of prisoners, Bellamont sought to obtain an acknowl-
edgment that the Iroquois
were subject to England
; hut the count de Frontenac
referred the matter to the commissioners to be appointed under the treaty of Ryswick
‘That the Five Nations were always con-
sidered subjects of England
,’ said Bellamont, ‘can be manifested to all the world;’ but De Callieres, send-
ing ambassadors directly to Onondaga
to regulate the exchange of prisoners, avoided an immediate decision.
were proud of their independence; France
asserted its right to dominion; England
claimed to be in possession.
Religious sympathies inclined the nations to the French
, but commercial advantages brought them always into connection with the English
As the influence of the Jesuits gave to France
its only power over the Five Nations, the legislature of New York, in 1700, made a law for hanging every Popish priest that should come voluntarily into the province.
‘The law ought forever to continue in force,’ is the commentary of an historian wholly un-
conscious of the true nature of his remark.
After many collisions and acts of hostility between
and the allies of the French
, especially the Ottawas; after many ineffectual attempts, on the part of Lord Bellamont, to constitute himself the arbiter of peace, and thus to obtain an acknowledged ascendency; the four upper nations, in the summer of 1700,
sent envoys to Montreal
‘to weep for the French
who had died in the war.’
After rapid negotiations, peace was ratified between the Iroquois
, on the one side, and France
and her Indian allies, on the other.
The Rat, chief of the Hurons from Mackinaw
, said, ‘I lay down the axe at my father's feet;’ and the deputies of the four tribes of Ottawas echoed his words.