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Upon the 20th of January, a treaty was signed at St. Christopher's between the English and French governors, and the agent for the French India Company, by which the former treaties, made between the English and French in that island were declared to be in force, and neither nation was to commence hostilities upon the other, except by express orders from their respective sovereigns, and then not without giving three times twenty-four
hours' notic and then noby express orase to commence
In February, M. Clodore, the governor of Martinico, sent M. du Blanc to Barbadoes, to complain to Lord Willoughby of the depredations committed upon the French by James Walker, the master of an English merchant vessel, and to know if his lordship had ratified the treaty which had been renewed between the governors of St. Christopher's. Du Blanc was received in form, and appears to have been surprized at the splendour of his lordship's establishment, and the wealth of the island; he estimated its force at from eighteen to 20,000 infantry, and near 3000 cavalry, and the slaves at upwards of 40,000: he says the Town of the Bridge could turn out 4000 horses, mounted by the merchants, who are expert horsemen, and exercised occasionally by able captains. After remaining some days, Du Blanc returned with Lord Willoughby's answer: it reprobated the conduct of Walker, and promised to punish him, if he could not justify himself. With respect to the renewal of the treaty at St. Christopher's, as yet no information had reached him upon the subject; but as soon as it did, he should ratify the treaty, and do every thing in his power to preserve the good understanding subsisting at present between the subjects of the two nations.
The English attacked the Dutch settlements upon the banks of the river Pomaroon. Middleburg and Harlipyak were plundered and abandoned, and Fort Zealand was destroyed.
Upon the 26th of January, Louis the Fourteenth, King of France, declared war against England, in favour of the Dutch.
Commodore Creissen, with four men of war and 300 men, sailed from Zealand in January — arrived at Cayenne in March went from thence to Surinam and sailed up the river under English colours; at Fort Paramaribo, he was discovered for want of signals. From his ships he returned the fire from the fort, and landed his troops at the same time. The fort was weak on the
Du Tertre, tom. iii. p. 260. Bolinbroke's Voyage to Demerary, p. 202. Du Mont, tom. vi. partie iii. p. 82. Harris's Voyages, vol. ii. p. 253.
Du Tertre, tom. iii. pp. 244, 245.
land side, and could only be succoured by water, where the Zealanders were masters. It surrendered upon terms, which included the inhabitants on the banks of the river Surinam, and those of Kamomioque, stipulating that all those who should take the oath of fidelity to the States of Zealand should enjoy their estates: the habitations of absentees, and those belonging to Lord Willoughby, to be forfeited to the States. All foreigners who had no estates there to be prisoners of war, and all the English to deliver up their arms. Creissen repaired the fort - placed 150 men in it, under the command of De Rome, and sailed with his booty and prisoners for the islands.
About this time, the island of Tobago was taken from the Dutch by an expedition fitted out at the expense of some private individuals. Du Tertre says, “par sept adventuriers Anglois :" it consisted of four sail. The island was taken after a slight resistance, and the commandant and his garrison, consisting of 150 men, made prisoners of war.
The island of St. Eustatia also was taken from the Dutch early in this year, by Colonel Morgan, at the head of two hundred buccaneers from Jamaica. This was a valuable prize, obtained without much loss: the garrison was considered sufficiently numerous to have defended the island against an army. Besides the great quantity of merchandize and cattle, the captors took 500 Negroes.
A party of English buccaneers landed upon Tortola, and took possession of it from the Dutch. Tortola and its dependencies were soon afterwards annexed to the Leeward Island government.
The Cacao-tree was planted at Port de Paix and Port Margot, in St. Domingo, by M. Ogeron : it succeeded beyond his hopes, and soon spread over the island.
Upon the 6th of January, Mr. Cook, the governor of St. Lucia, set fire to the fort, and abandoned the island. Of 1500 persons who were landed with him in June, 1664, only eighty-nine had survived the effects of disease, famine, and the continual incursions of the Caribs.
