The White and the Gold: The French Regime in Canada

The White and the Gold: The French Regime in Canada

Thomas B. Costain

Language: English

Pages: 407

ISBN: 0385045263

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


This is the fascinating story of the French regime in Canada. Few periods in the history of North America can equal it for romance and color, drama and suspense, great human courage and far-seeing aspiration. Costain, who writes history in the terms of the people who lived it, wrote of this book: "Almost from the first I found myself caught in the spell of these courageous, colorful, cruel days. But whenever I found myself guilty of overstressing the romantic side of the picture and forgetful of the more prosaic life beneath, I tried to balance the scales more properly. [This] is...a conscientious effort at a balanced picture of a period which was brave, bizarre, fanatical, lyrical, lusty, and, in fact, rather completely unbalanced."

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were at fault. Instead of deciding openly between Frontenac and Duchesneau, he again straddled the issue. He recalled them both. On May 9, 1882, the King sent his order of recall to the governor, saying in part, “Being satisfied with the services you rendered me in the commandement I entrusted to you in my country in New France, I am writing to you this letter that you are to return to my court on the first ship which will leave Quebec for France.” A gentle form of dismissal, indeed, but one

that the Huron braves lacked the fighting pitch to sustain a charge from their hereditary enemies, who outnumbered them several times over. The balance between life and death hung tautly in the air. In no more than a second of time it would be settled. Everything depended on him, the steadiness of his hand, the sureness of his aim. His arquebus had been loaded with four bullets. Taking aim at the three chiefs, who stood together like a group carved by some Greek master, he discharged the

would in time come into a substantial inheritance. He would be prepared, he said, to devote to the cause everything he possessed. The right man had been found. Dauversière had no doubts now on that score, nor had any of his associates when they met Paul de Chomedey. He was shortly thereafter appointed governor with authority to collect equipment and stores and to aid in selecting volunteers. 3 In the early summer of the year following Champlain’s death a new governor had come to Quebec,

foundress of the Ursuline convent to absent herself from the work in this way caused much discussion in Quebec. Although the cornerstone of the new building had been laid, the walls were going up most deliberately and the nuns and their charges were still lodged at “the Louvre.” The ever-faithful Marie de l’Incarnation remained in control during the temporary absence of the titular head, so that in reality no serious interruption to the work came about. The ship on which Maisonneuve had sailed

still on the prowl. This was underestimating the determination and the powers of endurance of the Iroquois. They had not given up the offensive. In spite of the intense cold they still swarmed in the woods, waiting a chance to pick off anyone who ventured out. Sometimes they were so close to the cockleshell defense of the walls that their voices could be heard, the high-pitched gabble which Frenchmen were learning to dread. At this critical stage in the life of the infant settlement the

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