Difficulties with the Caribbean

The “Savages”, who no longer suffer the neighborhood of Europeans except against their will, soon began to murmur; and some of them (because they were not all of the same feeling) having had a dispute with the French, there were killed on both sides.

This was the beginning of the war which they fought against ours; for having resolved to prevent our establishment, they spared nothing to succeed in this design. They did not find any French in the distance, over whom they did not lay hands, and they appeared every day armed at the sight of the fort to surprise them; which made our people suffer a lot, who dared not move away from it for fear of being surprised and cruelly massacred. It is true that the “Savages” often left their people there; for the French never leaving except well armed, gave no quarter to those who fell into their hands.

The “Savages” however not believing themselves strong enough, believed that to entirely drive the French from the island, it was necessary to have recourse to their neighbors. For this subject, they called to their aid those of Dominica, Saint Vincent and Guadeloupe; and having composed a body of fifteen hundred men, they presented themselves under the fort, pretending to want to descend. Monsieur du Pont, who had been informed of this enterprise, had all his soldiers withdrawn from the fort and had three pieces of cannon loaded with musket bullets, nails and grapeshot, to the mouth, and defended that not one of his people appeared outside the fort; what having made the “Savages” bold, who were persuaded that the French, terrified of their number, did not dare to appear, they came in crowds and in confusion near the Fort; but the Sieur du Pont having therefore set one of his cannons on fire, he made such a strange carnage of these barbarians, that believing that all the Maboyas of France had come out of the mouth of this cannon to destroy them, they ran with incredible speed towards their canoes and returned to the sea, so terrified by the effect of this cannon, that against their custom, they did not amuse themselves by collecting neither their dead nor their wounded.

While the terror of French weapons terrorizes the “Savages”, our inhabitants are settling more and more, they are not satisfied with the places that these Caribbean had abandoned, they make new ones, they cut down wood, and they plant food and petun at the same time. The Captains of the ships having learned this establishment and the excellence of tobacco, which they were beginning to make, led their vessels there and the inhabitants of Saint-Christophe rescued them from all things so timely, that the “Savages”, losing the hope of being able to prevent their progress, spoke of accommodation.

Monsieur du Font received them with great kindness and affability, and made them understand by his interpreter, that if he had repelled them by force of arms, it had been only with regret, and on purpose to bring them to peace, to live together in good intelligence: that it was resolved to live with them as their brother and to carry their interests highly in all kinds of meetings; the “Savages” having done the same on their side, peace was concluded at the end of the year, with mutual joy from the two Nations.

The Sieur du Pont, extremely satisfied with this agreement, which put his people in a position to settle down and occupy the most beautiful districts of the island, left immediately from Martinique to bring the happy news himself to Monsieur d’Esnambuc ; but hardly had he set sail when his ship was surprised by a violent storm, which carried him to the coast of the island of Hispaniola, which we commonly call Santo Domingo, where he was taken prisoner by the Spanish, with all the crew; and as he appeared to be something great in his person, they separated him from the others, and shut him up in an obscure prison, where he remained for the space of three years, without any news being known, which did believe that he was perished at sea This accident caused great suffering to the inhabitants to whom he had promised to bring food from Saint-Christophe, those they had not yet ripe. Monsieur d’Esnambuc, therefore seeing that he heard no news from the Sieur du Pont, sent Monsieur du Parquet, his nephew, Captain of a Company, to the island of Saint-Christophe, to command there.