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For some time thereafter the operations of the French on the upper Mississippi were rather desultory. In In 1685 Denonville, then governor of New France, sent Nicholas Perrot to take command in the Sioux country and to establish outposts. Perrot crossed to the Mississippi, erected posts near the mouth of the Wisconsin, and on the shores of Lake Pepin, the latter known as Fort St. Antoine; and during 1688 and 1689 explored the country west of Lake Superior, winning the natives to friendship with the French.*
Affairs in eastern Canada, meanwhile, had become very much embroiled. "In 1674, the charter of the West India Company was revoked and trade was declared open to all subjects of the king. restrictions were imposed. Merchants not resident in the colony were forbidden to sell any goods at
Cartier to Frontenac, chap. xii., and Narrative and Critical History, vol. iv., chaps. v. and vii.; Minnesota Historical Collections, vol. i., pp. 302318, vol. vi, (The Hennepin bi-centenary papers and speeches), and vol. viii., pp. 223-240 (Davis' Hennepin as a Discoverer and Author); Parkman, Frontenac and New France, p. 56 et seq.; Kingsford, History of Canada, vol. i., chap. x.;
Neill, History of Minnesota, chap. vi.; the Narrative of Father Hennepin in Shea, Discovery and Exploration of the Mississippi Valley; Thwaites, Hennepin's New Discovery; Ogg, Opening of the Mississippi, pp. 138-163.
* See Gardner P. Stickney, Nicholas Perrot; A Study in Wisconsin History, in Parkman Club Publications, no. i. (Milwaukee, 1895); E. D. Neill, History of the Minnesota Valley, chap. v.; Minnesota Historical Collections for 1864, pp. 920 and 1867, pp. 22-31; the translation of La Potherie's account in Wisconsin Historical Collections, vol. xvi., pp. 143-160.
retail except in August, September and October; to trade anywhere in Canada above Quebec; and to sell clothing or domestic articles ready made. No person, resident
or not, could trade with the English colonies, or go thither without a special passport and a rigid examination by the military authorities. Foreign trade of any kind was stiffly prohibited." *
Friction had also risen between the government and the religious bodies. In 1672 Louis de Buade, Comte de Frontenac, had been appointed governor and lieutenant-general of New France,† Talon still retaining his place as intendant. One of his first actions was to form the inhabitants into orders, such as still subsisted in some of the provinces of France. He found no difficulty in forming the order of the clergy; for the order of the nobles he found three or four gentilshommes at Quebec, whom he reinforced with a number of officers; in the third estate he classed the merchants and citizens; and the members of the council and the magistrates he formed into a distinct body, though they properly belonged to the third estate. The three estates were cere
*Parkman, Old Régime, p. 290 (copyright 1902 by Grace P. Coffin, and by courtesy of Little, Brown & Co.).
On his early life see Parkman, Count Frontenac and New France under Louis xiv., chap. i., (16th ed., 1886). Colby, in his Canadian Types of the Old Régime, pp. 291-302, gives a good char acterization of Frontenac. Frontenac's instructions are in N. Y. Col. Docs., vol. ix., pp. 85-89.
FRONTENAC'S QUARREL WITH TALON AND PERROT. 433
moniously convoked October 23, 1672, at which time Frontenac delivered them a long speech on loyalty to the king and the proper performance of their duties.* He then outlined a plan for the municipal government at Quebec which was far ahead of his times, and which, meeting with the disapproval of the king and Colbert, was soon abolished.
