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France to strengthen himself with new credentials; and in his absence a party of La Tour's men, assisted by some rovers from the eastern English settlements, burned his fort on the Penobscot, and carried off his cattle.”
Soon afterward, La Tour appeared again at Boston.” He had “understood by letters from his lady, that D'Aulnay had prevailed against him in France, and was coming with great strength to subdue him ; whereupon he came to desire some aid, if need should be.” He produced proof “that the place where his fort was built” was his private property, having “been purchased by his father of Sir William Alexander;” and he had a free grant of it, and of all that part of New Scotland, under the great seal of Scotland.”* This claim under the King of Great Britain gave La Tour's case a new aspect; and at first “most of the Magistrates and some of the Elders were clear that he was to be relieved, both in point of charity, as a distressed neighbor, and also in point of prudence, as thereby to root out, or at least weaken, an enemy or a dangerous neighbor.” But, by reason of the absence of many Elders, and the dissent of some Magistrates, the matter was reserved for further consideration. At a later meeting, “the Governor propounded the case, and it was brought to the two formal questions: 1. Whether it were lawful for true Christians to aid an Antichristian [for La Tour's anti-Romanist professions were not credited]; 2. Whether it were safe for us in point of prudence.” Opinions appearing again to be divided, and the majority “not willing to conclude anything in this case without a full consent,” it was resolved to do no more at present than to write to D'Aulnay, demanding satisfaction for his hostile behavior and language and the malpractices of his officers towards Massachusetts and her confederates; vindicating the course which had been taken in the last year in affording facilities to La Tour; and announcing a resolution to maintain the commercial relations which had been instituted with him.” La Tour was dismissed with unprofitable respect. The trainbands formed an escort. “The Deputy-Governor and many others accompanied him to the wharf, . . . . . and all the ships, namely, four, saluted him, each of them with three pieces.”
* Winthrop, II. 135, 149, 178.
* He came unexpectedly, in an armed vessel, which, with a crew of a hundred and forty men, had been sent to him at St. John from Rochelle, and which in the offing he had reached in his boat. Winthrop (II. 107-109) gives a vivid description of the alarm occasioned by his arrival, which, when it turned out to be groundless, it is plain the Governor did not regret, as it gave the General Court a lesson on their imprudence in suffering the works on Castle Island to go to decay. (Comp. Endicott's Letter to Winthrop, in Hutchinson, Collections, 135.)
* Winthrop, II. 175, 179; comp. Vol. I. 234. — The information sent
to La Tour from France by his wife
Discussions respecting assistance to La Tour.
* Winthrop, II. 179, 180. For this letter and D'Aulnay's reply to it (Port Royal, October 21, 1644), see Mass. Hist. Coll., XXVII. 92, 99.
* Winthrop, II. 189. — Morton, of Merry Mount (see Vol. I. 231, 232), had appeared in Boston a year before, and been imprisoned for “his complaint against us at the Council Board.” (See Vol. L 364.) A characteristic letter which he had written to Mr. Jeffrey, boasting of that exploit, and filled with abuse of the Colony, was now produced. “He was fined a hundred pounds [no part of which could he pay] and set at liberty. He went to Agamenticus, and, living there poor and despised, he died
within two years after.” (Winthrop,
A week after his departure, his wife arrived from London, having narrowly escaped capture by D'Aulnay, who fell in with her vessel on his return voyage from Europe.” She immediately brought an action in Boston
*:::. against the master and the consignee of the ship ... which conveyed her, “for not performing the
charter-party, having spent so much time upon the coast in trading, as they were near six months in coming, and had not carried her to her port as they ought and might have done. Upon a full hearing in a special court four days, the jury gave her two thousand pounds;” and, to satisfy this verdict in part, an execution was laid upon the cargo. The master petitioned the General Court for an allowance from the proceeds of the cargo for freight and wages. A majority of the Deputies would have granted it; but the Magistrates dissented. The master then brought an action before the Court of Assistants, and a jury decided against him. “This business . . . . . made some difference between the merchants of Charlestown, who took part with the merchants and master of the ship, and the merchants of Boston, who assisted the lady, some of them being deeply engaged for La Tour. - - - - - Those of Charlestown offered security for the goods, if upon a review within thirteen months the judgment were not reversed, or the Parliament in England did not call the cause before themselves. This last clause was very ill taken by the Court, as making way for appeals, &c. into England.” “The parties not agreeing, the lady took the goods, and hired three ships, which lay in
