Monday, February 28, 2011

Patricia Bradshaw Schaeffer 1965 - 2011

I first met Patty Bradshaw in 1994, back when I lived in Delaware. We were drawn together by a mutual interest in Star Trek, and since I had been taping episodes of ST:TNG right from its beginning, we would get together from time to time to watch them. I got to meet her mother, her brother, and her cocker spaniel Crystal, and we became good friends. We stayed friends when I moved to Rhode Island at the beginning of 1997. I was there when she married her husband Billy, and she was there when I married my wife Kerry.

Patty was one of the sweetest, kindest, most good-natured people I've ever known, and even though she had to face more than her fair share of tragedy, she never lost her sunny outlook. When she found a stray cat living in a barn near her home in Middletown, she adopted it and took it home. The cat had a litter of kittens, and when she offered me one, I of course accepted. We met at a rest stop in northern New Jersey, where she handed over the kitten, and I took it home with me. That kitten, now aged 11, is still with us.

The last time I met Patty was in the summer of 2002. I had been layed off, and I took advantage of the free time to travel to Delaware to visit with my family and friends. It was a stormy summer day as I drove down to Middletown, and the rain was still falling when I drove up to Patty and Billy's house. While it rained out, we brought each other up to date on our lives, she showed me around the house, and I got to meet her newest cats and cocker spaniel. Then the rain stopped, and Patty and I took a walk through the streets near her house, with the sky still cloudy and the air still damp, circling the block until we were back at her house. Then we hugged each other and said goodbye, and I drove away.

Goodbye, Patty.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Maximum Massachusetts 11: As the Crow Flies

Western Nova Scotia
7 July 1705

The Reverend Cotton Mather was trying to decide whether listening to Taxous had been a good idea after all. Two months after the fall of Louisbourg, the Abenaki sachem had told him, "Crow, you are becoming known among all the nations. Men have come from the Seneca, from the Huron, even from distant western nations, to hear you speak of the Great Spirit. They travel for months to be here in Nova Scotia--" the Indian carefully pronounced the alien name for his country "--in the summer when you come to speak. You would spread the word of the Great Spirit and his lost son more if you left the coast and came inland." Eventually, Taxous had convinced the minister, and he had agreed that come the following summer, he would travel west from the Penobscott lands to those of the Iroquois nations, and spend a week there preaching the word of God.

Now, as he travelled the trackless wastes of western Nova Scotia with Taxous and half a dozen of his braves, Mather was having second thoughts. His route would take him dangerously close to French Canada, and France was still at war with England. True, the Marquis de Vaudreuil, Governor of New France, had not aggressively pursued war with the English. Equally true, there had been few Indian attacks on English settlers compared with King William's War (due in part to his own missionary activities, Mather was well aware). Still, there was always the chance that one of the Canadians would take advantage of his proximity and...

"Do not move!"

From behind a dozen hiding places, a dozen men bearing muskets revealed themselves to Mather and his escort. It took Mather only a moment to recognize them. It was Pierre Le Moyne, sieur d'Iberville, along with his three brothers and eight other Canadians.

"Once again, monsieur Arrateek," said d'Ibervillle in his heavily accented English, "you are my prisoner, and this time there is no Madockawando present to avert your fate!"

Taxous, who had been walking behind Mather, stepped forward to face the Canadian. "The Crow is under my protection, Gray Wolf," he said in Abenaki. "You may not take him."

D'Iberville shook his head. Answering in the same language, he said, "Ah, Taxous my brother, do not tell me that you too have fallen under this Devil's spell."

"The Crow put his own freedom at peril to win mine, when I was betrayed by the Pointy-Haired Chief of Port Royal. He believes in the words he speaks, and he makes those who hear believe them." Standing between d'Iberville and Mather, Taxous repeated, "The Crow is under my protection. You may not take him."

D'Iberville raised his musket, and the men with him raised theirs. "Take aim," the Canadian called out in French.

Mather echoed d'Iberville's earlier call. "Do not move!" The minister stepped from behind Taxous and said, "I will come." Seeing the concern in the sachem's eyes, he said, "I do not need your protection, my brother. I will come to no harm from the Gray Wolf."

"Are you certain of this, Crow?"

"Remember what came of the Gray Wolf's last attempt to capture me."

Then Taxous grinned, for all among the Abenaki knew how the Crow had first come among them, by the accidental agency of his captor d'Iberville. "Do you now say, Crow, that you will convert all the Canadians as you have the Abenaki?"

"If God wills it," said Mather.

"Very well then, Crow," said Taxous. "Go with the Gray Wolf."

As d'Iberville and his men escorted Mather away from the Abenaki, the Canadian said, "I heard your exchange with Taxous. If you try to sway even the meanest peasant in Quebec to your heresy, I will personally cut out your oh-so-famous silver tongue and send it back to Boston."

(Proceed to part 12 - The Great White Northern War)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Maximum Massachusetts 10: The Battle of Breton

Louisbourg, Cape Breton Island
30 April 1704

As dawn broke over the southeastern coast of Cape Breton Island, a motley fleet of fourteen ships entered the mouth of Gabarus Bay. Standing side by side on the aft deck of the fleet's flagship, the Nonesuch, were Colonel Joseph Dudley, Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and the Reverend Cotton Mather, pastor of Boston's Second Congregationalist Church. Although the two men despised each other, they had been drawn together (however reluctantly) by a common threat.

Sailing into the bay, the two saw that common threat come into view. Standing on a tongue of land between the bay and the sea was the French fortress town of Louisbourg. A month after Dudley had arrived in Boston in June 1702 to take up his post, word had followed him from London that England had joined an alliance of European nations in declaring war on France. The French King, Louis XIV, had succeeded in placing his grandson upon the Spanish throne in 1700, and Louis's old enemy William III had devoted the last year of his life to assembling the anti-French alliance.

With the English in control of the former French colony of Acadia, and war declared, Louis had grown fearful for the security of Canada, the heartland of New France. He had ordered the construction of Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island, and by the end of 1703 it had been done. Defensive works had been thrown up across the narrow spit of land that separated the fort from the mainland, and two hundred men manned two score cannons within the fort itself. Plans had been laid to emplace batteries on a small rocky island on the west side of the harbor, and another on the shore of the harbor opposite the entrance, but as yet no work had been done in either place. The fort itself made up the sole defensive strongpoint on the harbor, and a formidible one it was too.

Governor Dudley and the Reverend Mather each had their own reasons for viewing Louisbourg with alarm. To Dudley, the French fortress represented a threat to the vast domain with which he had been entrusted by Queen Anne, both Massachusetts itself and its dependent colony of Nova Scotia. To Mather, the return of the French to Nova Scotia meant the end of his missionary work among the Abenaki Indians, and the potential loss of their souls to the diabolical Popish priests.

