Count Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV
Francis Parkman

Part 4 out of 7

part in their woes. Yet there is proof that this was the case; for
Denonville himself wrote to the minister at Versailles that the
successes of the Abenakis on this occasion were due to the "good
understanding which he had with them," by means of the two brothers
Bigot and other Jesuits. [2]

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They had all withdrawn into the depths of the frozen forest.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partially withdrawn by the new council; while others, at the first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 [3] These garrisons were withdrawn or reduced, partly perhaps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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

"_Sir William Phips, Knight, General and Commander-in-chief in and
over their Majesties' Forces of New England, by Sea and Land, to Count
Frontenac, Lieutenant-General and Governour for the French King at
Canada; or, in his absence, to his Deputy, or him or them in chief
command at Quebeck:_

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No. (2161) 10s

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The intendant received his share of blame on these occasions, and he
usually defended himself vigorously. He tells his master that
"war-parties are necessary, but very expensive. We rarely pay money;
but we must give presents to our Indians, and fit out the Canadians
with provisions, arms, ammunition, moccasons, snow-shoes, sledges,
canoes, capotes, breeches, stockings, and blankets. This costs a great
deal, but without it we should have to abandon Canada." The king


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