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The Company, which was invested with sovereign powers, began its work by sending to Louisiana three companies of soldiers and sixty-nine colonists. Its wisest act was the removal of the governor, L'pinay, who had supplanted La Mothe-Cadillac, and the reappointment of Bienville in his place. Bienville immediately sought out a spot for establishing a permanent station on the Mississippi. Fifty men were sent to clear the ground, and in spite of an inundation which overflowed it for a time, the feeble foundations of New Orleans were laid. Louisiana, hitherto diffused through various petty cantonments, far and near, had at last a capital, or the germ of one.
La Harpe was told by his hosts that the Spanish settlements could be reached by ascending their river; but to do this was at present impossible. He began his backward journey, fell desperately ill of a fever, and nearly died before reaching Natchitoches.
The Niagara Campaign ? Albany ? March to Oswego ? Difficulties ? The Expedition abandoned ? Shirley and Johnson ? Results of the Campaign ? The Scourge of the Border ? Trials of Washington ? Misery of the Settlers ? Horror of their Situation ? Philadelphia and the Quakers ? Disputes with the Penns ? Democracy and Feudalism ? Pennsylvanian Population ? Appeals from the Frontier ? Quarrel of Governor and Assembly ? Help refused ? Desperation of the Borderers ? Fire and Slaughter ? The Assembly alarmed ? They pass a mock Militia Law ? They are forced to yield.
Pen made her face an indifferent blank.
The complaint was just, and the situation became critical. The Iroquois deputies were invited to explain themselves. They stalked into the council-room with their usual haughty composure, and readily promised to surrender the prisoners in future, but offered no hostages for their good faith. The Rat, who had counselled his own and other tribes to bring their Iroquois captives to Montreal, was excessively mortified at finding himself duped. He came to a later meeting, when this and other matters were to be discussed; but he was so weakened by fever that he could not stand. An armchair was brought him; and, seated in it, he harangued the assembly for two hours, amid a deep silence, broken only by ejaculations of approval from his Indian hearers. When the meeting ended, he was completely exhausted; and, being carried in his chair to the hospital, he died about midnight. He was a great loss to the French; for, though he had caused the massacre of La Chine, his services of late years had been invaluable. In spite of his unlucky name, he was one of the ablest North American Indians on record, as appears by his remarkable influence over many tribes, and by 446 the respect, not to say admiration, of his French contemporaries.