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      The French in Western New York.Louis Joliet.The Sulpitians on Lake Erie; at Detroit; at Saut Ste. Marie.The Mystery of La Salle: he discovers the Ohio; he descends the Illinois; did he reach the Mississippi?


      * On the visit of the court at Fontainebleau in the summer[7] See the Act, in Hazard, 550.


      ** Juchereau, H?tel-Dieu de Qubec, 511

      Yet, in that blind and defiant spirit, which he continued to show till he had lost the colonies, George created Bernard a baronet on his reaching home, for having, in effect, brought Massachusetts to the verge of rebellion; and, to show his emphatic sense of these services, he himself paid all the expenses of the patent.Again the canoes were launched, and the wild flotilla glided on its way,now in the shadow of the heights, now on the broad expanse, now among the devious channels of the narrows, beset with woody islets, where the hot air was redolent of the pine, the spruce, and the cedar,till they neared that tragic shore, where, in the following century, New-England rustics baffled the soldiers of Dieskau, where Montcalm planted his batteries, where the red cross waved so long amid the smoke, and 220 where at length the summer night was hideous with carnage, and an honored name was stained with a memory of blood. [11]

      The western extremity of Lake Erie was the scene of a most unequal contest at the commencement of 1813. Colonel Procter lay near Frenchtown, about twenty miles from Detroit, with about five hundred troops, partly regulars, partly militia and sailors. In addition, he was supported by about the same number of Red Indians. The Americans, under General Winchesteran old officer of the War of Independenceamounted to one thousand two hundred men. With these Winchester had scoured the Michigan country, and, at the end of January, advanced to attack Procter. Sir George Prevost had commanded Procter to act on the defensive; but scorning this cowardly advice, he suddenly advanced by night, as the Americans had quartered themselves in Frenchtown, surprised, and captured or destroyed the whole of them, except about thirty who escaped into the woods. Winchester himself was seized by Round Head, the Indian chief, who arrayed himself in his uniform, and then delivered him up to Colonel Procter. From this point Colonel Procter hastened to cross the lake in a flotilla, and attack General Harrison at Fort Meigs. He knew that Harrison was expecting strong reinforcements, and he was anxious to dislodge him before they arrived. Procter had with him one thousand men, half regulars, half militia, and one thousand two hundred Indians; but Harrison's force was much stronger, and defended by a well-entrenched camp. Procter erected batteries, and fired across the river Miami, endeavouring to destroy the American block-houses with red-hot shot, but they were of wood too green to take fire. On the 5th of May Harrison's expected reinforcements came down the river in boats, one thousand three hundred strong. Harrison now commenced acting on the offensive, to aid the disembarkation of the troops; but he was defeated by Procter, who routed the whole of the new forces, under General Clay, took five hundred and fifty prisoners, and killed as many more. But his success had its disadvantage. His Indian allies, loaded with booty, returned to the Detroit frontier, and the Canadian militia to their farms. Procter was[107] compelled, therefore, to leave Harrison in his camp, and return also to Detroit, for Sir George Prevost had provided him with no new militia, or other force, to supply the place of those gone. Still worse, Prevost could not even be prevailed on to send sailors to man the few British vessels on Lake Erie, where the American flotilla was now far superior to the British one. In vain did Captain Barclay, who commanded the little squadron, urge Prevost to send him sailors, or the few vessels must be captured or destroyed; in vain did Colonel Procter urge, too, the necessity of this measure. Sir George, who took care to keep out of harm's way himself, sent taunting messages to Captain Barclay, telling him that the quality of his men made up for the inferiority of numbers, and that he ought to fight. Barclay, who was as brave a man as ever commanded a vessel, and had lost an arm in the service, but who did not pretend to do impossibilities, was now, however, stung to give battle. He had three hundred and fifty-six menfew of whom were experienced seamenand forty-six guns of very inferior description. The American commodore, Percy, had five hundred and eighty men, and fifty-four guns, with picked crews on all his vessels. Barclay fought till he had taken Percy's ship, and lost his remaining arm. In the end the British vessels were compelled to strike, but not till they had lost, in killed and wounded, one hundred and thirty-five men, and had killed and wounded one hundred and twenty-three of the Americans. This success enormously elated the Americans, and they now confidently calculated on defeating Procter, and annexing Upper Canada. Harrison made haste to interpose nearly six thousand men between Procterwho had now only five hundred, and as many Indiansand the country on which he was endeavouring to retreat. The forces of Procter were compelled to give ground, and Harrison inflicted a severe revenge on the Indians, for their slaughter of the Americans at Meigs. The chief, Tecumseh, being killed, they flayed him, and cut up his skin into razor-straps, as presents to the chief men of the Congress, and Mr. Clay is said to have boasted the possession of one of these. The American armies now put themselves on the track for Kingston and Montreal. Harrison marched along the shore of Lake Erie with upwards of five thousand men, and General Wilkinson, with ten thousand more, crossed Lake Ontario, towards Kingston, to join him. General Hampton, at the same time also, was marching on Montreal. Sir George Prevost was in the utmost alarm, and sent orders to General Vincent to fall down to Kingston, leaving exposed all Upper Canada. But as General Rottenburg was moving on Kingston, Vincent, who was now joined by the remainder of Procter's force, determined to disobey these orders; and several general officers confirmed him in this resolution, and offered to share the responsibility. This was the salvation of Upper Canada. The three American generals were attacked and routed. The Canadian militia did good service, and the Americans were completely driven out of both Upper and Lower Canada before winter. In their retreat they grew brutal, and committed savage cruelties on the unarmed population. They burnt down the town of Newark, near Fort George, driving about four hundred women and children out of it into the snow. They destroyed various villages in their route. This ferocity excited the British and Canadians to retaliation. Colonel Murray crossed the water, and pursued them in their own territories. He attacked and carried Fort Niagara, killed or made prisoners of the whole garrison, and captured the arms and stores. General Hull came up, with two thousand men, to check the march of Murray, who with one thousand regulars and militia, and between three and four hundred Indians, on the 30th of December, repulsed him with great slaughter, pursued him, andto avenge the poor Canadiansset fire to Buffalo and the village of Black Rock. The whole of that frontier was thus left defenceless.


      So far as his own safety was concerned, his alarm was needless; but not so as regarded the colony with whose affairs he was charged. For those who had eyes to see it, a terror and a woe lowered in the future of Canada. In an evil 74 hour for her, the Iroquois had conquered their southern neighbors, the Andastes, who had long held their ground against them, and at one time threatened them with ruin. The hands of the confederates were now free; their arrogance was redoubled by victory, and, having long before destroyed all the adjacent tribes on the north and west, [3] they looked for fresh victims in the wilderness beyond. Their most easterly tribe, the Mohawks, had not forgotten the chastisement they had received from Tracy and Courcelle. They had learned to fear the French, and were cautious in offending them; but it was not so with the remoter Iroquois. Of these, the Senecas at the western end of the "Long House," as they called their fivefold league, were by far the most powerful, for they could muster as many warriors as all the four remaining tribes together; and they now sought to draw the confederacy into a series of wars, which, though not directed against the French, threatened soon to involve them. Their first movement westward was against the tribes of the Illinois. I have already described their bloody inroad in the summer of 1680. [4] They made the valley of the Illinois a desert, and returned with several hundred prisoners, of whom they burned those that were useless, and incorporated the young and strong into their own tribe.

      [148] Hennepin (1683), 142. excommunication is printed in the Appendix to the Esquisse

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      himself, will be found in a memoir by the Sulpitian Allet,

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      * The Jesuits were afterwards told by Hurons, captive among


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