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Title: France and England in N America, Part V: Count Frontenac, New France, Louis XIV
Author: Parkman, Francis
Language: English
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France and England
North America

A Series of Historical Narratives.

by Francis Parkman

Author of the "History of the Conspiracy of Pontiac," "The Oregon
Trail," "The Old Régime in Canada," etc.

Part Fifth.

Little, Brown, and Company.

Entered According to Act of Congress in the year 1877, by
Francis Parkman,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

Press of John Wilson and Son.

Count Frontenac
New France
Under Louis XIV.

by Francis Parkman

Author of "Pioneers of France in the New World," "The Jesuits in North
America," "The Discovery of the Great West," and "The Old Régime in

Little, Brown, and Company.

Entered According to Act of Congress in the year 1877, by
Francis Parkman,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

Press of John Wilson and Son.


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

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

In "The Old Régime 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 Bibliothèque 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 consulted.

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 Régime," 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
Régime" 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.


Count Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV.


CHAPTER I. 1620-1672.


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

CHAPTER II. 1672-1675


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

CHAPTER III. 1673-1675.


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.

CHAPTER IV. 1675-1682.


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 Frontenac.

CHAPTER V. 1682-1684.


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



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.

CHAPTER VII. 1685-1687.


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.

CHAPTER IX. 1687-1689.


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.

CHAPTER X. 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 arrives.



Phips on the St. Lawrence • Phips at Quebec • A Flag of Truce • Scene at
the Château • 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.

CHAPTER XIV. 1690-1694.


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

CHAPTER XV. 1691-1695.


Appeal of Frontenac • His Opponents • His Services • Rivalry and Strife
• Bishop Saint-Vallier • Society at the Château • 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.

CHAPTER XVI. 1690-1694.


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

CHAPTER XVII. 1690-1697.


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

CHAPTER XVIII. 1693-1697.


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.

CHAPTER XIX. 1696-1698.


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.

CHAPTER XXI. 1699-1701.


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.]


Count and Countess Frontenac.

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

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. [1]

[1] 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'armée 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 château 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." [2]	

[2] 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 maréchal 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
Célestins. [3]	

[3] Pinard, Chronologie Historique-militaire, VI.; Table de la
Gazette de France; Jal, Dictionnaire Critique, Biographique, et
d'Histoire, art. "Frontenac;" Goyer, Oraison Funèbre du Comte de

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
Bœufs, 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. [4]	

[4] 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 Quebec.

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." [5]

[5] 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 ragoût 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." [6]

[6] 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 woful 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." [7]	

[7] 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. [8]	

[8] Oraison funèbre du Comte de Frontenac, par le Père Olivier Goyer. A
powerful French contingent, under another command, co-operated with the
Venetians under Frontenac.

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." [9] 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. [10]	

[9] Memoires du Duc de Saint-Simon, II. 270; V. 336.

[10] 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

   "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'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. [11]	

[11] On Frontenac and his family, see Appendix A.


Frontenac at Quebec.

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

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." [1]

[1] 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."

[2] 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. [3] 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.

[3] Registre du Conseil Souverain.

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." [4]	

[4] 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 clergy.

"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." [5] 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." [6]	

[5] Frontenac au Ministre, 2 Nov., 1672.

[6] 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." [7]	

[7] 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

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.


Frontenac and Perrot.

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.

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

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. [1]

[1] 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 conditions.

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

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. [2] Accordingly, he sent orders to the
judge, at Montreal, to seize every coureur de bois on whom he could lay

[2] Frontenac au Ministre, 2 Nov., 1672.

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. [3]

[3] 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. [4]	

[4] 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 incapable.

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 count.

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. [5] 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 needless.

[5] Édits et Ordonnances, I. 73.

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. [6] 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.

[6] Information faite par nous, Charles le Tardieu, Sieur de Tilly.
Tilly was a commissioner sent by the council to inquire into the affair.

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. [7]	

[7] Mémoire de M. d'Urfé à Colbert, extracts in Faillon.

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. [8]	

[8] All the proceedings in the affair of Perrot will be found in full in
the Registre des Jugements et Déliberations 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 covered.

"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. [9]	

[9] 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." [10]	

[10] 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." [11]	

[11] Le Roi à 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." [12]

[12] Colbert à 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." [13]

[13] 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 Fénelon, printed in the Canadian Journal de
l'Instruction Publique, Vol. VIII.


Frontenac and Duchesneau.

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 Frontenac.

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. [1] 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.

[1] Édits et Ordonnances, I. 84.

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, [2]
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

[2] The Old Régime in Canada.

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; [3] while, at the same time, he exhorted Frontenac to
live in harmony with the intendant. [4]	The dispute continued till the
king lost patience.

[3] Colbert à Duchesneau, 1 Mai, 1677.

[4] Ibid., 18 Mai, 1677.

"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." [5] 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."

[5] Le Roy à Frontenac, 25 Avril, 1679.

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." [6]

[6] 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." [7] 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.

[7] Frontenac au Ministre, 14 Nov., 1674

The king had recently ordered that the intendant, though holding only
the third rank in the council, should act as its president. [8] The
commission of Duchesneau, however, empowered him to preside only in the
absence of the governor; [9] 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.

[8] Declaration du Roy, 23 Sept., 1675.

[9] "Présider au Conseil Souverain en l'absence du dit Sieur de
Frontenac."--Commission de Duchesneau, 5 Juin, 1675.

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. [10] 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.

[10] 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.

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 continues:--

"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." [11]

[11] 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." [12]

[12] 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. [13]

[13] 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." [14] 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.

[14] Registre du Conseil Supérieur, 4 Nov., 1681.

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. [15]

[15] 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." [16]

[16] 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."

[17] 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." [18]

[18] 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.

[19] 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 every thing 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." [20]

[20] 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." [21]

[21] 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. [22] 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." [23]

[22] Mémoire et Preuves du Désordre des Coureurs de Bois.

[23] 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." [24]

[24] 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 portions.

"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." [25]

[25] 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 château,
and kept him there a month. [26]

[26] Mémoire de l'Evesque 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. [27]

[27] 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. [28]

[28] 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. [29] 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." [30]

[29] 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.

[30] 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." [31]

[31] 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. [32]

[32] La Barre says that Duchesneau was far more to blame than Frontenac.
La Barre au Ministre, 1683. This testimony has weight, since Frontenac's
friends were La Barre's enemies.

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. [33]

[33] 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. [34] 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.

[34] 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.

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. [35]

[35] 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.


LeFebvre de la Barre.

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

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. [1]

[1] Chartier de Lotbinière, 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. [2]

[2] 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, [3] 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. [4] 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.

[3] Jesuits in North America.

[4] Discovery of the Great West.

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. [5]

[5] Duchesneau, Memoir on Western Indians in N. Y. Colonial Docs., IX.

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 ensue.

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. [6]

[6] 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. [7]

[7] P. Jean de Lamberville à Frontenac, 20 Sept., 1682.

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." [8] 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." [9]

[8] La Barre au Roy, (4 Oct.?) 1682.

[9] 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. [10] 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. [11] 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.

[10] 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.

[11] La Barre à Seignelay, 1682.

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. [12] 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.

[12] Conference on the State of Affairs with the Iroquois, Oct., 1682,
in N. Y. Colonial Docs., IX. 194.

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. [13] 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;" [14] and he assures the
minister that the Senecas must be attacked or the country abandoned.
[15] 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." [16]

[13] La Barre au Ministre, 4 Nov., 1683.

[14] La Barre au Roy, 30 Mai, 1683.

[15] La Barre au Ministre, 30 Mai, 1683.

[16] 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. [17] 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. [17] It is affirmed, on good authority, that he said more than
this, and told them they were welcome to plunder and kill him. [18] The
rapacious old man was playing with a two-edged sword.

[17] 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 themselves.

[18] Belmont, Histoire du Canada (a contemporary chronicle).

[19] 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.

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; [20] 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. [21]
Frontenac had not been faithful to his trust; but, compared to his
successor, he was a model of official virtue.

[20] Mémoire adressé a MM. les Intéressés en la Société de la Ferme et
Commerce du Canada, 1683.

[21] 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.

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." [22]

[22] 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. [23] 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.

[23] 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.

When La Barre heard the news, he was furious. [24] 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. [25]

Here we leave him, for a while, scared, excited, and blustering.

[24] "Ce qui mit M. de la Barre en fureur." Belmont, Histoire du Canada.

