Blupete's Biography Page

Book #1: Acadia.TOC
Part 1, "Early Settlement & Baronial Battles: 1605-90."TOC
Chapter 8 - "The Battling Barons of Acadia"

De Razilly's brother,1 Claude de Launay-Razilly, was as much the entrepreneur as his brother was, if not more so; Claude not only had an interest in the Razilly-Condonnier Company, he also had two private companies operating in the St. Lawrence region. Claude, being a busy man, authorized d'Aulnay to act for him in America: so it was, that d'Aulnay took de Razilly's place.

While d'Aulnay covered the front lines, his boss, Claude de Launay-Razilly, covered the home market back in France. This arrangement seem to work very well and the second stage of the LaHave colony's growth got off in a prosperous manner, with strong leadership from d'Aulnay on the ground in Acadia and strong connections back in France.

From LaHave to Port Royal:
As events unfolded, d'Aulnay and his French followers left LaHave to set up new homesteads on ideal marsh land around Port Royal.
2 In making the move, D'Aulnay could have been as much motivated by fear of the company's creditors as anything else; it seems clear, however, that d'Aulnay was anxious, as well, to position himself up against his competitor. La Tour, at the mouth of the Saint John River just across the waters of Baie Francaise (Bay of Fundy), had strategically positioned himself on the Saint John, and his title was good. In the spring, like maple sap, animal pelts spilled down the Saint John on the bottoms of bark canoes with wild men keen to trade for hatchets, knives, flintlocks, pots, and clothing.

With the de Razilly estate having given its nod, d'Aulnay's superior position in Acadia was assured. For insurance, d'Aulnay married the daughter of one of the bosses of the Razilly-Condonnier Company, Jeanne Motin. D'Aulnay's legal power stemmed from the rights which the de Razilly company had been granted by no less a personage than Richilieu. There was too, the contract between de Razilly and LaTour. The good will extending between de Razilly and LaTour was one thing: between d'Aulnay v. LaTour, it was quite another. Acadia broke out into war.

Under the terms of a legal contract, d'Aulnay and La Tour were to share power; each with his separate section of Acadia. The adversaries positioned themselves, more or less, on the shores of Baie Francaise, across from one another: about fifty miles of open water separated them. Port Royal, as we have seen, was given up by the Scottish in 1632. Its advantages were that it possessed good farming land and it is within reasonable sailing distance to the largest rivers in the northeast. Now, it may have been that d'Aulnay could have located himself at the mouth of one of the rivers south of the Saint John that drain the present day State of Maine; but, that would have left himself open to English raids. Possibly the winning argument for d'Aulnay was that one would have to go as far down as Virginia to find better food growing conditions than those found, and by then proven to exist, around the lands of Port Royal.

And so it passed that d'Aulnay re-built on the foundations the Scottish fort at Port Royal.3 The Acadians had found their capital and sunk their roots that were to last at Port Royal.

Though the vacuum created by de Razilly's death was to be felt in 1636, La Tour and d'Aulnay did not immediately lock horns. No direct conflict can be seen from a reading of the historical accountings, until after d'Aulnay laid charges against La Tour in the French courts in 1641.

During this five year period, 1636-1641, we see that both adversaries had fortified their positions. Certainly they put all their men to work to build ever stronger fortifications.4 In addition, they both returned, it seems yearly, to France to recruit more friends and more backers. Both La Tour and d'Aulnay were successful in this regard, to a degree. Settlers were recruited and brought out, though not many. Also, each of these Acadian barons contracted for an influential wife: La Tour for Francoise Jacquelin; and, as we have seen, d'Aulnay for Jeanne Motin.

