The ACADIANS of LOUISIANA: A Synthesis [work in progress]



BOOK TWO:        British Nova Scotia

BOOK THREE:     Families, Migration, and the Acadian "Begats"

BOOK FOUR:      The French Maritimes

BOOK FIVE:         The Great Upheaval

BOOK SIX:          The Acadian Immigrants of Louisiana

BOOK SEVEN:     French Louisiana

BOOK EIGHT:      A New Acadia

BOOK NINE:        The Bayou State

BOOK TEN:          The Louisiana Acadian "Begats"

BOOK ELEVEN:  The Non-Acadian "Cajun" Families of South Louisiana

BOOK TWELVE:   Acadians in Gray


BOOK ONE:  French Acadia


De Mons enters the Port-Royal basin, June 1604 ...01a

European Exploitation of a New World

"The colonization of the Americas," Gwendolyn Midlo Hall informs us, "was the earliest stage of the internationalization of the world."  The genesis of this phenomenon was the commercial revolution that swept through Europe during two centuries of crusading in the eastern Mediterranean.  In 1095, at the end of the century in which Norsemen from Greenland had settled in and then removed themselves from North America, the Catholic pope stood before a council of bishops and preached the First Crusade.  The pontiff, speaking from Clermont in France, had learned from the emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire that a new breed of infidel, the Seljuk Turks, had seized the Levant and refused to allow Christians to visit the holy places.  He urged the warriors of Christendom to strap on their swords, take up the cross of their crucified redeemer, and hurry to the Holy Land to drive these non-believers from Jerusalem.  The knights of France and other Christian kingdoms took up the papal challenge, and four years later the Holy City fell to them in an orgy of blood and righteousness.

These Christian knights fought the Muslims of the Levant for material as well as spiritual gain.  As they conquered the great cities of the eastern Mediterranean, they created European feudal states, especially the Kingdom of Jerusalem, to satisfy their lust for territory as well as to protect the holy places.  For two centuries, they clung tenaciously to their Levantine principalities, but the Muslims refused to let them be.  By the 1200s, while the Christians gradually lost their grip on the eastern Mediterranean, Italian merchants supplying and transporting the crusading armies had opened a lucrative trade between southwestern Europe and the cities of the Levant.  By the 1300s, despite the loss of the Holy Land to the tenacious Muslims, Europe was benefiting both materially and intellectually from the crusading effort.  The Italian city-states of Genoa, Pisa, and Venice exploited the Mediterranean trade routes that had not seen so much use since Roman times.  New ideas as well as new products flowed through the ports of Italy and southern France, igniting a Renaissance of art and ideas that transformed parochial Europe.  Put off by Turkish dominance of the eastern Mediterranean, the Italians, especially the Genoese, opened new trade routes via the Strait of Gibraltar with northwestern Europe.  The exploits of Venetian merchant Marco Polo, widely circulated among western literati a century before the invention of the printing press, turned European eyes towards the distant Orient, which some fancied could be reached by an all-water route. 

Meanwhile, the crusading spirit compelled two Christian kingdoms in a once obscure corner of Europe to move southward towards the gold fields of the Guinea coast.  In the late 1300s, the Portuguese began the conquest of the Canary Islands off the coast of west Africa.  The natives, called the Guanche, who had inhabited the islands for thousands of years, fought desperately to preserve their way of life, but island after island fell to the determined invaders, who used the Guanche as slaves on profitable sugar plantations.  In the mid-1400s, the Castilians drove the Portuguese from the islands and continued the conquest of the Guanche.  By the end of the century, most of the Canaries belonged to Castile.  Eventually, Spanish-speaking natives of the Canary Islands came to be called Isleños

The Portuguese, encouraged by their king’s brother, Prince Henry the Navigator, turned their attention to other islands off the African coast--the Azores, Madeira, and Cape Verdes--thereby thrusting their economic and strategic interests deeper into the Atlantic.  On Madeira, they established more sugar plantations, worked by slave labor.  Meanwhile, with the cooperation of local rulers, they established fortified trading posts along the coast of northwest Africa, moving steadily southward towards the equatorial zone and the prosperous kingdoms of Benin and Kongo.  What they found in their exploitation of the African coast proved to be more compelling than pagan souls—gold, ivory, jewels, pepper, fish ... and more slaves.  Their ultimate prize, however, would be a spice trade with the Orient via a route around Africa that would effectively outflank the Muslims of east Africa.  In late 1487, the Portuguese navigator Bartolomeu Dias, Prince Henry's great-nephew, rounded the Cape of Good Hope at the southern end of Africa and noted that the coast beyond the cape stretched away to the northeast.  A decade later, Vasco da Gama repeated Dias's voyage, used the winds and currents of the South Atlantic to propel him into the Indian Ocean, and, after a long and sometimes difficult voyage, returned to Portugal with a cargo of precious Indian spices.  The Portuguese now claimed an all-water route to unprecedented wealth and power. 

It was an obscure Italian with a bold idea who brought Iberian exploitation of the Atlantic world to an entirely new level.  Cristoforo Colombo was born in Genoa in 1451, the son of a weaver who lost his boy to the lure of the sea.  Young Columbus, as we know him, worked in the merchant fleet of his native city and then switched his allegiance to Portugal.   Inspired by fellow Italian Marco Polo, sometime in the late 1480s, after carefully (mis)calculating the circumference of the earth, Columbus conceived his great plan—to reach the Indies by sailing westward across the Atlantic Ocean.  He was confident his skills at navigation and command could overcome all obstacles he surely would encounter, but the result would  be worth it:  Portugal would then control a much shorter route to the spices, and souls, of Asia.  Columbus presented his idea to his Portuguese masters, but a maritime commission rejected his calculations and refused to entrust a fleet to him.  Undaunted, he moved on to France, England, and Spain but met similar rejection.  Refusing to give up on his grand idea, he eventually sold his plan to Queen Isabella of Castile, who, with her husband, King Ferdinand of Aragon, had just conquered the Moors and established a degree of domestic tranquility within their Iberian kingdoms.  Christian Spain was ready, Isabella believed, to compete in the Eastern trade and to bring the Asians to Christianity.  So Columbus became the admiral of a fleet of three ships which, in the late summer of 1492, sailed from Palos to the Canary Islands.  Two months later, after sailing due west across the Atlantic, Columbus's flotilla reached what he insisted were islands of "the Indies," and the history of the world was profoundly changed.  Though Columbus himself never fully acknowledged that he had stumbled upon a "new world," others did.  As early as 1503, three years before Columbus's death, Amerigo Vespucci, a Florentine then working for Portugal, applied the term mundus novus--New World--to what is now the coast of Brazil.  Three decades later, Gerardus Mercator, in his map of the world, applied the poetic name "America" to the entirety of the mundus novus.  Meanwhile, Iberian conquistadors, beginning in the 1510s, exploited Columbus’s discoveries and brought wealth and power to Spain.

The Portuguese came upon "the Indies" in 1500 when Pedro Álvares Cabral, on his way to India with a fleet of his own to duplicate da Gama’s voyage, landed on the coast of the Land of Parrots, present-day Brazil.  The papal Treaty of Tordesillas six years earlier had awarded Portugal that part of the Atlantic realm east of a certain line of longitude down the middle of the ocean.  The place where Cabral landed and which he promptly claimed for Portugal stood east of the treaty line.  So even the Portuguese now had claims to exploit in the European New World.01


Meanwhile, another Italian navigator, Giovanni Caboto Montecataluna--John Cabot as he came to be called--went, like Columbus, to several kingdoms in search of a ship to explore the Atlantic.  After soliciting in Spain and Portugal, the Venetian native moved to Bristol, England.  In 1496, he and an Italian sponsor coaxed King Henry VII into authorizing a voyage to the northern ocean.  Cabot's choice of Bristol was no accident; since 1478, when the English were expelled from the Icelandic cod-fishing grounds, sailors from the port had ventured into the ocean west of Ireland in search of the mythical island of Brazil, from which they hoped to resurrect their lucrative cod-fishery.  King Henry tasked the Venetian "to find and discover 'any islands or countries whether of Gentiles or Infidels which before this time were unknown to all Christians.'"  Sailing from Bristol in early April 1497 with a crew of 18, perhaps including his 14-year-old son Sebastian, Cabot sailed past Ireland but then turned northwestward.  He reached terra firma at present-day Newfoundland, perhaps at today's Cape Bonavista, in late June; he and his crew may have been the first Europeans to set eyes on the place since the Norse had abandoned their settlements there centuries before.  Nearby was a vast fishing ground with what appeared to be a limitless supply of cod, perhaps his most important discovery.  Cabot explored the coast southward, perhaps encountering Natives on today's Cape Breton Island.  He and his crew may have been the first Europeans to visit what came to be called "the English cape."  Despite its great significance, Cabot's voyage was a brief one; he was back at Bristol by August to report what he had found.  The following spring, with Henry VII's sanction, Cabot set out again from Bristol, this time with five ships.  His goal was to cross the "British Ocean" to "Cipango," a spice-producing region of the Indies sought by Columbus.  Cabot hoped to establish an English colony there, which of course he failed to do. 

Cabot and the Bristolians soon were joined by explorers from the south.  In 1500, Joao Fernandes, a lavrador, or "farmer," from Terceira in the Azores and his neighbor, Pedro de Barcelos, with the sanction of King Manuel of Portugal, "rediscovered" Greenland, the southern tip of which took the lavrador's name before it was applied to another coast.  No doubt to the chagrin of King Manuel, Fernandes's return voyage took him not to the Azores but to Bristol, England.  With a joint Portuguese-English expedition out of that port, Fernandes returned to the northern climes in the spring of 1501, the expedition's ship captained by John Cabot himself.  Both Fernandes and Cabot may have been lost on the venture; only three of the Bristolians returned.  Nevertheless, King Henry VII authorized another joint English-Portuguese expedition to Greenland in 1503.  Meanwhile, Sebastian Cabot, like his father, became a noted mariner.  In 1507-09, during the final days of Henry VII's reign, Sebastian, while looking for a route to Asia, explored the waters where he and his father had gone the decade before; it was Sebastian, in fact, who named Newfoundland Riuo de los Bacalaos, or Land of the Cod.  The sea ice, however, frustrated his attempts to establish a spice trade with Asia.  No matter, the English now possessed an early claim to the North Atlantic regions.  Except for the fishing, however, the coasts the Cabots and the Bristolians had explored did not seem to possess the potential for exploitation as did the Iberian discoveries to the south.  England, under a new king, hesitated, and Spain and Portugal became the early winners in the imperial competition for the Americas.285 

After learning of Cabot's voyage to the northern ocean, King Manuel was determined to overawe the English in a region reserved by treaty for his nation alone.  In the spring of 1500, the year of the lavrador's voyage, Gaspar Corte Real, whose venture also was approved by King Manuel, sailed out of Lisbon with a single vessel and explored the coast of Greenland.  On a second voyage beginning in May 1501, with three ships this time, also out of Lisbon, Gaspar explored the northern and eastern coasts of Newfoundland, which he named Terra Verde, or Greenland, and also explored the coast of today's Labrador.  Corte Real sent two of his ships back to Lisbon with 57 Natives aboard, either Béothuk or Mi'kmaq, who were sold as slaves in Portugal perhaps to pay for the cost of the voyage.  Meanwhile, Corte Real lingered in the third vessel to explore more of the mysterious coast, but he and his ship did not return.  In May 1502, Miguel Corte Real, in search of brother Gaspar, also set sail from Lisbon with three vessels, but he, too, along with one of his ships, failed to return.  The other two ships returned to Lisbon, but their captains and crews could not say what had happened to Miguel and the other vessel.  The following year, King Manuel sent out two vessels to find the brothers, but his mariners found no sign of them.  The loss of the Corte Reals, as well as the financial cost of their failed expeditions, ended voyages to the northern ocean sanctioned by King Manuel, who ruled until 1521.286 

In 1520, however, towards the end of Manuel's reign, Portuguese fisherman Joao Álvares Fagundes of Viana do Castelo in the north of Portugal followed the annual Portuguese fishing fleet to the Newfoundland Bank.  From there, he sailed along the eastern and southern coasts of Newfoundland, where he discovered new cod-fishing grounds and established new fisheries.  Among his discoveries were the "Islands of the 11,000 Virgins," today's îles St.-Pierre and Miquelon, 16 miles south of Newfoundland's Burin Peninsula; he encountered the islands on St. Ursula's Day and named them for her virgin companions.  Fagundes then sailed west from the Islands of the Virgins into the entrance of today's Gulf of St. Lawrence.  According to H. P. Biggar, Fagundes turned north and followed the western coast of Newfoundland all the way up to the Straits of Belle Isle.  Biggar insists Fagundes then sailed westward from the Straits of Belle Isle "along the northern or Labrador shore of the Gulf.  When the Gulf began to narrow he crossed over to the southern side, and sailed out again by Gaspé and the Acadian peninsula," which would have made him the discoverer of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.  On his voyage home, Fagundes evidently left cattle on present-day Sable Island, at the southern edge of the Newfoundland Bank, for the benefit of Portuguese fishermen.  In 1521, Fagundes, along with "gentlemen" from his native Viana do Castelo, may have established a short-lived colony near Cape Breton or on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia.  In that same year, he sailed around to the mouth of today's Bay of Fundy, perhaps the first European to view that body of water.286c 

In 1520, a Spanish caravel "from Hayti made its way" northward "as far as the point afterwards called Cape Charles, near the 37th parallel of latitude," the southern tip of today's Eastern Shore of Virginia.  Not for five more years, however, would another Spanish vessel appear in that part of North America.  Meanwhile, Magellan's expedition of 1519-22 for Spain proved  beyond doubt what others, beginning with Vespucci, had long suspected:  that Columbus, Cabot, and other explorers had "discovered" features not of the coast of Asia "but of some hitherto unknown continent extending across the ocean mid-way between Asia and Europe....  Then at length some idea of the real significance of Columbus's discovery began to dawn upon men's minds."286b

Da Gama in the 1480s and now Magellan's expedition had given first Portugal and now Spain all-water routes to the gold and spices of the Orient via the tips of Africa and South America.  With the realization that a huge expanse of earth lay north of the West Indies and might offer a shorter route to Asia, the search was now on for an all-water passage that would allow Europeans to penetrate the northern continent.  Whoever could find and secure this northwest passage could control the lucrative spice trade with Asia.  However, only a thorough exploration of the North American coastline could reveal the location of the elusive passage.  "The European image of North America actually seems to have developed through a process of slow and painful accretion, with many maps representing abortive efforts to synthesize logical configurations out of fragmentary and confusing information," Bernard G. Hoffman reminds us.  "This seems to have been particularly true in the Newfoundland area, where a combination of rugged and complex coastlines, persistent fogbanks, and dangerous ice conditions caused the loss of many expeditions and kept the cartographers baffled for over a century."  This slapdash process was inevitable given the imperial rivalries among the European powers.  Meanwhile, Europeans derived substantial economic benefit from the waters and land of the northern regions--certainly not in spices and not yet in gold, but from fish, especially the abundant cod, and from a serendipitous trade in beaver fur.286a

If one were to award the true "discoverers" of the northern regions, however, of its size, its intricate configuration, and its economic importance, the prize must go to the fishermen, whalers, and seal-hunters who ventured to the other side of the North Atlantic soon after the voyages of the Cabots and the Corte Reals.  Basques, Bretons, Normans, Englishmen from the West Country, Dutchmen, Danes, Norwegians, Spaniards, as well as Portuguese--thousands of them ventured across the dangerous ocean to exploit the Grand Bank of Newfoundland.  "Together the whale and cod fisheries involved an annual trans-Atlantic migration of hundreds of ships and thousands of men," a Canadian historian tells us.  "Less spectacular than Spanish activities in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Peru, the fisheries in the northwestern Atlantic involved more ships and men."  By the 1550s, cod fishermen from northern France had perfected the wet or green fishery, which allowed them to fish the offshore banks early in the season, salt the cod in their holds, and return to their home ports to dry the fish without having to make landfall in America except briefly for fresh water or repairs.  But more extensively, and more importantly to our story, the cod fishermen also developed the inshore or dry fishery for the southern European and West Indian markets.  This required them to build drying and salting stations on wide beaches close to the fishing grounds.  Contact with the Natives was inevitable, as was the exchange of goods and microorganisms.  And, just as inevitably, blood was spilled.  The construction of the drying and salting stations required use of local lumber resources.  Typical of Europeans, this activity "was carried on with the greatest of waste, the woods along the shore being 'so spoyled by the fishermen that it is a great pity to behold them, and without redresse undoubtedly (it) will be the ruine of this good land.  For they wastefully barke, fell and leave more wood behinde them to rot then they use about their stages although they imploy a world of wood upon them.'  To add to the destruction," Bernard Hoffman continues, "the fishermen occasionally fired the woods near the harbours to clear the land, the resulting conflagrations burning for weeks.  The burned-over areas eventually may have provided the natives with berry patches, but the process would not have had favourable results for the fauna."  Such abuse of the land drove many of the Natives to violence.  The fishermen seldom used locals in their labor-intensive drying operations, which began in spring and lasted through the summer, but they found a secondary market in trading for the clothing which had kept the Natives warm all winter.  "Both parties profited," Canadian archaeologist John S. Erskine tells us.  "Cast-off beaver cloaks, sodden from the bear-grease underwear of winter, were in great demand by hatters."  The trade in furs, like exposure to European diseases and wastefulness, transformed Native life permanently and profoundly, and would come to rival fishing and whaling in economic importance to the Europeans.287

France in the New World

The French, emulating other European powers, conducted early voyages to mundus novus.  In 1503-04, Binot Paulmier de Gonneville visited Brazil, claimed by the Portuguese following Cabral's voyage.  In 1506, Jean Denys of Honfleur ventured to Newfoundland, where the English and the Portuguese already had gone, and may have explored parts of today's Gulf of St. Lawrence.  A few years later, in 1508, the ship Pensée, owned by Jean Ango of Dieppe and captained by Thomas Aubert, sailed to the coasts of Labrador and Newfoundland.  Emulating Columbus and Corte Real, Aubert "brought back from there some of the Natives, whom he exhibited to the wonder and applause of France"--"the first American Indians," another historian notes, "who trod the soil of France."  According to regional records, a ship out of Dahouet, now Pléneuf, the Jaquette, "had gone to Rouen in September of 1510 to 'sell the codfish which they had been searching and fishing for in parts of the New Land.'"  A court decree three years later pardoned the mate of La Jacquette for causing "the death of a member of the crew by chasing him overboard during a dispute over wages," so that vessel may still have been fishing off the coast of Newfoundland.  In 1518, Guillaume de Miremont III, baron de Lhéry et Gueux "made an abortive attempt at settlement on Sable Island," off the coast of Nova Scotia, "where the cattle left by him remained and multiplied."  The baron also left his swine there.  A ship belonging to the three Parmentier brothers of Dieppe ventured to Newfoundland in 1520 and discovered an island they called Fernanbourg near Cape Breton.  The following year, Michel de Segure and Mathieu de Biran of Bayonne petitioned the authorities of that port to take their vessel to Newfoundland.  But none of these ventures was sanctioned by the courts of Louis XII and François I.02c 

Except for its sturdy fishermen, then, France was a relative late comer to the competition for America’s riches.  "The Atlantic trade, except for a few piratical captains, was largely abandoned to the Iberians," a student of colonial France explains.  "The French crown prized far more the traditional Mediterranean trade with the Near East, and the enterprising Spaniards and Portuguese moved quickly to protect their tenuous Atlantic commercial advantage."  Papal interference also was a factor in French reluctance to exploit the Americas.  The papal bulls of Alexander VI--Inter caetera, issued on 4 May 1493, and Dudum siquidem on 28 September 1493, ratified the following year by the Treaty of Tordesillas in Spain--divided the Atlantic world between the Iberian powers, not only for settlement and trade, but also for exploration.  Although the papal interdiction was generally ignored, France was not eager to test Iberian resolve in enforcing their claims in the New World.02a 

Not until 1523 did a French monarch, François I, authorize a voyage of discovery to America.  As a result, France became one of the first European powers to search in earnest for the northwest passage.  France was still at war with Spain, but the return of the Magellan expedition in 1522, bringing to Spain "a wealth of spices" and proving beyond doubt that Columbus had discovered an entirely new world, pressed French authorities into action.  Another Italian navigator, Giovanni da Verrazzano of Florence, residing at Dieppe since 1506, was charged with exploring the coast of North America, this time to find a passage to Asia.  The Florentine may already have gone to the northern ocean aboard the Pensée with Thomas Aubert in 1508.  Verrazzano certainly had sailed throughout the eastern Mediterranean and had lived in Cairo, Egypt, for a time, so he was a good choice to lead an expedition into exotic lands yet unexplored.  By the time he solicited King François for an expedition to the northern ocean and acquired financing for the voyage from the bankers and silk merchants of Lyon, it was well known from the voyages of Vespucci, Columbus, Magellan, and others that a land mass south and west of the Antilles blocked further passage to Asia.  However, little to nothing was known of the land between the Antilles and Cape Breton.  Recently, the Portuguese Fagundes had explored some of the region south and west of the English cape, but no one knew how far south of the cape lay Florida, which had been discovered by the Spaniard Ponce de Leon on Palm Sunday--Pascua florida--in 1513.  A map of the world published the following year and attributed to Leonardo da Vinci showed Florida "as an island in an ocean touching on Japan."  It was entirely possible, then, that a passage to Asia could be found in the region between Florida and Newfoundland.02u

Verrazzano first attempted a crossing in four vessels sailing from Dieppe directly across the northern ocean to Newfoundland in late 1523, but foul weather forced him back to France after the loss of two ships.  With the two ships that had survived the first effort--his own caravel, La Dauphine, and La Normandie--Verrazzano sailed from Brittany south past the Spanish coast to the Madeiras, seeking calmer weather and, since France was still at war with Spain, indulging in "some privateering."  During the venture, the Normandie was forced to return home, but Verrazzano remained undeterred.  This time he would risk a transoceanic crossing not yet taken--straight across the Atlantic.  On 17 January 1524, he sailed west from the Madeiras in La Dauphine with a Norman crew of 50 "and 'enough provisions for eight months, arms and other engines of war and seafaring.'"  After surviving a mid-Atlantic tempest in February, 25 days into his voyage, he and his crew, trending slightly northward for 25 more days, reached the area of present-day Cape Fear, North Carolina, at the 34th parallel, in early March.  After exploring the coast south of the cape for 50 leagues in search of Spanish Florida, they feared making contact with the Spanish and so returned to the area of their original landfall.  Verrazzano named the place Annunciata, after the feast day of the Annunciation, having returned on March 25.  Ashore, they made contact with the local Natives, probably the Croatoan, who Verrazzano described in great detail.  Back aboard the Dauphine, Verrazzano concluded that today's Pamlico Sound was the eastern edge of Magellan's ocean.  Finding only a sandy isthmus enclosing what proved to be nothing more than a brackish-water sound, he and his crew returned to the blue Atlantic and followed the coast northeastward, still determined to find a passage to Asia.  Near the entrance to present-day Chesapeake Bay, they again made contact with the Natives.  Verrazzano called the area Arcadia, such was the transcendent beauty of its trees.  He remained there three days, exploring the sandy inlets of today's Eastern Shore before continuing northward.  Sailing past the entrance to Delaware Bay, he and his crew explored the narrows at the entrance to present-day New York harbor, where they encountered more Natives.  In a ship's boat, Verrazzano hoped to explore the harbor and the rivers that flowed into it, one of them perhaps the elusive passage to Asia, but contrary winds drove him back to the Dauphine, and he and his crew returned to the ocean.  After rounding today's Long Island, they explored Narragansett Bay, which Verrazzano called Refugio--the Refuge.  During their 15-day sojourn there, near present-day Newport, Rhode Island, he and his men encountered Natives who helped replenish their dwindling stores.  A grateful Verrazzano described them as "'the most handsome and best disciplined' of all the peoples" they "had encountered during this voyage."  Sailing farther up the coast, Verrazzano called today's Cape Cod the Shoals of Armellino.  On May 6, perhaps at present-day Boston or, more likely, at Casco Bay, near the mouth of the Kennebec River, he and his men came to the Land of Bad People, who treated the Europeans with a disdainful contempt they had not observed in the Indians to the south.  Significantly, however, these "'evil men'" wore pendant earrings made of copper.  Verrazzano was the first to describe the magnificent coast of Maine, which he called Oranbega--Norembègue to his French successors.  He found the place "'more accessible and devoid of forests,' dominated 'by high mountains sloping down towards the shore,' and fringed with many small islands," evidence, perhaps, that he and his crew were much impressed with what they observed of today's Mount Desert Island.  Farther up the coast, like the Portuguese Fagundes a few years earlier, but from a different direction, they sailed past the mouth of the Bay of Fundy, failing to make note of it, and coasted along the Atlantic shore of today's Nova Scotia peninsula, again failing to note anything significant.  In the final leg of the voyage, they rounded the English cape and the east coast of Newfoundland, where they knew many others had gone before.  All they had seen Verrazzano named Francesco, after King François, but the name did not stick.  On later maps of the newly-"discovered" coast, the cartographers preferred the name Nova Gallia--New France.  Having failed to find any evidence of a short passage to Asia, Verrazzano--and, with him, the literate world--could see that "the 'New World,'" from the tip of South America all the way up to the Arctic region, '"is connected together, not adjoining Asia or Africa (which I know to be a certainty.)'"  From Newfoundland, Verrazzano crossed the northern ocean, successfully this time, and returned to Dieppe by early July, having departed the Madeiras six months earlier.02d

Bernard Hoffman concludes:  "Viewed in perspective, Verrazzano's achievement stands as an important one.  He was the first to explore the gap between the Spanish ventures to the south and the English" and Portuguese "enterprises to the north; he was the first to establish the continental nature of the 'New Founde Land'; and he was the first commander to bring back anything resembling a detailed account of the natives of North America.  For his time this was a tremendous accomplishment."  Canadian historian Marcel Trudel adds:  "Until 1524, nothing whatever was known of what lay between Florida and Cape Breton; Verrazano established the existence of a single, continuous coastline from one to the other, thereby removing this expanse from the realm of conjecture.  The Atlantic seaboard of the North American continent was now charted in its entirety for the first time in history."02e


Meanwhile, in late September 1524, two and a half months after Verrazzano returned to Dieppe, Estêvao Gomes of Oporto, northern Portugal, serving in the employ of Spain, left Coruna and followed the Spanish fishing fleet across the North Atlantic on the first leg of a voyage to find a passage to Asia, which his countrymen had visited only a few years earlier.  Gomes, in fact, while serving as captain of the San Antonio, one of Magellan's five vessels, had deserted the expedition before it reached the tip of South America.  After he returned with his ship to Spain in May 1521, he was promptly thrown into prison.  A year later, the 18 survivors aboard Magellan's only remaining vessel, the Victoria, related the horrors of the circumnavigation, which Magellan himself did not survive.  Spanish authorities promptly released the captain-deserter, who persuaded King Carlos I to let him try his hand at finding the northwest passage.  At Bilbao, the Spanish built a special ship for Gômez, as they called him--the 75-ton caravel La Anunciata.  After crossing to Santiago de Cuba, where they took on supplies, Gomes and his crew of 29 headed north, essentially following Verrazzano's recent voyage.  After rounding Cape Cod, Gomes dubbed present-day Casco Bay San Antonio.  Exploring the coast of present-day Maine, "taking soundings of all the bays and river mouths as he went," Gomes "discovered" Penobscot Bay and the magnificent river that flows into it.  The Natives called it Pentagouët, but Gomes called it the Deer River.  Here, he hoped, was the passage to Asia and perhaps the site of Norumbega (Verrazzano's Norembègue), the fabled city of gold, which supposedly lay somewhere near the 45th parallel.  However, when Gomes reached the head of navigation of the Penobscot River at present-day Bangor, Maine, he realized he was nowhere near Magellan's ocean.  "Not wishing to return empty-handed, Gomes kidnapped on the coast of Maine or Nova Scotia a large number of Indians whom he planned to sell as slaves.  We know that at least 58 reached Spain alive," one of his biographers informs us.  Although King Carlos I later freed the captured Natives, they and their relatives would not have forgotten their ill treatment at the hands of the Europeans.  Continuing northeastward along the coast, Gomes misconstrued the true nature of today's Nova Scotia peninsula and called it Isla de San Juan.  He continued his northward journey all the way to Cape Race, the southeast tip of Newfoundland, mistaking Cabot Strait as just another coastal bay, and returned to Coruna in August 1525 after a voyage of 10 months and 27 days.02v  

Before the French could exploit the new discoveries, King François fell into the hands of the Spanish during his disastrous campaign in Italy, and it was the Spanish who were the first to attempt a settlement in the region of Verrazzano's and Gomes's explorations.  With information obtained during the early 1520s from the voyages of Francisco Gordillo and slave-trader Pedro de Quejo to the area called Chicora, and likely from Gomes's reports as well, sugar planter Lucas Vásquez de Ayllón of Santo Domingo sailed northward in three ships from Hispaniola in the summer of 1526.  He, too, was searching for a passage to Asia, but he also was intent on remaining at Chicora.  With him were a hand full of Dominican friars, 600 colonists, including African slaves, a hundred horses, shiploads of provisions, and livestock, to be settled on a grant of land awarded to de Ayllón by Emperor Charles V, who also was King Carlos I of Spain.  Also in the expedition was a captured Chicora, who served as the expedition's interpreter and guide; Francisco, as the Spanish called him, had been taken to Spain to be examined by scholars and learned to speak Spanish fluently.  On September 29, the Feast of the Archangels, de Ayllón's expedition landed at Winyah Bay, near present-day Georgetown, South Carolina, the gateway to Chicora.  After searching the area northward to today's Pawleys Island, during which Francisco escaped to his people, de Ayllón lost a ship in Winyah Bay.  This prompted him to head back down the coast to find a more suitable site for settlement, some of his colonists traveling overland, others by water.  During the first week of October, the parties united at Sapelo Sound on today's central Georgia coast.  There, on October 8, they began construction of the short-lived settlement of San Miguel de Gualdape.  While the settlement was being built, de Ayllón died.  The loss of their commander, compounded by squabbling among the remaining leaders, hunger, disease, a shortage of supplies, the hostility of the local Natives, and a slave revolt, forced the survivors--only 150 of the original 600--to abandon the venture.  In January 1527, only three months after the enterprise was launched, a flotilla commanded by Francisco Gômez returned them to Hispaniola.02b 

Gomes's 11-month search for the passage to Asia extended the reach of Iberian hegemony far above their claims to Florida and provided more details for their maps of the northern coastline, which they dubbed Gômez Land.  But their first attempt to settle along the coast north of Florida, in Ayllón Land, south of Gômez Land, proved to be a dismal failure.  The way was now open for other nations to exploit their own claims in North America.02w


But, again, a power other than France jumped into the fray and strengthened its own claims in the region.  In May 1527, only two years after the voyages of Verrazzano and Gomes, King Henry VIII of England sent an expedition of two ships from London, the Mary of Guildford and the Sampson, "'to seke strange regions,'" under command of John Rut, "accompanied by Canon Albert de Prato."  These "strange regions," the English hoped, included the elusive northwest passage to Asia.  The ships crossed from Plymouth in June, sailing northwestward across the Atlantic.  On the passage over, a storm separated them.  The Mary of Guilford sailed on, hoping to find the northern passage, but in July the sea ice and then the surprisingly warm water of the upper Gulf Stream drove her crew south towards Newfoundland.  They anchored at Cape de Bas for 10 days, waiting for the Sampson.  Sailing north again, they encountered more ice, and then turned south to St. John's, Newfoundland, which they reached in early August and where they hoped to meet their fellow Englishmen.  At St. John's, they encountered a dozen fishing vessels from Normandy, Brittany, and Portugal and stayed there a week.  During that time, their pilot, a Piedmontese, was killed by Natives when the Englishmen attempted to go ashore.  Hearing no more of their consort, they may have re-crossed the Atlantic, returning to England in early October, or they may have headed south along the Atlantic coast, passing the site of the recently abandoned Spanish settlement under de Ayllón.  In November, an English vessel appeared at Santo Domingo in the West Indies, its crew hoping to take on fresh water and provisions, but the Spanish drove them away.  The Englishmen continued on to Puerto Rico, where they found settlers willing to trade, and then the Spanish heard no more of them. 

Bernard Hoffman postulates that the English vessel at St. John's may not have been the same vessel that encountered the Spanish in the West Indies but rather its missing consort the Sampson.  (How else could one explain the return of one of the expedition's vessels in early October, a month before an English ship encountered the Spanish at Santo Domingo?)  Marcel Trudel concludes:  "This expedition, faring no better than it predecessors, found no route to Asia.  However, it did enable England to assert her rights on the Atlantic seaboard along with France and Spain, and moreover it was she, the late-comer, who was to gain possession of this long coastline in the end."02x


Finally, a full decade after Verrazzano's first voyage, the French returned to Nova Gallia with another sanctioned venture.  In 1532, about the time the duchy of Brittany was formally united with France, François I, still the King of France and no longer a prisoner in Spain, made a pilgrimage to the seaside monastery of Mont-St.-Michel, near the border of Normandy and Brittany.  Jean Le Veneur, comte and Bishop of Lisieux, Grand Almoner of the kingdom, and Abbé of Mont-St.-Michel, introduced the King to a Breton pilot, Jacques Cartier of St.-Malo, then 41 years of age.  Le Veneur informed the King that Cartier was a relative of the bursar at Mont-St.-Michel and had sailed to Newfoundland and Brazil, proof of his abilities as a trans-oceanic navigator.  The bishop promised the King that if he sent Cartier to Nova Gallia, the bishop would provide chaplains, as well as funds, for the venture.  François, along with the Admiral of France, was enthusiastic about the venture, but the King's good relations with Pope Clement VII, his ally against Emperor Charles V (Spain's Carlos I), made him reluctant to ignore the bulls of Clement's predecessor, Pope Alexander VI.  The marriage of François's son to a niece of Pope Clement gave the King an opportunity to discuss the bulls of 1493 with his powerful ally, "who was more interested in Italian politics than in unknown lands" and "raised no difficulties" about papal restrictions issued four decades ago.  Moreover, François reasoned "'that the papal bull dividing up the new continents between the crowns of Spain and Portugal concerned only already-known continents and not lands subsequently discovered by the other crowns.'"  And so two years after their meeting at Mont-St.-Michel, François commissioned Cartier "Captain and Pilot for the King" and ordered him to return to North America.  The navigator's primary mission would be to search for "gold and other precious things," as well as the elusive passage to Asia.  According to Cartier biographer Marcel Trudel, the account of his voyage "mentions no priest engaged in evangelization among the natives," so conversion of the "savages" evidently was not a goal of the expedition.  Trudel continues:  "it would moreover have been useless, because of the linguistic barrier.  Although the ship's muster-roll has not been found, one may surmise that at least one priest was on board; when Bishop Le Veneur had proposed Cartier he had undertaken to supply the chaplains, and the account of the voyage alludes to the singing of masses."  In all other respects, however, this expedition, like Verrazzano's a decade earlier, was motivated by secular interests.02q 

Cartier left St.-Malo on 20 April 1534 "with two ships of about sixty tons' burden each and with a total of sixty-one men," and reached Cabot's Cape Bonavista, which he called Bonne Viste, on the east coast of Newfoundland, on May 10, an amazingly short voyage of only 20 days.  The expedition headed briefly south to Ste.-Catherine harbor to avoid the sea ice, and it may have been there that he noted the many fishing vessels from a number of regions in Europe.  Turning north, he sailed to Île-des-Oiseaux, the Island of Birds, 50 miles out into the North Atlantic, where he "obtained a plentiful supply of meat," before returning to the coast of Newfoundland.  There, he turned north again and sailed past Cap-Dégrat, today's Cape Norman, into the Baie-des-Châteaux, today's Strait of Belle-Isle, which separates Newfoundland from Labrador.  Here was his first major objective, which he reached on May 27, but it also proved to be his first major obstacle.  Immobilized by winds and ice, he had to wait nearly two weeks before he could force passage through the strait.  This gave him time to examine the inlets, islands, and land forms at the northern tip of Newfoundland, including the area later called L'Anse-à-la-Médée, now L'Anse-aux-Meadows, where Norsemen had settled five centuries earlier but which would remain unknown to history for four centuries more.  Finally, on June 9, Cartier was able to resume his voyage through the Baie-des-Châteaux.  After passing through the strait, on June 12 or 13, he encountered his first Natives at Brest, a water-and-wood depot for cod fishermen on the south coast of Labrador.  These likely were Beothuks who had come to the shore to hunt seals and walruses.  A hundred miles to the west of the strait, while coasting along the north shore of today's Gulf of St. Lawrence, Cartier encountered a fishing boat from La Rochelle, evidently lost, and directed it back towards the North Atlantic.  "Cartier was not yet in a totally unknown world," Professor Trudel reminds us, "but he freely assigned names to the geographical features of the north coast:  Île Sainte-Catherine; Toutes-Isles; Havre Saint-Antoine; Havre Saint-Servan where he set up his first cross; Rivière Saint-Jacques; Havre Jacques-Cartier."  Nowhere did he see land worth settling upon, nor evidence of mineral wealth, nor anything of value.  "'I did not see one cart-load of earth,'" he complained in his report, "'it was the land God gave to Cain.'"  On June 15, he steered southward and soon encountered the northwest coast of Newfoundland.  He now had crossed over into terra incognito (unless one accepts historians' claims of earlier explorations in the Gulf of St. Lawrence during 1506 and 1520).  On the first leg of what would prove to be a grand circuit of the Gulf, destined to be one of Cartier's most significant voyages, he sailed down the long west coast of Newfoundland to present-day Cabot Strait, where heavy tides gave a clue that this might be a passage back to the Atlantic.  But a passage to Asia would be found to the westward, so he turned his ship's bow towards the setting sun.  He set up another cross on Île Brion, which he named for Philippe de Chabot, sieur de Brion, the Admiral of France and which he noted was more fertile than anything he had seen along the barren coast of Newfoundland.  The following day, on June 26, he reached what he called the Îles-de-Margaulx, today's Îles-de-la-Madeleine, and assumed that here was the beginning of a mainland.  Three days later, now trending southwestward, he coasted the north shore of today's Prince Edward Island and thought it, too, was part of a mainland.  He and his men went ashore in several places and spotted more Natives, but they did not make contact with them.  Around the first of July, he rounded the coast of this "mainland," now sailing southward, and came upon an expanse of water he thought was a bay and named it St.-Lunaire.  Here was the northern end of a long expanse of shallow water called Mer Rouge, the Red Sea, in the following century, today's Northumberland Strait.  Cartier then turned north to explore an actual mainland--the east coast of today's New Brunswick.  Concentrating once again on the passage to Asia, he inspected each of the small bays along this undiscovered shore, lingering perhaps at present-day Miramichi, and found them all disappointing.02g 

He and his men, now, may have been the first Europeans to lay eyes on any of these places. 

Continuing northward along the disappointing coast, he entered what the Natives called Mechsamecht and what he called Baie des Chaleurs, the Warm Waters Bay.  On July 3, he dubbed the southern tip of land at the entrance to the bay Cap d'Espérance, "'for the hope we had of finding here a strait'" that led to Asia.  On the north side of the bay he found a good harbor, which he named St.-Martin, probably today's Port-Daniel, Québec.  For over a week, from July 4 to 12, he investigated every part of the Warm Waters Bay all the way up to the wide, beautiful stream that formed its head, today's Rivière Restigouche.  Reaching the mouth of the river on July 8, he and his men noted the "'very high mountainous land'" off in the distance and knew this could be no passage to Asia.02y 

On July 6, while still coasting along the north shore of the Baie des Chaleurs, one of Cartier's long-boats encountered "two 'fleets' totaling 'forty or fifty canoes'" manned by Natives whom Cartier called the Toudamans, an Algonquin-speaking people who called themselves the Mi'kmaq.  This was the nation whose warriors had recently begun the expulsion of the Iroquois-speaking Mohawk from the Gaspé region, so they were not a people who were easily intimidated.  Shouting and gesturing in apparent glee, they tried to make contact with the boatload of Frenchmen who had suddenly appeared in their country.  Fearing their numbers, and unsure of their intent, Cartier ordered his men to drive the screaming Natives away with cannon and musketry fired discreetly over their heads.  The Natives fled, but they soon returned and followed the Frenchmen back to Havre St.-Martin.  The next day, July 7, back in the safety of their ships, Cartier sanctioned contact between his crewmen and the Natives and doubtlessly held his breath.  The Mi'kmaq at "first offered strips of seal meat, but ended up stark naked after trading away their clothes," which they happily exchanged for metal implements.  While exploring deeper into the warm-water bay, Cartier and his men encountered even more Natives along the bay shore, including women and children this time.  Again, the Frenchmen exchanged "hatchets, knives, beads and other wares" for the Natives' fur.  Here were the first "official" contacts between the French and the Mi'kmaq in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, though for years members of that nation had been encountering Breton and Norman fishermen drying their catch along the Atlantic shore of today's Cape Breton Island.  How else would they have known that these Europeans would be eager to trade with them for their winter clothing?  Cartier made note of the basic Mi'kmaq way of life.  They "'go from place to place maintaining themselves and catching fish in the fishing season for food,'" he wrote in his report of the voyage.  Impressed with the nation's friendliness, especially of its women, some of whom "'advanced freely towards us and rubbed our arms with their hands,'" Cartier made a prescient prediction:  "'I am more than ever of opinion,'' he wrote, "'that these people would be easy to convert to our holy faith.'"02f 

Continuing north along the coast of today's Gaspé peninsula, which Cartier called Honguedo, his ships sailed past an unusually shaped rock, which the French later named Île Percé--Pierced Island.  On July 14, his flotilla reached today's Baie de Gaspé, where they anchored to wait out the fog and mist that enveloped the coast.  However, winds so strong that one of the ships lost its anchor forced them "to push on another seven or eight leagues" up the coast to present-day Gaspé harbor.  Here they waited nine long days for the weather to improve. 

And here they encountered other Natives, in even more impressive numbers.  Cartier estimated that more than 300 of them had gathered in several camps around the periphery of the harbor.  These Natives were not Mi'kmaq but Laurentian Iroquois, and, like the Mi'kmaq, this was their first "official" encounter with the French.  Cartier observed that they had come to the area from an inland country to fish for tinker mackerel, "'of which there is great abundance.'"  Again, there was much trading and commiseration between Frenchman and Indian, including "small tin bells" for the Indian women, who sang and danced in celebration.  Cartier, the world traveler, described the Natives' dress and their itinerant lifestyle in great detail:  "This people may well be called savage; for they are the sorriest folk there can be in the world, and the whole lot of them had not anything above the value of five sous, their canoes and fishing-nets excepted.  They go quite naked, except for a small skin, with which they cover their privy parts, and for a few old furs which they throw over their shoulders.  They are not at all of the same race or language as the first we met.  They have their heads shaved all around in circles, except for a tuft on the top of the head, which they leave long like a horse's tail.  This they do up upon their heads and tie in a knot with leather thongs.  They have no other dwelling but their canoes, which they turn upside down and sleep on the ground underneath.  They eat their meat almost raw, only warming it a little on the coals; and the same with their fish.'"  When Cartier and his men left their ships and went ashore to walk freely among the Natives, "'At this they showed great joy, and the men all began to sing and dance in two or three groups, exhibiting signs of great pleasure at our coming.  But they made all the young women retire into the woods, except two or three who remained, to whom we gave each a comb and a little tin bell, at which they showed great pleasure, thanking the captain by rubbing his arms and his breast with their hands.  And the men, seeing we had given something to the women that had remained, made those come back who had fled to the woods, in order to receive the same as the others.  These, who numbered some twenty, crowded about the captain and rubbed him with their hands, which is their way of showing welcome.  He gave them each a little tin ring of small value; and at once they assembled together in a group to dance; and sang several songs.'"  Cartier also described the Natives' great haul of mackerel and the hempen nets in which they were caught.  He noted that "'they only come down to the sea in the fishing-season, as I have been given to understand.'"  He described their Indian corn, their beans, and especially their fruit, which, like Europeans, they dried for the winter; these included plums, figs, pears, apples, as well as nuts.  In turn, the Natives demonstrated how they planted and cooked their corn, which they grew "'in the country where they ordinarily reside.'"  Cartier observed that "They never eat anything that has a taste of salt in it.'"  He transcribed the words they used for objects such as hatchet, knife, corn, beans, nuts, and apples; he even recorded the word they used to say we "have none of it and know not what it is.'"  Misunderstanding the Natives' cultural imperative that everything of value must be shared, the Frenchman added:  "'They are wonderful thieves and steal everything they can carry off.'"02h

Before departing Honguedo, Cartier and his men erected a 30-foot cross at the entrance to the harbor, today's Pointe-Penouille.  The cross bore the royal coat of arms and the inscription "Vive Le Roy de France."  The Iroquois chief, Donnacona, perceived not only the cross, but also the ceremony accompanying its erection, as a provocation against himself and his people.  From a canoe which held one of his brothers and three of his sons, the chief harangued the Frenchmen for erecting the thing without his permission.  Cartier insisted that the cross was nothing more than a convenient marker to allow them to return to this very harbor.  In a Columbus-like gesture, the Frenchmen lured Donnacona and his entourage aboard one of his vessels.  Following the precedent of many explorations, Cartier implored two of the sons, Taignoagny and Domagaya, to remain with him as interpreters and accompany him to France.  Donnacona at first demurred but, after much "feasting," consented to release his sons to the Frenchman if Cartier agreed to return them with European goods to trade.  To further insure that he would see his sons again, Donnacona agreed to an alliance between his people and the French.  On July 25, with the chief's sons in tow, Cartier sailed not westward--evidently "a mirage effect caused him to believe that his path was blocked" in that direction--but east-northeastward to what he called L'Assumption and the Indians called Naticousti, today's Anticosti Island.  During the crossing from Honguedo to Anticosti, Cartier did not realize that he was crossing the estuary of a great river that could have taken him deep into the continent.  After circumnavigating Anticosti first southeastward and then northwestward, he judged it to be a peninsula, not an island.  From August 1 to 5, along the north shore of Anticosti, "he tried to find out whether he was in a bay or a waterway," but his efforts failed to solve the dilemma.  The heavy tides of Le Destroyt St. Pierre, today's St. Peter's Strait, as well as foul weather, discouraged him from exploring any farther.  If the weather had allowed him to sail a few more leagues westward along the north shore of the "peninsula," he would have entered the estuary of the same great river that had eluded him on his way up to Anticosti.  Instead, he turned eastward and found himself sailing swiftly before "a following sou'wester" along another desolate shore.  He encountered more Natives at what he called Le Cap Thiennot, entered open water, and found himself back at the west coast of Newfoundland, which he reached on August 8.  He had completed a circuit of an impressive body of water, a great lake or basin, he could not be certain, but he had found no passage to Asia anywhere along its shore.  After following the coast back through the Strait of Belle-Isle, he turned his little fleet into the North Atlantic.  He returned to St.-Malo on September 5, having left that port only four and a half months earlier.  Aboard his vessels were no chests of gold, silver, or gems, nor any evidence of these riches in the form of carefully mined ore.  This doubtlessly disappointed the King and his investors, but Cartier's cargo of furs may have caught the attention of the men who controlled the nation's hatters' guilds, and his descriptions of "a great, even teeming abundance of cod ... off the west coast of Newfoundland" certainly thrilled the fishermen and their investors, who were always eager to exploit new fisheries.  The richest "cargo" of the voyage, however, was decidedly immaterial--"a valuable addition to contemporary knowledge of America in establishing the existence of a sea beyond Newfoundland."02i


King François agreed that Cartier's expedition was a qualified success and that he should make a second voyage to Nova Gallia.  Donnacona's sons, with their limited command of French, spoke "of a great river which flowed from their territory" into the sea beyond Newfoundland and of a kingdom rich in copper and other metals along the great river's shore.  The King invested 3,000 livres to help finance a second undertaking.  Cartier's commission for the voyage was approved in late October and presented to him at St.-Malo in February 1535.  Again, there was no mandate to convert the "savages," only to find the passage to Asia and mines of precious metals.  He was ready to sail by May 19, this time with three vessels:  the Grande Hermine, his flag vessel, under Thomas Fromont; the Petite Hermine, under Macé Jalobert, Cartier's brother-in-law; and the Érmérillon, a barque, under Guillaume Le Breton Bastille, who may have been a secular priest.  Cartier's expedition was "equipped and victualled for a voyage of a year and a half," so he and his men intended to spend a winter in Nova Gallia.  Cartier's crews now numbered 110, 40 more than he had taken the year before.  Also with him were a hand full of gentlemen, some of them probably investors; more of Cartier's St.-Malo relatives; and his "secretary" from the first voyage, Jehan Poullet.02r 

Cartier set sail from St.-Malo on May 19.  A week later, the flotilla became separated during the stormy crossing, and Cartier's vessel did not reach the Île-des-Oiseaux until July 7--a crossing of 50 days, more than twice as long as the first crossing.  From the Island of Birds, he sailed north in the Grande Hermine to the Belle-Isle strait and waited for his consorts.  His fleet having reunited by the end of July, Cartier led them close along the north shore of the inland sea and westward to St. Peter's Strait, from where he had ended his exploration the previous summer.  On the way, to mark his route, he set up a cross in a harbor west of today's Natashquan.  His next stop was at "'a large and very beautiful bay, full of islands and good entrances,'" which he called St.-Laurent.  Decades later, cartographers would extend the beautiful bay's name "to the gulf, and then to the river."  On August 13, Taignoagny and Domagaya, now competent in French, directed Cartier to the western end of Anticosti, which he had named Assumption and which he now realized was not a peninsula but a large island at the entrance to a huge estuary.  He landed on the island on August 15 and found it uninhabitable.  As if to emphasize the much more hospitable place from which they sprang, the brothers described for him their home, their canada, which lay far to the west, up the great river they were about to enter.  They promised that the river would grow narrower as they ascended and that its water gradually would turn from salty to fresh.  At their Canada, they explained, the French would have to anchor their ships and continue up the river in smaller vessels.  They assured Cartier that they had never heard of anyone reaching the headwaters above the falls at Hochelaga, such was the great distance from which it flowed.  Determined not to miss a passage to Asia during his ascent of the river, Cartier crossed the estuary and sailed westward along the shore of Honguedo, its mountains towering above him to several thousand feet.  He then crossed to the north side of the estuary, which he now could see was gradually narrowing.  To make certain he had missed no passage to Asia, he turned east again and sailed in that direction for a number of leagues.  He found only walruses and small, uninhabited islands along another coast as barren as the one he had observed farther to the east.02 

It was the beginning of September now, time to ascend the river of Canada before the summer slipped away.  Surely here would be the passage across the continent that Cabot and Verrazzano had missed.  Sailing along the north shore of the estuary, he came upon the mouth of a "'very deep and rapid river'" flowing in from the west.  The Natives he encountered here called their village Thadoyzeau, today's Tadoussac, after the Montagnais word for "'bosom,' probably in reference to the two round and sandy hills located on the west side of the village."  The Iroquois brothers called the river there Saguenay and assured Cartier that stores of red copper and other valuable minerals could be found up the "deep and rapid river."  Cartier did not have time to explore the Saguenay beyond its mouth.  Despite the trees along the harbor shore, he noted that Tadoussac had but little soil and held little promise of sustaining a settlement.  Meanwhile, an Iroquois fishing party from upriver arrived at Tadoussac, and the brothers "renewed acquaintance with their compatriots."  Continuing his ascent of the river of Canada, Cartier's vessels came upon the first of a series of widely scattered islands, 14 in number, lying in the narrowing channel.  Near today's Île-aux-Coudres, he and his men may have noticed that the river's water tasted less brackish.  Soon, the Iroquois brothers assured them, they would reach their native village.  The largest island, at the upper end of the chain, Cartier estimated to be fully ten leagues in length and nearly filled the river channel.  It now was September 7.  Cartier anchored his ships at the western end of the big island, today's Île d'Orléans.  The Natives he encountered refused to come near until they learned of the identity of the Frenchmen's passengers.  The Iroquois then "brought eels, coarse millet (corn), some large melons (probably pumpkins), and a fest was held; Domagaya and Taignoagny must have longed for corn while they were away," and here it was for them to savor.  The following day, Donnacona himself, the "lord of Canada," appeared with a large entourage of a dozen canoes.  After greeting the Frenchmen and his sons with an animated harangue, followed by more feasting, the chief led them to a commanding bluff along the north bank of the river.  Here stood Stadacona, the canada so dear to the Iroquois brothers.02z 

Cartier and his men lingered at Stadacona longer than he intended.  After more feasting and the requisite ceremonials, Cartier "ordered out the long-boats and went off in search of a harbour" that could accommodate his ships.  He searched downriver along the north shore for about 10 leagues and, on September 14, found his harbor.  He called it Ste.-Croix, "after the festival celebrated on that day," and there he anchored his ships in the mouth of today's Rivière St.-Charles.  Meanwhile, Donnacona and his sons, especially Taignoagny, did their best to dissuade the Frenchmen from going upriver to Hochelaga.  On September 16, the chief and his sons, along with many of the residents of Stadacona, appeared at Ste.-Croix for one last attempt to dissuade the French from continuing upriver.  During the next three days, the Indians "put on for him a scene of sorcery, which had no effect" of course, and "Donnacona vainly offered gifts," including three small children, to keep the French among them.  By compelling the French to remain at Stadacona, Donnacona and his sons, not their fellow Iroquois upriver, would monopolize the trade that surely would come.  On the 17th, Cartier accepted the gift of the children, "a little girl and two boys"--the girl Donnacona's niece, and one of the boys the chief's youngest son.  Cartier "presented Donnacona with two swords and a brass bowl," but he adamantly refused to forgo his trip.  Later that day, when the French fired volleys of musketry "to crown the celebration ... the Iroquois thought that the heavens were falling upon them and set up 'such a howling and yelling that it seemed that hell itself had been loosed.'  Taignoagny," who had refused to accompany Cartier upriver, "spread the rumour that some natives had been killed during the celebration, and the Iroquois fled in disorder."  On the 18th, the day of Donnacona's witchcraft farce, Domagaya offered to serve as Cartier's interpreter in place of his brother, but Cartier suspected that this brother, too, was in cahoots with his father.  Desperate now, Donnacona offered to let the Frenchmen go if they left a hostage with him at Stadacona.  Put off by their clumsy machinations, Cartier refused to compromise.  He ordered final preparations for the upriver voyage, and the Iroquois returned to their village.298

On September 19, determined to find the passage to Asia, Cartier left the larger vessels anchored at Ste.-Croix and took the barque Érmérillon and two of his long-boats up towards the falls.  Peeved at Donnacona for opposing the venture, Cartier did not bother to take along an interpreter--that is, either of the sons--"which greatly lessened the usefulness of his trip."  On the voyage up, Cartier and his men were much impressed with the land and the forests on both banks of the still magnificent river.  Contact with the Natives was frequent now, and there was much trading, especially food for wares.  There also was more exchange of information, or at least as much of it as the language barrier allowed.  The leader of Achelacy, at present-day Portneuf, "put him on his guard against Donnacona and his sons."  He warned Cartier of the navigational hazards lying ahead, and, to seal an alliance, "presented him with his daughter."  On September 28, below another large tributary flowing down from the north, the river of Canada widened into a virtual lake that was "only two fathoms deep."  Cartier named the lake Angoulême, but a later explorer renamed it Lac St.-Pierre.  An exploration of the lake revealed three tributaries flowing in from the south:  today's Rivière Nicolet, which Cartier named the Chateaubriand; Rivière St.-François, which he called the Montmorency; and, at the far upper end of the lake, the Richelieu, which Cartier did not name.  Cartier later learned from the Indians that "this last river originated in a region where there was neither ice nor snow and where oranges grew, and concluded that this region must lie toward Florida."  Unsure of the river of Canada's channel above the lake, Cartier left the Érmérillon anchored at Angoulême and continued in the long-boats.  On the evening of October 2, he and his men reached Hochelaga, which stood near the south bank of a large island.  Hochelaga was much larger than Stadacona, and like the other Iroquoian villages they had seen along the river but unlike Stadacona, was surrounded by a stout palisade.  At least a thousand Iroquois hurried down to the river's edge, receiving the Frenchmen "like gods."  Gifts were exchanged, including large quantities of fish and corn bread, and Cartier and his men spent the night in their boats.  The next morning, the villagers returned to the river's edge to exchange more gifts, including belts of white beads the Iroquois called esnoguy and other tribes called wampum, the first of which Cartier had seen.  He and about 20 of his men followed some of the Indians up to Hochelaga, which lay in a large meadow beneath a towering height.  The town's palisades formed a perfect circle, and inside the stout walls stood "fifty wooden houses covered with bark, each fifty paces long and twelve to fifteen wide."  More ceremonies followed, including a curiously religious one in which the Iroquois presented their sick to be cured, among them the chief of Hochelaga, "a man of only fifty" who was "completely crippled."  Cartier massaged his twisted arms and legs and read passages from the Gospel of St. John, followed by the Passion of Christ, none of which the natives understood but which they listened to in profound silence.  After another exchange of gifts, Cartier and his men climbed the commanding hill, which he named Mont-Réal.  From atop the King's Hill, they "could view the surrounding land for a distance of thirty leagues."  Looking northwest, they caught their first glimpse of what the natives called Estendue, later dubbed the Rivière-des-Outaouais, now the Ottawa, which the Frenchmen could see was another magnificent tributary of the river of Canada.  The Iroquois told them of the "bad people" who lived along that distant river "and that this tributary led to two or three big lakes and a 'fresh-water sea of which no man is known to have seen the end.'"  Cartier showed them some copper he had received as a gift from Natives downriver and asked if it had come from Estendue.  No, they told him, it had come from Saguenay, but they did not tell him where the fabulous kingdom lay.  The huge rapids above the village, the Frenchmen could see, blocked navigation farther upriver, at least in the ship's boats.  The Hochelagans informed him, however, that "travel by the water route could be resumed higher up, and after negotiating three more rapids it was possible to travel westward by water for three months"--evidence that "[t]he continental barrier was thus much wider than anyone had believed."  Not ready to test "'the most impetuous cataract that it would be possible to see,'" Cartier and his men returned to the long-boats and headed back down to the Érmérillon, the Indians following them "a long way down the river."  They found the barque still safe and sound.  On October 5, they resumed their journey downriver.  Two days later, Cartier and his men lingered at the mouth of the large tributary flowing down from the north which they had encountered on the voyage up.  Cartier named it Rivière-de-Fouez--today's Rivière St.-Maurice--and erected a cross there before moving on.02o 

Back at Ste.-Croix on October 11, after a three-week journey, Cartier found his men constructing a make-shift fortification near the anchored vessels.  Taignoagny and Domagaya, familiar with business practices in France, had urged the villagers in Stadacona to demand more in trade.  They also demanded the return of the three children Donnacona had entrusted to Cartier.  Relations between the two parties quickly soured, so much so that communications with the Natives ended until Cartier's return.  His response was to strengthen the fort with a moat and reinforced palisades and prepare for attack.  Donnacona soon realized his mistake and did what he could to placate Cartier and his men.  In early November, much to the relief of the Frenchmen, who still depended on the Natives for their store of food, the Iroquois relented, a feast was held, and trade resumed, especially for fish.  When weather permitted, Cartier continued his exploration of the large island below the village, which he called at first Île-de-Bacchus, after its many vines, but which he soon renamed Île d'Orléans.  He also inspected the soil at Stadacona, which he claimed was "as good ... as it is possible to find."  The lateness of the season forced him and his men to winter at Ste.-Croix, most of them living aboard ship, but they kept a wary eye on their neighbors.  They had no choice but to remain:  from mid-November until mid-April, their ships lay icebound in the river, which remained frozen all the way up to Hochelaga and a good ways down from Stadacona.  Using the time wisely, they listened attentively to Donnacona's tales about the wonders of the region.  The chief told them of the fabulous Kingdom of Saguenay.  There they would find "'immense quantities of gold, rubies and other rich things, and ... the men there are white as in France and go clothed in woolens,'" the chief averred.  But, like the Hochelagans, Donnacona did not reveal the location of this fabulous kingdom.  Did it lie downriver near Tadoussac, as Donnacona's sons had hinted, or could it be found off to the west, beyond the rapids at Hochelaga, or up the Estendue, past the land of the "bad people"?  Or was it only legend?  Perhaps to intimidate his guests, Donnacona showed them five scalps, "stretched on hoops like parchment," which his warriors had taken from among their enemies to the south, likely the Toudamans, with whom they fought constantly.  The Frenchmen learned of a magnificent lake lying to the south, between Canada and the country of the Magots.  The lake the Iroquois called Pathnos, most likely today's Lake Champlain.  The Magots may have been the Mohawk, linguistic kin, perhaps even the ancestors, of the Canadian Iroquois.  "The network of waterways was moreover beginning to take shape in his mind; the Richelieu, still unnamed, which came from 'Florida'; the St. Lawrence, which was open to navigation for three months; to the north of Hochelaga, a river (the Ottawa) which led to great lakes and to a 'freshwater sea'; great waterways which proved that the continental barrier was much broader than had been believed."  All of this, along with many of the customs of his reluctant hosts, their words and phrases, Cartier diligently recorded as the winter wore on, the snow at times lying four feet on the ground and atop the frozen river.  Worse than the ice and snow, however, was scurvy, which broke out among the Stadaconans in December and then among the French soon after.  "By mid-February [1536] not more than 10 of Cartier's 110 men were still well; 8 were dead, including the young Philippe Rougemont," on whose remains they performed an autopsy.  Cartier and his men prayed fervently to an image of the Virgin Mother, "and Cartier promised to make a pilgrimage to Roc-Amadour" if she intervened on their behalf.  Cartier, who remained untouched by the malady, did his best to hide the condition of his men from the Iroquois.  More Frenchmen died from the malady, however, 25 in all, until Domagaya, who seemed miraculously to have been cured of the dread disease, which Cartier noted had left "one of his legs badly swollen, his teeth 'lost and decayed, and his gums rotted and stinking,'" unwittingly revealed a remedy.  The concoction, prepared by some of the women from the village, was extracted from the bark and leaves of Thuya occidentalis, the white cedar, which the Indians called annedda, the Europeans arbor vitae, "the tree of life."  Most of the men were reluctant to drink the elixir at first, such was the foulness of its taste, but after the bolder ones drank it and quickly recovered, 85 of Cartier's men were still alive when spring finally returned in April.  Here was proof that Europeans could survive a Canadian winter and that settlement there was possible.02p 

After the ice broke up and released his vessels, Cartier had no choice but to abandon one of them, the Petite Hermine, for lack of men to man her sails.  At the end of April, he also found himself embroiled in a dispute between Donnacona and Agona, one of the chief's rivals.  Despite his sons' intrigues against Cartier and his men, Donnacona was convinced that the Frenchmen had taken his side in the matter and that Cartier had agreed to exile his rival to France.  In truth, Cartier reasoned that Donnacona and his sons were the ones who were jeopardizing French relations with the Iroquois, so Agona was not the one who needed to be banished.  On the first of May, the chief and his sons accepted Cartier's invitation to celebrate the erection of another cross.  At 35 feet in height, this one would be even more impressive than the one he had raised in their presence at Honguedo.  It would go up near the fort at Ste.-Croix, in commemoration of "the discovery of the Holy Cross."  During the early afternoon of May 3, the day of the festival, the Iroquois notables appeared in their most impressive regalia, but Donnacona remained wary and, following Taignoagny's advice, refused to enter the fort.  On Cartier's orders, his men overpowered the chief, the two sons, and two other village headmen and forced them aboard the Grande Hermine, where more armed Frenchmen waited.  After "'Wailing and howling all night, like wolves,' the Iroquois demanded their chief," but Cartier refused to release him.  He promised Donnacona and the villagers that he would return the chief to them "in 12 moons" or less "with lavish presents from the king."  Donnacona and the Iroquois, believing the Breton, agreed to the proposal.  Perhaps as a ransom offer, perhaps as a gift, the villagers presented Cartier with "twenty-four strings of esnoguy, 'which is the greatest wealth they have in this world,'" Cartier noted.  No matter, he was determined to follow through on his plan.  Anticipating the skepticism he would face back home, he was determined to display Donnacona as proof of his having reached distant Canada.  Remembering the chief's accounts of Saguenay, Cartier also needed evidence of the region's wealth, which would justify another expedition.  With a cargo of furs, "a dozen pieces of gold" from Saguenay, and 10 natives in tow, including four children, Cartier left Ste.-Croix on May 6, exploring the south shore this time on his way back down the river of Canada.  Opposite the Île-aux-Coudres, they encountered some of Donnacona's people making their way back up from Tadoussac.  The Iroquois "gave their leader farewell presents," and Cartier's ships continued on their way.  Continuing along the coast of Honguedo, they sailed through the southern portion of the Canadian estuary, "'which passage had not hitherto been discovered' because nothing but land had been seen there."  Sailing past today's îles-de-la-Madeleine, which Cartier had seen on his first voyage and which he thought had been part of a mainland, he could see that they actually were a string of islands and that the body of water in which they lay was much larger than he had imagined.  Continuing southeastward to the north shore of Cape Breton Island, which he reached at the beginning of June, he turned northeastward into a wide, tide-churned passage, today's Cabot Strait, the existence of which he had speculated upon during his first exploration of the inland sea.  He continued northeastward, past an island he named for St. Paul, before turning eastward to explore the south coast of Newfoundland, which he reached on June 3.  The farther east he sailed, the more he realized that Newfoundland was an island, not a part of the continent.  He did not make landfall until June 5, when he reached a small archipelago lying off the southeastern coast of Newfoundland, today's îles St.-Pierre and Miquelon.  These islands had been discovered 15 years earlier on Jaoa Alvares Fagundes's first voyage to the region.  Only then did Cartier encounter Breton and Norman fishing boats and know that he no longer was in undiscovered country.  He now realized that the great body of water west of Newfoundland actually was a large gulf that touched on regions yet to be explored.  He remained at the archipelago, among the fishing boats, for 11 days before sailing on to Cape Race, at the southeast tip of Newfoundland, which he reached on June 16.  At a nearby harbor variously called Rougnouse, Rosono, and Renewse, he took on fresh water and firewood and left behind one of his long-boats.  He headed out to sea on June 19 and was back at St.-Malo on July 16, having taken 14 months to complete his second voyage to Nova Gallia and back.02j 


Soon after Cartier returned to France, the nation was again at war with Spain, so a third expedition to Canada had to wait for more peaceful times.  Cartographers, meanwhile, following accounts of Cartier's ventures, redrew their maps and charts of the regions the Breton had explored.  Even if a third voyage had not materialized, "Cartier's achievement in 1535-36 marked the peak of French exploration in America in the sixteenth century," Marcel Trudel insists, which was true in the realm of cartography but less so in the great game of European exploitation.  King François granted an audience in which Cartier presented reports, both verbally and in writing, of his exploits on the 800-leagues-long river of Canada, which, the explorer believed, "might well lead to Asia.  He brought a dozen pieces of genuine gold, and furs that could be sold at a handsome price, and spoke of wondrous things."  The King was so impressed with Cartier's imagined accomplishments he awarded him with the Grande Hermine and compensated him for expenses incurred in the first and second voyages.  The King was especially taken with Donnacona's tales of faraway Canada, which included accounts of "mines which were very rich in gold and silver, of an abundance of cloves, nutmeg, and pepper (the spices of which Europe dreamed)" in the magnificent Kingdom of Saguenay.  Evidently Donnacona and the other Iroquois captives consented to speak to a St.-Malo scholar preparing the relations of Cartier's voyages.  The result was an extensive vocabulary of Iroquois words and phrases, as well as descriptions of their customs and beliefs.  The King certainly was pleased to hear that three of the "'savages of Canada'" had been baptized at St.-Malo on 25 March 1539.02k 

The Spanish, however, did not applaud Cartier's efforts in a part of the New World they insisted was theirs.  On learning from his many spies that François I planned to send another expedition to "the Indies," Carlos I mobilized Spanish forces in the region, attempted to coax Portugal into opposing the French, and complained to Pope Paul III of French violations of the Treaty of Tordesillas, now four and a half decades old.  The current conflict between the two nations, called the War of Provence, ended with the Truce of Nice in June 1538, but, even in times of peace, the Spanish kept a wary eye on French intentions in their Atlantic realms.  They, too, refused to limit exploitation of the unexplored regions of North America.  In May 1539, a major expedition from Cuba under Hernando de Soto--nine ships, 620 men, and 220 horses--landed at today's Tampa Bay, their mission to seek gold, silver, and a passage to Asia in the interior of the continent beyond Florida.  Meanwhile, in February 1540, Francisco Vásquez de Coronado y Luján, with 400 Spanish soldiers, four Franciscan friars, nearly 2,000 Indian allies, an assortment of servants, and horses aplenty, launched another large expedition into the North American interior, this one into the deserts and mountains at the northern edge of New Spain.  Coronado's mission was to find the seven golden cities of Cíbola, one of which Father Marcos de Nizar claimed to have seen in an earlier expedition to the north of Mexico.  Back in Spain, court officials were especially disturbed by a proclamation issued from Paris in August 1540 in which François I "accorded universal permission to all his subjects to go to the 'new lands,' including the Portuguese territories."  Here was a direct threat to Spanish interests in every part of their American realm. 

Two months later, on 17 October 1540, as if to underscore his new resolve, François granted Cartier a commission as "captain general" of a third expedition to Canada.  At first, the "captain general" was empowered "to continue his exploration, broaden his relations with the natives, and only live among them 'if need be,'" taking with him "individuals of 'all kinds, arts and industries,' including 50 men "he was authorized to take from the prisons."  But an asset he had enjoyed in his second expedition, the presence of two interpreters, no longer would be available to him:  Donnacona, his sons, and most of the other Iroquois in Cartier's entourage lay buried in the foreign soil of France.  Here was a circumstance that would not sit well with their kinsmen back in Canada.  In mid-January 1541, the King added another complication to Cartier's venture; François appointed an old acquaintance, Calvinist privateer Jean-François de la Rocque, sieur de Roberval, as the lieutenant-general of New France and head of the expedition.  Now, instead of another voyage of exploration, the venture also would be "a great colonizing undertaking" with Roberval, not Cartier, at its helm.  The Breton, well aware of royal inconstancy, agreed to serve as the expedition's "Chief Navigator."  In February, Roberval also was authorized to impress convicts for the Canadian venture, and settlers would include women as well as men.  Convicts, of course, were to make up only part of the colonial population and only the lowest elements.  "In order to attract gentlemen and others 'of excellent virtue or industry' to the enterprise, the King created two institutions for America which were to be long-lived; the seigneurial régime and commercial monopoly."  Here would be a proper colony that would sanction French claims to those parts of the New World untouched by Spanish and Portuguese settlement.  Ironically, Roberval's commission as lieutenant-general also charged him "with 'spreading the holy Catholic faith'" in Canada and building churches there, so he may have conveniently espoused the faith of his fathers in order to secure the appointment.  His, and Cartier's of the previous October, were the first commissions granted to Frenchmen that called for the building of churches and the conversion of natives.  "Indeed," Professor Trudel informs us, "the foreign policy of the kings of France was from then on to be labelled RELIGION."02za 

To elude Spanish warships, Cartier and Roberval agreed to sail from France in separate flotillas.  With the King's urging and Roberval's approval, Cartier's vessels were the first to sail.  He left St.-Malo on 23 May 1541 in "five ships provisioned for two years," with 500 men aboard, though a Spanish spy named Santiago reported 1,500.  Again, Cartier took along two of his brothers-in-law-- Guyon Des Granches, vicomte de Beaupré; and the pilot Marc, or Macé, Jalobert--as well as nephew Étienne Noël, who like Jalobert was an excellent pilot; and Olivier du Breil, "charged with 'the conduct of the King's ships.'"  Cartier's vessels included his own ship, the Grande Hermine, and the recently-repaired barque Émérillon, survivors of his second voyage, as well as the Saint-Brieux, the Georges, and an unidentified vessel.  Also aboard were "20 cows, 4 bulls, 100 sheep, 100 goats, 10 hogs and 20 horses and mares ... the first European livestock in the St. Lawrence valley, if not in all of North America north of Florida."  French authorities could not know it, but, despite the tenuous peace between the two nations, Carlos I, employing information provided by his spies at St.-Malo, had ordered two Spanish caravels to intercept the French flotillas, believed to be seven ships with Cartier and four with Roberval.  One caravel hurried to the Cape Verde Islands, the other up to Newfoundland.  Luckily for the French, neither of these Spanish vessels completed their missions.02zb 

Cartier's crossing was plagued by foul weather, which scattered his vessels.  It took them over a month to cross to Newfoundland, compared to 20 days in 1534 and a stormy month and a half in 1535.  After taking on water and waiting in vain for Roberval's ships--the commander's departure was delayed by lack of artillery for his vessels--Cartier followed his previous route to the river of Canada and stood before Stadacona on 23 August 1541, exactly three months after departing St.-Malo.  He had been away from Canada for five long years.  The villagers greeted them "with great demonstrations of joy."  Agona, now chief of Stadacona, revealed no emotion when Cartier informed him of the death of Donnacona, though one can be certain that Agona was aware of Cartier's power to seize him as well.  As to the other Iroquois who had been spirited away, Cartier told the villagers that each of them had "decided" to remain in France and live there like "grands seigneurs."  The villagers presented him with esnoguy, and Agona proffered to Cartier his leather crown, but "with the coming of five ships and a considerable population, the Iroquois began to have apprehensions for their continued possession of the country.  Between the French and the Iroquois," Marcel Trudel reminds us, "there lay a deeper gulf than five years' absence."  Cartier also harbored apprehensions of his own.  Remembering the true meaning of the Iroquois's outpourings of joy and the conflicts with them on his second voyage, he chose to settle not at Ste.-Croix, below Stadacona, but above the village at a site which also stood on the north bank of the river but at a greater distance from the village.  The new site, which he called Cap-Rouge, lay at the mouth of a small tributary and was closer to Hochelaga, where Cartier was confident he still retained the favor of the natives.  After anchoring his five ships off Rivière Cap-Rouge, he and his men cleared "a large park," erected two forts, one at the mouth of the little river, the other atop the commanding bluff, both palisades connected by a trail that ran up "a payre of staires," "and started cultivating the soil" at what Cartier called Charlesbourg-Royal.  While constructing the new settlement, Cartier's men found not only a stand of precious white cedar, the "tree of life," but also what they thought were diamonds and gold.  On September 2, in compliance with the King's orders, Cartier sent Marc Jalobert and Étienne Noël back to France with the Saint-Brieux and the Georges, bearing a cargo of what proved to be nothing more than mica and iron pyrite.  Also with them were letters describing what Cartier had found at Cap-Rouge and the sad announcement of the death of Thomas Fromont dit La Bouille, one of the ship's masters. 

On September 7, after leaving the settlement in charge of his brother-in-law, the Vicomte de Beaupré, Cartier headed upriver in two boats to Hochelaga, where he hoped to find a way through, or around, the rapids there that would take him to the Kingdom of Saguenay and deeper into the interior of the continent.  On the way up, he visited Achelacy, where he reaffirmed their alliance with generous gifts.  In a reversal of his policy of capturing Indians to teach them French, as he had done with Donnacona's son, Cartier left two French boys with Achelacy to learn the Iroquois language--"the first Europeans to become pupils of the natives."  Reaching the site of Hochelaga on September 11, Cartier did not receive the wild greeting he had enjoyed six years earlier.  Intending to return the following spring to ascend the great river as well as the Ottawa in search of Saguenay, he was there to examine the rapids in greater detail, not to parlay with the natives.  He attempted to ascend the first set of rapids in one of the boats, but the "'great rockes, and so great a current'" blocked the way.  He did find a well-beaten path around this first sault, at the end of which lay another village of Iroquois, whom he befriended.  He explained to them his intentions for the following spring, and they provided him with four guides, who led them up to another village near another set of rapids at today's Lachine.  Cartier asked the natives about the rapids farther up, which they demonstrated "'with certaine little stickes, which they layd upon the ground in a certain distance, and afterwards ladye other small branches between both, presenting the Saults.'"  Returning to their boats, Cartier and his men distributed more gifts to the natives in riverside villages as they made their way down to the ships at Cap-Rouge.  At Achelacy, he was chagrined to find the chief gone from the village, unaware that his "ally" had gone downriver to conspire with Agona against the French.  Back at Charlesbourg-Royal, Cartier noted the growing distrust between his men and the villagers at Stadacona and learned that even Achelacy had "abandoned him."  Agona, meanwhile, pondered the fate of his predecessor and grew weary of supporting the European interlopers.  Without warning, the Iroquois struck Charlesbourg-Royal sometime that autumn.  More of Cartier's men--perhaps 35 in all--perished behind their fortifications that autumn and winter, many of them convicts who had no gift for the art of frontier warfare.  The "tree of life" stood them in good stead over the long, hard winter, but native hostility, not scurvy, was Cartier's biggest worry through the winter and spring.  "Agona was avenging Donnaconna," the dead chief's biographer tells us.  "We must go back to this wintering-over of 1541-42 to date the beginning of the wars between the French and the Iroquois.  They were the result of Cartier's policy," Marcel Trudel insists, and doomed the navigator's feeble attempts to establish a permanent settlement.02l 

Evidently sometime in the spring of 1542 Cartier and some of his men were able to extricate themselves from the palisades at Charlesbourg-Royal and return to the falls at Hochelaga, "but we do not know how far he went," Trudel tells us, or what new things he may have discovered there.  By June, after 10 months of effort, Cartier gave up on Charlesbourg-Royal.  He filled his ships with more "diamonds and gold," as well as silver, "pearls and precious stones," and headed back to France.  Roberval, meanwhile, still was having difficulty outfitting his own flotilla.  The ships he did provision from the sale of one of his estates he used to engage in piracy against English merchantmen to raise more funds for the expedition.  France was at peace with England at the time, so King François had no choice but to repudiate his lieutenant-general's depredations.  Not until 16 April 1542 did Roberval depart La Rochelle for Newfoundland.  With him were three ships:  the Valentine; the Anne, commanded by Paul d'Aussillon, sieur de Sauveterre; and Lèchefraye.  The flotilla was piloted by an experienced sailor, Jean Fonteneau, also known as Jean Alfonse de Saintonge.  Aboard these vessels were "gentlemen," including Nicolas de Lépinay, sieur de Neufville; Robert de Longueval, sieur de Thenelles; François de Mire; and the sieurs Noirefontaine du Buisson, Michel Rousseil, Froté, La Brosse, La Salle, Royèze, Levasseur, Talbot, and Villeneuve; as well as "'souldiers, mariners, and common people.'"  For the first time in a French expedition, females also came along, some of them so-called "society women" who were part of Roberval's coterie of fellow courtiers.  One wonders how many of the "common people" were conscripted convicts.  Despite his mandate to spread the faith in Canada, there is no evidence that a churchman of any sort was among the 200 settlers crossing in Roberval's vessels.  After a short layover at Belle-Île-en-Mer, off the southern coast of  Brittany, to wait for more favorable winds, Roberval reached the port of St.-Jean, today's St. John's, Newfoundland, during the first week of June and anchored among the 17 fishing boats already there.  A few days later, Cartier sailed into the port with his three ships, fresh from his misadventure on the river of Canada.  The Chief Navigator gave a verbal report of why he had abandoned Charlesbourg-Royal and insisted that his ships were carrying precious minerals for the King and his investors.  Roberval nevertheless ordered Cartier to accompany him back to Canada, but the Breton would have none of it.  During the night, his ships weighed anchor and quietly slipped away to St.-Malo, which they reached in early September.  After "taking on provisions and 'composing and taking up of a quarell' between the French and the Portuguese" fishermen, not until the end of June was Roberval ready to sail from St.-Jean to Canada via the Strait of Belle-Isle and Anticosti Island.  After marooning an enamored couple along the southern coast of Labrador and a cursory exploration of today's Rivière Saguenay by chief pilot Alfonse de Saintonge, he reached Stadacona sometime in July.02s

Though Roberval's chief pilot accompanied him to Canada, he did remain long on the great river.  From his youth, Jean Fonteneau had sailed to Portugal and Spain, through the Baltic, the Mediterranean, along the coasts of Africa, into the Red Sea, and as far as Japan, before being named "captain and pilot of King François I."  He could speak Portuguese as well as French, and had studied accounts of the Portuguese and French voyages from Cape Breton down to the Antilles.  His nickname, Jean Alfonse, came from his Portuguese wife's surname, but he himself was thoroughly Saintongeois.  Roberval assigned Alfonse the task of completing one of the important missions of the expedition.  "It was probably ... at the end of the summer" of 1542, after guiding Roberval to Stadacona, that Alfonse "ventured on a cruise in search of the northwest passage to China.  He passed through the Strait of Belle-Isle, and seems to have got as far as Davis Strait, being the first Frenchman to reach what was later to be called Baffin Bay."  Legend has it that Alfonse was the first to associate Verrazzano's Oranbega, today's coast of Maine, with Norumbega, Alfonse's name for today's Penobscot River, which he may have claimed to have explored during the same year as his voyage to Canada and the Arctic region.  If so, he would have been a busy fellow indeed.  "Back in La Rochelle in May 1543," he could rightly claim to be the first navigator to have led a French expedition to the Arctic region, but he, too, had failed to find the elusive passage to Asia.02t

Meanwhile, in Canada, Roberval promptly rebuilt and strengthened Cartier's Cap-Rouge fortification, renaming it France-Roy.  It may have been while rebuilding Cartier's settlement that Roberval sent a party of men back down to Tadoussac to build a small outpost there.  In mid-September, aware that his venture already was in trouble, he dispatched his trusted lieutenant, Aussillon de Sauveterre, along with a captain named Guinecourt, aboard two of the ships, one of them probably the Anne, "to seek the king's help" and "return the following year 'with victuals and other things.'"  Sauveterre took something else with him.  "Now it happened that Sauveterre had killed a sailor by the name of Laurent Barbot on Christmas day of 1541, and was threatened with prosecution for the deed," Marcel Trudel relates.  "Roberval exercised his judicial right and drew up letters of acquittal in Sauveterre's favour, invoking legitimate self-defense.  This document of September 9, 1542, dated at France Roy on the France Prime," the professor reminds us, "is the oldest known official text in the history of French administration in Canada."  That winter, rations fell short, and 50 of Roberval's colonists died of scurvy.  The nobleman evidently was unaware of the Iroquois remedy, well known to Cartier and his men, that could have spared these lives.  Not all of the survivors were allowed to breathe free.  One Michel Gaillon was hanged for theft, "the first hanging in Canada."  To quell an uprising among the convicts, Roberval, still "thoroughly Calvinistic," felt compelled to hang six more of them.  He banished some of the offenders, including Jean de Nantes, "'to an island, in leg-irons, because they had been caught in petty thefts involving not more than five sous.'  Others, both men and women, were flogged for the same offense.'"  Evidently Roberval's relations with the local natives was much better than Cartier's of the previous winter.  "All we know of the behaviour of the Indians toward the French is that they came to barter shad," Trudel relates.  "Since Roberval had military strength at his disposal, they seem to have been less aggressive than in Cartier's time, and the account (incomplete, it is true) makes no allusion to any attack."  Nevertheless, by the time the ice had broken up on the river in April 1543, Roberval had decided to abandon the venture sometime that summer.  But before then he was determined to fulfill another major mission of the expedition by finding the Kingdom of Saguenay and its mineral wealth.  On June 5, "after supper,'" he took "a number of his company towards Hochelaga," 69 in eight boats, "the rest of the colony, that is to say some thirty people," remaining at France-Roy under command of an officer named Royèze.  Evidently Roberval believed, like Cartier, that the kingdom lay above the rapids.  And, like Cartier's venture of the previous year, this one also failed.  A group of adventurers returned to France-Roy a week after they left, bringing with them the sad report "that one of the boats had been lost and that eight men had been drowned," perhaps in another attempt to force the rapids at Lachine.  On June 19, another group returned to the settlement, "bringing 120 pounds of grain and word that the departure for France was postponed until July 22."  When a relief ship reached Canada in late June or early July, Roberval took his entire company back to France, as Cartier had done the year before.  By the time they reached the mother country, sometime in September, war with Spain had broken out again, so further French efforts in Canada were postponed indefinitely, especially after Roberval's cargo of minerals proved to be as worthless as Cartier's.02n 

The wars between François I and Spain continued for the rest of François's reign, which ended in 1547, and also during the dozen-year reign of his son, Henri II.  But the wars and the resulting debilitation of the kingdom's finances were only part of the reason why France abandoned its efforts in faraway Canada.  The failure of Cartier's and Robeval's expedition made something crystal clear:  even with the promise of a sizable trade in fish and fur, there just were not enough profits to be made in a far-off colony devoid of substantial mineral wealth.  Nor could the French depend on the Natives to succor them through the northern winters, especially if they treated them as shabbily as Cartier had done.  Cartier's third voyage and Roberval's expedition failed also as explorations, adding little to knowledge previously gained in Cartier's earlier voyages.  Nevertheless, these earlier explorations in Canada, as well as Alfonse's venture to the Arctic circle, gave France the usual dubious claim to a part of the New World and enhanced the cartographic image of that corner of North America, which French fishermen and fur traders during the following decades would continue to exploit.02m


The Protestant revolt that had erupted in Europe a generation after Columbus’s voyage to the Indies consumed France, as much as it did Germany and England, in a maelstrom of rancor and violence.  The French theologian Jean Calvin was as important a figure in the struggle against Catholic authority as was the German priest, Martin Luther.  Having been run out of France in the year of Cartier’s first voyage to Nova Gallia, Calvin took refuge first at Basel and then Geneva, but his ideas seeped back into his native country.  French Calvinists, known as Huguenots after the 1560s, challenged the authority of the pope and preached what Catholics insisted were heretical doctrines.  As a result of these intractable theological differences and a bloody rivalry between noble families for control of the throne, a series of civil wars raged through France from 1562 to 1598.  "At times," J. M. Roberts tells us, "they brought the French monarchy very low; the nobility came near to mastering it.  Yet, in the end, aristocratic rivalries benefited a crown which could use one faction against another.  Meanwhile, the wretched population of France had to bear the brunt of disorder and devastation."03

Despite the upheaval of the religious wars, the Huguenots, at least, sought to establish new French colonies, but, understandably, they stayed clear of Canada.  In May 1555, Gaspard de Coligny, Admiral of France, a powerful Calvinist leader, sent an expedition of three ships carrying 600 men and women under Vice-admiral Nicolas Durand de Villegagnon to South America to establish a refuge for his fellow Huguenots.  Villegagnon, though a devout Catholic, claimed that he was devoted to religious tolerance.  After a long voyage from Le Havre via the coast of Spain, the Madeiras, the Canaries, and the Cape Verde Islands, Villegagnon's expedition reached Brazil in November.  The admiral chose as the site for a new colony the island of Serigipe in the harbor of present-day Rio de Janeiro--an area the French called La France Antarctique.  The settlers named their fort after Coligny, who had ignored the fact that Portugal had long claimed the area as its own.  In 1556, with the approbation of King Henri II, Coligny sent 300 reinforcements to the Huguenot refuge, "many picked personally by Jean Calvin himself," and they established a new settlement called Henryville.  This second group of colonists also included devout Catholics, who, with the urging of the headstrong Villegagnon, quarreled incessantly with the Swiss Calvinists, "especially in relation to the Eucharist."  The bitterness and intolerance, reflecting conditions back in France, doomed the colonial effort from the start.  In October 1557, Villegagnon banished the Calvinists to the mainland and returned to France the following year.   No longer able to ignore the French incursion, in March 1560 the Portuguese attacked the settlement and destroyed their fort, but not until 1565 were they able to remove the last of the French from the area.03a 

Undaunted, Coligny tried again, this time in territory claimed by Spain for half a century.  In February 1562, during the same year the religious wars erupted in France, the admiral sent Jean Ribaut in two ships out of Dieppe to plant a Huguenot colony in what the Spanish called La Florida.  The fortified settlement would serve as a base from which to search for precious metals, "to prey upon Spanish galleons in the Caribbean and to watch for an opportunity to intervene in the West Indies."  Following Verrazzano's route across the North Atlantic, Ribaut explored the Florida coast from present-day St. Augustine up to the St. Marys River, where he landed and took formal possession of the region for France, erecting a monument to mark the occasion.  Continuing up the coast, he built a fort near present-day Port Royal, South Carolina, which he named Charlesfort after the boy King Charles IX, and returned to France.  The local Natives were friendly and helpful, but the "colonists," more interested in searching for gold and silver than in tilling the earth, soon ran out of supplies.  Although the Natives provided them with what they could spare, the storehouse burned, and the Natives could provide no more.  Ribaut, meanwhile, could not succor Charlesfort because of the religious disturbances in France.  The unhappy colonists turned on the officer whom Ribaut had left in charge, murdered him, built a crude ship of their own, and, under the leadership of one of the conspirators, abandoned the fort to the elements.  After resorting to cannibalism, the hand full of survivors were rescued by an English vessel, which returned them to France. 

In April 1564, Coligny sent René Goulaine de Laudonnière with 300 men in three ships out of Le Havre to try yet again.  Laudonnière also landed at the mouth of the St. Marys, visited Ribaut's monument, but chose to settle down the coast.  Fort de la Caroline, also named after the French king, stood on a hill beside today's St. Johns River in the suburbs of Jacksonville, Florida.  Laudonnière quarreled bitterly with the colonists, who ran short of food, found no gold, and alienated the local Timucuan.  The following year, Ribaut, at the head of a flotilla of seven ships, sailed to Fort Caroline with reinforcements, including families, and relieved the harried Laudonnière.  Meanwhile, Spanish authorities learned of the French incursion into their territory and resolved to rid the New World of these troublesome heretics.  In September 1565, an expedition out of Cadiz, Spain, under Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, attacked Fort Caroline.  Despite Ribaut's valiant resistance, the Spaniards captured most of the colonists, spared the few Catholics, and hanged the Protestants, including the redoubtable Jean Ribaut. "The bodies of those who were hung were left on the trees along the shore; and an inscription was set up announcing they were hung 'not as French, but as heretics.'"  Laudonnière and some of the men escaped the onslaught, secured a vessel, and returned to France.  To discourage more heretics from invading the Catholic realm, Menéndez erected a stronghold, San Agústín, 40 miles south of Fort Caroline.  Unlike the efforts of de Ayllón, Cartier, and Roberval, and the now defunct Charlesfort and Fort Caroline, Spanish San Agústín survived the test of time.  It is today St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest continuously-occupied European community north of Cuba and Mexico.

In France, Laudonnière wrote a stirring account of the fate of Fort Caroline and its inhabitants, but the young King seemed disinterested in the matter.  Not so Dominique de Gourgues of Gascony, who, in 1567, two years after the massacre, equipped an expedition of three ships carrying 200 Huguenots bent on vengeance.  In August of that year, they sailed from Bordeaux to attack Fort Caroline, renamed by the Spanish Fort San Mateo.  With the help of local natives, Gourges's Frenchmen overwhelmed the Spanish garrison and hanged most of them.  Gourges placed near the swinging bodies another placard, proclaiming they were hanged "'not as Spaniards, but as murderers.'" Gourgues attacked San Agústín, captured the small garrison there, but spared the lives of these Spaniards.  After burning the Spanish fort, he returned to France, ending French presence in Florida. 

