The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents


Travels and Explorations

of the Jesuit Missionaries

in New France











Reuben Gold Thwaites

Secretary of the State historical Society of Wisconsin



Tomasz Mentrak




Vol. VII

Québec, Hurons, and Cape Breton



CLEVELAND:            The Burrows Brothers









Vol. XX




[Page 2]

The edition consists of sev-

en hundred and fifty sets

all numbered.



The Burrows Brothers Co.



[Page 3]

Copyright, 1898


The Burrows Company


all rights reserved



The Imperial Press, Cleveland


[Page 4]





Reuben Gold Thwaites






|  Finlow Alexander



|  Percy Favor Bicknell



|  William Frederic Giese



|  Catherine S. Kellogg



|  Crawford Lindsay



|  William Price



|  Hiram Allen Sober




Assistant Editor


Emma Helen Blair




Bibliographical Adviser


Victor Hugo Paltsits




Electronic Transcription


Tomasz Mentrak



[Page 5]

[Page 6]




Preface To Volume XX.







Relation de ce qvi s'est passé en la Novvelle France, en l’année 1640. [Chaps. ix., x. of Part II., and postscript, completing the document.] Jerome Lalemant; Des Hurons, May 27 and August 3, 1640






Lettre à son Frere. Charles Garnier; Sainte-Marie aux Hurons, June 23, 1641




Excerpta Epistola ad R. P. Mutium Vitelleschi, Præpositum Generalem Societatis Jesu, Romæ.  Joannes de Brébeuf; Kebec, August 20, 1641




Relation de ce qvi s’est passé en la Novvelle France, és années 1640. et 1641. [Introduction, and Chaps. i.-viii. Of Part I.] Paul le Jeune; Kebec and Paris, undated





Bibliographical Data; Volume XX.








[Page 7]







Photographic facsimile of title-page, Relation of 1640-41





Following is a synopsis of the documents contained in the present volume:

XLI. The Relation of 1640 is the joint product of Le Jeune, who wrote at Quebec (under date of September 10) the portion dealing with the field of the lower St. Lawrence, and of Jerome Lalemant, who wrote from the Huron country (under date of May 27) of the year’s work in that far-away mission. In Vol. XVIII., we gave the first ten chapters of Le Jeune’s narrative (Part I. of the document); in Vol. XIX. this part was concluded, and eight chapters were published of Lalemant’s report (Part II.). We herewith give Chapters ix. and x., thus closing the document.

In Chapter ix., Lalemant describes the founding of the mission of St. Jean Baptiste. At first, the Fathers are welcomed; but soon their troubles begin,—the demons prompt the natives to perform all their customary superstitious rites more freely than ever, and to drive out the strangers. A friendly chief calls a council at which the missionaries may refute the slanders spread about them ; fortunately, Joseph Chihwatenhwa arrives in time to speak at this conclave, and his eloquence appeases the tumult for a season. As usual, most of their converts are among the dying ; of these, is an Algonkin whose tribe are wintering with the Hurons. [Page 9]

The final chapter of this Relation describes the new mission to the Tobacco Nation, conducted by Garnier and Jogues; “this mission has been the richest of all, since crosses and sufferings have been most abundant therein.” There the Fathers are persecuted on every side,—they can with difficulty obtain sufficient food to support life; they are feared and reviled by almost all the people ; they are driven from village to village, sometimes forced to leave a house in the middle of the night; and are repeatedly threatened with death. Many bands from the Neutral Nation flee hither for refuge from the famine that prevails in their own country, and many die of hunger; but the Fathers succeed in baptizing nearly all of these unfortunates, thus ensuring their future blessedness. While thus wandering through the villages of the Tobacco Nation, the missionaries receive an unexpected reinforcement in the good Chihwatenhwa, who leaves his own family to God’s care, that he may join and aid the Fathers in their itinerancy. While the smallpox epidemic was at its height, these Jesuits were in excellent health ; but, now that it is decreasing, they are attacked by scurvy, but fortunately recover.

Lalemant had closed his narrative May 27, and, according to custom, sent it to his superior (Vimont) by the spring fleet of canoes which proceeded down the Ottawa River to the great fur market at Three Rivers. He was able, this year, to send a postscript dated August 3, which reached Quebec before the Relation for the year had been forwarded to France (in September). This letter relates the sad death of Joseph Chihwatenhwa, who had been killed and scalped by the Iroquois. This is a grief to the missionaries, [Page 10] but they console themselves by saying: “Since the Saints have more power when they are in heaven than here below on earth, we are bound to believe that we have gained more than we have lost by his death.”

XLII. This is a letter written by Father Charles Garnier, from the mission of Ste. Marie, in the Huron country, under date of June 23, 1641, to one of his brothers in France. After many pious exhortations and reflections, and a reference to another brother, “a prodigal,” the writer describes missionary work among the savages, mentioning the frequent hardships and dangers to which the Jesuits are exposed. He closes with a request that his brother will send him some medicinal seeds, with instructions as to their use and culture.

XLIII. This is a letter by Brébeuf to the Father General, written at Quebec, August 20, 1641. Only fragments thereof have been preserved to us, and these chiefly relative to the Huron mission. He praises the peace, strict discipline, and order that prevail in the missionary household, especially among their donné. The Huron church contains about sixty members,—a number slowly increasing. The two new missions—to the Algonkins and the Neutral Nation—are mentioned ; and the writer praises Chaumonot’s zeal, and his ability in learning the native tongues.

XLIV. Although Vimont is now superior of the Jesuit missions in New France, the Quebec portion (Part I.) of the Relation of 1640-41 is written by Le Jeune, and the Huron narrative (Part II.) by Jerome Lalemant,—the same as with the preceding Relation [Page 11] of 1640. In the present volume, we give the first eight chapters of Part I., leaving the document to be concluded in our Vol. XXI.

Le Jeune’s narrative is without date; Lalemant’s was concluded May 16, 1641, and sent down by the spring fleet to Quebec. Le Jeune was despatched to Paris in the autumn, as an envoy from the governor and colonists, on various matters touching their interests, and took with him the MS. of the Relation of 1640-41. In an introductory note, written in Paris, he explains this circumstance. In the Relation proper, he begins by describing the work of the Ursulines; they not only teach the French girls of the colony, but have a little seminary of young Indian girls. One of these has married, and was given her clothes and furniture by the nuns ; four others are nearly ready to marry, and donations are needed for aiding them. Two more nuns, who could furnish some funds for the support of the convent, would be welcomed. Extracts from the letters of the nuns are given, showing the intelligence, amiability, and piety that characterize these Indian girls. They are quite weaned from savage customs, and even from their own mothers. Madame de la Peltrie sustains this enterprise with undiminished ardor, and does all she can for the Indian families as well.

