Thomas Hughes.

History of the Society of Jesus in North America, colonial and federal online

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soient si divovAs d leur reUgicm; it y en a tons les jours qui changent."


build public edifices, " the vast buildings " occupied by religious
communities should all be taken, and the communities destroyed.
" For stones are rare in Canada. The college of the Jesuits — the
most regular buUding perhaps in America, and capable of housing
one thousand soldiers and sixty of&cers, according to the reckoning
of engineers — was built of stones brought from France as ballast
\les{\ in ships ; and it cost more than 20,000 pounds sterling." '

Turning from the simplicity of this writer, who in matters of
equity and political sense was like many of his time, and somewhat
of the " idiot " which he conceived a Catholic Canadian to be, we
have an important statement made by Bishop Hubert, noting the
true connection of religion with civil life. In 1790 the bishop,
informing Lord Dorchester that he had no need of certain priests
from Europe, who were "accustomed to discuss freely all subjects
of politics," went on to affirm that heretofore "we have always
preached exact obedience to the orders of the Sovereign or of his
representatives, and an entire submission to every legal system of
laws without examination or discussion. As long as the Canadians
never heard any other politics but this, they gave the finest examples
of submission and fidelity to the Government." '

§ 138. To explain the respective degrees of French and English
ascendancy in the northern American continent, we sketch the relative
progress of population, the military expansion, the spirit of patriotism,
and the grounds of right which underlay the appropriation of Indian
lands. These considerations show the texture on which the com-
plicated events of a century were woven, and the history of mis-
sionary forces was embroidered.

When for the first time the interests of the two dominions,
English and French, began distinctly to clash in relation to the
Iroquois of New York, Governor Dongan (1686) reported the popula-
tion of Canada as 17,000 French;^ 3000 being fit to bear arms.
Livingston, in 1710, allowed 4070 men in the French forces, with
830 Indians. In 1719 and 1720, the official census of Canada

' P. E. 0., 448, S. 9, 16 : " ^tat actuel en Canada " ; no date, address, or signa-
ture. The writer, who remarks here that " stones are rare in Canada," means, no
doubt, that quarries were not worked ; and hence there is some probability in his
story that, one hundred years before, for want of regular quarries, stone-cutters, and
hands generally, the dead weight of ballast in ships had been supplied from the
quarries in France, to serve the Jesuit edifice in Canada.

' Loe. cit.

' This number is nearly, 5000 more than the ofacial census of the time allowed
for New France. See Douglas, Old France in the New World, App. IV. p. 541.


recorded 22,530 and 24,434 heads of population. Including thirty-
two companies of regulars, 10,000 " French Europeans " were
reported for 1738 by the commissioners for Indian affairs at Albany.
Governor Clinton of New York reckoned 13,000 French militia for
1745 ; and Governor Shirley of Massachusetts, in 1753, 8o,ooo French
gave the number as between 16,000 and 20,000 fighting Canadians.
Frenchmen, with 900 Indians. After the cession of Canada to
Great Britain, there were reported at the time 80,000 souls in all.^

On the other hand. New York alone in 1721 had 6000 militia-
men ; in 1737, nearly 9000. Governor Dinwiddle of Virginia gave
a tabulated list, in 1743, of the fightiDg men in each of the English
plantations and colonies ; the sum was 222,700. If this estimate
was rather high, at all events in 1755, when British prospects were
darkest and French Canada was carrying all before it, there were in
the colonies at least 152,700 men capable of bearing arms ; of whom
over 62,000 were enrolled as militia; the total white population
being reckoned at 1,062,000. The darkness of the prospect, which
at the beginning of the century (1703) had made Eobert Livingston
suggest the taking of Canada, in order " to secure the northern part
of America and the fishery there," prompted an imperial effort
when Canada was left without help from France ; and General
Amherst with regular troops successfully invaded the country in
1760. Between that event and the formal cession of Canada (1763),
the white population of the Anglo-American colonies and

■ • • 1 r.^r> /^/^ 2,000,CXX)m

islands, not counting recent acquisitions, was 1,260,000, the English
besides 844,000 blacks ; and the proportions of popula- '^° °'"^^'
tion were variously estimated as 10, 15, or 20 English to one French

Some reasons for this great difference in population may have
appeared already ; as that of so many young men taking to the Ufe
of the woods. But one explanation has been advanced which is
really not valid. It has been said that Canada was neglected by
the French Crown, which only sent over governors ; and these took
little interest in the country.* But this same circumstance was

•^ Brodhead, iii. 396 ; yi. 126, 276 ; ix. 896, 898.— P. B. 0. 485 ; 1710, Major J.
Livingston.— Ibid., 565, Smith, December 24, 1753, to Shirley, and Shirley to Board
of Trade. — Ibid., 448, f. 8, Etat actuel du Gcmada.— Modem French Canadian
statisticians usually put the number of Canadians at the figure 60,000, for the epoch
of the cession.

