The New International Encyclopædia/Frontenac, Louis de Buade

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FRONTENAC, frônt'nȧk', Louis de Buade, Comte de (c. 1621-98). The greatest of the Governors of New France. He was born in France about 1621. At an early age he entered the military service, and rapidly attained promotion. He became colonel at twenty-three and brigadier-general at twenty-six, and saw active service in Italy, Flanders, and Germany. In 1672 he was appointed to succeed De Courcelles as Governor of New France. Frontenae was choleric and arbitrary by nature, but extremely energetic, and sincerely ambitious to inaugurate an era of prosperity for Canada. His first act was to convene the three estates — Clergy, Nobles, and Commons — and to establish municipal government in Quebec. The royal policy, however, was adverse to the granting of extensive political rights to the Canadians, and the Governor's reforms in this direction were disapproved. He next became involved in controversies with the Jesuits, with the Intendant Talon, and with Perrot, the Governor at Montreal. These quarrels divided the colony into factions, and led at length to the recall of Frontenac in 1682. In 1689 he regained the King's favor, and was restored to his former position, which he held until his death, in November, 1698. Frontenac's first administration was especially marked by energy and tact in his dealings with the Indians, and by his encouragement of French explorations in the West. He aided Joliet, Marquette, and La Salle, and established posts at Mackinac, Niagara, and in the Illinois country. After his reappointment he waged a vigorous war against the Iroquois, who had reduced Canada to desolation, and against their allies and instigators, the English. The frontier towns of New England and New York were repeatedly ravaged by his punitive expeditions. His most signal achievement in these campaigns was the show of force by which he foiled Sir William Phips's fleet before Quebec in 1690. At different times he might have made peace with the Iroquois if he had been willing to abandon to their vengeance his Algonquin allies; but this he steadfastly refused to do, and it was not until his last campaign in the Mohawk country in 1696 that the Iroquois were brought to sue for peace. Consult: Winsor, Cartier to Frontenac (Boston, 1894); and Parkman, Frontenac and New France Under Louis XIV. (Boston, 1877).