Le Jeune then narrates the progress of affairs at St. Joseph de Sillery, the new settlement of Indian converts, The Christians are zealous, and resolve (unknown to the Fathers) that any Indian in this village who commits a fault, however slight, shall be punished by imprisonment and fasting. Several instances are given of their enforcement of this rule,—sending the offender to Quebec, with a request to the [Page 12] governor that he be placed in a dungeon. Some, indeed, are so eager to defend the faith before unbelievers, that they provoke the latter to rage ; and the Fathers find it necessary to recommend to them more discretion and mildness. The Algonkins of the Island endeavor to beguile these Christians away from St. Joseph, but they refuse to leave the place. One young woman is full of grief because she had chosen marriage, instead of becoming a nun. A man, who has not yet received instruction, abandons the use of tobacco, and the “eat-all” feasts and other superstitions; he also begins to preach to his countrymen that they must believe in God and listen to the missionaries. He induces the Tadoussac Indians to send to Quebec for Jesuit teachers; and when one is sent there, “this good Neophyte,” armed with a pistol, stands guard over the Father when he goes for a walk, lest some harm should befall him. He is, after a time, duly instructed and baptized ; and Charles Meiachkawat becomes a notable and influential Christian.

Le Jeune proceeds to give detailed accounts of various conversions, baptisms, and pious acts among the neophytes both at Sillery and Three Rivers. One of these, named Achilles, “was very haughty before his baptism, but God has changed him into a little lamb.” He refuses to leave St. Joseph with Makheabichtichiou,—a quasi convert, mentioned in earlier Relations; the latter “is wretchedly slain in the country of the Abnaquiois, and his family is ruined.” Another notable convert is a Huron, who has come down to Quebec with Brébeuf and Du Peron ; he is baptized at Sillery with great ceremony, .as Charles Sondatsaa. Montmagny, who acts as his [Page 13] sponsor, presents to him a handsome arquebus, and exhorts him to spread the faith among his countrymen; while the Sillery converts give him powder to use with his gun. He is very grateful, and avers that he will never give up the faith he has professed. “We have nothing,” he says, “so precious as Our porcelain collars; if I were to see a score of them glittering before me, to entice me into sin, I would turn away my eyes, and my heart would loathe them. In our Villages, we value highly certain garments and robes ; if what we call beauty should present me with one of these robes, in order to corrupt me, I would say to her, ‘If the God whom I adore wishes me to use these garments, he will cause me to find them by other ways,—sin is banished from my heart; it must never reënter there.’ ”

The narrator, commenting on the influence of these converts, says: “Indeed, I have observed that one truly Christian Savage, who is zealous for the faith, accomplishes more among his people than do three Jesuits.” He next describes the good work that the Hospital nuns are performing, at their house near Sillery. They not only aid the savages in illness, but through this are doing much to keep them sedentary, as the missionaries desire. Aid has generously been given to the hospital by a lady of rank in France, by the Hundred Associates, and by another friend. The Sisters gather in old persons who have been abandoned by the savages ; they care for all who are sick, both French and Indians; they succor many needy poor; and even instruct several children who are too far away to go to the Ursulines at Québec. They have cared for sixty-eight sick persons. during the Past year, of whom only four have died, [Page 14] and seven have been baptized. The Indians show in sickness astonishing patience and gentleness, and often most pious devotion. The Sillery savages are in many ways under the care of the nuns ; and various instances of their simplicity and naïveté are recounted. Accustomed to divide with one another their food, they also think it necessary to share the medicines prescribed,—all impartially drinking from the cup allotted to one. A portrait of the Duchess d’Aiguillon is sent to the hospital, and the women and children all imitate the posture of prayer in which the lady is depicted; then, bowing low to her picture, they kiss it “with more simplicity and candor than grace. It is not the custom of the savages to salute one another with a kiss ; but as Madame de la Peltrie often embraces and kisses these poor girls on meeting them, these good creatures imagine that they must imitate her, in order to do right.” The death of one of the nuns is recorded—Mother de Sainte Marie, “a dear dove, ” whose health has been frail during all her stay in Canada; she dies (March 5) apparently from consumption, but her physician states that “she had three mortal diseases.”

The writer proceeds to relate the history of the mission at Three Rivers, which “has been beaten this year by more kinds of winds than pilots and mariners have marked on their wind roses or on their charts.” Three Rivers is a rendezvous for all the tribes of the upper St. Lawrence and Ottawa region, who are not only often ignorant of the missionaries and their designs, but are usually involved in jealousies and quarrels with one another. They also practice the pagan superstitions and customs that the Fathers have labored to suppress among their neophytes, and [Page 15] thus greatly disturb the little church at this place. Father Buteux, in attempting to stop one of these heathen rites, is roughly treated, and threatened with death. The church now numbers about eighty persons, many of whom console the Fathers by their steadfastness in the truth. On the whole, “in spite of the attacks of the Devil, the Unbelievers are opening their eyes by degrees, so that they are becoming softened and tamed, giving us hopes of their conversion.”

A beginning is made in reaching the Attikamègues, a peaceful tribe, who occasionally “make their appearance like flashes of lightning” at Three Rivers, for trading. Some of these Indians are baptized, and thus carry news of the faith to their tribesmen. Detailed accounts are given of various baptisms at Three Rivers; among these is Pieskars (Piescaret), a chief of the Island tribe, a man of much influence and ability.

The following have recently rendered valuable assistance to the editor, in addition to those already mentioned: Mgr. C. A. Marois, vicar-general of the archdiocese of Québec; Rev. B. Th. Garneau, secretary to the archbishop of Quebec ; Rev. A. Lallemand, S. J., Societe des Bollandistes, Brussels, Belgium; Rev. .Dr. S. H. Frisbee, S. J., of Woodstock College, Woodstock, Md. ; Rev. T. Charaux, S. J., Sault-au-Recollet, P. Q. ; Rev. C. M. Widman, S. J., of St. Charles College, Grand Coteau, La. ; Hon. John Russell Young, ‘librarian of Congress, Washington; and Richard R. Elliott, Esq., Detroit.

R. G. T.


Madison, Wis., April, 1898

XL1 (concluded)

Relation of 1640





Chaps. ix., x. of Part II., completing the document. The

earlier portions of this document will be found in Volumes






HE Arendaronons are one of the four nations which compose those whom, properly speaking, we call Hurons; it is the most Eastern nation of all, and is the one which first encountered the French, and to which, in consequence, the trade belonged, according to the laws of the country. They could enjoy this alone; nevertheless, they found it good to share it with the other [146] nations,—retaining for themselves, however, more especially the character of our allies ; and on this account inclining to protect the French when some disaster has happened. This is where the late monsieur de Champlain stopped longest on the voyage that he made up here, about 22 years ago ; and where his reputation still lives in the minds of these barbarous peoples,—who honor, even after so many years, many excellent virtues which they admired in him, and in particular his chastity and continence with respect to the women. Would to God that all the French who first came to these regions had been like him! we would not so often blush for them in the presence of our Savages, who oppose to us the immodesties and the debauches of several, as if this were an infallible proof, that what we threaten them with, concerning hell, is nothing but fables,—inasmuch as those first Frenchmen whom they knew had no fear thereof. [Page 19]

This so special alliance which these Arendaronon peoples have with the French had often given us the thought [147] of going to impart to them the riches of the Gospel; but our deficiency in the language had always prevented us from advancing to that point,—having found ourselves occupied from the outset in our first abiding place, which was situated at the other end of the country, quite opposite to these.