In late August 1572, following the ceremony celebrating the marriage of Protestant Prince Henri de Béarn and Navarre to Catholic princess Marguerite de Valois, Catholic militants in Paris murdered Coligny, along with other prominent Huguenots, in the Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day.  This brought to an end "the first phase of French transatlantic expansion" and precipitated a fourth war of religion in France.04


The interest of the French in North America did not end with the failure of Coligny's settlements and the resumption of the kingdom's wars of religion; too many fish and fur-bearing animals demanded their attention in the northern regions.  "Throughout the second half of the sixteenth century," Marcel Trudel informs us, "the French went to Newfoundland every year."  Contact with the natives was inevitable, and, like Cartier, French fishermen and fur traders "brought a few of them back to France from time to time."  Indians from Newfoundland, perhaps Béothuks, appear in French records in 1553 and again in 1584-85.  "With these annual fishing voyages to Newfoundland and these contacts with the Indians, France had been constantly present in the northern regions of America, in spite of Roberval's retreat in 1543 and in spite of later official preoccupation with Brazil and Florida.  If France was still to make a place for herself across the Atlantic," Professor Trudel concludes, "it was natural to expect that she might do so in this part of the New World."05g

During the wars of religion, an influential French nobleman secured from two kings permission to establish settlements in the northern regions that resulted, a Canadian historian avers, in a "record of continuous failure, unrivaled in the history of the northeastern shores of North America."  Troilus du Mesgoùez, sieur de La Roche-Helgomarche, marquis de Coëtarmoal, vicomte de Carenten and Saint-Lô, is known to history as La Roche.  Like Cartier, La Roche was a Breton.  Like Roberval, he was a member of the high nobility, having served as a page to Queen-Mother Catherine de Médici and become one of her favorites.  Royal favor led to a series of promotions, including the governorship of Morlaix in his native Brittany, a position that "opened his eyes to the profits brought to Saint-Malo by the fisheries and the fur trade on the American coasts."  In March 1577, during another quiet period between the religious wars, La Roche secured a monopoly "in the newly discovered lands" from Catherine de Médici's and Henri II's son, King Henri III.  In January 1578, Henri III granted La Roche the vaunted title of "'Governor and our Lieutenant-General and Viceroy of the said Terres neuves and countries which he shall conquer and take from these barbarians"--the first time the title of viceroy was given to a Frenchman.  By granting this monopoly, Marcel Trudel reminds us, Henri III was turning from the southward thrusts into the Portuguese and Spanish realms made during the reigns of his father and older brother, Charles IX, and "reverting instead to the policy of his grandfather, Francis I, envisaging a New France in the northern regions of America.  Thus he brought thirty-four years of official abstention to an end."  La Roche's commission as viceroy awarded him the power to "grant seigneuries" in the Terres neuves, "but the country was never [to be] his personal property."  Soon after receiving his commission as viceroy, La Roche and Honorat de Bueil, vice-admiral of Brittany, "fitted out a ship and a pinnace for the undertaking," but the effort failed.  The English, who suspected that La Roche intended to assist Irish insurgents, sent four ships to capture La Roche's vessels the following summer, and only the pinnance escaped.  Thus ended the marquis's first attempt to exploit the riches of New France.05i

In 1581, after the Treaty of Fleix sent the contending French armies home once again, the "merchants of Rouen, Dieppe, and St. Malo began sponsoring expeditions designed exclusively to bring back furs from the St. Lawrence River," Canadian historians Sally Ross and Alphonse Deveau relate.  Cardinal Charles de Bourbon, archbishop of Rouen and uncle of Huguenot leader Henri de Navarre, "took up, with the Duc de Joyeuse, the admiral of France, a project for exploring and trading along the coast south and west of Cape Breton and establishing there a small outpost, which it would hope would later become the nucleus of a colony."  The cardinal employed Rouen merchant Étienne Bellenger, who had gone to the Grand Bank as a purser with the Norman fishing fleet, to establish the outpost.  In January 1583, the 50-ton barque Chardon, manned by a 10-man crew, left Havre-de-Grâce with Bellenger and 20 "colonists"; also "aboard" was a chaloupe, essentially a long-boat with sails, to be used for exploring inlets where the Chardon could not go.  After a short, uneventful crossing, Bellenger reached Cape Breton in early February and explored the coast southward, including the bays and inlets of "Isle St. Jehan," the French name at the time for today's Atlantic shore of the Nova Scotia peninsula.  Bellenger sailed around Cap-Sable and up into today's Bay of Fundy, one of the first Europeans to explore deep into what Bellenger called the "Pasaige de St. Jehan."  Erecting crosses with the cardinal's coat of arms here and there along the Fundy shore, Bellenger explored the bay's southern coast up to the entrance of today's Minas Basin before crossing to the northern shore.  Here, he discovered and explored the Lower Reach of today's St. John River, positing that the river "was navigable for 60 or 80 leagues."  Continuing southwestward along the coast of Maine, called by the French Norembègue since the days of Verrazzano, Bellenger re-discovered the Penobscot River before returning home, probably by late May.  Back at Rouen, he "presented many mementoes to the cardinal and sold, at a high profit, the skins bought on his own adventure," but he did not return to New France.  Although the cardinal's colony never materialized, Bellenger's voyage was a significant leap in the understanding of that part of North America which lay south and west of Cape Breton:  "The Chardon or her pinnace put Bellenger on land frequently, ten to a dozen times," one of his biographers tells us.  "He made a close examination of the resources of the land, its timber, its possibilities for making salt, and its presumed mineral wealth, bringing home an ore believed to contain lead and silver."  He also made extensive contacts with the local natives, especially the Mi'kmaq at Cap-Sable, with whom he traded trinkets for furs.  "These furs sold at Rouen for some four hundred crowns," Professor Trudel informs us, "while the trinkets that Bellenger had given the Indians in exchange had cost him only forty."05a

Noting the financial success of Bellenger's voyage, the marquis de La Roche enlisted the Rouennais's backers--Cardinal Bourbon and the duc de Joyeuse--and "organized a second expedition, in association with some shipowners of Saint-Malo and of Saint-Jean-de-Luz."  Their destination was not the region south of Cape Breton, where Bellenger had gone, but Canada.  The expedition set sail in early 1584 "with a flotilla carrying 300 men," but the "principal ship sank off the coast of Saintonge," near Brouage, "and this put an end to the expedition."  So many ships now were venturing to the northern regions that an ordinance of March 1584 "fixed norms of equipment" for vessels sailing from French ports to Newfoundland.  That same year, "merchants of St Malo organized a commercial expedition and ascended the St Lawrence," Professor Trudel relates.  "Their five ships returned so heavily laden with furs that they prepared a fleet of ten ships for the following year, to the despair of " English scholar Richard Hakluyt, author of the Divers Voyages Touching the Discoverie of America, published in 1582.  Hakluyt was serving in Paris with the English legation in 1584 and was a correspondent of Étienne Bellenger and other Frenchmen who had ventured to North America.  Hakluyt "feared that the English were about to be shouldered aside as the French carried off all the riches for themselves under their very noses," and he imparted his fears to the Queen and her ministers.  Meanwhile, "European merchants invaded the St Lawrence in force," leading to conflicts between competing ventures.  Jacques Noël, a nephew of Jacques Cartier, went there in 1585 and inspected the 40-year-old ruins of his uncle's habitation.  In 1587, rivals burned three of Noël's small vessels and captured a fourth.  Here, in the Canada of Cartier and Roberval, and, as Bellenger demonstrated, in other parts of New France, was an industry, formerly controlled by the fishermen, in which substantial profits could be made.  In order to minimize their risks, merchants and investors continued to demand monopolies over the fur trade in the vast areas of New France.  The year of Noël's loss, he and his cousin Étienne Chaton, sieur de La Jannaye, petitioned King Henri III for such a monopoly.  They informed the King that their uncle "and his heirs were still owed" a substantial sum.  "A royal commission confirmed their claims.  In January 1588," David Hackett Fisher relates, "they received a monopoly on fur trade and mining in New France for twelve years," as they had requested, "and authorization to transport sixty convicts," women as well as men, "to New France and start a settlement.  The monopoly was instantly attacked by traders and fishermen," especially from St.-Malo, "and was revoked" the following July "for all but mining rights."  Mines undiscovered and minerals unproven could not replace a commerce in Canadian furs known to exist in abundance.  As a result, "Nothing appears to have come of this colonizing effort," and so ended the participation of the heirs of Jacques Cartier in the affairs of New France.05h 

The North Atlantic realm was becoming a busy place not only for fishermen, fur traders, and miners, but also for seekers of the elusive northern passage.  In 1586, three years after Bellenger's venture and 44 years after Alfonse de Saintonge's voyage to the Arctic, "a captain from Dieppe, Jean Sauvage, went in search of a northeast passage" via the North Cape of Norway and Russian Archangel.  During the brief intermission between the Treaty of Fleix and the eighth and final war of religion, the French remained active in their exploitation of North America, reaping the benefits of unsanctioned trade.05k 


But they were not alone.  In 1536, during the reign of Henry VIII, an English expedition, the first in nine years, crossed the North Atlantic to seek the northwest passage, but the voyage went terribly wrong.  "After some time had been spent at Cape Breton and Newfoundland," H. P. Biggar relates, "provisions ran so short that the ship's company were on the point of eating one another when the arrival of a French fishing vessel saved their lives."

During the early 1550s, three decades before Jean Sauvage's voyage to Archangel, Richard Chancellor of Bristol, protégé of Sebastian Cabot, became second in command of a combined exploration and commercial venture chartered by King Edward VI.  Seeking, like Sauvage, a northeast passage to Asia, Chancellor pioneered the route via North Cape and the White Sea to Archangel, where he was invited to visit the court of Tsar Ivan IV, history's Ivan the Terrible.  With the tsar's encouragement and Queen Mary's approbation, Chancellor organized the Muscovy Company, which opened a trade route between London and Archangel, exchanging British wool for Russian furs. 

During the late 1570s, Martin Frobisher of Yorkshire, one of Queen Elizabeth's most rabid "Sea Dogs," conducted three voyages across the North Atlantic in search of gold and the northwest passage under the aegis of the Muscovy and Cathay companies.  Frobisher Bay at Baffin Island, which he visited on each of his voyages, bears the explorer's name.  Sir Humphrey Gilbert of Devon, half-brother of Sir Walter Raleigh, published A Discourse on the search for the northwest passage in 1576, the year of Frobisher's first voyage, and presented it to the Queen.  Gilbert backed Frobisher's voyages to the northern regions, and in 1578, the year of Frobisher's third voyage, secured from the Queen a six-year commission for voyages of his own.  In June 1583, he sailed in five vessels "filled with misfits, criminals and pirates," for Newfoundland, but one of the ships, commanded by Raleigh, turned back.  On 5 August, in the harbor of St. John's, Gilbert took possession of Newfoundland for the English--the beginning, Anglophone historians insist, of Britain's overseas empire.  After the locals presented Gilbert with the gift of a dog, which "he named Stella for the North Star," he claimed authority over the fish stations at St. John's and proceeded to levy a tax on the fishermen from several countries" working on the nearby Grand Bank.  Lack of supplies, however, and perhaps opposition from the locals, dissuaded Gilbert from establishing a colony on the island.  He decided, instead, to return to England, steering a meandering course that led to a fatal shipwreck on a sandbar at Sable Island.  After a difficult crossing, his remaining ships made it to the Azores, where, on September 10, Gilbert perished in the sudden sinking of his favorite vessel, the Squirrel

In late March 1584, with Richard Hakluyt's urging, Raleigh secured a commission from Queen Elizabeth to plant a colony in that part of North America the English called Virginia.  The following month, Raleigh dispatched an expedition under two associates to explore the coast of North America well south of Newfoundland.  The Englishmen brought back two head men of the Croatoan nation, Manteo and Wanchese, who came from the area where Verrazzano had made land fall 62 years before.  In April of 1585, Raleigh sent his associate, Sir Richard Grenville, with five ships to establish a lodgment in the land of the Croatoan, from where the English not only could search for precious metals, but also raid Spanish treasure fleets sailing through the Strait of Florida.  Grenville, aboard his own ship, the Tiger, was forced by a mid-ocean storm to take refuge on Spanish-held Puerto Rico, where he remained from mid-May to the first week of June.  Despairing of rendezvousing with his other vessels, he sailed north to his destination.  He reached Ocracoke Inlet on June 26, ran aground, lost most of the supplies, but managed to repair the vessel and rendezvous with two of his other ships in early July.  Though they had returned Manteo and Wanchese to their villages, Grenville and his men quickly alienated other natives by accusing them of theft and sacking one of their villages.  This proved to be disastrous for the 107 men left at a small fort on the north end of Roanoke Island under Grenville's lieutenant, Ralph Lane.  Promising to return the following spring, Grenville left for England in August with all of the expedition's vessels.  By the following June, seeing that Grenville had not returned, the natives, sensing an opportunity, attacked Lane and his men, who stood firm behind the walls of their wooden fort.  Nevertheless, when Sir Francis Drake, on his way home from an expedition to the Spanish realms, appeared at Roanoke later in the month, Lane and his men took up his offer to ferry them back to England.  Grenville returned to Roanoke Island with a relief expedition soon afterwards but found the colony abandoned.  Leaving a token force to secure Raleigh's claim to the region, Grenville headed home. 

In 1587, Raleigh sent a third expedition to Virginia, the second to attempt a settlement:  115 colonists, including families, sailing aboard the Lion, commanded by Portuguese navigator Simon Fernandez, who had piloted the ships of the Grenville expedition two years before.  The head of this venture was John White, a friend of Raleigh's who had served Grenville and Lane at Roanoke as artist and mapmaker.  Fernandez had been ordered to ferry White and the settlers to Chesapeake Bay--Verrazzano's Arcadia--but the Portuguese, derisively called "the swine" by his sailors, returned to the Outer Banks instead.  In late July, he disembarked the colonists at Roanoke Island and refused to allow them to re-embark.  Resigned to the change in plans, White ordered the rebuilding of Lane's old fort and searched for the Englishmen Lane had left behind.  Ominously, they found only the bones of the Englishmen, who, chief Manteo informed them, had died in a carefully coordinated attack by the Secotan and two other nations.  After repairing relations with the Croatoan and other locals natives, but not with the hostiles who twice attacked the fort, White and his men accidentally attacked a friendly village, and relations with the rest of the locals steadily deteriorated.  Meanwhile, on August 18, Governor White was pleased to witness the birth of a granddaughter, Virginia Dare--the first English child born in America.  After natives killed a colonist who had gone out alone to fish for crabs and their food supply diminished, the colonists begged White to return to England to organize a re-supply.  White demurred but finally agreed to go.  Before he left, however, he instructed them to maintain their vigilance but if the natives or the Spanish overwhelmed them, they must "carve a Maltese cross on a tree nearby, indicating their disappearance had been forced."  Back in England late that autumn after a difficult crossing, White learned that the Queen had closed the ports in anticipation of an imminent Spanish attack.  The following spring, however, he hired two pinnances, the Brave and the Roe, deemed too small for naval service, and filled them with supplies.  On the outward-bound voyage their captains insisted on privateering to increase their profits.  French pirates captured them instead, wounded White in the buttocks, seized his cargoes, and he and the others were allowed to return to England only with their lives.  Unfortunately for White and his fellow colonists, Philip II's Armada appeared off the southern coast of England in August 1588, before White could organize another re-supply.  Not until the spring of 1590--nearly three years after White had left the colonists--was Raleigh able to send him back to Virginia aboard two ships, the Hope and the Moonlight.  After a difficult crossing, the expedition reached Roanoke Island on August 18, White's granddaughter's third birthday.  A landing was made under hazardous conditions that resulted in the drowning of seven of the mariners.  On the island, White found the fort and the settlers' houses carefully dismantled and no Maltese cross carved into a tree.  Most troubling of all, White and his men "could not find any trace of the 90 men, 17 women, and 11 children, nor was there any sign of a struggle or battle," only the words "Croatoan" carved into a post and "Cro" carved into a tree.  A search of nearby Hatteras Island--Croatoan to the English--was abandoned when a storm approached and White's men insisted on hurrying back to England.  Back at Plymouth in October, they reported the settlers' disappearance, and the Queen abandoned further efforts to colonize Virginia.05j 


Meanwhile, in 1587, war broke out in France again--the so-called War of the Three Henrys--the eighth war of religion to plague the war-torn kingdom.  Assassination followed assassination, and in August 1589, King Henri III was mortally stabbed by Jacques Clément, a Catholic fanatic.  With no sons and no more brothers to succeed him, the dying king, the last of the Valois line, invoked Salic law and designated his brother-in-law, the Protestant leader Henri de Navarre, as his successor.  Henri de Navarre's struggle to secure his throne against the might of the Catholic League was assisted by money and troops sent by Queen Elizabeth of England, who looked forward to the triumph of Protestantism across the English Channel.  Unfortunately for the Protestant cause, Henri converted to Catholicism in July 1593--"Paris is well worth a Mass," he is said to have quipped--and internecine warfare, except in Brittany, finally ended.  Crowned Henri IV at Chartres the following February, by then he had alienated his ally across the Channel, a falling out that was destined to have global consequences.05l

In February 1597, following the marquis de La Roche's release from a long incarceration in the Château de Nantes at the hands of the Catholic League, King Henri IV granted him another fur-trading monopoly in the northern region.  By granting this concession, the first of his reign, the new king followed precedent established and maintained by his predecessors François I, Henri II, and Henri III.  It also marked the new king's entry into the dynamics of the kingdom's overseas exploration, trade, and settlement.  Nine years earlier, on the eve of the new king's succession, the nephews of Jacques Cartier had suffered the humiliation of seeing their fur-trade monopoly in New France fall victim to the complaints of Breton merchants.  This had been "above all a victory for free trade," Professor Trudel informs us.  "For the first time in the history of New France, the problem of conflict between merchants and colonizers had been clearly demonstrated, the merchants wanting simply to barter in the St Lawrence and the colonizers hoping to be assured of commercial revenues and intending to apply them in part to the foundation of a new country.  In this first round," back in 1588, "the partisans of pure and simple trade had carried the day.  The merchants of St Malo stubbornly refused to believe in the fertility of the country and maintained that it was good for nothing but as a source of pelts.  What they wanted, of course, was commercial gains without the burden of colonization"--the building and maintenance of fortifications and the recruiting and sustaining of colonists--"whereas the foundation and maintenance of a colony would be impossible without the support of an exclusive monopoly.  There was therefore a complete cleavage of interest between commerce and colonization," which would plague French efforts in the New World for decades to come.  By granting another monopoly to La Roche, as his predecessor had done twice before, the new king was throwing his substantial influence into the colonizers' corner.05m

A month after receiving his commission from Henri IV, La Roche contracted with Thomas Chefdostel of Normandy, captain of the ship Catherine, who, later in the year, ventured to the Grand Bank of Newfoundland on a successful fishing expedition.  The crossing also served as "a voyage of reconnaissance" to nearby Sable Island, a 16,000-acre sand bar at the southern edge of the Bank.  The remote island lay a hundred miles east of Canso, the fishing rendezvous southwest of Cape Breton in a region the French called La Cadie.  In January 1598, the King named La Roche "the King's Lieutenant-General for the countries of 'Canada, Hochelaga, Terres-neuves, Labrador, rivière de la grand Baye, de Noremberque," and adjacent lands which were not inhabited by 'subjects of any Christian Prince,'" but not viceroy.  In the marquis's commission was the usual dictum to advance the "'holy work and advancement of the Catholic Faith,'" for diplomat as well as religious purposes.  Again, as in 1578, La Roche was given permission to grant seigneuries in New France and was himself granted a monopoly in trade.  La Roche struggled from the beginning to find enough volunteers among his fellow Frenchmen to go to New France.  Empowered, à la Cartier and Roberval, to enlist criminals sentenced to the Mediterranean galleys to fill his contingent of colonists, La Roche used them, instead, to raise more funds; "he offered them the opportunity of purchasing their freedom for a large sum, which he sometimes set at 500 écus"--a clear violation of the spirit, if not the letter, of his commission.  "The courts, when informed of how justice was being cheated, refused all further requests for prisoners."  Undaunted, La Roche turned to the Parlement of Rouen and "recruited" some 250 "beggars and vagabonds," 200 of them men and 50 of them women, from which to select a corps of settlers.  In mid-April 1598, he embarked 40 "of the most vigorous" recruits, along with 10 soldiers, on two vessels:  Chefdostel's 160-ton Catherine, and Jean Girot's 90-ton Françoise.  After depositing La Roche and the settlers on the north side of Sable Island, Chefdostel and Girot, as per their contract, sailed on to the Grand Bank, where they fished for cod before returning to the island to retrieve the marquis for the return trip to France.  Left under the command of Captain Querbonyer, with Captain Coussez in charge of the storehouse, the 50 settlers were expected to get "their food from the fish and game available locally, as well as from the cattle that had been landed on the island probably by the Portuguese Fagundes around 1520.  At the same time they were to cultivate 'French gardens,' which supplied them with vegetables."  Back in France by October, La Roche resumed his search for more settlers and informed the King that his venture was well under way.  Despite the severe depletion of the royal treasury by the nation's interminable wars, King Henri contributed 12,000 écus to La Roche's venture, which promised substantial profits in fish and furs.  With this and other sources of funding, from 1599 through 1601 La Roche provided his settlers with annual spring re-supplies of "'wine, coats and clothing'" delivered by Chefdostel aboard the Catherine and deposited in the island's storehouse, "and skins and oils were sent back to France."  In the 1599 re-supply, more settlers came to the island, but the marquis established no more colonies in his domain.  In 1602, for unknown reasons, La Roche did not send a re-supply.  Frustrated by this neglect and provoked, no doubt, by the post's military disciple, the "beggars and vagabonds," the ex-convicts, and perhaps some of the soldiers, mutinied against the officers, killing them in their sleep.  After dispatching Captain Coussez, the settlement's unpopular storekeeper, they looted the island's store house and consumed the remaining supplies.  Turning on one another, most of the mutineers did not survive the winter.  Meanwhile, Chefdostel received orders from La Roche, dated 21 February 1603, to return to the island with a re-supply and to take along a commissioner "whose task was to inquire into the island's resources in order to give the king information relevant to a plan for making it into a reliable and suitable colony."  Chefdostel also was charged with returning Captain Querbonyer and 10 others, presumably the officers, with their baggage, along with the usual load of oil and skins.  Chefdostel set sail that spring, but when he reached the island, only 11 of the settlers were still alive.  Chefdostel promptly returned them to France, where, to the chagrin of the marquis de La Roche, the King believed their "convincing story in their own favour" and refused to hang them; he even compensated them, at 50 écus each, for presenting him their furs, granted them letters of pardon, and agreed that they retained "the right to two thirds of the profits realized on the skins and oils that had been brought back" from the island!  La Roche sent no more colonists to New France, but retained his concession there nonetheless.05b


Perhaps learning from the La Roche misadventure, Henri IV, with the urging of his chief minister, the duc de Sully, pursued a policy of royal parsimony by granting fur-trade monopolies to other entrepreneurs sans funds from the royal treasury.  On 22 November 1599, while La Roche's settlers lingered on Sable Island, the King awarded a 10-year fur-trading and fishing concession "in the country of Canada, the coast of Acadia and others in New France,'" to Calvinist merchant and former naval officer Pierre de Chauvin, sieur de Tonnetuit, of Dieppe and Honfleur; Chauvin also was granted the title of "King's Lieutenant."  Chauvin himself had never been to New France, but several of his ships had gone to Newfoundland and Canada on fur-trading and cod-fishing ventures over the past two years.  That Chauvin was a Huguenot reveals what some would have perceived as a healthy new trend in French official thinking.  The King's commission to La Roche less than two years before "had assured the exclusivity of an established Catholic faith in the colony," but here the King was placing the fate of Canada and La Cadie "in the hands of the Protestant Chauvin.  The reason for this radical change in policy," Professor Trudel informs us, "was that, between the issuance of La Roche's letters patent and Chauvin's, two decisive events had taken place:  the signing of the Edict of Nantes, that 'attempt at co-existence' between Catholics and Protestants," on 30 April 1598, "which allowed Huguenots to hold public office, and of the Treaty of Vervins," signed two days later, "which restored peace between France and Spain."  The treaty included "a secret clause" granting "freedom of action to France beyond a so-called Friendship Line which passed through the westernmost of the Canary Islands."  There was little danger now, Marcel Trudel concludes, "that the weakened Philip II might intervene against a New France in which Protestants had a part."  France finally, under its remarkable new king, could show its true colors to the rest of the world and make its place in it.05n 

Chauvin's chief lieutenant in the trading venture was 49-year-old François Gravé, sieur du Pont, of St.-Malo and Honfleur, another naval officer-turned-fur-trader.  Unlike Chauvin, Gravé was a Catholic.  While working for La Roche, Gravé had gone to Canada, so he knew the St. Lawrence well; needless to say, the marquis was not happy to see him associated with a rival concessionaire.  Also part of Chauvin's consortium were several other well-placed nobles, including Pierre Dugua, sieur de Mons, a Calvinist, who had been a champion of Henri IV during the late religious wars.  But Chauvin also faced stiff opposition from powerful detractors.  In response to complaints from the marquis de La Roche, who still held his royal concession, on 15 January 1600 the King modified Chauvin's commission, designating him "'one of the lieutenants' of the viceroy" but retaining Chauvin's fishing and fur-trading rights; however, the extent of his concession would be limited "to a hundred leagues along the St Lawrence as far as Tadoussac."  The venture also was opposed by a coterie of complaining merchants, especially from Chauvin's native St.-Malo.  Here was yet another round in the perpetual bout between monopoly and free trade, but his time monopoly won the decision.  By deferring to the interests of the marquis de La Roche, the King also stood behind the sieur de Tonnetuit.05r 

Later in the year, Chauvin and Gravé, with de Mons coming along "'for his own pleasure,'" sailed in four ships to the St. Lawrence valley:  the 400-ton Don-de-Dieu, commanded by Guillaume Lechevalier; with Henri Couillart "in charge of its sailors"; the 100-ton Espérance, under Captain Sébastien Morin; the 120-ton Bon-Espoir, commanded by Guillaume Caresme; and the Saint-Jean, burthen unreported, under Nicolas Tuvache--"the biggest fleet to set sail for Canada, under a single command" since the Cartier-Roberval venture nearly six decades before.  Their principal mission was to fulfill an important requirement of the Chauvin's commission:  the settling of 50 colonists a year, at least 500 during the life of the concession.  Having spent time at Trois-Rivières on the upper St. Lawrence, first visited by Cartier in 1535, Gravé had hoped to see a new trading settlement there; he, in fact, only recently had given Trois-Rivières its name.  But Chauvin's commission limited him to the lower St. Lawrence, compelling him to choose Tadoussac as the base of operations.  Moreover, since Chauvin was only one of the marquis's "lieutenants" now, the settlement, on paper at least, belonged to La Roche.  Gravé and de Mons were not happy with the choice, but, as Marcel Trudel informs us, "All Chauvin was interested in at first was trading, and from this point of view Tadoussac was indeed the ideal place...."05s 

Since before the explorations of Jacques Cartier, this site on the lower St. Lawrence, at its confluence with Rivière Saguenay, had been an important Native rendezvous.  In 1535, on his first ascent of the St. Lawrence River, Cartier visited Tadoussac, occupied even then by the Montagnais, today's Innu.  In 1542, the sieur de Roberval's chief pilot, Alfonse de Saintonge, explored Rivière Saguenay for "at least two or three leagues," concluding that here was "an arm of the sea, through which one could reach 'the Pacific sea or indeed the sea of Cathay.'"  Later that year, some of Roberval's men built a fortified outpost at Tadoussac.  Basque whalers frequented the place, but another activity brought even more Europeans to the rendezvous.  By the end of the century, despite its rugged terrain, poor soil, and extremely harsh winters, Tadoussac had become the most important fur-trading center in the St. Lawrence valley.  The trade with the Indians had become so important by then that the region's traditional fishing and sea-mammal culture had given way to hunting for fur-bearing creatures.  The principal nation of the region, the Laurentian Iroquois, whose economy had centered on maize farming and fishing, the same people who had "hosted" Cartier and Roberval in the early 1500s, had abandoned the region, driven away by who or what the French did not know.  What was evident by the late 1500s was that, except for seasonal hunters seeking food and furs to trade with the Europeans, the St. Lawrence valley above Tadoussac was largely uninhabited.  Chauvin built a manor house of sorts at the trading center, actually nothing more than "a crude building measuring about 24 feet by 18 and 8 feet, covered with planks and surrounded by light fencing and 'a little ditch dug in the sand.'"  As the winter of 1600 approached, "without having made the least attempt at exploration or discovery," Chauvin left only 16 of his men in his "'country cottage'" at Tadoussac while he and the others returned to France.  Though Tadoussac is touted today as "the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in Canada, and the oldest surviving French settlement in the Americas," Chauvin's settlement did not survive beyond its first, terrible winter.  Nevertheless, Tadoussac retained its central role in the Canadian fur trade, remaining "the sole maritime port of the St Lawrence for the next thirty years."05t 

Chauvin sent the Espérance, this time under command of Guyon-Dières of Honfleur, back to Tadoussac in the spring of 1601 to succor his settlers, but Guyon-Dières found only five survivors living with the local Montagnais.  Undeterred, Chauvin maintained a seasonal trading post at Tadoussac, but the wintering disaster convinced him that settlement was no longer an option there.  In April 1602, he led two of his vessels--the Espérance under Guyon-Dières and the Don-de-Dieu under Henri Couillart--back to Tadoussac and spent four months fishing and trading before hurrying home ahead of the winter.  But this expedition also was a failure:  he did not meet the quota of fish he had agreed to deliver to merchants at Rouen, and his hasty departure failed to fulfill his mandate for settlement.  He did rescue three Malouin fishermen abandoned by their captain "in 'the isle of Canada'" and coaxed two young Montagnais to accompany him back to France, where they would be presented to King Henri IV and return the following year to inform their fellow natives of what they had seen there.  But the King expected a colony, not just another trading post, in Canada, so he modified Chauvin's monopoly that autumn by allowing the merchants of Rouen and Normandy to join him in the venture.  The merchants of St.-Malo protested vigorously, and the King conceded to their demands.  He called for a meeting to be held in Rouen in January 1603 in which Vice-admiral Aymar de Cleremont de Chaste, governor of Dieppe, and the sieur de La Cour, president of the Parlement of Normandy, would oversee negotiations between Chauvin and the coterie of merchants in creating a new partnership for the settlement of New France.  Unwilling to help shoulder the expense of settlement, the Malouin merchants promptly withdrew, leaving Chauvin and his Rouennais associates to carry out the venture, "but Chauvin died soon afterwards," taking the new partnership with him.05c 


With Chauvin's death in February 1603, the question arose:  "would the St Lawrence monopoly revert in its entirety" to the marquis de La Roche, whose settlers were still ensconced on Sable Island?   La Roche, as beneficiary of the King's January 1600 modification of Chauvin's commission, still claimed Tadoussac "as part of his domain," so his claims for yet another monopoly seemed to be a solid one.  The King's answer to the question came soon enough:  he "did not seem convinced of the soundness of" the marquis's "work," so he set the nobleman's claims aside and awarded the New French concession, instead, to Vice-admiral Aymar de Chaste.  Again following the duc de Sully's advice not to commit royal funds to a colony, the King instructed de Chaste to seek investors for the new venture, which he did at Honfleur, St.-Malo, Dieppe, Le Havre, and especially Rouen.  However, neither the admiral's vaunted title nor the influence of his investors reduced the number of unauthorized fur traders returning to the lower St. Lawrence.  And the King caved, again, to Malouin demands; he "permitted them to outfit a vessel which would go and trade in Canada under the command of Captain Gilles Eberard du Coulombier; this ship might even sail in company with the ships of Aymar de Chaste.  But the monopoly remained intact."  De Chaste was too unhealthy for an ocean crossing, so he sent François Gravé du Pont, Chauvin's commander at Tadoussac, back to the St. Lawrence valley, his mission to find a settlement site with a more salubrious climate.  On the Ides of March 1603, Gravé sailed from Honfleur in the 120-ton Bonne-Renommée--Good Renown.  Aboard were the two young Montagnais Chauvin had brought back from Tadoussac the year before, as well as the geographer Samuel de Champlain.05p 

Although this was Champlain's first voyage to the northern regions, it would not be his last.  A native of Brouage in Saintonge, where his father had been a man of the sea, Champlain was in his early 30s in 1603, still a bachelor, and a man of means and substance.  Since the summer of 1601, he had been receiving a pension of 600 livres a year from the King, which he could add to a fortune in land and assets recently inherited from an admiring uncle who had lived in Spain.  Champlain's pension was compensation for a two-year espionage mission in Spain and Spanish America, including an exploration of the Caribbean, from which he had recently returned, and for work on the King's behalf thereafter.  After his sojourn in the Spanish realms, Champlain had spent a year in the basement of the Louvre palace, serving as one of the King's many geographers, and it was then that his attention turned to North America.  His insatiable curiosity took him to many ports, where he gathered information from fishermen, whalers, and explorers who had spent time in New France.  Though he was an accomplished cartographer, an experienced sailor, and a trained soldier with administrative experience, on this first of his many voyages to the northern regions he held no official capacity.  He had come along as an observer in the service of the King and at the urging of the admiral, who thought much of the Saintongois.05q

After a storm-tossed, ice-choked, fog-bound crossing, Gravé and his party came in sight of Newfound on May 7, reached Anticosti by May 20, and arrived at "the tight little harbor of" Tadoussac on May 26.  Accompanying the Bonne-Renommée was the 90-ton Françoise, outfitted by Rouen merchants and commanded by Jean Girot, the same ship and the same captain La Roche had taken to Sable Island five years earlier.  Malouin Jean Sarcel de Prévert also was part of the flotilla, sailing in a vessel of his own whose name has been lost to history.  Once in New France, Sarcel de Prévert would explore "the coast of Acadia," as stipulated in Chauvin's and now de Chaste's commission, while Champlain would remain with Gravé on the St. Lawrence.  At Tadoussac, Gravé and Champlain, with the assistance of the two young Montagnais, intruded themselves into "The Great Tabagie," in which Algonquin from the Ottawa River valley, Etchemin from the coast of Maine, and their hosts, the Montagnais, celebrated a great victory over their common enemy, the Iroquois of present-day upstate New York.  After days of wild celebration at Pointe St. Mathieu, today's Pointe-aux-Alouettes, a league south of the outpost, the Frenchmen and the Indians established a kind of "entente" that lasted for many generations (one might even say it has lasted to this very day).  The tabagie was followed by weeks of trading at Tadoussac.  Listening to the Montagnais describe the watershed of Rivière Saguenay and especially their tales of a "salt-water sea to the north," Champlain guessed that a great bay, not part of the Asian Sea but of the North Atlantic, lay far to the north of the St. Lawrence rendezvous.  "In 1603, seven years before its discovery by the English," one of his biographers tells us, "Champlain divined in some fashion the existence of Hudson Bay."  During the second week of June, in one of Gravé's ship's boats, Champlain began his remarkable career as a geographer-explorer of the northern regions; he sounded Tadoussac's harbor and then explored the Saguenay from its mouth nearly to the falls of Chicoutimi, a distance of 12 to 15 leagues.  The river he found to be extraordinarily deep at its mouth and a virtual fjord in its lower reaches, but the mountainous, tree-choked terrain along its banks presented to him only a "true desert."  Even on the eve of summer he could see that the extreme coldness of the river's water, coming down from the far north, promised a most unpleasant winter for anyone who dwelled there.  Moreover, the Montagnais, intent on protecting their status as middlemen in the lucrative trade for furs with the northern nations, refused to accompany him any farther upriver, and so he returned to Tadoussac.05d

Another failure among the Montagnais at Tadoussac was Champlain's efforts to convince their leader, Anadabijou, to embrace the One True Faith.  The geographer was not there to convert the Indians--he was, by all accounts, the most tolerant of men--but his conversations with them, as well as what he witnessed in their remarkable tabagie, including displays of female nakedness, revealed to him the essence of their beliefs, and he found their religion wanting.  The devout Roman Catholic, whose adherence to his faith would grow stronger over the years, could not resist an opportunity to spread the Word to a people for whom he held a modicum of respect.  But by all indications even he could see that his efforts at conversion were for nothing.05f

On June 18, after the trading at Tadoussac had ended, Gravé, in a river barque carrying Champlain, a contingent of armed Frenchmen, and Indian guides, explored the St. Lawrence--which Frenchmen were still calling the Rivière de Canada--as far upriver as their vessel could go.  They discovered little that was new; Cartier's explorations 70 years before, and more recent expeditions, including one by Gravé himself, had thoroughly mapped the St. Lawrence valley from Tadoussac up to the falls at Hochelaga.  Nevertheless, Champlain's survey of the great river, its depths and currents, its islands, and the terrain along its banks, was by far the most thorough to date; moreover, Gravé took along interpreters as well as guides, something Cartier had spurned on his upriver voyages.  On June 22, Gravé's expedition reached the abandoned site of Stadacona, now called Kebec, near where Cartier and Roberval had wintered so long before.  They lingered there for only a day, during which Champlain noted "that if the lands there were cultivated they would be as good as those of France."  Another of his biographers insists, however, that the geographer was more impressed with the land farther upriver, which he considered more "suitable for a 'habitation.'"  There he found the terrain more open and the soil more fertile than what he had observed downriver.  Champlain explored the lower reaches of today's Rivière St.-Maurice until he was stopped by rapids, but he noted the Indians' descriptions of the river's headwaters, which they said began close to the Saguenay.  The mouth of the St.-Maurice was divided by small islands into three parts, hence Gravé's name for the site, which it still bears today.  Above Trois-Rivières, Champlain and Gravé entered Cartier's Lac Angoulême, which Champlain renamed Lac St.-Pierre, after the saint whose feast day--June 29--marked the day of their arrival.  Champlain noted but did not name other streams falling into the lake, including today's Rivière St.-François, which flowed up from the south, as well as "thirty small islands at the head of the lake."  Here, they passed the mouth of a river then called Rivière-des-Iroquois, today's Rivière Richelieu.  The north-flowing river was named for the Iroquois because here was their main avenue of invasion into the St. Lawrence valley.  Champlain and his companions noticed at the river's mouth a palisade that had been erected by a party of Montagnais who recently had made war on the Iroquois.  The Indian guides informed them that up this river, far to the south, in the country of the Mohawk, were a series of impressive lakes, and that below these lakes a major river, whose mouth was "'some hundred or hundred and forty leagues away'" flowed southward "toward 'Florida.'"  The Indians were describing, of course, today's Hudson River, the lower reaches of which Englishman Henry Hudson, in the employ of the Dutch, would explore six years later.  Determined to see for himself, Champlain, in a longboat and then in a skiff, explored the lower reach of the River of the Iroquois as far as the rapids at present-day St.-Ours.  On July 3, above the abandoned site of Hochelaga, Gravé, Champlain, and a contingent of sailors, in a specially prepared skiff, were no more successful than Cartier and Roberval in navigating past the Canadian rapids; only Indian guides in a canoe completed the passage, "but not without difficulty."  After walking through the woods to the head of the cataract, Champlain queried the natives and came away with a good idea of what lay beyond--a pays d'en haut, or upper country, consisting of Cartier's Estendue--today's Ottawa River--and a network of great lakes, beyond the last of which perhaps ran a passage to the Asian Sea.  The Frenchmen could not have failed to notice that, despite the difficulty of negotiating the rapids above Hochelaga, "a great trade route" lay above the falls by which "French goods," especially metal wares, "that the Algonquins acquired by barter ... were finding their way up the Ottawa River into the land of the Hurons ... some fifteen hundred miles from the Atlantic coast."05

Gravé's party headed back downriver on July 4 and encountered "some well-travelled Algonquins," from whom they learned more of the pays d'en haut as well as the land of the Iroquois.  Taking advantage of the current and the wind, they returned to Tadoussac by the 11th and then set out in Gravé's ships for the eastern coast of Honguedo, where they lingered four days, until July 19, "no doubt to lay in a provision of fish."  Champlain also explored the area where they fished, including Baie de Gaspé; Île Percé, which he likely named; and Île Bonaventure.  From the Indians, probably Mi'kmaq, he learned about the Baie des Chaleurs, off to the southwest.  From Sarcel de Prévert and the Mi'kmaq, he learned more about Cape Breton and the coast of La Cadie, which lay even farther to the south.05u 

What Champlain heard about La Cadie fueled his imagination:  "A land rich in promise of minerals, this Acadia....  There was a high mountain jutting out over the sea, 'brilliant in the light of the Sun, where there are quantities of verdigris which comes from the said copper mine' and from which fell pieces of copper; lower down toward the coast of Acadia, a 'mountain of black pigment, with which the Savages paint themselves'; then an island where 'a manner of metal' was to be found which was neither tin nor lead, but which resembled silver."  He learned that "Prevert had given the Souriquois," what the French called the Mi'kmaq, "wedges and chisels so that they might bring him pieces from the mines the following year.  In the lands of the Almouchiquois (on the coast of Maine), there were other mines, but there the Souriquois would not dare to go unless accompanied by the French to driver off their enemies."  Surely this was the fabled land of Norembèque!  "Champlain made an effort to fix, hypothetically, the positions of these places spoken of by Prevert, adding, 'All this country is very beautiful, & flat, where are found all the kinds of trees that we saw on our way to the first cataract of the great River of Canada.'"  Listening to Prévert and the Mi'kmaq, Champlain's mind turned to the great European chimera--a northern passage to Asia.  Did La Cadie, then, offer not only "many mines," but also a faster route to the Asian Sea?  "Acadia," on the North Atlantic, "might be an alternative to the St Lawrence, where navigation was long and difficult and where there were so many conflicts.  In 1603," Professor Trudel concludes, "it was Acadia rather than the St Lawrence that intrigued Champlain."05o

After exploring Gaspé, Gravé and Champlain headed back to Tadoussac on July 19 but were driven by foul weather to the north shore of the Gulf, where they took the time to explore "from Sept Iles upstream."   On August 3, back at Tadoussac, they joined in a Montagnais celebration over victory against the Iroquois, during which Montagnais women danced naked before the French and staged a mock battle in the water, beating at each other with paddles.  With this delightful scene to remember, Gravé and Champlain left Tadoussac on the 16th and rendezvoused with Sarcel de Prévert at Île Percé two days later.  After an uneventful crossing of the Gulf and the Atlantic, they reached Honfleur on September 20, their expedition the most successful yet made in Canada.  Unfortunately for the New French enterprise, however, even before Gravé's flotilla had reached Tadoussac, their concessionaire, the aging Admiral de Chaste, had died in France that May.05e

The Founding of Acadia

It did not take long for French officials to call in new bids for the fur-trade concession and for furious lobbying at court to commence.  On 31 October 1603, the Admiral of France, Henri, duc de Montmorency, at the behest of King Henri IV, granted to Pierre Dugua, sieur de Mons, governor of Pons in his native Saintonge, a former associate of Chauvin de Tonnetuit, a commission as vice-admiral "for 'all the seas, coasts, islands, harbors, and maritime countries which are found in the said province and region of Acadia.'"  On November 6, at the King's residence at Fontainebleau outside of Paris, Henri IV awarded de Chaste's concession to de Mons, who would hold "extensive rights to settlement, trade, and fishery" in New France for 10 years.  Two days later, after careful negotiations, in which de Mons requested the title of viceroy, the King elevated de Mons to the rank of lieutenant-general but, because he was not a prince of the blood, refused him the title of viceroy.  That Henri IV rewarded the concession and the title of lieutenant-general to another Protestant gives some idea of how relatively open-minded the French had become in religious matters, at least during Henri's reign.  The geographical extent of de Mons's concession was the same as that of Chauvin's and de Chaste's:  besides Canada, de Mons was granted the rights to La Cadie, which, the French believed, lay between the 40th and 46th degrees of north latitude.  This huge area comprised not only the peninsula of present-day Nova Scotia, but also what is now New England and New York, much of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, all of New Brunswick, Cape Breton Island and Newfoundland on the North Atlantic, Prince Edward Island and the Îles-de-la-Madeleine in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and much of what is today the Province of Québec.06

Like his fellow Protestant Coligny, de Mons would establish a settlement in territory claimed by rival nations--in this case, Spain and England.  His commission, in fact, included an admonition from the King not only to promote commercial relations with the natives and to spread the Christian faith among them, but also to prevent English incursions into the region.  Unlike Coligny and de Chastes, but like Chauvin, de Mons chose not to remain in France but to go himself to oversee the establishment of his new holdings.  Also unlike Coligny, but like Chauvin and de Chaste, de Mons would establish a settlement not to create a nationalistic "New France" in North America but to support a headquarters for his commercial venture, which, the King reminded him, must be funded with his own and his investors' money.  De Mons formed the Compagnie de Rouen, also called the Compagnie de Mons, which raised 90,000 livres for the venture from merchants at St.-Malo, La Rochelle, St.-Jean-de-Luz, and Rouen--the latter city, as the Company's name implies, to serve as "headquarters for the enterprise."  Unfortunately for the venture, many potential investors "hung back from committing themselves to a colonial enterprise whose costs looked as though they would run higher than estimated profits."  Seeing this, the King "reduced to sixty from the originally envisaged one hundred the number of persons to be taken to America."  It was essential, then, that de Mons choose wisely the location of his seat where he would house his 60 settlers.  Cartier had proved in the mid-1530s that Europeans could survive a Canadian winter if they received help from the natives, and de Mons himself had traveled there, though he likely did not winter in the St. Lawrence valley.  He had been there long enough, however, to have witnessed the annual frenzy among the valley natives when French traders appeared at Tadoussac, and he had recently read Champlain's account of his journey to New France, published in 1603.  This gave de Mons more reason to center his concession farther south, in La Cadie, where, at the same latitude as his native Saintonge, the climate surely would be milder.  Just as importantly, the Indians of La Cadie would not have been so thoroughly exploited by his fellow countrymen, and Champlain, echoing Sarcel de Prévert, pronounced them to be friendly.  There were mines in La Cadie, the soil was said to be fertile, and a passage to Asia might be found there.  Moreover, the entire continent of North America north of San Agústín in Florida, "was still unoccupied by European powers"; La Cadie--that is, the French claim to it--formed a substantial part of that unsettled region.  But de Mons could not neglect Canada.  In early spring 1604, after fitting out three ships for his La Cadie venture, he sent three more vessels to the lower St. Lawrence to trade for furs.06a

On 7 April 1604, the first ship of de Mons's expedition bound for La Cadie departed Havre-de-Grâce, today's Le Havre, which, along with Honfleur, served as one of the ports for Rouen.  The Don-de-Dieu, Gift of God, 150 tons and 100 feet long, was "'one of the largest Norman ships that went every year to the Newfoundland cod fisheries.'"  It would make the crossing this time as de Mons's amiral, or flag ship, with Timothée Le Barbier of Le Havre as sailing master and Louis Coman as pilot.  The Don-de-Dieu had taken on passengers at Honfleur before sailing the short distance to Le Havre to join the other ship in the flotilla.  The Bonne-Renommée, 120 tons and 90 feet long, had been to the lower St. Lawrence for de Chaste and now sailed under Master Nicolas Morel of Honfleur, with Guillaume Duglas serving as pilot.  De Mons's second in command, François Gravé du Pont, whose knowledge of New France was second to none, was the senior officer aboard Bonne-Renommée and in command of the expedition while "afloat."  Gravé's vessel left Le Havre on April 10, three days after Don-de-Dieu.  Also in the flotilla was a 40-foot patache of 17 or 18 tons whose name has been lost to history.  Their destination was the fishing rendezvous at Canso, south of Cape Breton Island.06d 

No women and certainly no families accompanied the venture.  Neither were there farmers among the passengers.  This was first and foremost a commercial enterprise bankrolled by an association of merchants, both Catholic and Protestant, from Rouen, St.-Malo, La Rochelle, and St.-Jean-de-Luz.  Large profits from trading for fur with the Indians was the main reason for the venture; everything else, including the fishery, an agricultural settlement, even the search for mineral wealth, would be secondary to that trade.  "Its object," David Hackett Fischer tells us, "was not to plant a permanent settlement with a population that could grow by natural increase, but rather to build an avant-poste, an outpost of empire in North America.  The sieur de Mons intended to construct an advanced base in the center of Acadia, analogous to a space station in our time, a safe and protected platform, strong enough to defend itself against the possibility of attack by Spanish or English raiders.  Its function was to provide a base for exploring missions, to map the coast, and find sites for colonies where French families might settle and start small populations growing."  To man the outpost, de Mons "recruited both Protestants and Roman Catholic participants," one of his biographers tells us.  Most of these men, approximately 120 workers, twice the number required by the King's contract, were "of varying skills"--surgeon, apothecary, housewright, master carpenters, sawyers, masons, blacksmiths, gunners, armorers, locksmiths (who repaired gunlocks), house plasterers, master miners, and professional hunters, including de Mons's bodyguard, François Addenin, who would become one of the colony's indispensable men.  Also included in de Mons's party were semiskilled artisans, unskilled laborers, ship's boys, convicts, paupers, and vagabonds, along with "several noblemen whose motives in joining the daring venture ranged from a quest for riches to a desire ... to win lands for France."  Two Catholic priests, one of them the young Nicolas Aubry of Paris, the other referred to only as le curé, as well as a Protestant minister whose name also has been lost to history, were part of the expedition, their mission not only to provide spiritual guidance to the expedition, but also to convert the natives.  An important member of the expedition was de Mons's friend Jean de Biencourt, sieur de Poutrincourt et de Saint-Just, an influential Catholic nobleman, soldier, and musical composer from Champagne, who came on the voyage "for his pleasure" yet was determined to establish "a new society in a new land."  Samuel de Champlain would serve as the expedition's geographer "but," as with the de Chaste expedition of the year before, "carried no official title or instructions."  While serving as a court geographer in the basement of the Louvre, Champlain had studied all of the French efforts in North America from Cartier to La Roche and Chauvin de Tonnetuit, but as part of the successful expedition to Canada the year before, his knowledge of New France was beyond theoretical.  A man of good sense and towering intellect, Champlain was determined to steer de Mons away from the many errors that had doomed earlier ventures.  Also coming along was an unusual but eminently valuable professional:  Mathieu Da Costa or De Coste, the expedition's interpreter, who, French documents attested, "'spoke the languages of Acadia.'"  Da Costa was either from Portugal, Spain, or the Cape Verde Islands and was described as "a 'nègre' or 'naigre.'"  He evidently was the property of a Rouen merchant named de Bauquemare, who had recently ransomed da Costa from Dutch corsairs who had kidnapped him.  How da Costa had learned Algonquin was anyone's guess; most likely he had been shipwrecked or marooned on the coast of La Cadie and had been forced to live among the natives until he was "rescued."  As the recent expeditions to Canada had demonstrated, an interpreter was essential for any venture to the wilds of North America, and de Mons was lucky to have obtained the African's services.06b

De Mons's expedition reached La Cadie in early May after a swift crossing.  Gravé and the Bonne-Renommée, as planned, made landfall at Canso despite the perils of sea ice off the North American coast, while de Mons's Don-de-Dieu, on which Champlain also sailed, veered southward to avoid the ice and spotted Sable Island on May 1.  Avoiding the treacherous shoals around the sandy isles, where the marquis de La Roche's 11 survivors had been rescued the year before, the Don-de-Dieu continued on a southwestward tack towards the coast of La Cadie.  Making landfall a week later at "a headland they baptized" Cap de La Hève, they anchored there for several days.  Champlain, true to form, spent much of the time surveying the harbor and later made an accurate chart of its depths and dimensions.  Ashore, the Frenchmen encountered two large camps of Mi'kmaq, who Champlain called the Souriquois.  De Mons and his party had stumbled upon one of the Indians' favorite fishing grounds, which they frequented each summer since time immemorial.  These were not the first Europeans the peninsula Mi'kmaq had encountered.  There had been Norsemen and Basques and myriads of others; they were not even the first Frenchmen to venture here.  The Mi'kmaq responded in kind to the new arrivals, who seemed friendly enough, and even "offered to help them."06e 

Unfamiliar with these waters and wary of seaborne predators, de Mons moved the ships carefully down the coast, away from the direction of Canso, in search of a more defensible harbor.  On May 12, de Mons captured a vessel, the Levrette, or Greyhound, whose master, Jean de Rossignol of Le Havre, de Mons insisted, "was illegally trading for furs"--the first of many such interlopers he and his associates would encounter over the next few years.  Champlain named the place of the capture Port-au-Rossignol, today's Liverpool, Nova Scotia.  The next day, with the Levrette and an angry Rossignol in tow, they anchored farther down the coast in "a beautiful, sheltered bay" which they called Port-au-Mouton, after a sheep that fell off the vessel, drowned, and was promptly roasted and eaten.  De Mons set up camp on the shore of the small bay and sent some of his men in a chaloupe, with Mi'kmaq guides, to search up the coast for the Bonne-Renommée.  On May 19, de Mons sent Champlain in an eight-ton barque to explore the coast to the southwestward in hopes of finding a temporary settlement site, "pending the choice of a permanent" one; this would be the first of Champlain's many independent explorations in the region.  With the geographer were de Mons's able secretary, Jean Ralluau, and 10 men, including Maître Simon, one of the master miners from Slavonia.  They inched their way around Cap-Nèigre towards Cap-Sable, pulling out to sea to dodge dangerous rocks and sunken obstructions and then battling rip tides and strong currents as they darted back to shore to explore the next cove--a technique Champlain called "ferreting."  While Maître Simon searched for minerals, Champlain and Ralluau examined the soil for fertility.  In a 40-mile stretch of coast, they encountered at least 10 coves and bays.  At Cap-Sable, an island marking the "extreme southeastern tip of Acadia," they found a spacious anchorage for ships of substantial size that offered "a promising place for a fort and trading post."  Rounding Cap-Sable, they made their way northward along another cove-filled coast, encountering islands that supported abundant bird life.  They feasted on their eggs.  Many of the birds were unknown to Champlain, who made careful note of their variety.  They also encountered great colonies of seals, the flesh of which Champlain found very tasty.  Typical of Europeans upon finding such abundance, they killed for pleasure as well as "the pot."  Farther up the coast they studied carefully Cap-Forchu, which Champlain named for its resemblance to the tongs of a fork, and explored the nearby harbor, today's Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.  Approaching the wide entrance to present-day St. Mary's Bay, Maître Simon discovered what they hoped were deposits of iron and silver.  They explored the narrowing bay, and at a place he called Port-Ste.-Marguerite Champlain found "an attractive site for settlement with open meadows and 'soil among the best I've ever seen.'"  The master miner also found more evidence of iron and silver.   After three weeks of diligent exploration, their provisions ran low, so Champlain turned the barque around to report to de Mons what he had discovered.  Returning the way they had come, an early summer gale nearly wrecked the vessel, but Champlain drove her ashore at a safe place.  They reached Port-au-Mouton the following day and were greeted warmly by their worried companions.  Determined to examine the coast himself, in mid June de Mons joined Champlain in a chaloupe and led his flotilla around Cap-Sable and up the coast to Baie St.-Marie, which he explored more thoroughly.  "They found little in the way of minerals, and 'no place where we might fortify ourselves,'" Champlain recalled.  The first mishap in the venture occurred during the exploration of the north shore of Baie Ste.-Marie.  While walking through the woods on Île Longue, today's Long Island, with a number of others, the young Father Aubry accidentally dropped his sword and left the group to look for it.  They moved on, and he lost his way.  The others, including local Mi'kmaq, searched for days without finding him.  With so much else to do, de Mons had no choice but to leave the young priest to fend for himself.06c 

After giving up Father Aubry as lost, de Mons left the larger ships in Baie-Ste.-Marie and joined Champlain, Poutrincourt, shipwright-turned-mariner Pierre Angibault dit Champdoré, a master miner or two, and the usual contingent of sailors, in one of the chaloupes.  On June 16, they sailed out of Baie Ste.-Marie via today's Long Island Strait and into a much larger body of water they named, appropriately, Grand Baie Française.  Here was today's Bay of Fundy, which both Fagundes and Verrazzano had sighted eight decades before and where Sarcel de Prévert had gone so recently.  Along what proved to be the south shore of the Great French Bay, which trended northeastward, "two leagues along the coast," de Mons directed the chaloupe into a half-mile-wide gut flanked by towering heights, and soon they entered a lovely basin surrounded by commanding hills.  Champlain, who named the lovely basin Port-Royal, describes it best:  "... 'we entered one of the most beautiful harbors I have seen on all these coasts, which would safely hold 2,000 ships.'"  He goes on:  "'From the mouth of the river to the point we reached are many prairies or meadows but these are flooded at high tide, and numbers of small creeks that cross from one side and another....  The place was the most proper and pleasant for a settlement that we had seen.'"  Poutrincourt was so enamored of the place that he asked de Mons to grant it to him, which the proprietor did at the end of August.  Back out of the Gut after exploring the basin as far up as their vessel could take them, de Mons and his companions continued sailing northeastward along the Great French Bay's smooth southern shore.  They were searching now for the mineral deposits Sarcel de Prévert had discovered the year before.  They rounded two capes--today's Split and Blomidon--and sailed into a large basin which they called the Port- or Bassin-des-Mines, today's Minas Basin, the name evoking the presence of minerals there.  Ashore, they found evidence of copper ore.  Back in the chaloupe, they may have ventured into the basin as far east as today's Cobequid Bay.  On the way out of the basin, if they had lingered along the north shore of the basin's entrance at Cap d'Or, due west of Cape Split, they would have found a deposit of so-called "native copper," which, according to a history of the Mi'kmaq culture, "could be found in thin sheets that can be cut and hammered into shape very easily."  Back in the Baie Française and still trending northeastward, de Mons directed the chaloupe around a prominent cape and into the mouth of another bay which the Mi'kmaq called Chignecto, discovering more inlets and marsh-lined estuaries, including, perhaps, today's Cumberland Basin, but no mines.  They may also have sailed into the mouth of the Baie de Chepoudy, inside of which, if the fog allowed it, they could have seen the estuaries of two more tidal rivers, today's Memramcook and Petitcoudiac.  By then, de Mons and Champlain could see that the tides in the Baie Française, especially in its narrow reaches, were by far the highest any of them had encountered anywhere, including their native Saintonge.  Turning southwestward, they followed a shore as free of inlets as the one they had coasted along on the opposite side of the bay between the Gut and the entrance to the Bassin-des-Mines.  Rounding a headland, they came upon the mouth of a large river, the same one that Bellenger had explored 21 years earlier and Sarcel de Prévert only a year before.  De Mons and Champlain took the time to navigate the river's narrow entrance with its curious, but dangerous, reversing falls.  Waiting for the tide to come in, they shot through the falls and inspected the shore above the cataract.  By then, it was June 24, the feast day of St.-Jean-Baptiste; Champlain named the river after the saint, and de Mons raised a cross on a height above the shore to commemorate the occasion.  Local Indians, probably Maliseet from sagamore Secoudon's village at the mouth of the river, who Champlain called the Etchemin, informed them that the upper reaches of Rivière St.-Jean "offered an avenue to the St. Lawrence Valley with only a short portage," important information indeed.  Back out of the river on the lowering tide, de Mons, with Etchemin guides in tow, pushed on southwestward down a heavily indented shore and then southward to a large island at the entrance to Baie Française.  They called it Grand Manan, "after the Algonquian word for island."  They then sailed northward through an archipelago, including today's Campobello Island, and entered another bay, this one named for the local natives, the Passamaquoddy.  They sailed up an estuary that emptied into the bay, and there, below the place where three rivers form a crucifix, de Mons selected a site for his settlement.07

For a number of reasons--its defensibility, its beauty, its climate, the fertility of the soil in the area, the profusion of fish, clams, and mussels in the surrounding water, its proximity to the mouth of the Baie Française, and the villages of friendly natives on the nearby mainland--de Mons, with Champlain's approbation, picked as the site of his headquarters a wooded five-acre island in the middle of the estuary.  Another motivation in the selection of the site was the need to build shelter and plant crops as quickly as possible to sustain dozens of men over the fast-approaching winter.  The French called the islet Île Ste.-Croix, Holy Cross Island, and the stream in which it lay Rivière-des-Etchemins but later renamed it after the island.  Champlain described Île Ste.-Croix "as a natural fortress, 'eight or nine hundred paces in circumference.'  On three sides it had granite cliffs twenty to third feet high, so steep as to be virtually impassable.  On the fourth side of the island, facing downstream, they found a small crescent beach of sand and clay, guarded by granite rocky outcrops called 'nubbles,' which could bear the weight of ramparts and cannon."  De Mons and his men landed at the island on June 26, and they began to transform it into a man-made fortress.  De Mons, meanwhile, sent Champdoré back to Baie Ste.-Marie to bring the ships and the other smaller vessels across to the island.  One of the men Champdoré brought to the new settlement was the young priest Nicolas Aubry, who had survived the Long Island wilderness for 16 days, subsisting on sorrel leaves and berries, before his fellow Frenchmen spotted him on a remote part of the shore.  Soon, an eight-ton barque appeared at Île Ste.-Croix.  It had come from Canso, where Gravé had gathered a cargo of fish and fur destined for the investors in France.  Aboard the barque were four Basque ship masters Gravé had arrested for trading illegally in de Mons's concession.  The proprietor, Champlain insists, "'treated them humanely'" and ordered them back to France.07b 

The post on Île Ste.-Croix took shape over the summer.  "Work began almost at once," a de Mons biographer tells us, "and the rate of progress indicates both the careful preparations de Monts had made in France as well as the vigour of his leadership.  Following a plan drawn by Champlain, some dozen houses were built around a court, being connected in some places by a palisaded wall so that the whole settlement resembled a fort.  ... [S]ome of these houses," including de Mons's impressive seat, at the center of the habitation, "were partially built of lumber brought from France.  In addition there were service buildings such as a storehouse, kitchen, and common living-dining hall.  Also included was a Catholic chapel.  While construction was pressed forward, gardens were planted both on the island and the mainland opposite," along the river's west bank, "where the first wheat to be grown in New France was sown."  De Mons planned to prepare even more fields on the mainland, including a site they had explored three leagues farther up, "near some rapids."  Also in his plans were a mill and a facility for the preparation of charcoal.  At the lower end of the island, a battery of cannon appeared atop one of the "nubbles" to ward off English or other intruders who might threaten the island from the open sea.07a  

In late August, as the habitation neared completion, de Mons ordered Poutrincourt and Ralluau, with Father Aubry and the Basques in tow, to return in Don-de-Dieu and Levrette to France, where he likely assumed Gravé already had gone.  They were tasked with informing the trade partners of the colony's successful establishment.  After completing their personal business, they would then return "with more men" under Gravé du Pont, as well as "provisions, tools, seedgrain and livestock," while de Mons and Champlain wintered on Île Ste.-Croix with 77 officers and men.  But de Mons's order was more easily issued than carried out.  Forced by their deeper drafts to ride at anchor at the mouth of the river, the larger vessels had to wait out a late-summer nor'easter before Poutrincourt and his crews could raise their anchors, open their sails, and hurry back to France.  After a difficult passage, while sailing in the English Channel, they "were almost wrecked on the Casquets," north of the Isle of Guernsey.  "Poutrincourt ordered the crew to help him 'shift the sails.'  They refused.  A friend of Poutrincourt wrote that 'only two or three of them did so'"--not a resounding affirmation of Poutrincourt's qualities as a leader.08c 

Champlain, meanwhile, revealed his growing maturity as a geographer-explorer as well as an ambassador to the local Indians.  While the habitation was being completed, he explored the cross-shaped river above and below the island.  At de Mons's request, Champlain turned southward "to seek the ideal site for a permanent abode" in Norembègue, the fabled land of gold.  In de Mons's 18-ton patache, a fully-decked, keel-built vessel specially designed for "ferreting" a rock-strewn coast, Champlain sailed with a dozen seamen, various specialists, including shipwright Champdoré, and two Indian guides, 20 men in all.  The guides were either Passamaquoddy from Rivière Ste.-Croix, Maliseet from Rivière St.-Jean, or Mi'kmaq.  In the hold of the sturdy vessel, Champlain's men packed "spares" and a month's supply of provisions.  On the deck of the patache the Etchemin stored a birch-bark canoe, and Champlain secured a skiff for close-in surveying.  On September 2, they sailed downriver to the ships' mooring and waited out a storm.  Three days later, on the 5th, the storm finally over, they continued south towards Grand Manan Island, enduring a thick coastal fog bank on the way.  Turning southwestward, they sailed along the coast of today's Gulf of Maine.  Before the end of their first day of exploration, they rounded today's Schoodic Peninsula and came upon a large island with towering peaks, some of them bare of trees, that Champlain named Île des Monts-Déserts, today's Mount Desert Island.  Although he described the island's highest peaks as "barren" of life, the lower eminences and the rest of the island he found to be anything but an inhospitable désert.  "Champlain was fascinated by this place," one of his biographers tells us, "as many visitors have been through the centuries."  In the gloom of dusk, he guided the patache northward to the head of today's Frenchman Bay and could see that Monts-Déserts was indeed an island, separated from the mainland "by 'less than a hundred paces.'"  Before nightfall, he turned the patache southward and ferreted the island's rocky east coast, sailing past today's Bar Harbor, behind which the summit of the island's highest peak, today's Cadillac Mountain, took on the light of the setting sun.  They continued down the coast towards Otter Point at the southeast tip of the island.  Somewhere off the point, the patache slammed into a hidden rocky ledge and promptly took on water.  Champlain guided the sinking vessel into a lovely cove "with a broad tidal flat of rounded pebbles," today's Otter Cove, and eased her onto her side as the tide went out.  He and his carpenters found a hole near the keel, but the keel itself and the rudder had not been damaged.  As some of the crew made repairs, others foraged the rocky shore for edibles.  It was Champlain's practice to supplement "his crew's rations with fresh food wherever he could find it."  The patache was seaworthy by the morning of the 6th, and on the rising tide they continued on their way.  During the following days, they carefully explored the southern and western shores of the big island.  When they encountered local natives in their birch-bark canoes, the Indians would maintain a safe distance, even when Champlain's Etchemin guides approached them.  On September 7, however, probably still off of the big island, local natives approached the patache to speak with their fellow natives and exchange presents with the strangers.  The Indians called the big island Pemetic--"the sloping land"--and offered to take them to their chief, who lived on a nearby river they called Pentagouët.  Champlain followed them through the Western Way past an imposing island off to seaward that he named Île-au-Haut, and soon they entered today's Penobscot Bay.  After rounding Deer and Ilesboro islands, they sailed upriver past the site of lovely Castine, Maine, into the Pentagouët's magnificent narrows.  Ignoring the Indian name for the river, Champlain called it Norembègue, after Jean Alfonse's fantastic river.  Today it bears another Indian name:  Penobscot.  Past the site of today's Bucksport, Maine, which Champlain admired, the patache continued upriver to the head of navigation--a waterfall "two hundred paces wide and seven or eight feet high," at the center of today's Bangor, Maine.  They anchored the patache near a magnificent grove of old oaks and explored the surrounding countryside.  Soon natives appeared, likely of the Penobscot nation.  A dignified sagamore, called Bessabez, Betsabes, or Bashaba, arrived with his entourage.  The other Indians began to dance and sing.  A second sagamore, Cabahis, arrived with a smaller entourage.  Champlain noticed that the followers of Cabahis sat apart from those of Bessabez, but both contingents welcomed the French, the canoeists already having spread the word that the strangers had come in peace.  On a level piece of ground at the confluence of the Kenduskeag and the Penobscot, in what is now downtown Bangor, Champlain met with the Indian leaders, approaching them with a small entourage of two Frenchmen and two interpreters so as not to frighten them.  He nevertheless sensed the potential for trouble and positioned his crewmen, weapons loaded but out of sight, in such a way that they could retreat to the patache under fire if the occasion demanded it.  Pleased with the Frenchman's soldierly bearing and what they understood he had said in the way of welcome, Bessabez beckoned him to sit down amongst them.  Champlain then endured his second tabagie in as many years, though this one was much smaller than the bacchanal he had witnessed at Tadoussac the year before.  Champlain, likely through an interpreter, perhaps the African da Costa, "invited them to make peace with the Souriquois and the 'Canadiens,' adding that de Monts wished to 'inhabit their land, & show them how to cultivate it, so that they might no longer lead so miserable a life as they did'"--a fine piece of hubris on the part of the French.  More speeches followed, more exchanges of gifts, more singing, dancing, feasting, and smoking the pipe of peace, into the night.  At dawn, the French and Indians bartered for beaver skins and trade goods and then went their separate ways.  Cabahis, however, agreed to accompany his new French friends in their impressive boat as far downriver as present-day Belfast, Maine.  On the way down, Champlain took the opportunity to query the sagamore about tales of a city of gold the French called Norembègue, of which Cabahis evinced no knowledge.  Concluding that the tale likely was pure fiction, and not being there to search for gold, Champlain pressed him for more important information--the nature of the region's rivers and lakes.  Cabahis described a portage from the head of the Pentagouët leading to a tributary of the Rivière de Canada.  Champlain asked about the next big river to the west, which the Indians called Qui-ni-be-guy.  Cabahis informed him that the head of this river also, today's Kennebec, could be portaged to Canada.  Champlain now possessed "a clear idea" about the real Norembègue.  Back in Penobscot Bay by September 17, Champlain sailed southwestward towards the mouth of the Kennebec, but foul weather, a contrary wind, and diminishing supplies, as well as the refusal of his guides to follow him, prevented him from going any farther than the peninsula at Pemaquid.  He turned the patache about on September 23, and, taking advantage of the prevailing westerly winds--"the origin of the expression 'down east' in Maine"--they returned to Île Ste-Croix on October 2, a month to the day after they had left it.  Though the coast of Norembègue had been explored by Verrazzano and Gômez eight decades before, and Gômez had ascended the Penobscot as far as Champlain had done, the region had never been so thoroughly charted.  Moreover, Champlain's treatment of the Indians was the antithesis of the Spaniard's brutality.  Champlain had found no suitable site for settlement, so his exploration was not a glowing success, but he nonetheless was eager to return to the place where he had secured the trust of the local natives.08b 

When he returned to de Mons's island, Champlain found the habitation completed.  But Île Ste.-Croix soon revealed its inadequacies as a suitable site for settlement.  The sandy soil held no water, so they could not sink a well.  Rain, which fell too infrequently, failed to nourish the garden crops.  Only wheat sown on the mainland, farther upriver, produced a crop.  The fish and shellfish became the staple of their diet.  Winter came sooner, and harder, than expected.  Snow fell during the first week of October, and by early December ice floated past on the river.  No more rain fell, only snow.  Deep snow, four feet of it still on the ground in late April, thick ice on the river, heavy winds, biting cold, and the poor condition of their boats, transformed the island into a virtual prison.  If anyone had thought that moving the trading venture south of Canada would mean milder winters, the experience at Île Ste.-Croix proved otherwise.  "'It is difficult to know the country without having wintered there,'" Champlain averred, a reminder that, although he and de Mons had spent time in Canada, neither had wintered there.  "With supplies of fresh food exhausted, they were reduced to salt meat; fresh water was scarce and melted snow had to be used as a substitute," Champlain lamented, the island providing them with neither a spring nor a brook, let alone a well.  "Unaccustomed as they were to North American winters," Professor Trudel observes, "no one had thought to dig cellars, chink cracks in the walls or lay in a plentiful supply of firewood...."  In March 1605, a band of Passamaquoddy appeared and exchanged meat for bread, which noticeably improved the Frenchmen's diet, but by then it was too late for many of them.  Poor food and water, combined with forced idleness, proved disastrous.  By spring, which finally came in May, nearly half of the 79 men on Île Ste.-Croix--perhaps as many as 36 of them--had died of scurvy, with another 20 close to death, and only "about ten" unaffected.  Neither the local Indians nor de Mons or even Champlain were aware of annedda, the extract of the white cedar that had saved so many of Cartier's men at another Ste.-Croix seven decades earlier.  De Mons had expected Gravé to return from France by April, but even before then he was certain that the isolated little island was no place to spend another winter.  In May, he ordered the construction of two chaloupes of seven and 15 tons each to take them to a fishing rendezvous--Canso, Cape Breton, even Gaspé--where they were sure to find a ship to take them home.  Finally, "an hour before midnight on 15 June 1605," Gravé and Ralluau appeared at Île Ste.-Croix with two ships full of essential supplies and 40 reinforcements.08

The colony was saved.  


Determined to widen his search for a more hospitable settlement site, de Mons turned his attention southward, to Norembègue.  From 18 June to 3 August 1605, he repeated Champlain's late-summer voyage to that coast.  With him were Mi'kmaq chief Panounias and his wife, an Almouchiquois, serving as interpreters, and perhaps Etchemin chief Secoudon, who was interested in establishing better relations with the Almouchiquois.  Also aboard de Mons's patache were Champlain, 20 sailors, shipwright Champdoré, and "'several gentlemen-adventurers,'" bringing the party "to a total of about thirty souls."  The first days of the voyage quickly revealed the difference in leadership styles between de Mons and Champlain.  The sieur was not as disciplined as the geographer in the use of time and resources.  It took this expedition two weeks to travel the same distance that Champlain, even with a punctured hull, had sailed in two days in the same kind of vessel.  If de Mons and his gentlemen companions saw an island that was interesting, they lingered there, to the detriment of the local wildlife.  At Île des Monts-Déserts, which Champlain had deemed unsuitable for settlement and which "offered no access to the interior," de Mons insisted on lingering for several days to study the place while his gentlemen-adventurers enjoyed the island's wonders.  On the western side of Penobscot Bay, near today's Owl's Head Point, natives finally appeared.  Three of them offered to lead them to their chief, whose village lay on the lower Kennebec.  De Mons agreed, but no tabagie followed; his relations with the Indians remained formal and aloof, in sharp contrast to Champlain's openness.  They left Owl's Head on the first of July and followed the Indians--likely Almouchiquois--the 25 leagues past Pemaquid to the mouth of the Kennebec, reaching that point in a single day.  During the following week, they followed their hosts "through an astonishing maze of meandering channels that connected three major rivers in mid-coast Maine:  the Kennebec (by the modern city of Bath); the Sheepscot to the east (Wiscasset), and the Androscoggin River to the west (Brunswick)," which gave the Frenchmen a good idea of the magnificence of the Kennebec estuary.  On the Sheepscot near present-day Wiscasset, a sagamore named Manthoumermer came out in his canoe to greet them.  Panounias's wife spoke with him, and he made a long-winded speech "expressing pleasure" at seeing them and desiring an alliance.  Manthoumermer promised to send word to fellow leaders Marchin and Sasinou, the latter addressed as "'chief of the Kennebec.'"  De Mons "responded with small gifts of hardtack and dried peas," but, again, he did not bother to come ashore and endure a tabagie with his new ally.  The Indians guides then led the patache back to the ocean via a longer, even more complex and difficult passage via today's Merrymeeting Bay, where the meeting with Marchin and Sasinou was to have taken place.  They waited in vain for the sagamores to appear:  "Things were not going well with the Indians, and the guides gave them no explanation," one of Champlain's biographers tells us.  De Mons had failed "to establish a rapport with them or build a basis for friendship."  Back at the mouth of the Kennebec by July 8, they continued sailing southwestward to present-day Casco Bay, from which they could see off to the north some very high mountains--the White Mountains of today's New Hampshire.  They spent the night near present-day Portland, Maine, and on September 10 reached today's Saco, which the Etchemin called Choüacoet.  There they met another local native leader, young Honemechin of the Almouchiquois.  Unfortunately, Panounias, a Mi'kmaq, could barely communicate with the young sagamore, whose language, though Algonquin, was largely unintelligible to the Mi'kmaq.  Panounias's wife, an Almouchiquois, "had suddenly disappeared" when they needed her most.  Leaving de Mons and his companions aboard the patache, Champlain went ashore to inspect the Almouchiquois fields of corn, beans, squash, and tobacco.  They were one of the few nations in the region who practiced sedentary agriculture, and Champlain was thoroughly impressed with them, which would only have heightened his frustration over his inability to communicate effectively enough to secure an alliance.  In hopes of remedying this problem, de Mons agreed to allow one of the Frenchmen to remain among the Almouchiquois--"the first to live with the natives as one of them in order to learn the language." 

Back on the ocean, de Mons sailed southward, now, along a coast less rocky and more sandy.  At dusk of the same day, they reached what Champlain called Cap-aux-Îles or the Island Cape, present-day Cape Ann.  Failing to find an anchorage for the night, they pressed on into Massachusetts Bay, reaching the site of present-day Boston as the sun came up.  De Mons remained aboard the patache and sent Champlain ashore to communicate with the local Indians, a nation called the Massachusetts, as best he could.  Now beyond the linguistic competence of their Mi'kmaq guides, Champlain was forced to employ sign language.  The Massachusetts were friendly and eager to trade.  Champlain presented each of them with a knife, and they danced with glee.  He then coaxed them into drawing with a piece of charcoal the streams and inlets of the area.  Their crude sketch depicted, among other things, present-day Charles River and the Back Bay of Boston, then a scrawny peninsula.  Champlain, ever observant, noticed that south of the Island Cape the Indians used pirogues, or dugouts, instead of birch-bark canoes, to get about.  He agreed to try to steer one of their dugouts, with limited success, much to the amusement of his hosts.  He also noted that the Indians below the Island Cape tended to wear clothes of grass and hemp, not skins or fur.  Champlain would have remained a while longer to secure their friendship, but de Mons insisted on hurrying on.  They encountered large numbers of Indians in Massachusetts Bay, and Champlain concluded that this part of Norembègue was more populous than the regions up the coast.  Champlain took a small boat ashore to distribute more gifts of trade knives and biscuits, but the language barrier prevented him from learning the name of their leaders or the sites of their villages.  On July 17, they sailed out of Massachusetts Bay and followed the coast, now trending southeastward, past Scituate to present-day Brant Point, where more Indians came out in dugouts to greet them.  This time a sagamore appeared; Champlain called him Honabetha.  They exchanged food, but their attempts at communication failed.  The following day, de Mons directed the patache past Gurnet Point and into Plymouth Bay, where the Indians, perhaps the Wampanoag, again were numerous and friendly.  Some of them were returning in large dugouts from a fishing expedition down the coast, displaying codfish they had caught on hooks made of bone tied to lines of hemp.  Crossing the mouth of a large bay, de Mons and his men made their way eastward to a long sandy peninsula they called, appropriately, Cap-Blanc, or White Cape, which Englishman Bartholomew Gosnold had named Cape Cod three years earlier.  They were much impressed with the wooded terrain rising above the large white dunes, "'very delightful and pleasant to the eye,'" Champlain described it.08a 

On the 20th, now over a month into the venture, de Mons and his party rounded the White Cape and re-entered the North Atlantic.  Sailing south again along a sandy coast, they slipped carefully into a shoal-plagued harbor with "'breakers on every side.'"  Champlain named it Mallebarre, or Bad Bar, today's Nauset Harbor.  More dancing Natives appeared.  Champlain went ashore to greet them and was impressed with their beauty and their impeccable grooming, especially among the women and girls.  De Mons must have been impressed with them as well; he agreed to leave the patache and visit their village.  Perhaps here was a better site for settlement, so it was worth his time and effort to inspect the place.  On their march to the Nauset village, de Mons and his 10 or so men at arms helped themselves freely to the native's crops, without permission.  At the village, de Mons asked about the harshness of the winters, and the Indians explained as best they could that the harbor never froze over and the snow fell to a depth of about a foot.  The natives had noted the boorish attitude of de Mons and his men in their march to the village and could not help but noticing that they had come bearing arms "as if for war."  As a result, "their tone began to change."  A few days later, on July 23, a party of Frenchmen came ashore to gather fresh water in large metal pots.  A Nauset, envying the shiny implement, snatched one of the pots from a Frenchman and ran away.  The Frenchman pursued but could not catch him.  Other Nauset appeared to investigate the matter.  The other Frenchmen, thinking the natives were acting in "a menacing way," fled back to the patache, yelling for their fellows to open fire on their pursuers.  Unfortunately, several Nauset were aboard the vessel on a friendly visit.  Seeing the Frenchmen fleeing in panic and realizing the danger of the situation, they jumped into the ocean and swam for their lives.  French sailors caught one of them, inviting retaliation.  Meanwhile, the Indians ashore fired a volley of arrows into the Frenchman who had pursued the thieving Indian and finished him off with their knives, perhaps recently acquired in trade, and hurried in pursuit of the other Frenchmen.  Champlain, aboard the vessel, rallied the crew and hurried ashore to rescue the survivors of the watering party.  While laying down a covering fire, Champlain's arquebus exploded in his hands, injuring him badly.  The Nauset fled, the French pursued, but they had no chance of catching them.  After the watering party was rescued, the dead man, a carpenter from St.-Malo, was buried on the beach.  Regaining control of his wrought-up men, de Mons ordered the release of the blameless captive and lingered at Mallebarre for two more days, hoping to make amends with the natives.  But the Nauset and their neighbors "were now openly hostile and made clear that the French should go."  On July 24, de Mons ordered the patache out to sea, keeping clear of the Massachusetts coast as they headed back north.  They nevertheless could see many signal fires, no doubt spreading the word of their conflict with the Nauset.  They stopped again at Saco and Kennebec, hoping to make an alliance with Sasinou, but again the sagamore did not appear.  An Indian named Anassou, with whom they bartered for furs and could communicate, informed de Mons that a sailing vessel had been engaging in fishing 10 leagues down the coast when its crewmen killed five Indians from Kennebec.  De Mons and Champlain assumed that the intruders were English, which proved to be correct, but the Indians were not from Kennebec:  George Weymouth, captain of the Archangel, had left England on 5 March 1605 and had arrived near the mouth of the Kennebec in May, two months before de Mons and Champlain had gone that way on their voyage down the coast.  It was Weymouth and his men who had kidnapped, not killed, five Patuxent from the coast of Massachusetts when the Indians approached in their canoes to greet them.  By the time Anassou told de Mons about the incident, Weymouth and his captives were back in England.  The brutality of the English on this and earlier voyages had alienated the area Natives, but the incident at Mallebarre denied the French an opportunity of settling in Massachusetts anytime soon.  Nor did de Mons find along the coast of Norembègue an alternative site for the colony's headquarters.  The weeks-long venture proved to be a bust, the proprietor and the geographer achieving "none of their goals," one of Champlain's biographers concludes.08d

Back at Ste.-Croix by the first week of August, de Mons was determined to relocate his headquarters, but he still was unsure where to move it.  He had hoped to relocate his settlement somewhere "south of Cape Cod," but bad relations with the Indians precluded a movement there for now.  After much deliberation, he chose a place he had visited the summer before:  the lovely basin across the Baie Française which he had promised to Poutrincourt the previous August and which Champlain had named Port-Royal.  The site could be reached only via a narrow gut surrounded by heights that could be easily defended, and the exploration of the year before had revealed a harbor of such magnificent proportions hundreds of vessels could rest there safely at anchor.  Following the advice of Gravé and Champlain, de Mons sited his new habitation on the crest of a hill along the north side of the basin, opposite Île-aux-Chèvres, Goat Island.  The first blast of winter only three months away, he ordered his men to use materials from the structures on Île Ste.-Croix to construct a small quadrilateral-shaped wooden "fort" 60 feet long and 48 feet wide, its outer walls, 200 feet in circumstance, completely surrounding its many buildings.  A bastion large enough to support four guns stood at the lower downriver corner of the fort, and a bastion for musketeers stood above the gate on the upriver end of the structure.  The buildings inside the fort, no longer scattered as on Île Ste.-Croix, were carefully arranged "to maintain social rank and internal order."  The most impressive structure, of course, was the sieur de Mons's pre-fabricated house brought piece by piece from the island.  Besides houses and dormitories for the residents, as well as a new barracks for the Swiss mercenaries, the buildings inside the walls of the fort included a bakery, a kitchen, a blacksmith shop, "and a 'maisonette' for small boats and rigging."  The magasin, or storehouse, with his six-foot cellar, stood on the northeast side of the habitation and held the company's "stock of wine, cider, grain, and other provisions."  Outside the wooden palisade stood a protective earthen glacis and, beyond, across the slopes and on natural terraces, lay the gardens, fields, and meadows that would help sustain the inhabitants.  From the basin, de Mons's habitation "resembled a fortified farming hamlet in France."  Nearby stood the village of Membertou, a bearded sagamore.  He and most of the hundred or so Mi'kmaq welcomed the Frenchmen and their trade goods.09b 

Heeding reports from home that his trading company was in financial difficulty, de Mons left for France in September.  With him went Jean Ralluau, a cargo of furs, and exotic gifts for the King, including a red-painted birch-bark canoe, a six-month-old moose, a caribou, a set of moose antlers, a muskrat, a humming bird still alive in a cage, assorted stuffed birds found nowhere in France, a collection of Indian weapons, "and other marvels for the royal collection."  De Mons had hoped to leave Sieur d'Orville, "a gentleman of some social standing" who had survived the winter at Île Ste.-Croix, in charge of the habitation, but the aging gentleman fell sick, and Gravé du Pont took charge of the post.  Also remaining were Champlain, who was not yet done with his explorations and who shared de Mons's house with his friend Gravé; Champdoré the shipwright; a surgeon named Deschamps; the curé and his nemesis, the Protestant minister; and 40 or so others, many of them survivors of the previous winter.  Champlain "built a sluice in order to stock his own trout," and "took 'a particular pleasure' in gardening."  He also continued his explorations for mines.  That fall, with Gravé's encouragement, Champlain returned to the Bassin-des-Mines.  With him were master miner Jacques of Slavonia and, most importantly, Etchemin sagamore Secoudon who had assisted Sarcel de Prévert two years earlier.  From his village on the lower St.-Jean, Secoudon led Champlain and Maître Jacques to an outcropping of copper at the entrance to the basin.  Champlain duly noted the quality of the ore.  Jacques, meanwhile, found an even richer source of the mineral below the tide line, which required him to wait for the ebbing tide to chip away at the vein of what he called "'rose copper.'"  Dissatisfied with what they had found, Champlain tried again.  Guided by Mi'kmaq chief Messamouet and some of his warriors, he returned to Baie Française "in a pinnace of five or six tons, manned by nine sailors."  They found two deposits between Île Ste.-Croix and Rivière St.-Jean, but neither of them contained copper of any purity.  That winter, 1605-06, in his "work-room among the trees," a kind of gazebo structure, Champlain reviewed the notes from his journeys in the Baie Française and down the coast and planned to return to Norembègue the following spring.09

When Champlain returned from his search for minerals, he was shocked to see symptoms of scurvy among some of the 45 men at Port-Royal even before the winter set in.  To supplement the habitation's adequate grain and dried-meat supply, Champlain secured wild game from the Mi'kmaq.  Luckily, the first snow did not fall until the third week of December, a sign that this winter might be less severe than the previous one.  Unfortunately, the first winter at Port-Royal proved to be just as severe in cold and discomfort as the one they had endured on Île Ste.-Croix.  At least a dozen men died of scurvy, including the curé and the Huguenot minister, and five did not recover until the spring--not as many as had died the winter before, "but still very cruel."  The death toll may have been higher if Membertou's Mi'kmaq had not taken in several of the sick Frenchmen.  One suspects that the Indians' more natural diet, as well as their "antiscorbutic plants and herbal remedies," preserved the lives of the lucky Frenchmen who occupied their wigwams.  With the arrival of spring, Gravé and Champlain explored the coast southward again in hopes of finding a settlement site with a milder climate, but foul weather and a near disaster plagued their efforts.  They had set out in one of the barques mid-March and were returning to Port-Royal during the second week of April when Champdoré, whose skills as a pilot did not match his gifts as a shipwright, nearly wrecked the vessel on a rocky shore not far from the Gut.  Only Champlain's quick thinking saved the officers and crew.  Unfortunately, Gravé suffered a heart attack probably during the mishap, but, luckily for his fellow colonists, it did not kill him.  The ailing Gravé and the others returned to the habitation on April 10, and as soon as he could manage it, Gravé ordered Champdoré slapped into irons.  To everyone's chagrin, the re-supply from France still had not arrived, and shortages were beginning to plague the winter's survivors.  The wine gave out first and then other provisions.  Champlain attempted to feed the settlement with what he could grow along the basin.  He laid out new gardens, traces of which can still be seen today. 

