John Andrew Doyle.

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wished that, on the one hand, the colonists should enjoy
a certain amount of self-government, while at the same
time the administrative control of the Crown should
be a real part of the regular machinery of the constitu-
tion, not a power to be invoked on rare occasions and
at the risk of conflict.

The extreme Whig party, those who wished to treat
the Revolution as a conflict of factions which should
Position of entitle the conquerors to a monopoly of political
Mather. powcr, naturaUy found their counterpart in
Massachusetts. The old Eepubhcan party, as we may
not unfairly call those of whom Danforth was the most
prominent representative, were not likely to withdraw
their claims in the hour of victory. Mather may be
fairly classed with this party. At the same time he
represented them not so much in the spirit of an earnest
and uncompromising patriot as of an intelhgent diplo-
matist. He now had with him as his authorized
colleagues Ashurst and two new agents from Massachu-
setts, Elisha Cooke and Thomas Cakes. Both of these
belonged to the party who were prepared to stake
everything on the recovery of the charter. Both were

' Bulkeley's pamphlet, entitled The People's Right to Election, is in the
second Tolume of the ^J^H^^cf^MicrOSOft®


from temper and training sure to carry on tlie struggle
in a far less conciliatory temper and with far less diplo-
matic tact than Mather.

There was Httle likelihood that either party among
the colonists would find its views embodied in the
Treatment poHcy of the ucw government. Andros and
and^Ms™" Randolph and those who apologized for their
followers, misdceds must have formed a false estimate of
pubHc opinion in England if they had any hope of being
restored to power. They succeeded indeed in obtaining
what their victorious enemies grudged them, an in-
demnity for past offences. In accordance with an
order of the Privy Council issued in July 1689, Andros
and his fellow prisoners were sent to England to answer
for their conduct.^ The Massachusetts agents were
then invited to state their case against the prisoners.
But, as it would seem, at the last moment, acting in
concert with Somers, they declined to press the charge.^
Andros and Eandolph in fact enjoyed their share in
that amnesty which was secured for the defeated party
by the moderation of the Whig leaders and the fears of
Danby and his followers.

The influence which Mather and his colleagues had
really to dread was not the advocacy of men hke
A moderate Audros and Eaudolph, but the commercial
the Joiony. intcrcsts of the London merchants and the
military policy of William. Nor is it reasonable to
suppose that pubhc opinion in Massachusetts was
unanimous. Between two resolute factions the voice
of moderate men was stifled. But indications are not
wanting that there were some who had no sympathy
with the pohcy or instruments of James, who yet

' The order is printed in the Massachusetts Historical Collection (3rd series,
vol. vii. p. 191).

' The -whole of this business is told in a letter from Cooke, quoted in a
note by Hutchinson (vol. i. p. 394).

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looked with dread and distrust on the re-establishment
of the old sectarian oligarchy.^ Moreover, men both in
England and in Massachusetts must have begun to see
that problems had now to be solved which for Winthrop
and his colleagues had no existence. French invasion
was no longer a source of remote and possible danger
to the unity of the empire, it was a source of immediate
danger to the citizens of Massachusetts.

How far this view operated with the colonists is
shown by a petition presented early in 1689 by the
Miiitaiy inhabitants of Maine.^ They point out how the

eonsidera- /-at inici

tions. overthrow of Andros had left the north-east
frontier defenceless. With WiUiam we may be sure
that military considerations took precedence of aU
others. The one question in his colonial pohcy was
how far might the American settlements be welded into
an iustrument serviceable for curbing the power of

If the colonists had but shght grounds for expecting
a restoration of their old government from royal favour.
Public they had but httle more cause to rely on
England, pubhc opiniou in England. Those who would
have been their natural allies from rehgious and poli-
tical sympathy, the London merchants, were alienated
by commercial jealousy. No system of colonial govern-
ment was Hkely to- satisfy them which did not contain
adequate guarantees that the Acts of Navigation would
be enforced. The colonists might indeed reckon on the
support of the thoroughgoing Nonconformists. But as
regards the great mass of moderate men a gulf had
been gradually forming between opinion in England and

' There is in the Colonial Papers a petition signed by seventeen persons
from Boston and the neighhourhood proposing a union of the colonies under
a royal GoTernor. The whole tone is very temperate {Col. Entry Book,
No. LXII.). There are other documents to the same effect among the
Colonial Papers.