This year, having found ourselves strong enough for this enterprise, we began a mission there, which has had three villages in its department,—St. Jean Baptiste,l St. Joachim, and Sainte Elizabeth.2 Fathers Antoine Daniel and Simon le Moine have had the. care of them.

They made their chief and most usual abode in the more populous village of St. Jean Baptiste, having most work to do there. At the first, they set forth in open council the purpose of their coming, which was approved and universally received by every one: people spoke of nothing but believing, and embracing the Faith; the cabins were open to them, and even emulously so: these good people came to invite them, and offered them with a friendly heart all the kindnesses they could imagine.

[148] The disease, which had already begun in this village, increased after the arrival of our Fathers: the affection and the confidence of these poor barbarians seemed at the same time to increase toward them; one or two raisins, the palm of the hand full of half-sweetened water, the assistance which they tried to give the sick, either by counsel or by going to ask alms in the cabins of the more wealthy for those who were in poverty,—these were the charms [Page 21] of a charity which had never been seen in these villages.

Meanwhile, the affairs of God were quietly managed; the children were baptized when they were considered in danger; the adults received with open heart the words of heaven, and hardly was one found who in the peril of death would not think of the salvation of his soul; even the relatives, when they had some sick patient, would come to notify our Fathers thereof.

Some effects of God’s goodness over these poor barbarians increased still more their affection for us. A young man,—one of the greatest [149] hunters and warriors in the country, and one of the best connected in all this village,—was brought so low by the disease that they wholly despaired of him; he was instructed and baptized by one of our Fathers, who made a journey thither toward the end of the month of September. Shortly after, he returns to health, contrary to all hope; but he remains blind, and there stays with him an intolerable inflammation which spoils his eyes. A month later, our two missionaries, having arrived in this village, visited this Neophyte: he blesses God that he is cured, but he bewails his misery for having lost his sight, without which he can no longer love life. They exhort him to hope in God, with whom nothing is impossible; he protests that he believes; in proof of his belief, he gives up a tortoise shell,—which is, as it were, the lute and the violin of their concerts,—which he used in hunting, in order to invoke the aid of his demon.3 They apply to his eyes some holy water, with a sign of the cross, uttering these words: “May he whom you have taken for master, Our Lord,—the Father, [Page 23] the Son, and the Holy Ghost, cure you.” It pleased God to bless his Faith; the inflammation [150] is scattered, the pain ceases, there is no more blindness, sight returns entire. There still remained to him some sores on the face and on the body ; they left with him a little of that holy water to use from time to time,—invoking Our Lord for the space of nine days, in honor of the nine choirs of Angels,—with the promise to come and render thanks to God in the Chapel which our Fathers had erected in the cabin of the principal captain of that village, with whom they were lodged. Heaven continued its favors upon this poor young man; he found himself altogether cured before the time, and, in order not to be thankless, he made a solemn feast, at which, the company being assembled, he openly declared that he had from the God of the believers his sight, his health, and his life. This young man is called Ononrouten, and he was named Charles at his baptism.

The favors of God do not stop there. A little girl of his fell sick, and into danger of death, from a certain carbuncle which was consuming her even to the bone ; he begs them to baptize her—they cannot [151] refuse him; after her baptism she finds herself entirely cured.

Another woman of the same cabin was oppressed by a violent colic, which made her yield up, by strange vomitings, everything that she had in her body: after that, she lost feeling, and her kinsmen already accounted her dead. Our Fathers hastened thither, and put before her eyes an image of Our Lord; they are utterly astonished that her senses come back to her ,—she speaks and hears ; they baptize her with entire satisfaction. After that, they [Page 25] give her a little holy water, and they exhort her to put her trust in God. The next day she is on her feet,—she works as before, and says aloud to every one that it is God alone who has cured her. She was named Marie at her baptism; her Huron name is Atatasé.

With the host with whom our Fathers lodged, two received a similar cure, and by way of thanksgiving the. parents made two public feasts in the Christian style,—at which, instead of their war songs or songs of dreams, the Pater noster in Huron [152] was sung, and some other prayers, which carried away all those present, in admiration. A French voice with harmony in it excels all their howlings.

Some other acts of heaven, similar to these, were loudly sounded through all the cabins,—where, in consequence, our Fathers were received and regarded with an eye which had no Savage aspect whatever.

The disease, nevertheless, makes its ravages there: this entire village, flourishing and large, is becoming a woeful hospital.

It would have been a wonder indeed, if the powers of hell had not crossed the affairs of God ; the devil must needs defend his kingdom which he has possessed from all time, and it is not without resistance that he is to be expelled from it.

A man of this same village was, during all that time, engaged in fishing; a demon appeared to him under the form of a tall and handsome young man. “Fear not,” said this haughty spirit; “I am the master of the earth, whom you Hurons honor under the name of Iouskeha;4 I am the one whom the French [153] wrongly call Jesus, but they do not know me. I have pity on your country, which I have taken under my [Page 27] protection; I come to teach you both the reasons and the remedies for your misfortune. It is the strangers who alone are the cause of it; they now travel two by two throughout the country, with the design of spreading the disease everywhere. They will not stop with that; after this smallpox which now depopulates your cabins, there will follow certain colics which in less than three days will carry off all those whom this disease may not have removed. You can prevent this misfortune ; drive out from your village the two black gowns who are there. As for those who are now attacked by the smallpox, I wish you to serve me in curing them; prepare a quantity of such a water, run as fast as possible to the village, and tell the elders to carry and distribute this potion during the whole night. Then all the youth and the war Captains will go acting like madmen through all the cabins; but I wish them to continue even till the dawn of day,—after that, the demon disappears.”

[154] This poor man straightway hastens to the village, and gives warning of all that he knows; thereupon the Elders twice and thrice assemble the council. These diabolical ceremonies are received with approbation ; toward evening, one hears in all the streets nothing but the shout of the Captains, who exhort the youth to act bravely as madmen. Then it was that this spirit of trouble triumphed in his reign. As our missionaries were lodged in the cabin of the principal Captain, it was there that the first act of this comedy began; our Fathers were obliged to break up their little retreat for the holy Mass, to the end of preventing what these mad fellows would have done, for he is judged the most valiant who best acts the maniac. Everywhere were heard only howlings,— [Page 29] nothing but agitation and madness ; but the rigor of the cold increases,—these masqueraders withdraw a little after midnight. On that account these new Apothecaries (they were six of the Elders who bore in silence a great kettle full of that diabolical water, whereof they made all the sick people drink), these physicians [155] of hell, ceased to make their round, because the follies of the young men had ceased. The morrow night it was necessary to satisfy the devil, and begin again, quite afresh. This night was that of Christmas, during which the demon was punctually obeyed.

