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duty, and paramount to all others. Many frauds and impositions, and even crimes, it is said, were thus committed under the mask of religion ; and ambition in those days (we hope it is otherwise now,) was, it would seem, as incident to the mitre as to the crown. During the administration of De La Motte, a Spanish friar, by the name of Udalgo, requested the concurrence of the governor of Louisiana in a mission to the Assinois, an Indian tribe in Texas. Its object was to expel the French from their territory, and thus extend the Spanish power. De La Motte penetrated at once the motives, and saw the danger with which it was pregnant. Inasmuch, however, as he was destitute at that time of provisions and necessaries for his colony, and was desirous of obtaining both from Mexico, and inasmuch, also, as he was desirous of avoiding a war which he had no means to carry on, he assented. The anticipated result followed, and the French, as will appear in the sequel, were afterward expelled.
Instead of entering into a discussion with Udalgo, De La Motte conceived it more prudent to send an agent to Mexico, with authority to conclude a treaty, and to obtain a renewal of the commercial intercourse, previously suspended at the instigation of the English. M. De St. Denys, being acquainted with the affairs of the colony, and commander at Natchitoches, and highly respected for his courage and military talents; and having, too, married a Spanish lady of rank, and being much esteemed by several Indian nations, who had made him their chief; was selected as such agent, and invested with full powers to negotiate a commercial treaty with Mexico.
St. Denys, on his arrival thither, was hospitably received by the viceroy, who pledged himself to conclude the treaty in question ; and to suffer the French in Louisiana to import provisions and other necessaries from the Spanish provinces, as soon as the mission was established among the Assinois.
St. Denys having reported to De La Motte the conditions of the agree. ment, was directed to carry the treaty into effect. He hastened, there. fore, to the fortress of St. John the Baptist, found a caravan, put himself at the head of it, and early in 1717, conducted the Spaniards to the Assi. nois. He assembled the chiefs and old men of the nation, and persuaded them, against their wishes, to admit the strangers among them. This was the first appearance of the Spaniards on the east side of the Rio Bravo; except when they resorted thither, and by violence removed the wretched colony which La Salle had planted.
St. Denys, in May following repaired again to Mexico, with a quantity of merchandise, to exchange for articles indispensably necessary in Louisiana ; expecting, also, a punctual fulfilment of the stipulations already made. On his arrival, he found the old viceroy on his death-bed, and his successor indifferent to his claims. He was also arrested and confined in a dungeon ; denounced as a smuggler and a spy, and his merchandise seized and condemned as contraband. This act of injustice excited the murmurs of the Spanish populace to such a degree, that he was liberated
from confinement, but restricted to the limits of the city. .His situation being disagreeable, if not dangerous, he resolved to escape; and in September, 1718, fled from Mexico in the night, procured a good horse by dismounting the rider, and arrived in Louisiana in April, 1719.
The Spaniards, in the meantime, added to their numbers among the Assinois, till the French found themselves too weak to counteract their designs; and the fate of St. Denys, indicating to them what they had a right to expect, they retired in season to avoid the snare intended for them.
The Spaniards, by fraud and deception, and in violation of mutual agreements, thus established themselves within the territory previously discovered and occupied by the French. Hence the origin of the Spanish title to Texas.*
Crozat, and La Motte, his partner, like other adventurers who had preceded him, anticipated a fortune from its mines, and for many years the like hope excited the attention of France and Europe generally. Two pieces of silver ore, left by a traveller from Mexico, being exhibited at Kaskaskia to the royal governor, as the produce of a mine in Illinois, he repaired immediately thither, elated at the prospect, to be in his turn dis. appointed. He discovered an abundance of lead and copper on the Upper Mississippi, the Missouri, and Lake Superior, which ought, perhaps, to have paid him for all his toil. Silver and gold, however, were his objects: nothing less would satisfy the rapacity of the age. Of these, no discoveries had yet been made.
De La Motte soon afterward died, and was succeeded by Bienville. His accession to the government became a source of vexation. As a statesman and soldier, he was better qualified than his predecessor to stem the tide of adversity ; but such was the reduced condition of the province, that he despaired almost of preserving it. All the ports on the Continent being closed against France, he found it difficult to obtain supplies. At this period, the whole population of the province, exclusive of Illinois, was but seven hundred persons, and four hundred head of cattle.
