Infomotions, Inc.A chronicle of the colonial wars / Wrong, George McKinnon, 1860-1948

Author: Wrong, George McKinnon, 1860-1948
Title: A chronicle of the colonial wars
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): montcalm; quebec; canada; france; lawrence; british; fort; lake; governor; indians; colonies; hudson bay; america; lake champlain; england
Contributor(s): Streatfeild, R. A. (Richard Alexander), 1866-1919 [Contributor]
Versions: original; local mirror; HTML (this file); printable
Services: find in a library; evaluate using concordance
Rights: GNU General Public License
Size: 50,685 words (really short) Grade range: 10-13 (high school) Readability score: 57 (average)
Identifier: etext3092
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Title: The Conquest of New France, A Chronicle of the Colonial Wars

Author: George M. Wrong

Language: English


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by George M. Wrong




CHAPTER I. The Conflict Opens: Frontenac And Phips

Many centuries of European history had been marked by war almost
ceaseless between France and England when these two states first
confronted each other in America. The conflict for the New World
was but the continuation of an age-long antagonism in the Old,
intensified now by the savagery of the wilderness and by new 
dreams of empire. There was another potent cause of strife which
had not existed in the earlier days. When, during the fourteenth
and fifteenth centuries, the antagonists had fought through the
interminable Hundred Years' War, they had been of the same 
religious faith. Since then, however, England had become 
Protestant, while France had remained Catholic. When the rivals
first met on the shores of the New World, colonial America was
still very young. It was in 1607 that the English occupied 
Virginia. At the same time the French were securing a foothold 
in Acadia, now Nova Scotia. Six years had barely passed when 
the English Captain Argall sailed to the north from Virginia 
and destroyed the rising French settlements. Sixteen years 
after this another English force attacked and captured Quebec.
Presently these conquests were restored. France remained in 
possession of the St. Lawrence and in virtual possession of 
Acadia. The English colonies, holding a great stretch of the 
Atlantic seaboard, increased in number and power. New France 
also grew stronger. The steady hostility of the rivals never 
wavered. There was, indeed, little open warfare as long as the 
two Crowns remained at peace. From 1660 to 1688, the Stuart
rulers of England remained subservient to their cousin the
Bourbon King of France and at one with him in religious faith.
But after the fall of the Stuarts France bitterly denounced the
new King, William of Orange, as both a heretic and a usurper, and
attacked the English in America with a savage fury unknown in
Europe. From 1690 to 1760 the combatants fought with little more
than pauses for renewed preparation; and the conflict ended only
when France yielded to England the mastery of her empire in
America. It is the story of this struggle, covering a period of
seventy years, which is told in the following pages.

The career of Louis de Buade, Comte de Frontenac, who was
Governor of Canada from 1672 to 1682 and again from 1689 to his
death in 1698, reveals both the merits and the defects of the
colonizing genius of France. Frontenac was a man of noble birth
whose life had been spent in court and camp. The story of his
family, so far as it is known, is a story of attendance upon the
royal house of France. His father and uncles had been playmates
of the young Dauphin, afterwards Louis XIII. The thoughts
familiar to Frontenac in his youth remained with him through
life; and, when he went to rule at Quebec, the very spirit that
dominated the court at Versailles crossed the sea with him.

A man is known by the things he loves. The things which Frontenac
most highly cherished were marks of royal favor, the ceremony due
to his own rank, the right to command. He was an egoist,
supremely interested in himself. He was poor, but at his country
seat in France, near Blois, he kept open house in the style of a
great noble. Always he bore himself as one to whom much was due.
His guests were expected to admire his indifferent horses as the
finest to be seen, his gardens as the most beautiful, his clothes
as of the most effective cut and finish, the plate on his table
as of the best workmanship, and the food as having superior
flavor. He scolded his equals as if they were naughty children.

Yet there was genius in this showy court figure. In 1669, when
the Venetian Republic had asked France to lend her an efficient
soldier to lead against the rampant Turk, the great Marshal
Turenne had chosen Frontenac for the task. Crete, which Frontenac
was to rescue, the Turk indeed had taken; but, it is said, at the
fearful cost of a hundred and eighty thousand men. Three years
later, Frontenac had been sent to Canada to war with the savage
Iroquois and to hold in check the aggressive designs of the
English. He had been recalled in 1682, after ten years of
service, chiefly on account of his arbitrary temper. He had
quarreled with the Bishop. He had bullied the Intendant until at
one time that harried official had barricaded his house and armed
his servants. He had told the Jesuit missionaries that they
thought more of selling beaver-skins than of saving souls. He had
insulted those about him, sulked, threatened, foamed at the mouth
in rage, revealed a childish vanity in regard to his dignity, and
a hunger insatiable for marks of honor from the King--"more
grateful," he once said, "than anything else to a heart shaped
after the right pattern."

France, however, now required at Quebec a man who could do the
needed man's tasks. The real worth of Frontenac had been tested;
and so, in 1689, when England had driven from her shores her
Catholic king and, when France's colony across the sea seemed to
be in grave danger from the Iroquois allies of the English,
Frontenac was sent again to Quebec to subdue these savages and,
if he could, to destroy in America the power of the age long
enemy of his country.

Perched high above the St. Lawrence, on a noble site where now is
a public terrace and a great hotel, stood the Chateau St. Louis,
the scene of Frontenac's rule as head of the colony. No other
spot in the world commanded such a highway linking the inland
waters with the sea. The French had always an eye for points of
strategic value; and in holding Quebec they hoped to possess the
pivot on which the destinies of North America should turn. For a
long time it seemed, indeed, as if this glowing vision might
become a reality. The imperial ideas which were working at Quebec
were based upon the substantial realities of trade. The instinct
for business was hardly less strong in these keen adventurers
than the instinct for empire. In promise of trade the interior of
North America was rich. Today its vast agriculture and its wealth
in minerals have brought rewards beyond the dreams of two hundred
years ago. The wealth, however, sought by the leaders of that
time came from furs. In those wastes of river, lake, and forest
were the richest preserves in the world for fur-bearing animals.

This vast wilderness was not an unoccupied land. In those wild
regions dwelt many savage tribes. Some of the natives were by no
means without political capacity. On the contrary, they were long
clever enough to pit English against French to their own
advantage as the real sovereigns in North America. One of them,
whose fluent oratory had won for him the name of Big Mouth, told
the Governor of Canada, in 1688, that his people held their lands
from the Great Spirit, that they yielded no lordship to either
the English or the French, that they well understood the weakness
of the French and were quite able to destroy them, but that they
wished to be friends with both French and English who brought to
them the advantages of trade. In sagacity of council and dignity
of carriage some of these Indians so bore themselves that to
trained observers they seemed not unequal to the diplomats of
Europe. They were, however, weak before the superior knowledge of
the white men. In all their long centuries in America they had
learned nothing of the use of iron. Their sharpest tool had been
made of chipped obsidian or of hammered copper. Their most potent
weapons had been the stone hatchet or age and the bow and arrow.
It thus happened that, when steel and gunpowder reached America,
the natives soon came to despise their primitive implements. More
and more they craved the supplies from Europe which multiplied in
a hundred ways their strength in the conflict with nature and
with man. To the Indian tribes trade with the French or English
soon became a vital necessity. From the far northwest for a
thousand miles to the bleak shores of Hudson Bay, from the banks
of the Mississippi to the banks of the St. Lawrence and the
Hudson, they came each year on laborious journeys, paddling their
canoes and carrying them over portages, to barter furs for the
things which they must have and which the white man alone could

The Iroquois, the ablest and most resolute of the native tribes,
held the lands bordering on Lake Ontario which commanded the
approaches from both the Hudson and the St. Lawrence by the Great
Lakes to the spacious regions of the West. The five tribes known
as the Iroquois had shown marked political talent by forming
themselves into a confederacy. From the time of Champlain, the
founder of Quebec, there had been trouble between the French and
the Iroquois. In spite of this bad beginning, the French had
later done their best to make friends with the powerful
confederacy. They had sent to them devoted missionaries, many of
whom met the martyr's reward of torture and massacre. But the
opposing influence of the English, with whom the Iroquois chiefly
traded, proved too strong.

With the Iroquois hostile, it was too dangerous for the French to
travel inland by way of Lake Ontario. They had, it is true, a
shorter and, indeed, a better route farther north, by way of the
Ottawa River and Lake Nipissing to Lake Huron. In time, however,
the Iroquois made even this route unsafe. Their power was
far-reaching and their ambition limitless. They aimed to be
masters of North America. Like all virile but backward peoples,
they believed themselves superior to every other race. Their
orators declared that the fate of the world was to turn on their

On Frontenac's return to Canada he had a stormy inheritance in
confronting the Iroquois. They had real grievances against
France. Devonvine, Frontenac's predecessor, had met their
treachery by treachery of his own. Louis XIV had found that these
lusty savages made excellent galley slaves and had ordered
Denonville to secure a supply in Canada. In consequence the
Frenchman seized even friendly Iroquois and sent them over seas
to France. The savages in retaliation exacted a fearful vengeance
in the butchery of French colonists. The bloodiest story in the
annals of Canada is the massacre at Lachine, a village a few
miles above Montreal. On the night of August 4, 1689, fourteen
hundred Iroquois burst in on the village and a wild orgy of
massacre followed. All Canada was in a panic. Some weeks later
Frontenac arrived at Quebec and took command. To the old soldier,
now in his seventieth year, his hard task was not uncongenial. He
had fought the savage Iroquois before and the no less savage
Turk. He belonged to that school of military action which knows
no scruple in its methods, and he was prepared to make war with
all the frightfulness practised by the savages themselves. His
resolute, blustering demeanor was well fitted to impress the red
men of the forest, for an imperious eye will sometimes cow an
Indian as well as a lion, and Frontenac's mien was imperious. In
his life in court and camp he had learned how to command.

The English in New York had professed to be brothers to the
Iroquois and had called them by that name. This title of
equality, however, Frontenac would not yield. Kings speak of "my
people"; Frontenac spoke to the Indians not as his brothers but
as his children and as children of the great King whom he served.
He was their father, their protector, the disposer and controller
of mighty reserves of power, who loved and cared for those
putting their trust in him. He could unbend to play with their
children and give presents to their squaws. At times he seemed
patient, gentle, and forgiving. At times, too, he swaggered and
boasted in terms which the event did not always justify.

La Potherie, a cultivated Frenchman in Canada during Frontenac's
regime, describes an amazing scene at Montreal, which seems to
show that, whether Frontenac recognized the title or not, he had
qualities which made him the real brother of the savages. In 1690
Huron and other Indian allies of the French had come from the far
interior to trade and also to consider the eternal question of
checking the Iroquois. At the council, which began with grave
decorum, a Huron orator begged the French to make no terms with
the Iroquois. Frontenac answered in the high tone which he could
so well assume. He would fight them until they should humbly
crave peace; he would make with them no treaty except in concert
with his Indian allies, whom he would never fail in fatherly
care. To impress the council by the reality of his oneness with
the Indians, Frontenac now seized a tomahawk and brandished it in
the air shouting at the same time the Indian war-song. The whole
assembly, French and Indians, joined in a wild orgy of war
passion, and the old man of seventy, fresh from the court of
Louis XIV, led in the war-dance, yelled with the Indians their
savage war-whoops, danced round the circle of the council, and
showed himself in spirit a brother of the wildest of them. This
was good diplomacy. The savages swore to make war to the end
under his lead. Many a frontier outrage, many a village attacked
in the dead of night and burned, amidst bloody massacre of its
few toil-worn settlers, was to be the result of that strange
mingling of Europe with wild America. 

Frontenac's task was to make war on the English and their
Iroquois allies. He had before him the King's instructions as to
the means for effecting this. The King aimed at nothing less than
the conquest of the English colonies in America. In 1664 the
English, by a sudden blow in time of peace, had captured New
Netherland, the Dutch colony on the Hudson, which then became New
York. Now, a quarter of a century later, France thought to strike
a similar blow against the English, and Louis XIV was resolved
that the conquest should be thoroughgoing. The Dutch power had
fallen before a meager naval force. The English now would have to
face one much more formidable. Two French ships were to cross the
sea and to lie in wait near New York. Meanwhile from Canada,
sixteen hundred armed men, a thousand of them French regular
troops, were to advance by land into the heart of the colony,
seize Albany and all the boats there available, and descend by
the Hudson to New York. The warships, hovering off the coast,
would then enter New York harbor at the same time that the land
forces made their attack. The village, for it was hardly more
than this, contained, as the French believed, only some two
hundred houses and four hundred fighting men and it was thought
that a month would suffice to complete this whole work of
conquest. Once victors, the French were to show no pity. All
private property, but that of Catholics, was to be confiscated.
Catholics, whether English or Dutch, were to be left undisturbed
if not too numerous and if they would take the oath of allegiance
to Louis XIV and show some promise of keeping it. Rich
Protestants were to be held for ransom. All the other
inhabitants, except those whom the French might find useful for
their own purposes, were to be driven out of the colony, homeless
wanderers, to be scattered far so that they could not combine to
recover what they had lost. With New York taken, New England
would be so weakened that in time it too would fall. Such was the
plan of conquest which came from the brilliant chambers at

New York did not fall. The expedition so carefully planned came
to nothing. Frontenac had never shown much faith in the
enterprise. At Quebec, on his arrival in the autumn of 1689, he
was planning something less ideally perfect, but certain to
produce results. The scarred old courtier intended so to
terrorize the English that they should make no aggressive
advance, to encourage the French to believe themselves superior
to their rivals, and, above all, to prove to the Indian tribes
that prudence dictated alliance with the French and not with the

Frontenac wrote a tale of blood. There were three war parties;
one set out from Montreal against New York, and one from Three
Rivers and one from Quebec against the frontier settlements of
New Hampshire and Maine. To describe one is to describe all. A
band of one hundred and sixty Frenchmen, with nearly as many
Indians, gathers at Montreal in mid-winter. The ground is deep
with snow and they troop on snowshoes across the white wastes.
Dragging on sleds the needed supplies, they march up the
Richelieu River and over the frozen surface of Lake Champlain. As
they advance with caution into the colony of New York they suffer
terribly, now from bitter cold, now from thaws which make the
soft trail almost impassable. On a February night their scouts
tell them that they are near Schenectady, on the English
frontier. There are young members of the Canadian noblesse in the
party. In the dead of night they creep up to the paling which
surrounds the village. The signal is given and the village is
awakened by the terrible war-whoop. Doors are smashed by axes and
hatchets, and women and children are killed as they lie in bed,
or kneel, shrieking for mercy. Houses are set on fire and living
human beings are thrown into the flames. By midday the assailants
have finished their dread work and are retreating along the
forest paths dragging with them a few miserable captives. In this
winter of 1689-90 raiding parties also came back from the borders
of New Hampshire and of Maine with news of similar exploits, and
Quebec and Montreal glowed with the joy of victory.

Far away an answering attack was soon on foot. Sir William Phips
of Massachusetts, the son of a poor settler on the Kennebec
River, had made his first advance in life by taking up the trade
of carpenter in Boston. Only when grown up had he learned to read
and write. He married a rich wife, and ease of circumstances
freed his mind for great designs. Some fifty years before he was
thus relieved of material cares, a Spanish galleon carrying vast
wealth had been wrecked in the West Indies. Phips now planned to
raise the ship and get the money. For this enterprise he obtained
support in England and set out on his exacting adventure. On the
voyage his crew mutinied. Armed with cutlasses, they told Phips
that he must turn pirate or perish; but he attacked the leader
with his fists and triumphed by sheer strength of body and will.
A second mutiny he also quelled, and then took his ship to
Jamaica where he got rid of its worthless crew. His enterprise
had apparently failed; but the second Duke of Albemarle and other
powerful men believed in him and helped him to make another
trial. This time he succeeded in finding the wreck on the coast
of Hispaniola, and took possession of its cargo of precious
metals and jewels--treasure to the value of three hundred
thousand pounds sterling. Of the spoil Phips himself received
sixteen thousand pounds, a great fortune for a New Englander in
those days. He was also knighted for his services and, in the
end, was named by William and Mary the first royal Governor of

Massachusetts, whose people had been thoroughly aroused by the
French incursions, resolved to retaliate by striking at the heart
of Canada by sea and to take Quebec. Sir William Phips, though
not yet made Governor, would lead the expedition. The first blow
fell in Acadia. Phips sailed up the Bay of Fundy and on May 11,
1690, landed a force before Port Royal. The French Governor
surrendered on terms. The conquest was intended to be final, and
the people were offered their lives and property on the condition
of taking, the oath to be loyal subjects of William and Mary.
This many of them did and were left unmolested. It was a
bloodless victory. But Phips, the Puritan crusader, was something
of a pirate. He plundered private property and was himself
accused of taking not merely the silver forks and spoons of the
captive Governor but even his wigs, shirts, garters, and night
caps. The Boston Puritans joyfully pillaged the church at Port
Royal, and overturned the high altar and the images. The booty
was considerable and by the end of May Phips, a prosperous hero,
was back in Boston. 

Boston was aflame with zeal to go on and conquer Canada. By the
middle of August Phips had set out on the long sea voyage to
Quebec, with twenty-two hundred men, a great force for a colonial
enterprise of that time, and in all some forty ships. The voyage
occupied more than two months. Apparently the hardy
carpenter-sailor, able enough to carry through a difficult
undertaking with a single ship, lacked the organizing skill to
manage a great expedition. He performed, however, the feat of
navigating safely with his fleet the treacherous waters of the
lower St. Lawrence. On the morning of October 16, 1690, watchers
at Quebec saw the fleet, concerning which they had already been
warned, rounding the head of the Island of Orleans and sailing
into the broad basin. Breathless spectators counted the ships.
There were thirty-four in sight, a few large vessels, some mere
fishing craft. It was a spectacle well calculated to excite and
alarm the good people of Quebec. They might, however, take
comfort in the knowledge that their great Frontenac was present
to defend them. A few days earlier he had been in Montreal, but,
when there had come the startling news of the approach of the
enemy's ships, he had hurried down the river and had been
received with shouts of joy by the anxious populace.

The situation was one well suited to Frontenac's genius for the
dramatic. When a boat under a flag of truce put out from the
English ships, Frontenac hurried four canoes to meet it. The
English envoy was placed blindfold in one of these canoes and was
paddled to the shore. Here two soldiers took him by the arms and
led him over many obstacles up the steep ascent to the Chateau
St. Louis. He could see nothing but could hear the beating of
drums, the blowing of trumpets, the jeers and shouting of a great
multitude in a town which seemed to be full of soldiers and to
have its streets heavily barricaded. When the bandage was taken
from his eyes he found himself in a great room of the Chateau.
Before him stood Frontenac, in brilliant uniform, surrounded by
the most glittering array of officers which Quebec could muster.
The astonished envoy presented a letter from Phips. It was a curt
demand in the name of King William of England for the
unconditional surrender of all "forts and castles" in Canada, of
Frontenac himself, and all his forces and supplies. On such
conditions Phips would show mercy, as a Christian should.
Frontenac must answer within an hour. When the letter had been
read the envoy took a watch from his pocket and pointed out the
time to Frontenac. It was ten o'clock. The reply must be given by
eleven. Loud mutterings greeted the insulting message. One
officer cried out that Phips was a pirate and that his messenger
should be hanged. Frontenac knew well how to deal with such a
situation. He threw the letter in the envoy's face and turned his
back upon him. The unhappy man, who understood French, heard the
Governor give orders that a gibbet should be erected on which he
was to be hanged. When the Bishop and the Intendant pleaded for
mercy, Frontenac seemed to yield. He would not take, he said, an
hour to reply, but would answer at once. He knew no such person
as King William. James, though in exile, was the true King of
England and the good friend of the King of France. There would be
no surrender to a pirate. After this outburst, the envoy asked if
he might have the answer in writing. "No!" thundered Frontenac.
"I will answer only from the mouths of my cannon and with my

Phips could not take Quebec. In carrying out his plans, he was
slow and dilatory. Nature aided his foe. The weather was bad, the
waters before Quebec were difficult, and boats grounded
unexpectedly in a falling tide. Phips landed a force on the north
side of the basin at Beauport but was held in check by French and
Indian skirmishing parties. He sailed his ships up close to
Quebec and bombarded the stronghold, but then, as now, ships were
impotent against well-served land defenses. Soon Phips was short
of ammunition. A second time he made a landing in order to attack
Quebec from the valley of the St. Charles but French regulars
fought with militia and Indians to drive off his forces. Phips
held a meeting with his officers for prayer. Heaven, however,
denied success to his arms. If he could not take Quebec, it was
time to be gone, for in the late autumn the dangers of the St.
Lawrence are great. He lay before Quebec for just a week and on
the 23d of October sailed away. It was late in November when his
battered fleet began to straggle into Boston. The ways of God had
not proved as simple as they had seemed to the Puritan faith, for
the stronghold of Satan had not fallen before the attacks of the
Lord's people. There were searchings of heart, recriminations,
and financial distress in Boston.

For seven years more the war endured. Frontenac's victory over
Phips at Quebec was not victory over the Iroquois or victory over
the colony of New York. In 1691 this colony sent Peter Schuyler
with a force against Canada by way of Lake Champlain. Schuyler
penetrated almost to Montreal, gained some indecisive success,
and caused much suffering to the unhappy Canadian settlers.
Frontenac made his last great stroke in duly, 1696, when he led
more than two thousand men through the primeval forest to destroy
the villages of the Onondaga and the Oneida tribes of the
Iroquois. On the journey from the south shore of Lake Ontario,
the old man of seventy-five was unable to walk over the rough
portages and fifty Indians shouting songs of joy carried his
great canoe on their shoulders. When the soldiers left the canoes
and marched forward to the fight, they bore Frontenac in an easy
chair. He did not destroy his enemy, for many of the Indians
fled, but he burned their chief village and taught them a new
respect for the power of the French. It was the last great effort
of the old warrior. In the next year, 1697, was concluded the
Peace of Ryswick; and in 1698 Frontenac died in his seventy-ninth
year, a hoary champion of France's imperial designs.

The Peace of Ryswick was an indecisive ending of an indecisive
war. It was indeed one of those bad treaties which invite renewed
war. The struggle had achieved little but to deepen the
conviction of each side that it must make itself stronger for the
next fight. Each gave back most of what it had gained. The peace,
however, did not leave matters quite as they had been. The
position of William was stronger than before, for France had
treated with him and now recognized him as King of England.
Moreover France, hitherto always victorious, with generals who
had not known defeat, was really defeated when she could not
longer advance.

CHAPTER II. Quebec And Boston

At the end of the seventeenth century it must have seemed a far
cry from Versailles to Quebec. The ocean was crossed only by
small sailing vessels haunted by both tempest and pestilence, the
one likely to prolong the voyage by many weeks, the other to
involve the sacrifice of scores of lives through scurvy and other
maladies. Yet, remote as the colony seemed, Quebec was the child
of Versailles, protected and nourished by Louis XIV and directed
by him in its minutest affairs. The King spent laborious hours
over papers relating to the cherished colony across the sea. He
sent wise counsel to his officials in Canada and with tactful
patience rebuked their faults. He did everything for the
colonists--gave them not merely land, but muskets, farm
implements, even chickens, pigs, and sometimes wives. The defect
of his government was that it tended to be too paternal. The
vital needs of a colony struggling with the problems of barbarism
could hardly be read correctly and provided for at Versailles.
Colonies, like men, are strong only when they learn to take care
of themselves.

The English colonies present a vivid contrast. London did not
direct and control Boston. In London the will, indeed, was not
wanting, for the Stuart kings, Charles II and James H, were not
less despotic in spirit than Louis XIV. But while in France there
was a vast organism which moved only as the King willed, in
England power was more widely distributed. It may be claimed with
truth that English national liberties are a growth from the local
freedom which has existed from time immemorial. When British
colonists left the motherland to found a new society, their first
instinct was to create institutions which involved local control.
The solemn covenant by which in 1620 the worn company of the
Mayflower, after a long and painful voyage, pledged themselves to
create a self-governing society, was the inevitable expression of
the English political spirit. Do what it would, London could
never control Boston as Versailles controlled Quebec.

The English colonist kept his eyes fixed on his own fortunes.
>From the state he expected little; from himself, everything. He
had no great sense of unity with neighboring colonists under the
same crown. Only when he realized some peril to his interests,
some menace which would master him if he did not fight, was he
stirred to warlike energy. French leaders, on the other hand,
were thinking of world politics. The voyage of Verrazano, the
Italian sailor who had been sent out by Francis I of France in
1524, and who had sailed along a great stretch of the Atlantic
coast, was deemed by Frenchmen a sufficient title to the whole of
North America. They flouted England's claim based upon the
voyages of the Cabots nearly thirty years earlier. Spain, indeed,
might claim Florida, but the English had no real right to any
footing in the New World. As late as in 1720, when the fortunes
of France were already on the wane in the New World, Father Bobe,
a priest of the Congregation of Missions, presented to the French
court a document which sets forth in uncompromising terms the
rights of France to all the land between the thirtieth and the
fiftieth parallels of latitude. True, he says, others occupy much
of this territory, but France must drive out intruders and in
particular the English. Boston rightly belongs to France and so
also do New York and Philadelphia. The only regions to which
England has any just claim are Acadia, Newfoundland, and Hudson
Bay, ceded by France under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. This
weak cession all true Frenchmen regret and England must hand the
territories back. She owes France compensation for her long
occupation of lands not really hers. If she makes immediate
restitution, the King of France, generous and kind, will forego
some of his rights and allow England to retain a strip some fifty
miles wide extending from Maine to Florida. France has the right
to the whole of the interior. In the mind of the reverend
memorialist, no doubt, there was the conviction that England
would soon lose the meager strip, fifty miles wide, which France
might yield.

These dreams of power had a certain substance. It seems to us now
that, from the first, the French were dreaming of the impossible.
We know what has happened, and after the event it is an easy task
to measure political forces. The ambitions of France were not,
however, empty fancies. More than once she has seemed on the
point of mastering the nations of the West. Just before the year
1690 she had a great opportunity. In England, in 1660, the fall
of the system created by Oliver Cromwell brought back to the
English throne the House of Stuart, for centuries the ally and
usually the pupil of France. Stuart kings of Scotland, allied
with France, had fought the Tudor kings of England. Stuarts in
misfortune had been the pensioners of France. Charles II, a
Stuart, alien in religion to the convictions of his people,
looked to Catholic France to give him security on his throne.
Before the first half of the reign of Louis XIV had ended, it was
the boast of the French that the King of England was vassal to
their King, that the states of continental Europe had become mere
pawns in the game of their Grand Monarch, and that France could
be master of as much of the world as was really worth mastering.
In 1679 the Canadian Intendant, Duchesneau, writing from Quebec
to complain of the despotic conduct of the Governor, Frontenac,
paid a tribute to "the King our master, of whom the whole world
stands in awe, who has just given law to all Europe."

To men thus obsessed by the greatness of their own ruler it
seemed no impossible task to overthrow a few English colonies in
America of whose King their own was the patron and the paymaster.
The world of high politics has never been conspicuous for its
knowledge of human nature. A strong blow from a strong arm would,
it was believed both at Versailles and Quebec, shatter forever a
weak rival and give France the prize of North America. Officers
in Canada talked loftily of the ease with which France might
master all the English colonies. The Canadians, it was said, were
a brave and warlike people, trained to endure hardship, while the
English colonists were undisciplined, ignorant of war, and
cowardly. The link between them and the motherland, said these
observers, could be easily broken, for the colonies were longing
to be free. There is no doubt that France could put into the
field armies vastly greater than those of England. Had the French
been able to cross the Channel, march on London and destroy
English power at its root, the story of civilization in a great
part of North America might well have been different, and we
should perhaps find now on the banks of the Hudson what we find
on the banks of the St. Lawrence--villages dominated by great
churches and convents, with inhabitants Catholic to a man,
speaking the language and preserving the traditions of France.
The strip of inviolate sea between Calais and Dover made
impossible, however, an assault on London. Sea power kept secure
not only England but English effort in America and in the end
defeated France.