In consequence thereof, this Prince of wantonness ordered infamous dances and feasts during all those holy days, consecrated to the memory of the infant J e s u s, King of purity, and of his dear disciple, the well-beloved for his virginity.

Behold, then, the souls of these poor barbarians possessed by the demon; the truths of our Faith no longer find access to their mind; their affection for us is changed into hatred. This spirit of deceit, whom they honor as the master of their land, having assured them that we alone were the cause of their ruin, the doors of the cabins begin to be closed to our Fathers ; the sight of them is dreaded, as if a single one of their looks caused all the children to die; they are held in abomination, and they hardly find any one who tolerates them.

[156] From day to day, their minds become further embittered; the false reports which came from the neighboring nations augment their suspicions, being received as true; and certain tools of the devil confirmed all these slanders,—declaring that they had seen black gowns in a dream,—now without the [Page 31] palisade of the village, now on the shore of the lake,—who were unfolding certain books, whence issued sparks of fire which spread everywhere, and no doubt caused this pestilential disease.

Even in the cabin whither our two missionaries retreated, they are looked upon with an evil eye; night and day they are confronted with the rumors which are current about them. Every one, and especially a Megera who is the mistress of the house, treats them worse and worse, in order to oblige them to leave as soon as possible; their host is the only one who tolerates them, but he begs them, as a friend, to remain shut in and concealed, because of the dread which he feels, of some evil deed.

So great and sudden a change is not difficult to understand, if one will reflect [157] that the Savior of the world was blasphemed by all the Jews, and treated like a malefactor,—although a few days before they had received him in their city, and had acknowledged a part of his dignities. How be it, it is a strange thing that even those who shortly before had received their cure from heaven, and who dared not deny it, grow cold in the Faith after all these intrigues of satan, and lose their ideas of God and of the obligations which they are under to his goodness. When one of our Fathers was one day reproaching with this the man who had so happily recovered sight by the virtue of holy water, this barbarian said to him: “But how am I so greatly obliged to him? what did it cost him to restore my sight? You used nothing but cold water : that is not  a very difficult remedy to obtain.”  “That, wretched man,” he says to him, “is why you ought to admire his power and love his goodness, which has rendered [Page 33] your cure so easy, without commanding you—as do your demons, who nevertheless are impotent—the sacrifice of stags, dogs, and bears. [158] Know, then, that if he has so much power to do you good, he will not have less power to chastise you if you do not serve him according to your promise.” To that, no reply ; a mind whereof the devil has regained possession is no longer capable of estimating the greatness of God, whom he before adored.

Notwithstanding all that, our missionaries pursue their point; Atironta, their host, who loves them,—and who, bearing the name of the first Huron Captain who met the French, has also his charge and his power,6—assists them as far as he can to assemble a council of the Elders of the village, at which they can publicly demonstrate their innocence and refute these calumnies.

By a happy coincidence, Joseph Chihouatenhoua—that excellent Christian of whom we spoke in the preceding chapter—arrives in this same village, to assist our Fathers in such manner as they shall choose to employ him for the publication of the Gospel. The council is held; Father Antoine Daniel refutes the slanderers, and speaks with so much emphasis that not one dares to answer him. Joseph Chihouatenhoua [159] afterward begins to speak, and passes more than two entire hours in discoursing on the mysteries of our Faith. Those old Captains are greatly surprised to see a young man speak like a master, in a new language; they can but admire him. They approve the truths of our Faith, all the commandments of God seem reasonable to them,—in a word, they condemn themselves ; and some exclaim that all the earth ought to heed such great concerns, [Page 35] and speeches of such importance. But, at the end, what blindness ! not one embraces the truths which he acknowledges, not one adopts for himself the advice which he approves.

Nevertheless, this assembly and its result, which was favorable to us, appeased their minds somewhat; the grievances which they had against us, greatly diminished; they begin to receive our Fathers quite peaceably in most of the cabins, and the latter continue to announce the name of God to them, to the whole and to the sick. Some minds, of those who are not in disease, relish this, and [160] some even desire baptism ; but we do not proceed so fast,—they must be tried; otherwise we should run the risk of having many people baptized, but very few Christians.

The mercy of God further appeared over the sick; in the single village of saint Jean Baptiste, more than 140 were baptized, most of whom are dead,—and among others, 40 little children, whose salvation is beyond doubt, The judgments of God are always adorable. Here follows what the Fathers of this mission write to me in the matter.

“Some receive baptism with an unspeakable joy, and know not how to express the grace that they experience, by means of loving colloquies, now before our Crucifix, now before the Image of the Savior of the world. ‘Alas!’ (said, among others, a young man of 25 years) ‘0! thou master of our lives! thou seest that I have no sense, and that I cannot speak; tell me, then, what it would please thee that I should say.’ And others, almost at the same time, blaspheme against God, having their souls on their lips. Lately, a war Captain, when we spoke to him of hell, [Page 37] [161] mocked those fires. ‘Those flames do not burn for me,’ said this braggart; ‘death dreads me; I seek it everywhere, and it shuns me; my most usual provision is the flesh of our enemies.’ This poor wretch was soon carried off by death, without ever consenting to acknowledge himself in error. A poor child died in the midst of our cabin, and we were never able to baptize it. Several others, far removed from us, in isolated cabins in the midst of the fields, awaited only our coming in order to expire almost in our hands; and they have gone to enjoy in Heaven him who had made them only to save them. Some, closing their cabins to us, constrain us to enter another, into which we were not intending to go; we find there a soul which lacks nothing but baptism, in order to be the same day in paradise. Others, whom we were not seeking, call us to their house, and, without realizing it, give us the means to procure the salvation of a poor man who already had one foot in hell. In a word, the Angels [162] assist us to increase the number of the blessed. We cannot attribute to other power than to guardian spirits of men, the following occurrence:

“While the dream, or rather the devil, is being obeyed in our own cabin by a tumult or general madness of the whole people, and while he consequently interrupts the course of our exercise, a captain of the Algonquins, who are wintering an eighth of a league from here, comes to seek us in haste. ‘A brother of mine,’ he tells us, ‘is dying of the contagion; come, I beg you, and visit him while he is still alive; come and teach him the way to heaven, for he desires it.’ We hasten thither; we instruct him, more from the heart than from the lips; his [Page 39] brother, seeing that he only half understood us, joins the party (for he passably understands Huron), and serves us as interpreter. We use some Algonquin prayers that we had in writing from our Fathers who are at the Three Rivers ,—and, among others, the act of contrition, which this dying man repeated with so good a heart that at last we called him Felix, in baptism: [163] in fact, he died a few hours later. These good people spoke to us of burying him in our manner, as our Fathers do at the Three Rivers: but the time for,that has not yet come.” Thus far the letter.

