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      [269] Dummer to Vaudreuil, 19 January, 1725. This, with many other papers relating to these matters, is in the Massachusetts Archives.[684] Vaudreuil au Ministre de la Guerre, 11 Oct. 1758.


      The supreme council had held its usual weekly meetings since Frontenac's arrival; but as yet he had not taken his place at the board, though his presence was needed. Auteuil, the attorney-general, was thereupon deputed to invite him. He visited the count at his apartment in the chateau, but could get from him no answer, except that the council was able to manage its own business, and that he would come when the king's service should require it. The councillors divined that he was waiting for some assurance that they would receive him with befitting ceremony; and, after debating the question, they voted to send four of their number to repeat the invitation, and beg the governor to say what form of reception would be agreeable to him. Frontenac answered that it was for them to propose the form, and that, when they did so, he would take the subject into consideration. The deputies returned, and there was another debate. A ceremony was devised, which it was thought must needs be acceptable to the count; and the 249 first councillor, Villeray, repaired to the chateau to submit it to him. After making him an harangue of compliment, and protesting the anxiety of himself and his colleagues to receive him with all possible honor, he explained the plan, and assured Frontenac that, if not wholly satisfactory, it should be changed to suit his pleasure. "To which," says the record, "Monsieur the governor only answered that the council could consult the bishop and other persons acquainted with such matters." The bishop was consulted, but pleaded ignorance. Another debate followed; and the first councillor was again despatched to the chateau, with proposals still more deferential than the last, and full power to yield, in addition, whatever the governor might desire. Frontenac replied that, though they had made proposals for his reception when he should present himself at the council for the first time, they had not informed him what ceremony they meant to observe when he should come to the subsequent sessions. This point also having been thoroughly debated, Villeray went again to the count, and with great deference laid before him the following plan: That, whenever it should be his pleasure to make his first visit to the council, four of its number should repair to the chateau, and accompany him, with every mark of honor, to the palace of the intendant, where the sessions were held; and that, on his subsequent visits, two councillors should meet him at the head of the stairs, and conduct him to his seat. The envoy farther protested that, if this failed to meet his approval, the council would conform itself to 250 all his wishes on the subject. Frontenac now demanded to see the register in which the proceedings on the question at issue were recorded. Villeray was directed to carry it to him. The records had been cautiously made; and, after studying them carefully, he could find nothing at which to cavil.V1 Loudon next proceeded to examine the state of the provincial forces, and sent Lieutenant-Colonel Burton, of the regulars, to observe and report upon it. Winslow by this time had made a forward movement, and was now at Lake George with nearly half his command, while the rest were at Fort Edward under Lyman, or in detachments at Saratoga and the other small posts below. Burton found Winslow's men encamped with their right on what are now the grounds of Fort William Henry Hotel, and their left extending southward between the mountain in their front and the marsh in their rear. "There are here," he reports, "about twenty-five hundred men, five hundred of them sick, the greatest part of them what they call poorly; they bury from five to eight daily, and officers in proportion; extremely indolent, and dirty to a degree." Then, in vernacular English, he describes the infectious condition of the fort, which was full of the sick. "Their camp," he proceeds, "is nastier than anything I could conceive; their, kitchens, graves, and places for slaughtering cattle all mixed through their encampment; a great waste of provisions, the men having just what they please; no great command kept up. Colonel Gridley governs the general; not in the least alert; only one advanced guard of a subaltern and twenty-four men. The cannon and stores in great confusion." Of the camp at Fort Edward he gives a better account. "It is much cleaner than at Fort William Henry, but not sufficiently so to 402


      It has been said that Loudon was scared from his task by false reports of the strength of the French at Louisbourg. This was not the case. The Gazette de France, 621, says that La Motte had twenty-four ships of war. Bougainville says that as early as the ninth of June there were twenty-one ships of war, including five frigates, at Louisbourg. To this the list given by Knox closely answers.[658] Minutes of Conferences at Easton, October, 1758.

      They passed downstairs.V1 the Ohio, and there build a fort; "but in case any attempts are made to obstruct the works by any persons whatsoever, to restrain all such offenders, and, in case of resistance, to make prisoners of, or kill and destroy them." [141] The Governor next sent messengers to the Catawbas, Cherokees, Chickasaws, and Iroquois of the Ohio, inviting them to take up the hatchet against the French, "who, under pretence of embracing you, mean to squeeze you to death." Then he wrote urgent letters to the governors of Pennsylvania, the Carolinas, Maryland, and New Jersey, begging for contingents of men, to be at Wills Creek in March at the latest. But nothing could be done without money; and trusting for a change of heart on the part of the burgesses, he summoned them to meet again on the fourteenth of February. "If they come in good temper," he wrote to Lord Fairfax, a nobleman settled in the colony, "I hope they will lay a fund to qualify me to send four or five hundred men more to the Ohio, which, with the assistance of our neighboring colonies, may make some figure."

      Useless to expect anything from Danner. Though he was clearly sensible to Pen's charm, the story was everything to him, and his nostrils were quivering now on the scent of a story much more dramatic than he had expected.While this seat of British sovereignty remained in unchanging feebleness for more than forty years, the French Acadians were multiplying apace. Before[Pg 199] 1749 they were the only white inhabitants of the province, except ten or twelve English families who, about the year 1720, lived under the guns of Annapolis. At the time of the cession the French population seems not to have exceeded two thousand souls, about five hundred of whom lived within the banlieue of Annapolis, and were therefore more or less under English control. They were all alike a simple and ignorant peasantry, prosperous in their humble way, and happy when rival masters ceased from troubling, though vexed with incessant quarrels among themselves, arising from the unsettled boundaries of their lands, which had never been properly surveyed. Their mental horizon was of the narrowest, their wants were few, no military service was asked of them by the English authorities, and they paid no taxes to the government. They could even indulge their strong appetite for litigation free of cost; for when, as often happened, they brought their land disputes before the Council at Annapolis, the cases were settled and the litigants paid no fees. Their communication with the English officials was carried on through deputies chosen by themselves, and often as ignorant as their constituents, for a remarkable equality prevailed through this primitive little society.


      Her little painful smile tantalized him. He said involuntarily: "You mock at everything I say."

      "Good God!" said Don."She deliberately dropped them!" her father put in with an aggrieved air. "It is the infernal Broome pride. She was most popular in school."

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      "I can walk," she said. "If you will help me.""Oh, not there," said Pen.

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      [550] Procs de Bigot, Cadet, et autres. Mmoire sur les Fraudes commises dans la Colonie. Compare Mmoires sur le Canada, 1749-1760.

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      [29] I once saw a contemporary portrait of him at the mission of Two Mountains, where he had been stationed.As a bold and hardy pioneer of the wilderness, the Frenchman in America has rarely found his match. His civic virtues withered under the despotism of Versailles, and his mind and conscience were kept in leading-strings by an absolute Church; but the forest and the prairie offered him an unbridled liberty, which, lawless as it was, gave scope to his energies,[Pg 347] till these savage wastes became the field of his most noteworthy achievements.


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