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      This scheme was to take Ticonderoga, and then to advance upon Albany. Whilst the army was marching to this point, the fleet, carrying another strong force, was to ascend the Hudson, and there meet Burgoyne, by which means the British could then command the Hudson through its whole extent; and New England, the head of the rebellion, would be entirely cut off from the middle and southern countries. The plan was excellent in itself, but demanded for its successful accomplishment not only commanders familiar with the country, but the most ardent spirit in them, and the most careful co-operation."Louis, by the grace of God King of France and Navarre, to our dear and well-beloved Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, greeting. We have received with favor the very humble petition made us in your name, to permit you to labor at the discovery of the western parts of New France; and we have the more willingly entertained this proposal, [Pg 125] since we have nothing more at heart than the exploration of this country, through which, to all appearance, a way may be found to Mexico.... For this and other causes thereunto moving us, we permit you by these presents, signed with our hand, to labor at the discovery of the western parts of our aforesaid country of New France; and, for the execution of this enterprise, to build forts at such places as you may think necessary, and enjoy possession thereof under the same clauses and conditions as of Fort Frontenac, conformably to our letters patent of May thirteenth, 1675, which, so far as needful, we confirm by these presents. And it is our will that they be executed according to their form and tenor: on condition, nevertheless, that you finish this enterprise within five years, failing which, these presents shall be void, and of no effect; that you carry on no trade with the savages called Ottawas, or with other tribes who bring their peltries to Montreal; and that you do the whole at your own cost and that of your associates, to whom we have granted the sole right of trade in buffalo-hides. And we direct the Sieur Count Frontenac, our governor and lieutenant-general, and also Duchesneau, intendant of justice, police, and finance, and the officers of the supreme council of the aforesaid country, to see to the execution of these presents; for such is our pleasure.

      But the Czarina, though mistress of Oczakoff, was far from the end of her designs. She contemplated nothing but the subjugation of the Turkish empire. For this purpose she determined to excite insurrection in all the tributary states of that empire. Her agents had excited the Montenegrins to an outbreak; they had prepared the Greeks for the same experiment, and the Mameluke Beys in Egypt. She determined to send a powerful fleet into the Mediterranean to co-operate with these insurgents, to seize on the island of Crete, to ravage the coasts of Thrace and Asia Minor, and to force the passage of the Dardanelles, or, if that were not practicable, to blockade them. Thus opening the communication between her forces in the Mediterranean and in the Black Sea, she considered that Turkey would lie helpless at her feet. To give the necessary ascendency to her fleet, she had long been encouraging English naval officers to take commands in it. At the famous battle of Chesm, it was the British Admirals Elphinstone, Greig, and others who had made Potemkin victorious. Greig was now at the head of the fleet that was being prepared at Cronstadt for this Mediterranean enterprise. She had also managed to engage eighteen British ships to serve as transports of troops, artillery, and stores.Not only La Salle, but Joutel and others of his party, believed that the wreck of the "Aimable" was intentional. Aigron, who commanded her, had disobeyed orders and disregarded signals. Though he had been directed to tow the vessel through the channel, he went in under sail; and though little else was saved from the wreck, his personal property, including even some preserved fruits, was all landed safely. He had long been on ill terms with La Salle.[296]

      emphatic expressions of his views concerning them, see two

      conduite de la Compagnie appelle l'Hermitage.

      the St. Lawrence are to a great extent formed of beds of



      *** Mmoire a Duchesneau, 15 Mai, 1678; Le Roy a


      called Histoire du Montralis unhappily little more thanSCHEMES OF DISCOVERY.


      [91] Louis XIV. alludes to this visit, in a letter to Frontenac, dated 28 April, 1677. "I cannot but approve," he writes, "of what you have done, in your voyage to Fort Frontenac, to reconcile the minds of the Five Iroquois Nations, and to clear yourself from the suspicions they had entertained, and from the motives that might induce them to make war." Frontenac's despatches of this year, as well as of the preceding and following years, are missing from the archives.[94]