[25] La Barre au Roy, 5 Juin, 1684.


La Barre and the Iroquois.

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.

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]

[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.

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. [2] 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. [3] 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. [4]	

[2] Report of Conferences at Albany, in Colden, History of the Five
Nations, 50 (ed. 1727, Shea's reprint).

[3] La Barre à Dongan, 15 Juin, 1684.

[4] 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." [5] 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.

[5] Speech of the Onondagas and Cayugas, in Colden, Five Nations, 63

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. [6]
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.

[6] 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.

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.

[7] Journal of Wentworth Greenhalgh, 1677, in N. Y. Col. Docs., III.

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. [8]

[8] 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 Otréouati, 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." [9] Well as the Jesuit knew the Iroquois, he was
deceived if he thought that Big Mouth was securely won.

[9] Letters of Lamberville in N. Y. Col. Docs., IX. For specimens of Big
Mouth's skill in drawing, see ibid., IX. 386.

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." [10] 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 fight 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?"

[10] Lamberville to La Barre, 11 July, 1684, in N. Y. Col. Docs., IX.

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." [11]

[11] 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; [12] 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.

[12] Lamberville to La Barre, 28 Aug., 1684, in N. Y. Col. Docs., IX.

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." [13] 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." [14]

[13] La Barre au Ministre, 9 July, 1684.

[14] 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." [15] 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." [16]

[15] Meules à La Barre, 15 July, 1684.

[16] 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. [17]

[17] The famous voyageur, Nicolas Perrot, agrees with the intendant.
"Ils (La Barre et ses associés) s'imaginèrent que sitost 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'estoit un moyen de trouver des richesses." Mémoire
sur les Mœurs, Coustumes, et Relligion 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.

"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." [18]

[18] 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

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. [19] 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."

[19] 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.

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

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

"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

"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. [20]

[20] 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. [21]
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.

[21] This appears from the letters of Denonville, La Barre's successor.

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. [22]

[22] La Potherie, II. 159 (ed. 1722). Perrot himself, in his Mœurs 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." [23]

[23] Lamberville to La Barre, 9 Oct., 1684, in N. Y. Col. Docs., IX.

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. [24] These, with many other charges, flew across the sea from the
pen of the intendant.

[24] Meules au Ministre, 10 Oct., 1684.

The next ship from France brought the following letter from the king:--

    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.


Denonville and Dongan.

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.

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." [1]

[1] 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." [2]

[2] 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. [3] The governor of New York
favored this intrigue to the utmost.

[3] Denonville au Ministre, 12 Juin, 1686.

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. [4]
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.

[4] New York had about 18,000 inhabitants (Brodhead, Hist. N. Y., II.
458). Canada, by the census of 1685, had 12,263.

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. [5] 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." [6]

[5] Seignelay to Barillon, French Ambassador at London, in N. Y. Col.
Docs., IX. 269.

[6] 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." [7]

[7] 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." [8] And he begs hard for a strong reinforcement of troops.

[8] Ibid.

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." [9]

[9] 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?" [10]

[10] 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." [11]

[11] 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." [12]

[12] 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." [13]

[13] 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." [14] 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

[14] Denonville à Dongan, 1 Oct., 1686.

"Certainly," retorts Dongan, "our Rum doth as little hurt as your
Brandy, and, in the opinion of Christians, is much more wholesome." [15]

[15] 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. [16] 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. [17] 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. [18]

[16] Denonville à Du Lhut, 6 Juin, 1686.

[17] Brodhead, Hist. of New York, II. 429; Denonville au Ministre, 8
Mai, 1686.

[18] 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." [19] 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." [20]

[19] Denonville au Ministre, 16 Nov., 1686.

[20] 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."

[21] 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." [22]

[22] Dongan to Denonville, 20 Juin, 1687, in N. Y. Col. Docs., III. 465.

"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." [23]

[23] 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. [24] With Troyes went Iberville, Sainte-Hélène, and
Maricourt, three of the sons of Charles Le Moyne; and the Jesuit Silvy
joined the party as chaplain.

[24] 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."

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

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. [25]

[25] 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.

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. [26] 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." [27] Dongan accordingly was
directed to keep a friendly correspondence with his rival, and take good
care to give him no cause of complaint. [28]

[26] Traité de Neutralité pour l'Amérique, conclu à Londres le 16 Nov.,
1686, in Mémoires des Commissaires, II. 86.

[27] Instrument for preventing Acts of Hostility in America in N. Y.
Col. Docs., III. 505.

[28] 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; [29] 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.

[29] 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."

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. [30] 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

[30] 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.

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. [31]

[31] 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'inquiète 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. [32]

[32] 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. [33]

[33] 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,


Denonville and the Senecas.

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.

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. [1]

[1] 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. [2] 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. [3] 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.

[2] 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.

[3] Le Roy à La Barre, 21 Juillet, 1684; Le Roy à Denonville et
Champigny, 30 Mars, 1687.

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

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. [4]

[4] 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 1682.

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.

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 war-song, 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. [5]

[5] 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.

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.
[6] 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.
[7] 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. [8]

[6] 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

[7] Tonty, Mémoire in Margry, Relations Inédites.

[8] The name of Ottawas, here used specifically, was often employed by
the French as a generic term for the Algonquin tribes of the Great

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. [9] 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.

[9] Attestation of N. Harmentse and others of Rooseboom's party. N. Y.
Col. Docs., III. 436. La Potherie says, three hundred.

"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." [10] 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.

[10] Denonville au Ministre, 25 Août, 1687.

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. [11]

[11] 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. [12]

[12] 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.

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." [13]

[13] The first part of the extract is from Belmont; the second, from

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. [14] 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.

[14] Information received from several Indians, in N. Y. Col. Docs.,
III. 444.

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." [15] 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.

[15] Denonville au Ministre, 8 Juin, 1687.

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. [16]

[16] For authorities, see note at the end of the chapter. The account of
Charlevoix is contradicted at several points by the contemporary

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." [17]

[17] 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

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." [18] 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 Jews.

[18] Belmont. A few words are added from Saint-Vallier.

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. [19] Here he left a
hundred men, under the Chevalier de Troyes, and, embarking with the rest
of the army, descended to Montreal.

[19] 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.

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. [20] 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.

[20] 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.

Denonville's campaign against the Senecas.--The chief authorities on
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 was 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 descriptions.


The Iroquois Invasion.

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.

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." [1]

[1] 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." [2]

[2] 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." [3] In spite of his sarcasms, it is clear that the claim of
prior discovery and occupation was on the side of the French.

[3] Dongan's Fourth Paper to the French Agents, N. Y. Col. Docs., III. 528.

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. [4] 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.

[4] Warrant, authorizing Governor Dongan to protect the Five Nations, 10
Nov., 1687, N. Y. Col. Docs., III. 503.

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." [5] Denonville, meanwhile, had begun to yield, and
promised to send back McGregory and the men captured with him. [6]
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. [7]

[5] Dongan to Sunderland, Feb., 1688, N. Y. Col. Docs., III. 510.
[6] 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.
[7] 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. [8] 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." [9]
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. [10] 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. [11] 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.[12]
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. [13]

[8] The papers of this discussion will be found in N. Y. Col. Docs.,
[9] Dongan's Reply to the Five Nations, Ibid., III. 535.
[10] Dongan to Denonville, 17 Feb., 1688, Ibid., III. 519.
[11] "II y a une nécessité indispensable pour les intérais de la
Religion et de la Colonie de restablir les missionaires Jésuites 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.
[12] 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.
[13] Denonville à Dongan, 18 Juin, 1688; Ibid., 5 Juillet, 1688; Ibid.,
20 Aug., 1688. "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 peuples."

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. [14] 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

[14] 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.

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. [15] 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." [16]

[15] Andros to Denonville, 21 Aug., 1688; Ibid., 29 Sept., 1688.
[16] 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. [17] 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. [18] 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. [19]

[17] Denonville, Mémoire du 10 Aoust, 1688.
[18] 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).
[19] Denonville à Dongan, 20 Aoust, 1688; Procès-verbal of the Condition
of Fort Niagara, 1688; N. Y. Col. Docs., IX. 386. 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 him.

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." [20]

[20] 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. [21] 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.

[21] In the Dépot des Cartes de la Marine, there is a contemporary
manuscript map, on which all these forts are laid down.