I hope that after a while we shall have workmen up here who shall know the Alguonquin language, and who will be able not only to assist some bands of Algonquins who come to winter each year near our Hurons, but to pass beyond, two and three hundred leagues from here, where the language of the Algonquins is generally understood.

The two villages of saint Joachim and sainte Elizabeth also gave exercise to our evangelistic workers, the disease having prevailed in all places alike. “The greatest difficulty we have,” one of our Fathers writes to me, “is not that of consuming the poverty of these wretches, but that of entering into their minds, which we see manifestly possessed, for the most part, by some demon,—even to the extent that some, at our approach, sometimes howl like wolves: [164] these, as I have proved, quickly become silent when we outwardly exorcise them per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum. [Page 41]





HE Khionontateronons, who are called “the nation of the Tobacco,” from the abundance of that plant there, are distant from the country of the Hurons—whose language they speak—about twelve or fifteen leagues toward the West. These nations formerly waged cruel wars against one another ; but they are now on very good terms, and have recently renewed their alliance, and made a new confederation against some other peoples, their common enemies.

We have taken this opportunity to announce the gospel to them, and to plant there, if we can, the standard of Jesus Christ. [165] This, which we have named the mission of the Apostles, has been the fifth of our missions. The lot for it fell to Father Charles Garnier and to Father Isaac Jogues. Here are the names which they have given to nine villages that they have encountered there: saint Pierre and saint Paul,6 saint André, saint Jacques, saint Thomas, saint Jean, saint Jacques and saint Philippe, saint Barthelemy, saint Matthieu, saint Simon and saint Jude.

This mission has been the richest of all, since the crosses and the sufferings have been most abundant therein. Here is what our Fathers write to me of their beginnings in it.

“Here we have at last arrived, thank God, at the.[Page 43] farthest and principal village of our district, to which we have given the name of saint Pierre and saint Paul. Not having been able to find any Savage at the village of la Conception to come with us,—the roads being then too bad, for people who are not seeking God,—we were constrained to start alone; taking our good Angels for guides. About the middle of the journey, not having [166] been able to find a certain detour which would have led us to some cabins which are a little isolated, we were surprised by night in a fir grove. We were in a damp place, and could not go from it to seek a drier one; we had trouble enough to pick up some pieces of wood to make a little fire, and some dry branches to lie down upon: the snow was threatening to put out our fire, but it suddenly ceased. God be blessed, we spent the night very quietly. The next morning we came across some poor cabins in the fields, but they had no corn. Finding company there to come into the country with, we were not willing to lose it, because the roads were very difficult on account of the newly-fallen snows, which had obliterated the trails. Accordingly, we set out, and went by many bad roads, at a very bad season, to a little village which we named St. Thomas ; we made easily a league by the mere light of the snow, and arrived about eight o’clock in the evening, with good [167] appetite,—not having eaten all day, save each a morsel of bread. We had no design on that village, rather than on another: but having taken what company of Savages there offered, and having followed them, we arrived,—no doubt, where God was leading us, for the salvation of a predestined soul which awaited nothing but our coming, in order to die to all its miseries. [Page 45]

While we were at a loss to know whether there was not some person critically ill, a young man came to beg us to go and give some relief to one in his cabin. We go thither, and find a poor woman at the last pass: she was instructed, and happily received with the Faith the grace of Baptism; shortly after, she beheld herself in glory. In the whole village there was only that one who had need of our help. We ran to some other little villages, where they told us that there were sick people: we baptized some of them,—Our Lord’s sheep are much scattered, hither and yon. We have met some persons who at first indeed relished the gospel: [168] God grant them the grace to embrace it altogether. We received consolation two or three days ago, seeing that a girl, who came to pledge herself to a young man, having a little later heard mention of God and the pains of hell, went to lie down alone, saying, ‘He sees us even at night.’

“On arriving in this village, we knew not that there was a little child of the neutral nation, aged five years, whom its parents have recently brought here, where hunger causes them to take refuge; for a long time, it was each day believed that that would be the last of its life. Out of 45 or 50 cabins, without thinking of it, we first visited the one in which was this little stranger, and baptized him ; he straightway saw himself out of exile and happy in his native land. Those are the first fruits of this neutral nation, and this was the very first one to be sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ.

“This whole country is filled with evil reports which are current about us. The children, seeing us arrive at any place, exclaim that famine and [Page 47] disease [169] are coming; some women flee, others hide their children from us; almost all refuse us the hospitality which they grant even to the most unknown tribes. We have not been able to find a house for Our Lord,-not having been able to find any place where we can say Mass. Our host,—who is the chief Captain of this country, and who through a natural prudence had appeared quite peaceable,—on seeing us pray to God mornings and evenings on our knees, finally could not refrain, on one occasion, from revealing to us what he had on his heart. He begins, therefore, to speak, but in a council voice,—that is to say, loud and distinct: ‘Truly, it is now that I fear and speak. What are now these demons but spells to make us die, and finish what the disease has left over, in this cabin? They had told me, indeed, that these were sorcerers, but I believe it too late. This is a thing unknown—that persons who come to lodge at one’s house pass the night in postures to which our eyes are nowise accustomed.’ [170] Imagine with what looks they regard us in a cabin where they have such fine ideas of us!—we could hardly tranquilize this mind again. They treat us very ill, in order to oblige us to leave. It is, in sooth, all, if we have what suffices for life,—our hunger usually attends us from morning till evening; but these simple people do not see that what retains us here is more precious than all that they conceive in the way of pleasures in this world. There is hardly any corn in this village, and, nevertheless, every day some Attiouandarons arrive (they are those of the neutral nation),—bands of men, women, and children, all pale and disfigured, whom famine drives hither. Fleeing famine, they here find death, or rather a [Page 49] blessed life, for we see to it that not one dies without baptism. Among those people was a little child of one year, who seemed rather a monster than a human being. It was happily baptized; God, it seems, preserved its life only by miracle, so that, being washed in the blood of Jesus Christ, it might bless his mercies forever.

[171] While we try to render some honor to God, the devil continues to be adored ; even yesterday, in our cabin, they made him a solemn sacrifice. All the people being assembled there, they repeatedly threw tobacco and fat into the fire, making several invocations ; and all that for the cure of a wretch whom his private demon afflicts with a certain disease, because he has not obeyed him in the matter of some feasts which he had commanded him.

“Is it a wonder that we are held in abomination at a place where the devils are acknowledged as masters? Our host orders that his door be barricaded every evening, fearing lest they do us some violence by night; for, if they killed us in his house, he would have the reproaches to bear for it, even from those who desire naught but our death. It is not this which assures us; we have a more powerful protection, although less visible to these poor infidels.”

