Count Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV
Francis Parkman

Part 7 out of 7

funeral harangue.] He was buried on the next morning. Saint-Ours,
senior captain, led the funeral train with an escort of troops,
followed by sixteen Huron warriors in robes of beaver skin, marching
four and four, with faces painted black and guns reversed. Then came
the clergy, and then six war-chiefs carrying the coffin. It was
decorated with flowers, and on it lay a plumed hat, a sword, and a
gorget. Behind it were the brother and sons of the dead chief, and
files of Huron and Ottawa warriors; while Madame de Champigny,
attended by Vaudreuil and all the military officers, closed the
procession. After the service, the soldiers fired three volleys over
the grave; and a tablet was placed upon it, carved with the words,--


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



COUNT FRONTENAC'S grandfather was

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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