As mid-summer approached with still no sign of the re-supply, Gravé had to make a hard decision.  Unwilling to face another winter with what the contents of their meager gardens or Membertou's people could provide for them, Gravé, with Champlain and most of the remaining settlers, chose to abandon the isolated outpost.  Two intrepid Frenchmen named La Taille and Miquelet agreed "to stay behind as caretakers of the fort."  On July 17, in the two barques de Mons had left them, Gravé led the party out the Gut and towards the fishermen’s rendezvous at Canso.  There they hoped to meet a ship that could take them back to France; they were even prepared to sail as far as the Gulf of St. Lawrence to find a fishing vessel that could take them out of the country.09a 

The fishing trade at Canso and other harbors along the Acadian coasts had been flourishing for decades.  "First in dozens, then in scores, and finally in hundreds," fishermen from western Europe "came to the coast of Newfoundland and gradually to the offshore banks and the coasts of Greater Acadia in search of codfish" throughout the sixteenth century.  "Norman and Breton, West-country English and Basque, Spanish and Portuguese, they gradually added to the technique of packing the cod down in heavy salt on their vessels (the ‘green’ or ‘wet’ fishery) the practice of curing their catch on shore, in the open air soon after catching, with much less salt.  This (the ‘dry’ fishery) made a more valuable product and required landing on, and learning the nature of, the rocky Atlantic shoreline.  Disembarking only briefly in the summers at first, they began to find the shore phase of their work important enough to require leaving men to winter in the new land in order to protect structures and to prepare for the following season….  We have records of many who virtually lived their lives in such a fishery and whose knowledge of the coasts of today’s Atlantic Canada must often have been profound.  [Marc] Lescarbot described a meeting at Canso, in 1607, with a French fisherman who was on his forty-second annual voyage to the area."  They also harvested other species of marine life that flourished in North Atlantic waters:  salmon, sea sturgeon, sea trout, herring, sardines, eels, whales of every kind, walruses and seals.  Despite the plethora of nationalities, cultures, and languages among them and the dynastic and imperial wars raging back in their home countries, the seasonal fishermen of the Atlantic coast managed to keep the peace amongst themselves.  They "belonged to a social class which had nothing to gain by becoming involved in war ....  They did not quarrel with each other, though each race preferred the company of men of their own language.  So, without making any national claim, each national group adopted a particular harbour as its own center.  The Spanish took Sydney Harbour" on Cape Breton Island, which the French called Baie-des-Espagnols; the English preferred present-day Louisbourg, also on Cape Breton, called Havre-à-l'Anglois by the French; and the French preferred Canso and Cap-Forchu north of Cap-Sable.  In the summer of 1606, then, only the fishermen working in their scattered stations could have rescued de Mons's beleaguered colonists.10 


Poutrincourt, who had stayed in France in 1605, was named lieutenant-governor of Port-Royal in 1606.  Upon his and de Mons's request, the King formally granted Poutrincourt "'the seigneury of Port-Royal and adjacent lands'" on February 25 of that year, with the stipulation that he plant a colony there within two years.  But Poutrincourt could not wait that long--he "had yet another vision of Acadia," David Hackett Fischer informs us.  "He hoped to found a feudal utopia in the new world, which he and his family could rule in a benevolent way, for the good of the whole."  Poutrincourt left La Rochelle aboard the 150-ton Jonas in May 1606 with supplies and more men for his Acadian venture.  De Mons, meanwhile, would remain in France to take on new partners and do battle at court with his powerful detractors.  Before Poutrincourt sailed, he also made certain that the re-supply was more than adequate for the colony's needs.  With Poutrincourt was de Mons's trusted secretary, Jean Ralluau, who would look after the proprietor's interests.  After a failed attempt to get clear of La Rochelle harbor, Poutrincourt finally made it to the open sea, but, because of contrary winds, the crossing took longer than usual.  He reached Canso in July, several months behind schedule, and hurried Ralluau in a chaloupe to Port-Royal to inform the settlers of his arrival.10c 

While the Jonas was approaching Canso at the end of its two-month-long crossing, Gravé, Champlain, and the others nearly perished in their attempt to reach the fishing rendezvous.  They spent the night of July 18, the end of their first day out of Port-Royal, at anchor off Île Longue near the entrance to Baie-Ste.-Marie.  The rising tide snapped an anchor chain on one of the vessels.  Miraculously, the barque drifted not onto the nearby rocks, where certain destruction awaited, but out into the Baie Française, where their luck changed dramatically.  A "sharp squall" churned up high seas that "smashed their rudder irons," but, as Champlain noted, Champdoré redeemed himself by "'cleverly'" mending "'the rudder.'"  By July 24, as they approached Cap-Sable, they were near starvation when a sail appeared on the horizon.  It was Ralluau, who informed them of Poutrincourt's arrival.  Replenished with what food Ralluau could give them, Gravé and the others ventured back to Port-Royal, where Poutrincourt joined them by July 27.10d 

The Jonas brought seeds, fruit trees, and domestic animals, including cattle, swine, sheep, pigeons, and poultry, to set up an agricultural base in Poutrincourt's new seigneurie.  Unfortunately, Old World rats also arrived aboard the Jonas and escaped into the countryside, infesting not only the habitation, but also the nearby Mi'kmaq village with its meager food supply.  Also aboard the "veritable ark" were 50 or so new settlers to add to the two dozen already there.  Among the new arrivals was Robert Gravé du Pont, the navigator's 21-year-old son, who, according to Champlain, "was 'favoured with a splendid physique, good looks, and an alert, practical intelligence,'" not unlike his famous father.  Robert also was a free spirit who quarreled with Poutrincourt and other leaders.  Louis Hébert, one of Poutrincourt's in-laws, hailed from "a family of prosperous merchant-apothecaries and spice dealers" at Paris and was himself a master pharmacist and amateur horticulturist.  Poutrincourt's older son, Charles de Biencourt, only 15 years old, also came along.  Among the ship's company were widower Claude de Saint-Étienne de La Tour of Champagne, and his 14-year-old son Charles.  Born Nicolas dit Claude Turgis, son of a master mason of Paris, the charming Claude had secured a most fortunate marriage to Marie de Salazar, widow of Paul de Verrines de Vouraches of Champagne and a kinswoman of Jeanne de Salazar, Poutrincourt's mother.  The marriage granted to the humble Turgis not only landed estates, but also two noble de's.  But it was not enough.  According to one of son Charles's biographers, Claude came to Acadia in hopes of finding mineral wealth, having sold some of his dead wife's property in Champagne in order to pay the passage for himself and his son.  Another newcomer was Marc Lescarbot, who, like the others, would contribute much to the history of the colony.  Lescarbot was Poutrincourt's "lawyer, literary companion, and family friend," and also an acquaintance of the sieur de Mons.  He had left his native Paris after "he had suffered a wrong at the hands of corrupt judges ... and decided to 'flee' to Acadia as a place of refuge for those who 'love justice, and hate iniquity.'"  But he was more than a lawyer.  One of Champlain's biographers describes him as "another Renaissance man--a living example of its ideal of the uomo universale, the universal man.  Lescarbot was a poet, playwright, historian, and man of learning, steeped in humanistic values and widely read in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, and his native French.  His first love was classical literature, and his dream was to emulate its glories in the modern era."  This made him a welcome companion not only to Poutrincourt, but also to the settlements other Renaissance man, Samuel de Champlain.  Also coming to the colony were a surgeon named Estienne; a repairer of firelocks named Jean Duval; three young journeymen carpenters, Jehan Pussot and Simon Barguin from Rheims, and Guillaume Richard from Lusignon, Poitou.  Three journeymen woodcutters--Antoine Esnault from Montdidier, Picardy; Michel Destrez from Magney en Vexi; and Michel Genson from Troyes, Champagne--were skilled in the essential art of charcoal production.  Poutrincourt also brought along assorted unskilled workers, members of the French lower classes to whom gentlemen like Lescarbot showed only contempt; Lescarbot, in fact, referred to the colony's new workers as "a wild bunch."  Again, there were no women among the new settlers.  Interestingly, Poutrincourt brought no priests or ministers with him, having failed to induce any of them to risk their lives in the Acadian wilderness.  The curé and his "friend" the minister having died of scurvy the previous winter, "Presumably there was no priest," let alone a Protestant minister, "present throughout the winter of 1606-07."10e 

Unfortunately for the colony's economic health, Poutrincourt's arrival so late in the season hurt the fur-trading operation. "The party arrived ... to find that the bulk of the good furs had already been taken by Basque interlopers," one of de Mons's biographers tells us.  In late August, having lingered at Port-Royal for barely a month, the Jonas returned to France, with François Gravé du Pont, his health restored, in command this time; Jean Ralluau also was aboard.  Champlain, for the third straight year, remained in the colony, a willing participant in Poutrincourt's venture.  Also remaining was Champdoré, who had played a part in the colony since its beginning; and the sieur de Boullay, "a captain in Pourtrincourt's regiment," who had come to the colony the year before.  "Poutrincourt gave Port-Royal a different tone from other feudal utopias in America, which were strongly collectivist," David Hackett Fischer informs us.  Under the seigneur's supervision, "A lime kiln was built, a forge set up and charcoal made for it, and paths were cut from the settlement to the fields and the valley.  Tradesmen of many kinds spent a brief part of the day at their trades," fulfilling the collectivist part of the venture, "the rest of it fishing, hunting, and gathering shellfish," as their individual needs dictated.  The same held true for the unskilled workers, who were expected to dig drainage ditches, widen the moat, or perform other such tasks for "two or three hours" before tending their own gardens, joining the others at fishing, hunting, or gathering, or bartering for food with the Indians the rest of the day--the kind of individual freedom enjoyed only by noblemen back in France.  And the two teenaged noblemen were put to work.  Biencourt and Charles La Tour were encouraged to spend as much time as they could among the Mi'kmaq to learn their skills on land and water and especially to master their language.  Biencourt, in fact, became so well-versed in the Mi'kmaq tongue that he served as his father's interpreter.  Looking to the needs of everyone, Poutrincourt ordered some of the colonists to plant a crop of wheat on a natural meadow upriver from the habitation.  He also ordered them to construct a water-driven grist mill--the first of its kind in North America--on the upper reaches of a north-flowing stream that fell into the river near the wheat field Poutrincourt and the other leaders "were quick to discover that settlers were more productive when they worked for their own gain," a Champlain biographer notes.  "These two ideals, feudal and entrepreneurial, coexisted at Port-Royal."10a 

After seeing to the needs of his colonists, Poutrincourt, heeding de Mons's instructions, ordered Champlain to prepare yet another venture down the coast to scout out potential settlement sites.  This would be Poutrincourts's first voyage to Norembègue, and Champlain's third.  Poutrincourt left Lescarbot in charge at Port-Royal, such was his faith in the lawyer-turned-colonist.  Evidently Poutrincourt thought less of Champlain's judgment.  The geographer advised the seigneur to wait until the barque he had chosen for the expedition could be properly repaired.  His eyes on the calendar--it already was September--Poutrincourt insisted that the barque was seaworthy enough to be repaired on the way.  He took along the trusty Champdoré, "several artisans, a 'store of planks,' and a shallop,'" satisfied that these measures would suffice.  Also aboard were Etchemin sagamore Secoudon and Mi'kmaq sagamore Messamouet, who had agreed to accompany Poutrincourt on a diplomatic mission.  Champlain preferred to sail straight down to Mallebarre, past a coast already twice explored, and then push on south to the 40th degree of latitude or even farther south, "revisiting on our return the entire coast at our leisure."  Poutrincourt chose, instead, to repeat the previous voyages down the coast despite the looming winter.  The left Port-Royal on September 5, but their progress was slow, having to stop several times to repair the leaking barque before going on their way.  They then took an unnecessary detour that wasted more precious time.  At the abandoned habitation at Île Ste.-Croix, which Poutrincourt insisted on visiting, they found wheat and vegetables still growing in the sandy soil.  Losing more time exploring what Champlain and the sieur de Mons already had thoroughly investigated, it took them 16 days to reach Saco, where Poutrincourt hoped to heal the differences between the Mi'kmaq and the Almouchiquois.  Messamouet and Secouton represented their respective nations, and sagamores Onemechin and Marchin stood for the Almouchiquois.  The meeting was not a success; the chiefs parted in anger, more determined than ever to war against one another.  Matters only got worse farther down the coat.  From Saco they sailed down to Cap-aux-Îles--Cape Anne--and into an excellent harbor they called Beauport, today's Gloucester, Massachusetts, where they stopped to repair the leaky barque.  Hundreds of Indians gathered and appeared friendly at first, but they spurned the gifts the French offered them and approached them menacingly the following day.  Alone, Champlain ran ahead and coaxed them into putting aside their weapons and dancing with him, but Poutrincourt appeared with a phalanx of musketeers, and the Indians grabbed their weapons and scurried away.  Word reached the Frenchmen that hundreds of more Natives were coming, so Poutrincourt ordered the barque out to sea, and they sailed through night in the direction of Cape Cod.  They reached Cape Cod Bay the following morning and explored the western side of the peninsula.  Champlain was pleased with what he saw--cornfields, meadows, lovely beaches, pleasant coves, "'fine stands of trees.'"  They lingered at an excellent harbor they called Port-aux-Huistres--today's Wellfleet, Massachusetts--and then, as de Mons and Champlain had done the year before, rounded the cape to the ocean side and sailed south along the littoral.  They passed Mallebarre with its unpleasant memories on October 2 and sailed down to a place they called Port-Fortuné, today's Stage Harbor at Chatham, Massachusetts.  Poutrincourt's barque, still prone to leaking, damaged its rudder at the harbor's entrance, but they managed to maneuver it to a safe anchorage, where Champdoré worked his wonders again.  Indicating an intention to remain for a while, Poutrincourt ordered his men to build an oven on the beach.  Gathering firewood without permission, they began to bake bread.  The extended stay allowed Champlain to investigate the local villages, where his engaging manner extracted much information from the natives.  Champlain was convinced that this was a fine place for a settlement, but Poutrincourt's hard-handed manner with the Natives soon alienated the occupants of these villages as well.10b 

They were still at Port-Fortuné at the end of the second week of October when Poutrincourt came ashore with his usual armed contingent and erected a cross on the beach.  More crosses were erected here and there, and the Indians rightly perceived them as symbols of '"possession.'"  Champlain also erected crosses in the area, but not until he had invited the local natives to participate in the ritual.  As tensions between the natives and the Frenchmen mounted, Poutrincourt ordered his men to return to the barque each nightfall.  Four of them, likely led by locksmith Jean Duval, who had proved to be an inveterate troublemaker, refused to return to the boat for the night, preferring to tend the oven on the beach.  Poutrincourt attempted to assert his authority, but only one of them returned to the ship.  Worse yet, two others defied him and joined their fellows at the oven.  Their disobedience cost them dearly.  A party of Nauset, the same Indians de Mons had alienated the year before, may have shadowed the expedition after it passed Mallebarre and encouraged the malcontents at Port-Fortuné, likely members of the same tribe, to drive away the French.  Seeing an opportunity, early on the morning of October 15, 400 natives, by Champlain's estimate, attacked the Frenchmen sleeping on the beach and killed or wounded all of them.  The troublemaker Duval, to the chagrin of some of the others, survived the fight with an arrow in his chest.  A party of Frenchmen, including Champlain, Poutrincourt, Biencourt, apothecary Hébert, and Robert Gravé du Pont, rushed ashore with arms at the ready and did what they could to drive off the Indians.  During the struggle, the young Gravé du Pont, while returning fire, lost a hand when his firearm exploded.  The Indians, armed with only bows, arrows, and spears, fled before the fire of muskets and pistols.  "'All we could do was carry off the bodies and bury them near the cross,'" Champlain lamented.  During the hasty burial, the native warriors "'did dance and howl a-far off,'" Champlain recalled.  Determined to drive the interlopers away, the natives returned to the beach once the Frenchmen were aboard their vessel.  The Frenchmen fired back at them, but the Indians expertly eluded their projectiles.  In full view of the Frenchmen, they tore down the cross and dug up the bodies of the unfortunate sailors.  Under cover of arms, a force of Frenchmen returned to the beach to rebury their comrades, but the Indians dug them up again and made gestures of contempt within range of the Frenchmen's weapons.  Some of the Frenchmen, perhaps without their officers' permission, set up an ambush to capture some of the warriors in order to torture them, but the natives, old hands at this kind of warfare, managed to kill more of Poutrincourt's men.  The bloodshed on the beach at Port-Fortuné was another blow to plans for French settlement in the region.  Poutrincourt and his men left the harbor the day after their clash with the natives and sailed south into today's Nantucket Sound until their sails no longer were visible from shore.  Contrary winds prevented them from reaching today's Martha's Vineyard or Verrazzano's delightful Refugio--today's Narragansett Bay, not much farther to the west--where they may have found de Mons's ideal site for French settlement.  Poutrincourt had seen enough; October would soon turn into November, and they were hundreds of leagues from home.  He "decided to return to Port Royal, but before leaving he promised that the following year the French would come to live beyond Mallebarre."  Turning north, they endured "more misadventures at sea" along the coast of Norembègue.  The barque's gimpy rudder malfunctioned again, but Champdoré managed to restore it to service.10f 

Poutrincourt and the survivors of his ill-fated venture "limped back into" Port-Royal by mid-November, on the eve of another Acadian winter.  Marcel Trudel offers the long perspective:  "This month and a half of exploration had been almost a total waste of time.  Even though a temporary alliance of the Almouchiquois, Etchemins and Souriquois had been achieved," a conclusion Champlain would have questioned, "the friendship of the Indians to the south had been lost and the 1605 expedition's exploration had been advanced no more than the width of Cape Cod!  This was as far south as the French were ever to go, for all Poutrincourt's promise that they would come back another year to settle further to the south.  It was the last French exploration along this coast.  The history of New France in these parts thereupon came to an end; the history of New England was about to begin."10h 

At the time of their homecoming, however, Poutrincourt, Champlain, and their fellow adventurers could not have known what history held in store for them.  To their amazement, and especially their amusement, Lescarbot and company welcomed them at the shore with a spectacle entitled Le Théâtre de Neptune--the first recorded theatrical production performed in New France.  The cast of Lescarbot's masque included Neptune, played by Lescarbot himself, six Tritons, four "Indians," a trumpeter, and a drummer.  The production ended with the French and Indians "dwelling together in peace"--appropriate vis-à-vis their relationship with Membertou's Mi'kmaq, but sadly ironic in light of what Poutrincourt's expedition had just endured in Norembègue and Massachusetts.10g

Luckily for everyone, the winter of 1606-07 at Port-Royal was milder than the previous ones.  To keep the company well fed, thus avoiding scurvy, and to combat boredom, L'Ordre de Bon-Temps, or the Order of Good Times, which Champlain had created soon after returning from the voyage down the coast, included in its membership not only the French notables who shared Poutrincourt's table, but also Membertou and some of his Mi'kmaq.  Poutrincourt, touted by one historian as "'North America's first [musical] composer,'" wrote secular and religious pieces, which he performed inside the habitation or out in the open, and Lescarbot wrote more plays to enhance the company's good cheer.  Though scurvy took four of the colonists, according Lescarbot, or seven, according to Champlain, the company, in general, "had a good winter," Andrew Hill Clark attests, "and toward the end of March started sowing seeds" in anticipation of another harvest while they waited for the annual re-supply from France.  The colony's food supply had achieved such a level of abundance, Lescarbot would have us believe, that the local Mi'kmaq, "instead of continuing to work the soil to feed themselves, ...  came to the French to beg 'beans, peas, biscuits, and other edibles,' and became 'lazy.'"11

Then court politics and the vagaries of French colonial policy threatened the colony's existence.  On 24 May 1607, as Poutrincourt and the colonists prepared for another year at Port-Royal, "a barque du port of about six or seven tons, flying a French ensign," under command of a young Malouin named Chevalier, brought disturbing news to the settlement:  the King had withdrawn de Mons’s concessions in New France.  The year before, "merchants and shipbuilders from Dieppe and La Rochelle," as well as Normandy and Brittany, "succeeded in having [de Mons’s] 10 year trade and commerce rights in Acadia annulled just when the entire venture was beginning to look promising."  Most damaging of all were the independent fur traders, Dutch as well as French, who swarmed to the region and refused to recognize de Mons's, or anyone's, monopoly; the Dutch, in fact, "had carried off the lion's share of the furs of the St Lawrence in 1606."  As one of de Mons's biographer reminds us, "It must be remembered that those who traded illegally did not bear the burden imposed on the de Monts company to supply colonists and their necessities."  Here was the old French commercial dilemma--free trade versus monopoly.  One of the most unprincipled violators was Rouen merchant Daniel Boyer, who sent his "own traders to Canada in violation of the monopoly."  The Hatters Corporation of Paris, citing higher prices for beaver felt, also had complained to the court about de Mons's monopoly.  One of the charges brought against the proprietor was that, during the three years and a half years he had held his concession, he failed to convert a single "savage" to the One True Church.  And, of course, behind these schemes and accusations, one way or another, was Maximilien de Béthune, duc de Sully, now at the peak of his influence over King Henri IV.  Most disturbing of all, perhaps, were suspicions, soon to become accusations, that members of de Mons's concession, including treasurer de Bellois, Gravé du Pont, even the proprietor himself, "had been attempting to defraud the company!"  Not until 17 July 1607 did King Henri IV issue an edict ending de Mons's monopoly, but he had known "from the spring of 1607 ... that his monopoly, which would normally have had another seven years to run, had been cut short."  After sending word ahead to Poutrincourt of the loss of his concession, de Mons dispatched Jean Railluau aboard the Jonas, that "ill-named" vessel, to take the settlers home.  De Mons then wound up his company affairs and turned his attention elsewhere.11a 

Champlain, seeing that his time was short in La Cadie, conducted one more sweep of the Baie Française "to look for a copper mine," but he found "only nuggets" in the Chignecto area.  In July, Railluau, in the Jonas, reached Niganiche, now Ingonish, on Cape Breton Island and sent word to Poutrincourt, still at Port-Royal, that he would rendezvous with them at Canso to take them home.  On July 30, after receiving Railluau's message, Poutrincourt sent two barques ahead with most of the company, a cargo of furs and cod, plus "samples of wheat, corn, minerals, and Canada geese to prove the value of the settlement."  Most of the leaders remained behind to wait for the first grain to ripen.  They also wished to say farewell to Membertou, "who had been away leading a war party against the Almouchiquois at Saco."  The sagamore returned to his village in triumph on August 10.  "The next day," one of Champlain's biographers tells us, "the French harvested some grain from their fields, put it aboard their small shallop, and made ready to depart.  Membertou and the Indians were sorry to see them go.  There were tears and lamentations.  The Indians promised to protect the settlement, which they did with complete fidelity."  On August 11, Poutrincourt and the others, probably including Champlain, boarded the chaloupe for the voyage around to Canso, which they reached on September 2.  Typically, on the way around to Canso, Champlain took the time to renew "his acquaintance with the coast and made 'a map (of it) as of the rest.'  He noted, in particular, 'a very sound bay seven or eight leagues along, were there are no islands in the channel save at the end.'  Here, described for the first time in 1607 and called Baye Saine, with the Rivière Platte which emptied into it, was the future harbour of Halifax.  This was Champlain's last look at Acadia," Marcel Trudel reminds us, "for he never came there again," his gaze now turning northward.12 


And so, in the summer of 1607, "the longest and most elaborate post-Viking settlement of Europeans on the North American continent north of Florida" was abandoned by the French while two companies of English merchants founded colonies of their own along the North Atlantic coast.  Again, Marcel Trudel offers the grand perspective:  "By an ironic twist of fate, at the very time that the French were forced to abandon the continent for lack of support, the English were coming to settle permanently in North America."  By the end of this momentous year, "the only Europeans to spend that winter of 1607-08 in America north of Florida" were 150 English colonists in Virginia and Maine.12k

Nevertheless, Trudel assures us, "the years spent by the French in Acadia from 1604 to 1607 had not been entirely wasted.  Geographic understanding of the area had made spectacular progress; where the vast peninsula of Acadia had formerly been undefined and confused with the rest of the coast, it was now separated from the continent with the insertion in its proper place of the great bay known today as the Bay of Fundy; there remained only the inland regions of Acadia to be further defined.  And the map of Acadia was a French one."  Just as important as these cartographical advances were socioeconomic lessons that would allow the French to resume their exploitation of North America:  "These three years spent by the French in Acadia," Trudel continues, "made it possible for them to establish a lasting relationship with the Indians.  The existence of sagamis, each the domain of a sagamore, gave the French the advantage of dealing with well-defined groups led by recognized chiefs.  The French were sure they had found a land of great promise here.  Moreover, Ste Croix and Port Royal had provided them with an invaluable lesson in adaptation; they would never again abandon a colony for reasons of climate.  In short, Acadia had lost nothing of its original attraction.  For all the obstacles that had confounded de Monts, there was reason to believe that if ever there were to be a New France it would be here in Acadia."12l

With Champlain's encouragement, then, de Mons did not give up on his dreams for New France.  Emphasizing the threat of English and Dutch incursions into territory long claimed by France, de Mons and Champlain reminded the King, as well as disgruntled merchants, that a monopoly on the fur trade and fishery was essential to establish French permanence in America.  Raleigh Gilbert and George Popham, aboard the Mary and John and the Gift of God, ships of the Virginia Company of Plymouth, had visited Canso in July 1607, about the time that Poutrincourt was preparing to abandon Port-Royal.  After trading with fishermen down the coast at La Hève, the Englishmen continued southward towards Norembègue.  In August, they celebrated the first Protestant service in today's New England on Monhegan Island, which George Weymouth had named St. George Island two years earlier.  Continuing on to the mainland, Gilbert and Popham founded a settlement at Sagadahoc, on the Kennebec estuary near today's Phippsburg, Maine--well within the territory claimed by France.  Meanwhile, farther down the coast, in territory claimed by Spain, another joint stock company of English merchants, the Virginia Company of London, founded Jamestown in May 1607, about the time the settlers at Port-Royal received the news that de Mons's concession was being revoked.12h 

De Mons's and Champlain's gambit worked.  In early January 1608, only half a year after Poutrincourt abandoned Port-Royal, King Henri IV, spurning Sully's counsel, granted de Mons a one-year extension on his monopoly in New France, after which the region would revert to free trade.  Champlain, having hoped for more, insisted that the new concession was "'luy donner la mer à boire,'"--"utterly worthless."  Moreover, he and de Mons did not agree on the placement of the new venture's seat.  De Mons, as he had done since his first days in La Cadie, favored a southern site, but Champlain insisted on returning to Canada, still the heart of the North American fur trade.  Using the same argument employed in winning over the King, Champlain touted the greater defensibility of the St. Lawrence valley, with its several strategic chokepoints, over the "'infinite number of ... harbors'" in La Cadie "'which could only be guarded by large forces.'"  Champlain's vision for the new trade concession was grandiose.  La Cadie, with its long, indented coast line, perfect for smuggling and impossible to police, no longer fit the plan.  Compared to the St. Lawrence region and its many allied nations, La Cadie "'was sparsely populated by sauvages, who on account of their small numbers cannot penetrate from these regions into the interior where sedentary peoples live, as one could by the river St. Lawrence.'"  In that vast interior accessible from the St. Lawrence lay "an inexhaustible fur supply" ready to be exploited.  De Mons "perceived the strength of Champlain's reasoning ...."  In the spring of 1608, he granted Champlain his first official title--lieutenant in New France--and sent the geographer with two ships, including the redoubtable Don-de-Dieu, to establish a new seat for the trading venture in the St. Lawrence valley.  But it would be more just a trading post.  De Mons tasked his lieutenant with laying "'the foundation of a permanent edifice for the glory of God and the renown of the French people.'"  With him would go François Gravé du Pont, who, despite his precarious health and erratic behavior, would assist Champlain from Tadoussac in enforcing the monopoly on fur and fish.  Also aboard the Don-de-Dieu were Nicolas Marsolet de Saint-Aignan, then only 21, and Étienne Brûlé, a boy of 16, who would play important roles in Canadian history.  Not aboard were any women and children, and, despite the hope of converting les sauvages, no priests or ministers accompanied the venture.  Champlain's flotilla reached Tadoussac in June and encountered Basque interlopers led by a fellow named Darache who had taken the trading station by force.  Gravé ordered them to withdraw, but "they replied with cannons and muskets."  The old Malouin fell wounded in the brief exchange of fire and was "relieved of his arms and ammunition."  Darache "agreed that the dispute should be settled" not there but at court, and a precarious peace ensued, but here was proof of Champlain's assertion that de Mons's concession was "utterly worthless."  Before continuing upriver, Champlain explored the Saguenay again, all the way up to the waterfall at Chicoutimi.  There he "obtained from the Indians a new description of the hydrographic system of this region," but, as before, he found the area to be uninhabitable.  He chose for the new headquarters the site of the old Iroquois town of Stadacona, near where Cartier and Roberval had wintered three quarters of a century before.  The Laurentian Iroquois were gone now, having been driven from the valley two decades earlier.  Except for a Montagnais encampment in a pine grove just above Stadacona, the site of the old Iroquois village was largely abandoned.  Called Kebec now, an Algonquin word for "where the river narrows," Champlain arrived there on 3 July 1608 and dubbed the site Québec.  On September 18, led by the wounded Gravé, most of Champlain's company boarded the two ships and sailed for France.  Champlain and 27 others remained at Québec.  Tragically, only eight of them survived the first winter at the new St. Lawrence outpost, 13 having died of scurvy and seven of dysentery.  Here, despite its troubled birth, rose the French province of Canada, whose development would overshadow further French efforts to colonize the North Atlantic.12a 

But de Mons was not quite done with La Cadie.  Soon after Champlain departed Honfleur in April, the proprietor, with the King's approval, sent Champdoré and Ralluau in a third company vessel back to La Cadie, where they would trade with the Indians and perhaps "revive the settlement" there.  Champdoré the shipwright redeemed himself as a mariner.  Crossing from Honfleur, he sailed directly to Port-Royal, where Membertou greeted him warmly and presented him with some of the grain the Mi'kmaq had harvested from Poutrincourt's fields.  Champdoré then sailed down the coast to Saco in Norembègue to negotiate the dispute between the Mi'kmaq and the Almouchiquois that had led to war the previous summer.  Emulating Champlain, he and Ralluau lingered at Île de Monts-Déserts, the summer camp of Penobscot sagamore Asticou, to secure an alliance with this "'man of weight and fine presence,'" as Lescarbot described him.  They also ventured to Rivière St.-Jean in search of Etchemin sagamore Secoudon.  Evidently the chief had gone upriver, so they explored as far upstream as their ship would take them in territory that seemed rich with fur-bearing animals.  "They were likely the first Europeans to explore the Saint John for any distance," Ralluau's biographer tells us, "and they supplied a good description of the country and its vegetation."  Despite these efforts, however, de Mons did not establish a new post in La Cadie or re-occupy Port-Royal.  The habitation lay abandoned for three long years, faithfully watched over by Membertou and his band of Mi'kmaq.12i

Early Struggles to Maintain the Colony

It would be Poutrincourt who would risk his fortunes in a new Acadian venture.  In February 1608, de Mons, still focused on La Cadie, designated Poutrincourt as his second in command, replacing Gravé du Pont, who would assist Champlain in Canada.  De Mons urged Poutrincourt to develop his seigneurie at Port-Royal, which still lay within the area of de Mons's new concession.  Champdoré and Ralluau's report of their expedition to La Cadie, delivered at Paris during the fall of 1608, praised the "'wondrous beauty of the wheat'" Poutrincourt "had sown the previous year."  This and other considerations motivated the King to grant Poutrincourt permission to re-establish Port-Royal.  The agreement, unfortunately, probably at the Queen's insistence, was burdened with the stipulation that Poutrincourt must transport Jesuits to the colony to insure the conversion of the natives.  Like many devout French Catholics, Poutrincourt cared little for the Jesuits, so he used the influence of the papal nuncio in France to secure the services of another sort of priest.  After much effort, slowed by the death of his mother and the need to settle her estate, Poutrincourt secured enough financial backing to cobble together another Port-Royal venture.  In early February 1610, at his barony of Saint-Just on the upper Seine, he filled a boat "'with furniture, food and munitions of war,'" and floated it downriver and then up the coast to Dieppe, where he transferred its contents to the recently-purchased Grâce-de-Dieu, the Grace of God, a small ship of only 50 or 60 tons burthen.  In late February, Poutrincourt departed Dieppe "with 'a number of honest men and artisans,'" at least 40 in number, including a secular priest, Abbé Jessé Fléché; Thomas Robin, vicomte de Coulogne, an important investor; and Poutrincourt's relatives Claude and Charles La Tour, the latter now age 18.  Poutrincourt also brought along two of his own sons, 19-year-old Charles de Biencourt de Saint-Just, who, like the La Tours, had gone to Port-Royal in 1606; and younger son Jacques de Salazar, who was going to the colony for the first time.  Again, there were no women.  After a two-month crossing, the Grâce-de-Dieu reached Port-au-Mouton before turning southwestward towards Cap-Sable to make its way around to the Baie Française.  While rounding the cape, a contrary wind blew the ship 40 leagues off course, all the way down to the mouth of Rivière Pentagouët in Norembèque!  Sailing back up towards Port-Royal, the Grâce-de-Dieu made two stops:  at Île Ste.-Croix, "where prayers were said for the dead of the winter of 1604-5," and at the mouth of Rivière St.-Jean, where the party lingered for several days so that Poutrincourt could hear "the complaints of a number of Indians against Robert Gravé, son of François, though in what capacity we do not know," Marcel Trudel relates.  Poutrincourt finally reached his seigneurie in late May or early June.12g 

Thanks to Membertou's care, the habitation at Port-Royal, despite years of neglect, was still in tolerable condition:  "The furniture was untouched and the buildings sound except for a partial falling-in of the roofs," which were quickly repaired.  Poutrincourt's mill also needed work.  "Because the settlement's spring was some distance away," Trudel explains, "a well was dug inside the fort."  Eager not to repeat de Mons's mistakes, one of the first things Poutrincourt did after he anchored at Port-Royal was to summon the local Natives, who were overjoyed to see him.  Abbé Fléché preached the Word to Membertou's band of Mi'kmaq and baptized 21 of them, including the bearded sagamore, on June 24--the first such baptisms in New France.  Abbé Fléché also baptized some of the Etchemin from Secoudon's village on Rivière St.-Jean.  Within a year, the secular priest had saved over a hundred Algonquin from eternal damnation.  Since Abbé Fléché could not speak the Native languages, Poutrincourt appointed the young Biencourt, who from his earlier months in the colony had become fluent in Algonquin, to instruct the Indians in the tenets of the faith.  Only then could the Frenchmen resume the business for which they had come.  Poutrincourt was determined, as de Mons had been, to make his fur trading venture agriculturally self-sustaining.  Once again, his men planted wheat and vegetables along the rocky slope behind the habitation, as well as in a natural meadow a few miles upriver.  "[I]t was perhaps in this year of 1610," Trudel speculates, "that Poutrincourt parcelled out farms in his domain, making his grants to the colonists in deeds signed by his own hand."  If so, "The first page was turned in the history of settlement in Acadia."12j 

On July 8, the young Biencourt departed Port-Royal aboard the Grâce-de-Dieu with a cargo of furs and an abstract of the baptismal record kept by Father Fléché.  Unrealistically, Biencourt was expected to return to the colony before winter set in.  On his way through the Grand Bank, he learned from French fishermen that a Catholic fanatic had assassinated King Henri IV in May.  The "Good King," as many of his subjects called him, had been succeeded by his nine-year-old son, Louis XIII.  The queen mother, Marie de Medici, whose coronation had occurred only a day before her husband's death, would serve as the boy King's regent until he came of age.  In France, the usual commercial and bureaucratic entanglements delayed Biencourt's return.  During an audience with Marie de Medici, Biencourt produced the copy of Abbé Fléché's baptismal register to reassure members of the Court that the good priest was rapidly converting the Natives of La Cadie, thus fulfilling one of King Henri's dictums for establishing the colony.  Following his father's instructions, Biencourt also "requested the privilege of a commercial monopoly."  The Queen-Regent, much impressed with the young nobleman, named Biencourt, only 20 years old, vice-admiral "in the Sea of the Setting Sun," but this largely ceremonial title did not include a monopoly on the New-French fur trade.  Biencourt thus lost the support of valuable investors, including "seven Parisian hat-makers" who were prepared to advance him 12,000 livres.  Moreover, the Jesuits reminded the Queen-Regent that the dearly departed king "had promised to send them to Acadia with a grant of 2,000 livres."  Sadly for the new vice-admiral of Acadia, the Queen-Regent was inclined "to carry out this promise."  Unfortunately for Biencourt's and his father's efforts to control the destiny of their Acadian venture, one of Marie de Medici's most influential ladies-in-waiting intruded herself into the business of converting the Indians.  Antoinette de Pons, marquise de Guercheville, widow of the comte de La Roche Guyon, was now the wife of Charles du Plessis, duc de Liancourt et comte de Beaumont-sur-Oise, the governor of Paris.  The marquise, once a favorite of King Henri IV, was an ardent champion of the Jesuits.  She insisted that two of her priests accompany the new vice-admiral back to Port-Royal, and the Queen-Regent agreed.  Biencourt and his father were forced to "welcome" the Jesuits to La Cadie, but the matter was not resolved without difficulty.  To finance the re-supply of his father's colony, Biencourt had been forced to take on as partners two Huguenot ship owners of Dieppe, Abraham Duquesne and one Dujardin.  Hearing of the arrangement with the Queen-Regent, the Huguenots refused to be a part of any venture that included the hated Jesuits.  The Queen-Regent was so angry by the merchants' refusal to associate themselves with a Jesuit mission in La Cadie that she ordered the governor of Dieppe to see to it that the two priests chosen by the order be placed aboard the Grâce-de-Dieu.  Duquesne and Dujardin remained adamant in their opposition, and the Queen-Mother "declared her refusal to 'stoop to begging of the villains.'"  Heeding the advice of her Jesuit advisors, the marquise de Guercheville bought out the Huguenots' interests, amounting to 4,000 livres, in Biencourt's re-supply, and the Jesuits themselves threw in another 1,225 livres to restore the Grâce-de-Dieu to a seaworthy condition.  Duquesne and Dujardin promptly loaned Biencourt another 1,200 livres "to enable them to transport the very Jesuits they had refused to transport themselves."  As part of the new financial arrangement, priests of the Society of Jesus not only would go to Port-Royal to minister to the Natives, but also would reap part of the profits derived from the colony's fish and fur trade.12b

Delayed by the back-and-forth between the court and the Huguenots over the taking of Jesuits to Port-Royal, Biencourt was unable to leave Dieppe until 26 January 1611, and only after a contract was signed there on January 20 by him and his new partners.  Moreover, his return crossing aboard the Grâce-de-Dieu was as troublesome as his sojourn in France.  Early in the voyage, because of the season, foul weather drove his ship into Newport harbor on England's Isle of Wight.  Informed of the identity of the passengers aboard the stranded French vessel, English authorities now had "new evidence that French colonization was continuing near or in territory granted to the Virginia Company and that the Jesuits" were part of the venture.  Biencourt finally made the crossing, but late sea ice blocked his passage through the Grand Bank of Newfoundland.  He did not reach Port-Royal until May 22--the seeds of the colony's destruction already sown.12d 

With Biencourt were precious provisions and 36 more settlers, including his father's old acquaintance, Louis Hébert, and perhaps Biencourt's mother.  Also aboard were two Jesuit priests, Fathers Pierre Biard and Énemond Massé, the latter the marquise de Guercheville's spiritual advisor.  The settlers at Port-Royal, half-starved, welcomed the much-needed food but not the black-robed priests.  It did not take long for Poutrincourt and the Jesuits to quarrel over religious and political matters.  He also found himself again at odds with a former acquaintance.  Soon after becoming queen-regent in 1610, Marie de Medici had granted a fur-trading concession to Robert Gravé du Pont, whom Poutrincourt had known from earlier days in La Cadie.  The young Gravé, along with a handful of other Frenchmen, had established themselves at Île Emenenic, or the Isle of Prayer, today's Catons Island, six leagues up Rivière St.-Jean in the country of the Etchemin.  Since they were not associates of Poutrincourt, Gravé and his partners posed a serious threat to the proprietor's commercial interests.  The Etchemin had complained about the Frenchmen's loose morals, including outrages against their women, and evidently the Natives were complaining again, but it was the fur-gathering activities of Gravé and others that posed a greater threat to Poutrincourt's efforts.  As soon as Biencourt's re-supply arrived and he informed his father of his vaunted title, Poutrincourt hurried across the Baie Française to Rivière St.-Jean "and called together the captains who had come there to trade, obtained their recognition of his son as Vice-Admiral, and made his peace with Robert Gravé."  After pledging to recognize the proprietor's authority and to treat the Natives with more respect, Gravé and the others went about their business, but the damage had been done.  The ship's captains from La Rochelle and St.-Malo, unhindered by a monopoly on the region's fur trade, "had already garnered the available furs, and there was nothing left for Poutrincourt that spring of 1611.  It was a financial disaster for the enterprise that was now the joint concern of Poutrincourt and the Jesuits.  Poutrincourt was reduced to borrowing food from La Rochelle merchants, who thought nothing of supplying him with 'spoiled & mouldy ship's biscuit.'"  Meanwhile, Gravé, now reconciled with the Indians, went to live among the Etchemin, whom he tried to turn against Poutrincourt and the Jesuits.  Several attempts to arrest him in 1611, one by Louis Hébert, failed to subdue the wily one-handed Frenchman.  Intruding himself into the matter, Father Biard pardoned Gravé and persuaded Poutrincourt to do the same.  Using Gravé's cooperation for their own purposes, Father Briard threatened to move the mission to Rivière St.-Jean if Poutrincourt did not meet his demands.12e 

Biencourt's long voyage from Dieppe had spoiled much of the re-supply.  In June 1611, less than a month after his son's return, Poutrincourt left Port-Royal in charge of Biencourt and, with the rest of his family, headed back to France in the Grâce-de-Dieu.  Also aboard was Abbé Fléché, "who gladly (it would seem) gave up his place to the Jesuits."  Again unrealistically, Poutrincourt hoped to secure more supplies for the colony and return to Port-Royal before winter set in.  Poutrincourt reached France towards the end of July and was in Paris by August.  Deeply in debt and desperate for more financial assistance, he turned to the Queen-Regent for help, "but," Marcel Trudel asserts, the proprietor "obtained no help from her of a material nature."  Like Biencourt the year before, Poutrincourt turned to the marquise de Guercheville, who agreed to pay 3,000 livres for a re-supply in exchange for a share in the profits from his seigneurie.  Poutrincourt stubbornly refused to grant her shares in any future profits.  Casting about for other investors, he found none.  Forced, now, to accept Madame de Guercheville's offer for funding the re-supply, Poutrincourt agreed that the money would be disbursed not by himself but by a Jesuit coadjutor employed by the marquise.  The new partnership cobbled together a re-supply as quickly as possible, and the ship, under Captain L'Abbé, set sail from Dieppe at the end of November.  Poutrincourt, however, remained in France.  Meanwhile, that winter, Captain Jean Plastrier of Honfleur and his ship's crew re-occupied Île Ste-Croix, evidently to use it as a storage depot.  One doubts if the captain did so with Poutrincourt's permission.12f

In late January 1612, Captain L'Abbé's ship reached Port-Royal with Poutrincourt's agent, Simon Imbert-Sandrier, aboard.  With Imbert-Sandrier came Jesuit Brother Gilbert Du Thet, the marquise de Guercheville's coadjutor.  Left at Port-Royal with only 23 men, Biencourt had been having his differences with one of the headstrong Jesuits.  Father Biard had hoped to spend the winter of 1611-12 on Rivière St.-Jean, where more souls awaited conversion, but Biencourt, "because of his rankling distrust" of Robert Gravé, refused to allow it.  "The missionary continued nevertheless to show great consideration and tact toward Biencourt," Marcel Trudel insists.  Father Massé did go to Rivière St.-Jean to live among the Etchemin; back at Port-Royal, he earned the sobriquet Père Utile--"Father Useful."  And then Brother Du Thet stepped off the re-supply ship and resumed his quarrel with Pourincourt's agent over the handling, or mishandling, of the cargo.  Father Biard, at least, felt compelled to take the side of his brother-coadjutor.  Biencourt, of course, backed his father's agent, who accused Brother Du Thet, among other things, "of having stated during the voyage that the assassination of Henry IV had been the salvation of Christendom."  Tempers became so heated that the Jesuits threatened Biencourt with excommunication.  In March, Father Biard attempted to board the ship returning to France so he could present his complaints to the Court, but Biencourt physically detained him.  Claiming to be "the victim of violence," the Jesuit laid a "canonical interdict" on Port-Royal, which was tantamount to mass excommunication.  The interdict forbade fathers Biard and Massé to perform "no further acts of ministry," even among the local Indians, and, while denying the settlers the sacred sacraments, they "said their masses in private."  On June 25, after three months of this awkward behavior, Biencourt and Father Biard reconciled their differences, and the priests agreed to celebrate Mass publicly.  They also persuaded Biencourt to allow Brother Du Thet to return to France to secure another re-supply.  Back at Paris, the coadjutor roundly traduced the young nobleman to his powerful patroness, who was providing support to the Acadian venture only because of the Jesuit mission there.  The marquise's agent, René Le Coq de La Saussaye, had approached the hard-strapped Poutrincourt in August with the proposal that he and the proprietor would share the cost of another re-supply for the colony, to be taken to Port-Royal under La Saussaye's command.  Poutrincourt, desperate to keep his colony fed, agreed to the arrangement, but he was compelled to borrow money from a Rouen merchant to finance his half of the operation.  Hearing Brother Du Thet's account of the conflict with Biencourt, and probably on the advice of La Saussaye, the marquise ended her relationship with Poutrincourt and washed her hands of the Port-Royal venture.  Discredited at court, left penniless, and unable to repay the Rouen merchant or his other creditors, Poutrincourt, despite his noble rank, was thrown into debtor's prison.12c 

Though the marquise de Guercheville had cast aside the ruined Poutrincourt, she was not done with La Cadie.  Dissatisfied with efforts there on behalf of her faith and aware that Poutrincourt's seigneurie included only Port-Royal, she acquired the sieur de Mons's remaining interests in the region, thus creating a second Acadian seigneurie whose extent dwarfed that of Poutrincourt's.  De Mons's relinquishment of his rights in La Cadie was understandable.  Several years earlier, in 1609, his year-long monopoly had expired, and King Henri IV refused to renew it.  After the Good King's death, de Mons and other Huguenots were banished from the Queen-Regent's court, which greatly diminished their chances to secure royal patronage.  While Poutrincourt was struggling with his creditors and Biencourt with the Jesuits and commercial rivals, the founder of Acadia chose to walk away from his affairs in New France.  In October 1612, he willingly surrendered the title of lieutenant-general of New France to Charles de Bourbon, the comte de Soissons, who died a few weeks after his appointment.  In November, the comte was succeeded as viceroy of New France by his nephew, Henri de Bourbon, prince de Condé, who also was a prince of the blood and whose appointment the marquise applauded, if she did not help to arrange it.  In January 1613, a welcomed re-supply, financed by the marquise, reached Port-Royal, but with it came the unwelcome news of Poutrincourt's humiliation, the appointment of a new viceroy, and the marquise's new seigneurie

Meanwhile, despite the disapproval of the General of the Jesuits, Madame de Guercheville fitted out an expedition for a new Acadian mission and filled it "with eighty or a hundred souls, of whom thirty were to spend the winter in the new colony."  Under command of Captain Charles Fleury, the 100-ton Jonas and an unnamed patache of 12 tons left Honfleur in March 1613 and reached La Hève on May 16.  Aboard the Jonas were agent La Saussaye, Brother Du Thet, and Father Jacques Quentin, who would head the marquise's new Jesuit mission if Fathers Biard and Massé had not survived their ordeal at Port-Royal.  At La Hève, La Saussaye erected "a pillar" bearing the marquise's "armorial escutcheon" and proclaimed that the entire coast of North America, except for Poutrincourt's Port-Royal, now belonged to the black robes's benefactress and would be administered by the Jesuits.  La Saussaye then ordered Captain Fleury to sail around to Port-Royal to retrieve the two Jesuit priests, who were still very much alive.  The flotilla then headed south to Norembègue to establish the new mission closer to the center of the marquise's vast domain. 

Their original destination was Kenduskeag, at the head of navigation of Rivière Pentagouët, today's Penobscot.  There, at the site of present-day Bangor, Champlain had enjoyed a tabagie a decade earlier.  Heavy fog, however, obscured the Jonas's passage up the Pentagouët.  The Jesuits's flotilla was forced to take refuge off Île des Mont-Déserts, which Champlain also had visited in 1604.  After Father Biard "healed" two dying natives by placing a crucifix around the neck of a woman and baptizing a child, the Natives were determined to keep such magic as close as possible.  They assured the black-robed priest and his fellow Frenchmen that their island "would make a fine mission site."  And so the new settlement rose not along the channel of a major river several leagues above the ocean, but "at a beautiful and sheltered place" on the western half of Mount Desert Island, near the entrance to Somes Sound, at today's Fernald Point.  Father Biard called the new venture St.-Sauveur, mission of the Holy Savior.13 

La Saussaye, still in charge of the expedition, may have been adept at financial administration, but he lacked the basic skills of a successful colonizer.  He already had alienated the Jonas's captain and crew by insisting they continue up the Pentagouët despite the fog, uncharted rocks, and other hazards.  The ship's pilot's refusal to continue upriver may have saved them from seaborne disaster.  After the decision was made to remain on Île des Mont-Déserts, La Saussaye's officers, including Nicolas de la Mothe, advised him to order the men to unload the Jonas and construct at least a temporary defensive work, but La Saussaye "did not see the urgency of doing so."  Despite Captain Fleury's demands that he be allowed to return to France, the Jonas remained idly at anchor.  "For the time being," Marcel Trudel informs us, La Saussaye "sheltered his men under canvas and turned his attention to cultivation of the land."  One suspects that La Saussaye depended on the Jesuits--now four in number--to keep the local Natives properly subdued.13b

No sooner had La Saussaye and the Jesuits attempted to establish themselves at the southern edge of La Cadie than a greater menace came sailing up the coast, flying the red and white banner of England.  In July 1612, a year after Biencourt's detour to the Isle of Wight and less than a year before the establishment of St.-Sauveur, Virginia's governor commissioned Samuel Argall, a member of the Jamestown council and admiral of the colony, "to expel the French from all the territory claimed by England."  According to the Virginia Company charter, this territory ran from the 34th degree of north latitude up to the 49th parallel, which ran from Florida to the St. Lawrence River.  Moreover, English law forbade any Jesuit from setting foot on English soil, so this gave them all the more reason to expel the intruding Frenchmen.  After capturing the Indian princess Pocahontas in the spring of 1613 on orders from his immediate superior, Virginia's marshal, Sir Thomas Dale, Argall sailed north from Jamestown to fish and explore and to keep an eye out for French interlopers.  Aboard his 130-ton Treasurer were 14 guns and 60 men.  In late June, while anchored off the mouth of the Pentagouët to wait out the thick summer fog, local Indians, thinking this ship, also, belonged to the French, paddled out to the Treasurer and alerted Argall to the presence of "Normans" on a nearby island.  When Argall came upon the infant settlement on July 2, he discerned not only that the settlers were French, but that some of them were Jesuits.  Luckily for the English, they reached St.-Sauveur before La Saussaye and his men had finished unloading the Jonas and while most of them were still living in tents.  Seeing the approach of the English vessel, Captain Fleury and Brother Du Thet scrambled aboard the Jonas and prepared the ship's gun for action.  One of the fatalities in the brief encounter that followed was the gallant Du Thet, who fell mortally wounded in a hail of musketry on the deck of the Jonas.  The English hauled the Jesuit ashore with the other wounded, and he died the following day--the first of many members of the Society of Jesus to be martyred in America.  Argall's men captured the remaining colonists, including La Saussaye, who had fled into the nearby woods when the English opened fire.  Argall allowed his men to pillage the camp as well as the Jonas.  They forced open the French commander's personal chests and found La Saussaye's commission, which Argall concealed.  Accusing the Frenchmen of being pirates, a charge they could not disprove without La Saussaye's commission, Argall forced him and the other prisoners into the Jonas's boat, in which he intended to set them loose on the ocean.  Father Biard protested that so many men sailing in such a small vessel could only end in tragedy, so La Saussaye, eager to be free of his captors, volunteered to take half of the prisoners, including Father Massé, back to La Cadie in the Jonas's boat.  Argall agreed.  After making their way up the coast, aided by friendly Indians, La Saussaye and the others sailed across the mouth of the Baie Française to the south shore of the Acadian peninsula.  There, two French trading vessels rescued them and took them on to St.-Malo, which they reached in October.  Meanwhile, with his booty and his prisoners--14 Frenchmen, including Fathers Biard and Quentin and Captain Fleury--in tow, Argall returned to Jamestown with the captured French vessels and was greeted as a hero. 

In October, with the full approbation of Dale and the Virginia council, Argall sailed back up the coast with his Treasurer, the Jonas, and the smaller French vessel, his orders reflecting a cold determination to rid the region of rival powers.  He was "to raze every French fort or settlement as far as Cape Breton, to hang La Saussaye and his men" if he could find them, "to sack all French ships and to send the prisoners back home."  At St.-Sauveur, Argall tore down the Jesuit cross, replaced it with a Protestant symbol proclaiming the sovereignty of James I in the region, and destroyed what little remained of the Jesuit mission, which soon returned to the elements.  Moving farther up the coast, Argall destroyed what was left of the French habitation at Île Ste.-Croix and confiscated a supply of salt being stored there, likely the property of Captain Jean Platrier of Honfleur.  After crossing the Bay of Fundy, Argall's flotilla slipped through the Gut on the night of October 31 and, on the morning of All-Saints' Day, took Biencourt's token garrison of eight men completely by surprise.  Argall and his Englishmen rounded up the best of the livestock, destroyed the rest, "tore down the King's arms from above the gate, chiselled[sic] the fleur de lis and founders' names from the great marking stone," looted and burned the habitation, and set fire to whatever crops in the field had not been harvested.  They would have burned Poutrincourts's grist-mill, located up a small river above the habitation, if they had known of it.  When Argall appeared at Port-Royal, Biencourt and most of his men had been hunting with the Indians, so they escaped the fate of their incautious fellows.  Argall remained in the lower basin for a week, hoping that the remaining Frenchmen would surrender to him.  Alerted by the Mi'kmaq, Biencourt returned to the habitation just as Argall was about to depart.  The two leaders met privately on the shore.  Argall blamed the Jesuits for the English attacks, and he likely began the fiction that Father Biard had guided him to Île Ste.-Croix and Port-Royal.  Biencourt demanded the surrender of the troublesome priest so he could hang him then and there.  Argall of course refused the demand.  Leaving Biencourt and his men to their own devices, Argall, with as much booty as he could carry, set sail for Jamestown during the second week of November, taking the prisoners with him.  A storm struck his flotilla soon after he departed Port-Royal, and the French patache was never seen again.  The Jonas, commanded by a lieutenant named Turner, with Fathers Biard and Quentin aboard, was driven out to sea.  Turner guided his damaged vessel to the Azores, took on fresh water and supplies, and sailed on to Pembroke in Wales, from where the Jesuits, after some diplomatic wrangling, were repatriated to France.  The Treasurer, meanwhile, ran south before the storm and stopped at the Dutch trading post on the tip of Manhattan, where Argall forced the men there to acknowledge English rule.  He then sailed on to Jamestown without incident.  At Port-Royal, meanwhile, as winter approached, Biencourt sent some of his men overland to the St. Lawrence and others to winter with the Mi'kmaq.  Biencourt and the remainder of his men, likely including Charles La Tour, spent the winter in the colony's grist mill.13a 

They could not know it, but here was a foreshadowing of a conflict that would haunt French Acadia for nearly a century.  Argall's raid "set the pattern for the future of the region," Canadian historian W. J. Eccles observes.  "Although blessed with rich natural resources[,] the Acadian marches, owing to their geographic position, were doomed to remain a buffer zone between the rival empires until one or the other prevailed."14

His rights, health, freedom, and finances finally restored, Poutrincourt cobbled together another partnership in the spring of 1613, this one "with several ship outfitters of La Rochelle, including the firm of Georges and Macain, by promising them a share of the fur trade in the Port-Royal region...."  The partnership enabled him to send the Grâce-de-Dieu back to Port-Royal that summer with a precious re-supply.  Meanwhile, at La Rochelle, he and Louis Hébert, who was back in France, planned another expedition to reinforce his seigneurie.  With younger son Jacques de Salazar as well as Georges's nephew, David Loméron, in tow, Poutrincourt left France on December 31 and returned to Port-Royal on 17 March 1614.  To his astonishment, he found only ashes and ruin at his habitation beside the beautiful basin.  Biencourt and his companions, some of them already dead from starvation and others on the verge of it, emerged from their hiding places and related the events of the previous autumn.  Four years of effort had produced little for Poutrincourt and his associates.  Here also was an indictment of the parsimonious settlement policies of King Henri IV, the duc de Sully, and the Queen-Regent, Marie de Medici.  Poutrincourt returned to France almost immediately, taking with him his younger son, Louis Hébert, most of the other men, and a cargo of furs, which at least paid for the voyage.  Again, he left Biencourt, now age 23, to administer the seigneurie at Port-Royal, his task to transform the former settlement into an outpost for the fur trade.  In December 1615, before he could return to Port-Royal, Poutrincourt, age 58, "was killed while battling an anti-monarchical uprising near his Champagne estates."  Biencourt inherited his father’s title as well as his claims in La Cadie.  Despite his father's failure, Biencourt and a handful of other Frenchmen refused to abandon the fur trade.  They were determined to supply their trade partners in La Rochelle with a commodity that could be acquired in profitable quantities only in the wilderness of North America.15


For the next ten years, French activity in La Cadie was limited to Biencourt and his compatriots seeking profit in the young nobleman's seigneurie.  Six years into that decade, however, missionaries appeared in his domain, seeking souls among the region's natives. 

Not the Jesuits but an older, rival order, re-established the Church in New France.  Moreover, they planted their first missions in Canada, not in La Cadie.  "[A] Franciscan order that had been founded in Spain as early as 1484, and been admitted to France in 1592," the Récollets were especially popular in the south of France, where they were celebrated as "the first missionaries in the New World and the first to say mass on American soil...."  (The Society of Jesus had been founded at Paris by former Spanish soldier Ignacio de Loyola in 1534, so that order at least existed in France decades before the Récollets were admitted there.)  Seeking another level of permanence for his St. Lawrence venture and aware of Poutrincourt's troubles with the black robes, Champlain, with the approval of the French and Roman hierarchies, lured several Franciscans to Canada, where no priest had gone since Cartier's time. 

In the spring of 1615, during the vice-royalty of the Prince de Condé, four gray-robed friars from the Récollet Province of St.-Denis--Fathers John Dolbeau, Pacifique Duplessis, and Joseph Le Caron, and their superior Father Denis Jamet--crossed with Champlain, the colony's lieutenant-general, on a re-supply ship, the St.-Étienne, out of Honfleur.  From Tadoussac, where they landed on May 25, the friars followed the lieutenant-general up to Québec, which they reached on June 2.  Under the supervision of Father Pacifique, they immediately began construction of a mission house and chapel "close by the cliff below Cape Diamond," near Champlain's habitation and storehouse.  When Champlain ventured upriver to the St.-Louis rapids, Fathers Jamet and Le Caron followed.  On June 23, they celebrated a Mass at Rivière-des-Prairies, on Montréal island, perhaps the first Mass celebrated in Canada.  Two days later, Father Dolbeau celebrated the first Mass at Québec.  After the St. Lawrence valley was divided into apostolic zones, Father Le Caron, with Champlain's approval, was ministering to the Huron by the second week of August; after Champlain's humiliating return from the Iroquois country in October, Father Le Caron joined him in exploring Huronia that winter.  Meanwhile, back in Canada, the other friars assembled the hand full of inhabitants at Québec to instruct them in religious matters.  In December, Father Dolbeau attempted to establish a mission among the Montagnais at Tadoussac, who then were the most important middlemen in the regional fur trade, but failing eyesight forced him to return to Québec.  In July 1616, the four missionaries gathered in Québec to evaluate the fruits of their first year's efforts; they were not pleased.  "The first conclusion borne in upon them," Professor Trudel informs us, "was that before the Indians could be converted they would have to be civilized.  Now to civilize them, the French would have to mix with them and, conversely, accustom the Indians to life among the French," which would require many more colonists--Catholics, not Huguenots--the Company of Rouen and St.-Malo had managed to lure to Canada.  They also insisted that the Company was failing to bring enough missionaries to the colony to do much good among the natives.  The friars' efforts to send Indians to France to become properly gallicized and return as interpreters and purveyors of French culture also failed miserably; of the six they sent over, only two returned, and only one of these "persevered and proved to be of service."  In the spring of 1617, Champlain returned from France with three Récollets--Fathers Jamet and Le Caron, who had returned with him on Company business, and Father Paul Huet on his first voyage to the colony (also aboard were apothecary Louis Hébert, his wife, and three children, from Paris, the first French family to remain in America).  Father Huet resurrected the mission at Tadoussac, where, on July 11, he celebrated the first Mass there.  The Récollets built a chapel at Cap-Tourmente below Québec, where Champlain oversaw a farm, and constructed a permanent residence just below Québec on Rivière St.-Charles.  In 1617, Father Pacifique began a mission at Trois-Rivières and opened the first school in Canada there.  The following year, Father Huet joined him at Trois-Rivières, and Father Le Caron replaced him at Tadoussac.  Though well liked by both French and Indians for their piety and humility, the friars, at first, were ignorant of native languages and customs, which limited their success in converting them.  Like Champlain, however, they persisted in their "efforts to learn and understand" the ways of their Native charges.  Father Le Caron, in fact, created dictionaries of the Algonquin, Montagnais, and Huron languages which were presented by a fellow friar to King Louis XIII, but these dictionaries have not survived.  In March 1618, the Récollets of the St.-Denis Province in Canada "obtained a charter from the Papal Nuncio" in Paris, which granted them "canonical existence."  In the summer of that year, the Récollets celebrated the first marriage in New France, that of Étienne Jonquest of Normandy to Anne, daughter of Louis Hébert.  The year also marked the first "jubilee" celebrated by the Church in New France, which Father Dolbeau proclaimed in the chapel at Québec on July 29.  In 1619, the year of Father Pacifique's death at Québec (he was the first missionary to die in Canada), Récollet mission work in the colony received a welcome boost when the Prince de Condé, restored to the office of viceroy of New France, gave to the order half of his 3,000-livre allowance.  In the early summer of 1620, three more friars came to Québec aboard the St.-Étienne, among them Father Georges Le Baillif, who the new viceroy, the duc de Montmorency, ordered Champlain to consult on colonial matters.  That year, under the guidance of Fathers Jamet and Huet, recently returned from France, the order began construction of a convent and seminary at Québec, which they dedicated to Notre-Dame-des-Anges, Our Lady of the Angels.  The following year, Father Le Baillif returned to France with a petition inspired by a popular assembly convened at Québec.  The petition angered the directors of the Compagnie de Montmorency, some of whom were Huguenots, who the friars insisted were "paralysing the development of the Church" in Canada.  From 1615 to 1629, a total of 16 Récollets came to the colony, including Father Poullain, who arrived by 1621; Father Nicolas Viel and Brother Gabriel Sagard, who came in 1623; Father La Roche d'Aillon, who arrived in 1625; and Brother Mohier, who was in the colony in 1627.  With Father Le Caron, Father Viel sought to re-establish the mission in Huronia, which had been idle for seven years.  In the fall and winter of 1626-27, Father d'Aillon visited the Neutral nation between present-day lakes Erie and Ontario, but Huron treachery prevented him from luring the Neutrals into the regional fur trade.  Father Viel, meanwhile, became the second Récollet friar to perish in the colony; in late June 1625, while returning from Huronia, he drowned in the rapids beside Rivière-des-Prairies, at a place still called Sault-au-Récollet, and the mission to the Huron again was abandoned.  Brother Sagard wrote two important books about his years in New France, including a dictionary of the Huron language unequalled in its scope. 

By 1620, enough Franciscans had come to Canada to allow them to turn their attention to another part of New France.  That year, four friars from the Récollet Province of Aquitaine--Fathers Sébastien Bernardin, Jacques de La Foyer, Louis Fontiner, and Jacques Cardon--ventured from Québec down the St.-Jean portage to minister to the nations of La Cadie.  Their river mission, located perhaps at Robert Gravé du Pont's trading post on Île Emenenic, failed to draw enough Indians to it.  For the next four years, then, the friars wandered through the wilderness, from village to village, ministering to the Etchemin and the Mi'kmaq.  Their travels took them from Rivière St.-Jean to Île Miscou on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and from Port-Royal to Cap-Sable on the Acadian peninsula.  One wonders how often during their wanderings through the wilderness of La Cadie did the friars encounter Biencourt and his associates bartering with the Natives for beaver pelts.  In 1623, Father Sébastien died of exposure in the woods near today's Campbellton, northern New Brunswick, and the other friars returned to Québec the following year.  Not until 1630 would the Récollets return to La Cadie, directly from France, not from Canada. 

The Jesuits returned to New France in the spring of 1625, on the eve of the vice-royalty of the duc de Ventadour, who succeeded his uncle, the duc de Montmorency.  Ventadour, like the marquise de Guercheville, was a champion of the Jesuits, and it was he, not Champlain, who lured them to Canada.  The first of the order to go there were Father Charles Lalemant, the superior; Father Jean de Brébeuf; and two lay brothers, François Charton and Gilbert Burel--all new to the wilderness--and Father Énemond Massé, now age 50, who had endured two years in La Cadie with Father Pierre Biard a dozen years earlier.  The Jesuits were compelled to live with the Récollet friars until they could build their own compound.  Despite their rigorous education, the black robes also struggled to master native languages and learn the vagaries of native customs.  Unsurprisingly, their correspondence revealed an abiding prejudice against the many Huguenots trading in Canada.  Infused with the order's determination to rid the world of Protestantism, the Jesuits, along with their Récollet confreres, did what they could to expel these heretics from the colony in spite of King Henri's Edict of Nantes.  Several more Jesuits, including Fathers Anne de Nouë and Philibert Noyrot, the latter one of the viceroy's personal confessors, sailed to Québec in the spring of 1626 in an 80-ton ship, the Alouette, with 20 hired workmen in tow; the vessel was part of a flotilla commanded by Champlain himself, whose attitude towards the Huguenots was very different from that of his black-robed passengers.  Soon after Father Noyrot's arrival, the Jesuits began constructing their own residence at Rivière St.-Charles, across from the Récollet convent.  They dedicated the structure to Notre-Dame-des-Anges, "in recognition of the services rendered them by the Récollets."  In the same year, Fathers Brébeuf and Nouë established a Jesuit mission among the Huron, who were becoming the indispensable middlemen in the trade that sustained the colony.  The Jesuits also established a mission at Tadoussac among the Montagnais, who were still important in the fur trade.

The result of their work and that of the Récollets was not impressive.  "As for the missionary effort," Marcel Trudel relates, "in 1615 there seems to have been serious intent to push ahead" with converting the natives, "but by 1627 it had brought about only dubious results.  Of the fifty-four converts claimed in those twelve years, thirty-nine died after baptism and two more did not persevere in their new-found faith.  There remained therefore, from the St. Lawrence to the Great Lakes, only thirteen native Christians!"15b 


Biencourt, meanwhile, frequented the wilderness of La Cadie on a quest of a different sort.  Among his 20 or so associates were kinsmen Charles La Tour and, on occasion, Charles's father Claude.  Charles, only a year or two younger than Biencourt, became his friend and lieutenant.  Like Robert Gravé du Pont, who continued to pursue the fur trade on Rivière St.-Jean, the hardy young Biencourt "lived much like an Indian, roaming the woods with a few followers, and subsisting on fish, game, roots, and lichens."  This lifestyle engendered in these young French noblemen an abiding respect for the Natives.  One of them, for instance, referred to the Natives of La Cadie not as sauvages, or forest-dwellers, as the people back home and the fishermen called them, but as "'people of the country.'  Bare-chested in summer, fur-clad in winter," these hardy Frenchmen "endured the smoky warmth of flea-ridden bark wigwams, slept on furs laid over spruce boughs, ate strips of half-roasted meat and sagamité--potluck stew.  In small pinnaces and snubnose Micmac canoes they explored the coasts and inland river systems as far south as the Kennebec and 'learned with great toil' to speak the tongues of the different tribes."  Some of them, including Charles La Tour, married native women, a practice the French called métissage.  They had in fact become a new kind of Frenchman:  comfortable in the era's formal attire at the court of the Queen-Regent, but just as comfortable in buckskin and fur as they roamed the Acadian wilderness with their native companions.  Biencourt, the La Tours, and their associates, however, did not forget who they were and why they were there.  They largely abandoned agriculture and other forms of sedentary settlement but rebuilt as much of the Port-Royal habitation as they could use to shelter their wares, while maintaining far-flung trading posts at Cap-Forchu and other places along the coast.  From these posts they hunted down fur poachers who frequented the Atlantic littoral, a perfect haven, with its many coves and bays, for anyone wishing to trade with the Indians, legally or otherwise.  On 1 September 1618, Biencourt, fully aware of the efficacy of fixed settlement, suggested to the authorities in Paris "that a haven be sought in Acadia for those unfortunate citizens who were dying of hunger in France, whereas in America they might find the means of living at ease."  He warned officials at the young King's Court that "if immediate action were not taken in the waters off New France, French fishing fleets would be driven from the shores of North America."  Moreover, "From his vantage point on the coast, Biencourt signalled that the English were daily growing stronger in Virginia and Bermuda, and that if the French did not act and send aid soon, 'the name of France will little by little vanish from the country.'"  But officials ignored his appeals, and Biencourt and his men were left to themselves.  By 1620, the La Tours set themselves up in the Cap-Sable area, where Charles built Fort Loméron, named for David Loméron, now his agent at La Rochelle.  Despite English claims and Argall's recent actions, Claude established himself at Pentagouët, west of the site of the destroyed Jesuit mission and a good place from which to patrol the coast of Norembègue.  After fortifying their posts as best they could, and receiving no relief from France, Biencourt and the La Tours planted what crops they could and made frequent contact with the region's cod fishing posts.  This allowed them to ship their furs via fishing vessel to their Huguenot merchant-creditors at La Rochelle.15a 

Without the fishermen and especially the Natives, it would have been impossible for Biencourt and his associates to maintain a fur trade in the abandoned colony, which, in the eyes of French authorities, "was no longer anything more than a trading area."  In the beginning, the French were no more impressed with the local nations than with any of the other Natives they had encountered in New France.  The principal nation of peninsula Acadia, the Mi’kmaq, whom the French called the Souriquois or the Gaspésiens, were, Andrew Hill Clark tells us, "a small group thinly scattered over a large area when the seventeenth century opened.  Contacts throughout the previous century, chiefly through fishermen, had prepared them for trading relationships with the French," but, despite encounters with Cartier at the Baie des Chaleurs in 1534 and Bellenger at Cap-Sable five decades later, they were little acculturated to French habits and attitudes when de Mons and his associates encountered them.  The Mi'kmaq numbered about 3,000 over the roughly 30,000 square miles of their territory then, but European diseases dramatically thinned their numbers.  The French nonetheless put them to good use, and the Mi’kmaq responded in kind.  According to A. H. Clark:  "The chief services of the Micmac to the French, consistent with the maintenance of their own basic culture patterns, were as guides, paddlers, hunters, and procurers of the furs and feathers for which a market existed in Europe, the St. Lawrence settlements, or the English colonies to the south."  Naomi Griffiths adds:  "... in the early decades of European settlement, the natives received the newcomers with wary friendliness rather than belligerence.  There was no need for the early settlers to carry guns with them as they began to farm, as their contemporaries had to do along the St. Lawrence.  The Mi'kmaq shared their incomparable skill in winter travel, and their knowledge of seagoing canoes with the Europeans.  They were also quite willing to trade," especially furs for metal goods and powder weapons.  This largely amicable relationship with the French was sealed by the efforts of Roman Catholic missionaries, beginning with Father Jessé Fleché and continuing with the Jesuits and the Récollets.  A. H. Clark asserts:  "The slow, but ultimately universal, attachment of the Micmac to the Roman Catholic faith reinforced their ties to the French.  These ties were maintained assiduously by missionaries largely based on Quebec."16

Biencourt died suddenly near Port-Royal in 1623; he was only 32 years old.  Charles La Tour was by his kinsman's side at the time of Biencourt's passing, and now only the La Tours and their hand full of associates remained to carry on the Acadian enterprise.  Charles quickly formed a partnership with Biencourt's heir, younger brother Jacques de Salazar de Saint-Just, who had lived in Acadia briefly a dozen years earlier but who was content to remain in Champagne while his kinsman looked after his interests in La Cadie.  Charles, from his headquarters at Fort Loméron, considered himself the leader of the Acadian venture, but his rivals in the region were many.  They included the trading company formed in Canada by the de Caëns of Rouen, whose vessels slipped south from the St. Lawrence region to trade for furs with the Mi'kmaq.  In 1626, Guillaume de Caën, though banned from New France because of his Huguenot faith, ordered the construction of a trading post on Île Miscou, at the northern edge of La Cadie.  Also troublesome to Acadian interests were English, Dutch, and Basque interlopers, who were not above attacking outposts in the "colony."  Charles and his associates did what they could to maintain the region's fur trade.  Again, their good will among the natives was essential to their endeavors.  "'After the death of the … Sieur de Biencourt," a future enemy of La Tour asserted, "Charles Latour travelled the woods with 18 or 20 men, mingled with the savages and lived an infamous and libertine life, without any practice of religion, not even bothering to baptize the children they procreated and instead abandoned them to their poor, miserable mothers as the coureurs de bois still do today.'"  These half-breed children, called Métis by the French in Canada, "became some of the staunchest allies of the first French families of Acadia."  Many of them were baptized by French missionaries and clung to the faith of their fathers.  They, too, pursued the trade in furs that sealed the relationship between the worlds of their parents.20

But the struggle to maintain French presence in La Cadie soon would become even more complicated.  The English reappeared in force again, and this time they came to stay.

Nova Scotia and the La Tours

Virginia, too, had endured its share of troubles after its founding in 1607.  From the beginning, the English colonists exhibited a remarkable ineptness in dealing with the Algonquian-speaking natives who lived in the vicinity of Jamestown.  In the first years of the settlement, mostly as a result of incompetent leadership and Indian depredations, the death toll among the settlers was astonishingly high.  The introduction of tobacco cultivation as a profitable venture and the conversion of Princess Pocahontas to Christianity after her kidnapping by the resourceful Argall were lucky strokes for the hard-pressed English during the administration of Thomas Dale.  In 1614, the princess married John Rolfe, the colony's secretary and the fellow who had introduced tobacco cultivation into the colony.  In 1619, compelled by a new charter, the Company introduced the rudiments of representative government into the New World.  In that year also, the governor and a Point Comfort merchant bought 20 or so Africans from a Dutch privateer to enhance the colony's supply of indentured servants.  But the peace that had followed the princess’s marriage was shattered in March 1622 when the Indians massacred hundreds of colonists in dozens of settlements along the James.  Two years later, the King removed Virginia from a ruined London Company to ensure that its most successful colony would not fail.  By then, in November 1620, 35 English Separatists and 66 "ordinary" English colonists, having crossed on the Mayflower, had founded a colony of their own on Plymouth Bay, east of Cape Cod, 15 years after de Mons and Champlain had explored the area and only a hand full of years after English explorers had captured local Natives for the Spanish slave trade.  Plymouth lay only 300 miles south of Port-Royal, closer to Acadia than to Virginia.  These "Pilgrims" were no more adept at relations with the Indians than the pioneers of Virginia had been, nor were they more tolerant of French presence in the region.  In 1626, a force from Plymouth attacked Pentagouët and drove out Claude La Tour.  Now two English colonies posed an existential threat to the tenuous French hold on La Cadie.18

To make matters worse for the French in North America, in September 1621 King James I of England (who also was King James VI of Scotland) rewarded to one of his Scottish favorites a generous grant--all of French Acadia!  Sir William Alexander, viscount and later first earl of Stirling, noted poet, scholar, and Scottish official, while serving as a prominent member of the King's Court, "began to dream of making a name for himself by diverting the constant stream of Scottish manhood from the continetal wars into a colony that should bear the name of Scotland."  Sir William first approached Captain John Mason, English governor of Newfoundland in the late 1610s, "for aid in getting room for a plantation there."  With Mason's help, Sir William "obtained a grant of the northwestern part of that island, from the Bay of Placentia to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, but, although he name it Alexandria, he made no use of it, because of a grander vision that emerged from the suggestion of Governor Mason that he consult Ferdinando Gorges, treasurer of the recently formed Council of New England."  The Council, under pressure from King James, agreed to "surrender ... all their territory north of the Sainte-Croix"--that is, Acadia.  The King then instructed the Scottish Privy Council, of which Sir William was a member, "to prepare a grant of this territory" for Sir William, which was signed on 10 September 1621.  The grant included not only present-day Nova Scotia, but also New Brunswick ([Nova] Alexandria), Prince Edward Island, Cape Breton Island, Sable Island, and the Gaspé peninsula--"to be called for all time New Scotland or Nova Scotia."  The following year, Sir William ventured to Nova Scotia with a boatload of settlers but managed to establish only a small fishery at St. John's, Newfoundland.  He visited his "settlement" again in 1623 and found it largely abandoned.  He nevertheless coaxed 10 of the fishermen to accompany him on an exploration of the coast of peninsula Nova Scotia "as far as Cap-Nègre."  They "landed at Port-Joli and Port-au-Mouton, formed a favorable opinion of the natural beauty and resources of the country, but returned to Newfoundland, from whence they took passage to England...."  As a result, Biencourt and his associates would hardly have noticed the Scottish presence in the region.  In 1625, the new English king, Charles I, renewed Sir William's charter, "confirming the rights granted in 1621."  The new charter allowed for the creation of up to 150 knight-baronies in New Scotland to help pay for future settlements there and made Nova Scotia part of the kingdom of Scotland.18a 

Meanwhile, in 1624, the Dutch established a North American colony of their own in a region they had claimed 15 years earlier.  In 1607-08, Henry Hudson, an Englishman, had sailed twice for his nation's Muscovy Company, searching for the northern passage to Asia via the Arctic Ocean.  A year later, while Port-Royal lay abandoned and the Englishmen at Jamestown struggled to maintain their infant colony, Hudson led a third expedition in search of the elusive passage, this one for the Dutch East India Company, founded in 1602.  In a single ship, the Halve Maen, Hudson left Amsterdam in early April 1609 and sailed up the coast of Norway, back towards the Arctic Ocean.  Having gone that way twice with no success and running into heavy sea ice again, he turned westward at Norway's North Cape and crossed the northern ocean to the Grand Bank of Newfoundland.  He did not make landfall until July, when he lingered for 10 days at La Hève, in French La Cadie, to repair a broken mast and to fish for food.  He and his Dutchmen encountered Mi'kmaq willing to trade their furs, but commerce evidently did not take place.  On July 25, a dozen sailors, brandishing muskets and small cannon, attacked the nearest village, drove off the natives, and took their boats and whatever else they pleased.  Rounding Cap-Sable, Hudson led his Dutchmen southwest to the coast of Maine and reached Cape Cod on August 4.  He continued on to the entrance of Chesapeake Bay before sailing north to Delaware Bay, which he discovered and explored.  On September 3, he re-discovered today's New York harbor, where Verrazzano had lingered in 1524.  Five days later, the expedition lost an Englishman to an Indian arrow fired from the shore.  On September 11, Hudson reached upper New York harbor.  For 10 days, he sailed up the river he called Mauritius, but which now bears his name, as far as his ship could take him.  Only then was he certain that this body of water was not the northern passage to Asia.  After trading for furs with several tribes along the river, he re-crossed the North Atlantic, arriving at Dartmouth, England, on November 7.  He managed to pass his ship's log to the Dutch ambassador in London, and the Netherlands now had a claim of their own to territory in North America.  A fourth voyage, in 1610, this time under the aegis of the Virginia and British East India companies, led to Hudson's discovery on August 3 of the great northern bay which still bears his name and to his death in the bay at the hands of mutineers in the summer of 1611.  Meanwhile, the Dutch pondered settling in territory also claimed by England, Spain, and France.  Managing to avoid the English and the French, several Dutch trading expeditions visited the Manhattan area in the five years following Hudson's exploration.  In November 1613, however, English admiral Samuel Argall, on his way back to Virginia after burning Port-Royal, forced a small contingent of Dutchmen at the Manhattan post to acknowledge English rule in the region.  The name New Netherland appeared on the map of a 1614 expedition led by Portuguese-Dominican trader Juan Rodriguez, of African descent, who was known to the Dutch as Jan Rodrigues.  By then, Dutch claims in the region, centering on Manhattan, ran north to Cape Cod and south to Chesapeake Bay.  In 1614, Dutch merchants established a fur-trading post, Fort Nassau, on Hudson's Mauritius, near the place where he had ended his upriver exploration, at present-day Albany.  By doing so, "the Dutch strove to channel the fur trade" from the French-controlled St. Lawrence valley "toward the Hudson River."  In 1621, a year after the English ship Mayflower failed to reach its original destination on Hudson's river, the Dutch created their own West India Company and ordered the private traders in the region to vacate their posts.  Not until 1624, however, did the Company sanction settlements in New Netherland colony:  on Nut Island, today's Governor's Island in New York harbor; at New Amsterdam, on the tip of Manhattan; at Fort Nassau, which they renamed Fort Orange; on the Delaware River west of Manhattan; and at the mouth of Verse River, now the Connecticut, north of New Amsterdam.  New Netherland now stood poised between Virginia and Plymouth and promised to complicate further imperial rivalries in North America.

Even the Swedes established a colony of their own in the region.  In 1638, with the sanction of King Gustavus Adolphus, the Swedish West India Company landed "a number of Swedes and Fins" on the lower Delaware River and "purchased from the natives, all the land from the Cape to the falls of the Delaware," which the Company called New Sweden.  The Company's fortified settlement arose on the west bank of the river, at present-day Wilmington, Delaware, across from territory claimed by the Dutch.  Called Fort Christina, it was named for Sweden's Queen.  New Swedish settlers included not only Swedes and Finns, but also Dutch and Germans, all Protestants.  The first governor of New Sweden, in fact, was not a Swede but a Dutchman:  Peter Minuit, who from 1626-31 served as governor of nearby New Netherland.18b


 Despite a rebirth of sorts in La Cadie and Canada during the hectic 1620s, such competition could have ended French efforts in North America had not a leader emerged who, in the spirit of Henri IV, took up the role as savior of New France.  In 1624, soon after Biencourt's death in faraway Port-Royal, Armand-Jean du Plessis, bishop of Luçon and duc de Richelieu et de Fronsac, known to history as Cardinal Richelieu, became chief minister of Henri's successor, the 23-year-old Louis XIII.  Two years later, in 1626, the young King granted to Richelieu control "of commerce, colonies, and maritime affairs."  After purchasing the duc de Ventadour's post as viceroy of New France for 100,000 livres, the cardinal assumed that title as well.  In the spring of 1627, Richelieu organized the Compagnie de la Nouvelle-France, more commonly known as Compagnie des Cent-Associés--the Company of the Hundred Associates.19g

Richelieu's new Company subsumed all the monopolies and seigneuries granted in New France, including those in Acadia held by Jacques de Salazar de Saint-Just and the marquise de Guercheville, and in Canada by Guillaume de Caën.  Significantly, the field of the Company's operations was not limited by the 40th parallel of north latitude, as in the days of de Mons and other holders of the trade monopoly in New France.  "[R]everting to the explorations of the sixteenth century," Marcel Trudel explains, "the Company's boundaries "extended from Florida to the Arctic Circle, and from Newfoundland to the Great Lakes"--wherever the King's name could be broadcast and made known in all of North America.  "This immense domain was to be the Company's property in fief and seigneury, and could be subdivided into fiefs."  The Company secured a 15-year monopoly on trade in New France, "with the exception of the fisheries," and tax-free shipment of all merchandise held by the Company to and from New France.  To encourage investment into the new enterprise, Richelieu secured from the King a lifting of the ancient ban on "nobles and ecclesiastics" from holding shares in commercial companies "on pain of losing their rank...."  The King promised to issue a dozen "letters of nobility to twelve members of the Company who were commoners, the twelve to be chosen by the Company, demonstrating that henceforth commerce, like military service, might lead to advancement in the social hierarchy."  By May 1629, 107 associates held membership in the Company, 26 of them "merchants or business men, twelve being from Paris; the other members were for the most part officers of the upper level of civil, judicial or military administration.  The predominance of these officers and the large numbers of Parisian merchants had the effect of changing the commercial orientation of New France; no longer was its commerce centred on Brittany and Normandy, as it had long been, but on the French capital."  Nor did the Company ignore the lower classes and their essential role in the development of New France.  Any craftsman who served the Company there for six years could return to France with "the dignity of 'master craftsman' and might 'open shop'" wherever he chose, a privilege difficult to attain in France, where the craft guilds retained so much power and privilege.  King Louis XIII also granted to the Company "revocation of the application to New France of the Edict of Nantes," which gave the cardinal and his associates the power to bar Protestants from their North American domain.  Richelieu and his associates, moreover, would determine which missionary orders would, or would not, return to New France, how many of them would go there, and where they would serve.  A concomitant of the conversion experience would be a policy of françisation, which sought "'to turn Indian converts into Frenchified convert subjects of the king--not only Catholic but also linguistically, culturally, and legally French.'"  Thus, colonization, not sporadic but systematic, and conversion of the Natives, would be among the Company's principal goals.  "In a world transformed by the Renaissance," Marcel Trudel informs us, "gold had become the principal vehicle of exchange between nations, and because gold was a rare commodity to be accumulated and laid by in the greatest possible quantities, nationalism in commercial matter was imperative for any state seeking to prosper.  This was mercantilism, the management of a state's economy by keeping the importation of manufactured goods to a minimum and acquiring a maximum of raw materials from abroad for the supply of its own industry.  Colonies became an essential factor in such a system; they supplied raw materials which otherwise would have to be bought from foreign powers and, theoretically, they would absorb a portion of the mother country's production, thus stimulating its export trade."  Thus, the France of Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu, on the eve of war with England, was "preparing to occupy a country that she hoped would embrace the whole of North America and should greatly strengthen her commerce and manufacturing industries.  The New France that she intended to establish would be founded upon commerce and crafts and should be able to support a society whose social  hierarchy would be the same as her own.  But the Huguenots, against who such a bitter struggle had been waged to preserve the unity of the State, would be excluded from that society.  In short, for the enhancement of her prosperity and power, France intended to create in America a French and Catholic society." 