' Brodhead, v. 602; vi. 134, 993; x. 1137.— P. K. 0., 603, f. 200"; Dinwiddie,
August, 1743.— Fulham Pal. Arch., "Thoughts upon . . . the Church in America,"
June, 1764. — Eochemonteix, xmm'., ii. 79.

* P. R. 0., 448, f. 8, " Mat actuel du Canada."


verified in English America, and mucli more saliently ; for when
did the British Government subsidiiie its colonies with men and

means ? The Prench Crown did certainly foster Canada
ported^by'th'e with means, and also, as Governor Lovelace said in his
G* v^n nt ti"^®' with a regular supply of men : " His Catholique

Majesty most profusely sends legionary souldiers theather ;
500 annually is an ordinary recruite ; so that it is feard, when hee
feels a pertinent opportunety, he will attempt to disturbe His
Majestys plantations heere ; to which his souldiers wUl bee easely
invited out of hopes to be in the sunshine; they being lockt up
generally for 3 quarters of the yeare." ^

Very different from this degree of paternalism was the carelessness
of the English Government, except in fostering English trade and
navigation to the prejudice of the colonies. A forcible pamphleteer

at the time of the American Eevolution sketched the
colonies antecedents of America in these terms. That " our

neg ec e . ancestors," he said, " when they with the leave of Queen
Elizabeth, and of James the First, left England and discovered [!]
America, if they had been so disposed, might have incorporated
themselves with the native inhabitants, laid aside all thoughts
of returning, and dropped all correspondence with England, is
undeniable ; and, if they had done so, in all probability neither
their former Sovereign or his Parliament would have ever given
themselves the trouble of inquiring what had become of them."
This statement he enforced : " Eor it is observable that each colony
was suffered to struggle with every difficulty in their new settle-
ments, unprotected, unassisted, and even unnoticed by the Crown
itself, from twenty to fifty years ; and even then the royal care was
no further extended towards them than to send over Governours to
pillage, insult and oppress them." ^

§ 139. The Canadians meanwhile were considered by the English
to have acquired control over the whole continent, beyond the narrow
English strip on the Atlantic coast. " It now evidently appears," said
Designs on ^^ assembly and council of Massachusetts in 1754,
the continent. « ^^^^^^ ^q French are far advanced in the execution of
a plan, projected more than fifty years since, for the extending their
possessions from the mouth of the Messisippi on the south to

■ Brodhead, iii. 190, Lovelace, " Fort James on the Island of Mawitacans " New
York, October 3, 1670.

" American Archmes, 4th series, i. 522 ; from Williamsburg, Va., July 7, 1774.


Hudson's Bay on the north, for securing the vast body of Indians in
that inland country, and for subjecting this whole continent to the
Crown of Prance " ; and all this time " the British governments in
the plantations have been consulting temporary expedients." ^

As to such a French plan, projected more than fifty years before
for obtaining control of the entire continent, the Governor of Canada,
M. de Courcelles, had been disturbed in mind some ninety years
before by a very different vision, saying that the King of England
did grasp at all America.^ Some seventy years before. Governor
de la Barre had represented that Colonel Dongan, Governor of
New York, claimed for the King of England all the country from
the Eiver St. Lawrence to the south-west, "wherein is comprised
all the land of the Iroquois, and all the countries which they have
devastated along the Lakes Ontario, Eri4 Huron, and Michigane,
as far as the Illinois, which are countries that the said colonel does
not know, and of which he has not a map." ^

The efforts of the English to obtain some knowledge of the

continent behind their plantations are graphically represented in a

couple of typical incidents. We have for the month of ^ , ,.