Frontenac and Talont now began to quarrel, but the latter departed for France before there was an open rupture, and Frontenac had none but the clergy with whom to quarrel. Frontenac had written home complaining of the disloyalty of the sermons preached by some of the Jesuits and the Jesuit agents in France obtained copies of the letters sent by the government in reply, sending them to the Jesuits at Quebec with an injunction of secrecy. Thereafter there was little friendship between the governor and the clergy. In addition, Frontenac had made enemies of many merchants by his faith in the projects of La Salle and by his grants to the latter. He incurred also the hatred of Perrot, a nephew of Talon by marriage and now governor of Montreal, by arresting upon the king's orders, certain coureurs de bois whom
Perrot was sheltering. Perrot resisted Frontenac's officers and threw them into prison but finally released them, sending Frontenac at the same time an impertinent letter. Frontenac's military force was not sufficiently strong to punish this affront to the king's authority, but on the other hand unless he made some attempt to suppress the lawless coureurs de bois, they would become still more audacious and he himself would be declared negligent or incapable. He therefore summoned Perrot to Quebec and after a stormy interview, imprisoned him and then succeeded in capturing many of the coureurs de bois and hanging them.*
This not only angered Talon but also excited the priests at Montreal, for they had the right of naming their own governor and were not pleased to see their appointee imprisoned and superseded by another, who was appointed by Frontenac. The Abbé Salignac de Fénelon, formerly a friend of Frontenac, was loudest in his denunciation of Frontenac; he espoused Perrot's cause and attempted to secure attestations from the colonists in his favor, thereby drawing down upon himself a charge of instigating sedition. Both he and Perrot were brought before the
* Parkman, Count Frontenac, pp. 16-19; Parker, Quebec Council for trial, but in the Old Quebec, p. 16.
For the various activities of this remarkable man see Colby, Canadian Types of the Old Régime, pp. 229-259. On the social and economic conditions see Douglas, Quebec, pp. 384-392.
See Colby, Canadian Types of the Old Régime, p. 301 et seq.
case of Fénelon a question of juris
* On these events see Parkman, Count Frontenac, pp. 21-35. On the general religious conditions preceding these events see Douglas, Quebec, pp. 407-449.
diction was raised, doubts being expressed as to the right of a civil tribunal to try a priest. Fénelon and Perrot were therefore sent to France for trial before the king, who sentenced Perrot to a short term of confinement in the Bastile, but at the same time wrote Frontenac requesting him to moderate his conduct toward the clergy as a body. Fénelon was sustained in his claim to be judged by an ecclesiastical court, but upon consideration of his case by his Superior, he was forbidden to return to Canada, the king approving the prohibition.*
In order somewhat to curb the power of Frontenac, the king decided to appoint the council of Quebec himself, that power having previously been vested in the governor. Consequently several of the newly appointed council were opposed to the policies of Frontenac, but this did not in the least deter Frontenac in his quarrels. The first dispute arose over the question of selling brandy;t he then disputed with the new intendant, Duchesneau, regarding the right of the latter to preside over the meetings of the council, for which the king and Colbert sharply reproved him; and he soon afterward engaged in a controversy regarding the fur trade in which his opponents were inter
*Parkman, Count Frontenac, pp. 35-43; Parker, Old Quebec, pp. 118-120.
This will be found treated in Parkman, Old Régime, p. 323 et seq.; Douglas, Quebec, pp. 450461.
ested, the king even threatening Duchesneau with recall, because of his hostile attitude toward Frontenac. These disputes, however, disgusted the king, and finally they became so intolerable that in 1682 the king recalled both Frontenac and Duchesneau.*
Le Febvre De La Barre was sent from France to succeed Frontenac.† and immediately proceeded to embroil himself with the Indians. with Thomas Dongan, governor of New York, although charged by James II. to maintain a good understanding with the French,‡ conducted the affairs of his office as though the opposite result were desired. He secretly used his used his influence to inflame the dissensions between the French and their enemies, the Senecas claiming that Dongan promised them 400 horse and as many infantry to protect them in case of a French invasion.||
As soon as De La Barre became cognizant of the doings of Dongan, he convoked the assembly to consider what should be done under the circumstances to relieve the perilous condition of the province. After some abortive attempts at negotiations had been made, he decided to
Winsor, Cartier to Frontenac, p. 298 et seq.; Parkman, Count Frontenac, pp. 44-71; Miles, Canada, pp. 184-185, 190.
His instructions will be found in N. Y. Col. Docs., vol. ix., pp. 167-168.
Winsor, Cartier to Frontenac, p. 305. On his policy in general see Doyle, Middle Colonies, pp. 171-176.