It had been no easy task getting the two men to cooperate. Although they had been friends once upon a time, the two had taken opposite sides in the days of Edmund Andros's old Dominion of New England in the late 1680s. Mather had led an uprising which toppled Andros and resulted in Dudley's arrest and exile to England. While Mather's allies in Boston had gone on to take Nova Scotia from the French, and keep it in defiance of the Treaty of Ryswick, Dudley had prospered in England, becoming an MP and serving as Lieutenant Governor of the Isle of Wight. Dudley had returned at last as Royal Governor of Massachusetts, and his first act had been to announce the removal of Nova Scotia from Massachusetts' control, and its establishment as a separate colony under none other than Edmund Andros. When Mather appeared in Port Royal three months later, Andros had arrested him for treason, and only the threat of another uprising in Boston had forced the minister’s release.

Then had come news that the French were building a stronghold on Cape Breton Island to the north of Nova Scotia, and the two men found themselves very reluctant allies in a campaign to persuade New England to take action. Now their rivalry became an advantage, as the two networks of patronage and obligation that had grown up during their dispute were combined to achieve the mobilization of the colony. Dudley's merchant allies provided the ships and money, and Mather's Congregationalist allies provided the men. By the spring of 1704, the expedition was ready to set forth.

A few cannon shots were fired from the fort as the flotilla passed, but none found a mark. As the ships approached Flat Point, which projected into the bay three miles west of the town, a force of some fifty men emerged from the fort.

Observing the French reaction, Dudley ordered his fleet to change course for Freshwater Cove, two miles further up the bay. The ships made landfall before the French troops could reach them, and a short fight ensued. The outnumbered Frenchmen were driven off with the loss of four of their number, and the New Englanders continued to land more men on the cove.

At mid-day, while most of the men were still setting up camp, Dudley sent a party of forty men under Captain Tyng to advanced towards the fort. Tyng's force was able to reach a range of hills (the proposed site of one of the French batteries, as it happened) just out of cannon range of the fort, and established a position there. Just before night fell, they were joined by a force of a hundred men under Major March.

1 – 23 May 1704

The next day, Dudley led the remainder of his force up to Captain Tyng's position, while his ships anchored nearby to begin offloading cannon and supplies. The position in the hills was separated from the fort by two miles of marsh, which the fort's defenders regarded as impassable, so they made no attempts to dislodge Dudley's men.

After offloading the cannon, the New Englanders began moving them across the marsh, operating mostly at night and in fog to avoid the French guns. Attempting to wheel the first cannon through the marsh resulted in a sunken cannon, so Dudley's troops built sledges to carry them through. In four days, six guns had been dragged across the marsh and planted atop Green Hill, about a mile from Louisbourg. In another week, eight more guns joined them, and Dudley's men started advancing them by stages closer to the fort.

The French commander, Costebelle, seemed paralyzed by the sudden appearance of Dudley's expedition. Apart from a few half-hearted sorties which were repulsed without loss of life on either side, the French defenders made no attempt to dislodge the New Englanders. When Dudley's cannon came within musket range of the fort's walls, the French poured fire upon them, which the New Englanders returned. However, the firing of the New England cannon eventually forced the French defenders to retire from the fort's walls, allowing more cannon to be brought up. Meanwhile, those troops not actively firing at the fort occupied themselves with target practice, tossing quoits, wrestling, even fishing and lobstering, and of course drinking.

While Dudley's cannon battered at Louisbourg, his ships blockaded the mouth of Gabarus Bay and ensured a constant stream of new supplies and men from Massachusetts and Nova Scotia. On May 19 a ship carrying much-needed supplies to the fort from France was captured by the New England fleet.

This was the last straw for Costebelle. On the morning on May 21, a French officer under a flag of truce was escorted to Dudley, to whom he delivered a note from Costebelle asking for a suspension of arms to enable him to draw up proposals for capitulation. Within two days, terms of the surrender had been agreed, and the French troops marched out to Dudley's ships, which would transport them to Boston, and from there back to France.

After the New Englanders had occupied the fort, they were joined by Cotton Mather, who preached a victory sermon to the jubilant troops. Praising their valor and hardihood, and celebrating their triumph, Mather finished with the ringing declaration: "If God should see fit to allow the Massachusetts Bay colony to endure for a thousand years, men would still say, this was their finest hour!"

(Proceed to part 11 - As the Crow Flies)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Maximum Massachusetts 9: A Letter from America

To the Honourable Sir Henry Ashurst, London, from the Reverend Cotton Mather, Port Royal, Nova Scotia, written this Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Two.

The Ways of God are in truth a Mystery, for this day finds me a Prisoner of none other than Sir Edmund Andros, the very Man whom I made a Prisoner on the day of our Revolt thirteen years Gone. This would be a Fitting Subject for one of my Sermons, demonstrating as it does the Impermanence of man's condition in This World, were I in any position preach a Sermon, which being in Gaol I am Not.

I am Mindful of your being in a State of Great Curiosity concerning the Circumstances which led to my present Incarceration. I offer my assurance that a Full Explanation will be forthcoming in the body of the Present Missive.

I have written before of my modest success in bringing the Word of God to the heathen Abenaki Indians who Inhabit the forests in the North of Maine and Nova Scotia, most of whom have either never been Exposed to the Christian Religion, or else have heard Nought but the idolotrous Superstitions which are commonly Preached by the Papist Priests out of Canada. It has been my Practise to spend one or two months in the Summer of each Year aboard one of the Vessels which sail North from Boston to engage in Trade with these Indians. In this way I am able to Renew my contact with those Worthy Men among the Abenaki who have Heeded the Call to the True Faith, and even seek to bring More of their Fellows to see the Light of God.

This Summer found me aboard the Lynn, and spent much of the Month of August meeting with the Clans of the Penobscot, the Kennebec, and the Malacites. In September the Lynn crossed the Bay of Fundy and made landfall on the Eastern Peninsula of Nova Scotia. Yesterday afternoon, being the Sixteenth Day of September, the Lynn weighed anchor within Port Royal Sound and I went ashore to pay my respects to Sir Edmund Andros, who had but lately taken up his duties as Royal Governor of this colony which was so Recently and so Imprudently made separate from Our Own.

Upon entering the Fort which Guards the Town of Port Royal, I was surprised to find the Guard House within occupied by one of the Abenaki sachems, Taxous, a great Rival of my friend Madockawando among the Penobscot Clan. When he saw me, Taxous called out in the Abenaki tongue, saying, "Have you come now to gloat, Crow, at the success of your lies?"

I assured Taxous that I knew nothing of his Imprisonment, having only just come from his People's Country on the Penobscot, and asked him to Explain how he came to be a Prisoner at Port Royal. He was Skeptical to begin with, and repeated that it had been my Lies which caused him to be Gaoled, but I prevailed upon him again, and he finally explained his Circumstances.