Here was the socio-economic manifestation of the cardinal's grand design:  the strengthening of the monarchy and its attendant institutions, which he believed would unite the French nation, at the expense of the nobility and the Huguenots, who he was certain could only divide it.19f


On 6 May 1628, Louis XIII signed the charter papers for the Company of New France while laying siege to the Huguenot stronghold at La Rochelle.  The siege had begun the previous summer, only a few months after Richelieu and his associates organized the Company at Paris.  Louis XIII's attempt to suppress the rebellious Huguenots, the disastrous marriage of his youngest sister Henrietta Maria to Charles I of England, and Louis's secret alliance with Hapsburg Spain, drew England into war on the side of the Huguenots in the spring of 1627.  That summer, however, the English attack on Île de Ré by 13,000 men under the Duke of Buckingham failed spectacularly to relieve the Huguenots at nearby La Rochelle.  After the English incursion, the civil war in France only heated up, and Louis's siege of La Rochelle soon followed.  Buckingham's failure at Île de Ré did not end Louis's fight with his brother-in-law.  Having failed in his invasion of coastal France, the aggressive Charles turned, instead, to the removal of France from North America.19a 

In June 1627, "on the initiative of Gervase Kirke," a merchant of Derbyshire, London, and Dieppe, and with the support of Sir William Alexander of Stirling, English and Scottish investors formed the Company of Adventurers to Canada, also called the English and Scottish Company.  Charles I granted the company a monopoly on furs in the northern region, as well as "a commission to "to displace the French from 'Canida.'"  In the spring of 1628, the company sent three ships to North America commanded by three of Gervase Kirke's sons--David, Lewis, and Thomas.  Though born in Dieppe, where their father did business, the Kirkes considered themselves Englishmen, while the French insisted they were traitors.  Jacques Michel, also a Protestant from Dieppe, sailed with the Kirkes.  "[A] deserter from Champlain," Michel was intimately familiar with the coast of New France and served as the brothers' pilot.  After escorting a Scottish expedition to Newfoundland, the Kirkes, guided by the trusty Michel, sailed around to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, their mission "to take possession of Canada and Acadia" in anticipation of British settlement there.19i

Elated by the English failure at La Rochelle and "confident of support from Spain," Richelieu, with the King's approval, insisted that the Company "dispatch a very large convoy to New France" to launch his mercantilist scheme.  The Company's directors, however, alerted to British activities in North America, beseeched the cardinal to wait "until their ships could be protected."  Richelieu refused.  Four large chartered merchant vessels, under Company associate Admiral Claude Roquemont de Brison, would reinforce Québec with 400 souls, the largest group of French settlers sent to North America.  Included in Roquemont's flotilla were smaller vessels intended for other outposts in New France, including a chartered barque commanded by Jesuits under Father Philibert Noyrot.  Leaving Dieppe in late April 1628, Roquemont's fleet, after enduring "a violent storm" and eluding "two heavily-armed ships from La Rochelle," crossed the North Atlantic without further incident.  After erecting a cross on uninhabited Anticosti Island "as act of official taking of possession," Roquemont sailed south to Baie de Gaspé.  After sending Company agent Thierry Desdames in a chaloupe to Québec to inform Champlain of his presence, Roquemont learned from friendly fishermen that English privateers had captured Île Miscou and Tadoussac and were seizing French vessels at Île Percé and in the lower St. Lawrence.  These privateers, of course, were the Kirkes, led by oldest brother David, now in command of half a dozen vessels anchored at Tadoussac.  In early July, after burning the vacherie at Cap-Tourmente, the Kirkes had attempted to capture Québec, but Champlain bluffed them out of it.  Alerted to Roquemont's presence at Gaspé, the businessmen-turned-privateers hurried back downriver.  Despite the possibility of facing a superior force, the admiral and his commanders sailed into the St. Lawrence under heavy fog, determined to fight their way up to Québec.  Their plan was bold but foolhardy, with a predictable result.  On July 17-18, off present-day Rimouski, below and on the opposite shore from Tadoussac, the opponents exchanged 1,200 cannon shots in a 15-hour battle.  Guided by Jacques Michel, the Kirkes captured most of Roquemont's ships and wounded the admiral.  Only two small vessels escaped the onslaught:  the Jesuits's barque, which retreated to France, and Desdame's chaloupe, which remained at Québec.  David Kirke released Roquemont's sailors, the settlers, and their priests, leaving them two of the captured vessels in which to return to France, while he and his fellow privateers returned to England.  With them went the admiral, the ships' captains, and other notables, each to be held to ransom.19j 

The hand full of settlers with Champlain at Québec, already on the verge of starvation, were forced to face another winter without fresh supplies.  Yet there was a bright side for the French, dimly lit, in light of the Kirkes' triumph in the lower St. Lawrence.  "Apart from destroying the Habitation at Miscou," Marcel Trudel relates, the Kirkes "had engaged in no large-scale operations in Acadia, where the young [Charles] La Tour's mean of resistance were even slimmer than Champlain's.  Despite the damage done at Miscou, Tadoussac, and Cap Tourmente, La Cadie and Canada were still occupied only by the French," a circumstance that soon would change.19o

Buttressed by the Company of Adventurers, Sir William Alexander seized the opportunity to make his Nova Scotia dream a reality.  Sir William's 26-year-old son, Sir William the Younger, took two ships on a privateering expedition to North America in the spring of 1627, thus familiarizing himself with the coast of North America.  At first opposing the efforts of the Kirkes to secure a trade monopoly in Canada from "the Crown of England," Sir William agreed to a compromise for the good of British solidarity.  In late March 1628, William the Younger set out from Dumbarton near Glasgow with an expedition of "70 men and tua weemen."  Perhaps in the company of the Kirkes, the Scots landed probably at Newfoundland, where the Alexanders ran a fishery at St. John's.  The Kirkes sailed on to the lower St. Lawrence, captured Roquemont's fleet, shared some of their booty with Alexander's Scots, and continued their depredations in the region, including the capture of Charles La Tour's Fort Loméron north of Cap-Sable, before returning in triumph to England.  William the Younger, meanwhile, returned to Scotland, where, with the Kirkes, he secured "a monopoly of the trade to Canada," granted on 4 February 1629.  Sometime that summer, with the help of French turncoat Claude La Tour, William the Younger relocated the principal Scots settlement from Newfoundland to the opposite side and farther up the Port-Royal basin from Poutrincourt's old habitation.  He called it Charles Fort.  Sir William and his Scots now saw for themselves what La Tour could have told them about the brutality of an Acadian winter.  Samuel de Champlain, back in France, learned from his sources in North America that "of the seventy [Scots] who wintered" at Port-Royal that year, "thirty had died," probably of scurvy.19k 

Charles Fort was not the only Scots settlement established in the region that summer.  James Stewart, fourth Lord Ochiltree, an associate of Sir William Alexander, accompanied William the Younger on his return to North America in 1629 and followed him to the Atlantic coast of Cape Breton Island, which the Scots called New Galloway.  At the beginning of July, with 60 Scots, including army captain Constance Ferrar, his wife, and children, Alexander and Ochiltree landed at Port-aux-Baleines, where Ochiltree attacked a Basque fishing crew under Michel Dihourse of St.-Jean-de-Luz.  Using cannon captured from the Basques, the Scots erected a fortification at La Baleine and called it Fort Rosemar.  Ochiltree then announced to the fishermen in the area that they could fish or trade for furs only with his permission and then they must pay a 10 percent fee on whatever they caught or traded.19l 

The Kirkes, with the turncoat Jacques Michel in tow, returned to the lower St. Lawrence, their target this time the outpost at Québec, which they had failed to capture the year before.  Only by ousting Champlain could the Kirkes secure the monopoly of the Canadian fur trade.  Departing Gravesend in March 1629, a month after they secured their monopoly, they could not have known of a treaty signed at Susa, in the Duchy of Savoy, on April 24.  Nor could Champlain have been aware of the treaty when he sent Eustache Boullé to the Gulf of St. Lawrence to hurry along an expected re-supply he hoped would avert starvation at Québec.  Boullé met the re-supply vessel at Gaspé, where its commander, Émery de Caën, informed him about the peace signed at Susa.  Meanwhile, David Kirke learned of the plight of the garrison at Québec and its inability to defend, or even feed, itself.  Three armed vessels under brothers Lewis and Thomas appeared at Pointe Lévy, across from Québec, on July 19.  The following day, after a brief negotiation with Lewis Kirke under a flag of truce, Champlain surrendered the outpost without firing a shot.  A few days later, on the voyage back down to Tadoussac, with Champlain and most of his settlers in tow, Thomas Kirke encountered de Caën making his way cautiously upriver.  Near La Malbaie, on the northern shore between Île aux Coudres and Tadoussac, the two ships exchanged cannon fire.  After Kirke's Englishmen boarded the French vessel, Champlain negotiated another capitulation, this one de Caën's to Kirke.  Only then did the Kirkes hear of the Susa treaty.  The agreement, signed half a world away, called for the return of territories captured during the war, but the Kirkes insisted it was only "'an idle rumor'" and refused to restore Canada to Champlain.  As it turned out, the Kirkes' insistence was not far from the truth.  Even after both parties had ratified the treaty by the first week of July (still prior to the surrender of Québec), Charles I refused to return lands in North America until his wife's dowry was paid.  And so war between the royal brothers-in-law continued for three more years.19

Not until a year after Roquemont's disaster was Richelieu's Company able to send more than a single ship back to New France.  In June 1629, about the time the Kirkes returned to Tadoussac, Captain Charles Daniel of Dieppe, an experienced Grand Bank fisherman, former partner of the de Caëns in Canada, and an associate of Richelieu's Company, serving in place of Isaac de Razilly, led a small flotilla out of La Rochelle to deliver messages and supplies to Québec.  Daniel's ships, including another one chartered by the Jesuits, again under Father Philibert Noyrot, became separated in heavy fog on the Grand Bank of Newfoundland, and Daniel sailed on alone.  On August 24, the Jesuit vessel, still fog bound,"broke up on the rocks off Canso."  Father Noyrot and a lay brother drowned in the mishap; a Basque fishing vessel rescued the survivors.  Towards the end of August, Daniel arrived at the fishing rendezvous at Grand Cibou, today's Bras d'Or Bay on Cape Breton Island.  Here he learned of Champlain's surrender as well as Ogiltree's actions, committed after the peace of Susa had been signed.  Outraged by this "'usurpation of territory belonging to the King,'" and determined "to protect French fishermen," Daniel resolved to deal harshly with the Scottish interlopers.  On September 18, he and 52 of his Frenchman attacked the fort at La Baleine and quickly overwhelmed it.  He promptly dismantled Fort Rosemar and constructed a fortified settlement of his own, Fort Ste.-Anne, up the coast at Grand Cibou.  On November 5, before winter set in, he left 40 men at Fort Ste.-Anne "under the command of a certain Sieur Claude" and carried Ochiltree and his Scotsmen back to France as prisoners of war.  Meanwhile, Richelieu's Company did what it could to strengthen Charles La Tour's hold at Cap-Sable, which, until the construction of Daniel's fort, had been the "last remaining post France had in the country."19e


Life had become dangerously complicated for the hard-pressed La Tours.  After losing Pentagouët to a force from Plymouth in 1626, Claude returned to Champagne the following year to divest some of his holdings there.  He also presented letters from son Charles to King Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu seeking permission to defend Acadia against the English, who, from their posts at Saco and on the Kennebec, were becoming bolder in their incursions in the region.  Charles also sought protection from his fellow Frenchmen in Canada, especially the de Caëns, with whom he and Biencourt had been clashing for years.  Through Claude, Charles "asked for a formal commission entrusting him with the defence and preservation of the coasts of Acadia...."19d 

Claude's sojourn in France was not a happy one.  It included a series of law suits over a failed commercial partnership and a short stay in Paris's St.-Eloi prison for indebtedness.  Eager to escape his tenacious creditors, Claude lobbied his way into Richelieu's New-French enterprise.  Sailing aboard a supply ship destined for Cap-Sable, where son Charles still held sway, Claude departed Dieppe with Admiral Roquemont de Brison's fleet in April 1628.  Claude's ship, unfortunately, was not one of the few that escaped the Kirkes in the lower St. Lawrence.  Too well known to be released with the lower-ranked Frenchmen, Claude was among the notables the Kirkes took to England to be held for ransom.  In London, however, Claude the schemer as well as the dreamer did what he could to put his troubles behind him.  Approached by Sir William Alexander, Claude seriously considered the proprietor's offer to grant him and son Charles titles of nobility in exchange for their assistance in establishing the English in French Acadia.  The offer included large grants of land to be rewarded after the British took control of the colony.  Claude, now age 60 and again a widower, was quicker to seize another opportunity, this one to improve his personal life.  Likely converting to Protestantism, he remarried to one of Queen Henrietta Maria's ladies-in-waiting, a kinswoman of the Alexanders whose name has been lost to history.  Now in the employ of the English, Claude sailed to Nova Scotia in the spring of 1629 and helped Sir William Alexander the Younger establish the Charles Fort settlement at Port-Royal, but Claude did not winter there.  Serving as a courier for Sir William the Younger, by November of that year Claude was back in London, where he assisted in presenting to the English court Mi'kmaq sagamore Segipt and the chief's wife and son as the king, queen, and prince of Canada.  At the end of November, Claude accepted the elder Sir William's proposal and became Baronet of Nova Scotia.  His acceptance required him to renounce all allegiance to France; he now would be a traitor in the eyes of loyal Frenchmen.  The following May, Claude naively accepted a baronetcy for son Charles, which came with a generous grant of land in the southern portion of the colony.19h

In May 1630, Claude took his bride to Nova Scotia with another Scottish expedition.  The ship on which he traveled took a detour to Cap-Sable, where he related to Charles all that had transpired during the three years since last they had seen one another.  Charles, the former woodsman, now in his late 30s, was married to a Mi'kmaq woman and the father of three daughters.  Hearing his father's story and his treasonous proposals, he refused to renounce his allegiance to France.  According to Champlain, the son informed the father that "'he would rather have died than consent to such baseness as to betray his King.'"  Hearing this, the father informed his son that now he must treat him as an enemy.  Claude returned to his ship, rounded up a force of British soldiers and sailors, rowed back to the shore, and attacked Charles's Cap-Sable hideout.  "The ensuing battle between father and son lasted two days and a night and has no parallel in the history of the New World," one of Claude's biographers insists.  Charles emerged the victor--the walls of his fort stood firm against his father's attack.  Claude and the Scotsmen returned to their ship and continued on to Charles Fort.  Learning of the father's defeat at the hands of his son, the Charles Fort settlers lost faith in the old Frenchman.  Humiliated, Claude offered to send his bride back to England, but she refused.  Meanwhile, he sent a message to Charles, asking permission to return to the cape to embrace him and France again, but Charles refused.19m

Had Claude succeeded in taking his son's fort and changing his allegiance to Britain, only Daniel's 40 men and two priests at Cape Breton would have constituted French presence in North America.  Compare this to the English presence at Virginia, Bermuda, Newfoundland, Plymouth, Port-Royal, and, the following year, Massachusetts Bay, and Charles La Tour's defeat at Cap-Sable would have marked the nadir of New France since 1608.19p 

That summer, a small flotilla from Bordeaux, sent by Company associate Jean Tuffet and led by Basque surgeon-turned-seaman Bernard Marot of St.-Jean-de-Luz, arrived at Cap-Sable.  The two ships carried supplies, munitions, and reinforcements.  Marot handed Charles a letter from the Company's directors naming Charles an associate.  Well fixed now, he consulted with Marot and the Récollets about the problem with Claude.  Charles reluctantly sent his lieutenant, Jacques de Murat, sieur de Lestang, "to inform Claude that he would be welcome to return to French service," but he insisted that his father and stepmother live in a house outside the walls of his new fort.  Charles called it Fort St.-Louis, after Saint Louis XI, the thirteenth-century King of France.  Using material supplied by Tuffet, the rock and brick structure arose on a height of land overlooking the approaches to Cap-Sable bay during the summer and fall of 1630.  Back at the cape with his sturdy wife, Claude informed Charles that the Scots had reinforced their post at Port-Royal and soon would attack Cap-Sable, but the attack did not come.  The following spring, another re-supply came to Cap-Sable, and the ship returned in October "with a good number of artisans and some Récollets," the first priests in the colony since 1624.19n 

Properly supplied with provisions and artisans, in 1631-32 Charles built a new fort at the mouth of Rivière St.-Jean on a five-by-10-league concession Richelieu's Company had granted to him.  The Company offered Claude command of the post, which Charles named Fort Ste.-Marie.  Probably on Charles's advice, however, they gave the command to Charles's lieutenant Jean-Daniel Chaline.  This proved to be a good thing for Claude.  In mid-September 1632, not long after Charles sailed to France on personal business, a force of 25 Scotsmen under command of Captain Andrew Forrester crossed the Bay of Fundy from Charles Fort, attacked Fort Ste.-Marie, and captured the post "by treachery."  The Scotsmen "tore down a large cross, damaged the chapel, and plundered the supplies," including a "cache of beaver, otter and moose pelts to the value of fifteen hundred beaver, reckoned as currency."  After removing the royal arms of Louis XIII from the gatepost of Fort Ste.-Marie, Forrester took his prisoners, including Chaline, back to Charles Fort and then placed them "aboard a passing New England pinnace and ordered the captain to maroon them on a barren island in Penobscot Bay--a sentence to death by starvation.  The New England captain released them instead near the Saint John River, and they found their way back to Cape-Sable," where they informed their fellow Frenchmen "of their cruel treatment."  In retaliation, Charles, in November 1633, soon after his return from France, struck the New English trading post at Machias in Maine.   He "pillaged it as a warning that his posts could not be molested with impunity," killing two New Englanders in the process.  Meanwhile, on 8 February 1631, thanks largely to Bernard Marot's positive report, King Louis XIII named the 38-year-old Charles "'governor and lieutenant-general of His Majesty's shore and the places which depend upon it.'"  Charles signed the commission the following July 16--his position and power securely established after a quarter of a century in the colony.19b 

The Treaty of St.-Germain-en-Laye, signed on 29 March 1632, finally ended hostilities between the two kingdoms.  As the Susa accord of three years earlier, the new agreement compelled the British to abandon their footholds in New France.  With Pentagouët now back in French hands, Richelieu's Company offered Claude La Tour command of the post he had founded a dozen years earlier.  Evidently the old adventurer had paid close attention to the turmoil around him and chose to hang up his boots.  He and his wife remained at Cap-Sable, and another La Tour associate took command at Pentagouët.  Nicolas Denys found Claude still living at the cape in 1635.  In his memoirs, Denys "reports him to have been the picture of domestic bliss, a genial host who waxed enthusiastic about his extensive garden."  The following year, Richelieu's Company granted Claude a seigneurie in "an area between Le Touquet and Cape Sable which the grant called 'the old house' (le vieux logis) at present-day Shag Harbour," Nova Scotia.  Claude died on his seigneurie "sometime after 1636, a turn-coat, an opportunist, a rogue perhaps, but one who lends colour to the early history of Acadia."  The old reprobate would have been in his late 60s, perhaps his early 70s, at the time of his passing.19c

French Acadia Resurrected

After Canada and La Cadie reverted to France, Cardinal Richelieu organized yet another expedition to buttress French presence in North America.  A scaled-down version of Roquemont's venture, it would be a substantial effort at settlement nonetheless.  "At long last," Naomi Griffith observes, "French expansion across the Atlantic was now to become something more than the probing efforts of a diverse group of individual entrepreneurs."  French fortified outposts finally would give way to actual settlement.  Significantly, French efforts in the region no longer would be burdened by English interference, at least not in the form of armed conflict directed from London.  Taking no chances, Cardinal Richelieu had hidden from English negotiators his grandiose plans for New France, but he probably need not have bothered.  King Charles was more interested in paying off his mutinous army and navy and securing financial independence from Parliament than blocking French settlement in North America.  Peace and the rest of his wife's dowry (four million crowns, having come due in 1626 but still unpaid in 1632) would serve his purposes well.21c 

Heading the new French venture would be Richelieu's cousin, Isaac de Razilly of Touraine, a naval commander and former associate of Samuel de Champlain.  Razilly was known to his fellow Frenchmen as Loup de Mer, the Sea Wolf, but he was a one-eyed wolf, having lost an eye in a siege at La Rochelle in 1625.  Despite his fierceness in battle, Razilly, like Champlain, was a humanist, one of a large circle of French intellectuals "who took the world for their province and regard all of God's children as their kin.  They were students of the world, with a passion for the pursuit of knowledge, as a way of understanding God's purposes."  In November 1626, while recovering from his wounds, Razilly submitted a report to his cousin on the state of French commerce.  In it, he rebutted the common notion among royal officials that international trade "was not vital to the country's welfare."  He also highlighted the importance of mastery of the seas and of colonization on a much larger scale than France had attempted over the previous half century.  He proposed the creation of a large trading company with at least 300,000 livres in capitalization--a suggestion that came to fruition the following year when Richelieu organized the Company of New France, of which Razilly became an associate.  After a treaty signed at Susa negotiated an end to the war with England in April 1629, Richelieu's Company chose Razilly to lead another expedition to New France to secure French claims in North America.  For two months, the expedition waited at La Rochelle for its commander to appear, but Richelieu sent Razilly to Morocco instead, where he took on the Moorish pirates.  The flotilla at La Rochelle sailed to New France in June under another Company associate, Captain Charles Daniel.21d 

A Knight of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem since age 18, Razilly was still a bachelor in his mid-40s when his cousin named him his lieutenant in New France in early 1632.  No doubt flattered by the appointment, Razilly nevertheless refused it.  He had served in naval campaigns in home waters, in the Mediterranean, and in other parts of the world, but not in New France.  He informed Richelieu that he preferred to serve as a ship's captain under Samuel de Champlain, whose experience in North America was second to none.  Richelieu, by then, had lost confidence in Champlain and rebuffed his cousin's suggestion.  In March, still under the thrall of his powerful cousin, Razilly signed a contract with Richelieu.  This prompted King Louis XIII in May to commission his Sea Wolf "Lieutenant-General of all of New France (Canada) and Governor of Acadia," though Richelieu's Company would direct the affairs of the resurrected colonies.  English aggression had stymied the Company's activities from its beginning, yet it was the Company that had supported Charles Daniel on Cape Breton after he drove away the Scots, and it was the Company that had sustained Charles La Tour in the face of the Scottish incursion at Port-Royal.  Having granted Guillaume de Caën a trade monopoly on the St. Lawrence in 1631, when the English still held Québec, Richelieu had no choice but to extend the Huguenot's monopoly there.  The King's ban on Protestants in New France was still in effect, so Guillaume's Catholic cousin, Émery de Caën, was named commandant at Québec and given the task of compelling the Kirkes to return the outpost.  As a result, Razilly would make his seat in Acadia, where he would establish an expanded French colony to support the Company's commercial ventures and where he would be closer to the region where he hoped "'to confine the English as closely as possible.'"  Against the cardinal's wishes, but with Razilly's encouragement, the Company's directors appointed, or rather re-appointed, Samuel de Champlain as acting governor in Canada.  It was Champlain who had established the Québec outpost in 1608 and governed it, without the title of governor, for most of its two dozen years, and it was he who had lured the first French family there, that of apothecary Louis Hébert, in 1617.  Champlain also had a long acquaintance with Acadia.  He had explored de Mons's concession extensively and spent three winters there before Port-Royal was abandoned.  Now, under the leadership of these intrepid men, settlement in New France would be "on a larger scale than ever before," and Richelieu's Company would place the two colonies "on a stronger material base than ever before."21 

But it would be easier said than done.  The larger picture of European settlement in North America was not a happy one for France.  "In this first quarter of the seventeenth century, while Spain, Portugal, England and even the Netherlands had acquired possessions in the far corners of the world in pursuit of their mercantilist policies, France still had no colonial economy and did not even have the means of acquiring one," Marcel Trudel contends.  "England had established her East India Company in 1600, and the Netherlands had had a similar company since 1602.  These companies embodied a system which, through close ties between company and state, assured riches for the merchant classes and power for the state through maritime commerce.  France, in comparison, still had only the seasonal fur trade of New France, which, moreover, she left to the exploitation of small private companies.  The little island of St Christophe in the West Indies, occupied in 1625, was her only other colonial possession."  The situation for France in North America was just as bleak.  In 1627, Trudel reminds us, "all that remained of Verrazano's New France were those regions that France had been labouring painfully to colonize for twenty years, Acadia and the St Lawrence, completely isolated one from the other, and totalling together some hundred habitants."  Only 72 Frenchmen lived at Québec in 1627, and only the Héberts and a kinsman remained when the English seized the outpost two years later.  No more than three dozen Frenchmen roamed the woods of La Cadie during the late 1620s, none of them with European wives.  In 1628, on the other hand, the Dutch could boast 270 colonists in New Netherland.  The English at Plymouth numbered 300 men, women, and children in 1629, and dozens more, including women and children, lived in the Scots settlement at Port-Royal.  Five years earlier, in 1624, a Virginia census had counted 1,275 Englishmen and 22 Africans in the James River valley, a number that had risen to at least 2,000 by 1627.  Massachusetts Bay would hold over a thousand Puritans by the end of 1630.  Even on far-northern Newfoundland, a colony established by Sir George Calvert, Lord Baltimore, at Ferryland in the early 1620s "was numerically as strong as all of New France" in 1627.  Moreover, the Spanish still clung to San Agústin in Florida, now in its sixth decade of existence.  France also had surrendered to England and Denmark exploration of the far northern regions beyond Hudson Bay. 

Despite efforts which began in La Cadie fully three years before the founding of Jamestown, France had fallen far behind in its peopling of North America.  Among the three major Atlantic empires--Spain, France, and England--only France "possessed a demographic advantage with a home population of twenty million in the sixteenth century, while Spain had six million and England only five million," notes Gilbert C. Din.  "France, however, never espoused large-scale overseas emigration of its citizenry, and French expatriates preferred European destinations, or even the West Indies, by tremendous margins over Canada's"--or Acadia's--"frozen wilderness."   This problem was only made worse by Richelieu's quest "to create a world empire for France."  "When the cardinal's thoughts turned to colonies in this period," one of Champlain's biographers reminds us, "he gave more attention to Guadeloupe than Quebec, more to Martinique than Acadia, more to North Africa than North America, more to the Indian Ocean than the Atlantic."  So Richelieu's subordinates in Canada and Acadia would be left to their own devices.21b 


Razilly's expedition of three ships for Acadia, one of them his own vessel, L'Espérance-en-Dieu, Hope in God, departed Auray in early July 1632 and arrived at La Hève on September 8 via Cap-Sable.  Aboard were 300 settlers, three gray-robed Capuchin missionaries, and supplies aplenty, all financed by Razilly's own trading company, the Launay-Razilly-Cordonnier, a subsidiary of Richelieu's Company.  Like Champlain in Canada, "Razilly made a particular effort to recruit families ... the hardest part of their task and the most vital to peopling of a colony.  French families showed great reluctance to emigrate, unlike those from Britain, Germany, and other European countries.  The anomaly of French attitudes toward emigration has never been explained.  With great effort, Razilly found twelve or fifteen French families for his first voyage ... not many, but enough to start a population growing."  In mid-December, after setting up the settlers at La Hève, until then just another fishing station on the Atlantic but now his new headquarters, Razilly sailed around to Port-Royal to take possession of the fortified settlement from Captain Forrester and the surviving Scots.  Three months before, on September 18, Forrester and his Scots had seriously complicated Razilly's efforts in restoring the colony to France.  Upon hearing of the French arrival at La Hève and refusing to accept the British retrocession, Forrester and two dozen of his men attacked La Tour's fort at the mouth of the St.-Jean and grossly mistreated the Frenchmen there.  Razilly found only 42 of the Scotsmen still in their fort, too few to put up an effective resistance against him.  Characteristically, Razilly did not repeat the acts of cruelty and degradation that Forrester had meted out at Fort Ste.-Marie.  After the Scots agreed to lay down their arms, Razilly paid them 15,000 livres for the food and munitions they were forced to leave for him at Port-Royal and hustled them aboard one of his vessels, the St.-Jehan, which returned them via France to England.  There the French captain dumped "them ashore among the sand dunes of the English seacoast in early February 1633."  After 18 years of neglect and British interference, French suzerainty in greater Acadia finally was restored.  Razilly then "ordered some of his colonists to take possession of the old French settlement" at Port-Royal "under the command of René Le Coq de la Saussaye, an old hand on the Acadian coast."  Good relations with the local Mi'kmaq soon were restored, and "a fur trade began to revive" there the following year.21a

Razilly next had to deal with Charles La Tour, who, as the King's original lieutenant-general, considered himself still master of all Acadia.  Moreover, La Tour enjoyed considerable influence with the local Indians as well as Company officials in France.  About the time of Razilly's arrival at La Hève but before the Scottish attack on his fort at St.-Jean, La Tour sailed to France--his first visit there in decades--to clarify his standing with King and Company.  He reached La Rochelle in early autumn of 1632, "arriving with a party of Indian warriors, French traders, and their mixed offspring," including his two younger daughters, completed business with the firm of Georges, Macain and Lomeron, long his agents in France, left his daughters with a female Huguenot relative named Saint-Hilaire, and returned to Acadia in 17 days to evaluate the damage to his St.-Jean fort before hurrying back to La Rochelle.  At Paris that winter, he and his entourage "made a great splash in the city," where they stayed at the home of court attorney Claude Pignault "on the rue Quincampoix in the financial district of Paris.  One street away on the rue St. Martin were the offices of the Hundred Associates," Richelieu's Company.  "There La Tour and Champlain," who was back in France to oversee the publication of one of his books, "worked together" and "'were sure to have renewed their acquaintance, spending absorbed hours talking over affairs in New France," to which each expected shortly to return.  In Paris, Charles also recruited his younger stepbrother, François de Goudart, to serve with him in Acadia; François older brother, Jacques de Goudart, sieur de Rainville, already was there, having been left in charge of the Cap-Sable outpost while Charles was in France.  Charles may even have met his future wife, Françoise-Marie Jacquelin, on his sojourn in Paris. The primary purpose of his visit, however, remained his business with the Company.  After Charles returned to Acadia in the spring of 1633, Razilly was compelled to abide by the agreements Charles had worked out with Company officials back in Paris.  At his own expense, La Tour would maintain his posts at Cap-Sable and on Rivière St.-Jean, as well as Machias in Maine, from which he and his men could pursue the fur and fishing trade; he also would retain the titles granted to him by Company and King.  Razilly would grant to him a half-share in the fur concession "from Canso to New Holland ('Flandre)."  Each would hold a key to the Company's warehouse at La Hève "in order to ensure a fair and equal division of the trade."  Razilly, in turn, would retain the "same privileges at La Tour's posts," where he would have the right to inspect all goods and wares used in the fur trade as well as the furs resulting from that trade before they were sent on to France.  In 1635, La Tour moved his headquarters from Cap-Sable to Rivière St.-Jean; father Claude remained at the cape with his wife and stepsons.  Razilly remained at La Hève, where he was determined to establish an agriculture-based settlement as well as an entrepôt for furs and codfish.  La Tour was interested primarily in the fur trade.  The forts at Cap-Sable and especially Rivière St.-Jean were well-placed bases from which to pursue his interests, but they had their agricultural components as well.  These compromises, suitable to the character of each of the principals, promised only good things for the colony.  By all accounts, Razilly "got on well" with La Tour, whose rights and titles were confirmed by the Company in January 1635.22

Razilly brought with him several lieutenants who also would play prominent roles in Acadian history.  That he could get along with men of such contrasting character said much about the character of Razilly himself.  Charles de Menou, sieur d’Aulnay de Charnisay, Razilly’s cousin and chief lieutenant, was only in his late 20s when he arrived at La Hève in 1632 as commander of L'Espérance-en-DieuD'Aulnay returned to France in L'Espérance-en-Dieu the following autumn with a valuable cargo of "beams, ship masts and beaver pelts to be sold in La Rochelle for the Company."  There, his arrogance and impetuosity managed to alienate at least one "civic magnate" before d'Aulnay returned to the colony.  Nicolas Denys de La Ronde, a native of Tours, also was a young man in his late 20s when he reached the colony with his older brother, Simon de La Trinité, age 32.  Simon at the time was even more accomplished than Nicolas, having served as "King's councillor and representative in civil matters at the salt store-house at Tours."  Like d'Aulnay, Nicolas Denys was a bachelor.  Brother Simon, on the other hand, had married at Tours in May 1628 and was the father of three children when he came to La Hève.  Razilly, as he had done with Charles La Tour, granted d'Aulnay and the Denyss concessions in the colony, continuing the New World modification of what in France was called the seigneurial system.22a 

D’Aulnay would direct the colony's principal agricultural effort at La Hève as well as the fur trade on the peninsula and along the Maine coast, where, from 1635, his men occupied Claude La Tour's old fort at Pentagouët.  As before, the agricultural component was secondary to the commercial one, "intended only to provide a supply base for the fur trade or the fishery," not "for colonization in the usual sense."  Nevertheless, as Nicolas Denys observed many years later, "'he [Razilly] had no other desire than to people this land, and every year he had brought here as many people as he possibly could for this purpose.'"  One of Razilly's biographers adds:  "In his letters to Richelieu, Razilly spoke in the most glowing terms of the land of Acadia and of the number of people then living and suffering in France who could dwell in comfort in this 'blessed land.'  'The soil,' he writes, 'is rich both on the surface and below; the sea abounds in fish that we are exporting to southern France.'"  Razilly established 40 allotments for the settlers at La Hève, and at least one successful wheat crop was reported there.  A certain sign that Razilly intended to colonize his base was the creation by the Capuchins of "the first boarding-school in New France," intended for the use of the colonists as well as the local Indians.22b 

Razilly and d'Aulnay chose to keep the agricultural settlement on the Atlantic side of the peninsula for several compelling reasons.  First, La Hève, with its excellent harbor, provided easier communication with France.  Nearby were the fisheries and also villages of friendly Mi'kmaq, who could help sustain the venture, in more ways than one, until it became self-sufficient.  Second, the soil at La Hève, derived from glacial drumlins, though not of the highest quality, was adequate to sustain a small agricultural community.  And then there was a characteristic of the Baie Française that seemed to preclude any sustainable agriculture along its shores.  Andrew Hill Clark explains:  "Around the Bay of Fundy and its various branches there are, roughly, some 120 square miles of salt marsh and associated bogs.  Its origin lies in the extraordinarily high tidal range of the Bay of Fundy area ... of thirty to forty feet at normal tides, and fifty feet or more at spring tides....  The ranges are still higher when gales are combined with spring tides...."--the highest recorded tides on the planet.   These amazing tides had been observed by de Mons and Champlain during their exploration of the bay three decades earlier and by other early explorers of the region, so this natural, and troubling, phenomenon would have been well known to Razilly and d'Aulnay as well.  To compensate for La Hève's more vulnerable location facing the Atlantic, Razilly "built a strong battery," which he dubbed Fort Ste.-Marie-de-Grâce, "on what is still called Fort Point," evidence that he intended to stay.22c   map

Nicolas Denys, a tireless entrepreneur, had little interest in agriculture other than as a source of sustenance for his various enterprises.  He took charge of the Acadian fisheries, a white oak lumbering enterprise at La Hève, and also shared in the fur trade.  Encouraged by Razilly, Denys opened a fishing post at Port Rossignol, just down the coast from La Hève, but disaster soon crippled his efforts.  Nicolas sent brother Simon to Oporto, Portugal, with a load of dried cod.  Unfortunately for the brothers, war had broken out in 1635 between France and Spain, and Portugal was still controlled by Spain.  The Spanish seized the shipment as well as the Denys' vessel and imprisoned Simon in Madrid.22d 

Razilly also faced a potential disaster of his own.  Despite the many supplies he brought from France in 1632, a fifth of his men--42 of 200--died at La Hève during the first year of settlement, most from inadequate housing and exposure than from scurvy.  Razilly promptly corrected the problem, and the second year at La Hève saw an improvement in the survival rate.  D'Aulnay, back from his venture to France, returned to the mother country in January 1633 to recruit more colonists and gather more supplies; amazingly, he was on his way back to La Hève by March 12.  More colonists, some of them recruited by Razilly's brother Claude and their partner Jean Ordonnier, came to La Hève in 1634:  58 men aboard the Catherine out of Auray, and a hundred more from La Rochelle to endure another winter in Acadia.  Meanwhile, Razilly "constructed a chapel for the Capuchin fathers and encouraged them to open the first boarding school in New France.  Children of both French colonists and Mi'kmaq families were invited to study together."  Razilly, like Champlain in Canada, did his best "to establish good relations with the Indians [and] encouraged them to settle close by."  The result was the creation, or more likely the augmentation, of a Métis, or mixed-blood, community that Razilly, like Champlain, did not discourage.  With its trading post and small farming community, La Hève was now, more than anything, a thriving fishing port.  More than 500 transient fishermen from dozens of fishing vessels riding at anchor in the settlement's spacious harbor came ashore during the summer months to interact with the colonists.  Still, Naomi Griffiths reminds us, "Settlement was not yet the establishment of families, whether with Europeans or Amerindian partners, and agriculture was a supplement to European supplies, not yet a means of permanent sustenance."  During its first few years, then, except in scale, Razilly's venture at La Hève was not much different from earlier efforts at Port-Royal.22e

And, of course, forces beyond Razilly's and the Company's control threatened the future of the Acadian venture.  By 1632, the English had established yet another colony along the wide swath of the North Atlantic seaboard—Massachusetts Bay.  The founders of this colony were dour, exceedingly righteous, extraordinarily hardworking Puritan dissidents whom the new English king, Charles I, was glad to see gone.  He granted them a charter in March 1629 to establish their "City upon a Hill."  A flotilla of five ships, including the Mayflower, with 300 men, women, and children aboard, left London in late April and early May and reached Massachusetts Bay that summer.  Boston, up the coast from the Separatist settlement at Plymouth, had a flawless harbor and thus every chance of permanence.  Other English settlements appeared at Wessagusett, now Weymouth; Merry Mount, now Quincy; and Naumkeag, now Salem, and were subsumed into the Massachusetts Bay colony after Boston was established in the spring of 1630, when a thousand more dissenters reached Massachusetts Bay under Suffolk magistrate John Winthrop.  With a population now of at least 2,000, New England was there to stay.  It was only a matter of time before these good Puritans clashed with their French neighbors up the coast.  Naomi Griffiths observes:  "Contact between the Europeans attempting to establish colonies on the northeastern seaboard of the American continent was inevitable and, given the way in which religious antagonisms were linked to national rivalries at that time, tended to be hostile more often than not.  The relationship between Acadia and Massachusetts was, from the beginning, one of inequality.  Massachusetts was always the more populous, in terms of European settlers, and the stronger, in terms of commercial activity, and it was also much more important to England than Acadia was to France.  From the beginning Massachusetts recognized the need to pay attention to Acadian affairs.  On 17 January 1633, John Winthrop, still governor of that colony, wrote in his diary 'that the French had bought the Scottish plantation near Cape Sable [sic], and that the fort and all the ammunition were delivered to them, and that the cardinal, having the managing thereof, had sent some companies already, and preparation was made to send some many more the next year and divers priests and Jesuits among them.'  Winthrop believed that the French 'were like to prove ill neighbors being Papists' and he set about strengthening the defences of Boston." 

Late that year, Massachusetts merchant Isaac Allerton sailed to Machias, between Pentagouët and Rivière Ste.-Croix, where Richard Vines of the Plymouth Company, one of Allerton's associates, had recently established a trading post.  Allerton's mission was to rescue the English traders La Tour had recently captured there and to reassert New English claims to the post.  Finding Machias abandoned and the New Englishmen gone, Allerton sailed on to Rivière St.-Jean, where he confronted La Tour and demanded full compensation for the company's loss.  La Tour of course refused.  When Allerton demanded to see La Tour's commission, the fiery Frenchman brandished his sword and informed the would-be-rescuer that English rights extended up the coast of Maine no farther than Pemaquid, between the Kennebec and the Penobscot.  The following year, however, La Tour astonished Winthrop and his fellow Englishmen by assisting immigrants who had been unceremoniously dumped by an English vessel on the shore near the mouth of Rivière St.-Jean.  The passengers had been left "'with nothing but a small shallop'" to take them down the coast and across "'a dangerous bay of 12 leagues....'"  La Tour, ever the French gentleman "when not directly challenged or afronted," treated the stranded Englishmen "with 'great courtesy' and insisted on sending them on in his own pinnance[sic]" to improve their chances of reaching Boston. 

By late summer of 1635, Razilly felt secure enough to send d'Aulnay to seize the fort at Pentagouët, at the mouth of the Penobscot.  The La Tours had built it in the early 1620s, but Separatists from Plymouth, now under Thomas Willet, had occupied it since 1626.  D'Aulnay employed both force and treachery to drive the New Englanders away.  Soon afterwards, he drove off two ships full of Separatists who tried to retake the fort.  This left Pentagouët, Machias, Île Ste.-Croix, and Rivière St.-Jean squarely in French hands … for now.24

A more immediate problem, one that had plagued the colony from its beginnings, arose at the old fishing post of Canso, up the coast from La Hève.  Razilly had sent a lieutenant, Nicolas Le Creux du Breuil, to construct a stockade, Fort St.-François, to protect Company interests at Canso.  Meanwhile, back in France, Cardinal Richelieu had granted fisherman Jean Thomas permission to engage in cod fishing on the Grand Bank, but, respecting Razilly's concession in the region, forbade Thomas from engaging in trade with the Indians.  In 1635, ignoring the chief minister's restrictions, Thomas set up his own operation near Canso and began a lucrative fur trade with the Mi'kmaq, who could care less about European points of law.  Even worse, "Thomas incited the Indians through talk and plying them with wine to attack and pillage the fort," which they did at the end of July.  Le Creux received two sword wounds in the encounter.  Hearing of the incident from the wounded Le Creux, Razilly acted swiftly.  He sent lieutenant Bernard Marot to Canso to capture Thomas and bring him to La Hève for judgment.  Holding Thomas in confinement, Razilly conducted two inquiries, in which he grilled members of Thomas's crew and residents of Canso about the fisherman's activities.  Adjudged guilty, Thomas was hustled back to France, arraigned before the admiralty court at La Rochelle by Le Creux and imprisoned there.  In September, Thomas, who probably had friends at court, secured an early release on bail.  Wisely, he did not return to Acadia.24a

Despite his title and his high position in the Company, Razilly was faced with other conflicting claims.  To the south, somewhere below Pentagouët, lay the contested boundary with New England.  A separate Company entity, Charles Daniel's, now under Pierre Desportes de Lignères, still existed on Cape Breton Island, a region that Richelieu had granted to Razilly.  Also on Cape Breton Island was a new Company post, Fort St.-Pierre, standing at the head of an inlet that led to the narrow peninsula south of Bras d'Or, with direct access to Canso.  And then there was Canada.  It was generally understood that Canadian interests ran to the western edge of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, but the precise boundary between Canada and Acadia had not been established.  Was the Company post on Île Miscou on the south shore of the Baie des Chaleurs--built at the behest of Guillaume de Caën in 1626, burned by the English, rebuilt by Champlain, and commanded now by Champlain associate Thierry Desdames--part of Acadia?  And what of Gaspésie at the western edge of the Gulf of St. Lawrence?  Razilly's solution was to enforce the southern boundary between New France and New England with firmness and vigor, as he had done with Allerton, but to handle conflicting French interests in the region--those of Daniel and Desportes de Lignères on Cape Breton; La Tour at Cap-Sable, Rivière St.-Jean, and Machias; Desdames at Île Miscou; and Champlain at Québec--with circumspection.24b

Razilly took the same approach with his most important subordinates.  Certainly he was aware that his second in command, cousin Charles d'Aulnay, "was the complete opposite" of Charles La Tour, not only in personality, but also in their relationship to Acadia.  La Tour, one might say, was the first "Acadian," having spent most of his life in the colony.  In his early 40s in 1635, he had lived in the region since the age of 14.  D'Aulnay and Nicolas Denys, both a decade younger than La Tour, were, like Razilly, new to the colony.  La Tour had married a native woman and was father of three daughters, while d'Aulnay and Nicolas Denys were still bachelors in 1635.  D'Aulnay had sprung from French nobility, while La Tour and the Denyss had been born to families of lower social rank.  While Razilly lived, the simmering conflicts between these proud men remained below the surface. 

Unfortunately for the colony, on 2 July 1636, at La Hève, Razilly died suddenly of natural causes.  Again, French Acadia was thrown into confusion.  Isaac de Razilly was age 48 when he died.  He had never married, so his brother, Claude de Launay-Rasilly, inherited his shares in the family's trading company and in Richelieu's Company of New France.  To the chagrin of La Tour and the Denyss, Claude de Launay-Rasilly, who chose to remain in France, ignored brother Isaac's wishes and named cousin Charles d’Aulnay as his "lieutenant" in Acadia.  La Tour nevertheless felt secure in his titles and possessions, which the Company had reaffirmed in 1635.  Nicolas Denys hoped to remain in Acadia and develop his fisheries as well as the fur and lumber trades on his concessions along the Atlantic.25 

Without Razilly's intelligent leadership, however, it did not take long for his chief associates to come to blows.  In September 1637, Nicolas Denys paid for the passage of Bernard Bugaret dit Saint-Martin of Bordeaux, who had first come to the colony aboard the St.-Jehan in early 1636.  Denys also sent over Bugaret's wife and "'ten men that he could bring with him to New France.'"  Bugaret and his men took up residence at Mirliguèche, up the coast between La Hève and Chebouctou, a sure sign that Denys was intent on expanding his interests in the colony.  In the first round of conflict between Razilly's former associates, d'Aulnay refused to allow Denys to export his timber on Razilly's ships.  When Denys attempted to hire a ship out of Boston to ship his timber back to France, d'Aulnay accused one of Denys's associates of treating with the English, which, to him, was an act of treason, and slapped him in irons.  Naomi Griffiths observes:  "It was obvious that d'Aulnay intended to establish his authority as the sole legitimate authority in the colony; he would rather stand the financial loss of ships sailing in ballast than aid someone who claimed rights, both of fishing and settlement, obtained without his favour."  Frustrated by d'Aulnay's enmity, Denys returned to La Rochelle to resume his duties with the Company and did not return to Acadia until the following decade.  During his sojourn in France, Nicolas finally married and began a family of his own.25a  


Soon after Razilly's death, d’Aulnay moved the colony's major agricultural settlement from La Hève to Port-Royal, where he believed there was more arable land to build up a greater base of supply.  Port-Royal also stood closer to a primary source of furs in the region.  By the time of the move, the number of settlers at La Hève had fallen to less than a hundred.  At Port-Royal, which he believed was squarely in his sphere of control, d'Aulnay resettled most of the transplanted colonists "on individual allotments on which they could contemplate some security of future..."  The hand full of settlers who remained at La Hève most likely had taken Indian wives from local villages and chose to remain with their Métis families near Mi'kmaq relatives. 

D'Aulnay chose a different location for his headquarters at Port-Royal than the site occupied by de Mons and Poutrincourt in earlier days.  The old fort or habitation was located on the north shore of the basin opposite Goat Island.  Probably noting the limited potential for agriculture there, D'Aulnay chose a site eight miles farther up, or east, of the old habitation in a bend on the south side of the main river channel that flows into the basin, at the present site of Annapolis Royal, a location much closer to the Scots fort of 1629-32 than to the old French habitation of 1605.  The French called the river that flows into the basin Rivière-au-Dauphin and also Rivière Port-Royal, today's Annapolis River.26a 

Despite the claims of some scholars, genealogical records reveal that only two of the original male colonists at La Hève established lasting family lines in the colony, and they did so no earlier than the 1640s, when French families already were established at Port-Royal.  Germain Doucet, sieur de La Verdure, of Couperans or Conflans en Brie, one of Razilly's lieutenants, was married and the father of two or three children when he came to Acadia in 1632, but he may not have brought his family to the colony until later in the decade.  Sieur Doucet remarried at Port-Royal in c1654, probably in his 60s.  Pierre Comeau, a cooper, was 34 years old and still a bachelor when he came to Acadia with Razilly.  He did not marry until c1649, when he was 51 years old.26

While d'Aulnay was contemplating resettlement, the ship St.-Jehan, having left La Rochelle on the first of April 1636, arrived at La Hève with 78 passengers and 18 crewmen.  Nicolas Denys, representing the Company, registered the ship's passenger roll on May 6.  Aboard were the first recorded French families who would remain in Acadia.  "With this ship," Naomi Griffiths asserts, "Acadia began a slow shift from being primarily a matter of explorers and traders, of men, to a colony of permanent settlers, including women and children."  However, "While the presence of European women is a signal that settlement was seriously contemplated, there were yet so few of them in this group of migrants that they did not immediately affect the status of Acadia as basically a colony of European transients."  The passengers aboard the St.-Jehan included 35-year-old farmer Pierre Martin of St.-Germain de Bourgueil in the Loire valley, his wife Catherine Vigneau, and sons Étienne age 5, Pierre, fils, age 4, and Urbain age 2; Guillaume Trahan, also age 35, an edge-tool maker from Montreuil-Bellay in Anjou but living at Bourgueil when he left France, his wife Françoise Corbineau, two daughters, Jeanne age 7, and a younger daughter whose name and age have been lost to history, as well as a valet; and Isaac Pesseley, a merchant from Piney, Champagne, who may have sailed with wife Barbe Bajolet, age 28, and daughter Marguerite, age 3.  Also aboard the Mayflower of Acadia was Company associate Nicolas Le Creux du Breuil, who, while commanding Fort St.-François at Canso, had been wounded in a skirmish there in late July 1635.  With Le Creux were several indentured workers, as well as his family; wife Anne Motin was accompanied by her brothers Claude and Jehan, "the latter probably a priest," and her 21-year-old sister Jeanne.  The Motins were children of Louis Motin, sieur de Courcelles, another associate of Isaac de Razilly and Charles d'Aulnay and controller of the salt stores "at Mont St. Vincent in the Charlovais."  Two years after her arrival in the colony, Jeanne would marry the sieur d'Aulnay and, 15 years after that, Charles La Tour.  Also aboard the St.-Jehan were master salt-maker Jehan Sandre or Sandry, also called Jean Cendre dit Causinier, his wife Perrine Baudry, and "a small number" of other sauniers, including Pierre Gaborit of Tasdon, recruited by Claude de Launay-Rasilly.27a

According to genealogist Bona Arsenault, several other settlers who would create families in Acadia arrived in c1636:  Jean Gaudet, perhaps from Martaizé near Loudun at the southern edge of the Loire valley in northern Poitou, would have been a 61-year-old widower that year.  With him would have been three children--Françoise, age 13, Denis, age 11, and Marie, age 3.  Antoine Bourg, a farmer perhaps also from Martaizé, would have been a bachelor in his late 20s.  Vincent Brun, perhaps from La Chaussée on the Loire near Blois, was another bachelor in his 20s.  Like Bourg, he had been hired with other men from the Poitou region "on a five-year contract as land clearers and laborers."  François Gautrot, perhaps from Martaizé, age 23 in 1636, would have come with his wife Marie, whose family name has been lost to history.  Although their names do not appear on the role of the St.-Jehan or any other ship that reached the colony, the Gaudets and Gautrots, Bourg and Brun, certainly came to Acadia during the early years of d'Aulnay's administration.27b 

These sturdy Frenchmen, recruited by the Company to enhance the colony's agricultural efforts, also joined d'Aulnay at Port-Royal.  Sadly, Pierre Martin's sons Étienne and Urbain died in c1636, soon after the family settled at Port-Royal--among the first recorded French children to die in the colony.  By most accounts, however, Pierre Martin's fourth and youngest son Mathieu, born at Port-Royal in c1639, was "the first Frenchman born in Acadia."27

Civil War and the Death of d'Aulnay

The move to Port-Royal put d’Aulnay’s new headquarters perilously close to La Tour’s seat at Rivière St.-Jean.  Moreover, La Tour, who still considered himself heir, or at least caretaker, of the Poutrincourt family's seigneurial rights in the colony, claimed Port-Royal as part of his personal domain.  This d'Aulnay refused to accept.  Having vanquished Denys, d'Aulnay did what he could to coax the Company and the King's ministers into granting him control of all of Acadia.  Assisted by Claude de Rasilly and certainly by his own father, influential nobleman René de Menou de Charnizay, former councilor of state under Louis XIII, d'Aulnay's efforts bore fruit.  On 10 February 1638, the Company of New France, in the name of King Louis XIII, recognized d'Aulnay as Razilly's successor by granting him the title "lieutenant general in Acadia with authority over Port-Royal and La Hève," but the decree "enjoined him to maintain a good understanding with La Tour."  Meanwhile, La Tour’s powerful friends in Paris acquired for him the same title, lieutenant-general of Acadia, with authority over his own domains.  Again, the amazing insouciance of the French court over affairs in the colonies only contributed to the chaos there.  The ministers then "made an unsuccessful attempt to divide all of Acadia west of Canseau (Canso) between" d'Aulnay and La Tour.  "In their ignorance," one of La Tour's biographers asserts, "Louis XIII's ministers gave d'Aulnay the land lying north of the Bay of Fundy," including Pentagouët and Rivière St.-Jean, "but not Fort Sainte-Marie, and La Tour the peninsula part of Acadia but not Port-Royal.  This simply made matters worse and the struggle continued."  The conflict between the rivals became so intense, in fact, that a virtual civil war erupted in Acadia which lasted for nearly a decade.28

In 1638, his year of triumph, d'Aulnay, then age 34, married 23-year-old Jeanne Motin, who had come to the colony two years earlier on the St.-Jehan, and they set up a household in his headquarters at Port-Royal.  Here was a sure sign that d'Aulnay would not return to France, as La Tour had hoped, but intended to remain in Acadia.  Two years later, in his fort at Cap-Sable, Charles La Tour, age 47, remarried to François-Marie, 38-year-old daughter of French physician Jacques Jacquelin, "who was connected to La Rochelle commercial interests."  Charles likely had met her on his trip to France eight years earlier and contracted the marriage through his trusted agent, Guillaume Desjardins, sieur de Saint-Val, a naval captain.  In mid-June 1640, soon after their marriage, Charles took his bride to Rivière St.-Jean to set up a household of his own at Fort Ste.-Marie.28e

In the months between d'Aulnay's and La Tour's marriages, their rivalry turned violent.  According to d'Aulnay and his apologists, Indians friendly to La Tour, likely Maliseet, perhaps from the village lying just across the harbor from La Tour's Fort Ste.-Marie, attacked a boat carrying a Capuchin friar and two of d'Aulnay's traders--another source says a single soldier---on Rivière St.-Jean.  The Indians killed the traders and stole their merchandise but allowed the priest to escape.  Sometime later, d'Aulnay insisted, he sent nine of his soldiers to his outpost at Pentagouët, which he believed was threatened by Englishmen from Plymouth who had been forced by treaty to surrender the post eight years earlier.  Somehow La Tour got word of the reinforcement and captured d'Aulnay's men on their way down the coast.  According to one account, La Tour "carried them to Fort St.-Jean and ... treated  them like slaves."  But accusations such as these can cut both ways:  "According to a complaint filed later by La Tour's Récollets," a La Tour biographer tells us, "d'Aulnay also committed acts of violence against La Tour, although the document describing them has never been found."28f 

Shortly after La Tour's remarriage, the rivalry heated up considerably.  From the early 1630s, Razilly and La Tour had shared in the profits and the expenses of the colony's fur trade.  As a result, the two men met often at La Hève so that La Tour could inspect his share of the furs and the supplies that were necessary to acquire them.  La Tour rightly assumed that he could go to d'Aulnay's headquarters at Port-Royal to conduct his periodic inspections, as in the days of Razilly at La Hève.  That he did so in the late 1630s, following Razilly's death, is not recorded.  Early in July 1640, however, he resolved to make an inspection.  He and his entourage, which included his wife, agent Desjardins, and Jacques Jamin, captain of the ship L'Amity de la Rochelle, which had brought Françoise-Marie to Acadia earlier in the year, crossed the Baie Française to Port-Royal in two armed pinnaces.  D'Aulnay was not at Port-Royal at the time, and the officer in charge had been instructed by d'Aulnay to refuse La Tour access to the Company warehouse.  La Tour considered this an insult to his dignity as well as a threat to his economic interests.  He remained anchored for the night before Port-Royal, fussing and fuming in vain.  The following morning, he ordered his vessels to pull up anchor and head back towards the Gut for their return across the bay.  Two sails suddenly appeared at the lower end of the basin, and the conflict between the lieutenant-generals erupted into warfare.28a 

Having learned, again, that Plymouth traders were planning to recapture the post at Pentagouët, d'Aulnay took two ships--the Notre Dame under Jacques LeBoeuf and the Saint-François under Bernard Marot, a former associate of Charles La Tour but now La Tour's enemy--filled them with men and provisions, and hurried down to coast to reinforce the outpost, which he did successfully.  D'Aulnay then headed back up the coast to Port-Royal.  After clearing the Gut and entering the lower basin, his flotilla came upon La Tour's two armed pinnaces.  Both claimed that the other fired the first shot in the short, bloody encounter that followed.  La Tour's gunners managed to dismast one of d'Aulnay's vessels and kill several of his men, but La Tour's lieutenant, Jacques Jamin, fell in the first exchange of fire.  Fighting in waters well known to him, and employing his experience as a naval commander, d'Aulnay, in his remaining vessel, outmaneuvered La Tour's pinnaces and drove them into the shallows near one of the islands of the lower basin.  La Tour had no choice but to surrender.  D'Aulnay hustled him, his bride, and agent Desjardins to the fort at Port-Royal, where he held them as prisoners.  Using the full power of his position, d'Aulnay ordered an immediate inquiry, "presided over by Mathieu Capon, clerk and registrar," into La Tour's actions.  Three of the witnesses who testified against La Tour on July 14 were Germain Doucet, Isaac Pesseley, and Guillaume Trahan, all stalwarts of the small Port-Royal community.  D'Aulnay extracted a written promise from La Tour and his associates to keep the peace.  Upon the urging of a Capuchin friar, d'Aulnay then "set them all at liberty," and La Tour and his wife returned to their fort.  D'Aulnay now held the upper hand, but Charles La Tour was no Nicolas Denys; he refused to go away peacefully.  Nor was d'Aulnay the sort of leader to underestimate a dangerous enemy.  He promptly informed his associates in Paris of his troubles with Charles La Tour.28d

Frustrated in his efforts to drive d'Aulnay from Acadia, a desperate La Tour sent agent Desjardins back to La Rochelle to stir up trouble against his rival.  Desjardins coaxed Jacques Jamin's widow to press charges of murder against d'Aulnay and his officers.  When d'Aulnay associate Jacques LeBoeuf arrived in port with the Saint-François, he was promptly arrested and his cargo of furs impounded.  In the end, the Jamin case lingered in the courts for years, during which d'Aulnay was accused of defrauding the Company as well as engaging in heavy-handed violence against La Tour and other colonists.  "But although these disclosures would confirm the Company in its mistrust of him," one of La Tour's biographers notes, "the effect on d'Aulnay would be negligible," such was his influence at court.  In the spring of 1642, Desjardins managed to send a re-supply to Rivière St.-Jean, along with 26 engagés, all skilled tradesmen, pledged to serve La Tour for three years.  La Tour, meanwhile, took a nod from his late father and crossed into a place his fellow Frenchmen would have considered treason.  He urged Desjardins, along with his Huguenot merchant friends, to seek an alliance with the Puritans at Boston, who alone could provide him the necessary means to drive d'Aulnay from the colony.  La Tour's timing in this dangerous ploy could not have been better.  Naomi Griffiths points out that, after the skirmishes along the Maine coast in the early 1630s, "as Massachusetts strengthened and the possibility of a major military challenge from Acadia, diminished, 'anti-Catholicism became less intense' and while 'prejudice remained ... it was never strong enough to preclude commercial or diplomatic relations.'"  In early summer 1642, La Tour sent to Boston Nicolas Gargot de La Rochette, later called Jambe de Bois, or Peg-leg, scion of a Huguenot family, to solicit "for the right to trade and to recruit mercenaries" for the fight against d'Aulnay.  The Puritans leaders agreed to trade with La Tour, but they declined to assist him any further in his struggle against d'Aulnay.28b

Meanwhile, d'Aulnay's father, "from his house in Rue St. Germain," pushed his son's case against La Tour at court, especially with cousin Richelieu.  Having been provided d'Aulnay's version of the clash with La Tour, at the end of January 1641 the King's council ordered the arrest of Desjardins and the seizure of his trade goods, revoked La Tour’s concessions in Acadia, and summoned him to Paris to answer charges against his conduct.  At the end of February, Richelieu twisted the knife in favor of his kinsman.  He revoked La Tour's commission as governor, authorized d'Aulnay to seize La Tour's holdings and "put his forts into the hands of faithful persons devoted to the King's service."  Typically, Richelieu gave d'Aulnay only a half dozen men to help him do it.  That summer, upon receiving his cousin's dictum, d'Aulnay found enough men to move against the fort at Cap-Sable, which La Tour could not defend.  Typically, d'Aulnay exceeded the King's orders by pillaging and burning Fort St.-Louis, including the Récollet church and monastery there, but he did not possess the force to move against St.-Jean, which La Tour was busily strengthening.  Determined to finish off his rival once and for all, d'Aulnay hurried to France that autumn to shore up his hold on the colony.  Claude de Launay-Rasilly had been dragged into the Jamin lawsuit and saw no chance of recuperating any of his losses in Acadia; on 16 January and 19 February 1642, Claude transferred his rights in Acadia to d'Aulnay "for the paltry sum of 14,000 livres, payable in seven years at the rate of 2,000 livres a year," and essentially washed his hands of the place.  D'Aulnay also strengthened his relations with the Capuchins, who had extensive holdings in Acadia granted to them by Richelieu.  Some of them, however, including Father Pacifique de Provins, head of the Port-Royal mission, had complained about d'Aulnay's heavy-handed behavior, and four of them had been recalled to France.  The astute Father Vincent de Paris, a fellow Capuchin recalled, "vainly tried to convince the council that d'Aulnay was a hypocrite who spoke one way while acting another."  No matter, with the assistance of Father Pascal de Troyes, d'Aulnay convinced the other Capuchin fathers to name him their Company administrator in the colony.  Noting Desjardins's recent re-supply of Fort Ste.-Marie, d'Aulnay secured from cousin Richelieu and the King's council a proscription on trade with Charles La Tour, the violation of which would result in "severe corporal punishment."  Most significantly for the future of the colony, d'Aulnay established a financial partnership with Emmanuel Le Borgne, sieur du Coudray, a wealthy La Rochelle merchant born in Calais "who became at the same time the man responsible for fitting out [d'Aulnay's] ships, his banker, and his business agent."  Amazingly, during his months in France, d'Aulnay found the time to visit "the de Menou properties in Touraine to recruit families who would join the other colonists brought out by Razilly, now well established at Port Royal."28c

His mission complete, d'Aulnay departed France in mid-May 1642 aboard Le Saint-Hélie with kinsman Martin Le Godelier.  With them were three other ships he had leased from Le Borgne, including the 200-ton Vierge, which was heavily armed.   Back in Acadia by the middle of August, d'Aulnay stood before the St.-Jean fort and "despatched three gentlemen and four sailors" to present the King's summons to his nemesis.  Predictably, La Tour lost his temper, crumpled up the order in front of the messengers, and imprisoned them in his dungeon for "above a year."  D'Aulnay hurried back to France to inform the court of La Tour's refusal to obey the King's orders.  By then, the embargo against La Tour was taking its toll.  In early October, desperate to sell his furs and acquire needed supplies, he sent Lestang with 14 men to Boston to negotiate a deal with Governor Winthrop.  La Tour "again asked for assistance against d'Aulnay and the opportunity to trade with New England."  Again, the New English were eager to trade with La Tour but refused to provide direct assistance against d'Aulnay.  Lestang and his men escorted a Boston pinnace back up the coast.  The resulting trade gave La Tour some relief, but d'Aulnay was soon on to him.  On their trip back down the coast to Boston, the crew of the pinnace stopped at Pemiquid, where d'Aulnay was on a visit.  Upon learning of their recent activity, d'Aulnay sent a firmly-worded letter to Winthrop, threatening to capture any English vessel that traded with La Tour.  He then ordered the Vierge and several other vessels to blockade Rivière St.-Jean.  Hypocritically, d'Aulnay employed at least one English pinnace of 24 tons, captained by a pilot named Peter Mutton, to ferry merchandise to and from his various posts from La Hève to Pentagouët, to fish for cod to sustain the post at Port-Royal, and to join the Vierge in front of the St.-Jean.28g

Shortly after tearing up the King's summons and imprisoning d'Aulnay's emissaries, La Tour saw no choice but to employ his wife's considerable charms in breaking the embargo against him.  Carrying La Tour's lengthy appeal to the Company's directors, many of whom did not care for d'Aulnay, as well as a deposition penned by the Récollet fathers condemning the governor's violent actions, she left the St.-Jean fort in September, ahead of d'Aulnay's blockade, and made it safely to La Rochelle, where she stayed with Desjardins.  Momentous changes were occurring in France:  Richelieu was dying and would breathe his last on December 4, followed five months later by King Louis XIII, who died on 14 May 1643; he was only 42 years old.  Louis XIV was only four years old when his father died; Queen Anne of Austria became the boy King's regent, but she deferred to her chief minister, Richelieu's successor, Cardinal Guilio Raimondo Mazzarino, her spiritual mentor, known by his French name, Jules Mazarin.  Richelieu's nephew, Armand de Maillé, duc de Fronsac, Vice-Admiral and Grand Prior of France, succeeded his uncle as head of commerce and navigation, which included supervision of the Company of New France.  Françoise-Marie, with the help of Desjardins, coaxed the Grand Prior into sending an armed supply ship, the 120-ton St.-Clément, under Desjardin's brother-in-law, Étienne de Mourron, to succor La Tour at Fort Ste.-Marie.  The ship departed La Rochelle in April 1643, on the eve of the King's death, with Madame La Tour aboard.  She carried a letter from Company associates addressed to her husband "describing several new schemes of d'Aulnay's with sound advice on how to foil them."  The King's council, meanwhile, named d’Aulnay "Governor and Lieutenant-General of the entire coast of Acadia from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Virginia," removing La Tour, on paper at least, from any authority in Acadia.  Hearing of La Tour’s refusal to appear before them, the King's council authorized d’Aulnay to seize him and force his return.  In March, d'Aulnay's ships dismasted and captured a New English vessel under "a certain Captain Bailly," who had tried to elude the blockade and re-supply La Tour.  Perhaps La Tour was vulnerable now to direct attack.  Soon after Bailly's blunder, d'Aulnay "landed cannons and men for an attempt on the fort," but La Tour's return fire drove them back to their ships.28h 

The St.-Clément did not reach Acadian waters until late May.  De Mourron eluded d'Aulnay's blockaders, took shelter up the coast, and, under cover of darkness, sent a chaloupe ashore carrying seven men, who made their way overland to La Tour's fort.  Heartened by his wife's successful mission, La Tour turned to the New English once again, but this time he would go to them in person.  Under cover of darkness, he and some of his men, including two Récollet friars, slipped past d'Aulnay's blockade in a chaloupe and rendezvoused with the St.-ClémentLa Tour enjoyed "an emotional reunion with his wife."   Happy to find an old friend in command of the vessel, La Tour also found aboard the St.-Clément 140 passengers and crew, both Catholics and Huguenots, 45 of them engagés from France and Switzerland pledged to serve La Tour for two and three years.  La Tour coaxed de Mourron into sailing on to Boston, which they reached on June 12.28i 

England also was undergoing dramatic change during the early 1640s:  civil war erupted in 1642 between King Charles I and his Parliament.  By the following year, the war "had not much affected New England, although New Englanders were continually apprehensive that it might.  Most of the colony's leaders had emigrated because of their opposition to the royal political and religious policies and naturally favored the Parliament cause."  Happily for them, they were at peace with the local Indians as well as the French, and their commerce was rebounding after years of stagnation.  In May, New English leaders from Plymouth, Connecticut, New Haven, and Massachusetts Bay had formed an impromptu confederacy "for mutual protection."  One suspects that Charles La Tour understood the nuances of English politics and religion when he came to call at Boston on that late spring day.  Once he was ensconced in Major Edward Gibbons's townhouse, where Lestang had stayed the autumn before, La Tour restricted his men's access to the city, allowing them "to come ashore for exercise and recreation, but only in small parties so as not to afright the women."  He told the two Récollet friars who had come along that they were allowed into the city only "to confer with John Cotton (Boston's chief authority on the scriptures) and other elders," who enjoyed discussing theology with the learned Franciscans.  There is no record of the Récollets objecting to La Tour attending divine services in the city's "austere Meeting House, formally escorted by the governor and an honour guard of halberds and musketeers."  Madame La Tour also attended divine services, sitting on the women's side of the Meeting House between the governor's wife, Margaret Winthrop, and her hostess, Margaret Gibbons.  Evidently the Puritans considered Françoise-Marie to be a devout Protestant, an impression husband Charles sought to encourage.  As to Charles's own religious sentiments, the Puritans believed that, despite his claim to be a Protestant like them, he likely remained a devout Roman Catholic and therefore could not be fully trusted.  "Had he not two priests with him?" many of them asked.  Meanwhile, the wily Frenchman wasted no time pressing his case, not only with Governor Winthrop in private conversations, but also before the Boston council, where he and de Mourron presented pertinent papers, including indictments against d'Aulnay.  Again, the Boston magistrates refused to grant La Tour "official assistance without the approval of other members of the new colonial federation," but they saw "no reason why he should not make private arrangements to hire ships and men" for his struggle against d'Aulnay.  By mortgaging his remaining property--the fort at St.-Jean--to shipbuilder-turned-merchant Thomas Hawkins and Major Edward Gibbons, La Tour was able to hire four armed vessels--the 100-ton Seabridge, the Increase, the Philip and Mary, and the Greyhound, 38 cannon in all--and their captains and crew, for a foray against d'Aulnay.  Towards the end of the month-long visit, however, even this compromise nearly came unraveled.  As word spread through New England of the Frenchmen's sojourn in Boston, protests came in from Salem, Ipswich, Essex, and other settlements about treating with Papists and jeopardizing the peace with "'Mounsieur Dony'" and his confederates.  Winthrop and Gibbons nevertheless held firm in the Boston council, and La Tour secured his ships, captains, and crew.29 

On 14 July 1643, 300 New Englishmen, led by Thomas Hawkins, left Boston with La Tour and the St.-Clément to raise d'Aulnay's blockade and arrived at the mouth of Rivière St.-Jean during the first week of August.  In the face of such opposition, d'Aulnay's ships withdrew to Port-Royal, and La Tour and his five vessels followed.  La Tour sent a boat ashore with a New-English envoy who could speak French well enough to communicate.  The New Englishman presented letters from Winthrop and Hawkins as well as La Tour that "formally requested damages for the destruction" of the Cap-Sable fort, but d'Aulnay would not to budge.  He refused to open La Tour's letter "on the grounds that it omitted to salute him properly as lieutenant-general" but responded to the ones from Winthrop and Hawkins.  Holding the messenger blindfolded for "six or seven hours," he exhorted his men to strengthen the fort's walls and ramparts, but the structure could not be made sound enough to resist an attack from so large a force.  While the friars urged the settlers inside the fort to fight these "infidels and heretics," the women "cried pitifully," and d'Aulnay resolved to find other shelter for himself and some of his men.  Impatient with d'Aulnay's delaying tactics, La Tour ordered an attack on the post, placing Hawkins in a quandary:  it was peacetime, and he had come along only to help raise the blockade and secure La Tour's property.  The New Englishman refused to attack Port-Royal, but not all of his men were as scrupulous as their commander.  While Hawkins and La Tour discussed the matter, d'Aulnay and 20 of his men abandoned the fort and retreated to a mill on a nearby river, perhaps the same structure that Poutrincourt had built for the colony 37 years earlier.  La Tour and his men, with 30 Puritan volunteers, attacked the mill, "'wounded several men, killed three others and took one captive,'" but d'Aulnay and most of his men escaped.  In the foray, La Tour's men "'killed a quantity of livestock and took a ship loaded with furs, powder and food'" as booty.  After burning the mill and a field of standing corn, La Tour ordered his men to return to their vessels for the voyage back to St.-Jean.  One suspects that Hawkins reminded the New Englanders who had joined in the fight that they had "broken their orders and compromised their colony" by helping these Frenchmen strike their enemy.  La Tour's luck held out on the voyage home.  While crossing the bay, his flotilla came upon Peter Mutton's pinnace making its way up the coast.  The victorious raiders "divided up Mutton's cargo, including four hundred moose skins and four hundred beaver pelts.  The pinnace and one-third of the furs went to La Tour--small compensation, he said, for all the goods of his that d'Aulnay had unjustly taken--one-third to the ship owners, the rest to the men."29a 

La Tour and his flotilla returned to Rivière St.-Jean on August 16.  The New English vessels remained to fulfill their two-month contract.  One of the crews negotiated the reversing falls at the mouth of the river and sailed 20 leagues up to bring back a load of "surface coal" to Fort Ste.-Marie.  Another transported marble from a nearby quarry to provide lime for the fort's walls and gardens.  The New Englanders returned to Boston in early autumn, "not a man missing or sick," but some of them suffered Governor Winthrop's wrath for their actions at Port-Royal.  In September, La Tour sent the St.-Clément back to France with Françoise-Marie aboard.  She had saved him before, and she would try to save him again, this time before the new French court led by Cardinal Mazarin.  D'Aulnay, meanwhile, also resolved to end the conflict.  After rebuilding the fort at Port-Royal, he struck back at La Tour, this time with words, not bullets.  After gathering statements from the Capuchins and other supporters attesting to the treachery of Charles La Tour, he returned to France in late October "to request further help."29b 

D'Aulnay's efforts paid off.  In an edict issued on 6 March 1644, Mazarin and the new royal council essentially declared Charles La Tour an outlaw.  He was ordered, once again, to return to France to answer charges against him.  With more soldiers and the 16-gun frigate Grand Cardinal, obtained with Le Borgne's assistance, d'Aulnay hurried back to Acadia, going first to his outpost at Pentagouët before returning to Port-Royal by early September.  The object of his wrath was not only Charles La Tour, but also his wife.  She not only had failed to overcome d'Aulnay's influence at court, but also was "charged with complicity in her husband's conduct," as was Desjardins and de Mourron.  "Forbidden" by the March 6 edict "to leave France under pain of death," she defied the council's order, borrowed money from friends, some of them probably officials of the Company of New France, and fled in disguise to England.  There, she chartered a ship, the Gillyflower, captained by French turncoat Jean Bailly of Amiens, who knew Acadian waters well.  Bailly and his associates promised in writing to transport Madame La Tour directly to Rivière St.-Jean.  The Gillyflower left London in late March, but, after an uneventful but nonetheless difficult crossing, Bailly ignored the agreement and went about his business in northern waters.  He lingered at the Grand Bank to fish for cod, coasted Newfoundland, and ventured up and down the St. Lawrence River before finally turning south to Acadia.  Off Cap-Sable in mid-September, d'Aulnay, aboard the Grand Cardinal, forced the Gillyflower to heave to so that he could search for the elusive Madame La Tour.  While she and her entourage hid in the hold, among the casks and smelly fish, Bailly and d'Aulnay, who were old antagonists, commiserated on the deck above them.  Bailly convinced d'Aulnay that his ship was bound for Boston and had no business in French Acadia.  D'Aulnay handed Bailly a letter addressed to the Massachusetts authorities and returned to his blockade of the Acadian coast.  After a six-month ordeal aboard the Gillyflower, Françoise-Marie arrived safely in Boston in late September, only eight days after her husband had left the city.  She stayed again with the family of Major Gibbons.  Incensed by the unnecessary delay in reaching her destination and being left in a foreign port without a ship, she sued Bailly and the ships's owners in a Massachusetts court for enough money, she hoped, to get her home.  She was aided in her effort by Major Gibbons "and his merchant friends."  After four days of hearings before the Boston magistrates, Françoise-Marie won her case, but Bailly et al. appealed the decision, and weeks of legal wrangling followed.  Meanwhile, to counter the influence of a Capuchin friar sent by d'Aulnay to win favor with the Puritans, she converted to Anglicanism and won the praise of many New English, who considered her to be "'a wise and valiant woman and a discreet manager, well worthy of his (La Tour's) unlimited confidence.'"  Finally, in early December 1644, the Boston court issued its final ruling in Françoise-Marie's suit against Bailly et al.  Again ruling in her favor, the court granted her the Gillyflower's confiscated cargo, valued at L1,100, and L2,000 more in damages.  True to his nature, Bailly eluded payment by running his ship "into waters outside the town's jurisdiction, took on provisions and passengers and set sail for London," where he and the ship's owners "hounded the Bay authorities through Admiralty and Chancery courts and finally into Parliament itself."  Not until late December was Françoise-Marie able to hire three vessels from a West Indian trader, fill them with supplies, elude d'Aulnay's blockade, and return to her husband at St.-Jean.30 

Charles La Tour, meanwhile, returned to Massachusetts to treat with John Endecott, the new governor, who recently had replaced the long-serving Winthrop, now the colony's deputy-governor.  La Tour had the temerity to approach Endecott at his home in Salem during the heat of mid-July 1644.  "He found the fiery ex-soldier--plump, middle-aged, his round face furnished with a small white goatee and moustache--in a sympathetic mood."  Endecott spoke French fluently, so La Tour, who did not speak English, would not have needed an interpreter.  Endecott agreed to call a meeting of the Boston magistrates for early August.  Employing a new tactic, La Tour reminded the Puritan leaders that he had been granted a barony in Nova Scotia by Sir William Alexander, now the Earl of Stirling, when the Scots controlled the colony.  He touted his long tenure in Acadia, dating back nearly three dozen years, and his possession of a seigneurie at Port-Royal long before d'Aulnay appeared on the scene.  After two meetings, in Boston and Salem, the magistrates were unable to settle the question of whether they should help La Tour again after the embarrassment of the year before.  Realizing that they feared d'Aulnay more than any other Frenchman, they chose to appease him with a carefully worded letter and offered La Tour nothing of substance beyond the promise of open trade.30b 

But the wily Frenchman would not give in.  He tried, instead, a different approach, one that not only appealed to New- English obsession with unfettered commerce, but also played upon their fears of Charles d'Aulnay.  Before La Tour began his summer sojourn in Massachusetts, three New-English merchants--Abraham Shurt of Pemiquid, Richard Vines of Saco, and Thomas Wannerton of Piscataqua, now Kittery, all from coastal Maine--resolved to trade with him at Rivière St.-Jean and put in at Pentagouët on their way up the coast.  D'Aulnay, just returned from France and "displeased that they were dealing with his rival, promptly imprisoned them.  After several days he let them go for the sake, he said, of Mr. Shurt, who he esteemed (and owed money to).  The three merchants continued on to Fort La Tour."  La Tour reminded them that d'Aulnay's outpost was "weakly manned and in need of supplies" and tried to coax them into an attack against Pentagouët to make amends for their shabby treatment.  Shurt and Vines would have nothing to do with such a scheme, but the volatile Wannerton agreed to it.  He and some of his neighbors, along with 20 of La Tour's men, fell on an isolated farmhouse six miles or so from d'Aulnay's fort before moving against the fort itself.  The brief but deadly encounter cost Wannerton his life, "a second Englishman was wounded and his French assailant killed.  The rest of the party then took the farmhouse with its two surviving defenders--there had been only three-burnt the buildings, killed the livestock and departed by ship for Boston where La Tour was now staying."  The rest of New England held their breath in fear of retaliation from the ferocious d'AulnayLa Tour, unable to coax the Boston magistrates into helping him, took full advantage of these fears.  While biding his time in Boston until September 9 (September 19 on modern calendars), he became a silent partner in a new fur trading venture "in Penobscot," as the English called the upper Maine coast.  At the end of August, Edward Winslow, governor of New Plymouth, signed an agreement with the Boston trading firm of John Winthrop, junior, Edward Gibbons, and Thomas Hawkins, transferring the Plymouth colony's "rights to land and fortifications at 'Matchebigautus, in Penobscot,'" that is, at Machias, "recently seized by 'Mous'r D'Aulnay under a pretence or color of commerce.'"  Here, at least, was indirect assistance against the troublesome d'Aulnay.30d 

La Tour and his escort, the New-English ketch Mountjoy, managed to trade their way back up the coast without falling prey to d'Aulnay's blockaders.  On her way back down to Boston, however, the Mountjoy ran afoul of d'Aulnay's frigate, which escorted her back to Rivière St.-Jean.  There, her captain served as hostage for the safety of the officer d'Aulnay sent ashore to deliver the March 6 decree.  La Tour fumed and fussed of course, but he let the officer go.   At Port-Royal, instead of confiscating the Mountjoy and its cargo and imprisoning its captain and crew, d'Aulany purchased their cargo of fish, giving them "a highly favourable rate," before sending them on their way.30e

Aware of La Tour's machinations in Boston and their potential for success, d'Aulnay saw the need to make amends with his Puritan neighbors.  He had before him a missive from Governor Winthrop sent to him in early spring of 1644, when he was still in France, and the recent letter from the new Massachusetts government, offering the hand of appeasement.  Perhaps fearing that the incarceration of the three merchants at Pentagouët might have soured his relations with the Puritans, he penned a syrupy reply to the Boston magistrates advocating peace between the two colonies.  To make certain that they understood his true intentions, in mid-October, while Madame La Tour was still in the city, d'Aulnay sent ten of his men, led by Capuchin friar François-Marie Ignace de Paris, to treat with the Boston magistrates.  The priest was "'habited like a gentleman,'" former governor Winthrop noted--an obvious attempt to play down religious differences.  The Puritans treated the priest with respect and perspicacity, never losing sight of who had sent him to their city.  On October 18, they granted d'Aulnay a treaty which recognized Acadia "as 'a province of New France,'" hinted that Pentagouët lay in French territory, proclaimed free trade between the colonies, but refused to grant d'Aulnay assistance in his struggle with La Tour.  The Puritans, instead, suggested that "he seek ... to make peace with his rival," but "Such a proposal fell on deaf ears."30c 

With more than enough force to continue his blockade, d'Aulnay had only to wait for an opportunity to strike a final blow.  "He had succeeded in immobilizing La Tour's only source of military aid," those powerful friends in Boston, and was confident that, without their aid, La Tour would soon be finished.  In December 1644, d'Aulnay sent some of his men in two armed chaloupes to the St.-Jean fort to deliver a message to La Tour's men:  if they deserted La Tour they would be treated well, even receiving back wages; if not, they would be branded as traitors, the penalty for which would be harsh.  To d'Aulnay's chagrin, "La Tour's men spurned the offer with scorn and insults."  In mid-February 1645, d'Aulnay learned that La Tour, desperate for aid from Boston, had gone to the city again, leaving Madame La Tour in charge of the garrison.  And he learned something else:  Madame La Tour and the Récollet fathers had quarreled bitterly when she urged her husband, as well as his men, to turn to the Protestant faith.  When La Tour and some of his men responded positively to her blandishments, "The outraged superior, Père André Ronsard, called down upon the sinners the extremest censure of the church--a sentence of excommunication for heresy."  Whatever the actual facts of the matter may have been, soon after La Tour left for Boston, the good father and his fellow friar, along with eight or nine of La Tour's men, embarked for Port-Royal in "an old pinnace 'half sunk in the water' and two barrels of Indian corn."  The Récollets had stood by Charles La Tour for a dozen years, defying d'Aulnay at every turn, even going to Boston, that den of heretics, to assist their patron in the fight against his enemey, but they could not abide Madame La Tour preaching heresy to the men, or their patron sanctioning such a thing.  D'Aulnay and the Capuchins at Port-Royal welcomed the friars with open arms.  As he had promised, d'Aulnay promptly enrolled La Tour's deserters and granted them back pay.  After interviewing the fugitives and consulting with his officers, d'Aulnay loaded the Récollets and the deserters into the Grand Cardinal and hurried to Manawagonish Bay, an anchorage near the mouth of Rivière St.-Jean where his blockaders had taken up station.  Employing deception, he sent the Récollets and the deserters back to the fort in hopes that they would be let in by their former compatriots.  The ploy worked.  Unaware that the fugitives approaching their fort had been sent by d'Aulnay, Madame La Tour ordered the main gate opened, and she and her men welcomed their comrades back to fort.  The priests and the deserters then turned on their fellows--with words, not weapons.  They incited the others to join them at Port-Royal and "submit to the King's will."  Realizing their true purpose, Madame La Tour ordered her men to drive them out of the fort, which was done, amazingly, without bloodshed.  The priests and deserters retreated to their boat and hurried back to the safety of d'Aulnay's flotilla.30f

D'Aulnay's next opportunity did not come until April, when the capture of a Boston relief boat at the entrance to St.-Jean harbor revealed that La Tour was away from the fort again, visiting his associates in Boston.  Remembering well the fiasco in February, d'Aulnay resolved to use force this time.  He imprisoned the Bostonians--Joseph Grafton and his men--on a nearby island, probably Partridge Island at the mouth of the harbor, leaving them "without fire or warm clothing and only a tattered wigwam for shelter," and there they remained for 10 miserable days.  Having raised 200 men in arms, the largest French force ever deployed in Acadia, most of them "mustered" from among the habitants at Port-Royal, d'Aulnay chose to besiege the fort after softening it up with his superior artillery.  On April 13, under cover of darkness, he landed a large party of men "well down the harbour" with two cannon to form a battery in front of a weak spot at the rear of the fort's palisade.  He then "brought his ships up in front of the fort, and submitted it to a bombardment that destroyed part of the parapet."  However, aided by a helpful easterly wind, the fort's gunners drove the Grand Cardinal behind a point of land, nearly sinking her in the hot exchange of fire.  One of d'Aulnay's men reported 20 killed and 13 wounded aboard the stricken vessel, probably an exaggeration.  Knowing that Madame La Tour had only 45 soldiers and engagés to defend what was essentially a fortified trading post, d’Aulnay again demanded that they "submit to the King's orders and yield the fort to him," and again he was greeted by "catcalls and insults," as well as a volley of cannon fire.  His shore battery in place, the wind now in his favor, and his powder supply seemingly inexhaustible, d'Aulnay submitted the fort to another bombardment on Easter Sunday, April 17.  That night, he landed his infantry force and promised them "the pillage of the place."  Early on the morning of Easter Monday, his men approached the fort an hour before sunrise.  Amazingly, the fort's lookout, a 47-year-old Swiss named Hans Vandre, failed to give the alarm when d'Aulnay's men suddenly appeared in the foggy gloom.  Some of the attackers already were inside the fort's shattered walls when Madame La Tour and her men "caught up their weapons and rushed to meet them in a mêlée of sword and musketbutt, pike point and hooked halbred."  Overwhelmed by superior force, Madame La Tour beseeched d'Aulnay to "'give quarter to all.'"  D'Aulnay refused, and more Frenchmen died in the senseless slaughter.  One of the dead among d'Aulnay's men was Isaac Pesseley, the merchant from Champagne and adjutant of the garrison at Port-Royal who had come to the colony with a wife and three children nine years earlier.  Incensed by the stiff resistance, as well as the loss of so many of his men, d'Aulnay forced one of La Tour's engagés to execute his fellow survivors, including "some seven or eight men from Boston," by strangling them slowly at the end of a rope.  Compounding the cruelty, d'Aulnay forced Madame La Tour to witness the atrocity, purportedly with her hands bound behind her back and a noose around her neck.  Only André Bernard, the mason who had acted as executioner; Hans Vandre; Madame La Tour; and two other women escaped the rope.30a 

But Françoise-Marie Jacquelin did not survive for long.  She at first was given her liberty of the fort, but after she tried to communicate with her husband "'by means of the savages,'" she was held in close confinement, probably in chains, "and told she would be sent back to France under close guard to stand trial for treason before the King's council."  Sometime in May, probably while still in confinement, she "fell sick from rage," the Capuchins insisted, and died "in spite of efforts made to save her."  After a solemn funeral service granted by d'Aulnay, she was buried "somewhere behind the fort in the same general area as the soldiers' graves," which included the dead from both sides in the internecine struggle.  Her son, who was four or five years old at the time, had been in the fort during d'Aulnay's day-long bombardment, witnessed the attack that killed so many of his father's men, and witnessed his mother's death a few weeks later.  Perhaps to twist the knife on his hated rival, d'Aulnay sent the son back to France in the company of a "waiting woman," and the boy likely never saw his father again.30h 


Not until late June did Charles La Tour, still in Boston, learn of d'Aulnay's victory and the fate of his wife.  Divested of a wife and son and the last of his property, the proud La Tour was forced to live on the charity of his New-English friends.  The best of them, Major Edward Gibbons, in the words of former governor John Winthrop, also "'was quite undone'" financially by the loss of Fort Ste.-Marie.  Later in the summer, a desperate La Tour took passage on a fishing boat to Newfoundland, where he sought help from Sir David Kirke, his father's former nemesis and now a friend, who the English had made governor of Newfoundland in 1638 as compensation for the retrocession of Charlesfort and Québec.  Kirke "entertained La Tour in his towered red brick mansion at Ferryland" and promised him aid, "though not enough to solve all his visitor's problems."  Back in Boston, La Tour spent the winter of 1645-46 at Samuel Maverick's house on Noddle's Island and with other benefactors, a number of them, like Maverick, business associates of David Kirke.  In January, La Tour secured a lease for one of Kirke's pinnaces, the Planter, "to be repaid from the pelts and merchandise acquired" in a three-month venture to Cape Berton Island, but La Tour's desperation got the best of him.  He "and several Frenchmen with him conspired to seize the ship and abandoned its crew on the ice-bound shore," one of them shot by La Tour himself.  The New Englishmen were rescued by friendly Indians and sent home to Boston in a borrowed boat.  In the eyes of his former New-English friends, La Tour was now a pirate.  Unwelcome, now, in any English settlement and determined to stay clear of d'Aulnay's grasp, La Tour moved on to Canada, visiting friends along the way--at Fort St.-Pierre on Cape Breton Island, where he witnessed a wedding; and at Île Miscou on the Baie des Chaleurs, where he may have visited Nicolas Denys.  Reaching Québec in early August 1746, La Tour was welcomed by Governor Charles-Jacques Huault de Montmagny, successor of the sagacious Samuel de Champlain, who once had quipped that "the La Tours could always be expected to attend to their own interests first."  La Tour spent the next four years in Canada, pursuing a busy exile.  He fought Iroquois, engaged in the fur trade, attended baptisms and marriages, and remained clear of Acadia, Newfoundland, and New England, where he likely would have swung at the end of a rope.30g

Nicolas Denys, still in France, raising his new family, followed closely the struggle between his former associates, no doubt hoping that Charles La Tour would prevail.  From La Rochelle, he arranged his own fishing and trading ventures to Newfoundland and especially into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where he hoped to turn his attention next.  Working quietly, he acquired a concession from the Company of New France along the Gulf, which he doubtlessly hoped would place plenty of distance between himself and the grasping d'Aulnay.  Sometime in 1645, during the height of the feud between d'Aulnay and La Tour, Denys returned to Acadia, this time with his young family, and built a new post on the south shore of Île Miscou, at the southern entrance to the Baie des Chaleurs.  As early as 1620, the Récollets, followed by the Jesuits in 1635, had established small settlements on Miscou and used the island as a headquarters for their mission activities.  French fishermen had established a station on the island in 1622, wintered over in 1626, and Richelieu's Company had built a fortified post there in 1632.  Denys, ever a champion of the Indians, encouraged more Jesuits to come to the island.  Determined to sustain their efforts as well as his own interests, Denys ordered his colonists to clear the land and plant their crops.23

Having vanquished La Tour and established peace and free trade with Acadia's New English neighbors, d’Aulnay rebuilt the fort on Rivière St.-Jean, set up a profitable fur-trading venture there, and then turned on some of his other former associates, including Nicolas Denys.  He seized Miscou in 1647 and expelled Denys and his family.  D'Aulnay promised to compensate Denys for his losses, but he did not bother.  D'Aulnay also seized Fort St.-Pierre on Cape Breton Island, which then belonged to Company associate Guilles Guignard and was a key to control of the big island.  Denys and the Company challenged these seizures in the admiralty courts, but by then d'Aulnay was so well connected at Court that little could be done to stop him.31

By 1650, d’Aulnay’s control of Acadia stood unchallenged.  In February 1647, a decree of the new King, Louis XIV (for whom his mother, Anne of Austria, still served as regent), had declared d'Aulnay Governor General and Seigneur of Acadia, his domains extending from the St. Lawrence all the way to Virginia--"the most sweeping delegation of vice-regal powers" since Henri IV's grant to the sieur de Mons four and a half decades earlier.  The acquisition by d’Aulnay of La Tour’s lucrative empire brought him great wealth and undisputed power, but d'Aulnay's enemies in France did not give in.  In late 1647, the Company of New France issued a court challenge to d'Aulnay's assumption of power in Acadia following Razilly's death and asserted that d'Aulnay had acquired the governorship of the colony "by an illegal procedure, without consulting the company."  The law suit also alleged that d'Aulnay had neglected the conversion of the Indians, the same charge that had been brought against the sieur de Mons.  Even more troubling for d'Aulnay, his relationship with partners Claude de Launay-Rasilly and Emmanuel Le Borgne soon deteriorated over unpaid obligations.  Nevertheless, d'Aulnay pressed on with his Acadian venture, taking the time in February 1649 to write his will, which revealed a decided turn in his thinking towards religious piety.  Keeping an eye on the fur trade and its promise of even greater wealth, he also turned his attention to other enterprises, including lumbering and the trade in seal oil.  Free of his obsession over destroying La Tour, he also could pay more attention to one of his original ventures, improving the agriculture settlement in the Rivière-au-Dauphin valley, for which the law suit back in France insisted "he had done nothing over the years."32

Contrary to the accusation in the Company's law suit, d'Aulnay had done what he could to establish an agricultural base for Acadia.  At Port-Royal, Canadian archaeologist John S. Erskine tells us, d'Aulnay had built not only a fort, but also "a chapel and a school; he brought over artisans from France to teach their skills to the colonists; he continued the conversion and education of the Indians; he improved the livestock and probably the variety of vegetables and flowers.  In fact, he spent for the benefit of the seigniory far more money than he had."  Another historian avers:  "By 1644, according to a memorandum from d'Aulnay," probably to the Company's directors, "the habitants of Port-Royal numbered two hundred men, including soldiers, laborers and other artisans, plus Capuchins, women, and children who were not enumerated."  This figure did not include the mixed-blood Indian children being raised in the settlement. 

