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      [Pg 320][2] Dongan to Denonville, 9 Sept., 1687, in N. Y. Col. Docs., III. 472.

      By temperament and conviction Laval hated a divided authority, and the very shadow of a schism was an abomination in his sight. The young king, who, though abundantly jealous of his royal power, was forced to conciliate the papal party, had sent instructions to Argenson, the governor, to support Laval, and prevent divisions in the Canadian church. * These instructions served as the pretext of a procedure sufficiently summary. A squad of soldiers, commanded, it is said, by the governor himself, went up to Montreal, brought the indignant Queylus to Quebec, and shipped him thence for France. ** By these means, writes Father Lalemant, order reigned for a season in the church.

      [250] Lettre de La Salle La Barre, Fort St. Louis, 2 Avril, 1683. The above is condensed from passages in the original.The imprisonment of Amours was short, but strife did not cease. The disputes in the council were accompanied throughout with other quarrels which were complicated with them, and which were worse than all the rest, since they involved more important matters and covered a wider field. They related to the fur trade, on which hung the very life of the colony. Merchants, traders, and even habitants, were ranged in two contending factions. Of one of these Frontenac was the chief. With him were La Salle and his lieutenant, La Fort; Du Lhut, the famous leader of coureurs de bois; Boisseau, agent of the farmers of the revenue; Barrois, the governor's secretary; Bizard, lieutenant of his guard; and various others of greater or less influence. On the other side were the members of the council, with Aubert de la Chesnaye, Le Moyne and all his sons, Louis Joliet, Jacques Le Ber, Sorel, Boucher, Varennes, and many more, all supported by the intendant Duchesneau, and also by his fast allies, the ecclesiastics. The faction under the lead of the governor had every advantage, for it was sustained by all the power of his office. Duchesneau was beside himself with rage. He wrote to the court letters full of bitterness, accused Frontenac of illicit trade, 55 denounced his followers, and sent huge bundles of procs-verbaux and attestations to prove his charges.

      during a twelvemonth, and Three Rivers and Quebec had barelyV1 me know whether you want any and what assistance to enable you to execute the orders, I will endeavor to send you such assistance from this province as you shall want." [245]

      Of the three settlements which, with their feeble dependencies, then comprised the whole of Canada, Quebec was least exposed to Indian attacks, being partially covered by Montreal and Three Rivers. Nevertheless, there was no safety this year, even

      Among other anecdotes, Nicole tells the following: One of the young zealots of the Hermitage took it into his head that all Caen was full of Jansenists, and that the curs of the place were in league with them. He inoculated four others with this notion, and they resolved to warn the people of their danger. They accordingly made the tour of the streets, without hats or collars, and with coats unbuttoned, though it was a cold winter day, stopping every moment to proclaim in a loud voice that all the curs, excepting two, whom they named, were abettors of the Jansenists. A mob was soon following at their heels, and there was great excitement. The magistrates chanced to be in session, and, hearing of the disturbance, they sent constables to arrest the authors of it. Being brought to the bar of justice and questioned by the judge, they answered that they were doing the work of God, and were ready to die in the cause; that Caen was full of Jansenists, and that the curs had declared in their favor, inasmuch as they denied any knowledge of their existence. Four of the five were locked up for a few days, tried, and sentenced to a fine of a hundred livres, with a promise of further punishment should they again disturb the peace. * of a very mixed character, says that it would have been far


      Even if some plan of union had been agreed upon, long delay must have followed before its machinery could be set in motion; and meantime there was need of immediate action. War-parties of Indians from Canada, set on, it was thought, by the Governor, were already burning and murdering among the border settlements of New York and New Hampshire. In the south Dinwiddie grew more and more alarmed, "for the French are like so many locusts; they are collected in bodies in a most surprising manner; their number now on the Ohio is from twelve hundred to fifteen hundred." He writes to Lord Granville that, in his opinion, they aim to conquer the continent, and that "the obstinacy of this stubborn generation" exposes the country "to the merciless rage of a rapacious enemy." What vexed him even more than the apathy of the assemblies was the conduct of his brother-governor, Glen of South Carolina, who, apparently piqued at the conspicuous part Dinwiddie was acting, wrote to him in a "very dictatorial style," found fault with his measures, jested at his activity in writing letters, and even questioned the 177[Pg 286]The French and their allies outnumbered their enemies fourfold, while the Outagamie and Mascoutin warriors were encumbered with more than seven hundred women and children. Their frail defences might have been carried by assault; but the loss to the assailants must needs have been great against so brave and desperate a foe, and such a mode of attack is repugnant to the Indian genius. Instead, therefore, of storming the palisaded camp, the allies beleaguered it with vindictive patience, and wore out its defenders by a fire that ceased neither day nor night. The French raised two tall scaffolds, from which they overlooked the palisade, and sent their shot into the midst of those within, who were forced, for shelter, to dig holes in the ground four or five feet deep, and ensconce themselves there. The situation was almost hopeless, but their courage did not fail. They raised twelve red English blankets on poles as battle-flags, to show that they would fight to the death, and hung others over their palisades, calling out that they wished to see the whole earth red, like them, with blood; that they had no fathers but the English, and that the other tribes had better do as they did, and turn their backs to Onontio.


      [9] Schuyler, Colonial New York, i. 488.Wolfe's proclamation, at first unavailing, was now taking effect. A large number of Canadian prisoners, brought in on the twenty-fifth, declared that their countrymen would gladly accept his offers but for the threats of their commanders that if they did so the Indians should be set upon them. The prisoners said further that "they had been under apprehension for several days past of having a body of four hundred barbarians sent to rifle their parish and habitations." [719] Such threats were not wholly effectual. A French chronicler of the time says: "The Canadians showed their disgust every day, and deserted at every opportunity, in spite of the means taken to prevent them." "The people were intimidated, seeing all our army kept in one body and solely on the defensive; while the English, though far less numerous, divided their forces, and undertook various bold enterprises without meeting resistance." [720]


      * See the correspondence in N. Y. Col. Docs. III. 118-156.[531] "En chemin faisant et mme en entrant Montral ils les ont mangs et fait manger aux autres prisonniers." Bigot au Ministre, 24 Ao?t, 1757.