My success in Preaching to the Abenaki had done much to strengthen the Influence of Madockawando, and had led to a Waning of Taxous's in Proportion. Taxous had seen that the only way to Revive his Influence among his Country-Men was to Abandon the Alliance he had long held with the Papists and Jesuits of the French, and embrace the True Faith as had his Rival Sachem. He had come to Port Royal to meet with Captain Convers and Swear an Oath of Peace and Friendship with him. Upon arriving at Port Royal, Taxous had found Convers replaced by Andros, and so had made his Declaration to the Governor. Andros had then called Taxous a Lying Savage who meant only to Deceive him, and had ordered the Sachem put in the Guard House.

When I had heard Taxous I assured him again that I had no Knowledge of the Affair, and that I would go to speak with Governor Andros to gain his Release. I was greatly Agitated to hear what had befallen Taxous, for you will recall what I have written concerning the Vision I Received during my first stay with Madockawando, of a great War between the New English and the Abenaki that would end in the Deaths of every Indian in Nova Scotia. It seemed to me now that Andros in his Folly had taken the first step on the Road to that Vision. I had made a Vow to Madockawando that I would do all that was within my Power to avert the great War I had Foreseen, and it was in this Agitated state that I had my Interview with the Governor.

Having met Andros yourself you know how Disagreeable a Man he can be, so you will understand when I tell you that my meeting with him was even more Unpleasant than usual. He had lost his Wig overboard while Sailing to Port Royal and yet to secure a Replacement. His own hair is but a Fringe around his head, and when I first saw him the Tufts that stuck up from Above his Ears had the look of Devils Horns. He began the Conversation by telling me how Displeased he was to see my Face in Port Royal. When I began to Explain to him how it would be Desirable to free the captive Taxous he Interrupted to say that my words tempted him to Execute the sachem forthwith as a Lesson to all Deceiving Savages. I fear I let the Devil drive my Temper away from me, for I then call'd the Governor a Great Fool who would bring Ruin to Nova Scotia and to All of America. He grew Wrathful at my Hasty Words, and told me if I loved the Savage so well I could Keep him Company, and before I could Comprehend my Situation I was marched out of Andros's chamber and back to the Guard House, and there Interred.

I know not what the Outcome of this Affair may be, but I hear from visits I have received from Captain Convers and Daniel Prescott that there is much Anger among the People of Port Royal at Governor Andros for his Temerity at ordering me Gaoled. I also have an unexpected Ally in Taxous, who sees my Captivity as Proof of my True Concern for his Welfare. He calls me Brother and tells me that upon his Return to the Penobscot Country he will Publickly Embrace the True Faith and call upon all who look to him to do Likewise. If this be the Case then I think that Andros may do Service to the Cause of Peace despite himself, proving that God may Act even through Persons who Serve the Devil.

Daniel Prescott has promis'd to give this Letter to the Master of Lynn, who will see it on its way to you in London. I know not when God will allow me to Write again to you, but I promise I will make every Effort to keep you Informed of how Events here in Port Royal turn out.

I remain,
Your humble and obedient servant,
Cotton Mather

(Proceed to part 10 - The Battle of Breton)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Maximum Massachusetts 8: Dudley Do-Wrong

Boston, Massachusetts
11 June 1702

The Reverend Cotton Mather had to admit to himself that the ceremony was quite impressive. Two warships had sailed up to Scarlett's Wharf, to be greeted by cannon salutes from other ships, Castle William in the harbor, and the three forts in Boston. One of the warships had docked at Scarlett's Wharf, lowered its gangplank, and disgorged a company of scarlet-coated soldiers, who had formed up into two ranks. Then, to a rattling of drums, the newly-appointed Governor of Massachusetts, followed by a large retinue, walked imperiously down the gangplank and between the waiting rows of soldiers.

After being congratulated by Nathaniel Byfield in the name of the Executive Council, Colonel Joseph Dudley, Royal Governor of Massachusetts, was escorted from the waterside to the Town House by a large entourage of troops and prominent gentlemen of the town.

As the procession made its way down Fifth Street, Mather couldn't help taking note of the irony involved. Scarlett's Wharf being only a few blocks away from the Second Church, the procession escorting Governor Dudley traveled down the same streets that Mather himself had thirteen years earlier, on the day Sir Edmund Andros had been deposed and Dudley himself had been arrested and imprisoned. Mather couldn't help thinking of the image he had invoked from Ezekiel in his sermon that day thirteen years in the past, of the "fashion of the wheels and their work." The wheels had certainly been busily turning, raising Dudley up from an exiled former colonial official to a Royal Governor.

Thirteen years earlier, Dudley had been escorted to the Town House by half a dozen roustabouts from the docks, while Mather read to an onlooking crowd of Dudley's expressed belief that the only difference between New Englanders and slaves was their not being bought and sold. Now Dudley was surrounded by the cream of Boston society, most of whom were hoping to gain his favor. The main entrance to the Town House was opened as Dudley approached, and Byfield led the new Governor up the stairs to the Court chambers.

There, in the midst of as many men as could fit themselves into the Court chambers, Dudley read out his commission as Governor. Despite the reservations felt by many present (including Mather himself), Dudley's pronouncement was met with a fair amount of enthusiasm. Then, with the public part of the ceremony concluded, Byfield led Dudley to the nearby chambers where he would be conducting most of his official business while the mass of men who had attended the ceremony filed out of the room and back down the stairs to the street.

Mather was walking up Fifth Street on his way to the Second Church when he saw a coach-and-four approaching. His curiosity was aroused, for he couldn't imagine any man in Boston wealthy enough to hire or own a coach being absent from Dudley's arrival ceremony. As the coach passed him, one of the curtains masking the windows waved aside in the wind, allowing him a glimpse of the passenger. It was the most fleeting of glimpses, but it was enough to let Mather identify the man quite conclusively.

It was Sir Edmund Andros.

A disquiet began to fill Mather. He turned aside from his intended journey to the church, and walked quickly back to the Town House. The coach was waiting by the front entrance, its door open, its passenger gone. Mather hurried inside, up the stairs, and into the Governor's chamber. He saw Joseph Dudley standing in conversation with another man, and once again a moment's view was enough to confirm that the other man was former Governor Andros.

Dudley seemed annoyed by the intrusion at first, but upon recognizing Mather he became positively effusive.

"Ah, Reverend Mather, how good of you to join us. I believe you are already acquainted with my colleague, Sir Edmund."


Dudley smiled in a way Mather imagined the Serpent must have done after Eve had taken the first bite of forbidden fruit. "The official announcement won't be until my general address tomorrow, but there's no reason why you shouldn't be the first to learn. The Lords of Trade and Plantation back in London feel that the administration of Nova Scotia has proven to be too taxing for Massachusetts. Literally, in fact, since it is understood that the government here is so short of funds that it has been forced to resort to the printing of paper money. In any case, it has been decided to make Nova Scotia a separate colony, and I was able to convince the Lords of Trade and Plantation that Sir Edmund here would be ideally suited to serve as the new colony's first Royal Governor."

