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The Western Posts.Detroit.The Illinois.Perils of the West.The Outagamies.Their Turbulence.English Instigation.Louvigny's Expedition.Defeat of Outagamies.Hostilities renewed.Lignery's Expedition.Outagamies attacked by Villiers; by Hurons and Iroquois.La Butte des Morts.The Sacs and Foxes.
Soon after the capture of Deerfield, the French authorities, being, according to the prisoner Williams, "wonderfully lifted up with pride," formed a grand war-party, and assured the minister that they would catch so many prisoners that they should not know what to do with them. Beaucour, an officer of great repute, had chief command, and his force consisted of between seven and eight hundred men, of whom about a hundred and twenty were French, and the rest mission Indians. They declared that they would lay waste all the settlements on the Connecticut,meaning, it seems, to begin with Hatfield. "This army," says Williams, "went away in such a boasting, triumphant manner that I had great hopes God would discover and disappoint their designs." In fact, their plans came to nought, owing, according to French accounts, to the fright of the Indians; for[Pg 96] a soldier having deserted within a day's march of the English settlements, most of them turned back, despairing of a surprise, and the rest broke up into small parties to gather scalps on the outlying farms.
V1 compensation but rations. They were thinly clad, some had neither shoes nor stockings, and winter was begun. They became so dejected that it was found absolutely necessary to give them wages enough to supply their most pressing needs. In the following season Fort Beausjour was in a state to receive a garrison. It stood on the crown of the hill, and a vast panorama stretched below and around it. In front lay the Bay of Chignecto, winding along the fertile shores of Chipody and Memeramcook. Far on the right spread the great Tantemar marsh; on the left lay the marsh of the Missaguash; and on a knoll beyond it, not three miles distant, the red flag of England waved over the palisades of Fort Lawrence, while hills wrapped in dark forests bounded the horizon.
V1 Such was the quiet picture painted on the memory of Anne MacVicar, and reproduced by the pen of Mrs. Anne Grant.  The patriarchal, semi-rural town had other aspects, not so pleasing. The men were mainly engaged in the fur-trade, sometimes legally with the Five Nations, and sometimes illegally with the Indians of Canada,an occupation which by no means tends to soften the character. The Albany Dutch traders were a rude, hard race, loving money, and not always scrupulous as to the means of getting it. Coming events, too, were soon to have their effect on this secluded community. Regiments, red and blue, trumpets, drums, banners, artillery trains, and all the din of war transformed its peaceful streets, and brought some attaint to domestic morals hitherto commendable; for during the next five years Albany was to be the principal base of military operations on the continent.
Another prominent name on the roll of knavery was that of Varin, commissary of marine, and Bigot's deputy at Montreal, a Frenchman of low degree, small in stature, sharp witted, indefatigable, conceited, arrogant, headstrong, capricious, and dissolute. Worthless as he was, he found a place in the Court circle of the Governor, and aspired to supplant Bigot in the intendancy. To 30 Memoirs of an American Lady (Mrs. Schuyler), Chap. VI. A genuine picture of colonial life, and a charming book, though far from being historically trustworthy. Compare the account of Albany in Kalm, II. 102.
Dinwiddie was deeply vexed when a message from Washington told him how his plans were blighted; and he spoke his mind to his friend Hanbury: "If our Assembly had voted the money in November which they did in February, it's more than probable the fort would have been built and garrisoned before the French had approached; but these things cannot be done without money. As there was none in our treasury, I have advanced my own to forward the expedition; and if the independent companies from New York come soon, I am in hopes the eyes of the other colonies will be opened; and if they grant a proper supply of men, I hope we shall be able to dislodge the French or build a fort on that river. I congratulate you on the increase of your family. My wife and two girls join in our most sincere respects to good Mrs. Hanbury." The plans against Crown Point and Beausjour had already found the approval of the Home Government and the energetic support of all the New England colonies. Preparation for them was in full activity; and it was with great difficulty that Shirley had disengaged himself from these cares to attend the council at Alexandria. He and Dinwiddie stood in the front of opposition to French designs. As they both defended the royal prerogative and were strong advocates of taxation by Parliament, they have found scant justice from American writers. Yet the British colonies owed them a debt of gratitude, and the American States owe it still.