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ridge of highlands, walking through beautiful plains and groves, among deer and buffaloes,-now fording the clear rivulets, now building a bridge by felling a giant tree across a stream, -till they had passed the basin of the Colorado, and, in the upland country, had reached a branch of Trinity River. 'In the little company of wanderers, there were two men, Duhaut and L'Archevêque, who had embarked their capital in the enterprise. Of these, Duhaut had long shown a spirit of mutiny : the base malignity of disappointed avarice, maddened by suffering, and impatient of control, awakened the fiercest passions of ungovernable hatred. Inviting Moranget to take charge of the fruits of a buffalo-hunt, they quarrelled with him, and murdered him. Wondering at the delay of his nephew's return, La Salle, on the twentieth of March, went to seek him. At the brink of the river, he observed eagles hovering, as if over carrion; and he fired an alarm-gun. Warned by the sound, Duhaut and L'Archevêque crossed the river; the former skulked in the prairie grass ; of the latter, La Salle asked, “Where is my nephew P” At the moment of the answer, Duhaut fired; and, without uttering a word, La Salle fell dead. “ You are down now, grand bashaw! you are down now !" shouted one of the conspirators, as they despoiled his remains, which were left on the prairie, naked and without burial, to be devoured by wild beasts. Such was the end of this daring adventurer. For force of will, and vast conceptions; for various knowledge, and quick adaptation of his genius to untried circumstances ; for a sublime magnanimity, that resigned itself to the will of Heaven, and yet triumphed over affliction by energy of purpose and unfaltering hope,-he had no superior among his countrymen. He had won the affection of the governor of Canada, the esteem of Colbert, the confidence of Seignelay, the favour of Louis XIV. After beginning the colonization of Upper Canada, he perfected the discovery of the Mississippi from the Falls of St. Anthony to its mouth; and he will be remembered through all time as the father of colonization in the great central valley of the west.
But avarice and passion were not calmed by the blood of La Salle. Duhaut and another of the conspirators, grasping at an unequal share in the spoils, were themselves murdered, while their reckless associates joined a band of
savages. Joutel, with the brother and surviving nephew of La Salle, and others, in all but seven, obtained a guide for the Arkansas; and—fording rivulets, crossing ravines, by rafts or boats of buffalo-hides, making a ferry over rivers, not meeting the cheering custom of the calumet till they reached the country above the Red River, leaving an esteemed companion in a wilderness grave, on which the piety of an Indian matron heaped offerings of maize - at last, as the survivors came upon a branch of the Mississippi, they beheld on an island a large cross. Never did Christian gaze on that emblem with heartier joy. Near it stood a log hut, tenanted by two Frenchmen. Tonti had descended the river, and, full of grief at not finding La Salle, had established a post near the Arkansas.
FRANCE CONTENDS FOR THE FISHERIES AND THE
GREAT WEST. Such were the events which gave to the French not only New France and Acadia, Hudson's Bay and Newfoundland, but a claim to a moiety of Maine, of Vermont, and to more than a moiety of New York, to the whole valley of the Mississippi, and to Texas even, as far as the Rio Bravo del Norte. Throughout that wide region, it sought to introduce its authority, under the severest forms of the colonial system. That system was enforced, with equal eagerness, by England upon the sea-coast. Could France, and England, and Spain, have amicably divided the American continent; could they have been partners, and not rivals, in oppression ; I know not whence hope could have beamed upon the colonies.
But the aristocratic revolution of England was the sig. nal for a war with France, growing out of “a root of enmity,” which Marlborough described as “irreconcilable to the government and the religion” of Great Britain. Louis XIV. took up arms in defence of legitimacy; and England had the glorious office of asserting the right of a nation to reform its government. But, though the progress of the revolutionary principle was the root of the enmity, France could not, at once, obtain the alliance of every European power which was unfriendly to change. She had encroached on every neighbour; and fear, and a sense of wrong, made all of them her enemies. From regard to the integrity of its territory, the German empire, with Austria, joined with England; and, as the Spanish Netherlands, which constituted the barrier of Holland and Germany against France, and the path of England into the heart of the continent, could be saved from conquest by France, only through the interposition of England and Holland, an alliance followed between the Protestant revolutionary republic and monarchy, on the one side, and the bigoted defender of the Roman Catholic church and legitimacy, on the other. Hence, also, in the first war of King William, the frontiers of Carolina, bordering on the possessions of Spain, were safe against invasion : Spain and England were allies.
Thus the war of 1689, in Europe, roused Louis XIV. in behalf of legitimacy, and, at the same time, rallied against him, not England only, but every power which dreaded his lawless ambition. William III. was not only the defender of the nationality of England, but of the terri. torial freedom of Europe.
