cantile and agricultural class many were reluctant to leave family and home for distant military duty.
At the Quebec assembly there were present among others Varennes, the Governor of Three Rivers, d'Ailleboust, from Montreal, and some members of the famous LeMoyne family. According to the reports of those present, it was considered possible to raise 1,000 men in the colony;' but the wisdom of making such a big draft was questioned, owing to the importance of keeping the ground under cultivation, and the need of leaving sufficient men in the settlements for local protection. La Barre, therefore, appealed to France for troops. In this appeal he reported that there were no regular troops in Canada, thus ignoring apparently the soldiers of his bodyguard and those acting in the same capacity under the commandants at Three Rivers, Montreal, and other forts. But certainly there were not sufficient men to constitute an effective military unit, and to admit of drill and discipline being maintained. As a matter of fact, the soldiers at the principal posts seem to have been employed mainly in civil and domestic capacities, and even at Quebec and Montreal their principal duties appear to have been those of police and court officials. Desertions were common, and the ranks of the coureurs de bois were continually being augmented by soldiers from the garrison.
In response to La Barre's appeal for troops, three companies, raised in France by the Minister of Marine for service in Canada, arrived in Quebec in 1683. Each of these companies was composed of fifty-two men uniformed and equipped as infantry. This was the first body of organized troops to reach Canada since the arrival of the Carignan-Salieres Regiment, and was the vanguard of the force of troupes de la marine or "Colony Troops" which from this time figured so conspicuously in the history of the French regime.
1 In 1666, the white population of Canada was 3,418, of whom 1,344 were men capable of bearing arms; in 1671, it was 6,000; in 1673, 6,705; in 1681, about 10,000.