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THE FOUNDING OF NEW ORLEANS.
him, and which he needed for the exploration of the Mississippi. While he was gone, Father Hennepin, a Jesuit priest in La Salle's expedition, set out from the fort to explore the country. He had many startling adventures, but finally reached a cataract on the upper Mississippi, which he named the Falls of St. Anthony.
The next year (1681) La Salle returned to Illinois, only to find his fort deserted and in ruins. But the brave Frenchman knew no such word as fail. In the autumn he set out on his great expedition for the third time. Landing at the foot of Lake Michigan, where Chicago now stands, he crossed over to the Illinois and, going down that river, entered the Mississippi in February (1682). The weather was “bitter cold," and the river full of floating ice ; La Salle did not hesitate, but started with his company on his perilous voyage. Nine weeks later — having stopped on his way to build a fort — he reached the sunny waters of the Gulf of Mexico. There he set up a rude wooden cross on which he fastened a metal plate bearing the arms of France. Then with volleys of musketry and loud shouts of “God save the King !" La Salle took possession of the entire vast territory watered by the Mississippi and its tributaries. To that region of unknown extent
at the Mouth of the Mississippi. - twice as large as France, Spain, and Germany united — he gave the name of Louisiana, in honor of Louis XIV., then the reigning sovereign of France.
134. The Founding of Mobile and New Orleans. - Many years later John Law, an enterprising Scotchman, got permission from France to establish a colony in Louisiana. The country was believed to possess mines of precious metals rich as those of Mexico or Peru. Law promised to open these mines, and every needy and greedy Frenchman who could muster a few dollars bought the right to take part in the speculation. It failed, and made thousands beggars. Still the undertaking had some permanent results for good. A Frenchman named Iberville 2 had established a colony at Mobile, on the Gulf of Mexico (1701). His brother, Bienville, 4 was appointed governor of Louisiana. It was hoped that he would send shiploads of gold to France. He sent nothing of the sort, but did far better; for he founded the city of New Orleans (1718). The settlement was merely a cluster of huts round a fort; but in time it was destined to become the commercial metropolis of the richest agricultural valley in the world, - a valley capable of producing food enough to feed all the civilized races of the globe.
1 Chicago: here the French built a fort, or fortified trading-post, a few years later.
2 Arms of France: a shield decorated with representations of the heads of lilies, (here resembling small crosses). The latest French life of La Salle says he fastened the arms of France to a post, and erected a cross beside it.
Meanwhile what had the English colonists in the East done toward exploring and occupying the country? Practically nothing. They simply continued to hold their first settlement on the Atlantic coast : in other words, the mere rim or edge of what is now the United States. The long range of the Alleghany Mountains, rising like an immense wall, had prevented their spreading further. France, on the other hand, had, as we have seen, got possession of the interior ; by her claim to the Mississippi and its tributaries she held the great West, extending from the Alleghanies to the Rocky Mountains. What France held she intended to keep; that was what the forts meant that La Salle had built at so many points of his explorations from the Lakes to the Gulf.
1 On John Law and the Mississippi Company, see“ The Leading Facts of French History," in this series.
2 Iberville (E-ber-veel'). 3 Mobile: the name is Indian.
4 Bienville (Be-an-veel'). 5 New Orleans: Bienville named the city from the Duke of Orléans, who was then, during the minority of Louis XV., at the head of the government of France. The word New seems to have been given to distinguish Orleans in America from Orléans in France,
WAR WITH THE FRENCH.
THE FRENCH AND INDIAN WARS.
135. War with the French; Attacks on Schenectady, Haverhill, and Deerfield; the French lose Acadia. - In Europe, the French and the English had long been enemies. The desire of each to get possession of America did not make them any better friends. In 1689 war broke out between the rival colonists. With intervals of peace that contest? extended over seventy years (1689–1763). In Europe the same war was fought between England and France, and it lasted even longer. The struggle in this country is usually represented as four distinct wars, but in reality it was but one ; though, here, the combatants made one long stop of thirty years to get breath.
In the first war which lasted eight years (1689–1697), Frontenac, the French governor of Canada, sent an expedition of French and Indians to attack the colonies on and near the Hudson. They secretly marched from Montreal in mid-winter, and falling on the little village of Schenectady, New York, at midnight, they burned it and massacred most of the inhabitants. In a similar attack on Haverhill,“ Massachusetts, the savages met their match. A small party of Indians carried off Mrs. Hannah Dustin captive. She got possession of some tomahawks, and with the help of another woman and a boy, also prisoners, she split the · heads of the sleeping Indians, and carried home their scalps, ten in all, in triumph. A regiment of such women would have soon made both French and Indians beg for peace. During this war, an expedition from Boston, led by Sir William Phips of Maine, captured the French fort at Port Royal, Acadia, but it was returned to the French the next year (1691).
