country along the Richelieu. For the defence of the colonists from these assaults, a body of 120 coureurs de bois was armed and placed under Vaudreuil, and on the island of Montreal small forts were constructed as places of refuge for the inhabitants on the approach of their merciless enemies. A sort of outlying fortress was built on an elevation near the river close to the St. Mary's Current, where a windmill had been erected.
Meanwhile, James II of England and Louis XIV of France, by mutual agreement, sent secret orders to their-representatives in America to abstain from hostilities. Denonville, in reply, sent word to the French minister that it was important to continue the war with the Iroquois, and asked for a reinforcement of 800 soldiers, and 150 labourers. But the French minister answered that the King had need of his soldiers elsewhere, and, as only 300 men could be spared, counselled him to make peace with the Iroquois on almost any terms. As a consequence, in June, 1688, the Iroquois were invited to send peace delegates to Montreal. On their arrival they demanded the demolition of Fort Niagara and the restoration of their tribesmen who had been treacherously seized by Denonville at Fort Frontenac and sent to France. As Fort Niagara could not be maintained, the Governor willingly acceded to the first condition; as to the second, he stated that he had already written to France requesting that the prisoners should be sent back. The result was a promise of peace, a promise not worth the document to which the chiefs affixed their totems. Indeed the years 1688–89 proved disastrous, almost fatal, to the French colony, now numbering nearly 12,000 souls. The Five Nations, instigated by the English colonists and animated by an ardent desire to wreak vengeance on the
t This work was gradually strengthened and eventually was regarded as the citadel or main defence of the town. It so remained at the surrender of the town to the British in 1759. The hill has since entirely disappeared. The summit was removed many years ago to facilitate the construction of streets, some of the material being used to grade the present Champ de Mars.