On the 26th of March, 1640, La Tour and Francoise had set sail for Acadia aboard the L'Amitye de la Rochelle; she carried eight passengers and a crew of 20. La Tour had entered into a formal contract at Paris for his wife. As for d'Aulnay and his Jeanne Motin; well, she was a young and available French girl (a scarce commodity in the early years) who was already in the colony having come out in 1636. She came out with her married sister, who was the wife of the Sieur du Breuil, Razilly's lieutenant at Canso. At some point a romance blossomed between d'Aulnay and Motin; and, undoubtedly, proper arrangements would have been made with her father, Louis Motin, Sieur de Courcelles, who in addition to owning shares in the Razilly-Condonnier Company, was the controller of salt stores located at one of France's colonies, perhaps in the Caribbean.5

It will be remembered that there was an agreement struck back around 1632 between La Tour and de Razilly that they were each to share in the peltry trade of Acadia. Each was to get a special percentage of their own particular area (La Tour, for example, Cape Sable and the Saint John) and both were to get a percentage of the whole. By this French contract, each was made the policeman of the other: each had the keys to all storage or warehouses in Acadia no matter to whom they belonged; and each was to have the right to inspect the books of the other. This French contract was struck between La Tour and de Razilly, who both apparently figured they could live with it. There is nothing in the published historical material to the effect that there was ever any trouble between La Tour and de Razilly. This, likely, because de Razilly was a powerful gentleman who knew La Tour and treated him with respect; and throughout, it would appear, La Tour recognized de Razilly as his senior. Upon the death of de Razilly and the succession of d'Aulnay, friendly contractual relations ceased. Now, it seems plain that these two French gentlemen of the 17th century could not see eye to eye on anything except for the lovely Jeanne Motin, who, in succession, each was to marry. Neither La Tour nor d'Aulnay could give any accommodation to the other; it was clear at some point in time a fight would break out; and it was just as clear that the place of this fight was to be in front of a warehouse at either at Saint John or at Port Royal (you will recall each had the legal rights to inspect the operation of the other). As it happened, the fight broke out at Port Royal: "La Tour went to Port-Royal in 1640 to check the furs and supplies there, he was refused permission and it appears that he and d'Aulnay came to blows."6 D'Aulnay, as opposed to La Tour, would not press for a show down until after he pursued his legal channels, which, apparently, were pretty good. D'Aulnay succeeded in taking out an order, dated February 13th, 1641, granted in France upon an ex-parte application.7 This order was delivered in August to La Tour who by then was safely ensconced in his wooden fort on the Saint John. La Tour treated the order with scorn, saying it was obtained by the misrepresentations of d'Aulnay. He did not feel compelled to go to France to answer these trumped up charges. Why, it would take him away for upwards to two years during which time d'Aulnay would swoop in and help himself.

With the opening up of the new year we can see that a deed had been executed conveying all of Claude de Razilly's interests and title in the Razilly-Condonnier company to d'Aulnay.8 In the meantime, d'Aulnay's continued court activity was bringing him success. On February 21st, 1642, an order was granted empowering d'Aulnay "to seize La Tour's forts and his person, and send him to France as a rebel and traitor to the King."9 It would appear that everything was going d'Aulnay's way: back home in France, d'Aulnay's friends were winning over La Tour's friends.

In the spring of that year, La Tour's agents managed to get supplies and recruits through to him, in spite of a royal embargo against him. Twenty-six tradesmen were transported from France to his fort, including: a baker, a cook, an apothecary, an armourer, an upholsterer, a tailor, a cobbler, a salt-maker, a slate-layer, and a ship's carpenter.10

D'Aulnay's increasing power in France is due to a French financier by the name of Emmanuel Le Borgne. Le Borgne had advanced sums of money to d'Aulnay against d'Aulnay's ability to get animal pelts back to the French market. D'Aulnay spent the funds in chartering vessels, buying arms, and hiring soldiers, all designed to unseat La Tour.11

We see that just before winter set in, during October of 1642, La Tour sent his lieutenant, Rochette to Boston "with a shallop and fourteen men" seeking help from Governor John Winthrop; or, more particularly, the Boston merchants.12

Up to the spring of 1643, there was apparently no direct conflict between d'Aulnay and La Tour. D'Aulnay, being a Catholic supporter, had an advantage over La Tour; Catholics versus Protestants (Huguenots) had the upper political hand in France. Remember that at this time, France was in a state of more than normal political turmoil, due to the deaths of both Richelieu (December, 1642) and Louis XIII (April, 1643). Political power was shifting and it wasn't clear which way things were going to go since but a five year old was to take the French throne. (In 1642, Louis XIV would succeed his father with Queen Anne of Austria as regent and Mazarin as chief minister.)

