answered, the French
were not an emigrating people; but, at the end of the seventeenth
century, this was only half true. The French people were divided into
two parts, one eager to emigrate, and the other reluctant. The one
consisted of the persecuted Huguenots, the other of the favored
Catholics. The government chose to construct its colonies, not of
those who wished to go, but of those who wished to stay at home. From
the hour when the edict of Nantes was revoked, hundreds of thousands
of Frenchmen would have hailed as a boon the permission to transport
themselves, their families, and their property to the New World. The
permission was fiercely refused, and the persecuted sect was denied
even a refuge in the wilderness. Had it been granted them, the valleys
of the west would have swarmed with a laborious and virtuous
population, trained in adversity, and possessing the essential
qualities of self-government. Another France would have grown beyond
the Alleghanies, strong with the same kind of strength that made the
future greatness of the British colonies. British America was an
asylum for the oppressed and the suffering of all creeds and nations,
and population poured into her by the force of a natural tendency.
France, like England, might have been great in two hemispheres, if she
had placed herself in accord with this tendency, instead of opposing
it; but despotism was consistent with itself, and a mighty opportunity
was for ever lost.

As soon could the Ethiopian change his skin as the priest-ridden king
change his fatal policy of exclusion. Canada must be bound to the
papacy, even if it blasted her. The contest for the west must be waged
by the means which Bourbon policy ordained, and which, it must be
admitted, had some great advantages of their own, when controlled by a
man like Frontenac. The result hung, for the present, on the relations
of the French with the Iroquois and the tribes of the lakes, the
Illinois, and the valley of the Ohio, but, above all, on their
relations with the Iroquois; for, could they be conquered or won over,
it would be easy to deal with the rest. Frontenac was meditating a
grand effort to inflict such castigation as would bring them to
reason, when one of their chiefs, named Tareha, came to Quebec with
overtures of peace. The Iroquois had lost many of their best warriors.
The arrival of troops from France had discouraged them; the war had
interrupted their hunting; and, having no furs to barter with the
English, they were in want of arms, ammunition, and all the
necessaries of life. Moreover, Father Milet, nominally a prisoner
among them, but really an adopted chief, had used all his influence to
bring about a peace; and the mission of Tareha was the result.
Frontenac received him kindly. "My Iroquois children have been drunk;
but I will give them an opportunity to repent. Let each of your five
nations send me two deputies, and I will listen to what they have to
say." They would not come, but sent him instead an invitation to meet
them and their friends, the English, in a general council at Albany; a
proposal which he rejected with contempt. Then they sent another
deputation, partly to him and partly to their Christian countrymen of
the Saut and the Mountain, inviting all alike to come and treat with
them at Onondaga. Frontenac, adopting the Indian fashion, kicked away
their wampum belts, rebuked them for tampering with the mission
Indians, and told them that they were rebels, bribed by the English;
adding that, if a suitable deputation should be sent to Quebec to
treat squarely of peace, he still would listen, but that, if they came
back with any more such proposals as they had just made, they should
be roasted alive. A few weeks later, the deputation appeared. It
consisted of two chiefs of each nation, headed by the renowned orator
Decanisora, or, as the French wrote the name, Tegannisorens. The
council was held in the hall of the supreme council at Quebec. The
dignitaries of the colony were present, with priests, Jesuits,
Récollets, officers, and the Christian chiefs of the Saut and the
Mountain. The appearance of the ambassadors bespoke their destitute
plight; for they were all dressed in shabby deerskins and old
blankets, except Decanisora, who was attired in a scarlet coat laced
with gold, given him by the governor of New York. Colden, who knew him
in his old age, describes him as a tall, well-formed man, with a face
not unlike the busts of Cicero. "He spoke," says the French reporter,
"with as perfect a grace as is vouchsafed to an uncivilized people;"
buried the hatchet, covered the blood that had been spilled, opened
the roads, and cleared the clouds from the sun. In other words, he
offered peace; but he demanded at the same time that it should include
the English. Frontenac replied, in substance: "My children are right
to come submissive and repentant. I am ready to forgive the past, and
hang up the hatchet; but the peace must include all my other children,
far and near. Shut your ears to English poison. The war with the
English has nothing to do with you, and only the great kings across
the sea have power to stop it. You must give up all your prisoners,
both French and Indian, without one exception. I will then return
mine, and make peace with you, but not before." He then entertained
them at his own table, gave them a feast described as "magnificent,"
and bestowed gifts so liberally, that the tattered ambassadors went
home in embroidered coats, laced shirts, and plumed hats. They were
pledged to return with the prisoners before the end of the season, and
they left two hostages as security. [Footnote: On these negotiations,
and their antecedents, Callières, _Relation de ce qui s'est passé de
plus remarquable en Canada depuis Sept., 1692, jusqu'au Départ des
Vaisseaux en 1693_; La Motte-Cadillac, _Mémoire des Negociations avec
les Iroquois, 1694; Callières au Ministre, 19 Oct., 1694_; La
Potherie, III. 200-220; Colden, _Five Nations_, chap. x.;_ N. Y. Col.
Docs._, IV. 85.]

Meanwhile, the authorities of New York tried to prevent the threatened
peace. First, Major Peter Schuyler convoked the chiefs at Albany, and
told them that, if they went to ask peace in Canada, they would be
slaves for ever. The Iroquois declared that they loved the English,
but they repelled every attempt to control their action. Then
Fletcher, the governor, called a general council at the same place,
and told them that they should not hold councils with the French, or
that, if they did so, they should hold them at Albany in presence of
the English. Again they asserted their rights as an independent
people. "Corlaer," said their speaker, "has held councils with our
enemies, and why should not we hold councils with his?" Yet they were
strong in assurances of friendship, and declared themselves "one head,
one heart, one blood, and one soul, with the English." Their speaker
continued: "Our only reason for sending deputies to the French is that
we are brought so low, and none of our neighbors help us, but leave us
to bear all the burden of the war. Our brothers of New England,
Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, all of their own accord took
hold of the covenant chain, and called themselves our allies; but they
have done nothing to help us, and we cannot fight the French alone,
because they are always receiving soldiers from beyond the Great Lake.
Speak from your heart, brother: will you and your neighbors join with
us, and make strong war against the French? If you will, we will break
off all treaties, and fight them as hotly as ever; but, if you will
not help us, we must make peace." Nothing could be more just than
these reproaches; and, if the English governor had answered by a
vigorous attack on the French forts south of the St. Lawrence, the
Iroquois warriors would have raised the hatchet again with one accord.
But Fletcher was busy with other matters; and he had besides no force
at his disposal but four companies, the only British regulars on the
continent, defective in numbers, ill-appointed, and mutinous.
[Footnote: Fletcher is, however, charged with gross misconduct in
regard to the four companies, which he is said to have kept at about
half their complement, in order to keep the balance of their pay for
himself.] Therefore he answered not with acts, but with words. The
negotiation with the French went on, and Fletcher called another
council. It left him in a worse position than before. The Iroquois
again asked for help: he could not promise it, but was forced to yield
the point, and tell them that he consented to their making peace with
Onontio. It is certain that they wanted peace, but equally certain
that they did not want it to be lasting, and sought nothing more than
a breathing time to regain their strength. Even now some of them were
for continuing the war; and at the great council at Onondaga, where
the matter was debated, the Onondagas, Oneidas, and Mohawks spurned
the French proposals, and refused to give up their prisoners. The
Cayugas and some of the Senecas were of another mind, and agreed to a
partial compliance with Frontenac's demands. The rest seem to have
stood passive in the hope of gaining time. They were disappointed. In
vain the Seneca and Cayuga deputies buried the hatchet at Montreal,
and promised that the other nations would soon do likewise. Frontenac
was not to be deceived. He would accept nothing but the frank
fulfilment of his conditions, refused the proffered peace, and told
his Indian allies to wage war to the knife. There was a dog-feast and
a war-dance, and the strife began anew.

In all these conferences, the Iroquois had stood by their English
allies, with a fidelity not too well merited. But, though they were
loyal towards the English, they had acted with duplicity towards the
French, and, while treating of peace with them, had attacked some of
their Indian allies, and intrigued with others. They pursued with more
persistency than ever the policy they had adopted in the time of La
Barre, that is, to persuade or frighten the tribes of the west to
abandon the French, join hands with them and the English, and send
their furs to Albany instead of Montreal; for the sagacious
confederates knew well that, if the trade were turned into this new
channel, their local position would enable them to control it. The
scheme was good; but with whatever consistency their chiefs and elders
might pursue it, the wayward ferocity of their young warriors crossed
it incessantly, and murders alternated with intrigues. On the other
hand, the western tribes, who since the war had been but ill supplied
with French goods and French brandy, knew that they could have English
goods and English rum in great abundance, and at far less cost; and
thus, in spite of hate and fear, the intrigue went on. Michillimackinac
was the focus of it, but it pervaded all the west. The position of
Frontenac was one of great difficulty, and the more so that the
intestine quarrels of his allies excessively complicated the mazes of
forest diplomacy. This heterogeneous multitude, scattered in tribes
and groups of tribes over two thousand miles of wilderness, was like a
vast menagerie of wild animals; and the lynx bristled at the wolf, and
the panther grinned fury at the bear, in spite of all his efforts to
form them into a happy family under his paternal rule.

La Motte-Cadillac commanded at Michillimackinac, Courtemanche was
stationed at Fort Miamis, and Tonty and La Forêt at the fortified rock
of St. Louis on the Illinois; while Nicolas Perrot roamed among the
tribes of the Mississippi, striving at the risk of his life to keep
them at peace with each other, and in alliance with the French. Yet a
plot presently came to light, by which the Foxes, Mascontins, and
Kickapoos were to join hands, renounce the French, and cast their
fortunes with the Iroquois and the English. There was still more
anxiety for the tribes of Michillimackinac, because the results of
their defection would be more immediate. This important post had at
the time an Indian population of six or seven thousand souls, a Jesuit
mission, a fort with two hundred soldiers, and a village of about
sixty houses, occupied by traders and _coureurs de bois_. The Indians
of the place were in relations more or less close with all the tribes
of the lakes. The Huron village was divided between two rival chiefs:
the Baron, who was deep in Iroquois and English intrigue; and the Rat,
who, though once the worst enemy of the French, now stood their
friend. The Ottawas and other Algonquins of the adjacent villages were
savages of a lower grade, tossed continually between hatred of the
Iroquois, distrust of the French, and love of English goods and
English rum. [Footnote: "Si les Outaouacs (_Ottawas_) et Hurons
concluent la paix avec l'Iroquois sans nostre participation, et
donnent chez eux l'entrée à l'Anglois pour le commerce, la Colonie est
entièrement ruinée, puisque c'est le seul (_moyen_) par lequel ce
pays-cy puisse subsister, et l'on peut asseurer que si les sauvages
goustent une fois du commerce de l'Anglois, ils rompront pour toujours
avec les François, parcequ'ils ne peuvent donner les marchandises qu'a
un prix beaucoup plus hault." _Frontenac au Ministre, 25 Oct., 1696_.]