Hitherto the Fathers.

Those were only the beginnings of their sufferings: in the other [172] villages, since the rumors were continually increasing, they had more to endure; they had not been two days in a place before people could no longer suffer them, and it was necessary to change their location. Some Hurons, who went thither from time to time to effect some trades, incensed minds against them, and even did their utmost to the end [Page 51] that they be got rid of as soon as possible. At one time a man who awakens with terror in the middle of the night, commands them to go forth from his cabin; again, some one comes from outside,—also in the dead of night,—to shout at their door that the next morning they shall not appear in the village. As they leave one village, taking the way to some other, they are forestalled, and one goes to give warning to the next villages that they are to refuse them entrance; the Captains come to forbid them to set foot there, and threaten them that their heads would be split if they so much as approached.

Their greatest crime is that they carry the Faith and the name of Jesus everywhere; that they forbid the diabolical ceremonies; that while saying their prayers they bewitch [173] the villages. But their joy and consolation is that very thing,—to see themselves thus repelled for the name of Jesus, not only in the councils, but also by the villages and private houses; to see themselves the abomination of those whose salvation they seek, at the peril of their own lives; enduring hunger, cold, the rains, and the snows,—in a word, all the inclemencies of the seasons and weather: to see themselves threatened, almost at every moment, with dying as malefactors. Non est servus major domino suo. If the Savior of the world was treated like that, have not his servants cause to glorify themselves in God, while bearing their master’s livery?

Thereupon, one of our missionaries falls sick,—the fever seizes him, and some other inconveniences; God must indeed be their physician, their food, and their all, on these occasions,—since everything fails them therein. [Page 53]

Hardly is he somewhat relieved from his sickness, when it is necessary to start,—fasting, as early as three o’clock in the morning,—in order to go to another village eleven or twelve leagues thence, [174] whither the affairs of God call them. A little bread of the land,—if, however, that be bread; a mass of Indian corn meal soaked in water without leaven, which is not worth the bread which in France they make for the dogs; whatever name one give it,—this little food which they carry freezes on the way; and yet they must be content with it, and of necessity make eleven leagues without having eaten in the whole day a lump as large as the fist, of this so delicate fare. They almost stop, from weakness, but Our Lord assists them; and finally they drag themselves through the snows, and arrive very late at the place whither they are bound—on the one hand, covered with sweat, and, on the other, more than half frozen. Some souls gone astray here and there, which are put in the way to heaven when they are on the point of being swallowed up in hell, deserve a thousand times more than these labors; since they have cost the Savior of the world dearer than that.

While our Missionaries were under these persecutions, Joseph Chihouatenhoua,—of whom we often speak, [175] because his zeal and his courage have caused him to take a good share in all our sufferings,—this good Christian, wishing to be of the party, leaves his wife and his children, and gives over into the hands of God the care of his house at the time when all their village was most afflicted with disease. This poor family was every day expecting the visitation of Our Lord ; the poor mother, in particular was in apprehension for her children,—well [Page 55] seeing that, her husband being at a distance, she would remain deprived of a strong support, both spiritual and temporal. One of our Fathers who was there, wishing to console her, said to her that this journey would be brief,—twelve or fifteen days at most. “Alas,” she said, “our children will have died in that space of time, without his having learned the news of their illness.”  “My wife,” answered the husband, “ whom do you take me for? I am nothing at all, and what would my presence avail here? Should my children be sick, all that I could do would be to feel distressed for them, and grieve my spirit, in order to try to [176] relieve them; but that and nothing are all one. To God alone it belongs to preserve or to restore health to whom he pleases; as for us, we have only to try to please him in all our actions. That is what makes me leave you now; it is enough for me that it is his will. As for our family, he will take care of it, if he please: and then here are my brothers the Jesuits who remain with you. Even if I were here, the best that I could do would be to follow their advice: keep your mind at rest.” Before starting he confessed and received communion; and at the moment of the separation he knelt down in his cabin, to offer and commend his family to God.

Thereupon he went away, while it was terrible weather ; the cold was cracking the trees; a furious wind was blowing in his face; but the fire of his charity was stronger than all these inclemencies. Having joined our missionaries, they begin to scour the hamlets and villages; having arrived at the first one, very weary and fatigued, they present themselves to enter a [177] cabin, but the door is shut on [Page 57] them; they apply at another, they receive there a like refusal. Finally, this Christian leads them to some relatives of his, but they are constrained to dislodge the next day, after having effected some baptisms in this village. Having reached another village, the Captain’s door is immediately closed to them ; this good Christian is again obliged to have recourse to one of his kinsmen. This was not without reproaches which they administered to him for taking the part of people who were the greatest sorcerers on earth; but he knew well how to meet them. That did not prevent, when night had come, a young man of the cabin from falling into a fury; either he was possessed by the devil, or he pretended to be. He throws all the firebrands hither and thither; he burns what he finds, even things most precious; the barbarians hide themselves where they can. This frenzied man then comes, to fall upon the very place where our missionaries are; but by good fortune they had just withdrawn from it. As this lunatic was in the act of performing a thousand mad freaks there, looking for those against whom he had a grudge, [178] he is quietly informed of the place whither they had withdrawn. Our Joseph, having had good enough ears to hear this information, exclaimed: “What, then? this lunatic has his senses, and you are conspiring with him!” Nevertheless this madman, true or counterfeit, goes in fury to the place where one of our Fathers was, who at the same time withdraws and leaves the cabin, in order to find some shelter elsewhere, in the middle of the night. God knows what were this crazy man’s designs: but he was forthwith cured.

In another village, where some days before our [Page 59] Fathers had been quite well received, every one refused them shelter; and yet the night was very near, while they knew not where to go, being chilled through with cold, and all wet. A good old man whom they had formerly instructed, and who had relished the word of God, approaches them. “How now,” they said to him, “will your door be closed to us also?”  “Come, and be welcome,” answered this old man. He was a stranger,—from a hostile nation which they call Atsistaehronons, “Nation of fire,”7—who, [179] having been taken captive in his early years, received his life, and came to be at home among them. Non est inventus nisi hic alienigena qui daret laudem Deo. This good man eagerly received the words of salvation; however, as we make no great haste about baptisms, he was put off till another time.

It was in the principal village of saint Pierre and saint Paul, where, having returned to make a second visit, they could find no one who would admit them. The doors are at first closed to them, even by those who at the start had shown some pious affection for the Faith : they hear naught but threats and maledictions. The women exclaim aloud, “Where are now those who said that, if these black-robed men returned, they would split their heads?” The hours pass, and the more they appear before the cabins, the more they are refused; the children scream after them, as after sorcerers. Finally, night comes on, and obliges them to leave this village, where not one had been found worthy to receive them; they were not very [180] far when an insolent band of young men pursues them, hatchet in hand, to massacre them. The captain of this village had exhorted them to that at a [Page 61] feast where they were all assembled. I know not whether it was a good fortune or a bad fortune for us, that these barbarians set forth a little too late, and could not overtake them; perhaps our blood would do more for the conversion of these peoples than all our sweat.

