Page 49 - Through an Ocean Storm to the Fortress of Louisbourg, 1750
ISSUE : Issue 67
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1994/8/1
Through an Ocean Storm to the Fortress of Louisbourg, 1750 From the Memoirs of Chevalier de Johnstone Actually, Chevalier Johnstone came through several storms on iiis way to Louisbourg. He fought at Culloden, he was on the run after the fall of Bonnie Prince Charlie, and he spent 76 days on the water trying to get to Louisbourg, a place he grew to abhor. But, Chevalier de Johnstone • ?a French title and a Scottish name? Paraphrasing the Dictionary of Canadian Biograptiy. James Johnstone (Chevalier de Johnstone) was born in Edin? burgh, Scotland, in 1719. In 1745, when he learned that Prince Charles, the Young Pretender, had landed in Scotland, he hur? ried to join his army. After the battle of Prestonpans (Lothian) in September, Charles granted Johnstone a captain's commission. I WAS ABSORBED IN A PROFOUND SLEEP when the packet boat arrived at the quay of the city of Helvoetsluys, and every one was already on shore, when they came to waken me. I departed instantly from the packet boat with my eyes still half asleep, and I ran with all my might to get out of the way as if the captain and his crew would arrest me, not being able to per? suade myself that I was yet beyond the domination of the Eng? lish. Lady Jean having laughed heartily at seeing me run, she cried to me that it was quite useless, and that I was actually out of danger. I then awoke entirely. How sweet and flattering a moment, beyond expression, to see myself safe, after having been for six months between life and death. It is necessary to have been in my situation to know the excess of pleasure and satisfaction that I experienced in the first instances. Since the battle of Culloden I had it always vividly impressed on my mind that I should finish my days in sufferings on the scaffold. I felt then as if raised from the dead. After a stay of eight days at Rotterdam, I departed with Lady Jean Douglas for the Hague, and there she fixed her residence. As my resolution had been taken for a long time of returning to Russia, I wrote to my uncle to let him know in part of the mis? fortunes into which I was plunged; and begged of him to in? form his friends, the Count Gollovine and the Prince Carakin, that I should be at St. Petersburg in the beginning of June; and to endeavour to engage them to honour me still with their pro? tection, in order that I might obtain employment the moment of my arrival. If I had followed that resolution it would not have been many years before I should have been a general officer. I was ready to depart to Russia when Lady Jean Douglas per? suaded me to defer my departure until they should receive posi- Thrift Lodge Restaurant 'Lounge 49 Newly-Renovated Units • (902)625-1300 p. 0. Box 190 PORT HASTINGS n. s. boe 2to ~ Your Gateway to Cape Breton ~ He raised some men and joined the Dul(e of Perth's Regiment. Following Culloden in 1746, he escaped north, hidden by his pro? tectress who seems to have been Lady Jane Douglas. He got to London disguised as a pedlar and then to Rotterdam dressed as a servant to Lady Jane. In Paris he was granted a pension from funds accorded by Louis XV for Scottish rebels exiled in France. But his captain's commission was not recognized. He received only an ensigncy in the colonial regular troops of Ile Royale (Cape Breton Island). Unhappy about this, he went to Cape Bre? ton anyway. And thus the written voyage to Louisbourg which Johnstone has left us here.... tive news of the fate of Prince Edward. Cruel and dismal For? tune, which has deceived me through all my life by false appearances. M. Trevor, the English resident in Holland, having presented a note to the States-General demanding that they should arrest and deliver into the hands of the English all the Scotch which were escaped into Holland, to the eternal disgrace of that infa? mous Republic, they were sufficiently mean to consent to it, contrary to humanity and the law of nations. We were then a score of Scotch in Holland. M. Ogilvie was arrested and sent to London; the others departed with all speed from this unworthy country; and as it was necessary for me to remain there to await till I should find an opportunity to go to St. Petersburg, I ran to Leyden to get myself registered in that University in quality of a student of medicine; its privileges being so extensive that the States-General could not dare to arrest a student of that Univer? sity but for the crime of murder. Having got myself registered by means of some ducats which I paid to Professor Gaubeus, I retumed immediately to the Hague, where we leamed in a few days, that Prince Edward was safe in France. The desire of see? ing him again, and the hope of an attempt still in his favour, made me abandon my resolution of going to Russia; and my fate was decided for the rest of my days by my arrival at Paris CONNORS COLOR PRODUCTION & LAMINATING (Division of Connors Office Centre) 350 Charlotte St., Sydney, N.S. 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