The Clement, a large armed French vessel loaded with ammunition and supplies and armed men (140), was sent out in the spring of 1643 by the Huguenot merchants of Rochelle; they were coming to the aid of their man, La Tour. The crew of the Clement, on the approaches of the Bay of Fundy, having kept a wary eye out, spots the d'Aulnay's blockading fleet. The captain of the Clement made a smart move. The vessel ran down wind and out to sea, she then shaped a course for Boston. On the deck of the Clement, we would have seen Francoise Jacquelin, La Tour's wife, being one of those keeping an anxious eye out, positioned not far from the captain. Francoise had originally come to Acadia with the spring sailing of 1640. Francoise, during the years 1640-43, had returned back home to France with each autumn sailing, likely to get clear of the bad weather and see to the spring provisions. At any rate, here we have Lady La Tour returning and carrying goods to her husband's seigniory in the new world, in the spring of 1643, aboard the Clement. However, the Clement could not make a direct run to the mouth of the Saint John. After waiting out a period of time at Boston, Francoise came up the coast, once again, to relieve her husband who continued to be bottled up on account of d'Aulnay's blockade. In the early part of the summer a message gets through to Fort Latour, overland from a landing further south along the coast. How surprised and pleased Charles La Tour must have been to hear that Francoise, his wife, who he hasn't seen since the previous September, was but a few miles away. After a few anxious days, under the cover of darkness and thus evading d'Aulnay's patrolling fleet, La Tour managed in a shallap to venture out of the mouth of the Saint John to meet the Clement at her mooring in a secluded cove down the coast. Imagine the scene as La Tour swung himself aboard the deck of the Clement there to participate in an emotional reunion with his wife and his fellow countrymen.

With just the Clement and the few forces he had at the fort, La Tour knew that he had to get reinforcements and he figured he might be able to buy the ships and hire the men he needed from the people of Boston, fellow protestants who were not averse to a little adventure; especially if there was to be some money in it. The Clement made sail for Boston, where La Tour managed to charter four vessels crewed with "thirty-eight pieces of ordnance." He also enlisted 92 soldiers to compliment the 140 which were aboard the Clement. This fleet then left Boston on the 14th of July, 1643, and proceeded up to the Bay of Fundy. D'Aulnay was chased back to his stronghold at Port Royal. After a short altercation at the mill, La Tour's fleet went back across the bay to his fort on the Saint John. The Bostonians were then paid off and returned to their home port.13

That September, 1643, Lady La Tour, Francoise, as was her routine, boarded the Clement for the return trip to France.

The English Connection: Lady La Tour and the Gillyflower:
Through the winter of 1643/44 both d'Aulnay (personally) and La Tour (through his wife) went off to France in order to secure additional supplies, so to keep the war going between the two feuding barons in Acadia. While d'Aulnay's political connections continued to remain in good order, La Tour, through his wife, could not convince the merchants to continue their support. The cards were against the La Tours; they were protestants; and protestants were just then becoming a much persecuted group in France. Madame La Tour, on her arrival in France, became aware that her presence might be reported to the authorities. Without getting the sought after help from her previous backers, she fled, in disguise, to England where this charming woman succeeded, in little time, "in freighting a ship from London with provisions and munitions of war for Fort La Tour."
14 So, Madame La Tour sailed back to Acadia. However, we need to be reminded that sailing across an ocean takes time; months, and sometimes, months again, especially if the captain of the vessel wishes to trade and take on supplies in the islands.

