15 October

Marquis de Tracy (c. 1596-1670)

Tracy Takes New York Territory For new France

The State of New York was taken over by Canada on October 15, 1666, but the New Yorkers knew nothing about it then, and refuse to recognize it now!

France was making a determined effort to defeat the Iroquois, and drive the English and Dutch out of North America. The famous Carignan-Salières Regiment under the Marquis of Tracy was sent' out to Quebec to do the job. Tracy and his soldiers, who had fought with distinction in the Turkish War, made a magnificent impression when they arrived at Quebec, their blue coats piped with white, plumed hats, long leather boots turned back half-way over the calves, muskets carried in slings over their shoulders. People cheered when they marched from Lower Town to the summit of the cliff.

Yet these famous soldiers had to learn a new type of fighting. They were taken on a winter expedition against the Iroquois by Governor Courcelles and it was a complete failure. When they returned, Tracy had them trained in forest fighting, and taught them how to look after themselves on the long marches through Indian country.

By September, 1666, Tracy decided that the regiment was ready to invade what is now New York State, home of the Iroquois. One of the members of the invasion Force was a Sulpician priest who had been given a special name for the invasion: Monsieur Colson. Actually, he was Francois Dollier de Casson, who had been a well-known soldier in France. He became a priest because he was disgusted with the cruelties of warfare. De Casson was very strong, and often called "the Samson of New France". On one occasion two "Annies", as the French called the Iroquois, tried to take him by surprise, stealing up behind and attacking him. He lifted them in the air, knocked their heads together till they were unconscious, and threw them aside.

It was a tough march to the Iroquois settlement but their conquest was easy; the troops burnt them, and destroyed the crops. Then on October 15, 1666, Tracy raised a cross bearing the lilies of France, and proclaimed the territory as belonging to New France.


15 October

-1851    Lady Elgin turned the sod for the Northern Railway.

-1864    Premier Tilley of New Brunswick, at the Quebec Conference, demanded that a railway be built between Canada and the Maritimes as a condition of Confederation.

-1884    The first issue of La Presse appeared in Montreal.

-1953    The Trans-Mountain oil pipeline was completed between Edmonton and Vancouver.

-1954    Hurricane Hazel killed eighty-two people and caused $24 million damage. 1959 The provinces demanded a greater share of taxes at a federal-provincial conference.