Morton would let it rest till the Gover- XXVII. 96. He renewed his suit
nor came over to right him; and did
against D'Aulnay with large personal
the harbor, belonging to strangers, which cost her near eight hundred pounds, and set sail for her fort;” and the master got away clandestinely with his ship." Just after her arrival at Boston, an envoy had also come thither from the opposite party, “one Marie, supposed to be a friar, but habited like a gen- e. tleman.” He produced three papers; namely, ol“the King of France his commission [to D'Aul- y. nay] under the great seal of France, with the privy seal annexed; ” the verification of a sentence against La Tour “as a rebel and traitor;” and an order for his and his wife's arrest, and transportation to France. “He complained of the wrong done by our men the last year in assisting of La Tour, &c., and proffered terms of peace and amity.”” “We answered to the first,” says Winthrop, “that divers of the ships and most of the men were strangers to us, and had no commission from us, nor any permission to use any hostility, and we were very sorry when we heard what had been done. This gave him satisfaction. To the other proposition we answered that we could not conclude any league with him without the advice of the Commissioners of the United Colonies; but if he would set down his propositions in writing, we would consider further of them.” In the sequel of the negotiation, the Magistrates agreed to present for the approbation ..., of the Commissioners, at their next meeting, a
* Ibid., 198-202. (I presume that the Historical Society (XXVII. 92).
the word “yet,” at the end of page 199,
In it he justifies his taking possession
treaty—which was to be binding meanwhile — for “firm peace” and free commerce between the jurisdictions of Massachusetts and D'Aulnay, without obligation upon the Massachusetts government “to restrain their merchants to trade with their ships with any persons, either French or other, wheresoever they dwelt.” La Tour's wife, “known to be the cause of his contempt and rebellion,” Marie told the Magistrates he must pursue and capture, though she were in a Massachusetts vessel;' but, with the three ships hired at Boston, she joined her husband in safety at St. John. It may be presumed, that, in the course of the negotiation, Marie had been informed of the fact that Massachusetts had been authorized by the Commissioners, if he proved stubborn, to make reprisals on his master's commerce,” and even to provide the means of overawing him by the purchase and occupation of La Tour's fort at St. John. It will not have escaped attention, on what different terms these negotiations had been conducted on the one part and on the other. Each of the Frenchmen professed to be acting against his rival under the authority of the royal master of both. But Massachusetts treated with both, and entertained the question of peace or war, in the character of a state independent of all the world, except of the Confederacy of which she was the head.”
* Winthrop, II. 196, 197; comp. 199. — Marie “discoursed half the day, sometime with our Governor in French, and otherwhile with the rest of the magistrates in Latin.”
* Records, &c., in Hazard, II. 22. — The reader may see the French version of this series of transactions in Charlevoix, Histoire de la Nouvelle France (II. 191–202), Garneau, Histoire du Canada (I, 146 – 150), and an interesting memoir by that accomplished and estimable gentleman, the Count Auguste de Menou, formerly Secretary to the French legation at
Washington, published, in a translation, in Mass. Hist. Coll., XXXIV. 462 et seq. I have had these accounts before me in constructing my narrative, as well as that of Mr. Haliburton, in his History of Nova Scotia.
* The settlement of the dispute so far was a great relief to the principality of Gorges (see Vol. I. 525), which, while it lay exposed to annoyance from D’Aulnay, was incompetent to its own defence. (Letter of Thomas Gorges to Winthrop, of June 28, 1643, in Hazard, I. 498.)