* Andros Tracts, vol, i. p. 176,

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opinion in Massachusetts. The men now in power
shrunk from the old principles of religious exclusiveness
embodied in the Massachusetts charter ; they shrunk
still more from the practical consequences of these doc-
trines as revealed to them by the history of the colony.
One may feel that the blood of the Quaker martyrs did
not cry in vain for vengeance, when their execution was
formally urged as a plea for refusing Massachusetts those
political rights which she had misused.''

For a while the representatives of the colony had good
grounds for hope. In January 1690 the House of Com-
mons passed a Bill for restoring the rights and privileges
of corporations.^ An attempt was made by the enemies
of New England to discriminate between the colonial and
the other charters.^ The question was practically solved
by the dissolution of Parliament while the Bill was yet
before the Lords.*

Meanwhile events in the colony itself were taking a
course which could not fail to bring home to the English
Defenceless govcmmeut the uecd for some effective system
NewEng- ^^ military administration. In the autumn of
land. 1689 Bradstreet received a letter from the King

authorizing the existing government to continue in •
ofHce until further orders.^ New England soon learnt
that the recovery of her civil liberties was not an un-
mixed gain. The overthrow of Andros had left the
frontier of New England unguarded at the very moment
when for the first time she was threatened by a formid-
able combination of savage and civilized enemies.

^ It is set forth in a paper entitled Abstract of Boston Charter with
Co7nments. This is a very strong statement of the whole case against Massa-
chusetts. It is among the State Papers, Board of Trade, New England
(vol. vi.).

' Journal of Commons, vol. x. p. 380.

^ See Considerations humhly offered to the Parliament {Andros 7'racts,
vol. iii. p. 3).

^ Journal of Lords, vol. xiv. p. 423.

' Hutchinson gives the letter in a note (vol. i. p. 390),

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There is nothing to show that Andros was a man of any
special mihtary skill. His plan of defence had been
to place small forts occupied by garrisons along the
north-east frontier, chiefly near Pemaquid. The policy
was condemned by the general opinion of Xew England,
as much perhaps from the unpopularity of its author as
from any demerits of its own. But one thing was cer-
tain. However erroneous such a pohcy may have been,
nothing could be more dangerous than the sudden
abandonment of it. For years there had been petty
hostilities between the Indians and the settlers of Maiue
and Xew Hampshire. Left to themselves, the settlers
might have forsaken their outlying and undefended
settlements and drawn together in fortified towns.
Instead of that they were taught to rely upon the
garrisons, and the support was then withdrawn in the
very hour of supreme danger.

The result was that during the whole of 1689 the
north-east frontier was harried by scattered bands of
Indian Indians, pillaging, slaying, and carrying off
of 16*97 prisoners. Twice before had a force from
^ilassachusetts endeavoiired to drive back the Indians ia
a body. A like attempt was again made. Six hundred
men were sent from Massachusetts with an auxihary
force from Plymouth, including a troop of friendly
Indians, under the command of Church.* As usual,
the enemy, helped, it was tliought, by the treachery
of the natives allies, dispersed and retreated, defying
the endeavours of the Enghsh to strike a decisive blow.
The English then withdrew, after adopting the pohcy
condemned in Andros and planting garrisons.

Worse was in store for Xew England than the iso-
lated im'oads of savages. For half a century the tribes
along the north-east frontier had been gradually and

' For this expedition see Church's Entertaining Pagsagei (pp. 155-76)
ilather, Uicennium, p. 67.

