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Champlain
Chapter XII Quebec Restored


THROUGH the exertions of Champlain negotiations were soon entered into for the purpose of restoring the colony of New France to the French. Champlain had visited the French ambassador, M. de Chateauneuf, when in London, and had laid before him a statement of the events which had recently taken place, together with the treaty of capitulation and a map of New France, so far as it was explored. According to Champlain, the country comprised all the lands which Linschot thus describes: "This part of America which extends to the Arctic pole northward, is called New France, because Jean Verazzano, a Florentine, having been sent by King Francis I to these quarters, discovered nearly all the coast, beginning from the Tropic of Cancer to the fiftieth degree, and still more northerly, arboring arms and flags of France; for that reason the said country is called New France."

Champlain was not quarrelling with the English for the Virgines, although this country had been occupied by the French eighty years before, and they had also discovered all the American coast, from the river St. John to the peninsula of Florida.

No one can deny that Champlain had given names to the rivers and harbours of New England as far as Cape Cod, about the fortieth degree of latitude.

After having spent about five weeks with the ambassador in furnishing him with information to guide him in his negotiations with the English authorities, Champlain resolved to visit France, as he had a reasonable hope of seeing his designs accomplished. He left London on November 20th, and embarked at Rye, in Sussex, for Dieppe. Here he met Captain Daniel, who had just returned from his expedition to Canada, and it was here also that he received his commission of governor of New France, which had been forwarded by the directors of the Company of New France.

Champlain paid a visit to Rouen, and then went to Paris, where he had interviews with the king, with the cardinal, and some of the associates of the company. A prominent topic of discussion was, naturally, the loss of New France, and the best means of recovering it. Champlain's ideas were excellent, and he did his best to have them acknowledged and agreed to by all those who were interested in the fate of New France.

Events progressed favourably, and Champlain was pleased to learn that Doctor Daniel had been sent to London with letters for King Charles I. Louis XIII demanded the restoration of the fort and habitation of Quebec, and the forts and harbours of the Acadian coast, for the reason that they had been captured after peace had been concluded between the two countries. Doctor Daniel returned to France, bearing despatches by which Charles I answered that he, was ready to restore Quebec, but no mention was made of Acadia. The directors of the company immediately ordered Commander de~ Razilly to equip a fleet, and, as we have already stated, to take possession of Quebec by force or otherwise.

The Hundred Associates subscribed sixteen thousand livres for the freighting of the vessels, and the king granted the balance of the expenses. The news of these extraordinary war-like preparations caused alarm in London, but the French ambassador stated that these vessels were not being sent to trouble or disturb any of the English settlers who had taken possession of the French habitations. This explanation relieved the public mind in England, and Charles I promised to give back to France its ancient possessions in America, as they were on April 24th, 1629, the date of the signing of the Treaty of Suze. Injustice to England it may be said that two English vessels were seized by the French at about the same time that Kirke had forced Champlain to surrender. There was, therefore, illegal action on both sides, and both countries had claims to be regulated.

The English would have preferred to have retained possession of Canada, at least until the following year, as the Kirke brothers and their associates hoped to be able to realize considerable sums from their trade with the Indians. This condition of affairs is explained in a letter addressed by Cardinal Richelieu to Chateauneuf, on December 20th, 1629: " They assure us that they cannot restore Canada at once; this is the reason for our delay in restoring these vessels." And he adds: " If they agree to the restitution of Quebec without any condition, you shall take it for granted, if not, it is better to put a delay to the settlement."

It is obvious that Charles I had twice promised to restore Quebec, and when Chateauneuf retired from his position of ambassador in the month of April, 1630, he had obtained "every assurance of restitution of all things taken since the peace." The Marquis of Fontenay-Mareuil, who succeeded Chateauneuf on March 13th, received special instructions from the cardinal on this subject: "His Majesty's design is that, continuing the negotiations of Chateauneuf, you continue to ask for the restitution of Canada, and of all goods and vessels taken from the French since the peace."

The new ambassador could not urge the claims of France with greater activity than his predecessor. During the space of two months, Chateauneuf had prepared five documents relating to Canadian affairs, to which the commissioners appointed to settle the matter had replied on February 11th. These officials were Sir Humphrey May, Sir John Coke, Sir Julius Caesar, and Sir Henry Martin. Their conclusion regarding Canada was that His Majesty had not changed his mind concerning the restoration of places, vessels and goods taken from the French, according to the first declaration he had made through a memorandum in Latin, communicated some time since to the French ambassador.

