Iberville is Ordered to Hudson Bay

19 May
Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville

Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On May 19, 1697, Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville was resting at Placentia Harbor, Newfoundland.  Iberville and his men had marched across the Avalon Peninsula the preceding November, through swamps and icy waters to rendezvous with another French force under Governor Brouillon, who was jealous of Iberville.  In fact, after they met at Ferryland, Brouillon and Iberville drew swords because the French Governor went back on an agreement he had made about division of the spoils.  The fight was prevented but Iberville lost the argument and had to give Brouillon a bigger share.

They besieged St. John’s on November 26 but it was bravely defended by Governor Miners who tried to hang on because he knew reinforcements were coming from Britain.  Iberville knew it too and devised a trick (or what would be called a propaganda move today) to make Miners give in.

Sorry, but this paragraph may be too graphic for some readers; just this paragraph though.  He captured a settler, William Drew, and had the Native Indians cut all around his scalp and then strip the skin from the forehead to the crown.

He then sent Drew into St. John’s with a message to Miners saying that unless St. John’s was surrendered immediately, all its inhabitants would get the same treatment.  Miners gave in.

There was a good deal more fighting and devastation elsewhere, but by May 19 Iberville had returned to Placentia.  Now he planned to rest his troops, capture the rest of Newfoundland and then organize a campaign to drive the English from the New England states.  He was going to capture Boston and perhaps even New York!

Iberville’s hopes and plans were dashed on May 19, when five ships of war sailed into Placentia Harbor.  His brother Joseph de Sérigny was on board one  of them, bringing a message from King Louis XIV.  Iberville was to give up the Newfoundland campaign and once again drive the English from Hudson Bay.  The tragedy from his point of view was that the Newfoundland campaign had been a waste and the plan to capture Boston would never be carried out.

If you would like to continue and learn a bit more about today’s post, I have a few places to recommend. There’s KnowLA, the encyclopedia of Louisiana history and culture, which has so many wonderful articles; then there is the History of the City of D’Iberville; and finally there is Pierre LeMoyne Sieur d’Iberville and the Establishment of Biloxi.


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17 responses to “Iberville is Ordered to Hudson Bay

  1. Greg Ward

    May 19, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    I am trying to imagine a Boston accent mixed with French. Glad King Louis sent him the other direction!

    • tkmorin

      May 19, 2013 at 8:00 pm

      It would sound … weird, eh? 🙂

  2. L. Marie

    May 19, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Wow. Grisly days.

    • tkmorin

      May 19, 2013 at 2:35 pm

      Indeed! We’re a little better behaved today, but when I think of the current wars, maybe not altogether better behaved. Still, I’m glad we’re not *that* cruel! 🙂

  3. Jim Morrison

    May 19, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Talk about coincidence. And don’t forget the book, “No One Gets Out of Here Alive”. One of my first thoughts on reading your post was, “I think that would be Beothuk” Indians”. I read a fascinating history of them years ago now – went looking for it, couldn’t find it now. I thought it was in my Farley Mowat phase, you know, Sea of Slaughter and Farfarers. But I think what I read was a full book rather than a chapter and none of the titles I could find rang any bells for me. Then I searched your site for Beothuk and didn’t come up with any hits – so I leave it with you to put this topic on your list for a future post.

    • tkmorin

      May 19, 2013 at 1:31 pm

      Oh yes, I have that near the top of my list. I’ve also read, I have it somewhere, a book about their history (and demise). You can bet that you’ll see a full post on them in the future.

      Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment — it’s always nice to hear what viewers think! 🙂

  4. seeker

    May 19, 2013 at 11:35 am

    There you go… it was a WHITE person who taught the Natives to scalp a person. Interesting, Tk.

    • tkmorin

      May 19, 2013 at 11:38 am

      Yes, that’s one reference, but I know there are others … I just have to find it! 🙂

      • seeker

        May 19, 2013 at 11:39 am

        Thinking cap on… 😛

        • tkmorin

          May 19, 2013 at 11:41 am

          … now, where did I put that? … Have you seen it? Can I borrow yours? 🙂

          • seeker

            May 19, 2013 at 11:53 am

            mine is one of those pointy hats and I have to sit at corner facing the wall…. 😆

          • tkmorin

            May 19, 2013 at 11:57 am

            Heehee what an image that presents!
            Btw, I just learned of a great song this morning. It’s by Van Morrison. The lyrics are at

            I found them beautiful! 🙂

          • seeker

            May 19, 2013 at 12:05 pm

            Must be a day for God music YouTube today. This is what I have been doing all morning. Listening to people’s post on godly music. Aweseome, Tk. I always think Van is more of a rock and role. Did you see his movie: The Doors?

          • tkmorin

            May 19, 2013 at 12:18 pm

            No, I haven’t. Is it good? I have about ten cd’s of his, I really like him.
            Again, P., don’t you love life’s “coincidences”? He works in mysterious ways!! Love it! 🙂

          • seeker

            May 19, 2013 at 12:24 pm

            Mystery and coincidences, of course! If you can borrow the DVD of “The Doors” it’s a “bio”. Really good. I enjoyed it.

            As for a lovely day: Here’s my wish for you.

          • tkmorin

            May 19, 2013 at 1:28 pm

            I will look for the film … Thank you so much for the video, it’s beautiful. Calming, too. 🙂


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