In the meantime, far away in Acadia, La Tour became more than just anxious that his wife might not be able to return; he went to see his Boston friends, arriving there in July, 1644. La Tour, however was not as successful as he was been in the past in securing the needed help. He set sail on the 9th of September, 1644, "in company with the ketch Mountjoy, engaged to carry supplies to his fort." Just as his sails disappear over the northern horizon, another set took its place, more to the east; it was the Gillyflower from England; Madame La Tour was aboard with her people and supplies. It seems the vessel had made its way into the Bay of Fundy, but was obliged to give up getting into Fort La Tour, as d'Aulnay -- having that spring just come from France with reenforcements -- was once again blockading the mouth of the Saint John. D'Aulnay was in his sailing ship, the Grand Cardinal and she apparently outclassed the Gillyflower. Gillyflower's master, as the Grand Cardinal heaved alongside, was forced to conceal the Lady La Tour and her people in the hold and to conceal the identity of his ship, which he pretended was bound direct for Boston. D'Aulnay believed the captain and the Gillyflower was set free: she made a beeline for Boston.15

Lady La Tour was thankful, upon her arrival at Boston, for the safety of that port. She was however upset, as she was being delayed; her object in setting out from France with supplies was to get to Fort Latour, not Boston. Upon her arrival at Boston, this indefatigable lady immediately sought the help of the courts: she took an action under the charter party and won her suit. An order was taken out to seize the cargo of the vessel which the captain had been picking up; maybe Madeira wine, or sugar cane from the islands, but whatever it was, it was sold for a good price. Lady La Tour then hired three vessels in Boston (likely through La Tour's principal creditor at Boston, one, John Paris) to convoy her home and "at length arrived safely at Fort Latour, to the indescribable relief of her husband, who had almost despaired of her safety. She had been absent from him more than a year."16

It would appear this was the first winter that the couple spent at their seigniory on the Saint John. They no doubt delighted themselves with one another's company, but there was business to be done. At some point in the ensuing winter, 1644/5, an agreement was executed, likely at Saint John, between John Paris of Boston and La Tour: the La Tours, it would appear, put up all their worldly goods, and in exchange, Paris' ships, in February of 1645, set sail to return to Boston with La Tour aboard. Madame La Tour had been designated to stay behind and to mind the fort.

La Tour's Defeat (1645):
It was during this time, in the early spring of 1645, that while La Tour was absent in Boston, one of the saddest scenes to behold in Canadian history unfolded. D'Aulnay launched an attack on Fort La Tour. It was Easter, and no doubt all on both sides were praying to their particular God before similar looking altars; it was April 13th, 1645. D'Aulnay intercepted a Boston vessel and was to learn Lady La Tour was alone in her manor and her husband away at Boston. Through trickery d'Aulnay takes Fort La Tour. (The Recollets are tipped off and reminded of Lady La Tour's Protestantism. Then at a critical moment a bribe, which undoubtedly came with a special dispensation, was passed to the outposted guards.) When the alarm went up, Lady La Tour inspired her small garrison and personally directed the successful repulsive efforts from one of the bastions of the fort. "Twenty of the besiegers were killed and thirteen wounded in this affair ..."17 D'Aulnay, however succeeded in gaining entry; it is suspected that that one of the Recollets slid the bolt. Shortly after gaining entry and bringing the last of the La Tour forces to their knees, d'Aulnay hangs every man in the garrison, right there, in front of the eyes of the brave Lady La Tour while she stood with a rope around her neck. As it turned out, Lady La Tour was not hung; however, she did not live for long after.

Lady La Tour fell ill (it is said from "sadness and resentment") and she died within days. She was interred, with solemn ceremony 'so that she should be recognized' somewhere behind the fort in the same general area as the soldiers' graves, it is reported that d'Aulnay sent her son, (apparently she gave birth to one at some point in time) back to France in the care of the late Madame La Tour's waiting ladies. I should say, for the sake of preserving history, that there is no evidence that the brave Lady La Tour or her female attendants were harmed by D'Aulnay or his men.18

After his success in completely wiping out La Tour in Acadia in the spring of 1644, d'Aulnay sailed back to France that winter, 1644/45.19 He likely got a quite a reception back in France; a hero, a French hero. On the larger scene, the long war, The Thirty Year War, had finally came to an end: the French nation, in support of conservatism, as represented by the Holy Roman Church, ruled as it was by the all powerful Richelieu, had managed to keep the forces of Calvinism out of France.

