CHAPTER X. WARS WITH THE FRENCH

KING WILLIAM'S WAR. - When James II was driven from his throne (p. 93), he fled to France. His quarrel with King William was taken up by Louis XIV, and in 1689 war began between France and England. The strife thus started in the Old World soon spread to the New, and during eight years the frontier of New England and New York was the scene of French and Indian raids, massacres, and burning towns.

THE FRONTIER. - The frontier of English settlement consisted of a string of little towns close to the coast in Maine and New Hampshire, and some sixty miles back from the coast in Massachusetts; of a second string of towns up the Connecticut valley to central Massachusetts; and of a third up the Hudson to the Mohawk and up the Mohawk to Schenec'tady. Most of Maine and New Hampshire, all of what is now Vermont, and all New York north and west of the Mohawk was a wilderness pierced by streams which afforded the French and Indians easy ways of reaching the English frontier.

The French frontier consisted of a few fishing towns scattered along the shores of Acadia (what is now Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and eastern Maine), arid a few settlements along the St. Lawrence to Fort Frontenac, just where the river leaves Lake Ontario.

Between these frontiers in Maine and New Hampshire were the Abenaki (ab- nahk'ee) Indians, close allies of the French and bitter enemies of the English; and in New York the Iroquois, allies of the English and enemies of the French since the day in 1609 when Champlain defeated them (p. 115). [1]

THE FRENCH ATTACK THE ENGLISH FRONTIER. - The governor of New France was Count Frontenac, a man of action, keen, fiery, and daring, a splendid executive, an able commander, and well called the Father of New France. Gathering his Frenchmen and Indians as quickly as possible, Frontenac formed three war parties on the St. Lawrence in the winter of 1689-90: that at Montreal was to march against Albany; that at Three Rivers was to ravage the frontier of New Hampshire, and that at Quebec the frontier of Maine. The Montreal party was ready first, and made its way on snowshoes to the little palisaded village of Schenectady, passed through the open gates [2] in a blinding storm of snow, and in the darkness of night massacred threescore men, women, and children, took captive as many more, and left the place in ashes.

The second war party of French and Indians left the St. Lawrence in January, 1690, spent three months struggling through the wilderness, and in March fell upon the village of Salmon Falls, laid it in ashes, ravaged the farms near by, massacred some thirty men, women, and children, and carried off some fifty prisoners. This deed done, the party hurried eastward and fell in with the third party, from Quebec. The two then attacked and captured Fort Loyal (where Portland now stands), and massacred or captured most of the inhabitants.

END OF KING WILLIAM'S WAR. - Smarting under the attacks of the French and Indians, New England struck back. Its fleet, with a few hundred militia under William Phips, captured and pillaged Port Royal, and for a time held Acadia. A little army of troops from Connecticut and New York marched against Montreal, and a fleet and army under Phips sailed for Quebec. But the one went no farther than Lake Champlain, and Phips, after failing in an attack on Quebec, returned to Boston. [3]

For seven years more the French and Indians ravaged the frontier [4] before the treaty of Ryswick (riz'wick) put an end to the war in 1697.

QUEEN ANNE'S WAR. - In the short interval of peace which followed, the French made a settlement at Biloxi, as we have seen, and founded Detroit (1701). In Europe the French king (Louis XIV) placed his grandson on the throne of Spain and, on the death of James II, recognized James's young son as King James III of England. For this, war was declared by England in 1701. The struggle which followed was known abroad as the War of the Spanish Succession, but in our country as Queen Anne's War. [5]

Again the frontier from Maine to Massachusetts was the scene of Indian raids and massacres. Haverhill was laid waste a second time, [6] and Deerfield in the Connecticut valley was burned.

THE ATTACK ON DEERFIELD was a typical Indian raid. The village, consisting of forty-one houses strung along a road, stood on the extreme northwestern frontier of Massachusetts. In the center of the place was a square wooden meetinghouse which, with some of the houses, was surrounded by a stockade eight feet high flanked on two corners by blockhouses. [7] Late in February, 1704, a band of French and Indians from Canada reached the town, hid in the woods two miles away, and just before dawn moved quietly across the frozen snow, rushed into the village, and, raising the warwhoop, beat in the house doors with ax and hatchet. A few of the wretched inmates escaped half-clad to the next village, but nine and forty men, women, and children were massacred, and one hundred more were led away captives. [8]

END OF QUEEN ANNE'S WAR. - As the war went on, the English colonists twice attacked Port Royal in vain, but on the third attack in 1710 the place was captured. This time the English took permanent possession and renamed it Annapolis in honor of the queen. To Acadia was given the name Nova Scotia. Encouraged by the success at Port Royal, the greatest fleet ever seen, up to that time, in American waters was sent against Quebec, and an army of twenty-three hundred men marched by way of Lake Champlain to attack Montreal.