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THE SOLDIER GOVERNOR   25

Frontenac's direction, that in the brief period of a week the new fort was made fit for occupation and some twenty acres of land adjacent were prepared for cultivation.

The first Fort Frontenac had a wooden palisade 120 yards in circumference. When it was rebuilt by Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, to whom it was granted in 1675, the walls had a circumference of 720 yards, and the faces of the fort were protected by four stone bastions. It contained a row of barracks of square timber, a guard-house, a lodging for officers, a forge, a well, a mill, and a bakery. Nine small cannon were mounted on the walls. Two officers and a surgeon, with ten or twelve soldiers, at first made up the garrison; and three or four times that number of masons, labourers, and canoemen were at one time maintained at the place.

The strategical value of the new fort, commanding as it did the outlet of Lake Ontario and the fine hunting country to the north drained by the Cataraqui river, will be at once apparent, and also its usefulness as an advance base for the ambitious schemes of exploration and inland trade which La Salle had in view. It represented the first link in a chain of outposts which he proposed to establish at various points along the route leading to the upper lakes, a second link in contemplation being a fort near the mouth of the Niagara river.

During the first administration of Frontenac, the colony was free from Iroquois attacks, but there were frequent occasions when a decision between peace and war hung in the balance. The Five Nations kept up hostilities with the Illinois and Miamis, and other friends and allies of the French. They likewise protested against the erection of Forts Frontenac, Niagara, and others—Michilimackinac, La Baie des Puants (Green Bay), St. Joseph, and Fort Crevecoeur—farther west. In consequence, there were many negotiations between Frontenac and the Iroquois, who displayed a growing indifference to the maintenance of friendship with the French. At length Frontenac invited them to send deputies to Catar-


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