England had defenses other than her great strength on the sea. In
spite of the docility towards France shown by the English King,
Charles II, himself half French in blood and at heart devoted to
the triumph of the Catholic faith, the English people would
tolerate no policies likely to make England subservient to
France. This was forbidden by age-long tradition. The struggle
had become one of religion as well as of race. A fight for a
century and a half with the Roman Catholic Church had made
England sternly, fanatically Protestant. In their suspicion of
the system which France accepted, Englishmen had sent a king to
the scaffold, had overthrown the monarchy, and had created a
military republic. This republic, indeed, had fallen, but the
distrust of the aims of the Roman Catholic Church remained
intense and burst into passionate fury the moment an
understanding of the aims of France gained currency.

There are indeed few passages in English history less creditable
than the panic fear of Roman Catholic plots which swept the
country in the days when Frontenac at Quebec was working to
destroy English and Protestant influence in America. In 1678,
Titus Oates, a clergyman of the Church of England who had turned
Roman Catholic, declared that, while in the secrets of his new
church, he had found on foot a plot to restore Roman Catholic
dominance in England by means of the murder of Charles II and of
any other crimes necessary for that purpose. Oates said that he
had left the Church and returned to his former faith because of
the terrible character of the conspiracy which he had discovered.
His story was not even plausible; he was known to be a man of
vicious life; moreover, Catholic plotters would hardly murder a
king who was at heart devoted to Catholic policy. England,
however, was in a nervous state of mind; Charles II was known to
be intriguing with France; and a cruel fury surged through the
nation. For a share in the supposed plots, a score of people,
among them one of the great nobles of England, the venerable and
innocent Earl of Stafford, were condemned to death and executed.
Whatever Charles II himself might have thought, he was obliged
for his own safety to acquiesce in the policy of persecution.

Catholic France was not less malignant than Protestant England.
Though cruel severity had long been shown to Protestants, they
seemed to be secure under the law of France in certain limited
rights and in a restricted toleration. In 1685, however, Louis
XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes by which Henry IV a century
earlier had guaranteed this toleration. All over France there had
already burst out terrible persecution, and the act of Louis XIV
brought a fiery climax. Unhappy heretics who would not accept
Roman Catholic doctrine found life intolerable. Tens of thousands
escaped from France in spite of a law which, though it exiled the
Protestant ministers, forbade other Protestants to leave the
country. Stories of plots were made the excuse to seize the
property of Protestants. Regiments of soldiers, charged with the
task, could boast of many enforced "conversions." Quartered on
Protestant households, they made the life of the inmates a burden
until they abandoned their religion. Among the means used were
torture before a slow fire, the tearing off of the finger nails,
the driving of the whole families naked into the streets and the
forbidding of any one to give them shelter, the violation of
women, and the crowding of the heretics in loathsome prisons. By
such means it took a regiment of soldiers in Rouen only a few
days to "convert" to the old faith some six hundred families.
Protestant ministers caught in France were sent to the galleys
for life. The persecutions which followed the revocation of the
Edict of Nantes outdid even Titus Oates.

Charles II died in 1685 and the scene at his deathbed encouraged
in England suspicions of Catholic policy and in France hope that
this policy was near its climax of success. Though indolent and
dissolute, Charles yet possessed striking mental capacity and
insight. He knew well that to preserve his throne he must remain
outwardly a Protestant and must also respect the liberties of the
English nation. He cherished, however, the Roman Catholic faith
and the despotic ideals of his Bourbon mother. On his deathbed he
avowed his real belief. With great precautions for secrecy, he
was received into the Roman Catholic Church and comforted with
the consolations which it offers to the dying. While this secret
was suspected by the English people, one further fact was
perfectly clear. Their new King, James II, was a zealous Roman
Catholic, who would use all his influence to bring England back
to the Roman communion. Suspicion of the King's designs soon
became certainty and, after four years of bitter conflict with
James, the inevitable happened. The Roman Catholic Stuart King
was driven from his throne and his daughter Mary and her
Protestant husband, William of Orange, became the sovereigns of
England by choice of the English Parliament. Again had the
struggle between Roman Catholic and Protestant brought revolution
in England, and the politics of Europe dominated America. The
revolution in London was followed by revolution in Boston and New
York. The authority of James II was repudiated. His chief agent
in New England, Sir Edmund Andros, was seized and imprisoned, and
William and Mary reigned over the English colonies in America as
they reigned over the motherland.

To the loyal Catholics of France the English, who had driven out
a Catholic king and dethroned an ancient line, were guilty of the
double sin of heresy and of treason. To the Jesuit enthusiast in
Canada not only were they infidel devils in human shape upon
whose plans must rest the curse of God; they were also rebels,
republican successors of the accursed Cromwell, who had sent an
anointed king to the block. It would be a holy thing to destroy
this lawless power which ruled from London. The Puritans of
Boston were, in turn, not less convinced that theirs was the
cause of God, and that Satan, enthroned in the French dominance
at Quebec, must soon fall. The smaller the pit the fiercer the
rats. Passions raged in the petty colonial capitals more bitterly
than even in London and Paris. This intensity of religious
differences embittered the struggle for the mastery of the new

The English colonies had twenty white men to one in Canada. Yet
Canada was long able to wage war on something like equal terms.
She had the supreme advantage of a single control. There was no
trouble at Quebec about getting a reluctant legislature to vote
money for war purposes. No semblance of an elected legislature
existed and the money for war came not from the Canadians, but
from the capacious, if now usually depleted, coffers of the
French court at Versailles. In the English colonies the
preferred, of all political struggles, one about money with the
Governor, the representative of the King. At least one of the
English colonies, Pennsylvania, believing that evil is best
conquered by non-resistance, was resolutely against war for any
reason, good or bad. Other colonies often raised the more sordid
objection that they were too poor to help in war. The colonial
legislatures, indeed, with their eternal demand for the
privileges and rights which the British House of Commons had won
in the long centuries of its history, constitute the most
striking of all the contrasts with Canada. In them were always
the sparks of an independent temper. The English diarist, Evelyn,
wrote, in 1671, that New England was in "a peevish and touchy
humour." Colonists who go out to found a new state will always
demand rights like those which they have enjoyed at home. It was
unthinkable that men of Boston, who, themselves, or whose party
in England, had fought against a despotic king, had sent him to
the block and driven his son from the throne, would be content
with anything short of controlling the taxes which they paid,
making the laws which they obeyed, and carrying on their affairs
in their own way. When obliged to accept a governor from England,
they were resolved as far as possible to remain his paymaster. In
a majority of the colonies they insisted that the salary of the
Governor should be voted each year by their representatives, in
order that they might be able always to use against him the
cogent logic of financial need. On questions of this kind Quebec
had nothing to say. To the King in France and to him alone went
all demands for pay and honors. If, in such things, the people of
Canada had no remote voice, they were still as well off as
Frenchmen in France. New England was a copy of Old England and
New France a copy of Old France. There was, as yet, no "peevish
and touchy humour" at either Quebec or Versailles in respect to
political rights.

Canada, in spite of its scanty population, was better equipped
for war than was any of the English colonies. The French were
largely explorers and hunters, familiar with hardship and danger
and led by men with a love of adventure. The English, on the
other hand, were chiefly traders and farmers who disliked and
dreaded the horrors of war. There was not to be found in all the
English colonies a family of the type of the Canadian family of
Le Moyne. Charles Le Moyne, of Montreal, a member of the Canadian
noblesse, had ten sons, every one of whom showed the spirit and
capacity of the adventurous soldier. They all served in the time
of Frontenac. The most famous of them, Pierre Le Moyne
d'Iberville, shines in varied roles. He was a frontier leader who
made his name a terror in the English settlements; a sailor who
seized and ravaged the English settlements in Newfoundland, who
led a French squadron to the remote and chill waters of Hudson
Bay, and captured there the English strongholds of the fur trade;
and a leader in the more peaceful task of founding, at the mouth
of the Mississippi, the colony of Louisiana. Canada had the
advantage over the English colonies in bold pioneers of this

Canada was never doubtful of the English peril or divided in the
desire to destroy it. Nearly always, a soldier or a naval officer
ruled in the Chateau St. Louis, at Quebec, with eyes alert to see
and arms ready to avert military danger. England sometimes sent
to her colonies in America governors who were disreputable and
inefficient, needy hangers-on, too well-known at home to make it
wise there to give them office, but thought good enough for the
colonies. It would not have been easy to find a governor less
fitted to maintain the dignity and culture of high office than
Sir William Phips, Governor of Massachusetts in the time of
Frontenac. Phips, however, though a rough brawler, was reasonably
efficient, but Lord Cornbury, who became Earl of Clarendon, owed
his appointment as Governor of New Jersey and New York in 1701,
only to his necessities and to the desire of his powerful
connections to provide for him. Queen Anne was his cousin. He was
a profligate, feeble in mind but arrogant in spirit, with no
burden of honesty and a great burden of debt, and he made no
change in his scandalous mode of life when he represented his
sovereign at New York. There were other governors only slightly
better. Canada had none as bad. Her viceroys as a rule kept up
the dignity of their office and respected the decencies of life.
In English colonies, governors eked out their incomes by charging
heavy fees for official acts and any one who refused to pay such
fees was not likely to secure attention to his business. In
Canada the population was too scanty and the opportunity too
limited to furnish happy hunting-grounds of this kind. The
governors, however, badly paid as they were, must live, and, in
the case of a man like Frontenac, repair fortunes shattered at
court. To do so they were likely to have some concealed interest
in the fur trade. This was forbidden by the court but was almost
a universal practice. Some of the governors carried trading to
great lengths and aroused the bitter hostility of rival trading
interests. The fur trade was easily controlled as a government
monopoly and it was unfair that a needy governor should share its
profits. But, after all, such a quarrel was only between rival
monopolists. Better a trading governor than one who plundered the
people or who by drunken profligacy discredited his office.

While all Canada was devoted to the Roman Catholic Church, the
diversity of religious beliefs in the English colonies was a
marked feature of social life. In Virginia, by law of the colony,
the Church of England was the established Church. In
Massachusetts, founded by stern Puritans, the public services of
the Church of England were long prohibited. In Pennsylvania there
was dominant the sect derisively called "Quakers," who would have
no ecclesiastical organization and believed that religion was
purely a matter for the individual soul. Boston jeered at the
superstitions of Quebec, such as the belief of the missionaries
that a drop of water, with the murmured words of baptism,
transformed a dying Indian child from an outcast savage into an
angel of light. Quebec might, however, deride Boston with equal
justice. Sir William Phips believed that malignant and invisible
devils had made a special invasion of Massachusetts, dragging
people from their houses, pushing them into fire and water, and
carrying them through the air for miles over trees and hills.
These devils, it was thought, took visible form, of which the
favorite was that of a black cat. Witches were thought to be able
to pass through keyholes and to exercise charms which would
destroy their victims. While Phips and Frontenac were struggling
for the mastery of Canada, a fever of excitement ran through New
England about these perils of witchcraft. When, in 1692, Phips
became Governor of Massachusetts, he named a special court to try
accused persons. The court considered hundreds of cases and
condemned and hanged nineteen persons for wholly imaginary
crimes. Whatever the faults of the rule of the priests at Quebec,
they never equaled this in brutality or surpassed it in blind
superstition. In New England we find bitter religious
persecution. In Canada there was none: the door was completely
closed to Protestants and the family within were all of one mind.
There was no one to persecute.

The old contrast between French and English ideals still endures.
At Quebec there was an early zeal for education. In 1638, the
year in which Harvard College was organized, a college and a
school for training the French youth and the natives were founded
at Quebec. In the next year the Ursuline nuns established at
Quebec the convent which through all the intervening years has
continued its important work of educating girls. In zeal for
education Quebec was therefore not behind Boston. But the spirit
was different. Quebec believed that safety lay in control by the
Church, and this control it still maintains. Massachusetts came
in time to believe that safety lay in freeing education from any
spiritual authority. Today Laval University at Quebec and Harvard
University at Cambridge represent the outcome of these differing
modes of thought. Other forces were working to produce
essentially different types. The printing-press Quebec did not
know; and, down to the final overthrow of the French power in
1763, no newspaper or book was issued in Canada. Massachusetts,
on the other hand, had a printing-press as early as in 1638 and
soon books were being printed in the colony. Of course, in the
spirit of the time, there was a strict censorship. But, by 1722,
this had come to an end, and after that the newspaper, unknown in
Canada, was busy and free in its task of helping to mold the
thought of the English colonies in America.

CHAPTER III. France Loses Acadia

The Peace of Ryswick in 1697 had settled nothing finally. France
was still strong enough to aim at the mastery of Europe and
America. England was torn by internal faction and would not
prepare to face her menacing enemy. Always the English have
disliked a great standing army. Now, despite the entreaties of a
king who knew the real danger, they reduced the army to the
pitiable number of seven thousand men. Louis XIV grew ever more
confident. In 1700 he was able to put his own grandson on the
throne of Spain and to dominate Europe from the Straits of
Gibraltar to the Netherlands. Another event showing his resolve
soon startled the world. In 1701 died James II, the dethroned
King of England, and Louis went out of his way to insult the
English people. William III was King by the will of Parliament.
Louis had recognized him as such. Yet, on the death of James,
Louis declared that James's son was now the true King of England.
This impudent defiance meant, and Louis intended that it should
mean, renewed war. England had invited it by making her forces
weak. William III died in 1702 and the war went on under his
successor, Queen Anne.

Thus it happened that once more war-parties began to prowl on the
Canadian frontier, and women and children in remote clearings in
the forest shivered at the prospect of the savage scourge. The
English colonies suffered terribly. Everywhere France was
aggressive. The warlike Iroquois were now so alarmed by the
French menace that, to secure protection, they ceded their
territory to Queen Anne and became British subjects, a
humiliating step indeed for a people who had once thought
themselves the most important in all the world. By 1703 the
butchery on the frontier was in full operation. The Jesuit
historian Charlevoix, with complacent exaggeration, says that in
that year alone three hundred men were killed on the New England
frontier by the Abenaki Indians incited by the French. The
numbers slain were in fact fewer and the slain were not always
men but sometimes old women and young babies. The policy of
France was to make the war so ruthless that a gulf of hatred
should keep their Indian allies from ever making friends and
resuming trade with the English, whose hatchets, blankets, and
other supplies were, as the French well knew, better and cheaper
than their own. The French hoped to seize Boston, to destroy its
industries and sink its ships, then to advance beyond Boston and
deal out to other places the same fate. The rivalry of New
England was to be ended by making that region a desert.

The first fury of the war raged on the frontier of Maine, which
was an outpost of Massachusetts. On an August day in 1703 the
people of the rugged little settlement of Wells were at their
usual tasks when they heard gunshots and war-whoops. Indians had
crept up to attack the place. They set the village on fire and
killed or carried off some twoscore prisoners, chiefly women and
children. The village of Deerfield, on the northwestern frontier
of Massachusetts, consisted of a wooden meeting-house and a
number of rough cabins which lodged the two or three hundred
inhabitants. On a February night in 1704 savages led by a young
member of the Canadian noblesse, Hertel de Rouville, approached
the village silently on snowshoes, waited on the outskirts during
the dead of night, and then just before dawn burst in upon the
sleeping people. The work was done quickly. Within an hour after
dawn the place had been plundered and set on fire, forty or fifty
dead bodies of men and women and children lay in the village, and
a hundred and eleven miserable prisoners were following their
captors on snowshoes through the forest, each prisoner well
knowing that to fall by the way meant to have his head split by a
tomahawk and the scalp torn off. When on the first night one of
them slipped away, Rouville told the others that, should a
further escape occur, he would burn alive all those remaining in
his hands. The minister of the church at Deerfield, the Reverend
John Williams, was a captive, together with his wife and five
children. The wife, falling by the way, was killed by a stroke of
a tomahawk and the body was left lying on the snow. The children
were taken from their father and scattered among different bands.
After a tramp of two hundred miles through the wilderness to the
outlying Canadian settlements, the minister in the end reached
Quebec. Every effort was made, even by his Indian guard, to make
him accept the Roman Catholic faith, but the stern Puritan was
obdurate. His daughter, Eunice, on the other hand, caught young,
became a Catholic so devoted that later she would not return to
New England lest the contact with Protestants should injure her
faith. She married a Caughnawaga Indian and became to all outward
appearance a squaw. Williams himself lived to resume his career
in New England and to write the story of the raid at Deerfield.

It may be that there were men in New England and New York capable
of similar barbarities. It is true that the savage allies of the
English, when at their worst, knew no restraint. There is nothing
in the French raids on a scale as great as that of the murderous
raid by the Iroquois on the French village of Lachine. But the
Puritans of New England, while they were ready to hew down
savages, did not like and rarely took part in the massacre of

As the outrages went on year after year the temper of New England
towards the savages grew more ruthless. The General Court, the
Legislature of Massachusetts, offered forty pounds for every
Indian scalp brought in. Indians, like wolves, were vermin to be
destroyed. The anger of New England was further kindled by what
was happening on the sea. Privateers from Port Royal, in Acadia,
attacked New England commerce and New England fishermen and made
unsafe the approaches to Boston. This was to touch a commercial
community on its most tender spot; and a deep resolve was formed
that Canada should be conquered and the menace ended once for

It was only an occasional spirit in Massachusetts who made
comprehensive political plans. One of these was Samuel Vetch, a
man somewhat different from the usual type of New England leader,
for he was not of English but of Scottish origin, of the
Covenanter strain. Vetch, himself an adventurous trader, had
taken a leading part in the ill-fated Scottish attempt to found
on the Isthmus of Panama a colony, which, in easy touch with both
the Pacific and the Atlantic, should carry on a gigantic commerce
between the East and the West. The colony failed, chiefly,
perhaps, because Spain would not have this intrusion into
territory which she claimed. Tropical disease and the disunion
and incompetence of the colonists themselves were Spain's allies
in the destruction. After this, Vetch had found his way to
Boston, where he soon became prominent. In 1707 Scotland and
England were united under one Parliament, and the active mind of
Vetch was occupied with something greater than a Scottish colony
at Panama. Queen Anne, Vetch was resolved, should be "Sole
Empress of the vast North American Continent." Massachusetts was
ready for just such a cry. The General Court took up eagerly the
plan of Vetch. The scheme required help from England and the
other colonies. To England Vetch went in 1708. Marlborough had
just won the great victory of Oudenarde. It was good, the English
ministry thought, to hit France wherever she raised her head. In
the spring of 1709 Vetch returned to Boston with promises of
powerful help at once for an attack on Canada, and with the
further promise that, the victory won, he himself should be the
first British Governor of Canada. New York was to help with nine
hundred men. Other remoter colonies were to aid on a smaller
scale. These contingents were to attack Canada by way of Lake
Champlain. Twelve hundred men from New England were to join the
regulars from England and go against Quebec by way of the sea and
master Canada once for all.

The plan was similar to the one which Amherst and Wolfe carried
to success exactly fifty years later, and with a Wolfe in command
it might now have succeeded. The troops from England were to be
at Boston before the end of May, 1709. The colonial forces
gathered. New Jersey and Pennsylvania refused, indeed, to send
any soldiers; but New York and the other colonies concerned did
their full share. By the early summer Colonel Francis Nicholson,
with some fifteen hundred men, lay fully equipped in camp on Wood
Creek near Lake Champlain, ready to descend on Montreal as soon
as news came of the arrival of the British fleet at Boston for
the attack on Quebec. On the shores of Boston harbor lay another
colonial army, large for the time--the levies from New England
which were to sail to Quebec. Officers had come out from England
to drill these hardy men, and as soldiers they were giving a good
account of themselves. They watched, fasted, and prayed, and
watched again for the fleet from England. Summer came and then
autumn and still the fleet did not arrive. Far away, in the
crowded camp on Wood Creek, pestilence broke out and as time wore
on this army slowly melted away either by death or withdrawal. At
last, on October 11, 1709, word came from the British ministry,
dated the 27th of July, two months after the promised fleet was
to arrive at Boston, that it had been sent instead to Portugal.

In spite of this disappointment the resolution endured to conquer
Canada. New York joined New England in sending deputations to
London to ask again for help. Four Mohawk chiefs went with Peter
Schuyler from New York and were the wonder of the day in London.
It is something to have a plan talked about. Malplaquet, the last
of Marlborough's great victories, had been won in the autumn of
1709 and the thought of a new enterprise was popular. Nicholson,
who had been sent from Boston, urged that the first step should
be to take Port Royal. What the colonies required for this
expedition was the aid of four frigates and five hundred soldiers
who should reach Boston by March.

The help arrived, though not in March but in July, 1710. Boston
was filled with enthusiasm for the enterprise. The legislature
made military service compulsory, quartered soldiers in private
houses without consent of the owners, impressed sailors, and
altogether was quite arbitrary and high-handed. The people,
however, would bear almost anything if only they could crush Port
Royal, the den of privateers who seized many New England vessels.
On the 18th of September, to the great joy of Boston, the
frigates and the transports sailed away, with Nicholson in
command of the troops and Vetch as adjutant-general.

What we know today as Digby Basin on the east side of the Bay of
Fundy, is a great harbor, landlocked but for a narrow entrance
about a mile wide. Through this "gut," as it is called, the tide
rushes in a torrential and dangerous stream, but soon loses its
violence in the spacious and quiet harbor. Here the French had
made their first enduring colony in America. On the shores of the
beautiful basin the fleurs-de-lis had been raised over a French
fort as early as 1605. A lovely valley opens from the head of the
basin to the interior. It is now known as the Annapolis Valley, a
fertile region dotted by the homesteads of a happy and contented
people. These people, however, are not French in race nor do they
live under a French Government. When on the 24th of September,
1710, the fleet from Boston entered the basin, and in doing so
lost a ship and more than a score of men through the destructive
current, the decisive moment had come for all that region. Fate
had decreed that the land should not remain French but should
become English.

Port Royal was at that time a typical French community of the New
World. The village consisted of some poor houses made of logs or
planks, a wooden church, and, lying apart, a fort defended by
earthworks. The Governor, Subercase, was a brave French officer.
He ruled the little community with a despotism tempered only by
indignant protests to the King from those whom he ruled when his
views and theirs did not coincide. The peasants in the village
counted for nothing. Connected with the small garrison there were
ladies and gentlemen who had no light opinion of their own
importance and were so peppery that Subercase wished he had a
madhouse in which to confine some of them. He thought well of the
country. It produced, he said, everything that France produced
except olives. The fertile land promised abundance of grain and
there was an inexhaustible supply of timber. There were many
excellent harbors. Had he a million livres, he would, he said,
invest it gladly in the country and be certain of a good return.
His enthusiasm had produced, however, no answering enthusiasm at
Versailles, for there the interests of Port Royal were miserably
neglected. Yet it was a thorn in the flesh of the English. In
1708 privateers from Port Royal had destroyed no less than
thirty-five English vessels, chiefly from Boston, and had carried
to the fort four hundred and seventy prisoners. Even in winter
months French ships would flit out of Port Royal and bring in
richly laden prizes. Can we wonder at Boston's deep resolve that
now at last the pest should end!

It was an imposing force which sailed into the basin. The four
frigates and thirty transports carried an army far greater than
Subercase had thought possible. The English landed some fourteen
hundred men. Subercase had less than three hundred. Within a few
days, when the English began to throw shells into the town, he
asked for terms. On the 16th of October the little garrison,
neglected by France and left ragged and half-starved, marched out
with drums beating and colors flying. The English, drawn up
before the gate, showed the usual honors to a brave foe. The
French flag was hauled down and in its place floated that of
Britain. Port Royal was renamed Annapolis and Vetch was made its
Governor. Three times before had the English come to Port Royal
as conquerors and then gone away, but now they were to remain.
Ever since that October day, when autumn was coloring the
abundant foliage of the lovely harbor, the British flag has waved
over Annapolis. Because the flag waved there it was destined to
wave over all Acadia, or Nova Scotia, and with Acadia in time
went Canada.

A partial victory, however, such as the taking of Port Royal, was
not enough for the aroused spirit of the English. They and their
allies had beaten Louis XIV on the battlefields of Europe and had
so worn out France that clouds and darkness were about the last
days of the Grand Monarch now nearing his end. In America his
agents were still drawing up papers outlining grandiose designs
for mastering the continent and for proving that England's empire
was near its fall, but Europe knew that France in the long war
had been beaten. The right way to smite France in America was to
rely upon England's naval power, to master the great highway of
the St. Lawrence, to isolate Canada, and to strangle one by one
the French settlements, beginning with Quebec.

There was malignant intrigue at the court of Queen Anne. One
favorite, the Duchess of Marlborough, had just been disgraced,
and another, Mrs. Masham, had been taken on by the weak and
stupid Queen. The conquest of Canada, if it could be achieved
without the aid of Marlborough, would help in his much desired
overthrow. Petty motives were unhappily at the root of the great
scheme. Who better to lead such an expedition than the brother of
the new favorite whose success might discredit the husband of the
old one? Accordingly General "Jack" Hill, brother of Mrs. Masham,
was appointed to the chief military command and an admiral
hitherto little known but of good habits and quick wit, Sir
Hovenden Walker, was to lead the fleet.

The expedition against Quebec was on a scale adequate for the
time. Britain dispatched seven regiments of regulars, numbering
in all five thousand five hundred men, and there were besides in
the fleet some thousands of sailors and marines. Never before had
the English sent to North America a force so great. On June 24,
1711, Admiral Walker arrived at Boston with his great array.
Boston was impressed, but Boston was also a little hurt, for the
British leaders were very lofty and superior in their tone
towards colonials and gave orders as if Boston were a provincial
city of England which must learn respect and obedience to His
Majesty's officers "vested with the Queen's Royal Power and

More than seventy ships, led by nine men-of-war, sailed from
Boston for the attack on Canada. On board were nearly twelve
thousand men. Compared with this imposing fleet, that of Phips,
twenty-one years earlier, seems feeble. Phips had set out too
late. This fleet was in good time, for it sailed on the 30th of
July. Vetch, always competent, was in command of the colonial
military forces, but never had any chance to show his mettle, for
during the voyage the seamen were in control. The Admiral had
left England with secret instructions. He had not been informed
of the task before him and for it he was hardly prepared. There
were no competent pilots to correct his ignorance. Now that he
knew where he was going he was anxious about the dangers of the
northern waters. The St. Lawrence River, he believed, froze
solidly to the bottom in winter and he feared that the ice would
crush the sides of his ships. As he had provisions for only eight
or nine weeks, his men might starve. His mind was filled, as he
himself says, with melancholy and dismal horror at the prospect
of seamen and soldiers, worn to skeletons by hunger, drawing lots
to decide who should die first amidst the "adamantine frosts" and
"mountains of snow" of bleak and barren Canada.

The Gulf and River St. Lawrence spell death to an incompetent
sailor. The fogs, the numerous shoals and islands, make skillful
seamanship necessary. It is a long journey from Boston to Quebec
by water. For three weeks, however, all went well. On the 22d of
August, Walker was out of sight of land in the Gulf where it is
about seventy miles wide above the Island of Anticosti. A strong
east wind with thick fog is dreaded in those waters even now, and
on the evening of that day a storm of this kind blew up. In the
fog Walker lost his bearings. When in fact he was near the north
shore he thought he was not far from the south shore. At
half-past ten at night Paddon, the captain of the Edgar, Walker's
flagship, came to tell him that land was in sight. Walker assumed
that it was the south shore and gave a fatal order for the fleet
to turn and head northward, a change which turned them straight
towards cliffs and breakers. He then went to bed. Soon one of the
military officers rushed to his cabin and begged him to come on
deck as the ships were among breakers. Walker, who was an
irascible man, resented the intrusion and remained in bed. A
second time the officer appeared and said the fleet would be lost
if the Admiral did not act. Why it was left for a military rather
than a naval officer to rouse the Admiral in such a crisis we do
not know. Perhaps the sailors were afraid of the great man.
Walker appeared on deck in dressing gown and slippers. The fog
had lifted, and in the moonlight there could be seen breaking
surf to leeward. A French pilot, captured in the Gulf, had
taken pains to give what he could of alarming information. He now
declared that the ships were off the north shore. Walker turned
his own ship sharply and succeeded in beating out into deep water
and safety. For the fleet the night was terrible. Some ships
dropped anchor which held, for happily the storm abated. Fog guns
and lights as signals of distress availed little to the ships in
difficulty. Eight British transports laden with troops and two
ships carrying supplies were dashed to pieces on the rocks. The
shrieks of drowning men could be heard in the darkness. The scene
was the rocky Isle aux Oeufs and adjacent reefs off the north
shore. About seven hundred soldiers, including twenty-nine
officers, and in addition perhaps two hundred sailors, were lost
on that awful night.

