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The Marquis de la Jonquiere arrived in Canada in August, 1749; and acting under
positive instructions from his court, faithfully pursued the policy of his predecessor
in regard to shutting out the English from the Ohio. Descended of a Catalonian fam-
ily, he was bom in Lranguedoc, in 1696; and died at Quebec, May 17, 1752. He was a
man of superb presence and undaunted resolution; but, withal, prone to avarice. His
whole career gave abundant evidence of his courage and soldier-like iH-avery; but the



i9"Braddock's Expedition;" Sargent, p. 37.
20"Hand-Book of Canadian Dates," F. A. McCord; p. 18.

2i"History of Braddock's Expedition;" p. 29, footnote. Paragraph from "Biog-
raphy Universellfe" (Edition 1816), Vol. XVI, p. ^ffJ.



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378 HISTORY OF PITTSBURGH

world ridiculed the passion that induced him, on his dying bed, to begrudge the cost of
wax candles, while his coffers were overflowing with millions of mon^. He enjoyed
little peace towards the conclusion of his life, by occasion of his efforts to suppress the
order of Jesuits in his government; and, indeed, this dispute is supposed to have
shortened his days.^^

Jonquiere thought the plans of his predecessor too daring and not
to be successfully pursued, hence did not adopt all of them. In the
interim before Duquesne's arrival, the younger Longeuil acted as gov-
ernor.

Sargent has much to say of Duquesne :

In 1752, arrived in Canada, (to which government had been appointed by the King
on the recommendation of M. de la Galissoniere), the Marquis de Duquesne de Menne-
ville, a name destined indelibly impressed upon the history of that land whence the
golden lilies of his nation, though watered by the best blood alike of friend and foe,
were so soon to be extirpated. All of his antecedents that can be mentioned here are
that he was a captain in die royal marine, and bom of the blood of Abraham Duquesne,
the famous admiral of Louis XIV.

His abilities were good; and during his brief career he acquitted himself thor-
oughly of the duties of his position ; but the haughtiness of his character, and the lack
of affability in his manners, prevented his ever attaining any great degree of popular-
ity with the Canadians. Nevertheless, he seems to have been possessed of some singu-
larly generous dispositions. In October 1754, an English woman, nineteen years of age,
arrived in Philadelphia from Quebec. Twelve years before, she had been captured by
the savages, and by them sold as a slave in Canada. In new scenes and the lapse of
time, the names of her parents, the very place of her birth, had entirely passed from
her memory; but she still clung to the sounds of the tongue of her native land, and
dreamed of the day when she should be reunited to her unknown kindred. By some
chance, her pitiful story reached the Governor's ears; and full of compassion, he at
once purchased her freedom and furnished her with the means of returning to the
British colonies. There she wandered from city to city, vainly publishing her narration
and seeking to discover those joys of kindred and of home that she had never known.
An act of this kind, should, at any reason, reflect credit upon the performer; but con-
sidering its particular occasion, when war was plainly looming in the horizon, to liber-
ate and restore in this manner a person abundantly qualified to reveal so much of the
local secrets of Quebec, must clothe the character of M. de Duquesne with the attribute
of magnanimity, as well as generosity. In the latter part of 1754, however, he demanded
his recall by the government, in order to return to the naval service, and to encounter
the enemy upon a more familiar element. It will be sufficient in this place to add, that
his instructions while in Canada, in regard to the Ohio, were of a piece with those of
La Jonquiere and Galissoniere, and that he faithfully obeyed them.S8

Pouchot had the hardihood to tell tales, which though not published
until after his death, have lived. Concerning Duquesne we find the fol-
lowing in his Memoire:

M. de la Jonquiere who succeeded M. de la Galissionere, was a man well fitted by
his talents for command in these regions, but he did not stay long enough to advance
the negotiation in which neither power could yield. He was relieved by M. du Quesnie
who was charged with the same business. They were beset by parties who were con-
tinually making a petty war in Acadia, and involving the two nations more and more
against each other.

