- Software name: appdown
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V1 evening howl of wolves from the frozen mountains, or some nocturnal savage shooting at a sentinel from behind a stump on the moonlit fields of snow. A livelier incident at last broke the monotony of their lives. In the middle of January Rogers came with his rangers from Fort Edward, bound on a scouting party towards Crown Point. They spent two days at Fort William Henry in making snow-shoes and other preparation, and set out on the seventeenth. Captain Spikeman was second in command, with Lieutenants Stark and Kennedy, several other subalterns, and two gentlemen volunteers enamoured of adventure. They marched down the frozen lake and encamped at the Narrows. Some of them, unaccustomed to snow-shoes, had become unfit for travel, and were sent back, thus reducing the number to seventy-four. In the morning they marched again, by icicled rocks and icebound waterfalls, mountains gray with naked woods and fir-trees bowed down with snow. On the nineteenth they reached the west shore, about four miles south of Rogers Rock, marched west of north eight miles, and bivouacked among the mountains. On the next morning they changed their course, marched east of north all day, passed Ticonderoga undiscovered, and stopped at night some five miles beyond it. The weather was changing, and rain was coming on. They scraped away the snow with their snow-shoes, piled it in a bank around them, made beds of spruce-boughs, built fires, and lay down to sleep, while the sentinels kept watch in the outer gloom. 442But while the Treaty of Utrecht seemed to yield so much, and yielded so much in fact, it staved off the settlement of questions absolutely necessary for future peace. The limits of Acadia, the boundary line between Canada and the British colonies, and the boundary between those colonies and the great western wilderness claimed by France, were all left unsettled, since the attempt to settle them would have rekindled the war. The peace left the embers of war still smouldering, sure, when the time should come, to burst into flame. The next thirty years were years of chronic, smothered war, disguised,[Pg 185] but never quite at rest. The standing subjects of dispute were three, very different in importance. First, the question of Acadia: whether the treaty gave England a vast country, or only a strip of seacoast. Next, that of northern New England and the Abenaki Indians, many of whom French policy still left within the borders of Maine, and whom both powers claimed as subjects or allies. Last and greatest was the question whether France or England should hold the valleys of the Mississippi and the Great Lakes, and with them the virtual control of the continent. This was the triple problem that tormented the northern English colonies for more than a generation, till it found a solution at last in the Seven Years' War.
 Loudon to Denny, 28 Oct. 1756. Colonial Records of Pa., VII. 358-380. Loudon to Pitt, 10 March, 1757. Notice of Colonel Bouquet, in Pennsylvania Magazine, III. 124. The Conduct of a Noble Commander in America impartially reviewed (1758).
The bishop found another way of stopping it. He met Frontenac, with the intendant, near the Jesuit chapel, accosted him on the subject which filled his thoughts, and offered him a hundred pistoles if he would prevent the playing of "Tartuffe." Frontenac laughed, and closed the bargain. Saint-Vallier wrote his note on the spot; and the governor took it, apparently well pleased to have made the bishop disburse. "I thought," writes the intendant, "that Monsieur de Frontenac would have given him back the paper." He did no such thing, but drew the money on the next day and gave it to the hospitals. The house of Stebbins, the minister's next neighbor,[Pg 63] had not been attacked so soon as the rest, and the inmates had a little time for preparation. They consisted of Stebbins himself, with his wife and five children, David Hoyt, Joseph Catlin, Benjamin Church, a namesake of the old Indian fighter of Philip's War, and three other men,probably refugees who had brought their wives and families within the palisaded enclosure for safety. Thus the house contained seven men, four or five women, and a considerable number of children. Though the walls were bullet-proof, it was not built for defence. The men, however, were well supplied with guns, powder, and lead, and they seem to have found some means of barricading the windows. When the enemy tried to break in, they drove them back with loss. On this, the French and Indians gathered in great numbers before the house, showered bullets upon it, and tried to set it on fire. They were again repulsed, with the loss of several killed and wounded; among the former a Caughnawaga chief, and among the latter a French officer. Still the firing continued. If the assailants had made a resolute assault, the defenders must have been overpowered; but to risk lives in open attack was contrary to every maxim of forest warfare. The women in the house behaved with great courage, and moulded bullets, which the men shot at the enemy. Stebbins was killed outright, and Church was wounded, as was also the wife of David Hoyt. At length most of the French and Indians, disgusted with the obstinacy of the[Pg 64] defence, turned their attention to other quarters; though some kept up their fire under cover of the meeting-house and another building within easy range of gunshot.
One of her grandsons, Eleazer Williams, turned Protestant, was educated at Dartmouth College at the charge of friends in New England, and was for a time missionary to the Indians of Green Bay, in Wisconsin. His character for veracity was not of the best. He deceived the excellent antiquarian, Hoyt, by various inventions touching the attack on Deerfield, and in the latter part of his life tried to pass himself off as the lost Dauphin, son of Louis XVI.
V1 warriors were called to council, and Contrec?ur thus harangued them: "The English have murdered my children, my heart is sick; to-morrow I shall send my French soldiers to take revenge. And now, men of the Saut St. Louis, men of the Lake of Two Mountains, Hurons, Abenakis, Iroquois of La Prsentation, Nipissings, Algonquins, and Ottawas,I invite you all by this belt of wampum to join your French father and help him to crush the assassins. Take this hatchet, and with it two barrels of wine for a feast." Both hatchet and wine were cheerfully accepted. Then Contrec?ur turned to the Delawares, who were also present: "By these four strings of wampum I invite you, if you are true children of Onontio, to follow the example of your brethren;" and with some hesitation they also took up the hatchet. Rapports de Conseils avec les Sauvages Montreal, Juillet, 1753. Duquesne au Ministre, 31 Oct. 1753. Letter of Dr. Shuckburgh in N. Y. Col. Docs., VI. 806.
Even if some plan of union had been agreed upon, long delay must have followed before its machinery could be set in motion; and meantime there was need of immediate action. War-parties of Indians from Canada, set on, it was thought, by the Governor, were already burning and murdering among the border settlements of New York and New Hampshire. In the south Dinwiddie grew more and more alarmed, "for the French are like so many locusts; they are collected in bodies in a most surprising manner; their number now on the Ohio is from twelve hundred to fifteen hundred." He writes to Lord Granville that, in his opinion, they aim to conquer the continent, and that "the obstinacy of this stubborn generation" exposes the country "to the merciless rage of a rapacious enemy." What vexed him even more than the apathy of the assemblies was the conduct of his brother-governor, Glen of South Carolina, who, apparently piqued at the conspicuous part Dinwiddie was acting, wrote to him in a "very dictatorial style," found fault with his measures, jested at his activity in writing letters, and even questioned the 177During eight days he and his party coasted the northern shore of Lake Ontario, with various incidents, such as an encounter between his dog Cerberus and a wolf, to the disadvantage of the latter, and the meeting with "a very fine negro of twenty-two years, a fugitive from Virginia." On the twenty-sixth of June they reached the new fort of Toronto, which offered a striking contrast to their last stopping-place. "The wine here is of the best; there is nothing wanting in this fort; everything is abundant, fine, and good." There was reason for this. The Northern Indians were flocking with their beaver-skins to the English of Oswego; and in April, 1749, an officer named Portneuf had been sent with soldiers and workmen to build a stockaded trading-house at Toronto, in order to intercept them,not by force, which would 70