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12   MILITARY HISTORY OF CANADA

tradesmen, bound to serve as soldiers when occasion required. The settlement of Ville Marie now rapidly extended, settlers and traders establishing themselves outside the walls of the fort, fortifying their premises with palisades and thus creating many small outposts, generally along the banks of the river.

From 1648 to 1658, the Iroquois practically monopolized the ancient hunting grounds of the Hurons, and carried on hostilities against the French, infesting every post and settlement. In 1652, at Three Rivers, a trading post established in 1633 at the mouth of the St. Maurice river, Du Plessis Bochart, the commandant, and fifteen of his followers were slain and several taken prisoner. This was the worst military disaster sustained by the French colonists up to that date. In 1653, Jean de Lauson, who had succeeded d'Ailleboust, negotiated a truce with the Iroquois, in which he weakly granted them per-mission to adopt into the Five Nations some Hurons who had sought refuge at Quebec, and also bound himself not to intervene in a campaign the Iroquois were about to enter upon against the Eries, a haughty and powerful tribe inhabiting the country south of Lake Erie. In 1655, the Iroquois defeated the Eries in a desperate battle, and virtually extirpated the entire nation.

Having accomplished their purpose, the Iroquois considered it a matter of indifference whether peace with the French continued or not, and in the course of 1658, during a truce, killed several Frenchmen. D'Ailleboust, who, as Administrator, was once more in charge of the colony, issued orders to capture and hold as hostages all Iroquois found about any of the French posts. This wise measure brought a delegation of Mohawks to Quebec to endeavour to recover the captives belonging to their tribe; but the Governor sternly refused, and for a time a semblance of peace was thus forced upon the Iroquois. But in 1660 they once more went on the war-path, this time with the determination of wiping out all


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