28 July

Frontenac's Journey

Frontenac Builds Fort

Count Frontenac, part of whose story was told on January 11, first carne to Canada as governor in 1672. His biggest problem apart from the intrigues among the civil servants at Quebec and Montreal, was to keep the Iroquois under control. The French were inclined to treat them with contempt, and there is a French word "iroquois" that means a boor, peasant, or clown. It was not an accurate description of a proud race whose discipline and strategy in war can be admired even today.

In June, 1673, Frontenac set Out from Quebec to survey his domain, and to build a fort where Lake Ontario flowed into the St. Lawrence. The 185-mile trip to Montreal was not too difficult. Then came the hard task of transporting 400 men and supplies up the river to Lake Ontario. Frontenac had two flat-bottomed boats built at Montreal on which were loaded the equipment and cannon for the fort. The men traveled in 120 canoes, taking turns dragging the flat-bottomed boats against the current. Getting through the rapids was back-breaking. The men pulling the boats had to wade along the shore, sometimes up to their necks in water.

Meanwhile, Frontenac had sent La Salle ahead to summon a conference of Iroquois. The historic meeting took place where Kingston, Ontario, now stands. Frontenac put on a great show to impress the Indians. Sixty chiefs were invited to his tents, which they reached by passing through a double rank of soldiers. Frontenac spoke to them through an interpreter. The evil days of strife were ended, he said, and the Indians' enemies henceforth would be France's enemies. He was building a fort so that the Indians would not have to go all the way to Montreal to trade. The Iroquois took it all with a grain of salt. They could make better trade deals with the English and the Dutch in the heart of their own territory.

What did impress them was the speed with which the French built the fort. It was ready by July 28, 1673, obviously impregnable to attack. Frontenac, who was anything but modest, called it "Fort Frontenac," and raised over it the fleur-de-lis of France.


28 July

-1755    The Council of Nova Scotia made a decision to deport the Acadians.

-1819    Richard John Uniacke was tried for murder as the result of a duel. He was led into court by his father who was Attorney-General of Nova Scotia.

-1847    Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick Railroads were incorporated.

-1858    T h e Macdonald- Cartier government was defeated on the motion that Ottawa would not be the capital of Canada.

-1914    The Montreal and Toronto stock exchanges closed for three months.

              The export of vital materials was prohibited, except to Britain, France, Russia, Japan and the United States.

-1930    The general election resulted in a victory for the Conservatives under R. Bennett: Conservatives 138, Liberals 87, United Farmers 10.