His encouraging news that peace was restored between the European forces, and that in Acadia La Tour had been effectively put down, had a great effect on getting families signed up for the New World. It was that spring, in 1645, that d'Aulnay brought more families over from his mother's seigneury, headquartered at the Château de Charnisay, located near Loudon, in the province of Vienne. At that time he transported some 20 families, the largest group of family settlers that Port Royal would see for many years to come.20

Nicholas & Simon Denys:
It will be recalled that Nicholas Denys and his brother Simon came over with de Razilly, in 1632. They should not be forgotten as they are as every bit as illustrious as our feuding friends, d'Aulnay and La Tour. In the beginning, 1632-35, the Deny brothers stuck pretty close to their commander, de Razilly. During this period, they industriously set up a "wood working plant" near present day Riverport. So too, at some point, the Denys set up a fishing station at Port Rossignol (Liverpool).21

At the time of de Razilly's death at LaHave, Denys was wintering over in France, charged with the duty of "recruiting settlers."22 D'Aulnay and LaTour, however, it would appear, were there at LeHave with de Razilly at the time of his death, or soon hurried to LaHave upon hearing of the death; and, thereafter, to declare their Acadian real estate claims to any who would listen.

In the 1640's and '50s, when Acadia was turned into a medieval battleground, the Denys brothers, it is likely, thought it best to just let d'Aulnay and La Tour waste one another out.

With the joining of the two houses (d'Aulnay and LaTour), in 1653, Denys established settlements at Ste. Pierre, Ste. Anne's and Nipisiquit.23 Nicholas Denys was not long to be left alone though, for d'Aulnay arrived at Denys doorstep and presented what he thought was a more superior set of papers from the king; d'Aulnay promptly "captured Denys' forts, seized his goods, broke up his fishing establishments, and ruined his settlers."24

With the death of d'Aulnay in 1650 (more about that to come), Nicholas Denys returned to Acadia, once again; and, by 1654, Denys is at St. Pierre with his fears of being surprised and being mauled by a superior force lessened. He didn't bargain, however, for the feisty women these Acadian feudal barons had married.

Mrs. d'Aulnay took a page from her late husband's book and despatched a party of armed men from Port Royal to visit Denys at St. Peters. D'Aulnay's forces seemingly had little difficulty overpowering Denys. Both of the Denys brothers were brought back in irons to Port Royal.

The Denys brothers were soon released, and they quickly cleared out of Port Royal and sailed for Quebec. Simon Denys had had enough of it and determined to remain in Quebec, but Nicholas determined to return to his home at St. Peters and build it up again. Again, Denys was raided by a superior force. This time, in 1653, it was Emmanuel Le Borgne. Le Borgne, it will be recalled, was a creditor of the d'Aulnay estate and had sailed over from France to liquidate and take in payment whatever he might get his hands on that was even remotely connected to the now dead d'Aulnay. St. Peters, Le Borgne believed, was but another piece of real estate that belonged to d'Aulnay; Le Borgne cared not about the claims of Denys. Le Borgne and his 60 men caught Denys away on a visit to his establishment at St. Anns (some 40 miles by sail over the great Bras D'Or Lake).25 Without much opposition, St. Peters was pillaged and plundered once again. A few days later they ambushed the unsuspecting Denys who was making his way back over the short neck of land which today is spanned by a canal and a water lift. Denys was brought back to Port Royal and "placed in irons and confined in a dungeon." Before departing for Port Royal, Le Borgne's men burnt the establishment at St. Peter's down to the ground. As for Denys: he was released by the end of the year and directly headed off to France with a list of grievances.26 No sooner had Le Borgne arrived back at Port Royal with his booty and prisoners when he, in turn, was taken prisoner because of the forces of General Robert Sedgwick, which had been assembled to clean out both the French and the Dutch which had located themselves along eastern coast of North America. But I am running ahead of myself.


