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France, like Old France, was essentially a monarchy, and a monarchy in which the monarch was growing out of all proportion to the people. Its institutions were of the past. A governor general, representing the monarch, with an intendant for a prime minister, a council of notables for a nobility, and a host of ecclesiastics, with a bishop at their head, (from 1659,) constituted the authorities of the colony. The ruling class amongst the people was that of the seigneurs, or lords of the manor; their tenants, called habitans, holding land of them by feudal tenure. No press was allowed; no learning of a liberal nature was encouraged. The education of the province was in the hands of the religious orders, whose names and numbers were almost as manifold as in the mother-land. Under these influences, the colony could not but be greatly restricted. The main body of the people were necessarily dependent, unable to act for themselves or for their country, the few alone having the will and the power to urge on the work of colonization and of dominion.
Such were the internal drawbacks upon the progwith In- ress of New France. Of those which we may dians and call external, the chief were the relations of the English. French with the Indians and the English. Those with the Indians were of two kinds with the friendly and with the unfriendly tribes. Now it may seem that the amicable intercourse of the French with the large proportion of the natives around them must have been entirely conducive to their prosperity. But it did not prove to be so, on account, principally, of the tendency of the French settlers to sink to the level of their Indian allies, rather than to raise these to themselves. The Frenchman, whether missionary or soldier, explorer or trader, appeared to find a fascination in savage life which he could not resist; and yet it was the vices rather than the virtues of the
Indian character which he admired and imitated. became indolent, treacherous, morosely cruel, in many instances far more of a savage than any Indian. As to the hostile tribes, it is enough, at the present moment, to name the Five Nations, with whom, as will appear hereafter, the French were at war for a century. As to the English, it must be left to the next chapter to set forth the obstacles which they presented to French advancement. It is sufficient to observe that these hinderances from without, joined to those from within, formed a bristling barricade over which all the ardor and all the discipline of the French character would find it difficult to mount. The stronger must have been the impulses to have extended the limits of New France so far as we shall now find them.
The boundaries of Acadie stretched from the including northern coasts, through all the east of Maine, as far Maine. as the Kennebec, the French asserted; as far as the Penobscot, the English allowed. With the portions of the province in the north we have no further concern than to observe that they included all now called Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Cape Breton, together with indefinite regions beyond. Maine was but feebly held by the French. Missions at the mouth of the Penobscot and on the Kennebec, with a post or two for trade, comprised all that could be called settlements. But for the towns and forts of the neighboring parts of Acadie, the east as well as the west of Maine would have fallen into English hands.
Passing over the cities and fortresses of Central including Canada, as foreign to our soil, but not without reNew membering their importance, let us pursue the Wiscon- Canadian settlements that were made or attempted sin, Mich- upon actual United States territory. The first to advance was, as usual, a missionary, Le Moyne, who, with a few associates, labored amongst the Five Na
tions, then at peace. A colony was founded in Western New York, but only to be abandoned on account of renewed warfare between the French and Indians, (1656-58.) A few years later, Allouez, another missionary, led the way up the lakes, and founded the mission of St. Esprit, on the southern shore of Superior, in the present Wisconsin, (1666.) Two years after, Dablon and Marquette established a mission at Sault Ste. Marie, in the present Michigan, (1668.) Other missions arose in the adjoining forests and on the contiguous shores. After the missionary came the trader, and after the trader generally the soldier; so that to the mission house there were added dwellings, barracks, and, in time, a fort, whose sounding title frequently drowned the peaceful name of the mission. Thus was Canada extended beyond the St. Lawrence and its tributaries, beyond all neighborhood of the English colonies, into the valleys and the wildernesses of the west.
Still more distant realms were reached. Father sissippi. Marquette, of the Michigan mission, hearing of a great river towards the setting sun, resolved to find and to explore it. Before he started, his brethren, Allouez and Dablon, penetrated into the interior of Wisconsin and Illinois, (1672.) Marquette, with a few companions, found the Mississippi, as he had been directed by the natives, and sailed upon its waters as far down as Arkansas, (1673.) On his return, he established a new mission near the present Chicago in Illinois.
The tidings from the Mississippi kindled new Louisiana. plans of trade, new visions of dominion. To begin upon them, there soon appeared a Frenchman, La Salle, in youth a Jesuit, in manhood a trader and an adventurer of the highest stamp amongst the colonists of New France. Repairing to the French court, he obtained a commission to complete the discovery of the great western river, in consid
eration of which the monopoly of the fur trade was to be his own, (1677.) He soon engaged in his enterprise; but four years of exertion and of disappointment passed over him, before he descended the Mississippi to its mouth and to the adjacent coasts. It did not matter that the Spaniard De Soto had been the discoverer of the river a century and a half before the French. They hailed themselves possessors of the waters and of the shores, under the name of Louisiana, (1682.) Thus was New France extended from north to dominion. south, and from east to west. While the Swedes and the Dutch had yielded their hold upon our soil, while the Spaniards had contracted theirs to the single corner of Florida, while the English had only their New England, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, and Carolina, the whole together forming not much more than a broken beach upon the Atlantic, the French dominion stretched from the Gulf of St. Lawrence, over vale, and prairie, and mountain, far round by the western waters, to the Gulf of Mexico. It still needed time, vigor, wisdom, to make this mighty empire a reality as well as a name.
Colony in No time was lost in sending La Salle, who had gone to France to tell his adventurous story, with a colony of two hundred, to make a settlement in Louisiana. Missing the mouth of the Mississippi, the party were landed on what is now the Texan shore, near the present Matagorda, where they built a fort with the name of St. Louis, (1685.) But things went hard with them, and when they were reduced to less than a fifth of their original number, La Salle found it time to seek relief in Canada. On his way thither, with half of his surviving comrades, he was foully murdered by one of them, (1687.) The colony of St. Louis soon vanished from the earth.
Twelve years passed before another trial to colonize Louisiana. A twofold attempt was then made, one by the
English and one by the French. The old grant of Carolana having been bought up by one of the later New Jersey proprietors, Coxe, he sent, under permission of his sovereign, a small squadron to take possession of the Mississippi. One of the vessels, sailing up the river, was met by a band of Frenchmen, who, by assuring the Englishmen that they were in a part of Canada, and not in Louisiana, prevailed upon them to turn about at a bend still called the English Turn Détour aux Anglais. So the English retired, and the French held their own. They were a party of two hundred in number, under Lemoine D'Iberville, a Canadian of greater gallantry than prudence, who, intent upon mines and treasures rather than upon the substantial resources of a colony, chose the sands of Biloxi, in what is now Mississippi, for the site of his fort, (1699.) The next year, an expedition in search of mines travelled up the river as far as the Falls of St. Anthony, first visited by some of La Salle's companions twenty years before. Colony in The mines receded; the sands of Biloxi remained. Alabama. D'Iberville, returning from France, whither he went twice in quest of supplies, transferred the main body of the settlers to Mobile, in the present Alabama, (1702.) But D'Iberville, who, like La Salle, was the life and the soul of his company, died, (1706,) and left the colony in a very precarious condition. "Nothing," says the French chronicler, "was more feeble." The truth was, that France was at this time too much occupied in Europe, to say nothing of the north of America, to rear a great colony in the wilderness of Louisiana.
At length the province, extending from the mouth Crozat. of the Mississippi to Lake Michigan, and from the English Carolina and the Spanish Florida to the New Mexico of Spain, was made over, for the term of fifteen years, to Antoine Crozat, a French merchant prince. He