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      Coolness of judgment, a profound sense of public duty, and a strong self-control, were even then the characteristics of Washington; but he was scarcely twenty-two, was full of military ardor, and was vehement and fiery by nature. Yet it is far from certain that, even when age and experience had ripened him, he would have forborne to act as he did, for there was every reason for believing that the designs of the French were hostile; and though by passively waiting the event he would have thrown upon them the responsibility of striking the first blow, he would have exposed his small party to capture or destruction by giving them time to gain reinforcements from Fort Duquesne. It was inevitable that the killing of Jumonville should be greeted in France by an outcry of real or assumed horror; but the Chevalier de Lvis, second in command to Montcalm, probably expresses the true opinion of Frenchmen best fitted to judge when he calls it "a pretended assassination." [151] Judge it as we may, this obscure skirmish began the war that set the world on fire. [152][215] See Appendix D.

      John and Zechariah Tarbell, captured when boys at Groton, became Caughnawaga chiefs; and one of them, about 1760, founded the mission of St. Regis. Green, Groton during the Indian Wars, 116, 117-120.

      Pen breathed more freely.

      Yours, about to be examined,V1 hearts. Likewise it's a very sorrowful spectacle to see those that escaped with their lives with not a mouthful to eat, or bed to lie on, or clothes to cover their nakedness, or keep them warm, but all they had consumed into ashes. These deplorable circumstances cry aloud for your Honor's most wise consideration; for it is really very shocking for the husband to see the wife of his bosom her head cut off, and the children's blood drunk like water, by these bloody and cruel savages." [348]

      Pen made her face an indifferent blank.Early in the attack, and while it was yet dark, the light of burning houses, reflected from the fields of snow, had been seen at Hatfield, Hadley, and Northampton. The alarm was sounded through the slumbering hamlets, and parties of men mounted on farm-horses, with saddles or without, hastened to the rescue, not doubting that the fires were kindled by[Pg 66] Indians. When the sun was about two hours high, between thirty and forty of them were gathered at the fortified house of Jonathan Wells, at the southern end of the village. The houses of this neighborhood were still standing, and seem not to have been attacked,the stubborn defence of the Stebbins house having apparently prevented the enemy from pushing much beyond the palisaded enclosure. The house of Wells was full of refugee families. A few Deerfield men here joined the horsemen from the lower towns, as also did four or five of the yeoman soldiers who had escaped the fate of most of their comrades. The horsemen left their horses within Wells's fence; he himself took the lead, and the whole party rushed in together at the southern gate of the palisaded enclosure, drove out the plunderers, and retook a part of their plunder. The assailants of the Stebbins house, after firing at it for three hours, were put to flight, and those of its male occupants who were still alive joined their countrymen, while the women and children ran back for harborage to the house of Wells.

      Schenectady was the farthest outpost of the colony of New York. Westward lay the Mohawk forests; and Orange, or Albany, was fifteen miles or more towards the south-east. The village was oblong in form, and enclosed by a palisade which had two gates, one towards Albany and the other towards the Mohawks. There was a blockhouse near the eastern gate, occupied by eight or nine Connecticut militia men under Lieutenant Talmage. There were also about thirty friendly Mohawks in the place, on a visit. The inhabitants, who were all Dutch, were in a state of discord and confusion. The revolution in England had produced a revolution in New York. The demagogue Jacob Leisler had got possession 213 of Fort William, and was endeavoring to master the whole colony. Albany was in the hands of the anti-Leisler or conservative party, represented by a convention of which Peter Schuyler was the chief. The Dutch of Schenectady for the most part favored Leisler, whose emissaries had been busily at work among them; but their chief magistrate, John Sander Glen, a man of courage and worth, stood fast for the Albany convention, and in consequence the villagers had threatened to kill him. Talmage and his Connecticut militia were under orders from Albany; and therefore, like Glen, they were under the popular ban. In vain the magistrate and the officer entreated the people to stand on their guard. They turned the advice to ridicule, laughed at the idea of danger, left both their gates wide open, and placed there, it is said, two snow images as mock sentinels. A French account declares that the village contained eighty houses, which is certainly an exaggeration. There had been some festivity during the evening, but it was now over; and the primitive villagers, fathers, mothers, children, and infants, lay buried in unconscious sleep. They were simple peasants and rude woodsmen, but with human affections and capable of human woe.