General Robert Sedgwick:
In international matters, the Dutch were fighting the English in the first Anglo-Dutch War (1652-54). In 1654, Cromwell sent to Boston four armed vessels with instruction to root out the Dutch who had established themselves on Manhattan Island. Before General Robert Sedgwick was to get under way for his raid on the Dutch, he received word that a peace had been concluded between England and Holland. "Those who had the expedition in charge thought that it would be a pity to let so fine an armament go to waste for want of employment."
27 Sedgwick sailed during July of 1654 and saw to the capture of Pentagoet, Port Royal, and Le Heve.28

La Giraudiere & Denys:
The English seemed to have let Denys alone, and from his rebuilt establishment at St. Peters, Denys continued to administer his far flung establishments at Chedabucto, St Anns and Nipisiquit (Bathhurst). While it is not my purpose to list the travails of Nicholas Denys, I do wish to add one more before we come to 1669. At some point, and I have yet to determine when, another French trader by the name of La Giraudiere, whose association with Acadia must have been short, arrived in Denys' territory with a view to grabbing a piece of the action (La Giraudiere, it is more likely, was one of the 120 armed men which Denys had earlier brought over with him). At about this time Denys was concentrating his forces at Chedabucto, feeling it was exposed. While Denys and his loyal men were building a fort at Chedabucto, La Giraudiere picked St. Peters as his point of attack and was successful. What La Giraudiere really wanted was to establish himself at Chedabucto, and he achieved this goal through a trade with Denys. La Giraudiere made some very good opening moves in his efforts at conquest. He did, however, make a mistake which was to unseat him within the year; he agreed as part of the swap (St. Peters for Chedabucto) to submit himself to a French court for a determination as to who owed what. Denys was a litigator whereas La Giraudiere was not. It was determined, after a hearing back in France, that La Giraudiere was in the wrong and he was ordered to give up Chedabucto in favour of Denys. A new grant was issued to Denys on the 9th November, 1667. 29

In 1669, another misfortune visited Denys: his home and his buildings located at St. Peters were completely destroyed by fire. It is here, with him and his family sailing off to his second home at Nipisiquit (Bathurst, New Brunswick) that I end my references to Nicholas Denys as he relates to Nova Scotia; though, I should say, that he continued on and lived to the ripe old age of 90 years. During his last years at Nipisiquit he turned writer. He wrote his Historique des l'Amérique, and which was published in 1672, an invaluable source to historians.30 Nicholas Denys died, in 1688, at Nipisiquit.

Epilogue to the Baronial Times:
It remains for me, before leaving behind the baronial times of Acadia, to finish up my loose ends in respect to our two principal characters: d'Aulnay and La Tour.

As for La Tour: having heard in August of 1646 of his utter defeat and the death of his wife, he made his way from Boston to Quebec. During the next four years La Tour was absent from Acadia. Two of which years, at least, he spent fighting the Iroquois and engaging in the fur trade (in his travels, he visited the shores of Hudson Bay).31

As for d'Aulnay: after his success in completely wiping out La Tour in Acadia, as of 1645, he was the absolute ruler in most all of Acadia with establishments at Port Royal, Penobscot and Saint John. Denys, as we have seen, was restricted to a narrow strip along the northern shores of what we now know as Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

For the next five year period, 1645-1650, there took place the most substantial development in the root stock of the Acadia people. This early growth occurred at Port Royal, due, undoubtedly, to the foresight and industry of d'Aulnay. During this five year period, it may be safely concluded, the nucleus of the Acadian population was formed.32

Suddenly, when out on the River at Port Royal, he or maybe one his friends made a sudden lurch in their small boat; maybe one was responding to a joke, or a fish on the line -- who knows? -- in any event, d'Aulnay was thrown into the cold water and died as a result. The loss of their leader, d'Aulnay, had to be a huge blow to this first French Acadian community; but, it seems, in these early days struggling settlers (no matter French or English) were struck by one blow after another, and another, and another: some from nature, some from man.