M. du Quesne upon his arrival, took a fancy for an amiable dame, and formed

22"Braddock's Expedition;" Sargent, 0. 28. "Histoire du Canada;" F. X. Gar-
neau, VoL II <iv, xiii, c 3), as Sargent ates. Ibid,, Bell's 'Translation" (Montreal,
1862), Vol. I, pp. 464-465.

s8"Braddock's Expedition;" Sargent, pp. ap-ja



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FRENCH REGIME IN WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 379

connections with her family and friends. As usual, the husband was placed in one of
the highest and best positions in the country. About the same time, M. Bigot passed
from the intendancy of Louisburg, to that of Canada. He likewise attached him-
self to Madam Pean, wife of the Aid-major of the post of Quebec, and took great inter-
est in this family. The Intendant was charged with everything relating to the finances,
— ^provisions, which were obtained by an excise, and the supplies of merchandise for
the trade. In order that these two chiefs should mutually accommodate, it was neces-
sary for them to agree, as also their associates. As these places were seldom held
longer than from three to five years, the gentlemen usually sought to promote their
own and their friends' interest as much as possible within the time. Whether the pro-
ject of an establishment upon the Ohio, who contrived among them to afford an occa-
sion more favorable to their interests, or whether the court had decided upon it, as
tending to their advantage, this project was executed in the winter of i753-54-^^

Garneau's further account of Duquesne can be epitomized thus ;

Baron de Longueuil now administered ad interim, for the second time, the prov-
ince, till the arrival of the new governor-general, the Marquis Duquesne de Menneville,
in 1752. The latter was a captain in the royal marine, and had been recommended by
M. de Galissoniere. He was descended from the greater Duquesne, grand-admiral of
France under Louis XIV. His instructions were to follow up the policy of his two
immediate predecessors. War was now become imminent. The Canadian militia were
called out and exercised. Discipline had been slackened in the colonial troops;
Duquesne made great efforts to reestablish it He wrote to the minister that these
corps were badly constituted; that they contained many deserters and bad characters.
"Their want of discipline," he observed, "was quite astounding;" adding "this arises
from the impunity allowed to their gravest infractions of duty." But the materials
were not so bad, after all ; for, in about twenty months, the men became obedient and
yet spirited soldiers.^^

Duquesne's acts aroused violent opposition headed by the Intendant Bigot who sent
bitter complaints to the Minister of Marine, charging Duquesne with tmdue severity in
pimishing mutinous militia. Bigot complained also that agriculture was neglected
because the cultivators were always under arms. Shortly before Braddock's battle
Duquesne asked to be relieved and transferred to the marine service. "His departure,"
says Gameau, "caused no regret in the colony, although he had governed with great suc-
cess and had been very helpful of the colony's wants; but his haughty bearing had
caused him to be unpopular."

Sargent says :

It was under the administration of Duquesne that the first steps were taken towards
an armed occupation of the Ohio. It must not be forgotten, in referring to these pro-
ceedings, that so far as involved his duty to the King his master, and his interpretation
of that sovereign's rights, his conduct was perfectly justifiable throughout Though
neither power possessed the least claim in justice to that territory, France as well as
England had not hesitated during many years to refer to it as their absolute inherit-
ance and virtually to utterly ignore any title in its original occupants to the sovereignty
of the soil. No treaty with the Indians inhabiting it had ever been made, by which,
even for the poor pittance of a few strings of beads or barrels of whiskey, they had
ceded it to the stranger. It is true that the French assured them that their only object



s^M. Pouchot gives these events under a false light. The motives of which
he speaks may have determined the choice of the governor of Canada, for an officer on
the Ohio, without having engaged to form there an establishment. His predecessor,
M. de la Jonquiere, had already projected that which M. du Quesne hastened to execute,
to anticipate the designs of the English, who sought to cut the connection between
Louisiana and Gmada. They, moreover, made great preparations for attacking the
French, under the pretext of aiding the Indians whom they had drawn under their pro-
tection. (Hough's footnote in his edition of Pouchof s "Memoire," etc., 1866, pp. 20-21).

a8"History of Canada;" F. X. Gameau, translated by Andrew Bell, Montreal, 186a,
Vol. I, p. 466.

««/6td., p. 471.



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38o HISTORY OF PITTSBURGH

was to found trading-posts ; that they had no idea of cutting down the woods, and till-
ing the fields, after the fashion of the English. The savage was not to be thus gulled;
and he viewed their first encroachments with as great repugnance as he did the more
flagrant advances of the British, who boldly penetrated into the most secret recesses of
his hunting-grounds, laying out the lines of a future settlement without the least form
of a purchase from its outraged inhabitants.

