[Footnote 67: Duquesne au Ministre, 29 Sept. 1754.]
It seems that unlawful gain was not the only secret spring of the movement. An officer of repute says that the Intendant, Bigot, enterprising in his pleasures as in his greed, was engaged in an intrigue with the wife of Chevalier Pean; and wishing at once to console the husband and to get rid of him, sought for him a high command at a distance from the colony. Therefore while Marin, an able officer, was made first in rank, Pean was made second. The same writer hints that Duquesne himself was influenced by similar motives in his appointment of leaders.
[Footnote 68: Pouchot, Memoire sur la derniere Guerre de l’Amerique septentrionale (ed. 1781), I. 8.]
He mustered the colony troops, and ordered out the Canadians. With the former he was but half satisfied; with the latter he was delighted; and he praises highly their obedience and alacrity. “I had not the least trouble in getting them to march. They came on the minute, bringing their own guns, though many people tried to excite them to revolt; for the whole colony opposes my operations.” The expedition set out early in the spring of 1753. The whole force was not much above a thousand men, increased by subsequent detachments to fifteen hundred; but to the Indians it seemed a mighty host; and one of their orators declared that the lakes and rivers were covered with boats and soldiers from Montreal to Presquisle. Some Mohawk hunters by the St. Lawrence saw them as they passed, and hastened home to tell the news to Johnson, whom they wakened at midnight, “whooping and hollowing in a frightful manner." Lieutenant Holland at Oswego saw a fleet of canoes upon the lake, and was told by a roving Frenchman that they belonged to an army of six thousand men going to the Ohio, “to cause all the English to quit those parts."
[Footnote 69: Duquesne au Ministre, 27 Oct. 1753.]
[Footnote 70: Johnson to Clinton, 20 April, 1753, in N.Y. Col. Docs., VI. 778.]
[Footnote 71: Holland to Clinton, 15 May, 1753, in N.Y. Col. Docs., VI. 780.]
The main body of the expedition landed at Presquisle, on the southeastern shore of Lake Erie, where the town of Erie now stands; and here for a while we leave them.
Conflict for Acadia
While in the West all the signs of the sky foreboded storm, another tempest was gathering the East, less in extent, but not less in peril. The conflict in Acadia has a melancholy interest, since it ended in a castastrophe which prose and verse have joined to commemorate, but of which the causes have not been understood.