La Motte-Cadillac found that the Hurons of the Baron's band were
receiving messengers and peace belts from New York and her red allies,
that the English had promised to build a trading house on Lake Erie,
and that the Iroquois had invited the lake tribes to a grand
convention at Detroit. These belts and messages were sent, in the
Indian expression, "underground," that is, secretly; and the envoys
who brought them came in the disguise of prisoners taken by the
Hurons. On one occasion, seven Iroquois were brought in; and some of
the French, suspecting them to be agents of the negotiation, stabbed
two of them as they landed. There was a great tumult. The Hurons took
arms to defend the remaining five; but at length suffered themselves
to be appeased, and even gave one of the Iroquois, a chief, into the
hands of the French, who, says La Potherie, determined to "make an
example of him." They invited the Ottawas to "drink the broth of an
Iroquois." The wretch was made fast to a stake, and a Frenchman began
the torture by burning him with a red-hot gun-barrel. The mob of
savages was soon wrought up to the required pitch of ferocity; and,
after atrociously tormenting him, they cut him to pieces, and ate him.
[Footnote: La Potherie, II. 298.] It was clear that the more Iroquois
the allies of France could be persuaded to burn, the less would be the
danger that they would make peace with the confederacy. On another
occasion, four were tortured at once; and La Motte-Cadillac writes,
"If any more prisoners are brought me, I promise you that their fate
will be no sweeter." [Footnote: _La Motte-Cadillac à -----, 3 Aug.,
1695_. A translation of this letter will be found in Sheldon, _Early
History of Michigan_.]

The same cruel measures were practised when the Ottawas came to trade
at Montreal. Frontenac once invited a band of them to "roast an
Iroquois," newly caught by the soldiers; but as they had hamstrung
him, to prevent his escape, he bled to death before the torture began.
[Footnote: _Relation de ce qui s'est passé de plus remarquable entre
les Francois et les Iroquois durant la présente année, 1695_. There is
a translation in _N. Y. Col. Docs._, IX. Compare La Potherie, who
misplaces the incident as to date.] In the next spring, the revolting
tragedy of Michillimackinac was repeated at Montreal, where four more
Iroquois were burned by the soldiers, inhabitants, and Indian allies.
"It was the mission of Canada," says a Canadian writer, "to propagate
Christianity and civilization." [Footnote: This last execution was an
act of reprisal: "J'abandonnay les 4 prisonniers aux soldats,
habitants, et sauvages, qui les bruslerent par représailles de deux du
Sault que cette nation avoit traitté de la mesme maniere." _Callières
au Ministre, 20 Oct., 1696_.]

Every effort was vain. La Motte-Cadillac wrote that matters grew worse
and worse, and that the Ottawas had been made to believe that the
French neither would nor could protect them, but meant to leave them,
to their fate. They thought that they had no hope except in peace with
the Iroquois, and had actually gone to meet them at an appointed
rendezvous. One course alone was now left to Frontenac, and this was
to strike the Iroquois with a blow heavy enough to humble them, and
teach the wavering hordes of the west that he was, in truth, their
father and their defender. Nobody knew so well as he the difficulties
of the attempt; and, deceived perhaps by his own energy, he feared
that, in his absence on a distant expedition, the governor of New York
would attack Montreal. Therefore, he had begged for more troops. About
three hundred were sent him, and with these he was forced to content

He had waited, also, for another reason. In his belief, the
re-establishment of Fort Frontenac, abandoned in a panic by Denonville,
was necessary to the success of a campaign against the Iroquois. A
party in the colony vehemently opposed the measure, on the ground that
the fort would be used by the friends of Frontenac for purposes of
trade. It was, nevertheless, very important, if not essential, for
holding the Iroquois in check. They themselves felt it to be so; and,
when they heard that the French intended to occupy it again, they
appealed to the governor of New York, who told them that, if the plan
were carried into effect, he would march to their aid with all the
power of his government. He did not, and perhaps could not, keep his
word. [Footnote: Colden, 178. Fletcher could get no men from his own
or neighboring governments. See _note_, at the end of the chapter.]

In the question of Fort Frontenac, as in every thing else, the
opposition to the governor, always busy and vehement, found its chief
representative in the intendant, who told the minister that the policy
of Frontenac was all wrong; that the public good was not its object;
that he disobeyed or evaded the orders of the king; and that he had
suffered the Iroquois to delude him by false overtures of peace. The
representations of the intendant and his faction had such effect, that
Ponchartrain wrote to the governor that the plan of re-establishing
Fort Frontenac "must absolutely be abandoned." Frontenac, bent on
accomplishing his purpose, and doubly so because his enemies opposed
it, had anticipated the orders of the minister, and sent seven hundred
men to Lake Ontario to repair the fort. The day after they left
Montreal, the letter of Ponchartrain arrived. The intendant demanded
their recall. Frontenac refused. The fort was repaired, garrisoned,
and victualled for a year.

A successful campaign was now doubly necessary to the governor, for by
this alone could he hope to avert the consequences of his audacity. He
waited no longer, but mustered troops, militia, and Indians, and
marched to attack the Iroquois. [Footnote: The above is drawn from the
correspondence of Frontenac, Champigny, La Motte-Cadillac, and
Callières, on one hand, and the king and the minister on the other.
The letters are too numerous to specify. Also, from the official
_Relation de ce qui s'est passé de plus remarquable en Canada_, 1694,
1695, and _Ibid., 1695, 1696; Mémoire soumis au Ministre de ce qui
résulte des Avis reçus du Canada en 1695_; Champigny, _Mémoire
concernant le Fort de Cataracouy_; La Potherie, II. 284-302, IV. 1-80;
Colden, chaps. x., xi.]

subjects enough in those parts of America to drive out the French from
Canada; but they are so _crumbled into little governments_, and so
disunited, that they have hitherto afforded little assistance to each
other, and now seem in a much worse disposition to do it for the
future." This is the complaint of the Lords of Trade. Governor
Fletcher writes bitterly: "Here every little government sets up for
despotic power, and allows no appeal to the Crown, but, by a little
juggling, defeats all commands and injunctions from the King."
Fletcher's complaint was not unprovoked. The Queen had named him
commander-in-chief, during the war, of the militia of several of the
colonies, and empowered him to call on them for contingents of men,
not above 350 from Massachusetts, 250 from Virginia, 160 from
Maryland, 120 from Connecticut, 48 from Rhode Island, and 80 from
Pennsylvania. This measure excited the jealousy of the colonies, and
several of them remonstrated on constitutional grounds; but the
attorney-general, to whom the question was referred, reported that the
crown had power, under certain limitations, to appoint a
commander-in-chief. Fletcher, therefore, in his character as such,
called for a portion of the men; but scarcely one could he get. He was
met by excuses and evasions, which, especially in the case of
Connecticut, were of a most vexatious character. At last, that colony,
tired by his importunities, condescended to furnish him with
twenty-five men. With the others, he was less fortunate, though
Virginia and Maryland compounded with a sum of money. Each colony
claimed the control of its own militia, and was anxious to avoid the
establishment of any precedent which might deprive it of the right.
Even in the military management of each separate colony, there was
scarcely less difficulty. A requisition for troops from a royal
governor was always regarded with jealousy, and the provincial
assemblies were slow to grant money for their support. In 1692, when
Fletcher came to New York, the assembly gave him 300 men, for a year;
in 1693, they gave him an equal number; in 1694, they allowed him but
170, he being accused, apparently with truth, of not having made good
use of the former levies. He afterwards asked that the force at his
disposal should be increased to 500 men, to guard the frontier; and
the request was not granted. In 1697 he was recalled; and the Earl of
Bellomont was commissioned governor of New York, Massachusetts, and
New Hampshire, and captain-general, during the war, of all the forces
of those colonies, as well as of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New
Jersey. The close of the war quickly ended this military authority;
but there is no reason to believe that, had it continued, the earl's
requisitions for men, in his character of captain-general, would have
had more success than those of Fletcher. The whole affair is a
striking illustration of the original isolation of communities, which
afterwards became welded into a nation. It involved a military
paralysis almost complete. Sixty years later, under the sense of a
great danger, the British colonies were ready enough to receive a
commander-in-chief, and answer his requisitions.

A great number of documents bearing upon the above subject will be
found in the _New York Colonial Documents_, IV.

[1] On the Newfoundland expedition, the best authority is the long
diary of the chaplain Baudoin, _Journal du Voyage que j'ai fait avec
M. d'Iberville_; also, _Mémoire sur l'Entreprise de Terreneuve_, 1696.
Compare La Potherie, I. 24-52. A deposition of one Phillips, one
Roberts, and several others, preserved in the Public Record Office of
London, and quoted by Brown in his _History of Cape Breton_, makes the
French force much greater than the statements of the French writers.
The deposition also says that at the attack of St. John's "the French
took one William Brew, an inhabitant, a prisoner, and cut all round
his scalp, and then, by strength of hands, stript his skin from the
forehead to the crown, and so sent him into the fortifications,
assuring the inhabitants that they would serve them all in like manner
if they did not surrender."

St. John's was soon after reoccupied by the English.

Baudoin was one of those Acadian priests who are praised for services
"en empeschant les sauvages de faire la paix avec les Anglois, ayant
mesme esté en guerre avec eux." _Champigny au Ministre, 24 Oct.,





On the fourth of July, Frontenac left Montreal, at the head of about
twenty-two hundred men. On the nineteenth he reached Fort Frontenac,
and on the twenty-sixth he crossed to the southern shore of Lake
Ontario. A swarm of Indian canoes led the way; next followed two
battalions of regulars, in bateaux, commanded by Callières; then more
bateaux, laden with cannon, mortars, and rockets; then Frontenac
himself, surrounded by the canoes of his staff and his guard; then
eight hundred Canadians, under Ramesay; while more regulars and more
Indians, all commanded by Vaudreuil, brought up the rear. In two days
they reached the mouth of the Oswego; strong scouting-parties were
sent out to scour the forests in front; while the expedition slowly
and painfully worked its way up the stream. Most of the troops and
Canadians marched through the matted woods along the banks; while the
bateaux and canoes were pushed, rowed, paddled, or dragged forward
against the current. On the evening of the thirtieth, they reached the
falls, where the river plunged over ledges of rock which completely
stopped the way. The work of "carrying" was begun at once. The Indians
and Canadians carried the canoes to the navigable water above, and
gangs of men dragged the bateaux up the portage-path on rollers. Night
soon came, and the work was continued till ten o'clock by torchlight.
Frontenac would have passed on foot like the rest, but the Indians
would not have it so. They lifted him in his canoe upon their
shoulders, and bore him in triumph, singing and yelling, through the
forest and along the margin of the rapids, the blaze of the torches
lighting the strange procession, where plumes of officers and uniforms
of the governor's guard mingled with the feathers and scalp-locks of
naked savages.

When the falls were passed, the troops pushed on as before along the
narrow stream, and through the tangled labyrinths on either side;
till, on the first of August, they reached Lake Onondaga, and, with
sails set, the whole flotilla glided before the wind, and landed the
motley army on a rising ground half a league from the salt springs of
Salina. The next day was spent in building a fort to protect the
canoes, bateaux, and stores; and, as evening closed, a ruddy glow
above the southern forest told them that the town of Onondaga was on

The Marquis de Crisasy was left, with a detachment, to hold the fort;
and, at sunrise on the fourth, the army moved forward in order of
battle. It was formed in two lines, regulars on the right and left,
and Canadians in the centre. Callières commanded the first line, and
Vaudreuil the second. Frontenac was between them, surrounded by his
staff officers and his guard, and followed by the artillery, which
relays of Canadians dragged and lifted forward with inconceivable
labor. The governor, enfeebled by age, was carried in an arm-chair;
while Callières, disabled by gout, was mounted on a horse, brought for
the purpose in one of the bateaux. To Subercase fell the hard task of
directing the march among the dense columns of the primeval forest, by
hill and hollow, over rocks and fallen trees, through swamps, brooks,
and gullies, among thickets, brambles, and vines. It was but eight or
nine miles to Onondaga; but they were all day in reaching it, and
evening was near when they emerged from the shadows of the forest into
the broad light of the Indian clearing. The maize-fields stretched
before them for miles, and in the midst lay the charred and smoking
ruins of the Iroquois capital. Not an enemy was to be seen, but they
found the dead bodies of two murdered French prisoners. Scouts were
sent out, guards were set, and the disappointed troops encamped on the

Onondaga, formerly an open town, had been fortified by the English,
who had enclosed it with a double range of strong palisades, forming a
rectangle, flanked by bastions at the four corners, and surrounded by
an outer fence of tall poles. The place was not defensible against
cannon and mortars; and the four hundred warriors belonging to it had
been but slightly reinforced from the other tribes of the confederacy,
each of which feared that the French attack might be directed against
itself. On the approach of an enemy of five times their number, they
had burned their town, and retreated southward into distant forests.

The troops were busied for two days in hacking down the maize, digging
up the _caches_, or hidden stores of food, and destroying their
contents. The neighboring tribe of the Oneidas sent a messenger to beg
peace. Frontenac replied that he would grant it, on condition that
they all should migrate to Canada, and settle there; and Vaudreuil,
with seven hundred men, was sent to enforce the demand. Meanwhile, a
few Onondaga stragglers had been found; and among them, hidden in a
hollow tree, a withered warrior, eighty years old, and nearly blind.
Frontenac would have spared him; but the Indian allies, Christians
from the mission villages, were so eager to burn him that it was
thought inexpedient to refuse them. They tied him to the stake, and
tried to shake his constancy by every torture that fire could inflict;
but not a cry nor a murmur escaped him. He defied them to do their
worst, till, enraged at his taunts, one of them gave him a mortal
stab. "I thank you," said the old Stoic, with his last breath; "but
you ought to have finished as you began, and killed me by fire. Learn
from me, you dogs of Frenchmen, how to endure pain; and you, dogs of
dogs, their Indian allies, think what you will do when you are burned
like me." [1] Vaudreuil and his detachment returned within three days,
after destroying Oneida, with all the growing corn, and seizing a
number of chiefs as hostages for the fulfilment of the demands of
Frontenac. There was some thought of marching on Cayuga, but the
governor judged it to be inexpedient; and, as it would be useless to
chase the fugitive Onondagas, nothing remained but to return home. [2]
While Frontenac was on his march, Governor Fletcher had heard of his
approach, and called the council at New York to consider what should
be done. They resolved that "it will be very grievous to take the
people from their labour; and there is likewise no money to answer the
charge thereof." Money was, however, advanced by Colonel Cortlandt and
others; and the governor wrote to Connecticut and New Jersey for their
contingents of men; but they thought the matter no concern of theirs,
and did not respond. Fletcher went to Albany with the few men he could
gather at the moment, and heard on his arrival that the French were
gone. Then he convoked the chiefs, condoled with them, and made them
presents. Corn was sent to the Onondagas and Oneidas to support them
through the winter, and prevent the famine which the French hoped
would prove their destruction.

What Frontenac feared had come to pass. The enemy had saved themselves
by flight; and his expedition, like that of Denonville, was but half
successful. He took care, however, to announce it to the king as a

"Sire, the benedictions which Heaven has ever showered upon your
Majesty's arms have extended even to this New World; whereof we have
had visible proof in the expedition I have just made against the
Onondagas, the principal nation of the Iroquois. I had long projected
this enterprise, but the difficulties and risks which attended it made
me regard it as imprudent; and I should never have resolved to
undertake it, if I had not last year established an _entrepôt (Fort
Frontenac_) which made my communications more easy, and if I had not
known, beyond all doubt, that this was absolutely the only means to
prevent our allies from making peace with the Iroquois, and
introducing the English into their country, by which the colony would
infallibly be ruined. Nevertheless, by unexpected good fortune, the
Onondagas, who pass for masters of the other Iroquois, and the terror
of all the Indians of this country, fell into a sort of bewilderment,
which could only have come from on High; and were so terrified to see
me march against them in person, and cover their lakes and rivers with
nearly four hundred sail, that, without availing themselves of passes
where a hundred men might easily hold four thousand in check, they did
not dare to lay a single ambuscade, but, after waiting till I was five
leagues from their fort, they set it on fire with all their dwellings,
and fled, with their families, twenty leagues into the depths of the
forest. It could have been wished, to make the affair more brilliant,
that they had tried to hold their fort against us, for we were
prepared to force it and kill a great many of them; but their ruin is
not the less sure, because the famine, to which they are reduced, will
destroy more than we could have killed by sword and gun.

"All the officers and men have done their duty admirably; and
especially M. de Callières, who has been a great help to me. I know
not if your Majesty will think that I have tried to do mine, and will
hold me worthy of some mark of honor that may enable me to pass the
short remainder of my life in some little distinction; but, whether
this be so or not, I most humbly pray your Majesty to believe that I
will sacrifice the rest of my days to your Majesty's service with the
same ardor I have always felt." [Footnote: _Frontenac au Roy, 25 Oct.,

The king highly commended him, and sent him the cross of the Military
Order of St. Louis. Callières, who had deserved it less, had received
it several years before; but he had not found or provoked so many
defamers. Frontenac complained to the minister that his services had
been slightly and tardily requited. This was true, and it was due
largely to the complaints excited by his own perversity and violence.
These complaints still continued; but the fault was not all on one
side, and Frontenac himself had often just reason to retort them. He
wrote to Ponchartrain: "If you will not be so good as to look closely
into the true state of things here, I shall always be exposed to
detraction, and forced to make new apologies, which is very hard for a
person so full of zeal and uprightness as I am. My secretary, who is
going to France, will tell you all the ugly intrigues used to defeat
my plans for the service of the king, and the growth of the colony. I
have long tried to combat these artifices, but I confess that I no
longer feel strength to resist them, and must succumb at last, if you
will not have the goodness to give me strong support." [Footnote:
_Frontenac au Ministre, 25 Oct., 1696._]

He still continued to provoke the detraction which he deprecated, till
he drew, at last, a sharp remonstrance from the minister. "The dispute
you have had with M. de Champigny is without cause, and I confess I
cannot comprehend how you could have acted as you have done. If you do
things of this sort, you must expect disagreeable consequences, which
all the desire I have to oblige you cannot prevent. It is deplorable,
both for you and for me, that, instead of using my good-will to gain
favors from his Majesty, you compel me to make excuses for a violence
which answers no purpose, and in which you indulge wantonly, nobody
can tell why." [Footnote: _Le Ministre à Frontenac, 21 Mai, 1698_.]

Most of these quarrels, however trivial in themselves, had a solid
foundation, and were closely connected with the great question of the
control of the west. As to the measures to be taken, two parties
divided the colony; one consisting of the governor and his friends,
and the other of the intendant, the Jesuits, and such of the merchants
as were not in favor with Frontenac. His policy was to protect the
Indian allies at all risks, to repel by force, if necessary, every
attempt of the English to encroach on the territory in dispute, and to
occupy it by forts which should be at once posts of war and commerce
and places of rendezvous for traders and _voyageurs_. Champigny and
his party denounced this system; urged that the forest posts should be
abandoned, that both garrisons and traders should be recalled, that
the French should not go to the Indians, but that the Indians should
come to the French, that the fur trade of the interior should be
carried on at Montreal, and that no Frenchman should be allowed to
leave the settled limits of the colony, except the Jesuits and persons
in their service, who, as Champigny insisted, would be able to keep
the Indians in the French interest without the help of soldiers.

