Crisfield. cn Johnson.

... History of Oswego County, New York online

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colony, it was gladly complied with by the authorities of
New France. On the 17th of May, fifty Frenchmen,
under an officer named Du Puys, accompanied by Dablon
and three other Jesuit fathers, and two brothers of the
society, set forth in bateaux to establish, as they doubtless
hoped, the dominion of France over the fertile fields of
central New York. It was the forepart of July before
Du Puys and his companions reached the mouth of the
Oswego. Their provisions were exhausted, but they had
managed to send a messenger in advance, and ere long they
were met by a number of canoes, sent out by the expectant
Onondagas to their French brethren.

This was the first considerable body of white men who
had ever passed up the Oswego, and Du Puys expected to
make a powerful impression on the simple-minded natives.
All his men were thoroughly armed, and no less than five
small cannon were carried in his bateaux, ready to wake
the wilderness with awe-inspiring reverberations. Making
the necessary portage around Oswego falls, Du Puys pro-
ceeded to Lake Gannentaha (Onondaga) where a great
concourse of the Onondagas awaited him. There he
marshaled his men so as to make the fullest possible dis-
play of his strength, fired all his cannon, and then passed
on to take possession of the ground allotted to him in the
vicinity of the Onondaga village.

A curious mystery hangs over the whole history of the
French efforts to colonize central New York. It is strange
that a people so jealous of their independence as the Iro-



quois, who had been at enmity witli the French for forty
years, should have invited or allowed a French colony to
settle among them, and the end of the proceeding is even
more mysterious than its beginning. In the e;irly spring
of 1(j5S, while the ice w;is running in dangerous masses
down the ever-turbulent Oswego, Du Puys and all his com-
panions, together with several other missionaries and colo-
nists who had joined them in 1G57, came hurrying in rude,
newly-built bateaux towards Canada. There was now none
of the grand display which had marked their hopeful ad-
vent only twenty months before ; the men, with weapons
ready for conflict, were watching anxiously for pursuing
foes, and such good time did they make with their oars
that on the 3d of April they landed at Montreal, fifteen
days after they started from Onondaga.

Du Puys reported that their suspicions had been aroused
by the conduct of the Iroquois, and that finally one of their
converts had informed them that a plot had been laid to
murder the whole colony. Too weak to fight, the French-
men secretly built bateaux in the inclosed yard of the Jesuit
mission, and when all was ready one of their number, who
had been adopted into an Indian family, persuaded his
foster-parents to make a feast in his honor, to which all the
Indians of the village were invited. After the feast they
went to sleep, and then the Frenchman rejoined his comrades,
and all fled in haste down the Oswego. It is a curious story.
Peril ajis they were afraid of massacre, and perhaps they
were homesick.

The Jesuits attributed the supposed treachery of the
Iroquois to the fact that since the arrival of the French
they had destroyed the Eric or Cat nation, the Kahquehs,
and other tribes, and that, ouce freed from these enemies,
all their jealousy of the French at once revived.

At any rate, this was the end of French colonization
(though not of missionary effort) in central New York,
unless we are to trust the dubious account of a French
settlement in the present town of Pompey, Onondaga county,
which flourished from 16G6 to lO'G'J, and which wasjoined
by a party of silver-seeking Spaniards from Florida, between
whom and the Frenchmen ([uarrels arose, that were only
settled by the savages slaying all of both parties.

French missions, however, were soon after re-established
at Onondaga, for the Jesuits would labor for their religion
under the very edge of the uplifted tomahawk, and twenty-
five years after the flight of Du Puys we find the two
Lambervilles fearlessly saying mas.s and making converts
even when the old hostility between the French and Iroquois
seemed on the point of breaking out into open war.



The French and their Allies — Iroquois Offenses— De la Barre's Advance
— Mediation Offered — Location of La Famine — A Picturesque Army
—The Council— Speech of the (ioveriior— Reply of Garangula— A
Chieftain's Sarcasm— A Worthless Treaty— Failure and Flight.

It was not until 1684 that any new event of importance
occurred on the soil of Oswego County. Doubtless the

Iroquois wnr-parties frcfjueutly piussed over it on their way
to almost certain victory ; pos-sibly a French bateau occa-
sionally landed on its shore, or a French scout glided through
its forests, listening every moment for the step of the vigilant
Iroquois. Certainly tne missionaries to Onondaga must
have fre

Online LibraryCrisfield. cn Johnson... History of Oswego County, New York → online text (page 3 of 120)