A History of Canada: - Vol. 1

By Gustave Lanctot; Josephine Hambleton | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TWENTY
THE IROQUOIS WAR, THE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES CRISIS AND THE ROYAL ADMINISTRATION OF NEW FRANCE

Governor d'Avaugour. Economic troubles. The crisis of intoxicating liquor sales. Excommunications. D'Avaugour inflexible. Inquiry of Péronne du Mesnil. The Governor reorganizes the Council. Mgr. de Laval and Boucher in France. The King decides to intervene in Canada. Settlers and soldiers with de Mons. Earthquake. The Militia of the Blessed Virgin in Montreal. The Company of New France resigns. The King makes Canada a province of France.

Canada's new governor, Pierre du Bois, Baron d'Avaugour, chosen for this rôle by the Queen, was both an excellent soldier and a man of exemplary piety. Like a Carthusian in austerity, he was honour personified and authority incarnate--a man whose sword was more easily bent than he. Accustomed by a long military career to reaching decisions speedily, he set out to examine the posts at Three Rivers and Montreal the day after his arrival in Canada. "Prudent and courageous, skilled and experienced," to quote the Jesuits' descriptions of him, he quickly perceived where the colony's most essential need lay. He had brought one hundred soldiers with him, but requested d'Argenson to inform the King that he would return to France the very next year without awaiting his orders of recall unless the troops that had been promised to the colony were sent out immediately. He was very much opposed to formalities of any kind and did not want any public reception to honour his arrival. Very soon, he received a visit from Mgr. de Laval, accompanied by Father Lalemant. The prelate presented official documents issued by the State Council and dated May 24, 1661, stating that according to the terms of the decree of 1647, the Bishop should have the right to attend and to take part in the discussions arising at meetings of the Council of Quebec, and

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