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[340]

Some of the French crossed the river, so that at

chap. XVIII.} 1765. Oct.
St. Genevieve, a place that had been occupied for several years, there were at least five-and-twenty families; while St. Louis, whose origin dates from the fifteenth of February, 1764,1 and whose skilfully chosen site and unequalled advantages soon attracted the admiration of the British commander, already counted about twice that number, and ranked as the leading settlement on the western side of the Mississippi. In all the English portion of the valley, there remained less than two thousand inhabitants of European origin. And of these, few or none were attached to England. She had won the valley of the Mississippi, and dared not colonize it, lest colonies so remote should renounce their dependence. The government then instituted was the absolute rule of the British army, with a local judge to decide all disputes among the inhabitants according to the customs of the country, yet subject to an appeal to the military chief.

Thus France retired from the valley of the Mississippi, and cast behind no look of longing. The philosophers of that day, a name which comprehended almost every body in Paris, were full of joy at their success in effecting the exile of the Jesuits. The clergy, in their remonstrances to Louis XV., unmindful of America, uttered only their fear, that ‘the press would soon effect the ruin of church and state— of religion, and the fundamental laws of monarchy.’2 The king, immersed in the most scandalous voluptuousness, dreamed not of danger from afar, and cared not for losing the imperial territory that bore his

1 Prinne's Anniversary Discourse.

2 Bishops to Louis XV.: ‘Nous touchons au moment fatal, ou la librairie perdra laelise et l'dtat.’

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