A successful innovation d'Aulnay encouraged among the habitants was the dyking of the extensive tidal marshes along the Port-Royal basin.  The transplanted Frenchmen, some of them natives of the marshy regions of Poitou and the middle Loire valley, employed a clever device they called an aboiteau--"a sluice fitted with a clapet that was forced shut by the rising tide on the seaward side, then pushed open as the tide fell by water draining from the fields"--to create their own farmland.  In a few years time this marvel of engineering could leech the sea salt from the soil behind the dyke and turn tidal marshes into hay fields and then into fields of golden grain or whatever else the habitants chose to grow there.  During the time it took the aboiteaux to reclaim the briny soil, the dyked fields could serve as rich pasturage for their sheep and cattle, as well as a source of salt for themselves and the local fisheries.33


Then disaster struck again.  Father François-Marie Ignace de Paris, superior of the Capuchins at Port-Royal, was an admirer of the governor who had gone twice to Boston on d'Aulnay's behalf.  On 21 May 1650,  the priest witnessed the govern "return by canoe from the marshes, 'soaked with rain and mud-stained up to his belt and elbows' after a difficult day 'planting stakes, tracing lines, and marking off with cords another plot of land to be drained.'"  On May 24, a "dark and stormy day," d’Aulnay was paddling from Port-Royal, perhaps to the place where he had been working three days earlier, when his canoe capsized in the tidal basin.  The swim to shore through the swirling tidal currents consumed an hour and a half of his energy and determination.  Now well into his middle age, the ordeal was too much for him.  "After dragging himself onto the bank," he died of exhaustion.  A few hours later, a party of Mi'kmaq came upon the governor's body.  They brought it to the north shore of the basin and sent word to the fort of what had happened.  Father François-Marie Ignace escorted the body back to Port-Royal and, after a solemn mass of the dead, buried it in the chapel "in the presence of his wife and all the soldiers and inhabitants."34

Suddenly the colonists had lost their most important leader.  To be sure, d'Aulnay's ambition, greed, and aggressiveness had caused chaos throughout Acadia.  But it was d’Aulnay more than anyone who had insured the survival of the struggling colony.  He had encouraged families to put down roots in the Port-Royal basin, where they could create an agricultural foundation on which to build a commercial enterprise that would endure.  D'Aulnay's sudden death left Acadia in great confusion.  His leadership was gone.  His creditors were many.  And it was anyone’s guess who would replace him.34a

Nicolas Denys wasted little time taking advantage of d'Aulnay's sudden passing.  In c1651, he returned to Acadia with his older brother Simon and their families.  The brothers expanded their holdings along the Gulf of St. Lawrence and on Cape Breton Island, with posts on the big island at forts St.-Pierre, today's St. Peter's, which Nicolas held, and Ste.-Anne, on an inlet along the middle Atlantic shore not far from the narrow entrance to the Bras d'Or Lakes, which Simon rebuilt.  Both of the Cape Breton posts had existed before the Denyss took them over:  Charles Daniels had built a post at Ste.-Anne's in the summer of 1629 near an old French cod-fishing center, and Richelieu's Company likely had built Fort St.-Pierre during the late 1630s or early 1640s.34b

The death of d’Aulnay resurrected his other old antagonist, Charles La Tour.  When the "outlaw" heard that d’Aulnay was dead, he left his refuge in Québec and hurried to France, where "he begged that an inquiry be made into his conduct as well as into the faults of both he and the Companie de la Nouvelle-France had found in d'Aulnay's conduct."  In February 1651, La Tour secured from the Queen Regent's government not only a pardon for his misdeeds, but also the governorship of Acadia!  The letters patent awarding him the governorship granted him "exactly the same powers that d'Aulnay had received four years earlier"--such was the fickle nature of the French royal court.  La Tour chose as his lieutenant Philippe Mius d’Entremont, an army captain from Cherbourg, Normandy, and his childhood friend, and hurried back to Acadia.  At Port-Royal, La Tour found that the representatives of d’Aulnay’s powerful creditors already had visited the fort there.  Emmanuel Le Borgne, the wealthy La Rochelle merchant and former agent of the dead governor, insisted that the d’Aulnay estate owed him 260,000 livres!  In November 1650, three months before La Tour was named governor, Le Borgne had secured from d'Aulnay's aged father, René de Menou de Charnisay, "a formal recognition" of his claims on the dead governor's estate, which included "'all the dwelling of La Heve, Port Royal, Pentagoet, the St. John river as well as Miscou, the island of Cape Breton and other dependencies"--that is to say, all of Acadia!  Le Borgne sent an expedition to Acadia the following spring to satisfy the claim.  The Capuchin fathers at Port-Royal tried to protect the interests of Madame d’Aulnay, but Le Borgne’s men, led by the creditor's agent, Saint-Mas, pillaged the settlement anyway.  La Tour compounded the widow’s problems by demanding the return of his old fort on Rivière St.-Jean.  She was powerless to stop him, and so he finally returned to Fort Ste.-Marie to recoup his Acadian fortunes.  He ordered d’Entremont, who had recently come to Acadia with his wife and a daughter, to rebuild his old trading post at Cap-Sable.  In July 1653, La Tour awarded the seigneurie of Pobomcoup, near the cape, to d'Entremont and another associate, Pierre Ferrand.  This left only Port-Royal and its immediate environs to the widow d’Aulnay.35

Meanwhile, Le Borgne, still in France, was determined to recoup what the estate still owed him and to gain control of the colony.  In June 1651, he sent one of his sons to Boston to improve relations with the New Englanders while asserting the family's claims.  In October, Le Borgne's men, led by a La Rochelle merchant, probably François Guibourt, and claiming to be agents of d'Aulnay's widow, seized Chédabouctou west of Canso, burned La Hève, and swooped down on forts St.-Pierre and Ste.-Anne on Cape Breton Island.  Nicolas Denys and brother Simon were at their posts on the big island.  Le Borgne's men slapped them in irons and took them to Québec as prisoners.  They remained for a while in Canada.  In May 1652, Nicolas left Québec and built a new post at Nepisiguit, west of Miscou, along the southern shore of the Baie des Chaleurs, far from peninsula Acadia.  With him at Nepisiguit was Jean Bourdon de Romainville, whose wife Madeleine Daguerre "had been raised by Mme d'Aulnay."  Le Borgne's men, meanwhile, learned that d'Aulnay's widow, at the behest of the Capuchin fathers, had secured patronage in France from the influential César, duc de Vendôme, King Louis XIV's uncle.  The wily old duke had demanded, and secured, from the widow's valet-turned-agent half of her rights to the seigneuries of Port-Royal, La Hève, Rivière St.-Jean, and on Cape Breton Island.  Undeterred, Le Borgne's men seized Port-Royal in 1652, imprisoned two Capuchins, Fathers Côme de Mantes and Gabriel de Joinville, and the widow's agent's mother, Mme de Brice, and forced them to return to France.  Mindful of the power of the duc de Vendôme, Le Borgne's men left the widow and her children alone in d'Aulnay's habitation at Port-Royal.37

Determined to stay clear of Le Borgne's henchmen, to solve the widow’s financial problems as well as his own, and "to put an end to the disastrous rivalry between their factions," La Tour agreed to marry the good woman.  Having received no assistance from her patron in France, and determined to protect her own and her children's interests, she agreed to the match.  The marriage contract was signed at Port-Royal on 24 February 1653.  Among the witnesses were Germain Doucet de La Verdure and Jacques Bourgeois.  The ceremony took place the following July; Charles was 60 years old at the time, and Jeanne was 38.  He "agreed to look after d'Aulnay's eight children:  the four girls would enter convents and the four boys, the military."  By 1654, Jeanne began adding to the number of La Tours who would call Acadia home.  "His marriage to the widow of the man who had ruined him and banished him from the colony as a pirate made Latour sole master of all Acadia, with the exception of the fief controlled by Nicolas Denys," one historian observes.  But financial matters are seldom solved so easily.36

Le Borgne himself sailed to Acadia aboard the Châteaufort at the head of a hundred men.  In July 1653, at Port-Royal, he compelled the widow d'Aulnay, now Madame La Tour, to verify his claims to her late husband's estate.  The paper he compelled her to sign recognized a debt to him of 200,000 livres.  To satisfy the claim, Le Borgne seized Pentagouët and La Hève, which belonged to the widow, and forts St.-Pierre and Nepisiguit, which belonged to Nicolas Denys, destroying what he found there.  He captured Denys at Nepisiguit and imprisoned him once again, this time in the dungeon at Port-Royal, before allowing him to return to France.  In late 1653, Le Borgne also returned to France, where he enticed the duc de Vendôme into becoming his patron as well.  So armed, by late spring of 1654 Le Borgne had returned to Acadia aboard the Châteaufort with provisions, merchandise, and a hundred men to secure his and the duc's claims in the colony.  Denys, meanwhile, asserted his rights at Court, and the King's council ruled in his favor.  In December 1653, for 15,000 livres, Denys purchased from the Company of New France "the rights to the coast and islands of the Gulf of St. Lawrence from Cap Canso to Cap des Rosiers on the Gaspé.  This vast territory included Cape Breton as well as the Îles de la Madeleine, Île Saint-Jean (Prince Edward Island), and all other islands in the gulf."  Although the Court did not order compensation for losses at his holdings on Cape Breton Island and at Nepisiguit, Denys did return to Acadia with a royal commission, secured in late January 1654, as "governor" of his former and present domains--some protection, at least for now, from further depredations at the hands of d'Aulnay's chief creditor.  Back at Fort St.-Pierre in the spring of 1654, Denys warned his friend La Tour of Le Borgne's plans to seize him and his fort on Rivière St.-Jean.  Le Borgne learned of the treachery, felt out La Tour's defenses, realized that an attack against St.-Jean would be ill-advised, and returned to Port-Royal by the middle of July.  There matters stood in the chaos-ridden colony when the English appeared in overwhelming force, determined, as before, to remain.36a

The English Seize the Colony Again

Although not directly related, the turmoil in Acadia mirrored the recent turmoil in France.  As the death of d'Aulnay in 1650 proved to be a turning point in Acadian history, the rise of France's new monarch, Louis XIV, would prove to be a turning point in European history.  In 1648, the Peace of Westphalia, actually a series of treaties negotiated at Osnabrück and Münster in the German province of Westphalia, ended the Thirty Years' War, which had pitted Catholic Bourbon France against Catholic Hapsburg Austria and devastated huge swatches of central and southern Europe.  During the long struggle, Cardinal Richelieu had depended on the powerful French nobles to provide armies for the fight against Austria and its allies.  While France and its allies were piling up victory after victory against the Hapsburg states, Richelieu died in 1642.  The following year, Louis XIII died, and his queen, Anne of Austria, became regent for their four-year-old son, Louis XIV, but she did rule alone.  In subsequent years, she delegated more and more power to her chief minister, Giulio Raimondo Mazzarino, known to history as Cardinal Mazarin, a protégé of Richelieu, who continued his predecessor's policy of monarchist centralization.  The Peace of Westphalia found France victorious but exhausted and still fighting Spain, another Hapsburg kingdom, in a war that had began in 1635.  Even more troubling for the kingdom, in January 1648, the year of the Peace, domestic revolt erupted in Paris and slowly spread to the rest of France--the so-called Fronde.  The French parlements, a collection of regional appellate courts, not legislatures, led by the Parlement of Paris, along with some of the powerful nobles, revolted against the centralizing policies of Mazarin, which pitted the courts and the nobles against the queen mother and the new King, who was only 10 years old when the revolt began.  After five years of civil war that devastated the northeastern and southwestern provinces, the Fronde ended in 1653.  The King, now age 15, never forgot this challenge to royal authority and encouraged Mazarin to bring the nation closer to absolute monarchy.  The war with Spain, which was ended, finally, by the Treaty of the Pyrénées in 1659, included a battle at Dunkirk, in northwestern France, that saw English "redcoats" make their first appearance on a continental battlefield, in June 1658.36b

Much also had transpired on the isle of Great Britain since the English and Scots last held Acadia in 1632.  In the early 1640s, civil war erupted in England, pitting King Charles I against his recalcitrant Parliament, whose forces eventually were led by the dour Puritan, Oliver Cromwell.  By 1646, after bloody fighting that devastated much of England, the Roundheads of Parliament defeated the Royalist forces.  Charles, however, was a stubborn Scotsman and refused to follow the reforms that Parliament exacted from him.  War broke out in 1648, and, again, the Roundheads defeated the Royalists.  Cromwell's army and the so-called Rump Parliament arrested, tried, and convicted Charles as an enemy of the state!  On 30 January 1649, he became the only monarch in English history to be executed by his own people.  His heirs, sons Charles and James, after taking refuge in Scotland, fled to France and Holland to escape a similar fate.  England became a republic, known as the Commonwealth, which France recognized in 1652.  The following year, England's first written constitution named Oliver Cromwell Lord Protector, and the army essentially ruled Great Britain and Ireland until Cromwell's death in 1658.  Meanwhile, in 1652, war had broken out between the English and the Dutch, which Cromwell ended successfully two years later.37a

During that struggle, an English seaborne expedition under Robert Sedgwick of Boston, a Puritan adherent of Cromwell and former major-general of Massachusetts militia, was ordered to attack the Dutch colony at New Amsterdam, in favor of its New English commercial rival, New Haven, Connecticut.  Before he could attack Manhattan, however, Sedgwick learned that the war against the Dutch had ended.  One of Sedgwick biographers notes:  "Since his commission from Cromwell of 8 Feb. 1653/54, as general of the fleet and commander-in-chief of all the New England coast, authorized him to make reprisals against French commerce for attacks on English vessels by French privateers commissioned by princes Rupert and Charles, he resolved to use this power to secure the rich fur-trading and fishing resources of Acadia for New England and the Protectorate."  "Not one to let men and matériel go to waste," another historian avers, Sedgwick sailed north on July 4 with 170 men in three ships, the Augustine, the Church, and the Hope, as well as a ketch whose name had been lost to history.  During the second week of July, soon after Le Borgne had left the place, Sedgwick lay siege to La Tour's Fort Ste.-Marie on Rivière St.-Jean.  After a few days of fighting, Sedgwick accepted the surrender of La Tour and his 70 men on July 14.  As a spoil of "war," he and his men confiscated a large supply of moose skins.  Although Sedgwick held the "governor" as a prisoner of war, he allowed the Frenchman "some freedom of movement."  At the end of July, Sedgwick beat back a French ambush in the Port-Royal basin.  After a siege that destroyed the church, the monastery, and the homes of some of the inhabitants, Sedgwick seized the Port-Royal fort on August 8.  The town's defenses were commanded by Germain Doucet de La Verdure and his lieutenant, surgeon turned merchant Jacques Bourgeois, who was fluent in English.  Naomi Griffiths relates:  "At Port Royal, the situation" for Sedgwick "demanded much more political subtlety than had been the case at La Tour's fort....  The military surrender" at Port-Royal "was the same accorded La Tour.  The commander, [Doucet de] La Verdure, and his 'soldiers and domestics,'" which probably comprised many of the local settlers, "were also allowed to 'leave the fort with their arms, drums beating, flags displayed, fusil on shoulder.'"  Sedgwick, whose invasion of Acadia had been made during a time of "peace" between England and France, handled the defeated Frenchmen, especially Emmanuel Le Borgne, with kid gloves.  To appease Madame La Tour, Sedgwick guaranteed her children by d'Aulnay "their property--furniture, buildings, and cattle."  Addressing the Capuchin missionaries and the local inhabitants, who evidently had resisted his attack, Sedgwick negotiated with Le Borgne and Capuchin Father Léonard de Chartres an agreement that gave them the choice of returning to France or remaining in Acadia.  The settlers who chose to remain--probably most of them--"were granted freedom of conscience and the right to remain in their own homes, with whatever possessions they held, on the condition that they recognized whatever seigneurial obligations they owed," which doubtlessly pleased Le Borgne, who, as d'Aulnay's creditor, still claimed seigneurial rights at Port-Royal.  This was good news for the settlers as well, whose land ownership now was secure.  Sedgwick's guarantee of "freedom of conscience" could be seen as a lack of interest in conversion, as well as his hope that the settlers would be encouraged now to question their devotion to papism.  Those habitants who chose to return to France "would be provided with passage at their expense and they would have ... the right to sell whatever they wished of their property, providing it was to people who would remain in the colony."  None of the habitants, however, would be compensated for cattle already taken by Sedgwick's soldiers.  The priests who chose to remain in the colony were ordered not to settle "within two or three leagues of the fort itself"--another attempt by Sedgwick to limit the influence of Catholicism among the French settlers.  The capitulation document hints that Doucet de La Verdure would not remain at the post, that perhaps he would be taken away as a prisoner.  Sedgwick left Port-Royal in charge of a council of habitants headed by syndic Guillaume Trahan, the edge tool maker turned farmer, who was among the signers of the surrender agreement.  That Port-Royal had a syndic--which, Naomi Griffiths explains, was similar to a secular churchwarden--revealed that, by 1654, "the settlers were regarded as something more than colonists with no political identity, under the absolute control of officials dispatched from France."  On his way back to Boston, Sedgwick seized Pentagouët on September 2 and left it in charge of former d'Aulnay associate Peter Crushett.  Emmanuel Le Borgne returned to France aboard the Châteaufort, leaving his eldest son, Emmanuel du Coudray, at Port-Royal "as a token of good faith," and did what he could to maintain his interests in the colony.  Nicolas Denys remained in Acadia, made deals with the new English overlords, and was left in peace to resume his commercial operations in what historians have described as "a border colony between two great empires."37b 

Back in Boston by early September, Sedgwick appointed his son-in-law, Major John Leverett, a veteran of the English Civil War, as military commander in Acadia.  But before Sedgwick could return in triumph to England, with Charles La Tour in tow, the General Court of Massachusetts ordered to him to explain his actions in exceeding his commission from Cromwell.  Members of the Court were especially concerned about the harm Sedgwick's actions may have done to New English trade with the Acadians.  "Sedgwick's answer to his questioners," Naomi Griffiths relates, "was the declaration of his accomplishments, rather than any argued reply."  On September 20, the General Court ordered a day of thanksgiving, which Sedgwick no doubt interpreted as approbation for his actions in Acadia.37d

In London by December 1654, La Tour "resurrected his Scottish title" and used the influence of one of the Kirkes to secure an interview with Cromwell, which was granted, finally, in the autumn of 1656.  La Tour "asked for the return of his property on the grounds that England and France had been at peace when the capture took place."  Cromwell refused to compensate him for the loss of property, agreeing only to recognize his baronetcy in Nova Scotia.  Cromwell also agreed to recognize Charles La Tour's status as his father's heir.  Charles, in turn, must acknowledge "English allegiance" by taking an oath to the Commonwealth, pay off his Boston creditors, including Major Edward Gibbons's widow, and compensate Sedgwick for the cost of the Acadian conquest, including maintenance of a garrison at his former fort on Rivière St.-Jean, an added debt of L1,800!  Defeated, dispirited, too tired to go on, La Tour agreed to the onerous terms.  On 20 September 1656, he ceded Port-Royal, which he claimed was his, to his new partners, Englishmen Thomas Temple, nephew of a powerful viscount, and William Crowne, an influential merchant.  To help raise the L15,000 he needed to pay off his debts to the Boston Puritans, La Tour surrendered control of the St.-Jean fort to Temple, and Crowne received the post at Pentagouët.  In exchange, the Englishmen promised to respect his title as Acadia's "governor," allow him to keep his seigneurie at Cap-Sable, which would provide a token income, and protect him from Le Borgne, whom the French court had named proprietary governor of Acadia in December 1657.  The fort on Rivière St.-Jean no longer his, and having awarded the seigneurie at Cap-Sable to associates Philippe Mius d'Entremont and Pierre Ferrand in 1653, the former governor lived probably at Port-Royal in the house his wife had inherited from d'Aulnay.37c 

Charles La Tour died probably at Port-Royal in the spring of 1663, age about 70; one of his biographers speculates that he "may well be buried ... not far from his old enemy d'Aulnay."  When he breathed his last, Charles was a widower again, Jeanne having died the year before giving birth to their youngest son.  Four of his daughters by his first and third wives married and produced descendants.  Paternal lines sprang from his two sons by Jeanne:  Jacques de La Tour married a daughter of Charles Melanson dit La Ramée; and Charles de La Tour, fils, married a Parisian.  Most of the La Tours remained in Acadia, where their father and grandfather had been prominent players for over half a century.  Displaying the tenacity of their most famous ancestor, the La Tours asserted their rights to ancestral seigneuries well into the eighteenth century.37e 

Having secured an arrêt against the grasping Le Borgne, Nicolas Denys, back at Fort St.-Pierre on Cape Breton Island, remained in possession of his many concessions, including the trade in furs, acquired from the local Indians, and fishing rights from Gaspé "'as far as Virginia.'"  English possession of peninsula Acadia and the coast of Maine after 1654, however, discouraged him from pushing his fishing operations south of Canso.  From 1654 to 1664, he and his associates made annual voyages to and from France, leaving for the mother country in May and returning in October, the hold of their ship filled with cod and fur.  In 1658, the Le Borgnes claimed fishing rights at Canso, so, the following year, Denys established a new fishing post at Chédabouctou, today's Guysborough, Nova Scotia, west of Canso, where he moved his family in 1660.  In 1663, Norman trader François Doublet added to his concessions on the St. Lawrence by obtaining "the right to exploit the Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Île Saint-Jean ..." in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.  Since his grant came so close to Denys's holdings, Doublet informed him of his plans, but the venture failed within three years.  By 1664, Nicolas's own trading ventures were consumed by debt, and he no longer could acquire enough credit to prosper.  But that was not the worst of his problems.  Beginning about 1660, no doubt with the approbation of the English, Frenchmen A. M. de Cangé or Canger and the Sieur de La Giraudière, established a fishing post of their own along Rivière Ste.-Marie on the Atlantic coast, where La Giraudière built "a fortified house 'with two pieces of brass cannon and some swivel guns'" south of present-day Sherbrooke, Nova Scotia.  Through treachery and influence peddling, Cangé and La Giraudière attempted to assert their rights over Denys's concession at Chédabouctou as well.  "An armed clash resulted and the conflict persisted for some years," until Denys was forced to move his family back to Fort St.-Pierre and return--again--to France to protect his holdings.  In November 1667, Denys, now in his mid-60s, secured an affirmation of his rights in Acadia and returned to the colony.  A year later, during the winter of 1668/69, Fort St.-Pierre was consumed by a fire that destroyed his home and what was left of his business there.  Financially ruined, he retreated with his family into virtual retirement at distant Nepisiguit, where he wrote his memoirs, entitled Description Géographique et histoire des costes de l'Amérique septentrionale, avec l'histoire naturelle du païs, published in two volumes in 1672.  Denys hoped the memoir would stimulate more interest in the colony.   Before leaving for France in 1671 to see to its publication, he designated his only surviving son, Richard de Fronsac, now in his early 20s, as his lieutenant.  Nicolas's wife Marguerite also was still living.  With son-in-law Michel Le Neuf de La Vallière, husband of daughter Marie, Madame Denys would assist her son in supervising the family's affairs.  Unfortunately for his financial interests, Denys's memoirs were not well received.  Moreover, having failed to establish enough colonists on his far-flung concessions, the Company of New France had been rewarding many of them--îles-de-la-Madeleine, Chédabouctou, Miscou, Percé--to other proprietors.  In 1677, however, Denys received from the intendant of New France an order granting him control of the coal and gypsum beds on Cape Breton Island, which others had accessed over the years without permission or payment.  He was still at Paris in 1685, "living in beggary."  Perhaps in that same year he returned to Acadia, but his advanced age--he was in his early 80s--compelled him to leave his remaining business interests to son Richard.  Nicolas died probably at Nepisiguit in 1688, in his mid-80s.  Meanwhile, in c1680, Richard married first to an Indian, Anne Patarabego, who gave him a daughter and a son, and in October 1689 at Québec remarried to Françoise Cailleteau, daughter of a Canadian merchant who also was a cousin; she gave him another son.  During the autumn of 1685 and the summer of 1686, Richard and his Indian wife hosted not only New French Intendant Jacques de Meulles, but also Jean-Baptiste de Saint-Vallier, the Bishop of Québec, at their manor house, surrounded by a four-bastioned stone fort, at Miramichi, on the Gulf of St. Lawrence shore south of Nepisiguit.  "In the fall of 1691, Richard ... died at sea.  The ship on which he had embarked for Québec, Le Saint-François-Xavier, was lost with all hands"; he was only 44 years old.  Richard's older son, Nicolas dit Fronsac, also married an Indian named Marie.  Richard's younger son, Louis, did not marry but died in combat at age 20 during Queen Anne's War.  Nicholas dit Fronsac and his Indian wife settled at Beaumont, below Québec, where they raised four children, a daughter and three sons, but only the daughter married.  Nicolas Denys's descendants, then, like those of his older brother Simon, chose to become Canadians, not Acadians, eschewing the colony where their distinguished ancestors had been treated so shabbily.38

Emmanuel Le Borgne refused to give up on Acadia, or at least on his financial interests there, using his sons to placate and later to harass the English conquerors.  Eldest son Emmanuel du Coudray, age 18 in 1654, remained in Port-Royal as a "hostage" before returning to France.  Unfortunately for Le Borgne, English military governor Leverett and his father-in-law, Robert Sedgwick, "enforced a virtual trade monopoly on French Acadia for their benefit, leading some in the colony to view Leverett as a predatory opportunist.  Leverett funded much of the cost of the occupation himself, and then petitioned Cromwell's government for reimbursement.  Although Cromwell authorized payment, he made it contingent on the colony performing an audit of Leverett's finances, which never took place."  As a result, Leverett was never compensated for the expense.  Meanwhile, after the death of Robert Sedgwick in May 1656, Cromwell awarded rights in Nova Scotia to Colonel Thomas Temple, nephew of Lord Fiennes, a member of Cromwell's council.  In May 1657, after arriving from Boston, Temple removed Leverett as military commander and consolidated his interests in the colony.  These included posts claimed by the Le Borgnes; La Tour's old fort at the mouth of Rivière St.-Jean; a new post upriver at Jemseg; and Pentagouët on the Penobscot, from where Temple "spent most of his time and energy asserting his personal rights to the fur trade."38a  

Naomi Griffiths tells us that, at the time, "England's interests [in Nova Scotia] were of minor concern in London, but a matter of considerable attention and concern for merchants and policy makers in Boston."  One suspects that in the last years of Mazarin's rule, French interests in Acadia also took a back seat to other matters plaguing the court of the young King.  Nevertheless, in November 1657, the Company of New France awarded Le Borgne, up to then only d'Aulnay's creditor, a huge grant in Acadia, excluding from his domain previous grants the Company had given to Denys and La Tour.  In its grant to Le Borgne, the Company stipulated that the border in Maine between French Acadia and New England lay along the St. George River, southwest of Penobscot Bay.  The following month, on December 10, seeing that Charles La Tour had succumbed to the English, Mazarin revoked La Tour's patents and named Le Borgne as proprietary governor of Acadia.  Le Borgne did not return to "his" colony, however, but sent his sons there instead.  In May 1658, Alexandre, only 18 years old, "at the head of a force of fifty men," retook the fort at La Hève and then attacked Temple's fort at Port-La Tour, near Cap-Sable.  Temple hurried to Acadia from Boston, counterattacked, wounded the young Le Borgne, captured him, and took him to Boston and then to London, where he was "held captive for some years."  In November 1658, the French ambassador to England "delivered a strongly worded complaint to the English government to the effect that the English had attacked Port Royal, Saint John, and Pentagöuet, burned the church, and committed other damage."  The French thus were reminding the English that "there still remained a French colony south of the Gaspé peninsula."  To appease the French, with whom the English were still at "peace," in September 1659 Temple agreed to return La Hève to the Le Borgnes.38e 

Cromwell had died in 1658 and was succeeded as Lord Protector by his feckless son, Richard, who soon abdicated his vaunted position.  The restoration of Charles II to the English throne in 1660 led to the repudiation of Cromwell's colonial grants and threatened Temple's hegemony in Nova Scotia.  Claimants for grants in the colony included Thomas Elliott, a court favorite, and Sir Lewis Kirke, heir of Sir William Alexander.  The King named Elliott governor of Nova Scotia, but Temple bought him out.  By 1662, Temple "had managed to consolidate his position as the appointed English authority for Acadia, albeit at some financial cost, and had been granted a knight baronetcy"--he now was Sir Thomas Temple.  In 1664, he "forced out some French fishermen at Port Rossignol and established himself there and at Mirliguèche," demonstrating that he had every intention of exerting his rights in the colony.  "Acadia, commonly called Nova Scotia," then fell quiet.  In late summer of 1664, about the time Temple had taken Port Rossignol and Mirliguèche, Colonial Richard Nicolls seized New Amsterdam from Dutch governor Peter Stuyvesant and renamed it New York, after Charles II's brother, James, Duke of York and Albany.  Nine years before, in 1655, the one-legged Stuyvesant had conquered, without firing a shot, the adjacent colony of New Sweden on the lower Delaware River, so the seizure of New Netherland gave England undisputed hegemony over the vast littoral between Spanish Florida and Cape Breton Island.  Nicolls's bloodless victory at New Amsterdam helped ignite the Second Anglo-Dutch War in March 1665.  Louis XIV took advantage of the conflict and invaded the Spanish Netherlands.  Despite a number of victories over a superior Dutch navy, the English suffered humiliating defeats in both England and Virginia.  The treaty ending both wars was signed in the Dutch city of Breda in July 1667:  England would retain control of New York colony, but the treaty "spelled ruin for Temple" by restoring Acadia to France.  On 31 December 1667, Charles II ordered Temple to surrender "the five Acadian forts" to Morillon Du Bourg, the French commissioner empowered to carry out the provisions of the Breda treaty in Acadia.  Letters patent "naming specifically 'the forts and habitations of Pentagoet, St. John, Port Royal and Cape Sable'" were issued in mid-February 1668.  Temple and the General Court of Massachusetts protested vigorously against the retrocession.  Temple insisted that Pentagouët belonged to "New Plymouth," not to Acadia, and laid the foundation for decades of conflict over the boundaries of Nova Scotia and Acadia.  In August 1668, Charles II ordered Temple to "'forbear delivery'" of the colony.  Meanwhile, Emmanuel Le Borgne named his son Alexandre as titular governor of Acadia; Alexandre, only 28 years old, assumed the name Le Borgne de Bélisle.  In October 1668, Du Bourg, with the young governor, sailed along the Acadian coast so that the commissioner could see what the English soon would return to the French.  During the journey, Du Bourg "officially installed Belle-Isle in command of the colony."  In Boston, Du Bourg learned from Temple of Charles II's August order that "the island of St. Christopher was to be surrendered to the English before Acadia was returned to the French...."  The young Bélisle, meanwhile, had retaken the fishing settlement of Port Rossignol.  Temple complained about the seizure to Du Bourg, who advised Bélisle to return to France.  Finally, in August 1669, London ordered Temple "to comply with the terms of the peace treaty and deliver the colony to the French."  Alexandre, meanwhile, remained in France until the English finally surrendered the colony.  But when he returned to Acadia he did not do so as the colony's governor.  By then, the French Court finally had come to the realization that, in the colony's six and a half decades of existence, government by monopoly and proprietary fiat had been an utter failure.  As a result, Alexandre Le Borgne de Bélisle "served" as the last proprietary governor of French Acadia.38f


The inhabitants of Port-Royal, meanwhile, continued to live as they had done since the first of them had arrived in the basin with d’Aulnay during the late 1630s.  None of them likely had been around during the chaos of the 1620s, but a few of them could remember the resumption of strife after Razilly's untimely death in 1636.  More immediate were the struggles between d'Aulnay and La Tour; among Le Borgne, La Tour, and Denys; and the present difficulties between the Le Borgnes and the new English overlords.  The turmoil took its toll on recruitment back in France, but there were other factors limiting growth in French-controlled Acadia.  Naomi Griffiths explains:  "The slow growth of the European population in the colony since 1636 was partly the result of French migration patterns and partly of the strife between the Acadian leaders, which had affected the pace and manner of settlement of the colony, its religious life, and its attitude towards its English Protestant neighbours.  Both d'Aulnay and Le Tour had organized the passage of quite a considerable number of people across the Atlantic between 1636 and 1650.  However, the majority were men brought over primarily for military purposes, whether as soldiers or as craftsmen, and for limited service contracts.  A few, particularly craftsmen, determined to settle after their contract was ended, but the majority were part and parcel of those who saw the Atlantic as something that did not pose much greater dangers than a long journey overland--a dangerous passage, perhaps, but one they intended to cross in both directions.  Such were the craftsmen recruited by La Tour's agent, Guillaume Desjardins, whose contracts still exist:  gunsmith and carpenter in 1640; nail maker and blacksmith, wood sawyer, baker, and mason in 1641.  Similarly, d'Aulnay brought over such craftsman through Emmanuel Le Borgne.  There is no evidence to suggest that any of these individuals remained after their contracts were ended."  The craftsmen who did remain faced a very different world than the one they had known back in France.  There, in making a living for themselves and their families, they would have been confined to the use of their particular skills, tightly regulated by the guild system.  But Acadia was a North American frontier, with economic verities of its own.  "In Port Royal," Naomi Griffiths explains, "there were some specialized craftsmen, especially smiths and carpenters, but all settlers would find it useful, if not imperative, to have some knowledge of woodwork and smithing.  Hard and fast categories of occupation, exclusive reliance upon one activity, would be a great handicap in the early decades of the colony.  Most men would hunt, fish, farm, carpenter, and repair tools."38b 

Another circumstance that may have limited immigration to Acadia, especially by farmers, was the nature of land tenure at La Hève and Port-Royal during the late 1630s and 1640s.  Griffiths tells us there "is no record of the terms on which the land was actually worked.  Comments were made by Denys to the effect that d'Aulnay treated the settlers as 'serfs, without allowing them to make any gain.'  There is some evidence, from a generation later, that the terms might have been those of sharecroppers, ownership of the land being retained by d'Aulnay and rent paid in the form of a percentage of the crop harvested.  Equipment, seed, and animals would be provided as well by d'Aulnay against this share in the products."  The death of d'Aulnay and especially the arrival of the English in 1654 significantly changed the nature of land tenure in the Port-Royal basin.  Even though Robert Sedgwick and Thomas Temple did not impose on Port-Royal a New English system of land holding, their successor's failure to reinforce French customs "meant that Acadian land tenure began to resemble the traditional English freehold system rather than a seigneurial system."38d 

The women who remained in the colony, either wives or daughters, "were fully occupied," Griffiths explains.  "Domestic tasks were their domain, food and clothing the major products."  Yet, unlike their husbands and fathers, the life of most women on the Acadian frontier perhaps was not so very different from what they would have known back in France.  "Women had responsibility for the preparing and preservation of food, and, as often as not, the responsibility for dairy and poultry products.  As well, the care of the garden, once the land had been dug, was theirs.  The preservation of food, both long and short term, meant the preservation of meat, by salting and drying.  It involved the making of all forms of preserves, jams, and jellies and the storing of vegetables and fruits for the winter.  At the same time, while tailors had come out to the colony, the majority of textiles were spun, woven, dyed, and sewn at home.  More than anything else, however, children ensured that women's lives were centered upon the household."38c

By the early 1650s, although families were only in the first and second generations and socioeconomic institutions were still in their infancy, Port-Royal was becoming an island of domestic tranquility in a tossing sea of commercial and imperial rivalry.  In 1640, the colony held "some 120 colonists and 40 soldiers."  In 1644, d'Aulnay counted 200 colonists, including soldiers, artisans, and laborers.  By 1650, the population "had reached no more than 300 people, or some fifty families."  As their numbers grew by natural increase, the settlers moved farther up the basin and into the valley above it, creating new farm land with their sturdy aboiteaux.  While being held at Port-Royal in 1653, Nicolas Denys observed the remarkable growth of the settlement:  "There are numbers of meadows on both shores, and two islands which possess meadows, and which are 3 or 4 leagues from the fort in ascending," he wrote in his memoirs, published many years later.  "There is a great extent of meadows which the sea used to cover, and which the Sieur d'Aulnay had drained.  It bears now fine and good wheat."  He described how the settlers moved steadily upstream to get away from the prying eyes of the authorities at the fort and to create more farmland from the marshes.  "There they have again drained other lands which bear wheat in much greater abundance than those which they cultivated round the fort, good though those were.  All the inhabitants there are the ones whom Monsieur le Commandeur de Razilly had brought from France to La Have; since that time they have multiplied much at Port Royal, where they have a great number of cattle and swine."  Denys observed all of this about the time the English seized the colony.  "Although we may accept Denys’s belief that [the inhabitants at Port-Royal] gave up their homes near the fort to move away from immediate English surveillance,"  Andrew Hill Clark concedes, "the direction of the move was a natural one if they were seeking more marshlands and there is no evidence that the English paid much attention to them.  Certainly their new masters, whether from New or old England, had not the slightest interest in settling or actively developing the part of Acadia they controlled:  their interest was solely in furs and in the control of Indian attacks on New England, and the Acadians at least were protected from attacks from that area."  Happily, a change in masters had not ended the trade that was essential to Acadia's survival; it, in fact, had only redirected it.  Commerce that had once linked Port-Royal to France and Québec now centered on Boston.  Unfortunately for the Acadians who moved higher up the valley, they found themselves stuck in a virtual cul de sac which tended to limit their access to New English trade.39 

Back in France, momentous changes at the highest levels of government would have a dramatic effect on the future of Acadia.  Cardinal Mazarin died in March 1661, and Louis XIV, now age 23, "initiated major administrative reforms, laying the foundation both for internal development and for overseas expansion.  Building upon the work of the great cardinals, Richelieu and Mazarin, the monarch brought under his own supervision the authority previously vested in the major institutions of the state.  He asserted control over all official government correspondence, and thus over most official government action, by announcing on 10 March 1661 that, in future, all ministers would 'assist me with your counsels when I ask for them' but 'not sign anything, not even a passport ... without my command.'"  He then went on to pare down the administrative centre of the government, the king's council," which once numbered 30 or more members, most, if not all of them, powerful nobles.  Now, the High Council, as it came to be called, consisted of only three members besides the King:  a secretary of war, a secretary of state for foreign relations, and a superintendent for finances, not all of them members of the ancient nobility.  In 1663, the King revoked the charter of the Company of New France.  "This did not signal the end of trading companies as an arm of French expansion in North America," Naomi Griffiths tells us.  "[I]n fact, such companies became both more numerous and larger over the next decades.  It did mean, however, the curtailment of their role as an arm of government.  Henceforth, until 1763, French affairs in North America would be the direct responsibility of the crown.  In practice, 'New France was now a province with the same royal administrative structures as the other provinces of the European homeland:  a military governor; an intendant in charge of justice, public order and financial administration; and a system of royal courts.'  Colonial affairs were now to be the business of the Ministry of the Marine in Paris, and, in 1663, this ministry was one of Colbert's responsibilities."  This was Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the King's new superintendent of finances, who also served as director of colonial affairs.  In 1663, the King decreed, and Colbert implemented, a major reorganization of the government in New France.  The office of governor in Canada would give way to that of governor-general, who would maintain a seat at Québec.  A Conseil-Souverain, or Sovereign Council, also would sit at Québec.  Its membership included the governor-general, the bishop (at the time still only a vicar-apostolic), and an intendant.  The 23 March 1665 commission for Intendant Jean Talon "stated explicitly that his authority included the supervision of financial and judicial matters throughout 'Canada, Acadia, the island of Newfoundland and other countries of France in North America.'"  That summer, the King sent to Canada the Carignan-Salières Regiment, "the first regiment of regular troops ever sent to America by the French government."  The new French viceroy, Alexandre de Prouville, marquis de Tracy, employed the French regulars, along with Canadian militia, to chastise the Iroquoiss and to intimidate the English in upper New York.39b

To underscore his new colonial policy, Colbert ordered the inhabitants at Port-Royal not to abandon their settlements in the face of English occupation; he was confident the colony soon would be restored to France.  Some families defied Colbert’s order and returned to the mother country or moved on to Canada, but many, if not most, of them, refused to abandon their farms in the Port-Royal valley.  This was their home now.  They had begun the unconscious process of becoming Acadians, not just Frenchmen.  Their sons and daughters had grown up and found suitable mates among their neighbors.  Married sons moved even farther up the valley and, with the help of family and friends, wrested from the salt marshes new plots of ground on which to raise food for families of their own.  The older folks looked forward to the birth of grandchildren and the blessings of an extended family.  A spirit of independence and self-sufficiency had taken hold of these French farmers.  France, in spite of herself, had planted sturdy roots in the troubled soil of Acadia.39a

Return of French Control and the First Acadian Census

Despite Colbert’s optimism, the English clung to Acadia, including the entire coast of Maine, even after the Treaty of Breda was signed in July 1667.  The English governor at the time, still Sir Thomas Temple, delayed turning over the colony to France as long as he could.  In July 1669, Louis XIV commissioned 42-year-old Hector d’Andigné de Grandfontaine, former captain of the Carignan-Salières Regiment and scion of an ancient noble family, to take possession of Acadia for France.  A mishap off the coast of Portugal near Lisbon in January 1670 delayed the expedition.  In February, the King appointed Grandfontaine governor of Acadia for three years.  In March, Grandfontaine set out for Boston again, this time aboard the St.-Sébastien with "some forty soldiers, thirteen officers, and eight aspiring colonists" in tow; one of those officers was Jean-Vincent d'Abbadie de Saint-Castin, an 18-year-old ensign, destined to contribute much to Acadian history.  Temple, meanwhile, had been ordered in August 1669 "to comply with the terms of the peace treaty and deliver the colony to the French."  When Grandfontaine reached Boston in early summer of 1670 and presented to Temple letters from both Charles II and Louis XIV, the Englishman saw no choice but to give up the colony; he received the new French governor "courteously."  On July 7, Temple agreed upon the conditions of "restitution" and directed his deputy governor in Nova Scotia, Captain Richard Walker, "and all other officers to deliver 'Acadia and the forts of Pentagoet, St. John, Port Royal, Laheve and Cape Sable to M. Grandfontaine, the representative of His Most Christian Majesty, Louis XIV.'"  Grandfontaine left Boston on July 17 and took possession of the stone fort at Pentagouët on August 5.  Following instructions from Colbert de Terron, the intendant of Rochefort, Grandfontaine established his headquarters at Pentagouët, near the disputed border with New England; further orders from France informed him that he would be "subordinate to the governor and intendant of Canada," which at the time were Daniel de Rémy de Courcelle and Jean Talon.  From Pentagouët, Granfontaine sent his second-in-command, Pierre de Joybert de Soulanges et de Marson, who had served as his lieutenant in Canada, to oversee the surrender of the other posts.  The English garrison at Jemseg on Rivière St.-Jean surrendered to Joybert on August 27; it was the only new post Temple had built in the colony during his 12 years of control there.  The other posts occupied by the English had been established by the French decades before, though Temple and his lieutenants had done what they could to shore up their defenses and make them more livable.  Port-Royal surrendered on September 2, followed by La Hève and La Tour's old fort at Cap-Sable.40 

Sixteen years of English occupation were over.  Acadia was finally back in French hands, this time under royal governance.  The new Acadian governor, Professor Griffiths observes, "had charge of a vast territory, comprising land now held by Maine, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, and was expected to establish French control over the coastline south of Pentagöuet to the Kennebec as well as the area northeast along the coast, across the Bay of Fundy to Cape Breton.  He was also expected to oversee the Atlantic coast from Canso to the Gaspé peninsula, including what would become Prince Edward Island and all of present-day New Brunswick, as well as the area inland from the Bay of Fundy to the source of the St. John, if not farther north."  Yet, with only 40 men and 13 officers, Grandfontaine could garrison only Pentagouët, Jemseg, and Port-Royal; his force was too small to hold any other place.  "He had no naval support whatsoever, and had, in fact, purchased a ketch from Temple to give himself swift communication between Pentagöuet and Port Royal."  And then there were the original dwellers of the vast lands claimed by the French:  "Within these lands the Mi'kmaq and the Malecite lived, convinced that they had never surrendered to the Europeans either permanent ownership of the land or sovereignty over their communities.  Not only were they, at this time, much more numerous than the settlers but without their cooperation the fur trade, one of the major economic staples of the colony, would collapse."40a


The years of English occupation, ironically, had been beneficial for the relative hand full of Acadian settlers.  During the time of English control, trade between Acadia and New England became even more lucrative for all involved, and there had been a notable growth of settlement in the Port-Royal basin.  Andrew Hill Clark points out that "there was a substantially larger number of settlers up the Port Royal River above the fort than there had been sixteen years earlier; in Acadian terms almost a generation had grown up."  He adds:  "Documentation on the conditions of settlement and agriculture is almost completely lacking.  It has been inferred that after 1654 many of the French settlers moved on to Quebec or returned to France.  For those who remained (and they were, we think, the majority), we have to assume the gradual but inexorable increase of numbers and expansion of agriculture, the planting and reaping of grain, peas, flax, and vegetable crops, and the tending of sheep, swine and cattle.  If the period is largely a tabula rasa in the historical record, it was nevertheless one of consolidation and expansion of this nucleus of the Acadian population."  Grandfontaine's biographer, however, offers this cautionary note:  "The population of Port-Royal, abandoned to its own resources, was managing to live off its crops and its herds, but lacked clothes and tools.  Isolation had also developed the spirit of independence," which would not have been applauded by the new royal governor.41

With the resumption of French control in Acadia, immigration into the colony resumed in earnest, and the Acadians' trade with New English merchants, now more or less illicit but still an essential part of Acadian life, continued unabated.  Members of the Carignan-Salières Regiment arrived with Grandfontaine and his lieutenants, and some of them married Acadian as well as native women.  In the spring of 1671, Colbert de Terron sent 60 new settlers, including a woman and four girls, to Acadia aboard L’Oranger.  Other settlers arrived from Canada.42

That same spring, just before L'Oranger reached Port-Royal, Grandfontaine, following orders from France, directed Récollet Father Laurent Molin, parish priest at Port-Royal, to conduct a census of the colony’s inhabitants—the first Acadian census on record.  The good priest counted a total of 68 families and about 260 inhabitants at Port-Royal with "some 419 acres of land cleared and farmed and around five hundred cattle in pasture, along with more than five hundred sheep, three dozen goats, and at least thirty pigs."  Professor Griffith observes that, during the previous two decades, the community of Port-Royal "had become multi-generational and contained people of all ages"--from 96 years to 2 days old.  The census counted 15 sets of grandparents, including several who "had children of their own who were younger than one or more of their grandchildren."  Professor Griffiths makes other telling observations, gleaned from Father Molin's census, about the families at Port-Royal:  "if Port Royal could boast three generations among its settlers in 1671, it was very much a youthful community, with 114 children aged ten or under, of whom 19 were less than a year old.  When those aged between ten and fifteen are included, the total reaches 162.  While the evidence does not allow the conclusions about fertility rates per se, it does permit a comment on the standard of living.  Conception does not take place if a woman is exhausted or underfed.  There were eighteen households in which the wife was twenty-five years or younger; more than half of the women had borne their first child before they were eighteen, four of them at age age of sixteen, five at seventeen.  Further, not only did these women begin their families at a young age, they also had a number of children.  Among them, nineteen women accounted for thirty-one youngsters.  Four had borne a child roughly every two years.  ...  The seventeen women living in the colony who were forty-six years and over had borne ninety-three children between them.  Their family size ranged from the childless state" of one couple to "three families of eleven children....  Genetic endowment and lack of disease obviously affected both birth and survival rates, but a good food supply was a necessary factor for the bearing and rearing of so many young.  It is clear that Acadia had had no major food shortages for over two decades nor any major epidemic of measles or chickenpox or smallpox.  These were the childhood illnesses which, with others, such a typhoid, whooping cough, and the plague, kept the death rate among children so high in seventeenth-century France  There, at the same period, 'out of every hundred children born, twenty-five died before they were one year old, another twenty[-]five never reached twenty and a further twenty-five perished between the ages of twenty and forty-five.'"43b 

Noting the contrasts in land and animal holdings among the Port-Royal settlers, as well as the nature of their dwellings, Naomi Griffiths observes:  "There was obviously a considerable difference in the circumstances of those with lands and herds and those with little or no land and few animals.  But a number of factors mitigated against the immediate development of strong social and economic divisions with the community.  Cooperative work was crucial if the migrants were to survive the first years in their new circumstances.  Whether shared or single-family dwellings, the housing in Port Royal would have been built cooperatively.  Even the simplest of shelters, whatever the material used, whether logs, planks, or stone, demanded a great deal of physical labour for its construction.  We know more about the building of the forts and trading posts in the colony at this time than we yet do about the construction of the average house.  Ongoing [2005] archaeological work in the Annapolis [Port-Royal] valley, however, indicates that the average dwelling of the early settler was sturdily constructed with a good cellar and chimney structure.  The materials used included stone and sawn planks more often than logs.  Chinks in the walls were filled in with tamped clay and grasses."  Griffiths continues:  "However simple such dwellings might seem, a man and his wife needed their neighbours to help.  Further, the need to build the dykes and establish the physical environment of barns and wharfs, not to mention the church and the fort, made all members of the community interdependent.  Demography, too, reinforced connections between people.  The smallness of the population, limited immigration, and the social demands of lives lived in relatively immobile circumstances meant that the pool of available marriage partners for young adults between 1654 and 1671 was more or less restricted to their neighbours.   In sum, the early years of settlement demanded a general civility in the community, if a reasonable standard of living for any and all was to be achieved," what one specialists had called "mutuality."  Griffiths adds:  "... those who settled Port Royal, having left differing circumstances of life in the various regions of France, were now constrained to accept one another and set about the establishing of a community.  When examining social stratification among the Acadian community in 1671, one must remember that most of the community had only just migrated to the colony and family relationships through marriages of the second generation were of major importance.  Social stratification would sharpen over the next decades, with the growth of the colony, but any analysis of wealth at this point must pay considerable attention to the family relationships and whether or not there was a marketable skill in the family."43c

Naomi Griffiths concludes:  "... Port Royal in 1671 was an agriculturally based community, with a standard of living that supported family growth.  Its livestock holdings compared favourably with those of similar communities elsewhere, both along the St. Lawrence and in Massachusetts.  But it was also more than this.  It was a developing community, embedded in the larger society of transatlantic European migration.  The settlement was also linked to the activities of other settlers and traders within the colony, and, above all, it had established trading patterns with Boston merchants.  The perception that Port Royal was somehow a sleepy gathering places of peasants, relocated from one static cultural tradition to another, cannot be substantiated.  At a most elemental level, the small community had to have regular contact with larger centres.  It was not, at this point in time, capable of sustaining itself without trade, whether with other settlements in North America or with Europe.  The settlers imported goods both for trade with the Mi'kmaq and as necessities in their own lives; textiles and tools, guns, shot and powder.  They also bought a variety of articles that, if not strictly necessary, were of great importance:  shoes and stockings, tobacco, and foodstuff, such as sugar, wine and spirits, oil and vinegar.  Between 1654 and 1671, the majority of of such goods came from Boston.  French officials were appalled to discover that this trade was not significantly altered by the arrival of Grandfontaine."  Moreover, "Port Royal had become the most significant Europeans settlement in an area of interest to fishermen, fur traders, and would-be migrants from both England and France.  This meant the presence in the region of a highly mobile population of speculators and a steady trickle of official military and political personnel from across the Atlantic.  The local governance and politics of Port Royal were, however intermittently and haphazardly, part and parcel of a more general structure.  Thus Guillaume Trahan, recognized as a syndic in 1654, was reported in 1671 as a marechal, someone who represented, at the very least, a delegated authority for law and order.  Fishing vessels brought news and ideas to the area, as well as the occasional migrant.  Those few priests who visited the colony, even during the years of English control, were another source of information.  Nor were the inhabitants themselves people inclined to accept, without question, official directives.  Migrants are often people who had already displayed a great deal of initiative in the organization of their lives, having usually left the countryside for the town as a first step towards migrating across the Atlantic.  Even those migrants who came directly from the countryside were people who sought a better life than the one they had known, one that would improve both their economic standard of living and their position within the social structure.  The general temper of the early settlers was one of independence, something that officials, sent from France to North America, would frequently deplore in the coming decades."43d

Father Molin also counted much smaller populations at Cap-Nèigre (a man, a woman, and three children), Pobomcoup (three men, three women, and eight children), and Rivière-aux-Rochelois, also called Port-Rochelois, now Port Razoir, near Cap-Sable; at Pentagouët in Maine (one family and 25 soldiers); at Musquodoboit on the Atlantic shore (13 residents); and at St.-Pierre on Cape Breton Island (three families with five children); but he failed to count the settlers on Nicolas Denys's concessions at Île Miscou and Nepisiguit. 

In spite of its shortcomings, however, here was a list of the First Families of Acadia.  On it were Frenchmen who had lived in the colony for over three decades.43 

The First Families of Acadia

Few of the men who fathered these first European families were fur traders or fishermen, as in the early days.  Some were artisans, laborers, soldiers, sailors, clerks, and even high officials.  Most, however, were farmers--labourers, as the French called them--sturdy members of the peasant class who put down deep roots in the rich soil of Acadia--soil that they themselves literally were creating with their clever aboiteaux.44

In the first census could be found the names of two families whose progenitors had come to the colony with Razilly in the early 1630s: 

Germain Doucet, sieur de La Verdure, had come to Acadia in his middle age and may have been alive in 1671 (he would have been in his late 70s), but he evidently was not in Acadia.  After the English seized the colony in 1654, the "captain at arms" seems to have returned to France.  Counted in the 1671 census, however, were Germain's two grown sons, Pierre and Germain, fils, who had remained in the colony.  Pierre became a bricklayer and, when he was nearly age 40, married Henriette, daughter of Simon Pelletret and Perrine Bourg and stepdaughter of René Landry l'aîné, in c1660, when she was in her early 20s.  Pierre was 50 years old at the time of the census, and Henriette was 31.  With them were five children, three sons and two daughters.  They lived on 4 arpents of land along the basin and owned 7 cattle and 6 sheep.  Henriette would give Pierre 10 children, including five sons who created families of their own.  Pierre's younger brother Germain, fils married Marie, daughter of René Landry l'aîné and Pérrine Bourg, in c1664; Marie was a stepsister of Germain, fils's brother Pierre's wife Henriette.  Germain, fils was 30 years old at the time of the census, and Marie was 24.  They had three children, all sons, and lived on 3 arpents with 11 cattle and 7 sheep.  Marie gave Germain, fils nine children, including five sons who created families of their own.  Also in the census was Germain, père's older daughter Marguerite, called Marie-Judith by the census taker, age 46, married to gunsmith Abraham Dugas, age 55.  Germain, père's second daughter, her name lost to history, had married colonist Pierre Lejeune dit Briard in c1650, but they do not appear in the first census; they may have left Acadia by then, or both may have died before the first census was taken.43a

Pierre Comeau the barrel maker was still alive in 1671 and still working as a cooper at age 75.  He had married 18-year-old Rose Bayon in c1649, when he was 51.  Rose may have come to the colony as a child aboard the St.-Jehan in 1636.  Father Molin did not give her age, but she would have been about 40 years old in 1671.  Living with them on 6 arpents were seven unmarried children, five sons and two daughters.  They owned 16 cattle and 22 sheep.  Rose gave Pierre nine children, including five sons who created families of their own.  Also counted in the first census was their oldest son Étienne, age 21, who had married Marie-Anne, daughter of Martin Lefebvre and Barbe Bajolet of La Rochelle, the year before the census; Marie-Anne also was age 21 in 1671.  Étienne and Marie-Anne were living with one child, an infant daughter, on "no cultivated land," but they did own 7 cattle and 7 sheep.  Marie gave Étienne only two more children, one of them a son who created a family of his own.47

A few of the passengers who had come to Acadia aboard the St.-Jehan in 1636 were still living at Port-Royal when the first census was taken: 

Pierre Martin of St.-Germain de Bourgeuil was 70 years old and his wife Catherine Vigneau was 68 when they appeared in the first census.  They lived on 2 arpents and owned 7 cattle and 8 sheep.  Father Molin noted also that four of their children, a son and three daughters, were married--Marie, age 35, to Pierre Morin, age 37; Andrée, age 30, to François Pellerin, age 35; and Marguerite, age 27, to Jean Bourg, age 26.  Older son Pierre, fils, age 45, and his first wife, a Mi'kmaq named Anne Ouestnorouest dit Petitous, age 27, whom he had married in c1660, were living with four sons on 8 arpents and owned 11 cattle and 6 sheep.  Pierre, père's younger son Mathieu, age 35, a weaver, was still single and living on an unspecified amount of land with 4 cattle and 3 sheep.48

Edge-tool maker Guillaume Trahan of Montreuil-Bellay also was 70 years old in 1671; his first wife, François Corbineau, was dead.  One of their two daughters was counted in the census--Jeanne, age 40, married to Jacques dit Jacob Bourgeois, age 50.  Guillaume and Françoise's younger daughter, whose name has been lost to history, had married widower German Doucet, sieur de La Verdure in c1654, the year he probably returned to France; she probably went with him.  When an English force under Robert Sedgwick captured Port-Royal in August 1654, Guillaume, as syndic, headed a committee of inhabitants who Sedgwick left in charge of the settlement.  Guillaume also remarried in the colony, to Madeleine, daughter of Vincent Brun and Renée Breau, in c1665; Guillaume was 65 years old and his bride only 19 at the time of the wedding; she was age 25 in 1671.  Living with them on 5 arpents were three young sons, Guillaume, fils, Jean-Charles, and Alexandre, ages 4, 3, and 1, respectively.  Guillaume and Madeleine owned 8 cattle and 10 sheep.  She gave him seven children, including the three sons, all of whom created families of their own.49

Still alive in 1671 were some of the early arrivals who some historians insist were from the village of Martaizé in northern Poitou, where d'Aulnay and his mother had controlled "vast seigneuries" and where some of the passengers aboard the St.-Jehan may have been recruited: 

Jean Gaudet's son Denis, who had come to the colony with his parents and two sisters in the late 1630s, was 46 years old in 1671.  He had married Martine Gauthier, six years his senior, in c1645; she was 52 years old at the time of the census.  Living with them were three unmarried children, two sons and a daughter, on 6 arpents of cultivated land along the basin.  They owned 9 cattle and 13 sheep, with "more lambs than mature sheep," Father Molin noted.  Martine gave Denis five children, including two sons who created families of their own.  Also in the census were two of Denis and Martine's married daughters:  Anne, age 27, counted with husband Pierre Vincent, age 40; and Marie, age 20, with husband Olivier Daigre, age 28.  In the census also were Denis's older sister Françoise, age 48, counted with her second husband, Daniel LeBlanc, age 45; and Denis's younger sister Marie, age 38, widow of Étienne Hébert.  Amazingly, Jean, père was still alive in 1671.  His first wife had died, and he had remarried to Nicole Colleson, probably a young widow, in c1652; she was 64 years old in 1671.  Father Molin noted that Jean was "the oldest inhabitant of Port-Royal ..., the venerable doyen of the colony ... then aged ninety-six years."  He and Nicole lived "on 3 arpents of land at two locations," with 6 cattle and 3 sheep.  Living with them was an unmarried son, Jean, fils, age 18.  The "venerable doyen," Jean, père died at Port-Royal a few years after the 1671 census, age 103.50 

Antoine Bourg, a bachelor when he came to Acadia in the late 1630s, remained in the colony and, in his early 30s, married Antoinette, sister of fellow colonist René Landry l'aîné, in c1642.  Antoine was 62 years old in 1671, and Antoinette was 53.  Living with them were seven unmarried children, two sons and five daughters, on 4 arpents.  They owned 12 cattle and 8 sheep.  Antoinette gave Antoine 11 children, including fives sons who created families of their own.  Also in the census were Antoine and Antoinette's three married sons and a married daughter:  François, age 28, was married to Marguerite, daughter of Michel Boudrot and Michelle Aucoin; she was 23 in 1671.  Living with them on 5 1/2 arpents were two young children, a son and a daughter.  They owned 15 cattle and 5 sheep.  Marguerite gave François seven children, including two sons who created families of their own.  Marie, age 26, was married to Vincent Breau, age 40.  Jean, age 24 or 25, was married to Marguerite, daughter of Pierre Martin and Catherine Vigneau; Marguerite was age 27.  Living with them on 15 arpents were two young daughters.  They owned 3 cattle and 5 sheep.  Marguerite gave Jean nine children, including two sons who created their own families.  Bernard, age 23, was married to Françoise, daughter of Vincent Brun and Renée Breau; Françoise was age 19.  They lived with a daughter, age unrecorded (she was still an infant), on "no cultivated land," and owned 6 cattle and 9 sheep.  Françoise gave Bernard 13 children, two of them sons who created families of his own.51

François Gautrot, married when he came to the colony in the late 1630s, had lost his first wife, Marie, soon afterward, but not before she gave him a son:  Charles, who preferred to call himself a Gottreau, was 34 years old in 1671.  He does not appear with his father in the first Acadian census, though his name and age are recorded as belonging to the family, because he no longer lived in the colony.  In October 1665, Charles had married Françoise, daughter of Martin Cousin and Marie Hubert, at Québec and did not return to Acadia.  Françoise gave Charles six children, including three sons, none of whom married.  Meanwhile, François remarried to Edmée, one of the Lejeune sisters, in c1644.  He was 58 years old in 1671, and she was 47.  Living with them on 6 arpents were six children, five sons and a daughter; two of the sons--Jean and François, fils--grown but still unmarried.  François and Edmée owned 16 head of cattle and 9 sheep.  Edmée gave François, père nine more children, including three sons who created families of their own, but their oldest son Jean was not to be one of them.  Also in the census were four of François, père's married daughters:  Marie, François's oldest child, age 34, was counted with her second husband, Michel Depeux dit Dupuis, age 37.  Another Marie, age 24, François's oldest child by his second wife, was counted with her husband Claude Thériot, age 34.  Renée, age 19, was counted with her husband, Jean Labat dit Le Marquis, age 33, whom she had just married.  Marguerite, age 17, was counted with husband Jacques dit Jacob Girouard, age 23; they, too, were newly wed.52  

Jean Thériot, who had come to Port-Royal with wife Pérrine Rau in c1637, was age 70, and his wife age 60 in 1671.  Living with them on 5 arpents was their youngest child, fifth son Pierre, age 17.  According to Father Molin, Jean and Pérrine owned 6 cattle and 1 sheep.  Pérrine gave Jean seven children, including five sons, four of whom created families of their own.  Also in the census were five of Jean and Pérrine's married children, three sons and two daughters.  Oldest son Claude, age 34, was counted with wife Marie, age 24, daughter of François Gautrot and his second wife Edmée Lejeune.  Living with them on 6 arpents of cultivated land were four children, two sons and two daughters.  They owned 13 cattle and 3 sheep.  Marie gave Claude 14 children, including three sons who created families of their own.  Jean's third son Bonaventure dit Venture, age 27, was counted with wife Jeanne, age 26, daughter of Michel Boudrot and Michelle Aucoin.  Living with them on 2 arpents was a young daughter.  They owned 6 cattle and 6 sheep.  Jeanne gave Venture four children, none of them sons, but three of their daughters married.  Jean's older daughter Jeanne, age 27, was counted with husband Pierre Thibodeau, age 40.  Jean's fourth son Germain, age 25, was counted with wife Andrée, age 25, a daughter of Vincent Brun and Renée Breau.  Living with them on 2 arpents was a young son.  They owned 5 cattle and 2 sheep.  Andrée gave Germain only three children, two of them sons who created their own families.  Jean's younger daughter Catherine, age 20, was counted with husband Pierre Guilbeau, age 32.  Jean's second son, Jean, fils, who would have been age 32 in 1671, does not appear in the census; he may have taken his wife, who he had recently married, to another colony, perhaps to Canada; her name, as well as the names of their children, if they had any, have been lost to history.53 

Daniel LeBlanc came to the colony in c1645 and married Françoise, daughter of Jean Gaudet and his first wife, in c1650.  Daniel was age 45, and Françoise 48 in 1671.  They lived on 10 arpents along the north bank of the basin "to the northeast of the marsh at Bélisle, about nine miles above the fort at Port-Royal, and a half mile below the chapel of Saint-Laurent," near Prée-Ronde, with six unmarried sons and owned 18 head of cattle and 26 sheep.  Also in the census was their second child and only daughter, Françoise, age 18, whom Father Molin counted with her recently-wedded husband, Martin, age 24, son of Jean Blanchard and Radegonde Lambert.  Of the seven children wife Françoise gave Daniel, five of them were sons who took wives of their own and helped create what would become the largest family in all of Acadia.55 

François Savoie (Father Molin called him a Scavois) came to Acadia in the 1640s and married Catherine, the other Lejeune sister, in c1651.  He was age 50, and she was 38 in 1671.  Living with them on 6 arpents were eight unmarried children, three sons and five daughters, the youngest a daughter who was only a year and a half old.  They owned 4 head of cattle and no sheep.  Also in the census was a married daughter, Françoise, age 18, who was counted with her husband, Jean Corporan, age 25.  Despite François and Catherine's many children, only their oldest son, Germain, age 16 in 1671, carried on the family line.  Germain married Marie, daughter of Vincent Breau and Marie Bourg, in c1678; she gave Germain a dozen children, including five sons who created families of their own.54

According to some historians, early settlers counted in the first census may have come to the colony from La Chaussée, another town in the Loire valley, near Blois, upriver from St.-Germain de Bourgeuil and Martaizé: 

Vincent Brun, like most of the bachelors who had come to the colony during the Razilly years, returned to France.  In the 1640s, he married twice to Breau sisters at La Chaussée and returned to Acadia later in the decade with his second wife, Renée, and two daughters.  Vincent was age 60 and Renée age 55 in 1671.  They were living on 5 arpents with two unmarried children, a son and a daughter.  They owned 10 cattle and 4 sheep.  Also in the census were three married daughters:  Madeleine, age 25, was the second wife of Guillaume Trahan, age 70.  Andrée, age 24, was counted with husband Germain Thériot, age 25.  And Françoise, age 19, was counted with husband Bernard Bourg, age 23.  Vincent's only son Sébastien, called Bastien, who was 15 in 1671, married Huguette, a daughter of Antoine Bourg and Antoinette Landry, in c1675 and fathered seven children of his own, including four sons who created their own families.56

François Girouard dit La Varanne had come to the colony in c1640 with wife Jeanne Aucoin, who was from La Rochelle.  He was 50 years old, and she was 40 in 1671.  They were living on 8 arpents with two unmarried children, a son and a daughter.  They owned 16 cattle and 6 sheep.  Also in the census were three married children:  Older son Jacques dit Jacob, age 23, was counted with wife Marguerite, daughter of François Gautrot and Edmée Lejeune; Marguerite was only age 17.  They owned no land, at least Father Molin recorded, but they had an infant son, 7 cattle, and 3 sheep.  Marguerite gave Jacques dit Jacob 14 children, including nine sons who created families of their own.  François's older daughter Marguerite, age 20, was counted with her husband, Jacques Blou or Belou, age 30; he was a cooper.  They, too, owned no recorded land but had an infant daughter, 7 cattle, and a sheep.  Younger daughter Marie-Madeleine, called Madeleine, age 17, was counted with her husband, Thomas Cormier, a carpenter, age 35.57

René Landry, later called l'aîné, came to the colony in c1640 and married Pérrine, sister of Antoine Bourg and widow of Simon Pelletret, in c1645.  René l'aîné was age 52, and Pérrine was 45 in 1671.  They were living on 12 arpents with three unmarried children, a daughter and two sons.  They owned 10 cattle and 6 sheep.  Two of their married daughters were counted in the census:  Marie, age 24, with husband Germain Doucet, fils, age 30; and a second Marie, age 23 or 24, with husband Laurent Granger, a seaman, age 34.  Also in the census were René' l'aîné's married stepdaughters:  Henriette Pelletret, age 30 or 31, was counted with husband Pierre Doucet, age 50, half-sister Marie's brother-in-law; and Jeanne Pelletret, age 27, was counted with her first husband Barnabé Martin, age 35.58

Clément Bertrand, a carpenter, came to Acadia in c1642.  He married Huguette Lambelot in c1645.  He was 50 years old, and she was 48 in 1671.  They were living on 6 arpents and owned 10 cattle and 6 sheep.  They had no children, nor would they have any.59 

Antoine Belliveau or Béliveau came to Acadia in c1645 and married Andrée Guyon, widow of ____ Bernard, in c1651.  He was age 50, and she was 56 in 1671.  They were living on "no land" with two unmarried children, a son and a daughter, and owned 11 cattle and 8 sheep.  Both of their children would marry, their son twice.60

Vincent Brot or Breau dit Vincelotte, whose sisters had married Vincent Brun back at La Chaussée in the 1640s, came to Port-Royal in c1652 and married Marie, daughter of Antoine Bourg and Antoinette Landry, in c1661.  Vincelotte was 40 years old, and Marie was 26 in 1671.  They lived on 4 arpents with four young children, two sons and a daughter.  They owned 9 cattle and 7 sheep.  Marie gave Vincent a dozen children, including five sons who created their own families.61

Settlers from other parts of France who were counted in the first census had come to Acadia in the late 1630s and 1640s, during the years of struggle between La Tour and d'Aulnay

Michel Boudrot of Cougnes, near La Rochelle, came to Port-Royal in the late 1630s and married Michelle Aucoin, sister of François Girouard's wife Jeanne Aucoin, at Port-Royal in c1641.  Michel, who served as one of the first syndics at Port-Royal, was 71 years old in 1671, and Michelle was 53.  They lived on 8 arpents with eight unmarried children, six sons and two daughters.  They owned 20 head of cattle and 12 sheep.  Also in the census were three married daughters:  Françoise, age 29, was living with husband Étienne Robichaud, age 31, but they had refused to give Father Molin any information about themselves.  Jeanne, age 26, was counted with husband Bonaventure dit Venture Thériot, age 27.  Marguerite, age 23, was counted with husband François Bourg, age 28.  Michel's oldest son Charles, age 22 and still a bachelor in 1671, would soon marry and create a family of his own.  All of Michel's six younger sons--Jean, Abraham, Michel, fils, Olivier, Claude, and François--also created families of their own.  Michel, père, meanwhile, served as lieutenant général civil et criminal, or colonial judge, at Port-Royal until August 1688, when he was replaced by Mathieu de Goutin.  Astonishingly, Michel was in his late 80s when he gave up the post.66 

Jacques dit Jacob or Jacobus Bourgeois, born in c1619 perhaps at La Ferté-Gaucher, east of Paris, was recruited by Claude de Launay-Rasilly, brother of Isaac de Razilly, and came to Acadia aboard the St.-François in 1641.  Jacques, a surgeon, married Jeanne, daughter of Guillaume Trahan and François Corbineau, in c1643.  In February 1653, along with Germain Doucet, Jacques witnessed the signing of the marriage contract between Governor Charles La Tour and Jeanne Motin, widow of former governor Charles d'Aulnay.  The following year, Jacques was serving as the lieutenant of Sieur Germain Doucet, commander at Port-Royal, when the English captured the fort there.  The surrender document dictated by the English, dated August 16, says Jacques was Sieur Germain's brother-in-law.  The English seemed to have forced Germain to leave the colony, but Jacques remained as a hostage at Port-Royal to insure that the members of the garrison obeyed the terms of surrender.  In 1671, Jacques was 50 years old, and Jeanne was 40.  They lived with nine unmarried children, two sons and six daughters, on "more or less 20 arpents of cultivated land at two different locations" along the basin.  They owned 33 cattle and 24 sheep, and were among the wealthiest couples in the colony.  Oldest son Charles, age 25, was counted with wife Anne, age 17, daughter of Abraham Dugas and Marguerite Doucet.  Charles and Anne lived with a young daughter on 2 arpents and owned 12 cattle and 7 sheep.  Anne gave Charles four children, including two sons who created their own families.  Also in the census was Jacques and Jeanne's married daughter Marie, age 18, who was counted with first husband Pierre Sire or Cyr, a gunsmith, age 27.  Jacques dit Jacob and Jeanne's two younger sons, Germain and Guillaume, ages 21 and 16 in 1671, also created families of their own.64

Jean Poirier, a fisherman, came to the colony aboard the St.-François in 1641 to work in the fisheries established by Nicolas Denys.  With Jean was wife Jeanne Chebrat of La Chaussée.  Jean died in c1654, 17 years before the first census was taken, but not before fathering a daughter and a son, both of whom appeared in the first census.  Jean's daughter Marie-Françoise had married Roger dit Jean Kuessy, Quessy, or Caissie, an Irishman, in c1668.  In 1671, Marie-Françoise was 22 years old, and Roger was 25.  Jean's son Michel was a 20-year-old bachelor in 1671.  He lived alone on "no cultivated land," owned two head of cattle, and would marry and create a family of his own.  Jean Poirier's widow Jeanne Chebrat remarried to colonist Antoine Gougeon soon after Jean's death.  She gave her new husband a daughter, who married a son of Jean Blanchard in c1673.65

Abraham Dugast or Dugas, a gunsmith, came to the colony in the early 1640s and married Marguerite, daughter of Germain Doucet, sieur de La Verdure and his first wife, in c1647.  In 1671, Abraham was 55 years old, and Marguerite, called Marie-Judith by Father Molin, was 46.  They lived on 16 arpents with six unmarried children, three sons and three daughters.  They owned 19 cattle and three sheep.  Also counted in the census were two married daughters:  Marie, age 23, with husband Charles Melanson dit La Ramée, age 28; and Anne, age 17, with first husband Charles Bourgeois, age 25.  All three of Abraham's sons married and created families of their own.  In his later years, according to Antoine Laumet dit Le Mothe de Cadillac, Abraham, père "'carried out the functions of general representative of the King (in civil and criminal matters).'"62

Two Hébert brothers, probably not kin to Louis Hébert of Paris and Québec, came to Port-Royal in the early 1640s.  Antoine, the older brother, a cooper, married Geneviève Lefranc in c1648.  In 1671, he was age 50, and Geneviève was 58.  They lived on six arpents "of cultivated land at two locations" with three unmarried children--two sons, both grown, and a teenage daughter--and they owned 18 cattle and seven sheep.  Two of their children, a daughter and a son, created families of their own.63a

Younger brother Étienne Hébert had married Marie, daughter of Jean Gaudet, in c1650, but died a year or so before the first census was taken (his age at the time of his death was not recorded).  Marie was age 38 in 1671 and lived on three arpents of cultivated land with eight unmarried children, five sons and three daughters, the youngest a son who was only a year old.  The widow Hébert owned four cattle and five sheep.  Also counted in the census was her oldest daughter, Marie, age 20, with husband Michel (originally Gereyt) de Forest, age 33, a Dutchman who had converted to Catholicism to marry his Acadian sweetheart.  The widow Hébert's younger daughter Marguerite, age 19, had recently married Frenchman Jean-Jacques, called Jacques, Le Prince, who would have been in his mid-20s in 1671, but they were not counted in the census.  Jacques probably had taken her to another part of the colony where Father Molin did not venture, or perhaps they had gone to Canada.  No matter, they returned to Acadia by the 1680s and settled near her younger siblings in the Minas Basin.  The widow Hébert's eight younger children included five sons, all of whom created families of their own.63 

Jean Blanchard came to the colony by c1642, when he married Radegonde Lambert at Port-Royal.  He was 60 years old, and she was 42 in 1671.  They lived on 5 arpents of cultivated land with three unmarried children, two sons--Guillaume, age 21, and Bernard, age 18--and daughter Marie, age 15, their youngest child.  Jean and Radegonde owned 12 head of cattle and 9 sheep.  Also in the census were three of their married children:  Oldest child Madeleine, age 28, was counted with husband Michel Richard dit Sansoucy, age 41.  Anne, age 26, widow of François Guérin, was counted with five young children; she would remarry to Pierre Gaudet l'aîné the following year.  Jean and Radegonde's oldest son Martin, age 24, was counted with his new bride Françoise, age 18, daughter of Daniel LeBlanc and Françoise Gaudet.  Martin and Françoise lived on 15 arpents with no children, but they owned 5 head of cattle and 2 sheep.67

René Rimbault or Raimbeau came to the colony in the early 1640s and married Anne-Marie, surname unknown, the widow of a settler named Pinet.  According to genealogist Bona Arsenault, Anne-Marie may gave been a métisse.  René was age 55 in 1671, and Anne-Marie was 40.  They were living on 12 arpents with five children and owned 12 head of cattle and 9 sheep.  Anne-Marie gave René seven children, including a son who married but fathered no children of his own. 

Anne-Marie's son Philippe Pinet, born at Port-Royal in c1654 and fathered by her first husband, was being raised by his mother and stepfather and was using Rimbault as his surname in 1671.  He reverted to his biological father's surname, however, perhaps after he married Catherine, daughter of Étienne Hébert and Marie Gaudet, at Port-Royal in c1678.  She gave him a dozen children, including six sons who created their own families.68

Robert Cormier, a master ship's carpenter from La Rochelle, signed in that city on 8 January 1644 an indenture for three years service, at 120 livres per annum, with Louis Tuffet, commander of Fort St.-Pierre on Cape Breton Island.  That spring, he, his wife Marie Péraud, and their two young sons, Thomas and Jean, sailed to Cape Breton aboard Le Petit St.-Pierre.  After Robert fulfilled his contract, he evidently took his family to Port-Royal, where he may have found work under the Sieur d'Aulnay.  Like most of his fellow French immigrants, Robert did not remain.  During the 1650s, he likely returned to La Rochelle with his wife and younger son Jean perhaps to escape the turmoil then stirring up the colony.  Robert's older son Thomas, however, who was a teenager in the early 1650s, remained in the colony, probably at Port-Royal, where he, too, worked as a carpenter.  In his early 30s, he married Marie-Madeleine, called Madeleine, teenage daughter of François Girouard and Jeanne Aucoin, at Port-Royal in c1668.  In 1671, Thomas was 35 years old and was described by Father Molin as a carpenter; Madeleine was only 17.  The priest counted only one child, a daughter, in the Cormier household and noted that they owned 6 arpents of land on which they raised 7 head of cattle and 7 sheep.  Madeleine probably was pregnant with their oldest son, François, when Father Molin came around.  Madeleine gave Thomas 10 children, including four sons who married granddaughters of Daniel LeBlanc.  The couple settled at Chignecto, which Thomas helped pioneer the year after the census.70

Claude Petitpas, sieur de La Fleur, a clerk who became a notary, reached Acadia in c1645 and married Catherine, daughter of Bernard Bugaret, at Port-Royal in c1658.  In 1671, Claude was 45 years old, and Catherine was 33.  Living with them on 30 arpents were seven young children, four sons and three daughters.  They owned 26 cattle and 12 sheep and were among the wealthiest couples in the colony. Catherine gave Claude 13 children, including three sons who created families of their own.17

A young French army captain who had come to the colony in the early 1650s as an associate of Governor Charles La Tour obtained a seigneurie of his own.  Two soldiers who had come to the colony during the early 1650s with Emmanuel Le Borgne remained in Acadia, married, and became prominent settlers:     

Philippe Mius, sieur d'Entremont (Father Molin spelled it Landremont), the seigneur and baron of Pobomcoup, now Pubnico, near Cap-Sable, was a former La Tour associate who received appointment as the King's attorney for Acadia from the new royal governor the year before Father Molin's census.  Philippe was age 62 in 1671.  Father Molin did not give the age of Philippe's wife, Madeleine Hélie, whom Philippe had married in France in c1649, on the eve of their coming to Acadia, but she would have been 45 years old in 1671.  Father Molin did say that Philippe and Madeleine lived with four children, two sons and two daughters, ages 17 to 2, and that they owned 26 cattle, 29 sheep, 12 goats, and 20 hogs on their barony at Pobomcoup.  One historian suggests that there may have raised chickens as well.  Madeleine gave Philippe five children, including three sons who created families of their own.  Father Molin counted Philippe and Madeleine's oldest child, daughter Marguerite, age 21, at Port-Royal with husband Pierre Melanson dit La Verdure, fils, age 3944a

Michel Richard dit Sansoucy of Saintonge, whose dit was "a regimental nickname which confirms in some degree his occupation as a soldier," married Madeleine, daughter of Jean Blanchard and Radegonde Lambert, in 1656.  Michel "obtained" from the seigneur of Port-Royal, Alexandre Le Borgne de Bélisle, "two grants at some ten to fifteen miles from the fort..."  In 1671, Michel was age 41 and Marguerite 28.  They were living on 14 arpents with seven children, including a set of twins who were only a few weeks old.  They owned 15 cattle and 14 sheep.  Madeleine gave Sansoucy 10 children, including four sons who created families of their own.  In c1683, in his early 50s, Michel would remarry to Jeanne, daughter of Antoine Babin and Marie Mercier, and father two more sons.73

Pierre Thibodeau, born in Poitou in c1631, married Jeanne, daughter of Jean Thériot and Perreine Rau, in c1660.  He was a miller by trade, so he built a mill at Prée-Ronde above Port-Royal and soon became prosperous.  In 1671, Pierre was age 40 and Jeanne age 27.  They were living on 7 arpents with six young children, a son and five daughters; the son was only a year old.  They owned 12 cattle and 11 sheep.  Jeanne gave Pierre 16 children, including seven sons who created families of their own.  In c1700, Pierre would pioneer the Acadian settlement at Chepoudy, on the upper Bay of Fundy.72 

Many of the Acadians who were counted in 1671 had come to the colony during the English occupation of 1654-70, when immigration to Acadia from France and Canada was supposed to have been curtailed.  At least two of them were Englishmen, one was a Dutchman in English service, one an Irishman, and another from Flanders.  But most of them came from France, one of them perhaps from La Chaussée; another was a Huguenot.  And most of them married into established families: 

Antoine Gougeon, also spelled Gueguen and Guoguen, married Jeanne, daughter of Antoine Chabrat and Françoise Chaumoret of La Chaussée and widow of Jean Poirier, probably at Port-Royal in c1654.  In 1671, Antoine was age 45, and Jeanne was 45 also.  They were living on 10 arpents with their only child, daughter Huguette, age 14.  They owned 20 cattle and 17 sheep.  Antoine and Jeanne had no more children, so only the blood of this family survived in the colony.  Daughter Huguette married Guillaume, younger son of Jean Blanchard and Radegonde Lambert, in c1673, when she was only 16 years old.  She gave him a dozen children.  During the late 1690s, Guillaume Blanchard would help pioneer the Acadian settlement at Petitcoudiac and establish Village-des-Blanchards.74

Pierre Laverdure, a French Huguenot in English service, came to the colony in the spring of 1657 with English Governor Thomas Temple.  With Pierre were his English wife Priscilla, whose family name is unknown, and their three sons who, like their mother, had been born in England.  Pierre and his family lived at the fort on Rivière St.-Jean before moving on to Port-Royal, where Pierre served for a time as tutor of former governor d'Aulnay's children, now under the care of their stepfather, former governor Charles La Tour.  When the English abandoned the colony in 1670, Pierre, his wife, and their youngest son John, still Huguenots, retreated to Boston, where Pierre died during the winter of 1676-77.  Priscilla remarried to New English Captain William Wright in April 1680.  Pierre and Priscilla's two older sons did not accompany them to Boston but remained at Port-Royal, where they had converted to Catholicism and taken Acadian wives.  They also favored the surname Mellanson, later Melanson, for reasons yet explained.  In his early 30s, older son Pierre, fils married Marie-Marguerite, called Marguerite, daughter of Philippe Mius d'Entremont, seigneur of Pobomcoup, and Madeleine Hélie, at Port-Royal in c1665.  In 1671, Pierre was age about 39 and was listed as a tailor, and Marguerite was 21.  However, Father Molin noted, Pierre and his wife refused to answer any questions about their farm or their family.  Pierre and Marguerite would have been living with their three oldest children, two sons and a daughter, but the size of their farm in 1671 remains a mystery.  Marguerite gave Pierre, fils 11 children, including four sons who created families of their own.  His two youngest daughters would marry French soldiers serving in Acadia, one of them an officer.

