The White and the Gold: The French Regime in Canada

The White and the Gold: The French Regime in Canada

Thomas B. Costain

Language: English

Pages: 407

ISBN: 0385045263

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


This is the fascinating story of the French regime in Canada. Few periods in the history of North America can equal it for romance and color, drama and suspense, great human courage and far-seeing aspiration. Costain, who writes history in the terms of the people who lived it, wrote of this book: "Almost from the first I found myself caught in the spell of these courageous, colorful, cruel days. But whenever I found myself guilty of overstressing the romantic side of the picture and forgetful of the more prosaic life beneath, I tried to balance the scales more properly. [This] is...a conscientious effort at a balanced picture of a period which was brave, bizarre, fanatical, lyrical, lusty, and, in fact, rather completely unbalanced."

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clotted blood. Eight men died before the end of the year, and the disease became progressively worse as the rigors of January and February held nature in an iron clutch. The mortality became such that Cartier had to bury the victims at night under the drifts of snow. This was necessary so that the ever-watchful Indians, egged on by Taignoagny, “that craftie knave,” would not know how fast the ranks were being depleted. Those who were well enough were set to work at hammering and sawing so that

realistic, he said that the men had married French wives and were living in great ease and comfort in stone houses. Fortunately for the French, the Indian who had been selected to act as chief in Donnacona’s absence was well pleased with the news. It meant that he could remain permanently in his post. He professed to believe everything Cartier said, and his glum followers had no chance to express their feelings. Despite the friendliness of the new chief, it was clear from the start that the

and bobbing plumes with his strange new weapon, the terrible musket. While Denonville set his men to work at Niagara, the gloomy interior of the council house at Onondaga echoed with the talk of the chiefs assembled there to decide upon measures of reprisal. 5 The demolition of the Seneca villages was followed by a period of indecision. Denonville was realizing that his problem had not been solved by the partial victory he had scored. Canada was faced with a famine. There had been no furs

A young Norseman named Thorfinn organized a fleet of ships and set out with a considerable company. There were one hundred and sixty men in the party as well as a number of women. They took a herd of cattle with them and they built houses and cleared land for cultivation, after which they turned the cattle out to pasture on the thin outcropping of vegetation along the beaches. Thorfinn’s wife had accompanied him, and a son was born to them who was given the name of Snorre and who enjoyed,

with the party going by way of the Ottawa to Ville Marie. The mission at St. Joseph was a large one, with a highly devout priest, Father Antoine Daniel, in charge. On July 4 Father Daniel was celebrating early Mass, and an unusually large gathering filled the chapel. It promised to be a warm day, and already a strong sun was flooding through the windows and lighting the interior. Suddenly the resonant voice of the priest was interrupted by a cry from the palisades, “The Hotinonsionni! The

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