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imes, disguised as Indians, robbed and murdered English settlers. By the new-fangled construction of the treaty of Utrecht which the French boundary commissioners had devised, [242] more than half the Acadian peninsula, including nearly all the cultivated land and nearly all the population of French descent, was claimed as belonging to France, though England had held possession of it more than forty years. Hence, according to the political 鏉窞涓嶆瑙勭殑鎸夋懇搴楀仛鍝簺 ethics adopted at the time by both nations, it would be lawful for France to reclaim it by force. England, on her part, it will be remembered, claimed vast tracts beyond the isthmus; and, on the same pretext, held that 237
V1 she might rightfully seize them and capture Beaus茅jour, with the other French garrisons that guarded them.
[240] See ante, Chapter IV.
[241] Rameau (La France aux Colonies, I. 63), estimates the total emigration from 1748 to 1755 at 8,600 souls,鈥攚hich number seems much too large. This writer, though vehemently anti-English, gives the following passage 鏉窞娌瑰帇浼氭墍 from a letter of a high French official: “que les Acadiens 茅migr茅s et en grande mis猫re comptaient se retirer 脿 Qu茅bec et demander des terres, mais il conviendrait mieux qu’ils restent où ils sont, afin d’avoir le voisinage de l’Acadie bien peupl茅 et 鏉窞瓒虫荡鍚嶅簵 d茅frich茅, pour approvisionner l’Isle Royale [Cape Breton] et tomber en cas de guerre sur l’Acadie.” Rameau, I. 133.
[242] Supra, p. 123.
On

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the part of France, an invasion of the Acadian peninsula seemed more than likely. Honor demanded of her that, having incited the Acadians to disaffection, and so brought on them the indignation of the English authorities, she should intervene to save them from the consequences. Moreover the loss of the Acadian peninsula had been gall and wormwood to her; and in losing it she had lost great material advantages. Its possession was necessary 鏉窞娲楁荡浼氭墍 to connect Canada with the Island of Cape Breton and the fortress of Louisbourg. Its fertile fields and agricultural people would furnish subsistence to the troops and garrisons in the French maritime provinces, now dependent on supplies illicitly brought by 鏉窞娲楁荡閭i噷濂?New England traders, and liable to be cut off in time of war when they were needed most. The harbors of Acadia, too, would

鏉窞瀹跺涵spa鑱旂郴鏂瑰紡

be invaluable as naval stations from which to curb and threaten the northern English colonies. Hence the intrigues so assiduously practised to keep the Acadians French at heart, and ready to throw off British rule at any favorable moment. British officers believed that should a French squadron with a sufficient force of troops on board appear in the Bay of Fundy, the whole population on the Basin of Mines and along the Annapolis would rise in arms, and 鏉窞鎸夋懇淇濆仴 that the emigrants beyond the isthmus, armed and trained by French officers, 238
V1 would come to their aid. This emigrant population, famishing in exile, looked back with regret to the farms they had abandoned; and, prevented as they were by Le Loutre and his 鏉窞澶滅綉hzyw colleagues from making their peace with the English, they would, if confident of success, have gladly joined an invading force to regain