Pierre Laverdure's second son Charles Mellanson dit La Ramée married Marie, daughter of Abraham Dugas and Marguerite Doucet, at Port-Royal in c1663.  Charles was 28 years old in 1671, and Marie was 23.  They were a little more cooperative with Father Molin than Charles's older brother.  They lived with four small children, all daughters, but they did not give the size of their farm.  They did admit that they owned 40 cattle and 6 sheep.  Marie gave Charles 14 children, including five sons who created families of their own.44c

Laurent Granger of Plymouth, England, also in English service, came to Acadia during the late 1650s, converted to Catholicism, and married Marie, daughter of René Landry l'aîné and Perrine Bourg, at Port-Royal in c1667.  In 1671, Laurent, listed as a seaman, was age 34, and Marie was 24.  They were living on 4 arpents with two small children, a daughter and a son, the youngest only 9 months old.  They owned 5 cattle and 6 sheep.  Marie gave Laurent nine children, including five sons who created families of their own.76

Jean Pitre, an edge tool maker, sometimes described as a gunsmith, probably from Flanders, came to the colony in the late 1650s.  In c1665, he married Marie, daughter of Isaac Pesseley, former major of Port-Royal who had been killed during the civil war between La Tour and d'Aulnay, and Barbe Bajolet.  Marie, an infant when her father died, returned to France with her mother.  In c1654, Barbe returned to Acadia with her third husband, Savinien de Courpon, sieur de La Tour; Marie, still a girl, went with them.  In 1671, Jean was age 35, and Marie was 26.  Barbe, a widow for the third time, age unrecorded (she would have been in early 60s that year), also was counted in Father Molin's census.  Evidently living alone, she owned a cow and 5 sheep.  Jean and Marie were living on "no land" with three young children, a son and two daughters, the youngest only 9 months old.  They owned no sheep, but they did own a cow.  Marie gave Jean 11 children, including four sons who created families of their own.77

François Guérin (Father Molin called him a Gudcin), who may have been from the Martaizé area, came to Port-Royal by c1659, when he married Anne, a daughter of Jean Blanchard and Radegonde Lambert.  François died just before the first census was taken, but not before fathering five children.  In 1671, Anne was 26 years old and living with those children, three daughter and two sons, the youngest one, a son, only 2 years old, on 6 arpents of cultivated land.  She owned 6 cattle and 3 sheep.  Older son Jérôme, whom Father Molin called Frivoline in the census, would perpetuate the family line.78

Gereyt de Forest of Leyden, Holland, came to Acadia in c1659 as a soldier in English service.  He also converted to Catholicism before taking an Acadian bride, Marie, daughter of Étienne Hébert and Marie Gaudet, at Port-Royal in c1666.  In Acadia, the "de" in his name did not survive, nor did his given name.  In 1671, Michel, as he was called in Acadia, was 33 years old, and Marie was 20.  They were living on 2 arpents of cultivated land with three young children, all sons.  Michel and Marie owned 12 cattle and 2 sheep.  She gave him six children, including four sons who created families of their own.  In c1686, Michel would remarry to Jacqueline dite Jacquette, daughter of Martin Benoit and Marie Chaussegros, and she would give him another daughter.79

René Landry le jeune, a cousin of René l'aîné, reached the colony by c1659, when he married Marie, daughter of ____ Bernard and Andrée Guyon, a native of Port-Royal and a stepdaughter of Antoine Belliveau.  Strangely, Father Molin did not count René le jeune and Marie in the 1671 census, but they did appear in the second Port-Royal census of 1678.  That counting did not give any ages or the names of their children, but it did give the size of their farm.  Other colonial records, including later censuses, provide their ages and the number of their children when the first census was taken.  René le jeune would have been about age 37 and Marie about age 26 in 1671.  They would have been living with 6 children, four sons and two daughters, the youngest a newborn.  In 1678, they owned 22 acres of land and 20 cattle, so their farm in 1671 probably was larger than most.  Marie gave René le jeune 15 children, including eight sons who created families of their own.  The result would be an even larger branch of the Landry family in Acadia.80 

Pierre Morin dit Boucher, born in Normandy in c1634, came to the colony by c1661, the year he married Marie-Madeleine, daughter of Pierre Martin and Catherine Vigneau, at Port-Royal.  In 1671, Pierre was age 37, and Marie age 35.  They were living on a single arpent with five children, three sons and two daughters, the youngest only 10 months old.  They owned 3 cattle and 4 sheep.  Marie gave Pierre a dozen children, including nine sons, six of whom created families of their own.81

Antoine Babin arrived by c1662, when he married Mariem daughter of ____ Mercier and Françoise Gaudet.  In 1671, Antoine was age 45, and Marie was 25.  They were living on 2 arpents of cultivated land with five young children, two sons and three daughters, the youngest only a year old.  Another daughter would be born to them soon after the census was taken.  They owned 6 cattle and 8 sheep.  Marie gave Antoine 11 children, including three sons who created families of their own.82

Pierre Vincent came to Acadia by c1663, when he married Anne, a daughter of Denis Gaudet and Martine Gauthier.  In 1671, Pierre was age 40, and Anne age 27.  They were living on 16 arpents with four young children, two sons and two daughters.  For some reason, Father Morin did not count their younger daughter, who would have been only 3 years of age and would survive childhood.  Pierre and Anne owned 18 cattle and 9 sheep.  She gave him six children, including three sons who created families of his own.83 

Étienne Robichaud came to Port-Royal by c1663, when he married Françoise, daughter of Michel Boudrot and Michelle Aucoin.  Father Molin noted in the census that Étienne "did not want to see me.  He left and told his wife that she was not to tell me the number of his livestock or land."  Nor did Françoise reveal the names and ages of their children.  In 1671, Étienne would have been 31 years old and Françoise 29.  They would have been living with three young children, two sons and a daughter, the youngest one, a son, only 2 years old.  Thanks to Étienne's stubbornness, the size of his farm and the numbers of his livestock in 1671 will forever remain a mystery.  In 1678, however, he would own 1 acre and 19 cattle, so his farm was small, but the number of his animals was respectable.  Françoise gave Étienne seven children, including four sons who created families of their own.85

Michel Dupuis, perhaps from La Chaussée, came to Port-Royal by c1664, when he married Marie, daughter of François Gautrot and Marie _____ and widow of ____ Potet.  In 1671, Michel, whom Father Molin called a Dupont, was age 37, and Marie was 34.  They were living on 6 arpents of cultivated land with three young children, two sons and a daughter, the youngest, a son, only 3 months old.  Also living with them was 14-year-old Marie Potet from Marie's first marriage.  Michel and Marie owned 5 cattle and 1 sheep.  Marie gave Michel five children, including three sons who created families of their own.84

François Pellerin came to Acadia from Québec by c1665, when he married Andrée, daughter of Pierre Martin, père and Catherine Vigneau.  In 1671, François was age 35, and Andrée was 30.   They lived on a single arpent with three young children, all daughters, the youngest only 2 days old.  They owned 1 sheep.  Andrée gave François seven children, including a son who created a family of his own.  The leading authority on Acadian genealogy avers that François was not kin to Étienne Pellerin, who came to Acadia soon after the first census.86 

Olivier Daigre came to the colony by c1666, when he married Marie, daughter of Denis Gaudet and Martine Gauthier.  In 1671, Olivier was age 28, and Marie was 20.  They lived on 2 arpents of cultivated land with three young children, all sons.  They owned 6 cattle and 6 sheep.  Marie gave Olivier 10 children, including two sons who created families of their own.88

Barnabé Martin, probably not kin to Pierre Martin of St.-Germain de Bourgeuil, came to Acadia in c1666, when he married Jeanne, daughter of Simon Pelletret and Perrine Bourg.  In 1671, Barnabé was age 35, and Jeanne was 27.  They lived on 2 1/2 arpents with two young children, a daughter and a son, who was only 8 months old.  They owned 3 cattle and 2 sheep.  Jeanne gave Barnabé eight children, including two sons who helped create a second branch of the Martin family in Acadia.  Barnabé's descendants, especially those from older son René, tended to use their father's given name as a dit to distinguish themselves from the other Martins in the colony.112

Pierre Lanoue, a "young scion of a noble Huguenot family in France," after converting to Catholicism, came to Acadia in c1667 as a cooper and settled at Port-Royal.  When asked his age, Pierre told Father Molin that "he felt fine but would not give an answer."  Pierre also refused to give the size of his holdings.  In 1671, Pierre would have been only 23 years old.  He was still a bachelor, so he may have owned no property.  Pierre would not appear in the Port-Royal censuses of 1678 and 1686, but he remained in Acadia.  In c1682, he married Jeanne, daughter of François Gautrot and Edmée Lejeune, at Port-Royal.  Jeanne gave him only one child, a son, who created a family of their own.113

Jean Corporon came to the colony in the late 1660s and married Françoise, a daughter of François Savoie and Catherine Lejeune, only a year before the census.  In 1671, Jean, whom Father Molin called Jehan, was age 25, and Françoise was 18.  Their daughter, "6 weeks of age," the priest noted, was "not yet named."  They would call her Marie.  They lived on "no cultivated land," but they owned 1 head of cattle and 1 sheep.  Françoise gave Jean 15 children, including three sons who created families of their own.  Little Marie survived childhood and married a son of Michel Boudrot.114

Pierre Guilbeau (Father Molin called him a Guillebault) came to Acadia by c1668, when he married Catherine, daughter of Jean Thériot and Perrine Rau.  In 1671, Pierre was age 32, and Catherine was 20.  They lived on 15 arpents with a 2-year-old daughter and owned 6 cattle and 5 sheep.  Catherine gave Pierre seven children, including two sons, one of whom created a family of his own.115

Roger dit Jean Caissie, an Irishman, came to the colony probably during the late 1660s as a soldier in English service.  After his enlistment ended, he married Marie-Françoise, daughter of Jean Poirier and Jeanne Chebrat, at Port-Royal in c1668.  Roger, whom Father Molin called a Kuessy and whose surname also was spelled Quessy, was 25 years old in 1671, and Marie was 22.  They lived on "no cultivated land" with a 2-year-old daughter, but they did own 3 cattle and 2 sheep.  Marie-Françoise gave Roger seven children, including four sons who created their own families.  An historian of the Acadian experience says Roger may have introduced fruit trees to the Beaubassin settlement, where he and Marie-Françoise moved probably in the late 1670s.  Some of Roger's descendants would use his given name as a dit, which would evolve into the surname Roger.117

Jacques Blou or Belou, a cooper, came to the colony by c1669, when he married Marie, daughter of François Girouard and Jeanne Aucoin, at Port-Royal.  In 1671, Jacques was age 30, and Marie was 20.  Living with them was daughter Marie, age 8 months.  They owned 7 cattle and 1 sheep on "no land."  Marie gave Jacques seven children, including a son who does not seem to have created a family of his own, so only the blood of this family survived in the colony.117a

Pierre Cyr, an armurier or gunsmith, came to the colony by c1670, when he married Marie, daughter of Jacques Bourgeois and Jeanne Trahan.  Pierre, who Father Molin called a Sire, was age 27, and Marie was 18 in 1671.  They lived on 5 arpents with their 3-month-old son, Jean, and owned 11 cattle and 6 sheep.  Marie gave Pierre only two more children, both of them sons, all of whom created families of their own.118

Ironically, members of the very First Family of Acadia did not appear in the first Acadian census.  In 1671, Charles La Tour had been dead for eight years.  His oldest child, daughter Jeanne, by his first wife, a Mik'maq, would have been age 45 in 1671, but neither she nor her husband appear in Father Molin's census.  Neither did her younger sisters, one of them named Antoinette, who had become nuns.  If they were still living, they likely were in France.  Charles La Tour's other surviving children, all by his third wife, Jeanne Motin de Reux, also do not appear in the 1671 census, taken nine years after Jeanne's death following the birth of her youngest child.  Daughter Marie would have been age 17, son Jacques 16, Marguerite 13, Anne 10, and Charles, fils 8.  One wonders where they were and who would have been watching over them while Father Molin took his census.75

No one named de Menou d'Aulnay de Charnisay appeared in Father Molin's census for the simple reason that no member of the family still lived in the colony.  Twenty-one years before the first Acadian census, Charles d'Aulnay drowned at Port-Royal, leaving his widow, Jeanne Motin de Reux, with eight children, four sons and four daughters, ages 11 to newborn.  Jeanne remarried to Charles La Tour in February 1653, and d'Aulnay's old rival helped raise his children while they remained in the colony.  Jeanne died in March 1663, survived by all eight of her children by d'Aulnay.  None of them, however, remained in Acadia, and none of them married.  The daughters were sent to convents in France, where three of them--Renée, Jeanne, and Anne--became nuns.  Marie, the oldest, known as Damoiselle de Poussay, became a chanoisse, or canoness, at Poussay in Lorraine, where she died in 1693 in early 50s.  All four of Charles d'Aulnay's sons--Joseph, Charles, René, and Paul--became army officers, and all died on the battlefields of Europe before they could marry.  The youngest, Paul, born the year of his father's death, became a major in the regiment of Maréchal de La Ferté and died in the siege of Luxembourg in 1684, age 34.  In June 1688, during the governorship of Louis-Alexandre des Friches de Meneval, d'Aulnay's surviving children--Marie, Renée, Jeanne, and Anne, all of the sons having died by then--petitioned King Louis XIV for compensation for their father's holdings in Acadia.  One wonders what they received for their trouble.69

Martin d'Aprendestiguy or Arpentigny, born at Ascain, Guyenne, in c1616, was a Basque.  He came to the colony by c1655, when he married Jeanne, oldest daughter of Charles La Tour and his Mi'kmaq wife, at Pentagouët on the coast of Maine.  About that time, "'in partnership with merchants of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Aprendestiguy equipped a vessel which annually traded and fished on the Acadian coast....'"  The operation evidently ran afoul of Nicholas Denys's monopoly, and in 1656 Martin "'was taken to Denys's headquarters at Saint-Pierre, Cape Breton and then to France.'"  He did not return to Acadia until 1660.  In October 1672, a year after Father Molin's census, the intendant of New France, Jean Talon, granted Martin a seigneurie at the mouth of Rivière St.-Jean once held Martin's his father-in-law.  With it came the title Sieur de Martignon.  Martin also received a seigneurie at Jemseg, farther up the St.-Jean, along with the title Sieur de Jemseg.  Jeanne, meanwhile, gave him five children, a son and four daughters.  The son, Jean, died at La Rochelle in March 1668, age 12; only one of the daughters, Marie-Anne, married, into the Bourgeois family.  So the blood of this seigneurial family, at least, survived in the colony.75a

Pierre Lejeune dit Briard of Brie came to Port-Royal by c1650, when he married a daughter of Germain Doucet, sieur de La Verdure and his first wife; like her mother, Pierre's wife's name has been lost to history.  She gave Pierre two sons, who would have been age 15 and age 10 in 1671.  Father Molin counted none of them at Port-Royal in 1671.  The family was living either in another Acadian settlement or outside of the colony.  The two sons and their families would be counted at La Hève on the Atlantic coast in 1686, so the family would not have ventured far from Acadia.71

François Viger or Vigé, probably born in France, married in c1661 a woman whose name has been lost to history.  Their son François, fils was born probably at Cap-Sable in c1662.  The family did not appear in Father Molin's census probably because he did not count them at Cap-Sable, a clue, perhaps, that François's wife was a Mik'maq or Métis.  In February 1672, a colonial official noted that François had purchased some of the clothing of the late René Bonnin, evidence that he was still in the colony.  His only son François, fils married Marie, daughter of Philippe Mius d'Azy, fils and his first wife, a Mi'kmaq, probably at Pobomcoup in c1697.  Marie gave François, fils seven children, including a son who created a family of his own.257 

Guyon dit La Vallée , son of Pierre Chiasson or Giasson and Marie Péroché of La Rochelle, came to the colony by c1666, when he married Jeanne, daughter of ____ Bernard and Andrée Guyon and a stepdaughter of Antoine Belliveau, at Port-Royal.  Guyon and Jeanne were not listed in the 1671 census because they had moved to Mouchecoudabouet, now Musquodoboit Harbor, near present-day Halifax, by June 1668, and they were still there in October 1674; evidently they were among the 13 inhabitants at Mouchecoudabouet in 1671 whom Father Molin counted but did not name.  Guyon and his family would move on to Chignecto, where Jeanne died during the early 1680s.  Guyon remarried to Canadienne Marie-Madeleine, daughter of Pierre Martin and Joachine Lafleur of Sillery, at Québec in October 1683 and returned to Chignecto.  All four of his sons were by his first wife, and all of them created families of their own.87

Alexandre Le Borgne de Bélisle, the last proprietary governor of French Acadia, who came to the colony as a teenager in the late 1650s, would have been 31 years old in 1671 and still a bachelor.  Father Molin did not count him in the census though Alexandre had returned to the colony with Governor Grandfontaine in the summer of 1670 and was with members of his family at Port-Royal the following year.  Alexandre would marry Marie, daughter of Charles de Saint-Étienne de La Tour and his third wife Jeanne Motin de Reux, in c1675, but they were not counted at Port-Royal until 1686.  Marie gave Alexandre seven children, including two sons who created families of their own.  Calling himself Bélisle or Belle-Isle, Alexandre was the seigneur of Port-Royal.  According to his biographer, "Very little is known about Belle-Isle's activities in connection with Acadia between 1670" and his death at Port-Royal in the early 1690s.  Evidently he did not get along well with some of Acadia's royal governors.  Grandfontaine did what he could to limit Bélisle's powers, calling him just another habitant, and François-Marie Perrot, who governed during the mid-1680s, insisted that Alexandre "was addicted to wine.  When drunk he was capable of granting the same piece of land to several settlers at once, which could not but cause the farmers considerable vexation."  Louis-Alexandre des Friches de Meneval threw him in prison in November 1689 "because of irregularities of this nature."  Joseph Robinau de Villebon, commander of the colony in the early 1690s, also had problems with the Port-Royal seigneur.  During most of that time, heirs of d'Aulnay and Charles La Tour contested Alexandre's and his family's claims in Acadia.44b

Jacques, or Jean-Jacques, Le Prince, born in c1646, birthplace unrecorded but probably in France, may have been serving in the household of notary Séverin Ameau at Trois-Rivières on the St. Lawrence at the time of the 1666 Canadian census.  He moved to Port-Royal before 1671 and married Marguerite, daughter of Étienne Hébert and Marie Gaudet, in c1671, the year of the first Acadian census.  Acadian genealogist Stephen A. Whites says Jacques and Marguerite were not counted in the first census because they probably "lived at a place that was far removed from the rest of the [Hébert] family."  Nor do they appear in the 1678 census, but New-French intendant Jacques de Meulles found them at Port-Royal in 1686 and recorded that Jacques was age 40 and Marguerite 35.  They lived with four children, who the intendant did not name, and owned 5 sheep and 3 hogs.  Marguerite gave Jacques six children, including three sons who created families of their own and spelled their surname Leprince, which later was shortened to Prince.121

Another important family in the colony not appearing in Father Molin's census was that of future capitaine de sauvages Jean-Vincent d'Abbadie de Saint-Castin, born in c1652 at Saint-Castin, in the province of Béarn, at the far southeastern corner of France.  Jean-Vincent was the third child and second son of French nobility.  After spending time as a teenage ensign in the Carignan-Salières Regiment in Canada, where he saw action against the Iroquois in 1666, Jean-Vincent came to French Acadia in the summer of 1670 with royal governor Grandfontaine, a captain in his former regiment.  An 18-year-old ensign when he arrived at Pentagouët, Jean-Vincent promptly married an Indian princess, Pidianske, called Marie-Mathilde and Mathilde, daughter of Penobscot sagamore Madokawando.  She gave him 10 children, including three sons who created families of their own.  His remarriage to Mathilde's sister Marie Pidiwammiskwa in c1685 would give him two more daughters.  In 1674, upon the death of Jean-Jacques II, Jean-Vincent's older, unmarried brother, back in France, Jean-Vincent would become the third baron de Saint-Castin--one of the few Acadian seigneurs with such an elevated title of nobility.297

Settlements Old and New

Soon after the counting of heads by the new Acadian governor, some of the inhabitants of the Port-Royal basin became pioneers again--"the first swarming of the Acadians to establish their own hive," as one historian describes it.  Through the lens of history, the movement from Port-Royal seems inevitable.  "It was colonization by settlement of the land first, and the registration of ownership later," Professor Naomi Griffiths tells us.  "The absence of French officials for some sixteen to seventeen years after 1654, and the lack of interest shown by Temple in establishing formal institutions registering land ownership during this same period, has meant that the written records of the early expansion of the Acadians from Port Royal between 1671 and 1686 are few and far between.  Those who settled on land without an obvious and recorded title of settlement during these years were understandably wary of any attempt to introduce formal registration practices to confirm titles to their holdings."  But resettle they did, and "in a small and closely related society, such as that which existed among those of European descent in the colony at this time, claims of land ownership would be a matter of communal memory, something to be registered with civil officials when such was in existence."  With the return of French control, this would be soon.89a

"Not long after 1671," writes another historian of the colony, "Jacques Bourgeois, the former surgeon of d’Aulnay and a well-to-do farmer of Port Royal, decided to move...."  His new settlement stood nearly a hundred miles northeast of Port-Royal, along the lower Rivière Missaguash just north of today's Cumberland Basin, an arm of the Baie de Chignecto that, in turn, is an extension of the Bay of Fundy.  The Mi'kmaq had long been familiar with the place, and early in the colony's history Frenchmen had noted it marvels.  Jesuit Father Pierre Biard, with proprietor Jean de Biencourt, visited the basin in 1612 and saw "'many large and beautiful meadows, extending further that the eye can reach."  The priest concluded that " ... the country ... would be very fertile if it were cultivated," but that had to wait for six long decades.  Historian Andrew Hill Clark notes that Bourgeois "had known the area in younger days in the course of extensive fur-trading activities and his move was undoubtedly aimed at the freer activity of Indian trading as well as of farming.  But he persuaded five other families to go with him and the prospects of farming were certainly bright enough with a situation on the edge of the largest continuous expanse of dykable marshland in eastern North America [the Tintamarre].  Even without dyking, the resources of salt-marsh hay, and of grazing, must have seemed limitless.  Within five years the group was well established, other settlers followed, more and more land was reclaimed, and the flocks and herds increased."  Nevertheless, as an official visitor to area attested in the mid-1680s, ""the first years at Beaubassin were particularly difficult because of the lack of dry pasture and the amount of work and resources it took to establish the dykes."  No matter, the location of a new settlement so far from the prying eyes of French officials at Port-Royal doubtlessly was another incentive to settle the place.  The Acadians at Port-Royal who had moved higher up the valley found themselves stuck in a virtual cul de sac which tended to remove them from the New English trade.  Now, New English merchants could slip quietly past Port-Royal up to Chignecto Bay, make their way into the narrow basin, and trade with the Acadians at the mouth of the Missaguash.  Moreover, the portage along the Missaguash connecting Chignecto Bay with Baie-Verte "was an important relay station in the sea communications between Acadia and Canada and a strategic position commanding the isthmus and Baie Française."89

Among the men who followed Jacques Bourgeois to this distant new settlement were his older sons Charles and Germain; his son-in-law Pierre Cyr, and future sons-in-law Jean Boudrot and Germain Girouard; Germain Girouard's brothers-in-law Thomas Cormier and Jacques Blou, one a carpenter, the other a cooper; and Pierre Arseneau, a former pilot who had recently arrived at Port-Royal aboard L'Oranger.  In October 1676, Canadian Michel Le Neuf de La Vallière, son of a governor of Trois-Rivières and son-in-law of Nicolas Denys, secured seigniorial rights from Governor-General Frontenac and Intendant Duchesneau to a 10-square-league area around the new settlement.  La Vallière called his seigneurie Beaubassin and "established himself on an 'island' of higher ground in the marshes" that flanked the Missaguash, today's Tonge's Island.  The collection of settlements that arose in the area also was known by the Indian name Chignecto, after the narrow, 15-mile-wide isthmus that these settlements straddled.  Acadian tradition insists that the grant to La Vallière specified that "he leave undisturbed any settlers there, together with the lands they used or had planned to use for themselves; the Bourgeois group was thus protected," but in March 1682, the Bourgeoiss and other original settlers were being referred to as La Vallière's "tenants."  During the late 1670s and early 1680s, the seigneur was the commander and then governor of Acadia, so Beaubassin served as the colony's capital until it returned to Port-Royal in 1684.  During the following years, settlements appeared on either side of the Cumberland Basin and Rivière Missaguash at Menoudy, Maccan, Nappan, La Planche, and Rivière-des-Hébert east of the Missaguash, and at Veshak, La Coupe, Aulac, Le Lac, Les-Richards, Tintamarre, and La Coupe west of it. Several church parishes were created for the area:  Notre-Dame-du Ban Secours, also called Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption-de-la-Trés-Ste.-Vierge, at Beaubassin; St.-Louis at Pointe-de Beauséjour; and St.-Anne at Tintamarre.90

With La Vallière came new settlers to the Chignecto area in the late 1670s, among them Guyon Chiasson dit Lavallée, then in his middle age and married to his second wife; and Michel Larché or Haché dit Gallant, a young servant of the seigneur who married Anne, daughter of Thomas Cormier.  From Port-Royal in the late 1670s and early 1680s came Michel, son of Jean Poirier; and Irishman Roger dit Jean Caissie, brother-in-law of Michel Poirier (an historian of the Acadian experience says that Roger may have introduced fruit trees to Beaubassin).  During the following years, other settlers in the Chignecto area bore the names Belliveau, Bernard, Boucher, Bourg, Brun, Carret, Clémençeau, Daigre, Doiron, Doucet, Dugas, Forest, Gaudet, Gravois, Guénard, Hébert, Hugon, Labauve, Lambert, Landry, Lanoue, Livois, Martin, Melanson, Morin dit Boucher, Mouton, Olivier, Orillon, Pothier, Quimine, Richard, and Thériot.91

Meanwhile, the Acadians who remained in the Port-Royal valley built more aboiteaux on both sides of the river above and below the fort, claiming more arable land from the basin and its tributaries.  Settlers moved as far upriver as the terrain and the salt marshes allowed, and others fanned out along the many smaller streams that flowed from the uplands into the basin.  New settlers arrived, took up new land, and married into the families already there.  Despite living under the noses of the French, and later the British, officials who ran the colony, Port-Royal Acadians went about their business much as their cousins and compatriots did in the newer, more distant settlements.  Two church parishes served the Port-Royal area:  the original parish for the colony, St.-Jean-Baptiste, in the village near the fort on the lower river; and St.-Laurent on the upper river.  Here was "the oldest settlement in the colony, ... almost always linked to the other communities of the colony by kin ties," Naomi Griffiths tells us.  "Until the founding of Halifax in 1749, it was most often the administrative centre of the colony and its population was the most varied.  Its permanent settlers saw a greater number of transients--administrators, soldiers, ecclesiastics, and merchants" than did the newer Acadian settlements.  "Finally, the attitude of those who lived at Port Royal was built on a greater awareness of the general politics of the region, the influence of both French and English upon events, than those who lived elsewhere in the colony exhibited."  Some "permanent" residents in the colonial capital built houses near the fort and engaged in legitimate commerce, among them Abraham Boudrot, a son of the colony's first lieutenant général civil et criminel, Michel Boudrot.  Most administrators did not remain in the colony when their term of service ended, but Mathieu de Goutin, head clerk or recorder and conseiller du roi, whose long tenure began in the late 1680s, married into an Acadian family, the Thibodeaus, and remained at Port-Royal.  From the restoration of French control in Acadia through the first decades of British rule in Nova Scotia, Alexandre Le Borgne de Bélisle and his descendants held the seigneurie at Port-Royal.  Other families there, old and new, also bore the names Allain, Babineau, Bastarache, Belliveau, Blanchard, Bonnevie, Bourg, Bourgeois, Breau, Broussard, Brun, Comeau, Doucet, Dugas, Duon, Dupuis, Forest, Gaudet, Gauthier, Gautrot, Girouard, Gousman, Granger, Guédry, Guilbeau, Hébert, Henry, Jeanson, Landry, Lanoue, Lavergne, LeBlanc, Léger, Levron, Martin, Martin dit Barnabé, Melanson, Michel, Moyse, Orillon, Part, Pellerin, Préjean, Prince, Richard, Robichaud, Roy, Savary, Savoie, and Thériot.98 

A comparison of the surnames found at Port-Royal with those at Chignecto reveals that members of the families who pioneered newer settlements also remained at Port-Royal.  Griffiths observes:  "The question of land shortage has often been given as the motive for internal migration within a colony.  But, in Acadia, the continued population growth of the older settlements would argue that this was only one of many reasons, including social, political, and religious tensions within the older communities as well as the lure of the frontier itself."  She adds:  "As well as people, Port Royal had also provided the new communities with stock, tools, and, perhaps as important as anything else, the knowledge of skills necessary to survive and prosper," especially in the construction of aboiteaux.98a

The Acadians and the Indians

An interesting and seemingly unique aspect of life for these Acadian habitants was their relationship with the local Natives.  Unlike the English and Dutch colonists down the coast, whose burgeoning settlements rose up suddenly where the Indians also dwelled, the Acadian settlements never became populous or intrusive enough to threaten the Natives' way of life.  The Mi'kmaq, when the Europeans came, occupied present-day Nova Scotia, including Cape Breton Island, eastern New Brunswick, the Gaspé peninsula, and Prince Edward Island--Esisgeoagig, they called their part of the world, also Megumagee, "red earth country."  Unlike most of the Eastern Woodland nations, they were not sedentary agricultural Indians but hunters, gatherers, and fishermen.  The Portuguese explorer Joao Álvares Fegundes may have interacted with them during the early 1520s.  Jacques Cartier encountered them in the Baie des Chaleurs during his first voyage to the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 1534.  During his exploration of the Atlantic coast of Acadia and the Bay of Fundy in early 1583, Rouen merchant Étienne Bellenger also encountered them and described some of their customs to English scholar Richard Hakluyt:  "'They weare their hayre hanging downe long before and behynde as long as their Navells,'" Bellenger observed, and added that "'they go all naked saving for their privates which they cover with an Apron of some Beastes skynn.'"  Bellenger noted that the Indians he encountered "from 60 to 80 leagues westward from Cape Breton he found cunning, cruel, and treacherous; he lost two of his men and his pinnace to them as he made his way back along the Nova Scotia shore" towards the end of his four-month voyage.  "The Indians farther to the west," Bellenger insisted, "were gentle and tractable."  He may not have realized it, but these Indians, both the "cruel" and the "gentle," belonged to the same tribe.  The Mi'kmaq closer to Cape Breton had been subjected to the depredations of the coastal fishermen longer and more intensely than their kinsmen to the west, hence their "cruel" behavior.  Continuing their journey westward, Bellenger and his men "visited an Indian village of 80 houses on a river 100 leagues from Cape Breton, not far, that is, from Cap de Sable.  He had a quantity of small merchandise for trade, and acquired from the Indians in return for it dressed 'buff' (probably elk), deer, and seal skins, together with marten, beaver, otter, and lynx pelts, samples of castor, porcupine quills, dye-stuffs, and some dried deer-flesh."  The beaver pelts alone, Bellenger claimed, could make 600 hats.139 

Called Souriquois and Gaspésians by early French settlers, the Mi'kmaq numbered about 3,000 during the first decade of the 1600s, down from an estimated 35,000 before first contact with the Europeans nearly a century before.  During these times, only the Mi'kmaq lived in the interior of peninsula Acadia, where they hunted during the winter in the shelter of the forest, but they spent most of their time along the shore, taking advantage of the wealth of food there throughout all but six weeks of the year.  On the long, rocky coast of the Atlantic, facing the offshore fishing grounds, they had endured the abuses of the European fishermen for decades and sometimes had responded with spears and arrows.  Yet they got along well with the early French settlers, who were interested mainly in the fur trade and seemed to come and go with some frequency.  To be sure, there was potential competition in the acquisition of furs, but from the beginning the French and Indians in Acadia chose cooperation, not competition, in the mutually beneficial trade.  Like many nations of North America, the exigencies of the fur trade dramatically altered Mi'kmaq cultural patterns.  The Indians trapped and skinned the animals and traded the pelts for goods that only Europeans could provide.  The resulting frontier exchange economy provided an eager market among the Mi'kmaq for European goods.  Unlike the nations of Canada, who traded with the English and the Dutch as well as the French, geography kept the Mi'kmaq beholden to the French, who "deliberately settled very near the Indians and were comfortable in their presence.  In a country of enormous size, they did not attempt to drive the Indians off the land or to push them away."  When European families finally appeared among the Mi'kmaq in the late 1630s, the Natives could ignore what the Frenchmen built beside the Fundy marshes "because they did not hinder the traditional way of life" of a non-agricultural people.  The Acadian farmers, in fact, with their clever aboiteaux, created new land where only salt marsh had stood--terrain the Indians had utilized only tangentially.  On these new lands, the Acadians grew grains, cabbages, peas, and other vegetables, not a nutrient-depleting cash crop like tobacco, which in other colonies forced Europeans to drive the natives from their land in order to produce more of the lucrative commodity.  Moreover, the French population in Acadia grew at a glacial pace, while in the New England and Chesapeake colonies to the south the European populations exploded.  So, while colonists in Virginia, New York, and New England died by the score in Indian uprisings, the Acadians, until their last few years in the colony, knew only peace with the Mi'kmaq and their Algonquian cousins.139b

Both religious and secular factors contributed to this remarkable relationship.  Naomi Griffiths offers the wide perspective:  "... the issues of conversion of the Mi'kmaq and of Christian observance among the settlers [of Acadia] did not hold the same measure of intensity as elsewhere.  The Mi'kmaq neither burnt nor tortured those who came among them.  There were no saints, by martyrdom or through the practice of heroic virtue, among the seventeenth-century settlers in the colony.  The indigenous religious beliefs of the Mi'kmaq reflected the importance to them of the environment in which they lived.  Such an orientation would not have been alien to the many Franciscans who worked among them, whose lives were governed by a discipline established by a man who talked to the birds and called the moon his sister, the sun, his brother.  Further, the Jesuit missionaries who did work among the Mi'kmaq seem to have been more closely connected to the colonists than they were in [Canada] and much less likely to emphasize the necessity of cultural change for their converts."139c 

Genealogical records, as well as Native oral history, reveal that the relationship of the Acadians with the Mi'kmaq was more than economic and religious.  Members of many Acadian families--d'Abbadie de Saint-Castin, Aucoin, Blanchard, Bourgeois, Cellier, Clémenceau, Damours/Louvière, Denys de la Ronde, Doucet, Guédry, Haché dit Gallant, Labauve, Lambert, Landry, LeBlanc, Lejeune, Martin, Mius d'Azy, Pellerin, Pinet, Petitpas, Roy, Saint-Étienne de La Tour, Serreau de Saint-Aubin, some of high rank, others more humble--practiced métissage.  As a result, their descendants can count members of the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet nations among their ancestors.  David Hackett Fischer reminds us that "These mixed marriages were actively encouraged by French leaders and were blessed by the Catholic clergy.  French Catholic leaders," in fact, Fischer asserts, "were more tolerant of marriages with Indians than of unions with Protestants."  Patrice Gallant has noted that "When their father was an Indian, Métis children sometimes adopted as their family name that of their French mother.  That is why the children of" a Mi'kmaq named Joseph, husband of Jeanne Lejeune dit Briard, "were known by the name [dit] Lejeune."  When Mi'kmaq Chief Jean-Baptiste Cope of Shubenacadie signed a treaty with Governor Hopson at Halifax in November 1752, two of the Mi'kmaq headmen who put their mark to the document were Andrew Hadley Martin and Gabriel Martin.139a

Long before the Europeans arrived, the Mi'kmaq had "retained an overarching political structure called the Sante Mawi'omi, which translates to 'Grand Council' or 'Holy Gathering.'  Legendarily founded hundreds of years earlier in response to Iroquois raids from the east, the council brought together the 'captains' of seven Mi'kmaq districts for talks on 'peace and war, treaties of friendship, and treaties for the common good.'"  During historical times, the Mi'kmaq considered themselves part of a loose confederation of Algonquin-speaking nations, collectively called the Wabanaki.  Other Wabanaki nations included the Maliseet, or Wolastoqiyik, of the St.-Jean valley, called the Etchemin by early French explorers; the Passamaquoddy of the Rivière Ste.-Croix area, who early explorers threw in with the Etchemin; the Penobscot, who sometimes were thrown in with the Etchemin; and the Eastern Abenaki or Wabenaki of the Kennebec valley, who early French explorers called Abenaquais or Abenaqueoit.  These nations, in turn, were related by language, if not culture, to other Algonquin speakers in the region, such as the Ottawa of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence region.  All of them had in common an ancient rivalry with the Iroquoian tribes of the St. Lawrence valley and upper New York, though, to the chagrin of early French leaders, the Algonquin also fought among themselves.  The French also had a long history of conflict with the Iroquois.  Cartier antagonized the Laurentians during the early 1500s, and Champlain interjected the French into the ancient Indian rivalry by building Québec on the site of an abandoned Iroquoian village and then allying with the Montagnais and Huron against the Mohawk.  In historical times, at least, the Iroquois did not raid as far east as the Acadian peninsula, but the Mohawk and other Iroquois nations enthusiastically fought their fellow Iroquois-speaking Huron, as well as the Wabanaki and other Algonquin nations that threatened their hegemony in the region.  In these wars along the Indian frontier, the French Canadians played their part as allies of the Huron and Algonquin, though in the 1630s and 1640s, the Abenaki, with their ready access to New English traders, were perceived by Canadians as a threat to their commerce.  The founders of Acadia--de Mons, Poutrincourt, Biencourt, La Tour, and later Razilly and d'Aulnay--emulated Champlain in Canada by using the Mi'kmaq and other nations not only to gather precious furs, but also to provide a buffer of protection against the enemies of the colony, be they Indian or European.  Following the humiliating defeat of the Algonquin nations of New England in King Philip's War of 1675, their linguistic cousins up the coast formalized a Wabanaki Confederacy, which became an essential weapon in their struggle against the English interlopers, whose colonies always far outnumbered the French settlements to the north.  Unfortunately for these proud people, there was a price to pay for allying themselves to an overweening European power.  French officials plied the Wabanaki with gifts and promises, while French traders threatened to withhold their trade goods if the Wabanaki refused to help them in the wars against the English.  Missionary priests, especially the Jesuits, were keen to the realities of trade and security and took advantage of Wabanaki vulnerabilities in order to convert them to Roman Catholicism.  Jesuits from Canada were especially successful among the Eastern Abenaki of Maine.  It was not unusual for Wabanaki bands to take to the warpath with a black robe padding along to give spiritual sustenance to the painted warriors.  "Their methods were often cruel and ruthless, being based chiefly on political necessities, and the higher principles of the Christian faith were subordinated for the time being to these considerations," a Canadian historian has described these warrior-priests.  But one doubts if these sturdy Jesuits were troubled by their consciences.  In their eyes, the English and the Dutch were unrepentant heretics who were worse than heathen savages.140  

The traders and priests were not the only ones who maintained influence with the Wabanaki nations.  One of the seigneurs of Acadia was a capitain de sauvages, or captain of the Indians, as the Canadians would have called him--a member of the French elite "who," according to one historian, "trained Indians for the defence[sic] of territories put in their charge."  Jean-Vincent de Saint-Castin was the second son of Jean-Jacques d'Abbadie, sieur de Saint-Castin, Herrère, d'Escout et d'Escou, first baron de Saint-Castin.  In 1665, as a teenaged ensign in the Carignan-Salières Regiment, Jean-Vincent went to Canada to fight the Iroquois.  He came to Acadia in 1670 with royal governor Grandfontaine, whose headquarters on the lower Penobscot stood near the territory of the eastern Abenaki.  Jean-Vincent was an 18-year-old bachelor when he came to Pentagouët.  In the early 1670s, still in his teens, he married Marie-Mathilde, called Mathilde, daughter of Penobscot sagamore Madokawondo, and created at Pentagouët "a kind of feudal principality that was half Indian...."   According to Acadian historian Bona Arsenault, Saint-Castin "soon became the supreme chief of the entire Abenaki tribe," to which the Penobscot belonged, "subjecting them to dictatorial rule."  One of Saint-Castin's biographers offers a more nuanced take on the Frenchman's relations to his in-laws' people:  "Until his death in 1698, Madokawando was the sole chief of the Penobscots," Georges Cerberlaud Salagnac informs us.  The sagamore "had his lieutenants who were in command of the warriors, led expeditions, and parlayed with the enemy when truces were made.  But it was known everywhere that nothing was done without his son-in-law's advice, and that the latter had only to express a wish for it to be instantly complied with."  In 1674, upon the death of his older, unmarried brother in France, Jean-Vincent was named third baron de Saint-Castin, the name of his birthplace in Béarn.  The French governors of Acadia, like the governors-general in Canada, used capitaines de sauvages like Saint-Castin to protect their settlements from the English.  "It was an ingenious defence system for the Acadian territory," Arsenault tells us,  "integration of the Indians into the organization helped the comparatively small Acadian colony against the more populous English colonies in New England, especially Massachusetts, bordering Acadia.  When war broke out, these captains ordered out the Indians who repelled attacks or carried out bloody raids directly into the heart of the English colonies."  But there also was a price to pay for such a scheme.  "[E]xpeditions carried out by some of these captains and their Indian infantry into enemy territory often were for reasons other than mere defence; consequently, the peaceful Acadian colonists often suffered painful counterattacks as as result.  Furthermore," Arsenault reminds us, "the raids built up animosity and hate for the Acadians among the Massachusetts settlers in particular."  This became manifest in the long series of imperial conflicts that erupted in North America after 1689.141  

The Acadians and Their Seigneurs

A creature of France, Acadia from its earliest days was burdened with French institutions more suitable for the mother country than the North American wilderness.  One of these was the medieval institution of feudalism, especially its component, manorialism, which in New France was called seigneurialism.  A seigneurie, like the Old World manor, was a grant of land from the King to a vassal.  In France, only nobles held seigneuries.  Not so in North America.  Grants were made to military officers, successful merchants, and favorites of the governors and intendants.  Along with land came other feudal rights enjoyed by the seigneur.  It was assumed that a seigneur would attract to his land settlers known as censitaires or habitants, who in turn would employ hired, often indentured, workers called engagés.  As part of the feudal arrangement, the seigneur was empowered to collect from his inhabitants cens et rentes, or quit-rents, which were taxes for use of the land.  The seigneur also could impose inheritance taxes called lods et vents and require his habitants to work for him for three days of the year, usually on projects beneficial to everyone living on the seigneurie.  The seigneur also held the right of seigneurial justice, by which he decided disputes over land usage and over inheritance of land within his seigneurie.100 

The institution had been introduced to New France in 1541, when King François I authorized Jean-François de la Rocque, sieur de Roberval, to grant seigneuries in Canada, which had recently been explored by Jacques Cartier.  The Cartier-Roberval venture failed miserably, and no seigneuries were ever granted there, at least none that could stand the test of time.  In 1578 and again in 1598, kings Henri III and Henri IV granted Troilus du Mesgouèz, marquis de La Roche, the first viceroy of New France, permission to grant seigneuries there, but, again, because of the failure of La Roche's ventures, none were actually issued.  Not until 1627 did Cardinal Richelieu, in the name of King Louis XIII, impose a seigneurial system on all of New France similar to the one Champlain had introduced in Canada four years earlier.  In 1665, Canada's intendant, Jean Talon, as direct representative of King Louis XIV, was given the power to grant and oversee the many seigneuries that lined both banks of the Fleuve St.-Laurent, "the Highway of New France."  Talon demanded that the seigneurs actually live on their "long lots" beside the St. Lawrence.  Following French custom, women were allowed to inherit their husbands' or fathers' seigneuries.  There was nothing in Acadia like Canada's St. Lawrence, with its miles upon miles of long-lot seigneuries lining both banks of the river.  No great fleuve ran for dozens of leagues into Acadia's interior, serving as a great highway of commerce as well as communication.  There was the Bay of Fundy, to be sure, with its smaller bays, its inlets, and its wide, marsh-lined basins, but the generally rocky coast of La Grand Baie Française precluded settlement directly on its shores.  The seigneurial system nonetheless came to Acadia.101 

Beginning in 1603, de Mons himself had been the first "seigneur" of the province, though the institution did not take root there until many decades later.  As holder of the King's concession, he possessed the power to grant seigneuries.  His first grant was that of Port-Royal to Jean de Biencourt, sieur de Poutrincourt et de Saint-Just, awarded in 1606.  Upon Poutrincourt's death, his oldest son, Charles de Biencourt de Saint-Just, inherited the seigneurie.  After Biencourt's death in 1623, Charles La Tour, in partnership with Biencourt's younger brother, Jacques de Salazar de Saint-Just, lay claim to Biencourt's seigneurial rights not only for Port-Royal, but for all of Acadia.  Meanwhile, in 1612, Antoinette de Pons, marquise de Guercheville, acquired from de Mons's successor, the Prince de Condé, a seigneurie in Acadia for the benefit of the Jesuits that included an extent of territory much larger than Poutrincourt's.  After Isaac de Razilly became governor of Acadia in 1632, he granted Port-Royal to his cousin and lieutenant, Charles de Menou, sieur d’Aulnay de Charnisay.  Another of Razilly's lieutenants, Nicolas Denys, held wide-spread seigneuries at Fort St.-Pierre on Cape Breton Island; at Canso, Chédabouctou, and Port Rossignol on the Atlantic side of the peninsula; and along the Gulf of St. Lawrence shore at Miscou, Nepisiguit, and Miramichi, where his son, Richard de Fronsac, held sway in a four-bastioned stone fort during the 1680s.  A Denys associate, Bernard Bugaret dit Saint-Martin of Bordeaux, may have received a concession at Mirliguèche, on the Atlantic coast above La Hève.  Charles La Tour was granted, or, more accurately, confirmed to have been holding, seigneuries at Cap-Sable, on lower Rivière St.-Jean, and at Machias in Maine.  "During these early years," Naomi Griffiths tells us, "the seigneuries were basically statements of administrative rights and responsibilities rather than blueprints for action."  Quoting Joan Bourque Campbell's study of "The Seigneurs of Acadie," Griffiths reminds us that the early seigneurs were little more than "land settling agents."102 

After Razilly's death in 1636, his successor, d'Aulnay, assumed his cousin's hold on the other concessionaires in the colony, even going so far as to destroy or seize some of their holdings when they resisted him.  Meanwhile, d'Aulnay transferred the colony's agricultural operation from La Hève to Port-Royal.  There, likely under the seigneur's supervision, the habitants began the practice of reclaiming the salt mashes lining the basin with extensive dykes called aboiteaux.  Not only the construction, but also the maintenance of these mounds of earth and the delicate wooden clapper valves that kept the salt tides out and allowed the rain water to cleanse the soil behind the aboiteaux, required the collective effort of the habitants.  Three days a year of required collective labor made no sense to these hard-working farmers.  They worked together, neighbor helping neighbor, not at the behest of a pushy seigneur but when necessity required it, which was often.  This collective labor, along with their kinship networks, not seigneurial obligations, became the glue that bound them tightly together and helped to create a unique Acadian culture.103 

After the death of d'Aulnay in 1650, the Acadian seigneurial system was shaken up again.  Charles La Tour granted a seigneurie at Pobomcoup near Cap-Sable to his boyhood friend and lieutenant, Philippe Mius d'Entremont, whose descendants retained it for nearly a century.  One biographer insists that Mius d'Entremont was among the few Acadian seigneurs who not only lived on his manor, but also encouraged immigrants from France and especially habitants from Port-Royal to settle there and engage in agriculture.  La Tour, meanwhile, could not hold on to Port-Royal, even after marrying d'Aulnay's widow.  The largest settlement in the colony fell into the hands of d'Aulnay's chief creditor in France:  Emmanuel Le Borgne, a wealthy La Rochelle merchant, secured the seigneurial rights to Port-Royal and its environs and passed them on to his second son, Alexandre de Bélisle.  The seigneurial rights in the Minas Basin were long disputed by the heirs of La Tour and Le Borgne, some of whom had conveniently--or perhaps inconveniently--married one another.  The Le Borgnes, La Tours, Mius d'Entremonts, Nicolas Denys, and others, held their rights even after the colony was lost to England in 1654.104 

The governors-general and intendants of New France, who after 1670 held sway over royally-controlled Acadia, awarded seigneuries to their favorites, especially Canadian aristocrats, in hopes of encouraging settlement in the recovered colony.  In July 1672, Intendant Jean Talon granted to Pierre Denys de La Ronde, Nicolas Denys's nephew, and Denys de La Ronde's partners Charles Aubert de La Chesnaye and Charles Bazire, "'a tract of land extending from Percé to La Malbaei," on the tip of the Gaspé peninsula, at the northwestern edge of greater Acadia; "there they established a sedentary fishery, ... which Denys de la Ronde managed" in an area once held by his uncle.  In October 1672, hoping to encourage settlement on the most important transportation link between Québec and Acadia, Talon awarded four seigneuries on lower Rivière St.-Jean.  On October 17, he confirmed the rights of Martin d'Aprendestiguy of Ascain, Guyenne, France, a Basque, to a seigneurie near the mouth of the St.-Jean, once controlled by Charles La TourD'Aprendestiguy's wife was Jeanne, La Tour's oldest daughter by his first wife, a Mi'kmaq, so the family connection was essential in the elevation of d'Aprendestiguy to the title of Sieur de Martignon and the recognition of his seigneurial rights on the river.  Later, he and his wife received an additional seigneurial grant farther upriver at Jemseg.  D'Aprendestiguy planned to establish a cattle-raising venture on his seigneurie, producing enough beeves, he hoped, not only to feed Québec, but also to import meat to the French West Indies.  He also made plans to develop a dry fishery in the area.  On October 18, Talon granted a smaller concession, "of some two leagues of river frontage," to Jacques Potier, sieur de Saint-Denis, who, unlike d'Aprendestiguy and other seigneurs on the river, seems to have been an absentee landlord.  On October 20, Pierre de Joybert de Soulanges de Marson, Acadian Governor Grandfontaine's second in command, who had been living at the fort at Jemseg for the past two years, received a seigneurie named Joybert on Rivière St.-Jean, running "four leagues from the mouth of the river and ... one league in depth, including the site of the present-day city of Saint John," New Brunswick; on the same day, Joybert's younger brother, Jacques de Joybert, received a grant "on one side the grant to ... his brother."  Four years later, in October 1676, soon after he was named commander of the colony, Pierre de Joybert received two more grants, one named Soulanges at Nashouat, the other called Marson at Jemseg, both on the St.-Jean, where he died in July 1678 while serving as governor of Acadia.  In March 1691, Pierre de Joybert's widow was secured in her rights to her husband's seigneurie at Jemseg.  Meanwhile, in October 1676, Michel Le Neuf de la Vallière, who also would serve as commander and governor of Acadia, was awarded a large seigneurie at Chignecto, which he called Beaubassin.  He then became Michel Le Neuf de la Vallière et de Beaubassin.  Tradition has it that La Vallière was ordered to respect the rights of the Chignecto settlers already established there, but this proud Canadian likely would have ignored any diminution of his seigneurial powers, even if the caveat existed.  In March 1683, Jean Martel de Magos, whose wife was a Robinau, received a grant of seigneurie at Mégais, or Machias, on the Maine coast, once held by Charles La Tour.  In June 1684, Jean Serreau de Saint-Aubin, native of Poitou and recently domiciled on Île d'Orléans, near Québec, was granted a large seigneurie at Passamaquoddy, including Île Ste.-Croix, site of de Monts's original settlement, despite his having killed a man in Canada.  Saint Aubin set himself up on Île Archimagan, today's St. Andrews, New Brunswick, at the mouth of Rivière Ste.-Croix.  In the 1680s, the older sons of Mathieu D'Amours, sieur de Matane, a native of Paris and a prominent member of Québec's Sovereign Council, received seigneurial grants at Rivière Richibouctou on the Gulf of St. Lawrence shore and especially along the middle stretches of Rivière St.-Jean above Jemseg.  These D'Amourss--Louis, whose seigneurie lay at Jemseg; Mathieu, fils, whose seigneurie lay between Jemseg and Nashouat; and René--managed to lure a few families from the Port-Royal basin to their holdings.  During the 1690s, younger D'Amours, sons Charles and Bernard, also received seigneuries along Rivière St.-Jean.  In 1683, Port-Rossignol on the Atlantic coast, once held by Nicolas Denys, was granted to Aubert de La Chesnay.  In 1684, a seigneurie along the Atlantic coast from the Mouscoudabouet area up to and past Canso and Chédabouctou, was granted to Claude Bergier, ____ Gauthier, and others, in an area also once held by Nicolas Denys.  In July 1688, Governor-General Denonville and Intendant Bochart de Champigny awarded a seigneurie to Antoine Laumet dit La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, a Gascon poseur recently married into a prominent Canadian family, the Guyons.  Cadillac's huge grant, confirmed in May 1689, "included a tract of land two leagues in extent, on the sea, at Frenchman's Bay near Megeis (Machias), the river Douaquet (Douaquec), running through it it but not being part of the grant.  Also included in the seigniory was Mount Desert Island and all others near by," hence the ridiculous breadth of the poseur's name--Antoine de La Mothe Cadillac, seigneur de Douaquet et des Monts Déserts.  Cadillac, whose humble origins remained a secret in New France, went on to found Détroit and to serve as governor of Louisiana.  In 1689, Jean-Baptiste Le Gardeur and Demoiselle Marie-Josèphe Le Neuf, daughter of the sieur de La Vallière of Beaubassin, received grants at Shubenacadie, also called St.-Joseph, "'to make settlements and to trade with the Indians, there,'" a year after the 18-year-old demoiselle bore an illegitimate child by one of her father's tenants (The demoiselle married Le Gardeur's son Jean-Paul in 1692).  That same year, the governor-general and the intendant awarded a seigneurie to Michel Diguez, "an inhabitant of Pokemouche, of 'a league of frontage by a league of depth on the Pokemouche River, in the Bay of Chaleurs, Miscou coast, twenty-five leagues from Île Percée, the said grant to begin at the mouth of the said river and to run inland, with the right to trade with the Indians and to hunt and fish in the whole extent of it.'"  In 1696, Sieur Duplessis received at grant at Rivière Cocagne on the Gulf of St. Lawrence shore above Baie-Verte.  The following year, a number of fiefs were awarded along the same shore southwest of Cocagne:  at Linoville to Mathieu Martin de Lino; at St.-Paul to Sieur Paul Dupuy; in March at Outelas to John Outlaw, called Jean Outlan, or Houtelas, sieur d'Outlas, whose second wife was a niece of Nicholas Denys; at Tatamagouche to Jean-Paul Le Gardeur in April; at Cap-Louis to the Sieur de La Boissellery Noël (perhaps made earlier, in 1690); to Charles Denys de Vitré, a nephew of Nicolas Denys, at Antigonish on the peninsula's north coast; to Marc-Antoine, sieur de Cottentré, at De Cottentré; and to Hughes Randin at Mirliguèche on the Atlantic coast, where a fort was built.  In May 1697, Governor-General Frontenac and Intendant Bochart de Champigny awarded to Jacques Cochu a grant on Grande-Rivière "situated in the Bay of Chaleurs, with a league and a half of frontage by two of depth, to begin from the seigneury of Grand Pabos belonging to Sr. René Hubert in following the coast from Cape Epois towards Île Percée.  In fief only."  In June 1698, Jacques Gourdeau of Québec, whose son Pierre would marry a daughter of Prudent Robichaud of Port-Royal, received a grant "of a back fief" along Rivière Miramichi on the Gulf of St. Lawrence shore once held by Nicolas Denys; however, Gourdeau sold it the following February to Pierre Rey-Gaillard.  After being held prisoner in Boston during the first year of Queen Anne's War, Thomas Lefebrve, a native of Rouen and former resident of Canada who served as an interpreter among the Abenaki, received a seigneurie at Koessanouskek, near Pentagouët on the coast of Maine, in May 1703.  The Saint-Castins of Pentagouët also could be counted among the colony's seigneurs; Jean-Vincent d'Abbadie de Saint-Castin, in fact, was the only Acadian resident seigneur who held an elevated noble title, that of baron.105  

Canadian leaders also awarded seigneuries to well-connected Acadian officials, most, if not all of them, natives of France.  Interestingly, several of these officials married Acadians.  In May 1683, Jean Martel dit Magos, seigneur of Mégais, or Machias, on the Maine coast, "granted half of his seigneury" to Pierre Chênet, a native of Paris, who, after working as a schoolmaster at Port-Royal, became the King's attorney for the colony in March 1687.  In January 1689, the governor-general and intendant granted Chênet, now referred to as sieur Dubreuil, "'two leagues' frontage" along Rivière St.-Jean "at a place called by the Indians Kanibekachiche and little Nakchouac [Nashouat], to wit one league on one side and one league on the other, the said places ... being in the centre of his grant, with the island and islets that are found opposite, and three leagues in depth'"; two years later, Chênet Dubreuil married Louise dite Jeanne, a daughter of Pierre Doucet.  Mathieu de Goutin, who from August 1688 served as King's lieutenant général civil et criminel, or general representative for justice; écrivain, or colonial secretary; conseiller, or counselor; and trésorier, or paymaster, was granted a seigneurie at Mouscoudabouet, also called Musquodoboit, on the Atlantic side of the peninsula, in August 1691; de Goutin's wife was Jeanne, a daughter of colonist Pierre Thibodeau.  In 1695, de Goutin received a second grant, at Pointe-aux-Chênes, or Oak Point, on Rivière St.-Jean.  On 21 August 1700, Claude-Sébastien Le Bassier de Villieu, described as "Administrator of Acadia," received a seigneurial grant at Chepoudy, on the upper Bay of Fundy; de Villieu was the son-in-law of former governor La Vallière, who controlled the seigneurie at nearby Beaubassin.  This relationship could only have helped the "Administrator" in securing his grant at Chepoudy despite Pierre Thibodeau's claim to the area.  In 1704, another La Vallière son-in-law, Louis-Joseph de Gannes, sieur de Falaise, then serving as major de l'Acadie, received a seigneurie at La Hève.  Jean-Chrysostôme Loppinot of St.-Nicolas-des-Champs, Paris, clerk of court and notary at Port-Royal from April 1699 and King's attorney from May 1704, was awarded the seigneurie of Cap-Fourchu, on the western Atlantic shore north of Pobomcoup, in 1706; Loppinot's wife was a daughter of Germain Doucet, fils.  After the fall of Port-Royal in 1710, de Goutin and Loppinot were among the French officials who were transported out of the colony, the one to France and then to Louisbourg, the other to Plaisance, Newfoundland.  Neither official returned to British Nova Scotia, so one can assume that their seigneurial rights left the colony with them.106 

Save for the La Vallière fief at Chignecto and some of the D'Amours holdings on Rivière St.-Jean, the seigneuries granted by the government at Québec from the 1670s to the end of French control in peninsula Acadia never amounted to much in the way of long-term settlement.  Most of these grants evidently were devoted to the fur trade and to a lesser extent the fishery, not to intensive agriculture, which worried royal officials in France.  In 1687, the King's concerns over the size and purpose of many Acadian concessions were reflected in his instructions to his new royal governor, Louis-Alexandre des Friches de Meneval, whose attention was brought to "those who 'claimed to have exclusive rights over vast stretches of the country, with the right to grant land to others, without having worked either to cultivate the land, animal husbandry, or the fishery, occupying themselves exclusively with trade in the forest, with scandalous debauchery, and reacting violently against the French [government], on the pretext of the said right.'"  Yet the King himself, since the early 1670s, had signed off on these large Acadian grants.  If he had expected them to result in settlements devoted to intensive agricultural on the Atlantic coast of the peninsula, on the coast of Maine, in the Rivière St.-Jean valley, and on the Gulf of St. Lawrence shore, it could only reflect his ignorance of the geography of those places, especially soil conditions and the vagaries of climate.  As a result, especially after the furs gave out, the great majority of these new concessions came to nothing.  In the end, the older seigneuries held by the La Tours, the d'Entremonts, the Le Borgnes, and La Vallière at Port-Royal, Pobomcoup, Minas, and Chignecto, and new holdings that appeared in the upper Fundy region beginning in the 1690s, were the only ones that encompassed the majority of the dyke-building habitants, who remained the only true tillers of Acadia's soil.107 

The new holdings on the upper Fundy did much to enhance the intensity and breadth of Acadian agriculture.  During the late 1680s and late 1690s, several habitants at Port-Royal with no claims to nobility, much less official distinction, received seigneuries in unsettled parts of the upper Fundy region or on lower Rivière St.-Jean, no doubt to encourage further settlement there.  In late March 1689, Mathieu Martin, perhaps the first Frenchman born in the colony, received the seigneurie of Cobeguit, on an interior bay northeast of the Minas Basin; a Nova Scotia official noted many decades later that the area had never been a part of the La Tour family's claims in the basin.  According to Bona Arsenault, in c1691 Joseph Robinau de Villebon, the colony's commander, granted to Gabriel Godin dit Châtillon of Montréal and Chignecto a siegneurie on lower Rivière St.-Jean near Villebon's fort at Nashouat.  The result, according to Arsenault, was the creation of the Acadian settlement of Ste.-Anne-du-Pays-Bas at present-day Fredericton, across from Villebon's fort.  After receiving his grant, Godin styled himself sieur de Bellefontaine.  The new sieur's father, Pierre dit Châtillon, a Canadian master carpenter, had been employed by the Sieur de La Vallière at Beaubassin in the late 1670s, so one wonders if the seigneur of Beaubassin had coaxed the commander into granting the son a concession.  On 20 June 1695, Governor-General Frontenac and Intendant Champigny granted to Pierre Thibodeau, "a resident of Port-Royal," a grant on "the K8askag8she River between Mount Desert Island and Machias, 'with a league on either side of the said river by two leagues of depth, to be measured from its mouth, with the islands and islets if any be found there.'"  During the late 1690s, citing a grant from Robinau de Villebon, the colony's commander at the time, Pierre Thibodeau claimed a seigneurie also at Chepoudy on the north shore of the upper Fundy, and his colleague, Guillaume Blanchard, claimed another grant on nearby Rivière Petitcoudiac.  Both "seigneurs" soon ran afoul of the Sieur de La Vallière of Beaubassin, who insisted that his seigneurial grant at Chignecto, now two decades old, included the areas claimed by Thibodeau and Blanchard.  But there may have been other such grants in the area.  "According to tradition, preserved by the elders of Memramcook, Jean-Baptiste Forest," son of the family's progenitor and "husband of Élisabeth LaBarre, was the seigneur of Menoudie" at Chignecto "before the Expulsion."  If this was so, then Forest also would have run afoul of the Sieur de La Vallière and his descendants.  These habitants-turned-seigneurs, actual or imaginary, were no more successful in collecting cens et rentes from their Acadian tenants as were their aristocratic "betters."  Acadians already were being described as a hospitable people, clever in trade, hard-working, devoted beyond measure to their wives and children, ready and willing to help their neighbors, who more often than not were family members, but they also were stubborn, contentious, litigious, and jealous of the few rights they enjoyed as Frenchmen.  Paying rent to a seigneur, even if he was a kinsman, was not an obligation they practiced with enthusiasm.  Still, the obligation was real, and, even after the British took control of the colony, the obligation did not go away.108 

Andrew Hill Clark notes:  "Every Frenchman of the seventeenth century, at least every Frenchman north of the Roman Law area, must have believed that the only way to hold land was, as always, from a lord, a seigneur, who held it in turn from the king.  There is no reason to suppose that this was not true of the Acadian emigrés from France.  With whatever freedom they took land in the Port Royal area, or moved to the new lands to the north, on which they settled and farmed, they must still have assumed always that their use of it was, somehow, by way of concession from some individual or institution who, or which, in turn, held it from the crown."109 

And:  "The degrees of reality in the seigneurial forms and procedures, such as they were, were largely restricted to the settled areas of Port Royal and its river, Minas, Beaubassin, and, to some degree perhaps, in the Pisiquid, Cobequid, and Pubnico areas.  These were, of course, the only agricultural settlements.  It is probable that the other seigneurs had been more interested in fish or fur then in agricultural lands in any event."  Clark notes that the Acadian seigneuries were as large as those in Canada but "infinitely less practical."110 

Clark further observes:  "One may conclude that the Acadian seigneurs, such as they were, performed few if any of the traditional seigneurial functions, even in the emasculated form in which these were represented along the St. Lawrence.  There is no record that they built mills, or bake-ovens, for example, or, indeed, did anything but act as landlords whose only role was that of rent-collector.  One the other hand they do appear to have confined their demands largely to cens et rentes, with perhaps occasional lods et ventes (the seigneur's commission on the sale of a roture, in effect, a fine of alienation).  We do not hear of corvée [forced labor], of charges for fishing, for timber cutting, or the use of a common.  One hesitates to be too certain about many of these things because we are so grievously lacking in evidence.  Much of what paper record may have existed from the activities of the notaries of Port Royal, Beaubassin, and Minas has not been found and very likely has been destroyed.  But we do suspect that official correspondence would have contained more hints if the 'system' had been more elaborate or had had deeper impact on the people.  Yet, flimsy and fragmentary as the institution undoubtedly was, it provided the only framework in which the Acadians could identify the land they held for right of occupation, for devisement to their heirs, or for sale and exchange, and, as such, it may have performed a vital service for the settlers."  The seigneurial system also had another purpose, or at least revealed a significant aspect of Acadian life.  Professor Griffiths observes:  "... there is no doubt that the existence of the seigneuries implied social divisions within the emerging communities and this greatly influenced the structure of their political life," such as it was.  Pointing to the grants made by Talon on the lower St.-Jean in October 1672, she concludes:  "These grants signify, among other matters, the reinforcement of French land-ownership customs in Acadia. ... [T]he turmoil of the d'Aulnay-La Tour era, followed by the superficial control of Temple over the settlers, worked against the establishment of a strongly hierarchical seigneurial system.  But it must be remembered that even along the St. Lawrence, as R.C. Harris has shown, the seigneurial system did not mean a 'feudal' society, one dominated by a landowning class, with the lives of the majority of the settlers circumscribed by the privileges of a few.  Throughout the seventeenth century, no French settler argued about the final authority of the king, as the ultimate landlord of all territory governed by France, and thus the need to establish land ownership by grant and to have such a grant recorded.  Yet the existence of vast tracts of land, in the eyes of the Europeans, entirely open for settlement meant a fundamental change in the power of the seigneurs.  In Europe, even in France, land was scarce and people numerous.  In North America, land was plentiful and European subjects scarce.  Almost endless litigation arose as settlers challenged seigneurial control, arguing about what had been granted by whom, when, and on what conditions.  In both Canada and Acadia, the settlers believed in private property and in land ownership regulated by the state.  Until 1710, the seigneurial system remained the legal foundation of land titles for Europeans in Acadia, and even after that date it still held some legal force in the English courts.  Still, ... the founding of settlements at Beaubassin, between 1672 and 1676, and at Minas in the early 1680s took place with a very minimal application of the classic seigneurial obligations, the payment of dues on the one hand and the provision of communal services, such as grist mills and sawmills, on the other."111

The Acadians and Their Royal Governors

The settlers of Acadia had known only turmoil from the arrival of their first families in 1636 to when the English seized the colony 18 years later.  Ironically, English control, which lasted 16 years, brought peace at last to the hard-pressed settlers, and peace continued for 19 more years after the return of Acadia to France.  The "peace," of course, was a relative thing:  there was plenty of conflict, both political and economic; there was just no war, at least not a declared one, between France and England at the time, though a brief war between France and Holland plagued the colony during the mid-1670s.  During these 19 years, half a dozen royal governors presided over French Acadia, two of them serving as colonial commander before promotion to the higher office:   

Grandfontaine's tenure as governor lasted less than three years.  During that time, much of his attention was directed to the question of boundaries between Acadia and New England that had not been addressed by the treaty of 1667.  Grandfontaine proclaimed that the boundary between the French and English colonies lay along the St. George River, between the Kennebec and the Penobscot, "and," his biographer chides, he "flattered himself that by his honest dealings he could win for France the allegiance of the English settlers who were established on his side of the river."  He failed to win the hearts and minds of these English settlers, but he nevertheless maintained good relations with Boston, where his garrisons, like the Acadian settlements, obtained most of their supplies.  He bought a ketch from former Nova Scotia governor Thomas Temple, hired New English carpenters, and, most importantly to the New Englanders, "granted fishing permits to ships from Boston."290c

Grandfontaine devoted his energies during his short term as governor not only to defining and protecting the colony's borders and maintaining good relations with his New English neighbors; along with his superiors in New France, he also sought to improve the lives of the Acadian settlers, the great majority of them still clinging to their dyked lands in the Port-Royal valley.  During the early 1660s, while Acadia was still under the thrall of the English, the young King Louis XIV, ruling without a chief minister, had transformed New France--that is to say, Canada--into more or less a royal colony by creating a vice-regal position, the governor-general.  Augustin de Saffry de Mésy was the first to hold the office at Québec.  In March 1665, the King appointed Jean Talon as royal intendant for New France.  When Grandfontaine came to Acadia in 1670, Mésy had been replaced as governor-general by Daniel de Rémy de Courcelle, who gave way to Louis de Buade, comte de Palluau et de Frontenac, in 1672.  Talon held his position until 1668, was superseded by Claude de Boutroue d'Aubigny in 1668, and returned to the post in 1669, serving for another three years.  Talon "was fortunately interested in Acadia, and there was consequently a serious and concerted effort on both sides [of the Atlantic] to take this colony in hand again and to develop it."  Reflecting the intendant's interest in the colony, Grandfontaine encouraged boat building at Port-Royal, while Talon asked for looms to be sent to the Acadian settlers.  In an attempt to end the chaos of proprietary misrule, including abuse of the settlers by their semi-feudal seigneurs, Grandfontaine "revoked the authority of the seigneur Alexandre Le Borgne de Belle-Isle, whose misdemeanors had caused complaints, and enjoined the settlers to live in peace until a representative of the king could arrive to settle their disputes and lay down statutes for them."  Grandfontaine instructed the habitants to consider Le Borgne de Belle-Isle "as having no more authority than they in the affairs of the colony.  All other claims and counter-claims to the heirs of d'Aulnay and La Tour were referred to France for adjudication."  This weakened the stranglehold of the proprietary-era seigneurs on the colony, but the seigneurial system itself was far from ended in French Acadia; even the traduced Le Borgne de Belle-Isle retained his seigneurial rights at Port-Royal.  One proprietary-era seigneur, however, won Grandfontaine's favor.  He appointed Philippe Mius d'Entremont, seigneur of Pobomcoup and former Charles La Tour associate, as procureur du roi, or King's attorney, in 1670.   According to historian Naomi Griffiths, "This selection, for an important administrative post, of the head of a family that had been in the colony since 1650 and was related, by marriage, to both the La Tours and the Melansons was astute. It established an important link between the new administration and the settlers of Port Royal," not to mention its effect on the retention of seigneurial power in the colony.290

Grandfontaine encouraged the soldiers and engagés he had brought to the colony to remain there after their terms of service expired and to find wives among the established settlers.  In 1671, soon after Grandfontaine conducted a census of the colony, the ship L'Oranger arrived from La Rochelle with more settlers for the colony, including women and girls.  Among the passengers were young bachelors who soon would establish families of their own.  Some remained at Port-Royal, while others followed Jacques Bourgeois to a new settlement at Chignecto.  Few, if any, settled at Grandfontaine's headquarters at Pentagouët, where arable land was in short supply and the position was even more exposed to attack than Port-Royal.  In 1672, in fact, "famine raged at Pentagouët," compelling Grandfontaine to send some of his soldiers to winter at Port-Royal.  By the late 1670s, one of the oldest posts in greater Acadia ceased to exist as a settlement of any note.  Pentagouët remained for a time a military outpost/headquarters, but by the late 1670s it was little more than an abandoned post serving as the fortified home of Jean-Vincent d'Abbadie, third baron de Saint-Castin, former army ensign and now a capitaine de sauvages, who had come to the colony with Grandfontaine.  The Ministry of Marine urged Grandfontaine to establish more permanent fishing stations on the Acadian peninsula, but the governor's other activities gave him no time to get around to it.  Nonetheless, Grandfontaine's biographer reminds us, "It is impossible to determined exactly how many new settlers took up residence in Acadia" during Grandfontaine's governorship, "but it was certainly the greatest number to arrive since the time of Razilly and d'Aulnay," three decades before.290a 

Intendant Talon gave Grandfontaine a task that could not be set aside:  establishing a direct link between Acadia and Canada to enhance the defense of both colonies.  Talon sent two search teams led by Canadian officers down into present-day Maine to find a river-portage from the Atlantic coast up to the St. Lawrence valley.  Grandfontaine was able to spare two Frenchmen and two Indians, probably Abenaki, for the mission.  The Canadians "discovered" the Kennebec-Chaudière portage and sited a settlement at Kidiscuit, but the route up the Kennebec via Rivière Chaudière soon "proved to be too difficult and not very dependable."  Another river-portage farther to the east, just as ancient as the Kennebec-Chaudière route and "already very much used," followed Rivière St.-Jean, which flowed into the lower Bay of Fundy.  From the Canadian end, this long portage ran from Rivière-du-Loup on the lower St. Lawrence via either Lac Témiscouata or Lac Pohénégamook to the upper St.-Jean.  The Acadian end of this route was much closer to Port-Royal than to Pentagouët, another reason why the latter place soon ceased to exist as a major French settlement.  The mouth and lower reach of Rivière St.-Jean, below Jemseg, had been occupied by French fur traders since the days of Gravé du Pont and the La Tours.  The Maliseet capital of Meductic, fortified as a defense against the Iroquois even before the French came to the region, lay on the west bank of the St.-Jean a hundred miles above Jemseg and was an important transportation center for the region.  Just below Meductic, the Eel River, flowing from the west, fell into the St.-Jean.  The lower 12 miles of the Eel, "broken by rapids and falls, was unsuitable for a canoe," a Canadian historian tells us, "and, it was found more practicable to portage from Meductic itself to a point above the rapids, a distance of five miles.  The head of Eel River lay in a south-westerly direction, in a region abounding in lakes, which were connected with one another by portages, and included direct water routes to Passamaquoddy, Machias, and Penobscot.  The latter was separated only by a short portage from the eastern branch of the Kennebec.  In times both of peace and war, there was a constant stream of travel, all of which passed through Meductic."  Here was "a communication with Quebec by way of the upper St. John, with Miramichi and the east coast, with the lower St. John, with Chignecto and the peninsular part of Acadia to far distant Cape Breton."  It was important, then, to establish settlements, not just fortified outposts, along this essential route.  In October 1672, over a three-day period, Talon conferred four seigneurial grants on the lower St.-Jean.  More grants followed later in the decade and into the 1680s--a clear plan by New-French authorities "to settle soldiers and families on that river as an aid in establishing an inland route of communication between Quebec and Acadia" and other parts of the francophone realm.290b 

Grandfontaine was recalled to France in May 1673.  His short tenure as royal governor "was constructive," his biographer insists, but he was not without his critics.  The most persistent one was former lieutenant and second in command Pierre Joybert de Soulanges et de Marson, who traduced the governor to the authorities in France after Grandfontaine had criticized Joybert for a botched mission to Boston during the fall of 1670.  Grandfontaine had sent Joybert to Québec to explain his misconduct to Talon, but the lieutenant was not punished for whatever misdeeds he may have committed.  Instead, he returned to Acadia not only with a wife from an influential Canadian family, but also with his new grant on Rivière St.-Jean for "good and praise-worthy" service to the King!  One complaint against Grandfontaine would become a recurrent theme in the evaluation of Acadia's royal governors:  he was accused "self-seeking," of using his position to enhance his personal fortune through illicit commerce or official malfeasance.  In Grandfontaine's case, however, the charges were largely baseless.  After his replacement arrived at Pentagouët that autumn, Grandfontaine returned to France, arriving there in December.  He promptly confronted the intendant of Rochefort, Colbert de Terron, who also had been one of his critics, and demanded reimbursement of 13,000 livres for expenses incurred in Acadia.  Colbert de Terron knew full well that Grandfontaine had received funds from the navy at Rochefort for only two of his three years as governor, but the intendant, after accusing the former governor of "being self-seeking," refused to sanction the compensation, and recommended, instead, that Grandfontaine be awarded a post in the navy instead.  Grandfontaine acquiesced in the offer and became a lieutenant commander at Roquefort before becoming a ship's captain.  He fought in the Caribbean region against the Dutch later in the decade, was wounded in the arm at Cayenne in South America, and broke an arm at Tobago, leaving him a cripple.  He retired to Brest on an annual pension of 800 livres, was named a chevalier of the Order of St.-Louis in 1693, and died at Brest in July 1696, in his late 60s, having never married.290d


Grandfontaine's successor, Jacques de Chambly, scion of an ancient but impoverished noble family, had served as a regimental commander in Hungary before he came to North America in June 1665, and as a captain in the Carignan-Salières Regiment.  Alongside Grandfontaine and Joybert, he had fought the Iroquois in today's upstate New York.  He also served in the garrison at Fort St.-Louis, which stood below the rapids of the Iroquois, later the Chambly and now the Richelieu, River, which flows northward into the upper St. Lawrence between Trois-Rivières and Montréal.  Fort St.-Louis, at first an unprepossessing wooden structure later rebuilt in stone, protected the approach from Lake Champlain to Montréal.  The King was so impressed with Chambly's service in the province that he awarded him a gratuity of 400 écus.  When his regiment was disbanded in 1668, Chambly, like Grandfontaine, returned to France.  In 1670, Chambly returned to Canada as a captain of troupes de la marine and took up his post again at Fort St.-Louis.  In 1672, he was granted a seigneurie near the fort, renamed Fort Chambly, and set up an agricultural establishment at today's Chambly, Québec.  Soon after Chambly received his seigneurie, Governor-General Frontenac named him commandant of the vast area south of the St. Lawrence from Montréal down to Rivière-du-Loup.  Chambly was appointed royal governor of Acadia in May 1673.  That autumn, he sailed aboard the Saint-Jean from Québec to Pentagouët, where he relieved his old regimental colleague.291 

Chambly's tenure as royal governor was brief and troubled.  In 1672, during Grandfontaine's governorship, war broke out in Europe between France and Holland, called by the French La Guerre de Hollande but known to most historians as the Franco-Dutch War.  The Dutch, in fact, also were at war with England in what historians call the Third Anglo-Dutch War.  In the spring of 1674, the governor of the Dutch West Indies sent Jurriaen Aernoutsz, a Dutch privateer out of Curaçao, to attack English and French ships and settlements in the North Atlantic.  Aernoutsz, in command of the frigate Flying Horse, eight guns, descended on New York, formerly the Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam, where he learned the war with England had been settled by the Treaty of Westminster, signed in February.  Holland, however, was still at war with France.  Encouraged by "Massachusetts adventurer" John Rhoades, who volunteered to serve as pilot and even took an oath of allegiance to the Dutch, Aernoutsz and his 50 Dutchmen fell on Pentagouët on August 10 and quickly overwhelmed the smaller French force commanded by Governor Chambly.  After a brief engagement, the Dutchmen captured the severely wounded Chambly and his young ensign, Jean-Vincent d'Abbadie de Saint-Castin.  After destroying the fort at Pentagouët, Aernoutz and his men then moved on to Fort Jemseg on Rivière St.-Jean, where they nabbed Chambly's lieutenant, Major Pierre de Joybert de Soulanges et de Marson, whose force consisted of only nine troupes de la marine, before plundering the settlements on the lower St.-Jean.  Aernoutsz and Rhoades remained a month in Acadia, which the Dutchman renamed "New Holland."  Evidently during the sojourn in Acadia, Saint-Castin, after being tortured "with a brimstone match" by his captors, escaped with a letter surreptitiously written by Chambly.  With the help of friendly natives, the hardy young ensign was able to carry news of the Acadian disaster to Frontenac at Québec.  Aernoutsz disposed of his plunder at Boston, selling to the Massachusetts government the ordnance he had seized at Pentagouët.  Leaving his remaining prisoners, along with Rhoades and some of his men, in the care of the New Englanders, Aernoutsz returned to Curaçao in October.  Massachusetts authorities sent Rhoades and some of Aernoutsz's men to occupy Acadia, but the privateers promptly seized New English vessels who attempted to renew trade with the Natives and French settlers.  Massachusetts Governor John Leverett would have none of that.  He sent a force from Boston to seize Rhoades and the errant Dutchmen, who made the mistake of  resisting Leverett's force.  Overwhelmed in a naval engagement in the Bay of Fundy, Rhoades and the Dutchmen were hauled back to Boston, where they were convicted of piracy.  Leverett pardoned the Dutchmen but ordered Rhoades to be hanged.  Luckily for the New Englishman, his execution was delayed by the outbreak of King Philip's War in 1675.  Governor Leverett had more important fish to fry.  In October, he ordered Rhoades's release after securing a promise never to return to Massachusetts.291a  

Meanwhile, Chambly, with Joybert, languished at Boston.  Governor-General Frontenac, and later Colbert in France, believed from what they had learned from Chambly's letter and from Saint-Castin's eyewitness testimony that the Massachusetts authorities had not given sanction to the Dutchman's attack despite the presence of New Englishmen in Aernoutsz's party.  Although Chambly's letter insisted "he had been attacked by 'Buccaneers coming from Santo Domingo via Boston," Frontenac could see the raid had been hatched in New York, not Boston, and that Rhoades and his henchmen had been motivated by greed, not by politics.  Frontenac, however, "was of the opinion that, unofficially, the authorities in Boston had done little to hinder the raid and much to encourage it."  He agreed to the ransom of a thousand beaver skins for Chambly and Joybert, but they were not released from confinement in Boston until sometime in 1675.  Instead of returning to Acadia, Chambly sailed to France.  In May 1676, despite Colbert's disapproval of his actions in Acadia, Chambly again was named royal governor of Acadia, but he went to the French Antilles instead, where he was appointed military commander in September 1677 and governor of Granada in April 1679.  Chambly, in fact, never returned to Acadia and died at Martinique while serving as governor there in 1687.  As a result of Chambly's refusal to return to North America, Acadia was without a royal governor from August 1674 to 1677.291b 

One wonders what the inhabitants at Port-Royal and Chignecto thought of this entire business, especially of the absence of a distant governor who had spent little, if any, time among them.  The absence of royal governance did not slow immigration into the colony, as a list of new settlers during that period would have revealed.  If anything, it only hardened the typical Acadian's frontier resolve to rely on himself, his family, and his neighbors, not on some arrogant, disinterested official who represented a monarch living an ocean away.291c


Chambly's successor in Acadia was another former officer of the Carignan-Salières Regiment.  Pierre de Joybert de Soulanges et de Marson, a native of Champagne, had come to Canada with the regiment in 1665 as a lieutenant in Grandfontaine's company and returned with him to France in 1667 to fight in the Spanish Netherlands.  Still tying his star to his former captain, Joybert came to Acadia with Grandfontaine in 1670 and served as the royal governor's second in command, this time as a captain on a larger stage, but Joybert soon became his Grandfontaine's most severe critic.  Ordered to Québec to explain his conduct to Intendant Talon, Joybert married Marie-Françoise, daughter of New French attorney-general Louis-Théandre Chartier de Lotbinière, in 1672.  In October, "in recognition of his 'good and praise-worthy service to the King, both in Old and New France,'" Joybert received a large seigneurial grant on the east bank of Rivière St.-Jean measuring a league in depth and four leagues up from the river's mouth--a clear vindication of his conduct and a repudiation of Grandfontaine.  With the grant came promotion to major des troupes in Acadia and command of Fort Jemseg and the lower St.-Jean.  Joybert remained the chief lieutenant of Grandfontaine's successor, Jacques de Chambly.  In August 1674, Joybert was captured by Dutch privateers at his post at Jemseg and, with the governor, was held to ransom at Boston.  After learning of the raid in September, Frontenac sent canoes down the St.-Jean portage to retrieve Madame Joybert and her infant daughter from the ruins of Fort Jemseg, but not until late 1675 was the governor-general able to ransom Joybert and Chambly with the thousand beaver pelts the New Englanders demanded.292 

Unlike Chambly, who returned to France after his release from Boston, Joybert returned to Acadia via Québec, where Frontenac re-appointed him commander on Rivière St.-Jean, now the principal route of communication between Canada and Acadia.  In October 1676, as a reward for his service in Acadia and probably as an attempt to keep him there, Frontenac and Talon's successor as intendant, Jacques Duchesneau de la Doussinière et d'Ambault, granted Joybert another fief on Rivière St.-Jean, this one above Jemseg at Nashouat.  Days later, the King renewed Joybert's grant at Jemseg, which Joybert had rebuilt with his own funds.  Joybert now held three concessions on Rivière St.-Jean, comprising "more than 100 square miles."  In 1677, when it was clear that Chambly would not return to Acadia, the King appointed Joybert governor of the colony.  Spurning the destroyed post at Pentagouët, he established colonial headquarters at Jemseg, where he died in July 1678, in his late 30s, survived by his wife and three young children.  In March 1691, the Widow Joybert secured the rights to yet another seigneurie, this one across the river from Jemseg, where she oversaw her family's fur-trading interests when she was not living on a pension at Québec.292a


In June 1675, while Chambly and Joybert languished in a Boston prison, open warfare broke out in New England between the Puritans and a native coalition led by Metacom--King Philip to the English--head of the Wampanoag Confederacy.  What began as a reaction to the growing power of the colonists over their long-time Native allies erupted into one the most destructive wars in the region's history.  The conflict began in Plymouth colony but soon spread into neighboring Massachusetts, as far west as the Connecticut River valley, and into Rhode Island to the south.  The New Englanders created a confederation of their own, including Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, New Haven, and Connecticut colonies, and eventually the dissenters of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations--that is, nearly all of New England.  The Wampanoag coalition included the Podunk, Nipmunk, Narragansett, and other nations.  The New Englanders could expect little or no help from the other English colonies scattered along the seaboard.  New York was still recuperating from the recent war with Holland, so Governor Edmund Andros could only urge that colony's Iroquois bands to come to the aid of New England.  Indian raids plagued the Chesapeake region, and Bacon's Rebellion erupted in Virginia during the summer of 1676.  King Charles II, who had no love for Puritans, only reluctantly sent aid to New England, forcing them largely to fend for themselves.  Despite the New-English alliance with the Pequot, Mohegan, and the so-called Praying Indians, and help from the Mohawks of upper New York, the conflict quickly evolved into a protracted war of racial extermination.  Captain Benjamin Church of Plymouth was given credit for trapping and killing Metacom in the Assowamset Swamp in Rhode Island in August 1676.  The Indian leader's body was dragged through the mire, decapitated, drawn and quartered, and his head displayed at Plymouth for 20 years.  The war--a resounding victory for the New-English confederation--did not end until 1677.  Dozens of New-English settlements lay in ruin.  Hundreds of New Englanders and thousands of Natives forfeited their lives, most of them dying not from battle wounds but from starvation and disease.  Hundreds of Natives were tried and executed, dozens more, including Metacom's son, enslaved and sold in Bermuda.  Entire nations, including the Wampanoag, Narragansett, Nipmunk, and Podunk, virtually ceased to exist.292b 

In September 1675, the war in Massachusetts spread into Maine when the Abenaki joined the fight against the English.  This part of the conflict, which led to the destruction of many Maine settlements, ended finally in 1678 and resulted in the death of 260 Maine settlers out of a population of 3,500--a higher percentage of colonial loss than in the rest of New England.  The war with the Abenaki temporarily halted New English expansion up the coast of Maine.  During the negotiations that ended the conflict, the sachems of Kennebec warned the New Englanders that they, the Abenaki, not the English or even the French, were the owners of this "wide" country, and they reminded the New Englanders that they were entirely capable of driving them away.  So dire was the warning that Massachusetts officials agreed to recognize Abenaki claims "over Maine" and "agreed to pay the tribes" there "an annual quit-rent of 'a peck of corn for every English family'" that lived there.  But what was agreed to in Boston meant little to the English settlers swarming into Maine.  Naomi Griffiths reminds us that "English settlement in Maine had been successful enough to establish a number of small communities, intent on further expansion but not able to produce a civil government of any great strength.  As a result, lawlessness was rife and control by the appointed officials over the settlers, in particular over their hostile and belligerent responses to Abenaki activities, was weak.  From 1670 onwards, the Maine settlers showed increasing contempt for Abenaki ways.  They refused to abide by the 1678 treaty terms or pay quit rents to the Abenaki.  They paid no attention to Abenaki farming and fishing practices.  Their cattle damaged the Abenaki's unfenced corn fields, and, on the Saco River, settlers placed nets that interfered with the spring runs of fish, an important Abenaki food source."  But these New-English intruders were not the only ones the Abenaki faced.  In 1677, while the Wampanoag war still raged in Massachusetts, New Yorkers had taken advantage of New-English weakness by establishing a presence at Pemaquid, between the mouth of the Kennebec and Penobscot Bay and near the heart of Abenaki territory.  A council meeting at Manhattan in September 1677 that addressed the new Maine venture promulgated a hard policy towards the Indians there, including the construction of a fort at Pemaquid, which could only antagonize the Natives.  This aggression on the part of these New Yorkers, as well as the New-English intrusions in Maine, compelled the Abenaki and their cousins--the Penobscot, the Maliseet, the Passamaquoddy, the Mi'kmaq--to form a Wabanaki Confederacy.292c 

New-English fears over Native intentions "fundamentally changed the relationship between Acadia and New England by encouraging the belief in Massachusetts and Maine that the French-speaking and Catholic settlers of Acadia were the covert allies of the Amerindians," Naomi Griffiths relates.  Boston officials looked askance when a former French army officer, Jean-Vincent d'Abbadie de Saint-Castin, married the daughter of a Penobscot sagamore and ensconced himself in a trading venture at Pentagouët, in territory claimed by New England.  That Saint-Castin had joined his Abenaki kinsmen in fighting the New Englanders in Maine was commonly known in Boston.  As expert traders, the New Englishmen's first instinct was to win over the obviously independent-minded Saint-Castin, an effort that failed utterly.  Nor did intimidation work.  What man with a nation such as the Abenaki behind him could be intimidated by anyone?  And what of the French settlers of peninsula Acadia and their powerful Mi'kmaq allies?  Though these Natives had not joined their Wabanaki cousins in the fight against the English, "a number of Mi'kmaq in the Cap Sable area had been captured by slavers from Massachusetts and sold in the Mediterranean, which led to Mi'kmaq reprisals against Massachusetts fishing vessels the following year."  Griffiths maintains that "This raid and reprisal were small matters in comparison to the bloodshed of the more southerly conflicts," but, she points out, "In terms of their relationship between Acadia and Massachusetts ... they marked the beginning of a significant change.  Over the next ten years, the relationship between the two colonies become increasingly tense.  The obviously amicable connection between Mi'kmaq and Acadian, the Acadian role as middlemen in the fur trade between Massachusetts and the Mi'kmaq, and Acadian attempts to control both offshore fishing rights and the coal fields and gypsum deposits of Cape Breton led to growing exasperation in Boston with the Acadian communities.  What had been a porous border on the northeastern approaches of New England was now becoming a much more impermeable frontier.  This was due in part to the existence of an official French presence, however weak, and in part to the growth of Acadian settlements, however slow."292d


In French Acadia, the dead Joybert's successor, Michel Le Neuf de la Vallière et de Beaubassin, served from 1678 until 1683 as colonial commander before his appointment as royal governor.  Born at Trois-Rivière in 1640--his father was the governor of that community at the time of Michel's birth--La Vallière had been educated in France before returning to Canada to seek his fortune.  He married twice, first to Marie, only daughter of Acadian pioneer Nicolas Denys and Marguerite de Lafitte, in c1666.  She gave him eight children, including four daughters who married onto the Le Gardeur de Saint-Pierre, Le Bassier de Villieu, de Gannes de Falaise, and Aubert de La Chesnay de Forillon families.  Three of their four sons--Alexandre de Beaubassin, Jacques de La Poterie, and Jean-Baptiste de Canceau--never married but became officers in the King's service; Alexandre's service was so distinguished, in fact, that he became a chevalier of the Order of St.-Louis.  Michel's fourth son Michel de La Vallière, fils, who also became an officer and a chevalier de St.-Louis, married Renée, daughter of militia colonel François Bertrand and Jeanne Giraudet of Plaisance, Newfoundland, in February 1710; as father of 15 children, including three sons who created  families of their own, Michel, fils carried on the Le Neuf family line.  Michel, pere's second wife was his first wife's niece:  Françoise, daughter of Simon Denys de La Trinité and Françoise Dutertre.  Like his younger brother Nicolas, Simon Denys had lived in Acadia from the time of Razilly and d'Aulnay.  Michel, père and Françoise married in c1683, about the time that he became Acadia's royal governor; she gave him no more children.293a 

Governor-General Frontenac had supported La Vallière's appointment as governor from the beginning, but political rivals on both sides of the Atlantic delayed the appointment for five long years.  Like Joybert, La Vallière was allowed, at first, to choose his seigneurie as the colony's new headquarters.  Unlike Grandfontaine and Chambly, who had no experience in the colony before becoming royal governor, La Vallière the Canadian was, in a sense, an Acadian himself, though he likely would not have considered himself one.  He had served with his father-in-law, Nicolas Denys, on Cape Breton Island during the 1660s, while the English controlled the rest of Acadia.  From the late 1660s to the mid-1670s, La Vallière and his family resided at his father-in-law's various posts along the Gulf of St. Lawrence, including Nepisiguit and Miscou, and Michel engaged there in fishing, agriculture, and the fur trade.  In 1670, he was back in Canada, where he was part of an expedition against the Iroquois, so he had military as well as commercial experience when he was appointed colonial commander.  In 1671, he returned to French-controlled Acadia to help his brother-in-law, Richard Denys de Fronsac, to look after his father-in-law's interests in the region. The following year, during the governorship of Grandfontaine, La Vallière sought to supplement his fishing interests by setting up a fur trading venture at Chignecto, about the time that settlers from Port-Royal, led by surgeon turned fur trader Jacques Bourgeois, moved up the Bay of Fundy to the salt marshes at the mouth of Rivière Missaguash.  In May 1676, during the war with the Dutch, Frontenac commissioned La Vallière and Richard Denys to cruise the Acadian coasts for enemy prizes.  On Cape Breton Island, La Vallière seized three New English ketches taking on coal.  Though France was not officially at war with England, French officials declared two of the vessels lawful prizes.  In October of that year, in answer to La Vallière's petition and probably as a reward for his services against the Dutch, Frontenac and Duchesneau granted La Vallière a large seigneurie that extended along the south shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence from present-day Shediac southeast to Pugwash, including Baie-Verte and Cape Tourmentine, and inland from Rivière Memramcook southeast to present-day Springhill, Nova Scotia.  The grant included the Chignecto isthmus from the Cumberland Basin up to Baie-Verte.  At its center was Rivière Missaguash, where a portage ran between the basin and Baie-Verte, connecting the Bay of Fundy with the Gulf of St. Lawrence--one of the most important transportation links in the entire region.  Determined to develop his Chignecto holdings, La Vallière brought his family to an "island" overlooking the Missaguash and named the surrounding area Beaubassin.293 

When Frontenac recommended La Vallière for promotion to royal governor of Acadia, he described the first native Canadian to serve in that office as a "'nobleman who has all the qualities of mind and heart necessary to acquit himself well in such as post.'"  Intendant Duchesneau was not so impressed with the Canadian, however, and his opposition to Frontenac's support of La Vallière's governorship added fuel to a growing political rivalry that threatened all of New France.  After finally receiving permission to appoint him governor in 1683, Frontenac ordered La Vallière to move the colony's headquarters back to Port-Royal, where he was no more popular among the settlers than at Chignecto.  Perhaps it was not the new governor's fault.  Professor Griffiths reminds us that the delay in confirming La Vallière's governorship "was of no help ... in his attempts to bring together the colony under a single administrative control, to cope with the incursions of Massachusetts fishing vessels in waters claimed by France, and to impose some sort of seigneurial system in Beaubassin and the settlements which developed in the Minas Basin after 1680."  Frontenac was always ready to defend the Canadian, taking every opportunity to praise the seigneur's efforts in commanding an intractable people.  In a November 1679 letter written while La Vallière was still Acadian commander, the governor-general informed King Louis XIV that "'M. de la Vallière ... has told me that he has been to Port Royal, where the inhabitants have shown little care for receiving his order, whether because they have been accustomed to be without a commander, or because of the divisions among them, or whether, indeed, from some tendency towards Englishness and parliaments, which has been brought (as) the result of the visiting and trade with Boston.'"  While Frontenac labored under the delusion that La Vallière had overawed the colonists by imposing on them a new oath of fidelity to Louis XIV, followed by public celebrations of the King's victories in the war against the Dutch, La Vallière, in fact, looked the other way when his fellow Acadians indulged in illicit trade with Boston.  In 1684, La Vallière returned to Beaubassin, taking the colonial headquarters with him--a sign, perhaps, that he was not as effective in guiding the colony as his mentor had insisted, or that he preferred to place himself as far as he could from the illicit dealings with New England.293e 

La Vallière's relationship with the settlers did not improve.  According to Naomi Griffiths, "La Vallière made little attempt to establish cordial relationships with the established settlers of the colony," especially the ones who lived on his seigneurie at Chignecto.  In 1682, while he was still colonial commander, he brought before the Superior Council at Québec a suit against many of the inhabitants of Beaubassin who refused to accept seigneurial contracts he imposed on them.  Professor Griffiths points out that "None of the settlers whom La Vallière had brought from Canada was party to this suit, which seems to have been the result of an attempt by La Vallière to extend his authority over the whole of the isthmus, in spite of the possible existence of orders against this."293f

The colonial commander nevertheless was obligated to look to the welfare of the colony's habitants.  In late 1678 or early 1679, La Vallière, or a designee, conducted a census at Port-Royal.  Unlike Father Molin's counting of 1671, this census taker noted only the names of family heads and their spouses, not the names of their children, who were delineated only by gender and age.  However, the official did record economic data such as arpents under cultivation, number of cattle owned, even the number of "guns" in each household.  Most of the families who had been counted in 1671 were still living along the basin.  Some had moved on to other settlements, including the new one at Chignecto, and so they do not appear in La Vallière's census.  Most importantly for the future of the colony, new family names--Rivet, Gareau, Godin, Levron, Labat, Brossard--appeared in this latest counting, hinting that the Acadian population continued to grow not only by natural increase, but also by immigration.45a  

La Vallière's severest critic was not a lowly habitant but was a fisherman of sorts, whose persistent complaints did more than anything to bring the governor down.  Clerbaud Bergier was a Huguenot merchant from La Rochelle with "more than twenty years' experience in trading ventures linking New England and the Caribbean."  In 1682, while La Vallière was still colonial commander, Bergier was appointed director of an influential fishing company headquartered at Chédabouctou on the Atlantic coast.  During the 1650s, when the English controlled Acadia, and even after the English returned the colony in 1670, the French had shifted their fishery center from Canso and the Atlantic coast to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, particularly the Baie des Chaleurs, Percé on the Gaspé peninsula, and Plaisance, on the western shore of Newfoundland.  New English vessels promptly took up the slack along the peninsula's Atlantic coast.  Seeing this, in 1680, Bergier had obtained permission from Nicolas Denys, then at Paris, to visit his concessions in Acadia, where he and his associates, also Protestants, hoped to build a fishery of their own and overawe the New Englanders.  Protests from influential Roman Catholic clergy poured into the ministry.  They complained that the "project would be contrary to the interests of the state and the religion and to the intentions of the king in founding the colony."  This compelled Bergier and his fellow Huguenots to take on as partners "Gabriel Gautier, Boucher, and de Mantes, of Paris," all proper Catholics.  Bergier's most influential associate, however, was Charles-François Duret de Chevry, marquis de Villeneuve, a Roman Catholic.  The marquis agreed to "sponsor" the Compagnie des Pêches Sédentaires de l'Acadie, chartered by the King in February 1682.  The grant included not only the Atlantic coast of Acadia, but also Rivière St.-Jean "as a suitable area for fishery and trade."  Bergier chose Chédabouctou, west of Canso, as the company's center of operations.  After establishing 18 men and a woman there in May, he returned to Paris to report his findings and was back in Acadia in 1683, the year La Vallière was appointed governor.  Bergier was tireless not only in resurrecting the Acadian fishery out of Canso, but also in establishing an agricultural base for the fishery at Chédabouctou.  He even lured farmers from the Port-Royal basin to his Atlantic-shore settlements.  The Compagnie de l'Acadie, as it was called, with its backing by powerful merchants in Bordeaux and La Rochelle, became so successful that, later in the decade, as many as "150 residents, including 80 fishermen," were reported at Chédabouctou and Canso; only Port-Royal boasted a larger population in the colony at the time.  This success came later, however.  Soon after he re-established the Atlantic coast fishery, which processed seal skins as well as fish, Bergier sent out half a dozen small boats into the Atlantic, which were promptly destroyed by New English fishermen!  Bergier complained to his superiors that La Vallière was issuing too many fishing licenses to ships out of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, even New York; this, the Company manager insisted, threatened the security of the colony as well as the Company's bottom line.  Bergier also was troubled by the ease with which New English merchants traded with Acadian settlements; predictably, he sought permission to use force to end that trade.  La Vallière, on the other hand, was determined to maintain good relations with the new Massachusetts governor, Simon Bradstreet, and considered it within his power as governor to regulate the fishing fleets in Acadian waters, be they English or French.  With Frontenac's approval, La Vallière, like his predecessor, Grandfontaine, accommodated the New Englanders with liberally-issued fishing permits.  French retaliation against the New English fishermen could only hurt the colony.  Bergier pushed his complaints to the marquis and the minister, especially in regard to the illicit trade with New England.  In the ensuing conflict, La Vallière was not without powerful allies of his own.  Frontenac, unfortunately for him, was gone from the scene after the autumn of 1682, but Jacques de Meulles, sieur de La Source, who had succeeded Duchesneau as intendant that same year, had not liked it one bit that the Compagnie de l'Acadie was created without consulting him and that a Huguenot had been placed at its head in Acadia.  De Meulles ordered La Vallière, as commander in the colony, "to prevent Bergier from establishing his fishery without express permission."  Frontenac's successor as governor-general of New France, Joseph-Antoine Le Febvre de la Barre, also complained to the minister about Bergier, who he said had twice declared bankruptcy and failed to inform Québec of his activities.  Le Febvre de La Barre warned the Minister that allowing a member of the "reformed" religion to "'build an establishment so close to the English of New England, who are also of the religion that is called reformed" would be harmful to Acadia.  The vicar general of the Church in Canada, as well as Bishop Laval at Québec, also registered complaints with Minister and King about the ill effects of allowing "heretics" to operate in New France.  Inevitably, such a conflict between so many shakers and movers caught the rapt attention of Paris and Versailles.  In the end, Frontenac's removal did prove fatal to La Vallière's governorship.  By 1684, the King had taken sides in the unseemly dispute; he, too, looked to the bottom line, to the importance of the Acadian fishery in the French economy.  On 10 April 1684, the King removed La Vallière as commander, King's lieutenant, and governor in Acadia.  On the same day, Bergier was named the King's lieutenant in the colony and was tasked with "governing" Acadia until La Vallière's successor as governor reached Port-Royal.  With his enhanced powers, Bergier promptly turned on the New English fishermen plying their trade off the Acadian coasts, and a virtual war broke out between him and these fishermen.  To complicate matters, La Vallière's oldest son, Alexandre de Beaubassin, doubtlessly encouraged by his father, joined the fray by attacking Bergier's base at Chédabouctou.  Bergier was absent at the time of the attack, but the young Beaubassin, only 18 years old, captured and held Bergier Deshormeaux, the Huguenot's son, and absconded with furs "that allegedly belonged to the Compagnie de l'Acadie."  By the end of 1684, only months before the King's revocation of the Edict of Nantes, Bergier was stripped of his lieutenancy and replaced by Charles Duret de Chevry de La Boulaye, a kinsman of the Marquis de Villeneuve.293b  