The disaster was not overwhelming and Walker might have gone on
and captured Quebec. He had not lost a single war-ship and he had
still some eleven thousand men. General Hill might have stiffened
the back of the forlorn Admiral, but Hill himself was no better.
Vetch spoke for going on. He knew the St. Lawrence waters for he
had been at Quebec and had actually charted a part of the river
and was more familiar with it, he believed, than were the
Canadians themselves. What pilots there were declared, however,
that to go on was impossible and the helpless captains of the
ships were of opinion that, with the warning of such a disaster,
they could not disregard this counsel. Though the character of
the English is such that usually a reverse serves to stiffen
their backs, in this case it was not so. A council of war yielded
to the panic of the hour and the great fleet turned homeward.
Soon it was gathered in what is now Sydney harbor in Cape Breton.
>From here the New England ships went home and Walker sailed for
England. At Spithead the Edgar, the flag-ship, blew up and all on
board perished. Walker was on shore at the time. So far was he
from being disgraced that he was given a new command. Later, when
the Whigs came in, he was dismissed from the service, less, it
seems, in blame for the disaster than for his Tory opinions. It
is not an unusual irony of life that Vetch, the one wholly
efficient leader in the expedition, ended his days in a debtor's

Quebec had shivered before a menace, the greatest in its history.
Through the long months of the summer of 1711 there had been
prayer and fasting to avert the danger. Apparently trading ships
had deserted the lower St. Lawrence in alarm, for no word had
arrived at Quebec of the approach of Walker's fleet. Nor had the
great disaster been witnessed by any onlookers. The island where
it occurred was then and still remains desert. Up to the middle
of October, nearly two months after the disaster, the watchers at
Quebec feared that they might see any day a British fleet
rounding the head of the Island of Orleans. On the 19th of
October the first news of the disaster arrived and then it was
easy for Quebec to believe that God had struck the English
wretches with a terrible vengeance. Three thousand men, it was
said, had reached land and then perished miserably. Many bodies
had been found naked and in attitudes of despair. Other thousands
had perished in the water. Vessel-loads of spoil had been
gathered, rich plate, beautiful swords, magnificent clothing,
gold, silver, jewels. The truth seems to be that some weeks after
the disaster the evidences of the wrecks were discovered. Even to
this day ships are battered to pieces in those rock-strewn waters
and no one survives to tell the story. Some fishermen landing on
the island had found human bodies, dead horses and other animals,
and the hulls of seven ships. They had gathered some
wreckage--and that was the whole story. Quebec sang Te Deum. From
attacks by sea there had now been two escapes which showed God's
love for Canada. In the little church of Notre Dame des
Victoires, consecrated at that time to the memory of the
deliverance from Phips and Walker, daily prayers are still poured
out for the well-being of Canada. God had been a present help on
land as well as on the sea. Nicholson, with more than two
thousand men, had been waiting at his camp near Lake Champlain to
descend on Montreal as soon as Walker reached Quebec. When he
received the news of the disaster he broke up his force and
retired. For the moment Canada was safe from the threatened

In spite of this apparent deliverance, the long war, now near its
end, brought a destructive blow to French power in America.
Though France still possessed vigor and resources which her
enemies were apt to underrate, the war had gone against her in
Europe. Her finest armies had been destroyed by Marlborough, her
taxation was crushing, her credit was ruined, her people were
suffering for lack of food. The allies had begun to think that
there was no humiliation which they might not put upon France.
Louis XIV, they said, must give up Alsace, which, with Lorraine,
he had taken some years earlier, and he must help to drive his
own grandson from the Spanish throne. This exorbitant demand
stirred the pride not only of Louis but of the French nation, and
the allies found that they could not trample France under their
feet. The Treaty of Utrecht, concluded in 1718, shows that each
side was too strong as yet to be crushed. In dismissing
Marlborough, Great Britain had lost one of her chief assets. His
name had become a terror to France. To this day, both in France
and in French Canada, is sung the popular ditty "Monsieur
Malbrouck est mort," a song of delight at a report that
Marlborough was dead. When in place of Marlborough leaders of the
type of General Hill were appointed to high command, France could
not be finally beaten. The Treaty of Utrecht was the outcome of
war-weariness. It marks, however, a double check to Louis XIV. He
could not master Europe and he could not master America. France
now ceded to Britain her claim to Acadia, Newfoundland, and
Hudson Bay. She regarded this, however, as only a temporary
setback and was soon planning and plotting great designs far
surpassing the narrower vision of the English colonies.

It was with a wry face, however, that France yielded Acadia. To
retain it she offered to give up all rights in the Newfoundland
fisheries, the nursery of her marine. Britain would not yield
Acadia, dreading chiefly perhaps the wrath of New England which
had conquered Port Royal. Britain, however, compromised on the
question of boundaries in a way so dangerous that the long war
settled finally no great issues in America. She took Acadia
"according to its ancient limits,"--but no one knew these limits.
They were to be defined by a joint commission of the two nations
which, after forty years, reached no agreement. The Island of
Cape Breton and the adjoining Ile St. Jean, now Prince Edward
Island, remained to France. Though Britain secured sovereignty
over Newfoundland, France retained extensive rights in the
Newfoundland fisheries. The treaty left unsettled the boundary
between Canada and the English colonies. While it yielded Hudson
Bay to Britain, it settled nothing as to frontiers in the
wilderness which stretched beyond the Great Lakes into the Far
West and which had vast wealth in furs.

CHAPTER IV. Louisbourg And Boston

For thirty years England and France now remained at peace, and
England had many reasons for desiring peace to continue. Anne,
the last of the Stuart rulers, died in 1714. The new King, George
I, Elector of Hanover, was a German and a German unchangeable,
for he was already fifty four, with little knowledge of England
and none of the English, and with an undying love for the dear
despotic ways easily followed in a small German principality. He
and his successor George II were thinking eternally of German
rather than of English problems, and with German interests
chiefly regarded it was well that England should make a friend of
France. It was well, too, that under a new dynasty, with its
title disputed, England should not encourage France to continue
the friendly policy of Louis XIV towards James, the deposed
Stuart Pretender. England had just made a new, determined, and
arrogant enemy by forcing upon Spain the deep humiliation of
ceding Gibraltar, which had been taken in 1704 by Admiral Rooke
with allied forces. The proudest monarchy in Europe was compelled
to see a spot of its own sacred territory held permanently by a
rival nation. Gibraltar Spain was determined to recover. Its loss
drove her into the arms of the enemies of England and remains to
this day a grievance which on occasion Spanish politicians know
well how to make useful.

Great Britain was now under the direction of a leader whose
policy was peace. A nation is happy when a born statesman with a
truly liberal mind and a genuine love of his country comes to the
front in its affairs. Such a man was Sir Robert Walpole. He was a
Whig squire, a plain country gentleman, with enough of culture to
love good pictures and the ancient classics, but delighting
chiefly in sports and agriculture, hard drinking and politics.
When only twenty-seven he was already a leader among the Whigs;
at thirty-two he was Secretary for War; and before he was forty
he had become Prime Minister, a post which he really created and
was the first Englishman to hold. Friendship with France marked a
new phase of British policy. Walpole's baffled enemies said that
he was bribed by France. His shrewd insight kept France lukewarm
in its support of the Stuart rising in 1715, which he punished
with great severity. But it was as a master of finance that he
was strongest. While continental nations were wasting men and
money Walpole gloried in saving English lives and English gold.
He found new and fruitful modes of taxation, but when urged to
tax the colonies he preferred, as he said, to leave that to a
bolder man. It is a pity that anyone was ever found bold enough
to do it.

Walpole's policy endured for a quarter of a century. He abandoned
it only after a bitter struggle in which he was attacked as
sacrificing the national honor for the sake of peace. Spain was
an easy mark for those who wished to arouse the warlike spirit.
She still persecuted and burned heretics, a great cause of
offense. in Protestant Britain, and she was rigorous in excluding
foreigners from trading with her colonies. To be the one
exception in this policy of exclusion was the privilege enjoyed
by Britain. When the fortunes of Spain were low in 1713, she had
been forced not merely to cede Gibraltar but also to give to the
British the monopoly of supplying the Spanish colonies with negro
slaves and the right to send one ship a year to trade at Porto
Bello in South America. It seems a sufficiently ignoble bargain
for a great nation to exact: the monopoly of carrying and selling
cargoes of black men and the right to send a single ship yearly
to a Spanish colony. We can hardly imagine grave diplomats of our
day haggling over such terms. But the eighteenth century was not
the twentieth. From the treaty the British expected amazing
results. The South Sea Company was formed to carry on a vast
trade with South America. One ship a year could, of course, carry
little, but the ships laden with negroes could smuggle into the
colonies merchandise and the one trading ship could be and was
reloaded fraudulently from lighters so that its cargo was
multiplied manyfold. Out of the belief in huge profits from this
trade with its exaggerated visions of profit grew in 1720 the
famous South Sea Bubble which inaugurated a period of frantic
speculation in England. Worthless shares in companies formed for
trade in the South Seas sold at a thousand per cent of their face
value. It is a form of madness to which human greed is ever
liable. Walpole's financial insight condemned from the first the
wild outburst, and his common sense during the crisis helped to
stem the tide of disaster. The South Sea Bubble burst partly
because Spain stood sternly on her own rights and punished
British smugglers. During many years the tension between the two
nations grew. No doubt Spanish officials were harsh. Tales were
repeated in England of their brutalities to British sailors who
fell into their hands. In 1739 the story of a certain Captain
Jenkins that his ear had been cut off by Spanish captors and
thrown in his face with an insulting message to his government
brought matters to a climax. Events in other parts of Europe soon
made the war general. When, in 1740, the young King of Prussia,
Frederick II, came to the throne, his first act was to march an
army into Silesia. To this province he had, he said, in the male
line, a better claim than that of the woman, Maria Theresa, who
had just inherited the Austrian crown. Frederick conquered
Silesia and held it. In 1744 he was allied with Spain and France,
while Britain allied herself with Austria, and thus Britain and
France were again at war.

In America both sides had long seen that the war was inevitable.
Never had French opinion been more arrogant in asserting France's
right to North America than after the Treaty of Utrecht. At the
dinner-table of the Governor in Quebec there was incessant talk
of Britain's incapacity, of the sheer luck by which she had
blundered into the occupation of great areas, while in truth she
was weak through lack of union and organization. A natural
antipathy, it was said, existed between her colonies and herself;
she was a monarchy while they were really independent republics.
France, on the other hand, had grown stronger since the last war.
In 1713 she had retained the island of Cape Breton and now she
had made it a new menace to British power. Boston, which had
breathed more freely after the fall of Port Royal in 1710, soon
had renewed cause for alarm in regard to its shipping. On the
southern coast of Cape Breton, there was a spacious harbor with a
narrow entrance easily fortified, and here France began to build
the fortress of Louisbourg. It was planned on the most approved
military principles of the time. Through its strength, the
boastful talk went, France should master North America. The King
sent out cannon, undertook to build a hospital, to furnish
chaplains for the service of the Church, to help education, and
so on. Above all, he sent to Louisbourg soldiers.

Reports of these wonderful things reached the English colonies
and caused fears and misgivings. New England believed that
Louisbourg reflected the pomp and wealth of Versailles. The
fortress was, in truth, slow in building and never more than a
rather desolate outpost of France. It contained in all about four
thousand people. During the thirty years of the long truce it
became so strong that it was without a rival on the Atlantic
coast. The excellent harbor was a haven for the fishermen of
adjacent waters and a base for French privateers, who were a
terror to all the near trade routes of the Atlantic. On the
military side Louisbourg seemed a success. But the French failed
in their effort to colonize the island of Cape Breton on which
the fortress stood. Today this island has great iron and other
industries. There are coal-mines near Louisbourg; and its harbor,
long deserted after the fall of the power of France, has now an
extensive commerce. The island was indeed fabulously rich in
coals and minerals. To use these things, however, was to be the
task of a new age of industry. The colonist of the eighteenth
century--a merchant, a farmer, or a fur trader--thought that Cape
Breton was bleak and infertile and refused to settle there.
Louisbourg remained a compact fortress with a good harbor, free
from ice during most of the year, but too much haunted by fog. It
looked out on a much-traveled sea. But it remained set in the

Even if Louisbourg made up for the loss of Port Royal, this did
not, however, console France for the cession of Acadia. The fixed
idea of those who shaped the policy of Canada was to recover
Acadia and meanwhile to keep its French settlers loyal to France.
The Acadians were not a promising people with whom to work. In
Acadia, or Nova Scotia, as the English called it, these backward
people had slowly gathered during a hundred years and had
remained remote and neglected. They had cleared farms, built
primitive houses, planted orchards, and reared cattle. In 1713
their number did not exceed two or three thousand, but already
they were showing the amazing fertility of the French race in
America. They were prosperous but ignorant. Almost none of them
could read. After the cession of their land to Britain in 1713
they had been guaranteed by treaty the free exercise of their
religion and they were Catholics to a man. It seems as if history
need hardly mention a people so feeble and obscure.
Circumstances, however, made the role of the Acadians important.
Their position was unique. The Treaty of Utrecht gave them the
right to leave Acadia within a year, taking with them their
personal effects. To this Queen Anne added the just privilege of
selling their lands and houses. Neither the Acadians themselves,
however, nor their new British masters were desirous that they
should leave. The Acadians were content in their old homes; and
the British did not wish them to help in building up the
neighboring French stronghold on Cape Breton. It thus happened
that the French officials could induce few of the Acadians to
migrate and the English troubled them little. Having been
resolute in acquiring Nova Scotia, Britain proceeded straightway
to neglect it. She brought in few settlers. She kept there less
than two hundred soldiers and even to these she paid so little
attention that sometimes they had no uniforms. The Acadians
prospered, multiplied, and quarreled as to the boundaries of
their lands. They rendered no military service, paid no taxes,
and had the country to themselves as completely as if there had
been no British conquest. They rarely saw a British official. If
they asked the British Governor at Annapolis to settle for them
some vexed question of rights or ownership he did so and they did
not even pay a fee.

This is not, however, the whole story. England's neglect of the
colony was France's opportunity. Perhaps the French court did not
follow closely what was going on in Acadia. The successive French
Governors of Canada at Quebec were, however, alert; and their
policy was to incite the Abenaki Indians on the New England
frontier to harass the English settlements, and to keep the
Acadians an active factor in the support of French plans. The
nature of French intrigue is best seen in the career of Sebastien
Rale. He was a highly educated Jesuit priest. It was long a
tradition among the Jesuits to send some of their best men as
missionaries among the Indians. Rale spent nearly the whole of
his life with the Abenakis at the mission station of Norridgewock
on the Kennebec River. He knew the language and the customs of
the Indians, attended their councils, and dominated them by his
influence. He was a model missionary, earnest and scholarly. But
the Jesuit of that age was prone to be half spiritual zealot,
half political intriguer. There is no doubt that the Indians had
a genuine fear that the English, with danger from France
apparently removed by the Treaty of Utrecht, would press claims
to lands about the Kennebec River in what is now the State of
Maine, and that they would ignore the claims of the Indians and
drive them out. The Governor at Quebec helped to arouse the
savages against the arrogant intruders. English border ruffians
stirred the Indians by their drunken outrages and gave them real
cause for anger. The savages knew only one way of expressing
political unrest. They began murdering women and children in
raids on lonely log cabins on the frontier. The inevitable result
was that in 1721 Massachusetts began a war on them which dragged
on for years. Rale, inspired from Quebec, was believed to control
the Indians and, indeed, boasted that he did so. At last the
English struck at the heart of the trouble. In 1724 some two
hundred determined men made a silent advance through the forest
to the mission village of Norridgewock where Rale lived, and Rale
died fighting the assailants. In Europe a French Jesuit such as
he would have worked among diplomats and at the luxurious courts
of kings. In America he worked among savages under the hard
conditions of frontier life. The methods and the aims in both
cases were the same--by subtle and secret influence so to mold
the actions of men that France should be exalted in power. In
their high politics the French sometimes overreached themselves.
To seize points of vantage, to intrigue for influence, are not in
themselves creative. They must be supported by such practical
efforts as will assure an economic reserve adequate in the hour
of testing. France failed partly because she did not know how to
lay sound industrial foundations which should give substance to
the brilliant planning of her leaders.

To French influence of this kind the English opposed forces that
were the outcome of their national character and institutions.
They were keener traders than the French and had cheaper and
better goods, with the exception perhaps of French gunpowder and
of French brandy, which the Indians preferred to English rum.
Though the English were less alert and less brilliant than the
French, the work that they did was more enduring. Their
settlements encroached ever more and more upon the forest. They
found and tilled the good lands, traded and saved and gradually
built up populous communities. The British colonies had twenty
times the population of Canada. The tide of their power crept in
slowly but it moved with the relentless force that has
subsequently made nearly the whole of North America English in
speech and modes of thought.

When, in 1744, open war between the two nations came at last in
Europe, each prepared to spring at the other in America--and
France sprang first. In Nova Scotia, on the narrow strait which
separates the mainland from the island of Cape Breton, the
British had a weak little fishing settlement called Canseau.
Suddenly in May, 1744, when the British at Canseau had heard
nothing of war, two armed vessels from Louisbourg with six or
seven hundred soldiers and sailors appeared before the poor
little place and demanded its surrender. To this the eighty
British defenders agreed on the condition that they should be
sent to Boston which, as yet, had not heard of the war. Meanwhile
they were taken to Louisbourg where they kept their eyes open.
But the French continued in their offensive. The one vital place
held by the British in Nova Scotia was Annapolis, at that time so
neglected that the sandy ramparts had crumbled into the ditch
supposed to protect them, and cows from the neighboring fields
walked up the slope and looked down into the fort. It was
Duvivier, the captor of Canseau, who attacked Annapolis. He had
hoped much for help from the Indians and the Acadians, but,
though both seemed eager, both failed him in action. Paul
Mascarene, who defended Annapolis, was of Huguenot blood, which
stimulated him to fight the better against the Catholic French.
Boston sent him help, for that little capital was deeply moved,
and so Annapolis did not fall, though it was harassed during the
whole summer of 1744; and New England; in a fever at the new
perils of war, prepared a mighty stroke against the French.

This expedition was to undertake nothing less than the capture of
Louisbourg itself. The colonial troops had been so often reminded
of their inferiority to regular troops as fighting forces that,
with provincial docility, they had almost come to accept the
estimate. It was well enough for them to fight irregular French
and Indian bands, but to attack a fortress defended by a French
garrison was something that only a few bold spirits among them
could imagine. Such a spirit, however, was William Vaughan, a
Maine trader, deeply involved in the fishing industry and
confronted with ruin from hostile Louisbourg. Shirley, the
Governor of Massachusetts, a man of eager ambition, took up the
proposal and worked out an elaborate plan. The prisoners who had
been captured at Canseau by the French and interned at Louisbourg
now arrived at Boston and told of bad conditions in the fortress.
In January, 1745, Shirley called a session of the General Court,
the little parliament of Massachusetts, and, having taken the
unusual step of pledging the members to secrecy, he unfolded his
plan. But it proved too bold for the prudent legislators, and
they voted it down. Meanwhile New England trade was suffering
from ships which used Louisbourg as a base. At length public
opinion was aroused and, when Shirley again called the General
Court, a bare majority endorsed his plan. Soon thereafter New
England was aflame. Appeals for help were sent to England and, it
is said, even to Jamaica. Shirley counted on aid from a British
squadron, under Commodore Peter Warren, in American waters, but
at first Warren had no instructions to help such a plan. This
disappointment did not keep New England from going on alone. In
the end Warren received instructions to give the necessary
substantial aid, and he established a strict blockade which
played a vital part in the siege of the French fortress.

In this hour of deadly peril Louisbourg was in not quite happy
case. Some of the French officers, who, would otherwise have
starved on their low pay, were taking part in illicit trade and
were neglecting their duties. Just after Christmas in 1744, there
had been a mutiny over a petty question of butter and bacon.
Here, as in all French colonies, there were cliques, with the
suspicions and bitterness which they involve. The Governor
Duchambon, though brave enough, was a man of poor judgment in a
position that required both tact and talent. The English did not
make the mistake of delaying their preparations. They were indeed
so prompt that they arrived at Canseau early in April and had to
wait for the ice to break up in Gabarus Bay, near Louisbourg,
where they intended to land. Here, on April 30, the great fleet
appeared. A watcher in Louisbourg counted ninety-six ships
standing off shore. With little opposition from the French the
amazing army landed at Freshwater Cove.
Then began an astonishing siege. The commander of the New England
forces, William Pepperrell, was a Maine trader, who dealt in a
little of everything, fish, groceries, lumber, ships, land.
Though innocent of military science, he was firm and tactful. A
British officer with strict military ideas could not, perhaps,
have led that strange army with success. Pepperrell knew that he
had good fighting material; he knew, too, how to handle it. In
his army of some four thousand men there was probably not one
officer with a regular training. Few of his force had proper
equipment, but nearly all his men were handy on a ship as well as
on land. In Louisbourg were about two thousand defenders, of whom
only five or six hundred were French regulars. These professional
soldiers watched with contempt not untouched with apprehension
the breaches of military precedent in the operations of the
besiegers. Men harnessed like horses dragged guns through
morasses into position, exposed themselves recklessly, and showed
the skill, initiative, and resolution which we have now come to
consider the dominant qualities of the Yankee. In time Warren
arrived with a British squadron and then the French were puzzled
anew. They could not understand the relations between the fleet
and the army, which seemed to them to belong to different
nations. The New Englanders appeared to be under a Governor who
was something like an independent monarch. He had drawn up
elaborate plans for his army, comical in their apparent disregard
of the realities of war, naming the hour when the force should
land "unobserved" before Louisbourg, instructing Pepperrell to
surprise that place while every one was asleep, and so on. Kindly
Providence was expected even to give continuous good weather.
"The English appear to have enlisted Heaven in their interests,"
said a despairing resident of the town; "so long as the
expedition lasted they had the most beautiful weather in the
world." There were no storms; the winds were favorable; fog, so
common on that coast, did not creep in; and the sky was clear.

Among the French the opinion prevailed that the English colonists
were ferocious pirates plotting eternally to destroy the power of
France. Their liberty, however, it was well understood, had made
them strong; and now they quickly became formidable soldiers.
Their shooting, bad at first, was, in the end, superb. Sometimes
in their excess of zeal they overcharged their cannon so that the
guns burst. But they managed to hit practically every house in
Louisbourg, and since most of the houses were of wood there was
constant danger of fire. Some of the French fought well. Even
children of ten and twelve helped to carry ammunition.

The Governor Duchambon tried to keep up the spirits of the
garrison by absurd exaggeration of British losses. He was relying
much on help from France, but only a single ship reached port. On
May 19, 1745, the besieged saw approaching Louisbourg a great
French ship of war, the Vigilant, long looked for, carrying 64
guns and 560 men. A northwest wind was blowing which would have
brought her quickly into the harbor. The British fleet was two
and a half leagues away to leeward. The great ship, thinking
herself secure, did not even stop to communicate with Louisbourg
but wantonly gave chase to a small British privateer which she
encountered near the shore. By skillful maneuvering the smaller
ship led the French frigate out to sea again, and then the
British squadron came up. From five o'clock to ten in the evening
anxious men in Louisbourg watched the fight and saw at last the
Vigilant surrender after losing eighty men. This disaster broke
the spirit of the defenders, who were already short of
ammunition. When they knew that the British were preparing for a
combined assault by land and sea, they made terms and surrendered
on the 17th of June, after the siege had lasted for seven weeks.
The garrison marched out with the honors of war, to be
transported to France, together with such of the civilian
population as wished to go.

The British squadron then sailed into the harbor. Pepperrell's
strange army, ragged and war-worn after the long siege, entered
the town by the south gate. They had fought as crusaders, for to
many of them Catholic Louisbourg was a stronghold of Satan.
Whitfield, the great English evangelist, then in New England, had
given them a motto--Nil desperandum Christo duce. There is a
story that one of the English chaplains, old Parson Moody, a man
of about seventy, had brought with him from Boston an axe and was
soon found using it to hew down the altar and images in the
church at Louisbourg. If the story is true, it does something to
explain the belief of the French in the savagery of their
opponents who would so treat things which their enemies held to
be most sacred. The French had met this fanaticism with a
savagery equally intense and directed not against things but
against the flesh of men. An inhabitant of Louisbourg during the
siege describes the dauntless bravery of the Indian allies of the
French during the siege: "Full of hatred for the English whose
ferocity they abhor, they destroy all upon whom they can lay
hands." He does not have even a word of censure for the savages
who tortured and killed in cold blood a party of some twenty
English who had been induced to surrender on promise of life. The
French declared that not they but the savages were responsible
for such barbarities, and the English retorted that the French
must control their allies. Feeling on such things was naturally
bitter on both sides and did much to decide that the war between
the two nations should be to the death.

The fall of Louisbourg brought great exultation to the English
colonies. It was a unique event, the first prolonged and
successful siege that had as yet taken place north of Mexico. An
odd chance of war had decreed that untrained soldiers should win
a success so prodigious. New England, it is true, had incurred a
heavy expenditure, and her men, having done so much, naturally
imagined that they had done everything, and talked as if the
siege was wholly their triumph. They were, of course, greatly
aided by the fleet under Warren, and the achievement was a joint
triumph of army and navy. New England alone, however, had the
credit of conceiving and of arousing others to carry out a
brilliant exploit.

Victory inspires to further victory. The British, exultant after
Louisbourg, were resolved to make an end of French power in
America. "Delenda est Canada!" cried Governor Shirley to the
General Court of Massachusetts, and the response of the members
was the voting of men and money on a scale that involved the
bankruptcy of the Commonwealth. Other colonies, too, were eager
for a cause which had won a success so dazzling, and some eight
thousand men were promised for an attack on Canada, proud and
valiant Massachusetts contributing nearly one-half of the total
number. The old plan was to be followed. New York was to lead in
an attack by way of Lake Champlain. New England was to collect
its forces at Louisbourg. Here a British fleet should come,
carrying eight battalions of British regulars, and, with Warren
in command, the whole armada should proceed to Quebec. Nothing
came of this elaborate scheme. Neither the promised troops nor
the fleet arrived from England. British ministers broke faith
with the colonists in the adventure with quite too light a heart.

Stories went abroad of disorder and dissension in Louisbourg
under the English and of the weakness of the place. Disease broke
out. Hundreds of New England soldiers died and their bones now
lie in graves, unmarked and forgotten, on the seashore by the
deserted fortress; at almost any time still their bones, washed
down by the waves, may be picked up on the beach. There were
sullen mutterings of discontent at Louisbourg. Soldiers grumbled
over grievances which were sometimes fantastic. Rumor had been
persistent in creating a legend that vast wealth, the accumulated
plunder brought in by French privateers, was stored in the town.
>From this source a rich reward in booty was expected by the
soldiers. In fact, when Louisbourg was taken, all looting was
forbidden and the soldiers were put on guard over houses which
they had hoped to rob. For the soldiers there were no prizes.
Louisbourg was poor. The sailors, on the other hand, were
fortunate. As a decoy Warren kept the French flag flying over the
harbor, and French ships sailed in, one of them with a vast
treasure of gold and silver coin and ingots from Peru valued at
600,000 pounds. One other prize was valued at 200,000 pounds and
a third at 140,000 pounds. Warren's own share of prize money
amounted to 60,000 pounds, while Pepperrell, the unrewarded
leader of the sister service, piled up a personal debt of 10,000
pounds. Quarrels occurred between soldiers and sailors, and in
these the New Englanders soon proved by no means the cowards
which complacent superiority in England considered them; rather,
as an enlightened Briton said, "If they had pickaxe and spade
they would dig a way to Hell itself and storm that stronghold."

