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[73] and religion forbade the abandonment of faithful and
chap. III.} 1750.
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 and Louisiana were the bulwarks of France in America against English ambition. De Puysieux, the French minister for foreign affairs, like the English Secretary, Bedford, 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. The English instantly poured into her a broadside and a volley of small arms; and after a short action compelled her to strike. The Albany 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.

1 Cornwallis to Lords of Trade, 27 November, 1750.

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