1 This war and those that follow were simply the American side of a hundred years' struggle waged in Europe and Asia, between the English and the French for the possession of India and of the continent of America. See Seeley's “ Expansion of England," Lecture II.
2" King William's War," so called because King William reigned in England. 8 Schenectady (Ske-nek'ta-dy): 17 miles west of Albany. See Map, page 169.
4 Haverhill: thirty-three miles north of Boston. Both Schenectady and Haverhill were then, in a sense, frontier towns. See Map, page 154.
5 Acadia : now Nova Scotia. See Map, page 130.
In the second war, which lasted eleven years (1702-1713), a party of French and Indians attacked Deerfield, Massachusetts, and reduced the place to ashes. On the other hand, the New England colonists recaptured Port Royal, which they named Annapolis, in honor of Queen Anne, then reigning in England. They also undertook an expedition against Quebec, which ended in shipwreck and terrible loss of life. When peace was made (1713), Great Britain not only kept Annapolis, but got possession of Acadia, which the English now named Nova Scotia.
SCALE OF MILES 0 100 200 300
136. The Third War; Taking of Louisburg. — There was a long interval of peace, and then the third wars broke out.
lasted four years (17441748). During this contest, the New England colonists gained a remarkable victory
France had spent milQuebec
lions in fortifying Louisburg, on Cape Breton Island, - a position of great importance to the French, because it stood
guard at the entrance to the Gulf and the River St. Lawrence. The fort was of immense extent, and had walls of solid masonry thirty feet high. This stronghold, which the French believed could not be taken, Colonel Pepperrell of Maine, with a force of a few thousand Yankee farmers and fishermen, set out to capture. The expedi
1 Known as “Queen Anne's War," from Queen Anne of England.
8 Called “King George's War," from George II., then on the throne of England.
4 France needed the fortified harbor of Louisburg as a shelter for her vessels, as a protection to her commerce and fisheries, and for maintaining free communication with Canada,
5 Usually, but incorrectly, spelled Pepperell.
TAKING OF LOUISBURG.
tion seemed so foolhardy that even Benjamin Franklin' ridiculed it. Though himself a native of New England, and full of faith in New England grit, he wrote to his brother that Louisburg was far too hard a nut for their teeth to crack. But, with the help of a British fleet, Pepperrell and his men, after six weeks' fighting, did crack it, and Boston fairly went wild over the great news. The victory had two important results : 1. It broke up the nest of French pirates at Louisburg, and so put an end to their capturing and plundering Massachusetts fishing-vessels. 2. It inspired the New England people with the faith that they could not only beat the French, but beat them when entrenched behind granite walls. At the end of the war England gave Louisburg back; but one thing Great Britain could not do,—she could not give back the confidence the French once had in the famous fortress. The “Yankees” had taken it; and what men have done, they can do again.
137. The Fourth, or French and Indian, War; the Great Line of French Forts. — In 1754-1763 came the fourth and final struggle, known as the “ French and Indian War.” It was to decide a greater question than any that had yet been fought for; that is, whether the French or the English should control the continent of America. The English outnumbered the French fifteen to one ; but the French had got possession of the two chief
1 Benjamin Franklin : born in Boston, 1706; died in Philadelphia, full of years and honors, in 1790. He was the son of a soap-boiler and candle-maker. He learned the printer's trade and went to Philadelphia, where, in 1729, he became editor and proprietor of the Pennsylvania Gazette. Later he entered public life, went abroad as agent of the colonies, and rendered the whole country his debtor by his eminent services in the cause of American independence. The succeeding pages of this history will show that his name deservedly ranks with that of Washington as one of the founders of the United States. For a full account of his life, see Ginn & Co.'s “ Benjamin Franklin."
2 Notwithstanding the bravery of Pepperrell and his gallant little force, it is not likely that they, even with the help of the British fleet, could have taken Louisburg had that fort possessed an efficient garrison and a competent commander. It had neither, and hence it fell. England was astonished, and the king was so delighted that he made the American commander a baronet, -Sir William Pepperrell. He was the first native of New England who received that honor.