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Kentucky Color - Lucy Clark Demumbrunn Chapter VII
Pierre Boucher's victory with 40 French Canadians changed the course of Canada's History. He was an ancestor of Adair County's Lucy Clark Demumbrunn.
Click on headline for complete Chapter VII
NEXT EARLIER CHAPTER: Kentucky Color - Lucy Clark Demumbrunn Chapter VI
By Billy Joe Fudge
At first, one might think that 600 Iroquois warriors might not be an overwhelming force but Pierre Boucher was in the small fort of Trois-Rivieres with a grand total of less than 50 men.
In reality these 40+ men, although able bodied, were mostly old men and teenagers. This would be the time when Pierre's defensive infrastructure and years of strategic planning would either prove to be a stroke of genius or a glorified vehicle of death and destruction for himself and maybe all the French settlers in the Saint Lawrence River area of the New World.
The Iroquois attacked by storming the fort and surrounding countryside from multiple directions. They stole all the livestock and burned everything outside the fort including the houses, barns and crops. They attacked several times that first day and each time the tiny force would repel their attackers. The Iroquois would retreat to the safety of the woods and plan their next attack.
Each time it appears, Pierre would anticipate their attack points and move his forces from place to place around the inside of the fort. He would move the men about several times a day to give the illusion of 400 defenders rather than 40.
The attacks continued day after day. The Iroquois were relentless in their attempts to get at Pierre and the fort's defenders. Three days turned into four, then four into five. Six, seven, eight and nine days in a row the little fort with its outmanned band of Boucher trained defenders withstood everything that was thrown at them.
Then after the nine day siege of the fort of Trois-Rivieres, the Iroquois asked for a peace meeting. Pierre went out of the fort by himself to negotiate with them and negotiate, he did.
We to this day don't know the particulars of this meeting. We do know that Pierre understood and spoke their language. We would hazard a guess that he understood their superstitions, their fears and their desires. He understood that they had a strong desire to forge alliances because the Iroquois tribes were already a nation prior to Europeans arriving upon the North American Continent. They were a confederacy of several tribes of Native Americans who were held together by agreement much like our United States are held together by agreement for the mutual benefit of all.
However, we do know the results of that meeting that day. Pierre realized at some point that he was negotiating from a position of strength and in our way of saying it today; "he asked for everything including the kitchen sink, and got it"!
Just gaze upon the demands Pierre was able to get the Iroquois to agree to in Pierre's very own words.
"The peace was concluded on the conditions that they would hand over to me all the prisoners they had in their army, whether they were French or Indian, that they would go and get those whom they were holding in their villages and bring them back within 40 days, and that the most important among the Iroquois nations would come with presents to Quebec to seek peace from our governor M. de Lauzon, and to conclude it, this was carried out in every particular. And when they went away, they left me six of their children as hostages."
The conditions Pierre demanded and received from the Iroquois Nation in order to precipitate peaceful coexistence was so breathtaking in scope and such a sudden reversal of what seemed to be an immediate defeat for the French Settlers that most of them viewed it as a "Divine intervention". A "Divine intervention" brought about by the hand, head and heart of one, Pierre Boucher.
Governor Jean de Lauson said to Pierre Boucher: "It was fortunate that you held your post so well. For if the enemy had taken Trois-Rivieres, the whole country would have been lost."
It is no wonder that a statue of Pierre stands at the Quebec Parliament and to this day is considered to be a Canadian National Hero.
Reading the chapters going forward OR back to Chapter I to start from the beginning:
This story was posted on 2017-01-29 04:26:36
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