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      them a sure support in poverty.[208] Writings of Washington, II. 77.

      In consideration of these and other privileges, the grantee was bound to send to Louisiana a specified number of settlers every year. His charter provided that the royal edicts and the Coutume de Paris should be the law of the colony, to be administered by a council appointed by the King.

      In fact, it was soon made plain that these their neighbors wished them no good. A few days after the wreck, the prairie was seen on fire. As the smoke and flame rolled towards them before the wind, La Salle caused all the grass about the camp to be cut and carried away, and especially around the spot where the powder was placed. The danger was averted; but it soon became known that the Indians had stolen a number of blankets and other articles, and carried them to their wigwams. Unwilling to leave his camp, La Salle sent his nephew Moranget and several other volunteers, with a party of men, to reclaim them. They went up the bay in a boat, landed at the Indian camp, and, with more mettle than discretion, marched into it, sword in hand. The Indians ran off, and the rash adventurers seized upon several canoes as an equivalent for the stolen goods. Not knowing how to manage them, they made slow progress on their way back, and were overtaken by night before reaching the French camp. They landed, made a fire, placed a sentinel, and lay down on the dry grass to sleep. The sentinel followed their example, when suddenly they were awakened by the war-whoop and a shower of arrows. Two volunteers, Oris and Desloges, were killed on the spot; a third, named Gayen, was severely [Pg 385] wounded; and young Moranget received an arrow through the arm. He leaped up and fired his gun at the vociferous but invisible foe. Others of the party did the same, and the Indians fled.

      [221] On the other hand, he sets down on his map of 1683 a mission of the Rcollets at a point north of the farthest sources of the Mississippi, to which no white man had ever penetrated.[10] For a fac-simile of the inscription on this plate, see Olden Time, I. 288. Cloron calls the Kenawha, Chinodahichetha. The inscriptions as given in his Journal correspond with those on the plates discovered.

      Being tired of the Indians, he became anxious to set out for the Wisconsin to find the party of Frenchmen, real or imaginary, who were to meet him at that place. That he was permitted to do so was due to the influence of the great chief Ouasicoud, who always befriended him, and who had soundly berated his two companions for refusing him a seat in their canoe. Du Gay wished to go with him; but Accau, who liked the Indian life as much as he disliked Hennepin, preferred to remain with the hunters. A small birch-canoe was given to the two adventurers, together with an earthen pot; and they had also between them a gun, a knife, and a robe of beaver-skin. [Pg 267] Thus equipped, they began their journey, and soon approached the Falls of St. Anthony, so named by Hennepin in honor of the inevitable Saint Anthony of Padua.[214] As they were carrying their canoe by the cataract, they saw five or six Indians, who had gone before, and one of whom had climbed into an oak-tree beside the principal fall, whence in a loud and lamentable voice he was haranguing the spirit of the waters, as a sacrifice to whom he had just hung a robe of beaver-skin among the branches.[215] Their attention was soon engrossed by another object. Looking over the edge of the cliff which overhung the river below the falls, Hennepin saw a snake, [Pg 268] which, as he avers, was six feet long,[216] writhing upward towards the holes of the swallows in the face of the precipice, in order to devour their young. He pointed him out to Du Gay, and they pelted him with stones till he fell into the river, but not before his contortions and the darting of his forked tongue had so affected the Picard's imagination that he was haunted that night with a terrific incubus.

      And now La Salle's work must be begun afresh. He had staked all, and all had seemingly been lost. In stern, relentless effort he had touched the limits of human endurance; and the harvest of his toil was disappointment, disaster, and impending ruin. The shattered fabric of his enterprise was prostrate in the dust. His friends desponded; his foes were blatant and exultant. Did he bend before the storm? No human eye could pierce the depths of his reserved and haughty nature; but the surface was calm, and no sign betrayed a shaken resolve or an altered purpose. Where weaker men would have abandoned all in despairing apathy, he turned anew to his work with the same vigor and the same apparent confidence as if borne on the full tide of success.[111] La Vallire, Journal de ce qui s'est pass Chenitou [Chignecto] et autres parties des Frontires de l'Acadie, 1750-1751. La Vallire was an officer on the spot to the footnote written.


      * The Jesuits were afterwards told by Hurons, captive among


      [Pg 158]The minister, Ponchartrain, was struck by Costebelle's suggestion, and wrote both to him and to Vaudreuil in high approval of it. To Vaudreuil he says: "Monsieur de Costebelle has informed me that the chief object of the armament made by the English last year was to establish their sovereignty at Boston and New York, the people of these provinces having always maintained a sort of republic, governed by their council, and having been unwilling to receive absolute governors from the kings of England. This destination of the armament seems to me probable, and it is much to be wished that the Council at Boston could be informed of the designs of the English court, and shown how important it is for that province to remain in the state of a republic. The King would even approve our helping it to do so. If you see any prospect of success, no means should be spared to secure it. The matter is of the greatest importance, but care is essential to employ persons who have the talents necessary for conducting it, besides great secrecy and prudence, as well as tried probity and fidelity. This affair demands your best attention, and must be conducted with great care and precaution, in order that no false step may be taken."[150] Morin, a contemporary record, from which Faillon gives long


      One might have sailed for days along these lonely coasts, and seen no human form. At Canseau, or Chedabucto, at the eastern end of Nova Scotia, there was a fishing station and a fort; Chibuctou, now Halifax, was a solitude; at La Hve there were a few fishermen; and thence, as you doubled the rocks of Cape Sable, the ancient haunt of La Tour, you would have seen four French settlers, and an unlimited number of seals and seafowl. 337 Ranging the shore by St. Mary's Bay, and entering the Strait of Annapolis Basin, you would have found the fort of Port Royal, the chief place of all Acadia. It stood at the head of the basin, where De Monts had planted his settlement nearly a century before. Around the fort and along the neighboring river were about ninety-five small houses; and at the head of the Bay of Fundy were two other settlements, Beaubassin and Les Mines, comparatively stable and populous. At the mouth of the St. John were the abandoned ruins of La Tour's old fort; and on a spot less exposed, at some distance up the river, stood the small wooden fort of Jemsec, with a few intervening clearings. Still sailing westward, passing Mount Desert, another scene of ancient settlement, and entering Penobscot Bay, you would have found the Baron de Saint-Castin with his Indian harem at Pentegoet, where the town of Castine now stands. All Acadia was comprised in these various stations, more or less permanent, together with one or two small posts on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and the huts of an errant population of fishermen and fur traders. In the time of Denonville, the colonists numbered less than a thousand souls. The king, busied with nursing Canada, had neglected its less important dependency. [3]It was a cluster of thirty log-cabins, the principal being that of the chief, Jacobs, which was loopholed for musketry, and became the centre of resistance. The fight was hot and stubborn. Armstrong ordered the town to be set on fire, which was done, though not without loss; for the Delawares at this time were commonly armed with rifles, and used them well. Armstrong himself was hit in the shoulder. As the flames rose and the smoke grew thick, a warrior in one of the houses sang his death-song, and a squaw in the same house was heard to cry and scream. Rough voices silenced her, and then the inmates burst out, but were instantly killed. The fire caught the house of Jacobs, who, trying to escape through an opening in the roof, was shot dead. Bands of Indians were gathering beyond the river, firing from the other bank, and even crossing to help their comrades; but the assailants held to their work till the whole place was destroyed. "During 426