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The Curious 1653 Siege of Trois Rivières

The Curious 1653 Siege of Trois Rivières

Greg Rogers

In the mid-seventeenth century the colony of New France was facing extinction. The fragile string of small towns and farmsteads stretching from Quebec at the entrance of the St. Lawrence Valley to the nascent fur trading post at the island of Montreal contained barely 3,000 colonists. The French colony was seriously threatened by decades of warfare known as the “Beaver Wars” as the French and their Indian allies, such as the Huron, Ottawa, and Abenaki, faced off against the expansionist Five Nations Iroquois. Perhaps one of the most perilous moments of the intermittent warfare that endangered New France came in the summer of 1653 when 500 Mohawk warriors encircled the town of Trois Rivières. The ensuing siege and its peaceful resolution prove curious and revealing for what they can tell us about frontier warfare, inter-cultural alliances, and the hazy lines between friend and foe on the colonial frontier. Read More.

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