and religion forbade the abandonment of faithful and
affectionate colonists, and the renunciation of the great work of converting the infidels of the wilderness; that Detroit
was the natural centre of a boundless inland commerce; that the country of Illinois
was in a delightful climate, an open prairie, waiting for the plough; that, considering the want of maritime strength, Canada
were the bulwarks of France
against English ambition.
De Puysieux, the French
minister for foreign affairs, like the English Secretary
, was earnestly desirous of avoiding war; but a fresh collision in America
touched the sense of honor of the French
nation, and made negotiation .hopeless.
A French brigantine with a schooner, laden with provisions and warlike stores, and bound from Quebec
to the river St. John
's, was met by Rous
in the British ship of war Albany
off Cape Sable
He fired a gun to bring her to; she kept on her course: he fired another and a third; and the brigantine prepared for action.
instantly poured into her a broadside and a volley of small arms; and after a short action compelled her to strike.
had a midshipman and two mariners killed; the French
lost five men. The brigantine was taken to Halifax
, and condemned in the Admiralty Court.1
On the side of France
, indignation knew no bounds; it seemed that its flag had been insulted; its maritime rights disregarded; its men wantonly slain in time of peace; its property piratically seized and confiscated.
There was less willingness to yield an extended boundary.