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      * Marie de lIncarnation, Lettre deSept., 1661.[94] Longueuil au Ministre, 27 Avril, 1752.

      These vast western regions, now swarming with laborious millions, were then scantily peopled by savage hordes, whose increase was stopped by incessant mutual slaughter. This wild population had various centres or rallying-points, usually about the French forts, which protected them from enemies and supplied their wants. Thus the Pottawattamies, Ottawas, and Hurons were gathered about Detroit, and the Illinois about Fort St. Louis, on the river Illinois, where Henri de Tonty and his old comrade, La Forest, with fifteen or twenty Frenchmen, held a nominal monopoly of the neighboring fur-trade. Another focus of Indian population was near the Green Bay of Lake Michigan, and on Fox River, which enters it. Here were grouped the Sacs, Winnebagoes, and Menominies, with the Outagamies, or Foxes, a formidable tribe, the source of endless trouble to the French.Braddock saw that all was lost. To save the wreck of his force from annihilation, he at last commanded a retreat; and as he and such of his officers as were left strove to withdraw the half-frenzied crew in some semblance of order, a bullet struck him down. The gallant bulldog fell from his horse, shot through the arm into the lungs. It is said, though on evidence of no weight, that the bullet came from one of his own men. Be this as it may, there he lay among the bushes, bleeding, gasping, unable even to curse. He demanded to be left where he was. Captain Stewart and another provincial bore him between them to the rear.

      [355] See Conspiracy of Pontiac, II. 143, 152.LA SALLE'S ANXIETIES.

      V2 its weakest side. Therefore Drucour resolved to sink four large ships at the entrance; and on a dark and foggy night this was successfully accomplished. Two more vessels were afterwards sunk, and the harbor was then thought safe.V2 eighty of them, men and officers, on a scouting party towards Ticonderoga; and Captain Pringle and Lieutenant Roche, of the twenty-seventh regiment, joined them as volunteers, no doubt through a love of hardy adventure, which was destined to be fully satisfied. Rogers commanded the whole. They passed down Lake George on the ice under cover of night, and then, as they neared the French outposts, pursued their way by land behind Rogers Rock and the other mountains of the western shore. On the preceding day, the twelfth of March, Hebecourt had received a reinforcement of two hundred Mission Indians and a body of Canadians. The Indians had no sooner arrived than, though nominally Christians, they consulted the spirits, by whom they were told that the English were coming. On this they sent out scouts, who came back breathless, declaring that they had found a great number of snow-shoe tracks. The superhuman warning being thus confirmed, the whole body of Indians, joined by a band of Canadians and a number of volunteers from the regulars, set out to meet the approaching enemy, and took their way up the valley of Trout Brook, a mountain gorge that opens from the west upon the valley of Ticonderoga.

      Johnson did not follow up his success. He says that his men were tired. Yet five hundred of them had stood still all day, and boats enough for their transportation were lying on the beach. Ten miles down the lake, a path led over a gorge of the mountains to South Bay, where Dieskau had left his canoes and provisions. It needed but a few hours to reach and destroy them; but no such attempt was made. Nor, till a week after, did Johnson send out scouts to learn the strength of the enemy at Ticonderoga. Lyman strongly urged him to make an effort to seize that important pass; but Johnson thought only of holding his own position. "I think," he wrote, "we may expect very shortly a more formidable attack." He made a solid breastwork to defend his camp; and as reinforcements arrived, set them at building a fort on a rising ground by the lake. It is true that just after the battle he was deficient in stores, and had not bateaux enough to move his whole force. It is true, also, that he was wounded, and that he was too jealous of Lyman to delegate the command to him; and so the days passed till, within a fortnight, his nimble enemy were entrenched at Ticonderoga in force enough to defy him.

      These documents, with the narrative ascribed to the engineer Lry, are the contemporary authorities on which the foregoing account is based.

      The councillors held office for a year, and the year had now expired. The governor and the bishop, it will be remembered, had a joint power of appointment; but agreement between them was impossible. Laval was for replacing his partisans, Bourdon, Villeray, Auteuil, and La Fert. Mzy refused; and on the eighteenth of September he reconstructed the council by his sole authority, retaining of the old councillors only Amours and Tilly, and replacing the rest by Denis, La Tesserie, and Pronne de Maze, the surviving son of Dumesnil.


      [25] Frontenac au Ministre, 9 et 12 Nov., 1690.Forbes from his sick bed at Raystown wrote to Bouquet: "Your description of the road pierces me to the very soul." And a few days later to Pitt: "I am in the greatest distress, occasioned by rains unusual at this season, which have rendered the clay roads absolutely impracticable. If the weather does not favor, I shall be absolutely locked up in the mountains. I cannot form any judgment how I am to extricate myself, as everything depends on the weather, which snows and rains frightfully." There was no improvement. In the next week he writes to Bouquet: "These four days of constant rain have completely ruined the road. The wagons would cut it up more in an hour than we could repair in a week. I have written to General Abercromby, but have not had one scrape of a pen from him since the beginning of September; so it looks as if we were either forgot or left to our fate." [664] Wasted and tortured by disease, the perplexed commander was forced to burden himself with a multitude of details which would else have been neglected, and to do the work of commissary and quartermaster as well as general. "My time," he writes, "is disagreeably spent between business and medicine."


      [5] Duchesneau, Memoir on Western Indians in N. Y. Colonial Docs., IX. 160.V1 which he thought would "effectually disgust them," and bring all trouble to an end. [63]


      The oath, the refusal of which had brought such consequences, was a simple pledge of fidelity and allegiance to King George II. and his successors. Many of the Acadians had already taken an oath of fidelity, though with the omission of the word "allegiance," and, as they insisted, with a saving clause exempting them from bearing arms. The effect of this was that they did not regard themselves as British subjects, and claimed, falsely as regards most of them, the character of neutrals. It was to put an end to this anomalous state of things that the oath without reserve had been demanded of them. Their rejection of it, reiterated in full view of the consequences, is to be ascribed partly to a fixed belief that the English would not execute their threats, partly to ties of race and kin, but mainly to superstition. They feared to take part with heretics against the King of France, whose cause, as already stated, they had been taught to regard as one with the cause of God; they were constrained by the dread of perdition. "If the Acadians are miserable, remember that the priests are the cause of it," writes 266