1300 Moons is a historical/fiction based on the life story of Saulteux Ojibwa Chief Kioscance or Young Gull who lived during the French régime in North America ca 1640-1748. It follows his life's journey from a youth through his years as a warrior, to great War Chief, to elder on the council. Young Gull led his people south after the Iroquois War to establish them at Aamjiwnaang at the foot of Lake Huron.
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Books by Award Winning Author David D Plain
1300 Moons is based on the life story of Saulteux Ojibway Chief Kioscance or Young Gull who lived during the French régime in North America ca 1640-1748. It follows his life's journey from a youth through his years as a warrior, to great War Chief, to elder on the council. Young Gull led his people south after the Iroquois War to establish them at Aamjiwnaang at the foot of Lake Huron. The book contains a strong storyline, a sense of suspense with drama, and good character development. Descriptions of events are compelling and engaging to the reader. It brings out many human elements of trust, pride, fear, accomplishment as well as feelings of love of land, territory and spituality.
On a warm, late-summer morning Young Gull left his village with Fish Hawk, the strangers from Michilimackinac, and a war party of two hundred and fifty. The party made their way along the shores of Lake Superior to Boweeting. Fish Hawk’s fi fty warriors joined them but the Jesuit, Marest, left to return to Michilimackinac.
The awesome party of three hundred, feathered Ojibwa warriors, faces painted vermilion and black, made their way down the western shores of Lake Huron into the St. Clair River where they silently past the newly constructed French post Fort St. Joseph. They made camp south of the post. To Young Gull’s amazement he recognized the territory. It was from his dream. Everything was the same, the great rapids, the dark blue river, the black river that flowed into it as well as the abundance of fruit trees, hardwoods, marshes and game. Again he wondered what his dream was telling him.
The next morning strong Ojibwa arms propelled their light canoes down the river past the delta at its foot. One hundred and fifty Miami, Wyandotte and Potawatomi warriors were camped on the western shore of Lake St. Claire waiting for their Ojibwa allies.
A council was held on the shores of the round lake. Th e small party of war chiefs chose Young Gull to fill the temporary position of Grand Chief of this party. Under his direction they made their way past Detroit into the White Water Lake or Lake Erie. After passing along the northern shore line they made the portage at the waterfalls and into the Beautiful Lake or Lake Ontario. They met Denonville and his force of two thousand at Irondequoit Bay at the mouth of the Genesee River.
When the French governor appeared the three coureurs de bois stepped forward. The one called Du Lhut spoke to Governor Denonville and La Durantaye acted as interpreter for Young Gull and the other war chiefs.
“We have commanded these four hundred and fifty warriors from the western tribes to serve the French King in His Majesty’s extermination of the Seneca,” Du Lhut said to Denonville. “Th ey follow us because we are looked upon as the greatest of warriors and the elders of the land. I now place them under your command.”
La Durantaye interpreted the French words. “These are Ojibwa warriors. Their power makes the earth tremble and they are here to teach the insolent Seneca a lesson.” He continued, “This great force allied against the Seneca will follow Young Gull’s warriors because they are the greatest in all the earth”.
“Put our savages in the front and let them take the brunt of any resistance by the Seneca” ordered Denonville.
“Because the Ojibwa are the greatest warriors they will be given the honor to lead in the battle. The French will follow up with reinforcements” La Durantaye translated.
Young Gull spoke. “The French Governor is wise to acknowledge the power of the Ojibwa. It is good that the French submit the honor of the battle to us.”
La Durantaye translated Young Gull’s words for Denonville. “The chief of the savages submits his authority and agrees to follow the order by your Excellency to lead in the battle.” Denonville smiled at the words of La Durantaye.
The following day Young Gull led the Western Nations, including the three coureurs de bois, up the Genesee. Th e French army followed.
The Seneca were alarmed by the news of the advancing force and of its size. The fact that the Ojibwa was leading it was even more alarming. They prepared a hasty plan of defense. They would ambush their enemy on a bend of the river several miles from their main village.
The village had a population of more than two thousand including a fighting force of six hundred. It was fortified with a palisade protecting the long houses and surrounded by acres of tall corn interwoven with the vines of huge, ripening pumpkin and squash. This bountiful harvest meant that most of the six hundred Seneca warriors were available for the trap at the river’s bend.
Young Gull was in the lead canoe, followed by ninety canoes manned by the best of the Western Nations. Four hundred canoes manned by Denonville’s French army followed them. The hidden Seneca let the Ojibwa contingent pass and waited patiently for the French who were less adept at forest warfare. The French regulars and conscripts passed in front of the strung out Seneca and they opened fire with Dutch muskets. Confusion reigned. Th e French abandoned their canoes and rushed up the hill and into the surrounding forest. The French soldiers panicked and in the confusion began firing upon each other.
The warriors of the Western Nations heard the din behind them and returned to the battle as quickly as they could. Four hundred and fifty warriors charged wildly up the banks shrieking fearsome war whoops. Some were firing French muskets while others waved their war clubs. Th e Seneca broke ranks and turned in full retreat toward their village. They passed the abandoned and burning village in full flight deep into Seneca country.
Denonville was so disheartened by the panic of his troops that he ordered his men to only clear and burn the cornfields. They found and burned a few smaller villages in the surrounding countryside but did not pursue the fleeing Seneca. Ten days later the governor ordered his troops to withdraw.
The failure not to capitalize on the rout of the Seneca and complete the extermination of their old enemy was not appreciated by Young Gull and the other war chiefs. It deprived them of valuable scalps and the spoils of a larger conflict.
“This will teach the scoundrels a lesson they will never forget. They will surely come groveling for peace now!” exclaimed Denonville. La Durantaye interpreted for the war chiefs.
“Denonville is a fool! The French make poor warriors. They vow to annihilate our common enemy, the Seneca but only make war on their cornfi elds. Th ey have only succeeded in creating a swarm of angry hornets by knocking the nest down. We will never again give such an effort for so little return!” exclaimed Young Gull. La Durantaye did not translate nor did Denonville ask him to.
The disgruntled war chiefs left in a huff and immediately returned to their own country to tell of the French treachery. Denonville withdrew to Niagara where he ordered his men to begin the construction of a large fort. But the most ominous consequence of the French’s scorched earth policy was the longhouse council being held at Onondaga. All five nations of the Iroquois were enraged at the arrogance of the French and their allies and the infuriated chiefs were planning their revenge.