13 December

Iroquois Sign Treaty, Impressed by French

Spanish civilization crushed the Indian; English. civilization scorned and

neglected him; French civilization embraced and cherished him.

                                                            —FRANCIS PARKMAN, 1865

The making of peace is a fact more difficult than has been than the winning of the war.

                                                                                                    --JOHN W. DEFOE, 1919

France would have had a better chance of keeping Canada if it had been possible to secure the backing of the Iroquois. The Five Nations tribes eventually gave their full support to the British, whom they disliked—but they hated the French.

There was one period of peace between the Iroquois and the French and it lasted nearly twenty years. On December 13, 1667, representatives of the Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas signed a peace treaty at Quebec. They had been greatly impressed by the arrival of the Marquis de Tracy and the famous Carignan-Salières Regiment on June 30. The fifth Iroquois tribe, the fierce Mohawks, did not capitulate until Tracy captured Andaraqué (see October 15).

The peace between the French and the Iroquois was due in part to the efforts of a half-breed spokesman for the Indians who was known as the "Flemish Bastard." Although the "Flemish Bastard" helped to bring about peace, he was not popular with the French clergy. Father Ragueneau wrote in the Jesuit Relations: "This commander, the most prominent among the enemies of the Faith, was a Hollander—or rather, an execrable issue of sin, the monstrous offspring of a Dutch heretic father and a pagan woman". His mother was actually a Mohawk.

Although the peace was broken several times, it was feared by other Indian nations, in whose interest it was to keep the French and Iroquois at war with each other. Crafty Huron chief Kondiaronk, the Rat, governed his people in the Great Lakes area from Michilimackinac. After the incidents at Fort Frontenac and the massacre at Lachine (see August 5), he learned that the Iroquois were sending a delegation to Fort Frontenac to try to work out another peace treaty. Kondiaronk ambushed them, killed one of the chiefs, and took the others prisoner. Then he pretended that he had been acting under the orders of the French, and allowed them to "escape." When the Iroquois arrived back in their villages they described what they had been led to believe was the treachery of the French. That was the end of any possible peace between the Iroquois and Onontio, as the French governors were called.


13 December

-1665    Intendant Talon built a ship of 120 tons at his own expense.

              The Dutch attacked St. John's, Newfoundland.

-1783    It was estimated that there were 30,000 United Empire Loyalists in Nova Scotia.

              Penal laws against Roman Catholics were repealed in Nova Scotia.

-1785    Loyalists petitioned Governor Carleton for an Academy of Arts and Science. This led to the creation of the University of New Brunswick.

-1804    Joseph Howe was born in Halifax.

-1837    W. L. Mackenzie occupied Navy Island above Niagara Falls (see December 7) and proclaimed a provisional government.

-1893    Prince Edward Island voted for prohibition.

-1907    The Women's Canadian Club was inaugurated at Montreal by Governor-General Earl Grey.