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This Week in Canadian History – November Week 5

24 Nov
English: Statue of Frontenac from the National...

Statue of Frontenac from the National Assembly, QC City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fort Frontenac sign

Fort Frontenac sign (Photo credit: KirrilyRobert)

This is a repost and updated post that I published on November 28, 2012.

Count Frontenac dies at Quebec, but that doesn’t mean his heart stays put. Oh no.

Frontenac had been asked to return to Canada in 1689 and serve as governor for the second time. His instructions were to regain the respect of the Indians and to drive the British from New England and New York.

He did succeed with most of the Indians, but Frontenac was unable to take New England and New York for France. After eight years of war, Britain and France signed the Treaty of Ryswick on September 20, 1697. Actually, Ryswick meant little, and war was resumed five years later.

As there was supposed to be peace, however, Frontenac exchanged messages with the Governor of New York, and Captain John Schuyler arrived at Quebec as a peace emissary. He had led the raid on La Prairie, near Montreal, after the massacre at Schenectady, but old wounds were forgotten. Schuyler was honoured at a banquet in the château at which he proposed a toast to King Louis, while Frontenac toasted King William.

Not long afterwards winter began to close in, and the streets of Quebec were covered in snow. It was noticed that Frontenac seemed to be staying in his château. Then Bishop St. Vallier began paying visits there. This was strange because Frontenac and the Bishop had been at odds ever since the governor returned.

Shortly after the candles were lighted in the late afternoon of November 28, 1698, the reason for the visits became known. The old soldier had died, eyes bright and mind alert to the last.

In his will, he had asked that his heart be cut out, encased and sent to his wife, who had never accompanied him to Canada. The casket containing the heart did not arrive in France until shipping opened in the spring, but Madame Frontenac, a proud and beautiful woman, would not accept it. She said that she did not want a heart in death that had not been hers in life.

So the heart was returned to Quebec and replaced in Frontenac’s body, where it lay in the church of the Recollets.

To read more about today’s post, I suggest Encyclopedia Britannica, and Your Dictionary, as well as the Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Another interesting read, filled with anecdotes, is the Canadian Monthly and National Review, which you can get at Books on Google.

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12 responses to “This Week in Canadian History – November Week 5

  1. David Stewart

    November 25, 2013 at 6:02 am

    I’ve always liked Frontenac. He’s a very interesting person.

     
    • tkmorin

      November 25, 2013 at 9:04 am

      I like him too – I think I would have liked to meet him … I think! 🙂

       
  2. Mélanie

    November 25, 2013 at 5:10 am

    I’ve been to Québec twice and I simply love it all… 🙂 This magnifique castle is THE symbol of Québec… my very best & friendly greetings from Toulouse, France, cheers! 🙂 Mélanie

     
    • tkmorin

      November 25, 2013 at 9:00 am

      Salut, Mélanie! I’m glad you like Quebec. Have a great week! 🙂

       
  3. hairballexpress

    November 24, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    What a weird request…. I can’t imagine why he would want such a thing done…(HISS)!

     
    • tkmorin

      November 24, 2013 at 9:54 pm

      Indeed, I agree with you. I think the humans of those days (or at least this one) did not think as we do now. I suppose he thought it would be a romantic gesture. =^.^=

       
      • hairballexpress

        November 24, 2013 at 10:39 pm

        Hmmmm. Dracula would have loved it. I think his wife would have preferred a paper or candy version of it….

         
  4. seeker

    November 24, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    Lucky us to have the heart of Frontenac. Good read, Tk.

     
    • tkmorin

      November 24, 2013 at 6:41 pm

      Thanks, P! 🙂

       
  5. Blog Woman!!!

    November 24, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Very Interesting, although I think I come away mostly admiring Madame Frontenac.

     
    • tkmorin

      November 24, 2013 at 6:40 pm

      Yes, I do too. I can imagine the pressure put on her to accept it. Strong woman, I imagine! 🙂

       
  6. Skipping Stars Productions LLC

    November 24, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Reblogged this on Canadian Heritage Connection and commented:
    1698, Bishop St. Vallier, Canada, canadian history, Canadian trivia, Captain John Schuyler, Count Frontenac, Dictionary of Canadian Biography, France, Frontenac, Governor of New York, history, La Prairie, massacre at Schenectady, Montreal, New England, New York, November 28, On this day in Canadian history, quebec, Treaty of Ryswick

     

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