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[199] were sometimes solemnized with the daughters
Chap. XXI.}
of the Illinois according to the rites of the Catholic church. The occupation of the territory was a cantonment of Europeans among the native proprietors of the forests and prairies.

Jesuits and fur-traders were the founders of Illinois; Louis XIV. and privileged companies were the patrons of Southern Louisiana; but the honor of beginning the work of colonization in the south-west of our republic belongs to the illustrious Canadian, Lemoine D'Iberville. Present, as a volunteer, in the midnight attack upon Schenectady, where he was chiefly remembered for an act of clemency; at Port Nelson, calm amidst the crash of icebergs in which his vessels had become involved, and, though exceedingly moved by the loss of his young brother in a skirmish with the English, yet, with marvellous firmness, preserving his counte-

Lett. Ed. IV 14.
nance without a sign of disquiet,—putting his whole trust in God, and, with tranquil daring, making a conquest of the fort which controls the vast Indian commerce of the wide regions of Nelson River; the captor of Pemaquid; the successful invader of the English possessions on Newfoundland; and again, in 1697, in spite of icebergs and a shipwreck, victorious in naval contests on the gloomy waters of Hudson's Bay, and recognized as the most skilful naval officer in the service of France;— he, the idol of his Canadian countrymen, ever buoyant and brave, after the peace of Ryswick, sought and obtained a commission for establishing direct maritime intercourse between France and the Mississippi.

On the seventeenth day of October, 1698, two frig-

1698
ates, and two smaller vessels, with a company of marines, and about two hundred settlers, including a few

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