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the deserters, who to escape the chastisement of their knaveries, take refuge with you; yet you, Sir, cannot be ignorant of those who are there, but as all these are for the major part bankrupts and thieves 1 trust they will finally give you reason to repent of having given them shelier, and that your merchants who employ them will be punished for having confided in rogues who will not be more faithful to them than they have been to us.
You know, Sir, they spare neither the Outaouas, our most an tient allies, nor the other tribes among whom we have Preachers of the Gospel and with whose cruellies to our holy Missionaries, whom they have martyred, you are acquainted. Are all these reasons, Sir, not sufficiently conclusive to induce you to contribute to designs so pious as those of your Master? Think you, Sir, that Religion will progress whilst your Merchants supply, as they do, Eau de Vie in abundance which converts the savages, as you ought to know, into Demons and their cabins into counterparts and theatres of Hell.
I hope, Sir, you will reflect on all this, and that you will be so good as to contribute to that union which I desire, and you wish for.
Finally, Sir, you must be persuaded that I will contribute, willingly and with pleasure, my best to cbtain for you the favor you desire from the King my master. J should have wished,Sir, that you had explained your case more clearly, and that you had placed in my hands the proofs or vouchers of your debt, so as to explain it to the King, for so many things pass through the hands of MessTM, his Majesty's Ministers that I fear M. de Lonnoy will not recollect your affair, which he cannot know except through the Intendant who was at Nancy, whose name you do not mention. I shall not fail, Sir, to endeavour to obtain for you some favor from the King my master for the services which you have rendered his majesty. I should wish, Sir, to have an opportunity, on some other more fitting occasion to prove that I am, Sir,
Your very humble and very obedient Servant.
M. DE DENONVILLE'S MEMOIR
ON THE PRESENT STATE OF AFFAIRS IN CANADA AND THE NECESSITY OF MAKING WAR NEXT YEAR ON THE IROQUOIS.
[Paris Doc. III.]
Quebec the 8th 9ber 1686.
Our reputation is absolutely destroyed both among our friends and our enemies. It is no trifling thing, My lord, to reestablish it in view of the expense and labor and the dreadful consequences of a war, absolutely necessary. But, My lord, when we are certain that it is God's business and the King's glory that are in question, and that all those to whom they are committed have head and heart occupied only with zeal to perforin their duty so as to have nothing wherewith to reproach themselves, we labour untroubled, confident that Heaven will supply the defects of our understanding and abilities, more especially having you as our Protector near to King with whom all things are possible, his piety being the foundation and motive of all his undertakings.
I annex to this Memoir, the duplicate of the letter of June last in which I advised My lord of the expedition of the Iroquois against our allies the Hurons and Ottawas of Missilimakina in the Saguinan.1 I have learned since, that the English had more to do with that expedition than even the Iroquois who struck the blow. Their intrigues, My lord, reach a point that without doubt it would be much better that they should have recourse to open acts of hostility by firing our settlements, than to do what they are doing through the Iroquois for our destruction.
I know, beyond a moment's doubt that Mr. Dongan has caused all the Five Iroquois Nations to be collected, this spring, at Orange to tell them publicly, so as to stimulate them against us, that I want to declare war against them; that they must plunder our Frenchmen in the Bush which they can easily effect by making an incursion into the country, and for that purpose Mr. Dongan
1 The Country between Lakes Erie and Huron was thus called. Paris Doe. lii. 84.
caused presents of arms and ammunition to be given them by the merchants, neither more nor less than if it were himself who was to make war. There is no artifice, therefore My lord, that he did not employ to persuade them of their destruction, unless they destroyed us.
Father de Lamberville, Jesuit Missionary at Onontague, one of the five villages, being advised of the wicked designs of the English, set all his friends to work to avert the storm, and enjoining them to report every thing to him, he obtained fro them tiiat they would not budge until he had seen me. During his absence Mr. Dongan sent an express to the Iroquois to notify them to march without delay and fall on the Colony, ordering Father de Lamberville's brother, who had remained as hostage to be brought to him, thinking to deprive us of all our missionaries among the Iroquois. At the same time, he sent emissaries among our savages at Montreal to debauch them and draw them to him, promising them Missionaries to instruct them, assuring them that he would prevent Brandy being conveyed to their villages. All these intrigues have given me no small exercise all summer to ward off this blow.