Upon Friday, the 18th of April, Colonel William Wats, governor of St. Christopher's, sent to the French governor, De Sales, to inform him that war was declared between their two countries, and that he hoped the agreement signed between them would be adhered to. The agreement promised, that in case war was declared between the Crowns of England and France, the governors should give information of it one to the other; and that though there was - war between the Kings of
B. Edwards, vol. i. p. 500.
Charlevoix, tom. iv. p. 216.
France and England, nevertheless one nation should not make war upon the other in that island, except by express orders from their King; and that then they should be obliged to send information of it one to the other, three times twenty-four hours before any act of hostility was committed. This was signed the 20th of January.
Upon the following Monday, after receiving the declaration of hostilities between the two countries, M. de Sales sent a messenger to Colonel Wats, to thank him for the information, and to express his astonishment at the arrival of troops. [Nine large boats, full of soldiers, under the command of Colonel Morgan, the governor of St. Eustatia, had landed that night, and been fired at by the French.] Wats replied, that it was more than thrice twenty-four hours since he had informed M. de Sales of the declaration of war, and that he was obliged to obey his prince. The French messenger insisted upon the agreement requiring a particular order from one of the two Kings to commence hostilities, and of three times twenty-four hours being given after that; and begged a written answer from Colonel Wats, who refused to give one, alleging, that now, when he was going to fight, he had no time for writing!
The French, instead of waiting to be attacked, upon Tuesday the 22d of April attacked the English at Cayonne, and drove them from their position with considerable loss. The French, commanded by Guillon, preceded by 120 Negroes, set fire to the houses and sugar-canes, with horrible cries, “ looking like so many demons !” They continued their route without meeting with any further opposition, burning every thing on both sides, until they reached the Ravine of Amileton : here De Sales halted his men, to recover breath, and form in order of battle again. They then proceeded to Cinq Combles, where their advanced-guard, commanded by M. St. Amour, fell into an ambuscade, and were killed.
De Sales, observing him fall, pushed forward to his rescue; but receiving two musket-balls at the same moment, fell dead upon the spot! The French, confused by the loss of their commander, were with difficulty brought again to the attack by M. St. Laurent, who now commanded them. With great loss they returned to Capsterre, carrying with them De Sales' body.
The French commandant at Capsterre, M. du Sanois, had succeeded in repulsing the English under Colonel Reyms; but while M. Laurent's troops were refreshing themselves after their three days' fatigue, they received intelligence that Colonel Wats, with his troops, and Colonel Morgan, with his buccaneers, had attacked M. de Poincy at Sandy Point.
Du Tertre, tom. iv. pp. 16. 24. 29, 30. 35.
leading in ambuscadell the tip, and died. After del De Poivention
At half-past eight on Tuesday morning, the English, 1400 strong, commanded by Colonels Wats and Morgan', entered the French lands near Sandy Point. The French were prepared to receive them; and taking advantage of a sudden shift of wind, set on fire a cane patch, the smoke of which, blowing directly upon the English, enabled some sharp-shooters to approach them undiscovered, and pick off several men.
Enraged at this unexpected annoyance, the English descended in confusion to the attack-Colonel Morgan, with 260 buccaneers, leading the way. De Poincy, observing their approach, placed himself in ambuscade behind a strong hedge of raquettes, from whence they galled the English severely. Colonel Morgan received two balls in his groin, and died, seven days afterwards, at Nevis: most of his followers were killed. After half an hour's fighting, however, they forced the hedge, wounded De Poincy mortally, and killed some of his principal officers. Colonel Wats was proceeding by another road to the rear of the French, but was shot through the head, and died without saying a word !
The loss of their commanders occasioned confusion, and the English fled to the grand roadstead, abandoning their fort upon the frontier, after spiking the guns. The fugitives proceeded immediately to Colonel Wats's house, and destroyed every thing in it, suspecting that he had betrayed them!
