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MEMOIR OF INSTRUCTIONS TO COUNT DE FRONTENAC
RESPECTING THE EXPEDITION AGAINST NEW-YORK. 7TH JUNE, 1689.
[Paris Doc. IV.]
The King, having examined the proposition made him by Sieur Chevalier de Callieres Bonnevue of Montreal to attack New-York wilh his Majesty's troops in Canada and a number of the militia of that country, has the more willingly assented to it as he knows that the English inhabiting that quarter have resolved since the last year to excite the Iroquois Nation, His Majesty's subjects, and force them to wage war against the French, having furnished them for that purpose with arms and ammunition, and endeavoured in every way, even to the prejudice of the King of England's orders and the faith of Treaties, to usurp the trade of the Fiench in the country in possession of which they have been from all time.
To accomplish this project His Majesty has given orders to Sieur Begon to prepare the munitions necessary for the expedition and has caused two of his ships of war to be equipped in the port of Rochefort under the command of Sieur de la Caffiniere whom he has ordered to follow exactly the directions which said Sieur de Frontenac will give him regarding this expedition.
He will set out with all diligence to embark at Rochelle in on of the ships and sail without loss of time for the entrance of the gulf of St. Lawrence and Campseaux bay, where he will embark in the best of the merchantmen that will follow and repair to Quebec. »»*»**
Therefore on his arrival at Quebec he will take advantage of the state in which he will find things, to complete the suitable arrangements for departing with batteaux, canoes and all the equipage necessary for this expedition with the Chevalier de Callieres who will command the troops under his orders.
He will despatch by land or water as he shall deem most certain, orders and instructions to Sieur de la Caffiniere, to the place he will have designated, as to what he shall have to do, in order to repair to Manathe, he making use of the cypher which shall have been furnished him.
He will order him to sail directly and without undertaking any thing along his course, follow the coast of Acadie (where he will leave in passing what he shall have for the said coast of Acadie) down to Manathe, and order him to anchor as safely as posible and to observe well the quarter where he will make his landing when said Sieur de Frontenac shall have arrived there.
He will give orders to the Sieur de la Caffiniere to seize the vessels he will find in the bay of the said Manathe, without exposing himself to any accident that may render him unable to cooperate in that enterprise.
As it is impossible to fix on a certain rendezvous for the arrival of said vessels at Manathe at the same time that the Sieur de Frontenac will arrive there with the troops, without alarming those of that place, the two vessels of war must go right into the bay, more especially as the attack on the frontier post of NewYork will give warning to those of Manathe; and the vessels thus arriving before the land forces, will cause a diversion. * f * » * * *
The said Sieur de Frontenac having informed himself of the route he is lo take, of which he will make more particular enquiries on the spot, as regard the convenience, security and expedition of the troops, His Majesty will not enter into further detail on this subject, nor on the attack on Orange and Manatte nor on any thing that relates thereto. He will solely recommend him to act as much as possible, in such a manner that those of Orange may not be advised of his march, so that he may surprise this first post and cut in below Orange to secure the number of vessels he may require to descend on Manathe, and to place things in such order as not to be uneasy when he shall depart for and be established at, the said Manathe. For this purpose he ought to leave a confidential officer at Orange with such detachment as he will find necessary to be left there, with orders to be on his guard and to fortify himself, and obtain all information possible for the success of the expedition against Manathe. Hewdl alsocauseall the inhab'itantsto be disarmed and their effects to be seized, giving them to hope every good treatment with which they can natter themselves until he entertains no further apprehensions; then His Majesty desires that what is hereinafter prescribed to him, may be executed.
He wishes particular care to be taken to prevent any plunder of provisions, merchandize, ammunition, property, cattle, utensils and principal household furniture; and as his object must be to place Forts Orange and Manathe in a state of defence, and to support the Frenchmen who will have remained there, he must not only victual the forts for the longest time possible but collect there all he can of provisions, and in default of a sufficient quantity of magazines in said forts, he will lock them up in the towns, taking care not to touch those which he should deposit in said forts except when obliged.
