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V1 emigrant countrymen had been oppressed or molested in matters temporal or spiritual, but that the English authorities, recognizing their value as an industrious population, had labored to reconcile them to a change of rulers which on the whole was to their advantage. It has been shown also how, with a heartless perfidy and a reckless disregard of their welfare and safety, the French Government and its agents labored to keep them hostile to the Crown of which it had acknowledged them to be subjects. The result was, that though they did not, like their emigrant countrymen, abandon their homes, they remained in a state of restless disaffection, refused to supply English garrisons with provisions, except at most exorbitant rates, smuggled their produce to the French across the line, gave them aid and intelligence, and sometimes, disguised as Indians, robbed and murdered English settlers. By the new-fangled construction of the treaty of Utrecht which the French boundary commissioners had devised, [242] more than half the Acadian peninsula, including nearly all the cultivated land and nearly all the population of French descent, was claimed as belonging to France, though England had held possession of it more than forty years. Hence, according to the political ethics adopted at the time by both nations, it would be lawful for France to reclaim it by force. England, on her part, it will be remembered, claimed vast tracts beyond the isthmus; and, on the same pretext, held that 237

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* La Motte-Cadillac 脿-, 28 Sept., 1694..
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[680] Proc猫s de Bigot, Cadet, et autres, M茅moire pour le Sieur de Boish茅bert..
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* Arr锚t du Conseil d鈥橢tat du Roy (see Edits et Ordonnances,?
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Short stories
The fate of Oswego was now sealed. The principal work, called Old Oswego, or Fort Pepperell, stood at the mouth of the river on the west side, nearly opposite Fort Ontario, and less than five hundred yards distant from it. The trading-house, which formed the centre of the place, was built of rough stone laid in clay, and the wall which enclosed it was of the same materials; both would crumble in an instant at the touch of a twelve-pound shot. Towards the west and south they had been protected by an outer line of earthworks, mounted with cannon, and forming an entrenched camp; while the side towards Fort Ontario was left wholly exposed, in the rash confidence that this work, standing on the opposite heights, would guard against attack from that quarter. On a hill, a fourth of a mile beyond Old Oswego, stood the unfinished stockade called New Oswego, Fort George, or, by reason of its worthlessness, Fort Rascal. It had served as a cattle pen before the French appeared, but was now occupied by a hundred and fifty Jersey provincials. Old Oswego with its outwork was held by Shirley's regiment, chiefly invalids and raw recruits, to whom were now joined the garrison of Fort Ontario and a number of sailors, boatmen, and laborers.!
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The house of Stebbins, the minister's next neighbor,[Pg 63] had not been attacked so soon as the rest, and the inmates had a little time for preparation. They consisted of Stebbins himself, with his wife and five children, David Hoyt, Joseph Catlin, Benjamin Church, a namesake of the old Indian fighter of Philip's War, and three other men,鈥攑robably refugees who had brought their wives and families within the palisaded enclosure for safety. Thus the house contained seven men, four or five women, and a considerable number of children. Though the walls were bullet-proof, it was not built for defence. The men, however, were well supplied with guns, powder, and lead, and they seem to have found some means of barricading the windows. When the enemy tried to break in, they drove them back with loss. On this, the French and Indians gathered in great numbers before the house, showered bullets upon it, and tried to set it on fire. They were again repulsed, with the loss of several killed and wounded; among the former a Caughnawaga chief, and among the latter a French officer. Still the firing continued. If the assailants had made a resolute assault, the defenders must have been overpowered; but to risk lives in open attack was contrary to every maxim of forest warfare. The women in the house behaved with great courage, and moulded bullets, which the men shot at the enemy. Stebbins was killed outright, and Church was wounded, as was also the wife of David Hoyt. At length most of the French and Indians, disgusted with the obstinacy of the[Pg 64] defence, turned their attention to other quarters; though some kept up their fire under cover of the meeting-house and another building within easy range of gunshot..
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[Pg 365]Bourgmont pitched his tents at a pistol-shot from the Comanche lodges, whence a crowd of warriors presently came to visit him. They spread buffalo-robes on the ground, placed upon them the French commander, his officers, and his young son; then lifted each, with its honored load, and carried them all, with yells of joy and gratulation, to the lodge of the Great Chief, where there was a feast of ceremony lasting till nightfall..
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[21] The interior was finished after a year or two, with cells as usual. There were four chimneys, with fireplaces burning a hundred and seventy-five cords of wood in a winter; and though the nuns were boxed up in beds which closed like chests, Marie de l'Incarnation complains bitterly of the cold. See her letter of Aug. 26, 1644.
[455] A large engraved portrait of him, nearly at full length, is before me, printed at London in 1776.
This system of petty, secret, and transient attack put the impoverished colonies to an immense charge in maintaining a cordon of militia along their northern frontier,鈥攁 precaution often as vain as it was costly; for the wily savages, covered by the forest, found little difficulty in dodging the scouting-parties, pouncing on their victims, and escaping. Rewards were offered for scalps; but one writer calculates[Pg 100] that, all things considered, it cost Massachusetts a thousand pounds of her currency to kill an Indian.[80]
21 August, 2019 - 13:08
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21 August, 2019 - 13:08
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