Behind all difficulties was the question whether, having taken
Louisbourg, the British could continue to hold it. France
answered with a resolute "No." To retake it she fitted out a
great fleet. Nearly half her navy gathered under the Duc
d'Anville and put to sea on June 20, 1746. If in the previous
summer God had helped the English with good weather, by a similar
proof His face now appeared turned a second time against the
French. In the great array there were more than sixty ships,
which were to gather at Chebucto, now Halifax, harbor, and to be
joined there by four great ships of war from the West Indies.
Everything went wrong. On the voyage across the Atlantic there
was a prolonged calm, followed by a heavy squall. Several ships
were struck by lightning. A magazine on the Mars blew up, killing
ten and wounding twenty-one men. Pestilence broke out. As a
crowning misfortune, the fleet was scattered by a terrific storm.
After great delay d'Anville's ship reached Chebucto, then a wild
and lonely spot. The expected fleet from the West Indies had
indeed come, but had gone, since the ships from France, long
overdue, had not arrived. D'Anville died suddenly--some said of
apoplexy, others of poison self-administered. More ships arrived
full of sick men and short of provisions. D'Estournel, who
succeeded d'Anville in chief command, in despair at the outlook
killed himself with his own sword after the experience of only a
day or two in his post. La Jonquiere, a competent officer,
afterwards Governor of Canada, then led the expedition. The
pestilence still raged, and from two to three thousand men died.
One day a Boston sloop boldly entered Chebucto harbor to find out
what was going on. It is a wonder that the British did not
descend upon the stricken French and destroy them. In October, La
Jonquiere, having pulled his force together, planned to win the
small success of taking Annapolis, but again storms scattered his
ships. At the end of October he finally decided to return to
France. But there were more heavy storms; and one French crew was
so near starvation that only a chance meeting with a Portuguese
ship kept them from killing and eating five English prisoners.
Only a battered remnant of the fleet eventually reached home

The disaster did not crush France. In May of the next spring,
1747, a new fleet under La Jonquiere set out to retake
Louisbourg. Near the coast of Europe, however, Admirals Anson and
Warren met and completely destroyed it, taking prisoner La
Jonquiere himself. This disaster effected what was really the
most important result of the war: it made the British fleet
definitely superior to the French. During the struggle England
had produced a new Drake, who attacked Spain in the spirit of the
sea-dogs of Elizabeth. Anson had gone in 1740 into the Pacific,
where he seized and plundered Spanish ships as Drake had done
nearly two centuries earlier; and in 1744, when he had been given
up for lost, he completed the great exploit of sailing round the
world and bringing home rich booty. Such feats went far to give
Britain that command of the sea on which her colonial Empire was
to depend.

The issue of the war hung more on events that occurred in Europe
than in America, and France had made gains as well as suffered
losses. It was on the sea that she had sustained her chief
defeats. In India she had gained by taking the English factory at
Madras; and in the Low Countries she was still aggressive.
Indeed, during the war England had been more hostile to Spain
than to France. She had not taken very seriously her support of
the colonies in their attack on Louisbourg and she had failed
them utterly in their designs on Canada. It is true that in
Europe England had grave problems to solve. Austria, with which
she was allied, desired her to fight until Frederick of Prussia
should give up the province of Silesia seized by him in 1740. In
this quarrel England had no vital interest. France had occupied
the Austrian Netherlands and had refused to hand back to Austria
this territory unless she received Cape Breton in return. Britain
might have kept Cape Breton if she would have allowed France to
keep Belgium. This, in loyalty to Austria, she would not do.
Accordingly peace was made at Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748 on the
agreement that each side should restore to the other its
conquests, not merely in Europe but also in America and Asia.
Thus it happened that the British flag went up again at Madras
while it came down at Louisbourg.

Boston was of course angry at the terms of the treaty. What
sacrifices had Massachusetts not made! The least of them was the
great burden of debt which she had piled up. Her sons had borne
what Pepperrell called "almost incredible hardships." They had
landed cannon on a lee shore when the great waves pounded to
pieces their boats and when men wading breast high were crushed
by the weight of iron. Harnessed two and three hundred to a gun,
they had dragged the pieces one after the other over rocks and
through bog and slime, and had then served them in the open under
the fire of the enemy. New Englanders had died like "rotten
sheep" in Louisbourg. The graves of nearly a thousand of them lay
on the bleak point outside the wall. What they had gained by this
sacrifice must now be abandoned. A spirit of discontent with the
mother country went abroad and, after this sacrifice of colonial
interests, never wholly died out. It is not without interest to
note in passing that Gridley, the engineer who drew the plan of
the defenses of Louisbourg, thirty years later drew those of
Bunker Hill to protect men of the English race who fought against

Every one knew that the peace of 1748 was only a truce and
Britain began promptly new defenses. Into the spacious harbor of
Chebucto, which three years earlier had been the scene of the
sorrows of d'Anville's fleet, there sailed in June, 1749, a
considerable British squadron bent on a momentous errand. It
carried some thousands of settlers, Edward Cornwallis, a governor
clothed with adequate authority, and a force sufficient for the
defense of the new foundation. Cornwallis was delighted with the
prospect. "All the officers agree the harbour is the finest they
have ever seen"--this, of Halifax harbor with the great Bedford
Basin, opening beyond it, spacious enough to contain the fleets
of the world. "The Country is one continuous Wood, no clear spot
to be seen or heard of. D'Anville's fleet...cleared no
ground; they encamped their men on the beach." The garrison was
withdrawn from Louisbourg and soon arrived at Halifax, with a
vast quantity of stores. A town was marked out; lots were drawn
for sites; and every one knew where he might build his house.
There were prodigious digging, chopping, hammering. "I shall be
able to get them all Houses before winter," wrote Cornwallis
cheerily. Firm military discipline, indeed, did wonders. Before
winter came, a town had been created, and with the town a
fortress which from that time has remained the chief naval and
military stronghold of Great Britain in North America. At
Louisbourg some two hundred miles farther east on the coast,
France could reestablish her military strength, but now
Louisbourg had a rival and each was resolved to yield nothing to
the other. The founding of Halifax was in truth the symbol of the
renewal of the struggle for a continent.

CHAPTER V. The Great West

In days before the railway had made possible a bulky commerce by
overland routes, rivers furnished the chief means of access to
inland regions. The fame of the Ganges, the Euphrates, the Nile,
and the Danube shows the part which great rivers have played in
history. Of North America's four greatest river systems, the two
in the far north have become known in times so recent that their
place in history is not yet determined. One of them, the
Mackenzie, a mighty stream some two thousand miles long, flows
into the Arctic Ocean through what remains chiefly a wilderness.
The waters of the other, the Saskatchewan, discharge into Hudson
Bay more than a thousand miles from their source, flowing through
rich prairie land which is still but scantily peopled. On the
Saskatchewan, as on the remaining two systems, the St. Lawrence
and the Mississippi, the French were the pioneers. Though today
the regions drained by these four rivers are dominated by the
rival race, the story which we now follow is one of romantic
enterprise in which the honors are with France.

More perhaps by accident than by design had the French been the
first to settle on the St. Lawrence. Fishing vessels had hovered
round the entrance to the Gulf of St. Lawrence for years before,
in 1535, the French sailor, Jacques Cartier, advanced up the
river as far as the foot of the torrential rapids where now
stands the city of Montreal. Cartier was seeking a route to the
Far East. He half believed that this impressive waterway drained
the plains of China and that around the next bend he might find
the busy life of an oriental city. The time came when it was
known that a great sea lay between America and Asia and the
mystery of the pathway to this sea long fascinated the pioneers
of the St. Lawrence. Canada was a colony, a trading-post, a
mission, the favorite field of Jesuit activity, but it was also
the land which offered by way of the St. Lawrence a route leading
illimitably westward to the Far East.

One other route rivaled the St. Lawrence in promise, and that was
the Mississippi. The two rivers are essentially different in
their approaches and in type. The mouth of the St. Lawrence opens
directly towards Europe and of all American rivers lies nearest
to the seafaring peoples of Europe. Since it flows chiefly in a
rocky bed, its course changes little; its waters are clear, and
they become icy cold as they approach the sea and mingle with the
tide which flows into the great Gulf of St. Lawrence from the
Arctic regions. The Mississippi, on the other hand, is a turbid,
warm stream, flowing through soft lands. Its shifting channel is
divided at its mouth by deltas created from the vast quantity of
soil which the river carries in its current. On the low-lying,
forest-clad, northern shore of the Gulf of Mexico it was not easy
to find the mouth of the Mississippi by approaching it from the
sea. The voyage there from France was long and difficult; and,
moreover, Spain claimed the lands bordering on the Gulf of Mexico
and declared herself ready to drive out all intruders.

Nature, it is clear, dictated that, if France was to build up her
power in the interior of the New World, it was the valley of the
St. Lawrence which she should first occupy. Time has shown the
riches of the lands drained by the St. Lawrence. On no other
river system in the world is there now such a multitude of great
cities. The modern traveler who advances by this route to the
sources of the river beyond the Great Lakes surveys wonders ever
more impressive. Before his view appear in succession Quebec,
Montreal, Toronto, Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Duluth,
and many other cities and towns, with millions in population and
an aggregate of wealth so vast as to stagger the imagination.
Step by step had the French advanced from Quebec to the interior.
Champlain was on Lake Huron in 1615, and there the Jesuits soon
had a flourishing mission to the Huron Indians. They had only to
follow the shore of Lake Huron to come to the St. Mary's River
bearing towards the sea the chilly waters of Lake Superior. On
this river, a much frequented fishing ground of the natives, they
founded the mission of Sainte Marie du Saut. Farther to the
south, on the narrow opening connecting Lake Huron and Lake
Michigan, grew up the post known as Michilimackinac. It was then
inevitable that explorers and missionaries should press on into
both Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. By the time that Frontenac
came first to Canada in 1672 the French had a post called St.
Esprit on the south shore of Lake Superior near its western end
and they had also passed westward from Lake Michigan and founded
posts on both the Illinois and the Wisconsin Rivers which flow
into the Mississippi.

France had placed on record her claim to the whole of the Great
West. On a June morning in 1671 there had been a striking scene
at Sainte Marie du Saut. The French had summoned a great throng
of Indians to the spot. There, with impressive ceremony,
Saint-Lusson, an officer from Canada, had set up a cedar post on
which was a plate engraved with the royal arms, and proclaimed
Louis XIV lord of all the Indian tribes and of all the lands,
rivers, and lakes, discovered and to be discovered in the region
stretching from the Atlantic to that other mysterious sea beyond
the spreading lands of the West. Henceforth at their peril would
the natives disobey the French King, or other states encroach
upon these his lands. A Jesuit priest followed Saint-Lusson with
a description to the savages of their new lord, the King of
France. He was master of all the other rulers of the world. At
his word the earth trembled. He could set earth and sea on fire
by the blaze of his cannon. The priest knew the temper of his
savage audience and told of the King's warriors covered with the
blood of his enemies, of the rivers of blood which flowed from
their wounds, of the King's countless prisoners, of his riches
and his power, so great that all the world obeyed him. The
gave delighted shouts at the strange ceremony, but of its real
meaning they knew nothing. What they understood was that the
French seemed to be good friends who brought them muskets,
hatchets, cloth, and especially the loved but destructive
firewater which the savage palate ever craved.

The mystery of the Great Lakes once solved, there still remained
that of the Western Sea. The St. Lawrence flowed eastward.
Another river must therefore be found flowing westward. The
French were eager listeners when the savages talked of a mighty
river in the west flowing to the sea. They meant, as we now
suppose, the Mississippi. There are vague stories of Frenchmen on
the Mississippi at an earlier date; but, however this may be, it
is certain that in the summer of 1673 Louis Joliet, the son of a
wagon-maker of Quebec, and Jacques Marquette, a Jesuit priest,
reached and descended the great river from the mouth of the
Wisconsin to a point far past the mouth of the Ohio.

France thus planted herself on the Mississippi, though there her
occupation was less complete and thorough than it was on the St.
Lawrence. Distance was an obstacle; it was a far cry from Quebec
by land, and from France the voyage by sea through the Gulf of
Mexico was hardly less difficult. The explorer La Salle tried
both routes. In 1681-1682 he set out from Montreal, reached the
Mississippi overland, and descended to its mouth. Two years later
he sailed from France with four ships bound for the mouth of the
river, there to establish a colony; but before achieving his aim
he was murdered in a treacherous attack led by his own

It was Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d'Iberville, who first made good
France's claim to the Mississippi. He reached the river by sea in
1699 and ascended to a point some eighty miles beyond the present
city of New Orleans. Farther east, on Biloxi Bay, he built Fort
Maurepas and planted his first colony. Spain disliked this
intrusion; but Spain soon to be herself ruled, as France then
was, by a Bourbon king--did not prove irreconcilable and slowly
France built up a colony in the south. It was in 1718 that
Iberville's brother, Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville,
founded New Orleans, destined to become in time one of the great
cities of North America. Its beginnings were not propitious. The
historian Charlevoix describes it as being in 1721 a low-lying,
malarious place, infested by snakes and alligators, and
consisting of a hundred wretched hovels.

In spite of this dreary outlook, it was still true that France,
planted at the mouth of the Mississippi, controlled the greatest
waterway in the world. Soon she had scattered settlements
stretching northward to the Ohio and the Missouri, the one river
reaching eastward almost to the waters of the St. Lawrence
system, the other flowing out of the western plains from its
source in the Rocky Mountains. The old mystery, however,
remained, for the Mississippi flowed into the Gulf of Mexico,
into Atlantic waters already well known. The route to the Western
Sea was still to be found.

It was easy enough for France to record a sweeping claim to the
West, but to make good this claim she needed a chain of posts,
which should also be forts, linking the Mississippi with the St.
Lawrence and strong enough to impress the Indians whose country
she had invaded. At first she had reached the interior by way of
the Ottawa River and Lake Huron, and in that northern country her
position was secure enough through her posts on the upper lakes.
The route farther south by Lake Ontario and Lake Erie was more
difficult. The Iroquois menaced Niagara and long refused to let
France have a footing there to protect her pathway to Lake Erie
and the Ohio Valley. It was not until 1720, a period
comparatively late, that the French managed to have a fort at the
mouth of the Niagara. On the Detroit River, the next strategic
point on the way westward, they were established earlier. Just
after Frontenac died in 1698, La Mothe Cadillac urged that there
should be built on this river a fort and town which might be made
the center of all the trading interests west of Lake Erie. End
the folly, he urged, of going still farther afield among the
Indians and teaching them the French language and French modes of
thought. Leave the Indians to live their own type of life, to
hunt and to fish. They need European trade and they have valuable
furs to exchange. Encourage them to come to the French at Detroit
and see that they go nowhere else by not allowing any other posts
in the western country. Cadillac was himself a keen if secret
participant in the profits of the fur trade and hoped to be
placed in command at Detroit and there to become independent of
control from Quebec. Detroit was founded in 1701; and though for
a long time it did not thrive, the fact that on the site has
grown up one of the great industrial cities of modern times shows
that Cadillac had read aright the meaning of the geography of
North America.

When France was secure at Niagara and at Detroit, two problems
still remained unsolved. One was that of occupying the valley of
the Ohio, the waters of which flow westward almost from the south
shore of Lake Erie until they empty into the vaster flood of the
Mississippi. Here there was a lion in the path, for the English
claimed this region as naturally the hinterland of the colonies
of Virginia and Pennsylvania. What happened on the Ohio we shall
see in a later chapter. The other great problem, to be followed
here, was to explore the regions which lay beyond the
Mississippi. These spread into a remote unknown, unexplored by
the white man, and might ultimately lead to the Western Sea. We
might have supposed that France's farther adventure into the West
would have been from the Mississippi up its great tributary the
Missouri, which flows eastward from the eternal snows of the
Rocky Mountains. Always, however, the uncertain temper of the
many Indian tribes in this region made the advance difficult. The
tribes inhabiting the west bank of the Mississippi were
especially restless and savage. The Sioux, in particular, made
life perilous for the French at their posts near the mouth of the

It thus happened that the white man first reached the remoter
West by way of regions farther north. It became easy enough to
coast along the north and the south shore of Lake Superior, easy
enough to find rivers which fed the great system of the St.
Lawrence or of the Mississippi. These, however, would not solve
the mystery. A river flowing westward was still to be sought.
Thus, both in pursuit of the fur trade and in quest of the
Western Sea, the French advanced westward from Lake Superior.
Where now stands the city of Fort William there flows into Lake
Superior the little stream called still by its Indian name of
Kaministiquia. There the French had long maintained a
trading-post from which they made adventurous journeys northward
and westward.

The rugged regions still farther north had already been explored,
at least in outline. There lay the great inland sea known as
Hudson Bay. French and English had long disputed for its mastery.
By 1670 the English had found trade to Hudson Bay so promising
that they then created the Hudson's Bay Company, which remains
one of the great trading corporations of the world. With the
English on Hudson Bay, New France was between English on the
north and English on the south and did not like it. On Hudson Bay
the English showed the same characteristics which they had shown
in New England. They were not stirred by vivid imaginings of what
might be found westward beyond the low-lying coast of the great
inland sea. They came for trade, planted themselves at the mouths
of the chief rivers, unpacked their goods, and waited for the
natives to come to barter with them. For many years the natives
came, since they must have the knives, hatchets, and firearms of
Europe. To share this profitable trade the French, now going
overland to the north from Quebec, now sailing into Hudson Bay by
the Straits, attacked the English; and on those dreary waters,
long before the Great West was known, there had been many a naval
battle, many a hand-to-hand fight for forts and their rich prize
of furs.

The chief French hero in this struggle was that son of Charles Le
Moyne of Montreal, Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville, who ended his
days in the task of founding the French colony of Louisiana. He
was perhaps the most notable of all the adventurous leaders whom
New France produced. He was first on Hudson Bay in the late
summer of 1686, in a party of about a hundred men, led by the
Chevalier de Troyes, who had marched overland from Quebec through
the wilderness. The English on the Bay, with a charter from King
Charles II, the friend of the French, and in a time of profound
peace under his successor, thought themselves secure. They now
had, however, a rude awakening. In the dead of night the
Frenchmen fell upon Fort Hayes, captured its dazed garrison, and
looted the place. The same fate befell all the other English
posts on the Bay. Iberville gained a rich store of furs as his
share of the plunder and returned with it to Quebec in 1687, just
at the time when La Salle, that other pioneer of France, was
struck down in the distant south by a murderer's hand.

Iberville was, above all else, a sailor. The easiest route to
Hudson Bay was by way of the sea. More than once after his first
experience he led to the Bay a naval expedition. His exploits are
still remembered with pride in French naval annals. In 1697 he
sailed the Pelican through the ice-floes of Hudson Straits. He
was attacked by three English merchantmen, with one hundred and
twenty guns against his forty-four. One of the English ships
escaped, one Iberville sank with all on board, one he captured.
That autumn the hardy corsair was in France with a great booty
from the furs which the English had laboriously gathered.

The triumph of the French on Hudson Bay was short-lived. Their
exploits, though brilliant and daring, were more of the nature of
raids than attempts to settle and explore. They did no more than
the English to ascend the Nelson or other rivers to find what lay
beyond; and in 1718, by the Treaty of Utrecht, as we have already
seen, they gave up all claim to Hudson Bay and yielded that
region to the English.

Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, Sieur de la Verendrye, was a member
of the Canadian noblesse, a son of the Governor of Three Rivers
on the St. Lawrence. He was born in 1685 and had taken part in
the border warfare of the days of Queen Anne. He was a member of
the raiding party led against New England by Hertel de Rouville
in 1704 and may have been one of those who burst in on the little
town of Deerfield, Massachusetts, and either butchered or carried
off as prisoners most of the inhabitants. Shortly afterwards we
find him a participant in warfare of a less ignoble type. In 1706
he went to France and became an ensign in a regiment of
grenadiers. Those were the days when Marlborough was hammering
and destroying the armies of Louis XIV. La Verendrye, took part
in the last of the series of great battles, the bloody conflict
at Malplaquet in 1709. He received a bullet wound through the
body, was left for dead on the field, fell into the hands of the
enemy, and for fifteen months was a captive. On his release he
was too poor to maintain himself as an officer in France and soon
returned to Canada, where he served as an officer in a colonial
regiment until the peace of 1713. Then the ambitious young man,
recently married, with a growing family and slight resources, had
to work out a career suited to his genius.

His genius was that of an explorer; his task, which fully
occupied his alert mind, was that of finding the long dreamed of
passage to the Western Sea. The venture certainly offered
fascinations. Noyon, a fellow-townsman of La Verendrye at Three
Rivers, had brought back from the distant Lake of the Woods, in
1716, a glowing account, told to him by the natives, of walled
cities, of ships and cannon, and of white-bearded men who lived
farther west. In 1720 the Jesuit Charlevoix, already familiar
with Canada, came out from France, went to the Mississippi
country, and reported that an attempt to find the path to the
Western Sea might be made either by way of the Missouri or
farther north through the country of the Sioux west of Lake
Superior. Both routes involved going among warlike native tribes
engaged in incessant and bloody struggles with each other and not
unlikely to turn on the white intruder. Memorial after memorial
to the French court for assistance resulted at last in serious
effort, but effort handicapped because the court thought that a
monopoly of the fur trade was the only inducement required to
promote the work of discovery.

La Verendrye was more eager to reach the Western Sea than he was
to trade. To outward seeming, however, he became just a fur
trader and a successful one. We find him, in 1726, at the
trading-post of Nipigon, not far from the lake of that name, near
the north shore of Lake Superior. From this point it was not very
difficult to reach the shore of one great sea, Hudson Bay, but
that was not the Western Sea which fired his imagination.
Incessantly he questioned the savages with whom he traded about
what lay in the unknown West. His zeal was kindled anew by the
talk of an Indian named Ochagach. This man said that he himself
had been on a great lake lying west of Lake Superior, that out of
it flowed a river westward, that he had paddled down this river
until he came to water which, as La Verendrye understood, rose
and fell like the tide. Farther, to the actual mouth of the
river, the savage had not gone, for fear of enemies, but he had
been told that it emptied into a great body of salt water upon
the shores of which lived many people. We may be sure that La
Verendrye read into the words of the savage the meaning which he
himself desired and that in reality the Indian was describing
only the waters which flow into Lake Winnipeg.

La Verendrye was all eagerness. Soon we find him back at Quebec
stirring by his own enthusiasm the zeal of the Marquis de
Beauharnois, the Governor of Canada, and begging for help to pay
and equip a hundred men for the great enterprise in the West. The
Governor did what he could but was unable to move the French
court to give money. The sole help offered was a monopoly of the
fur trade in the region to be explored, a doubtful gift, since it
angered all the traders excluded from the monopoly. La Verendrye,
however, was able, by promising to hand over most of the profits,
to persuade merchants in Montreal to equip him with the necessary
men and merchandise.

There followed a period of high hopes and of heartbreaking
failure. In 1731 La Verendrye set out for the West with three
sons, a nephew, a Jesuit priest, the Indian Ochagach as guide--a
party numbering in all about fifty. He intended to build
trading-posts as he went westward and to make the last post
always a base from which to advance still farther. His
difficulties read like those of Columbus. His men not only
disliked the hard work which was inevitable but were haunted by
superstitious fears of malignant fiends in the unknown land who
were ready to punish the invaders of their secrets. The route lay
across the rough country beyond Lake Superior. There were many
long portages over which his men must carry the provisions and
heavy stores for trade. At length the party reached Rainy Lake,
and out of Rainy Lake the waters flow westward. The country
seemed delightful. Fish and game were abundant, and it was not
hard to secure a rich store of furs. On the shore of the lake, in
a charming meadow surrounded by oak trees, La Verendrye built a
trading-post on waters flowing to the west, naming it Fort St.

The voyageurs could now travel westward with the current. It is
certain that other Frenchmen had preceded them in that region,
but this is the first voyage of discovery of which we have any
details. Escorted by an imposing array of fifty canoes of
Indians, La Verendrye floated down Rainy River to the Lake of the
Woods, and here, on a beautiful peninsula jutting out into the
lake, he built another post, Fort St. Charles. It must have
seemed imposing to the natives. On walls one hundred feet square
were four bastions and a watchtower; evidence of the perennial
need of alertness and strength in the Indian country. There were
a chapel, houses for the commandant and the priest, a
powder-magazine, a storehouse, and other buildings. La Verendrye
cleared some land and planted wheat, and was thus the pioneer in
the mighty wheat production of the West. Fish and game were
abundant and the outlook was smiling. By this time the second
winter of La Verendrye's adventurous journeying was near, but
even the cold of that hard region could not chill his eagerness.
He himself waited at Fort St. Charles but his eldest son, Jean
Baptiste, set out to explore still farther.

We may follow with interest the little group of Frenchmen and
Indian guides as they file on snowshoes along the surface of the
frozen river or over the deep snow of the silent forest on, ever
on, to the West. They are the first white men of whom we have
certain knowledge to press beyond the Lake of the Woods into that
great Northwest so full of meaning for the future. The going was
laborious and the distances seemed long, for on their return they
reported that they had gone a hundred and fifty leagues, though
in truth the distance was only a hundred and fifty miles. Then at
last they stood on the shores of a vast body of water, ice-bound
and forbidding as it lay in the grip of winter. It opened out
illimitably westward. But it was not the Western Sea, for its
waters were fresh. The shallow waters of Lake Winnipeg empty not
into the Western Sea but into the Atlantic by way of Hudson Bay.
Its shores then were deserted and desolate, and even to this day
they are but scantily peopled. In that wild land there was no
hint of the populous East of which La Verendrye had dreamed.

At the mouth of the Winnipeg River, where it enters Lake
Winnipeg, La Verendrye built Fort Maurepas, named after the
French minister who was in charge of the colonies and who was
influential at court. The name no doubt expresses some clinging
hope which La Verendrye still cherished of obtaining help from
the King. Already he was hard pressed for resources. Where were
the means to come from for this costly work of building forts?
>From time to time he sent eastward canoes laden with furs which,
after a long and difficult journey, reached Montreal. The traders
to whom the furs were consigned sold them and kept the money as
their own on account of their outlay. La Verendrye in the far
interior could not pay his men and would soon be without goods to
trade with the Indians. After having repeatedly begged for help
but in vain, he made a rapid journey to Montreal and implored the
Governor to aid an enterprise which might change the outlook of
the whole world. The Governor was willing but without the consent
of France could not give help. By promising the traders, who were
now partners in his monopoly, profits of one hundred per cent on
their outlay, La Verendrye at last secured what he needed. His
canoes were laden with goods, and soon brawny arms were driving
once again the graceful craft westward. He had offered a new
hostage to fortune by arranging that his fourth son, a lad of
eighteen, should follow him in the next year.

La Verendrye pressed on eagerly in advance of the heavy-laden
canoes. Grim news met him soon after he reached Fort St. Charles
on the Lake of the Woods. His nephew La Jemeraye, a born leader
of men, who was at the most advanced station, Fort Maurepas on
Lake Winnipeg, had broken down from exposure, anxiety, and
overwork, and had been laid in a lonely grave in the wilderness.
Nearly all pioneer work is a record of tragedy and its gloom lies
heavy on the career of La Verendrye. A little later came another
sorrow-laden disaster. La Verendrye sent his eldest son Jean back
to Rainy Lake to hurry the canoes from Montreal which were
bringing needed food. The party landed on a peninsula at the
discharge of Rainy Lake into Rainy River, fell into an ambush of
Sioux Indians, and were butchered to a man. This incident reveals
the chief cause of the slow progress in discovery in the Great
West: the temper of the savages was always uncertain.

There is no sign that La Verendrye wavered in his great hope even
when he realized that the Winnipeg River was not the river
flowing westward which he sought. We know now that the northern
regions of the American continent east of the Rocky Mountains are
tilted towards the east and the north and that in all its vast
spaces there is no great river which flows to the west. La
Verendrye, however, ignorant of this dictate of nature, longed to
paddle with the stream towards the west. The Red River flows
from the south into Lake Winnipeg at a point near the mouth of
the Winnipeg River. Up the Red River went La Verendrye and found
a tributary, the Assiniboine, flowing into it from the west. At
the point of junction, where has grown up the city of Winnipeg,
he built a tiny fort, called Fort Rouge, a name still preserved
in a suburb of the modern Winnipeg. The explorers went southward
on the Red River, and then went westward on the Assiniboine River
only to find the waters persistently flowing against them and no
definite news of other waters leading to the Western Sea. On the
Assiniboine, near the site of the present town of Portage la
Prairie in Manitoba, La Verendrye built Fort La Reine. Its name
is evidence still perhaps of hopes for aid through the Queen if
not through the King of France.