"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." [22]

[22] 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. [23] 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. [24] 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." [25] 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." [26]

[23] Plan for the Termination of the Iroquois War, N. Y. Col. Docs., IX.
[24] Denonville, Mémoire du 8 Août, 1688.
[25] Saint-Vallier, Mémoire sur les Affaires du Canada pour Monseigneur
le Marquis de Seignelay.
[26] Mémoire du Ministre adressé à Denonville, 1 Mai, 1689.

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. [27]

[27] 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. [28] 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. [29] 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. [30] He promised, too,
that within a certain time deputies from the whole confederacy should
come to Montreal and conclude a general peace.

[28] Declaration of the Iroquois in presence of M. de Denonville, N. Y.
Col. Docs., IX. 384; Relation des Événements de la Guerre, 30 Oct.,
1688; Belmont, Histoire du Canada.
[29] Callières à Seignelay, Jan., 1689.
[30] See the signatures in N. Y. Col. Docs., IX. 385, 386.

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. [31] 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. [32] 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.

[31] Nicolas Perrot, 143.
[32] Denonville à Seignelay, 9 Nov., 1688. La Hontan saw the party set
out, and says that there were about a hundred of them.

"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." [33] 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. [34]

[33] "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."
[34] La Hontan, I. 189. (1709) Most of the details of the story are
drawn from the 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 Événements de la Guerre, 30 Oct.,
1688. Belmont notices the affair with his usual conciseness. La Hontan's
account is sustained by the others in most, though not all of its
essential points. He calls the Huron chief Adario, ou le Rat. He is
elsewhere mentioned as Kondiaronk, Kondiaront, Soüoïas, and Soüaïti. 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.

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. [35]

[35] 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. [36]

[36] 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

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. [37]

[37] 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 author under Subercase, and was on the spot. Belmont, superior of
the mission at Montreal, also gives a trustworthy account in his
Histoire du Canada. Compare La Honton, 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, ouverte le ventre des femmes grosses
pour en arracher les enfants, et fait des cruautez inouïes et sans
exemple." The details are 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.

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. [38] 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. [39] 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. [40] 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.

[38] Le Roy à Denonville, 31 Mai, 1689.
[39] "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
[40] Saint-Vallier, État Présent, 91, 92 (Quebec, 1856).

1689, 1690.

Return of Frontenac.

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.

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. [1]

[1] 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. [2] "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." [3] 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.

[2] 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.
[3] Goyer, Oraison Funèbre du Comte de Frontenac.

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

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. [4]

[4] 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 Sujet.

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. [5]

[5] 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 séparément, 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 Français
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.

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. [6]

[6] 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. [7] 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. [8] 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.

[7] La Hontan, I. 199.
[8] Instruction pour le Sieur Comte de Frontenac, 7 Juin, 1689.

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. [9] 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.

[9] Frontenac au Ministre, 15 Nov., 1689.
[10] 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
manœuvred 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. [11]

[11] 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. [12] "The terror," wrote the bishop,
"is indescribable." The appearance of a few savages would put a whole
neighborhood to flight. [13] 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. [14]
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." [15] 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.

[12] 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.
[13] N. Y. Col. Docs., IX. 435.
[14] 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.
[15] Frontenac au Ministre, 30 Avril, 1690.

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. [16]

[16] 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. [17]

[17] 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

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: [18]--

"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

[18] 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.
Then they consulted together again, and agreed on the following answer
to Ourehaoué 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." [19]

[19] 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 Colden.

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. [20]

[20] 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."

[21] 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 original.

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 document:--

"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?" [22]

[22] 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

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
countrymen, they declared him unworthy to die the death of a warrior,
and accordingly shot him. [23]

[23] "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.

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.


The Three War-parties.

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.

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. [1]

[1] 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 ye. Maquas
(Mohawks), and brought to Skinnectady, who were examined by Peter
Schuyler, Mayor of Albany, Domine Godevridus Dellius, and some of ye.
Gentlen. 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. [2]

[2] 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." [3] There was little resistance, except at the
blockhouse, 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. [4] 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.

[3] "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.
[4] 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 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. [5]

[5] 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 second-hand.

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.

At the outset of the attack, Simon Schermerhorn threw himself on a
horse, and galloped through the eastern gate. The French shot at and
ounded 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."
[6] 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." [7] 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.

[6] Schuyler, Wessell, and Van Rensselaer to the Governor and Council of
Massachusetts, 15 Feb., 1690, in Andros Tracts, III. 114.

[7] 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.

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. [8]

[8] 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. [9] 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. [10]

[9] Hutchinson, Hist. Mass., I. 326. Compare N. Y. Col. Docs., IV. 282,
[10] "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.

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. [11] 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

[11] 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. 59.

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 Indians.

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

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. [12] 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. [13] 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. [14]

[12] 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.
[13] Captivity of John Gyles. Gyles was one of the inhabitants.
[14] 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 war.

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. [15]

[15] 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

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. [16]

[16] 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 blockhouses 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. [17]

[17] Relation de Monseignat; La Potherie, III. 79.

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

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. [18]

[18] 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.

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. [19] 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)."

[19] I am unable to discover the foundation of this last charge.

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

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

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.

[20] 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.


Massachusetts attacks Quebec.

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 arrives.

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. [1] 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. [2] 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. [3] 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." [4]
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. [5] 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.
[6] The little Puritan commonwealth already gave itself airs of

[1] 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.
[2] Relation de la Prise du Port Royal par les Anglois de Baston, pièce
anonyme, 27 Mai, 1690.
[3] Journal of the Expedition from Boston against Port Royal.
[4] Ibid.
[5] 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, 1690; 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.
[6] Journal of the Expedition, etc.

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. [7]

[7] 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

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." [8] 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. [9] Phips thereupon
gave up some of the money and the worst part of the clothing, still
keeping the rest. [10] 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. [11] This, at least, is his own account of the affair.

[8] Mémoire présenté à M. de Ponchartrain par M. de Meneval, 6 Avril,
[9] This note, dated 7 Jan., 1691, is cited by Bowen in his Life of
Phips, Sparks's American Biography, VII.
[10] Mémoire de Meneval.
[11] Ibid.

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. [12]

[12] 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. [13] The request was
refused, and no aid of any kind came from the English government, whose
resources were engrossed by the Irish war.

[13] Bradstreet and Council to the Earl of Shrewsbury, 29 Mar., 1690;
Danforth to Sir H. Ashurst, 1 April, 1690.

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." [14]
The chief difficulty was to provide funds. An attempt was made to
collect a part of the money by private subscription; [15] 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. [16]
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. [17]

[14] Mass. Colonial Records, 12 Mar., 1690; Mather, Life of Phips.
[15] Proposals for an Expedition against Canada, in 3 Mass. Hist. Coll.,
X. 119.
[16] Rev. John Emerson to Wait Winthrop, 26 July, 1690. Emerson was the
minister of Gloucester. He begs for the release of the impressed men.
[17] 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

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 conflict.

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
château, 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. [18] 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 unconditionally.

[18] "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
considérable, 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.

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

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." [19] 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

[19] "Que le lac estoit tout convert de canots." Frontenac au Ministre,
9 et 12 Nov., 1690.

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."
[20] "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."

[20] La Potherie, III. 94; Monseignat, Relation; Frontenac au Ministre,
9 et 12 Nov., 1690.

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. [21]

[21] "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.

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. [22] 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

[22] La Potherie, III. 96, 98.

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. [23] 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." [24]

[23] 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.
[24] 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. [25] 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. [26]

[25] Frontenac au Ministre, 9 et 12 Nov., 1690.
[26] 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.
[27] 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.

[27] 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


Defence of Quebec.

Phips on the St. Lawrence • Phips at Quebec • A Flag of Truce • Scene at
the Château • 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.

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. [1] 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. [2]

[1] Journal of Major Walley, in Hutchinson, Hist. Mass., I. 470.
[2] "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. [3] 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.

[3] "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.

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

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. [4] 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. [5] 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

[4] Juchereau, 323.
[5] "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.

"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." [6]

[6] 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 Mather.

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 envoy:--

"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.

[7] 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. [8]

[8] 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. [9]

[9] 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. [10] 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. [11]

[10] "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, 1,500.
Some say, 2,000; and La Hontan raises the number to 3,000.
[11] 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 Frontenac.

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. [12] 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. [13] Night came at length, and the turmoil ceased.

[12] La Hontan, I. 216; Juchereau, 326.
[13] Père Germain, Relation de la Défaite des Anglois.

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. [14]

[14] 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. [15] 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 night.

