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An Abridged History of Canada
Chapter XI. Louisburg—Du Quesne—To 1754


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 Iroquois.

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 Montreal.

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 thousand.

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.


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