In the colonies, the strife was, on behalf of their respective mother countries, for the fisheries, and for territory at the north and west. The idea of weakening an adversary, by encouraging its colonies to assert independence, did not, at that time, exist; the universal maxim of European statesmen assumed the fact, that colonies have a master. In the contests that followed, the religious faith, and the roving enterprise of the French Canadians, secured to Louis XIV. their active support. The English colonists, on the contrary, sided heartily with England : the English revolution was to them the pledge for freedom of mind, as marked by Protestantism; for national freedom, as illustrated in the exile of a tyrant, and in the election of a constitutional king. Thus the strife in America stor was between England and France for the possession
089. of colonial monopolies; and, in that strife, England rallied her forces under the standard of advancing freedom.
If the issue lad depended on the condition of the colonies, it could hardly have seemed doubtful. The French census for the North American continent, in 1688, showed but eleven thousand two hundred and forty-nine persons--scarcely a tenth part of the English population on its frontiers ; about a twentieth part of English North America.
West of Montreal, the principal French posts, and those but inconsiderable ones, were at Frontenac, at Mackinaw, and on the Illinois. At Niagara, there was a wavering purpose of maintaining a post, but no permanent occupation. So weak were the garrisons, that English traders, with an escort of Indians, had ventured even to Mackinaw, and, by means of the Senecas, obtained a large share of the commerce of the lakes. French con diplomacy had attempted to pervade the west, and
y concert an alliance with all the tribes from Lake Ontario to the Mississippi. The traders were summoned even from the plains of the Sioux; and Tonti and the Illinois were, by way of the Ohio and the Alleghany, to precipitate themselves on the Senecas, while the French should come from Montreal, and the Ottawas and other Algonquins, under Durantaye, the vigilant commander at Mackinaw, should descend from Michigan. But the power of the Illinois was broken ; the Hurons and Ottawas were almost ready to become the allies of the Senecas.
The savages still held the keys of the great west ; no 88. intercourse existed, but by means of the forestrangers, who penetrated the barren heaths round Hud. son's Bay, the morasses of the north-west, the homes of the Sioux and Miamis, the recesses of every forest, where there was an Indian with skins to sell. “God alone could have saved Canada this year," wrote Denonville, in 1688. But for the missions at the west, Illinois would have been abandoned, the fort at Mackinaw lost, and a general rising of the natives would have completed the ruin of New France.
com Personal enterprise took the direction of the fur1089. trade : Port Nelson, in Hudson's Bay, and Fort Albany, were originally possessed by the French. The attention of the court of France was directed to the fisheries ; and Acadia had been represented by De Meules as the most important settlement of France. To protect it, the Jesuits Vincent and James Bigot collected a village of Abenakis on the Penobscot; and a flourishing town now marks the spot where the baron de St. Castin, a veteran officer of the regiment of Carignan, established a trading fort. Would France, it was said, strengthen its
post on the Penobscot, occupy the islands that command the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and send supplies to Newfound. land, she would be sole mistress of the fisheries for cod. Hence the strife with Massachusetts, in which the popu. lar mind was so deeply interested, that, to this day, the figure of a cod-fish is suspended in the hall of its representatives.
Thus France, bounding its territory next New England by the Kennebec, claimed the whole eastern coast, Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, Newfoundland, Labrador, and Hud. son's Bay; and, to assert and defend this boundless region, Acadia and its dependencies counted but nine hundred French inhabitants. The missionaries, swaying the mind of the Abenakis, were the sole source of hope.
On the declaration of war by France against England, Count Frontenac, once more governor of Canada, was charged to recover Hudson's Bay; to protect Acadia ; and, by a descent from Canada, to assist a fleet from France in making conquest of New York. Of that pro. vince, De Callieres was, in advance, appointed governor; the English Catholics were to be permitted to remain,other inhabitants, to be sent into Pennsylvania or New England. But, on reaching the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Frontenac learned the capture of Montreal.
On the twenty-fifth of August, the Iroquois, fifteen hun. dred in number, reached the Isle of Montreal, at La Chine, at break of day, and, finding all asleep, set fire to the houses, and engaged in one general massacre. In less than an hour, two hundred people met death under forms too horrible for description. Approaching the town of Montreal, they made an equal number of prisoners, and, after a severe skirmish, became masters of the fort, and of the whole island, of which they retained unmolested possession till the middle of October. In the moment of consternation, Denonville had ordered Fort Frontenac, on Lake Ontario, to be evacuated and razed. From Three Rivers to Mackinaw, there remained not one French town, and hardly even a post.
In Hudson's Bay, a band of brothers — De Sainte Helene and D'Iberville-sustained the honour of French arms. They were Canadians, sons of Charles Lemoine, an early emigrant from Normandy, whose numerous offspring gave also to American history the name of Bienville. Passing across the ridge that divides the rivers of