His Majesty does not wish any suspected inhabitants be left in that Colony. His intention also is that an exact Inventory be made in the settlements and plantations by Commissary Gaillard (whom His Majesty wishes him to take with him,) of all cattle, grain, merchandize, furniture, effects and utensils he may find in each of the said settlements; that he select from among the inhabitants of Canada and the officers and soldiers of the troops those who will be found qualified to maintain and improve them, and that he furnish these with farms in His Majesty's name leaving them of the provisions that will be found there, as much as shall be necessary to support them until they have produced some; and he will examine, one with another, those to whom he will think proper to grant said farms, so as to distribute the greater number in proportion to their skill and strength, observing to associate several in the same settlement when he shall deem such necessary. He will inform his Majesty of all he shall have done in this regard by sending him the enumeration of all that he shall have left in each such settlement, and furnish his opinion of the Quit rents which they will be in a condition to pay him. After having settled on what he shall judge absolutely necessary to leave to those to whom he will have given these farms, he will place in store all the surplus, such as grain, whale oil and all sorts of merchandize and other principal effects of which also inventories shall be made to be equally sent to his Majesty.
He will examine into the means of distributing said property so that from what he will acquire there, his Majesty may order, on his advice, the gratuities he shall judge fitting to bestow on said militia, the army and navy officers, soldiers and sailors who shall have distinguished themselves and given individual marks of that satisfaction which he expects from their zeal and industry on this occasion.
If he find among the inhabitants of New York, whether English or Dutch, any Catholics on whose fidelity he considers he can rely, he may leave them in their habitations after making them take the oath of allegiance to His Majesty, provided there be not too many of them and they do not excite any suspicion, having regard, in that, only to what will best promote the preservation and advantage of the Colony and its security at the same time as well as that of the French.
He may likewise retain, if he think proper, mechanics and other working people necessary to cultivate the land and work at fortifications in the capacity of prisoners, distributing them among the French inhabitants who may require them, until matters being in a state of entire security, they may be restored to liberty.
The officers and principal inhabitants, from whom ransoms can be exacted, must be detained in prison.
Respecting all other foreigners, men, women and children, His Majesty deems it proper that they should be put out of the Colony and sent to New England, Pennsylvania and to such other quarters as shall be considered expedient, either by land or sea, together or in divisions—all according as he shall find will best secure their dispersion and prevent them, by reunion, affording enemies an opportunity to get up expeditions against that Colony.
He will send to France the French Refugees whom he will find there, particularly those of the pretended Reformed religion. When he will have captured the fort and conquered that Colony he must think particularly of his return to Canada to convey thither the Militia and Soldiers he shall deem necessary for the King's service, according to the disposition in which he shall find things both as regards the Iroquois as well on the side of Canada as on that of New York, and in proportion to what troops he will calculate necessary to be left to guard the forts and country.
And as nothing appears more important, after his expedition, than to take advantage of the season to return to Canada, he must, in case he cannot execute all that is above contained, confide its execution to Sieur Chevalier de Callieres, giving him orders conformable and according to what he shall consider most fitting the King's service; His Majesty having determined to confer on the said Chevalier de Callieres the Government of New York, and of the town and fort of Manathe in particular, under the authority of His Majesty's Lieutenant General in New France.
He will select, before leaving, the officers and soldiers he will deem proper to leave at New York and put over the posts those officers best qualified to maintain and fortify them.
In case he find, after having provided sufficient troops for New York and concluded on the number of soldiers necessary for His Majesty's service in Canada, that he has a superabundance, he can send some to France in the King's Ships, and retain thirtyfive to forty men to be sent eventually to Acadia.
His Majesty is very glad to observe to him on this head, that he must regulate himself, as regards the number of men he will leave in New York, by the means of subsistence there and the necessity of guarding the country; and he will also consider that his return to Canada will be more convenient for those he will have to convey back there, when they will not be more numerous.
In case, contrary to all appearance, the season be too far advanced to admit his return to Canada during the remainder of the Fall, he will give advice of his expedition and sojourn there until the Spring, and he will employ himself during winter in securing his conquest and waging war on the enemy.
However that be, he ought if he be obliged to remain, either personally or through Chevalier de Callieres, if that be convenient, profit by circumstances to conclude a solid and advantageous peace with the Iroquois, whom he will, doubtless find disposed to