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HISTORY OF CANADA.   51

of arms. Though there was peace in Europe between France and England, Denonville authorized the Chevalier de Troyes to lead an expedition overland against the forts of the English company. Fort Nelson was not reached, but the other three posts were taken in quick succession. At Fort Rupert the governor of the Hudson's Bay Company was taken prisoner.

When formal war broke out, those noted Canadians, the Le Moyne brothers, took charge of the operations on the bay, and in 1694 captured Fort Nelson. Father Gabriel Marest, who was with this expedition, describes the captured inmates as "fifty-three in number, all large men and well made ; but those who commanded them were much more skilful in commerce than in the profession of arms, in which they had never been exercised." An English force retook the fort in 1696. Next year, however, the brothers again returned, won a naval battle on Hudson Bay, and again captured Fort Nelson. Little wonder, therefore, that on an old map the posts on Hudson Bay are marked "Sometimes held by the French, sometimes by the English." The Treaty of Ryswick (1697) left the rival claims unsettled. Meanwhile, the French retained possession of the captured posts.

Death of Frontenac.—The treaty also left unsettled the question of the boundary between Acadia and New England, and between Canada and New York. The growing frequency of French raids into the Iroquois country led the confederacy to respect New France and seek peace with her. Frontenac told them sternly that the western allies of France must be included in any peace, and threatened another attack upon them if they declined these terms. Bellomont, governor of New York, protested that if Frontenac carried out this threat he would march his whole available force to protect the Iroquois, whom he claimed as British subjects. But the intrepid governor of New France did not live to put his plans in order for this campaign. He died at Quebec in November, 1698, in his seventy-eighth year.

Peace With the Iroquois.—In the following year his successor, de Callieres, and the governor of New York both received instructions to let the boundary dispute remain in abeyance and to join hands in repressing the Iroquois. Learning that the English had thus abandoned them, the Iroquois made peace with de Callieres (1701). There was a grand pow-wow at


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