Louis XIII was at this time engaged - in war with Austria, and Richelieu was too busy to attend to Canadian matters, which were of less importance than the European questions which occupied his time. Interior dissensions were soon added to the trouble which France had to undergo. Gaston, the king's brother, was compromised, and the Duke of Montmorency, who took part in a plot against the king, was seized and put to death.

The negotiations commenced in 1629 were not resumed until 1632. In the meantime the English authorities had not been idle. Charles I had not forgotten his promise, and even if he had, there were men in France who had a good memory. On June 12th, 1631, Charles I addressed a long letter to Sir Isaac Wake, ambassador to France, respecting the restitution of Quebec and Acadia. The terms were as follows:—

"That which we require, which is the payment of the remainder of the money, the restitution of certain ships" taken and kept without any colour or pretence, and the taking of arrests and seizures which were made in that kingdom against our subjects contrary to treaty, being of right and due. And that which is demanded of us concerning the places in Canada and those parts, and some few ships of that nation (French) which remained yet unrestored, but have passed sentence of confiscation in our high Court of Admiralty upon good grounds in justice, being things of courtesy and good correspondence."

According to her marriage settlement the Queen Henrietta possessed a dowry of eight hundred thousand crowns, equivalent to eight hundred thousand £cus de trois livres, French currency. The half of that sum had been made payable on the day before the marriage in London, and the other half a little later. The marriage took place on June 13th, 1625, and the first instalment was then paid. In the year 1631 the second instalment had not been paid, and Charles I claimed it as one of the conditions of settlement.

Some historians have stated that the king took this opportunity to have a money question solved. If, however, the debt was legitimate, France was obliged to pay it, and the difficulties that had occurred in the meantime had nothing to do with the deed of marriage upon which the claim was based. Chateauneuf had promised to pay the claim. Unless, therefore, there was any doubt as to the right of the king to claim the sum, it is difficult to understand why the king should be blamed.

In his letter to his ambassador at Paris Charles I alludes to documents exchanged between Chateauneuf and Fontenay-Mareuil on the one side, and the lords commissioners appointed to give a ruling. In this document it is noticed that Guillaume de Caen had discussed with Kirke the value of the goods ahd peltry that had been taken out of the stores at Quebec. They disagreed both as to the number and value. De Caen claimed four thousand two hundred and sixty-six beaver skins which had been captured by Kirke, while Kirke pretended to have found only one thousand seven hundred and thirteen, and that the balance of his cargo, four thousand skins, was the result of trade with the Indians.

According to the books of the English company, Kirke had bought four thousand five hundred and forty beaver skins, four hundred and thirty-two elk skins, and had found in the stores one thousand seven hundred and thirteen beaver skins. The difference in the calculation is due to the fact that the English only mentioned the beaver skins registered in their books, and the French included all the skins which belonged to them when the fort surrendered, making no mention of those that they had taken out of the fort with the permission of the English. Guillaume de Caen valued each skin at twelve pounds ten shillings, and Burlamachi had written from Metz to representatives of the English company, that he had been compelled to accept de Caen's estimates, as under the terms of an Act of Private Council, he was bound to make them good. The king had promised to reimburse de Caen for his losses by the payment of the sum of fourteen thousand three hundred and thirty pounds, of which eight thousand two hundred and seventy pounds were for his peltry and goods, and six thousand and sixty pounds for the vessels which had been captured. David Kirke strongly opposed the payment of this sum on the ground that it was excessive, but the king through his councillors ordered the payment to be made.

Having determined to seize the peltry brought to London from Quebec, the Kirke associates blew off the padlock which had been fixed to the storehouse door by an order of justice. Some time after, when Guillaume de Caen visited the store, accompanied by a member of the company and a constable, he discovered that only three hundred beaver skins and four hundred elk skins remained. Complaint was lodged with the king, who ordered Kirke to return the skins which were missing within three days, on pain of imprisonment or the confiscation of his property. None of the associates of Kirke appear to have obtained the sympathy of the public in that affair.