To his horror, Mather found himself stuttering for the first time in over a decade. "You c-c-c-can't do that!"

"My dear Reverend, I can and have! And there is nothing you or anyone else in this wretched colony can do to stop me!"

And Governor Dudley laughed.

(Proceed to part 9 - A Letter from America)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Maximum Massachusetts 0: The Glorious Revolution

(Why, you may wonder, am I posting a prologue to this TL now, after already posting the first seven parts? Simple. Foreshadowing.)

Boston, Massachusetts
18 April 1689

There was a crowd following Cotton Mather as he walked the cobbled streets of central Boston that led from the Second Church to the Town House. They had all attended his sermon that morning at the church, where he reiterated the central theme from his sermon of the previous Sunday, "Men do God's business when they go on their own errands." It was a delicate balance between a call for action and a call for restraint. When his congregation followed him from the church afterwards, he had called upon them to bear no weapons, and they had heeded his call.

For nearly three years, tempers in Boston had been rising. The much-despised Edward Randolph had appeared in May 1686 to inform the people of Massachusetts that the charter by which they had governed themselves for sixty years had been revoked. From now on, the colony would be subsumed within a new Dominion of New England, ruled by a Governor appointed by the King.

The royally appointed Governor, Sir Edmund Andros, had appeared the following December, and it hadn't taken him long to show his true colors. He had dissolved the Assembly, the colony's counterpart to the House of Commons, limited Boston's municipal government to one meeting per year, and had curtailed the town's thriving trade by strictly enforcing the Navigation Acts. He had also declared that all land grants made by the colonial government under the old charter were null and void, and would have to be re-granted by himself for a generous fee. When two selectmen had protested on behalf of the town of Boston, Andros' attorneys told them "there was no town of Boston, or was there any town in the country."

Cotton Mather's father Increase had sailed for England to meet with the King and petition for the restoration of the colony's old charter and the removal of Andros. Andros, fearful of the elder Mather's persuasiveness, had attempted to arrest him on spurious charges in an effort to keep him in Boston, and Increase had only barely managed to depart in safety.

Matters had reached a crisis in early April 1689. John Winslow of Plymouth had appeared from the West Indies with a copy of a document proclaiming the fall of the Papist King James II and his replacement by his Protestant son-in-law William of Orange. Andros had jailed Winslow for treasonous libel, and had issued his own proclamation requiring the people and officers to hold themselves in a state of readiness should the usurper send forces to New England.

Mather and the town's other five Congregationalist ministers had privately gathered together to decide what should be done. The result was an unusual Thursday morning set of services at all the town's churches, all preaching the same sermon. After the services ended, the ministers had all led their congregations to the colony's center of government, the Town House. Mather and the other ministers met with other opponents of Andros's rule, and men were sent out into Boston to arrest Andros, his Lieutenant Governor Joseph Dudley, and some fifty of his other supporters in the town. Meanwhile, Mather and the others formed themselves into an ad hoc government called the Council of Safety and drafted a Declaration of the Gentlemen justifying their seizure of power.

As Cotton Mather stood in the gallery of the Town House and read out the twelve brief articles of the Declaration to the people gathered below, he saw a disturbance reach the edge of the crowd. A small group of men was making its way through the square to the front entrance of the Town House. As they neared him, Mather recognized them. They consisted of the force sent by the Council of Safety to arrest Lt. Governor Dudley, and the presence of Dudley within their midst showed that their mission had been a success.

It was surely a matter of Divine justice that the group with Dudley paused below him at the very time when Mather had reached the article of the Declaration which recounted the Lieutenant Governor's infamous declaration that "New Englanders are all slaves, and the only difference between them and slaves is their not being bought and sold." Mather had the pleasure of uttering the notorious phrase while looking Dudley in the eyes. Who is the slave now, Master Dudley? he silently asked the captive official. Dudley glared back at him in impotent rage before being escorted into the Town House.

Mather knew it was unseemly for a minister of God to take pleasure in another's misfortune, but he was a weak man in many ways, and unable to resist. Mather also knew that he had in a moment's time made an enemy for life, but there was little to fear from Joseph Dudley now. His days of power in Massachusetts were over.

(Proceed to part 8 - Dudley Do-Wrong)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Maximum Massachusetts 7: The Vision

The Penobscot Country
7 June 1699

"My heart breaks to see you go, my brother," said Madockawando.

"My heart breaks as well," Cotton Mather answered in the Abenaki tongue. "But my people wait for me in Boston, and my wife and children as well. I was their shaman before I was yours."

Madockawando stood in silent acknowledgement of the prior claims of Mather's other people. A time passed in silence between them, then Madockawando said, "There has always been much hostility between your people and mine. I myself took part in the Gray Wolf's raid on Fort Pemaquid. Even now there are men of the Abenaki who will never remain at peace with the Bostonnais. Will it be different now that we have forsaken the Papists--" here Madockawando used the English word "--and worship the Great Spirit and his lost son as do you and the other Bostonnais?"

There was another period of silence as Mather paused to gather his thoughts. At last he said, "My brother, my heart wants me to tell you that now that you and the other Abenaki have found the true way of the Great Spirit, that you will live in harmony with the Bostonnais for all time. But my mind tells me that it will not be so. The Holland people also follow the true way of the Great Spirit, but this has never kept them from war with my own people when they wanted what we had and we wanted what they had. Likewise the French have always been willing to fight with their fellow Papists from Austria when they stood to gain by it. My people are ever hungry for land, Madockawando, for my people are a numerous people, and more arrive every day from our homeland in the east. The time will come when some of my people will hunger for the lands of the Abenaki, and they will not care that you follow the true way of the Great Spirit."

Mather found his thoughts turning to Roger Williams. Williams had been a Puritan preacher of great renown, but after moving to Massachusetts in 1631 he had fallen into unorthodoxy and had left the colony to found his own settlement on the shores of Narragansett Bay. Unlike the other Puritans, Williams had believed that the land was owned by the Indians who lived on it, and he was always scrupulous about purchasing land from its Indian owners before occupying it.

Although Williams had always kept the peace with the Indians of his colony, the other colonists were less careful, and in the end war had broken out. Williams had tried to bring peace to New England, but in vain. In the end, he had had to stand by helplessly while all around him his friends among the colonists and his friends among the Indians relentlessly slaughtered each other.

A picture came to Mather then of himself in twenty years, an old man, watching an army under Captain Convers sweep down upon the Abenaki and put every man, woman and child among them to the sword. When Mather came back to himself, he found Madockawando looking at him.

"You have had a vision, Crow," said the sachem.

