Count Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV
Francis Parkman

Part 5 out of 7

complained that, while the great sums he was spending in the colony
turned to the profit of the inhabitants, they contributed nothing to
their own defence. The complaint was scarcely just; for, if they gave
no money, they gave their blood with sufficient readiness. Excepting a
few merchants, they had nothing else to give; and, in the years when
the fur trade was cut off, they lived chiefly on the pay they received
for supplying the troops and other public services. Far from being
able to support the war, they looked to the war to support them.
[Footnote: "Sa Majesté fait depuis plusieurs années des sacrifices
immenses en Canada. L'avantage en demeure presque tout entier au
profit des habitans et des marchands qui y resident. Ces dépenses se
font pour leur seureté et pour leur conservation. Il est juste que
ceux qui sont en estat secourent le public." _Mémoire du Roy_, 1693.
"Les habitans de la colonie ne contribuent en rien à tout ce que Sa
Majesté fait pour leur conservation, pendant que ses sujets du Royaume
donnent tout ce qu'ils ont pour son service." _Le Ministre a
Frontenac_, 13 _Mars_, 1694.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

I have given the story in detail, as showing the origin and character
of the destructive raids, of which New England annalists show only the
results. The borders of New England were peculiarly vulnerable. In
Canada, the settlers built their houses in lines, within supporting
distance of each other, along the margin of a river which supplied
easy transportation for troops; and, in time of danger, they all took
refuge in forts under command of the local seigniors, or of officers
with detachments of soldiers. The exposed part of the French colony
extended along the St. Lawrence about ninety miles. The exposed
frontier of New England was between two and three hundred miles long,
and consisted of farms and hamlets, loosely scattered through an
almost impervious forest. Mutual support was difficult or impossible.
A body of Indians and Canadians, approaching secretly and swiftly,
dividing into small bands, and falling at once upon the isolated
houses of an extensive district, could commit prodigious havoc in a
short time, and with little danger. Even in so-called villages, the
houses were far apart, because, except on the sea-shore, the people
lived by farming. Such as were able to do so fenced their dwellings
with palisades, or built them of solid timber, with loopholes, a
projecting upper story like a blockhouse, and sometimes a flanker at
one or more of the corners. In the more considerable settlements, the
largest of these fortified houses was occupied, in time of danger, by
armed men, and served as a place of refuge for the neighbors. The
palisaded house defended by Convers at Wells was of this sort, and so
also was the Woodman house at Oyster River. These were "garrison


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