Shortly before quitting his government, Duquesne held a secret conference with the
deputies of the Six Nations, at Montreal, in which he reproached them with their will-
ingness to surrender the control of the Ohio to the English rather than to the French.
"Are you ignorant," said he, "of the difference between the King of France and the
English? Look at the forts which the King has built;' you will find that under the
very shadow of the walls the beasts of the forests are hunted and slain; that they are,
in fact, fixed in the places most frequented by you merely to gratify more conveniently
your necessities. The English, on the contrary no sooner occupy a post, than the woods
fall before their hand— the earth is subjected to cultivation — ^the game disappears-^and
your people are speedily reduced to combat with starvation." In this speech, as Mr.
Gameau well observes, the Marquis has accurately stated the progress of the two
dvilizations.27

Sargent observes that it is unjust to the past age that the names of
Duquesne, Dumas, and Contrecoeur should be consigned to oblivion.
We may except Contrecoeur and add St. Pierre. Sargent regrets that
we are left in ignorance of Duquesne's death, and of all save a single
circumstance in his later career. **In 1758, M. Duquesne being in
France was appointed to the command of all the forces, sea and land,
in North America. In March he sailed from Toulon in command of
a small squadron which, however, was utterly discomfited by the Eng-
lish. His own ship, the Foudroyant, of eighty-four g^ns and one
thousand men, was engaged after a long chase, in which their comrades
had been almost lost sight of by the Monmouth, Captain Gardiner, of
sixty-four guns and four hundred and seventy men. Captain Gardiner
had served under the murdered Byng in the Mediterranean and the
combat was a compulsory one with him. On the eve of sailing on this
cruise, whence he was never to return, he mentioned to his friends that
there was something which weighed heavily on his soul; that Lord

A had recently said to him, that he was one of the men who had

brought disgrace upon the nation, and he was convinced that in this
very voyage he should have an opportunity of testifying to his lordship
the rate at which he estimated the national honor. As his ship was
going into action he made a brief address to his crew : 'That ship must
be taken; she looks to be about our match, but Englishmen are not
to mind that nor will I quit her while this ship can swim, or I have a
soul alive 1' Accordingly, he closed with the Foudroyant and lay on her
quarter within pistol shot for several hours, till her flag came down.
Shot through the head, and death inevitable, he still retained compre-
hension enough to say to his first lieutenant, that the last favor he could
ask of him was never to give up the ship. That gentleman pledged
himself that he never would ; and nailing the flag to the staff he stood
by it during the contest with a brace of pistols, resolved to slay the first
man, friend or foe, who approached to pull it down. A more gallant



^T^Braddock's Expedition;" Sargent's footnote, p. 31. "Hist Canada;" Gameau
(Bell's translation), VoL I, p. 471.



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FRENCH REGIME IN WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 381

or hardly contested sea fight than that of the Monmouth and Foudroyant
was never fought/'^®

Whether this was our well-commemorated Duquesne's last fight or
not is not known. Certainly thereafter history is silent concerning him ;
else Sargent, wonderful delver, had unearthed more.

A recent historian, William Bennett Munro, pointedly says :

New Prance was bora and nutured in an atmosphere of religious devotion. To
the habitant the Church was everything— his school, his counselor, his almsgiver, his
newspaper, his philosopher of things present and of things to come. To him it was the
source of all knowledge, experience, and inspiration, and to it he never faltered, in
ungrudging loyalty. The church made the colony a spiritual unit and kept it so, unde-
filed by any taint of heresy. It furnished the one strong, well-disciplined organization
that New France possessed, and its missionaries blazed the way for both yeoman and
trader wherever they went.2»

The people of the colony in his studies of it appealed to Munro. He
finds words of praise for them, thus :

To speak of the inhabitants of New France as downtrodden or oppressed, dispirited
or despairing, like the peasantry of the old land in the days before the Revolution, as
some historians have done^ is not to speak truthfully. These people were neither serfs
nor peons. The habitant, as Charlevoix puts it, 'breathed from his birth the air of
liberty;" he had his rights and he maintained them. Shut off from the rest of the
world, knowing only what the Church and civil government allowed him to know, he
became provincial in his habits of mind. The paternal policy of the authorities sapped
his initiative and left him little scope for personal enterprise, so that he passed for
being a dull fellow. Yet the annals of forest trade and Indian diplomacy prove that
the New World possessed no sharper wits than his. Beneath a somewhat ungainly
exterior the yeoman and the trader of New France concealed qualities of cunning, tact,
and quick judgment to a surprising degree.