Mather closed his eyes. "A terrible vision," he said. "An evil vision."

"You have told us that some visions are sent by the Great Spirit, and others by the Enemy. Which do you think this was?"

"I do not know," said Mather, as he opened his eyes again upon the sachem. "Once before I thought I heard the voice of the Great Spirit, only to learn that it had been the Enemy calling to me. And I heeded the call, to my cost, and to the cost of many others."

"Then what will you do about this vision?"

There, the answer was clear. "I will oppose this vision. It was an evil vision, and the Great Spirit tells us above all to oppose evil. I am not Roger Williams, to stand aside and watch people die. I am a man of influence in Boston, and I will use that influence, and all the gifts that the Great Spirit has seen fit to bestow upon me, to see to it that the vision I have had does not come to be.

"I have accomplished a great work here among the Abenaki, and I will not allow that work to be undone!"

(Proceed to part 0 - The Glorious Revolution)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Maximum Massachusetts 6: The Devil You Know

19 March 1699

Pierre Le Moyne, sieur d'Iberville, was growing more worried day by day. The Abenaki sachem Madockawando had taken to spending long hours listening to the Bostonnais heretic Cotton Mather as the latter spread his diabolical lies about Christianity and the Roman Church. D'Iberville was coming to deeply regret his spur-of-the-moment decision to take the heretic captive during his ill-fated attack on Port Royal. Mather must be the very Devil himself to learn the Abenaki language so quickly during his captivity.

Their party had left behind the eastern peninsula of Acadia and were now approaching the course of the St. John River. Soon now Madockawando and the other members of his Penobscot clan would leave d'Iberville and his Canadians and make their way south to the lands they called home. D'Iberville had the uneasy feeling that their departure would mean still more trouble for him.

Sure enough, when the day's march brought them to the banks of the St. John, Madockawando approached d'Iberville and said, "I would speak with you, Gray Wolf."

Cautiously, d'Iberville said, "What does my brother Madockawando wish to speak of?"

Sure enough, the sachem answered, "I wish to speak of the Crow."

D'Iberville had much preferred the Indians' original nickname for Mather, Flapping Crow. After Mather had begun conversing with Madockawando in Abenaki, the sachem and his warriors had begun referring to the heretic as simply "the Crow". D'Iberville was not sure exactly what the alteration signified, but he was aware that the new name carried considerably more respect than the old one had. In the end, d'Iberville had given in and begun using the new name himself.

The mention of Mather made d'Iberville want to shout at Madockawando, to make the sachem see reason, to convince him that the heretic was evil and dangerous, a creature of the Devil. However, the Canadian forced himself to hold his tongue. Madockawando had formed his own opinion of Mather, and d'Iberville would be unable to change it. He simply said to the Indian, "Very well, speak."

Madockawando said, "Gray Wolf, I know you took the Crow with your own long knife in the raid on Port Royal--" he used the European name for the town, mangling it "--and that he is rightfully yours. But I wish to bring him with me to live with the Penobscot people. What will you take in trade for him?"

D'Iberville answered, "I will keep the Crow, and take him with me to Quebec. I will not give him away, not for anything."

"The Crow is a great and powerful shaman, though he says the Bostonnais have no shamans. When he speaks to me of the Great Spirit, I hear the truth in his words. When the Penobscot people hear him, they too will hear the truth in his words."

At last, d'Iberville 's temper gave way. "He is not a shaman, he is a Devil! He will bring the Penobscot people eternal damnation and hellfire! You have been taken in by his lies, and so would all your people! I would sooner kill the heretic than let him spread his poison among the Abenaki! I will kill him!"

So saying, d'Iberville turned away from Madockawando and strode towards Mather, who was off poisoning the ears of the other Penobscot. D'Iberville had unsheathed his sword and was preparing to strike down the heretical Devil when he felt a hand clamp down on his arm, holding him back. Once again, he knew, Madockawando was keeping him from striking the heretic.

Jerking his arm from the sachem's grip, d'Iberville spun around to face him, his sword raised on high. Madockawando regarded him without expression, saying, "Will you strike me down now as well, my brother?"

A moment passed, then another, and then d'Iberville threw down his sword while bursting forth with the most vile and blasphemous oath he knew (it involved the Holy Virgin, her husband, and the ass they rode upon into Bethlehem).

"Very well then, my brother," he stormed at Madockawando. "Take this viper into your bosom, if that is what you must do! I give up my claim to him! He is yours!" Then Pierre Le Moyne stalked away from Madockawando and the heretic, not looking back.

As he strode angrily along the banks of the St. John, Pierre's brothers tried to console him. Charles said to him, "You give this Bostonnais heretic too much credit. Will this silver-tongued Cotton be able to convince Madockawando that generations of slaughter were just a coincidence? Will the Abenaki be willing to defy commercial interest, generations of good relations on one side and animosity on the other and turn their backs on men with whom they have been allies since they were boys? Have they just fallen from the turnip wagon?"

Pierre shook his head. "You do not know this Cotton, this Crow, as I do. He is not a man, I tell you! He is the very Devil himself, come to earth to bring misfortune to Canada! You mark my words, my brother! There will yet be Hell to pay for this day's work!"

(Proceed to part 7 - The Vision)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Maximum Massachusetts 5: The Crow

5 March 1699

From his youth, Cotton Mather had had a gift for languages, and this gift stood him in good stead during the time of his captivity in the Acadian hinterland. As the days passed after the raid on Port Royal, he was able to listen to Pierre Le Moyne, sieur d'Iberville communicate with his few remaining Indian allies in a mix of French and Abenaki. From this, and from listening to the Indians speak among themselves, Mather was able to gain a sufficient command of the tongue to understand what was being said around him. He was in this way able to confirm his earlier deduction about the nature of d'Iberville's raid. The Frenchman and his party (which, it turned out, included three of his brothers) had intended to take the fort occupied by Captain Convers and his milita. Their attack had been repulsed, and d'Iberville's force had had to content themselves with ransacking some of the houses before retreating into the hinterland.

"And you chose to take me captive," Mather stated to d'Iberville during one of their nocturnal marches through Acadia.

D'Iberville had calmed down somewhat since the morning after the raid. He answered, with a trace of his former boisterous humor, "You are the most famous man of the Bostonnais. Your tongue and your pen are never still, filling the air and the presses, respectively, with your heretical rantings. Your fellow Bostonnais will pay handsomely to see you returned to them safely, not so?"

"And if I may ask, how did you come to learn of my whereabouts in Port Royal?"

"You made yourself very conspicuous upon your arrival," said d'Iberville, "attempting to seduce several of the town's leading men into following your diabolical heresy. Every Acadian in Port Royal knew where you could be found, and all were most pleased by the prospect of my taking you away with me."

Mather sighed to himself. Truly the Papists were caught deeply within the Devil's web, so deeply that they clung to it all the more tightly when it seemed they might be freed from its deadly embrace.

