Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Their home at Passamaquoddy (on Campobello) probably in ruins, the Bergeron d’Amboise family undoubtedly settled down in
Marie-Anne, born in
Barthélémy evidently continued his old ways. He seems to have been a merchant (the English said “smuggler”) in peace time and a privateer (the English undoubtedly said “pirate”) in war time. One document says that he “sails on his own account” outside of the “occasional trip against the Bostonians.” His travels took him between the Acadian towns of Port-Royal, the
During these years there was much more activity between Acadians and Bostonians than either side’s government would have desired. The Acadians did not have a money economy, but relied on their own local resources, helping each other in a very “socialist” manner. They traded with various merchants for items they were not able to provide for themselves. Of course, it has always been practically impossible to tax trade by barter. Because of this economy, which continued long after the English took over
Fr. Bergeron tells us of the kind of vessel Barthélémy sailed: “This coastal navigation was as important as the easily-observed facts: the size of the launch-schooner (chaloupe-goélette) in question, the volume of its cargo, the five man crew found there,....”
“Other things that absolutely need to be added to properly judge these men and these things: the passage alone, from the French Bay to the St. John River, of the reversible falls or of the dangerous passes of the fiendish narrows that make, even in our day, an exploit as dangerous as rare; furthermore, the frequent and dense fogs of this Bay which so frighten sailors, without counting the monster tides varying from thirty to eighty feet (and which require, even today, some quays to be constructed in levels of multiple landings) cause numerous problems of navigation. It is necessary to have leaned from the top of these quays to view the sea below to know... vertigo!”
But all was not trade and peaceful sailing. The Bostonians were determined to conquer
For the next couple years, the Acadians tried to strengthen the fort, while Indians carried on the land war. Privateers kept after enemy shipping, and the booty captured served as supplies for
It seems that the Bergeron d’Amboise family was certainly still in
Then came another war. In 1710 the English attacked
The d’Amboise family appears four years later in the Acadian Census of 1714, made by Father Félix Pain, Récollet, missionary of Beaubassin, on 28 August. According to all the copies of this census that the author has seen, it lists the family this way:
For the longest time it never registered that this was our ancestor. Then something clicked. Obviously the printed records are a misreading of the handwriting; the “i” and the “s” in “Damboise” must have been run together so that they looked like a “u” while the “e” must have been written hastily so that it looked like a “c.”
Before continuing, here is a description of
On either side of the “DAMBOUC” entry are the following entries: “Abraham DUGAST and wife, 4 sons, 2 daughters” and “Rene GRANGER and wife, 5 sons, 3 daughters.” These seem to be the closest neighbors to our ancestor’s family. In his analysis of the census data, Fr. Bergeron mentions that they lived “among neighbors who, sixty years later, ‘found themselves...’ at this Nicoletaine Petite-Cadie [i.e., the Nicolet region of Québec where St-Grégoire is located] ...: the Orillon-Champagnes, the Vigneaus, the Boudreaus, the Melansons, the Belliveaus, etc.”
“They have, at this time,” Fr. Bergeron wrote, “three boys (Barthélémy II, Michel and Joseph- Augustin) and three girls (Marie, Françoise and Marie-Anne).” But the daughters had to have been Marie, Marie-Anne, and Anne (or Anne-Marie).
Three years later, Marie Bergeron married (Jean-)François
Two major family events occurred in 1721. On
The following year (1722) Barthélémy II and Marguerite Dugas had their first child, a son named Jean-Baptiste.
Chapter 12: Campobello (Again?)
Information from now on becomes very scarce. We do have some indications, however, of where our family lived and some of the things they did. The information about the Bergeron d’Amboises living on Campobello comes from materials written and stored in the English- speaking world. Fr. Bergeron did use the work of Beamish Murdoch, but it seems that he and the Acadian historians and genealogists did not look much further.
First, we know that there were indeed Acadian settlements on Campobello. Guy Murchie wrote in his Saint Croix Courier series: “It is a matter for sincere regret, however, that we do not know the sites of these French settlements, particularly that of St. Aubin. Aside from the indirect evidence we have referred to, the only information we have upon the subject is found upon a map, to be referred to in a future article, made early in the last century [i.e., the early 1700s] by Captain Cyprian Southack. If the imperfect topography of this map is correctly interpreted by the present writer, it locates French houses upon Campobello, near
Guy Murchie, in his
In Lovewell's War, so called, Passamaquoddy was the scene of the first encounter of the campaign. The sloop, Ipswich, in which Hibbert Newton, Collector of Customs at Annapolis Royal, John Adams, son on one of the councillors of Nova Scotia, and a Mr. Savage of Boston and his negro servants were passengers, touched at Harbor de Loutre, Campobello, on June 13, 1722. It proved for them to be a kind of
They anchored there on their way to
"War," answered Chief Joseph St. Aubin, who had just come from
The party was confined in Dambois' house under guard, the old man [59 years old] having disappeared. During the scrimmage, however, the two sailors who had rowed them ashore managed to slip away unnoticed, got in the dinghy, and started for the sloop. The Indians demanded that Blinn hail them back. Instead he shouted for them to go on board and make sail. Then he told the Indians, who didn't understand the order, that the sailors were too frightened to obey.
