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      Dongan ? New York and its Indian Neighbors ? The Rival Governors ? Dongan and the Iroquois ? Mission to Onondaga ? An Iroquois Politician ? Warnings of Lamberville ? Iroquois Boldness ? La Barre takes the Field ? His Motives ? The March ? Pestilence ? Council at La Famine ? The Iroquois defiant ? Humiliation of La Barre ? The Indian Allies ? Their Rage and Disappointment ? Recall of La Barre.


      The most momentous and far-reaching question ever brought to issue on this continent was: Shall France remain here, or shall she not? If, by diplomacy or war, she had preserved but the half, or less than the half, of her American possessions, then a barrier would have been set to the spread of the English-speaking races; there would have been no Revolutionary War; and for a long time, at least, no independence. It was not a question of scanty populations strung along the banks of the St. Lawrence; it wasor under a government of any worth it would have beena question of the armies and generals of France. America owes much to the imbecility of Louis XV. and the ambitious vanity and personal dislikes of his mistress.The English borderers, on their part, regarded the Indians less as men than as vicious and dangerous wild animals. In fact, the benevolent and philanthropic view of the American savage is for those who are beyond his reach: it has never yet been held by any whose wives and children have lived in danger of his scalping-knife. In Boston and other of the older and safer settlements, the Indians had found devoted friends before Philip's War; and even now they had apologists and defenders, prominent among whom was that relic of antique Puritanism, old Samuel Sewall, who was as conscientious and humane as he was prosy, narrow, and sometimes absurd, and whose benevolence towards the former owners of the soil[Pg 224] was trebly reinforced by his notion that they were descendants of the ten lost tribes of Israel.[240]


      V2 It would even be wished that they might meet a reverse, if the consequences to the colony would not be too disastrous." who opposed their attempt to establish a church in Quebec.

      * Annales des Hospitalires de Villemarie, par la S?ur[88] Dpches de la Jonquire, 1 Mai, 1751. See Appendix B.

      THE HOLY WARS OF MONTREAL.


      difficult to say. The register of the parish church recordsThe brunt of the war fell on the upper half of 301 the colony. The country about Montreal, and for nearly a hundred miles below it, was easily accessible to the Iroquois by the routes of Lake Champlain and the upper St. Lawrence; while below Three Rivers the settlements were tolerably safe from their incursions, and were exposed to attack solely from the English of New England, who could molest them only by sailing up from the Gulf in force. Hence the settlers remained on their farms, and followed their usual occupations, except when Frontenac drafted them for war-parties. Above Three Rivers, their condition was wholly different. A traveller passing through this part of Canada would have found the houses empty. Here and there he would have seen all the inhabitants of a parish laboring in a field together, watched by sentinels, and generally guarded by a squad of regulars. When one field was tilled, they passed to the next; and this communal process was repeated when the harvest was ripe. At night, they took refuge in the fort; that is to say, in a cluster of log cabins, surrounded by a palisade. Sometimes, when long exemption from attack had emboldened them, they ventured back to their farm-houses, an experiment always critical and sometimes fatal. Thus the people of La Chesnaye, forgetting a sharp lesson they had received a year or two before, returned to their homes in fancied security. One evening a bachelor of the parish made a visit to a neighboring widow, bringing with him his gun and a small dog. As he was taking his leave, his hostess, whose husband had 302 been killed the year before, told him that she was afraid to be left alone, and begged him to remain with her, an invitation which he accepted. Towards morning, the barking of his dog roused him; when, going out, he saw the night lighted up by the blaze of burning houses, and heard the usual firing and screeching of an Iroquois attack. He went back to his frightened companion, who also had a gun. Placing himself at a corner of the house, he told her to stand behind him. A number of Iroquois soon appeared, on which he fired at them, and, taking her gun, repeated the shot, giving her his own to load. The warriors returned his fire from a safe distance, and in the morning withdrew altogether, on which the pair emerged from their shelter, and succeeded in reaching the fort. The other inhabitants were all killed or captured. [20]

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      presque tous de la lie du peuple, la plupart obrs deBienville was now chief in authority. Charges of peculation and other offences poured in against him, and at last, though nothing was proved, one De Muys was sent to succeed him, with orders to send him home a prisoner if on examination the accusations should prove to be true. De Muys died on the voyage. D'Artaguette, the new intendant, proceeded to make the inquiry, but refused to tell Bienville the nature of the charges against him, saying that he had orders not to do so. Nevertheless, when he had finished his investigation he reported to the minister[Pg 308] that the accused was innocent; on which Nicolas de la Salle, whom he had supplanted as intendant, wrote to Ponchartrain that D'Artaguette had deceived him, being no better than Bienville himself. La Salle further declared that Barrot, the surgeon of the colony, was an ignoramus, and that he made money by selling the medicines supplied by the King to cure his Louisianian subjects. Such were the transatlantic workings of the paternalism of Versailles.

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      FOOTNOTES:John and Zechariah Tarbell, captured when boys at Groton, became Caughnawaga chiefs; and one of them, about 1760, founded the mission of St. Regis. Green, Groton during the Indian Wars, 116, 117-120.

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      VEXATIONS OF HIS POSITION.[4] Ibid., 18 Mai, 1677.


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