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54   HISTORY OF CANADA.

ments in the Annapolis valley. He spared the lives of the Acadian peasants, but not their goods. He cut the dykes and threatened, moreover, that if there were any more raids on the New England frontier the Indians friendly to the English would be let loose to work their will on the Acadians. On this expedition Port Royal was not attacked. In 1707 two attempts were made to capture it, both of which failed through bad management on the part of those in command. During these years Acadia was much neglected by the French court. The colony, it was reported, was in great distress, "wanting everything;" and the officials generally were too busy trading with the English to trouble about the welfare of the settlers. In all the attacks upon the Acadian settlements, French prisoners were taken in order to exchange them for English prisoners captured in the frontier raids. It is charged that on pretence of effecting these exchanges there was much going to and fro between Boston and Acadia for trading purposes.

A Plan to Take Canada.—By the year 1708 the New England colonies had become so exasperated at the persistent raiding of their frontier settlements that an expedition was planned for the following year against Canada. Samuel Vetch, who afterwards became the first governor of Nova Scotia, went to London and returned with promise of help from Old England to New in the intended attack. A fleet with the promised troops was to follow, and the colonies accordingly gathered their rough militia at Boston awaiting its arrival. A land force, under Francis Nicholson, an officer of much colonial experience, was to co-operate in the capture of Canada by marching upon Montreal by way of Lake Champlain and the River Richelieu. There was some futile skirmishing between Nicholson's little band and a Canadian force under de Ramezay, governor at Montreal ; but this, with the building of a British fort near the head of Lake Champlain, was all that resulted from the land attack. Word reached Nicholson that the British fleet had been sent to Portugal instead of to America, and that in consequence the capture of Canada must be deferred for a season.

England Acquires Acadia.—Some vent for all this martial zeal of the New Englanders had to be found. Next year accordingly (1710) an expedition was despatched to take Acadia. Nicholson was in command. With him was Samuel Vetch hold-


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