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insensibly transformed by the influence of the Jesuit
missionaries into dependents of France. Now for the
Canada first time Canada had a governor who clearly
Frontenac. saw the value of the weapon thus forged, and
who was restrained by no scruple in the use of it.
Devotedly loyal to his king and country, yet ambitious
and greedy of emolument, chivalrous and sympathetic
to those about him, yet unscrupulous and merciless in
his dealings with enemies, Frontenac was the true
pupil of a brilliant and corrupt court, of an equally
brilliant and equally unprincipled school of diplomacy.
There is much in the early history of the French settle-
ments to attract and to charm one. The records of the
English colonies have no tales of martyrdom to match
the devotion of the French priesthood or of their lay
allies, of scholarly men and of dehcately reared women
who resigned themselves, not only to the romantic
dangers, but to the sordid wants and squalid hardships
of the wilderness. Less admirable, but scarcely less
attractive, is the lighthearted courage with which the
French settler seized upon and ampliiied every feature
of brightness in a life of dreary and unhopeful toil. But
these things must never blind us to the sheer wicked-
ness of the policy which the rulers of Canada adopted
towards Few England. No plea of self-defence can be
urged in extenuation. The only direct grievance which
the French could urge against New England was that
she was in some measure a rival in the fur trade, and
that her merchants and sailors by their intercourse with
Acadia did something towards unsettling the loyalty
and the rehgious orthodoxy of the colonists there.

No doubt the aUiance of New York with the Five
Nations was a source of danger to the Indian alhes, and
so indirectly to the French. That might have excused
measures of defence, even of retaliation. No doubt
when war broke out in Europe France was justified in

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striking a blow at England through her dependencies.
But multiply those motives a hundredfold, and there
is no defence for a pohcy which encouraged, one may
even say which set on foot, a system of war where the
murder of women and children and the torture of
prisoners were inevitable and ordinary iucidents.

The real truth was that the scanty resources of
Canada made the country dependent on the far trade,
that this required as a necessary condition a widely
extended aUiance with the natives for freedom and
security of intercourse, and that the needftd, or at least
the cheapest, price at which the French could purchase
that aUiance was by launching a horde of savages upon
the heretics of Xew England.

There was little doubt that the raids on the north-
eastern frontier during 1689 were to some extent the
Thnry's work of Ercnch emissaries. The resolute mis-
It'peS^' sionaries of the Order of Jesus had thrust
quid. forward their outposts among the Abenaquis,

the tribe on the borders of Maine. Conspicuous among
them was a settlement near Pemaquid under one Thury.
The Jesuit historian tells complacently, and as it would
seem without the faintest sense of the grotesque atrocity,
how Thury laboured to bring all to the confessional
and communion table, not men merely, but women
and children, that they might the better lift up con-
secrated hands to heaven for those husbands and fathers
who had gone forth against the heretics.^

Early in 1690 Frontenac resolved to strike a
crushing blow at the English colonies. A decisive
Fronte- blow ouB cauuot caU it. French cruelty had
^heLe of ^"^^ ^^^° *^^ P^^^ excuse of being a necessary
invasion.2 stage towards effectual conquest. The EngUsh
colonies were to be invaded and attacked by three

' Charlevoix, vol. i. p. 5-57.

^ The best account of this triple invasion is to be found in a French State

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separate lines. The three blows were to be struck
simultaneously, so as to lessen the chance of effective
resistance. But the three parties were not to work
in conjunction, nor was there any scheme for a final

The three expeditions set forth soon after the New
Year's Day of 1 6 9 . The first party, something over two
Destruc- hundred, half French and half Indians, directed
scTenec- '^^^ course aloug the shores of Lake Champlain
*^'^^y- to the upper waters of the Hudson. In the
dead of a winter's night they reached Schenectady, a
frontier town of New York, containing some eighty
houses. The inhabitants with reckless folly had left
the town gates open. There was no resistance worth
the name, but two hours of butchery. The exact
number of lives taken is uncertain. Sixty were carried
off prisoners and a few escaped to Albany. The demo-
lition of the wooden town by fire was easy, and by
the morning but two houses were standing.

The tragedy of Schenectady was re-enacted at
Salmonfalls, near Dover. There another invading
Destruc- force found the town unguarded, marched in,
'gXm- burned down most of the town, slew some
falls. thirty persons and carried off more than fifty


The thiixl line of attack was that on which the chief
blow was to be struck. A force of nearly five hundred,
English mostly French, was to march through what is
agamst ^^'^ ^'cw Bruuswick to the coast of Maine. Be-
Acadia. fg^g ^j^^j ^arch was accomplished the English
had struck a retahatory blow. By land the French
settlements were practically invulnerable. The Mohawks

Paper, a memorial presented by De Monseignat. He was Controller-General
of the Navy and the FortificatioES of Canada. His memorial is supposed to
have been addressed to Madame de Maintenon. There is a translation of
it among the New York Documents (vol. ix. pp. 462-91).

