Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

would have used the greatest despatch to fight the Iroquois, and not uselessly consumed all his provisions; he would have, indubitably surprised the said Iroquois who did not expect this war, especially as the greater number of their young men had been at war in the beginning of the spring.

He says he lacked provisions; though that were true, he would be the cause and could not but accuse himself of imprudence, having supplied him, generally, with whatever he required of me, of which the whole country is a witness, and with a little precaution or rather good faith he would have had every thing in abundance. He had determined not to leave until the 15th of August; he departed on the 15th July. That did not prevent me furnishing all that he required of me, such as batteaux, ca- 1 noes, arins, ammunition, and all the provision he desired. This is so true that there yet remained at the end of the island of Montreal, at a place called La Chine thirty-five thousand weight of Alour and five of biscuit which he found on his return, and which he had requested me to retain for him at Montreal. Had he not halted and had he been disposed to push into the Iroquois Country, the first convoy of provisions which accompanied him had sufficed, the greater number of the militia, unwilling to wait for the King's supplies having laid in their own private stock, the greater part of which they brought back with them, which all the Captains in command will certify. This convoy consisted of eighteen canoes full of biscuit, pork, brandy and apparently other things which I do not precisely know having been loaded at Montreal whilst I was at Quebec where I issued orders for the provisions that the General had demanded of me and for attending to the harvest of those who had gone to the war.

If it had been the General's design to make war, he should not have caused the cargoes of the eighteen canoes I have mentioned to be put into barks thirty leagues from Montreal above the Rapids, instead of letting the voyage be continued by the canoemen who were paid to go to Fort Frontenac and who had already accomplished the roughest half of the road, and who, without a doubt, would have arrived in three days at the Fort, which was represented to him by all the officers who stated to

him that the barks required wind which being contrary would keep them more than three weeks from arriving. This turned out to be true. Notwithstanding all these reasons he absolutely insisted that all the said provisions should be put in the barks. Some have assured me that the canoes of said convoy were partly laden with merchandize, and not being very desirous to let the circumstance be known, he had caused the said barks to precede the canoes to put the goods secretly into them and keep the knowledge of it from every body. By these means he made use of these canoes to convey these merchandizes to the Fort at the King's expense, which he has always practised for t'ro years, ever pretending certain necessity to transport munitions of war, and to make use, by this means, of the conveyances for which the King is made to pay, under pretext to keep the Fort in good order. It is impossible to conceive the quantity of Brandy that he has caused to be conveyed thither during eighteen months, of which I have had most positive information, and of which I had the honour to advise you in my last. Others supposed that he had the said provisions put on board those barks in order to obtain time and by this address, to negotiate a peace with the Iroquois, as he had sent Sieur Le Moyne to them who is a very brave man and who despaired of all these negotiations, stating openly that they ought to be whipt. All the delays at Montreal, the Fort, and at La Famine caused the useless consumption of a portion of the supplies which, however, did not fail ; other convoys having been received from time to time, but these were always wasted without any thing having been done.

After the said General had determined in his own mind on this war, he sent the man named Bourbon, an inhabitant of this country to Colonel Dongan to advise him that he was obliged to wage war against the Iroquois, requesting him not to afford them any aid; which he confided to me eight days after the departure of the said Bourbon. This obliged me to tell him that I was astonished that he should have thus proceeded ; that the Iroquois having insulted us and intending to fight with and destroy them, I should not have deemed it proper to inform neighbours who have an interest in our destruction ; and that he afforded thereby an opportunity to Col. Dongan, who is an Englishman, and consequently our born enemy, to give underhand information of our designs to the Iroquois, and convey secretly to them all that may be necessary for their defence against us. I asked him if he did not perceive that the English would never desire our advantage, and that they would contribute all i:1 their power to destroy us, though at peace as regards France ; that they would always be jealous of the Fur trade prosecuted by us in this Country, which would make them protect the Iroquois always against us. • This Bourbon negotiation gave Colonel Dongan occasion to use some rhodomontade as the General has informed me; and this assuredly it was that obliged him, having this information, to send an Englishman, who is in the habit of trading among the said Indians, to plant the Duke of York's arms among the Onnontagués, which is an Iroquois village, wishing by that act to take the first possession of the Country. We have not beard talk of any other movement on the English side, and it is even certain that they will never cause us any dread from that quarter and that they could not prevent us to achieve that conquest this year, had the General been willing to fight.