Strong personal interests were active on both sides, and gave
bitterness to the strife. Frontenac, who always stood by his friends,
had placed Tonty, La Forêt, La Motte-Cadillac, and others of their
number, in charge of the forest posts, where they made good profit by
trade. Moreover, the licenses for trading expeditions into the
interior were now, as before, used largely for the benefit of his
favorites. The Jesuits also declared, and with some truth, that the
forest posts were centres of debauchery, and that the licenses for the
western trade were the ruin of innumerable young men. All these
reasons were laid before the king. In vain Frontenac represented that
to abandon the forest posts would be to resign to the English the
trade of the interior country, and at last the country itself. The
royal ear was open to his opponents, and the royal instincts
reinforced their arguments. The king, enamoured of subordination and
order, wished to govern Canada as he governed a province of France;
and this could be done only by keeping the population within
prescribed bounds. Therefore, he commanded that licenses for the
forest trade should cease, that the forest posts should be abandoned
and destroyed, that all Frenchmen should be ordered back to the
settlements, and that none should return under pain of the galleys. An
exception was made in favor of the Jesuits, who were allowed to
continue their western missions, subject to restrictions designed to
prevent them from becoming a cover to illicit fur trade. Frontenac was
also directed to make peace with the Iroquois, even, if necessary,
without including the western allies of France; that is, he was
authorized by Louis XIV to pursue the course which had discredited and
imperilled the colony under the rule of Denonville. [3]

The intentions of the king did not take effect. The policy of
Frontenac was the true one, whatever motives may have entered into his
advocacy of it. In view of the geographical, social, political, and
commercial conditions of Canada, the policy of his opponents was
impracticable, and nothing less than a perpetual cordon of troops
could have prevented the Canadians from escaping to the backwoods. In
spite of all the evils that attended the forest posts, it would have
been a blunder to abandon them. This quickly became apparent.
Champigny himself saw the necessity of compromise. The instructions of
the king were scarcely given before they were partially withdrawn, and
they soon became a dead letter. Even Fort Frontenac was retained after
repeated directions to abandon it. The policy of the governor
prevailed; the colony returned to its normal methods of growth, and so
continued to the end.

Now came the question of peace with the Iroquois, to whose mercy
Frontenac was authorized to leave his western allies. He was the last
man to accept such permission. Since the burning of Onondaga, the
Iroquois negotiations with the western tribes had been broken off, and
several fights had occurred, in which the confederates had suffered
loss and been roused to vengeance. This was what Frontenac wanted, but
at the same time it promised him fresh trouble; for, while he was
determined to prevent the Iroquois from making peace with the allies
without his authority, he was equally determined to compel them to do
so with it. There must be peace, though not till he could control its

The Onondaga campaign, unsatisfactory as it was, had had its effect.
Several Iroquois chiefs came to Quebec with overtures of peace. They
brought no prisoners, but promised to bring them in the spring; and
one of them remained as a hostage that the promise should be kept. It
was nevertheless broken under English influence; and, instead of a
solemn embassy, the council of Onondaga sent a messenger with a wampum
belt to tell Frontenac that they were all so engrossed in bewailing
the recent death of Black Kettle, a famous war chief, that they had no
strength to travel; and they begged that Onontio would return the
hostage, and send to them for the French prisoners. The messenger
farther declared that, though they would make peace with Onontio, they
would not make it with his allies. Frontenac threw back the peace-belt
into his face. "Tell the chiefs that, if they must needs stay at home
to cry about a trifle, I will give them something to cry for. Let them
bring me every prisoner, French and Indian, and make a treaty that
shall include all my children, or they shall feel my tomahawk again."
Then, turning to a number of Ottawas who were present: "You see that I
can make peace for myself when I please. If I continue the war, it is
only for your sake. I will never make a treaty without including you,
and recovering your prisoners like my own." Thus the matter stood,
when a great event took place. Early in February, a party of Dutch and
Indians came to Montreal with news that peace had been signed in
Europe; and, at the end of May, Major Peter Schuyler, accompanied by
Dellius, the minister of Albany, arrived with copies of the treaty in
French and Latin. The scratch of a pen at Byswick had ended the
conflict in America, so far at least as concerned the civilized
combatants. It was not till July that Frontenac received the official
announcement from Versailles, coupled with an address from the king to
the people of Canada.

OUR FAITHFUL AND BELOVED,--The moment has arrived ordained by Heaven
to reconcile the nations. The ratification of the treaty concluded
some time ago by our ambassadors with those of the Emperor and the
Empire, after having made peace with Spain, England, and Holland, has
everywhere restored the tranquillity so much desired. Strasbourg, one
of the chief ramparts of the empire of heresy, united for ever to the
Church and to our Crown; the Rhine established as the barrier between
France and Germany; and, what touches us even more, the worship of the
True Faith authorized by a solemn engagement with sovereigns of
another religion, are the advantages secured by this last treaty. The
Author of so many blessings manifests Himself so clearly that we
cannot but recognize His goodness; and the visible impress of His
all-powerful hand is as it were the seal He has affixed to justify our
intent to cause all our realm to serve and obey Him, and to make our
people happy. We have begun by the fulfilment of our duty in offering
Him the thanks which are His due; and we have ordered the archbishops
and bishops of our kingdom to cause _Te Deum_ to be sung in the
cathedrals of their dioceses. It is our will and our command that you
be present at that, which will be sung in the cathedral of our city of
Quebec, on the day appointed by the Count of Frontenac, our governor
and lieutenant-general in New France. Herein fail not, for such is our


[Footnote: _Lettre du Roy pour faire chanter le Te Deum, 12 Mars, 1698_.]

There was peace between the two crowns; but a serious question still
remained between Frontenac and the new governor of New York, the Earl
of Bellomont. When Schuyler and Dellius came to Quebec, they brought
with them all the French prisoners in the hands of the English of New
York, together with a promise from Bellomont that he would order the
Iroquois, subjects of the British crown, to deliver to him all those
in their possession, and that he would then send them to Canada under
a safe escort. The two envoys demanded of Frontenac, at the same time,
that he should deliver to them all the Iroquois in his hands. To give
up Iroquois prisoners to Bellomont, or to receive through him French
prisoners whom the Iroquois had captured, would have been an
acknowledgment of British sovereignty over the five confederate
tribes. Frontenac replied that the earl need give himself no trouble
in the matter, as the Iroquois were rebellious subjects of King Louis;
that they had already repented and begged peace; and that, if they did
not soon come to conclude it, he should use force to compel them.

Bellomont wrote, in return, that he had sent arms to the Iroquois,
with orders to defend themselves if attacked by the French, and to
give no quarter to them or their allies; and he added that, if
necessary, he would send soldiers to their aid. A few days after, he
received fresh news of Frontenac's warlike intentions, and wrote in
wrath as follows:--

SIR,--Two of our Indians, of the Nation called Onondages, came
yesterday to advise me that you had sent two renegades of their Nation
to them, to tell them and the other tribes, except the Mohawks, that,
in case they did not come to Canada within forty days to solicit peace
from you, they may expect your marching into their country at the head
of an army to constrain them thereunto by force. I, on my side, do
this very day send my lieutenant-governor with the king's troops to
join the Indians, and to oppose any hostilities you will attempt; and,
if needs be, I will arm every man in the Provinces under my government
to repel you, and to make reprisals for the damage which you will
commit on our Indians. This, in a few words, is the part I will take,
and the resolution I have adopted, whereof I have thought it proper by
these presents to give you notice.

                  I am, Sir, yours, &c.,
                  EARL OF BELLOMONT.
                  NEW YORK, 22d August, 1698.

To arm every man in his government would have been difficult. He did,
however, what he could, and ordered Captain Nanfan, the
lieutenant-governor, to repair to Albany; whence, on the first news
that the French were approaching, he was to march to the relief of the
Iroquois with the four shattered companies of regulars and as many of
the militia of Albany and Ulster as he could muster. Then the earl
sent Wessels, mayor of Albany, to persuade the Iroquois to deliver
their prisoners to him, and make no treaty with Frontenac. On the same
day, he despatched Captain John Schuyler to carry his letters to the
French governor. When Schuyler reached Quebec, and delivered the
letters, Frontenac read them with marks of great displeasure. "My Lord
Bellomont threatens me," he said. "Does he think that I am afraid of
him? He claims the Iroquois, but they are none of his. They call me
father, and they call him brother; and shall not a father chastise his
children when he sees fit?" A conversation followed, in which
Frontenac asked the envoy what was the strength of Bellomont's
government. Schuyler parried the question by a grotesque exaggeration,
and answered that the earl could bring about a hundred thousand men
into the field. Frontenac pretended to believe him, and returned with
careless gravity that he had always heard so.

The following Sunday was the day appointed for the _Te Deum_ ordered
by the king; and all the dignitaries of the colony, with a crowd of
lesser note, filled the cathedral. There was a dinner of ceremony at
the château, to which Schuyler was invited; and he found the table of
the governor thronged with officers. Frontenac called on his guests to
drink the health of King William. Schuyler replied by a toast in honor
of King Louis; and the governor next gave the health of the Earl of
Bellomont. The peace was then solemnly proclaimed, amid the firing of
cannon from the batteries and ships; and the day closed with a bonfire
and a general illumination. On the next evening, Frontenac gave
Schuyler a letter in answer to the threats of the earl. He had written
with trembling hand, but unshaken will and unbending pride:--

"I am determined to pursue my course without flinching; and I request
you not to try to thwart me by efforts which will prove useless. All
the protection and aid you tell me that you have given, and will
continue to give, the Iroquois, against the terms of the treaty, will
not cause me much alarm, nor make me change my plans, but rather, on
the contrary, engage me to pursue them still more." [4]

As the old soldier traced these lines, the shadow of death was upon
him. Toils and years, passions and cares, had wasted his strength at
last, and his fiery soul could bear him up no longer. A few weeks
later he was lying calmly on his death-bed.

[1] _Relation de ce qui s'est passé, etc_., 1695, 1696; La Potherie,
III. 279. Callieres and the author of the Relation of 1682-1712 also
speak of the extraordinary fortitude of the victim. The Jesuits say
that it was not the Christian Indians who insisted on burning him, but
the French themselves, "qui voulurent absolument qu'il fût brulé à
petit feu, ce qu'ils executèrent eux-mêmes. Un Jesuite le confessa et
l'assista à la mort, l'encourageant à souffrir courageusement et
_chrêtiennement_ les tourmens." _Relation_ de 1696 (Shea), 10. This
writer adds that, when Frontenac heard of it, he ordered him to be
spared; but it was too late. Charlevoix misquotes the old Stoic's last
words, which were, according to the official Relation of 1695-6: "Je
te remercie mais tu aurais bien dû achever de me faire mourir par le
feu. Apprenez, chiens de François, à souffrir, et vous sauvages leurs
allies, qui êtes les chiens des chiens, souvenez vous de ce que vous
devez faire quand vous serez en pareil état que moi."