These various types in the population of New France, officials, missionaries, seig-
neurs, voyageurs, habitants, were all the scions of a proud race, admirably fitted to form
the rank and file in a great crusade. It was not their fault that France failed to dom*
mate the Western hemispheres^

Some French views of the state of public feeling of those years are
obtainable from the introduction to Pouchot's Memoire :

Notwithstanding a century and a half of possession the French never derived any
profit from the vast region of North America known as Canada. The Colony so planted
was, so to speak, still in its infancy when it passed under a foreign yoke. They might
have doubtless come out from this state of weakness, rather of non-existence, and have
become in time very useful to the mother country had they been better known and had
we not been so often deceived by those who should have enlightened us. We had in
France such false ideas of this country that it was deemed valuable only for the fur
trade and it was believed there was no distinction between the colonists proper and
the Indians. Ignorance and blindness finally went so far as to cause congratulations
at its loss.

In the succeeding paragraph there comes the oft reiterated charge
that England to prevent her rival from opening her eyes to the advan-
tages of Canada meditated an invasion of the territory in time of peace.
England, said Pouchot's original editor, soon after the peace of Aix-
la-Chapelle formed the project to appropriate Canada, or New France,

asSee "Braddock's Expedition ;" Sargeant, pp. 31-32.
^©''Crusaders of New France;" p. 225.
80"Crusaders of New France:" W. B. Monro, p. 226.



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382 HISTORY OF PITTSBURGH

which came to be regarded as the most solid bulwark then opposed to
her enterprises. It was from the first the object of the French to carry
upon the St. Lawrence the establishment which they had early formed
on the borders of Acadia and those they had projected on the side of
Hudson's Bay as beyond the Alleghenies toward the Ohio river, or
upon the banks of Lakes Ontario and Erie where they were not limited
by boundaries. The editor thought from this plan the result would
be that whatever remained to France would be useless to her since the
English could hold the entrance. Louis XV. earnestly desired peace.
England sought to destroy the commerce of France whose progress
had aroused her hatred and excited her jealousy. The advantageous
propositions of the Court of Versailles were met with no response
from that of St. James, or with inadmissible demands. England pre-
tended to negotiate a peace but they had no other object than to con-
centrate their enterprises and to inspire France with a security which
prevented her from preparing for war by calling out her full forces.

There were philosophers, Pouchot's editor said, who were obstinate
in misconceiving the true causes of the war. They repeated to their
shame that France had exposed herself to great reverses and had shed
much blood only for the possession of some tracts of ice and savage
countries or worthless deserts. Better informed persons had not brought
so much reproach upon France, but they had accused her commissaries
of incapacity and passion and her ministers of ambition, and of not
having sincerely desired peace. Pouchot's editor admits that Pouchot
had some prejudices, but assures the readers of his Memoire that there
can be found in the manifestoes of France numerous and incontestible
proofs that "the pretensions of England towards Canada were not the
cause but the pretext of the late war."'^

Craig says of conditions during the years of French triumph :

The war between Great Britain and France up to the end of the year 1757, had
been an unfortunate and disgraceful one to the former power. On the Ohio, British
power and trade were extinct; while the incursions of the French and their savage
Allies extended almost to the site of the present seat of our State Government. In
the East Indies British power was almost annihilated and British subjects were cruelly
sacrificed in the black hole at .Calcutta. In the Mediterranean, whither the Marquis
De 1,3, Galissoniere had gone from Canada, Admiral Byng was foiled and Minorca
taken, and in Germany thirty thousand Hanoverian troops, under the command of the
brother of George the 2d, had been disgracefully surrendered as prisoners to the
French commandant there.

Some of the wisest men of England were greatly discouraged. Horace Walpole in
a letter said, "it is time for England to slip her cables and float away into some unknown
ocean/' and Lord Chesterfield wrote, "whoever is in, or whoever is out, I am sure we
are undone both at home and abroad; at home, by our increasing debt and expenses,
abroad by our incapacity and ill luck. . I never yet saw so dreadful a prospect."

