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hundred persons sent to build a city, but who have encamped on the river bank, just sheltered from the weather, and waiting for houses. They have a beautiful and regular plan for this metropolis; but it will prove harder to execute than to draw." Such, in substance, were the representations and hopes of the wise bistorian of New France, respecting the capital of the colony of Law's great corporation ; and it may be certain that with the chief place in such a condition, not much had been done for the permanent improvement of the country about it. The truth was, the same prodigality and folly which prevailed in France during the government of John Law, over credit and commerce, found their way to his western possessions; and though the colony then planted survived, and the city then founded became in time what had been hoped, it was long before the influence of the gambling mania of 1718, 1719 and 1720 passed away. Indeed the returns from Louisiana never repaid the cost and trouble of protecting it, and, in 1732, the company asked leave to surrender their privileges to the crown, a favor which was granted them."
The same writer informs us that " Upper Louisiana, or the Illinois, was probably occupied by the French, without interruption, from the time of the first visit of La Salle, in 1679. Of neces. sity, their missions and settlements were formed along the routes of travel between Canada and the mouth of the Mississippi. The only mode of communication used was by canoes; and of consequence only the navigable rivers, tributary to the Mississippi and to the St. Lawrence, interlocking each other, were explored. From the hostility of the Iroquois, the earliest missionaries and traders were cut off from the lakes Ontario and Erie; and their route to Superior and Green Bay was, from Montreal, up the Ottowa river to lake Nipissing, and down the French river to lake HIuron. The route followed by Marquette was from Mackinaw to Green Bay; thence up the Fox river of Wisconsin to Winnebago lake; thence up the Waupaca to a portage in Portage county, Wisconsin, to the Wisconsin river and to the Mississippi. The route followed by La Salle was from Niagara, up lakes Erie, St. Clair and Huron, to Mackinaw; thence down lake Michigan to the mouth of the river St. Josephs, up that river to a portage of three miles, in St. Josephs county, Indiana, to the Kankakee river; thence down to the Illinois, and to the Mississippi. Another route was established, about 1716, from the head of lake Erie up the Maumee to the site of Fort Wayne; thence by a portage to the Wabash; thence, by way of that river, to the Ohio and Mississippi. At a later period another route was opened. It passed from lake Erie, at Presquille, over a portage of fifteen miles to the head of French creek, at Waterford, Pa.; thence down that stream to the Allegheny and to the Ohio. Along these lines the French posts were confined ; and, as there were no agricultural communities, except the Illinois settlement, in the west during the whole period of the French occupation, the posts were either trading stations or forts, built for the protection of the traders, or to secure the French ascendency over the Indians. At the most northern point of the southern peninsula of Michigan, and nine miles south west of the island of that name, La Salle founded Fort Mackinaw, in 1679. At the mouth of the St. Josephs river he built Fort Miami, in 1679, which was burned, however, by some deserters from Tonti, two years afterward. In 1680, he built Fort Cre vecour on the Illinois river, near the site of Peoria. In the same year, Tonti built Fort St. Louis, or the Rock Fort, in La Salle county, Illinois; but its ex act location is unknown. These posts served as points of settlement for the traders and voyagers who followed immediately in the track of La Salle, and for the Jesuit missionaries that accompanied or followed him. The climate and soil of lower Illinois were inviting, and accordingly the first settlements were made in that region. The exact date is uncertain.
"It is conjectured, that before the close of the seventeenth century, traders passed down south from the St. Josephs to Eel river and Wabash; and a report of La Salle to Frontenac, made perhaps in 1682, mentions the route by the Maumee and Wabash, as the most direct to the Mississippi. That route was indeed established in 1716; but of the date of the settlements on the lower Wabash, there is no certain information. The uncertainty that is connected with the settlement of Vincennes is a case in point. Volney, by conjecture, fixes the settlement of Vincennes about 1735; Bishop Brute, of Indiana, speaks of a missionary station there in 1700, and adds, The friendly tribes and traders called to
Canada for protection, and then M. de Vincennes came with a detachment, I think, of Carignan, and was killed in 1736.' 'Mr. Bancroft says a military establishment was formed there in 1716, and, in 1742, a settlement of herdsmen took place. Judge Law regards the post as dating back to 1710 or 1711, supposing it to be the same with the Ohio settlement, and quotes also an Act of Sale, existing at Kaskaskia, which, in January, 1735, speaks of M. de Vinsenne as 'Commandant au Poste de Ouabache.' Again, in a petition of the old inhabitants at Vincennes, dated in November, 1793, is found the settlement spoken of as having been made before 1742 ; and such is the general voice of tradition. On the other hand, Charlevoix, who records the death of Vincen. nes, which took place among the Chickasays, in 1736, makes no mention of any post on the Wabash, or any missionary station there; neither does he mark any upon his map, although he gives even the British forts upon the Tennessee and elsewhere. Vivier, in 1750, says nothing of any mission on the Wabash, although writing in respect to western missions, and speaks of the necessity of a fort upon the 'Ouabache.' By this, it is true, he meant doubtless the Ohio, but how natural to refer to the post at Vincennes, if one existed. In a volume of Memoires' on Louisiana, compiled from the minutes of M. Dumont, and published in Paris, in 1753, but probably prepared in 1749, though there is an account of the Wabash or St. Jerome, its rise and course, and the use made of it by the traders, not a word is found touching any fort, settlement or station on it. Vaudreuil, when governor of Louisiana, in 1751, mentions even then no post on the Wabash, although he speaks of the need of a post on the Ohio, near to where Fort Massac, or Massacre, was built afterward, and names Fort Miami on the Maumee. Still further, in “ The Present State of North America,” a pamphlet published in London, in 1755, with which is a map of the French posts in the west, it is stated that, in 1750, a fort was founded in Vincennes, and that in 1754, three hundred families were sent to settle in that region.'
