The Military Empire
Towards The Great Lakes
First Clashes with the Foxes
Caption: Louis XV, King of France from 1715 to 1774
As the French moved westward, they entered into alliances with most of the Amerindian tribes whom they encountered. However the Foxes, who were allies of the Iroquois and received encouragement from the English, proved to be inveterate foes. They were ferocious warriors, valiant and daring. After various incidents and acts of provocation on their part, the French suggested that they live in peace near them. Many Foxes responded favourably to this invitation, appearing at Detroit in 1711. However, they quarrelled with other tribes and, in 1712, laid siege to the Amerindian villages around the fort. Commandant Dubuisson, having only 20 soldiers at his disposal, called out the militia and received support as well from hundreds of allied Illinois and Ottawas. The Foxes were pushed back and besieged in turn for 19 days inside their palisaded village. When they attempted to break out at night, they were trapped near Lake St. Clair and hundreds of their warriors were slaughtered. Although this defeat did not bring hostilities to an end, it did force the Foxes to lie low for some time.
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