Father Boulogne, of the order of Friars Prescheurs, distinguished himself in this action: he put off the dress of his order, and habited as a cavalier, proceeded upon horseback to the head of the battalions, animating the soldiers to fight courageously – assuring them that their cause was one of religion as well as state, because their enemies were heretics, and the palm of
Du Tertre, tom. iv. pp. 35, 36.
! Du Tertre tells the following story of a quarrel between Colonels Wats and Colonel Morgan:
“ Mais il est vray que le J. Wats fit une proposition ridicule au Colonel Morgan, qui estoit d'aller combatre avec les boucaniers et une partie des soldats Anglois, toutes les troupes François vic. torieuses des premiers quartiers, reunies ensemble, et prestes a les combatre : pendant que luy avec l'autre partie des troupes, entreroit dans le bas terre des François, qui est à sept grandes lieues de la pointe de sable, et tacheroit de prendre les esclaves, les femmes et les enfans des François, afin de leur faire perdre courage. Mais comme l'on estoit sur le
la perte de l'une ou de l'autre nation, et que l'affaire devoit estre faite, avant que les François sceussent rien de ce qui se passeroit dans leur quartier : cette proposition parut au Colonel Morgan sortir de la teste d’un fol, ou d'un traitre; si bien que tout bouillant de colère et de depit, il prit d'une main la cravate du Gouverneur Wats, et de l'autre luy applique le pistolet sur la gorge, et luy dit, J'executeray ton commandement, mais tu es un traitre que nous a amméné à la boucherie;' et tout en jurant il dit ces mots, “ Je te tue tout à l'heur, si tu ne marches le premier: et il falut qu'il y allast, mais comme un homme que l'on méne au gibet.” Du Tertre, tom. iv. p. 34.
martyrdom would be given to those who fell in the battle! He then made them all kneel down, beg pardon for their sins, and gave them all absolution. After the action was over, he again changed his dress, and as a friar administered the sacrament to the dying.
In these actions, Colonel Wats and Morgan, the two English commanders, Governor Sales, and M. de Poincy, nephew of the former governor, the two French commanders, were killed.
The same night the English sent a flag of truce to request the body of their governor: the French arrested both the officer and his interpreter! The next day, another flag of truce was sent by the English, with proposals for a capitulation, which were agreed to by Colonel Reyms on the part of the English, and the Chevalier St. Laurent on the part of the French. It contained eight articles: — That the English should deliver up immediately all the forts, with their arms and ammunition : that every body not a housekeeper should quit the island without delay: that those that had an establishment might remain, upon taking the oath of fidelity to the King and West India Company. None of the English were to carry any arms, not even to wear a sword! Those that chose to quit the island had liberty to do so, and to sell their property to the French. Liberty of conscience was granted, upon condition that the English did not meet or perform any exercise of their religion in public.
The articles were to be accepted, and hostages given, in four hours, or the French would renew hostilities.
The next morning, St. Laurent took possession of Fort Charles, and of a large ship then in the roads, on board of which the inhabitants had embarked their property, and more than 400 Negroes. These St. Laurent seized, under pretence that some of them might have belonged to the English killed in the battle, or who had fled, or who were not upon the island, and consequently, he said, not entitled to the privilege of the capitulation!
At this time there were 1000 men at Palm Point, who had been stationed there by Wats. Had these been with him in the action, or had they been ably commanded, the island would not have been lost. St. Laurent had only 700 men, and not more than two rounds of powder for them. It was with difficulty Mrs. Wats escaped from the fury of the buccaneers, so strong was their conviction of her husband's treachery.
The body of Colonel Wats was thrown by the French down a deep ravine, on the top of the carcasses of seven or eight horses, which, Du Tertre says, were to serve as a bed for his body; and upon his body there were thrown twenty-two waggon
Du Tertre, tom. iv. pp. 46, 47. 49. 52.