[15] Frontenac au Ministre, 12 et 19 Nov., 1690.

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. [16]

[16] 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. [17]
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 food.

[17] 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.

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. [18]

[18] Récit d'une Réligieuse Ursuline, in Les Ursulines de Québec, I.

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. [19]
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. [20]

[19] "Il nous ressouvint alors de la fuite de Nostre Seigneur en
Égypte." Père Germain, Relation.
[20] 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. [21] 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." [22] 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.

[21] Lettre pastorale pour disposer les Peuples de ce Diocèse à se bien
déffendre contre les Anglois (Reg. de l'Évêché de Québec).
[22] Laval à------, Nov. 20, 1690.

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." [23]

[23] 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.
[24] In the other vessels, some were drowned, some frost-bitten, and
above two hundred killed by small-pox and fever.

[24] Mather, Magnalia, I. 192.

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. [25] 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. [26] 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. [27]

[25] The Governor and Council to the Agents of Massachusetts, in Andros
Tracts, III. 53.
[26] Address of the Gentry, Merchants, and others, Ibid., II. 236.
[27] 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
   Seal of                   Peter Townsend
   Masachu-                  Adam Winthrop    }	Comtee
   setts.                    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 Bibliothèque Nationale is the original draft of a remarkable map,
by the engineer Villeneuve, of which a fac-simile 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
NOUVELLE FRANCE, ASSIÉGÉ PAR LES ANGLOIS, le 16 d'Octobre 1690 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.

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.


The Scourge of Canada.

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

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

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. [1]

[1] 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

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'?" [2] 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. [3] 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.

[2] Colden, 125, 140.
[3] Official Journal of Schuyler, in N. Y. Col. Docs., III. 800.

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. [4] 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. [5] 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 strand.

[4] Relation de Bénac; Relation de 1682-1712.
[5] "La débauche fut extrême en toute manière." Belmont.

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." [6] 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 Albany.

[6] Major Peter Schuyler's Journal of his Expedition to Canada, in N. Y.
Col. Docs., III. 800. "Les ennemis enfoncèrent notre embuscade."

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. [7]

[7] 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.

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." [8] 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

[8] Lettres de Frontenac et de Champigny, 1691, 1692.

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. [9]
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." [10] 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.
[11] 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. [12]

[9] Frontenac in N. Y. Col. Docs., IX. 496, 506.
[10] Villebon in N. Y. Col. Docs., IX. 507.
[11] The returns show 1,313 regulars in 1691, and 1,120 in 1692.
[12] 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. [13]

[13] "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 à 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. [14]

[14] 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 translation:--

"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."

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. [15] 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. [16] 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. [17]

[15] Champigny au Ministre, 21 Sept., 1692.
[16] Relation de 1682-1712.
[17] 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 change.

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'" [18] 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. [19]

[18] La Potherie, III. 156; Relation de ce qui s'est passé de plus
considérable en Canada, 1691, 1692; La Hontan, I. 233.
[19] 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. [20]

[20] 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 king.'"

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

"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 succor.

"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.'" [21]

[21] 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

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. [22]

[22] 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. [23] 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.

[23] This mission was also called Caghnawaga. The village still exists,
at the head of the rapid of St. Louis, or La Chine.

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?" [24] 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

[24] Journal de Jacques Le Ber, extract in Faillon, Vie de Mlle. Le Ber,

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.

[25] 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, 7 Sept., 1693;
La Potherie, III. 169; Relation de 1682-1712; Faillon, Vie de Mlle. Le
Ber, 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.

"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." [26]

[26] 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.


An Interlude.

Appeal of Frontenac • His Opponents • His Services • Rivalry and Strife
• Bishop Saint-Vallier • Society at the Château • 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.

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." [1] 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." [2] 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." [3] In return for these sturdy
applications, he got nothing for the present but a continuance of the
king's gift of two thousand crowns.

[1] Frontenac au Ministre, 20 Oct., 1691.
[2] Frontenac au Ministre, 15 Sept., 1692.
[3] Ibid., 25 Oct., 1693.

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." [4] "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." [5] 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." [6] 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 sometime
make division between us. But I close my eyes to all that, and shall
still persevere." [7] 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." [8]

[4] Champigny au Ministre, 12 Oct., 1691.
[5] Ibid., 4 Nov., 1693.
[6] Frontenac au Ministre, 15 Sept., 1692.
[7] Ibid., 20 Oct., 1691.
[8] "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. [9] 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. [10]
The minister wrote in vain. The bickerings that he reproved were but
premonitions of a greater strife.

[9] Mémoire du Roy pour Frontenac et Champigny, 1694.
[10] Le Ministre à Frontenac, 8 May, 1694; Le Ministre à Champigny, même

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. [11] 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.

[11] Old Régime, chap. xix.

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." [12]

[12] 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." [13] 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."

[13] 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.

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. [14]

[14] 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. [15] 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. [16] Mareuil was at last ordered to
prison, and the whole affair was referred to the king. [17]

[15] Registre du Conseil Souverain, 1 et 8 Fév., 1694.
[16] Champigny au Ministre, 27 Oct., 1694.
[17] Registre du Conseil Souverain; Requeste du Sieur de Mareuil, Nov.,

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. [18]
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. [19] The bishop then went up to Montreal,
and discord went with him.

[18] 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.
[19] La Motte-Cadillac à------, 28 Sept., 1694; Champigny au Ministre,
27 Oct., 1694.

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. [20] 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. [21] 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."
[22] 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. [23] 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.

[20] 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.).
[21] Mandement ordonnant de fermer l'Église des Récollets, 13 Mai, 1694.
[22] "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'oseroit
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."
[23] "Mr. l'Évesque accuse publiquement le Rev. Père Joseph, supérieur
des Récollets de Montréal, d'être l'entremetteur d'une galanterie entre
sa sœur 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 (sœur 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.

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." [24] 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.

[24] Frontenac à M. de Lagny, 2 Nov., 1695.

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. [25] 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. [26] 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."
[27] 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. [28] 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. [29] 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.

[25] 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.
[26] Le Ministre à Frontenac, 4 Juin, 1695; Ibid., 8 Juin, 1695.
[27] Le Ministre à Champigny, 4 Juin, 1695; Ibid., 8 Juin, 1695.
[28] Le Ministre à d'Auteuil, 8 Juin, 1695.
[29] Le Ministre à Callières, 8 Juin, 1695.

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." [30]

[30] 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. [31]

[31] 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.


The War in Acadia.

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

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. [1] 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. [2]

[1] 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.

[2] 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 commandants.

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.

[3] 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

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 cannibalism.

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." [4] 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." [5]

[4] Mémoire du Sieur Bergier, 1685.

[5] 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. [6] 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. [7]

[6] Meneval, Mémoire, 1688; Denonville, Mémoire, 18 Oct., 1688;
Procès-verbal du Pillage de Chedabucto; Relation de la Boullaye, 1688.

[7] 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

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. [8] 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."
[9] 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." [10]

[8] 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.

[9] Petit in Saint-Vallier, Estat de l'Église, 39 (1856).

[10] 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.

[11] 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. [12] 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.

[12] Mémoire du Sieur de Meneval sur l'Acadie, 10 Sept., 1688.

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. [13]

[13] 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. [14] 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." [15]

[14] Mémoire pour servir d'Instruction au Sieur de Villebon, 1691.

[15] "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 settlements.

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. [16] 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.

[16] Procès-verbal de la Prise de Possession du Port Royal, 27 Sept.,

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. [17] 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.

[17] Paroles des Sauvages de la Mission de Pentegoet.

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. [18]

[18] 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
73 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

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. [19] 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.

[19] Villebon, Journal de ce qui s'est passé à l'Acadie, 1691, 1692.

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. [20] 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.

[20] Frontenac au Ministre, 15 Sept., 1692.

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. [21] 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.

[21] 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.

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

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. [22]

[22] 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
Burneffe or Burniffe. 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.

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. [23]

[23] "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. [24] 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. [25]

[24] Champigny au Ministre, 4 Nov., 1693.

[25] 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. [26]

[26] 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

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. [27] 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 past.

[27] For the treaty in full, Mather, Magnalia, II. 625.

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. [28] 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. [29] 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 bewilderment.

[28] 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

[29] Estat de Munitions, etc., pour les Sauvages de l'Acadie, 1693.

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. [30] 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.

[30] Villebon, Mémoire, Juillet, 1694; Instruction du Sr. de Villebon au
Sr. de Villieu.

