Iroquois raids on French settlements increased in frequency and ferocity in 1652. Colonists abandoned their fields and took shelter in the protective walls of Quebec, Trois-Rivières, and Montreal. In August 1652, M. Duplessis-Kerbodot, the Governor of Trois-Rivières, led the settlement's newly established militia against an Iroquois force near the town. The Iroquois ambushed the unit, killing 14 militiamen and the Governor. A detachment of Montreal militia commanded by Major Lambert suffered a similar fate in October.
The Iroquois attacks continued. When a French supply ship docked at Quebec in 1653, the settlement appeared deserted. Without bothering to go ashore, the captain of the ship weighed anchor and returned to France, where he reported that the Quebec settlers were either dead or prisoners of the Iroquois.
By 1659, the Iroquois had managed to establish an economic blockade of New France. Their war parties ranged along the banks of the St. Lawrence and Ottawa rivers, intercepting shipments of furs from First Nations to the west. The French colony was close to collapse.