A History of Canada - Vol. 2

By Gustave Lanctot; Margaret M. Cameron | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TEN
THE EXPEDITION AGAINST THE IROQUOIS
AND THE LACHINE MASSACRE
1686-1689

Resignation of Mgr. de Laval. Morals, manners and mentality of the age. Slow progress in mission work. Intendant Champigny. English encroachments. Denonville's expedition against the Five Nations. Iroquois envoys captured and sent to the galleys. Devastation of the Seneca villages. Iroquois reprisals. Peace parleys. Treason of Kondiaronk. The Augsburg League and the Anglo-French war. Lachine massacre. Recall of Denonville.

Two years before the departure of de Meulles, New France had suffered a severe loss with the resignation of Mgr. de Laval. For twenty-five years Canada's first Bishop had devoted all the resources of his mind and his will to the task of extending and strengthening the church which he had founded. He had sought out and fulfilled every possible moral or religious obligation, and he had fought hard and bitterly to keep the ecclesiastical authority free from encroachment by the temporal power. Buildings his diocese on the rock of Roman discipline and evangelical faith, he had established some twenty-five parishes and missions, and extended the mission fields of the three orders working in Canada from Acadia to Lake Michigan. In 1681 he made a second pastoral tour of his diocese from Cap St. Ignace to Lachine. He travelled two hundred leagues in a birch-bark canoe, and after his return from the journey, which took two and a half months, his life was threatened by a grave illness. His resources of physical strength had already been heavily drawn on by infirmities and unremitting work, as well as by the austere habits and constant mortifications which were the rule of his private life. With characteristic courage he accepted the heart tremors and dizzy spells which followed his illness as a warn

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