So accustomed was Mather growing to the sound of the Abenaki tongue that a few days later, when one of the savages asked another if he had seen his small knife anywhere about, Mather spoke up without thinking to tell him he had left it stuck in the ground by his firepit.

The savage with the missing knife seemed amused by the sound of Mather speaking his tongue. He said, "How do you come to know our speech, Flapping Crow?" Flapping Crow was the nickname the savages had given him, and Mather was willing to concede that he made an odd figure walking along the snowy wastes of Acadia with his blanket fluttering in the wind.

"By listening to you and the others," Mather answered him.

The savage was clearly skeptical. "It has been but two hands of days since the raid. Will you tell me that you have learned to speak like a human in so short a time, by only listening to others speak?"

"I already speak many languages," Mather replied serenely. "Learning yours was no great feat to a man who knows already the speech of the old Romans and Greeks and Israelites, and also the speech of the French and Spaniards and Italians. I learned the speech of the Spaniards in less than a day, though that task was made easier for me because I already knew the speech of the Romans and the French, which have much in common with Spanish. Your speech is unlike any of the others, so it took me longer to learn it."

Impressed, the savage said, "The Gray Wolf --" for so d'Iberville was known among the Abenaki "-- has said that you do nothing but speak nonsense. He has said that you seek always to lead men away from the true path of the Great Spirit. He did not say that you could learn to speak a new tongue by listening to others speak it."

Annoyed, Mather said, "The Gray Wolf knows less about me than he thinks he knows." The savage found this amusing. Mather continued, "He took me from Port Royal for fear that I would convince the Frenchmen there to become Bostonnais."

"Then you do seek to sway men from the true path of the Great Spirit, as the Gray Wolf says."

"And is the Gray Wolf a personal friend of the Great Spirit, that he knows what the Great Spirit thinks?"

"It is not just the Gray Wolf who says this. The shamans in black say that the Bostonnais have turned aside from the Great Spirit."

Mather fumed. "The Popish priests, the shamans in black, fear us, and so they should, for they know that we Bostonnais have no shamans. Among us, men are their own shamans, and have no need of a shaman in black to tell them whether or not the Great Spirit smiles upon them."

"Monsieur Arrateek, up to your old tricks?" came the bellowing voice of Pierre Le Moyne, returning from yet another conference with his brothers. "I must insist that you refrain from trying to corrupt my allies."

Mather answered him in Abenaki rather than French. "Why do you tell me not to speak to the Abenaki? Do you fear that they will hear the truth in my words?"

D'Iberville switched to Abenaki, though he was clearly not pleased to do so. "Your words hold no truth, you seek only to bring discord and lies to the Abenaki."

"Are the Abenaki children who cannot tell truth from lies?" said Mather. "Or are they men who will know the truth when they hear it? If there is no truth in my words, the Abenaki will know that I speak falsely. I am not afraid to speak to them. Are you afraid to let them hear me?"

D'Iberville was apparently disinclined to trade barbs with Mather. He raised his hand, preparing to strike the minister.

The Abenaki with whom Mather had been speaking moved with considerable speed, and succeeded in arresting d'Iberville's action before it could be completed. He said, "Do you fear the Crow's words, Gray Wolf?"

The Frenchman glared at the Indian for some time before relaxing and stepping back. "Be careful, Madockawando. Flapping Crow speaks with the tongue of the Enemy of Men. He can make a man think that black is white. He seeks to turn you away from the Great Spirit."

Madockawando said, "I am a warrior and sachem of the Abenaki. I am not one to be fooled by the lies of a snake, as were the first man and first woman. If the Crow speaks falsely, I will hear it." With an answering glare at d'Iberville, he added, "And if the Crow speaks truly, I will hear that too."

(Proceed to part 6 - The Devil You Know)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Maximum Massachusetts 4: Departures and Deductions

23 February 1699

It was some time before the Reverend Cotton Mather realized what Pierre Le Moyne, sieur d'Iberville, meant by calling him Monsieur Arrateek. By then, the long Acadian winter night had finally given way to dawn, and he and the other prisoners were allowed to lie down and rest. D'Iberville had spent the whole time walking behind Mather, prodding him with the sword and calling out things like, "No rest for the wicked, eh Monsieur Arrateek?"

Lying on a patch of ground which fortune had left mercifully free of snow, Mather looked up at his captor in the ruddy light of dawn. He said, "I had rather be a heretic than live my life with my mind shackled by a mob of superstitious priests."

D'Iberville’s grin had vanished in an instant, and he had raised his sword as if to strike down the impertinent minister. Mather was not ordinarily a particularly brave man, but when it came to the relative merits of Protestantism and Catholicism, his faith and his reason made him fearless, and he did not flinch from the Frenchman's weapon.

D'Iberville did not follow through on his threat, though Mather was unsure whether it was due to the steadfastness he had shown or to his value as a prisoner. It had become clear to Mather that d'Iberville knew of him, was aware of his high standing in Boston society, and had specifically sought him out at the Prescotts' house for the purpose of seizing his person.

The Frenchman lowered his sword and growled, "You will answer to God soon enough for your heresies, monsieur. For now, we will rest here and wait out the day, and keep watch in case Capitaine Convers is foolish enough to seek us out."

The other members of d'Iberville’s raiding party were settling down for the day, scattered here and there across the narrow valley they currently occupied. Like d'Iberville himself, the others were dressed in buckskins, and armed with swords, hatchets, muskets, or some combination of the three. Out of perhaps a hundred men, fully eighty seemed to be Indians, members of the local Abenaki tribe. D'Iberville left Mather in order to confer with five other men, three of them whites, two Indians. Mather could hear them all, though their use of the heathen Abenaki tongue, of which he was ignorant, kept him from understanding their words.

In addition to the Frenchmen and Indians, there were also at least thirty English captives, including Mather himself. Although most were men, there were at least half a dozen women as well. The latter were being left alone for now, though Mather knew that their eventual fate would be to become the slaves and concubines of whichever Indians had managed to capture them.

The discussion among d'Iberville and the others was becoming more urgent, with d'Iberville's voice in particular becoming increasingly loud. By the time the two Indians turned and left, the discussion had clearly degenerated into mere argument and (on d'Iberville 's part at least) invective. D'Iberville came stalking back to Mather, muttering a steady stream of oaths in French, Latin, English, and several Indian languages. Over the course of his thirty-six years, Mather had heard many men swear, and it was clear to him that d'Iberville was a master of the art.

"What is it that vexes you so, monsieur d'Iberville?" Mather asked in carefully pronounced French.

D'Iberville glared at him, but did not answer. Mather was able to gain the answer for himself over the course of the next hour, as he observed various small groups of Indians gather up their possessions and captives and depart the valley. Clearly, d'Iberville's Indian allies were deserting him.

