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      Their hosts told them of the great river Mississippi, rising far in the north and flowing southward,they knew not whither,and of many tribes that dwelt along its banks. When at length they took their departure, they left behind them a reputation as medicine-men of transcendent power.

      A vein of gasconade appears in most of his letters, not however accompanied with any conclusive evidence of a real wish to fight. His best fighting days were past, for he was sixty years old; nor had he always been a man of the sword. His early life was spent in the law; he had held a judicial post, and had been intendant of several French provinces. Even the military and naval employments, in which he afterwards acquitted himself with credit, were due to the part he took in forming a joint-stock company for colonizing Cayenne. [10] In fact, he was but half a soldier; and it was perhaps for this reason that he insisted on being called, not Monsieur le Gouverneur, but Monsieur le Gnral. He was equal to Frontenac neither in vigor nor in rank, but he far surpassed him in avidity. Soon after his arrival, he wrote to the minister that he should not follow the example of 81 his predecessors in making money out of his government by trade; and in consideration of these good intentions he asked for an addition to his pay. [11] He then immediately made alliances with certain merchants of Quebec for carrying on an extensive illicit trade, backed by all the power of his office. Now ensued a strange and miserable complication. Questions of war mingled with questions of personal gain. There was a commercial revolution in the colony. The merchants whom Frontenac excluded from his ring now had their turn. It was they who, jointly with the intendant and the ecclesiastics, had procured the removal of the old governor; and it was they who gained the ear of the new one. Aubert de la Chesnaye, Jacques Le Ber, and the rest of their faction, now basked in official favor; and La Salle, La Fort, and the other friends of Frontenac, were cast out. There was one exception. Greysolon Du Lhut, leader of coureurs de bois, was too important to be thus set aside. He was now as usual in the wilderness of the north, the roving chief of a half savage crew, trading, exploring, fighting, and laboring with persistent hardihood to foil the rival English traders of Hudson's Bay. Inducements to gain his adhesion were probably held out to him by La Barre and his allies: be this as it may, it is certain that he acted in harmony with the faction of the new governor. With La Fort it was widely different. He commanded Fort Frontenac, which belonged to La Salle, when La Barre's associates, 82 La Chesnaye and Le Ber, armed with an order from the governor, came up from Montreal, and seized upon the place with all that it contained. The pretext for this outrage was the false one that La Salle had not fulfilled the conditions under which the fort had been granted to him. La Fort was told that he might retain his command, if he would join the faction of La Barre; but he refused, stood true to his chief, and soon after sailed for France.

      On the 20th, at three o'clock in the morning, the voting on this point terminated, and the President declared that there was a majority of three hundred and eighty votes against three hundred and ten, and that there could be no reprieve; the execution must take place without delay. Louis[410] met his death with dignity on the 21st of January, 1793."Monsieur," exclaimed Olier, "I know your design, and I go to commend it to God at the holy altar."

      An address, founded on this resolution, was carried to the king, who faithfully kept the word he had given nearly three years before. Chatham had then, through Lord North, sought to get his own pension continued to his second son, William Pitt, afterwards the celebrated Minister. On that occasion, George III. had declared that the conduct of Chatham of late had totally obliterated any sense of gratitude for his former merits; but that, when decrepitude or death should put an end to him as a trumpet of sedition, he would not punish the children for the father's sins, but would place the second son's name where Chatham's had been. He now consented to that; an annuity bill settled four thousand pounds a-year on the heirs of Chatham to whom the title should descend, which received the sanction of Parliament; and the Commons, moreover, voted twenty thousand pounds to pay the deceased Earl's debts. Both these motions passed the House of Commons unanimously; but, in the Upper House, the Duke of Chandos attacked the grants, and condemned severely the custom of loading the country with annuities in perpetuity. The bill was, however, carried by forty-two votes to eleven, though four noble Lords entered a protest against it, namely, Lord Chancellor Bathurst, the Duke of Chandos, Lord Paget, and Markham, Archbishop of York.These unfortunate affairs precipitated the resignation of Lord George Germaine. His proud and impetuous temper had occasioned the resignation already of Sir Guy Carleton and of the two Howes. All complained that they could not obtain the necessary reinforcements and supplies from him as the Colonial Minister; and his tart and insolent replies to their complaints produced the retirement of these three commanders. He was already charged with having been the luckless projector of Burgoyne's disastrous expedition. Sir Henry Clinton was named the successor to the command of the forces in America, in the place of Sir William Howe. The punishment of North for the policy which had thus virtually lost America, was every day falling more crushingly upon him. On the 13th of March the Marquis de Noailles, the French Ambassador in London, and the uncle of Lafayette's wife, handed to Lord Weymouth a note formally announcing the treaty of friendship and commerce between France and America. On the 17th it was the bitter duty of Lord North to read this remarkable document to the House of Commons. The affected right to make such a treaty with the colonies of another nation, and the professions of goodwill, notwithstanding such an interference, amounted to the keenest irony, if not downright insult.

