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Barre, Antoine Le Fevre De La,

French general and author; born about 1605; was appointed lieutenant-general of the army in 1667, and sent against the English in the West Indies. After a successful campaign he was appointed governor of Canada in 1682, and held the office for three years. In 1684 he prepared for an expedition from Canada to the country of the five Nations (q. v.). His forces consisted of 700 Canadians, 130 regular soldiers, and 200 Indians. Detained, by an epidemic disease among the French soldiers, at Fort Frontenac for six weeks, he was compelled to conclude the campaign with a treaty. He crossed Lake Ontario for that purpose, and at a designated place was met by Oneidas, Onondagas, and Cayugas, the Mohawks and Senecas refusing to attend. Barre assumed much dignity. Seated on a chair of state, with his French and Indian officers forming a circle around him, he addressed himself to Garangula, the Onondaga chief, in a very haughty speech, which he concluded with a threat of burning the castles of the Five Nations, and destroying the Indians themselves, unless the satisfaction which he demanded was given. To this address Garangula made a cool but bold and decisive speech in reply. It made the haughty Barre very angry, and he retired to his tent, where, after deliberation, he prudently suspended his menaces. A treaty of peace was concluded; and two days afterwards Barre and his retinue departed for Canada.

Garangula had said, while holding a calumet in his hand, as he answered the arrogant speech of the Frenchman: “Onnunteo, I honor you, and all the warriors who are with me honor you. Your interpreter has finished your speech; I now begin mine. My words make haste to reach your ears; hearken to them, Onnunteo. In setting out from Quebec you must have imagined that the scorching beams of the sun had burned down the forests which render our country inaccessible to the French, or that the inundations of the lakes had shut us up in our castles. But now you are undeceived; for I and my warriors have come to asssure you that the Senecas, Cayugas, Onondagas, Oneidas, and Mohawks are yet [287] alive.” After ascribing Barre‘s pacific overtures to the impotency of the French, and repelling the charges brought against his countrymen, he added: “We are born free; we have no dependence on the Onnunteo or the Corlear.” (These names signify respectively the governors of Canada and of New York.) Garangula concluded his defiant speech by saying his voice was that of the Five Nations; and that when they buried the hatchet at a former treaty, in the presence of his predecessors, they planted a tree of peace in the same place, and that peaceful relations were then pledged to each other. “I do assure you,” he said, “that our warriors shall dance to the calumet of peace under its branches, and that we shall never dig up the axe to cut it down until the Onnunteo (the French) or the Corlear (the English) shall either jointly or separately endeavor to invade the country which the Great Spirit has given to our ancestors.” His chief publication is a Description of equinoctial France. He died in Paris, May 4, 1688.

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