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. [31]

[31] 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." [32] They did in fact fall a
few days after on the settlements near Groton, and killed some forty

[32] "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.

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. [33] 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. [34]

[33] "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, 19 Oct., 1694.

[34] 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.

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.


New France and New England.

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.

"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." [1]

[1] "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
here was a political necessity for butchering women and children on the
frontier of New England, it was a necessity created by the French

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. [2]

[2] 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." [3] 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. [4]

[3] Tibièrge, Mémoire sur l'Acadie, 1695.

[4] "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, 23 Avril, 1697. The other letter to Thury,
written two years before, is of the same tenor.

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. [5]

[5] 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 teaching.

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. [6]

[6] 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

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.

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

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. [7] 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.

[7] Thury à Frontenac, 11 Sept., 1694.

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. [8] 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. [9]

[8] Villebon, Journal, 1694-1696.

[9] N. Y. Col Docs., IX. 613, 616, 642, 643; La Potherie, III. 258;
Calières au Ministre, 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. [10]

[10] 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 French.

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. [11]

[11] 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 farther 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.

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. [12]

[12] 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.


French and English Rivalry.

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.

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 silence.

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. ¹ 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."

[1] The reinforcement sent him from Quebec consisted of fifty soldiers,
thirty Canadians, and three officers. Frontenac au Ministre, 28 Oct.,

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. [2]	

[2] 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., 1694.

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. [3]

[3] On the capture of Fort Nelson, Iberville au Ministre, 8 Nov., 1697;
Jérémie, Relation de la Baye de Hudson; La Potherie, I. 85-109. 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. [4]

[4] 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. [5]

[5] 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. 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.

[6] 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.

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. [7]

[7] "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'à 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. [8] 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." [9]

[8] La Potherie, II. 298.

[9] 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. [10] 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." [11]

[10] Relation de ce qui s'est passé de plus remarquable entre les
François 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.

[11] 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
manière." 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 himself.

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. [12]

[12] 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. [13]

[13] 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.

Military Inefficiency of the British Colonies--"His Majesty has 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.


Frontenac attacks the Onondagas.

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.

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

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 fire.

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 maize-fields.

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]

[1] Relation de ce qui s'est passé, etc., 1695, 1696; La Potherie, III.
279. Callières 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 chrétiennement 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."

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]

[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.

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

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." [3]	

[3] Frontenac au Roy, 25 Oct., 1696.

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." [4]	

[4] 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." [5]	

[5] 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. [6]	

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

"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 à 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.

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 conditions.

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 Ryswick 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 pleasure.

[7] 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 Bellemont.

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

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." [8]

[8] On the questions between Bellomont and Frontenac, Relation de ce qui
s'est passé, etc., 1697, 1698; Champigny au 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 captives.

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.


Death of Frontenac.

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

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." [1] "He was the father of the
poor," says another, "the protector of the oppressed, and a perfect model
of virtue and piety." [2] An Ursuline nun regrets him as the friend and
patron of her sisterhood, and so also does the superior of the
Hôtel-Dieu. [3] 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." [4]

[1] La Potherie, I. 244, 246.

[2] Hennepin, 41 (1704). Le Clerc speaks to the same effect.

[3] Histoire des Ursulines de Québec, I. 508; Juchereau, 378.

[4] Champigny au Ministre, 22 Dec., 1698.

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. [5] 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 dead.

[5] 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.

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,--" [6]

[6] Alluding to an incident that occurred when Frontenac commanded a
Venetian force for the defence of Candia against the Turks.

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

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 manœuvres 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 else."

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 retreat,--"

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." [7]

[7] 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. [8]

[8] 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.



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.

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 Callières, and authorized him to
enjoy the honors that he had assumed. [1]

[1] 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. [2] 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.

[2] Le Roy à Frontenac, 25 Mars, 1699. Frontenac's death was not known at
Versailles till April. Le Roy d' Angleterre à Bellomont, 2 Avril, 1699;
La Potherie, IV. 128; Callières à Bellomont, 7 Août, 1699.

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. [3]

[3] 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
heir prisoners first. You see now how it is, and how they have deceived

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. [4] 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. [5] 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

Cy git le Rat, Chef des Hurons.

[4] 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

[5] 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.

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; Callières 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 approval.

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

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. [6]

[6] 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.

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.


The Family of Frontenac.

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 children,

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

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

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 diary:--

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 stag-hunt."

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 Célestins, 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-Bœufs que, le
mercredy, 28 Octobre, 1648, 'Messire Louis de Buade, Chevalier, comte de
Frontenac, conseiller du Roy en ses conseils, mareschal des camps et
armées 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.



Abenakis, Indians of Acadia and Maine, 220, 221, 228, 310, 368; attack
the Christian Iroquois, 234; their domain, 338; missions, 339; incited
against the English colonists, 348; attack on York, 349; visit Villebon
at St. John, 351, 352; their attack on Wells, 353; is foiled, 355;
treaty with the English at Pemaquid, 360; are won back by the French,
361-363; influenced by missionary priests, 374-376.
Acadia (Nova Scotia and westward to the Kennebec) exposed to in-roads
from New England, 117, 335; the war in, 335-368; the region, 337-339;
relations with New England, 340; hostilities, 342; Villebon governor;
border war, 347, 353-363, New England attacks, 373.
Albany, an Indian mart, 75; Indian council there, 90, 120; Iroquois
summoned thither by Dongan, 158; by Schuyler, 399; expedition against
Montreal, 246.
Albany, Fort, on Hudson's Bay, taken by Canadians, 134.
Albemarle, Duke of, aids Phips, 242.
Alliance, triple, of Indians and English, 197.
Amours, councillor at Quebec, imprisoned by Frontenac, 51-54; (see 247).
Andros, Sir Edmund, appointed colonial governor, 164; his jurisdiction,
165; plunders Castine, 221; is deposed, 223; at Pentegoet, 346.
Auteuil, attorney-general of Canada, an enemy of Frontenac, 47, 247;
banished, 49.
Avaux, Count d', French envoy at London, 135.


Bastile, confinement of Perrot, 41.
Baugis, Chevalier de, sent by La Barre to seize Fort St. Louis, 86.
Beaucour, 299.
Bellefonds, Maréchal de, a friend of Frontenac at court, 59.
Bellomont, Earl of, governor of New York, 423; corresponds with
Frontenac, 423-426.
Belmont, Abbé, cited, 102 n., 154.
Bernières, vicar of Laval in Canada, 38.
Bienville, François de, 288.
Big Mouth, an Iroquois chief, 95, 98, 105, 114, 141; his speech in
defiance of La Barre, 107-109; his power in the confederacy, 170;
defiance of Denonville, 172.
Bigot, Jacques and Vincent, Jesuits, 220-222; in Acadia, 375, 378.
Bishop of Canada, see Laval, Saint-Vallier.
Bizard, Lieutenant, despatched by Frontenac to Montreal, 31.
Boisseau, his quarrel at Quebec, 63.
Boston, after the failure at Quebec, 284, 295; plan of attack on,
Bounties on scalps, &c., 298.
Bradstreet, at the age of eighty-seven, made governor after Andros at
Boston, 223.
Bretonvilliers, superior of Jesuits, 42.
Brucy, a lieutenant, agent of Perrot, his traffic with Indians, 28, 34.
Bruyas, a Jesuit interpreter, 105.