You can hardly believe, my Lord, that the General has, alone, undertaken the war without having consulted any person, neither officers of the army nor gentlemen, nor the people of the country who are the most interested, nor any individual whosoever he might be, except Sier de la Chesnayne, with whom he acts in concert for the entire destruction and ruin of the country. He has again made pea e in this manner without any communication with any of the officers or others of those who were near his person. What seems a wonder in the country is that one individual, subject of his Majesty like others, should, of his own will, make war and peace without having consulted or demanded the opinion of any person. His Majesty never acted thus. He has his Council of War, and when he is about to wage it, he demands advice of those of his council, in communicating to them the reasons which he may have to do so, and even causes the publication of manifests throughout the Kingdom, wishing to communicate to his people the justice of his undertakings. But the General has treated or peace, like a sovereign, with the said Iroquois, having employed none of those who were nigh him and who were acquainted with the Iroquois tongue, except as Interpreters. He dare not consult the officers, being certain that they would all have concluded on war; and but little was necessary to make them select a chief from among themselves to attack the enemy.

The said General proceeds at the head of a small force to make war against the Iroquois, and far from doing that, he grants them all they ask. His principal design was to attack the Senecas, but instead of showing him any civility, they did not even condescend to come and meet him, and gave an insolent answer to those who proposed it to them. If people had any thing to say to them, let them take the trouble and come and meet them. There came altogether on this embassy only a certain sycophant who seeks merely a good dinner, and a real buffoon called among the French

La Grande Gueule (Big Throat,] accompanied by eight or ten miserable tellows who fooled the General in a most shameful manner, which you will perceive by the articles of peace I have the honour to send you, and which I doubt not he also will send you. They will assuredly excite your pity. You will see he abandons the Illinois among whom M. de la Salle is about to establish himself and who are the cause of this war, inasmuch as the Iroquois attacked them even in Fort St. Louis which the said Sieur de la Salle had erected among them, and of which the General took possession, having ousted and driven away those whom the said Sieur de la Salle had left in command there, and whither he sent Sieur de Bangy his lieutenant of the guards, who is still there.

When he concluded this peace he already had His Majesty's letter eight days in his possession, but so far from conforming to its intentions, he consents to the slaughter of the Illinois who are our allies, and where His Majesty designed to plant a new Colony or some powerful establishment under M. de la Salle's direction. I consider it also my duty to inform your Lordship that the General quit La Famine the moment the peace was concluded without taking the least care of the troops, abandoning them altogether to their own guidance, forbidding them on pain of death to leave the place until a long time after him, fearing to be surprised by the Iroquois, and having (so to say) lost his wits, caring little what became of the army. Certain it is that he went up to the Fort without taking information about any thing and returned in the same manner.

The worst of this affair is the loss of the trade which I find inevitable, because the Outawas and other Savages who came to our aid will hereafter entertain no respect for us, and will regard us as a people without courage and without resolution. I doubt not, my lord, but the General sends you a letter which he received from Father Lamberville, Jesuit, who is a missionary in an Iroquois village at Onnontagué, whence those ambassadors came with whom peace was negotiated. The Father, who had learned the General's intentions from Sieur Le Moyne, has been wise and sufficiently discreet, anticipating his design, to write to him in accordance with his views, and to ingeniously solicit that which must flatter and highly please him. But one thing, is certain that all the Jesuits at Quebec, and particularly Father Bechefer have openly stated in Quebec for six weeks, that the country was destroyed if peace were concluded ; which is so true, that having communicated to him the two letters I wrote to the General, he highly approved of them aad advised me to send them to the fort. I shall take leave to send you copies of them, requesting you very respectfully, to be persuaded that I speak to you without passion, and that I state nothing to you but what is most true and reliable, and because I feel obliged to let you know the truth as regards all things, without which you will never have the least confidence in me.

I should wish, my Lord, to avoid explaining myself in this manner, fearing you might infer that we were, the General and I, greatly disunited, which is quite contrary to the manner in which we live together, since it is certain that we never had, personally, the least difference wishing in that to conform myself to your wishes and His Majesty's orders, aware that it is the most assured means that I can take to be agreeable to you, which is the sole ambition I have in the world, and to prove to you that no per

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »