Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter III >> Page 32

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Page 32

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
command of the packet which returned to France.-
These wretches conspired the death of Laudonniere ;
first by poison, then by an explosion of gunpowder.
Their schemes failed, most probably through their own
want of courage. Meanwhile, a captain Bourdet arrived
at the settlement, with an additional body of soldiers
from France, which timely event, perhaps, restrained the
more open development of their hostility. Laudonniere,
thus strengthened, seized this occasion to examine into
the conduct of La Genre, who had shown himself the
most active among the discontents. The chief officers
were assembled for this purpose, but the criminal fled
to the woods, and took shelter with the Indians. After
the departure of Bourdet, the conspirators, no longer
restrained by the presence of numbers, resumed their
evil practices. Availing themselves of the sickness of
their commander, they put themselves in complete armor,
and under the guidance of three ringleaders, Fourneaux,
La Croix, and Stephen le Genevois, they penetrated his
chamber and seized upon his person. Depriving him of
his arms, they carried him on board ship, where they
extorted from him, under the most atrocious threats, a sort
of passport or commission for the seas ; an instrument
which they immediately employed to cover a premeditated
course of piracy. They seized two of his vessels, and de-
parted for the West India islands, where they succeeded
in seizing upon the governor of Jamaica, and possessing
themselves of considerable wealth besides. They deman-
ded a large sum for his ransom, and in order to procure it,
permitted him to send messengers to his wife. The wily
governor contrived, by the same messengers, to apprise