There Were To Be No
Crumbling Saints And Canvases Of Bed-Chamber Grooms For Him To Study
In The Forests Of America; No Reminders Of The Greatness Of His
Country's Past, And The Honour Of His Family.
From school, the future woodsman passed over into England.
relative was living near Salisbury; for one reason or another the
boy was sent thither to finish his schooling. From England, with
what motives we know not, he set out for the New World, where he was
to spend his busiest and happiest days. In the Bibliotheca Americana
Nova Rich makes the statement that Crevecoeur was but sixteen when
he made the plunge, and others have followed Rich in this error. The
lad's age was really not less than nineteen or twenty. According to
the family legend, his ship touched at Lisbon on the way out; one
cannot decide whether this was just before or immediately after the
great earthquake. Then to New France, where he joined Montcalm.
Entering the service as cadet, he advanced to the rank of
lieutenant; was mentioned in the Gazette; shared in the French
successes; drew maps of the forests and block-houses that found
their way to the king's cabinet; served with Montcalm in the attack
upon Fort William Henry. With that the record is broken off: we can
less definitely associate his name with the humiliation of the
French in America than with their brief triumphs. Yet it is quite
certain, says Robert de Crevecoeur, his descendant, that he did not
return to France with the rag-tag of the defeated army.
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