La Vallière remained at Beaubassin after his tenure as governor, assisting Intendant de Meulles in 1685-86 by providing him not only with shelter over the winter, but also a sailboat to send him on to Port-Royal.  De Meulles used the Chignecto seigneur as his chief source of information on the colony.  Later in 1686, the new governor-general, Jacques-René de Brisbay, marquis de Denonville, who had replaced Le Febvre de La Barre in 1685, ordered La Vallière to go to France "to report on the situation in Acadia."  Denonville, like Frontenac, tended to favor the Chignecto seigneur over his political enemies.293c 

Back from France in 1687, La Vallière handed over his Chignecto seigneurie to son-in-law Claude-Sébastien Le Bassier de Villieu and returned to Canada, where, despite being in his late 40s, he began a new career as a military officer.  He returned to Acadia briefly in 1689 as King's lieutenant and then returned to Québec, where he served under his old benefactor, Frontenac, restored to the governor-generalship in time for the outbreak of war with England.  It was La Vallière who arranged the prisoner exchange below Île d'Orléans after Frontenac defeated Phips at Québec in the fall of 1690.  The following year, La Vallière was promoted to captain.  Four years later, he was assigned to command the frontier post on the upper St. Lawrence at Catararcoui, which its founder, the late Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle, had dubbed Fort Frontenac during the governor-general's first tenure in office.  La Vallière and his 48 men were tasked with reaching an accord with the nearby Iroquois.  Back at Québec in the late spring of 1696, La Vallière joined two of his sons, Alexandre and Jacques, and another Canadian officer, with a crew of 150, on a foray to the Acadian coast aboard the ship Bouffone to prey on English shipping.  Their vessel being out of position, they were unable to prevent New English Colonel Benjamin Church from falling on Chignecto in September.  In May 1699, the war with England over, the King appointed La Vallière town major of Montréal.  That autumn, Frontenac's replacement, Louis-Hector de Callière, perhaps informed of La Vallière's good relations with former Massachusetts Governor Bradstreet, sent the major to Boston to set up a prisoner repatriation and to discuss Indian relations with the new Massachusetts governor, Richard Coote, first Earl of Bellomont.  Back in Canada, word got around that La Vallière, because of his military service, "was in bad financial straits."  The King awarded him a gratuity of 500 livres in 1702 and permission to set up a porpoise fishery in Acadia, but the scheme never came to fruition.  In the autumn of 1704, now in his sixty-fourth year, La Vallière was appointed by Governor-General Philippe Rigaud de Vaudreuil and Intendant François de Beauharnois de la Chaussaye, Baron de Beauville, not only to deliver official dispatches to the Minister of Marine, but also to inform the court of conditions in Canada.  Another war had broken out with England and its allies two years before, so the mission was as hazardous as it was important.  In France, La Vallière took the opportunity to secure his grant in the Chignecto region, which, since the late 1690s, had been threatened by new settlers from Port-Royal who were seeking to put even more distance between themselves and the authorities in the colonial capital.  La Vallière and his son-in-law, de Villieu, insisted, that the new establishments at Chepoudy, Petitcoudiac, and Memramcook--the so-called trois-rivières--were encroachments on the family's seigneurial grant.  At court and in Paris, La Vallière was entirely successful in his efforts to maintain his seigneurial hold on the area.  Unfortunately for the old campaigner, he was unable to enjoy his victory.  He died in July 1705, age 65, on the crossing back to Canada.  Ironically, none of his four sons remained at Chignecto to complete their father's efforts there.293d


Within a decade after the founding of the Chignecto settlement, during La Vallière's tenure as governor, the Acadians swarmed again, this time to a fertile basin half way between Port-Royal and Beaubassin.  The Bassin-des-Mines, or Minas Basin, 60 miles northeast of Port-Royal and 50 miles south of Beaubassin, took its name from the copper deposits at Cap d'Or, at the northern entrance to the basin, noted by Champlain and other early explorers.  Pierre Melanson, the elder son of a French Huguenot who had come to Acadia with the English, married a daughter of Philippe Mius d'Entremont and became one of the most prosperous settlers at Port-Royal.  In c1680, Pierre sold his property there and moved his large family to Grand-Pré, which lay between two small rivers flowing into the basin, the St.-Antoine, later called Rivière-des-Habitants and now the Cornwallis, to the north, and the Gaspereau to the south.  Two years later, Pierre, the 26-year-old son of Jean Thériot, started another settlement, on Rivière St.-Antoine, not far from Pierre Melanson's homestead.  "Being a popular and generous man," one historian attests, Thériot "supplied wheat without interest and housed many while their homes were being built."  Thériot had married a daughter of René Landry le jeune in c1678.  They were not blessed with children, but Pierre's nephews Germain, Jean, Claude, and Joseph, sons of his older brother Claude, followed their uncle to Minas and spawned a huge extended family.  Soon the Melansons and Thériots were joined by other pioneers and their families from Port-Royal who settled along the many streams that flowed into the basin, including Rivière-aux-Canards, north of the St.-Antoine.  Antoine, Claude, and René, fils, sons of René Landry l'aîné; Jacques, René, André, and Antoine, four of the five sons of Daniel LeBlanc; Étienne and Michel, sons of Étienne Hébert; their cousin Jean, son of Antoine Hébert; and Claude, son of Michel Boudrot, filled the basin with their progeny in the decades that followed, as did other colonists from Port-Royal and Chignecto, and new arrivals from France.  Two church parishes arose in the lower part of the basin:  St.-Charles at Grand-Pré, whose church was built by 1687, and St.-Joseph farther north on Rivière-aux-Canards.  Other settlers at Minas bore the names Allain, Aucoin, Babin, Bélisle, Benoit, Bergeron, Bertrand, Blanchard, Boucher, Bourg, Brasseur, Breau, Brun, Bugeaud, Célestin dit Bellemère, Clouâtre, ComeauDaigre, Darois, David, Doucet, Dugas, Dumont, Duon, Dupuis, Flan, Gautrot, Girouard, Granger, Henry, Labauve, Lalande, Lebert, Longuépée, Mazerolle, Mouton, Part, Pinet, Pitre, Précieux, Renaud, Richard, Robichaud, Saulnier, Semer, Surette, Thibodeau, and Trahan.92

As the number of new settlers at Minas attests, the place became an agricultural marvel.  "This area, which was to assume demographic and economic leadership among the three Acadian farming regions in the eighteenth century, was the last of the three major Acadian centers to get started," Andrew Hill Clark reminds us.  "But its fine marshlands, the weakness of its nominal seigneurial control [claimed by the Le Borgnes], and, perhaps above all, its relative freedom from the attention of both New England raiders and French officials, allowed it to expand rapidly.  From only 57 people in the Grand Pré area in 1686 the population soared to more than 580 in 1707."  Clark goes on:  "There is no doubt that agriculture flourished in Minas beyond any experience at Port Royal or Beaubassin.  It was the better balanced than the latter; not neglecting livestock, in which Beaubassin rather specialized, it developed the best and most extensive arable farming in Acadia."  Another plus for the settlements at Minas was easy access to the basin from the Bay of Fundy, allowing the Acadians there to enjoy their essential trade with merchants from New England.93

Beginning around 1685, settlers from Minas and Port-Royal moved a few miles southeast of Grand-Pré into the upper stretches of Rivière Pigiguit, today's Avon River, just above its confluence with the smaller Rivière Ste.-Croix.  They settled on both sides of the larger river around present-day Falmouth and Windsor, Nova Scotia.  The Acadians called the settlement Pigiguit, Mi'kmaq for "junction of the waters."  The first church parish there, Ste.-Famille, was founded in August 1698 and lay on the west side of the river.  A second parish, dedicated to Notre-Dame-de l'Assomption and usually called L'Assomption, was founded in June 1722 for inhabitants living on the east side of Rivière Pigiguit, whose wide tidal flats made it difficult to cross to the west bank.  About the time of the founding of Ste.-Famille parish, the vicar-general of Acadia, Father Louis-Pierre Thury, founded a Mi'kmaq mission at Pigiguit.  Settlers there bore the names Arsement, Babin, Barillot, Benoit, Boudrot, Boutin, Brasseur, Breau, Broussard, Bugeaud, Chauvet dit La Gerne, Comeau, Corporon, Daigre, Doiron, Forest, Gaudet, Gautrot, Girouard, Guédry, Hébert, Landry, LeBlanc, Lejeune, Martin, Michel, Mire, Prince, Richard, Rivet, Roy, Savary, Thibodeau, Trahan, and Vincent.94 

While Acadians on the peninsula were establishing settlements at the head of the Bay of Fundy and in the Minas Basin, another, much smaller Acadian community, at least in population, arose along lower Rivière St.-Jean, or, rather, came into its own there.  This was an area once controlled by Robert Gravé du Pont, Charles La Tour, and Charles de Menou d'Aulnay, and for a time was the center of the fur trade in greater Acadia.  During the 1670s, control of the lower stretches of the river was shared by one of La Tour's sons-in-law, Martin d'Aprendestiguy, and by Acadian royal governor Pierre de Joybert de Soulanges et de Marson.  Marson's widow maintained her husband's seigneuries above and below Jemseg until she lost her rights in the early 1700s for "non-fulfillment of conditions."  During the 1680s, more grants were made above Jemseg to sons of Canadian shaker and mover Mathieu D'Amours, sieur de Matane.  During the late 1600s and early 1700s, agricultural settlements appeared on the river above Jemseg at Ékoupag, now Maugerville; Ste.-Anne-du-Pays-Bas, now Fredericton, which, according to Bona Arsenault, began as a concession to Gabriel Godin dit Châtillon dit Bellefontaine in 1691; and at Nashouat, also called Nashwaak, the site of Acadian commander Villebon's Fort St.-Joseh across the river from Ste.-Anne-du-Pays-Bas.  The La Tours were still on the river, in the third generation, as were descendants of Jean-Vincent d'Abbadie de Saint-Castin, who once held sway at Pentagouët.  Joining the La Tours and the Saint-Castins, some with seigneuries of their own, were families that bore the names Le Borgne de Bélisle, Bergeron dit d'Amboise, D'Amours dit de Louvières, Dugas, Godin dit Beauséjour, dit Bellefeuille, dit Bellefontaine, dit Boisjoli, dit Châtillon dit Préville, dit Lincour, and dit Valcour, Henry, Part, and Roy.  The church on lower Rivière St.-Jean, located at Meductic, an Indian mission above the main Acadian settlements, was dedicated to Ste.-Anne.97 

Another Acadian community that had sprung up during the early 1600s also came into its own later in the century.  Cap-Sable, at the southwestern tip of the peninsula, had been long controlled by the La Tours.  The most populated settlement near the cape was Pobomcoup, now Pubnico, Nova Scotia, north of the cape.  Philippe Mius, sieur d'Entremont of Cherbourg, childhood friend of Charles La Tour, had received the seigneurie of Pobomcoup from the governor in July 1653.   Half a century later, his family was still there, in the third generation, and still in possession of their ancestor's seigneurial rights.  The d'Entremonts had coaxed a few families from France and Port-Royal to settle on their lands near the cape, where they engaged in limited agriculture and extensive fishing.  The largest family at Pobomcoup were the Amireaus.  Families there and at Cap-Sable also bore the names Landry, Moulaison, Pitre, and Viger.  Despite its relatively small population, two church parishes arose in the Pobomcoup/Cap-Sable area:  Ste.-Anne at Cheboque, northwest of Pobomcoup; and Notre-Dame at Pobomcoup, said to have been built by Abbé Jean-Louis Le Loutre on a hill near present-day Argyle, Nova Scotia.99


La Vallière's successor as royal governor in Acadia, François-Marie Perrot, a Parisian, was, like his predecessors, a soldier, having served in the Picardie regiment.  His influence and power came not from his military record, however, but from an efficacious marriage; his wife, Madeleine Laguide Meynier, was a niece of Jean Talon, the first royal intendant of New France.  In April 1670, through Talon's influence, Perrot was named governor of Montréal by the Sulpician fathers, who owned the island.  Perrot sailed to Canada with Talon in May and arrived in August.  Although the Sulpicians welcomed him, they soon regretted their decision.  Perrot accompanied Governor-General Courcelle to the Iroquois country in 1671 and helped to avert war with the Six Nations.  In 1672, Courcelle and Talon granted Perrot a seigneurie on the large island in the St. Lawrence at its junction with the Ottawa, just downriver from Montréal, today's Île Perrot.  To the chagrin of Montréal the fur dealers, Perrot established an illegal trading venture on his island and employed coureurs de bois to enforce his will, using violence when necessary.  The following year, the new governor-general, Frontenac, set up a fur trading venture of his own at Catararcoui, far up the St. Lawrence, where the governor-general's protégé, Robert Cavelier de La Salle, built a new fort he named after Frontenac.  Perrot joined the Montréal traders in denouncing Frontenac's activities.  Frontenac retaliated by having Perrot arrested and held to trial before the Superior Council.  Perrot, pointing to his commission from the King, refused to recognize the right of the Council to try him.  Despite pressure from Frontenac, the Council relented and referred Perrot's case to the King.  Frontenac sent Perrot back to France to face charges for refusing to obey the orders of the governor-general.  Perrot did not fare well with Louis XIV or Minister Colbert and spent three "comfortable" weeks in La Bastille.  Upon Perrot's release, the King reinstated him as governor of Montréal and enjoined Frontenac to treat him with more respect.  Back in Canada, Perrot and Frontenac formed an uneasy alliance in the effort to dominate the western fur trade.  Emboldened by his "victory" over his enemies, Perrot became a virtual dictator at Montréal, breaching no challenge to his authority and especially to his control of the local fur trade.  His rough-and-tumble coureurs terrorized the town, and Perrot was not above imprisoning a judge who dared to order the arrest of one of his men.  In this, he went too far.  In 1679--the year that the English Parliament passed the Habeas Corpus Act--the King and Colbert enjoined Frontenac to prevent a governor, or any other colonial administrator, from arresting his subjects and interfering with the local courts.  Perrot, certain of Frontenac's protection, continued his abuse of the unfortunate residents of Montréal, especially those with the temerity to criticize his fur-trading activities.  Perrot's venality was evident for all to see, and his illegal activities netted for him an impressive personal fortune.294 

In 1680 and 1681, the Superior Council tried to curtail Perrot's activities, but Frontenac blocked their efforts.  The following year, however, Frontenac was sacked and replaced by Joseph-Antoine Le Febvre de La Barre.  Perrot's many enemies--the intendant, the members of the Superior Council, the residents and other seigneurs of Montréal, and of course the local merchants--pounced on the Parisian, and not even his influential friends at court, including his brother Perrot de Fercourt, could save him.  In May 1682, the King informed Governor-General Le Febvre de La Barre to dismiss Perrot as Montréal's governor.  By then, however, Perrot had won the favor of the new governor-general, who defended the governor while at the same time covering his own illegal activities in the western trade.  Minister Colbert was not impressed by the new governor-general's case in favor of the errant governor.  In 1683, during his final days, Colbert ordered Perrot stripped of his powers and threatened to recall him to France.  Louis-Hector de Callière, a future governor-general, replaced Perrot as governor of Montréal and François-Marie Perrot was named royal governor of Acadia on 10 April 1684.294a 

Perrot did not go directly to his new post at Port-Royal but traveled from Montréal to France instead, probably to repair the damage to his reputation at court.  He also may have attempted to dodge what he doubtlessly considered a forced exile to a neglected corner of New France where large profits in illicit trade would be hard to come by.  Perrot did not reach Port-Royal until September 1685, a year and a half after his predecessor, La Vallière, had been removed from the post and nearly two years since a governor had lived there.  He was not impressed with what he saw.  He described his new post "as a straggly collection of houses with considerable distances between the buildings, in no way a compact village."  He was especially repelled by what he observed in relations between the Acadians and the Mi'kmaq.  The governor "was convinced that the very structure of Port Royal led to its people 'taking to the woods and leading a scandalous life with the savages.'"  He blamed much of what he saw on Alexandre Le Borgne de Belle-Isle, the Port-Royal seigneur, "who was, in Perrot's opinion, a drunkard who had granted the lands, with little or no thought, to the first comer."  Perrot's personality, perhaps, compelled him to look at the dark side of human behavior.  Another official who had been living among the Port-Royal Acadians for nearly a decade, Abbé Louis Petit, the vicar general of Acadia, a former soldier like Perrot, found the Acadians to be an entirely different sort of people.  In a letter written to the new bishop at Québec a month after Perrot's arrival, and perhaps in reaction the new governor's dark opinions, Abbé Petit made "no mention of loose living among his flock.  Instead, Petit describes his congregation as sweet-natured, with a tendency to piety and given to swearing or drunkenness, and the women as chaste.  He was pleased with the attendance at Mass on Sundays and holy days and their reception of the sacraments."294b 

No matter, Perrot would make the most of his new situation among these confounding people.  Colbert had died in the autumn of 1683, before Perrot could attempt to win his favor.  Colbert's successor as Minister of Marine, his son Jean-Baptiste Colbert, marquis de Seignelay, had warned Perrot to act responsibly in Acadia, but, like any accomplished shake-down artist, Perrot behaved at Port-Royal "exactly as he had done at Montréal."  Shortly after his arrival, he asked the new Minister for "a large seigneury" at La Hève, but Seignelay refused.  No matter, Perrot "lost no time in seeking to monopolize the fur trade of the colony, traded brandy over the counter in his own house, shipped contraband to Boston, and, in complete disregard for the king's orders, allowed New England seamen to fish in Acadian coastal waters upon purchasing a permit, for which he charged L5 per ketch."  Many voiced complaints to the Minister, probably including La Vallière's old enemy, Clerbaud Bergier, still ensconced at Chédabouctou.  Word of Perrot's venality reached Québec and de La Barre's replacement as governor-general, Jacques-René de Brisay, marquis de Denonville.  In 1686, Denonville recommended Jean-Vincent d'Abbadie de Saint-Castin as a replacement for Perrot, but evidently nothing came of it, and the Parisian remained at Port-Royal.294f 

Soon after Perrot reached Port-Royal, the intendant of New France, Jacques de Meulles, visited the colony to conduct a census and perhaps to look in on the new governor.  According to Naomi E. S. Griffiths, "De Meulles came by sea from Quebec, leaving there on 11 October 1685."  He traveled in a barque captained by Simon-Pierre Denys de Bonaventure, a grand nephew of Nicolas Denys, who evidently remained with him throughout the Acadian tour.  Professor Griffiths continues:  "He arrived at Île Percé nineteen days later, on 30 October.  Departing for Baie Verte and Beaubassin, he was wrecked off Miscou the next day, 31 October, but had the courage to continue, four days later, in one of the ship's small boats.  He arrived on 12 November at the seigneury of Richard Denys de Fronsac, the son of Nicolas Denys, at [the] mouth of Miramichi."  They slept in Denys's secluded manor house, surrounded by a small stone fort with four bastions.  "It took de Meulles another ten days to journey to Beaubassin, by way of the coast and a bitter portage from Baie-Verte.  He arrived at his destination on 23 November, having been delayed by an early and severe frost, which made the terrain difficult both for canoes and for foot travel.  In all, the voyage from Quebec to La Vallière's settlement had taken over six weeks," providing the intendant with an object lesson in the great distances and the difficulties in reaching the Acadian settlements via the Gulf of St. Lawrence.  La Vallière was not at Beaubassin when de Meulles arrived.  The season was late, so he chose to winter at the seigneur's manor house before moving on to Port-Royal.  He and his entourage spent five long months there, and, Professor Griffiths tells us, de Meulles was "bored by the life among the company he found at Beaubassin...," but he was impressed by the meadows there, which he believed could pasture "more than 100,000 cattle."  Not until the third week of April 1686 could he leave Chignecto in a 12-toon sloop called the St.-Antoine, which La Vallière loaned to him.  When the vessel entered the Bay of Fundy, it was "blown onto 'a point of clayey land which one could hardly see at that time.'  The tide, which had been so high that it 'overflowed into the meadows,' began to ebb.  In an hour or two, the ship was 'balanced, half of it being in the air,' leaving de Meulles and his crew teetering three stores above the water's surface 'as if we had been put there on purpose.'  The water's return saved the high-centered Frenchmen," giving the intendant and his companions another object lesson in what the Acadians had to endure in their settlements along the Grand French Bay.  They sailed on to the mouth of Rivière St.-Jean, and de Meulles may have toured the coast of Maine as far down as Pentagouët before reaching Port-Royal on May 2.  He spent two weeks there, probably with Perrot.  Influenced, likely, by the equally-irascible governor, the intendant also noted the unseemly relationship between the Port-Royal habitants and the local band of Mi'kmaq, and issued ordinances "concerned 'with ways of remedying the libertinism of several of His Majesty's subjects, who keep Indian women in their dwellings, who desert father and mother and follow these Indian women into the woods.'"  (One wonders if de Meulles and the Abbé Petit spoke at all about the true nature of these settlers.)  De Muelles may have visited the Minas settlements via the old Indian portage at the upper reaches of Rivière-au-Dauphin, if he had not gone there on his way from Beaubassin to Rivière St.-Jean.  He noted that the Acadians "built boats capable of coastal travel and that they made their own clothes, the women making stockings, gloves, and bonnet."  He also reported that "every spring three or four English ships came, loaded with every necessity, bartering for furs and other goods," the habitants thus securing for themselves the necessary items that trade with France, both Old and New, did not provide for them.  Continuing his tour of the colony after his stay at Port-Royal, de Meulles visited La Hève and the fishing establishments at Chédabouctou, and Canso.  There, he rebuked the recently-converted Huguenots among the fishing crews who insisted on continuing their heretical practices, as they had done during the directorship of Clerbaud Bergier.  From St.-Pierre on Cape Breton island, once the home of Nicolas Denys, de Meulles returned to Miramichi, where he stayed again at Richard Denys's stone fort.  Back at Île Percé by June 19, de Meulles took a ship for the St. Lawrence the following day.  He reached Québec on July 6, having spent a little over eight months in greater Acadia.294e 

Another distinguished visitor during Perrot's tenure was 32-year-old Jean-Baptiste de la Croix de Chevrières de Saint-Vallier, the aging Laval's replacement as Bishop of Québec.  The prelate, like the intendant, also reported on the state of the colony after experiencing the rigors of the country.  Instead of going there by sea, as de Meulles had done, the young bishop chose to follow the old Indian portage from the St. Lawrence valley to Rivière St.-Jean, which Grandfontaine had surveyed 15 years before.   The bishop and his party, consisting of two priests and five expert canoe men, left Rivière-du-Loup, below Québec, on 7 May 1686, and entered "a countryside 'where winter still held sway.'"  Following the portage via Lac Pohénégamook to the upper reaches of the St.-Jean, they reached what the bishop called Le Grand Sault Saint Jean Baptiste, at present-day Grand Falls, New Brunswick, 10 days later.  "Sometimes they had to break the ice to get the canoes through," the bishop's biographer tells us.  "At one time they thought they would die of starvation.  Then came the summer, the unbearable mosquito bites, the humid heat."  At the Maliseet capital of Meductic, the bishop sent all but one of the priests on to Port-Royal.  With a single companion, he made his way cross country to the southwest branch of Rivière Miramichi and visited Richard Denys's establishment at the mouth of the Miramichi, where Intendant de Meulles had stayed a few weeks earlier, in mid-June, on his way back to Québec.  The bishop's journey now had consumed over seven weeks; the previous autumn, on his way to Acadia, it had taken de Meulles "roughly a month" to reach this same point via the Gulf of St. Lawrence despite a shipwreck at Île Miscou.  The bishop, however, had begun his mission as soon as he had left his seat, having stopped "a number of times en route between Quebec and Rivière-du-Loup."  "Everywhere they met Frenchmen or Indians," such as at Grand Sault and Meductic, the young bishop "preached, catechized, rebuked, praised.  He ate little, scarcely slept, and worked unceasingly," his biographer goes on.  He remained at Miramichi and nearby Richibouctou for a week, ministering to the Mi'kmaq who came out to greet him.  Continuing down the gulf shore via Shediac, he lingered at the fishing post at Chédabouctou before heading back up the coast to Baie-Verte.  Complaining "bitterly about the clouds of mosquitoes," he endured the short but difficult portage down the Missaguash to Beaubassin.  He now would be touring the heart of Acadia--the settlements along the south shore of the Bay of Fundy where the largest population centers could be found.  The bishop conversed at length not only with the seigneur, with whom he likely stayed, but also with some of the Chignecto settlers.  He noted in his journal the difficulties of the early years at Chignecto, especially in constructing the aboiteaux, information the bishop would have best gotten from the habitants themselves.  Professor Griffiths notes that Bishop de Saint-Vallier was "one of the few seventeenth-century commentators who seems to have realized how much work was involved in the building and maintenance of dykes."  The bishop noted that many Chignecto settlers fished for salmon and cod as well as planted crops and raised impressive herds of cattle.  He also commented on the weaving skills of the Chignecto women but also noted the frontier roughness of the finished product.  He was charmed by beauty of the Missaguash valley, especially "the many little streams that flowed through its broad meadows."  He commented that the settlers on La Vallière's seigneurie "would be above reproach if only they were a little more restrained in the matter of the brandy trade with the Mi'kmaq."  As he had done for the intendant earlier in the spring, La Vallière probably loaned the bishop a sailboat, perhaps the St.-Antoine.  From Chignecto, Bishop de Saint-Vallier and his companion journeyed by water to the Minas Basin before continuing on towards Port-Royal.  At Minas, the bishop noted that the habitants of this recently-created settlement also were "draining the marshes."  As did de Meulles months before, the bishop also experienced the rigors of traveling in the Bay of Fundy.  "The seas were rough," Professor Griffiths relates, "and, after nine days on board the small ship, having run out of supplies, his party came to shore and walked the rest of the way overland"; from Minas, they likely followed the old Indian portage up the side of North Mountain to the upper reaches of Rivière-au-Dauphin.  The bishop and his companion arrived at Port-Royal late on the evening of July 25, two months after de Meulles had spent his two weeks there.  He "found the church at Port Royal pretty and adequately furnished."  Doubtlessly influenced by the testimony of Abbé Petit, the new bishop reported that the Acadians in general were faithful to the Church and its teachings.  The settlers at Beaubassin and Minas beseeched him to send priests to their settlements.  One of the bishop's few complaints, that Acadian women "immediately baptized" their newborns, can "be read," Professor Griffiths notes, "as the result of strong convictions, held by the women, about the importance of the sacraments as the rite of admittance to membership in the Catholic Church."  De Saint-Vallier "returned to Quebec via Beaubassin, Baie Verte, and the sea route, ending his journey" by the third week of August.  His tour to the far reaches of his diocese had taken him a bit over four months to complete.  Thanks to what he had seen and heard there, and to the reports of his hand full of priests, he had a good idea of the spirituality of his distant Acadian "children." 

He would return to them in 1689.294c 

One wonders what the Acadian habitants thought of all this official attention.  Judging by the thoroughness of de Meulles's census, the majority of them must have interacted with the intendant as he made his rounds from settlement to settlement, but they likely were repelled by his irascible, officious nature.  "De Meulles was in his late thirties or early forties at this time," Professor Griffiths tells us, "and in his diary and dispatches comes across as cantankerous, critical, and self-important."  Evidently not impressed with Governor Perrot's performance, or with the many Acadians he met, de Meulles "reported that the colony was much in need of more effective government and its inhabitants of greater discipline, noting constantly in his diary the times he issued ordinances to regulate the lives of the inhabitants and the number of times he exhorted them to live in peace with one another."  One suspects that fewer of the habitants heard the words of their religious mentor from Québec, and that fewer still took to heart the young bishop's paternal rebukes.  His gentle nature, however, would have appealed to them, except when he chided them for trading brandy with the Mi'kmaq.294g


De Meulles's primary mission in Acadia was "to report on the resources of the area and particularly on the possibility of establishing sedentary fishing stations, which would provide employment for the Canadians and a market for [Canada's] agricultural produce."  He also was tasked with conducting a detailed census of the Acadian population, which he began probably at Chignecto in either the late autumn or early winter of 1685 or early spring of 1686.  Again, as in the 1678 census at Port-Royal, familiar names were found in the colony in even greater numbers, and many new names appeared.  Happily for historians and genealogists, de Meulles's census was more detailed and comprehensive than that of 1678, though it was not as detailed as the first one 15 years before.  Happily, the intendant counted Acadians not only at Port-Royal (where he found 592 persons and 95 families, as well as 30 soldiers), but also at most of the other settlements in the colony:  at Chignecto (where he found 127 persons and 19 families) and Minas (57 persons and 10 families); at the Atlantic-shore settlements of Pobomcoup and Cap-Sable (15 persons and 3 families), La Hève and Mirliguèche (19 persons and 6 families), Canso (no population figures, so the persons there likely were itinerant fishermen), and Chédabouctou (50 fishermen, a royal lieutenant, 15 or 20 servants, and 3 or 4 habitants); at Pentagouët, Passamaquoddy, Rivière Ste.-Croix, and Mégais (Machias) on the coast of Maine and along the lower Fundy shore (16 persons, not counting servants, and half a dozen families in all of these settlements); and at Miramichi (the seigneur and 4 or 5 servants), Nepisiguit (2 habitants, including an Indian wife, and 3 or 4 servants), and Île Percé (59 persons, most of them fishermen, and 5 families), along the southwestern shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence--a total of 885 men, women, and children in the colony, with 222 guns, 986 head of cattle, 759 sheep, 608 hogs, and 896 arpents under cultivation, a doubling of the colony's established population since 1671 and a substantial increase in its material resources.  Sadly, Naomi Griffiths tells us, de Meulles exhibited "no historical sensitivity about his work, and perhaps he did not know about the 1671 census.  Certainly he was less meticulous; daughters were not named and the reports of domestic animals were haphazardly recorded.  The lack of historical reference is also apparent in the way in which he talks of the development of the colony.  There is little appreciation that the colony had not only survived, in spite of continued neglect by France, but actually developed.  Port Royal had endured while Beaubassin and Minas had been established, the acreage of land cleared throughout the colony had doubled, there had been close to a 50 per cent growth in the number of cattle reported, the number of sheep kept had approximately doubled, and the herds of goats and pigs had grown significantly."  Especially apparent from the census results was Acadia's potential as a cattle-producing region, which likely already had caught the attention of New English as well as Canadian merchants.45

Griffiths adds that the 1680s was an important period in the development of the Acadian culture, "the years when migration from France to 'Acadie' added to an existing population rather than created a new colony, and when European heritage interacted with the North American environment...."  Some of the new settlers may have come to Acadia aboard L'Oranger, which left La Rochelle in December 1670 and reached Port-Royal only months after the first census was taken.  Others had arrived on ships from France the names of which have been lost to history, and some, including a family of seigneurs and their retainers, had come to Acadia from Canada.  "There had been a certain amount of migration since 1671...," Naomi Griffiths explains.  "On the whole, however, the growth in population was due to natural increase.  People were fertile and the children lived.  Throughout the settlements the average family sizes seems to have been five or six children.  ...  In common with the experience of much of New England, infant mortality was low, at least 75 percent of the children surviving to adulthood.  This was a very different reality from Europe.  In France, no more than 50 per cent of children reached adulthood.  Another 25 per cent died between the ages of twenty and twenty-five.  Immigration continued to Acadia during the next twenty-five years but, by 1686, the colony was close to being self-generating demographically."  Razilly, d'Aulnay, even Charles La Tour, likely would not have recognized what they had resurrected on the Acadian peninsula half a century before.  "[T]he settlements throughout the colony [were] sufficiently interconnected, to allow us to consider Acadia at this time as a society in the making, not merely a trading outpost of Europe," Griffiths continues.  "Kinship structures within and between the differing settlements, established economic relationships, and legal, political, and religious custom are all to be found by the mid-1680s.  Together, these networks built a pattern of social interaction which made Acadian society an entity that differed substantially from its neighbours" to the west and south.  Moreover, "Acadia was a border colony, not only because it was situated at the meeting place of empires, or because it was ruled alternately by France and by England, but because its larger and more powerful neighbours treated it as such."  As time would tell, "Neither New England nor New France were ever able to assimilate Acadia fully into their own territory, and only occasionally attempted so to do.  There was always a measure of independence accorded, willingly or unwillingly, to Acadia by its more powerful neighbours."  By the the late 1680s, Griffiths concludes, "the colony," meaning its people, both immigrant and native-born, "established itself as a presence in North America, not strong, not powerful, but there, something that both New England and New France had to take into consideration" during their decades-long struggle, both cold and hot, over control of this corner of America.46 

Many of the new arrivals contributed to the colony's natural increase by taking wives from established families, now in their second and third generations.  The new arrivals, too, helped create "a society in the making" in the burgeoning settlements along the Fundy shore: 

François Amireau dit Tourangeau, born in c1644 in Touraine, France, hence his dit, may have come to the colony aboard L'Oranger.  He married Marie, daughter of Jean Pitre and Marie Pesseley, in c1683.  De Meulles counted them at Port-Royal in 1686.  François, whom the intendant called a Tourangeau, was age 42, and Marie was 22.  They were living with a daughter, age 2.  De Meulles did not give the size of their farm or the number of their animals.  Marie gave François 11 children, including five sons who created families of their own.  Many of them settled in the Cap-Sable area and became the largest family there.220 

Pierre Arsonneau, generally Arseneau, born perhaps at La Flamancherie in the Saintonge region in September 1646, became a coastal pilot.  He may have come to the colony aboard L'Oranger in 1671.  He married Marguerite, daughter of Abraham Dugas and Marguerite Doucet, in c1675.  Pierre does not appear in the Port-Royal census of 1678 because, not long after his marriage, he and Marguerite moved to the new Acadian settlement at Chignecto.  Pierre remarried to Marie, daughter of François Guérin, in c1686.  That year, in his census, De Meulles noted that "Arsenault, who resides in Port-Royal[,] owns in the seigneurie of Beaubassin 1 gun, 30 arpents, 8 cattle, 4 sheep, 6 hogs."  De Meulles insisted that Pierre was age 40 in 1686, and Marie was 24.  They were counted at Port-Royal with Pierre's two sons by his first wife, who created families of their own.  Second wife Marie gave Pierre seven more children, including five more sons who created their own families.119

Nicolas Barrieau, also called Barriot, Bariault, and Barillot, born in France in c1648, may have come to Acadia aboard L'Oranger.  He married Martine, daughter of Étienne Hébert and Marie Gaudet, at Port-Royal in c1682.  De Meulles counted them at Port-Royal in 1686, on the eve of their move to the Minas Basin.  Nicolas, who the intendant called a Barillot, was age 40, and Martine was 28.  They were living with a two-year-old daughter.  De Meulles did not give the size of their farm or the numbers of their animals.  Martine gave Nicolas nine children, including four sons who created families of their own.218

Martin Benoit or Benoist dit Labrière, born probably at Rochefort in c1643, may have come to the colony aboard L'Oranger.  He married Marie Chaussegros at Port-Royal in c1672.  They were counted at Port-Royal in 1678 and again in 1686.  In 1686, Martin, called a Benoist, was age 42, and Marie was 30.  They lived with six children, four sons and two daughters.  De Meulles did not give the size of their farm, but he noted that they owned 4 hogs.  Marie gave Martin 10 children, including five sons who created families of their own.122 

François Brossard, later Broussard, born in c1653, perhaps in Anjou, may have come to the colony aboard L'Oranger.  He married Catherine, daughter of Michel dit Sansoucy Richard and Madeleine Blanchard, at Port-Royal in c1678.  De Meulles found them still at Port-Royal in 1686.  François was age 33, and Catherine was 22.  They lived with three children, a son and two daughters, the younger daughter "not yet ... baptized" at 11 days old.  They owned 1 gun, 7 cattle, 6 sheep, and 5 hogs.  Catherine gave François 11 children, including six sons, five of whom created families of their own.  The activities of two of those sons would write the family's name large in Acadian history.131 

Jean Doiron may have come to the colony on L'Oranger.  In c1671, either in France or at Port-Royal, he married Marie-Anne Canol.  They do not appear in the 1678 census.  In 1686, de Meulles called him a Douaron and said Jean was age 37 and Marianne 35.  They lived at Port-Royal with seven children, six sons and a daughter.  De Meulles did not give the size of their farm, but he noted that they owned 1 gun, 7 cattle, and 1 sheep.  Marie-Anne gave Jean four more children, including two more sons.  In the early 1690s, Jean remarried to Marie, daughter of Guillaume Trahan and Madeleine Brun, and she gave him eight more children, four sons and two daughters--so he fathered 19 children in all, including 11 sons who created families of their own!120

François Levron dit Nantois, probably of Nantes, may have come to Acadia aboard L'Oranger.  He married Catherine, daughter of François Savoie and Catherine Lejeune, in c1676.  De Meulles counted them at Port-Royal in 1686.  François was age 33, and Catherine was 20.  They lived with four small children, a son and three daughters. The intendant did not record the size of their farm, but he noted that they owned 8 cattle and 7 sheep.  Catherine gave François 10 children, including three sons who created families of their own.128 

Martin Aucoin was once thought to be a half-brother of the Aucoin sisters, Michelle, wife of Michel Boudrot, and Jeanne, wife of François Girouard, but Martin evidently hailed from a different line of the family in France.  He married Marie, daughter of Denis Gaudet and Martine Gauthier, at Port-Royal in c1673, but they did not appear in the 1678 census, which counted habitants only at Port-Royal.  Perhaps they were living at Chignecto, on Rivière St.-Jean, on the Atlantic-side of the peninsula, or in Canada that year.  De Meulles noted that Martin, fils was 35 years old, and Marie was 27 in 1686.  The intendant found them at Minas with eight children, four sons and four daughters, the youngest one, a daughter, only 7 months old.  They owned 1 gun, 15 cattle, 10 sheep, and 6 hogs.  Marie had been age 16 at the time of her marriage, bore her first child the following year, and gave birth to her last child at age 50!  She gave Martin 19 children, including nine sons who created families of their own.123

Julien Lord, also Laure and L'Or, dit LaMontagne married Anne-Charlotte, called Charlotte, daughter of François Girouard, in c1675.  (Genealogist/historian Bona Arsenault says Julien had been a soldier in the Carignan-Salières Regiment.)  De Meulles counted them at Port-Royal in 1686.  Julien was age 33 and Charlotte 26.  They were living with four children, the youngest one, a daughter, age 1.  The intendant did not give the size of their farm or the number of their animals.  Charlotte gave Julien nine children, including four sons who created families of their own.124 

Étienne Pellerin, born in c1647, was, according to one authority, the younger brother of François Pellerin, who came to the colony during the mid-1660s.  However, another authority on the Acadians, followed here, disagrees.  Étienne came to Acadia after the first census and married Jeanne, daughter of François Savoie and Catherine Lejeune, at Port-Royal in c1675, and there they remained.  Jeanne gave Étienne 10 children, including five sons, all born at Port-Royal, four of whom created families of their own.125 

Jean Serreau de Saint-Aubin, born in Poitou in c1621, emigrated to Canada in c1660 and set himself up on the Argentenay seigneurie at Île d'Orléans.  He married Marguerite, daughter of René Boileau or Boisleau, sieur de La Goupillière and Joachine Ferrand of St.-Jean Dersé, or Dercé, Diocese of Poitiers, probably at Québec in c1663.  Marguerite gave Jean four children, born on Île d'Orléans.  All was not happy in the Saint-Aubin household, however.  A neighbor, Jean Terme of Switzerland, became obsessed with Marguerite and, despite Jean's warnings, "visited [her] too familiarly."  Threats were exchanged between the husband and the neighbor.  One day in July 1665, Jean surprised Terme with his wife.  In the encounter that followed, Terme made the mistake of placing his hand on the hilt of his sword.  Jean "dealt him a blow with a stick which proved fatal."  The aggrieved husband was exonerated of the act, which, in the eyes of his fellow colonists, was clearly self-defense.  He received "letters of remission and pardon" signed by King Louis XIV in February 1666, which were certified by the Supreme Council at Québec the following January.  Nevertheless, at the request of his seigneuress, Madame d'Ailleboust, Jean and his wife were expelled from Île d'Orléans.  In September 1676, Jean sold his property at Baie St.-Paul, on the north shore of the St. Lawrence below Île d'Orléans, to Msgr. Laval for 1,100 livres and took his family to Acadia.  They settled at Passamaquoddy, on the north shore of the Bay of Fundy.  In June 1684, Jean was granted the seigneurie of Passamaquoddy, which included Île Ste.-Croix on Rivière Ste.-Croix, site of de Monts's first settlement.  The seigneur and his family built their manor house on Île Archimagan, at the mouth of Rivière Ste.-Croix, near present-day St. Andrews, New Brunswick.  In 1686, de Meulles found the seigneur with his wife and "his older and younger sons and a few servants" on Rivière Ste.-Croix.  Marguerite gave Jean four children, including two sons who created families of their own.126 

Robert Henry or Henri of Rouen, France, evidently raised a Huguenot, also came to Acadia from Canada, where he was counted at Trois-Rivières in 1666 and 1667.  He worked there as a domestic servant for Quentin Moral and was confirmed into the Roman Catholic faith at Trois-Rivières on 6 June 1666.  Robert moved to Chignecto in c1676 perhaps with the seigneur of Beaubassin, Michel Le Neuf de la Vallière.  In c1678, Robert married Marie-Madeleine, daughter of Pierre Godin dit Châtillon and Jeanne Rousselière.  De Meulles counted them at Port-Royal in 1686; one wonders why they left Chignecto.  Robert was age 43, and Marie-Madeleine was 20.  They were living with four small children, including two sons and a daughter, the youngest child, only a baby, gender and name unrecorded (probably daughter Geneviève, born in January), who had not yet been baptized.  De Meulles did not record the size of their farm, but he did say they owned 1 gun, 4 cattle, and 10 sheep.  Marie-Madeleine gave Robert 13 children, including six sons who created families of their own.138

Dominique Gareau, born in France in c1626, was a sergeant in the King's service when he married Marie, daughter of Jean Gaudet and first wife and widow of Étienne Hébert, at Port-Royal in c1676.  De Meulles counted them at Port-Royal in 1686.  Dominique, called Garault, was age 60; Marie's age was unrecorded.  They were living with two of Marie's Hébert sons, ages 20 and 16, and with their only child, daughter Marie, called Elarie, age 9, on three arpents.  They owned 4 sheep and 3 hogs.127

Étienne Rivet or Rivest married Marie-Jeanne or Marie-Anne, daughter of Pierre Comeau and Rose Bayon, in c1676.  De Meulles found them at Minas in 1686.  Étienne was age 34, and Marie was 24.  They lived with three small children, two sons and a daughter.  The intendant did not record the size of their farm, but he noted that they owned 3 cattle and 1 hog.  Marie gave Étienne five children, including a son who created a family of his own.129 

Jacques Triel, Triguel, or Triquel dit Laperrière, born in c1646, came to Acadia by c1676, the year he married Marie, daughter of François Savoie and Catherine Lejeune, at Port-Royal.  De Muelles found them there still in 1686.  Jacques was age 40, and Marie was 30.  They lived with four children, three sons and a daughter, the youngest, a son, only age 2.  De Meulles said nothing of their livestock or other holdings.  Marie gave Jacques five children, including a son who created a family of his own.130 

Louis-Noël, called Noël, de Labauve or Labove married Marie, daughter of René Rimbault and Anne-Marie ____, in c1678.  De Meulles counted them at Minas in 1686.  Louis-Noël, called de la Boue, was age 27, and Marie was 22.  Living with them on a single arpent were four young sons, the youngest one only 2.  They owned 1 gun, 1 cow, 3 sheep, and 3 hogs.  Marie gave Noël a dozen children, including five sons who created families of their own.132 

Michel, son of Pierre Larché of St.-Pierre parish, Montdidier, Picardie, France, and an unidentified Indian woman, was born at Trois-Rivières, Canada, in c1664.  He came to Acadia as a young servant of the Beaubassin seigneur, Michel Le Neuf de la Vallière, between 1678 and 1682.  De Meulles found him still serving in the seigneur's household in 1686.  The intendant recorded that Michel was age 22 and single.  He remained at Chignecto and married Anne, daughter of Thomas Cormier and Marie-Madeleine Girouard, in c1690.  Anne gave Michel a dozen children, including six sons who created families of their own.  Michel's surname evolved into Haché.  His sons used his dit, Gallant, which, in some of their lines, evolved into a surname.133 

Emmanuel dit Tavare, son of Emmanuel Mirande and Catherine Spire of Ste.-Croix, Île de Gratiose, in the Azores, was a Portuguese sailor.  He settled first in Canada, at La Canardière, where, in 1670, at age 22, he contracted for marriage with Françoise Duval.  The contract "was subsequently cancelled," however, and Françoise married someone else.  A few years later, Emmanuel, described as "a Spaniard," was "keeping company" with Catherine Basset, who, in August 1675, was ordered by city authorities at Québec "'to clear out of this city and its outskirts within three days, owing to her bad reputation.'"   Evidently Emmanuel thought it best to "clear out," too.  He moved to Chignecto, where he married Marguerite, daughter of Jacques Bourgeois and Jeanne Trahan and widow of Jean Boudrot, at Beaubassin, in November 1679; witnesses to the marriage were not only two of young widow's brothers, but also the seigneur of Chignecto, Michel Le Neuf de La Vallière, then serving as the colony's commander, who may have encouraged the Portuguese to settle on his seigneurie.  De Meulles found Emmanuel and Marguerite still at Chignecto in 1686, and recorded that Emmanuel was age 38, and Marguerite was 28.  With them was a 9-year-old daughter from Marguerite's first marriage, and four children, three sons and a daughter, ages 5 to 2, from their own marriage.  They owned 3 guns and were raising 18 cattle, 8 sheep, and 30 hogs on 25 arpents.  Marguerite gave Emmanuel nine children, including a son who created a family of his own.133a

Jean-Aubin dit Châtillon, son of Jean Mignot or Migneau and Louise Cloutier of Beauport, below Québec, moved from his native Beauport to Chignecto, perhaps at the behest of the seigneur at Chignecto, Michel Le Neuf de La Vallière, and married Anne, daughter of Abraham Dugas and Marguerite Doucet and widow of Charles Bourgeois, at Beaubassin in April 1679.  De Meulles, who called him a Mignault, found Jean-Aubin and his family still at Chignecto in 1686 and noted that Jean-Aubin was age 36, and Anne was 34  With them were two sons and a daughter, ages 14, 12, and 7, from her first marriage, and three children of their own, ages 6, 2, and 3 months.  They owned 2 guns, 20 cattle, 4 sheep, and 14 hogs, and lived on 8 arpents.  Anne gave Jean-Aubin six children, including three sons who created their own families.133b

François Léger, age 55, probably another Canadian, also was counted by de Meulles as a servant in the seigneur of Beaubassin's household in 1686.  There is no evidence, however, that François created a family of his own.  One wonders if he was the Léger who genealogist Bona Arsenault says had been a soldier in the Carignan-Salières Regiment, which had served in Canada.  François likely was not kin to the other Léger who settled in the colony a few years later.134

François Lapierre dit Laroche married Jeanne, daughter of René Rimbault and Anne-Marie ____, probably at Port-Royal in c1680.  De Meulles found them at Minas in 1686.  François was age 38, and Jeanne 24.  They were living with three children, two sons and a daughter, ages 5, 3, and 1.  De Meulles did not give the size of their holdings, but he did note that they owned a gun.  Jeanne gave Laroche 10 children, including three sons who created families of their own.135 

Claude Guédry dit Gravois dit La Verdure married first to Kesk8a, a Mi'kmaq, in c1680, and then to Marguerite, daughter of Claude Petitpas and Catherine Buguret and widow of Martin Dugas, in c1681.  They lived at Mirliguèche, on the Atlantic side of the peninsula, as well as at Port-Royal and Chignecto.  De Meulles found them at Mirliguèche in 1686.  Claude, called La Verdure, was age 35, and Marguerite, whose given name was not recorded, was 25.  They were living with one child, whose gender and age the intendant did not record.  Claude's daughter Jeanne by his first wife (their only child) had been born at Beaubassin in June 1681, so she would have been age 5 at the time of the census.  Only three of Claude's children by Marguerite--sons Claude, fils, Jean-Baptiste, and Charles--would have been born by the time of the census.  Of these four children, only the second son, Jean-Baptiste, seems to have survived childhood, so the child de Meulles counted at Mirliguèche may have been Jean-Baptiste.  Marguerite gave Claude 11 children, including four sons who created families of their own.136 

Jean Labarre, born in c1636, probably in France, married Catherine ____, in c1680 and settled at Chignecto, where de Meulles found them in 1686.  Jean, called simply Labarre, was age 50, and his unnamed wife was 46.  Jean died by c1691, when Catherine remarried probably at Chignecto.  She gave Jean one child, a daughter, who married into the Forest family, so the blood of the family, at least, survived in the colony.136a

Pierre Godin dit Châtillon, born at St.-Vorle de Châtillon-sur-Seine, France, in May 1630, was descended from Belgians who lived at Namur.  Pierre's grandfather, a dyer, settled at Châtillon-sur-Seine in Burgundy during the late 1500s.  Pierre's father Claude was a master carpenter.  Pierre emigrated to New France in his early 20s and married Jeanne, daughter of Louis Rousselière and Isabelle Parisé of Moëze, diocese of Saintes, France, at Montréal in October 1654.  Pierre and Jeanne were living at Charlesbourg, below Québec, in 1666, and at Verdun, near Montréal, in 1681, before moving on to Acadia.  Pierre worked as a carpenter at Chignecto probably in the employ of the seigneur of Beaubassin, Michel Le Neuf de La Vallière.  Pierre and his family, in fact, lived with Irishman Roger Caissie at Chignecto while Pierre completed his work there.  He also owned property at Port-Royal, where he died before de Meulles's census was taken.  De Meulles counted Pierre's widow, Jeanne, age unrecorded, living at Port-Royal with three unmarried children, two grown sons and a teenage daughter: Gabriel dit Châtillon, age 25; Pierre dit Châtillon dit Desrochers, age 20; and Anne, the youngest child, age 13.  De Meulles did not give the size of Jeanne's farm or the number of her animals.  The intendant also counted in the census two of Pierre and Jeanne's married children.  Son Laurent dit Châtillon dit Beauséjour, called Laurens, was age 32, and his wife Anne, daughter of François Guérin and Anne Blanchard, also was 32.  Laurens had been counted at Port-Royal in 1678-79, along with Anne, so he may have been the first of his family to come to the colony.  Living with Laurens and Anne in 1686 were three young children, two sons and two daughters, the youngest, a daughter, only five months old.  De Meulles did not give the size of their farm, but he did note that they owned seven cattle and seven sheep.  Laurent was a miller, which may explain why the intendant did not detail the size of his holding.  Also counted in the 1686 census were Pierre and Jeanne's fourth daughter, Marie-Madeleine, age 20, with husband Robert Henry, age 43, and their four young children.137

Jean Préjean dit Le Breton, evidently from Brittany, married Andrée, a daughter of François Savoie and Catherine Lejeune, in c1683.  De Meulles counted them at Port-Royal in 1686.  Jean was age 35, and Andrée was 21.  They were living with a two-year-old daughter on an arpent of land.  They owned 2 guns and 1 hog.  Andrée gave Le Breton a dozen children, including eight sons who created families of their own.219 

Mathieu, son of Louis d'Amours, conseilleur de Roy at the Chatelet in Paris, and Élisabeth Tessier, was born at Paris in c1618.  His "ancestors belonged to the French nobility and had possessed seigneuries in Anjou."  Mathieu reached Québec in October 1651 and the following April married Marie, daughter of Nicolas Marsolet de Saint-Aignan, the famous explorer and interpreter to the Algonquins, and Marie La Barbide; Mathieu was 33 years old, and his bride was 14, at the time of their wedding.  Mathieu served as major of Québec and commanded "'a flying column.'"  Evidently his service caught the eye of the powers that be.  Beginning in September 1663, Mathieu served as one of the seven founding members of the Conseil sourverain de Québec and served on the Council until his death in October 1695, age 77.  His power and influence enriched him materially as well as politically.  In November 1672, he obtained a seigneurie at Matane, on the south shore of the lower St.-Lawrence; he thus became Mathieu d'Amours, sieur de Matane.  He also received grants on Rivière St.-Jean and on Rivière Métis, as well as fishing rights on the lower St.-Lawrence.  In the summer and fall of 1681, after receiving a fur trading license for Matane, he was imprisoned for two months in the Château Saint-Louis by his political enemy, Governor-General Frontenac.  Nonetheless, considering the sieur de Matane's power and influence, and his wife having come from a prominent Canadian family, it was expected that their surviving sons, Louis, Mathieu, fils, René, Charles, and Bernard, also would receive seigneuries in New France.  All five of them, in fact, received land grants on Rivière St.-Jean, in present-day New Brunswick, during the early 1680s, after Frontenac's recall to France.  Louis received his seigneurie at Jemseg in 1683 and became Louis d'Amours, sieur de Chaffours et de Jemseg; he received a further grant along Rivière Richibouctou, on the Gulf of St. Lawrence coast, in September 1684.  In October 1686, at Québec, Louis married Marguerite, daughter of Simon Guyon and Louise Racine, and would remarry to Anne, daughter of Acadians Jean Comeau l'aîné and Françoise Hébert, at Port-Royal in January 1708.  Mathieu, fils's grant, which he received in September 1684, lay along an upper stretch of the river between Jemseg and Nashouat (also called Nashwaak).  With the grant came the title, sieur de Freneuse.  In October 1686, at Québec, the sieur de Freneuse married Louise, daughter of Simon Guyon and Louise Racine and widow of Charles Thibault, a sister of Mathieu, fils's older brother Louis's first wife Marguerite.  De Meulles counted the D'Amours brothers on Rivière St.-Jean in 1686.  Louis, sieur de Chauffours, was age 32, but wife Marguerite's age was unrecorded.  The intendant found them with no children.  Mathieu, fils, sieur de Freneuse, was age 28, but wife Louise's age was not recorded.  Nor did de Meulles record them with any children.  Also in the census, on Rivière St.-Jean, was Louis and Mathieu, fils's younger brother, René, sieur de Clignancour, still a bachelor, who, like his older brothers, had received a grant along Rivière St.-Jean in September 1684.  De Meulles did not give the young seigneur's age, but he would have been 26.  René would marry Charlotte-Françoise, daughter of Charles Le Gardeur and Geneviève Juchereau, at Québec in 1689 but return to his seigneurie on Rivière St.-Jean.  Two younger sons of the sieur de Matane who also would be associated with greater Acadia--Charles de Louvières and Bernard de Plaine--were not counted on Rivière St.-Jean in 1686; bachelors like older brother René, they likely were still in Canada.221

Pierre Chênet, Chesnet, Chenais, or Chesnay, a lawyer born in Paris in c1646, came to Acadia during the early 1680s.   In Canada, Pierre had fathered an illegitimate daughter, Marie-Madeleine, born at Québec in July 1682.  Pierre, however, did not marry his daughter's mother:  Marguerite, daughter of Jacques Boissel and Marie Héripel.  Pierre evidently thought it prudent to relocate to another part of New France; his own mother, in fact, "made it known that she would give him ten thousand écus, if he found he could be honestly married in Acadia."  Pierre fulfilled his mother's wishes, eventually.  In May 1683, he became a seigneur at Mégais, today's Machias, on the Maine coast, becoming the Sieur Dubreuil, but he also spent time in Port-Royal, where he served as a schoolmaster under Abbé Louis Petit, the vicar general of Acadia.  In October 1685, the abbé wrote of Pierre to the Bishop of Québec:  "... 'this man is the only one with whom I can discuss God with an open heart, there having been in this neighbourhood no spiritual help in the nine years I have been without a companion, and without counsel, in the midst of a thousand difficulties.'"  In 1686, de Meulles, calling him Dubreiul, counted him on his seigneurie at Mégais with only "a few servants."  Finally, in c1691, Pierre would take a bride:  Louise dite Jeanne, daughter of Pierre Doucet and Henriette Pelletret, who he married probably at Port-Royal.222 

Jean or Joannis Bastarache or Basterretche dit Le Basque of southwestern France married Huguette dite Agathe, daughter of Pierre Vincent and Anne Gaudet, at Port-Royal in c1684.  De Meulles counted them at Port-Royal in 1686.  Jean, called Jean de Bastarache, was age 25, and Huguette was 22.  They lived with a daughter who was only 7 months old.  De Meulles did not give the size of their farm or the number of their animals.  Huguette gave Jean five children, including three sons who created families of  their own.223

Pierre Bézier dit Joan dit La Rivière married Madeleine, daughter of Vincent Brun and Renée Breau and widow of Guillaume Trahan, in c1684.  De Meulles counted them at Port-Royal in 1686.  Pierre, called Pierre Joan, was age 60, and Madeleine was 47.  They lived with six of her unmarried Trahan children, ages 19 to 9, and their own child, a daughter, Susanne, age 2 months, on 8 arpents of land.  They owned 10 cattle, 10 sheep, and 2 guns.224

Claude Bertrand, no kin to the childless Clément, married Catherine, daughter of Jean Pitre and Marie Pesseley, in c1685.  De Meulles counted them at Port-Royal in 1686.  Claude, called a Bertran, was age 35, and Catherine was 18.  De Meulles noted that "they live at Cap de Sable."  He counted no children with them at Port-Royal.  Oldest child Claude, fils was born the year of the census, so they probably were childless when de Meulles counted them.  Catherine gave Claude 10 children, including four sons who created families of their own, but oldest son Claude, fils was not one of them.225

François Michel dit La Ruine, born probably in France in c1651, married Madeleine Germon in c1686, on the eve of de Meulles's census.  He lived with her briefly on Rivière-Ste.-Croix, but the intendant counted them at La Hève in 1686.  François was 35 years old, and Madeleine was 40 at the time.  They had no children.  However, "a servant," Charles Gourdeau, age 40, lived with them.  Madeleine gave La Ruine no children; his descendants came from his second wife, Marguerite, daughter of Jean Meunier and Marguerite Housseau, who he would marry in c1695 and who would give him a dozen children, including two sons who created families of their own.  One wonders if François dit La Ruine was kin to Sr. Jacques Michel dit Saint-Michel, born probably in France in c1658, who came to the colony by c1689.226


Also in the colony during the 1680s were men who did not appear in de Meulles's census but who would create family lines of their own and contribute to Acadian history.  One of them, in fact, was a high colonial official who fell in love with an Acadian girl: 

In September 1678, René Lambert, probably not kin to Radegonde Lambert, wife of Jean Blanchard, was indentured to Marie-Françoise Chartier de Lotbinière, the wealthy widow of former commander and governor of Acadia, Pierre de Joybert de Soulanges and Marson, who held a seigneurie on Rivière St.-Jean.  In July 1680, René stood as godfather for several Maliseet children who were baptized at Jemseg on the river.  Soon after, he married to a woman whose name has been lost to history.  They do not appear in the 1686 census, so René may have still been living on Rivière St.-Jean when de Meulles came to the colony.  René's wife gave him two sons who created families of their own.227 

Jean Le Roy or Roy dit La Liberté of St.-Malo, France, perhaps a former soldier, now working as a fisherman, came to the colony in the early 1680s and married Marie-Christine, called Christine, Aubois, also called Hautbois and Dubois, an Indian, perhaps a Métisse, in c1686, evidently after the census was taken.  They settled at Cap-Sable, likely near her kin, but moved to Port-Royal in the 1690s.  Christine gave La Liberté nine children, including four sons who created families of their own.231 

François Moyse dit Latreille, born at Arcachon, today's Arcasson, near Bordeaux, France, in c1655, stood as godfather to a Maliseet girl, perhaps on Rivière St.-Jean, in February 1681.  He married Madeleine, daughter of Pierre Vincent and Anne Gaudet, in c1685.  They were not counted in the census of 1686 perhaps because they had settled on Rivière St.-Jean or at Passamaquoddy, and de Meulles noted only the seigneurs there.  Madeleine gave François six children, including three sons who created families of their own.228 

Louis Saulnier or Sonnier, a sailor, married Louise Bastineau dit Peltier in c1684, but they, too, were not counted in de Meulles's census.  Louise gave Louis 14 children, all born at Minas.  Five of them were sons who created families of their own.229 

Pierre dit Baptiste, son of Élie Maissonat, born at Bergerac, Guyenne, France, in c1663, came to Acadia during the 1680s as a privateer and served with distinction in King William's War during the 1690s.  He married Judith Soubiran, place unrecorded (his biographer says she lived at Port-Royal), in c1686.  She gave him five children, including thee sons, but only his two daughters created families of their own.  Historians aver that Pierre dit Baptiste was "reputed to have many" wives other than the three he married.  His second and third wives were daughters of prominent Acadians.  He "remarried" to Madeleine, daughter of François Bourg and Marguerite Boudrot, probably at Port-Royal in 1693.  Two years later, she gave him a daughter, Marie-Madeleine dit Baptiste, who, despite the circumstances of her birth (her parents' marriage was annulled), became a shaker and mover in the colony.  Pierre dit Baptiste's third wife was Marguerite, daughter of Chignecto pioneer Jacques Bourgeois and Jeanne Trahan and widow of Jean Boudrot and Emmanuel Mirande dit Tavare; Baptiste married here at Port-Royal in January 1707.  Marguerite gave the war hero another daughter, who, like her older half-sisters, created a family of her own.230 

François Savary, a mason and stone cutter, was indentured to Antoine Héron "for the company of Acadia" in 1686.  In c1689, free from his contract, he married Geneviève Forest probably at Port-Royal.  She gave him a son, André, who created a family of his own.232 

Nicolas Babineau or Babinot dit Deslauriers came to Acadia probably as a soldier.  He also worked as a fur trader and a fisherman before marrying Marie-Marguerite, daughter of Laurent Granger and Marie Landry, in c1687 probably at Port-Royal, where he turned to farming.  Marie-Marguerite gave Nicolas six children, including four sons who created families of their own. 

Jean Babineau, who, according to Acadian genealogist Placide Gaudet, was Nicolas dit Deslaurier's younger brother, married Marguerite, daughter of Michel Boudrot and Michelle Aucoin, in c1693.  She gave Jean two daughters but no sons.233 

Denis Petitot dit Saint-Seine or Sincennes, master surgeon, married Marie, daughter of Étienne Robichaud and Françoise Boudrot, at Port-Royal in c1687.  She gave him four children, including a son who created a family of his own.233a

Louis Allain, a blacksmith, who may have been a recent arrival in the colony, received in July 1687 permission from the seigneur of Port-Royal to build a sawmill on Petit Rivière, below Port-Royal.  Louis also became a successful merchant.  He married Marguerite, daughter of Antoine Bourg and Antoinette Landry, in c1690.  She gave Louis two children, including a son who created a family of his own and a daughter who married the wealthiest man in the colony.234 

Guillaume Le Juge married Marie, daughter of ____ Mercier and Françoise Gaudet and widow of Antoine Babin, at Port-Royal in c1688.  Marie gave Guillaume two children, both daughters.  Their older daughter married, so the family's blood, at least, survived in the colony.236 

André Simon dit Jacques Boucher, born in c1663, was a butcher, hence his dit, and was variously called Jacques Le Boucher and Jacques Boucher in Port-Royal censuses.  He married Marie dit Pelletret, daughter of Barnabé Martin and Jeanne Pelletret, at Port-Royal in c1688.  Marie gave André nine children, four sons and five daughters.  Three of André's sons created families of their own, and each used the dit Boucher.288 

René Bernard, probably not kin to the other Bernards in the colony, came to Acadia during the late 1680s, perhaps at the behest of the seigneur of Chignecto.  René married Madeleine, daughter of Pierre Doucet and Henriette Pelletret, probably at Beaubassin in c1689.  Madeleine gave René eight children, all born at Chignecto, including three sons who created families of their own.237 

Mathieu de Goutin, born in France in c1663 to a family of the lesser nobility, ingratiated himself to an influential marquis.  Mathieu came to Port-Royal in 1688 aboard the frigate Friponne to serve as the King's lieutenant général civil et criminel, or general representative for justice, replacing the aging Michel Boudrot in August of that year.  De Goutin also served as écrivain, or colonial secretary; as conseiller, or counselor; and as trésorier, or paymaster, at Port-Royal.  Despite the disapproval of Acadian Governor Louis-Alexandre des Friches de Meneval, who considered de Goutin a political enemy, Sr. Mathieu married an Acadian girl, Jeanne, 17-year-old daughter of Pierre Thibodeau and Jeanne Thériot, at Port-Royal in c1689.  She gave him 13 children, including six sons, only two of whom created families of their own.  One of them, Joseph de Ville, became the first Acadian to settle in French Louisiana.235

Sr. Jacques Michel dit Saint-Michel, born probably in France in c1658, married Catherine, daughter of Étienne Comeau and Marie-Anne Lefebvre, at Port-Royal in c1689.  Catherine gave Sr. Jacques 13 children, including four sons who created families of his own.  One wonders what Jacques dit Saint-Michel had done to earn his honorific, Sr., or sieur.  Was he kin to François dit La Ruine Michel of La Hève, born probably in France in c1651, who had come to the colony in c1686?238 

Pierre Cellier, also called Le Solier, dit Normand married Marie-Josèphe, also called Aimée, Lejeune in c1689.  They settled at Minas.  Marie-Josèphe gave Pierre 10 children, including two sons who created families of their own.239 


In April 1687, François-Marie Perrot finally was dismissed as governor of Acadia.  "He did not, however, return to France but remained in Acadia and continued his malpractices, despite warnings from the minister to desist or learn what it meant to incur the king's serious displeasure."  Perrot ignored the minister's warnings and was still in the colony in May 1690 when Sir William Phips captured Port-Royal and transported Perrot's successor to Boston.  Perrot managed to avoid capture and joined French forces on Rivière St.-Jean later that summer.  It was then that Perrot's luck ran out and his venality caught up to him.  A few days after sailing into the lower river with colonial Commander Villebon and his troupes de la marine, "two pirate ships from the English colonies entered the river, captured the French vessels, and Perrot with them.  Believing that he had hidden large sums of money, they tortured him to make him divulge its whereabouts, with what success is not known.  Subsequently he was rescued by a French privateer and landed at a French port.  He then took up residence in Paris and sought, unsuccessfully, to obtain his reappointment as governor of Acadia."  Perrot died in his native city in October 1691, "allegedly as a result of his sufferings at the hands of the English freebooters."  He was only 47 years old.294d

Perrot's successor was not Jean-Vincent d'Abbadie de Saint-Castin, the choice of Governor-General Denonville.  French authorities chose, instead, Louis-Alexandre des Friches de Meneval, a native, most likely, of the Orléanais region south of Paris.  Meneval, of course, was a soldier, having served at Indret, near Nantes.  His service there as a lieutenant was so distinguished he gained the attention of Marshal Turenne.  According to Meneval's biographer, it was Charles-François Duret de Chevry, marquis de Villeneuve, who recommended to the King the lieutenant's appointment as royal governor of Acadia.  The appointment came on 1 March 1687.  The new governor's compensation would be 3,000 livres per annum and 1,000 livres for further expenses, "a considerable increase over those guaranteed his predecessor" of 17 years before, Grandfontaine, but it paled in comparison to the 24,000 livres per annum paid to Governor-General Denonville, Professor Griffiths points out.  In April, the Minister of Marine instructed Meneval "to encourage colonization and agriculture and prevent the English from trading and fishing in Acadia."  Meneval sailed to Acadia aboard a ship of the Compagnie de l'Acadie, which the marquis directed.  The vessel took Meneval not directly to his post at Port-Royal but to company headquarters at Chédabouctou, where the marquis's nephew, Charles Duret de Chevry de La Boulaye, commanded.  From there, Meneval had to wait for the King's frigate, the 16-gun, 150-ton La Friponne, to return from Québec before it could ferry him around to Port-Royal, which he finally reached in October.  The Friponne, under orders "to drive away any foreign vessels attempting to fish or trade there," a mission which its captain already had commenced, would remain in Acadian waters as part of the colony's defense.  Already at the capital, having come via Chédabouctou aboard the naval transport Le Bretonne in July, were two French officers who would assist the new governor in administering the colony:  M. de Gargas, a scribe for the Ministry of Marine, would serve as the chief recorder in the colony; and M. de Miramont, a lieutenant, would command Port-Royal's small garrison of 30 troupes de la marine.  Meneval and his officers had been charged with the reconstruction of the Port-Royal fort, but Meneval's first concern was to examine the mess Perrot had made of the colony's accounts and pay the salaries of the garrison's soldiers, which Perrot had allowed to fall in arrears.  Winter was nigh, so reconstruction of the fort would have to wait for spring.  Meanwhile, Meneval gave thought to rebuilding the fort at Pentagouët and even building a new post west of Penobscot Bay on the St. George River, which the French still insisted was the boundary between Acadia and New England.295 

Meneval, an irascible bachelor with a tendency towards ill health, could not have been pleased with his new quarters in what must have seemed a forsaken outpost of King Louis's realm.  But surely his French heart must have been touched by the loveliness of his new surroundings.  "His home for the next three years was, in terms of the landscape, as beautiful as ever it had been," Professor Griffiths informs us:  "a sheltered bay, ringed with forested hills, a fort, a church, and a sprinkling of houses built on the estuary, with farms stretching back along the meadowlands of the Rivière-du-Dauphin.  The population was small, somewhere between four and six hundred, counting all those established within the valley and along the hillsides."  During his short time in Acadia, Meneval would never warm up to these clannish habitants, whose stubborn independence, especially their eagerness to trade for New English goods, would serve only to alienate them farther from their royal governor.295g

In 1688, the Friponne returned to Port-Royal with 30 more troupes de la marine.  Now 90 troupes, including 20 at Chédabouctou, protected the colony.  Also aboard the frigate was an engineer officer assigned to inspect the Acadian posts and draw up plans for the reconstruction of the fort at Port-Royal, and two other officers, one military, the other civil.  M. de Soulègre would serve as captain of troupes.  Mathieu de Goutin, age 25, would serve as the King's lieutenant général civil et criminel, or general representative for justice, which made him both a judge and a clerk of court.  To complete the judicial organization of the colony, Meneval re-appointed Parisian lawyer Pierre Chênet Dubreuil as King's attorney.  Chênet Dubreuil had come to the colony earlier in the decade to escape a scandal in Canada, where he had fathered an illegitimate daughter.  At Port-Royal, he had become a schoolmaster and was a favorite of Acadia's first vicar general, Abbé Louis Petit.  Chênet Dubreuil also held a seigneurie at Mégais, today's Machias, on the Maine coast and soon became a favorite of Meneval.295a

Not so the general representative for justice.  Among Meneval's more trying ordeals during his three years in office were conflicts with the headstrong de Goutin and the general representative's father-in-law, Pierre Thibodeau.  In late 1689, for instance, about the time that de Goutin was considering marriage to Thibodeau's daughter Jeanne, the harried governor imprisoned Thibodeau briefly for trading brandy with the Indians.  This served to alienate not only de Goutin, but also a good part of the Acadian population, many of whom were related to Thibodeau and his wife, Jeanne Thériot.  Moreover, the stuffy Meneval disapproved the marriage of his general representative for justice "to a peasant's daughter," as he called de Goutin's bride.  But Pierre Thibodeau was hardly a peasant.  A native of Poitou, he had come to the colony as a young soldier with Emmanuel Le Borgne nearly four decades before, built a mill at Prée-Ronde on the haute rivière, fathered 16 children, and was, at the time of daughter Jeanne's marriage to de Goutin, one of the wealthiest men in the colony.  His older daughters, all of them named Marie, had married into the Landry, Lejeune dit Briard, Robichaud dit Cadet, and Boudrot families, all well-established like the Thibodeaus and the Thériots, some of them living in the Minas Basin, a community founded earlier in the decade.  Thibodeau had seven sons, none of them married yet, one of them still a newborn, but they all were healthy and gave promise of creating families of their own.  Pierre Thibodeau was wealthy, then, in more ways than one.  De Goutin's connection to the settlers could not have been more solidly established.  This tested his judicial objectivity of course, something that Meneval, still the bachelor, was happy to point out to his superiors.295b 

Meneval also clashed constantly with colonial recorder M. de Gargas, as well as de Goutin's many friends and associates, among them Antoine Laumet dit La Mothe de Cadillac, future founder of Détroit and governor of Louisiana.  The young Gascon--Cadillac was only in his mid-20s when he had come to Acadia in c1683--was five years older than de Goutin and still a bachelor when the new general representative for justice reached Port-Royal.  Cadillac and de Goutin hit it off immediately.  Meanwhile, De Goutin formed a trading partnership with the Port-Royal garrison commander, M. de Soulègre.  "When Meneval informed Soulègre and de Goutin that as officers they were forbidden to engage in trade, the three partners schemed against him," one of Cadillac's biographers informs us.  "They sought to alienate the priests from him," including vicar-general Abbé Petit, "and, when this failed, tried to turn the people against the priests by urging them not to pay the tithe."  Meneval traduced de Goutin and his partners to the Minister of Marine, accusing them "of insubordination and intrigue."  As a result, factions arose among the officials and colonists, one in favor of Meneval, the other in favor of de Goutin and his "cronies," as Meneval called them.295c 

In a report to the Minister in autumn of 1688, Meneval "painted a pessimistic picture of his government:  the cost of living was high; there was a shortage of flour and of workers; some of the soldiers were old and disabled and had ceased to be of any use; the contingent of the preceding year had received bad muskets and that of 1688 had only 19 muskets between 30 soldiers, so that half of them were without arms; the surgeon was a drunkard, and the court had neglected to supply funds with which to pay him; a hospital and medical supplies were needed; his own gratuity had not been renewed, and he sought permission to go to France to report to the minister and settle some personal affairs."  The fight with de Goutin et al., and the lack of work on the Port-Royal defenses, only darkened Meneval's view of the colony and the role he was playing in its administration.  However, there were a few positive elements in his report to the Minister which revealed that he harbored hope for the colony:  He had encouraged soldiers to marry the daughters of settlers, and some of them did.  He recommended that "fishing, the country's best resource, be developed by advancing loans to the settlers and protecting the coasts with armed barks."  He could report that the new settlement at Minas, particularly at Grand-Pré, was developing nicely, as was the older settlement at Chignecto.  But his letter ended with an ominous warning:  "the English 'very much wanted Acadia.'"295d 

Here was Meneval's greatest challenge as governor:  the colony's defense against an aggressive neighbor.  Three months before he reached Port-Royal, La Friponne had seized two New-English ketches from Salem, Massachusetts, fishing off the coast near Chédabouctou.  This elicited a strong response from Boston authorities, whose representative reached Port-Royal and returned to Boston before Meneval's arrival.  The following spring, 1688, the governor of the New English Dominion, Sir Edmund Andros, crossed the French "boundary" at the St. George River and pillaged the old Acadian capital at Pentagouët.  That autumn, while Meneval was reporting at length to the Minister, Massachusetts pirates descended on the fishing center at Chédabouctou, pillaged the fort there, and captured the company's ship along with 12,000 livres worth of merchandise intended for the settlers at Port-Royal--all "under the very nose" of La Friponne's captain, Barthélemy de Beauregard.  The humiliated Meneval blamed the captain for the mishap, and Beauregard blamed the governor.  And then there was the fort at Port-Royal.  Upon his arrival there in October 1687, Meneval had put off reconstruction of the fort until the following spring; months then turned into years, and, during his tenure as governor, nothing substantial was ever done.  In 1688, an experienced military engineer, M. Pasquine or Paquine, arrived aboard the Friponne, but Paquine was there to inspect the colony's defenses and return to Paris to draw up detailed plans and a cost analysis for rebuilding the fort at Port-Royal.  The ministerial bureaucracy approved the plans and the projected expense, but the Minister sent another engineer to supervise the work.  Vincent de Saccardy reached Port-Royal via Chédabouctou in early October 1689--five months after English King William III declared war against France.  Saccardy's instructions were to build a fort at Port-Royal, not anywhere else.  Turning from Pasquine's original plans, "Saccardy had the old fort razed completely and drew up a plan for a vast enciente with four bastions, enclosing the governor's house, the church, a mill, and the guard-houses; it would also be able to hold barracks and receive the settlers in case of attack."  With the actions at Pentagouët and Chédabouctou serving as harbingers of troubles to come, there was no time to lose.  "Saccardy set to work briskly, and in 16 days, with the help of the soldiers, settlers, and 40 sailors, succeeded in building half of his enciente.  But [in November] the ships had to leave again," and Saccardy had orders to go with them.  The new fort at Port-Royal was left unfinished, its bastions and walls incomplete.  Also ordered to go to France with Saccardy was Meneval's second in command, 34-year-old Joseph Robinau dit Promville, sieur de Villebon, a former officer of dragoons and captain of troupes de la marine.  Villebon was a native of Canada, had been educated in France, and was nephew of La Vallière of Beaubassin.  He also was a competent young officer whose absence would be sorely missed.295e 

By the time Saccardy and Villebon departed for France, Meneval was ready to wash his hands of Acadia and its inhabitants.  In a letter to the Marquis de Villeneuve, "he said that he was determined to go to France even without authorization, 'preferring a hundred times to remain three years in the Bastille rather than one single week here.'"295f 

It was during the unhappy Meneval's time as governor that the two-decades-long interregnum of "peace" finally ended.  For nearly a quarter of a century, until 1713, the peace-loving Acadians again would live in a world gone mad all around them.

The Acadians and Their Sun King

The end of the long peace had much to do with the man to whom the Acadians tried to be loyal subjects.  Following the death of his co-regent, Cardinal Mazarin, in March 1661, Louis XIV, who would fashion himself the Sun King, dramatically streamlined the administrative institutions of his kingdom by creating a High Council of only three members with whom he met weekly.  Through the application of will and calculated ruthlessness, Louis created for France a divine-right monarchy the likes of which Europe had not seen since the time of the Roman emperors.  During his long reign, he never once called into session the ancient national legislature of France, the Estates-General.  Nor did he feel constrained to answer to his people.  His rule, he and his ministers believed, was absolute.  His famous words, if they were ever uttered, L'état, c'est moi ("I am the state"), would not have been an idle boast of the Sun King.  He created his magnificent palace at Versailles not only to control his unruly nobles and provide a center for the arts, but also to erect a personal monument of glory and splendor worthy of an absolute monarch.  The heady atmosphere of Versailles, however, did not blind the king to the realities of the French character.  He did his best to respect the ancient laws and customs of his kingdom and to consult regularly with his ministers, especially with Jean-Baptiste Colbert, his minister of finance, who became as close to a chief minister as the Sun King allowed.142

One of the goals of Louis's reign was to establish borders for France that he could defend against attack from his enemies.  The English with their superb navy were not the worst of these enemies.  He was especially vexed by the powerful Habsburg kingdoms of Spain and Austria, whose far-flung possessions--much of the Low Countries (today's Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands), and most of Germany and Italy--hemmed France in on three sides.  The dangerous northern frontier in what was then called the Spanish Netherlands, which stood so close to Paris and Versailles, worried Louis most, and it was there that most of his wars were fought.  Coupled with his determination to secure defensible borders for France was Louis's ambition to place on the throne of Spain one of his Bourbon heirs.  Louis had married Marie-Thérèse, the eldest daughter of King Philip IV of Spain, in 1660.  "The marriage was arranged via a treaty that explicitly excluded Marie's heirs from inheriting the Spanish crown once Philip had paid her dowry.  However, the full dowry was never paid.  Consequently, Louis refused to relinquish his family's claim to the Spanish inheritance...."143

The result was almost constant warfare during the last three decades of Louis's long reign of 72 years.  

During the War of the Devolution (1667-68) that followed the death of Philip IV of Spain, Louis invaded the Spanish Netherlands to secure the vulnerable northern border and to assert his family's claim to the Spanish throne.  The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ended the fighting soon after it began.  Louis returned some of the fortified towns he had captured in Belgium and secured rights to the Spanish throne if Philip's Hapsburg successor, Charles II, should die without an heir.  This sudden French aggression along their southern frontier alarmed the Dutch, who had fought long against Spanish rule to secure their independence and refused to be threatened by the French as well.  War erupted between Holland and France in 1672 and lasted for six long years.  "In a sweeping campaign, Louis almost succeeded in conquering Holland.  To protect themselves, the Dutch opened their dykes, flooded the countryside, and turned Amsterdam into a virtual island."  During the struggle, in August 1673, the Dutch were joined by Spain, Austria, and Lorraine, but not England.  Louis had signed a treaty with London in June 1670 "to keep the English navy neutral."  It was this agreement with the English that had restored French control of Acadia in 1670.  But Acadia and its royal governor, Jacques de Chambly, did not escape the war with the Dutch unscathed.144

La Guerre de Hollande, as the French called it, ended with the Peace of Nijmegen in 1678.  "Louis had achieved a defensible perimeter around the core of his inheritance," but he also had alienated his northern neighbors, those Protestant stalwarts, the Dutch.  And he was not done with Spain.  In October 1683, Louis invaded the Spanish Netherlands ... again ... and France was at war with Spain until the following August.145  

But it was religion that led to the most important decision of Louis's long reign, one that would plunge France deeper into conflict with her Protestant neighbors, with far reaching consequences for her colonial possessions.  Cardinal Mazarin had taught Louis the intricacies of statecraft, but his mother, Anne of Austria, a devout Catholic like all of her Habsburg kin, had given her son his spiritual education.  "Throughout his life Louis remained devoutly religious and attempted to eliminate Protestantism in France."  His grandfather, Henri IV, had been a Huguenot before he declared that Paris was well worth a mass.  Henri had granted the Protestants freedom of worship and protection from persecution with his Edict of Nantes in April 1598.  Louis's father had honored his own father's edict, and, despite continued pressures from the Catholic majority to conform to Roman orthodoxy, the Huguenots thrived in the fortified cities that Henry had granted to them for their protection.  "Within these cities dwelled highly skilled Huguenot craftsmen, who were an integral part of Colbert's economic program," a program that kept France happy and prosperous throughout much of the first half of Louis's reign.146  

The Sun King was determined to rule absolutely in the spiritual as well as the temporal realm.  He "had grown increasingly impatient with Huguenot beliefs and had worked to limit both the participation of Huguenots in public life and their observance of their own religious practices.  In 1681--in the so-called dragonnades--Louis authorized the billeting of troops in the houses of Protestants, with the understanding that life would be made as difficult as possible for the householders unless, and until, they converted to Catholicism.  Other brutal measures followed...."  In 1685, two years after Colbert's death, while the Acadians thrived in the Port-Royal valley, at Chignecto, and in the infant communities of the Minas Basin, their King, "by an extravagant act of piety and sovereignty," issued the Edict of Fontainebleau, which revoked the Edict of Nantes and plunged their mother country into social and economic turmoil.  Protestant churches were destroyed, their schools were closed, and forced conversion to Catholicism became the law of the land.  Religious toleration in France was now a thing of the past.  Between 1685 and 1710, hundreds of thousands of Huguenots fled France rather than convert to the Roman Catholic faith.  Most of them went to Holland and Britain, "where they were greeted as martyrs.  The loss of many highly productive citizens depressed the French economy."  By this time, "France was recognized as the dominant continental power, and its strength threatened other European nations.  The Catholic powers, especially Austria, were fearful of Louis's designs upon Spain's possessions.  Meanwhile, the Protestant states, especially England and Holland, worried about the revival of religious warfare."  The English were so worried about French designs on their North American colonies that they negotiated with the Sun King a treaty signed at Whitehall on 16 November 1686 that guaranteed "a True and Firm Peace and Neutrality" between the colonies in North American if war should break out in Europe.  A major concession of the treaty was a prohibition against drying fish on Acadian soil by Massachusetts fishermen, "a drastic measure, if enforced, would significantly affect the entire Massachusetts economy."  However serious the opposing diplomats may have been when they cobbled together such a treaty, it was, from the beginning, utterly unenforceable.  Only a spark was needed to ignite the powder keg of frustrations that had long built up between France and her enemies.  And one could be certain that the resulting explosion would rock America as well as Europe.147

"The Glorious Revolution" and King William's War

The spark came with Louis's attack across the Rhine in September 1688 to intervene in German politics and England's so-called Glorious Revolution of the same year.  Three years before, in 1685, the year Louis XIV had revoked the Edict of Nantes, King Charles II of England, who had been restored to the throne 25 years earlier, died without a legitimate child to succeed him.  His younger brother, James, Duke of York, became King James II of England and James VII of Scotland.  James had grown up a Protestant, married a Protestant wife, Anne Hyde, daughter of an English earl, and raised his two daughters, Mary and Anne, as Protestants.  He converted to Catholicism, however, in 1668, when he was 35 years old and still married to Anne.  She died in 1671, and two years later James remarried to Maria of Modena, a devout Roman Catholic from Italy.  In 1677, however, he consented to the marriage of 15-year-old Mary to her diminutive, asthmatic, but Protestant first cousin, William, Prince of Orange, stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, and Utrecht, captain general, and admiral of the United Provinces of the Netherlands--the implacable enemy of Louis XIV.  When Parliament declared Mary and William next in line to the throne behind James, the English Protestant majority breathed a sigh of relief that the Duke of York would not be able to create a Catholic dynasty for England.  James's succession to the throne in 1685 was peaceful enough, but his attempts to rule autocratically like his father, coupled with his policy to place Catholics in influential positions, fueled his political opposition and ruined what little popularity he had with the people.  The birth and baptism of a son in 1688, insuring that his heir would be Catholic, precipitated the so-called Glorious Revolution against the unpopular king.  Staunch Protestant nobles, with the consent of Parliament, invited William of Orange and an army of 15,000 Dutchmen to land in northern England, march to London, and seize the throne from the hapless James, who could muster virtually no support.  James fled, was captured, and allowed to escape to France.  In 1689, with the consent of Parliament, William and Mary ruled jointly as William III and Mary II.  Louis XIV, ever the staunch Catholic, refused to recognize the legitimacy of the Protestant accession and clung to the fiction that James, not William, was the legitimate king of England, Scotland, and Wales.