      In order to understand the posture of affairs at this time, it must be remembered that Dutch and English traders of New York were urging on the Iroquois to attack the western tribes, with the object of gaining, through their conquest, the control of the fur-trade of the interior, and diverting it from Montreal to Albany. The scheme was full of danger to Canada, which the loss of the trade would have ruined. La Barre and his associates were greatly alarmed at it. Its complete success would have been fatal to their hopes of profit; but they nevertheless wished it such a measure of success as would ruin their rival, La Salle. Hence, no little satisfaction mingled with [Pg 325] their anxiety when they heard that the Iroquois were again threatening to invade the Miamis and the Illinois; and thus La Barre, whose duty it was strenuously to oppose the intrigue of the English, and use every effort to quiet the ferocious bands whom they were hounding against the Indian allies of the French, was, in fact, but half-hearted in the work. He cut off La Salle from all supplies; detained the men whom he sent for succor; and, at a conference with the Iroquois, told them that they were welcome to plunder and kill him.[256]

      Perhaps not: but it is certain that the Jesuits as a body,of the wool of the sheep which the king had sent out; encouraged others to establish a tannery, and also a factory of hats and of shoes. The Sieur Follin was induced by the grant of a monopoly to begin the making of soap and potash. * The people were ordered to grow hemp, ** and urged to gather the nettles of the country as material for cordage; and the Ursulines were supplied with flax and wool, in order that they might teach girls to weave and spin.


      [24] Madame de la Peltrie died in her convent in 1671. Marie de l'Incarnation died the following year. She had the consolation of knowing that her son had fulfilled her ardent wishes, and become a priest.


      Iroquois Ambition ? Its Victims ? The Fate of the Neutrals ? The Fate of the Eries ? The War with the Andastes ? Supremacy of the Iroquoisof the governors apartment, at the Chateau St. Louis. The members sat at a round table. At the head was the governor, with the bishop on his right, and the intendant on his left. The councillors sat in the order of their appointment, and the attorney-general also had his place at the board. As La Hontan says, they were not in judicial robes, but in their ordinary dress, and all but the bishop wore swords.1 The want of the cap and gown greatly disturbed the intendant Meules, and he begs the minister to consider how important it is that the councillors, in order to inspire respect, should appear in public in long black robes, which on occasions of ceremony they should exchange for robes of red. He thinks that the principal persons of the colony would thus be induced to train up their children to so enviable a dignity; and, he concludes, as none of the councillors can afford to buy red robes, I hope that the king will vouchsafe to send out nine such. As for the black robes, they can furnish those themselves. ** The king did not respond, and the nine robes never arrived.


      He despatched two engineers to search for coal, lead, iron, copper, and other minerals. Important discoveries of iron were made; but three generations were destined to pass before the mines were successfully worked. (v) The copper of Lake Superior raised the intendants hopes for a time, but he was soon forced to the conclusion that it was too remote to be of practical value. He labored vigorously to develop arts and manufactures; made a barrel of tar, and sent it to the king as a specimen; caused some of the colonists to make clothAll La Salle's company were now encamped on the sands at the left side of the inlet where the "Aimable" was wrecked.[297] "They were all," says the engineer Minet, "sick with nausea and dysentery. Five or six died every day, in consequence of brackish water and bad food. There was no grass, but plenty of rushes and plenty of oysters. There was nothing to make ovens, so that they had to eat flour saved from the wreck, boiled into messes of porridge with this brackish water. Along the shore were quantities of uprooted trees and rotten logs, thrown up by the sea and the lagoon." Of these, and fragments of the wreck, they made a sort of rampart to protect their camp; and here, among tents and hovels, bales, boxes, casks, spars, dismounted cannon, and pens for fowls and swine, were gathered the dejected men and homesick women who were to seize New Biscay, and hold for France a region large as half Europe. The Spaniards, whom they were to conquer, were they [Pg 384] knew not where. They knew not where they were themselves; and for the fifteen thousand Indian allies who were to have joined them, they found two hundred squalid savages, more like enemies than friends.