[2] On the expedition against the Onondagas, _Callières au Ministre,
20 Oct., 1696; Frontenac au Ministre, 25 Oct., 1696; Frontenac et
Champigny au Ministre (lettre commune) 26 Oct., 1696; Relation de ce
qui s'est passé, etc., 1695, 1696; Relation, 1682-1712; Relation des
Jesuites, 1696_(Shea); _Doc. Hist. N. Y._, I. 323-355; La Potherie,
III. 270-282; _N. Y. Col. Docs_., IV. 242. Charlevoix charges
Frontenac on this occasion with failing to pursue his advantage, lest
others, and especially Callières, should get more honor than he. The
accusation seems absolutely groundless. His many enemies were silent
about it at the time; for the king warmly commends his conduct on the
expedition, and Callières himself, writing immediately after, gives
him nothing but praise.

[3] _Mémoire du Roy pour Frontenac et Champigny, 26 Mai, 1696;
Ibid., 27 Avril, 1697; Registres du Conseil Supérieur, Edit du 21 Mai,

"Ce qui vous avez mandé de l'accommodement des Sauvages alliés avec
les Irocois n'a pas permis à Sa Majesté d'entrer dans la discution de
la manière de faire l'abandonnement des postes des François dans la
profondeur des terres, particulièrement â Missilimackinac ... En tout
cas vous ne devez pas manquer de donner ordre pour ruiner les forts et
tous les édifices qui pourront y avoir esté faits." _Le Ministre à
Frontenac, 26 Mai, 1696_.

Besides the above, many other letters and despatches on both sides
have been examined in relation to these questions.

[4] On the questions between Bellomont and Frontenac, _Relation de ce
qui s'est passé, etc.,_ 1697, 1698; _Champigny a Ministre,_ 12
_Juillet,_ 1698; _Frontenac au Ministre,_ 18 _Oct.,_ 1698; _Frontenac
et Champigny au Ministre (lettre commune),_ 15 _Oct.,_ 1698;
_Calliéres au Ministre, même date, etc._ The correspondence of
Frontenac and Bellomont, the report of Peter Schuyler and Dellius, the
journal of John Schuyler, and other papers on the same subjects, will
be found in _N. Y. Col. Docs.,_ IV. John Schuyler was grandfather of
General Schuyler of the American Revolution. Peter Schuyler and his
colleague Dellius brought to Canada all the French prisoners in the
hands of the English of New York, and asked for English prisoners in
return; but nearly all of these preferred to remain, a remarkable
proof of the kindness with which the Canadians treated their civilized





In November, when the last ship had gone, and Canada was sealed from
the world for half a year, a mortal illness fell upon the governor. On
the twenty-second, he had strength enough to dictate his will, seated
in an easy-chair in his chamber at the château. His colleague and
adversary, Champigny, often came to visit him, and did all in his
power to soothe his last moments. The reconciliation between them was
complete. One of his Récollet friends, Father Olivier Goyer,
administered extreme unction; and, on the afternoon of the
twenty-eighth, he died, in perfect composure and full possession of
his faculties. He was in his seventy-eighth year.

He was greatly beloved by the humbler classes, who, days before his
death, beset the château, praising and lamenting him. Many of higher
station shared the popular grief. "He was the love and delight of New
France," says one of them: "churchmen honored him for his piety,
nobles esteemed him for his valor, merchants respected him for his
equity, and the people loved him for his kindness." [Footnote: La
Potherie, I. 244, 246.] "He was the father of the poor," says another,
"the protector of the oppressed, and a perfect model of virtue and
piety." [Footnote: Hennepin, 41 (1704). Le Clerc speaks to the same
effect.] An Ursuline nun regrets him as the friend and patron of her
sisterhood, and so also does the superior of the Hôtel-Dieu.
[Footnote: _Histoire des Ursulines de Québec_, I. 508; Juchereau,
378.] His most conspicuous though not his bitterest opponent, the
intendant Champigny, thus announced his death to the court: "I venture
to send this letter by way of New England to tell you that Monsieur le
Comte de Frontenac died on the twenty-eighth of last month, with the
sentiments of a true Christian. After all the disputes we have had
together, you will hardly believe, Monseigneur, how truly and deeply I
am touched by his death. He treated me during his illness in a manner
so obliging, that I should be utterly void of gratitude if I did not
feel thankful to him." [Footnote: _Champigny au Ministre, 22 Dec._,

As a mark of kind feeling, Frontenac had bequeathed to the intendant a
valuable crucifix, and to Madame de Champigny a reliquary which he had
long been accustomed to wear. For the rest, he gave fifteen hundred
livres to the Récollets, to be expended in masses for his soul, and
that of his wife after her death. To her he bequeathed all the
remainder of his small property, and he also directed that his heart
should be sent her in a case of lead or silver. [Footnote: _Testament
du Comte de Frontenac._ I am indebted to Abbé Bois of Maskinongé for a
copy of this will. Frontenac expresses a wish that the heart should be
placed in the family tomb at the Church of St. Nicolas des Champs.]
His enemies reported that she refused to accept it, saying that she
had never had it when he was living, and did not want it when he was

On the Friday after his death, he was buried as he had directed, not
in the cathedral, but in the church of the Récollets, a preference
deeply offensive to many of the clergy. The bishop officiated; and
then the Récollet, Father Goyer, who had attended his death-bed, and
seems to have been his confessor, mounted the pulpit, and delivered
his funeral oration. "This funeral pageantry," exclaimed the orator,
"this temple draped in mourning, these dim lights, this sad and solemn
music, this great assembly bowed in sorrow, and all this pomp and
circumstance of death, may well penetrate your hearts. I will not seek
to dry your tears, for I cannot contain my own. After all, this is a
time to weep, and never did people weep for a better governor."

A copy of this eulogy fell into the hands of an enemy of Frontenac,
who wrote a running commentary upon it. The copy thus annotated is
still preserved at Quebec. A few passages from the orator and his
critic will show the violent conflict of opinion concerning the
governor, and illustrate in some sort, though with more force than
fairness, the contradictions of his character:--

_The Orator_. "This wise man, to whom the Senate of Venice listened
with respectful attention, because he spoke before them with all the
force of that eloquence which you, Messieurs, have so often admired,--
[Footnote: Alluding to an incident that occurred when Frontenac
commanded a Venetian force for the defence of Candia against the

_The Critic_. "It was not his eloquence that they admired, but his
extravagant pretensions, his bursts of rage, and his unworthy
treatment of those who did not agree with him."

_The Orator_. "This disinterested man, more busied with duty than with

_The Critic_. "The less said about that the better."

_The Orator_. "Who made the fortune of others, but did not increase
his own,--

_The Critic_. "Not for want of trying, and that very often in spite of
his conscience and the king's orders."

_The Orator_. "Devoted to the service of his king, whose majesty he
represented, and whose person he loved,--

_The Critic_. "Not at all. How often has he opposed his orders, even
with force and violence, to the great scandal of everybody!"

_The Orator_. "Great in the midst of difficulties, by that consummate
prudence, that solid judgment, that presence of mind, that breadth and
elevation of thought, which he retained to the last moment of his

_The Critic_. "He had in fact a great capacity for political
manoeuvres and tricks; but as for the solid judgment ascribed to him,
his conduct gives it the lie, or else, if he had it, the vehemence of
his passions often unsettled it. It is much to be feared that his
presence of mind was the effect of an obstinate and hardened
self-confidence by which he put himself above everybody and every
thing, since he never used it to repair, so far as in him lay, the
public and private wrongs he caused. What ought he not to have done
here, in this temple, to ask pardon for the obstinate and furious heat
with which he so long persecuted the Church; upheld and even
instigated rebellion against her; protected libertines,
scandal-mongers, and creatures of evil life against the ministers of
Heaven; molested, persecuted, vexed persons most eminent in virtue,
nay, even the priests and magistrates, who defended the cause of God;
sustained in all sorts of ways the wrongful and scandalous traffic in
brandy with the Indians; permitted, approved, and supported the
license and abuse of taverns; authorized and even introduced, in spite
of the remonstrances of the servants of God, criminal and dangerous
diversions; tried to decry the bishop and the clergy, the
missionaries, and other persons of virtue, and to injure them, both
here and in France, by libels and calumnies; caused, in fine, either
by himself or through others, a multitude of disorders, under which
this infant church has groaned for many years! What, I say, ought he
not to have done before dying to atone for these scandals, and give
proof of sincere penitence and compunction? God gave him full time to
recognize his errors, and yet to the last he showed a great
indifference in all these matters. When, in presence of the Holy
Sacrament, he was asked according to the ritual, 'Do you not beg
pardon for all the ill examples you may have given?' he answered,
'Yes,' but did not confess that he had ever given any. 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. And this is the presence
of mind that he retained to his last moment!"

_The Orator._ "Great in dangers by his courage, he always came off
with honor, and never was reproached with rashness,--

_The Critic._ "True; he was not rash, as was seen when the Bostonnais
besieged Quebec."

_The Orator_. "Great in religion by his piety, he practised its good
works in spirit and in truth,--

_The Critic_. "Say rather that he practised its forms with parade and
ostentation: witness the inordinate ambition with which he always
claimed honors in the Church, to which he had no right; outrageously
affronted intendants, who opposed his pretensions; required priests to
address him when preaching, and in their intercourse with him demanded
from them humiliations which he did not exact from the meanest
military officer. This was his way of making himself great in
_religion and piety_, or, more truly, in vanity and hypocrisy. How can
a man be called _great in religion_, when he openly holds opinions
entirely opposed to the True Faith, such as, that _all men are
predestined_, that _Hell will not last for ever_, and the like?"

_The Orator._ "His very look inspired esteem and confidence,--

_The Critic._ "Then one must have taken him at exactly the right
moment, and not when he was foaming at the mouth with rage."

_The Orator._ "A mingled air of nobility and gentleness; a countenance
that bespoke the probity that appeared in all his acts, and a
sincerity that could not dissimulate,--

_The Critic._ "The eulogist did not know the old fox."