Five years' experience had convinced Crozat that he had nothing to expect from Louisiana. Although he had provided large supplies of men and money, no prospect of indemnity presented itself. Agriculture was the aversion of its settlers, and immense sums of money were expended in the purchase of provisions. During the five years that Crozat held the province, his expenses were four hundred and twenty-five thousand livres, and his receipts arising from its trade three hundred thousand, leaving a balance of one hundred and twenty-five thousand livres.
Under such circumstances, he surrendered his grant to the crown, in 1717, and the province was immediately thereafter granted to the company of the Indies, projected by the celebrated John Law-more particularly known as “the Mississippi scheme.”
* See Stoddart-Louisiana, 35.
The present generation are unacquainted with the sufferings their ancestors endured. The difficulties which attend the settlement of a new country are by many thought severe, but when to those difficulties Indian hostilities are superadded, how much are they enbanced. The following account of the attack upon Haverhill, and the story of Mrs. Dustan are specimens only of what was done and suffered, in that extraordinary age.
On the 15th of March, 1697, during the continuance of the same war waged by France against England, to settle the right to thrones, a party of Indians attacked the town of Haverhill, in Massachusetts, burnt a few houses, and killed and captured about forty of its inhabitants. Arrayed in savage terror, they also attacked the house of a Mr. Dustan, in its vicinity. The husband, when the savages approached, was at work in his field, and his wife the week before had been confined. On hearing the first alarm, he mounted his horse and flew to her assistance, with the hope of rescuing his family-consisting of his wife, her nurse, and eight children—from the inhuman butchers. He instantly directed seven of his children to fly with their utmost speed to an adjacent forest, and repaired, himself, to the apartment of his wife. Before she could leave her bed the savages were upon her. Unable to afford her any assistance, and despairing of succor, he flew immediately to the door, and mounting his horse, determined on overtaking the little group still in sight, to snatch up the child with which he was unable to part, and flee to a place of safety. On overtaking them, however, he was unable to make a choice, and resolved, therefore, to defend them or die by their side. The Indians pursued and fired upon him ; he returned their fire, retreating at the same time in rear of his little charge ; and by thus firing and thus retreating, alternately, cheering his little group-now trembling with affright, now stumbling and falling among the stumps and bushes, for more than a mile ; he was enabled at last, by the aid of Providence, to lodge them safe in a distant house. The party which assailed his dwelling, found Mrs. Dustan in bed, and the nurse, with the infant in her arms, attempting to fly. They ordered the former to rise instantly, and before she could dress herself, obliged her and the nurse to quit the house ; which, being effected, they plundered and set it on fire. In company with other captives, they commenced a long and dreary march into the forest ---Mrs. Dustan sick, feeble, and terrified beyond measure ; partially clad, one of her feet bare, and the season unfit for travelling. They had not proceeded far, when the savage she was directed to call master, thinking, perhaps, that her infant would impede their march, snatched it from the nurse and dashed its head against a tree. Such of the caplives as lagged, were immediately tomahawked. Acts like these, however barbarous, resulted not from revenge ; nor were they considerd by savages cruel. They were matters only of convenience. Charlevoix, the historian of New-France, a man of talents, of considerable refinement, and a Frenchman, speaks of the murder of defenceless women and children almost with approbation.
The distress felt by Mrs. Dustan on account of her child ; her anxiety for those she had left; the unceasing terror with which she was filled, on account of herself and companion ; raised this sickly, unprotected woman so far above her nature, that, notwithstanding her exposure to cold, hunger, and fatigue, sleeping on the ground under an inclement sky in March, she reached an Indian settlement, eighty miles distant, without impairing her health,
The cabin, or wigwam, of her master was occupied by twelve persons. In April they set out for an Indian village more rernote, and were informed that on their arrival thither, she and her companions would be stripped naked, scourged, and compelled to run the gauntlet. This exceeded their endurance, and they resolved to escape. At this time a young man by the name of Leonardson, who had been taken prisoner some time before, in Wooster, was a captive also. Accident brought him to their cabin. He was at once a partaker of their secrets, and agreed to participate in their toils and dangers. Young Leonardson, before this, had inquired of his master where he “could strike to kill instantly," and how to scalp ? There is no period so dark as that which precedes the dawn of day--no time when the faculties of our nature are so thoroughly steeped in forget
fulness. They resolved, therefore, that on the morning of the thirtieth of April, thoy would attempt an escape. Mrs. Dustan a little before day, when the savages, worn down by previous toil, were asleep, awoke her nurse, and fellow-prisoner. It was a moment of fear and trembling. Home and its joys were present to her view. The savage, who had murdered her child, was before her, and the scalps of her slaughtered relatives were scattered around the cabin. Seizing each a tomahawk, and calling the God of mercy to their aid, ten of the twelve Indians lay dead at their feet. A squaw was wounded, though not mortally, and a child was spared by design. Taking the gun, the tomahawk, and the scalp of him who had murdered her babe, and a bag of other scalps, as trophies, they departed for home. Following the running brook, as their guide, they soon reached the Merrimack, and finding there a bark canoe, they descended the river, and were received by their friends at Haverhill with transports of joy.-DR. DWIGHT.