Such were the opinions of some of the most eminent persons of England, when
that extraordinary man from whom our city received its name was called upcxi to
direct affairs of Government Three years of disaster, disgrace and despondency, were
succeeded by years of triumph and success.

In America, the commander-in-chief, the Earl of Loudon, a bustling do-nothing.



^^Introduction "Late War in America;" M. Pouchot, pp. 12-14, Hough Editioii»
1866.



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FRENCH REGIME IN WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 383

of whom It was wittily remarked, ''he reminds me of St George, on a sign; he is
always on horseback but never advances/' was succeeded by General Amherst, under
whom were Wolfe and Forbe8.8d

This substantial agreement of the Colonial governors that the pres-
ence of the French on the Colonial borders compelled federation of the
varying interests of the several English colonies, kept them pinned
in between the mountains and the sea until there was developed some
degree of solidarity; some ability to act together, and then by the
sudden withdrawal of pressure, not only allowed their expansion but
relieved them of all need of help from J£ngland and so of dependence
upon her. The ''substantial agreement" was the result of the Albany
convention of 1754. The alarmed Iroquois sent word by some of their
people that if the English did not take up arms against the French tjie
latter would drive every Englishman out of the country. Franklin
was the delegate from Pennsylvania. His appeal in his paper, the
"Pennsylvania Gazette," was potent with his rude but celebrated wood
cut showing ten colonies as several parts of a severed snake under which
was the words : "Unite or die." Franklin's plan of binding the Colonies
together failed of acceptance. An American Union appeared to the
English authorities as the Keystone of Independence. There came a
day soon after Braddock's battle when Franklin's dictum changed to
"Fight or die."



82"Hi8tory of Pittsburgh;" pp. S7'A Edition 1917.



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CHAPTER XIX.
John Forbes and James Grant.

The defeat of Braddock and the flight of Dunbar left all the English
frontiers open to the incursions of the Indians in alliance with the
French, and most mercilessly they pressed the advantage. Though
a chain of forts was built along the the frontiers of Pennsylvania they
were inadequate, too few in number and too far apart, hence easily
avoided. The Delawares under Shingiss and Capt. Jacobs from iCittan-
ning were the worst, if such could be, of all the demons that ravished
the Province. Col. John Armstrong, to punish these miscreants, marched
from Fort Shirley, now Shirleysburg, in Huntingdon county, August
29, 1756, and reached Kittanning with his little force of 300 men Sep-
tember 7th at night. The town consisted of forty log cabins. A furious
attack was made by Armstrong at daybreak, but the Indians fought
with great desperation and maintained their position until Armstrong
had the buildings set on fire. The whole town was destroyed and many
Indians killed, including Capt. Jacobs and his family, and a large amount
of provisions and ammunition furnished by the French was consumed.
Eleven English prisoners were released. Armstrong lost sixteen killed,
twelve wounded and eighteen missing. Capt. Hugh Mercer was among
the wounded and left behind, and as from Braddock's battle was obliged
to make his way back to the settlements. He lived to return with
Forbes two years later.

Some accounts of these years of terror are to be found in the Penn-
sylvania Archives and Colonial Records. Thus Rupp gives us this
matter :

At a council held at Carlisle, January 16-19, 1756, attended by Governor Morris,
James Hamilton, Wm. Logan, Richard Peters, Joseph Fox, Esq., Commissioners;
George Croghan and Conrad Weiser, Interpret ers , and the Indians, Belt; Seneca George,
New Castle, David, lagrea. Silver Heels, Isaac and others, Mr, Croghan was called 00
to make some statements touching his Indian agency.

Mr. Croghan informed the Governor and Council that he had sent a Delaware
Indian, called Jo Hickman, to the Ohio for intelligence, who returned to him the day
before he came away. That he went to Kittanning, an Indian Delaware town, on the
Ohb, (Allegheny) forty miles above Fort Duquesne the residence of Shingass and
Capt. Jacobs, where he found one hundred and forty men, chiefly Delawares and
Shawanese, who had there with them, above one hundred English prisoners, big and
little, taken from Virginia and Pennsylvania.



Online LibraryAmerican Historical Society George Thornton FlemingHistory of Pittsburgh and environs: from prehistoric days to the ..., Volume 1 → online text (page 54 of 81)