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      La Salle and his companions hastened on, and during the following day passed four opposing camps of the savage armies. The silence of death now reigned along the deserted river, whose lonely borders, wrapped deep in forests, seemed lifeless as the grave. As they drew near the mouth of the stream they saw a meadow on their right, and on its farthest verge several human figures, erect, yet motionless. They landed, and cautiously examined the place. The long grass was trampled down, and all around were strewn the relics of the hideous orgies which formed the ordinary sequel of an Iroquois victory. The figures they had seen were the half-consumed bodies of women, still bound to the stakes where they had been tortured. Other sights there were, too revolting for record.[176] All the remains were those [Pg 212] of women and children. The men, it seemed, had fled, and left them to their fate.

      [26] Johnson to Clinton, 28 April, 1749.The letter of Sir Thomas Robinson, of which a duplicate had already been sent to Lawrence, was written in answer to one of Shirley informing the Minister that the Indians of Nova Scotia, prompted by the French, were about to make an attack on all the English settlements east of the Kennebec; whereupon Robinson wrote: "You will without doubt have given immediate intelligence thereof to Colonel Lawrence, and will have concerted the properest measures with him for taking all possible advantage in Nova Scotia itself from the absence of those Indians, in case Mr. Lawrence shall have force enough to attack the forts erected by the French in those parts, without exposing the English settlements; and I am particularly to acquaint you that if you have not already entered into such a concert with Colonel Lawrence, it is His Majesty's pleasure that you should immediately proceed thereupon." [246]

      [8] Ibid.of the wilderness. Not only were the possible profits great; but, in the pursuit of them, there was a fascinating element of adventure and danger. The bush-rangers or coureurs de bois were to the king an object of horror. They defeated his plans for the increase of the population, and shocked his native instinct of discipline and order. Edict after edict was directed against them; and more than once the colony presented the extraordinary spectacle of the greater part of its young men turned into forest outlaws. But severity was dangerous. The offenders might be driven over to the English, or converted into a lawless banditti, renegades of civilization and the faith. Therefore, clemency alternated with rigor, and declarations of amnesty with edicts of proscription. Neither threats nor blandishments were of much avail. We hear of seigniories abandoned; farms turning again into forests; wives and children left in destitution. The exodus of the coureurs de bois would take, at times, the character of an organized movement. The famous Du Lhut is said to have made a general combination of the young men of Canada to follow him into the woods. Their plan was to be absent four years, in order that the edicts against them might have time to relent. The intendant Duchesneau reported that eight hundred men out of a population of less than ten thousand souls had vanished from sight in the immensity of a boundless wilderness. Whereupon the king ordered that any person going into the woods without a license should be whipped and branded for the first offence, and sent lor life to the galleys for the second. * The order was more easily given than enforced. I must not conceal from you, monseigneur, again writes Duchesneau, that the disobedience of the coureurs de bois has reached such a point that everybody boldly contravenes the kings interdictions; that there is no longer any concealment; and that parties are collected with astonishing insolence to go and trade in the Indian country. I have done all in my power to prevent this evil, which may cause the ruin of the colony. I have enacted ordinances against the coureurs de bois; against the merchants who furnish them with goods; against the gentlemen and others who harbor them, and even against those who have any knowledge of them, and will not inform the local judges. All has been in vain; inasmuch as some of the most considerable families are interested with them, and the governor lets them go on and even shares their profits. ** You are aware, monseigneur, writes Denonville, some years later, that the coureurs de bois are a great evil, but you are not aware how great this evil is. It deprives the country of its effective men; makes them indocile, debauched, and incapable of discipline, and turns them into pretended nobles, wearing the sword and decked out with lace, both they and their relations, who all affect to be gentlemen and ladies. As for cultivating the soil, they will not hear of it.

      [13] Journal of Bleeker and Schuyler on their visit to Onondaga, August, September, 1701.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. *

      effect. In 1741, an ordinance of the governor and intendant

      V1 a few officers and men, went towards the river to hear what he had to say. As they drew near, his looks and language excited their suspicion. But it was too late; for a number of Indians, who had hidden behind the dike during the night, fired upon Howe across the stream, and mortally wounded him. They continued their fire on his companions, but could not prevent them from carrying the dying man to the fort. The French officers, indignant at this villany, did not hesitate to charge it upon Le Loutre; "for," says one of them, "what is not a wicked priest capable of doing?" But Le Loutre's brother missionary, Maillard, declares that it was purely an effect of religious zeal on the part of the Micmacs, who, according to him, bore a deadly grudge against Howe because, fourteen years before, he had spoken words disrespectful to the Holy Virgin. [114] Maillard adds that the Indians were much pleased with what they had done. Finding, however, that they could effect little against the English troops, they changed their field of action, repaired to the outskirts of Halifax, murdered about thirty settlers, and carried off eight or ten prisoners.