Such, in part, were the sorrows of that generation. Cruelty became an art, and honor the reward of those who practiced new tortures. To use the language of a faithful chronicler, “ Neither the milk-white brows of the ancient, nor the mournful cries of the infant." were any protection. The history of the war during that period, is but a catalogue of misery. The brave and patriotic Schuyler, of Albany, in writing to the Marquis de Vau. drieul, governor of Canada, says: “My heart swells with indignation when I think that a war between Christian princes, bound to the exactest laws of honor which their noble ancestors have illustrated by brilliant examples, is degenerating into a savage and boundless butchery. These are not the methods for terminating the war. Would that all the world thought with me on the subject.”
The English or American colonists fought like brave men, contending for their families and their homes; but when they penetrated the forests in search of their roving enemies they found nothing but solitude. The Indians vanished when their homes were invaded.
The Mississippi scheme-Illinois a part of its domain-John Law-Born at Edinburgh
in 1671--Loses all his property-Fights a duel-Convicted of murder-EscapesFlies to the Continent--Supports himself by gambling-Returns to Edinburgh in 1700—Issues proposals for a Land Bank-Rejected-Goes again to the ContinentExpelled from Venice and Genoa---Makes propositions to Louis XIV.-Offers his services to the Duke of Savoy-Becomes acquainted with the Duke of Orleans, afterward Regent of France-State of the French finances—Law proposes a remedyBank of France established in 1715, and Law appointed president-Meets with great succese Proposes his famous Mississippi scheme--Letters patent issued in 1717Its success-Stock rises from 500 livres to 5000 per share--Chancellor of France dismissed, at Law's request-Stock increased-Fortunes made-Law promises a dividend of 40 per cent.-Law's influence irresistible-Fort Chartres built in Illinois -Large tracts of land conceded to individuals-Still held under that title-Public frenzy continues-impetus given to trade and manufactures-Bank stopped payment, May 27th, 1720-Law dies in poverty and disgrace-Many ruined-South Sea bub. ble in England - Illinois ceded to the crown, 1731–Fort Massac built on the OhioEnglish colonists remonstrate-Their remonstrances disregarded by Sir Robert Walpole-French encroachments continue-Fort Massac taken by the Indians, and its garrison massacred-Illinois ceded to England, 1763.
Louis XIV. having by his extravagance, and by frequent expensive and unprofitable wars, created a debt of three thousand millions of livres, and by so doing, laid a foundation broad and deep, for the wide-spread ruin that followed; died at Versailles on the 1st of September, 1715, in the seventy-eighth year of his age, and the seventy-third of his reign. He was succeeded by his grandson, Louis XV., then a child five years old, of a feeble and delicate constitution ; and the Duke of Orleans, a nephew of the late king, notwithstanding his dissolute morals, and his proximity to the throne, against the will of the late monarch, became Regent of France.
The valley of the Mississippi, including Illinois, was at that time held and occupied by Crozat, under a grant made by Louis XIV. in 1712, as already stated.* The little barter between the inhabitants of Louisiana and the natives, insignificant as it was, and the petty trade between the French and the other European settlements in their vicinity, was rendered almost profitless by the fatal monopoly of the Parisian merchant. The Indians were too numerous and too powerful to be controlled by his factors. The English had monopolized already a portion of the Indian trade.
* See copy of the grant, page 123.