„ 1 (. Explorations,

September, 1671, the "Journal and Eelation of a New English and

Discovery made behind the Apuleian Mountains to the

West of Virginia " ; which recounts how a Virginian party, duly

authorized, peeped over the Alleghanies to discover the South Sea.*

This was just at the epoch when Marquette and JoUiet penetrated

six hundred miles further towards the south-west. Again, it

happened that a certain English prisoner escaped from Canada, and

informed the Earl of Bellomont about the good things which he

had learnt during his ten years' stay in Canada, and his hunting

with the French all round Lakes Huron and Michigan, fully eight

hundred miles away. The very next day Bellomont issued solemn

instructions to Colonel Eomer, royal engineer, bidding him go, not

to the Great Lakes, but to their next-door neighbours the Onondaga

Iroquois, and ascertain if there was really a salt spring there, and

a spring of inflammable liquid in the Seneca country just beyond.^

Now, well-nigh fifty years earlier. Father Simon le Moyne had given

1 p. R. 0., 67, answer, April 10, 1754, to Shirley's speeches.

2 md.. Gal., ii. § 1108.

' Paris, Areh. Col., Canada, Gorresp. Gin., vi. t. 336, Dfe la Barre, Quebec,
November 14, 1684.— When Dellius, BeUomont's envoy to Montreal (1698), made
a claim to the same efiect as Dongan's, the "extravagant demand," says Bancroft
(iii. 192), " was treated with derision."

1 Brodhead, iu. 193-197.

= Ibid., iv. 748-750, S. York's information, Albany, September 2, 1700; 750,
751, BeUomont's instructions to Eomer, Albany, September 3, 1700.



precise information about these very springs to the Dutch authori-
ties in New Amsterdam ; albeit the kindly minister Megapolensis
arched his eyebrows, and doubted whether it might not all be "a
mere Jesuit lie." ^ We will not define at what time the English
may have rediscovered the copper-mines of Lake Superior, worked
by the Jesuit Brother Mazier about 1675 ; or what English botanist
may have obtained the credit of identifying American ginseng,
which Father Lafitau had identified and used long before.^ We do
observe that the American explorers, Lewis and Clarke, pushed into
the region of the Upper Missouri some seventy years after Father
Aulneau had lost his life by the Lake of the Woods, and sixty years
after French pioneers had reached the Yellowstone Eiver.^ A span
of about sixty years in time, and a thousand miles in space, was
usually the margin allowed by the English folk for the French to go
before, and to provide valuable maps.

Vast as was the extent of the French dominion, the spirit of the
Canadians was proportionately intense, in their union, obedience and
s ■ t f th attachment to France. When the fortune of war turned
Canadians in against them, in the loss of Cape Breton, the fisheries
and ten or twelve men-of-war, ample credit was given to
them and to the French Crown by the Massachusetts agent, W. BoUan,
who told the Duke of Newcastle that " they hold up their heads,
they support their colonies, keep up the spirit of their Indian allies,
and together with them make daily incursions into the English
territories," etc. He added : " Under these circumstances, the spirits
of the English colonies languish and decay, while the French daily
grow bolder," so that they may yet succeed " even against Fortune
herself" At the making of peace. Governor Clinton discovered that
the French had been much more helpless in point of defence than
the English ; and the distress in Canada was extreme. Looking
back upon these times, Bishop Hubert told Lord Dorchester in 1790,
that " it was not rare in former times to see large bodies of Canadian
militia leave their hearths gaily to go and defend their king and
their country, sometimes at Detroit, sometimes at the Belle Eiviere,
or at other extremities of the colony." ^

« Infra, p. 268.

' Of. Researches, xi. 192. The Franciscan Father Joseph de la Boohe de Daillon,
who was at Niagara in 1620, had discovered petroleum. See Ibid., a list, ascribed to
Shea, of missionary discoveries.

' Eochemonteix, xviii'., i. 229. — Of. Bee. and Studies, v. 488-503, "Discovery of
the Belies of Rev. J. P. Aiolneau, S.J."

' P. E. 0., 66, W. BoUan, Westminster, August 19, 1747, to Newcastle.— Bid.,
N.Y., 10, f. 623, Clinton, October 20, 1748, to Bedford.— Bii., 524, No. 34, Hubert,
May 20, 1790, to Dorchester.