      Early in September a band of New England rangers came to Winslow's camp, with three prisoners taken within the lines of Ticonderoga. Their captain was Robert Rogers, of New Hampshire,a strong, well-knit figure, in dress and appearance more woodsman than soldier, with a clear, bold eye, and features that would have been good but for the ungainly proportions of the nose. [455] He had passed his boyhood in the rough surroundings of a frontier village. Growing to manhood, he engaged in some occupation which, he says, led him to frequent journeyings in the wilderness between the French and English settlements, and gave him a good knowledge of both. [456] It taught him also to speak a little French. He does not disclose the nature of this mysterious employment; but there can be little doubt that it was a smuggling trade with Canada. His character leaves much to be desired. He had been charged with 432It was agreed that the English troops should march out with the honors of war, and be escorted to Fort Edward by a detachment of French troops; that they should not serve for eighteen months; and that all French prisoners captured in America since the war began should be given up within three months. The stores, munitions, and artillery were to be the prize of the victors, except one field-piece, which the garrison were to retain in recognition of their brave defence.


      V1 Petition after petition came from the borders for arms and ammunition, and for a militia law to enable the people to organize and defend themselves. The Quakers resisted. "They have taken uncommon pains," writes Governor Morris to Shirley, "to prevent the people from taking up arms." [342] Braddock's defeat, they declared, was a just judgment on him and his soldiers for molesting the French in their settlements on the Ohio. [343] A bill was passed by the Assembly for raising fifty thousand pounds for the King's use by a tax which included the proprietary lands. The Governor, constrained by his instructions and his bonds, rejected it. "I can only say," he told them, "that I will readily pass a bill for striking any sum in paper money the present exigency may require, provided funds are established for sinking the same in five years." Messages long and acrimonious were exchanged between the parties. The Assembly, had they chosen, could easily have raised money enough by methods not involving the point in dispute; but they thought they saw in the crisis a means of forcing the Governor to yield. The Quakers had an alternative motive: if the Governor gave way, it was a political victory; if he stood fast, their non-resistance principles would triumph, and in this triumph their ascendency as a sect would be confirmed. The debate grew every day more bitter and unmannerly. The Governor could not yield; the Assembly would not. There 341


      [274] Other accounts say that eight of the ten were killed. The headstone of one of the number, Thomas Lund, has these words: "This man, with seven more that lies in this grave, was slew All in A day by the Indiens."A few days later, there was an open quarrel. "M. de la Salle came to me, and said, rather haughtily and in a tone of command, that I must put provisions for three months more on board my vessel. I told him it was impossible, as she had more lading already than anybody ever dared to put in her before. He would not hear reason, but got angry and abused me in good French, and found fault with me because the vessel would not hold his three months' provisions. He said I ought to have told him of it before. 'And how would you have me tell you,' said I, 'when you never tell me what you mean to do?' We had still another quarrel. He asked me where his officers should take their meals. I told him that they might take them where he pleased; for I gave myself no trouble in the matter, having no orders. He answered that they should not mess on bacon, while the rest ate fowls and mutton. I said that if he would send fowls and mutton on board, his people should eat them; but, as for bacon, I had often ate it myself. At this, he went off and complained to M. Dugu that I refused to embark his provisions, and told him that he must live on bacon. I excused him as not knowing how to behave himself, having spent his life among school-boy brats and savages. Nevertheless, I offered to him, his brother, and two of his friends, seats at my table and [Pg 360] the same fare as myself. He answered my civility by an impertinence, saying that he distrusted people who offered so much and seemed so obliging. I could not help telling him that I saw he was brought up in the provinces."


      [18] Journal of Christopher Gist, in appendix to Pownall, Topographical Description. Mr. Croghan's Transactions with the Indians in N. Y. Col. Docs., VII. 267.V1 He convoked them for the first of November, sending Washington at the same time with the summons to Saint-Pierre. The burgesses met. Dinwiddie exposed the danger, and asked for means to meet it. [139] They seemed more than willing to comply; but debates presently arose concerning the fee of a pistole, which the Governor had demanded on each patent of land issued by him. The amount was trifling, but the principle was doubtful. The aristocratic republic of Virginia was intensely jealous of the slightest encroachment on its rights by the Crown or its representative. The Governor defended the fee. The burgesses replied that "subjects cannot be deprived of the least part of their property without their consent," declared the fee unlawful, and called on Dinwiddie to confess it to be so. He still defended it. They saw in his demand for supplies a means of bringing him to terms, and refused to grant money unless he would recede from his position. Dinwiddie rebuked them for "disregarding the designs of the French, and disputing the rights of the Crown"; and he "prorogued them in some anger." [140]