      Judy Abbott[34] Callires au Ministre, 9 Novembre, 1700.


      The campaign was over; but not its effects. It remains to see what befell from the rout of Braddock and the unpardonable retreat of Dunbar from the frontier which it was his duty to defend. Dumas had replaced Contrec?ur in the command of Fort Duquesne; and his first care was to set on the Western tribes to attack the border settlements. His success was triumphant. The Delawares and Shawanoes, old friends of the English, but for years past tending to alienation through neglect and ill-usage, now took the lead against them. Many of the Mingoes, or Five Nation Indians on the Ohio, also took up the hatchet, as did various remoter tribes. The West rose like a nest of hornets, and swarmed in fury against the English frontier. Such was the consequence of the defeat of Braddock aided by the skilful devices of the French commander. "It is by means such as I have mentioned," says Dumas, "varied in every form to suit the occasion, that I have succeeded in ruining the three adjacent provinces, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, driving off the inhabitants, and totally destroying the settlements over a tract of country thirty leagues wide, reckoning from the line of Fort Cumberland. M. de Contrec?ur had not been gone a week before I had six or seven different war-parties in the field at once, always accompanied by Frenchmen. Thus far, we have lost only two officers and a few soldiers; but the 330Whatever the motives of the expedition, it left Montreal in June, under the Sieur de Lignery, followed the rugged old route of the Ottawa, and did not reach Michilimackinac till after midsummer. Thence, in a flotilla of birch canoes carrying about a thousand Indians and five hundred French, the party set out for the fort at the head of Green Bay.[347] Here they caught one Outagamie warrior and three Winnebagoes, whom the Indian allies tortured to death. Then they paddled their canoes up Fox River, reached a Winnebago village on the twenty-fourth of August, followed the channel of the stream, a ribbon of lazy water twisting in a vague, perplexing way through the broad marsh of wild rice and flags, till they saw the chief village of the Outagamies[Pg 339] on a tract of rising ground a little above the level of the bog.[348] It consisted of bark wigwams, without palisades or defences of any kind. Its only inmates were three squaws and one old man. These were all seized, and, to the horror of Pre Crespel, the chaplain, were given to the Indian allies, who kept the women as slaves, and burned the old man at a slow fire.[349] Then, after burning the village and destroying the crop of maize, peas, beans, and squashes that surrounded it, the whole party returned to Michilimackinac.[350]


      Before 1700, the year when Le Sueur visited the St. Peter, little or nothing was known of the country west of the Mississippi, except from the report of[Pg 354] Indians. The romances of La Hontan and Mathieu Sagean were justly set down as impostures by all but the most credulous. In this same year we find Le Moyne d'Iberville projecting journeys to the upper Missouri, in hopes of finding a river flowing to the Western Sea. In 1703, twenty Canadians tried to find their way from the Illinois to New Mexico, in hope of opening trade with the Spaniards and discovering mines.[366] In 1704 we find it reported that more than a hundred Canadians are scattered in small parties along the Mississippi and the Missouri;[367] and in 1705 one Laurain appeared at the Illinois, declaring that he had been high up the Missouri and had visited many tribes on its borders.[368] A few months later, two Canadians told Bienville a similar story. In 1708 Nicolas de la Salle proposed an expedition of a hundred men to explore the same mysterious river; and in 1717 one Hubert laid before the Council of Marine a scheme for following the Missouri to its source, since, he says, "not only may we find the mines worked by the Spaniards, but also discover the great river that is said to rise in the mountains where the Missouri has its source, and is believed to flow to the Western Sea." And he advises that a hundred and fifty men be sent up the[Pg 355] river in wooden canoes, since bark canoes would be dangerous, by reason of the multitude of snags.[369][743] Johnson to Amherst, 25 July, 1759. Knox, II. 135. Captain Delancey to, 25 July, 1759. This writer commanded the light infantry in the fight.


      At the beginning of November Winslow reported that he had sent off fifteen hundred and ten persons, in nine vessels, and that more than six hundred still remained in his district. [281] The last of these were not embarked till late in December. Murray finished his part of the work at the end of October, having sent from the district of Fort Edward eleven hundred persons in four frightfully crowded transports. [282] At the close of that month sixteen hundred and sixty-four had been sent from the district of Annapolis, where many others escaped to the woods. [283] A detachment 281