The company of the west was formed with the special purpose of developing the mineral resources of Louisiana ; and the upper Louisiana was regarded as especially rich in minerals. To open
* Western Annals - Bancroft's History of the United States.
and work them, Philip Francis Renault was sent out, in 1719, with two hundred mechanics, miners and laborers. On his way, he bought, in the name of the company, five hundred slaves at St. Domingo, for working the mines, and arrived at the Illinois in 1720. This was the first introduction of slavery into the territory of the Northwest; about the same time it was introduced into the southwest, and there soon acquired a permanent establishment. Of course, in the first instance, here as elsewhere, it existed without law, but was sanctioned and regulated by subsequent legislation. The “ordinance for the government and administration of justice, police discipline and traffic in negro slaves, in the province of Louisiana,” though sufficiently cruel to disgrace even a French king of the old regime, yet compares favorably with the slave codes of a later day.
THE FRANCO-BRITISH COLONIAL CONFLICT.
French Claims to all Territory Northwest of the Ohio — English Claims to
the Same Territory – Measures of Both Parties to Protect their Claimed Possessions — The War Clouds Gathering — Military Movements — En. glish, French and Indians.
The French, however, were not permitted to occupy and ex. tend their western settlements without opposition. The English who occupied the Atlantic seaboard in the beginning of the eighteenth century, directed their attention to the great west, and although France claimed the territory by possession, the English disputed their professed ownership. In 1710, Alexander Spots wood, the governor of Virginia, became fully awakened as to the designs of the French, and through his representations the assembly of Virginia was brought to appropriate money to explore the Alleghanies, for the purpose of discovering a suitable passage to the valley west of that mountain range. An expedition was successful in carrying out the designs of the measure, and after a passage was discovered, scattering Englishmen began to penetrate the western forests. Colonization companies followed, and in a short time there were several settlements on the Ohio. These operations attracted the attention of the French, and their fears were aroused. “ To the danger of the English possessions in the west, Vaudreuil, the French governor, had been long alive. Upon the 10th of May, 1744, he wrote home representing the consequences that must come from allowing the British to build a tradinghouse among the Creeks; and, in November, 1748, he anticipated their seizure of Fort Prudhomme, which was upon the Mississippi below the Ohio. Nor was it for mere sickly missionary stations that the governor feared ; for, in the year last named, the Illinois settlements, few as they were, sent flour and corn, the hams of hogs and bears, pickled pork and beef, myrtle wax, cotton, tallow, leather, tobacco, lead, iron, copper, some little buffalo wool, venison, poultry, bear's grease, oil, skins, and coarse furs to the New Orleans market. Even in 1746, from five to six hundred barrels of flour, according to one authority, and two thousand according to another, went thither from Illinois, convoys annually going down in December with the produce. Having these fears, and seeing the danger of the late movements of the British, Gallisoniere, then governor of Canada, determined to place along the Ohio, evidences of the French claim to, and possession of the country; and for that purpose, in the summer of 1749, sent Louis Celeron with a party of soldiers, to place plates of lead, on wbich were written the claims of France, in the mounds, and at the mouths of the rivers."
The following is a copy of the inscription on the plate deposited at Vanango: "In the year 1749, reign of Louis XV, king of France, we Celeron, commandant of a detachment by Monsieur the Marquis of Gallisoniere, commander-in-chief of New France, to establish tranquillity in certain Indian villages of these cantons, have buried this plate at the confluence of the Toradakoin, this twenty-ninth of July, near the river Ohio, otherwise Beautiful River, as a monument of renewal of possession which we have taken of the said river, and all its tributaries ; and of all the land on both sides, as far as the sources of said rivers ; inasmuch as the preceding kings of France have enjoyed it, and maintained it by