When the brave little colony did succeed even against Fortune
herself, great were the lamentations of the British ; and, neither
generalship nor public spirit coming to their aid, the xn e
clamour of claims and rights to all America became colonials in
exceedingly loud. In 1758, Governor Pownall wrote ^^'
from Boston to Secretary Pitt that, three years before, in 1755, the
situation of the English had not yet become irredeemable, and that
the French " had not yet then acquir'd the command of the
continent," and that measures, if taken, " might have intitled the
English to dispute that command with them." At present, after so
many " miscarriages and losses " on the English side, " the French
having compleated such a system of which we are totally devoid,
and having now fix'd their command of the dominion of the continent,
and of every nation and individual Indian on the continent," there
is no alternative left but " now to hegin afresh, where we shou'd have
sett out ten years (if not half a century) ago." He urged " a general
invasion of Canada at the very root." In a subjoined memorial
Pownall showed how the French had won the Indians, and, having
done so, had " 60 or 70 forts " throughout the country and almost as
many settlements; and they "do not only settle the country, but
also take possession of it." He described the English policy : " On
the contrary, the English with an insatiable thirst after landed
possessions have gott deeds and other fraudulent pretences grounded
on the abuse of treaties," and they take in the very hunting grounds
of the Indians ; who, " unable to bear it any longer, told Sir William
Johnson that they believed soon they shou'd not be able to hunt a
bear into a hole in a tree, but some Englishman wou'd claim a right
to the property of it, as being his tree." He concluded a lengthy
memorial of facts and statistics, by saying : " The English American
Provinces are as fine settlements as any in the world, but can scarcely
be called possessions, because they are so setled as to have no posses-
sion of the country." The people are " farmers, millers, fishermen,"
without union, little connection of interests, and no public spirit.^"

" The French," wrote Governor Glen of South Carolina, " have
too good reason to consider us a Eope of Sand, loose and uncon-
nected"; just what, in religious affairs, the Eev. Mr. The "Rope
Caner wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury : " We °f Sand."
are a Eope of Sand ; there is no union, no authority among us." "

" P. E. O. , 71, T. Pownall, memorial and letter, Boston, January 15, 1758, to

" P. K. 0., 67, G-len, S. C, March 14, 1754, to Dinwiddie.— Lambeth Pal. MSS.,
1123, No. 290 ; H. Caner, Boston, January 7, 1763.


The gazettes of the time disseminated an emblem of a snake in
eight coils disjointed, with the warning to the eight respective colonies,
" Join or Die." ^^ Governor Shirley thought that the four southern
colonies, from South Carolina northwards, were like ripe fruit, ready
for the French to pluck ; for there were as many negroes as whites,
" Eoman Catholics, Jacobites, indented servants for long terms, and
transported convicts," with a " great number of Germans " ; all of
whom would be " indifferent about changing the English for a French
government," given a sufficient consideration. The half-million
inhabitants of Pennsylvania, one-third of them Germans, were not
to be relied on for other reasons ; and New York, not at all.
"Albany would surrender to the French upon the first summons,
if they could preserve their trade by it ; " they had twice already
tried their hands at private treaties of neutrality with the French
Caughnawagas, to let English and French fight as they liked, while
the good Albany people should nestle in security,^^ being taken up
with Indian peltry, and taking the Indians in with fraud and rum.

Finally, as we said, it was the desperate condition of these

colonies in face of Quebec that gave the greatest impulse to high

_, . claims of EngUsh rights. The state papers became

The question „„,.,,, . , , ^ ^

of rights over filled With declamations and demonstrations about

French "encroachments." Dongan and Bellomont,

indeed, had previously asserted rights, on the strength of

Indian claims which the Iroquois made over to them for some

rum and other things, more substantial than the claims.

Warlike expeditions too had substantiated English rights. Sir

William Phips of Massachusetts, in an account of his " expedition

into Accady, and of that upon Quebec in Canada," explained to all and

sundry how the efforts had been wonderfully successful ; it was the

superior force of " small-pox and fever " which had defeated their

object.^* The best instance of claims is that of "Monsieur Jean

Hill," General and Commander-in-Chief of her Britannic Majesty's

troops in America. A certain B. Green in Boston, 1711, printed

a French manifesto for him of this tenor, that the English Queen

Anne had "just and incontestable rights and titles over all North

America," by right of first discovery and by right of possession.

The French King had acknowledged this by accepting " concessions

of a part of this, granted to his Christian Majesty by the Crown of

'2 " N.B.," " N.Y.," " N.J.," " P.," " M.," " v.," " N.O.," " S.O."
" P. R. 0., 68, Shirley, January 24, 1755, to Robinson.
■» Ibid., Entry-Book, 62, pp. 267-269.


