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      That they were not always destitute may be gathered from a


      [413] Order concerning the Rank of Provincial General and Field Officers in North America. Given at our Court at Kensington, 12 May, 1756.


      We have seen the head of the colony, its guiding intellect and will: it remains to observe its organs of nutrition. Whatever they might have been under a different treatment, they were perverted and enfeebled by the regimen to which they were subjected.The position of the besieged was deplorable. Nearly a fourth of their number were in the hospitals; while the rest, exhausted with incessant toil, could find no place to snatch an hour of sleep; "and yet," says an officer, "they still show ardor." "To-day," he again says, on the twenty-fourth, "the fire of the place is so weak that it is more like funeral guns than a defence." On the front of the town only four cannon could fire at all. The rest were either dismounted or silenced by the musketry from the trenches. The masonry of the ramparts had been shaken by the concussion of their own guns; and now, in the Dauphin's and King's bastions, the English shot brought it down in masses. The trenches had been pushed so close on the rising grounds at the right that a great part of the covered way was enfiladed, while a battery on a hill across the 70

      [656] Of the Hurons of the mission of Lorette, Bougainville says: "Ils sont toujours sauvages autant que ceux qui sont les moins apprivoiss." And yet they had been converts under Jesuit control for more than four generations. The case was no better at the other missions; and at St. Francis it seems to have been worse. to Colbert.

      [323] Bigot au Ministre, 27 Ao?t, 1755.[4] "De toutes les nations domicilies dans les postes des pays d'en haut, il n'y a que les hurons du dtroit qui aient embrass la Rligion chretienne." Mmoirs du Roy pour servir d'instruction au Sr. Marquis de Lajonquire.


      THE ELDORADO OF MATHIEU S?GEAN.

      Sebastien Rale,[230] born in Franche-Comt in 1657, was sent to the American missions in 1689 at the age of thirty-two. After spending two years among the Abenakis of Canada, then settled near the mouth of the Chaudire, he was sent for two years more to the Illinois, and thence to the Abenakis of the Kennebec, where he was to end his days.

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      Again they embarked; and with every stage of their adventurous progress the mystery of this vast New World was more and more unveiled. More and more they entered the realms of spring. The hazy sunlight, the warm and drowsy air, the tender foliage, the opening flowers, betokened the reviving life of Nature. For several days more they followed the writhings of the great river on its tortuous course through wastes of swamp and cane-brake, till on the thirteenth of March[235] they found themselves wrapped in a thick fog. Neither shore was visible; but they heard on the right the booming of an Indian drum and the shrill outcries of the war-dance. La Salle at once crossed to the opposite side, where, in less than an hour, his men threw up a rude fort of felled trees. [Pg 299] Meanwhile the fog cleared; and from the farther bank the astonished Indians saw the strange visitors at their work. Some of the French advanced to the edge of the water, and beckoned them to come over. Several of them approached, in a wooden canoe, to within the distance of a gun-shot. La Salle displayed the calumet, and sent a Frenchman to meet them. He was well received; and the friendly mood of the Indians being now apparent, the whole party crossed the river.The accounts of this affair are obscure and not very trustworthy. It seems that the Outagamies began the fray by an attack on the Illinois at La Salle's old station of Le Rocher, on the river Illinois. On hearing of this, the French commanders mustered their Indian allies, hastened to the spot, and found the Outagamies intrenched in a grove which they had surrounded with a stockade. They defended themselves with their usual courage, but, being hard pressed by hunger and thirst, as well as by the greatly superior numbers of their assailants, they tried to escape during a dark night, as their tribesmen had done at Detroit in 1712. The French and[Pg 341] their allies pursued, and there was a great slaughter, in which many warriors and many more women and children were the victims.[353]

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      Contrec?ur, Yarennes, Verchres. Yet let it not be supposed that villages sprang up at once. The military seignior, valiant and poor as Walter the Penniless, was in no condition to work such magic. His personal possessions usually consisted of little but his sword and the money which the king had paid him for marrying a wife. A domain varying from half a league to six leagues in front on the river, and from half a league to two leagues in depth, had been freely given him. When he had distributed a part of it in allotments to the soldiers, a variety of tasks awaited him: to clear and cultivate his land; to build his seigniorial mansion, often a log hut; to build a fort; to build a chapel; and to build a mill. To do all this at once was impossible. Chambly, the chief proprietor on the Richelieu, was better able than the others to meet the exigency. He built himself a good house, where, with cattle and sheep furnished by the king, he lived in reasonable comfort. * The kings fort, close at hand, spared him and his tenants the necessity of building one for themselves, and furnished, no doubt, a mill, a chapel, and a chaplain. His brother officers, Sorel excepted, were less fortunate. They and their tenants were forced to provide defence as well as shelter. Their houses were all built together, and surrounded by a palisade, so as to form a little fortified village. The ever-active benevolence of the king had aided them in the task, for the soldiers were still maintained by himAmong the essential features of his plan was a well-garrisoned fort, and a church, served not by Jesuits alone, but also by Rcollet friars and priests of the Missions trangres. The idea of this ecclesiastical partnership was odious to the Jesuits, who felt that the west was their proper field, and that only they had a right there. Another part of Cadillac's proposal pleased them no better. This was his plan of civilizing the Indians and teaching them to speak French; for it was the reproach of the Jesuit missions that they left the savage a savage still, and asked little of him but the practice of certain rites and the passive acceptance of dogmas to him incomprehensible.

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      If Port Royal in French hands was a source of illicit gain to some persons in Boston, it was also an occasion of loss by the privateers and corsairs it sent out to prey on trading and fishing vessels, while at the same time it was a standing menace as the possible naval base for one of those armaments against the New England capital which were often threatened, though never carried into effect. Hence, in 1707 the New England colonists made, in their bungling way, a serious attempt to get possession of it.[2] Memoires de Mademoiselle de Montpensier, II. 265. The cur's holy water, or his exhortations, were at last successful.


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