Cadillac, 324; at Michillimackinac, 403, 406.
Callières, governor of Montreal, 150, 153; his scheme for conquering the
English colonies, 187; comes to the defence of Quebec, 259, 270, 279; at
La Prairie, 290; quarrel with the bishop, 329-331; in the Onondaga
expedition, 410, 412, 416; succeeds Frontenac as governor, 438; treats
with the Iroquois, 440; conference at Montreal, and treaty, 447-451.
Canada, character of its colonial rule, 20; its condition under
Denonville, 165-168; Iroquois invasion, 177-182 (see 286, 294, 301).
Cannehoot, a Seneca chief, 197.
Cannibalism of the Indians, 112, 153, 206, 404.
Carheil, a Jesuit, at Michillimackinac, 201.
Carion, an officer of Perrot, 30; arrested by Frontenac, 31.
Casco Bay, garrison at, 223; defeat of Indians, 226; the garrison
overcome and slaughtered, 228-231.
Cataraqui (Fort Frontenac), 109.
Champigny, intendant of Canada, 136, 333; his treacherous seizure of
Indians at Fort Frontenac, 139-142; at Quebec, 247; at Montreal, 252;
defends himself, 296; relations with Frontenac, 319; a champion of the
Jesuits, 322, 329; reconciled to Frontenac, 429; opposes Callières, 438.
Chedabucto (Nova Scotia), Frontenac's rendezvous, 188; fortifications,
Chesnaye (La), a trader of Quebec, 72, 102.
Chesnaye, La, massacres at, 194, 301.
Chubb (Pascho), commands at Pemaquid, 378; which he surrenders, 381.
Cocheco (Dover, N. H.), attacked, 224.
Colbert, minister of Louis XIV., his zeal for the French colonies, 15;
despatches to Frontenac, 20, 41, 50, 59; instructions to Duchesneau, 44,
46, 55.
Converts, Indian, their piety, &c, 366 377 n., 386.
Corlaer, the Iroquois name for the governor of New York, 93 n.. (see
109, 138, 199); origin of the name, 217 n.
Council at Quebec, hostile to Frontenac, 47, 49, 52, 248-251; alarmed at
rumors of attack, 247.
------at Onondaga, 196-200; at Montreal, 442-451.
Courcelle, predecessor of Frontenac, 26.
Coureurs de bois to be arrested, 29, 34; amnesty, 51; their influence
with Frontenac, 57; the king's charge regarding them, 58; under Du Lhut,
54, 99, 128, 144, 193; at Michillimackinac, 122; deserters, 125; in the
Seneca expedition, 150; their license, 183; hardihood, 209.
Cut Nose, an Iroquois convert, 195; his speech at the Onondaga council,


Davis, Sylvanus, a trader, commanding at Fort Loyal, Casco Bay, 229; his
surrender, 231; captivity, 232.
Denonville, successor of La Barre as governor of Canada, 1685-1689;
sails for Canada, 116; circumstances there; his character, 117; his
instructions, 120; his intrigues, 121; correspondence with Dongan,
123-128; threatens to attack Albany, 129; orders Du Lhut to shoot
bush-rangers and deserters, 130; plans an expedition against the
Iroquois, 136; musters the Canadian militia, 138; treacherously seizes a
party of Indians, 140; arrives at Fort Frontenac, 144; at Irondequoit
Bay, 148; march for the Seneca country, 149; battle in the woods, 152;
his report of the battle, 153; destroys "the Babylon of the Senecas,"
154; builds a fort on the Niagara, 155; further correspondence with
Dongan, 159-161; sends an envoy to Albany, 162; abandons the Niagara
fort, 166; begs for the return of Indian captives, 167; his wretched
condition, 168; seeks a conference with the Iroquois, 170; who deceive
him, and invade Canada, 177; horrors of the invasion, 178-182; he is
recalled, and succeeded by Frontenac, 182; who finds him at Montreal,
191; having ordered the destruction of Fort Frontenac, 192.
Deserters, French, demanded by Denonville, 127; sheltered bv Dongan,
129, 131.
Detroit, 112; a fort built here by Du Lhut, 128; held by the French,
Dongan (an Irish Catholic), governor of New Netherland, 89; holds an
Indian council at Albany, 90-93; his rivalry with Canada, 119;
complaints of Denonville, 120; their correspondence, 123-128; vindicates
himself, 129; he sends Denonville some oranges, 130; his pacific
instructions from England, 135; his wrath at the French attack on the
Indian country, 158; is recalled, and replaced by Sir Edmund Andros,
Dover, N. H. (Cocheco), attacked by Indians, 224.
Duchesneau, sent as intendant to Quebec; sides with the clergy against
Frontenac, 45; dispute as to the presidency of the council, 48-51;
quarrel in the council, 53; his accusations against Frontenac, 54-58;
Frontenac's complaints of him, 60-63; and violence to his son, 63, 64;
Duchesneau recalled, 67.
Du Lhut, a leader of coureurs de bois, 54, 56, 81, 99; rivalry with
English traders of Hudson's Bay, 81; intrigues with Indians, 111; builds
a fort near Detroit, 128; where he has a large force of French and
Indians, 144, 147; leads attack on the Senecas, 150; defeats a party of
Indians on the Ottawa, 193.
Durantaye, La, at Niagara, 99; with Du Lhut at Michillimackinac, 111; at
Detroit, 144; captures Rooseboom and McGregory, 146; commanding at
Michillimackinac, sends bad news to Montreal, 201; is replaced by
Louvigny, 203.
D'Urfé, Abbé, a Canadian missionary, is ill received by Frontenac, 36;
carries complaints of him to France, 40, 42.
Dustan, Mrs., of Haverhill, her exploit, 385-387.
Dutch traders instigate Iroquois against the French, 75; pursuit of the
fur trade into their country, 89.


Engelran, a Jesuit missionary at Michillimackinac, confers with
Denonville, 121; his dealings with the Indians, 145, 159, 443; is
wounded by the Senecas, 153.
English colonies, designs of Louis XIV. for their destruction, 189.
English colonists of New England invade Acadia, 117; their organization
and policy compared with the French, 394-397; their military
inefficiency, 408 (see New England).


Famine (La), on Lake Ontario, visited bv La Barre, 104; the council,
105-110; treaty of, 113, 117; treacherous attack here on the Iroquois by
Kondiaronk (the Rat), 173-175.
Fénelon, a zealous missionary priest at Montreal, 33; arraigned at
Quebec by Frontenac, 36-38; is sent to France, 39; and forbidden to
return, 42.
Fletcher, governor of New York, his complaints of weakness and
divisions, 408.
Forest posts, their abuses and their value to the French, 419, 420.
Fort, see Albany, Famine (La), Frontenac, Loyal, Niagara, St. Louis,
Fortifications of Canada, 297.
Fox Indians, charged with cowardice, 112.
French designs of colonization and conquest, 119; policy of conquest and
massacre, 370-373; colonization, compared with English, 394-397;
occupation of the Great West, 452.
Frontenac, Count (Louis de Buade), governor of Canada, 1672-1682,
1689-1698; at St. Fargeau, 4; his early life, 5; marriage, 6, 455; his
quarrel at St. Fargeau, 7; his estate, 8; his vanity, 9; aids Venice at
Candia; his appointment to command in New France, 11; at Quebec, 14;
convokes the three estates, 17; his address, 18; form of government, 19;
his merits and faults, 21; complains of the Jesuits, 22-25, 320-322;
Fort Frontenac built and confided to La Salle, 27; dispute with Perrot,
governor of Montreal, whom he throws into prison, 28-34; this leads to a
quarrel with Abbé Fénelon and the priests, 35-38; Frontenac's relations
with the clergy, 39; his instructions from the king and Colbert, 40-46;
his hot temper, 44, 45; question of the presidency, 48-51; imprisonment
of Amours, 51-54; disputes on the fur trade, and accusations of
Duchesneau, 54-58; reproof from the king and Colbert, 58-60; complaints
against Duchesneau, 60-63; arrest of his son, 64; relations with Perrot,
65; with the Church, 68; with the Indians, 69, 254; his recall, 67;
sails for France, 71; relations at this time with the Iroquois, 76-79;
Frontenac is sent again to Canada, 186; scheme of invading New York,
187; arrives at Chedabucto, 188; at Quebec and Montreal, 191; attempts
to save the fort, 192; summons a conference of Indians, 195; the
conference, 196-200; another failure, 201; message to the Lake Indians,
203, 206; scheme of attack on English colonies, 208; Schenectady,
211-219; Pemaquid, 224; Salmon Falls, 227; Casco Bay, 229; conference
with Davis, 232; leads the war-dance, 254; defence of Quebec, 247-279;
reply to Phips's summons, 267; begs troops from the king, 295;
expedition against the Mohawks, 310-315; appeal to Ponchartrain,
317-319, 320-322, 417; jealousies against him, 319; complaints of
Champigny, 320; scheme of coast-attack, 357; treats with the Iroquois,
397-399, 401, 421; his difficult position, 402; expedition against the
Onondagas, 410-415, 421; his tardy reward, 417; his policy, 419-421;
correspondence with Bellomont, 423-426; death and character, 428-436;
the eulogist and the critic, 431-434; his administration, 436; account
of his family, 453-456.
Frontenac, Fort, 27, 78; La Barre's muster of troops, 85, 97; his
arrival, 103; summons a council of Indians, 137; who are treacherously
seized and made prisoners, 139-143 (see 162, 167, 170); expedition
against the Senecas, 147-155; sickness, 166; visit of the Rat, 175; the
fort destroyed by order of Denonville, 192; restored, 407, 416.
Frontenac, Madame, her portrait at Versailles, 1; with Mlle. Montpensier
at Orleans, 3, 7; surprised by her husband's visit, 4; dismissed by the
princess, 10; her stay in Paris and death, 12, 13; serves Frontenac at
the court, 320; is made his heir, 429.