The next day, the captain of this wretched village came to find our Missionaries in the village whither they had retreated, in order to make his excuses; but he had much difficulty in clearing himself. Then it was that our Joseph Chiouatenhoua most revealed his courage, and finely criticized this captain, who was astonished that we called the things of the Faith matters of importance. This Christian, then taking up the matter, said to him: “It is really you captains, who know not what are matters of importance; you are the ones who have overturned our country by separating us from the maxims and good regulations of our ancestors; it is these black gowns here, [181] whom you despise, who know what matters of importance are, and who come to teach us the same. I would have thee know that I am the one who am everywhere, in derision, called ‘The believer:’ they think to curse me, and that is my greatest glory. I am that man; I have such and such kinsmen in thy village; I make profession of following the good instructions which these my teachers give me. We have no sense, as many as we are; our thoughts extend no further than this life. Those who believe found their hopes upon an eternity of good things which assuredly await them; as for you who are always infidels, you do not expect miseries after your death, and yet they will be inevitable for you unless you open your eyes to your wretchedness. You [Page 63] drive out those who love you more than themselves, since their lives are less precious to them than your salvation, which they come to obtain, from so great a distance, with so many labors. Our ancestors have been in some sort excusable if they have not adored this great master who has created the world, for no one [182] taught them ; but you will be a hundred thousand times more severely punished than they, since you choose to remain in your misery, although one try to draw you out of it.” All that this captain could answer was to say, “That is true,” and turn the subject of conversation elsewhere.

You see how the Gospel has been received by these poor barbarians. Not that we do not almost always find, in whatever village we go to, some soul to draw away from the precipice, and whose salvation, which we procure, fills with sweetness all the bitterness which must needs be swallowed. And what further consoles us in that is, that we see manifestly the hand of God therein.

“On entering a village” (Father Garnier writes to me) “I learn that a feast is being prepared in a cabin, in the name of a dying child. I present myself there; I straightway meet with a refusal. I withdraw, and recommend this little innocent to Our Lord; some time after, his parents send to invite me to the feast; and that before they went to invite the public. I go in, and find a place quite near the [183] patient ; pretending to feel the vein of his temple, in order to ascertain the state of his health, I fortunately sprinkle his soul with the blood of Jesus Christ, who called him to himself to be present at the feast everlasting.

“In another village, shortly after I had arrived, [Page 65] run across a little child of ten days; I well see that it is not for this mortal life; I baptize it, and the next day it is in heaven.

“Making an excursion to another little village, I find a child of two days, whose mother had come from another village to be confined in this one. This child had been born only to be happy, for it died soon after holy baptism, which I conferred on it by the favor of a good woman who is well disposed toward the Faith, and whom God, it seems, had at the same time brought from ten leagues’ distance, for no other purpose than to render me this assistance.” Thus far the Father.

These so gracious providences of God, and several other like acts of salvation for some predestined souls, [184] cause us plainly to discern that we are not all alone, and that there are a thousand persons in France who lift their hands to heaven while we are in the fight. In eternity we shall see to whom the spoils belong which we conquer here from the powers of hell. So many vows and so many holy desires for the conversion of these peoples; so frequent and so continuous mortifications, which are borne for this object; and especially three thousand Masses which are said for the same purpose on the second Sunday of each month, and countless communions which are received on the same day (a favor which has been devoutly obtained for us by a person of great merit, who seems to be in the world only to oblige heaven and earth),—all this, no doubt, is what moves God’s heart, and causes him to pour upon us so many graces. He is, it would seem, gently compelled,—this great God,—not to refuse to so powerful an effort of prayers, a number of souls. Who [Page 67] knows whether—seeing that these peoples would not have profited in health by the words of [185] their salvation—he has not permitted all these diseases in order to draw to himself in this way those whom he had chosen? Is it not reasonable to believe that 450 children, who have died after baptism, have been snatched from this world for fear that mischief should alter the whiteness of their innocence? And why shall we not think that strange tribes, among whom we have never set foot,—who this year have come to die in our hands, being driven from their country by famine,—have been led, without their thinking of it, by the holy Ghost, who has wished by this means to furnish and complete that number of souls which he was destined to put in heaven by virtue of all these prayers?

It must be acknowledged that we cannot answer for the future, and that by contemplating these affairs with eyes of the flesh, one does not see the light in them which many would desire therein. But what then? this is God’s work; he alone sees the end of it and knows the means for it; it is for us to follow him, and not to anticipate him. One must serve a master according to his will, and, whatever betides, be content, provided [186] that he be so: it is the glory of God that things go as he wills. Often we advance the most when we think we are far behind; we have seen, in the case of several sick people, that we have gained much by instructing them when they were in health, although at the time it seemed to us that we had lost all our labor; several have adored, at the hour of death, him whom they blasphemed during their lives. The word of the Gospel germinates when the holy Ghost wills to render it fruitful; it is [Page 69] for us merely to sow it with fidelity, and await heaven’s moments. Many who only see our Hurons fifteen hundred leagues from here are impatient that they are not already all converted, and think that one must simply speak of the grandeur of the Faith in order to render it adorable; others almost despair of the salvation of these poor barbarians,—seeing that they are so removed from the sentiments not only of the Faith, but even of reason. I would earnestly entreat the former to reflect that there is no country on earth which has been converted so soon. If civilized peoples have been whole centuries [187] in acknowledging Jesus Christ, can one reasonably demand a readier obedience from the peoples who have been born in barbarism? If they considered them closely, they would accept for a real miracle the fact that even a single one had been converted; for it seems that neither the Gospel nor Holy Scripture has been composed for them. Not only do words fail them to express the sanctity of our mysteries, but even the parables and the more familiar discourses of Jesus Christ are inexplicable to them. They know not what is salt, leaven, stronghold, pearl, prison, mustard seed, casks of wine, lamp, candlestick, torch; they have no idea of Kingdoms, Kings, and their majesty; not even of shepherds, flocks, and a sheepfold,—in a word, their ignorance of the things of the earth seems to close for them the way to heaven. The grounds for credence, taken from the fulfillment of the prophecies; from miracles, Martyrs, Councils, holy Doctors, histories both sacred and profane; from the holiness of [188] the Church, and from the external splendor which renders it venerable to the greatest Monarchs of the world,—all that [Page 71] has no place here ; where can the Faith enter their minds?

But, nevertheless, it would be impiety to despair of the salvation of these peoples,—the blood of Jesus Christ has been shed for them; the hand of God is not shortened. If from stones he can raise up children to Abraham, if he can render the barren fruitful, why will he not be able to draw from these deserts, and from the depth of this barbarism men whom he will train according to his heart, and whom he will place among the Choirs of Angels? What has been seen in the other regions of the world, what we ourselves see here with our own eyes, should animate our hopes, and cause us to entertain sentiments worthy of the goodness of God.