In 1737 La Verendrye made once more the long journey to Montreal.
His fourteen canoes laden with furs were an earnest of the riches
of the wonderful West and so pleased his Montreal partners that
again they fitted him out with adequate supplies. In the summer
of 1738 we find him at Fort La Reine, rich for the moment in
goods with which to trade, keen and competent as a trader, and
having great influence with the natives. All through the West he
found Indians who went to trade with the English on Hudson Bay,
and he constantly urged them not to take the long journey but to
depend upon the French who came into their own country. It was a
policy well fitted to cause searching of heart among the English
traders who seemed so secure in their snug quarters on the
seashore waiting for the Indians to come to them.

La Verendrye had now a fresh plan for penetrating farther on his
alluring quest. He had heard of a river to the south to be
reached by a journey overland. It was a new thing for him to
abandon canoes and march on foot but this he now did and with
winter approaching. On October 16, 1738, when the autumn winds
were already chill, there was a striking little parade at Fort La
Reine. The drummer beat the garrison to arms. What with soldiers
brought from Canada, the voyageurs who had paddled the great
canoes, and the Indians who dogged always the steps of the French
traders, there was a muster at the fort of some scores of men. La
Verendrye reviewed the whole company and from them chose for his
expedition twenty soldiers and voyageurs and about twenty
Assiniboine Indians. As companions for himself he took Francois
and Pierre, two of his three surviving sons, and two traders who
were at the fort.

We can picture the little company setting out on the 18th of
October on foot, with some semblance of military order, by a
well-beaten trail leading across the high land which separates
the Red River country from the regions to the southwest. La
Verendrye had heard much of a people, the Mandans, dwelling in
well-ordered villages on the banks of a great river and
cultivating the soil instead of living the wandering life of
hunters. Such wonders of Mandan culture had been reported to La
Verendrye that he half expected to find them white men with a
civilization equal to that of Europe. The river was in reality
not an unknown stream, as La Verendrye hoped, but the Missouri, a
river already frequented by the French in its lower stretches
where its waters join those of the Mississippi.

It was a long march over the prairie. La Verendrye found that he
could not hurry his Indian guides. They insisted on delays during
days of glorious autumn weather when it would have been wise to
press on and avoid the winter cold on the wind-swept prairie.
They went out of their way to visit a village of their own
Assiniboine tribe; and, when they resumed their journey, this
whole village followed them. The prairie Indians had a more
developed sense of order and discipline than the tribes of the
forest. La Verendrye admired the military regularity of the
savages on the march. They divided the company of more than six
hundred into three columns: in front, scouts to look out for an
enemy and also for herds of buffalo; in the center, well
protected, the old and the lame, all those incapable of fighting;
and, for a rear-guard, strong fighting men. When buffalo were
seen, the most active of the fighters rushed to the front to aid
in hemming in the game. Women and dogs carried the baggage, the
men condescending to bear only their weapons.

Not until cold December had come did the party reach the chief
Mandan village. It was in some sense imposing, for the Indian
lodges were arranged neatly in streets and squares and the
surrounding palisade was strong and well built. Around the fort
was a ditch fifteen feet deep and of equal width, which made the
village impregnable in Indian warfare. After saluting the village
with three volleys of musket fire, La Verendrye marched in with
great ceremony, under the French flag, only to discover that the
Mandans were not greatly unlike the Assiniboines and other
Indians of the West whom he already knew. The men went about
naked and the women nearly so. They were skilled in dressing
leather. They were also cunning traders, for they duped La
Verendrye's friends, the Assiniboines, and cheated them out of
their muskets, ammunition, kettles, and knives. Great eaters were
the Mandans. They cultivated abundant crops and stored them in
cave cellars. Every day they brought their visitors more than
twenty dishes cooked in earthen pottery of their own handicraft.
There was incredible feasting, which La Verendrye avoided but
which his sons enjoyed. The Mandan language he could not
understand and close questioning as to the route to the Western
Sea was thus impossible. He learned enough to discredit the vague
tales of white men in armor and peopled towns with which his
lying guides had regaled him. In the end he decided for the time
being to return to Fort La Reine and to leave two of his
followers to learn the Mandan language so that in the future they
might act as interpreters. When he left the Mandan village on the
13th of December, he was already ill and it is a wonder that he
did not perish from the cold on the winter journey across hill
and prairie. "In all my life I have never," he says, "endured
such misery from illness and fatigue, as on that journey." On the
11th of February he was back at Fort La Reine, worn out and
broken in health but still undaunted and resolved never to
abandon his search.

Abandon it he never did. We find him in Montreal in 1740 involved
in what he had always held in horror--a lawsuit brought against
him by some impatient creditor. The report had gone abroad that
he was amassing great wealth, when, as he said, all that he had
accumulated was a debt of forty thousand livres. In the autumn of
1741 he was back at Fort La Reine, where he welcomed his son
Pierre from a fruitless journey to the Mandans.

The most famous of all the efforts of the family was now on foot.
On April 29, 1742, a new expedition started from Fort La Reine,
led by La Verendrye's two sons, Pierre and Francois. They knew
the nature of the task before them, its perils as well as its
hopes. They took with them no imposing company as their father
had done, but only two men. The party of four, too feeble to
fight their way, had to trust to the peaceful disposition of the
natives. When they started, the prairie was turning from brown to
green and the rivers were still swollen from the spring thaw. In
three weeks they reached a Mandan village on the upper Missouri
and were well received. It was after midsummer when they set out
again and pressed on westward with a trend to the south. The
country was bare and desolate. For twenty days they saw no human
being. They had Mandan guides who promised to take them to the
next tribe, the Handsome Men--Beaux Hommes--as the brothers
called them, a tribe much feared by the Mandans. The travelers
were now mounted; for the horse, brought first to America by the
Spaniards, had run wild on the western plains where the European
himself had not yet penetrated, and had become an indispensable
aid to certain of the native tribes. Deer and buffalo were in
abundance and they had no lack of food.

When they reached the tribe of Beaux Hommes, the Mandan guides
fled homeward. Summer passed into bleak autumn with chill winds
and long nights. By the end of October they were among the Horse
Indians who, they had been told, could guide them to the sea.
These, however, now said that only the Bow Indians, farther on,
could do this. Winter was near when they were among these
Indians, probably a tribe of the Sioux, whom they found excitedly
preparing for a raid on their neighbors farther west, the Snakes.
They were going, they said, towards the mountains and there the
Frenchmen could look out on the great sea. So the story goes on.
The brothers advanced ever westward and the land became more
rugged, for they were now climbing upward from the prairie
country. At last, on January 1, 1743, they saw what both cheered
and discouraged them. In the distance were mountains. About them
was the prairie, with game in abundance. It was a great host with
which the brothers traveled for there were two thousand warriors
with their families who made night vocal with songs and yells. On
the 12th of January, nearly two weeks later, with an advance
party of warriors, the La Verendryes reached the foot of the
mountains, "well wooded with timber of every kind and very high."

Was it the Rocky Mountains which they saw? Had they reached that
last mighty barrier of snow-capped peaks, rugged valleys, and
torrential streams, beyond which lay the sea? That they had done
so was long assumed and many conjectures have been offered as to
the point in the Rockies near which they made their last camp.
Their further progress was checked by an unexpected crisis. One
day they came upon an encampment of the dreaded Snake Indians
which had been abandoned in great haste. This, the Bow Indians
thought, could only mean that the Snakes had hurriedly left their
camp in order to slip in behind the advance guard of the Bows and
massacre the women and children left in the rear. Panic seized
the Bows and they turned homeward in wild confusion. Their chief
could not restrain them. "I was very much disappointed," writes
one of the brothers, "that I could not climb the
mountains"--those mountains from which he had been told that he
might view the Western Sea.

There was nothing for it but to turn back through snowdrifts over
the bleak prairie. The progress was slow for the snow was
sometimes two feet deep. On the 1st of March the brothers parted
with their Bow friends at their village and then headed for home.
By the 20th they were encamped with a friendly tribe on the banks
of the Missouri. Here, to assert that Louis XV was lord of all
that country, they built on an eminence a pyramid of stones and
in it they buried a tablet of lead with an inscription which
recorded the name of Louis XV, their King, and of the Marquis de
Beauharnois, Governor of Canada, and the date of the visit.

Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. One hundred and seventy
years later, on February 16, 1913, a schoolgirl strolling with
some companions on a Sunday afternoon near the High School in the
town of Pierre, South Dakota, stumbled upon a projecting corner
of this tablet, which was in an excellent state of preservation.
Thus we know exactly where the brothers La Verendrye were on
April 2, 1743, when they bade farewell to their Indian friends
and set out on horseback for Fort La Reine.

Spring had turned to summer before the brothers reached their
destination. On July 2, 1743, they relieved the anxiety of their
waiting father after an absence of fifteen months. Moving slowly
as they did, could they have traveled from the distant Rockies
from the time in January when they turned back? It seems
doubtful; and in spite of the long-cherished belief that the
brothers reached the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, it may be
that they had not penetrated beyond the barrier which we know as
the Black Hills. The chance discovery of a forgotten plate by
school children may in truth prove that, as late as in 1750, the
Rocky Mountains had not yet been seen by white men and that the
first vision of that mighty range was obtained much farther north
in Canada.

After 1743 the French seem to have made no further efforts to
reach the Western Sea by way of the Missouri. If in reality the
brothers had not gone beyond the Black Hills in South Dakota,
then their most important work appears to have been done within
what is now Canada, as discoverers of the Saskatchewan, the
mighty river which carries to far-distant Hudson Bay the waters
melted on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. It was by
this route up the Saskatchewan that fifty years later was solved
the tough and haunting problem of going over the mountains to the
Pacific Ocean. La Verendrye now ascended the Saskatchewan for
some three hundred miles to the forks where it divides into two
great branches. He was going deeper into debt but he hoped always
for help from the King. It is pathetic to see today, on the map
of that part of western Canada which he and his sons explored, a
town, a lake, and a county called Dauphin, in honor of the heir
to the throne of France. No doubt La Verendrye had the thought
that some day he might plead with the Dauphin when he had become
King for help in his great task.

Before the year 1749 had ended La Verendrye, who had returned to
Montreal, was in his grave. His sons, partners in his work,
expected to be charged with the task--to which the King, in 1749,
had anew appointed their father--of continuing the work of
discovery in the West. Francois, for a time ill, wrote in 1750
from Montreal to La Jonquiere, the Governor at Quebec, that he
hoped to take up the plans of his father. The Governor's reply
was that he had appointed another officer, Legardeur de
Saint-Pierre, to lead in the search for the Western Sea. Francois
hurried to Quebec. The Governor met him with a bland face and
seemed friendly. Francois, urged that he and his brothers claimed
no preeminence and that they were ready to serve under the orders
of Saint-Pierre. The Governor was hesitant; but at last told
Francois, frankly that the new leader desired no help either from
him or from his brothers. Francois, was dismayed. He and his
brothers were in debt. Already he had sent on stores and men to
the West and the men were likely to starve if not followed by
provisions. His chief property was in the West in the form of
goods which would be plundered without his guardianship. To tide
over the immediate future he sold the one small piece of land in
Montreal which he had inherited from his father and threw this
slight sop to his urgent creditors.

Saint-Pierre, strong in his right of monopoly, insisted that the
brothers should not even return to the West. Francois, urged that
to go was a matter of life and death. In some way he secured
leave to set out with one laden canoe. When Saint-Pierre found
that Francois had gone, he claimed damages for the intrusion on
his monopoly and secured an order to pursue Francois and bring
him back. He caught him at Michilimackinac. The meeting between
the two men at that place involved explanations. Face to face
with an injured man, Saint-Pierre admitted that he had been in
the wrong, paid to Francois many compliments, and regretted that
he had not joined hands with the brothers.

The mischief done was, however, irreparable. Francois, crippled
by opposition, could not carry on his trade with success and in
the end he returned to Montreal a ruined man overwhelmed with
debt. He wrote to the French court a noble appeal for relief:

"I remain without friends and without patrimony...a simple
ensign of the second grade; my elder brother has only the same
rank as myself; my younger brother is only a junior cadet. This
is the result of all that my father, my brothers and myself have
done.... There are in the hands of your Lordship resources of
compensation and of consolation. I venture to appeal to you for
relief. To find ourselves excluded from the West would mean to be
cruelly robbed of our heritage, to realize for ourselves all that
is bitter and to see others secure all that is sweet."

The appeal fell on deaf ears. The brothers sank into obscurity.
During Montcalm's campaigns from 1756 to 1759 Pierre and Francois
seem to have been engaged in military service. Francois was
killed in the siege of Quebec in 1759. After the final surrender
of Canada the Auguste, a ship laden for the most part with
refugees returning to France, was wrecked on the St. Lawrence.
Among those on board who perished was Pierre de la Verendrye. He
died amid the howling of the tempest and the cries of drowning
men. Tragedy, unrelenting, had pursued him to the end.

Legardeur de Saint-Pierre, the choice of the Marquis de la
Jonquiere to take up the search for the Western Sea in succession
to the elder La Verendrye, himself went only as far as Fort La
Reine. It was a subordinate, the Chevalier de Niverville, whom he
sent farther west to find the great mountains and if possible the
sea. The winter of 1750-51 had set in before Niverville was
ready. He started apparently from Fort Maurepas, on snowshoes,
his party dragging their supplies on toboggans. Before they
reached Paskoya on the Saskatchewan (the modern Le Pas) they had
nearly perished of hunger and were able to save their lives only
by catching a few fish through the ice. Niverville was ill. He
sent forward ten men by canoe up the Saskatchewan. They traveled
with such rapidity that on May 29, 1751, they had reached the
Rockies. They built a good fort, which they named Fort La
Jonquiere, and stored it with a considerable quantity of
provisions. If, as seems likely, the brothers La Verendrye saw
only the Black Hills, these ten unknown men were the discoverers
of the Rocky Mountains.

Saint-Pierre braced himself to set out for the distant goal but
he was easily discouraged. Niverville, he said, was ill; the
Indians were at war among themselves; some of them were plotting
what Saint-Pierre calls "treason" to the French and their
"perfidy" surpassed anything in his lifelong experience. The
hostile influence of the English he thought all-pervasive.
Obviously these are excuses. He did not like the task and he
turned back. As it was, he tells a dramatic story of how Indians
crowded into Fort La Reine in a threatening manner and how he
saved the fort and himself only by rushing to the magazine with a
lighted torch, knocking open a barrel of powder, and threatening
to blow up everything and everybody if the savages did not
withdraw at once. He was eager to leave the country. In 1752 he
handed over the command to St. Luc de la Come and, in August of
that year, having experienced "much wretchedness" on his
journeys, he was safely back in Montreal. The founding of Fort La
Jonquiere was, no doubt, a great feat. Where the fort stood we do
not know. It may have been on the North Saskatchewan, near
Edmonton, or on the south branch of the river near Calgary. In
any case it was a far-flung outpost of France.

The English had always been more prosaic than the French. The
traders on Hudson Bay worked, indeed, under a monopoly not less
rigorous than that which Canada imposed. Without doubt, many an
Englishman on the Bay was haunted by the hope and desire to reach
the Western Sea. But the servants of the Company knew that to buy
and sell at a profit was their chief aim. They had been on the
whole content to wait for trade to come to them. By 1740 the
Indians, who made the long journey to the Bay by the intricate
waters which carried to the sea the flood of the Saskatchewan and
Lake Winnipeg, were showing to the English articles supplied by
the French at points far inland. It thus became evident that the
French were tapping the traffic in furs near its source and
cutting off the stream which had long flowed to Hudson Bay.

In June, 1754, Anthony Hendry, a young man in the service of the
Company, left York factory on Hudson Bay to find out what the
French were doing. We have a slight but carefully written diary
of Hendry's journey. He does not fail to note that in the summer
weather life was made almost intolerable by the "musketoos."
Traveling by canoe he reached the Saskatchewan River and tells
how, on the 22d of July, he came to "a French house." It was Fort
Paskoya. When Hendry paddled up to the river bank two Frenchmen
met him and "in a very genteel manner" invited him into their
house. With all courtesy they asked him, he says, if he had any
letter from his master and where and on what design he was going
inland. His answer was that he had been sent "to view the
Country" and that he intended to return to Hudson Bay in the
spring. The Frenchmen were sorry that their own master, who was
apparently the well-known Canadian leader, St. Luc de la Corne,
the successor of Saint-Pierre, had gone to Montreal with furs,
and added their regrets that they must detain Hendry until this
leader's return. At this Hendry's Indians grunted and said that
the French dared not do so. Next day Hendry took breakfast and
dinner at the fort, gave "two feet of tobacco" (at that time it
was sold in long coils) to his hosts, and in return received some
moose flesh. The confidence of his Indian guides that the French
would not dare to detain him was justified. Next day Hendry
paddled on up the river and advanced more than twenty miles,
camping at night by "the largest Birch trees I have yet seen."

Hendry wished to see the country thoroughly and to come into
touch with the natives. The best way to do this and to obtain
food was to leave the river and go boldly overland. He
accordingly left his canoes behind and advanced on foot. The
party was starving. On a Sunday in July he walked twenty-six
miles and says "neither Bird nor Beast to be seen,--so that we
have nothing to eat." The next day he traveled twenty-four miles
on an empty stomach and then, to his delight, found a supply of
ripe strawberries, "the size of black currants and the finest I
ever eat." The next day his Indians killed two moose. He then met
natives who, when he asked them to go to Hudson Bay to trade,
replied that they could obtain all they needed from the French
posts. The tact and skill of the French were such that, as Hendry
admits, reluctantly enough, the Indians were already strongly
attached to them. Day after day Hendry journeyed on over the
rolling prairie in the warm summer days. He came to the south
branch of the Saskatchewan near the point where now stands the
city of Saskatoon and crossed the river on the 21st of August.
Then on to the West, eager to take part in the hunting of the

Hendry is almost certainly the first Englishman to see this
region. In the end he reached the mountains. He makes no mention
of having seen or heard anything of Fort La Jonquiere, built
three years earlier. He had aims different from those of La
Verendrye and other French explorers. Not the Western Sea but
openings for trade was he seeking. His great aim was to reach the
tribe called later the Blackfeet Indians, who were mighty hunters
of the buffalo. Hendry was alive to the impressions of nature.
The intense heat of August was followed in September by glorious
weather, with the nights cool and the mosquitoes no longer
troublesome. The climate was bracing. He complains only, from
time to time, of swollen feet, and we need not wonder since his
daily march occasionally went beyond twenty-five miles. Sometimes
for days he saw no living creature. At other times wild life was
prolific: there were moose in great abundance, bears, including
the dreaded grizzly--one of which killed an Indian of his company
and badly mutilated another--beaver, wild horses, and, above all,
the buffalo. "Saw many herds of Buffalo grazing like English
cattle," he says, on the 13th of September, and the next day he
goes buffalo hunting. Guns and ammunition were costly. His
Indians, who used only bows and arrows, on this day killed
seven--"fine sport," says Hendry. Often the Indians took only the
tongue, leaving the carcass for the wolves, who naturally
abounded in such advantageous conditions. It is not easy now to
imagine the part played by the buffalo in the life of the
prairie. As Hendry advanced the herds were so dense as sometimes
to retard his progress. Other writers tell of the vast numbers of
these creatures. Alexander Henry, the younger, writing on April
1, 1801, says that in a river swollen by spring floods, drowned
buffalo floated past his camp in one continuous line for two days
and two nights. In prairie fires thousands were blinded and would
go tumbling down banks into streams or lie down to die. One
morning the bellowing of buffaloes awakened Henry and he looked
out to see the prairie black. "The ground was covered at every
point of the compass, as far as the eye could reach, and every
animal was in motion."

Daily as Hendry advanced he saw smoke in the distance and his
Indians told him that it came from the camp of the Blackfeet. He
reached them on Monday the 14th of October. When four miles away
he was stopped by mounted scouts who asked whether he came as a
friend or as an enemy. He was taken to the camp of two hundred
tents pitched in two rows, and was led through the long passage
between the tents to the big tent of the chief of whom he had
heard much. Not a word was spoken. The chief sat on a white
buffalo skin. Pipes were passed round and each person was
presented with boiled buffalo flesh. When talk began, Hendry told
the chief that his great leader had sent him to invite them to
come to trade at Hudson Bay where his people would get powder,
shot, guns, cloth, beads, and other things. The chief said it was
faraway, and his people knew nothing of paddling. Such strangers
to great waters were they that they would not even eat fish. They
despised Hendry's tobacco. What they smoked was dried horse dung.
In the end Hendry was dismissed and ordered to make his camp a
quarter of a mile away from that of the Blackfeet.

It was close by the present site of Calgary and apparently in
full view, on clear days, of the white peaks of the Rocky
Mountains that Hendry visited the Blackfeet. He lingered in the
far western country through the greater part of the winter. On a
portion of his return journey he used a horse. When the spring
thaw came, once more he took to the water in canoes. He complains
of the idleness of his Indian companions who would remain in
their huts all day and never stir to lay up a store of food even
when game was abundant. Conjuring, dancing to the hideous
pounding of drums, feasting and smoking, were their amusements.
On his way back Hendry revisited the French post on the
Saskatchewan. The leader, no doubt St. Luc de la Corne, had
returned from Montreal and now had with him nine men. "The
master," says Hendry, " invited me in to sup with him, and was
very kind. He is dressed very Genteel." He showed Hendry his
stock of furs; "a brave parcel," the admiring rival thought.
Hendry admits the superiority of the French as traders. They
"talk Several Languages to perfection; they have the advantage of
us in every shape." In the West, as in the East, France was
recognized as a formidable rival of England for the mastery of
North America.

When Hendry was making his peaceful visit to the French fort in
1755, the crisis of the struggle had just been reached. In that
year the battle line from Acadia to the Ohio and the Mississippi
was already forming, and the fate of France's eager efforts to
hold the West was soon to be decided in the East. If Britain
should conquer on the St. Lawrence, she would conquer also on the
Saskatchewan and on the Mississippi.

Conquer she did, and thus it happened that it was Britain's sons
who took up the later burdens of the discoverer. In the summer of
1789, just at the time when the great Revolution was beginning in
France, Alexander Mackenzie, a Scotch trader from Montreal,
starting from Lake Athabasca, north of the farthest point reached
by Hendry, was pressing still onward into an unknown region to
find a river which might lead to the sea. This river he found; we
know it now as the Mackenzie. For two weeks he and his Indians
and voyageurs paddled with the current down this mighty stream,
and on July 14, 1789, the day of the fall of the Bastille, he saw
whales sporting in Arctic waters.

The real goal which Mackenzie sought was that of La Verendrye, a
western and not a northern ocean. Three years later, after months
of preparation, he attempted the great feat of crossing the Rocky
Mountains to the sea. After nine months of rugged travel, across
mountain streams and gorges, in peril daily from hostile savages,
on July 22, 1793, he reached the shore of the Pacific Ocean, the
first white man to go by land over the width of the continent
from sea to sea. It was thus a Scotchman who achieved that of
which La Verendrye had so long dreamed; and with no aid from the
state but with only the resources of a trading company.

Ten years later, when France sold to the United States her last
remaining territory of Louisiana, the American Government
equipped an expedition under Lewis and Clark to cross the Rocky
Mountains by way of the Missouri, the route from which the La
Verendrye brothers had been obliged to turn back. The party began
the ascent of the Missouri on May 14, 1804, and arrived in the
Mandan country in the late autumn. Here they spent the winter of
1804-05. Not until November 15, 1805, had they completed the hard
journey across the Rocky Mountains and reached the mouth of the
Columbia River on the Pacific Ocean. Little did La Verendrye, in
his eager search for the Western Sea, imagine the difficulties to
be encountered and the hardships to be endured by those who were
destined, in later days, to realize his dream.

CHAPTER VI. The Valley Of The Ohio

Almost at the moment in 1749 when British ships were lying at
anchor in Halifax harbor and sending to shore hundreds of
boatloads of dazed and expectant settlers for the new colony,
there had set out from Montreal, in the interests of France, an
expedition with designs so far-reaching that we wonder still at
the stupendous issues involved in efforts which seem so petty.
The purpose of France was now to make good her claim to the whole
vast West. It was a picturesque company which pushed its canoes
from the shore at Lachine on the 15th of June, six days before
the British squadron reached Halifax. There was a procession of
twenty-three great birchbark canoes well filled, for in them were
more than two hundred men, at least ten in each canoe, together
with the necessary impedimenta for a long journey. There were
twenty soldiers in uniform, a hundred and eighty Canadians
skilled in paddling and in carrying canoes and freight over the
portages, a band of Indians, and fourteen officers with Celoron
de Blainville at their head.

The acting Governor of Canada at this time was a dwarf in
physique, but a giant in intellect, the brilliant naval officer,
the Marquis de la Galissoniere, destined later to inflict upon
the English in the Mediterranean the naval defeat which caused
the execution of Admiral Byng as a coward. This remarkable
man--planning, like his predecessor Frontenac, on a scale suited
to world politics--saw that the peace of 1748 settled nothing,
that in the balance now was the whole future of North America,
and that victory would be to the alert and the strong. He chose
Celoron, the most capable of the hardy young Canadian noblesse
whom he had at hand, a man accustomed to the life of the forest,
and sent with him this large party to assert against the English
the right of France to the valley of the Ohio. The English were
now to be shut out definitely from advancing westward and to be
confined to the strip of territory lying between the Atlantic
coast and the Alleghany Mountains, a little more than that strip
fifty miles wide talked about in Quebec as the maximum concession
of France, but still not very much according to the ideas of the
English, and even this not secure if France should ever grow
strong enough to crowd them out.

At no time do we find more vivid the contrast in type between the
two nations. Before a concrete fact the British take action. When
they gave up Louisbourg they built Halifax. Their traders had
pressed into the Ohio country, not directed under any grandiose
idea of empire, but simply as individuals, to trade and reap for
themselves what profit they could. When they were checked and
menaced by the French, they saw that something must be done. How
they did it we shall see presently. It was the weakness of the
English colonies that they could not unite to work out a great
plan. If Virginia took steps to advance westward, Pennsylvania
was jealous lest lands which she desired should go to a rival
colony. France, on the other hand, had complete unity of design.
Celoron spoke in the name of the King of France and he spoke in
terms uncompromising enough. "The Ohio," said the King of France
through his agent, "belongs to me." It is a French river. The
lands bordering upon it are "my lands." The English intruders are
foreign robbers and not one of them is to be left in the western
country: "I wilt not endure the English on my land." The Indians,
dwelling in that region, are "my children."

Scattered over the vast region about the Great Lakes were a good
many French. At the lower end of Lake Ontario stood Fort
Frontenac, a menace to the colony of New York, as the dwellers in
the British post of Oswego on the opposite shore of the lake well
knew. We have already seen that the French held a fort at Niagara
guarding the route leading farther west to Lake Erie and to
regions beyond Lake Erie, by way of the Ohio or the upper lakes,
to the Mississippi. Near the mouth of the Mississippi, New
Orleans was now becoming a considerable town with a governor
independent of the governor at Quebec. Along the Mississippi at
strategic points stretching northward beyond the mouth of the
Missouri were a few French settlements, ragged enough and with a
shiftless population of fur traders and farmers, but adequate to
assert France's possession of that mighty highway. The weak point
in France's position was in her connection of the Mississippi
with the St. Lawrence by way of the Ohio. This was the place of
danger, for here English rivalry was strongest, and it was to
cure this weakness that Celoron was now sent forth.

Celoron moved toilsomely over the portage which led past the
great cataract of Niagara and launched his canoes on Lake Erie.
>From its south shore, during seven days of heart-breaking labor,
the party dragged the canoes and supplies through dense forest
and over steep hills until they reached Chautauqua Lake, the
waters of which flow into the Allegheny River and by it to the
Ohio. For many weary days they went with the current, stopping at
Indian villages, treating with the savages, who were sometimes
awed and sometimes menacing. They warned the Indians to have no
dealings with the scheming English who would "infallibly prove to
be robbers," and asserted as boldly as Celoron dared the lordship
of the King of France and his love for his forest children.
Celoron realized that he was on an historic mission. At several
points on the Ohio, with great ceremony, he buried leaden plates,
as La Verendrye had done a few years earlier in the far West,
bearing an inscription declaring that, in the name of the King of
France, he took possession of the country. On trees over these
memorials of lead he nailed the arms of France, stamped on sheets
of tin. Since that day at least three of the plates have been

Celoron's expedition went well enough. He advanced as far west on
the Ohio as the mouth of the Great Miami River, then up that
river, and by difficult portages back to Lake Erie. It was a
remarkable journey; but in the late autumn he was back again in
Montreal, not sure that he had achieved much. The natives of the
country were, he thought, hostile to France and devoted to the
English who had long traded with them. This opinion was in truth
erroneous, for, when the time of testing came, the Indians of the
West fought on the side of France. Montcalm had many hundreds of
them under his banner. The expedition meant the definite and
final throwing down of the gauntlet by France. With all due
ceremony she had declared that the Ohio country was hers and that
there she would allow no English to dwell.

Legardeur de Saint-Pierre could hardly have known, when he left
the hard region of the Saskatchewan in 1752, that a year later he
would be sent to protect another set of outposts of France in the
West. In 1753 we find him in command of the French forces in the
Ohio country. Celoron had been sent to Detroit. If Saint-Pierre
had played his part feebly on the Saskatchewan, he was now made
for a brief period one of the central figures in the opening act
of a world drama. It is with a touch of emotion that we see on
the stage, as the opponent of this not great Frenchman, the
momentous figure of George Washington.

The fight for North America was now rapidly approaching its final
phase in the struggle which we know as the Seven Years' War.
During forty years, commissioners of the two nations had been
trying to reach some agreement as to boundaries. Each side,
however, made impossible demands. France claimed all the lands
drained by the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes and by the
Mississippi and its tributaries a claim which, if made good,
would have carried her into the very heart of the colony of New
York and would have given her also the mastery of the Ohio and
the regions beyond. Britain claimed all the lands ever occupied
by the Iroquois Indians, who had been recognized as British
subjects by the Treaty of Utrecht. As those Indians had overrun
regions north of the St. Lawrence, the British thus would become
masters of a good part of Canada. Neither side was prepared for
reasonable compromise. The sword was to be the final arbiter.

Events moved rapidly towards war. In 1753 Duquesne, the new
Governor of Canada, sent more than a thousand men to build Fort
Le Boeuf, on upper waters flowing to the Ohio and within easy
reach of support by way of Lake Erie. In the nest year the French
were swarming in the Ohio Valley, stirring up the Indians against
the English and confident of success. They jeered at the
divisions among the English and believed their own unity so
strong that they could master the colonies one by one. The two
colonies most affected were Pennsylvania and Virginia, either of
them quite ready to see its own citizens advance into the Ohio
country and possess the land, but neither of them willing to
unite with the other in effective military action to protect the

It is at this crisis that there appears for the first time in
history George Washington of Virginia. In December, 1753, in the
dead of winter, he made a long, toilsome journey from Virginia to
the north through snow and rain, by difficult forest trails, over
two ranges of mountains, across streams sometimes frozen,
sometimes dangerous from treacherous thaws. On the way he heard
gossip from the Indians about the designs of the French. They
boasted that they would come in numbers like the sands of the
seashore; that the natives would be no more an obstacle to them
than the flies and mosquitoes, which indeed they resembled; and
that not the breadth of a finger-nail of land belonged to the
Indians. Washington was told by one of the French that "it was
their absolute design to take possession of the Ohio and, by--,
they would do it!" It was no matter that the French were
outnumbered two to one by the English, for the English were
dilatory and ineffective.

In the end, Washington arrived at Fort Le Boeuf and presented a
letter from Dinwiddie, the Lieutenant-Governor of Virginia,
pointing out that the British could not permit an armed force
from Canada to invade their territory of the Ohio and requiring
that the French should leave the country at once. Legardeur de
Saint-Pierre, to whom this firm demand was delivered, "an elderly
gentleman," says Washington, with "much the air of a soldier"
gave, of course, a polite answer in the manner of his nation, but
he intended, he said, to remain where he was as long as he had
instructions so to do. Washington kept his eyes open and made
careful observations of the plan of the fort, the number of men,
and also of the canoes, of which he noted that there were more
than two hundred ready and many others building. The French tried
to entice away his Indians and he says, "I cannot say that ever
in my life I suffered so much anxiety." On the journey back he
nearly perished when he fell into an ice-cold stream and was
obliged to spend the night on a tiny island in frozen clothing.
He brought comfort as cold to the waiting Dinwiddie.

The French meanwhile were always a little ahead of the English in
their planning. Early in April, 1754, a French force of five or
six hundred men from Canada, which had set out while Quebec was
still in the icy grip of winter, reached the upper waters of the
Ohio. They attacked and destroyed a fort which the English had
begun at the forks where now stands Pittsburgh, and, in its
place, began a formidable one, called Fort Duquesne after the
Governor of Canada. In vain was Washington sent with a few
hundred men to take possession of this fort and to assert the
claim of the English to the land. He fell in with a French
scouting party under young Coulon de Jumonville, killed its
leader and nine others, and took more than a score of
prisoners--warfare bloody enough in a time of supposed peace. But
the French were now on the Ohio in greater numbers than the
English. At a spot known as the Great Meadows, where Washington
had hastily thrown up defenses, which he called Fort Necessity,
he was forced to surrender, but was allowed to lead his force
back to Virginia, defeated in the first military adventure of his
career. The French took the view that his killing of the young
officer Jumonville was assassination, since no state of war
existed, and raised a fierce clamor that Washington was a
murderer--a strange contrast to his relations with France in the
years to come.

What astonishes us in regard to these events is that Britain and
France long remained nominally at peace while they were carrying
on active hostilities in America and sending from Europe armies
to fight. There were various reasons for this hesitation about
plunging formally into war. Each side wished to delay until sure
of its alliances in Europe. During the war ending in 1748 France
had fought with Frederick of Prussia against Austria, and Britain
had been Austria's ally. The war had been chiefly a land war, but
France had been beaten on the sea. Now Britain and Prussia were
drawing together and, if France fought them, it must be with
Austria as an ally. Such an alliance offered France but slight
advantage. Austria, an inland power, could not help France
against an adversary whose strength was on the sea; she could not
aid the designs of France in America or in India, where the
capable French leader Dupleix was in a fair way to build up a
mighty oriental empire. Nor had France anything to gain in Europe
from an Austrian alliance. The shoe was on the other foot. The
supreme passion of Maria Theresa who ruled Austria was to recover
the province of Silesia which had been seized in 1740 by Prussia
and held--held to this day. Austria could do little for France
but France could do much for Austria. So Austria worked for this
alliance. It is a story of intrigue. Usually in France the King
carried on negotiations with foreign countries only through his
ministers, who knew the real interests of France. Now the astute
Austrian statesman, Kaunitz, went past the ministers of Louis XV
to Louis himself. This was the heyday of Madame de Pompadour, the
King's mistress. Maria Theresa condescended to intrigue with this
woman whom in her heart she despised. There is still much mystery
in the affair. The King was flattered into thinking that
personally he was swaying the affairs of Europe and took delight
in deceiving his ministers and working behind their backs. While
events in America were making war between France and Britain
inevitable, France was being tied to an ally who could give her
little aid. She must spend herself to fight Austria's battles on
the land, while her real interests required that she should build
up her fleet to fight on the sea the great adversary across the
English Channel.

The destiny of North America might, indeed; well have been other
than it is. A France strong on the sea, able to bring across to
America great forces, might have held, at any rate, her place on
the St. Lawrence and occupied the valleys of the Ohio and the
Mississippi. We can hardly doubt that the English colonies,
united by a common deadly peril, could have held against France
most of the Atlantic coast. But she might well have divided with
them North America; and today the lands north of the Ohio and
westward beyond the Ohio to the Pacific Ocean might have been
French. The two nations on the brink of war in 1754 were playing
for mighty stakes; and victory was to the power which had control
of the sea. France had a great army, Britain a great fleet. In
this contrast lay wrapped the secret of the future of North

As the crisis drew near the vital thought about the future of
America was found, not in America, but in Europe. The English
colonies were so accustomed to distrust each other that, when
Virginia grew excited about French designs on the Ohio,
Pennsylvania or North Carolina was as likely as not to say that
it was the French who were in the right and a stupid, or
excitable, or conceited, colonial governor who was in the wrong.
In Paris and London, on the other hand, there were no illusions
about affairs in America. In both capitals it was realized that a
grim fight was on. During the winter of 1754-55 extensive
preparations were being made on both sides. France equipped an
army under Baron Dieskau to go to Canada; Britain equipped one
under General Braddock to go to Virginia. Each nation asked the
other why it was sending troops to America and each gave the
assurance of benevolent designs. But in the spring of 1755 a
British fleet under Admiral Boscawen put to sea with instructions
to capture any French vessels bound for North America. At the
same time the two armies were on the way across the Atlantic.
Dieskau went to Canada, Braddock to Virginia, each instructed to
attack the other side, while in the meantime ambassadors at the
two courts gave bland assurances that their only thought was to
preserve peace.

The English colonists showed a political blindness that amounted
to imbecility. Albany was the central point from which the
dangers on all sides might best be surveyed. Here came together
in the summer of 1754 delegates from seven of the colonies to
consider the common peril. The French were busy in winning, as
they did, the support of the many Indian tribes of the West; and
the old allies of the English, the Iroquois, were nervous for
their own safety. The delegates to Albany, tied and bound by
instructions from their Assemblies, had to listen to plain words
from the savages. The one Englishman who, in dealing with the
Indians, had tact and skill equal to that of Frontenac of old,
was an Irishman, Sir William Johnson. To him the Iroquois made
indignant protests that the English were as ready as the French
to rob them of their lands. If we find a bear in a tree, they
said, some one will spring up to claim that the tree belongs to
him and keep us from shooting the bear. The French, they added,
are at least men who are prepared to fight; you weak and 
un-prepared English are like women and any day the French may
you out. Benjamin Franklin told the delegates that they must
unite to meet a common enemy. Unite, however, they would not. No
one of them would surrender to a central body any authority
through which the power of the King over them might be increased.
The Congress--the word is full of omen for the future--failed to
bring about the much-needed union.

In February, 1755, Braddock arrived in Virginia with his army,
and early in May he was on his march across the mountains with
regulars, militia, and Indians, to the number of nearly fifteen
hundred men, to attack Fort Duquesne and to rid the Ohio Valley
of the French. He knew little of forest warfare with its use of
Indian scouts, its ambushes, its fighting from the cover of
trees. On the 9th of July, on the Monongahela River, near Fort
Duquesne, in a struggle in the forest against French and Indians
he was defeated and killed. George Washington was in the fight
and had to report to Dinwiddie the dismal record of what had
happened. The frontier was aflame; and nearly all the Indians of
the West, seeing the rising star, went over to the French. The
power of France was, for the time, supreme in the heart of the
continent. At that moment even far away in the lone land about
the Saskatchewan, the English trader, Hendry, had to admit that
the French knew better than the English how to attract the
support of the savage tribes.

Meanwhile Dieskau had arrived at Quebec. In the colony of New
York Sir William Johnson, the rough and cheery Irishman, much
loved of the Iroquois, was gathering forces to attack Canada.
Early in July, 1755, Johnson had more than three thousand
provincial troops at Albany, a motley horde of embattled farmers,
most of them with no uniforms, dressed in their own homespun,
carrying their own muskets, electing their own officers, and
altogether, from the strict soldier's point of view, a rabble
rather than an army. To meet this force and destroy it if he
could, Dieskau took to the French fort at Crown Point, on Lake
Champlain, and southward from there to Ticonderoga at the head of
this lake, some three thousand five hundred men, including his
French regulars, some Canadians and Indians. Johnson's force lay
at Fort George, later Fort William Henry, the most southerly
point on Lake George. The names, given by Johnson himself, show
how the dull Hanoverian kings and their offspring were held in
honor by the Irish diplomat who was looking for favors at court.
The two armies met on the shores of Lake George early in
September and there was an all-day fight. Each side lost some two
hundred men. Among those who perished on the French side was
Legardeur de Saint-Pierre, who had escaped all the perils of the
western wilderness to meet his fate in this border struggle. The
honors of the day seem to have been with Johnson, for the French
were driven off and Dieskau himself, badly wounded, was taken
prisoner. That Johnson had great difficulty in keeping his
savages from burning alive and then boiling and eating Dieskau
and smoking his flesh in their pipes, in revenge for some of
their chiefs killed in the fight, shows what an alliance with
Indians meant.

There was small gain to the English from Johnson's success. He
was too cautious to advance towards Canada; and, as winter came
on, he broke up his camp and sent his men to their homes. The
colonies had no permanent military equipment. Each autumn their
forces were dissolved to be reorganized again in the following
spring, a lame method of waging war.

For three years longer in the valley of the Ohio, as elsewhere,
the star of France remained in the ascendant. It began to decline
only when, farther east, on the Atlantic, superior forces sent
out from England were able to check the French. During the summer
of 1758, while Wolfe and Boscawen were pounding the walls of
Louisbourg, seven thousand troops led by General Forbes, Colonel
George Washington, and Colonel Henry Bouquet, pushed their way
through the wilds beyond the Alleghanies and took possession of
the Ohio. The French destroyed Fort Duquesne and fled. On the
25th of November the English occupied the place and named it
"Pitts-Bourgh" in honor of their great war minister.

CHAPTER VII. The Expulsion Of The Acadians

We have now to turn back over a number of years to see what has
been happening in Acadia, that oldest and most easterly part of
New France which in 1710 fell into British hands. Since the
Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 the Acadians had been nominally British
subjects. But the Frenchman, hardly less than the Jew, is
difficult of absorption by other racial types. We have already
noted the natural aim of France to recover what she had lost and
her use of the priests to hold the Acadians to her interests. The
Acadians were secure in the free exercise of their religion. They
had no secular leaders and few, if any, clergy of their own. They
were led chiefly by priests, subjects of France, who, though
working in British territory, owned no allegiance to Great
Britain, and were directed by the Bishop of Quebec.

For forty years the question of the Acadians remained unsettled.
Under the Treaty of 1713 the Acadians might leave the country. If
they remained a year they must become British subjects. When,
however, in 1715, two years after the conclusion of the treaty,
they were required to take the oath of allegiance to the new
King, George I, they declared that they could not do so, since
they were about to move to Cape Breton. When George II came to
the throne in 1727, the oath was again demanded. Still, however,
the Acadians were between two fires. Their Indian neighbors,
influenced by the French, threatened them with massacre if they
took the oath, while the British declared that they would forfeit
their farms if they refused. The truth is that the British did
not wish to press the alternative. To drive out the Acadians
would be to strengthen the neighboring French colony of Cape
Breton. To force on them the oath might even cause a rising which
would overwhelm the few English in Nova Scotia. So the tradition,
never formally accepted by the British, grew up that, while the
Acadians owed obedience to George II, they would be neutral in
case of war with France. A common name for them used by the
British themselves was that of the Neutral French. In time of
peace the Acadians could be left to themselves. When, however,
war broke out between Britain and France the question of loyalty
became acute. Such war there was in 1744. Without doubt, some
Acadians then helped the French--but it was, as they protested,
only under compulsion and, as far as they could, they seem to
have refused to aid either side. The British muttered threats
that subjects of their King who would not fight for him had no
right to protection under British law. Even then feeling was so
high that there was talk of driving the Acadians from their farms
and setting them adrift; and these poor people trembled for their
own fate when the British victors at Louisbourg in 1745 removed
the French population to France. Assurances came from the British
government, however, that there was no thought of molesting the

With the order "As you were" the dominant thought of the Treaty
of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748, the highly organized and efficient
champions of French policy took every step to ensure that in the
next struggle the interests of France should prevail. Peace had
no sooner been signed than Versailles was working in Nova Scotia
on the old policy. The French priests taught that eternal
perdition awaited the Catholic Acadians who should accept the
demands of the heretic English. The Indians continued their
savage threats. Blood is thicker than water and no doubt the
natural sympathies of the Acadians were with the French. But the
British were now formidable. For them the founding of Halifax in
1749 had made all the difference. They, too, had a menacing
fortress at the door of the Acadians, and their tone grew
sterner. As a result the Acadians were told that if, by October
15, 1749, they had not taken an unconditional oath of allegiance
to George II, they should forfeit their rights and their
property, the treasured farms on which they and their ancestors
had toiled. The Acadians were in acute distress. If they yielded
to the English, not only would their bodies be destroyed by the
savage Micmac Indians, but their immortal souls, they feared,
would be in danger.

The Abbe Le Loutre was the parish priest of the Acadian village
of Beaubassin on Chignecto Bay and also missionary to the Micmac
Indians, whose chief village lay in British territory not many
miles from Halifax. British officials of the time denounced him
as a determined fanatic who did not stop short of murder. As in
most men, there was in Le Loutre a mingling of qualities. He was
arrogant, domineering, and intent on his own plans. He hated the
English and their heresy, and he preached to his people against
them with frantic invective. He incited his Indians to bloodshed.
But he also knew pity. The custom of the Indians was to consider
prisoners taken by them as their property, and on one occasion Le
Loutre himself paid ransom to the Indians for thirty-seven
English captives and returned them to Halifax. It is certain that
the French government counted upon the influence of French
priests to aid its political designs. "My masters, God and the
King" was a phrase of the Sulpician father Piquet working at this
time on the St. Lawrence. Le Loutre could have echoed the words.
He was an ardent politician and France supplied him with both
money and arms to induce the Indians to attack the English. The
savages haunted the outskirts of Halifax, waylaid and scalped
unhappy settlers, and, in due course, were paid from Louisbourg
according to the number of scalps which they produced. The
deliberate intention was to make new English settlements
impossible in Nova Scotia and so to discourage the English that
they should abandon Halifax. All this intrigue occurred in 1749
and the years following the treaty of peace. If the English
suffered, so did the Acadians. Le Loutre told them that if once
they became British subjects they would lose their priests and
find their religion suppressed. Acadians who took the oath would,
he said, be denied the sacraments of the Church. He would also
turn loose on the offenders the murderous savages whom he
controlled. If pressed by the English, the Acadians, rather than
yield, must abandon their lands and remove into French territory.

At this point arises the question as to what were the limits of
this French territory. In yielding Acadia in 1713, France had not
defined its boundaries. The English claimed that it included the
whole region stretching northeastward to the Gulf of St. Lawrence
from the frontier of New England. The French, however, said that
Acadia meant only the peninsula of Nova Scotia ending at the
isthmus between Baie Verte and the Bay of Chignecto; and for
years a Canadian force stood there on guard, daring the British
to put a foot on the north side of the little river Missaguash,
which the French said was the international boundary.

There was much excitement among the Acadians in 1750, when an
English force landed on the isthmus and proceeded to throw up
defenses on the south side of the river. This outpost, which in
due time became Fort Lawrence, was placed on what even the French
admitted to be British territory. Forthwith on a hill two or
three miles away, on the other side of the supposed boundary, the
French built Fort Beausejour. Le Loutre was on the spot,
blustering and menacing. He told his Acadian parishioners of the
little village of Beaubassin, near Fort Lawrence and within the
British area, that rather than accept English rule they must now
abandon their lands and seek the protection of the French at Fort
Beausejour. With his own hands he set fire to the village church.
The houses of the Acadians were also burned. A whole district was
laid waste by fire. Women and children suffered fearful
privations--but what did such things matter in view of the high
politics of the priest and of France?

During four or five years the hostile forts confronted each
other. In time of peace there was war. The French made Beausejour
a solid fort, for it still stands, little altered, though it has
been abandoned for a century and a half. It was chiefly the
Acadians, nominal British subjects, who built these thick walls.

The arrogant Micmacs demanded that the British should hand over
to them the best half of Nova Scotia, and they emphasized their
demand by treachery and massacre. One day a man, in the uniform
of a French officer, followed by a small party, approached Fort
Lawrence, waving a white flag. Captain Howe with a small force
went out to meet him. As this party advanced, Indians concealed
behind a dike fired and killed Howe and eight or ten others. Such
ruses were well fitted to cause among the English a resolve to
enforce severe measures. The fire burned slowly but in the end it
flamed up in a cruel and relentless temper. French policy, too,
showed no pity. The Governor of Canada and the colonial minister
in France were alike insistent that the English should be given
no peace and cared nothing for the sufferings of the unhappy
Acadians between the upper and the nether millstone.

At last, in 1755, the English accomplished something decisive.
They sent an army to Fort Lawrence, attacked Fort Beausejour,
forced its timid commander Vergor to surrender, mastered the
whole surrounding country, and obliged Le Loutre himself to fly
to Quebec. There he embarked for France. The English captured him
on the sea, however, and the relentless and cruel priest spent
many years in an English prison. His later years, when he reached
France, do him some credit. By that time the Acadians had been
driven from their homes. There were nearly a thousand exiles in
England. Le Loutre tried to befriend these helpless people and
obtained homes for some of them in the parish of Belle-Isle-en-
Mer in France.

In the meantime the price of Le Loutre's intrigues and of the
outrages of the French and their Indian allies was now to be paid
by the unhappy Acadians. During the spring and summer of 1755,
the British decided that the question of allegiance should be
settled at once, and that the Acadians must take the oath. There
was need of urgency. The army at Fort Lawrence which had captured
Fort Beausejour was largely composed of men from New England, and
these would wish to return to their homes for the winter. If the
Acadians remained and were hostile, the country thus occupied at
laborious cost might quickly revert to the French. Already many
Acadians had fought on the side of the French and some of them,
disguised as Indians, had joined in savage outrage. A French
fleet and a French army were reported as likely to arrive before
the winter. In fact, France's naval power with its base at
Louisbourg was still stronger than that of Britain with its base
at Halifax. When the Acadians were told in plain terms that they
must take the oath of allegiance, they firmly declined to do so
without certain limitations involving guarantees that they should
not be arrayed against France. The Governor at Halifax, Major
Charles Lawrence, was a stern, relentless man, without pity, and
his mind was made up. Shirley, Governor of Massachusetts, was in
touch with Lawrence. The Acadians should be deported if they
would not take the oath. This step, however, the government at
London never ordered. On the contrary, as late as on August 13,
1755, Lawrence was counseled to act with caution, prudence, and
tact in dealing with the "Neutrals," as the Acadians are called
even in this official letter. Meanwhile, without direct warrant
from London, Lawrence and his council at Halifax had taken
action. His reasoning was that of a direct soldier. The Acadians
would not take the full oath of British citizenship. Very well.
Quite obviously they could not be trusted. Already they had acted
in a traitorous way. Prolonged war with France was imminent.
Since Acadians who might be allied with the savages could attack
British posts, they must be removed. To replace them, British
settlers could in time be brought into the country.

The thing was done in the summer and autumn of 1755. Colonel
Robert Monckton, a regular officer, son of an Irish peer, who
always showed an ineffable superiority to provincial officers
serving under him, was placed in charge of the work. He ordered
the male inhabitants of the neighborhood of Beausejour to meet
him there on the 10th of August. Only about one-third of them
came--some four hundred. He told them that the government at
Halifax now declared them rebels. Their lands and all other goods
were forfeited; they themselves were to be kept in prison. Not
yet, however, was made known to them the decision that they were
to be treated as traitors of whom the province must be rid. No
attempt was made anywhere to distinguish loyal from disloyal
Acadians. Lawrence gave orders to the military officers to clear
the country of all Acadians, to get them by any necessary means
on board the transports which would carry them away, and to burn
their houses and crops so that those not caught might perish or
be forced to surrender during the coming winter. At the moment,
the harvest had just been reaped or was ripening.

When the stern work was done at Grand Pre, at Pisiquid, now
Windsor, at Annapolis, there were harrowing scenes. In command of
the work at Grand Pre was Colonel Winslow, an officer from
Massachusetts--some of whose relatives twenty-five years later
were to be driven, because of their loyalty to the British King,
from their own homes in Boston to this very land of Acadia.
Winslow issued a summons in French to all the male inhabitants,
down to lads of ten, to come to the church at Grand Pre on
Friday, the 5th of September, to learn the orders he had to
communicate. Those who did not appear were to forfeit their
goods. No doubt many Acadians did not understand the summons. Few
of them could read and it hardly mattered to them that on one
occasion a notice on the church door was posted upside down. Some
four hundred anxious peasants appeared. Winslow read to them a
proclamation to the effect that their houses and lands were
forfeited and that they themselves and their families were to be
deported. Five vessels from Boston lay at Grand Pre. In time more
ships arrived, but chill October had come before Winslow was
finally ready.

By this time the Acadians realized what was to happen. The men
were joined by their families. As far as possible the people of
the same village were kept together. They were forced to march to
the transports, a sorrow-laden company, women carrying babes in
their arms, old and decrepit people borne in carts, young and
strong men dragging what belongings they could gather. Winslow's
task, as he says, lay heavy on his heart and hands: "It hurts me
to hear their weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth." By the
1st of November he had embarked fifteen hundred unhappy people.
His last ship-load he sent off on the 13th of December. The
suffering from cold must have been terrible.

In all, from Grand Pre and other places, more than six thousand
Acadians were deported. They were scattered in the English
colonies from Maine to Georgia and in both France and England.
Many died; many, helpless in new surroundings, sank into decrepit
pauperism. Some reached people of their own blood in the French
colony of Louisiana and in Canada. A good many returned from
their exile in the colonies to their former home after the Seven
Years' War had ended. Today their descendants form an appreciable
part of the population of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince
Edward Island. The cruel act did one thing effectively: it made
Nova Scotia safe for the British cause in the attack that was
about to be directed against Canada.

CHAPTER VIII. The Victories Of Montcalm

In France's last, most determined, and most tragic struggle for
North America, the noblest aspect is typified in the figure of

The circle of the King and his mistress at Versailles does not
tell the whole story of France at this time. No doubt Madame de
Pompadour made and unmade ministers, but behind the ministers was
the great administrative system of France, with servants alert
and efficient, and now chiefly occupied with military plans to
defeat the great Frederick of Prussia. At the same time the
intellect of France was busy with problems of science and was
soon to express itself in the massive volumes of Diderot's
Encyclopaedia. The soldiers of France were preparing to fight on
many battlefields. The best of them took little part in the
debilitating pleasures of Versailles.

Louis Joseph, Marquis de Montcalm, was a member of the ancient
nobility of Languedoc, in the south of France. He was a scholar,
a soldier, and a landowner. He could write a Latin inscription,
fight a battle, and manage a farm--all with excellence. His was a
fruitful race. His wife had borne him ten children, of whom six
had survived. He was sincerely religious, a family man, enjoying
quiet evenings at home. In his career, as no doubt in that of
many other French leaders of the time, we find no lurid lights,
no gay scenes at court--nothing but simple and laborious devotion
to duty. Though a grand seigneur, Montcalm was poor. His letters
show that his mind was always much occupied with family affairs,
the need of economy, the careers of his sons, his mill, his
plantations. He showed the minute care in management which the
French practise better than the English. In 1756 he was
forty-four years of age, a soldier who had campaigned in Germany,
Bohemia, and Italy, had known victory and defeat, had been a
prisoner in the hands of the Austrians, and had made a reputation
as a man fit to lead. He lived far from court and went to Paris
only rarely. It was this quiet man who, on January 31, 1756, was
summoned to Paris to head the military force about to be sent to
Canada. Dieskau was a captive in English hands, and Montcalm was
to replace Dieskau.