Galley-slaves, 140, 142.
Ganneious, a mission village: Indians treacherously seized, 140.
Garangula, 95 (see Big Mouth).
Garrison houses described, 371.
Glen, John S., at Schenectady, 213, 216, 217 n.
Grignan, Count de, 12 n..


Hayes, Fort (Hudson's Bay), seized, 133.
Henry IV. of France, anecdotes of, 454.
Hertel, Fr., commands an expedition against New Hampshire, 220, 227.
Hontan (Baron La), 103, 105, 300; at Fort Frontenac, 139; his account of
the attack on Quebec, 277.
Howard, Lord (governor of Virginia), at Albany, 90.
Hudson's Bay: English traders,117; attack on their posts by Troyes, 132,
134; by Iberville, 391-393.
Huguenots at Port Royal, 341.
Huron converts, 24, 75, 255; at Michillimackinac, 205.
Huron Indians inclined to the English, 118; at Michillimackinac, 205.


Iberville, son of Le Moyne, 132; his military career, 388; attack on
Newfoundland, 389-391; at Fort Nelson, 392.
Illinois, tribe of, 78, 122.
Indians: illustrations of their manners and customs, 24, 69, 94, 145,
148, 150, 155, 253, 254, 448; graveyard, 154; their cannibalism, 97,
112, 153, 181, 206, 313; torture, 181, 300; instigated by French, 205,
356; great conference at Montreal, 442-451.
Irondequoit Bay, 147; muster of Indians there, 148.
Iroquois (Five Nations), 69, 74; their strength, 74, 79; policy, 75;
craft, 82; pride, 92; offences against the French, 106, 169; Denonville
seeks to chastise them, 122; approached by Dongan, 127; they distrust
Denonville, 137; seizure at Fort Frontenac, 139; converts as allies,
150, 156; claimed as subjects by Andres, 165; invasion of Canada, 168,
177-181; seize the ruins of Fort Frontenac, 193; their inroads, 287;
relations with Bellomont, 424; their suspicions of the French, 439;
treat with Callières, 440; conference at Montreal, 442-451; their
ill-faith, 445; their numbers, 452 n..


James II., 119, 136; assumes protectorate over the Iroquois, 161; puts
the colonies under command of Andros, 164; is deposed, 182.
Jesuits in Canada, 17; Frontenac's charges, 22, 25, 39, 293; English
suspicions, 90; protected by Denonville, 124; excluded by Dongan, 159;
hostile to Frontenac, 191; during the attack on Quebec, 281; their
intrigues, 331.
Joncaire, his adventures among the Indians, 441, 443.


Kinshon (the Fish), Indian name of New England, 199.
Kondiaronk (the Rat), a Huron chief, 77; his craft, which brings on the
Iroquois invasion, 173-176, 205; at Montreal, 442, 444; death and
burial, 445-447; a Christian convert, 446.


La Barre, governor of Canada, 1682-1684; finds Lower Quebec in ruins,
72; his boasting, 79; proposes to attack the Senecas, 83; expedition to
the Illinois; seizes Fort St. Louis, 86; campaign against the Senecas,
99; charges of Meules, 101; council at Fort La Famine, 104-110; La
Barre's speech, 106; embassy to the Upper Lakes, 111; wrath of the
Ottawas, 113; is recalled, 115.
La Chesnaye, partner of Duchesneau, 60; in favor with La Barre, 81;
seizes Fort Frontenac, 82; his forest trade, 84 (see Chesnaye).
La Chine, massacre of, 178.
La Forêt, commander of Fort Frontenac, 81; returns to France, 82.
La Grange, father-in-law of Frontenac, 5.
Lake tribes, English alliance, 97; great gathering at Montreal, 252-255;
conciliated by Frontenac, 315; their threatening attitude, 403; treaty
with Callières, 447-451.
Lamberville, a Jesuit missionary at Onondaga, 78, 95, 104;
correspondence with La Barre, 96, 114; protected by Dongan, 125; in
danger among the Iroquois, 137; escapes to Denonville, 142.
La Motte-Cadillac (see Cadillac).
La Plaque, a Christian Indian, 255, 256.
La Prairie attacked by John Schuyler, 257; by Peter Schuvler, 289; his
retreat, 291-293.
La Salle, his relations with Frontenac, 27, 54; at Fort St. Louis, 75;
which is seized by La Barre, 86.
Laval, bishop of Canada, 23, 38, 45, 281.
Leisler, Jacob, at Fort William, 212, 289.
Le Moyne, mission to the Onondagas, 83, 104, 106, 288.
Louis XIII., infancy of, 454.
Louis XIV. admonishes Frontenac, 49, 55, 58; recalls La Barre, 115;
supports Denonville, 119, 135; his reign, 184; designs respecting the
English colonies, 189, 190; announces the treaty of Ryswick, 423.
Loyal, Fort, at Casco Bay, 229, 230; surrenders to Portneuf, 231.


Madeleine de Verchères, her heroism, 302-308.
Madocawando, Penobscot chief, 345, 360, 363.
Mareuil interdicted for play-acting, 325-328.
Massachusetts, condition of the colony, 244, 285.
Mather, 243, 246.
McGregory, expedition to Lake Huron, 128, 147.
Meneval, governor of Port Royal, 237; a prisoner at Boston, 240.
Meules, intendant of Canada, 72; letter to La Barre, 99; representations
to the king, 114; recalled, 136.
Michigan, the country claimed by the English, 122.
Michillimackinac, trouble there, 76; French stores threatened, 83, 84,
87; expedition of Perrot, 111; threatened Indian hostilities, 121;
Indian muster, 145; English traders seized, 146; craft of the Rat, 176;
burning of an Iroquois prisoner, 205; in command of Cadillac, 331.
Missionaries, French, among the Indians, 24, 68; to be protected
(Denonville), 124, 163 n..; (Dongan), 126, 130, 160; instigate Indians
to torture and kill their prisoners, 205; incite to murderous attacks,
Mohawks, fear the French, 74; their settlements, 93; at Schenectady,
212, 215; visit Albany, 218; mission village at Saut St. Louis, 309;
expedition against the tribe, 310-315.
Montespan, Mme., 12.
Montpensier, Princess, 1; at Orleans, 2; her exile, 4; relations with
Mme. Frontenac, 10 (see 12 n.).
Montreal, condition under Perrot, 28, 65; arrests made by Perrot, 66;
terror at the Iroquois invasion, 179, 191; threatened attack from New
York, 236; condition of the country during the Indian invasions, 301;
great gathering of traders and Indians, 316; great council of Indians,
Mosquitoes, 103.
Moyne, Le, 106, 208.


Nelson, John, a prisoner at Quebec; warns the Massachusetts colony, 358.
Nelson, Fort, on Hudson's Bay, 393.
Nesmond (Marquis), to command in attack on Boston, 382, 384.
New England colonies unfit for war, 244, 285, 394; relations with
Canada, 373; frontier hostilities, 385.
New Netherland, colony of, 89.
New York, English colonies of; relations with the Iroquois, 75; claims
to the western country, 117; intrigues with the Hurons, 118; trade with
the north-west, 128; checked by La Durantaye, 146 (see Dongan);
relations with Canada, 374.
Niagara, Fort, planned by Denonville, 125; Indian muster at, 144; the
fort built, 155; destroyed, 166.


Oneidas, 93.
Onondaga, 94; council at, 196-200, 401.
Onontio, Indian name for governor of Canada, 69, 78, 92 (La Barre);
addressed by Big Mouth, 107-109.
Orleans, holds for the Fronde, 2.
Otréouati (Big Mouth), 95.
Ottawa River, its importance to the French, 298.
Ottawas, their hostility, 113; a generic name, 145 n.; join Denonville,
148; their barbarities, 153; claimed as British subjects, 158; greet
Perrot, 204; jealous of the Hurons, 205; their neutrality overcome,
Ourehaoué, a Cayuga chief, 195, 200.
Oyster River, attack and massacre, 365-367.


