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      The French and Imperialists, in overwhelming force, thought to crush him at Rossbach. He put them to shameful rout; and then, instead of bonfires and Te Deums, mocked at them in doggerel 40

      * On the Onondaga mission, the authorities are Marie de[208] Writings of Washington, II. 77.

      Madame de Ponchartrain, wife of the minister, procured a pension for life to Madeleine de Verchres. Two versions of her narrative are before me. There are slight variations between them, but in all essential points they are the same. The following note is appended to one of them: "Ce rcit fut fait par ordre de Mr. de Beauharnois, gouverneur du Canada."

      He mustered the colony troops, and ordered out the Canadians. With the former he was but half satisfied; with the latter he was delighted; and he praises highly their obedience and alacrity. "I had not the least trouble in getting them to march. They came on the minute, bringing their own guns, though many people tried to excite them to revolt; for the whole colony opposes my operations." The expedition set out early in the spring of 1753. The whole force was not much above a thousand men, increased by subsequent detachments to fifteen hundred; but to the Indians it seemed a mighty host; and one of their orators declared that the lakes and rivers were covered with boats and soldiers from Montreal to Presquisle. [69] Some Mohawk hunters by the St. Lawrence saw them as they passed, and hastened home to tell the news to Johnson, whom they wakened at midnight, "whooping and hollowing in a frightful manner." [70] Lieutenant Holland at Oswego saw a fleet of canoes upon the lake, and was told by a roving Frenchman that they belonged to an army of six thousand 89

      [717] vnements de la Guerre en Canada (Hist. Soc. Quebec, 1861). Mmoires sur le Canada, 1749-1760. Vaudreuil au Ministre, 5 Oct. 1759. L'Abeille, II. No. 14 (a publication of the Quebec Seminary). Journal du Sige de Qubec (Bibliothque de Hartwell). Panet, Journal du Sige. Foligny, Journal mmoratif. Memoirs of the Siege of Quebec, by John Johnson, Clerk and Quartermaster-Sergeant to the Fifty-eighth Regiment.Shirley hastened back to New England, burdened with the preparation for three expeditions and the command of one of them. Johnson, who had been in the camp, though not in the Council, went back to Albany, provided with a commission as sole superintendent of Indian affairs, and 196

      [18] Recueil de ce qui s'est pass en Canada depuis l'anne 1682. The writer was an officer of the detachment, and describes what he saw. Compare La Potherie, II. 210; and La Hontan, I. 131 (1709).

      He was forced to another and a deeper humiliation. At the imperious demand of Dongan and the Iroquois, he begged the king to send back the prisoners entrapped at Fort Frontenac, and he wrote to the minister: "Be pleased, Monseigneur, to remember that I had the honor to tell you that, in order to attain the peace necessary to the country, I was obliged to promise that I would beg you to send back to us the prisoners I sent you last year. I know you gave orders that they should be well treated, but I am informed that, though they were well enough treated at first, your orders were not afterwards executed with the same fidelity. If ill treatment has caused them all to die,for they are people who easily fall into dejection, and who die of it,and if none of them come back, I do not know at all whether we can persuade these barbarians not to attack us again." [20]


      This was at the end of the winter, when the old priest and his companions had been living for months on Tonty's hospitality. They set out for Canada on [Pg 462] the twenty-first of March, reached Chicago on the twenty-ninth, and thence proceeded to Michilimackinac. Here Cavelier sold some of Tonty's furs to a merchant, who gave him in payment a draft on Montreal, thus putting him in funds for his voyage home. The party continued their journey in canoes by way of French River and the Ottawa, and safely reached Montreal on the seventeenth of July. Here they procured the clothing of which they were wofully in need, and then descended the river to Quebec, where they took lodging,some with the Rcollet friars, and some with the priests of the Seminary,in order to escape the questions of the curious. At the end of August they embarked for France, and early in October arrived safely at Rochelle. None of the party were men of especial energy or force of character; and yet, under the spur of a dire necessity, they had achieved one of the most adventurous journeys on record.On the next day, they all came down the rapids, and landed near the town. There were fully five hundred of them, Hurons, Ottawas, Ojibwas, Pottawatamies, Crees, and Nipissings, with a hundred and ten canoes laden with beaver skins to the value of nearly a hundred thousand crowns. Nor was 253 this all; for, a few days after, La Durantaye, late commander at Michillimackinac, arrived with fifty-five more canoes, manned by French traders, and filled with valuable furs. The stream of wealth dammed back so long was flowing upon the colony at the moment when it was most needed. Never had Canada known a more prosperous trade than now in the midst of her danger and tribulation. It was a triumph for Frontenac. If his policy had failed with the Iroquois, it had found a crowning success among the tribes of the lakes.


      V1 adding, in quaintly pious phrase: "But as God hath begun to show mercy, I hope he will go on to be gracious." Pomeroy was employed during the next few days with four hundred men in what he calls "the melancholy piece of business" of burying the dead. A letter-writer of the time does not approve what was done on this occasion. "Our people," he says, "not only buried the French dead, but buried as many of them as might be without the knowledge of our Indians, to prevent their being scalped. This I call an excess of civility;" his reason being that Braddock's dead soldiers had been left to the wolves.


      ** Journal des Jsuites, Mars, 1666. .Meanwhile, Major Peter Schuyler was following their trail, with a body of armed settlers hastily mustered. A troop of Oneidas joined him; and the united parties, between five and six hundred in all, at length appeared before the fortified camp of the French. It was at once evident that there was to be no parley. The forest rang with war-whoops; and the English Indians, unmanageable as those of the French, set at work to entrench themselves with felled trees. The French and their 313 allies sallied to dislodge them. The attack was fierce, and the resistance equally so. Both sides lost ground by turns. A priest of the mission of the Mountain, named Gay, was in the thick of the fight; and, when he saw his neophytes run, he threw himself before them, crying, "What are you afraid of? We are fighting with infidels, who have nothing human but the shape. Have you forgotten that the Holy Virgin is our leader and our protector, and that you are subjects of the King of France, whose name makes all Europe tremble?" [24] Three times the French renewed the attack in vain; then gave over the attempt, and lay quiet behind their barricade of trees. So also did their opponents. The morning was dark and stormy, and the driving snow that filled the air made the position doubly dreary. The English were starving. Their slender stock of provisions had been consumed or shared with the Indians, who, on their part, did not want food, having resources unknown to their white friends. A group of them squatted about a fire invited Schuyler to share their broth; but his appetite was spoiled when he saw a human hand ladled out of the kettle. His hosts were breakfasting on a dead Frenchman.