Madame d'Aulnay, the invincible Jeanne Motin, like so many wives on the frontier, simply filled in for her husband and picked up in his traces: she had eight children of her own and a French colony which needed leadership.

The Marriage of the Two Houses:
Upon hearing of the death of his nemesis, La Tour likely took little time in catching a sailing ship for France. In France, he apparently got the right kind of reception, for on February 25th, 1651, Letters Patent were given by the King of France to Charles La Tour by which he was made governor and lieutenant-general of Acadia.
33

There then occurred what had to be a most interesting courtship, a courtship based on Love? Necessity? Political Expediency? -- likely for all these reasons. On February 24th, 1653, Charles La Tour, for the "peace and tranquillity of the country, and concord and union between the two families," married Madame d'Aulnay.34 And, by this union, Jeanne Motin and Charles La Tour brought about peace in Acadia and made a contribution to the Acadian population: they had five children, three girls and two boys.35

Le Borgne at this period of time (c.1654) was in charge at Port Royal. La Tour, his new wife, the d'Aulnay retainers; and, undoubtedly, all the d'Aulnay moveables of Port Royal were safely tucked away at the foot of the Saint John River, in behind the wooden walls of Fort La Tour. Le Borgne proceeded on the basis that he neither had a claim against La Tour nor the assets on the Saint John. As for Denys: he had once again re-installed himself at St. Peter's and had legal papers which he had his lieutenant deliver to Le Borgne at Port Royal. Le Borgne was disdainful of Denys' lieutenant. Indeed, he was just in the midst of laying plans, during July of 1654, to go up and teach Denys a further lesson when he was suddenly interrupted by the English general, Robert Sedgwick, an event to which we have already referred.36

"Le Borgne, in the midst of his plans for the recapture of Denys, was suddenly startled by the appearance of the English fleet in Port Royal Basin. To a real soldier the prospect of an encounter with an enemy, however superior in strength, is seldom unwelcome, but to a man like Le Borgne, who was waging war by writs and ejectments, and undertaking the capture of fortresses on commercial principles, such a sight was sufficiently alarming. Still, when summoned to surrender, he replied with a boldness which he could scarcely have felt, and placed the English under the necessity of attacking him. The men that he sent out against them were repulsed and put to flight, and Le Borgne, finding that his vocation was not that of a soldier, resolved to capitulate. Advances to that end were made on the 15th August; on the 16th the articles were completed and signed on board the Admiral's ship, Auguste, and on the following day Port Royal was surrendered."37 (Hannay)
The English, as of 1654, due to General Sedgwick's military conquest, were now in charge of Nova Scotia from Canseau to Penobscot. Captain John Leverett was left at Port Royal "as governor and commander of the forts of Saint John, Port Royal and Penobscot; this English possession continued from 1654 to 1667.38

While La Tour, in his fort across the bay, at the mouth of the Saint John River, likely felt comfortable in his abilities to defend himself against Le Borgne, he was not so sure he could hold out against English armed forces, should they arrive. La Tour then sailed for London to see if he could renew his old English connections. He was successful in this regard,39 for, during 1656, Cromwell granted Acadia to Thomas Temple, William Alexander and Charles La Tour. Thus, we see that a vast area was encompassed by a merchant's agreement: from the shore at Merliguesche (Lunenburg) around the southern tip of peninsular Nova Scotia and up to the head of the Bay of Fundy; and then, south, along the shores to a point located by the mouth of the River St. George in the present day state of Maine, three hundred miles inland ("one hundred leagues").40

We close this scene that same year, 1656. Two Frenchmen (Radisson and Groseilliers) arrived at Quebec from beyond the Lake Michigan and the Wisconsin country, with fifty canoes laden with pelts. The focus on Acadia as the centre of the peltry trade if it had not shifted to Quebec by 1656, certainly did then, when, the authorities looked out onto the St. Lawrence to bear witness to this sight of a train of large birch bark canoes, roped and operated by wild looking maneuverers. It is, too, in the year 1656, that La Tour sells his interest out to Temple and Alexander, and, goes into retirement at Cape Sable.41


Next: Chapter 9, The English

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