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might destroy a missionary station and add another
to the roll of Jesuit martyrs, but that undaunted
Order had a fresh recruit ever ready to fill the empty
place. No force that New England could send out
by land could act with any hope of success against
Quebec, and as with the mother country so in New
France, the economical, political, and social life of the
colony centred in the capital. To this, however,
there was one partial exception. Acadia had now for
thirty years been growing under French rule into a
prosperous community. It numbered nearly seven
thousand inhabitants, dependent, not on a roving trade,
but on fisheries, on the exportation of timber, and on
agriculture. The chief town. Port Eoyal, was protected
by a fort with a garrison of only sixty men, and might
be attacked from New England before it could be
relieved from Qiiebec. To the Enghsh the settlement
was a source of danger and annoyance, both as a shelter
for privateers and as a basis of communication with the
Indians on the frontiers of Maine. Here it was plain was
the point at which the English colonists should strike.

There were other advantages in this course besides
those strictly mihtary. A land attack would not only
be difficult but costly and unremunerative. A priva-
teering expedition against Port Eoyal might -be fitted
out at no great cost, and there would be the prospect
of plunder, not only from the settlement itself, but from
French merchantmen that might be trading in that

At the beginning of 1690 the Court of Massachusetts
issued an order placing two armed sloops at the dis-
posal of any volunteers who would use them against
the French at Penobscot, St. John's, and Port Eoyal, and
promising them all the booty so taken. Phipps was now

' This order and the subsequent one commissioning Phipps are both
quoted by Mr. Bowen (pp. 39-41).

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in Massachusetts. His temper and experience both fitted
and inchned him for such an enterprise. We may
beheve too that he knew enough of Enghsh politics to
see that a successful attack on the Trench settlements
would be the best passport to the favour of the new

The offer failed to attract volunteers. But neither
Phipps nor those in authority were disposed to abandon
Conquest the schcme. The Court gave orders that a
Acadia. force of fivc huudrcd men should be raised,
if necessary by press, and Phipps was placed in
command. At the end of April he set sail with up-
wards of seven hundred men embarked in eight ships.
Nothing could illustrate more strongly the contempt of
the French settlers for their neighbours than the fact
that for four months the government at Boston should
have been arranging this attack, and that it should
have found Port Eoyal wholly unprepared. A summons
from the fleet to surrender was disregarded, and Phipps
landed his men. De Meneuil, the French commander,
then saw the hopelessness of his position. The place
was given up, with the stipulation that private property
should be respected and that the garrison should be
transported to some French port.

Meanwhile the third and the most formidable of
Frontenac's bands had made its raid on Maine. On the
Siege of sixteenth of May they appeared before Fal-
Faimouth.1 mouth. In the time of Andros this had been
occupied by a garrison. Their commander, Lockhart,
was a Papist, and his appointment contributed not a
little to the distrust with which the people of New
England regarded the mihtary policy of their Governor.
If we may beheve Andros, after the Pievolution this

' For this we hafe, on the French side, Monseignat, and, on the English
the Keport by Sylvanns Davies, the commander of the fort. It is in the
Massachusetts Historical Collection (3rd series, vol i.).

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place was for a while abandoned.^ But before the
French invasion it was garrisoned by seventy men under
the command of one Sylvanus Davies. Some years
later the place was described in an official report as an
ill-built wooden fort. Yet the little garrison held out
for fi^ve days, fighting against overwhelming numbers
with the desperation of men who remembered the fate of
Schenectady and of SalmonfaUs. The enemy succeeded
in firing the town, and by the afternoon of the twentieth
most of the houses were in ashes and most of the de-
fenders either killed or wounded. The besieged then
hoisted a flag of truce. Hitherto they had beheved
that their assailants were Indians. Xow they learnt
that they were in the hands of men who professed
to be civilized. Terms of surrender were arranged-
Quarter was to be extended to aU, both garrison and
inhabitants, and they were to be guarded as far as
the nearest English settlement. The agreement was
scarcely made before it was broken ; the Indians were
let loose for their work of butchery, and the French
commander, Portneuf, looked on while women and
children and wounded prisoners were massacred.