What was interesting was d'Iberville's reaction. It was perfectly normal for those taking part in such a raid to disperse afterwards. From d'Iberville's sour mood, Mather was able to deduce that he had expected more of them, from which it followed that the previous night's action was not intended as a mere raid, but as something of greater consequence. It was even possible that the attack had been intended to capture Port Royal from the English.

If so, then the attack had not accomplished its purpose. Captain Convers and his men must have succeeded in repulsing the attack. D'Iberville wished for his Indian allies to remain with him, in hopes of repeating the attack with a more successful outcome. The Indians were choosing to decline, however, satisfied with whatever loot and captives they had managed to acquire.

Satisfied with his chain of reasoning, Mather curled up on the ground, drew what warmth he could from the blanket d'Iberville had allowed him to bring, and drifted off to sleep.

(Proceed to part 5 - The Crow)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Maximum Massachusetts 3: The Cotton Thread

The Bay of Fundy
22 February 1699

The Reverend Cotton Mather hung over the aft rail of the Coaster and tried to spew. As he hadn't had anything to eat since boarding ship in Boston, the effort was futile, but his guts tried anyway. He felt better than he had in years.

Mortification of the flesh it was called, and God Above knew he needed some. Every night they stared down at him in his dreams, strange fruit hanging from the tree atop Gallows Hill. In his pride and folly he had thought to instruct his flock on the perils of witchcraft, and at the time it had seemed to him that the words that flew of themselves from his pen must surely come from the lips of God Himself. It was with agony now that he recalled the satisfaction he had felt when seeing the first copy of Memorable Providence Relating to Witchcraft and Possessions fresh from the printing press. It had taken him three years to learn that the voice whispering to him had not belonged to God.

With his eyes focused on the ship's wake, and his mind focused on the accusing eyes of his innocent victims, Mather failed to notice when the Coaster docked at Port Royal. Not until he heard his name called did he look up from his private Hell to see the ship's master standing beside him.

"We've docked, Mr. Mather," the man said. "You can go ashore now."

Mather nodded and thanked the man. As the man went about the business of running the ship, Mather's thoughts momentarily focused on him. Although a profane man, in more senses than one, he seemed at peace with himself. Had he ever caused the deaths of innocent men and women? If not, then despite his worldly ways he was innocent in a way that Mather himself was not, nor ever could be again for as long as this world lasted. Mather left the ship's rail and went to his cabin to collect his belongings. He had a self-imposed mission to undertake in this place, and it was time to begin it.

Mather strode down the dock, then stepped onto the frozen ground of Nova Scotia. There were half a dozen other ships tied up at the docks or sitting at anchor in the sound. The town itself was made up of perhaps a hundred buildings, mostly small one-story wooden houses. A palisaded fort stood near to shore, with armed pickets walking the parapets and the mouths of half a dozen cannon poking out from the walls. Mather made his way to the gate and gave his name to the two men standing guard there. The one on the right said, "Welcome to Port Royal, Mr. Mather. Would you like me to escort you to Captain Convers?"

"That would be most kind of you, sir," Mather replied.

During the walk across to Convers' room, the guard introduced himself as Philip Collins of Lexington. Collins had been to Boston several times, and had heard Mather preach at the Second Church. Mather gravely accepted Collins' praise of his orations, but did not pursue the conversation, and Collins had fallen silent by the time they reached the Captain's room.

Mather caught a glimpse of Convers through the room's unshuttered windows. He was a short, heavyset man with dark hair worn Puritan fashion with no wig to cover it. His blue militia coat and hat hung from pegs on the wall behind him, as did a belt with sword and pistol hanging from it. He was seated at a desk beside a fireplace, with a quill in his hand as he frowned down at a sheet of paper.

Then they passed the window, and Collins knocked upon the door. Convers bade them enter, and they did. Collins said, "Mr. Cotton Mather of Boston to see you, sir."

Convers rose from his desk and shook Mather's hand. "An honor to have you here, sir."

"Thank you, Captain."

"If I may make so bold as to ask, sir, what brings you to Port Royal?"

"I have come," said Mather, "to preach the word of God to the unfortunate Papists who inhabit this town. Although they still cling to their superstitious idolotry, yet they nonetheless may be saved."

Convers shook his head slowly. "Others have tried to make the Papists see the error of their ways, but they refuse to turn away from the Devil. I fear you will fare no better than they."

"Be that is it may, I must make the attempt," said Mather. "My soul would not be right if I knew that I could have tried, yet did not."

Convers took Mather's hand again. "We are fortunate to have men such as you among us, sir," he said earnestly. "The sight of you gladdens me, for I know that God can never forsake our colony when we have men of your piety to guide us."

Mather accepted the man's words, but in his heart he heard the jeering laughter of the martyrs of Salem.

Mather slept that night in the home of Daniel and Mary Prescott, two of his congregation from Boston who had moved here to Port Royal three years before. Their letters to him had helped convince him that the souls of the Acadians might yet be saved, and they had offered him their home when he wrote to tell them of his coming visit. They currently had two children, a third having died at seven months of age. It had taken all his powers of persuasion to convince them to retain their bed and let him sleep on the floor. He was lying there asleep when he was awakened by the sound of screams and gunfire from without.

Rising from the floor, he made his way to the room's window. Outside, he could see the flickering light of flames, and in their light human figures hurried past the house. As one was outlined against a burning torch, he realized with a shock that it was an Indian holding aloft a hatchet. Before he was able to understand the implications of the vision, a more immediate one presented itself, as a large white man in an elaborate French wig bearing a torch and a sword suddenly leered at him through the window.

Mather barely dodged back in time as the man in the wig sent the sword smashing through the window, then tossed in the torch. The minister froze for a moment before leaping to seize the torch and thrust it out through the window again. The man in the wig, still waiting without, burst out into laughter, then used his sword to clear the window of its remaining panes of glass before leaping in. Within moments he had Mather backed up against a wall with the sword against his neck. Still laughing, he announced in strongly accented English, "I am Pierre Le Moyne, sieur d'Iberville, and you are my prisoner!"

(Proceed to part 4 - Departures and Deductions)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Maximum Massachusetts 2: Brothers in Arms

Quebec, New France
1 December 1698

Within the Upper Town atop the gray cliffs of Quebec sits a prosperous dwelling. From the dwelling's window the peals of the church bells can be heard, ringing out in memory of the recently departed Governor of New France. Within the dwelling, four men sit around a table. The eldest, Charles, says, "I have spoken with Champigny. He says that the expedition against the English is to be postponed until the King assigns the colony a new governor."

His brother Pierre slams his fist upon the table. "Postponed? Sacred host! How long do they propose that we wait to avenge this insult? We are ready now! I myself could free Port Royal unassisted!"