The Indians insisted that all on the sloop be brought on shore. Accordingly Mr. Savage at Blinn's request, started to go aboard. On coming along side in a canoe paddled by two of the Indians with a guard of two other canoes, he slipped quickly over the side of the sloop and ordered the crew to fire on the canoes. Seeing what was up, the Indians made off.
The sloop being now under sail and about to escape, the stratagem of the captain caused the Indians to release the prisoners upon the promise of presents. It was agreed that two of Dambois' men should go on board for the presents, but Savage sent only a part of what Blinn had ordered. The Indians refused to accept a part. When Dambois' men went back for the remainder Savage told them he would send no more unless the prisoners were released and put on board. He gave them an ultimatum that if this was not done within the hour, the sloop would sail for
The prisoners were now in great fear of the Indian's revenge. Hibbert Newton's journal, which tells us the story, says that God was good. D’Amboise having returned, their release was finally arranged by his giving the Indians twenty- seven pistoles' worth of Indian corn, powder and shot, which together with the presents from the sloop already delivered amounted to about 60 pounds. The Indians then crossed to their wigwams on
Captain Blinn had a small shallop stored at Otter harbor. A timely
This story shows up in a number of references of many periods of time. Alden Nowlan, in his Campobello: The Outer Island, quotes Mr. Hibbert Newton, who was present during these events:
It was Earlely ye 13th wee came to an Anchor att a place called
All in all, the treatment of the English by the Indians was quite mild and the price for their release was actually small. In August, 2001, my wife and I visited the Passamaquoddy Reservation just north of
Given the incident just quoted, it seems that Charles Serreau de St-Aubin’s son Joseph grew into a “chieftaincy.” However, “chief” is a very misleading term. With most native nations in what later became the
Also, it is intriguing that Blinn should stop in at d’Amboise’s for breakfast. This indicates a friendship of some length and depth. Of course, we have no idea when it began, but we do know that it continued into the next generation: Captain James Blinn’s son, Peter, shows up in a later event concerning Michel Bergeron, son of Barthélémy and Geneviève.
Chapter 13: Laws against Indians
When the Massachusetts Bay House of Representatives heard of what had happened to Blinn and
That Thirty Men under a proper Officer ... with Provision, Arms and Ammunition be put on Board the Sloop offered by Margaret Blin the Petitioner, to repair as soon as may be to Passamaquada, and there to use their best Endeavours to recover from the Indians the Persons mentioned in the said Petition, to be taken with them the Effects, belonging to them or any of them, and in case of Refusal to deliver them, or that they can't find the Persons so unjustly and forcibly seiz'd upon, to make Reprisal of the like Number of Indians, if possible in order to Exchange them for our People, if it may be, or if that can't be done, to bring the said Indians to Boston.
And when they have done what is to be performed at Passamaquada, to touch in their return at the several Places or Harbours on this side, where it is probable there may be any English Fishery or Vessels to give the Notice of the Fact committed at Passamaquada, and to warn them, and all such Vessels as they see Fishing on the Coast to be upon their guard, and in case they hear of any other Persons at any other Place seiz'd upon by the Indians, to endeavour the recovery of them, or make Reprisal in their stead.
And it is proposed that so far as the Sloop may be employed in going to Passamaquada, and in seeking the Recovery of said Blin and his Effects and in return in case she come directly back, the Sloop and the Sailors belonging to her as to their Wages and Provisions be at the Charge of said Blin, but as to the Time spent in Notifying other Places, at the Charge of the Province.
The reaction of the Bostonians to the Indian actions they believed led to Lovewell’s War, not only Blinn’s capture, was immediate and potentially violent. On
I do therefore by and with the advice of his Majesty's Council, hereby declare and proclaim the said Eastern Indians, with their Confederates, to be Robbers, Traitors and Enemies to his Majesty King George, his Crown and Dignity; and that they be henceforth proceeded against as such: Willing and Requiring all his Majesty's good Subjects, as they shall have Opportunity, to do and execute all acts of Hostility against them; Hereby also forbidding all his Majesty's good Subjects to hold any Correspondence with the said Indians, or to give Aid, Comfort, Succour or Relief unto them, on penalty of the Laws in that case made and provided. And whereas there be some of the said Indians, who have not been concerned in the perfidious and barbarous Acts beforementioned, and many may be desirous to put themselves under the Protection of this Government.
This may have put the Bergeron d’Amboise family in some danger. They were not only located where Blinn and
Somewhere along the line, Blinn had gotten some sort of special item that he could use to establish communications with the Indians without danger.
In July 1723, a number of sailing vessels were taken by Indians in Canso (northern
The loss of so many Indians enraged them (the Indians) and they determined to revenge themselves upon the poor fisherman, above twenty of whom yet remained prisoners..., and they were all destined to be sacrificed to the manes of the slain Indians. The powowing and other ceremonies were performing when Capt. Blin, in a sloop, appeared off the harbour and made the signal or sent in a token which had been agreed upon between him and the Indians, when he was their prisoner, should be his protection. Three of the Indians went aboard his vessel and agreed for the ransom, both of the vessels and captives, which were delivered to him and the ransom paid.
Blinn appears throughout Murdoch’s work. At one point (
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