The English company had suffered a great loss over the transaction, and the king thought that it would be just to grant them some compensation. He therefore appointed two commissioners, Sir Isaac Wake and Burlamachi, to look after the interests of the English company. Their mission was to make an agreement with Guillaume de Caen, who represented the French company. After the exchange of a long correspondence, the king of France agreed to pay to David Kirke the sum of twenty thousand pounds, on the condition that he should restore the fort of Quebec, the contents of the storehouse, the vessel belonging to Emery de Caen; and the peltry seized in Canada.

David Kirke was much dissatisfied with the agreement, which he believed was due to the action of Sir Isaac Wake, to whom he wrote, accusing him of not having followed the instructions of the English company. His letter concluded with these words: "I understand that the conduct of this affair has been absolutely irregular, as it is evident that you have only resorted to the French testimony, having no care for the English evidence."

In the same memorandum the Kirke family complained of the fact that the Company of English Adventurers had been compelled to plead in France, while the French were not subject to the same conditions. This accusation was not correct, as Guillaume de Caen had been obliged not only to live in London in order to vindicate his goods, but also to watch them and prevent damage.

Kirke had no other claim than compensation for losses, and de Caen, who had apparently no responsibility for the conflict of 1629, could not reasonably be expected to pay the amount of Kirke's claim. The contents of the storehouse at Quebec were the property of the de Caens, and in visiting Quebec Emery de Caen had no other object in view than to secure his goods and take them to France. He had nothing to do with the war, and believed that he was sailing in times of peace. Thomas Kirke, by whom he was taken prisoner, treated him as a pirate, illegally, and in spite of the Treaty of Suze. It is true that the Kirkes ignored the existence of this treaty when they sailed for America, but this was only an excuse for their attitude as belligerents.

As soon as the provisions of the negotiations were determined upon between the two countries, the claims had to be sent to the king, if they considered that they had any grievance under the privileges conferred upon them by letters of marque. The royal commission took a correct stand in demanding from them in the name of Charles I an indemnity for France. All these differences were at length terminated through the energetic interference of Richelieu. These disputes had lasted for more than two years, and constantly occupied the attention of the ambassadors. The king of France, therefore, empowered Bullion and Bouthillier on January 25th, 1632, to act. Charles I had already sent Burlamachi to France with letters in favour of the restoration of Canada and Acadia, and had also given instructions to Sir Isaac Wake, his ambassador extraordinary. On March 5th, Louis XIII granted an audience to the ambassadors, and the basis of a treaty was agreed upon. Sir Isaac Wake represented Charles I, and Bullion and Bouthillier represented the king of France.

The commissioners took up the question of seizures, which was the most difficult. The king of France agreed to pay the sum of sixty-four thousand two hundred and forty-six pounds to Lumagne and Vanelly for the goods seized on the Jacques, and sixty-nine thousand eight hundred and sixty-six pounds for the goods seized on the Benddiction, and to restore these two vessels to their owners within fifteen days. This agreement included the effects taken from the Bride, and sold at Calais, the property of Lumagne and Vanelly. The king of England^ promised to render and restore all the places occupied by the subjects of His Majesty of Great Britain in New France, Canada and Acadia, and to enjoin all those who commanded at Port Royal, at the fort of Quebec and at Cape Breton, to put these places in the hands of those whom it shall please His Majesty, eight days after notice given to the officers named by the king of France.

Under this agreement, de Caen was obliged to pay for the equipment of a vessel of two hundred to two hundred and fifty tons, and for the repatriation of the English subjects established in New France. The forts and places occupied by the English were to be restored as they were before their capture, with all arms and ammunition, according to the detailed list which Champlain had given. Burlamachi was authorized to pay for everything that was missing, and also to place Emery de Caen in possession of the ship Udlene, which had been taken from him, together with all goods abandoned at Quebec during his voyage of 1631. Burlamachi was also instructed to pay to Guillaume de Caen the sum of eighty-two thousand seven hundred pounds within two months. The sum of sixty thousand six hundred and two pounds tournois was also to be paid by Burlamachi to whomever it might belong, for the vessels Gabriel of St. Gilles, Sainte-Anne, of Havre de Grace, TriniU, of Sables d'Olonne, St. Laurent, of St. Malo, and Cap du del, of Calais, seized by the English after the signing of the Treaty of Suze.

After this was agreed to, the commissioners embodied in eight articles the conditions of free trade between the two countries. The whole was signed by Wake, Bullion and Bouthillier, at St. Germain-en-Laye, on March 29th, 1632.

