De Callieres succeeds
Frontenac—Treaty with the Iroquois—1700. Detroit founded—War op the
Spanish Succession—1702. Vaudreuil, Viceroy—The Abenaquis ravage New
England—1703. Port Royal captured—Re-named Annapolis—1710. Sir Hovenden
Walker's disastrous attempt against Quebec—1711. The Treaty of Utrecht
gives England Acadia, Newfoundland and Hudson's Bay —1713. Internal
Development — Fur Trade — Manufactures—Law Reforms—Death of Vaudreuil—Forts
Oswego and Frederic planted —1720.
The Chevalier de
Callieres, who had been for some time the 1699 commandant Montreal, was
appointed successor to Frontenac, and soon made a treaty with the
To maintain their grasp
of the Great West, the French sent M. de Cadillac, with a hundred men,
to build a fort at Detroit, the key of the upper lakes. The wise choice
of position is vindicated to-day by the stately "City of the Straits "
which occupies the' site of the rude fortress of 1702. De Callieres died
in 1703, and was succeeded by the Marquis de Vaudreuil, commandant of
The war of the Spanish
Succession had now broken out between England and her continental
allies, and France and Spain (May 15th, 1702), and all Europe and
America were again involved in a bloody strife for the maintenance of a
visionary balance of power. By the victories of Blenheim, Ramillies,
Oudenarde, and Malplaquet, Marlborough and Eugene won name and fame, and
the power of France was broken at the cost of a sea of blood. Again the
" dogs of war " slipped their leash amid the forests of the New World.
The French stirred up their allies, the ferocious Abenaquis, against the
New England colonists. In one day they burst upon every house from the
Kennebec to the Piscatqua, sparing neither hoary age, nor childing
mother, nor tender infancy. Like human hyenas, they lay in wait for
their prey, thirsting for blood, and after the savage spring skulked off
into the forest with the victims who were not slain upon the spot.
And Christian men
surpassed in these deeds of blood the cruel pagan of the woods. In the
midwinter of 1703-1704, Hertel de Rouville, with two hundred French and
one hundred and fifty Indians, marched two hundred miles on snow-shoes
to the little town of Deerfield, in New Hampshire. They laid it in
ashes, and of its inhabitants forty-seven bedabbled with their blood the
snow, and one hundred and twelve were dragged with inhuman torture
through the wintry woods to Canada. Again, in 1708, De Rouville, not yet
weary of slaughter, fell at daybreak on the sleeping hamlet of
Haverhill, in New Hampshire. The tragedy of Deerfield was repeated; but
the inhabitants rallied, and many of the French returned from their
hunting of human prey no more.
Meanwhile the English
colonists retaliated as best they could. In 1704, and again in 1707,
expeditions sailed from Boston harbour to reduce Acadia, but they were
repulsed by the valour of the French. General Nicholson, with two
thousand militia and a band of Iroquois allies, marched against Canada.
On the shores of Lake Champlain an epidemic broke out in his camp, and
the campaign ended in disastrous retreat.
The following year, a
fleet of fifty vessels sailed from Boston for the capture of Port Royal.
After three weeks' siege, M. Subercase, its commandant, with his
famished garrison of one hundred and fifty-six men, marched out with the
honours of war; and ever since the red-cross flag has proudly waved over
the noble harbour, then named, in honour of the reigning sovereign,
Annapolis. 1711 30th of July the following year, eighty-eight ships of
war and transports, under the command of Sir Hovenden Walker, sailed
from Boston for the attack on Quebec. Four thousand militia and six
hundred Iroquois, under General Nicholson, advanced simultaneously from
Albany to Lake George. Walker sailed slowly up the St. Lawrence,
intending to winter in the river, and wondering how he should protect
his ships when it would be frozen to the bottom ; he thought he would
place them in cradles on the shore. On the 23rd of August, the fleet was
enveloped in a fog, and amid the darkness drifted upon the reefs of the
Egg Islands. Before morning, eight of his vessels were shattered, and
eight hundred drowned sailors were strewn upon its shores. Sir Hovenden
abandoned the attack on Quebec, General Nicholson retreated from Lake
George, and the beleaguered fortress had another, respite from conquest.
On the 13th of March,
1713, in the Dutch town of Utrecht, the treaty was signed which gave
peace, not only to the war-worn nations of Europe, but also to the
scattered colonists in the wilds of the New World. England obtained
Acadia, Newfoundland, the protectorate of the Iroquois "nations," and
the unexplored regions around Hudson's Bay. France, of all her vast
colonial possessions, retained only Canada, Cape Breton, the small
islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon and certain fishing rights on the
shores of Newfoundland, and the undefined territory of Louisiana.
The peace between Great
Britain and France continued for over thirty years, and gave an
opportunity for the development of the natural resources of the
colonies. Vaudreuil began forthwith, in anticipation of the final
struggle, to strengthen the defences of New France, and to extend the
chain of forest forts connecting it with the Mississippi valley. A town
was begun at Louisburg, Cape Breton, and a fortress of immense strength
constructed at the cost of five millions of dollars.
But the growth of
peaceful industry was a surer means of promoting national prosperity.
The fur trade was relieved of some of its hampering restrictions, and an
annual fair was established at Montreal. Shipbuilding was encouraged,
and Quebec laid the foundation of her distinguished reputation for this
industry. Iron was manufactured at St. Maurice, and salt at Kamouraska.
Judicial reforms were also introduced, tending to repress the litigious
disposition of the people. A letter post was established, the country
was divided into eighty-two parishes, and roads were made between the
settlements to supplement the water communication. The fascinations of
the adventurous fur trade were especially unfavourable to agricultural
prosperity. This trade successive edicts in vain attempted to repress,
for with it every family in the colony was in some way connected. The
English colonists, on the contrary, devoted themselves almost
exclusively to agriculture, conquering yearly a broad domain of forest,
and extending the frontiers of civilization; the fur trade was only a
very subordinate industry. The coureur de bois had no English
counterpart, although he may have had a few English imitators.
In 1720-1722, Pere
Charlevoix traversed Canada and Louisiana, and wrote a voluminous and
valuable history of the country. Quebec had then a population of seven
thousand. Its society, which was largely military, he describes as very
agreeable; but beneath its gay exterior— the reflex of the salons of
Fontainebleau—was concealed a general poverty. Montreal had about two
thousand inhabitants, and the entire Province about twenty-five
In 1725, after a
skilful and prudent administration for a quarter of a century of
colonial affairs, Vaudreuil died, and was succeeded by the Marquis de
Beauharnois, a natural son of Louis XIV.