It was William who, in 1672, had opened the dykes in Holland to save Amsterdam from the invading French.  After the conclusion of the six-year struggle with the Sun King, William had strived to build a European coalition against Louis to block further French aggression on the continent.  This effort came to fruition in 1689, the year William succeeded to the English throne.  By then he had created a "Grand Alliance" with Austria, Holland, Spain, and Savoy to halt the French offensive in western Germany.  In May, his alliance fully formed, William declared war against France.  For the next eight years, war raged between William's alliance and the forces of Louis XIV.  But the conflict was not confined to Europe and the high seas.  Despite the treaty of November1686, it erupted also in North America ... and war came to Acadia yet again.148


The English made the first aggressive moves that brought war to greater Acadia.  Soon after ascending to the throne of England, James II had revealed his autocratic tendencies by abolishing self-government in the New English colonies.  The year before his accession, in 1684, the English crown had suspected the charter of Massachusetts Bay colony.  James appointed a fellow champion of autocracy, Sir Edmund Andros, as governor of a new colonial entity that would be ruled by decree, not assembly--the Dominion of New England.  In 1686, while Perrot was serving as governor of Acadia, this new dominion subsumed the colonies of Plymouth, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, New Haven, Connecticut, and New Hampshire--that is, New England--and eventually New York, which Andros had once governed, and East and West Jersey.  The people of these colonies were very unhappy, not only with the loss of self-rule, but also with the despotic character of their new governor.  Political chaos ensued, and Andros became even more tyrannical in his treatment of the colonists.  He also alienated the Indians of the region and looked for any excuse to antagonize the French, violating the spirit of the treaty signed at Whitehall, which, among other things, guaranteed neutrality for the colonies in America if war should break out in Europe.149

His New York minions acted first.  During the summer of 1686, when Perrot was still serving at Port-Royal, New Yorkers seized a cache of supplies that Boston merchant John Nelson, who traded frequently with the Acadians, was delivering to the French trading post at Pentagouët.  During the governorships of Grandfontaine and de Chambly (1670-78), this site on the lower Penobscot had been the capital of French Acadia.  Though subsequent governors moved the capital to Beaubassin and then back to Port-Royal, the French still clung to Pentagouët.  Jean-Vincent d'Abbadie de Saint-Castin was still seigneur there, and his hold on the Indians in the area was sealed by marriage to two daughters of a Penobscot sagamore.  Nelson's cache of supplies seized by the marauding New Yorkers was intended for Saint-Castin.  Governor Perrot cared little for Saint-Castin, but he was a champion of the ubiquitous John Nelson, principal heir of his uncle, Sir Thomas Temple.  In 1682, during La Vallière's tenure as governor, Nelson had been instrumental in negotiating a dispute between Boston and Québec over fishing rights in Acadia.  This action gained for the young Englishman "permission, effective to 1684, to sell fishing and trading permits for the Acadian coast."  Perrot promptly protested the seizure of Nelson's goods to New York governor Thomas Dongan, reminding him that the Treaty of Breda of 1667 had given Pentagouët to France.  Dongan quickly responded to the Perrot's complaint, remarking sarcastically that "he was 'not aware that anything has been done to the French on their territories.'"  Parroting his superior Andros, Dongan insisted that the Penobscot basin lay in Dominion territory.  The following summer, in June 1687, "some eighty men," probably New Yorkers, returned to Pentagouët and informed Saint-Castin that the land there, as well as the coast "as far as the St. Croix River"--all of Maine!--belonged to England.  Here was a clear attempt to intimidate the captaine de sauvages and to assert English rights over French territory.149a 

Meanwhile, Andros and other New English authorities complained of French encroachment on their fishing rights along the coast of Nova Scotia.  On 22 July 1687, the frigate La Friponne, recently arrived from France with orders to patrol the Acadian coast, accosted two fishing ketches out of Salem, Massachusetts, near the fishery headquarters at Chédabouctou.  The ketch Margaret, captained by her owner, Stephen Sewall, managed to get away, but the master and crew of the other vessel were held as prisoners at Port-Royal.  Sewall promptly informed Andros of the incident, and on August 7 the governor laid the matter before the magistrates at Boston.  The council promptly sent English army Captain Francis Nicholson to Port-Royal to protest the action, as well as to evaluate the strength of its fortifications.  Based on what he saw in the way of church attendance at Port-Royal, he estimated about 80 families living in the area, with no more than 15 houses in Port-Royal itself.  The old fort, an earthen structure, had contained "'only three old Guns'" until recently, when "'15 very fine and large ones'" had arrived from France.  The fort's garrison consisted of only 40 or so troupes de la marine, "whereof tenn were old ones," most of the others having recently come "in the Mann of Warr, withe the Lieut. a Comisary and two other Gentlemen," as well as the 15 cannon.  Perrot's successor, Meneval, was not among the new arrivals "in the Mann of Warr," Le Bretonne, so Nicholson soon returned to Boston.  He brought with him valuable intelligence on the state of Port-Royal, but not the Salem fishermen and their ketch, nor compensation for their seizure, nor "assurances against such seizures in the future."149b

During the spring of 1688, while James II still occupied the English throne and Meneval served as Acadian governor, Andros, using the boundary dispute as an excuse to commence hostilities with the French and their Indian allies, descended on Pentagouët.  When he and his men arrived at the French outpost, Saint-Castin was still in Canada with a detachment of Abenaki assisting Governor-General Denonville against the Iroquois in upper New York.  After seeing the ramshackle condition of Saint-Castin's fort, Andros changed his mind about holding the place.  Instead, he plundered Saint-Castin's house and storerooms and attempted to lure the Frenchman's father-in-law, Penobscot sagamore Madokawando, into an alliance with the English, without success.  This insult to the most influential Frenchman in the region, accompanied by more depredations against the Indians of coastal Maine and Andros's establishment of new garrisons there, stirred the Abenaki into action.  War between them began in earnest, about the time a new conflict was erupting in Europe.150  

The first English town to suffer at the hands of the Abenaki was Dover, New Hampshire, on the border with Maine.  In late June 1689, warriors from two bands sneaked up on the village during the night and massacred many of the settlers.  After subduing the men, the Indians burned the garrison-houses and forced many of the women and children into captivity, where they were kept or sold as slaves, as the New English had done to their people years before.151

Saint-Castin, meanwhile, planned his revenge against Andros and the New English.  In early August 1689, he fell on Pemaquid, now Woolwich, Maine, at the mouth of the Kennebec River, the farthest English outpost along the Maine coast.  With him were two bands of Abenaki with their war paint on.  They completely surprised the settlers, killing many of them in the open fields, and the next day forced the surrender of the survivors who, fleet of foot, had managed to make it into their stockade, Fort Charles.  Again, the victorious Indians took women and children into captivity and treated them as slaves.  The English complained of such barbarity, though they, too, in previous wars with the Indians had acted just as barbarously.  That same August, in fact, their allies, the fierce Iroquois, 1,500 strong, descended on the Canadian town of Lachine, near Montréal, and butchered or captured nearly everyone in the place, prompting the French authorities to abandon some of their fortifications on the upper St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes.152  

In the weeks that followed, the Maine frontier erupted in almost continuous warfare.  So far, the fight there had been between the Indian allies of the French--the Abenaki bands of Maine--and the hapless New Englanders, first under the despised Andros, then, after his ouster in April 1689 when the New Englanders learned of the Glorious Revolution, under the new governors of the restored, independent colonies.  In the summer of 1689, however, word arrived in Boston that, in the spring, war had officially been declared between England and France--the War of the Grand Alliance it would be called in Europe, King Williams's War in the colonies.  Word of the war came to Québec in July.  In October, the newly-arrived governor-general of New France, 69-year-old Louis de Buade, comte de Palluau et de Frontenac, who had been ousted from the position seven years earlier, stood poised to jump into the fight against the English colonists alongside his Indian allies.153

Frontenac, an old soldier of formidable talents, chose late winter as the moment in which to surprise the New English from his base on the St. Lawrence.  From Montréal, using the relatively swift route via the Richelieu River, Lake Champlain, and Lac-du-St.-Sacrament, today's Lake George, 300 Canadian militia, coureurs de bois, and "Christianized" Iroquois, led by Canadian officers, hit Schenectady, then called Corlaer, New York, on a frigid night in February 1690.  The result can be described as nothing less than a massacre.  The New Yorkers suffered so keenly from the raid that it essentially took them out of the war, leaving New England to fight it out alone.  Another, smaller column of Frontenac's fighters, this one from Trois-Rivières, struck Salmon Falls, New Hampshire, near the burned-out village of Dover, in late March and destroyed that settlement, too.  The third of Frontenac's expeditions, including a column from Québec under René Robinau de Portneuf and Abenaki from Pentagouët under Madokawando and Saint-Castin, hit in late May the Maine village of Casco, at present-day Portland, defended by ramshackle Fort Loyal.  Despite the neglected condition of the palisade fort, the survivors of the initial ambush defended Fort Loyal gallantly for three days before agreeing to surrender.  The English commander asked for terms, but the French refused to hold back their Indian allies.  More Maine settlers, men, women, and children, became Indian slaves, and for the next several months, the Abenaki pillaged as many Maine and New Hampshire settlements as they could get at.154

The overland raids on Schenectady, Salmon Falls, and Casco in 1690 were the only fruits of a grand campaign to defeat New York and New England.  An even grander scheme had been cobbled together by Louis-Hector de Callière, the governor of Montréal, and Louis XIV himself.  With war clouds gathering over North America, Denonville had sent Callière, his second in command, to coax the Court into sending reinforcements and more funds to Canada.  At Versailles, the governor could see that the war in Europe would leave precious few resources for the war in America.  Seeing an opportunity, Callière proposed to the King the use of two warships to cooperate with an overland campaign of a thousand troupes de la marine and 600 militia whose mission would be the capture of Albany and New York City.  The warships would wait at the mouth of New York harbor to assist in the conquest of the province.  The King, with modifications, approved the plan, but a long delay in fitting out the two vessels did not bode well for this phase of the operation.  Callière, with Frontenac in tow, finally set sail from La Rochelle.  The King's instructions to his New French officials, as transcribed by New Englishman Francis Parkman, contained these chilling details:  "If any Catholics were found in New York, they might be left undisturbed, provided that they took an oath of allegiance to the king.  Officers, and other persons who had the means of paying ransoms, were to be thrown into prison.  All lands in the colony, except those of Catholics swearing allegiance, were to be taken from their owners, and granted under a feudal tenure to the French officers and soldiers.  All property, public and private, was to be seized, a portion of it given to the grantees of the land, and the rest sold on account of the king.  Mechanics and other workmen might, at the discretion of the commanding officer, be kept as prisoners to work at fortifications and do other labor.  The rest of the English and Dutch inhabitants, men, women, and children, were to be carried out of the colony and dispersed in New England, Pennsylvania, or other places, in such a manner that they could not combine in any attempt to recover their property and their country.  And, that the conquest might be perfectly secure, the nearest settlements of New England were to be destroyed, and those more remote laid under contribution."  After a crossing of 52 days, the new governor-general and his second in command reached Chédabouctou, site of the French fishery in Acadia, on 12 September 1689.  The inordinately long crossing, and further delays in transporting Frontenac and Callière to Québec, ruined the seaborne phase of the operation.  Albany, New York City, and the rest of the colony, with the exception of Schenectady, remained unmolested.154a

After over a year of fighting on the northern frontiers, and despite the failure of the French grand offensive, King William's War was proving to be a disaster for the English and their northern colonies.  It was time to devise a new strategy that would take the war to the enemy.  "Up to this time," notes an historian of the conflict, "the people of New England seem to have had no thought of invading Canada themselves, or felt much fear of being invaded from there.  Thus far the war, on their part, had been a purely defensive one.  But it was now clear to everyone that the real struggle was not so much between the English and Indians, as between the English and French, who kept the Indians constantly supplied with the means of carrying on hostilities, while enjoying entire immunity from its ravages themselves.  The relation was as close as that between the hand and the weapon.  Two flourishing provinces lay at the mercy of hostile incursions, which no power could foresee or prevent.  The entire depopulation of both was imminent.  All this continuous harrying of defenceless[sic] villages, with its ever-recurring and revolting story of captivity and massacre, was fast turning the border back into a wilderness, which, indeed, was what the enraged savages aimed at.  Every attempt to reach and destroy these vigilant foemen in their own fastness proved worse than futile.  New England was losing ten lives for one; and in property more than fifty to one."155  


Accordingly, in early May 1690, delegates from New York and three of the New England colonies met at New York City to plan an offensive against New France.  New York pledged 400 men, and Massachusetts, Plymouth, and Connecticut a total of 350 militiamen for an attack on Montréal via Albany and Lake Champlain.  The Iroquois later promised to join the expedition with nearly all their warriors.  It would be Frontenac's turn to suffer the trauma of invasion.155a

But the New Englanders did not invade Canada first.  They chose, instead, a closer, much easier target which, in truth, contained Frenchmen who had done them no harm.  The New Englanders, however, did not see it that way.  "For years Acadia and its harbors had been a safe retreat for privateers and corsairs, who robbed and ill-used the New England fishermen until those seas were become no longer safe," the good Puritans believed.  "Bad as it had been, the evil was now made tenfold worse by a state of war.  For depredations of this sort, Acadia, or Nova Scotia, is remarkably well placed, and as New England subsisted mostly by her fisheries the alternatives were either to see them destroyed or to put them beyond the reach of future spoliation."  This was the same Acadia to which New England trading ships had sailed for years to ply their wares among the peaceful farmers of Chignecto and Minas.  Miraculously, those vessels had entered and exited the Bay of Fundy without being molested ... but truth is an enemy of rationalization.156

On April 23, before the conference in New York and the attack on Casco, but after the French and Indian assault on Salmon Falls, an expedition of seven ships bearing 78 cannon and 736 men, 446 of them New English militia, set sail from Nantasket, Massachusetts, for Port-Royal.  In command of this expedition was a remarkable fellow, 38-year-old Sir William Phips, born "of humble parents" on the Kennebec in Maine.  Phips had once been a humble ship's carpenter but, through luck and pluck, had risen to the rank of a gentleman in his native New England.  His most notable exploit, besides marrying a rich widow, had been the recovery of  a fantastic treasure from the hull of a sunken Spanish ship off the coast of Haiti, an effort which earned him his title.  After "calling at Pentagouët and other posts," Phips's expedition passed through the Gut and arrived in the lower basin on May 9.  The Acadian governor, Louis-Alexandre des Friches de Meneval, "alerted the same evening by the sentries, had a gun fired to warn the settlers, but only three hastened to the fort."   Meneval's biographer asserts that "42 young men of Port-Royal were absent," implying that many of the settlers along Rivière-au-Dauphin fled their homes when they heard the signal cannon.  The following day, Phips moved his flotilla up the basin.  Port-Royal's new fort was still unfinished, and "its 18 cannon had not been brought into firing position."  Moreover, Meneval had only 70 soldiers to defend the colonial capital, which was virtually defenseless against any size invasion.156a

On May 10, Phips and his officers hurried ashore to plan an assault against the hapless garrison.  Seeing the size of Phips's flotilla, Meneval asked for terms.  His designee in the negotiations, vicar-general Abbé Louis Petit, attempted to extract from Phips the promise that he would spare private property, leave the church untouched, and send Meneval and his troops to Québec or to France.  "[D]eclaring that his word as a general was sufficient," Phips refused to sign a written agreement, but he accepted a verbal "capitulation under the following conditions:  the fort, the cannon, and the merchandise belonging to the king and the company would be handed over to him; the officers and soldiers would retain their liberty and be transported to Québec; the settlers would keep their possessions and enjoy the free exercise of their religion."  Hearing the terms, Meneval surrendered the post.  On May 11, Phips ordered Meneval to report to him aboard his flagship and repeated "his promises" in front of Meneval's second in command, the King's general representative for justice, Mathieu de Goutin.  Phips and his officers then entered Port-Royal, and what they saw there did not please them.  "When Phips saw how weak the fort and the garrison were, he was sorry that he had granted such generous terms."   Upon discovering that some of the French soldiers had pillaged the company's warehouse and that Port-Royal merchants had carried off property into the surrounding woods during the parley with Meneval, Phips nullified the surrender agreement, ordered the French soldiers held in the church, confined Meneval to his house, and arrested de Goutin.  Phips then ordered his men ashore and turned them loose on the village.  Over a 12-day period, "We cut down the cross," remembered one of the Puritans, "rifled their church, pulled down their high altar, and broke their images."  They also burned 28 houses near the fort as well as the church and pillaged and plundered the remaining dwellings and storage buildings with impunity.  To protect his force from any irate settlers who lived near the fort, Phips threatened to make them all prisoners of war if the men did not assemble in the church and swear allegiance to the King and Queen of England.  Most took the oath, but it did them no good; their property, too, was pillaged and burned along with that of the few who had refused to take the oath.  Phips left Port-Royal in charge of a council of officials and settlers who were instructed to answer only to the government of Massachusetts.  Head of Phips's council was Sergeant Charles Chevalier dit La Tourasse, later a French army officer; among the councilors were Mathieu de Goutin, released from arrest; Pierre Chênet Dubreuil, the King's attorney; Alexandre de Bélisle, the seigneur of Port-Royal, who, with Pierre Melanson, had acted as interpreters during the surrender negotiations; René Landry le jeune; and Daniel LeBlanc.  While Phips oversaw the destruction of Port-Royal, he sent an expedition under Captain Cyprian Southack aboard the Porcupine to attack La Hève, Chédabouctou, and other Acadian settlements on the Atlantic side of the peninsula.  This was not the first time New Englanders had struck the important fishery center at Chédabouctou.  A pirate attack in the autumn of 1688 had devastated the fishery center; Southack's attack essentially ended its operations.  Another of Phips's lieutenants, Captain John Alden, Jr. of Plymouth, who already had seized Saint-Castin's post at Pentagouët, took his sloop Mary into the Bay of Fundy to overawe the settlements at Minas and Chignecto, where the Acadians were compelled to take Phips's oath of allegiance.  With Meneval, two priests (Abbé Petit and his assistant, Father Claude Trouvé), 21 cannon, and 59 captured French troupes de la marine in tow, the victorious treasure hunter hurried back to Boston, leaving no troops behind to hold the Acadian capital.157     [map] 

On June 15, the French warship Union out of La Rochelle appeared at Port-Royal, weeks too late to save the post from New English depredation.  Aboard the ship were engineer Saccardy, who had left the new fort uncompleted and had been ordered to return to finish it, and Meneval's former second in command, Captain Villebon, now in charge of the colony.  On June 18, the Union moved on to Rivière St.-Jean and worked its way up to Jemseg, from where Saccardy and Villebon hoped to secure the rest of the colony.  As it turned out, they had only set themselves up in a dangerous cul-de-sac.  Taking advantage of Phips's easy victory over Meneval, at the end of June English freebooters in two ships belonging to Lieutenant Governor Jacob Leisler of New York attacked the Union anchored off of Jemseg.  The pirates captured Saccardy and the vessel and sent Villebon flying upriver to Québec.  Leisler's freebooters descended on the defenseless former capital, plundered what was left of it, and hanged two unidentified Acadian settlers before continuing on their way.157a

Port-Royal was only a secondary objective for the determined New Englanders.  Their principal objective was Québec, which they would assault with an even larger force of 34 ships, including 4 men of war, and 2,200 men.  The Massachusetts council gave to the despoiler of Port-Royal the command of this formidable force.  Phips's expedition against Québec would cooperate with a land force from Connecticut and New York that would assault Montréal via Lake Champlain--the invasion of Canada that had been planned at the New York conference in May.  The land expedition met one disaster after another, however, and got no farther than the head of Lake Champlain.  Only a small party of 29 militiamen and 120 Indians under Captain John Schuyler of New York made it to the St. Lawrence valley, where they fell upon the settlement of La Prairie, across from Montréal, burned the houses, barns, and hayricks, slaughtered the cattle, and killed or captured 25 Canadians, including several women, before hurrying back to the main force on Lake Champlain.  Meanwhile, Phips's fleet took longer to assemble and leave Boston than he had anticipated.  Worse yet, Saint-Castin, alerted by his spy network in New England, sent word to Frontenac via the St.-Jean portage of Phips's intentions.  Phips did not depart the rendezvous at Nantasket until August 9, and, because he failed to take along a St. Lawrence River pilot, he did not reach the river below Québec until mid October, late in the campaigning season.  Governor-General Frontenac and his lieutenants, meanwhile, made Montréal safe and transformed Québec into a fortress.158  

Phips was no match for the wily old Frontenac.  Having lost a substantial number of men on shipboard from a break out of small pox, Phips's first effort at Quebec was not military but diplomatic.  Before a single shot was fired, on the morning of his arrival, Monday, October 16, he sent an envoy with terms of surrender to Frontenac, who rebuffed such arrogance and then invited the English commander to do his best to take the city.  That afternoon, Callière, still the governor of Montréal, arrived with 300 fresh men, including regulars and hot-blooded coureurs de bois aching for a fight, raising Frontenac's force in Quebec to a formidable 3,000.  But Phips stayed, and for six days he and his militia commander, Major John Walley, menaced Québec from land and water.  Phips called another council of war and cobbled together a plan that he was certain would give him the fortress city.  Walley would land his 1,300 Massachusetts militiamen at Beauport, just downriver from Québec, swing his column around to a ford on the St. Charles River behind Québec and attack the city's rear, which Phips wrongly assumed was unprotected.  Walley's militiamen landed on the morning of Wednesday, October 18 and fought their way up the slope towards the St. Charles, driving off a small force of French sharpshooters sent out to delay them.  Before the New Englanders could cross the St. Charles, however, Phips lost patience and ordered his warships to open fire on Frontenac's defenses.  The exchange of cannon fire rumbled for two days, crippling Sir William's warships and doing little damage to the city's defenses.  Walley, unable to regain contact with Phips's vessels because of the fierce bombardment and not equal to the task given him, waited helplessly in his camp above Beauport, his men freezing, starving, and suffering from the small pox that they had contracted during their long stay in the lower St. Lawrence.  On Friday, October 20, while Walley consulted with Phips aboard the commander's battered warship, Walley's officers pushed their Puritans to the ford on the St. Charles, where Frontenac met them with three battalions of troupes de la marine and a Canadian flanking force under two of the Le Moyne brothers.  The New Englanders fought valiantly, but they were no match for the French troupes and the Canadian militia, who laid one ambush after another.  The following day, Saturday, October 21, Walley withdrew his militiamen from in front of Québec against token opposition.  Frontenac and his Frenchmen were exhausted, too.  Phips and his beaten Puritans lingered aboard their ships for two days, the men resting, the officers counseling their harried commander, until Phips finally weighed anchor and fell back down the St. Lawrence on Tuesday, October 24.  Phips anchored several leagues below the Île d'Orléans to repair his battered ships so that they could be made seaworthy for the long sail back to Boston.  Leaving the English unmolested, Frontenac agreed to a prisoner exchange, mostly women and children captured in the fighting in Maine for Frenchmen captured in Acadia, Newfoundland, and the lower St. Lawrence.  Phips's expedition suffered more damage at the hands of Nature when it retreated into the Gulf of St. Lawrence.  A storm drove at least one ship onto Anticosti Island.  Back in the Atlantic, another storm blew some of his vessels all the way down to the West Indies!  The only success of the expedition was Captain William Mason's assault on the French settlement of Percé, on the tip of the Gaspé Peninsula, which he destroyed with two frigates.159


The victory at Quebec saved Canada from capture, if not from famine and attack by the Iroquois.  But the English still clung to Acadia.  While Phips was dallying on his way to Québec, a royal proclamation in London, dated 7 October 1690, decreed that Acadia was now part of Massachusetts.  Colonel Edward Tyng of Maine was named the new governor of the conquered province.  He went to Port-Royal in 1691, but his stay was a short one.  When "the inhabitants would give him no guarantee against Indian attacks," he decided to return to Boston.  Meanwhile, the authorities in Massachusetts were determined to chastise the Abenaki.  They chose as the leader of a new expedition the noted Indian fighter from the old Pilgrim settlement of Duxbury, 51-year-old Major Benjamin Church.  Fourteen years earlier, Church had won fame by defeating the Wampanoag chief Metacomet, whom the Puritans dubbed King Philip, during the bloodiest Indian war in New English history.  In September 1689, Church had fought the Abenaki in a small expedition in the Casco Bay area with mixed results.  He now took command of a force of 300 men and headed back to Casco Bay, which he reached on 11 September 1690.  This expedition, which lasted two weeks, was no more successful than Church's earlier venture against the Abenaki.  For the rest of 1690 and into 1691, the Abenaki still held the upper hand in the war along the Maine frontier.160

With the defeat of Phips at Québec, Frontenac turned his attention to the liberation of Acadia.  In April 1691, back in France, the captured Meneval's second in command, Captain Joseph Robinau de Villebon, had been appointed by the King as commander in Acadia.  The choice was a wise one.  Though educated in France, Villebon was a typical Canadian officer.  Haling from a line of Canadian aristocrat-warriors, he was familiar with rugged frontier service, during which he had earned the esteem of the Indians.  He returned to Canada aboard the Soleil d'Afrique, under command of fellow Canadian Simon-Pierre Denys de Bonaventure, who the year before had accompanied another Canadian, Pierre Le Moyne, sieur d'Iberville, to Hudson Bay and then sailed on to France with a cargo of furs.  Villebon and Denys de Bonaventure crossed without incident and reported to Frontenac at Québec.  The governor-general ordered Villebon to hurry back to Acadia with Denys de Bonaventure, secure Port-Royal, where the English had left no garrison, and unite with Saint-Castin and the Abenaki to take the war to New England.  Back at Port-Royal by November, Villebon removed the English flag, replaced it with the fleur-de-lys, and left the post in charge of Sergeant Charles dit La Tourasse, whom Phips had appointed as head of his council.  Having been ordered not to set up his headquarters at Port-Royal, Villebon chose Rivière St.-Jean, with its valuable portage, as his base of operations.  Either at the mouth of or in the lower stretches of the river, Denys de Bonaventure captured a New English merchantman.  Aboard was a rich prize:  merchant John Nelson, long familiar with Acadia and its settlers, who had recently secured permission to post a New English garrison at Port-Royal in exchange for a monopoly of the region's trade.  Denys de Bonaventure also captured Captain John Alden, Jr. of Plymouth, former Phips associate and master of the captured merchantman; Alden's son William; and the erstwhile English governor of Acadia, Colonel Edward Tyng.  Villebon released the elder Alden in Nelson's ketch to continue on to Boston to arrange a prisoner exchange.  Nelson, Tyng, and the younger Alden he held as hostages.  Remembering the disaster at Jemseg the year before that almost led to his capture, Villebon moved farther upriver to a more easily-defensible site at Nashouat, where he built Fort St.-Joseph across from the Acadian community of Ste.-Anne-du-Pays-Bas, today's Fredericton, New Brunswick.  After learning there would be no prisoner exchange, Villebon sent his hostages up the St.-Jean portage to Québec, and Denys de Bonaventure returned to sea.161 

As Villebon's biographer reminds us:  "a solder was needed in Acadia, a man who was capable of holding out with very little aid.  The choice of Villebon seems to have been a good one; a native of the country, he knew Acadia," having served there under Perrot and Meneval during the late 1680s.  His instructions from the King were precise and revealed confidence in the young captain of troupes de la marine:  "Villebon was 'to take advantage of the favourable dispositions of the Canibats (the Abenaki Indians, allies of the French) towards serving His Majesty, of their hatred of the English and the proximity of the New England centres, to use them in waging continual and violent war against the aforementioned English, creating at the same time a diversion to secure Canada from their ventures...."161a  

In early January 1692, while Villebon and his men worked on Fort St.-Joseph, weather permitting, a French privateer, Pierre Maissonat dit Baptiste, appeared at nearby Passamaquoddy Bay with a prize he was taking to Port-Royal.  Here was another factor Villebon had to address--the presence of these provocateurs in Acadian waters and their recruitment of local settlers.  Based at Port-Royal and Chignecto, "They gathered their crews from among the young Acadians of these settlements who were attracted by their free life and the hope of plunder.  The activities of the privateers were opposed by the clergy who felt that they had a bad influence on the local youth."  Baptiste, as he was called, had married a woman from Port-Royal but was reported to have several other "wives" in France and Holland.  He evidently had been operating in North Atlantic waters for some time, having been imprisoned in Boston and purporting to know the waters off of New York.  Baptiste appeared in the St.-Jean in early May, where he outfitted two small vessels and set out again to prey on New English shipping.  Here was another guarantee that Rivière St.-Jean would be a prime target for English retribution.161b

Not long after Maissonat's appearance at Passamaquoddy, Villebon and Saint-Castin took the war to the enemy's door with as much energy and violence as Frontenac's attacks two years earlier.  In February 1692, a force of Indians from Pentagouët, under the leadership of Saint-Castin and again accompanied by Abbé Louis-Pierre Thury, laid waste the Maine town of York, massacring many of the settlers and taking more women and children into captivity.  In late May, a sea-borne expedition of three ships that Phips had sent to destroy Villebon's new fort and to clear out privateers appeared in the lower St.-Jean.  Villebon was back at Nashouat, but most of his soldiers and Indians were still in Maine.  He prepared to meet the English with the small force at hand.  In early July, however, the English ships disappeared from the lower river. They sailed across the bay to Port-Royal, instead, "where an effort was made to induce the settlers to submit to English rule, but no definite promise could be obtained from them.  With the announcement that a strong garrison would soon be sent from Boston, [the English] took their departure."162  

In June, Baptiste Maissonat returned to Rivière St.-Jean with a 45-ton brigantine loaded with wheat and flour that he had captured in sight of Boston--the ninth English vessel he had captured in six months!  Later that month, a force of Abenaki under Saint-Castin, with a hand full of Canadian officers under René Robinau de Portneuf, Villebon's younger brother, descended on the fortified Maine outpost of Wells.  This nut proved too hard to crack, however, and Portneuf and his force gave up the siege.  But they had done damage enough to liberate this part of Acadia from English occupation, except for Pemaquid.  There, in late summer of 1692, at great expense, the New Englanders began erecting a sturdy edifice of stone which they named Fort William Henry, providing them a base from which they could continue their harrassment of Acadia and the nearby Abenaki villages.  In October, Frontenac sent a sea borne expedition under Canadian Pierre Le Moyne, sieur d'Iberville, to subdue the new fort.  With the ships Poli and Envieux, Iberville rendezvoused with Villebon at Baie-Verte, at the north end of the Chignecto isthmus.  Commander of the Envieux was Villebon's old associate, Denys de Bonaventure.  Their plan was to rendezvous with another squadron, under Jean Du Paty or Patés, pick up Maissonat at Pentagouët to serve as coastal pilot, destroy the new English fort at Pemaquid, and then raid along the coast of New England.  At Mount Desert Island, up the coast from Pemaquid, Iberville interrogated a boat load of suspicious Canadian captives and concluded that the new fort's stone walls and a reinforced garrison, plus the presence of powerful New English ships in the area, likely would overwhelm his force.  Moreover, Maissonat could not make the rendezvous at Pentagouët because of English activity at Port-Royal.  Iberville abandoned the proposed attack on Pemaquid, but, in fact, Fort William Henry was still unfinished and could easily have been captured by the force at hand.  Also, against Phips's orders, the New English vessels in the area had returned to Boston.  Iberville granted permission to Saint-Castin and his Abenaki to attack Pemaquid, and then he and Denys de Bonaventure sailed down the coast as far as Nantucket to harass New English shipping.  He even lay off the harbor at Boston, hoping to destroy more English vessels, before sailing on to France.163

Determined to neutralize Saint-Castin and his Abenaki, still ravaging the Maine coast, Sir William Phips, recently appointed governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, turned to two of the Acadian captives being held in Boston in November 1692.  Jacques Petitpas and his brother-in-law, Charles Serreau de Saint-Aubin, both from Passamaquoddy, had fallen into New English hands during another offensive against the French along the Maine and lower Fundy coasts led by Colonel Benjamin Church the previous summer.  Petitpas's and Serreau de Saint-Aubins's families, including the 71-year-old seigneur of Passamaquoddy, Jean Serreau de Saint-Aubin, also had been captured and taken to Boston.  The governor, in a desperate attempt to get at Jean-Vincent de Saint-Castin, sent Petitpas and Charles Serreau de Saint Aubin "with two French deserters" to capture the capitaine de sauvages, "keeping their families as hostages."  The two Acadians doubtlessly gave serious thought to the mission before turning on the wily governor.  Instead of going after Saint-Castin, "they betrayed the plan" to Commandant Villebon at Nashouat and handed over the deserters, who were promptly executed.  "Villebon rewarded the two Acadians with a sum of money sufficiently large 'to enable them to deliver their wives and children from the English.'"  Evidently the Acadians could not garner enough funds to ransom all of their loved ones from the Puritan lights.  In 1695, the old seigneur paid 30 livres to ransom his daughter, probably Geneviève, widow of Jacques Petitpas, who had died the year before.163a

The war died down during the winter of 1692-93.  Villebon left another brother, Daniel Robinau de Neuvillette, in charge of the fort at Nashouat and spent the winter at Chignecto, where he could be "in constant communication with Minas and Port Royal and the other settlements.  He dispatched messages to the Indians in various parts of Acadia asking them to join him in the spring to take part in a new expedition."  Beaubassin once again served as Acadian headquarters.  Villebon sent Abraham Boudrot, a pilot and merchant from Port-Royal who had traded extensively with New Englanders, on a spy mission to Boston.  Boudrot's job was "to obtain information about conditions there, and learn if any plans were being made."  Weeks later, the wily Acadian returned from New England with much useful information.  In the spring of 1693, Villebon learned that a merchant from Boston who traded regularly with Port-Royal was coming to Chignecto.  Such was the importance of trade between Acadia and New England that even a full-blown war could not stop it.  "The settlers were in urgent need of various necessities," so the commandant "decided to make a trip to Minas so that he might not be present when the vessel arrived, for it would be impolitic for him to sanction such unauthorized trade.  When he returned at the end of April, he learned that the vessel had arrived, but, instead of unloading goods, a party of men had disembarked and fired on the settlers, leaving an impression that they were pirates."  This would not be the last time in this war that Englishmen molested the settlers of Chignecto.164

In August 1693, most of the Abenaki chiefs signed a peace treaty at Pemaquid with Governor Phips and left five of their leaders as hostages to seal the agreement.  The French authorities in Canada were alarmed by this development.  Employing Father Thury and Saint-Castin, the French did their best to stir the Abenaki against their former enemy.  Meanwhile, the fleet the English had gathered at Boston for another go at Québec was sent, instead, to the West Indies to capture the French island of Martinique.  Tropical disease devastated the ranks of the English soldiers and sailors, and when the fleet returned to Boston, it was in no shape to take on Frontenac again.  Other than an expedition in the far north by England's Hudson's Bay Company to recapture three posts in St. James Bay which Iberville had taken from them a few years before, and a mission to France by Baptiste Maissonat to confer with the Minister of Marine about plans to attack New England, the war in North America seemed to be over.  Peace had finally come to mainland Acadia, if not the waters surrounding the peninsula.  New English settlers, wanting to believe that the war was over, rebuilt and even expanded the farms and villages that the French and Indians had pillaged over the past four years.  They also prudently strengthened their garrison towns along the New Hampshire-Maine frontier and waited to see if the Abenaki had truly buried the hatchet.165  


Peace had come to peninsula Acadia as well, or so it seemed.  The council of inhabitants that Phips had set up and Villebon had left in place continued to run Port-Royal, to which the English never bothered to send a garrison.  The settlers there and at Chignecto and Minas went about their business of building new aboiteaux and transforming more salt marsh into pasture and field.  In 1693, Commander Villebon took advantage of a break in the fighting and ordered a new census to be taken of the Acadian settlements from Pentagöuet to La Hève.  Port-Royal, with its wide basin and gentle-flowing river, remained the largest settlement with 504 inhabitants, and this despite the recent depredations at the hands of the English.  The Minas settlements, which probably included Pigiguit, numbered 307 settlers, Chignecto 119, Cap-Sable 32, Rivière St.-Jean 21, Pentagouët 14, Passamaquoddy and the Ste.-Croix 7, and La Hève 6, a total of 1,022 men, women, and children counted in the colony, compared to 373 in the first census at Port-Royal in 1671 and not quite 900 in the census of 1686.  Contrast this with the number of Frenchmen in all of New France at the time, about 15,000, and in the English Atlantic colonies, over 100,000!166

No matter, new settlers had come to greater Acadia during the early years of King William's War.  As did earlier arrivals, many of them married daughters of the colony's established families and helped populate settlements both old and new: 

André Célestin dit Bellemère, a blacksmith, married Perrine Basile in France in c1685.  They came to Acadia in c1690 and settled at the new community of Minas.  Pérrine gave André seven children, including two sons who created their own families.240 

Sr. Alain Bugeaud of Bois, Saintonge, France, in turn a churchwarden, surgeon, and notary, came to Acadia in c1690, married Élisabeth or Isabelle, daughter of Pierre Melanson, fils and Marguerite Mius d'Entremont, in c1695 and settled with the Melansons at Grand-Pré, where he held so many positions.  Élisabeth/Isabelle gave Alain six children, including four sons who created families of their own.  In honor of their father's station, Alain's children and grandchildren continued to be addressed as sieur and mademoiselle.241 

François Robin, born probably in France in c1643, came to the colony in c1690, the year he married Marie, 45-year-old daughter of Isaac Pesseley, former major of Port-Royal, and Barbe Bajolet, at Port-Royal.  Marie had been born the year her father died while fighting alongside the Sieur d'Aulany against Charles La Tour, so she never knew the major.  At the time of her marriage to François, she was the widow of Jean Pitre.  Probably because of Marie's age, she and François had no children.  However, François helped to raise her many children by Jean Pitre.242 

Claude-Sébastien, fils, son of Claude-Sébastien Le Bassier de Villieu and Jeanne-Marie LeBreton of Notre-Dame de Vielle-Vigne, Nantes, born probably in Nantes in c1663, married Judith, daughter of former governor Michel Le Neuf de La Vallière and Marie Denys, at Québec in April 1692.  Claude-Sébastien had served as a garde-marine at Rochefort in the late 1680s, came to Canada by 1690, where he served as an army lieutenant, and came to Acadia in 1691, where he served as an army captain at Nashouat on Rivière St.-Jean during King William's War.  In July 1700, he was named administrateur de l'Acadie.  A month later, he was granted a seigneurie at Chepoudy, at the edge of his father-in-law's estates at Chignecto, and brought suit against Pierre Thibodeau and Guillaume Blanchard over seigneurial rights at Chepoudy and Petitcoudiac soon after.  After Commandant Villebon's death in July 1700, de Villieu commanded the colony until the new royal governor, Mombeton de Brouillan, arrived during the autumn of 1701.  De Villieu was appointed adjutant of the Port-Royal garrison in February 1702.  Suffering from asthma, he received a discharge from the King's service in May 1704 with a pension of 600 livres.  Despite his retirement, he served as temporary commander of the colony again in the summer of 1705.  He returned to France later that year and sold his house at Port-Royal to the Récollets for 4,000 livres.  The time and place of Claude-Sébastien's death is unknown.  Back in Acadia, the Récollets transformed his house into the parish church for St.-Jean-Baptiste.  Judith gave him only one child, a son, born at Québec in June 1793, who did not create a family of his own.299

Pierre Brassaud or Brassaux married Gabrielle, daughter of Michel Forest dit Michel and Marie Hébert, at Port-Royal in c1691.  They settled on Rivière-de-l'Ascension at Minas and at nearby Pigiguit.  Gabrielle gave Pierre nine children, including a son who may have created a family of his own.243 

Joseph Gravois married Marie, daughter of André Mignier dit La Gassé and Jacquette Michel, in c1691.  Marie gave Joseph a son, Joseph, fils, born at Port-Royal in c1692, who married Marie, daughter of Pierre Cyr and Claire Cormier, at Beaubassin in October 1718 and created a family of his own at Chignecto.244 

Vincent Longuépée married Madeleine, a daughter of René Rimbault and Anne-Marie ____, at Port-Royal in c1692.  They moved to Minas and then moved to an even newer settlement at Cobeguit.  Madeleine gave Vincent six children, including a son, Louis, who married Anne, daughter of Pierre Brassaud and Gabrielle Forest, in c1720, and created a family of his own.245 

Louis Mezerrolet or Mazerolle dit Saint-Louis married Geneviève Forest, 29-year-old widow of François Savary, at Port-Royal in c1692.  Geneviève gave Louis four children, including a son who created a family of his own.246 

Joseph Prétieux, later Précieux, of Charente, France, married Anne Gautrot probably at La Rochelle in c1688; Anne evidently was not kin to the other Gautrots in Acadia.  She gave Joseph two children, including a son who created a family of his own.247 

Michel Poirier dit de France, born in c1667, was a nephew of the long deceased Jean Poirier and younger first cousin of Jean's son Michel l'aîné of Chignecto, who was 17 years older than Michel dit de France.  In c1692, Michel dit de France married Marie, daughter of Guyon Chiasson dit La Vallée and Jeanne Bernard, probably at Chignecto, where they were counted a year after their marriage.  Marie gave Michel dit de France a dozen children, including five sons who created families of their own.248 

Pierre Lavergne, servant of the Père du Breslay of Port-Royal in the early 1690s, married Anne Bernon at Port-Royal in c1693.  Anne gave Pierre five children, including a son who created a family of his own.249 

Michel Deveau dit Dauphiné married Marie-Madeleine, daughter of Pierre Martin and Joachine Lafleur and widow of Guyon Chiasson dit La Vallée, probably at Chignecto in c1693.  Marie-Madeleine, from Sillery, near Québec, was not Acadian.  She gave Michel six children, including four sons who created families of their own.250 

Jacques Léger dit La Rosette, born probably in France in c1668, served as a drummer in the sieur de Villeu's company of troupes de la marine at Fort St.-Joseph, Nashouat, on Rivière St.-Jean, during the early years of King William's War.  (Genealogist Bona Arsenault says Jacques served in the Carignan-Salières Regiment, but Arsenault may have confused the regular regiment, which served in Canada, with the colonial detachments of Marine.)  Around 1693, after his discharge from the King's service, Jacques married Madeleine, daughter of Guillaume Trahan, père and Madeleine Brun, at Port-Royal and took land on the south side of Rivière-au-Dauphin, above Port-Royal.  Jacques and Madeleine had 11 children, including four sons, three of whom created families of their own.253 


Except for a bloody raid by several bands of Abenaki into New Hampshire and Massachusetts in the summer of 1694, an expedition that autumn led by Iberville to retake the Hudson's Bay posts, and sundry raids along the Maine coast the following summer, the uneasy peace persisted for nearly three years.  In August 1695, English authorities imposed on the Acadian inhabitants at Port-Royal an oath of allegiance to King William III.  Many family heads signed or made their marks, attesting to their having taken the oath:  Louis Allain, Jean Babineau, called Babinot, Jean Bastarache, Jean Belliveau, Martin and Guillaume Blanchard, Bernard and Martin Bourg, François Broussard, Pierre Cellier, called Le Cellier, Étienne, Jean l'aîné, Pierre l'aîné, and Pierre le jeune Comeau, Jean Corporon, Pierre Doucet, Claude Dugas,  ___ Dupuis, Jean Fardel (an Englishman whose wife was a Gaudet), Pierre Gaudet, Jacob and Alexandre Girouard, Laurent Granger, Giraud (Jérôme) Guérin, Emmanuel Hébert, Claude and Pierre Landry, Daniel LeBlanc, Jacques Léger dit La Rosette, Pierre Martin, fils, Étienne Pellerin, Martin Richard, Charles Robichaud dit Cadet, François Robin, Germain Savoie, Pierre Sibilau, Claude and Bonaventure Thériot, and Jacques Triel dit Laperrière--all made their marks.  Abraham and his nephew Alexandre dit Bellehumeur Bourg, Laurent Doucet, René Forest, Bernard Gaudet, Claude Guédry (as Gaidry), Pierre Guilbeau, Jean Labat dit Le Marquis, Pierre Lanoue, Emmanuel Le Borgne de Bélisle (the recently deceased seigneur's son), Julien Lord, Mathieu Martin, Charles Melanson, Claude, père and Claude, fils Petitpas, Alexandre Richard, and Prudent Robichaud--all signed.167a 

But this inconvenience to the Acadian populace spilled only ink, not blood.  The following February, an incident occurred outside the gates of Fort William Henry that ended the tenuous peace and set the Maine frontier ablaze once again.  Three Abenaki chiefs appeared at the fort under a flag of truce to parlay for an exchange of prisoners.  Something went terribly wrong in their negotiations with the hotheaded new commander of the post, and in the resulting melee the New Englanders killed two of the chiefs.  Soon the inhabitants of the Maine-New Hampshire coast felt the wrath of the vengeful Abenaki.  York was hit, and Portsmouth, and Dover.  King William's War was on again.167  

Even worse for the hopes of New English security, Governor-General Frontenac, with urging from the King, launched another sea borne assault against Pemaquid.  The redoubtable Iberville set sail from Québec in two warships in July 1696.  One of the vessels was commanded by Germain, son of Jacques Bourgeois, founder of the Chignecto settlement a generation before; one of his "crewmen" may have been French official Mathieu de Goutin.  Also with Iberville were Simon-Pierre Denys de Bonaventure, perhaps in command of the Envieux, and Baptiste Maissonat, recently back from France, who would serve as coastal pilot.  On the way down to Pemaquid, near the mouth of the St.-Jean, Iberville waylaid two English men of war, including the frigate Newport, on July 14.  He drove off one of the English ships and dismasted the Newport, which he refitted as a third vessel for his expedition.  Continuing on to his objective, he picked up a force of Indians and habitants under Commander Villebon.  Iberville's flotilla arrived at Pemaquid on August 14 and, in cooperation with a contingent of Abenaki under Saint-Castin and Father Thury from Penobscot, quickly invested the stone bastion by land and sea.  Amazingly, only 100 men defended Fort William Henry, and they were still under the command of the hotheaded incompetent who had killed the Abenaki chiefs, Captain Pascho Chubb.  On the afternoon of the 15th, Iberville's and Saint-Castin's batteries were ready, and Iberville demanded that Chubb surrender the fort or be blasted out.  The New Englander retorted with defiant words, and French shells soon exploded inside the fort.  That was enough for the New Englanders.  Fort William Henry surrendered after Chubb put up a cursory defense.  Only Iberville's intervention, and Saint-Castin's control, prevented the Abenaki from massacring Chubb and his New Englanders.  They were paroled, instead, and some were allowed to return to Boston.  The French dismantled the stout stone walls before returning to Penobscot.  From there, Iberville sent messages to the Massachusetts governor, William Stoughton, acting for Phips, offering to exchange the New English prisoners he still held for French prisoners languishing at Boston.  Stoughton ignored him.  Shrugging off the stubborn Englishman, Iberville released his remaining prisoners to Saint-Castin, who promised to return them safely to Boston.  Iberville then sailed his little flotilla to Newfoundland to launch another offensive against the English.168

The authorities at Boston, meanwhile, had enlisted Benjamin Church to organize yet another expedition against the Abenaki.  When Chubb and his parolees returned from Pemaquid, the Boston fathers threw the hapless captain in jail, where he languished for nearly a year, and they urged Church to hurry up his preparations for a strike against the enemy.  Meanwhile, five armed ships hurried from Boston to intercept Iberville's flotilla, but the clever Canadian got clean away.  In September, Church and his 500 New Englanders, with 50 Indian allies of their own, finally sailed out of Boston and headed north for the coast of Maine.  They hurried to Pemaquid and then to Penobscot Bay, from which they ascended the Penobscot River to the head of navigation, searching in vain for Abenaki to waylay and destroy.  Somehow the wily Indians had got word of Church's coming.  Moving east to Mount Desert Island and finding no enemy there, the angry Church swung out to sea again and sailed northeast ... to Acadia.169  

This time it was the settlements at Chignecto that bore the brunt of New English vengeance and Church's frustration at not finding the Abenaki.  When Church arrived at Chignecto, Germain Bourgeois, back from his adventures at Pemaquid, met the old Puritan on the shore and "produced a document which indicated that Phips after the fall of Port-Royal in 1690 had promised immunity to those who swore fealty to King William.  Church accompanied Bourgeois to his house, but his men lost no time in plundering and burning the settlement while the settlers took refuge in the woods."  Finding a paper "subscribed by Count de Frontenac" containing "regulations respecting the traffic with the Indians" nailed to the door of one of the dwellings, Church "charged the inhabitants with a breech of their sworn neutrality" and ordered him men to burn the church and to resume their pillaging.  The old New Englander remembered the scene vividly in his memoirs.  The people of Chignecto, he wrote years later, "were troubled to see their cattle, sheep, hogs, and dogs lying dead about their houses, chopped and hacked with hatchets."  He could not contain his Puritan righteousness in the face of his hapless enemy.  "The inhabitants, both French and Indian, fled at his coming, but some of the former returned upon promise of good usage.  After reading them a sharp lecture upon the barbarities practiced by the savages upon the English, and forcibly contrasting it with his own magnanimity in now keeping his Indians from knocking them all in the head, Church took his departure for the St. John River."170 

One must wonder if the sights and smells of their burned-out buildings, of their dead animals, even of their pets, lying butchered all around them, would have brought the word "magnanimity" to the minds of these simple farmers.  It would take years for them to repair the damage the old Puritan and his men had inflicted upon them.

On the St.-Jean, Church skirmished with some workmen who were building a fort at the mouth of the river.  He killed one and wounded another, who revealed where the big guns for the new fort were hidden.  Church secured the pieces and called a council of war to see what his lieutenants thought of the notion of heading upriver to attack Villebon's fort at Nashouat.  They agreed that the season was too late and the river too low, so they gathered up their spoils and headed back to Boston.  To Church's chagrin, on his way to Boston he encountered a reinforcement coming up the coast to meet him.  Head of the reinforcement was Lieutenant Colonel William Hathorne, who outranked him.  Hathorne turned the force around and headed back to Rivière St.-Jean to destroy Villebon's fort.  They attacked the fort on October 18.  Among the defenders was privateer Baptiste Maisonnat, who, with partner Jean Martel de Magos, seigneur of Machias and Villebon's son-in-law, owned a homestead near Nashouat; three years earlier, Maissonat had "remarried" to a daughter of Port-Royal settler François Bourg.  Also defending the colonial capital as well as their holdings on the river were the Canadian brothers Mathieu and Louis D'Amours, who held seigneuries below Nashouat.  Villebon was no friend of these fellow Canadians, but he needed, if not welcomed, their support.  After a spirited fight, Villebon and his fellow defenders sent Hathorne and his New Englanders flying back to Boston.  And so ended the latest English expedition against the French in Acadia.  Villebon turned over to Baptiste Maissonat two sea-going pirogues captured from the New Englanders.  The privateer sailed them to the shelter of the Minas Basin, fitted them out, and recruited young Acadians as crewmen for another raid along the coast of New England.171

Meanwhile, Iberville and his elusive flotilla rounded the Acadian peninsula and Cape Breton Island and sailed up to Plaisance, the French settlement on the west coast of Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula, which he reached on September 12.  Since the early months of his governorship, which began in 1691, Jacques-François de Memberton de Brouillan had beseeched French authorities to organize a naval expedition against St. John's, the English fishery center on the Atlantic side of the Avalon Peninsula, and the dozens of other English settlements in the region.  Two attempts, in 1692 and 1694, led by a privateer and a naval commander, had failed miserably.  Brouillan, leaving Philippe Pastour de Costabelle, one of his captains of troupes de la marine, in command at Plaisance, went to France in the autumn of 1685 and pushed his own plan there.  Meanwhile, Iberville also put forward a plan of attack against the Newfoundland fisheries.  The ministry decided to combine the two operations:  "The orders provided that Brouillan should look after the general conduct of the operations and should direct the expedition at sea and that Iberville should command the expedition by land."  Once the English defenses had been overwhelmed, Brouillan and Iberville "were to destroy the colonies, send their inhabitants back to England, and seize what booty they could."  Brouillan would then return to the mother country with the booty he could carry, while Iberville remained in command at Newfoundland.  Brouillan secured a frigate from the Minister of Marine, and a St.-Malo privateer, Joseph Danycan du Rocher, loaned him four merchantmen fitted out for combat as well as two corvettes and two fire-ships--10 ships in all, with hundreds of men.  Back at Plaisance by September 1696, Brouillan waited for Iberville to appear, but the Canadian's arrival was delayed by his offensive against Pemaquid.  Unaware of the fate of Iberville's force, Brouillan left Plaisance without him on September 9 and, with superior force, overwhelmed the English fishing posts of Bay Bulls (Baie des Taureaux), Ferryland (Forillon), Firmoose (Fermeuse), and Renews (Renoose).  Brouillan used Renews as a base from which to attack the most important prize of all, St. John's.  However, the fishing center's three forts, English warships in the harbor, foul weather, and the reluctance of the St.-Malo sailors to risk their vessels thwarted Brouillan's efforts.  Frustrated, he court-martialed some of the privateers and "consoled himself by taking some 30 fishing barks and boats, a number of prisoners, and several thousand codfish" before returning to Plaisance on October 17.  Normally, it would have been too late in the year to resume the offensive, but Brouillan was determined to launch another campaign, even if it could not begin until winter.  Iberville, meanwhile, had reached Plaisance only three days after Brouillan had launched his offensive against the English side of the island.  Iberville, though at the head of only a hundred men in two ships, the Profond and the Envieux, was determined to join Brouillan, but the Maine offensive had exhausted his supplies.  Costabelle, in charge of the post again, showed no eagerness in parting with what little was left of the supplies at Plaisance.  Iberville had no choice but to wait for a re-supply and reinforcements, which he expected from Canada, before joining Brouillan.  On October 3, while Brouillan was still operating against St. John's, part of Ibeville's reinforcement arrived in the Postillon, commanded by Nicolas Daneau de Muy.  Another ship, the Wesp, having become separated from Daneau de Muy's ship on the voyage down from Québec, also was expected.  After the Wesp arrived, Iberville had four vessels with which to launch his part of the offensive.  Unfortunately, Daneau de Muy informed him that his ship and the Wesp had been sent to Brouillan; he had no orders to operate under Iberville's command!  With the force he possessed, Iberville prepared to attack Carbonear on Conception Bay, second only to the St. John's in importance and population.  And then Brouillan returned.  The governor's failure to attack St. John's did not impress the younger commander, whose combat experience was as impressive Brouillan's.  Moreover, after the debacle at St. John's, Du Rocher, with his ships and his men, had headed home to St.-Malo, leaving Brouillan's force not only defeated, but much reduced.  During his first interview with Iberville aboard the governor's ship, Brouillan's dark side again emerged:  he was certain that Iberville had failed to join him in the campaign against St. John's because the Canadian did not want to relinquish command to him.  Worse yet, Brouillan attributed his failure at St. John's to Iberville's failure to join him there!  Iberville kept his peace, hoping to find the governor more tractable during a second interview, but there was no assuaging the angry Brouillan, who refused to read Iberville's instructions.  When the young commander ordered his men to prepare to return to France, Daneau de Muy's Canadians protested vigorously and threatened to desert if they were not allowed to serve only under Iberville.  Brouillan, his mind focused on getting at St. John's, reluctantly compromised with the irate Canadians.  He agreed to allow Iberville to attack St. John's overland while he returned to Renews aboard the Profond, commanded by Simon-Pierre Denys de Bonaventure, for an attack against the fishing center via the sea.  Daneau de Muy and his Canadians, assuaged by the governor's compromise, agreed to accompany him and Bonventure to the other side of the peninsula.  After the destruction of St. John's, Iberville, who was personally financing his part of the expedition, would receive the bulk of the captured booty and was authorized to attack Carbonear and other English posts circling Conception Bay before returning to Plaisance.  Iberville and his force of 120 men set out across the peninsula on November 1.  With them was Father Jean Baudouin, who recently had clashed with Commander Villebon in Acadia; the soldier-turned-priest would provide spiritual sustenance in a campaign that Iberville and Brouillan expected to last all winter.  Iberville's aide-de-camp was one of his many younger brothers, Jean Baptiste de Bienville, only 16 years old.  It took Iberville's force nine days to slog across land to Ferryland on the Atlantic coast.  He and his men were so hungry when they reached the place that they devoured wild horses they found on the beach.  After Iberville rendezvoused with Brouillan at Renews, which lay a few miles south of Ferryland, the bickering between the two commanders resumed.  While Iberville and his men were slogging overland, Brouillan had sent a reconnaissance up the coast under a Chevalier de Rancogne, and that worthy had only managed to alert St. John's to the presence of a French force down the coast.  Moreover, Brouillan announced that he and Iberville now would divide the plunder in half, a violation of the agreement they had made at Plaisance.  Iberville also clashed with Daneau de Muy, now an ally of the governor.  Iberville, seeing that the governor was interested only in booty, but determined to complete his mission, again gave in to Brouillan.  A truce was called, and the antagonists turned their attention to the destruction of the English fishery.  Before they started out from Renews, however, Brouillan sent Denys de Bonaventure in the Profond back to France to inform the King and Minister of his achievements.  Iberville gave his friend Bonaventure a missive for the Minister, which included not only an account of Brouillan's recalcitrance, but also a request for reinforcements that would allow Iberville to "complete the subjugation of the island" the following spring.  From the third week of November through the following February, Iberville and his Canadians, along with Brouillan and his Frenchmen, captured two dozen English fishing settlements, including St. John's, which fell at the end of November, killed at least a hundred Englishmen, captured hundreds of others, deported 500 of them back to England, and left in ruin a thriving fishery that took decades to recover.172


The French and their Indian allies could smile contentedly as 1696 drew to a close.  "For the English this had been a year of disasters, with hardly one redeeming feature for which to build hope for the future," a New English historian concedes.  "At its close the advantage rested wholly with the enemy.  East and west, the hostile tribes were now acting together as one man.  Acadia had been lost, Pemaquid demolished.  Much had been expected from the expeditions of Church and Hathorne; nothing realized."  Such was the perception of the New Englanders and of Frontenac and his lieutenants.  The Acadians at Chignecto, however, would not have given such a rosy summation of the year's results.173

But for a bloody raid by Canadian Indians against Haverhill, Massachusetts, in mid-March and Maissonat's depredations along the New England coast, 1697 proved to be a much quieter year.  Then news arrived in Boston during the summer that a fleet of warships had left France a few weeks before and was heading to North America to do the New Englanders no good.  It looked like Louis XIV was determined to end the war by destroying Boston itself, and there was some truth in the observation.  In late winter 1697, Louis, through his Minister of Marine, Louis Phélypeaux, comte de Pontchartrain, appointed the Marquis de Nesmond to gather together in Brest and Rochefort a squadron of 13 warships and four fire ships to sail to North America for the purpose of laying waste the New England coast from Boston up to Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  Meanwhile, one of the Le Moyne brothers would take five other warships from Rochefort to Plaisance and, after rendezvousing with brother Iberville, head north to Hudson Bay to recapture the valuable fur-trading posts that Iberville had seized twice during the war but that the English had again reclaimed.  Pontchartrain sent Frontenac secret orders to prepare 1,500 men, a formidable force in Canada, to move at a moment's notice when he should receive further orders, the purpose of the expedition not revealed to him in order to maintain strict security.  Nesmond would sail first to Plaisance, where Frontenac would meet him, recapture St. John's, Newfoundland, to protect his rear, and then end the war in North America once and for all by destroying Boston.  Luckily for the New Englanders, Nesmond's fleet did not reach Plaisance until July 24, he did not appear before St. John's until the end of August, and he failed to capture the place.  By then it was early September, too late in the season to move on Boston, so Nesmond returned to France.  The New Englanders nevertheless prepared for a climactic battle that never came.  Summer turned to fall with only the usual Indians raids marring the relative quiet of this ninth year of war.174

Peace came at last with the signing of the Treaty of Ryswick that autumn of 1697, news of it reaching North America by early December.  Some territory had been won and lost in Europe, but little had changed in America other than that Acadia was guaranteed as a French possession despite English claims to it, and, thanks to Iberville's end-of-the-war exploits, the French controlled the posts in Hudson Bay.  The Acadians, led by their commander, celebrated wildly.  Mathieu de Goutin, the colony's acerbic colonial secretary, complained of Villebon's excesses:  "Sr. de Villebon caused to be used 112 pounds of powder in a bonfire to mark the peace, and in drinking the health of his mistresses he and Sr Martel his son-in-law became drunk."  One suspects that they were not the only ones in the colony who were felled by the demon rum that day.  The New Englanders also celebrated the end of the war, as wildly as Puritans allowed such things, and well they should have, for the war had cost them dearly.175  

The war had cost Acadia, too, at Pentagouët, Port-Royal, and Chignecto, but it was minor compared to New England's loss.  The Acadians nonetheless had learned valuable lessons from the long struggle with England, the most bitter lesson an ironic one.  They could see that the thing which made possible their peacetime trade with the English, the New Englanders' dominance of the coastal waters, could turn against them during wartime when their erstwhile trading partners--nos amis les ennemis, "our friends, the enemy"--turned into implacable foes.  They also learned that when danger should come again from the sea, they should be ready to defend themselves, not to submit meekly, otherwise their homes and possessions would be destroyed for nothing.  The New Englanders also remembered, among other important lessons, that, despite a long history of trade with the peace-loving Acadians, these Papist Frenchmen still were the enemy, still a part of the complex killing machine that sought to destroy their homes and families as well as their way of life.  With peace, trade would resume in earnest between these two very different people, but they would never look at one another quite the same again.175a


Happily for the colony, more settlers came to greater Acadia during the final years of King Williams's War and during the short peace that followed.  They, too, created families of their own by marrying into established families:

Barthélemy Bergeron dit d'Amboise, a soldier from Amboise, Indre-et-Loire, France, came to Canada in c1685 probably in his early 20s as a "volontaire de la marine."  He lived in the lower village at Québec from 1685 to 1690 and likely engaged in seaborne commerce.  He married Geneviève, daughter of Jean Serreau, sieur de Saint-Aubin, seigneur of Ste.-Croix and Passamaquoddy, and Marguerite Boileau and widow of Jacques Petitpas, probably at Québec in c1695.  Their first child was born at St.-François on Île d'Orléans, below Québec, in January 1696.  Later that year, Barthélemy accompanied Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville, the future founder of Louisiana colony, on an expedition to Hudson's Bay and greater Acadia.  King William's War ended in 1697, and Barthélemy took his family to Port-Royal, where he resumed his work as a merchant.  In early summer of 1704, during Queen Anne's War, New Englander raiders led by Colonel Benjamin Church captured the family probably at either Passamaquoddy or Port-Royal and held them at Boston.  On 24 June 1706, a daughter was born to them in the Masschusetts city.  On the following September 18, Barthélemy and his family were among the 51 French prisoners at Boston exchanged for English prisoners being held at Port-Royal.  Perhaps soon after the prisoner exchange, Barthélemy took his family to "Villebon's fort" at Nashouat on Rivière St.-Jean, "where he improved his grant of land and also engaged in trading," but they were back at Port-Royal by late September 1709, when a daughter's baptism was recorded there.  Geneviève gave Barthélemy six children, including three sons who created their own families.  Many of Barthélemy's descendants continued to use his dit, d'Amboise, though his second son was called "de Nantes."  Some, if not all of them, returned to Rivière St.-Jean in the early 1700s perhaps to escape British rule in peninsula Nova Scotia.252 

François Coste of Martigues, near Marseille, France, a carpenter, navigator, and coastal pilot, married Madeleine, daughter of Barnabé Martin and Jeanne Pelletret, probably at Port-Royal in c1695.  Madeleine gave François eight children, including two sons who created families of their own.  In 1714, they moved to Île Royale, where François worked as a coastal pilot out of Port-Toulouse and L'Ardoise.  François was still living at L'Ardoise in 1752, age 90!254 

Louis-Joseph, eldest son of Louis de Gannes, seigneur de Falaise, gendarme d'une compagnie du roi, and his second wife Françoise Le Bloy of Buxeuil, Poitiers, was born at Buxeuil in August 1664.  He became a midshipman at Rochefort in 1683, a lieutenant in Canada in 1687, and came to Acadia as a captain in 1696, during King William's War.  Louis-Joseph married three times.  His first wife was Barbe, daughter of Simon Denys de La Trinité and his second wife Françoise Duterte and widow of Antoine Pécody de Contrecoeur, at Contrecoeur, Canada, in November 1691.  She gave him a daughter, Louise, who became an Ursuline nun at Trois-Rivières.  Louis-Joseph remarried to Louise, daughter of Charles Le Gardeur de Tilly and Geneviève Juchereau, at Montréal in July 1695.  She gave him no children.  Louis-Joseph remarried again--his third marriage--to Marguerite, daughter of former Acadian governor Michel Le Neuf de La Vallière and Marie Denys, on Rivière St.-Jean in August 1700, while he was serving at Villebon's Fort St.-Joseph at Nashouat.  Marguerite gave him a dozen more children, nine sons and three daughters.  Three of their sons created families of their own, and two sons became priests.  Only two of Louis-Joseph and Marguerite's daughters married.  In March 1704, Louis-Joseph was promoted to major de l'AcadieThat same year, he was granted a seigneurie at La Hève.  According to the major's biographer, "Though he was severely reprimanded in 1705 for lack of diligence, his superiors had frequent occasion in the years following to write favourably of his contribution to the service."  After the fall of Port-Royal in October 1710, de Gannes took his family to France, returned to Canada, and then moved on to the French Maritimes.300

Charles Chauvet dit La Gerne or La Jarne, born in c1669, married Edmée or Aimée dit Lejeune, daughter of François Joseph and Jeanne Lejeune, in c1696.  They were counted on Rivière St.-Jean two years later and moved on to Pigiguit by 1714.  Edmée gave Charles eight children, including three sons who created families of their own.289

Étienne Poitevin or Potvin dit Parisien, evidently from Paris, married Anne, daughter of Olivier Daigre and Marie Gaudet, at Port-Royal in c1696 and settled on the haute-rivière.  Anne gave Étienne a dozen children, including a son who created a family of  his own.255  

Louis Chênet, Chenais, or Chesnay dit La Garenne, son of Bertrand, Sieur de Lothainville and Élisabeth Aubert, was born at Québec in August 1678.  He probably was not kin to the Pierre Chênet who came to the colony from Canada during the early 1680s and became a seigneur.  The more humble Louis dit La Garenne moved to Port-Royal and married Jeanne, daughter of Barnabé Martin and Jeanne Pelletret, in c1697, when he was only 19, and she was 21.  Jeanne gave Louis two children, including a son who created a family of his own.256 

Jean dit Tranchemontagne, son of Pierre Garceau and Jacquette Soulard of Poitiers, France, was serving in the company of troupes de la marine under M. de Villieu in Fort St.-Joseph, Nashouat, in 1696.  While a soldier in the company of Chacornacle at Port-Royal, Jean married Marie, daughter of François Levron dit Nantois and Catherine Savoie, in November 1703.  They settled at Port-Royal, where Marie gave him three children, all sons who created families of their own.271a

François, son of Anne LaVache and an unknown father, was born in c1697, probably at Port-Royal.  His mother married Louis, son of Louis-Noël Labauve and Marie Rimbault, probably at Annapolis Royal in c1712, when François was in his mid-teens.  He married Anne-Marie, daughter of Pierre Vincent and Jeanne Trahan, in c1725 perhaps at Pigiguit, and moved on to the French Maritimes.  Anne-Marie gave him at least eight children, half of them sons, two of whom created families of their own.301

Jérôme Darois, also called d'Aroy and Darouette, of Paris arrived in Acadia by c1698, the year he married Marie, daughter of Dominique Gareau and Marie Gaudet and widow of ____ Lachapelle, at Port-Royal.  They settled first at Minas, where Marie gave Jérôme 10 children, including two sons who created families of their own.258 

Jean Naquin dit L'Étoille, a master tailor, married Marguerite, daughter of Jean Bourg and Marguerite Martin, soon after the census of 1698.  They settled at Bellaire, also called Bélair, near Port-Royal, where they had purchased land from Étienne Pellerin in May 1700.  Marguerite gave Jean five children, including two sons who created families of their own.259 

Jean-Chrysostôme Loppinot, born at St.-Nicolas-des-Champs, Paris, was commissioned as clerk of court at Port-Royal in April 1699.  He also served as notary and procurator.  He married Jeanne, daughter of Germaine Doucet, fils and Marie Landry, at Port-Royal in c1702.  She gave him five children, including four sons, two of whom created families of their own.296

Jean Pothier, also called Poitiers, married Anne, daughter of Michel Poirier l'aîné and Marie Boudrot, probably at Chignecto in c1699.  Anne give Jean three children, including two sons who created families of their own.  Jean remarried to Marie-Madeleine, daughter of Guyon Chiasson and Marie-Madeleine Martin, in c1709.  They remained at Chignecto.  Marie-Madeleine gave Jean seven more children, including three more sons who created their own families.260 

Queen Anne's War and the End of French Rule in Peninsula Acadia

The peace that followed the end of King William's War was frustratingly short and tenuous.  Indian raids continued along the New English frontier into 1698.  No treaty that was negotiated an ocean away could solve the Indians' most pressing problem of losing land to the aggressive New Englanders.  In Acadia, new settlements appeared in the Minas Basin and near Chignecto, but, again, these habitants hugged the tide lands of the upper Fundy and did not threaten the Mi'kmaq who lived near them:176

In late March 1689, Mathieu Martin, perhaps the first Frenchman born in Acadia, had secured a seigneurie at the extreme northeast end of the Minas Basin, where he engaged in the fur trade.  Martin's seigneurie, called Wagobagitik or Wecobequitk (Mi'kmaq for "end of the water's flow," which refers to the present-day Salmon River), also Ouëcobeguy, St.-Matheiu, and eventually Cobeguit, lay 50 miles northeast of Grand-Pré and 55 miles southeast of Beaubassin.  Decades later, a governor of British Nova Scotia noted that "The seigneury of Cobeguit had always been separate from the lands of the La Tour family...."  Although Mathieu Martin married, he and his wife, a fellow Acadian whose name has been lost to history, had no children.  In 1701, while Martin remained at Port-Royal with his wife, he allowed fellow Acadians Martin Bourg, Jérôme Guérin, and Martin Blanchard, also from Port-Royal, to move their families to his seigneurie, which, because of the limited numbers of salt marshes and the distance from access to the New English market, grew slowly at first.  But after construction of the French fortress at Louisbourg in the 1710s, an accessible market opened up to the community, and Cobeguit, like nearby Chignecto, soon became an important cattle-producing area.  The church parish at Cobeguit was dedicated to SS. Pierre-et-Paul.  Mathieu Martin, who was not counted at Cobeguit until 1714, died a decade later, 24 years a widower, perhaps at Cobeguit.  In October 1731, settlers Noël Doiron, Jean Bourg, Louis Bourg, and Joseph Robichaud, having been named as heirs in Mathieu Martin's will, claimed his seigneurie.  Settlers at Cobeguit also bore the names Aucoin, Benoit, Breau, Carret, Dugas, Gautrot, Guédry, Guillot, Hébert, Henry, Lejeune, Longuépée, Naquin, Pitre, Thériot, and Turpin.95

During the late 1690s and the early 1700s, another cluster of Acadian settlements sprang up in the region, this time only a dozen miles west of Beaubassin, in an area claimed by the seigneur of Chignecto.  Chepoudy settlement, now present-day Hopewell Hill, New Brunswick, joined the constellation of Acadian communities after Pierre Thibodeau explored a stretch of marshy coast on upper Baie de Chignecto during the spring of 1698.  Believing he had secured a seigneurie from colonial commander Villebon, who had sent him to the area, Thibodeau prepared to establish a settlement at the Chepoudy estuary.  Three of his sons wintered at Chepoudy in 1699-1700 and traded furs with the natives.  One of Thibodeau's collaborators in the venture was François Brossard, also of haute rivière.  Though he liked the place, Broussard remained at Port-Royal, but two of his younger sons settled at Chepoudy in c1730.  Hearing of the Thibodeau venture, the seigneur of Chignecto's son-in-law, Claude-Sébastien Le Bassier de Villieu, serving as a royal administrator in the colony,  protested their presence on his and his father-in-law's seigneurie and insisted they were squatters.  On 21 August 1700, de Villieu secured for himself a "grant of seigneury" at Chepoudy.  Despite a question of their claim to the land, Pierre Thibodeau, his sons, and some of their neighbors from Port-Royal built a flour mill and a sawmill at Chepoudy, using machinery they had purchased from New England.  The church parish that arose at the settlement was dedicated to Notre-Dame-de-la-Visitation and was also called Notre-Dame-des-Neiges, Our Lady of the Snows.  Meanwhile, Guillaume Blanchard of Port-Royal claimed that he, too, had secured a seigneurie from Villebon, this one on Rivière Petitcoudiac, near present-day Hillsborough, New Brunswick, not far from Chepoudy.  Blanchard, who started his new settlement about the same time his friend Pierre Thibodeau settled at Chepoudy, also clashed with the grasping de Villieu.  Pierre dit Pitre Gaudet and René Blanchard were the first settlers in the valley of the Memramcook, east of the Petitcoudiac.  In the years that followed, settlers at Chepoudy, Petitcoudiac, and Memramcook, called by the local inhabitants the trois-rivières, also bore the names Allain, Babineau, Bertrand, Breau, Brun, Comeau, Cyr, Daigre, Darois, Doucet, Dubois, Hébert, Labauve, Lalande, Landry, LeBlanc, Léger, Martin, Pitre, Préjean, Saulnier, Savoie, Surette, and Trahan.96


A sticking point unresolved in the Treaty of Ryswick of 1697 was the boundary between the expanding colonies of French Acadia and New England.  The English still claimed the Ste.-Croix River, while the French, noting that some of their Indian allies lived west of the Penobscot, claimed the Kennebec as the true boundary.  In 1700, the contending parties compromised and named the St. George River, between the Kennebec and the Penobscot, as the boundary between the two provinces.  Just as vexing was the question of fishing rights in Acadian waters.  Commander Villebon proposed a system of permits for New Englanders fishing in Acadian water, "the revenues from which would be applied to maintaining fortifications," but authorities in France ignored the proposal.  As a result, the issue of the fisheries remained a dangerous contention between the imperial rivals.177

A new century greeted the Acadians in 1701.  In a few years it would be a full century since de Mons and his companions had founded Port-Royal and the Acadian venture.  And it was in Europe again that events piled one atop the other to threaten the peace that had finally come to this corner of New France.  

On 17 September 1701, James Stuart, England's former king, died at Louis XIV's residence in St.-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, at the age of 67.  At least one account placed Louis XIV, now 63 and in the 59th year of his reign, at James's deathbed.  Louis promised the dying king that his son, James Francis Edward Stuart, whom Louis insisted was the Prince of Wales, would be recognized as the new English monarch when James breathed his last.  Eleven years before, early in the War of the Grand Alliance, in an attempt to keep William III from leading troops to the Continent, Louis had supported a counterrevolution in Ireland that he hoped would restore James to the throne, but the Battle of the Boyne in July 1690 had frustrated that effort.  And although one of the provisions of the Treaty of Ryswick was French recognition of William III as the legitimate ruler of England, if the story of James's deathbed encounter is accurate, Louis obviously had not given up on his hopes of restoring a Catholic monarch to the thrown of England.178

In March 1702, the Sun King's most hated rival breathed his last.  William III died in London from injuries suffered in a fall from his horse.  He had ruled alone since the death of Mary in December 1694, and she had given him no surviving children.  He was succeeded by Mary's Protestant sister, Anne, with whom he and Mary had fallen out early in their joint reign.  Louis XIV opposed the accession of Anne, of course, but the Sun King's principal concern at the time was who would be successor to the childless Hapsburg king of Spain, Charles II.  Louis feared that if the Austrian Hapsburgs regained the throne of Spain after the passing of Charles II, France would again be surrounded by implacable enemies.  After years of negotiations involving Louis's oldest son and then his oldest grandson, it was the grandson, Philippe, duc d'Anjou, who, upon the death of Charles II in November 1700, ascended to the Spanish throne as Philip V.  Now the Bourbons ruled Spain as well as France, and Louis's southern flank was secure.  Moreover, new Spanish and French customs policies were keeping English and Dutch merchants from exploiting the lucrative Caribbean trade, especially in slaves--the coveted asiento de negros.  The English, the Dutch, the Austrians, and many of the German states would have none of this.  By early 1702, Louis's enemies had formed a new Grand Alliance against him, and in May England declared war against France and her allies, Spain, Portugal, Bavaria, and Savoy.  The resulting conflict, which lasted this time11 years, was called in Europe the War of the Spanish Succession and in North America Queen Anne's War.179


In one of his final acts before dying at Québec in November 1698, Governor-General Frontenac had sent engineer Jacques L'Hermitte, the major at Plaisance, Newfoundland, "into Acadia to prepare an account of its harbours, as well as an inventory of its natural resources," no doubt better to evaluate the colony's defenses.  Meanwhile, Bishop Saint-Vallier at Québec appointed former missionary to the Abenaki, Father Louis-Pierre Thury, as his vicar-general in Acadia in 1698.  Father Thury founded a new mission among the Mi'kmaq at Pigiguit, at the southeast end of the Minas Basin.  He intended to group the tribe into a single settlement between Shubenacadie, northeast of Pigiguit, and Chebouctou, southeast of Pigiguit on the Atlantic coast, but his death at Chebouctou in June 1699 ended that grandiose plan.179a 

On the St.-Jean, Villebon, still commander of the colony and ever the soldier, was convinced that another war with England was imminent.  His proposals to attack Boston and Manhattan had been ignored by the authorities in France, so he continued to strengthen his positions on the river for the inevitable attack from Boston.  The King having allowed him to rebuild the old fort at the mouth of the St.-Jean, Villebon pushed the reconstruction as rapidly as he could and transferred his headquarters to the lower fort in 1698.  He also strengthened his position upriver at Nashouat.179c 

Villebon died suddenly on Rivière St.-Jean in July 1700; he was only 44 years old.  Although he had successfully defended the colony during the decade following the debacle under Meneval in 1690, many Acadian settlers did not mourn his passing.  M. de Gargas, whom Villebon likely sacked in 1688, "charged him with having intimidated and insulted the settlers and with having extorted exorbitant sums from them for goods, among other things."  Gargas, in fact, "called Villebon the terror of the country."  In 1696, towards the end of the war with England, the intendant of New France, Jean Bochart de Champigny, "sent on to the minister other complaints against Joseph Villebon:  the seigneurs and the habitants of the Saint John River in particular accused the governor[sic] of 'threats and bad treatment' towards them and 'charge him with having secured for himself all trade in his fort.'"  The same complainants accused Villebon's brothers "of aiding him in this business and of leading scandalous lives."  Villebon never married, but he was reported to have fathered an illegitimate daughter, who married his associate, Jean Martel de Magos.  This kind of behavior, not unknown among the Acadian settlers, was nonetheless looked down upon by most of them and certainly by all of their priests.  During his nine years as commander, Villebon also had voiced complaints against the settlers and particularly the St.-Jean seigneurs; he was especially critical of Mathieu D'Amours, sieur de Freneuse, and his brothers, who Villebon accused of being "too independent" and lacking respect for governmental authority.  Villebon chided the settlers at Port-Royal for "indolently confining themselves to making their land produce just what was necessary to keep them alive," an oft-repeated complaint by French officials from the first days of colonial settlement.  Villebon was not above accusing a priest, Father Jean Baudouin, a former soldier, "of taking to the woods instead of attending to this parishioners and having struck down an Indian."  A short time before his sudden death, Villebon had a falling out with Abbé Abel Maudoux, and the priest insisted that he receive his honorarium before he agreed to officiate at the commander's funeral.  Villebon's second in command was forced to pay in order that his predecessor "would have a Christian burial."  No matter, the Canadian warrior was largely responsible for the defense of what was left of French Acadia during most of King William's War.  It was a time when competence, not popularity, was needed to save the colony from a much stronger English presence in the region.179d

Villebon's temporary replacement as commander was his second in command, who, not surprisingly, also was a kinsman.  Claude-Sébastien Le Bassier de Villieu, the seigneur of Chepoudy and son-in-law of Michel Le Neuf de la Vallière de Beaubassin, was a captain in the King's service.  In 1700, he moved the colonial headquarters from the upper St.-Jean back to Port-Royal.  In the autumn of 1701, de Villeu gave way to Jacques-François de Mombeton de Brouillan, the contentious governor of Plaisance who had clashed with Iberville a few years earlier.179e 

The new commander of Acadia "belonged to a family of Protestant noblemen named Mombeton that came from Gascony.  His grandfather married Isabeau de Brouillan, the last to inherit this title, and took the name, which their descendants also bore."  Jacques-François also sometimes used the surname Saint-André.  His family produced many warriors; seven of his brothers died in battle!  Jean-Jacques became a captain and then an adjutant in the troupes de la marine and suffered several wounds in battle "which he suffered all his life."  Brouillan, as he was called, came to Canada in 1687 as a 36-year-old company captain.  He was baptized as a Roman Catholic at Québec and returned to France in 1689 with ousted governor-general Denonville de Brisay; the two men were close.  In June of that year, Brouillan was appointed governor of Plaisance, also called Placentia after the bay on which it was located.  But Brouillan did not receive his orders until February 1691, after King William's War was well along.  He left for his post that spring aboard the Joly and, upon his rival in early summer, found Plaisance in deplorable condition.  Brouillan's mission was to reorganize the colony, so important to the French North American fishery.  He promptly fortified the town and its environs, "using the cannon fished up from the bay," just in time to drive off a small English vessel that attempted to overawe the settlement.  Brouillan devoted the winter of 1691-92 to finishing his defenses and constructing a new fort, named for the King.  The following September, an English squadron of five ships under Commodore Francis Gillam attacked Plaisance.  Though his garrison consisted only of 50 troupes de la marine, Brouillan bolstered his defenses with fishermen and sailors, some of them serving aboard a frigate from Québec, the Sainte-Anne, captained by Louis-Armand de Lom D'Arce de Lahontan.  Despite the presence of the enemy, Brouillan continued to build new fortifications to protect the approaches to Plaisance harbor.  The English fired over 2,000 rounds against the French defenses, all to little effect, and Brouillan managed to answer with 300 rounds, damaging the English flagship.  Gillam weighed anchor and attacked nearby Pointe-Verte instead.  The winter of 1692-93 was a hard one at Plaisance; the annual supply ship having wrecked, the garrison and local settlers found themselves on the verge of starvation.  Brouillan led a search "in order to unearth hidden provisions and succor those most in need."  The effort was successful, so much so that the King ordered the Minister to grant Brouillan a gratuity of 500 livres.  When the ministry dispatched Lahontan to Plaisance to serve as the King's lieutenant, Brouillan revealed the darker side of his nature; disapproving of the promotion, he accused Lahontan of intriguing for the position and feared that the naval officer was seeking to replace him.  Needless to say, "a sharp rivalry sprang up between the two men."  Brouillan improved the post's defenses that summer, including redoubts built of stone.  In late August 1693, a fleet of 24 English vessels under Sir Francis Wheler appeared in Placentia Bay and attempted to force their way into Plaisance harbor.  Again, brilliant defensive tactics, Brouillan saved his post from destruction.  Wheler, defeated, weighed anchor and attacked Île St.-Pierre instead and left Plaisance alone for the next two years.  Brouillan received more reinforcements in 1694 and was able to form two companies of troupes de la marine under nephew Joseph Mombeton de Brouillan de Saint-Ovide and Philippe Pastour de Costabelle.  An engineer, Jacques L'Hermitte, arrived in 1695 to help with the fortifications; a favorite of Brouillan, L'Hermitte served also as town major, as Brouillan's third in command, and was "stationed" at Plaisance for the next 17 years, until it was lost to the British.  In 1696, despite bitter rivalry between himself and Canadian naval officer Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville, Brouillan helped destroy the English fishing center at St. John's, on the Atlantic side of the Avalon Peninsula.  After his triumph at St. John's, Brouillan returned to France.  In the autumn of 1697, the treaty ending the war with England brought peace at last, and Brouillan took advantage of it by prolonging his stay so that he could "take care of his health."  The King granted him another gratuity of 500 livres, this time for his triumph at St. John's; he received the Cross of St.-Louis for his years of effective service; and, miracle of miracle, a reimbursement of 16,000 livres which he had advanced to the crown during the campaign against St. John's.  Brouillan remained in France for four years and retained not only the title, but also the salary, for the governorship of Plaisance.  To earn his salary, Brouillan communicated regularly with the Minister and with his arrogant, hot-tempered second in command at Plaisance, Captain Joseph de Monic, a brother-in-law by marriage of the influential Le Moynes of Canada.  Ever alert to the augmentation of his personal fortune, Brouillan took the opportunity to send Basque fishermen to Newfoundland to man his small fleet of fishing vessels.179f 

Following the sudden death of Robinau de Villebon, the King appointed Brouillan as commander in Acadia in late March 1701.  As a result, Brouillan never returned to Plaisance.  The appointment was a promotion, with the requisite increase in salary for the life-long bachelor, now 50 years old.  Brouillan sailed to Acadia in May with 40 troupes de la marine.  Despite the peace, his ship also carried munitions of war for the colony's garrisons.  Contrary winds forced him to put in at Chebouctou, the future Halifax, on the Atlantic side of the peninsula.  He took the opportunity to inspect the small fort there and then headed overland to Port-Royal via the Rivière Shubenacadie portage and Cobeguit, at the northeastern end of the Minas Basin, from which he traveled to Minas at the western end of the basin.  This allowed him to visit the teeming settlements there.  He was especially taken with Grand-Pré.  "He admired the prosperity of this village," his biographer tells us, "but," like every royal commander before and after him, "felt little sympathy for the independent spirit of its inhabitants, whom he described as 'true republicans.'"  To enhance the defense of the colonial capital, he urged the Minas settlers to improve the road, then nothing more than a cart track, between the upper reaches of Rivière St.-Antoine, which flowed along the base of North Mountain and into Minas basin, and the upper reaches of Rivière-au-Dauphin, which led down to Port-Royal and its basin.  The commander's request alerted the Minas inhabitants to the possibility of another war with England.  Recalling the rough handling of their kinsmen at Chignecto five years earlier, they likely saw an improved road between Minas and Port-Royal as a potential escape route for them and their livestock as well as an improvement of the colony's military lines of communication.179b 

In Brouillan's entourage was a young lieutenant of troupes de la marine whose life would change dramatically in Acadia.  Louis-Simon Le Poupet de Saint-Aubin de La Boularderie, born probably at St.-Germain-le-Vieux, Paris, in c1674, was son of a King's secretary, Antoine Le Poupet, sieur de Saint-Aubin.  Louis-Simon entered the colonial service as an ensign in 1693 and was posted to Plaisance in Philippe Pastour de Costabelle's company soon afterwards.  The young ensign fought with Costabelle and Iberville on Newfoundland in 1696-97 and followed Brouillan to Port-Royal in 1701.  Nine months after his promotion to captain of troupes de la marine and sub-lieutenant of the navy, Louis-Simon married Madeleine, a younger daughter of Acadians Pierre Melanson dit Laverdure, fils and Marguerite Mius d'Entremont, at Port-Royal in November 1702.  By October 1705, he was the father of two children, a daughter and a son, who created families of their own.179i

Brouillan's appointment as royal governor was not issued until in February 1702, months after he and his second in command, Simon-Pierre Denys de Bonaventure, the King's lieutenant in Acadia and a friend of Iberville, had taken their seats at Port-Royal.  Peace did not require colonial headquarters to be sited up a wide, twisting river with defense in depth and its back to a portage leading up to Québec.  Again, Acadia's oldest settlement could serve as the colonial capital despite its vulnerability to attack.  Soon after he reached Port-Royal, Brouillan "called a meeting of the inhabitants, but he found them as intractable as those of Les Mines."  However, he did extract from them a promise to help in the construction of a new fort at Port-Royal.  He then journeyed to Rivière St.-Jean to inspect Villebon's fort at Nashouat, which "he judged to be useless and badly sited."  He ordered Fort St.-Joseph pulled down and the timbers shipped to Port-Royal aboard the Gironde for the reconstruction of the fort there.  He evidently believed that a fort at the mouth of Rivière St.-Jean would be sufficient to defend the cluster of upriver settlements and the essential portage up to Canada.  "During the autumn he had a temporary enceinte constructed" at Port-Royal, "with a sunken road round it.  Inside the enciente he also built living quarters for the soldiers, and he organized the settlers into a militia company."  Also that autumn he sent a long report to the ministry detailing the problems with the colony and what he planned to do to about it.  He was impressed with the colony's new mast-producing industry but was discouraged by the neglect of the fishery.  "Fishing might well become the country's principal industry," he reported, "but it had been completely ruined by 50 years of war and privateering.  The settlers no longer possessed barks or rigging; they were discouraged, and no longer even knew how to fish.  Brouillan offered to build barks, asked for rope to make nets with, and suggest bringing in fishermen from Placentia [Plaisance] to initiate the Acadians in the art of fishing.  Above all," he added in his report to the Minister, "one or two frigates were needed to cruise along the shores, in order to protect the fishermen."  Evidently Brouillan was aware that the court had decided "not to renew the privileges of the Compagnie de la Pêche Sédentaire de l'Acadie," whose headquarters at Chédabouctou still lay in ruin.  Echoing Isaac de Razilly from decades past and the opportunity to create a new Acadian fishery, Brouillan recommended a new fortification at La Hève, which might replace Port-Royal as the "chief post in the country."  A fortified Atlantic enclave not only could better protect a new fishery, but also serve as a naval base with easier communication with France.  In time of war, such a base could provide a greater opportunity to disrupt communications between England and its North American colonies.179g

The new war came in May 1702.  News of it evidently reached Boston before it reached Port-Royal.  Brouillan's first hint of conflict between Acadia and New England came after he sent Canadian Thomas Lefebvre, a voyageur and interpreter for the Abenaki, "as his delegate" to Boston.  Instead of welcoming Lefebvre, the Bostonians imprisoned him "for some time."179h


The war along the North American frontier got off to a much slower start this time, but when it did, the same savage pattern of warfare erupted between New England, whose population had risen to 120,000, and Canada, with its much smaller pool of settlers and a dwindling number of Indian allies.  The Abenaki and other Algonquian tribes, despite the recent treaties they had made with the New Englanders, were as eager as ever to aide their French benefactors.  There were just fewer warriors to take up the tomahawk this time because of New England retaliation in the previous war and European diseases.  When the war began in Europe and he was certain that it would spread to the colonies again, Philippe de Rigaud, marquis de Vaudreuil, the new governor-general who had replaced Frontenac's successor, Louis-Hector de Callière, ordered the Abenaki to fall back into Canada and take up villages on two rivers along the south side of the St. Lawrence between Québec and Montréal.  This would give Canada a buffer of protection if the New Englanders struck the first blow.180a 

Acadia, as usual, was left to its own devices, with no protection from attack by sea.  With this in mind, Brouillan pushed construction of the new fort at Port-Royal--"an earthwork star-shaped Vauban fort with four bastions and a ravelin," part of which was authorized to be built of stone--though "A dispute concerning the plans for the fort and the direction of the work put" Brouillan "at odds" with his chief engineer, Pierre-Paul de Labat or Labatte."  Brouillan also clashed with the local priest, still Abbé Abel Madoux, over the relocation of a market and the town's church.  Brouillan also ran afoul of Port-Royal's "official" curmudgeon, judge, scribe, and Marine commissary Mathieu de Goutin, who had alienated every governor and commander of the colony since his arrival during the governorship of Meneval a decade and a half before.  Brouillan persisted nevertheless in improving the colony's defenses.  By 1704, Port-Royal could boast a garrison of 200 troupes de la marine organized in four companies, and the settlers could boast half a dozen organized militia companies.180

The first "confrontation" between the Abenaki and the New Englanders, strangely enough, was not a bloody raid but a peace conference in which only words were exchanged.  The new governor of Massachusetts, Joseph Dudley, invited the Abenaki chiefs to parlay with him at the new fort at Casco, and several of the chiefs from the Kennebec bands arrived there on 20 June 1703.  Promises were made by both parties, and they held a ceremony at a pile of rocks called the Two Brothers, which stood near the fort.  When the council was breaking up and each side fired its customary salute, the English fired first, using blank cartridges, but they noticed that some of the Indian celebrants used real bullets when they fired their salute.  Years later, after the war had turned bloody, Dudley sent a letter to then governor of Acadia, Daniel d'Auger de Subercase, in which he laid bare what he considered to be the treachery of Subercase's predecessor, Brouillan.  An historian of the conflict notes:  "Subercase had accused the provincial troops of committing a sacrilegious act in digging up the heart of Brouillan from the place where it was buried.  Dudley responds in these terms:  'About five years since[,] I had gone to Casco Bay to make an agreement with the Indians of my government.  There came to that place two Frenchmen of Port Royal, to whom M. de Brouillan had promised two hundred pistoles to kill me.  These Frenchmen came to Casco Bay disguised as Indians, and were present when I was making my agreement, but their hearts failed them in what they had undertaken.  Some time after, one of the two, being a prisoner, and brought here [to Boston], acknowledged it to me, in my house, on his knees.'"  One wonders who the two cowardly Acadians might have been, especially the humble penitent ... or if they really existed.181

On August 10, two months after the conference at Casco Bay, the frontier war erupted again when Abenaki, Canadians, and so-called Mission Indians, under Lieutenant Alexandre Le Neuf de Beaubassin, attacked coastal villages from Wells east to Falmouth along the coast of Maine. After nearly a week of fighting, the French and Indians had killed or captured 130 settlers and destroyed most of the coastal settlements of the province.  Meanwhile, other bands of Abenaki attacked settlements in New Hampshire.  Governor Dudley beseeched the other New England colonies to help him throw together a retaliatory force.  Connecticut sent a troop of cavalry, but Rhode Island ignored the plea.  In October, a contingent of New Englanders, 360 strong, marched into upper Maine to chastise the Abenaki, but they lost their way on the seldom used trails, and nothing came of the venture.  Meanwhile, the Abenaki struck again and again, and English retaliation remained feeble.  In exasperation, the Massachusetts authorities in September offered a bounty of twenty pounds for each Indian scalp a settler would bring in.  At least one Puritan clergyman heartily applauded the measure!  This action led to the formation of at least seven companies of rangers who scoured the Maine woods for the grisly trophies that winter.  The rangers, or "snowshoe men" as they were called, enjoyed limited success, but they brought a new level of intensity to the fighting that would characterize the rest of this war.  Indian attacks continued, with persistent savagery, into early 1704.182

In Québec, Governor-General Vaudreuil, no doubt mindful of the successes of his predecessor in the previous war against England, set into motion a plan of attack against the Massachusetts settlements in the Connecticut River valley.   At least 250 Canadian rangers and probably a larger force of Indians, including Iroquois and Abenaki, under Jean-Baptiste Hertel de Rouville, braved an especially severe winter to get at the valley settlements.  On the early morning of 28 February 1704, they fell on the snow-covered town of Deerfield, burned most of the houses, killed 50 or so of the inhabitants, and took into captivity perhaps 100 more, 19 of whom perished on the long, cold trail back to Canada.183