Peace of Ryswick, 422; celebrated in Quebec, 426.
Pemaquid, capture by French and Indians, 224, 346; scheme of Frontenac,
357; its defences, 358; attack and capture, 378-382.
Pentegoet (Castine), 337; held by Saint-Castin, 345; attacked by Andros,
Perrot, governor of Montreal, 28; his anger at Bizard, 31; arrested at
Quebec by Frontenac, 33; the king's opinion, 40; is restored, 65; his
greed, 66; his enmity to Saint-Castin, 344; at the Montreal council,
Perrot, Nicolas, the voyageur, 102 n.; at Michillimackinac, 111; his
skill in dealing with the Indians, 112, 145, 203, 206.
Philip's (King) war, 220.
Phips, Sir William, commands the expedition to Port Royal, 236; early
life and character, 240-242; as governor of Massachusetts, 243; his
expedition to Quebec, 262-285; the summons to surrender, 266; mistakes
and delays, 268; cannonade, 272; retreat, 278; French supply-ships, 282;
arrival at Boston, 283.
Port Royal captured, 236-240.
Prisoners (English), their treatment in Canada, 377; restored, 423;
French, among the Indians, 421, 424.


Quebec, capital of Canada, 15; municipal government established by
Frontenac, 19; the Lower Town burned, 72; greeting to Frontenac, 191;
design of attack bv Massachusetts, 244-246 (see Phips, Sir W.); the
defences, 251; arrival of Frontenac with troops, 259; defence against
Phips's attack, 261-278; its imminent danger, 279; construction of
fortifications, 297.


Rat (the), a Huron chief, see Kondiaronk.
Récollet friars befriended by Frontenac, 39, 71, 323, 435; their eulogy
of him, 430.
Richelieu, 184.
Rooseboom, a Dutch trader, 128, 146.
Runaways from Canada, sheltered by Dongan, 127.
Rupert, Fort (Hudson's Bay), seized by Canadians, 133.
Ryswick, peace of, 422, 452.


Saint-Castin, Baron de, on the Penobscot, 221; attacks Fort Loval, 229;
at Castine, 337; his career, 342-345; plan to kidnap him, 359; at the
attack on Pemaquid, 380; on the Penobscot, 385.
Sainte-Hélène, son of Le Moyne, 132, 209; in the attack on Schenectady,
210, 214; in the defence of Quebec, 271, 273; is killed, 276.
Saint Louis (Saut de), mission village, 293, 309.
Saint Louis, Fort, on the Illinois, 86, 144.
Saint Sulpice, priests of, 29, 32, 35, 42.
Saint-Vallier, bishop of Canada, 116; applauds Denonville, 169, 183; at
Quebec, 247; during Phips's attack, 280, 281; relations with Frontenac,
322, 326; excess of zeal, 328; returns to France, 332.
Salmon Falls, attack on, 220, 227.
Schenectady, destruction of, 211-216; its effect in Canada, 233; on the
Indians, 252.
Schuyler, John, attacks La Prairie, 257; carries the treaty of Ryswick
to Quebec, 422; Peter, mayor of Albany, 198; leads an attack; his
successful retreat, 289-293; in the Mohawk expedition, 312-314; convokes
an Indian council, 399.
Seignelay, son of Colbert, colonial minister, 61, 101; advices to
Denonville, 170.
Senecas, the most powerful of the Iroquois, 74, 76; prepare for
hostilities, 97; pass for cowards, 100; their fortifications, 114;
attack the Illinois, 117; intrigue with the Hurons, 118; Denonville
plans to attack them, 122, 136; his campaign, 149-157; they threaten
Fort Niagara, 166.
Subercase, a French officer, proposes to attack the Iroquois, but is
overruled, 178; in the Onondaga expedition, 412.


Talon, the intendant, 15; declines to attend meeting of the estates, 20;
returns to France, 21; hostile to Frontenac at the court, 40.
Theatricals at Quebec, 324-326, 333.
Thury, the priest, 225, 361; persuades Taxous, 363, 368; instigates
hostilities, 376.
Tonty at Fort St. Louis, 144; at Fort Niagara, 147; in the fight with
the Senecas, 150.
Toronto, 128.
Torture practised by Indians, 181, 300, 413; instigated by the French,
305, 404, 405.
Troyes, Chevalier de, 132; at Fort Niagara, 155.


Ursuline Convent at Quebec, 24; during the attack, 280.


Vaillant, the Jesuit, negotiates with Dongan, 162.
Valrenne destroys Fort Frontenac, 192; sent to defend La Prairie, 291,
Vaudreuil, Chevalier de, in the Seneca campaign, 151; in the defence
against the Iroquois, 169, 179; in the attack of the Onondagas, 410,
413, 414.
Verchères, the heroine of, 302-308.
Versailles, 1, 184.
Viele, his mission to Onondaga, 93, 98.
Villebon, governor of Acadia, 347, 378.
Villeray, a tool of the Jesuits, 47; at Quebec, 247; his negotiations
with Frontenac, 249.
Villieu, commands the Indian allies, 361; attacks Oyster River, 365;
nearly perishes in the Penobscot, 364; returns to Quebec, 368; takes
Pemaquid, 381; is captured, 385.


Waldron at Cocheco, 224.
Walley, John, in command under Phips at Quebec, 246; commands the land
attack, 271; in camp, 274-276; retreat, 277.
Weems at Pemaquid, 224, 225.
Wells, attacked by French and Abenakis, 353-355.
William III., 184.
Winthrop, commander at Albany, 257.


York, massacre at, 349-351.

Cambridge: Press of John Wilson & Son.

Francis Parkman

France and England in North America

1.  Pioneers of France in the New World (1865)
    Revised (1885)
2.  The Jesuits in North America in the seventeenth century (1867)
3.  The Discovery of the West (1869)
    La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West (1879)
4.  The Old Régime in Canada (1874)
    Revised (1894)
5.  Count Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV. (1877)
6.  A Half Century of Conflict (1892)
    Volume 1
    Volume 2
7.  Montcalm and Wolfe (1884)

The year that each book was published is printed and enclosed by
parenthesis after the title of each volume. In three cases, there are
two listings for a line item. For those parts, Parkman issued a volume
with major revisions subsequent to the initial release of the book.

The revised version of Pioneers of France (Part One) contains new
descriptions of Florida and some changes to the section on Samuel
Champlain. Parkman revised Discovery of the West (Part Three) after
obtaining access to Margry's collection. The revised version of The Old
Régime (Part Four) includes three new chapters regarding La Tour and

Volume 3 was not only revised, but the title was altered. Parkman first
released Volume 3 as The Discovery of the West. His updated version of
Volume 3 was entitled La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West.

Other Principal Works

•   The Oregon Trail (1849)
•   The Conspiracy of Pontiac (1851)

Transcriber's Notes


Welcome to Doctrine Publishing Corporation's edition of Count Frontenac and New France
under Louis XIV. This book was the fifth part released by Francis
Parkman in his seven-part series called France and England in North

This transcription is based on the original version of the book,
published in 1877, by Little, Brown, and Company. This e-book was
proofread with the book scanned on Hathitrust, courtesy of Tufts

The footnotes have been produced using the Doctrine Publishing Corporation™ standard.
Footnotes follow the paragraph in which they were mentioned. Footnotes
have been set in smaller print and have larger margins than regular
text. Footnotes are numbered sequentially and reset after each chapter.

This text generally preserved the italicization of words, phrases, and
the titles of references which are presented in italics in the printed
book. The standard of the book is to not use italics on numbers. For
example, it is easier to write: Champigny au Ministre, 22 Juillet, 1700,
but the book displayed the content as follows: Champigny au Ministre, 22
Juillet, 1700. We have tried to match that policy in this e-book. Small
capitalization has also been retained.

Detailed notes describe problems or issues in transcribing a specific
portion of the text. Emendations are listed, and described, in the
Detailed Notes, as well as other issues in transcribing the text.

Detailed Notes Section:

Chapter 11:

Block-house and block-houses are hyphenated and split between two lines
for spacing in the text. We have transcribed these words as blockhouse
and blockhouses. In this e-book, there are twenty-one instances of
blockhouse and blockhouses.

Chapter 20:

In the text, several exchanges between the Orator and the Critic do not
have a closing quote. These were exchanges that ended in an mdash. We
added the closing quotes for these items because our error-checker
listed them as an error without the closing quote. Here is an example
with the closing quote added:
"An inviolable fidelity to friends,--"

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "France and England in N America, Part V: Count Frontenac, New France, Louis XIV" ***

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