Mr. Dongan wrote me, and I answered him as a man may do who wishes to dissemble, and who cannot yet get angry, much less crush his foe. I thought it better to temporise and answer Mr. Dongan by eluding rather than exhibiting one's chagrin without having the power to injure his enemy. The letters which I recd from him and my answers, copies of which I send, will advise you of my conduct in this conjuncture. Mr. Dongan, notwithstanding works secretly by all the artifices in the world, to debauch our Frenchmen and Indians Col. Dongan's letters will sufficiently explain his pretensions which embrace no It/ss than from the Lakes inclusive to the South Sea. Missilimackinac belongs to them. They have taken its elevation. They have been there treating with our Outawas and Huron Indians, who received them there very well on account of the excellent trade they made there in selling their goods for beaver which they purchase much dearer than we. Unfortunately we had at the time but very few French at Missilimackinac. M. de la Durantaye on arriving there would pursue the English to plunkr them; the Hurons ian to escort them after saying many bad things of us. M. de la Durantaye did not overtake the English, who met on their road the Senecas going to meet the n to escort them through lakes Erie and Ontario until they were beyond the risk of being attacked by us.
Tims you see, My lord, that the Senecas and the English understand each other charmingly, and are in perfect harmony and this alliance is made particularly with the army whom M. de la Barre went against, for at the time of his march the Senecas ran to Orange to find Colonel Dongan to beg hirn to take them under his protection, giving themselves over to him by a public Acte which was registered and sent to England, and, then, he caused poles with the arms of England to be planted in all their villages.
Nevertheless, previous to that time we had missionaries there, the first before any Englishman had an idea that there were Senecas there. I annex to this letter a memoir of our Right to all that Country of which our registers ought to be full, but of which we can find no trace. I am told that M. Tallon had originals of the entries of possession (prises de possessions) of many discoveries made in this country, which our registers ought to contain. Doubtless he has given them to my late lord, your father.
Father de Lamberville having given me an account of all the Colonel's intrigues which tended to take the Hurons away from us and to draw off the Outawas, I entrusted him with presents to gain over the principal and most intriguing of the Iroquois to sesure the friendship of the young men who were disposed to be out of humor with us. He arrived in very good season, for all the Nations, assured by Mr. Dongan that the good Father would not return, had assembled and were marching, but his return woke up the Father's party, who by means of secret, which are called here "underground" presents, dispelled the storm.
All the summer has been spent in comings and goings to get back the prisoners, the Outawas wishing to demand ihem of the Iroquois without my participation, according to the promises of the Senecas to restore them, provided I did not demand them, [n fine the Hurons and the Outawas resolved to repair to Caiaraqui, and the Onontagues alone have given up their prisoners, the Senecas saying that theirs did not wish to return home. Father de Laraberville returned here in the latter part of September, he gave me an account of all his cares, and of all his troubles and fatigues. Whatever affection he may have for the mission where he has been stationed fifteen or sixteen years every year in danger of being killed by the Iroquois, he admits himself that nothing is to be done for the mission unless that nation be humbled. This, My lord, is so true that the Iroquois have no other design than to destroy all our allies, one after the other, in order afterwards to annihilate us; and in that consists all the policy of Mr. Dongan and his Traders, who have no other object than to post themselves at Niagara, to block us; but until now they have not dared to touch that string with the Iroquois, who dread and hate their domination more than ours, loving them not, in truth, except on account of their cheap bargains.
Mr. Dongan caresses considerably those deserters of ours whom he requires to execute his designs for the destruction and ruin of our trade by promoting his own. This wakes up our restless spirits and obliges me to manage them, until I shall be in a position to treat them more severely. You will notice, My lord, by a letter of the Colonel's how desirous he is for something from the King which he says is due to him. He is a very selfish man, who would assuredly govern himself thereby if you thought proper; but the fact is he is not the master of those merchants from whom he draws money.
Father de Lamberville has returned with orders from me to assemble all the Iroquois nations next spring at Cataraqui to have a talk about our affairs. I am persuaded that scarcely any will come, but my chief design is to draw [them] thither, (the Jesuit Father remaining alone for he must this year send back his younger brother,) in order that he may have less trouble in withdrawing himself. This poor Father knows, however, nothing of our designs. He is a man of talent, and who says himself that matters cannot remain in their present state. I am very sorry to see him exposed, but if I withdraw him this year the storm without doubt will burst sooner on us, for they would be sure of our plans by his retiring.