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      [227] Statement of the engineer, Mackellar. By another account, out of a total, officers and men, of 1,460, the number of all ranks who escaped was 583. Braddock's force, originally 1,200, was increased, a few days before the battle, by detachments from Dunbar.[675] Vaudreuil Montcalm, 1 Ao?t, 1758.


      The New Governor ? Attitude of the Iroquois ? Negotiations ? Embassy to Onondaga ? Peace ? The Iroquois and the Allies ? Difficulties ? Death of the Great Huron ? Funeral Rites ? The Grand Council ? The Work of Frontenac finished ? Results.[539] Bougainville, Journal. Montcalm Mirepoix, 20 Avril, 1758. Lvis, Journal de la Guerre du Canada.

      As well as she could Pen had marked in her mind the spot on the third page where his glance had rested. It was the New York Courier he was reading. She had to be careful not to betray her hand. She made believe to go on searching through the paper she had. Finally she let it fall.

      This spirit had borne them from victory to victory. In Asia they had driven the French from Pondicherry and all their Indian possessions; in Africa they had wrested from them Gore and the Senegal country; in the West Indies they had taken Guadeloupe and Dominica; in the European 401[122] "L'Acadie suivant ses anciennes limites est la presquisle borne par son isthme." La Galissonire au Ministre, 25 Juillet, 1749. The English commissioners were, of course, ignorant of this admission.


      In telling the story of La Salle, I have described the execution of the new plan: the muster of the Canadians, at the call of Frontenac; the consternation of those of the merchants whom he and La Salle had not taken into their counsels, and who saw in the movement the preparation for a gigantic fur trading monopoly; the intrigues set on foot to bar the enterprise; the advance up the St. Lawrence; the assembly of Iroquois at the destined spot; the ascendency exercised over them by the governor; the building of Fort Frontenac on the ground where Kingston now stands, and its final transfer into the hands of La Salle, on condition, there can be no doubt, of sharing the expected profits with his patron. [1]

      The French notices of the affair are short, and give few particulars. Vaudreuil in one letter sets the number of prisoners at one hundred and fifty, and increases it in another to two hundred and fifty. Ramesay, governor of Montreal, who hated Hertel de Rouville, and bore no love to Vaudreuil, says that fifty-six women and children were murdered on the way to Canada,which is a gross exaggeration. (Ramesay au Ministre, 14 Novembre, 1704.) The account by Dr. Ethier in the Revue Canadienne of 1874 is drawn entirely from the Redeemed Captive of Williams, with running comments by the Canadian writer, but no new information. The comments chiefly consist in praise of Williams for truth when he speaks favorably of the Canadians, and charges of lying when he speaks otherwise.

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      France had done but little to make good her claims to this grand domain. East of the Miami she had no military post whatever. Westward, on the Maumee, there was a small wooden fort, another on the St. Joseph, and two on the Wabash. On the meadows of the Mississippi, in the Illinois country, stood Fort Chartres,a much stronger 41

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

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      Mr. Atkinson, envoy on the part of New Hampshire, joined Thaxter and Dudley, and the three set out for Montreal, over the ice of Lake Champlain. Vaudreuil received them with courtesy. As required by their instructions, they demanded the release of the English prisoners in Canada, and protested against the action of the French governor in setting on the Indians to attack English settlements when there was peace between the two Crowns. Vaudreuil denied that he had done so, till they showed him his own letters to Rale, captured at Norridgewock. These were unanswerable; but Vaudreuil insisted that the supplies sent to the Indians were only the presents which they received every year from the King. As to the English prisoners, he said that those in the hands of the Indians were beyond his power; but that the envoys could have those whom the French had bought from their captors, on paying back the price they had cost. The demands were exorbitant, but sixteen prisoners were ransomed, and bargains were made for ten more. Vaudreuil proposed[Pg 253] to Thaxter and his colleagues to have an interview with the Indians, which they at first declined, saying that they had no powers to treat with them, though, if the Indians wished to ask for peace, they were ready to hear them. At length a meeting was arranged. The French governor writes: "Being satisfied that nothing was more opposed to our interests than a peace between the Abenakis and the English, I thought that I would sound the chiefs before they spoke to the English envoys, and insinuate to them everything that I had to say."[270] This he did with such success that, instead of asking for peace, the Indians demanded the demolition of the English forts, and heavy damages for burning their church and killing their missionary. In short, to Vaudreuil's great satisfaction, they talked nothing but war. The French despatch reporting this interview has the following marginal note: "Nothing better can be done than to foment this war, which at least retards the settlements of the English;" and against this is written, in the hand of the colonial minister, the word "Approved."[271] This was, in fact, the policy pursued from the first, and Rale had been an instrument of it. The Jesuit La Chasse, who[Pg 254] spoke both English and Abenaki, had acted as interpreter, and so had had the meeting in his power, as he could make both parties say what he pleased. The envoys thought him more anti-English than Vaudreuil himself, and ascribed the intractable mood of the Indians to his devices. Under the circumstances, they made a mistake in consenting to the interview at all. The governor, who had treated them with civility throughout, gave them an escort of soldiers for the homeward journey, and they and the redeemed prisoners returned safely to Albany.323


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