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[31] and of the Mississippi, and in proof of its right-
chap. II.} 1748.
ful possession pointed to its castles at Crown Point, at Niagara, among the Miamis, and within the borders of Louisiana. Ever regarding the friendship of the Six Nations as a bulwark essential to security, La Galissoniere, the governor-general of Canada, insisted on treating with them as the common allies of the French and English;1 and proposed direct negotiations with them for liberating their captive warriors. When Clinton and Shirley claimed the delivery of the Iroquois prisoners as subjects of England, the Canadian governor denied their subjection, and sent the letter to be read to the tribes assembled round the grand council-fire at Onondaga. ‘We have ceded our lands to no one,’ spoke their indignant orator, after due consultation; ‘we hold them of Heaven alone.’2

Still further to secure the affections of the confederacy, it was resolved to establish an Indian mission on the southern bank of the St. Lawrence; and the self-devoted Abbe Francis Picquet,3 attracted by the deep and safe harbor, the position at the head of the Rapids, the height and size of the surrounding oak forests, the surpassingly rich soil, selected Oswegatchie, now Ogdensburg, with a view to gather in a village under French supremacy, so many Iroquois converts to Christianity, as would reconcile and bind all their kindred to the French alliance. And for the more distant regions, orders were sent in October to the Commandant at Detroit, to oppose every English

1 La Galissoniere to Clinton, 25 August, 1748. Shirley to Board of Trade, 28 October, 1748.

2 Acte Authentique, &c., &c., 2 Nov., 1748. N. Y. Paris Doe. x. 8.

3 Documentary History of N. Y., i. 423, &c.

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