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      Dinwiddie was now gone, and a new governor had taken his place. The conduct of the war, too, had changed, and in the plans of Pitt the capture of Fort Duquesne held an important place. Brigadier John Forbes was charged with it. He was a Scotch veteran, forty-eight years of age, who had begun life as a student of medicine, and who ended it as an able and faithful soldier. Though a well-bred man of the world, his tastes were simple; he detested ceremony, and dealt frankly and plainly with the colonists, who both respected and liked him. In April he was in Philadelphia waiting for his army, which as yet had no existence; for the provincials were not enlisted, and an expected battalion of Highlanders had not arrived. It was the end of June before they were all on the march; and meanwhile the General was attacked with a painful and dangerous malady, which would have totally disabled a less resolute man.


      General Hospital of Paris had recently been establishedV1 one that convulsed Europe and shook America, India, the coasts of Africa, and the islands of the sea.


      In early spring the chiefs of Canada met at Montreal to settle a plan of defence. What at first they most dreaded was an advance of the enemy by way of Lake Champlain. Bourlamaque, with three battalions, was ordered to take post at Ticonderoga, hold it if he could, or, if overborne by numbers, fall back to Isle-aux-Noix, at the outlet of the lake. La Corne was sent with a strong detachment to intrench himself at the head of the rapids of the St. Lawrence, and oppose any hostile movement from Lake Ontario. Every able-bodied man in the colony, and every boy who could fire a gun, was to be called to the field. Vaudreuil sent a circular letter to the militia captains of all the parishes, with orders to read it to 196 whom the accused were responsible, and the placing in power

      little manual of devotion printed at Quebec. I chanced toV2 expedition, that against Fort Duquesne, was given to Brigadier John Forbes, whose qualities well fitted him for the task.

      A year or two before the war began, the engineer Franquet was sent from France to strengthen Louisbourg and inspect the defences of Canada. He kept a copious journal, full of curious observation, and affording bright glimpses not only of the social life of the Intendant, but of Canadian society in the upper or official class. Thus, among various matters of the kind, he gives us the following. Bigot, who was in Quebec, had occasion to go to Montreal to meet the Governor; and this official journey was turned into a pleasure excursion, of which the King paid all the costs. Those favored with invitations, a privilege highly prized, were Franquet, with seven or eight military officers and a corresponding number of ladies, including the 19


      He returned to Louisbourg, and sailed for England to recruit his shattered health for greater conflicts.

      "I, the aforesaid William Phips, Knight, do hereby, in the name and in the behalf of their most excellent Majesties, William and Mary, King and Queen of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, Defenders of the Faith, and by order of their said Majesties' government of the Massachuset-colony in New England, demand a present surrender of your forts and castles, undemolished, and the King's and other stores, unimbezzled, with a seasonable delivery of all captives; together with a surrender of all your persons and estates to my dispose: upon the doing whereof, you may expect mercy from me, as a Christian, according to what shall be found for their Majesties' service and the subjects' security. Which, if you refuse forthwith to do, I am come provided, and am resolved, by the help of God, in whom I trust, by force of arms to revenge all wrongs and injuries offered, and bring you under subjection to the Crown of England, and, when too late, make you wish you had accepted of the favour tendered.They found this band, among whom was their companion Accau, and followed them on a grand hunt along the borders of the Mississippi. Du Gay was separated for a time from Hennepin, who was placed in a canoe with a withered squaw more than eighty years old. In spite of her age, she handled her paddle with great address, and used it vigorously, as occasion required, to repress the gambols of three children, who, to Hennepin's annoyance, occupied the middle of the canoe. The hunt was successful. The Sioux warriors, active as deer, chased the buffalo on foot with their stone-headed arrows, on the plains behind the heights that bordered the river; while the old men stood sentinels at the top, watching for the approach of enemies. One day an alarm was given. The warriors rushed towards the supposed point of danger, but found nothing more formidable than two squaws of their own nation, who brought strange news. A war-party of Sioux, they said, had gone towards Lake Superior, and had met by the way five "Spirits;" that is to say, five Europeans. Hennepin was full of curiosity to learn who the strangers might be; and they, on their part, were said to have shown great anxiety to know the nationality of the three white men who, as they were told, were on the river. The hunt was over; and the hunters, with Hennepin and his companion, were on their way northward to their towns, when they met the five "Spirits" at some distance below the Falls of St. Anthony. They proved to [Pg 274] be Daniel Greysolon du Lhut, with four well-armed Frenchmen.