Thus began that connection of Montcalm with Canada which was
destined three or four years later to bring to him first victory
and then defeat, death, and undying fame. On receiving his
appointment he went to Paris, thanked the King in person for the
honor done him, and was delighted that his son, a mere boy, was
given the rank and pay of a colonel, one of the few abuses of
court favor which we find in his career. On March 26, 1756,
Montcalm embarked at Brest with his staff. War had not yet been
declared, but already Britain had captured some three hundred
French merchant ships, had taken prisoner nearly ten thousand
French sailors, and was sweeping from the sea the fleets of

Owing to the fear of British cruisers, the voyage of Montcalm had
its excitements. As usual, however, France was earlier in the
field than Britain, who had in April no force ready for America
which could intercept Montcalm. The storms were heavy, and on
Easter Day, when Mass was celebrated, a sailor firm on his feet
had to hold the chalice for the officiating priest. On board
there were daily prayers, and always the service ended with cries
of "God save the King!" Some of the officers on board were
destined to survive to a new era in France when there should be
no more a king.

Montcalm had with him a capable staff and a goodly number of
young officers, gay, debonair, thinking not of great political
designs about America but chiefly of their own future careers in
France, and facing death lightheartedly enough. Next to Montcalm
in command was the Chevalier de Uvis, a member of a great French
family and himself destined to attain the high rank of Marshal of
France, and a capable though not a brilliant soldier, whose chief
gift was tact and the art of managing men. Third in command was
the Chevalier de Bourlamaque, a quiet, reserved man, with no
striking social gifts and in consequence not likely at first to
make a good impression, though Montcalm, who was at the beginning
a little doubtful of his quality, came in the end to rely upon
him fully. The most brilliant man in that company was the young
Colonel de Bougainville, Montcalm's chief aide-de-camp. Though
only twenty-seven years old he was already famous in the world of
science and was destined to be still more famous as a great
navigator, to live through the whole period of the French
Revolution, and to die only on the eve of the fall of Napoleon.
In 1756 he was too young and clever to be always prudent in
speech. It is from his quick eye and eager pen that we learn much
of the inner story of these last days of New France. Montcalm
discusses frankly in his letters these and other officers, with
whom he was on the whole well pleased. In his heart he could echo
the words of Bougainville as he watched the brilliant spectacle
of the embarkation at Brest: "What a nation is ours! Happy is he
who leads and is worthy of it."

It was in this spirit of confidence that Montcalm faced the
struggle in America. For him sad days were to come and his sunny,
vivacious, southern temperament caused him to suffer keenly. At
first, however, all was full of brilliant promise. So eager was
he that, when his ships lay becalmed in the St. Lawrence some
thirty miles below Quebec, he landed and drove to the city. It is
the most beautiful country in the world, he writes, highly
cultivated, with many houses, the peasants living more like the
lesser gentry of France than like peasants, and speaking
excellent French. He found the hospitality in Quebec such that a
Parisian would be surprised at the profusion of good things of
every kind. The city was, he thought, like the best type of the
cities of France. The Canadian climate was health-giving, the sky
clear, the summer not unlike that of Languedoc, but the winter
trying, since the severe weather caused the inhabitants to remain
too much indoors. He described the Canadian ladies as witty,
lively, devout, those of Quebec amusing themselves at play,
sometimes for high stakes; those of Montreal, with conversation
and dancing. He confessed that one of them proved a little too
fascinating for his own peace of mind. The intolerable thing was
the need to meet and pay court to the Indians whom the Governor,
the Marquis de Vaudreuil, regarded as valuable allies. These
savages, brutal, changeable, exacting, Montcalm from the first
despised. It filled him with disgust to see them swarming in the
streets of Montreal, sometimes carrying bows and arrows, their
coarse features worse disfigured by war-paint and a gaudy
headdress of feathers, their heads shaven, with the exception of
one long scalp-lock, their gleaming bodies nearly naked or draped
with dirty buffalo or beaver skins. What allies for a refined
grand seigneur of France! It was a costly burden to feed them.
Sometimes they made howling demands for brandy and for bouillon,
by which they meant human blood. Many of them were cannibals.
Once Montcalm had to give some of them, at his own cost, a feast
of three oxen roasted whole. To his disgust, they gorged
themselves and danced round the room shouting their savage

The Governor of Canada, Pierre de Rigaud, Marquis de Vaudreuil,
belonged to one of the most ancient families of France, related
to that of Levis. He had been born in Canada where his father was
Governor for the long period of twenty-two years, from 1703 to
1725, and in his outlook and prejudices he was wholly of New
France, with a passionate devotion to its people, and a deep
resentment at any airs of superiority assumed by those who came
from old France. A certain admiration is due to Vaudreuil for his
championship of the Canadians and even of the savages of the land
of his birth against officers of his own rank and caste who came
from France. There was in Canada the eternal cleavage in outlook
and manners between the Old World and the New, which is found in
equal strength in New England, and which was one of the chief
factors in causing the American Revolution. Vaudreuil, born at
Quebec in 1698, had climbed the official ladder step by step
until, in 1742, he had been made Governor of Louisiana, a post he
held for three years. He succeeded the Marquis Duquesne as
Governor of Canada in the year before Montcalm arrived. He meant
well but he was a vain man, always a leading figure in the small
society about him, and obsessed by a fussy self-importance. He
was not clever enough to see through flattery. The Intendant
Bigot, next to the Governor the most important man in Canada, an
able and corrupt rascal, knew how to manage the Governor and to
impose his own will upon the weaker man. Vaudreuil and his wife
between them had a swarm of needy relatives in Canada, and these
and other Canadians who sought favors from the Governor helped to
sharpen his antagonism to the officers from France. Vaudreuil
believed himself a military genius. It was he and not Montcalm
who had the supreme military command, and he regarded as an
unnecessary intruder this general officer sent out from France.

Now that Montcalm was come, Vaudreuil showed a malignant
alertness, born of jealousy, to snub and check him. Outward
courtesies were, of course, maintained. Vaudreuil could be bland
and Montcalm restrained, in spite of his southern temperament,
but their dispatches show the bitterness in their relations. The
court of France encouraged not merely the leaders but even
officers in subordinate posts to communicate to it their views. A
voluble correspondence about affairs in Canada has been
preserved. Vaudreuil himself must have tried the patience of the
French ministers for he wrote at prodigious length, exalting his
own achievements to the point of being ludicrous. At the same
time he belittled everything done by Montcalm, complained that he
was ruining the French cause in America, hinted that he was in
league with corrupt elements in Canada, and in the end even went
so far as to request his recall in order that the more pliant
Levis might be put in his place. The letters of Montcalm are more
reserved. Unlike Vaudreuil, he never stooped to falsehood. He
knew that he was under the orders of the Governor and he accepted
the situation. When operations were on hand, Vaudreuil would give
Montcalm instructions so ambiguous that if he failed he would be
sure to get the discredit, while, if he succeeded, to Vaudreuil
would belong the glory.

War is, at best, a cruel business. In Europe its predatory
barbarity was passing away and there the lives of prisoners and
of women and children were now being respected. Montcalm had been
reared under this more civilized code, and he and his officers
were shocked by what Vaudreuil regarded as normal and proper
warfare. In 1756 the French had a horde of about two thousand
savages, who had flocked to Montreal from points as far distant
as the great plains of the West. They numbered more than thirty
separate tribes or nations, as in their pride they called
themselves, and each nation had to be humored and treated as an
equal, for they were not in the service of France but were her
allies. They expected to be consulted before plans of campaign
were completed. The defeat of Braddock in 1755 had made them turn
to the prosperous cause of France. Vaudreuil gave them what they
hardly required--encouragement to wage war in their own way. The
more brutal and ruthless the war on the English, he said, the
more quickly would their enemies desire the kind of peace that
France must have. The result was that the western frontiers of
the English colonies became a hell of ruthless massacre. The
savages attacked English settlements whenever they found them
undefended. A pioneer might go forth in the morning to his labor
and return in the evening to find his house in ashes and his wife
and children lying dead with the scalps torn from their heads as
trophies of savage prowess.

For years, until the English gained the upper hand over the
French, this awful massacre went on. Hundreds of women and
children perished. Vaudreuil reported with pride to the French
court the number of scalps taken, and in his annals such
incidents were written down as victories, He warned Montcalm that
he must not be too strict with the savages or some day they would
take themselves off and possibly go over to the English and leave
the French without indispensable allies. He complained of the
lofty tone of the French regular officers towards both Indians
and Canadians, and assured the French court that it was only his
own tact which prevented an open breach.

Canada lay exposed to attack by three routes by Lake Ontario, by
Lake Champlain, and by the St. Lawrence and the sea. It was vital
to control the route to the West by Lake Ontario, vital to keep
the English from invading Canada by way of Lake Champlain, vital
to guard the St. Lawrence and keep open communications with
France. Montcalm first directed his attention to Lake Ontario.
Oswego, lying on the south shore, was a fort much prized by the
English as a base from which they could attack the French Fort
Frontenac on the north side of the lake and cut off Canada from
the West. If the English could do this, they would redeem the
failure of Braddock and possibly turn the Indians from a French
to an English alliance.

The French, in turn, were resolved to capture and destroy Oswego.
In the summer of 1756, they were busy drawing up papers and
instructions for the attack. Montcalm wrote to his wife that he
had never before worked so hard. He kept every one busy, his
aide-de-camp, his staff, and his secretaries. No detail was too
minute for his observation. He regulated the changes of clothes
which the officers might carry with them. He inspected hospitals,
stores, and food, and he even ordered an alteration in the method
of making bread. He reorganized the Canadian battalions and in
every quarter stirred up new activity. He was strict about
granting leave of absence. Sometimes his working day endured for
twenty hours--to bed at midnight and up again at four o'clock in
the morning. He went with Levis to Lake Champlain to see with his
own eyes what was going on there. Then he turned back to
Montreal. The discipline among the Canadian troops was poor and
he stiffened it, thereby naturally causing great offense to those
who liked slack ways and hated to take trouble about sanitation
and equipment. He held interminable conferences with his Indian
allies. They were astonished to find that the great soldier of
whom they had heard so much was so small in stature, but they
noted the fire in his eye. He despised their methods of warfare
and notes with a touch of irony that, while every other barbarity
continues, the burning of prisoners at the stake has rather gone
out of fashion, though the savages recently burned an English
woman and her son merely to keep in practice.

Montcalm made his plans secretly and struck suddenly. In the
middle of August, 1756, he surprised and captured Oswego and took
more than sixteen hundred prisoners. Of these, in spite of all
that he could do, his Indians murdered some. The blow was deadly.
The English lost vast stores; and now the French controlled the
whole region of the Great Lakes. The Indians were on the side of
the rising power more heartily than ever, and the unhappy
frontier of the English colonies was so harried that murderous
savages ventured almost to the outskirts of Philadelphia.
Montcalm caused a Te Deum to be sung on the scene of his victory
at Oswego. In August he was back in Montreal where again was sung
another joyous Te Deum. He wrote letters in high praise of some
of his officers, especially of Bourlamaque, Malartic, and La
Pause, the last "un homme divin." Some of the Canadian officers,
praised by Vaudreuil, he had tried and found wanting. "Don't
forget," he wrote to Levis, "that Mercier is a feeble ignoramus,
Saint Luc a prattling boaster, Montigny excellent but a drunkard.
The others are not worth speaking of, including my first
lieutenant-general Rigaud." This Rigaud was the brother of
Vaudreuil. When the Governor wrote to the minister, he, for his
part, said that the success of the expedition was wholly due to
his own vigilance and firmness, aided chiefly by this brother,
"mon frere," and Le Mercier, both of whom Montcalm describes as
inept. Vaudreuil adds that only his own tact kept the Indian
allies from going home because Montcalm would not let them have
the plunder which they desired.

Montcalm struck his next blow at the English on Lake Champlain.
In July, 1757, he had eight thousand men at Ticonderoga, at the
northern end of Lake George. Two thousand of these were savages
drawn from more than forty different tribes--a lawless horde whom
the French could not control. A Jesuit priest saw a party of them
squatting round a fire in the French camp roasting meat on the
end of sticks and found that the meat was the flesh of an
Englishman. English prisoners, sick with horror, were forced to
watch this feast. The priest's protest was dismissed with anger:
the savages would follow their own customs; let the French follow
theirs. The truth is that the French had been only too successful
in drawing the savages to them as allies. They formed now one-
quarter of the whole French army. They were of little use as
fighters and probably, in the long run, the French would have
been better off without them. If, however, Montcalm had caused
them to go, Vaudreuil would have made frantic protests, so that
Montcalm accepted the necessity of such allies.

Each success, however, brought some new horrors at the hands of
the Indians. Montcalm captured Fort William Henry, at the
southern end of Lake George, in August, a year after the taking
of Oswego. Fort William Henry was the most advanced English post
in the direction of Canada. The place had been left weak, for the
Earl of Loudoun, Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in
America, was using his resources for an expedition against
Louisbourg, which wholly failed. Colonel Monro, the brave officer
in command at Fort William Henry, made a strong defense, but was
forced to surrender. The terms were that he should march out with
his soldiers and the civilians of the place, and should be
escorted in safety to Fort Edward, about eighteen miles to the
south. This time the savages surpassed themselves in treachery
and savagery. They had formally approved of the terms of
surrender, but they attacked the long line of defeated English as
they set out on the march, butchered some of their wounded, and
seized hundreds of others as prisoners. Montcalm did what he
could and even risked his life to check the savages. But some
fifty English lay dead and the whole savage horde decamped for
Montreal carrying with them two hundred prisoners.

Montcalm burned Fort William Henry and withdrew to Ticonderoga at
the north end of the lake. Why, asked Vaudreuil, had he not
advanced further south into English territory, taken Fort
Edward--weak, because the English were in a panic--menaced Albany
itself, and advanced even to New York? Montcalm's answer was that
Fort Edward was still strong, that he had no transport except the
backs of his men to take cannon eighteen miles by land in order
to batter its walls, and that his Indians had left him. Moreover,
he had been instructed to hasten his operations and allow his
Canadians to go home to gather the ripening harvest so that
Canada might not starve during the coming winter. Vaudreuil
pressed at the French court his charges against Montcalm and
without doubt produced some effect. French tact was never
exhibited with more grace than in the letters which Montcalm
received from his superiors in France, urging upon him with suave
courtesy the need of considering the sensitive pride of the
colonial forces and of guiding with a light rein the barbaric
might of the Indian allies. It is hard to imagine an English
Secretary of State administering a rebuke so gently and yet so
unmistakably. Montcalm well understood what was meant. He knew
that some intrigue had been working at court but he did not
suspect that the Governor himself, all blandness and compliments
to his face, was writing to Paris voluminous attacks on his
character and conduct.

In the next summer (1758) Montcalm won another great success. He
lay with his forces at Ticonderoga. The English were determined
to press into the heart of Canada by way of Lake Champlain. All
through the winter, after the fall of Fort William Henry, they
had been making preparations on a great scale at Albany. By this
time Amherst and Wolfe were on the scene in America, and they
spent this summer in an attack on Louisbourg which resulted in
the fall of the fortress. On the old fighting ground of Lake
Champlain and Lake George, the English were this year making
military efforts such as the Canadian frontier had never before
seen. William Pitt, who now directed the war from London, had
demanded that the colonies should raise twenty thousand men, a
number well fitted to dismay the timid legislators of New York
and Pennsylvania. At Albany fifteen thousand men came marching in
by detachments--a few of them regulars, but most of them colonial
militia who, as soon as winter came on, would scatter to their
homes. The leader was General Abercromby--a leader, needless to
say, with good connections in England, but with no other
qualification for high command.

On July 5, 1758, there was a sight on Lake George likely to cause
a flutter of anxiety in the heart of Montcalm at Ticonderoga. In
a line of boats, six miles long, the great English host came down
the lake and, early on the morning of the sixth, landed before
the fort which Montcalm was to defend. The soul of the army had
been a brilliant young officer, Lord Howe, who shared the
hardships of the men, washed his own linen at the brook, and was
the real leader trusted by the inept Abercromby. It was a tragic
disaster for the British that at the outset of the fight Howe was
killed in a chance skirmish. Montcalm's chief defense of
Ticonderoga consisted in a felled forest. He had cut down
hundreds of trees and, on high ground in front of the fort, made
a formidable abbatis across which the English must advance.
Abercromby had four men to one of Montcalm. Artillery would have
knocked a passage through the trunks of the trees which formed
the abbatis. Abercromby, however, did not wait to bring up
artillery. He was confident that his huge force could beat down
opposition by a rapid attack, and he made the attack with all
courage and persistence. But the troops could not work through
the thicket of fallen trunks and, as night came on, they had to
withdraw baffled. Next day Lake George saw another strange
spectacle--a British army of thirteen thousand men, the finest
ever seen hitherto in America, retreating in a panic, with no
enemy in pursuit. Nearly two thousand English had fallen, while
Montcalm's loss was less than four hundred. He planted a great
cross on the scene of the fight with an inscription in Latin that
it was God who had wrought the victory. All Canada had a brief
period of rejoicing before the gloom of final defeat settled down
upon the country.

CHAPTER IX. Montcalm At Quebec

The rejoicing in Canada was brief. Before the end of the year the
British were victorious at both the eastern and western ends of
the long battle-line. Louisbourg had fallen in July; Fort
Duquesne, in November. Fort Frontenac--giving command of Lake
Ontario and, with it, the West--had surrendered to Bradstreet in
August just after Montcalm's victory at Ticonderoga. The Ohio was
gone. The great fortress guarding the gateway to the Gulf was
gone. The next English attack would fall on Quebec. Montcalm had
told Vaudreuil in the autumn, with vigorous precision, that the
period of petty warfare, for taking scalps and burning houses,
was past. It was time now to defend the main trunk of the tree
and not the outer branches. The best Canadians should be
incorporated into and trained in the battalions of regulars. The
militia regiments themselves should be clothed and drilled like
regular soldiers. Interior posts, such as Detroit, should be held
by the smallest possible number of men. This counsel enraged
Vaudreuil. Montcalm, he wrote, was trying to upset everything.
Vaudreuil was certain that the English would not attack Quebec.

There is a melancholy greatness in the last days of Montcalm. He
was fighting against fearful odds. With only about three thousand
trained regulars and perhaps four times as many untrained
Canadians and savages, he was confronting Britain's might on sea
and land which was now thrown against New France. From France
itself Montcalm knew that he had nothing to hope. In the autumn
of 1758 he sent Bougainville to Versailles. That brilliant and
loyal helper managed to elude the vigilance of the British fleet,
reached Versailles, and there spent some months in varied and
resourceful attempts to secure aid for Canada. He saw ministers.
He procured the aid of powerful connections of his own and of his
fellow-officers in Canada. He went to what was at this time the
fountainhead of authority at the French court, and it was not the
King. "The King is nothing," wrote Bougainville, "the Marchioness
is all-powerful--prime minister." Bougainville saw the
Marchioness, Madame de Pompadour, and read to her some of
Montcalm's letters. She showed no surprise and said nothing--her
habit, as Bougainville said. By this time the name of Montcalm
was one to charm with in France. Bougainville wrote to him "I
should have to include all France if I should attempt to give a
list of those who love you and wish to see you Marshal of France.
Even the little children know your name." There had been a time
when the court thought the recall of Montcalm would be wise in
the interests of New France. Now it was Montcalm's day and the
desire to help him was real. France, however, could do little.
Ministers were courteous and sympathetic; but as Berryer,
Minister of Marine, said to Bougainville, with the house on fire
in France, they could not take much thought of the stable in

This Berryer was an inept person. He was blindly ignorant of
naval affairs, coarse, obstinate, a placeman who owed his
position to intrigue and favoritism. His only merit was that he
tried to cut down expenditure, but in regard to the navy this
policy was likely to be fatal. It is useless, said this guardian
of France's marine, to try to rival Britain on the sea, and the
wise thing to do is to save money by not spending it on ships.
Berryer even sold to private persons stores which he had on hand
for the use of the fleet. If the house was on fire he did not
intend, it would seem, that much should be left to burn. The old
Due de Belle-Isle, Minister of War, was of another type, a fine
and efficient soldier. He explained the situation frankly in a
letter to Montcalm. Austria was an exigent ally, and Frederick of
Prussia a dangerous foe. France had to concentrate her strength
in Europe. The British fleet, he admitted, paralyzed efforts
overseas. There was no certainty, or even probability, that
troops and supplies sent from France would ever reach Canada.
France, the Duke said guardedly, was not without resources. She
had a plan to strike a deadly blow against England and, in doing
so, would save Canada without sending overseas a great army. The
plan was nothing less than the invasion of England and Scotland
with a great force, the enterprise which, nearly half a century
later, Napoleon conceived as his master stroke against the proud
maritime state. During that winter and spring France was building
a great number of small boats with which to make a sudden descent
and to land an army in England.

If this plan succeeded, all else would succeed. Montcalm must
just hold on, conduct a defensive campaign and, above all, retain
some part of Canada since, as the Duke said with prophetic
foresight, if the British once held the whole of the country they
would never give it up. Montcalm himself had laid before the
court a plan of his own. He estimated that the British would have
six men to his one. Rather than surrender to them, he would
withdraw to the far interior and take his army by way of the Ohio
to Louisiana. The design was a wild counsel of despair for he
would be cut off from any base of supplies, but it shows the
he was ready to tale. In him now the court had complete
confidence. Vaudreuil was instructed to take no military action
without seeking the counsel of Montcalm. "The King," wrote
Belle-Isle to Montcalm, "relies upon your zeal, your courage and
your resolution." Some little help was sent. The British control
of the sea was not complete; since more than twenty French ships
eluded British vigilance, bringing military stores, food (for
Canada was confronted by famine), four hundred soldiers, and
Bougainville himself, with a list of honors for the leaders in
Canada. Montcalm was given the rank of Lieutenant-General and,
but for a technical difficulty, would have been made a Marshal of

All this reliance upon Montcalm was galling to Vaudreuil. This
weak man was entirely in the hands of a corrupt circle who
recognized in the strength and uprightness of Montcalm their
deadly enemy. An incredible plundering was going on. Its strength
was in the blindness of Vaudreuil. The secretary of Vaudreuil,
Grasset de Saint-Sauveur, an ignorant and greedy man, was a
member of the ring and yet had the entire confidence of the
Governor. The scale of the robberies was enormous. Bigot, the
Intendant, was stealing millions of francs; Cadet, the head of
the supplies department, was stealing even more. They were able
men who knew how to show diligence in their official work. More
than once Montcalm praises the resourcefulness with which Bigot
met his requirements. But it was all done at a fearful cost to
the State. Under assumed names the ring sold to the King, of
whose interests they were the guardians, supplies at a profit of
a hundred or a hundred and fifty per cent. They made vast sums
out of transport. They drew pay for feeding hundreds of men who
were not in the King's service. They received money for great
bills of merchandise never delivered and repeated the process
over and over again. To keep the Indians friendly the King sent
presents of guns, ammunition, and blankets. These were stolen and
sold. Even the bodies of Acadians were sold. They were hired out
for their keep to a contractor who allowed them to die of cold
and hunger. Hundreds of the poor exiles perished. The nemesis of
a despotic system is that, however well-intentioned it may be,
its officials are not controlled by an alert public opinion and
yet must be trusted by their master. France meant well by her
colony but the colony, unlike the English colonies, was not
taught to look after itself. While nearly every one in Canada
understood what was going on, it was another thing to inform
those in control in France. La Porte, the secretary of the
colonial minister, was in the service of the ring. He intercepted
letters which should have made exposures. Until found out, he had
the ear of the minister and echoed the tone of lofty patriotism
which Bigot assumed in his letters to his superiors.

History has made Montcalm one of its heroes--and with justice. He
was a remarkable man, who would have won fame as a scholar had he
not followed the long family tradition of a soldier's career.
Bougainville once said that the highest literary distinction of a
Frenchman, a chair in the Academy, might be within reach of
Montcalm as well as the baton of a Marshal of France. He had a
prodigious memory and had read widely. His letters, written amid
the trying conditions of war, are nervous, direct, pregnant with
meaning, the notes of a penetrating intelligence. He had deep
family affection. "Adieu, my heart, I believe that I love you
more than ever I did before"; these were the last words of what
he did not know was to be his last letter to his wife. In the
midst of a gay scene at Montreal, in the spring of 1759, he
writes to Bourlamaque, then at Lake Champlain, with acute longing
for the south of France in the spring. For six or seven months in
the year he could receive no letters and always the British
command of the sea made their expected arrival uncertain. "When
shall I be again at the Chateau of Candiac, with my plantations,
my oaks, my oil mill, my mulberry trees? O good God." He lays
bare his spirit especially to Bourlamaque, a quiet, efficient,
thoughtful man, like himself, and enjoins him to burn the
letters--which he does not, happily for posterity. Scandal does
not touch him but, like most Frenchmen, he is dependent on the
society of women. He lived in a house on the ramparts of Quebec
and visited constantly the salons of his neighbor in the Rue du
Parloir, the beautiful and witty Madame de la Naudiere. In two or
three other households he was also intimate and the Bishop was a
sympathetic friend. His own tastes were those of the scholar, and
more and more, during the long Canadian winters, he enjoyed
evenings of quiet reading. The elder Mirabeau, father of the
revolutionary leader of 1789, had just published his "Ami des
Hommes " and this we find Montcalm studying. But above all he
reads the great encyclopaedia of Diderot. By 1759 seven of the
huge volumes had been issued. They startled the intellectual
world of the time and Montcalm set out to read them, omitting the
articles which had no interest for him or which he could not
understand. C is a copious letter in an encyclopaedia, and
Montcalm found excellent the articles on Christianity, College,
Comedy, Comet, Commerce, Council, and so on. Wolfe--soon to be
his opponent--had the same taste for letters. The two men, unlike
in body, for Wolfe was tall and Montcalm the opposite, were alike
in spirit, painstaking students as well as men of action.

At first Montcalm had not realized what was the deepest shadow in
the life of Canada. Perhaps chiefly because Vaudreuil was always
at Montreal, Montcalm preferred Quebec and was surprised and
charmed by the life of that city. It had, he said, the air of a
real capital. There were fair women and brave men, sumptuous
dinners with forty or fifty covers, brilliantly lighted salons, a
vivid social life in which he was much courted. The Intendant
Bigot was agreeable and efficient. Soon, however, Montcalm had
misgivings. It was a gambling age, but he was staggered by the
extent of the gambling at the house of the Intendant. He did not
wish to break with Bigot, and there was perhaps some weakness in
his failure to denounce the orgies from which his conscience
revolted. He warned his own officers but he could not control the
colonial officers, and Vaudreuil was too weak to check a man like
Bigot. Whence came the money? In time, Montcalm understood well
enough. He himself was poor. To discharge the duties of his
position he was going into debt, and he had even to consider the
possible selling of his establishment in France. He had to beg
the court for some financial relief. At the same time he saw
about him a wild extravagance. There was famine in Canada. During
the winter of 1758-59 the troops were put on short rations and,
in spite of their bitter protests, had to eat horse flesh.
Suffering and starvation bore heavily on the poor. Through lack
of food people fell fainting in the streets. But the circle of
Bigot paid little heed and feasted, danced, and gambled. Montcalm
pours out his soul to Bourlamaque. He spends, he says, sleepless
nights, and his mind is almost disordered by what he sees. In his
journal he notes his own fight with poverty and its contrast with
the careless luxury of a crowd of worthless hangers-on making
four or five hundred thousand francs a year and insulting decency
by their lavish expenditure. One of the ring, a clerk with a
petty salary, a base creature, spends more on carriages, horses,
and harness than a foppish and reckless young member of the
nouveaux-riches would spend in France. Corruption in Canada is
protected by corruption in France. Montcalm cries out with a
devotion which his sovereign hardly deserved, though it was due
to France herself, "O King, worthy of better service, dear
France, crushed by taxes to enrich greedy knaves!"

The weary winter of 1758-59 at length came to an end. In May the
ships already mentioned arrived from France, bringing
Bougainville and, among other things, the news that Pitt was
sending great forces for a decisive attack on Canada. At that
very moment, indeed, the British ships were entering the mouth of
the St. Lawrence. Canada had already been cut off from France.
Montcalm held many councils with his officers. The strategy
decided upon was to stand at bay at Quebec, to strike the enemy
if he should try to land, and to hold out until the approach of
winter should force the retirement of the British fleet.