N. Y. Col. Docs., vol. ix., p. 243. See also ibid, vol. iii., p. 395, vol. ix., p. 489.
DE LA BARRE'S EXPEDITION AGAINST IROQUOIS.
take the initiative, and in 1684 organized a considerable force for an expedition against the Iroquois. On the way, however, his troops were so reduced and weakened by sickness arising from the miasma of the marshes and forests, that he was compelled to conclude a humiliating peace with the foes over whom he had anticipated a signal triumph. At his request, the chiefs of the Five Nations repaired to his camp for conference, and De La Barre anticipated that he could overawe them in a single speech, but on the contrary, one of the warriors is reported as having far outshone De La Barre in the force of his arguments. Personifying De La Barre as Onontio, and the English governor as Corlear, the Indian spoke as follows:
Hear, Onontio, I am not asleep. My eyes are open, and the sun which enlightens me discloses to me a great captain who speaks as if he were dreaming. He says that he only came to smoke the pipe of peace with the Onondagas. But Garrangula says that he sees the contrary, that it was to knock them on the head, if sickness had not weakened the arms of the French. We carried the English to our lakes to trade with the Utawawas, as the Adirondacks brought the French to our forts to carry on a trade which the English say is theirs. We are born free; we neither depend on Onontio nor Corlear. We may go where we please, and buy and sell what we please. If your allies are your slaves, use them as such- command them to receive no other than your people. Hear, Onontio! - what I say is the voice of all the Five Nations. When they buried the hatchet in the middle of the fort, they planted the tree of peace in the same place, that instead of retreat for soldiers, it might be a meeting place for merchants. Take care that your soldiers do not choke the tree of peace, and prevent it from covering your country and ours with its branches. I tell you that our warriors shall dance under its leaves, and never dig up the
hatchet to cut it down, till their brother Onontio or Corlear shall invade the country which the Great Spirit has given to our ancestors."
De La Barre then returned to Quebec, where he became the object of much ridicule because of his humiliating defeat, and so great was the effect of the letters sent to the king recounting the details of the occurrence, that he was recalled in 1684.*
De La Barre was succeeded by the Marquis de Denonville,† who brought with him over 500 soldiers. In order to check the hostile Iroquois and to cover the route between Canada and Lake Erie, a fort was built at Niagara, but it proved to be only an added incentive to the jealousy and ill-will of the English. Dongan and Denonville also engaged in an unfriendly correspondence about the Indians which did not tend to bring about better conditions nor result in gaining the Indians as allies of either party. In 1687 Denonville undertook to subdue the Senecas, and sent an expedition against them, but although the whole country was devastated by the soldiers, the Iroquois
in turn threatened to invade the French territory, and in 1688 Denonville was glad to purchase peace by giving up the fort and releasing such captives as had fallen into the power of the French. In order to secure the funds necessary for this enterprise, "card money," redeemable in bills on France, was issued the first instance of paper money in America.* Only a short interval of peace followed. In 1689 the Iroquois advanced on Montreal, killing numbers of the inhabitants and making prisoners of many more, and spreading terror even as far as Quebec. Denonville was therefore recalled and Count Frontenac again sent over as governor.†
Taken as a whole, Canada up to this time could not be said to have flourished. While the French had done wonders in the way of exploration and had been compelled to contend with a greater amount of Indian ferocity than had the English, the climate and soil were unfavorable; the government was a military despotism, the people had no share in public affairs, and the population at most did not
exceed 12,000. At this time, Acadia was even more feeble, containing somewhat less than 3,000 inhabitants, and its government was by no means as favorable as that of the other settlements. On the other hand, the English colonies were in much better shape, the contrast between them and the French colonies being striking. The territory occupied by the English colonies was more productive than that occupied by the French. The climate and the situation were vastly superior and much more favorable to increasing prosperity, and thus the colonists were stimulated to develop new industries and enterprises. Furthermore, the English colonists, especially those of New England, having gone to America to maintain their full rights, steadily advanced in the matter of greater freedom in government, while the French up to this time had not even thought of securing any other advantages than those obtaining at home.*
According to Bancroft, the twelve English colonies at this time "contained not very many beyond two hundred thousand inhabitants, of whom Massachusetts, with Plymouth and Maine, may have had forty-four thousand; New Hampshire and Rhode Island, with Providence, each six
*This contrast is eloquently set forth by Mr. Parkman, History of the Conspiracy of Pontiac. p. 46 et seq. Douglas in his Quebec in the Seventeenth Century, pp. 462-514, gives an excellent review of the religious, educational and economic conditions existing at Quebec at the end of that period.