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Francis Hertel DE Rouvllle

HERTEL DE ROUVlLLE, Francis, soldier, born in Three Rivers, Canada, in 1643; died in Boucherville, Canada, 29 May, 1722. He adopted the military profession, and soon distinguished himself both for valor and piety. In 1681 he was made prisoner by the Iroquois, and was led to Agniers, where he endured frightful tortures. A finger of his right hand was burned in the bowl of a calumet, and the thumb of the left was hacked off. His patience under these afflictions excited the admiration of the savages. After a long captivity, the Indians prepared to burn him, but he was rescued by an aged Iroquois woman, who consented to adopt him after the manner of the tribe. Some time afterward he escaped and rejoined his regiment. In 1690 he was placed in command of a body of troops raised in Three Rivers, and on the invasion of the English colonies by Frontenac, he set out from Three Rivers at the head of fifty Canadians and twenty-five Indians, on 28 January, and by a long march through snow and ice reached the English village of Salmon Falls, where they massacred thirty or forty of the inhabitants in cold blood. Having learned what was taking place at Salmon Falls, the inhabitants of Dover armed themselves and advanced, over two hundred strong, to succor their countrymen. Hertel, having heard of their march, and fearing that he might be surrounded, took possession of the bridge that crossed the river in front of the enemy. Without firing a shot, he allowed them to advance on the bridge, and then charged them, sword in hand, compelling them to retreat. He then united with the troops levied in the district of Quebec. He afterward commanded a part of the forces that besieged Casco Bay. The capture of this place was largely due to his skilful manoeuvres, and he contributed much to the success of Frontenac's campaign against the Iroquois. In return for these services, he was promised letters of nobility from Louis XIV. in 1690, entitling him and his descendants to the privileges enjoyed by the French nobles; but the letters were not delivered to Hertel until 1716.

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