"And how," asks the next brother, Joseph, "do you propose to reach Port Royal? The river is frozen. We will be unable to sail for Acadia until March at the earliest."

"And who says I must sail?" responds Pierre. "Have I not legs? Have I not snowshoes? Holy trinity, if I must walk to Port Royal, then walk I shall!"

"I do not doubt" says the fourth brother, Paul, "that you could walk from here to Port Royal alone in the dead of winter, but who in Canada could follow you?"

"Many, by the wounds of Christ!" declares Pierre. "Eight score came with me from Quebec when I drove the English from Newfoundland! We walked the whole coast from St. John to Bonavista, two hundred miles, in, as you say, the dead of winter, and no Englishman could stand against us!"

"Those were but unarmed fishermen." Charles points out, "facing armed soldiers. The Bostonnais have placed a garrison at Port Royal in anticipation of a counterattack from New France. At its head is no less a figure than Captain Convers, who repulsed the baron de St. Castin at Wells. He will not be caught unawares."

"What is more," adds Joseph, "the heretics have set armed vessels patrolling the Bay of Fundy and Port Royal Sound. They have kept the Acadians and the Abenaki tribe cowed and submissive."

"Ptah!" spits Pierre, "I spit upon the Bostonnais' armed vessels, and upon the so-fearsome Captain Convers as well! By the blessed virgin, with a dozen men I could take the fort at Port Royal, as I took Fort Nelson on the shores of Hudson's Bay! Then the Acadians and Abenakis will rise up to join me, and together we will drive the heretics out of Acadia forever! And," he adds with calculated contempt, "if I must go alone to Acadia, then so be it! The glory of the victory will be all the greater!"

Charles smiles at his younger brother. "No, Pierre, you will not go alone. We three at least will join you, and when word of our great quest spreads across Canada, others will flock to join the brothers Le Moyne! Before the spring returns to New France, Port Royal will be ours!"

(Proceed to part 3 - The Cotton Thread)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Maximum Massachusetts 1: Point of Departure

Towards the end of the 17th century, the Massachusetts Bay colony went through a curious period of expansion. In 1677 the heirs of Ferdinando Gorges, founder of the colony of Maine, sold out the last of their claims to that colony, which came under Massachusetts' control. In 1690, after the outbreak of war with France, a fleet of 14 ships under Sir William Phips of Boston took Port Royal, capital of the French colony of Acadia (the modern-day Nova Scotia and New Brunswick), and Massachusetts gained control of it as well. Finally, in 1691, Massachusetts absorbed the smaller, older colony of Plymouth to its south.

Massachusetts' days of glory were short-lived, however. By the terms of the Treaty of Ryswick, which ended the War of the Grand Alliance in 1697, all territorial conquests were nullified, and the government of Massachusetts was forced to hand Acadia back to the French.

But what if they hadn't? After all, it hadn't been the Royal Navy that had taken Port Royal, it had been the men of Massachusetts. If the men of Massachusetts had refused to hand the city back to the French, there was nothing that the governments in either London or Paris could do about it.

This is the POD. When word reaches the colony that they are expected to hand Port Royal back to the French, they refuse. To all those who demand that they accede to the terms of the treaty, Acting Governor William Stoughton replies, "We took it, it's ours, and we're not giving it back."

The reaction in London is mild. King William III is secretly pleased to have something to show for eight years of war, and to have inflicted a wound, however small, on his old enemy Louis XIV. He isn't afraid that the French will start another war over Acadia (or Nova Scotia as the English call it). Besides, everyone in Europe knew that Louis was trying to make his grandson Philip the heir to the Spanish throne, and as soon as His Catholic Majesty Carlos II died there would be another war anyway.

The reaction in Paris is less mild. Louis is miffed that that heretic William of Orange has gone back on his word, but the time is not yet right to strike back. After Philip is firmly on the Spanish throne, there will be plenty of time to pay back perfidious William and his perfidious subjects.

The reaction in Quebec is less mild still. The elderly Louis de Baude, comte de Frontenac et du Palluau and Governor General of New France, is outraged. If the English heretics think they can get away with this sort of affront, they've got another think coming. Le comte draws up plans for an expedition to retake Port Royal from the "Bostonnais", sends out word to his Indian allies, and gathers a fleet. Unfortunately, the stress proves too much for the governor, and he dies in November 1698, his preparations still incomplete. The expedition is put on hold while the late governor's subordinates send to Paris for a replacement.

The reaction in Port Royal itself is least mild of all. For eight years they've been suffering under the rule of the harsh Puritans of Massachusetts, and now the Puritans refuse to leave as they have been ordered to do. Grim frowns turn into angry mutters, mutters into shouts, and shouts into riot. However, the heretics control the fort that dominates the town, and their ships lie at anchor close at hand, and the riot is quickly put down. By ones and twos, and in small family groups, the Acadians leave Port Royal for the refuge of Quebec, and their places are taken by fresh settlers from Massachusetts and England. Acadia -- or rather, Nova Scotia -- will remain English.

For the time being, at any rate.

(Proceed to part 2 - Brothers in Arms)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Maximum Massachusetts

Before there was the Drowned Baby Timeline, there was . . . Maximum Massachusetts!

Back in the summer of 2000, the soc.history.what-if newsgroup was a bubbling cauldron of intellectual ferment. A thread on the topic of the Amboyna Massacre had given rise to Anthony Mayer's Sugar & Spice timeline, which in turn led Mayer to speculate on what might have happened if the British had handed Canada back to the French in 1763 in return for the lucrative sugar islands of Guadeloupe. Mayer pointed out that the British had done something similar when they handed back the Fortress of Louisbourg in 1748 after the English colonists had gone to a lot of trouble to conquer it. I responded that the same thing had happened fifty years before, when colonists from Massachusetts conquered Nova Scotia in 1690, only to see it handed back to the French in the 1697 Treaty of Ryswick. I happened to speculate on what might have happened if the Massachusetts colonists had refused to hand over Nova Scotia . . .

. . . and the result was the appearance, on August 15, 2000, of the first installment of Maximum Massachusetts, my very first multi-part alternate history scenario. Since my busy work schedule won't allow me time to write new material for this blog, I've decided that the next best thing is to post old material here. Thus, over the next few weeks, I'll be posting the complete Maximum Massachusetts timeline here. Stay tuned!

1. Point of Departure
2. Brothers in Arms
3. The Cotton Thread
4. Departures and Deductions
5. The Crow
6. The Devil You Know
7. The Vision
0. The Glorious Revolution
8. Dudley Do-Wrong
9. A Letter from America
10. The Battle of Breton
11. As the Crow Flies
12. The Great White Northern War
13. Trick or Treaty
14. Cotton Comes to Haarlem
15. The Devil You Don't Know
16. The Rich White Guy Insurrection
17. Adrift
18. Full Circle
Son of Maximum Massachusetts