Thus terminated this quarrel between England and France, but it was only the precursor of a far more serious conflict which was to arise. From time to time, however, these differences were adjusted temporarily by treaties, only to lead to further complications. The principal difficulty arose regarding the boundaries of New France, the limits of which were not clearly defined in the treaty. Some adjacent parts were claimed by the English as their territory. The king of France had granted to the Hundred Associates "in all property, justice and-seigniory, the fort and habitation of Quebec, together with the country of New France, or Canada, along the coasts .... coasting along the sea to the Arctic circle for latitude, and from the Island of Newfoundland for longitude, going to the west to the grea^ lake called Mer Douce (Lake Huron), and farther within the lands and along the rivers which passed through them and emptied in the river called St. Lawrence, otherwise the great river of Canada, etc."

Quebec was considered as the centre of these immense possessions of the king of France, and included the islands of Newfoundland, Cape Breton and St. John (Prince Edward).

The king of England had granted to Sir Thomas Gates and others, in 1606, three years after the date of de Monts' letters patent, " this part of America commonly called Virginia, and the territories between the thirty-fourth and forty-fifth degrees of latitude, and the islands situated within a space of one hundred miles from the coasts of the said countries."

In the year 1621, James I granted to Sir William Alexander, Count of Sterling, certain territory, which under the name of Nova Scotia was intended to comprise the present provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, the islands of St. John and Cape Breton, and the whole of Gaspesia. Charles . I granted to Sir William Alexander in the year 1625 another charter, which revoked the one of 1621.

It is evident that the king of England and the king of France had each given charters covering about the same extent of territory, and it is therefore easy to understand that tedious correspondence of a complicated nature thereby arose between the two countries. The treaty of St. Germain-en-Laye did not determine the question of the boundaries of the territory, and each power reserved its rights in this respect.

The inhabitants of Quebec at this time were in a state of suspense, for they had no knowledge of the progress made with the negotiations between the two countries. They had no reason to complain of the English, however, who treated them well, but the Huguenots, their own countrymen, who seemed prepared to serve under the English flag, were, as usual, troublesome and fanatical on religious questions. The settlers were so much distressed at not having the benefit of the ministration of a priest of their church, that they had resolved to leave the country at the earliest opportunity.

The Lutheran minister, who had decided to remain at Quebec with Kirke's men, had much to suffer. His advice was not accepted by his own people, and he was, moreover, kept in prison for a period of six months under the pretext of inciting the soldiers of the garrison to rebellion. All these disagreements rendered the condition of the Catholics almost unendurable.

On July 13th, 1632, a white flag was seen floating from a vessel which was entering the harbour of Quebec. The inhabitants were rejoiced, and when they were able to hear mass in the house of Madame Hubert, their happiness was complete.-It was three years since they had enjoyed this privilege. One girl had been born in the interval, to the wife of Guillaume Couillard. But no death had been recorded, except the murder of an Iroquois prisoner by a Montagnais while in a state of intoxication.

The Jesuits who had arrived at the same time as Emery de Caen, took charge of the Quebec mission. In the year 1627, the Recollets, seeing that their mission had not apparently produced the results that they desired, and that they were also reduced to great distress, resolved to abandon New France for a country less ungrateful. We have seen that after the capitulation, the Rdcollets left with the greater number of the French for their motherland, but when they heard that Canada had been restored to France, they made preparations to resume their labours. Their superiors offered no objection, but the chief directors of the Hundred Associates, thinking the establishment of two different religious ' orders in the country, which as yet had no bishop, would create jealousies, determined to refuse the services of the Rdcollets.

Jean de Lauzon, intendant of the company for Canadian affairs, made a formal protest, and thus these noble missionaries were forced to abandon their work in Canada. The Rdcollets were much disappointed, but Father Le Caron, the first apostle to the Huron tribes, was so distressed at the news that he was taken ill and died on March 29th, 1632, some days before the departure of Emery de Caen for Quebec. He had brought some manuscripts from Canada, which were accidently burnt in Normandy. This man was perhaps the purest example of all the Recollets in Canada. Others had a more illustrious name, but none gave greater proof of devotedness and courage in their dealings with the Indians, and especially the Hurons. He was generally regarded as a saint.


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