_The Orator._ "An inviolable fidelity to friends,--

_The Critic._ "What friends? Was it persons of the other sex? Of these
he was always fond, and too much for the honor of some of them."

_The Orator._ "Disinterested for himself, ardent for others, he used
his credit at court only to recommend their services, excuse their
faults, and obtain favors for them,--

_The Critic_. "True; but it was for his creatures and for nobody

_The Orator_. "I pass in silence that reading of spiritual books which
he practised as an indispensable duty more than forty years; that holy
avidity with which he listened to the word of God,--

_The Critic_. "Only if the preacher addressed the sermon to him, and
called him _Monseigneur_. 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 Orator_. "He prepared for the sacraments by meditation and

_The Critic_. "And generally came out of his retreat more excited than
ever against the Church."

_The Orator_. "Let us not recall his ancient and noble descent, his
family connected with all that is greatest in the army, the
magistracy, and the government; Knights, Marshals of France, Governors
of Provinces, Judges, Councillors, and Ministers of State: let us not,
I say, recall all these without remembering that their examples roused
this generous heart to noble emulation; and, as an expiring flame
grows brighter as it dies, so did all the virtues of his race unite at
last in him to end with glory a long line of great men, that shall be
no more except in history."

_The Critic_. "Well laid on, and too well for his hearers to believe
him. Far from agreeing that all these virtues were collected in the
person of his pretended _hero_, they would find it very hard to admit
that he had even one of them." [Footnote: _Oraison Funèbre du
très-haut et très-puissant Seigneur Louis de Buade, Comte de Frontenac
et de Palluau, etc., avec des remarques critiques_, 1698. That
indefatigable investigator of Canadian history, the late M. Jacques
Viger, to whom I am indebted for a copy of this eulogy, suggested that
the anonymous critic may have been Abbé la Tour, author of the _Vie de
Laval_. If so, his statements need the support of more trustworthy
evidence. The above extracts are not consecutive, but are taken from
various parts of the manuscript.]

It is clear enough from what quiver these arrows came. From the first,
Frontenac had set himself in opposition to the most influential of the
Canadian clergy. When he came to the colony, their power in the
government was still enormous, and even the most devout of his
predecessors had been forced into conflict with them to defend the
civil authority; but, when Frontenac entered the strife, he brought
into it an irritability, a jealous and exacting vanity, a love of
rule, and a passion for having his own way, even in trifles, which
made him the most exasperating of adversaries. Hence it was that many
of the clerical party felt towards him a bitterness that was far from
ending with his life.

The sentiment of a religion often survives its convictions. However
heterodox in doctrine, he was still wedded to the observances of the
Church, and practised them, under the ministration of the Récollets,
with an assiduity that made full amends to his conscience for the
vivacity with which he opposed the rest of the clergy. To the
Récollets their patron was the most devout of men; to his ultramontane
adversaries, he was an impious persecutor.

His own acts and words best paint his character, and it is needless to
enlarge upon it. What perhaps may be least forgiven him is the
barbarity of the warfare that he waged, and the cruelties that he
permitted. He had seen too many towns sacked to be much subject to the
scruples of modern humanitarianism; yet he was no whit more ruthless
than his times and his surroundings, and some of his contemporaries
find fault with him for not allowing more Indian captives to be
tortured. Many surpassed him in cruelty, none equalled him in capacity
and vigor. When civilized enemies were once within his power, he
treated them, according to their degree, with a chivalrous courtesy,
or a generous kindness. If he was a hot and pertinacious foe, he was
also a fast friend; and he excited love and hatred in about equal
measure. His attitude towards public enemies was always proud and
peremptory, yet his courage was guided by so clear a sagacity that he
never was forced to recede from the position he had taken. Towards
Indians, he was an admirable compound of sternness and conciliation.
Of the immensity of his services to the colony there can be no doubt.
He found it, under Denonville, in humiliation and terror; and he left
it in honor, and almost in triumph.

In spite of Father Goyer, greatness must be denied him; but a more
remarkable figure, in its bold and salient individuality and sharply
marked light and shadow, is nowhere seen in American history.

[Footnote: There is no need to exaggerate the services of Frontenac.
Nothing could be more fallacious than the assertion, often repeated,
that in his time Canada withstood the united force of all the British
colonies. Most of these colonies took no part whatever in the war.
Only two of them took an aggressive part, New York and Massachusetts.
New York attacked Canada twice, with the two inconsiderable
war-parties of John Schuyler in 1690 and of Peter Schuyler in the next
year. The feeble expedition under Winthrop did not get beyond Lake
George. Massachusetts, or rather her seaboard towns, attacked Canada
once. Quebec, it is true, was kept in alarm during several years by
rumors of another attack from the same quarter; but no such danger
existed, as Massachusetts was exhausted by her first effort. The real
scourge of Canada was the Iroquois, supplied with arms and ammunition
from Albany.]





It did not need the presence of Frontenac to cause snappings and
sparks in the highly electrical atmosphere of New France. Callières
took his place as governor _ad interim_, and in due time received a
formal appointment to the office. Apart from the wretched state of his
health, undermined by gout and dropsy, he was in most respects well
fitted for it; but his deportment at once gave umbrage to the
excitable Champigny, who declared that he had never seen such
_hauteur_ since he came to the colony. Another official was still more
offended. "Monsieur de Frontenac," he says, "was no sooner dead than
trouble began. Monsieur de Callières, puffed up by his new authority,
claims honors due only to a marshal of France. It would be a different
matter if he, like his predecessor, were regarded as the father of the
country, and the love and delight of the Indian allies. At the review
at Montreal, he sat in his carriage, and received the incense offered
him with as much composure and coolness as if he had been some
divinity of this New World." In spite of these complaints, the court
sustained Callieres, and authorized him to enjoy the honors that he
had assumed. [Footnote: _Champigny au Ministre,_ 26 _Mai,_ 1699; _La
Potherie au Ministre,_ 2 _Juin,_ 1699; _Vaudreuil et La Potherie au
Ministre, même date_.]

His first and chief task was to finish the work that Frontenac had
shaped out, and bring the Iroquois to such submission as the interests
of the colony and its allies demanded. The fierce confederates admired
the late governor, and, if they themselves are to be believed, could
not help lamenting him; but they were emboldened by his death, and the
difficulty of dealing with them was increased by it. Had they been
sure of effectual support from the English, there can be little doubt
that they would have refused to treat with the French, of whom their
distrust was extreme. The treachery of Denonville at Fort Frontenac
still rankled in their hearts, and the English had made them believe
that some of their best men had lately been poisoned by agents from
Montreal. The French assured them, on the other hand, that the English
meant to poison them, refuse to sell them powder and lead, and then,
when they were helpless, fall upon and destroy them. At Montreal, they
were told that the English called them their negroes; and, at Albany,
that if they made peace with Onontio, they would sink into "perpetual
infamy and slavery." Still, in spite of their perplexity, they
persisted in asserting their independence of each of the rival powers,
and played the one against the other, in order to strengthen their
position with both. When Bellomont required them to surrender their
French prisoners to him, they answered: "We are the masters; our
prisoners are our own. We will keep them or give them to the French,
if we choose." At the same time, they told Callières that they would
bring them to the English at Albany, and invited him to send thither
his agents to receive them. They were much disconcerted, however, when
letters were read to them which showed that, pending the action of
commissioners to settle the dispute, the two kings had ordered their
respective governors to refrain from all acts of hostility, and join
forces, if necessary, to compel the Iroquois to keep quiet. [Footnote:
_Le Roy à Frontenac, 25 Mars_, 1699. Frontenac's death was not known
at Versailles till April. _Le Roy d' Angleterre a Bellomont, 2 Avril_,
1699; La Potherie, IV. 128; _Callières à Bellomont, 7 Août_, 1699.]
This, with their enormous losses, and their desire to recover their
people held captive in Canada, led them at last to serious thoughts of
peace. Resolving at the same time to try the temper of the new
Onontio, and yield no more than was absolutely necessary, they sent
him but six ambassadors, and no prisoners. The ambassadors marched in
single file to the place of council; while their chief, who led the
way, sang a dismal song of lamentation for the French slain in the
war, calling on them to thrust their heads above ground, behold the
good work of peace, and banish every thought of vengeance. Callières
proved, as they had hoped, less inexorable than Frontenac. He accepted
their promises, and consented to send for the prisoners in their
hands, on condition that within thirty-six days a full deputation of
their principal men should come to Montreal. The Jesuit Bruyas, the
Canadian Maricourt, and a French officer named Joncaire went back with
them to receive the prisoners.

The history of Joncaire was a noteworthy one. The Senecas had captured
him some time before, tortured his companions to death, and doomed him
to the same fate. As a preliminary torment, an old chief tried to burn
a finger of the captive in the bowl of his pipe, on which Joncaire
knocked him down. If he had begged for mercy, their hearts would have
been flint; but the warrior crowd were so pleased with this proof of
courage that they adopted him as one of their tribe, and gave him an
Iroquois wife. He lived among them for many years, and gained a
commanding influence, which proved very useful to the French. When he,
with Bruyas and Maricourt, approached Onondaga, which had long before
risen from its ashes, they were greeted with a fusillade of joy, and
regaled with the sweet stalks of young maize, followed by the more
substantial refreshment of venison and corn beaten together into a
pulp and boiled. The chiefs and elders seemed well inclined to peace;
and, though an envoy came from Albany to prevent it, he behaved with
such arrogance that, far from dissuading his auditors, he confirmed
them in their resolve to meet Onontio at Montreal. They seemed willing
enough to give up their French prisoners, but an unexpected difficulty
arose from the prisoners themselves. They had been adopted into
Iroquois families; and, having become attached to the Indian life,
they would not leave it. Some of them hid in the woods to escape their
deliverers, who, with their best efforts, could collect but thirteen,
all women, children, and boys. With these, they returned to Montreal,
accompanied By a peace embassy of nineteen Iroquois.