CHAPTER X. The Strategy Of Pitt

During four campaigns the British had suffered humiliating
disasters. It is the old story in English history of caste
privilege and deadly routine bringing to the top men inadequate
in the day of trial. It has happened since, even in our own day,
as it has happened so often before. It seems that imminent
disaster alone will arouse the nation to its best military
effort. In 1757, however, England was thoroughly aroused. Failure
then on her own special element, the sea, touched her vitally.
Admiral Byng--through sheer cowardice, as was charged--had failed
to attack a French fleet aiding in the siege of the island of
Minorca which was held by the English, and Minorca had fallen to
the French. Such was the popular clamor at this disaster that
Byng was tried, condemned, and shot. There was also an upheaval
in the government. At no time in English history were men more
eager for the fruits of office; and now, even in a great crisis,
the greed for spoils could not be shaken off. The nation demanded
a conduct of the war which sought efficiency above all else. The
politicians, however, insisted on government favors.

In the end a compromise was reached. At the head of the
government was placed a politician, the Duke of Newcastle, who
loved jobbery and patronage in politics and who doled out offices
to his supporters. At the War Office was placed Pitt with a free
hand to carry on military operations. He was the terrible cornet
of horse who had harried Walpole in the days when that minister
was trying to keep out of war. He knew and even loved war; his
fierce national pride had been stirred to passion by the many
humiliations at the hand of France; and now he was resolved to
organize, to spend, and to fight, until Britain trampled on
France. He had the nation behind him. He bullied and frightened
the House of Commons. Members trembled if Pitt turned on them. By
his fiery energy, by making himself a terror to weakness and
incompetence, he won for Britain the Seven Years' War.

Though Pitt became Secretary of State for War in June, 1757, not
until 1758 did the tide begin to turn in America. But when it did
turn, it flowed with resistless force. In little more than a year
the doom of New France was certain. The first great French
reverse was at a point where the naval and military power of
Britain could unite in attack. Pitt well understood the need of
united action by the two services. Halifax became the radiating
center of British activities. Here, in 1757, before Pitt was well
in the saddle, a fleet and an army gathered to attack Louisbourg-
-an enterprise not carried out that year partly because France
had a great fleet on the spot, and partly, too, on account of the
bad quality of British leadership. 

Only in the campaign of 1758 did Pitt's dominance become
effective. With him counted one quality and one alone,
efficiency. The old guard at the War Office were startled when
men with rank, years, influence, and every other claim but
competence for their tasks, were passed over, and young and
obscure men were given high command. To America in the spring of
1758 were sent officers hitherto little known. Edward Boscawen,
Commander of the Fleet, and veteran among these leaders, was a
comparatively young man, only forty-seven; Jeffrey Amherst, just
turned forty, was Commander-in-Chief on land. Next in command to
Amherst was James Wolfe, aged thirty.
These young and vigorous men knew the value of promptness or they
would not have been tolerated under Pitt. Before the end of May,
1758, Boscawen was in Halifax harbor with a fleet of some forty
warships and a multitude of transports. On board were nearly
twelve thousand soldiers, more than eleven thousand of them
British regulars. The colonial forces now play a minor part in
the struggle; Pitt was ready to send from England all the troops
needed. The array at Halifax, the greatest yet seen in America,
numbered about twenty thousand men, including sailors. Before the
first of June the fleet was on its way to Louisbourg. The defense
was stubborn; and James Wolfe, who led the first landing party,
had abundant opportunity to prove his courage and capacity. By
the end of July, however, Louisbourg had fallen, and nearly six
thousand prisoners were in the hands of the English. It was the
beginning of the end. 

In the autumn Wolfe was back in England, where he was quickly
given command of the great expedition which was planned against
Quebec for the following year. Admiral Sir Charles Saunders, who
seems almost old compared with Wolfe, for he was nearly fifty,
was in chief command of the fleet. Amherst had remained in
America as Commander-in-Chief, and was taking slow, deliberate,
thorough measures for the last steps in the conquest of New

To be too late had been the usual fate of the many British
expeditions against Canada. No one, however, dared to be late
under Pitt. On February 17, 1759, the greatest fleet that had
ever put out for America left Portsmouth. More than two hundred
and fifty ships set their sails for the long voyage. There were
forty-nine warships, carrying fourteen thousand sailors and
marines, and two hundred other ships manned by perhaps seven
thousand men in the merchant service, but ready to fight if
occasion offered. Altogether nearly thirty thousand men now left
the shores of England to attack Canada.

There is a touch of doom for France in the fact that its own lost
fortress of Louisbourg was to be the rendezvous of the fleet.
Saunders, however, arrived so early that the entrance to
Louisbourg was still blocked with ice, and he went on to Halifax.
In time he returned to Louisbourg, and from there the great fleet
sailed for Quebec. The voyage was uneventful. We can picture the
startled gaze of the Canadian peasants as they saw the stately
array, many miles long, pass up the St. Lawrence. On the 26th of
June, Wolfe and Saunders were in the basin before Quebec and the
great siege had begun which was to mark one of the turning-points
in history.

Nature had furnished a noble setting for the drama now to be
enacted. Quebec stands on a bold semicircular rock on the north
shore of the St. Lawrence. At the foot of the rock sweeps the
mighty river, here at the least breadth in its whole course, but
still a flood nearly a mile wide, deep and strong. Its currents
change ceaselessly with the ebb and flow of the tide which rises
a dozen feet, though the open sea is eight hundred miles away.
Behind the rock of Quebec the small stream of the St. Charles
furnishes a protection on the landward side. Below the fortress,
the great river expands into a broad basin with the outflow
divided by the Island of Orleans. In every direction there are
cliffs and precipices and rising ground. From the north shore of
the great basin the land slopes gradually into a remote blue of
wooded mountains. The assailant of Quebec must land on low ground
commanded everywhere from heights for seven or eight miles on the
east and as many on the west. At both ends of this long front are
further natural defenses--at the east the gorge of the
Montmorency River, at the west that of the Cap Rouge River.

Wolfe's desire was to land his army on the Beauport shore at some
point between Quebec and Montmorency. But Montcalm's fortified
posts, behind which lay his army, stretched along the shore for
six miles, all the way from the Montmorency to the St. Charles.
Wolfe had a great contempt for Montcalm's army--"five feeble
French battalions mixed with undisciplined peasants." If only he
could get to close quarters with the "wily and cautious old fox,"
as he called Montcalm! Already the British had done what the
French had thought impossible. Without pilots they had steered
their ships through treacherous channels in the river and through
the dangerous "Traverse" near Cap Tourmente. Captain Cook,
destined to be a famous navigator, was there to survey and mark
the difficult places, and British skippers laughed at the
forecasts of disaster made by the pilots whom they had captured
on the river. The French were confident that the British would
not dare to take their ships farther up the river past the
cannonade of the guns in Quebec, though this the British
accomplished almost without loss. 

Wolfe landed a force upon the lower side of the gorge at
Montmorency and another at the head of the Island of Orleans. He
planted batteries at Point Levis across the river from Quebec,
and from there he battered the city. The pleasant houses in the
Rue du Parloir which Montcalm knew so well were knocked into
rubbish, and its fascinating ladies were driven desolate from the
capital. But this bombardment brought Wolfe no nearer his goal.
On the 31st of July he made a frontal attack on the flats at
Beauport and failed disastrously with a loss of four hundred men.
Time was fighting for Montcalm. 

By the 1st of September Wolfe's one hope was in a surprise by
which he could land an army above Quebec, the nearer to the
fortress the better. Its feeble walls on the landward side could
not hold out against artillery. But Bougainville guarded the high
shore and marched his men incessantly up and down to meet
threatened attacks. On the heights, the battalion of Guienne was
encamped on the Plains of Abraham to guard the Foulon. This was a
cove on the river bank from which there was a path, much used by
the French for dragging up provisions, leading to the top of the
cliff at a point little more than a mile from the walls of the
city. On the 6th of September the battalion of Guienne was sent
back to the Beauport lines by order of Vaudreuil. Montcalm
countermanded the order, but was not obeyed, and Wolfe saw his
chance. For days he threatened a landing, above and below Quebec,
now at one point, now at another, until the French were both
mystified and worn out with incessant alarms. Then, early on the
morning of the 13th of September, came Wolfe's master-stroke. His
men embarked in boats from the warships lying some miles above
Quebec, dropped silently down the river, close to the north
shore, made sentries believe that they were French boats carrying
provisions to the Foulon, landed at the appointed spot, climbed
up the cliff, and overpowered the sleeping guard. A little after
daylight Wolfe had nearly five thousand soldiers, a "thin red
line," busy preparing a strong position on the Plains of Abraham,
while the fleet was landing cannon, to be dragged up the steep
hill to bombard the fortress on its weakest side.

Montcalm had spent many anxious days. He had been incessantly on
the move, examining for himself over and over again every point,
Cap Rouge, Beauport, Montmorency, reviewing the militia of which
he felt uncertain, inspecting the artillery, the commissariat,
everything that mattered. At three o'clock in the morning of one
of these days he wrote to Bourlamaque, at Lake Champlain, noting
the dark night, the rain, his men awake and dressed in their
tents, everyone alert. "I am booted and my horses are saddled,
which is in truth my usual way of spending the night. I have not
undressed since the twenty-third of June." On the evening of the
12th of September the batteries at Point Levis kept up a furious
fire on Quebec. There was much activity on board the British
war-ships lying below the town. Boats filled with men rowed
towards Beauport as if to attempt a landing during the night.
Here the danger seemed to lie. At midnight the British boats were
still hovering off the shore. The French troops manned the
entrenched lines and Montcalm was continually anxious. A heavy
convoy of provisions was to come down to the Foulon that night,
and orders had been given to the French posts on the north shore
above Quebec to make no noise. The arrival of the convoy was
vital, for the army was pressed for food. Montcalm was therefore
anxious for its fate when at break of day he heard firing from
the French cannon at Samos, above Quebec. Had the provisions then
been taken by the English? Near his camp all now seemed quiet. He
gave orders for the troops to rest, drank some cups of tea with
his aide-de-camp Johnstone, a Scotch Jacobite, and at about
half-past six rode towards Quebec to the camp of Vaudreuil to
learn why the artillery was firing at Samos. Immediately in front
of the Governor's house he learned the momentous news. The
English were on the Plains of Abraham. Soon he had the evidence
of his own eyes. On the distant heights across the valley he
could see the redcoats.

No doubt Montcalm had often pondered this possibility and had
decided in such a case to attack at once before the enemy could
entrench and bring up cannon. A rapid decision was now followed
by rapid action. He had a moment's conversation with Vaudreuil.
The French regiments on the right at Vaudreuil's camp, lying
nearest to the city, were to march at once. To Johnstone he said,
"The affair is serious," and then gave orders that all the French
left, except a few men to guard the ravine at Montmorency, should
follow quickly to the position between Quebec and the enemy, a
mile away. Off to this point he himself galloped. Already, by
orders of officers on the spot, regiments were gathering between
the walls of the city and the British. The regiments on the
French right at Beauport were soon on the move towards the
battlefield, but two thousand of the best troops still lay
inactive beyond Beauport. Johnstone declares that Vaudreuil
countermanded the order of Montcalm for these troops to come to
his support and ordered that not one of them should budge. There
was haste everywhere. By half-past nine Montcalm had some four
thousand men drawn up between the British and the walls of
Quebec. He hoped that Bougainville, advancing from Cap Rouge,
would be able to assail the British rear: "Surely Bougainville
understands that I must attack."

The crisis was, over in fifteen minutes. Montcalm attacked at
once. His line was disorderly. His center was composed of regular
troops, his wings of Canadians and Indians. These fired
irregularly and lay down to reload, thus causing confusion. The
French moved forward rapidly; the British were coming on more
slowly. The French were only some forty yards away when there was
an answering fire from the thin red line; for Wolfe had ordered
his men to put two balls in their muskets and to hold their fire
for one dread volley. Then the roar from Wolfe's center was like
that of a burst of artillery; and, when the smoke cleared, the
French battalions were seen breaking in disorder from the shock,
the front line cut down by the terrible fire. A bayonet charge
from the redcoats followed. Some five thousand trained British
regulars bore down, working great slaughter on four thousand
French, many of them colonials who had never before fought in the
open. The rout of the French was complete. Some fled to safety
behind the walls of Quebec, others down the Cote Ste. Genevieve
and across the St. Charles River, where they stopped pursuit by
cutting the bridge. Both Wolfe and Montcalm were mortally wounded
after the issue of the day was really decided, and both survived
to be certain, the one of victory, the other of defeat. Wolfe
died on the field of battle. Montcalm was taken into a house in
Quebec and died early the next morning. It is perhaps the only
incident in history of a decisive battle of world import followed
by the death of both leaders, each made immortal by the tragedy
of their common fate.

At two o'clock in the afternoon of the day of defeat, Vaudreuil
held a tumultuous council of war. It was decided to abandon
Quebec, where Montcalm lay dying and to retreat up the St.
Lawrence to Montreal, to the defense of which Levis had been sent
before the fight. That night the whole French army fled in panic,
leaving their tents standing and abandoning quantities of stores.
Vaudreuil who had talked so bravely about death in the ruins of
Canada, rather than surrender, gave orders to Ramezay, commanding
in Quebec, to make terms and haul down his flag. On the third day
after the battle, the surrender was arranged. On the fourth day
the British marched into Quebec, where ever since their flag has

Meanwhile, Amherst, the Commander-in-Chief of the British armies
in America, was making a toilsome advance towards Montreal by way
of Lake Champlain. He had occupied both Ticonderoga and Crown
Point, which had been abandoned by the French. Across his path
lay Bourlamaque at Isle aux Noix. Another British army, having
captured Niagara, was advancing on Montreal down the St. Lawrence
from Lake Ontario. Amherst, however, made little progress this
year in his menace to Montreal and soon went into winter
quarters, as did the other forces elsewhere. The British victory
therefore was as yet incomplete.

The year 1759 proved dire for France. She was held fast by her
treaty with Austria and at ruinous cost was ever sending more and
more troops to help Austria against Prussia. The great plan of
which Belle-Isle had written to Montcalm was the chief hope of
her policy. England was to be invaded and London occupied. If
this were done, all else would be right. It was not done. France
could not parry Pitt's blows. In Africa, in the West Indies, in
India, the British won successes which meant the ruin of French
power in three continents. French admirals like Conflans and La
Clue were no match for Boscawen, Hawke, and Rodney, all seamen of
the first rank, and made the stronger because dominated by the
fiery Pitt.

They kept the French squadrons shut up in their own ports. When,
at last, on November 20, 1759, Conflans came out of Brest and
fought Hawke at Quiberon Bay, the French fleet was nearly
destroyed, and the dream of taking London ended in complete

CHAPTER XI. The Fall Of Canada

Though Quebec was in their hands, the position of the British
during the winter of 1759-60 was dangerous. In October General
Murray, who was left in command, saw with misgiving the great
fleet sail away which had brought to Canada the conquering force
of Wolfe and Saunders. Murray was left with some seven thousand
men in the heart of a hostile country, and with a resourceful
enemy, still unconquered, preparing to attack him. He was
separated from other British forces by vast wastes of forest and
river, and until spring should come no fleet could aid him. Three
enemies of the English, the French said exultingly, would aid to
retake Quebec: the ruthless savages who haunted the outskirts of
the fortress and massacred many an incautious straggler; the
French army which could be recruited from the Canadian
population; and, above all, the bitter cold of the Canadian
winter. To Murray, as to Napoleon long afterward in his rash
invasion of Russia, General February was indeed the enemy. About
the two or three British ships left at Quebec the ice froze in
places a dozen feet thick, and snowdrifts were piled so high
against the walls of Quebec that it looked sometimes as if the
enemy might walk over them into the fortress. So solidly frozen
was the surface of the river that Murray sent cannon to the south
shore across the ice to repel a menace from that quarter. There
was scarcity of firewood and of provisions. Scurvy broke out in
the garrison. Many hundreds died so that by the spring Murray had
barely three thousand men fit for active duty.

Throughout the winter Levis, now in command of the French forces,
made increasing preparations to destroy Murray in the spring. The
headquarters of Uvis were at Montreal. Here Vaudreuil, the
Governor, kept his little court. He and Levis worked
harmoniously, for Uvis was conciliatory and tactful. For a time
Vaudreuil treasured the thought of taking command in person to
attack Quebec. In the end, however, he showed that he had learned
something from the disasters of the previous year and did not
interfere with the plans made by Levis. So throughout the winter
Montreal had its gayeties and vanities as of old. There were
feasts and dances--but over all brooded the reality of famine in
the present and--the foreboding of disaster to come.

By April 20, 1760, the St. Lawrence was open and, though the
shores were cumbered with masses of broken ice, the central
channel was free for the boats which Levis filled with his
soldiers. It was a bleak experience to descend the turbulent
river between banks clogged with ice. When Levis was not far from
Quebec, he learned that it was impossible to surprise Murray who
was well on guard between Cap Rouge on the west and Beauport on
the east. The one thing to do was to reach the Plains of Abraham
in order to attack the feeble walls of Quebec from the landward
side. Since Murray's alertness made impossible attack by way of
the high cliffs which Wolfe had climbed in the night, Levis had
to reach Quebec by a circuitous route. He landed his army a
little above Cap Rouge, marched inland over terrible roads in
heavy rain, and climbed to the plateau of Quebec from the rear at
Sainte Foy. On April 27, 1760, he drew up his army on the heights
almost exactly as Wolfe had done in the previous September.
Murray followed the example of Montcalm. He had no trust in the
feeble defenses of Quebec and on the 28th marched out to fight on
the open plain. The battle of Sainte Foy followed exactly the
precedents of the previous year. The defenders of Quebec were
driven off the field in overwhelming defeat. The difference was
that Murray took his army back to Quebec and from behind its
walls still defied his French assailant. Levis had poor
artillery, but he did what he could. He entrenched and poured his
fire into Quebec. In the end it was sea power which balked him.
On the 15th of May, when a British fleet appeared round the head
of the Island of Orleans, Levis withdrew in something like panic
and Quebec was safe.

Levis returned to Montreal; and to this point all the forces of
France slowly retreated as they were pressed in by the
overwhelming numbers of the British. At Oswego, the scene of
Montcalm's first brilliant success four years earlier, Amherst
had gathered during the summer of 1760 an army of about ten
thousand men. From here he descended the St. Lawrence in boats to
attack Montreal from the west. From the south, down Lake
Champlain and the Richelieu River to the St. Lawrence, came
another British force under Haviland also to attack Montreal. At
Quebec Murray put his army on transports, left the city almost
destitute of defense, and thus brought a third considerable force
against Montreal. There was little fighting. The French withdrew
to the common objective as their enemy advanced. Early in
September Levis had gathered at Montreal all his available force,
amounting now to scarcely more than two thousand men, for
Canadians and Indians alike had deserted him. The British pressed
in with the slow and inevitable rigor of a force of nature. On
the 7th of September their united army was before the town and
Amherst demanded instant surrender. The only thing for Vaudreuil
to do was to make the best terms possible. On the next day he
signed a capitulation which protected the liberties in property
and religion of the Canadians but which yielded the whole of
Canada to Great Britain. The struggle for North America had

In the moment of triumph Amherst inflicted on the French army a
deep humiliation to punish the outrages committed by their Indian
allies. In the early days of the war Loudoun, the
Commander-in-Chief in America, had vowed that the British would
make the French "sick of such inhuman villainy" and teach them to
respect "the laws of nature and humanity." Washington speaks of
his "deadly sorrow" at the dreadful outrages which he saw, the
ravishing of women, the scalping alive even of children.
Philadelphians had seen the grim spectacle of a wagon-load of
corpses brought by mourning friends and relatives of the dead and
laid down at the door of the Assembly to show to pacifist
legislators what was really happening. The French regular
officers, as we have seen, had hated this kind of warfare
Bougainville says that his soul shuddered at the sights in
Montreal, where the whole town turned out to see an English
prisoner killed, boiled, and eaten by the savages. Worse still,
captive mothers were obliged to eat the flesh of their own
children. The French believed that they could not get on without
the savage allies who committed these outrages, and they were not
strong enough to coerce them. Amherst, on the other hand, held
his Indians in check and rebuked outrage. Now he was stern to
punish what the French had permitted. He could write proudly to a
friend that the French were amazed at the order in which he kept
his own Indians. Not a man, woman, or child, he said, had been
hurt or a single atrocity committed. It was a vivid contrast with
what had taken place after the British surrender to Montcalm at
Fort William Henry. The day of retribution had come. Because of
such outrages, the French army was denied the honors of war
usually conceded to a brave and defeated foe. The French officers
and men must not, Amherst insisted, serve again during the war.
Levis protested and begged Vaudreuil to be allowed to go on
fighting rather than accept the terms, but in vain. The
humiliation was rigorously imposed, and it was a sullen host
which the British took captive.

France had lost an Empire. It was nearly three years still before
peace was signed at Paris in 1763. To Britain France yielded
everything east of the Mississippi except New Orleans, and to
Spain she ceded New Orleans and everything else to which she had
any claim. The fleurs-de-lis floated still over only two tiny
fishing islands off the Newfoundland shore. All the glowing plans
of France's leaders--of Richelieu, of Louis XIV, of Colbert, of
Frontenac, of the heroic missionaries of the Jesuit Order--seemed
to have come to nothing.

The fall of France did much to drag down her rival. Already was
America restless under control from Europe. There was now no
danger to the English in America from the French peril which had
made insecure the borders of Massachusetts, of New York, of
Pennsylvania, and Virginia, and had brought widespread desolation
and sorrow. With the removal of the menace went the need of help
and defenses for the colonies from the motherland. The French
belief that there was a natural antipathy between the English of
the Old World and the English of the New was, in reality, based
on the fact of a likeness so great that neither would accept
control or patronage from the other. Towards the Englishman who
assumed airs of superiority the antagonism of the colonists was
always certain to be acute. Open strife came when the assumption
of superiority took the form of levying taxes on the colonies
without asking their leave. In no remote way the fall of French
Canada, by removing a near menace to the English colonies, led to
this new conflict and to the collapse of that older British
Empire which had sprung from the England of the Stuarts.

When Montreal fell there were in the St. Lawrence many British
ships which had been used for troops and supplies. Before the end
of September the French soldiers and also the officials from
France who desired to go home were on board these ships bound for
Europe. By the end of November most of the exiles had reached
home. Varying receptions awaited them. Levis, who took back the
army, was soon again, by consent of the British government, in
active service. Fortune smiled on him to the end. He died a great
noble and Marshal of France just before the Revolution of 1789;
but in that awful upheaval his widow and his two daughters
perished on the scaffold. Vaudreuil's shallow and vain
incompetence did not go unpunished. He was put on trial, accused
of a share in the black frauds which had helped to ruin Canada.
The trial was his punishment. He was acquitted of taking any
share of the plunder and so drops out of history. Bigot and his
gang, on the other hand, were found guilty of vast depredations.
The former Intendant was for a time in the Bastille and in the
end was banished from France, after being forced to repay great
sums. We find echoes of the luxury of Quebec in the sale in
France of the rich plate which the rascal had acquired. There
were, however, other and even worse plunderers. They were tried
and condemned chiefly to return what they had stolen. We rather
wonder that no expiatory sacrifice on the scaffold was required
of any of these knaves. Lally Tollendal, who, as the French
leader in India, had only failed and not plundered, was sent to a
cruel execution.

Under the terms of the surrender and of the final Treaty of Peace
in 1763, civilians in Canada were given leave to return to
France. Nearly the whole of the official class and many of the
large landowners, the seigneurs, left the country. In Canada
there remained a priesthood, largely native, but soon to be
recruited from France by the upheaval of the Revolution, a few
seigneurial families, natural leaders of their race, a peasantry,
exhausted by the long war but clinging tenaciously to the soil,
and a good many hardy pioneers of the forest, men skilled in
hunting and in the use of the axe. Out of these elements,
amounting in 1763 to little more than sixty thousand people, has
come that French-Canadian race in America now numbering perhaps
three millions. The race has scattered far. It is found in the
mills of Massachusetts, in the canebrakes of Louisiana, on the
wide stretches of the prairie of the Canadian West, but it has
always kept intact its strong citadel on the banks of the St.
Lawrence. New France was, in reality, widely separated in spirit
from old France, before the new master in Canada made the
division permanent. The imagination of the Canadian peasant did
not wander across the ocean to France. He knew only the scenes
about his own hearth and in them alone were his thought and
affections centered.

The one wider interest which the habitant treasured was love for
the Catholic Church of his fathers and of his own spiritual
hopes. It thus happened that when France in revolution assailed
and for a time overthrew the Church within her borders, the heart
of French Canada was not with France but with the persecuted
Church; she hated the spirit of revolutionary France. Te Deums
were sung at Quebec in thanksgiving for the defeats of Napoleon.
In language and what literary culture they possessed, in
traditions and tastes, the conquered people remained French, but
they had no allegiance divided between Canada and France. To this
day they are proud to be simply Canadians, rooted in the soil of
Canada, with no debt of patriotic gratitude to the France from
which they sprang or to the Britain which obtained political
dominance over their ancestors after a long agony of war. To the
British Crown many of them feel a certain attachment because of
the liberty guaranteed to them to pursue their own ideals of
happiness. In preserving their type of social life, their faith
and language, they have shown a resolute tenacity. To this day
they are as different in these things from their fellow-citizens
of British origin in the rest of Canada as were their ancestors
from the English colonies which lay on their borders.

The French in Canada are still a separate people. From time to
time a nervous fear seizes them lest too many of their race may
be lost to their old ideals in the Anglo-Saxon world surging
about them. Then they listen readily to appeals to their racial
unity and draw more sharply than ever the lines of division
between themselves and the rest of North America. They remain a
fragment of an older France, remote and isolated, still dreaming
dreams like those of Frontenac of old of the dominance of their
race in North America and asserting passionately their rights in
the soil of Canada to which, first of Europeans, they came. At
the mouth of the Mississippi in the Louisiana founded by Louis
XIV, along the St. Lawrence in the Canada of Champlain and
Frontenac, with a resolution more than half pathetic, and in a
world that gives little heed, men of French race are still on
guard to preserve in America the lineaments of that older France,
long since decayed in Europe, which was above all the eldest
daughter of the Church.


While the present narrative is based for the most part on more
recondite and widely scattered sources, the most accessible
volumes relating to the period are the following works of Francis
Parkman (Boston: many editions): "La Salle and the Discovery of
the Great West, Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV, A Half
Century of Conflict" (2 vols.), and "Montcalm and Wolfe" (2
vols.). To these should be added, as completing the story, George
M. Wrong, "The Fall of Canada" (Oxford, 1914) which dwells in
detail on the last year of the struggle. All these volumes
contain adequate references to authorities. The last of Parkman's
works was published more than twenty-five years ago and later
research has revised some of his conclusions, but he still
commands great authority. In "The Chronicles of Canada" (Toronto,
191316) half a dozen volumes relate to the period; each of these
volumes, which embody later research and are written in an
attractive style, contains a bibliography relating to its special
subject: C.W. Colby, "The Fighting Governor" [Frontenac]; Agnes
C. Laut, "The Adventurers of England on Hudson Bay"; Lawrence J.
Burpee, "The Pathfinders of the Great Plains"; Arthur G. Doughty,
"The Acadian Exiles"; William Wood, "The Great Fortress"
[Louisbourg], "The Passing of New France", and "The Winning of
Canada." Lawrence J. Burpee's "Search for the Western Sea"
(Toronto, 1908) deals with the work of La Verendrye and other
explorers. Anthony Hendry's "Journal" is published in the
"Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada," series iii, volume
i. The latest phase of the discussions on La Verendrye are
reviewed in an article by Doane Robinson in "The Mississippi
Valley Historical Review" for December, 1916. The material
relating to the discoverer was long scattered, but it has now
been collected in a volume, edited by Lawrence J. Burpee for the
Champlain Society, Toronto, but owing to the war it is at the
present date (1918) still in manuscript. Much of what is
contained in Mr. Burpee's volume will be found in "South Dakota
Historical Collections," volume vii, 1914 (Pierre, S.D.).

Additional references are given in the bibliographies appended to
the articles on "Chatham, Seven Years' War," and "Nova Scotia" in
"The Encyclopaedia Britannica," 11th Edition.

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