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"Pen! Pen! Come here, quickly!"
98 The Onondagas, moved by the influence of the Jesuit and the gifts of La Barre, did in fact wish to act as mediators between their Seneca confederates and the French; and to this end they invited the Seneca elders to a council. The meeting took place before the arrival of Viele, and lasted two days. The Senecas were at first refractory, and hot for war, but at length consented that the Onondagas might make peace for them, if they could; a conclusion which was largely due to the eloquence of Big Mouth. 12,000 francs. In 1687 it was 13,500. In 1689, it rose to
The political work of the missionaries began with the cession of the colony, and continued with increasing activity till 1755, kindling the impotent wrath of[Pg 202] the British officials, and drawing forth the bitter complaints of every successive governor. For this world and the next, the priests were fathers of their flocks, generally commanding their attachment, and always their obedience. Except in questions of disputed boundaries, where the Council alone could settle the title, the ecclesiastics took the place of judges and courts of justice, enforcing their decisions by refusal of the sacraments. They often treated the British officials with open scorn. Governor Armstrong writes to the Lords of Trade: "Without some particular directions as to the insolent behavior of those priests, the people will never be brought to obedience, being by them incited to daily acts of rebellion." Another governor complains that they tell the Acadians of the destitution of the soldiers and the ruinous state of the fort, and assure them that the Pretender will soon be King of England, and that Acadia will then return to France. "The bearer, Captain Bennett," writes Armstrong, "can further tell your Grace of the disposition of the French inhabitants of this province, and of the conduct of their missionary priests, who instil hatred into both Indians and French against the English." As to the Indians, Governor Philipps declares that their priests hear a general confession from them twice a year, and give[Pg 203] them absolution on condition of always being enemies of the English. The condition was easy, thanks to the neglect of the British government, which took no pains to conciliate the Micmacs, while the French governor of Isle Royale corresponded secretly with them and made them yearly presents.
"It's damp there," she objected.So threatening was the danger that England would seize the country, that Iberville had scarcely landed in France when he was sent back with a reinforcement. The colonial views of the King may be gathered from his instructions to his officer. Iberville was told to seek out diligently the best places for establishing pearl-fisheries, though it was admitted that the pearls of Louisiana were uncommonly bad. He was also to catch bison calves, make a fenced park to hold them, and tame them for the sake of their wool, which was reputed to be of value for various fabrics. Above all, he was to look for mines, the finding of which the document declares to be "la grande affaire."