Peace, then, was made. "I bury the hatchet," said Callières, "in a
deep hole, and over the hole I place a great rock, and over the rock I
turn a river, that the hatchet may never be dug up again." The famous
Huron, Kondiaronk, or the Rat, was present, as were also a few
Ottawas, Abenakis, and converts of the Saut and the Mountain. Sharp
words passed between them and the ambassadors; but at last they all
laid down their hatchets at the feet of Onontio, and signed the treaty
together. It was but a truce, and a doubtful one. More was needed to
confirm it, and the following August was named for a solemn act of
ratification. [Footnote: On these negotiations, La Potherie, IV.
lettre xi.; N. Y. Col. Docs., IX. 708, 711, 715; Colden, 200;
Callières au Ministre, 16 Oct., 1700; Champigny au Ministre, 22
Juillet, 1700; La Potherie au Ministre, 11 Aout, 1700; Ibid., 16 Oct.,
1700; Callières et Champigny au Ministre, 18 Oct., 1700. See also N.
Y. Col. Docs., IV., for a great number of English documents bearing on
the subject.]

Father Engelran was sent to Michillimackinac, while Courtemanche spent
the winter and spring in toilsome journeyings among the tribes of the
west. Such was his influence over them that he persuaded them all to
give up their Iroquois prisoners, and send deputies to the grand
council. Engelran had had scarcely less success among the northern
tribes; and early in July a great fleet of canoes, conducted by
Courtemanche, and filled with chiefs, warriors, and Iroquois
prisoners, paddled down the lakes for Montreal. Meanwhile Bruyas,
Maricourt, and Joncaire had returned on the same errand to the
Iroquois towns; but, so far as concerned prisoners, their success was
no greater than before. Whether French or Indian, the chiefs were slow
to give them up, saying that they had all been adopted into families
who would not part with them unless consoled for the loss by gifts.
This was true; but it was equally true of the other tribes, whose
chiefs had made the necessary gifts, and recovered the captive
Iroquois. Joncaire and his colleagues succeeded, however, in leading a
large deputation of chiefs and elders to Montreal.

Courtemanche with his canoe fleet from the lakes was not far behind;
and when their approach was announced, the chronicler, La Potherie,
full of curiosity, went to meet them at the mission village of the
Saut. First appeared the Iroquois, two hundred in all, firing their
guns as their canoes drew near, while the mission Indians, ranged
along the shore, returned the salute. The ambassadors were conducted
to a capacious lodge, where for a quarter of an hour they sat smoking
with immovable composure. Then a chief of the mission made a speech,
and then followed a feast of boiled dogs. In the morning they
descended the rapids to Montreal, and in due time the distant roar of
the saluting cannon told of their arrival.

They had scarcely left the village, when the river was covered with
the canoes of the western and northern allies. There was another
fusillade of welcome as the heterogeneous company landed, and marched
to the great council-house. The calumet was produced, and twelve of
the assembled chiefs sang a song, each rattling at the same time a
dried gourd half full of peas. Six large kettles were next brought in,
containing several dogs and a bear suitably chopped to pieces, which
being ladled out to the guests were despatched in an instant, and a
solemn dance and a supper of boiled corn closed the festivity.

The strangers embarked again on the next day, and the cannon of
Montreal greeted them as they landed before the town. A great quantity
of evergreen boughs had been gathered for their use, and of these they
made their wigwams outside the palisades. Before the opening of the
grand council, a multitude of questions must be settled, jealousies
soothed, and complaints answered. Callières had no peace. He was
busied for a week in giving audience to the deputies. There was one
question which agitated them all, and threatened to rekindle the war.
Kondiaronk, the Rat, the foremost man among all the allied tribes,
gave utterance to the general feeling: "My father, you told us last
autumn to bring you all the Iroquois prisoners in our hands. We have
obeyed, and brought them. Now let us see if the Iroquois have also
obeyed, and brought you our people whom they captured during the war.
If they have done so, they are sincere; if not, they are false. But I
know that they have not brought them. I told you last year that it was
better that they should bring their prisoners first. You see now how
it is, and how they have deceived us."

The complaint was just, and the situation became critical. The
Iroquois deputies were invited to explain themselves. They stalked
into the council-room with their usual haughty composure, and readily
promised to surrender the prisoners in future, but offered no hostages
for their good faith. The Rat, who had counselled his own and other
tribes to bring their Iroquois captives to Montreal, was excessively
mortified at finding himself duped. He came to a later meeting, when
this and other matters were to be discussed; but he was so weakened by
fever that he could not stand. An armchair was brought him; and,
seated in it, he harangued the assembly for two hours, amid a deep
silence, broken only by ejaculations of approval from his Indian
hearers. When the meeting ended, he was completely exhausted; and,
being carried in his chair to the hospital, he died about midnight. He
was a great loss to the French; for, though he had caused the massacre
of La Chine, his services of late years had been invaluable. In spite
of his unlucky name, he was one of the ablest North American Indians
on record, as appears by his remarkable influence over many tribes,
and by the respect, not to say admiration, of his French

The French charged themselves with the funeral rites, carried the dead
chief to his wigwam, stretched him on a robe of beaver skin, and left
him there lying in state, swathed in a scarlet blanket, with a kettle,
a gun, and a sword at his side, for his use in the world of spirits.
This was a concession to the superstition of his countrymen; for the
Rat was a convert, and went regularly to mass. [Footnote: La Potherie,
IV. 229. Charlevoix suppresses the kettle and gun, and says that the
dead chief wore a sword and a uniform, like a French officer. In fact,
he wore Indian leggins and a capote under his scarlet blanket.] Even
the Iroquois, his deadliest foes, paid tribute to his memory. Sixty of
them came in solemn procession, and ranged themselves around the bier;
while one of their principal chiefs pronounced an harangue, in which
he declared that the sun had covered his face that day in grief for
the loss of the great Huron. [Footnote: Charlevoix says that these
were Christian Iroquois of the missions. Potherie, his only authority,
proves them to have been heathen, as their chief mourner was a noted
Seneca, and their spokesman, Avenano, was the accredited orator of the
Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas, in whose name he made the
funeral harangue.] He was buried on the next morning. Saint-Ours,
senior captain, led the funeral train with an escort of troops,
followed by sixteen Huron warriors in robes of beaver skin, marching
four and four, with faces painted black and guns reversed. Then came
the clergy, and then six war-chiefs carrying the coffin. It was
decorated with flowers, and on it lay a plumed hat, a sword, and a
gorget. Behind it were the brother and sons of the dead chief, and
files of Huron and Ottawa warriors; while Madame de Champigny,
attended by Vaudreuil and all the military officers, closed the
procession. After the service, the soldiers fired three volleys over
the grave; and a tablet was placed upon it, carved with the words,--


All this ceremony pleased the allied tribes, and helped to calm their
irritation. Every obstacle being at length removed or smoothed over,
the fourth of August was named for the grand council. A vast, oblong
space was marked out on a plain near the town, and enclosed with a
fence of branches. At one end was a canopy of boughs and leaves, under
which were seats for the spectators. Troops were drawn up in line
along the sides; the seats under the canopy were filled by ladies,
officials, and the chief inhabitants of Montreal; Callieres sat in
front, surrounded by interpreters; and the Indians were seated on the
grass around the open space. There were more than thirteen hundred of
them, gathered from a distance of full two thousand miles, Hurons and
Ottawas from Michillimackinac, Ojibwas from Lake Superior, Crees from
the remote north, Pottawatamies from Lake Michigan, Mascontins, Sacs,
Foxes, Winnebagoes, and Menominies from Wisconsin, Miamis from the St.
Joseph, Illinois from the river Illinois, Abenakis from Acadia, and
many allied hordes of less account; each savage painted with diverse
hues and patterns, and each in his dress of ceremony, leathern shirts
fringed with scalp-locks, colored blankets or robes of bison hide and
beaver skin, bristling crests of hair or long lank tresses, eagle
feathers or horns of beasts. Pre-eminent among them all sat their
valiant and terrible foes, the warriors of the confederacy. "Strange,"
exclaims La Potherie, "that four or five thousand should make a whole
new world tremble. New England is but too happy to gain their good
graces; New France is often wasted by their wars, and our allies dread
them over an extent of more than fifteen hundred leagues." It was more
a marvel than he knew, for he greatly overrates their number.

Callières opened the council with a speech, in which he told the
assembly that, since but few tribes were represented at the treaty of
the year before, he had sent for them all to ratify it; that he now
threw their hatchets and his own into a pit so deep that nobody could
find them; that henceforth they must live like brethren; and, if by
chance one should strike another, the injured brother must not revenge
the blow, but come for redress to him, Onontio, their common father.
Nicolas Perrot and the Jesuits who acted as interpreters repeated the
speech in five different languages; and, to confirm it, thirty-one
wampum belts were given to the thirty-one tribes present. Then each
tribe answered in turn. First came Hassaki, chief of an Ottawa band
known as Cut Tails. He approached with a majestic air, his long robe
of beaver skin trailing on the grass behind him. Four Iroquois
captives followed, with eyes bent on the ground; and, when he stopped
before the governor, they seated themselves at his feet. "You asked us
for our prisoners," he said, "and here they are. I set them free
because you wish it, and I regard them as my brothers." Then turning
to the Iroquois deputies: "Know that if I pleased I might have eaten
them; but I have not done as you would have done. Remember this when
we meet, and let us be friends." The Iroquois ejaculated their

Next came a Huron chief, followed by eight Iroquois prisoners, who, as
he declared, had been bought at great cost, in kettles, guns, and
blankets, from the families who had adopted them. "We thought that the
Iroquois would have done by us as we have done by them; and we were
astonished to see that they had not brought us our prisoners. Listen
to me, my father, and you, Iroquois, listen. I am not sorry to make
peace, since my father wishes it, and I will live in peace with him
and with you." Thus, in turn, came the spokesmen of all the tribes,
delivering their prisoners and making their speeches. The Miami orator
said: "I am very angry with the Iroquois, who burned my son some years
ago; but to-day I forget all that. My father's will is mine. I will
not be like the Iroquois, who have disobeyed his voice." The orator of
the Mississagas came forward, crowned with the head and horns of a
young bison bull, and, presenting his prisoners, said: "I place them
in your hands. Do with them as you like. I am only too proud that you
count me among your allies."

The chief of the Foxes now rose from his seat at the farther end of
the enclosure, and walked sedately across the whole open space towards
the stand of spectators. His face was painted red, and he wore an old
French wig, with its abundant curls in a state of complete
entanglement. When he reached the chair of the governor, he bowed, and
lifted the wig like a hat, to show that he was perfect in French
politeness. There was a burst of laughter from the spectators; but
Callières, with ceremonious gravity, begged him to put it on again,
which he did, and proceeded with his speech, the pith of which was
briefly as follows: "The darkness is gone, the sun shines bright
again, and now the Iroquois is my brother."

