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- Count Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV - 1/62 -
[Transcriber's Note: Lengthy footnotes, or those consisting of more than one paragraph, have been numbered and relocated to the end of the chapter in which they occur. They are marked by , , etc.]
UNDER LOUIS XIV.
AUTHOR OF "PIONEERS OF FRANCE IN THE NEW WORLD," "THE JESUITS IN NORTH AMERICA," "THE DISCOVERY OF THE GREAT WEST," AND "THE OLD REGIME IN CANADA."
The events recounted in this book group themselves in the main about a single figure, that of Count Frontenac, the most remarkable man who ever represented the crown of France in the New World. From strangely unpromising beginnings, he grew with every emergency, and rose equal to every crisis. His whole career was one of conflict, sometimes petty and personal, sometimes of momentous consequence, involving the question of national ascendancy on this continent. Now that this question is put at rest for ever, it is hard to conceive, the anxiety which it wakened in our forefathers. But for one rooted error of French policy, the future of the English-speaking races in America would have been more than endangered.
Under the rule of Frontenac occurred the first serious collision of the rival powers, and the opening of the grand scheme of military occupation by which France strove to envelop and hold in check the industrial populations of the English colonies. It was he who made that scheme possible.
In "The Old Regime in Canada," I tried to show from what inherent causes this wilderness empire of the Great Monarch fell at last before a foe, superior indeed in numbers, but lacking all the forces that belong to a system of civil and military centralization. The present volume will show how valiantly, and for a time how successfully, New France battled against a fate which her own organic fault made inevitable. Her history is a great and significant drama, enacted among untamed forests, with a distant gleam of courtly splendors and the regal pomp of Versailles.
The authorities on which the book rests are drawn chiefly from the manuscript collections of the French government in the Archives Nationales, the Bibliotheque Nationale, and, above all, the vast repositories of the Archives of the Marine and Colonies. Others are from Canadian and American sources. I have, besides, availed myself of the collection of French, English, and Dutch documents published by the State of New York, under the excellent editorship of Dr. O'Callaghan, and of the manuscript collections made in France by the governments of Canada and of Massachusetts. A considerable number of books, contemporary or nearly so with the events described, also help to throw light upon them; and these have all been examined. The citations in the margins represent but a small part of the authorities consulted.
This mass of material has been studied with extreme care, and peculiar pains have been taken to secure accuracy of statement. In the preface of "The Old Regime," I wrote: "Some of the results here reached are of a character which I regret, since they cannot be agreeable to persons for whom I have a very cordial regard. The conclusions drawn from the facts may be matter of opinion: but it will be remembered that the facts themselves can be overthrown only by overthrowing the evidence on which they rest, or bringing forward counter-evidence of equal or greater strength; and neither task will be found an easy one."
The invitation implied in these words has not been accepted. "The Old Regime" was met by vehement protest in some quarters; but, so far as I know, none of the statements of fact contained in it have been attacked by evidence, or even challenged. The lines just quoted are equally applicable to this volume. Should there be occasion, a collection of documentary proofs will be published more than sufficient to make good the positions taken. Meanwhile, it will, I think, be clear to an impartial reader that the story is told, not in the interest of any race or nationality, but simply in that of historical truth.
When, at the age of eighteen, I formed the purpose of writing on French-American history, I meant at first to limit myself to the great contest which brought that history to a close. It was by an afterthought that the plan was extended to cover the whole field, so that the part of the work, or series of works, first conceived, would, following the sequence of events, be the last executed. As soon as the original scheme was formed, I began to prepare for executing it by examining localities, journeying in forests, visiting Indian tribes, and collecting materials. I have continued to collect them ever since, so that the accumulation is now rather formidable; and, if it is to be used at all, it had better be used at once. Therefore, passing over for the present an intervening period of less decisive importance, I propose to take, as the next subject of this series, "Montcalm and the Fall of New France."
BOSTON, 1 Jan., 1877.
COUNT AND COUNTESS FRONTENAC.
Mademoiselle de Montpensier and Madame de Frontenac.--Orleans.--The Maréchale de Camp.--Count Frontenac.--Conjugal Disputes.--Early Life of Frontenac.--His Courtship and Marriage.--Estrangement.--Scenes at St. Fargeau.--The Lady of Honor dismissed.--Frontenac as a Soldier.-- He is made Governor of New France.--Les Divines.
FRONTENAC AT QUEBEC.
Arrival.--Bright Prospects.--The Three Estates of New France.--Speech of the Governor.--His Innovations.--Royal Displeasure.--Signs of Storm.--Frontenac and the Priests.--His Attempts to civilize the Indians.--Opposition.--Complaints and Heart-burnings.
FRONTENAC AND PERROT.
La Salle.--Fort Frontenac.--Perrot.--His Speculations.--His Tyranny.--The Bush-rangers.--Perrot revolts.--Becomes alarmed.-- Dilemma of Frontenac.--Mediation of Fénelon.--Perrot in Prison.--Excitement of the Sulpitians.--Indignation of Fénelon.-- Passion of Frontenac.--Perrot on Trial.--Strange Scenes.--Appeal to the King.--Answers of Louis XIV. And Colbert.--Fénelon rebuked.
FRONTENAC AND DUCHESNEAU.
Frontenac receives a Colleague.--He opposes the Clergy.--Disputes in the Council.--Royal Intervention.--Frontenac rebuked.--Fresh Outbreaks.--Charges and Countercharges.--The Dispute grows hot.-- Duchesneau condemned and Frontenac warned.--The Quarrel continues.--The King loses Patience. More Accusations.--Factions and Feuds.--A Side Quarrel.--The King threatens.--Frontenac denounces the Priests.--The Governor and the Intendant recalled.--Qualities of Frontenac.
LE FEBVRE DE LA BARRE.
His Arrival at Quebec.--The Great Fire.--A Coming Storm.--Iroquois Policy.--The Danger imminent.--Indian Allies of France.--Frontenac and the Iroquois.--Boasts of La Barre.--His Past Life.--His Speculations.--He takes Alarm.--His Dealings with the Iroquois.--His Illegal Trade.--His Colleague denounces him.--Fruits of his Schemes.--His Anger and his Fears.
LA BARRE AND THE IROQUOIS.
Dongan.--New York and its Indian Neighbors.--The Rival Governors.-- Dongan and the Iroquois.--Mission to Onondaga.--An Iroquois Politician.--Warnings of Lamberville.--Iroquois Boldness.--La Barre takes the Field.--His Motives.--The March.--Pestilence.--Council at La Famine.--The Iroquois defiant.--Humiliation of La Barre.--The Indian Allies.--Their Rage and Disappointment.--Recall of La Barre.
DENONVILLE AND DONGAN.
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