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      [9] Frontenac au Ministre, 15 Nov., 1689.[839] Knox, II. 344, 348.

      V2 Vaudreuil now saw his mistake in sending the French frigates up the river out of harm's way, and withdrawing their crews to serve the batteries of Quebec. Had these ships been there, they might have overpowered those of the English in detail as they passed the town. An attempt was made to retrieve the blunder. The sailors were sent to man the frigates anew and attack the squadron of Holmes. It was too late. Holmes was already too strong for them, and they were recalled. Yet the difficulties of the English still seemed insurmountable. Dysentery and fever broke out in their camps, the number of their effective men was greatly reduced, and the advancing season told them that their work must be done quickly, or not done at all.V2 A contagion of knavery ran through the official life of the colony; and to resist it demanded no common share of moral robustness. The officers of the troops of the line were not much within its influence; but those of the militia and colony regulars, whether of French or Canadian birth, shared the corruption of the civil service. Seventeen of them, including six chevaliers of St. Louis and eight commandants of forts, were afterwards arraigned for fraud and malversation, though some of the number were acquitted. Bougainville gives the names of four other Canadian officers as honorable exceptions to the general demoralization,Beno?t, Repentigny, Lain, and Le Borgne; "not enough," he observes, "to save Sodom."

      However--we will draw a veil over that and begin again.396

      up in Wall Street. But at least you will stay tall all your life!I am going to make you a present of it on your eighty-third birthday.

      The Home Government, on its part, was but half-hearted in the wish that they should unite in opposition to the common enemy. It was very willing that the several provinces should give money and men, but not that they should acquire military habits and a dangerous capacity of acting together. There was one kind of union, however, so obviously necessary, and at the same time so little to be dreaded, that the British Cabinet, instructed by the governors, not only assented to it, but urged it. This was joint action in making treaties with the Indians. The practice of separate treaties, made by each province in its own interest, had bred endless disorders. The adhesion of all the tribes had been so shaken, and the efforts of the French to alienate them were so vigorous and effective, that not a moment was to be lost. Joncaire had gained over most of the Senecas, Piquet was drawing the Onondagas more and more to his mission, and the Dutch of Albany were alienating their best friends, the Mohawks, by encroaching on their lands. Their chief, 172390 There were no British soldiers on the island. The settlers were rude fishermen without commanders, and, according to the French accounts, without religion or morals. In fact, they are described as "worse than Indians." Iberville now had with him a hundred and twenty-five soldiers and Canadians, besides a few Abenakis from Acadia. 1 It was mid-winter when he began his march. For two months he led his hardy band through frost and snow, from hamlet to hamlet, along those forlorn and desolate coasts, attacking each in turn and carrying havoc everywhere. Nothing could exceed the hardships of the way, or the vigor with which they were met and conquered. The chaplain Baudoin gives an example of them in his diary. "January 18th. The roads are so bad that we can find only twelve men strong enough to beat the path. Our snow-shoes break on the crust, and against the rocks and fallen trees hidden under the snow, which catch and trip us; but, for all that, we cannot help laughing to see now one, and now another, fall headlong. The Sieur de Martigny fell into a river, and left his gun and his sword there to save his life."

      V1 being nephew of Admiral Sir Peter Warren, who, owning extensive wild lands on the Mohawk, had placed the young man in charge of them nearly twenty years before. Johnson was born to prosper. He had ambition, energy, an active mind, a tall, strong person, a rough, jovial temper, and a quick adaptation to his surroundings. He could drink flip with Dutch boors, or Madeira with royal governors. He liked the society of the great, would intrigue and flatter when he had an end to gain, and foil a rival without looking too closely at the means; but compared with the Indian traders who infested the border, he was a model of uprightness. He lived by the Mohawk in a fortified house which was a stronghold against foes and a scene of hospitality to friends, both white and red. Herefor his tastes were not fastidiouspresided for many years a Dutch or German wench whom he finally married; and after her death a young Mohawk squaw took her place. Over his neighbors, the Indians of the Five Nations, and all others of their race with whom he had to deal, he acquired a remarkable influence. He liked them, adopted their ways, and treated them kindly or sternly as the case required, but always with a justice and honesty in strong contrast with the rascalities of the commission of Albany traders who had lately managed their affairs, and whom they so detested that one of their chiefs called them "not men, but devils." Hence, when Johnson was made Indian superintendent there was joy through all the Iroquois 288


      [14] Information received from several Indians, in N. Y. Col. Docs., III. other people's places. It makes them kind and sympathetic


      [246] See Francis, Life of Rale, where the entire passage is given.[4] Warrant, authorizing Governor Dongan to protect the Five Nations, 10 Nov., 1687, N. Y. Col. Docs., III. 503.


      [784] Daine au Ministre, 9 Oct. 1759."I intended to mend the churn," he explained, "but in Friday's Sun-paper, as you know, another correspondent undertook to refute the arguments in my letter on the Mendelian theory. And in answering him I clean forgot about the churn!"