Then came a young Algonquin war-chief, dressed like a Canadian, but
adorned with a drooping red feather and a tall ridge of hair like the
crest of a cock. It was he who slew Black Kettle, that redoubted
Iroquois whose loss filled the confederacy with mourning, and who
exclaimed as he fell, "Must I, who have made the whole earth tremble,
now die by the hand of a child!" The young chief spoke concisely and
to the purpose: "I am not a man of counsel: it is for me to listen to
your words. Peace has come, and now let us forget the past."

When he and all the rest had ended, the orator of the Iroquois strode
to the front, and in brief words gave in their adhesion to the treaty.
"Onontio, we are pleased with all you have done, and we have listened
to all you have said. We assure you by these four belts of wampum that
we will stand fast in our obedience. As for the prisoners whom we have
not brought you, we place them at your disposal, and you will send and
fetch them."

The calumet was lighted. Callières, Champigny, and Vaudreuil drew the
first smoke, then the Iroquois deputies, and then all the tribes in
turn. The treaty was duly signed, the representative of each tribe
affixing his mark, in the shape of some bird, beast, fish, reptile,
insect, plant, or nondescript object.

"Thus," says La Potherie, "the labors of the late Count Frontenac were
brought to a happy consummation." The work of Frontenac was indeed
finished, though not as he would have finished it. Callières had told
the Iroquois that till they surrendered their Indian prisoners he
would keep in his own hands the Iroquois prisoners surrendered by the
allied tribes. To this the spokesman of the confederacy coolly
replied: "Such a proposal was never made since the world began. Keep
them, if you like. We will go home, and think no more about them; but,
if you gave them to us without making trouble, and gave us our son
Joncaire at the same time, we should have no reason to distrust your
sincerity, and should all be glad to send you back the prisoners we
took from your allies." Callières yielded, persuaded the allies to
agree to the conditions, gave up the prisoners, and took an empty
promise in return. It was a triumph for the Iroquois, who meant to
keep their Indian captives, and did in fact keep nearly all of them. [1]

The chief objects of the late governor were gained. The power of the
Iroquois was so far broken that they were never again very formidable
to the French. Canada had confirmed her Indian alliances, and rebutted
the English claim to sovereignty over the five tribes, with all the
consequences that hung upon it. By the treaty of Ryswick, the great
questions at issue in America were left to the arbitrament of future
wars; and meanwhile, as time went on, the policy of Frontenac
developed and ripened. Detroit was occupied by the French, the passes
of the west were guarded by forts, another New France grew up at the
mouth of the Mississippi, and lines of military communication joined
the Gulf of Mexico with the Gulf of St. Lawrence; while the colonies
of England lay passive between the Alleghanies and the sea till roused
by the trumpet that sounded with wavering notes on many a bloody field
to peal at last in triumph from the Heights of Abraham.

[1] The council at Montreal is described at great length by La
Potherie, a spectator. There is a short official report of the various
speeches, of which a translation will be found in _N. Y. Col. Docs.,_
IX. 722. Callières himself gives interesting details. (_Callières au
Ministre,_ 4 _Oct.,_ 1701.) A great number of papers on Indian affairs
at this time will be found in _N. Y. Col. Docs.,_ IV.

Joncaire went for the prisoners whom the Iroquois had promised to give
up, and could get but six of them. _Callières au Ministre,_ 31 _Oct.,_
1701. The rest were made Iroquois by adoption.

According to an English official estimate made at the end of the war,
the Iroquois numbered 2,550 warriors in 1689, and only 1,230 in 1698.
_N. Y. Col. Docs.,_ IV. 420. In 1701, a French writer estimates them
at only 1,200 warriors. In other words, their strength was reduced at
least one half. They afterwards partially recovered it by the adoption
of prisoners, and still more by the adoption of an entire kindred
tribe, the Tuscaroras. In 1720, the English reckon them at 2,000
warriors. _N. Y. Col Docs.,_ V. 557.



COUNT FRONTENAC'S grandfather was

ANTOINE DE BUADE, Seigneur de Frontenac, Baron de Palluau, Conseiller
d'État, Chevalier des Ordres du Roy, son premier maître d'hôtel, et
gouverneur de St. Germain-en-Laye. By Jeanne Secontat, his wife, he
had, among other children,

HENRI DE BUADE, Chevalier, Baron de Palluau et mestre de camp
(_colonel_) du régiment de Navarre, who, by his wife Anne Phélippeaux,
daughter of Raymond Phélippeaux, Secretary of State, had, among other

LOUIS DE BUADE, Comte de Palluau et Frontenac. Seigneur de
l'Isle-Savary, mestre de camp du régiment de Normandie, maréchal de
camp dans les armées du Roy, et gouverneur et lieutenant général en
Canada, Acadie, Isle de Terreneuve, et autres pays de la France
septentrionale. Louis de Buade had by his wife, Anne de La
Grange-Trianon, one son, François Louis, killed in Germany, while in
the service of the king, and leaving no issue.

The foregoing is drawn from a comparison of the following authorities,
all of which will be found in the Bibliothèque Nationale of Paris,
where the examination was made: _Mémoires de Marolles, abbé de
Villeloin_, II. 201; L'Hermite-Souliers, _Histoire Généalogique de la
Noblesse de Touraine_; Du Chesne, _Recherches Historiques de l'Ordre
du Saint-Esprit_; Morin, _Statuts de l'Ordre du Saint-Esprit_;
Marolles de Villeloin, _Histoire des Anciens Comtes d'Anjou_; Père
Anselme, _Grands Officiers de la Couronne_; Pinard, _Chronologie
Historique-militaire; Table de la Gazette de France_. In this matter
of the Frontenac genealogy, I am much indebted to the kind offices of
my friend, James Gordon Clarke, Esq. When, in 1600, Henry IV. was
betrothed to Marie de Medicis, Frontenac, grandfather of the governor
of Canada, described as "ung des plus antiens serviteurs du roy," was
sent to Florence by the king to carry his portrait to his affianced
bride. _Mémoires de Philippe Hurault_, 448 (Petitot).

The appointment of Frontenac to the post, esteemed as highly
honorable, of _maître d'hôtel_ in the royal household, immediately
followed. There is a very curious book, the journal of Jean Héroard, a
physician charged with the care of the infant Dauphin, afterwards
Louis XIII., born in 1601. It records every act of the future monarch:
his screaming and kicking in the arms of his nurses, his refusals to
be washed and dressed, his resistance when his hair was combed; how he
scratched his governess, and called her names; how he quarrelled with
the children of his father's mistresses, and at the age of four
declined to accept them as brothers and sisters; how his mother
slighted him; and how his father sometimes caressed, sometimes teased,
and sometimes corrected him with his own hand. The details of the
royal nursery are, we may add, astounding for their grossness; and the
language and the manners amid which the infant monarch grew up were
worthy of the days of Rabelais.

Frontenac and his children appear frequently, and not unfavorably, on
the pages of this singular diary. Thus, when the Dauphin was three
years old, the king, being in bed, took him and a young Frontenac of
about the same age, set them before him, and amused Himself by making
them rally each other in their infantile language. The infant
Frontenac had a trick of stuttering, which the Dauphin caught from
him, and retained for a long time. Again, at the age of five, the
Dauphin, armed with a little gun, played at soldier with two of the
Frontenac children in the hall at St. Germain. They assaulted a town,
the rampart being represented by a balustrade before the fireplace.
"The Dauphin," writes the journalist, "said that he would be a
musketeer, and yet he spoke sharply to the others who would not do as
he wished. The king said to him, 'My boy, you are a musketeer, but you
speak like a general.'" Long after, when the Dauphin was in his
fourteenth year, the following entry occurs in the physician's

St. Germain, Sunday, 22d (_July_, 1614). "He (_the Dauphin_) goes to
the chapel of the terrace, then mounts his horse and goes to find M.
de Souvré and M. de Frontenac, whom he surprises as they were at
breakfast at the small house near the quarries. At half past one, he
mounts again, in hunting boots; goes to the park with M. de Frontenac
as a guide, chases a stag, and catches him. It was his first

Of Henri de Buade, father of the governor of Canada, but little is
recorded. When in Paris, he lived, like his son after him, on the Quai
des Célestiris, in the parish of St. Paul. His son, Count Frontenac,
was born in 1620, seven years after his father's marriage. Apparently
his birth took place elsewhere than in Paris, for it is not recorded
with those of Henri de Buade's other children, on the register of St.
Paul (Jal, _Dictionnaire Critique, Biographique, et d'Histoire_). The
story told by Tallemant des Réaux concerning his marriage (see page 6)
seems to be mainly true. Colonel Jal says: "On conçoit que j'ai pu
être tenté de connaître ce qu'il y a de vrai dans les récits de
Saint-Simon et de Tallemant des Réaux; voici ce qu'après bien des
recherches, j'ai pu apprendre. Mlle. La Grange fit, en effet, un
mariage à demi secret. Ce ne fut point à sa paroisse que fut bénie son
union avec M. de Frontenac, mais dans une des petites églises de la
Cité qui avaient le privilège de recevoir les amants qui s'unissaient
malgré leurs parents, et ceux qui regularisaient leur position et
s'épousaient un peu avant--quelquefois après--la naissance d'un
enfant. Ce fut à, St. Pierre-aux-Boeufs que, le mercredy, 28 Octobre,
1648, 'Messire Louis de Buade, Chevalier, comte de Frontenac,
conseiller du Roy en ses conseils, mareschal des camps et armees de S.
M., et maistre de camp du régiment du Normandie, 'épousa' demoiselle
Anne de La Grange, fille de Messire Charles de La Grange, conseiller
du Roy et maistre des comptes' de la paroisse de St. Paul comme M. de
Frontenac, 'en vertu de la dispense ... obtenue de M. l'official de
Paris par laquelle il est permis au Sr. de Buade et demoiselle de La
Grange de célébrer leur marriage suyvant et conformément à la
permission qu'ils en ont obtenue du Sr. Coquerel, vicaire de St. Paul,
devant le premier curé ou vicaire sur ce requis, en gardant les
solennités en ce cas requises et accoutumées.'" Jal then gives the
signatures to the act of marriage, which, except that of the bride,
are all of the Frontenac family.

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