« AnteriorContinuar »
the Lakes, it was resolved to attempt this Paffage, though it were much farther round, and more dangerous, there being many more rapid Falls in that River. Three Officers, with thirty Soldiers, were sent with the Traders for this purpose, but a Party of the Five Nations meeting with them in the long Fall, before they reached this River, they were all killed or taken, except four that escaped back to Montreal.
A considerable Party of the Five Nations, under the Command of Blackkettle, a famous Hero, continued a long Time on Cadarackui River, in Hopes of meeting with other French Parties, in their Parfage towards Misilimakinak; but finding that no Attempts were made that Way, he resolved to make an Irruption into the Country round Montreal. The French say he had fix hundred Men with him; but they usually increase the Number of their Ene-. mies, in the Relation they give of these Transactions, either to excuse their Fears, or to increase their Glory.
Blackkettle overun the Country (to use the French Expression) as a Torrent does the Low-lands, when it overflows its Banks, and there is no withstanding it. The Soldiers had Orders to stand upon the Defensive within their Forts. Mr. de Vaudreuil pursued this Party (after they had burnt and ravaged the whole Country) at the Head of four hundred Men; he overtook them and surprised them. The Five Nations fought desperately, though the fame Author, at this place, makes them no more than two hundred Men. After they had lost twenty Men on the Spot, they broke through the French, and marched off. The French loft four Officers and many common Soldiers, and they took five Men, nine Women, and five Children Prisoners.
The Five Nations in a few Days had however some Revenge; a Captain having had Orders to guard the Vellels from Montreal to Quebeck, a Party of the Five Nations attacked him in his Return, as he passed through the Islands in Lake St. Pierre. He himself was killed, and the whole Party intirely routed.
The French all this Summer were obliged to keep upon the Defensive within their Forts, while the Five Nations, in small Parties, ravaged the whole Country, so that no Man stirred the least Distance from a Fort, but he was in Danger of losing his Scalp.
- The Count de Frontenac was pierced to the Heart, when he found that he could not revenge these terrible Incursions of the Five Nations; and his Anguish made him guilty of such a piece of monstrous Cruelty, in burning a Prisoner alive after the Indian Manner, as though I have frequently mentioned to have been done by the Indians, yet I forbore giving the Particulars of such barbarous Acts, sufpecting it might be too offensive to Christian Ears, even in the History of Savages. Here however I think it useful to give a circumftantial Account of this horrid Act, to Thew on one Hand, whatCourage and Resolution, Virtue, the Love of Glory, and the Love of one's Country can instil into Men's Minds, even where the Knowledge of true Religion is wanting; and on the other Hand, how far a false Policy, under a corrupt Religion, can debase even great
Minds. The Count de Frontenac, I say, condemned two Prisoners of the Five Nations to be burnt publickly alive. The Intendant's Lady intreated him to moderate the Sentence, and the Jesuits, it is said, used their Endeavours for the same Purpose. But the Count de Frontenac faid, there is a Necessity of making such an an Example, to frighten the Five Na
tions from approaching the Plantations, since the Indulgence, that had hitherto been shewn, had inçouraged them to advance with the greatest Boldness to the very Gates of their Towns; while they thought they run no other Risque, but of being made Prisoners, where they live better than at Home. He added, that the Five Nations having burnt so many French, justified this Method of making Reprisals. But with Submission to the Politeness of the French Nation, may I not ask, whether every (or any) horrid Action of a barbarous Enemy, can justify a civilized Nation in doing the like?
When the Governor could not be moved, the Jesuits went to the Prison, to instruct the Prisoners in the Mysteries of our Holy Religion, viz. of the Trinity, the Incarnation of our Saviour, the Joys of Paradise, and the Punishments of Hell, to fit their Souls for Heaven by Baptism, while their Bodies were condemned to Torments. But the In, dians, after they had heard their Sentence, refused to hear the Jesuits speak, and began to prepare for Death in their own Country Manner, by singing their Death Song.
Some charitable Person threw a Knife into the Prison, with which one of them dispatched himself: The other was carried out to the Place of Execution by the Christian Indians of Loretto, to which he walked, seemingly, with as much Indifference as ever Martyr did to the Stake. While they were torturing him, he continued singing, that he was a Warrior brave and without Fear ; that the most cruel Death could not shake his Courage; that the most cruel Torment should not draw an indecent Expression from him; that his Comrade was e Coward, a Scandal to the Five Nations, who had killed himself for fear of Pain; that he had the Comfort to reflect, that he had made many
French men fuffer as he did now, He fully verified his
Words, for the most violent Torment could not force the least Complaint from him, though his Executioners tried their utmost Skill to do it. They first broiled his Feet between two red hot Stones ; then they put his Fingers into red hot Pipes, and though he had his Arms at Liberty, he would not pull his Fingers out; they cut his Joints, and taking hold of the Sinews, twisted them round small Bars of Iron. All this while he kept singing and recounting his own brave Actions against the French. At last they fead his Scalp from his Skull, and poured scalding hot Sand upon it; at which Time the Intendant's Lady obtained Leave of the Governor to have the Coup-de-grace given, and I believe the thereby likewise obtained a Favour to every Reader, in delivering him from a further Continuance of this Account of French Cruelty.
Notwithstanding this Cruelty, which the French Governor manfested towards the Five Nations, and thereby his Hatred of them, he found Peace with them lo necessary to Canada, that he still pursued it by all the Means in his Power. For this Purpose the Praying Indians (who, as I observed before, are Mohawks, and have always kept a Correspondence with their own Nation) were employed to bring it about, and to endeavour a Cessation of Arms, that the Governor might have an opportunity of thewing what kind Things he had in his Heart towards the Five Nations, but without Success.
CHAP. VIII. The Five Nations treat with Captain Ingoldsby. THE
HE Governor of New-York, Colonel Slaugh,
ter's Death, soon after his Arrival, was very prejudicial to the Affairs of New-York; for Captain Ingoldsby, who had no other Commission but that of Captain of one of the independent Companies of VOL. I.
Foot, took upon himfelf.the Government of the Province, without any Authority; and he having fikewise highly offended a great Number of the People, by the Share he took in the late Party Quarrels, it was not easy for him to prosecute any vigorous Measures. He was reckoned to be much more a Soldier than a Statefman.
Captain Ingoldsby met the Five Nations at Albany, the fixth of June 1692. In his Speech he told them of his vigorous Resolutions to profecute the War, and then blamed them for not fending (according to their Promise) a Party down Cadarackui River, to join them that went from Albany against Montreal, and for their Carelessnefs in suffering themfelves to be surprised last Winter in their Hunting. He desired them to keep the Enemy in perpetual Alarm, by the Incursion of their Parties into the Enemies Country, and to give him timely Notice of all their Motions. He told them in the next Place, that he heard the French were still using their wonted Artifice, of amusing them with Offers of Peace; but the former Proceedings of the French sufficiently demonstrates, says he to the Brethren, that while Peace is in their Mouth, War is in their Hearts, and the late horrid Murder of the Brethren, after Quarter given, sufficiently fhews the Perfidy and Rancour of their Hearts. It is in vain, faid he, to think of any Cessation of Arms, much less of a Peace, while the two Kings are at War at Home, He added, Virginia is ready to assist us, and only waits the King's Orders, which are daily expected, and then renewed the Chain for Virginia. In the lait Place he told them, that he heard the Dionon dadas had fent two Prisoners Home, with a View thereby to procure Peace; and advised them by all Means to make Peace with that Nation.
The Five Nations answered by Cheda, an Oneydo Sachem :