Conditions. — To his seigneur the censitaire paid rent in money, grain or live capons. If he sold his land he paid to the seigneur one-twelfth of the purchase money. If a seigneur sold his seigneurie, the fine due to the king was one-fifth, but a much smaller amount was usually accepted if promptly paid. Both seigneur and censitaire were under obligation to clear the land, but the censitaire's clearing satisfied the obligation of both. There were other burdens usually mentioned in a censitaire's grant. Many of these, however, the seigneurs were for many years in no position to exact, such, for instance, as the grinding of his wheat in the seigneur's mill. The seigneur, of course, was to have as his toll a specified portion of the flour. The seigneur had a claim, too, upon the labor of his censitaire for one or more days in the year and to a proportion of all fish caught in the seigneurial stream. But during all the history of New France the intendant, under instructions from the king, made it his special care to protect the censitaires from oppression, and seigneurs very often found themselves unable to enforce the terms of their contracts with their tenants.
The Fur Trade.—The fur trade was no longer a monopoly. A new company had, it is true, secured exclusive trade privileges, but these were very soon abandoned. They retained for a time the exclusive right to carry all cargoes to and from New France, but in 1674 even this right was surrendered to the king. From the licenses for the fur trade a revenue was derived which was for some years more than sufficient to defray the expense of governing the colony. Many of the coareers de bois, however, continued to trade without troubling themselves about licenses.
The French on the Great Lakes.—In all that tended to strengthen French power in America, the intendant Talon was the master-spirit. He wanted the interior of the continent for France, and he strongly urged that New York should be purchased from the English in order that no rival power might push into the region of the great lakes. The Jesuits following the fur traders into Lake Superior (called by them Lac de Tracy) had founded a mission on its south shore. They had also missions to the west of Lake Michigan on La Grande Baie (corrupted by the English into Green Bay), and the Fox River. Michillimackinac, a most commanding position on the strait between Lake Huron