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      [Pg 158]The minister, Ponchartrain, was struck by Costebelle's suggestion, and wrote both to him and to Vaudreuil in high approval of it. To Vaudreuil he says: "Monsieur de Costebelle has informed me that the chief object of the armament made by the English last year was to establish their sovereignty at Boston and New York, the people of these provinces having always maintained a sort of republic, governed by their council, and having been unwilling to receive absolute governors from the kings of England. This destination of the armament seems to me probable, and it is much to be wished that the Council at Boston could be informed of the designs of the English court, and shown how important it is for that province to remain in the state of a republic. The King would even approve our helping it to do so. If you see any prospect of success, no means should be spared to secure it. The matter is of the greatest importance, but care is essential to employ persons who have the talents necessary for conducting it, besides great secrecy and prudence, as well as tried probity and fidelity. This affair demands your best attention, and must be conducted with great care and precaution, in order that no false step may be taken."[150]He then declared them prisoners of the King. "They were greatly struck," he says, "at this determination, though I believe they did not imagine that they were actually to be removed." After delivering the address, he returned to his quarters at the priest's house, whither he was followed by some of the elder prisoners, who begged leave to tell their families what had happened, "since they were fearful that the surprise of their detention would quite overcome them." Winslow consulted with his officers, and it was arranged that the Acadians should choose twenty of their number each day to revisit their homes, the rest being held answerable for their return.


      more ceremony.[449] Dpches de Vaudreuil, 1756.


      France. This had anciently been exercised by assemblies of the French clergy, but in the reign of Francis I. the king and the Pope had combined to wrest it from them by the Concordat of Bologna. Under this compact, which was still in force, the Pope appointed French bishops on the nomination of the king, a plan which displeased the Gallicans, and did not satisfy the ultramontanes.

      V1 was needless for him to repeat it. Like many others in the fight, he greatly underrated the force of the enemy, which he placed at three hundred, or about a third of the actual number,a natural error, as most of the assailants were invisible. "Our poor Virginians behaved like men, and died like soldiers; for I believe that out of three companies that were there that day, scarce thirty were left alive. Captain Peronney and all his officers down to a corporal were killed. Captain Polson shared almost as hard a fate, for only one of his escaped. In short, the dastardly behavior of the English soldiers exposed all those who were inclined to do their duty to almost certain death. It is imagined (I believe with great justice, too) that two thirds of both killed and wounded received their shots from our own cowardly dogs of soldiers, who gathered themselves into a body, contrary to orders, ten and twelve deep, would then level, fire, and shoot down the men before them." [237] with or without the bishop, could have prevented the

      [2] The people of Beaubassin had taken an oath of allegiance to England in 1690, and pleaded it as a reason for exemption from plunder; but it appears by French authorities that they had violated it (Observations sur les Depches touchant l'Acadie, 1695), and their priest Baudoin had led a band of Micmacs to the attack of Wells (Villebon, Journal). When the "Bostonnais" captured Port Royal, they are described by the French as excessively irritated by the recent slaughter at Salmon Falls, yet the only revenge they took was plundering some of the inhabitants.This dashed their spirits, and they sent a canoe to call to their aid five hundred of their warriors who were mustered near the mouth of the Richelieu. These were the allies whom, but for this untoward check, they were on their way to join for a com bined attack on Quebec, Three Rivers, and Montreal. It was maddening to see their grand project thwarted by a few French and Indians ensconced in a paltry redoubt, scarcely better than a cattle-pen; but they were forced to digest the affront as best they might.


      He was forced to another and a deeper humiliation. At the imperious demand of Dongan and the Iroquois, he begged the king to send back the prisoners entrapped at Fort Frontenac, and he wrote to the minister: "Be pleased, Monseigneur, to remember that I had the honor to tell you that, in order to attain the peace necessary to the country, I was obliged to promise that I would beg you to send back to us the prisoners I sent you last year. I know you gave orders that they should be well treated, but I am informed that, though they were well enough treated at first, your orders were not afterwards executed with the same fidelity. If ill treatment has caused them all to die,for they are people who easily fall into dejection, and who die of it,and if none of them come back, I do not know at all whether we can persuade these barbarians not to attack us again." [20]

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      They crossed the Miami on a raft, their horses swimming after them; and were met on landing by a crowd of warriors, who, after smoking with them, escorted them to the neighboring town, where they were greeted by a fusillade of welcome. "We entered with English colors before us, and were kindly received by their king, who invited us into his own house and set our colors upon the top of it; then all the white men and traders that were there came and welcomed us." This "king" was Old Britain, or La Demoiselle. Great were the changes here since Cloron, a year and a half before, had vainly enticed him to change his abode, and dwell in the shadow of the fleur-de-lis. The town had grown to four hundred families, or about two thousand souls; and the English traders had built for themselves and their hosts a fort of pickets, strengthened with logs.La Salle's debts, at the time of his death, according to a schedule presented in 1701 to Champigny, intendant of Canada, amounted to 106,831 livres, without reckoning interest. This cannot be meant to include all, as items are given which raise the amount much higher. In 1678 and 1679 alone, he contracted debts to the amount of 97,184 livres, of which 46,000 were furnished by Branssac, fiscal attorney of the Seminary of Montreal. This was to be paid in beaver-skins. Frontenac, at the same time, became his surety for 13,623 livres. In 1684, he borrowed 34,825 livres from the Sieur Pen, at Paris. These sums do not include the losses incurred by his family, which, in the memorial presented by them to the King, are set down at 500,000 livres for the expeditions between 1678 and 1683, and 300,000 livres for the fatal Texan expedition of 1684 These last figures are certainly exaggerated.

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      V1 subjects." [273] First, in answer to the summons of the Council, the deputies from Annapolis appeared, declaring that they had always been faithful to the British Crown, but flatly refusing the oath. They were told that, far from having been faithful subjects, they had always secretly aided the Indians, and that many of them had been in arms against the English; that the French were threatening the province; and that its affairs had reached a crisis when its inhabitants must either pledge themselves without equivocation to be true to the British Crown, or else must leave the country. They all declared that they would lose their lands rather than take the oath. The Council urged them to consider the matter seriously, warning them that, if they now persisted in refusal, no farther choice would be allowed them; and they were given till ten o'clock on the following Monday to make their final answer.State of Facts relating to the Loss of Oswego, in London Magazine for 1757, p. 14. Correspondence of Shirley. Correspondence of Loudon. Littlehales to Loudon, 30 Aug. 1756. Hardy to Lords of Trade, 5 Sept. 1756. Conduct of Major-General Shirley briefly stated. Declaration of some Soldiers of Shirley's Regiment, in N. Y. Col. Docs., VII. 126. Letter from an officer present, in Boston Evening Post of 16 May, 1757. The published plans and drawings of Oswego at this time are very inexact.

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      Trade in Fetters.The Hüguenot Merchants.Royal Patronage.The Fisheries.Cries for Help.Agriculture.Manufactures.Arts of Ornament.Finance.Card Money.Repudiation.Imposts.The Beaver Trade.The Fair at Montreal.Contraband Trade.A Fatal System.Trouble and Change.The Coureurs de Bois.The Forest.Letter of Carheil.


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