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      The Dutch colony of New Netherland had now become the English colony of New York. Its proprietor, the Duke of York, afterwards James II. of England, had appointed Colonel Thomas Dongan its governor. He was a Catholic Irish gentleman of high rank, nephew of the famous Earl of Tyrconnel, and presumptive heir to the earldom of Limerick. He had served in France, was familiar with its language, and partial to its king and its nobility; but he nevertheless gave himself with vigor to the duties of his new trust.Two companies of armed men in the pay of Massachusetts were then in Wells, and some of them had come to the wedding. Seventy marksmen went to meet the Indians, who ensconced themselves in the edge of the forest, whence they could not be dislodged. There was some desultory firing, and one of the combatants was killed on each side, after which the whites gave up the attack, and Lieutenant Banks went forward with a flag of truce, in the hope[Pg 53] of ransoming the prisoners. He was met by six chiefs, among whom were two noted Indians of his acquaintance, Bomazeen and Captain Nathaniel. They well knew that the living Plaisted was worth more than his scalp; and though they would not come to terms at once, they promised to meet the English at Richmond's Island in a few days and give up both him and Tucker on payment of a sufficient ransom. The flag of truce was respected, and Banks came back safe, bringing a hasty note to the elder Plaisted from his captive son. This note now lies before me, and it runs thus, in the dutiful formality of the olden time:

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      [718] The above is from a comparison of the rather discordant accounts of Johnstone, the Journal tenu l'Arme, the Journal of Panet, and that of the Hartwell Library. The last says that Lvis crossed the Montmorenci. If so, he accomplished nothing. This affair should not be confounded with a somewhat similar one which took place on the 26th.On the eleventh or twelfth of April, they stopped in the afternoon to repair their canoe; and Hennepin busied himself in daubing it with pitch, while the others cooked a turkey. Suddenly, a fleet of Sioux canoes swept into sight, bearing a war-party of a hundred and twenty naked savages, who on seeing [Pg 251] the travellers raised a hideous clamor; and, some leaping ashore and others into the water, they surrounded the astonished Frenchmen in an instant.[209] Hennepin held out the peace-pipe; but one of them snatched it from him. Next, he hastened to proffer a gift of Martinique tobacco, which was better received. Some of the old warriors repeated the name Miamiha, giving him to understand that they were a war-party, on the way to attack the Miamis; on which, Hennepin, with the help of signs and of marks which he drew on the sand with a stick, explained that the Miamis had gone across the Mississippi, beyond their reach. Hereupon, he says that three or four old men placed their hands on his head, and began a dismal wailing; while he with his handkerchief wiped away their tears, in order to evince sympathy with their affliction, from whatever cause arising. Notwithstanding this demonstration of tenderness, they refused to smoke with him in his peace-pipe, and forced him and his companions to embark and paddle across the river; while they all followed behind, uttering yells and howlings which froze the missionary's blood.

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      There was an English outpost at the Point of Orleans; and, about eleven o'clock, the sentries descried through the gloom the ghostly outlines of the approaching ships. As they gazed, these mysterious strangers began to dart tongues of flame; fire ran like lightning up their masts and sails, and then they burst out like volcanoes. Filled as they were with pitch, tar, and every manner of combustible, mixed with fireworks, bombs, grenades, and old cannon, swivels, and muskets loaded to the throat, the effect was terrific. The troops at the Point, amazed at the sudden eruption, the din of the explosions, and the showers of grapeshot that rattled among the trees, lost their wits and fled. The blazing dragons hissed and roared, spouted sheets of fire, vomited smoke in black, pitchy volumes and vast illumined clouds, and shed their infernal glare on the distant city, the tents of Montcalm, and the long red lines of the British army, drawn up in array of battle, lest the French should cross from their encampments to attack them in the confusion. Knox calls the display "the grandest 212V1 were passively submissive. The unchecked control of a hierarchy robbed him of the independence of intellect and character, without which, under the conditions of modern life, a people must resign itself to a position of inferiority. Yet Canada had a vigor of her own. It was not in spiritual deference only that she differed from the country of her birth. Whatever she had caught of its corruptions, she had caught nothing of its effeminacy. The mass of her people lived in a rude poverty,not abject, like the peasant of old France, nor ground down by the tax-gatherer; while those of the higher ranksall more or less engaged in pursuits of war or adventure, and inured to rough journeyings and forest exposureswere rugged as their climate. Even the French regular troops, sent out to defend the colony, caught its hardy spirit, and set an example of stubborn fighting which their comrades at home did not always emulate.


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