Great Britain, whereof the details would be burdensome ^^ in this
short Manifesto." Now the British Crown had bethought itself of
"resuming possession." Hill offered the Canadians all kinds of
good things. But, if they did not conform to orders, they must take
the consequences.*^ The consequences were that Admiral Walker
sailed up the St. Lawrence and then sailed down again ; and the
Eev. Increase Mather consoled the unhappy people of Boston by
reminding them of their sins ; for that they, unconscionable sinners,
had carried bundles on the Lord's day and done other servile work.*'
Eecourse was had to public deeds of cession made by the Indians
to the English. Governor Shirley told the Norridgewock Indians in
1754 of deeds executed by them " above 100 years Fishing
ago " ! ^^ So the Virginian Commissioners at Lan- ^°^ deeds,
caster, in 1744, negotiated with the relics of the Six Nations in
New York for "a deed recognizing the King's right to all the
lands that are or shall he, hy His Majesty's appointment, in the
colony of Virginia." The Indians naturally took the £200 in
goods and the £200 in gold for what cost them nothing, and
what they did not, and even could not, know. A modem geo-
grapher has represented graphically the aspect of these and such-
like claims based on old royal patents, which, giving away the
Atlantic sea-board down " to the South Sea " behind, had betrayed
no suspicion of where the South Sea might be found.*' Now the
English were trying an action of trover against the French for having
found it.

Governor Glen of South Carolina wrote to the Earl of Holder-
nesse, that there was no other ground but paper patents to stand on,
if the English were to stand on their feet at all against the French.*

'^ " Ennuyeux."

" IHd., N.E., 1, No. 68.

" Winsor, v. 109.

J» Supra, p. 190, note 13.

i» W. B. Shepherd, Historical Atlas (1911), map 190, inset.

2° P. B. O., 67, Shirley, I'almouth, August 19, 1754, to Bobinson.— Ifcid.,
negotiations at Lancaster, Pa., 1744, between the Six Nations and the colonies, Va.
and Md. ; attached to Shirley, May 1, 1754, to Holdemesse. — Ibid., 66 ; J. Glen, S.C.,
June 25, 1753, to Holdemesse, anajyzing 6 enclosures from colonial authorities, etc.

Speaiing of Virginia, and what lay behind it, Glen said, the continent behind
was " not the back of our dominion," but only " at the back of that dominion " — as
indeed a good part of the world was aU round the globe. He dismissed the pre-
tended purchases or concessions from Indians ; as well as the idea of the Indians
ever having made themselves " subjects and vassals." Indeed, Sir W. Johnson
wrote, in 1764, that there was not a word in the Huron language " which can convey
the most distant idea of subjection." (See infra, p. 365.) Glen came down to the
solitary title of "King James the First's charter in favour of Virginia. He said, the
English had taken public possession of Virginia four score years before La Salle took
possession of the mouth of the Mississippi. " Surely the French will not pretend


§ 140. As all parties agreed that, in the cultivation of Indian
friendliness and civilities towards the French, a potent factor was
the peaceful penetration of the Jesuit missions among the tribes, we
proceed from the general sketch of French ascendancy just given to
a particular account of the missionary base of operations in the
province of Quebec.

At the origin of the French Jesuit missions, the fortunes of the
missionaries went hand in hand with those of the colony. Both
were twice extinguished for a time, and only at the third start did

that it was necessary to ascertain the limits [0/ Virginia] circumeundo, circwmam-
bula/ndo ; it is enough that they are clearly described [I] in the above public charter ;
and that we had taken possession of some parts with an intention to possess the
whole. This is clear from the first of the third law de adqmr: vel omit: pass."

But here Glen did not distinguish between what the Virginians could cultivate,
or at least ascertain, and what neither they nor King James ascertained or knew
anything of, till others made distant discoveries. The Virginians and all the
English were applying a diSerent principle against the Indians, original possessors
of the soil ; considering that the title of the aborigines was too vague and compre-
hensive, if they were not actually settled on the land which they had not merely
ascertained but held as hunting ground. (Of. History, I. 574 ; from Vattel. — Ibid.,
575, U.S. Supreme Court's decision.)

Defective as Glen's logic was, his geographical knowledge was on a par ; for the
ideal limits of the Virginia charter did not go near the mouth of the Mississippi ;
and, if they had done bo, they would have been void, since that was territory be-
longing to Spain. Hence Sir Thomas Lawrence, secretary of Maryland, had been
much more correct, half a century before (1695), when, in a representation to king
William III. against the French occupation of the Mississippi, he suggested that the

Online LibraryThomas HughesHistory of the Society of Jesus in North America, colonial and federal → online text (page 29 of 92)