• In the confused and tumultuous history of the savages of this continent one now and then sees some tribe or league of tribes possessed for a time with a spirit of conquest and havoc that made it the terror of its neighbors. Of this the foremost example is that of the Five Nations of the Iroquois, who, towards the middle of the seventeenth century, swept all before them and made vast regions a solitude. They were now comparatively quiet; but far in the Northwest, another people, inferior in number, organization, and mental capacity, but not in ferocity or courage, had begun on a smaller scale, and with less conspicuous success, to play a similar part. These were the Outagamies, or Foxes, with their allies, the Kickapoos and the Mascoutins, all living at the time within the limits of the present States of Wisconsin and Illinois,—the Outagamies near Fox River, and the others on Rock River.[280] The Outagamies, in particular, seem to have been seized with an access of homicidal fury. Their hand was against every man, and for twenty years and more they were the firebrands of the West, and a ceaseless peril to French interests in that region. They were, however, on good terms with the Five Nations, by means of whom, as French writers say, the Dutch and English of Albany sent them gifts and messages to incite[Pg 279] them to kill French traders and destroy the French fort at Detroit. This is not unlikely, though the evidence on the point is far from conclusive.continued;
  • fathoms
  • In spite of darkness and surprise, the assailants met a stiff resistance and a hot and persistent fusillade. Vaudreuil says that they could dislodge the defenders only by setting fire to both houses and fort. In this they were not very successful, as but few of the dwellings were burned. A fire was kindled against the meeting-house, which was saved by one Davis and a few others, who made a dash from behind the adjacent parsonage, drove the Indians off, and put out the flames. Rolfe, the minister, had already been killed while defending his house. His wife and one of his children were butchered; but two[Pg 98] others—little girls of six and eight years—were saved by the self-devotion of his maid-servant, Hagar, apparently a negress, who dragged them into the cellar and hid them under two inverted tubs, where they crouched, dumb with terror, while the Indians ransacked the place without finding them. English accounts say that the number of persons killed—men, women, and children—was forty-eight; which the French increase to a hundred.scandal-mongers
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