The tragedy was but just over when a detachment
of Phipps's force appeared off the coast. Their presence
may have saved the towns further south from sharing
the fate of Falmouth. Portneuf retreated to Quebec,
carrying with him Davies and a few prisoners who had
escaped massacre, and harrying and destroying the
Eno-lish settlements along his line of march.

The conquest of Acadia may have involved no great
display of raihtary skill or daring. Yet, apart from the
Effect r.f substantial value of the conquest, it marked the
I|uest'of beginning of a new and a sound policy. If it
Acadia. ^-^ jjQ^ pg]2 Q^f^ ]^ confirmed a spirit which was

beginning to show itself at Boston. In pamphlets and

' See Andros's Report in the Andros Tracts.

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from the pulpit men were reminded of the terrors of an
invasion of French Papists, of the paltry and short-
sighted meanness of those who shrunk from the outlay
needful for defence. Was it best to pay a rate of
twenty pounds or a ransom of hundreds ? Was New
England to have written as her epitaph, ' A people that
died to save charges ' ? ^ With the overthrow of Andros
and Eandolph and their like the dark cloud of sloth
and distrust that hung over the colony had rolled away ;
her air was once more bright with the self-reliant
patriotism of earlier days.

Placed as New England was a merely defensive
pohcy was impossible. The difficulty was in fact, on a
Designs far larger scale, that which fifty years earlier
Canada. had presented itself in dealing with the Pequods.
It was not enough to ward off isolated attacks. Such
attacks must be made impossible by a blow at the
source from which they sprung. For Massachusetts
single-handed to menace Canada was clearly hopeless.
But in the present state of affairs it seemed scarcely less
hopeless for the colonies to concert any scheme of united

Not one of the New England plantations had more
than a provisional government. Vague intentions of
uniting Plymouth and Connecticut to one or other of
their stronger neighbours were on foot. New York,
the natural ally of Massachusetts in any measure against
the French, could hardly be said to have a government
or to be a united commonwealth. That the colonies
should at such a tim^e have thought of concerted action
against Canada showed how urgent they felt the case,
and how eagerly they threw themselves into the policy
of their new rulers.

' Thia expression occurs in a pamphlet entitled FuHher Qucsries upon the
present state of the Nno English Affairs, published in the first volume of the
Andros Tracts. The writer signs himself S. E., and describes himself as ' not
a native of New England, but a great obsei-ver to and well-wisher of it.'

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In May 1690, while Phipps had but just sailed from
Kantasket, a congress met at Xew York. Massachusetts,
Expedition Plymouth, and Connecticut each sent two repre-
Qaebec. sentativcs. The result of their deliberations
was to raise an allied force of between eight and nine
hundred men to march upon Montreal, while the Massa-
chusetts fleet under Phipps was to attack Quebec.^ At
the end of July the troops set forth on their march, and
ten days later Phipps sailed with thirty-two vessels and
two thousand two hundred men.^

The land force worked its way along the valley of the
Hudson, carrying its provisions partly in canoes, partly on
horses. A fortnight's march brought it to Wood Creek,
close to the south-east extremity of Lake Champlain.^

How real Prontenac felt the danger was shown by
his conduct. As soon as the tidings of the intended
Quebec in attack by land reached Quebec, the Governor
danger. hurried to Montreal with such troops as he
could raise, to put the place in a state of defence.
The capital was left to be guarded by a force of two
hundred civilians. Davies, the commander of the
ill-fated garrison of Pahnouth, was a prisoner in the
town, and has left a vivid account of the fluctuating
fears and hopes with wliich the citizens heard the
vague rumours of the approach of the English fleet.
Small-pox broke out on board the ships, and the lack
of skilled pilots delayed the ascent of the river. For
a while too the hopes of the citizens were buoyed
up by rumours that a Prench fleet had fallen in with
the enemy. But when in the last week of Septem-
ber news reached the town that the invaders were

Online LibraryJohn Andrew DoyleThe English in America; the Puritan colonies → online text (page 30 of 44)