A History of Canada: Volume One: From its Origins to the Royal Regime, 1663 - Vol. 1

By Gustave Lanctot; Josephine Hambleton | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FIFTEEN
THE FIRST IROQUOIS WAR AND THE FOUNDATION OF MONTREAL

Quebec under Montmagny. Iroquois risings. Torture of a chief. Fight at Three Rivers. Fur trade ceded to private companies. Activities of the One Hundred Associates. La Dauversière, Olier and the Montreal Society. Maisonneuve and the founding of Montreal. Capture of Jogues and Goupil. Fort Richelieu. The enemy attacks Montreal. The Jesuits and the Montreal Society criticized. Maisonneuve repels the Iroquois. The colony's unstable peace. Arrival of reinforcements.

Under the governorship of Montmagny (the Indians translated his name as Ononthio, or the Great Mountain, a title which they subsequently applied to all governors) the administration of the embryonic colony amounted to very little. Full residual power, military and civilian, was his, auxiliary administrative services being cut down to four posts--those of a lieutenant, a secretary, a clerk and an attorney. The Governor's principal duty centred about his responsibility to protect the country against the constant threat of the enemy, the Iroquois. The defence system depended on maintaining the posts at Three Rivers and Quebec at full strength. In addition to these duties, the Governor must prohibit and suppress all smuggling of beaver furs, although trade operations in this commodity came under the direct and sole control of the general clerk for the company, Olivier Le Tardif. Cutting red-tape, the Governor personally settled differences so as best to meet the conflicting needs of parties in dispute. He occupied the chair at all discussions with the Indians and repeatedly urged the latter to avoid war, develop the fur trade and welcome the missionaries.1

Montmagny gave all the help he possibly could to the priests, going as far as to approach the communion table with the new

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