It is true that most of these poor barbarians grow hardened in their sins, and become from day to day more unworthy of God’s graces; it is true that they rebel, on every occasion, against the hand of the physician who wishes to cure their [189] disease,—taking us to be the cause of all their miseries, and urging one another to make us die. It is beyond doubt that all human reasons more and more disclose to us new difficulties in this work: but from that very thing we derive our most powerful motives for hoping against all hope, as well as did Abraham. We manifestly discern that it is God who guides our affairs, and not one can deny this who will open his eyes to things which we see daily. These barbarians nearly all desired our death as passionately as they craved the preservation of their own lives; in their speeches they talked of nothing but slaughtering us,—that was an ordinary theme of their councils; nothing in the world is so easy to them, and even [Page 73] they might have done it without having had this crime imputed to them before men. We live only on what they themselves sell us, and come to bring us in our house: who has constrained them to do this? They have the use of poison; could they not [190] each day mix some in what they bring us? They kill one another quite frequently, and these murders are imputed to the enemies, who throughout the summer and autumn are in ambushes along the roads; who restrains them from slaughtering us during those times when we journey from village to village,—without arms or defense, sometimes alone, and, at most, two together? Is it not God, who shuts their eyes? is it not he who protects us, and who wills that we shall not doubt the care that he has for us; and that he alone is our fortress, our cannons, our armies, our purveyor, our all? We see that he takes his opportunity and his moments at the very hour when there is need of it; he gives us access to those whom he wishes to draw to himself, though earth and hell oppose ; and that is done with so much ease and effectiveness that it is easy to judge that this is an act of that hand which strongly influences from one extremity to the other, and continues to arrange everything quietly.

While the disease was ravaging this country, our Evangelistic workers enjoyed [191] a more robust health than they had ever had in their lives; the disease having ceased,—and consequently there being no longer necessity to hasten from village to village, in order to succor those poor infidels at the hour of death,—we saw ourselves caught by the legs, and attacked by the land disease [scurvy]. Did not that adorable providence thus ordain! In a word, we [Page 75] are but the instruments of that almighty arm: God is the master; his designs never remain unperfected. Since, then, hitherto the beginnings are from him, should we not hope that he will complete his work? And thus, while the Hurons conspire for our death; while human means fail us to maintain our lives here; while the enemies of these peoples increase as they do, every year; while they cut off for them the way, which they hold, for going down to Kebec, and by so doing deprive us of the little aid which we derive thence; while all hell and the demons rise up against the Faith and against those who announce it; our confidence, and our [192] thoughts of passing on beyond, will not diminish by one jot, since they have for support the Cross of Jesus Christ, who must finally subjugate all the world, and be adored by Angels, men, and the regions of hell.

Since the Relation, here follows a letter which has come from the Hurons, addressed to Reverend Father Vimont; which deserves to go with the present narrative.




Pax Christi.

It seems that the last canoes which are to go down are waiting to start, only to give us means of acquainting Your Reverence with a piece of news which I am sure will surprise you as much as it has surprised us,—and will cause you to put in the number of the profound secrets and of the adorable dispensations of the divine providence, that which we cannot consider without astonishment.

I was preparing to write to Your Reverence for [Page 77] the last time in this current year, [191 i.e., 193] by the hand of Joseph Chihouatenhoua, our good Christian: and now the same paper of which he should have been the bearer is used to carry to Your Reverence the news of his death. Yesterday, toward evening, the second of this month, while he was working in his field to cut down some trees, two Hiroquois, enemies of the Hurons, issued from the neighboring wood, where they lay in ambush, and having rushed upon him, pierced him with a long javelin. Then, having felled him with two blows of a hatchet, they promptly retreated in flight, after having removed his scalp according to their custom, in order to carry it away in triumph to their country. When it was seen, in his house, that he was late in coming back, they suspected what had happened; and in fact, having gone to look for him they found at the very place his body outstretched,’ stone-dead, and covered with his blood. There are indications that they did not take him without resistance; and the elders of the village, after visiting the place, have inferred by the marks of feet round about, and from the trampling of the corn, that he had shown fight, and [192 i.e., 194] that the enemies would not have succeeded if they had not had a long javelin with which they reached him. No doubt this death, although sudden for this good and excellent Christian, did not take him unprepared: for, besides the fact that he was continually in the grace of God,—as those affirm who had charge of his soul and heard his confessions, who on the one hand were astonished at the enlightenment which God gave him concerning his least failings; and on the other hand admired the tenderness of his conscience and his fidelity in [Page 79] responding to the graces of God,—on that very day, promptly in the morning, he had knelt as was his wont in the middle of the cabin, commending his soul to God and offering himself, together with his whole family, to whatever it should please Our Lord to dispose for him or his. Toward noon, having left his cabin with three of his little nieces, to go to his field, he did nothing but instruct them by the way; then having reached the place, and seeing there the fruits of the earth, uncommonly flourishing: “Let us kneel,” he said, “and thank God for these good things which he gives us; [193 i.e., 195] it is the very least that we can do, since he continues his blessings upon us without ceasing.” After they had prayed to God, he had them gather some squashes; and, as soon as possible, he sent them back, all three burdened, to the house,—telling them that they were not in a secure place; that, as for him, he was going into the woods to cut some sticks of Cedar to finish the canoe which was to carry him to Kebec; and that on his return he would continue to work in his field for the rest of the day, this work being necessary. But what! there it was, in fact, where death was to find him several hours later.

Last Sunday, he had come to our house,—now distant about three leagues from his,—with his wife and his two children, in order to offer his devotions there as usual. After having confessed and received communion, he had sent for and had offered to Our Lord the first fruits of that same field in which he has since been killed ; and God no doubt even then accepted both the gift and him who was making the offering,—having found him ripe [194 i.e., 196] for heaven,—inasmuch as so few days later he has willed [Page 81] to gather him from the garden of his Church militant, in order to put him in the one triumphant. Those who may have read the preceding Relations and the ones for this year will have no difficulty in believing this; God had not begun and conducted so far forward so rare a work not to continue upon him his mercies as much and more, at the hour of death, than he had done during his life. Those who have been most closely acquainted with this good Christian, and who have themselves tested him, render me the evidence that he had an almost continual sense of the presence of God, that in everything he acted with intentions worthy of a truly Christian heart. They say that if, at times, his mind strayed in the least from the way of the Saints, he straightway recovered himself, and was confounded by his slight faults as by so many crimes that he was committing against the love of him without whom he would not have wished to breathe a moment. As for me, I can say in truth that I admired in him from day to day the powerful effects of the grace which wholly possessed [195 i.e., 197] his heart; and that I desire no other recompense after this life than the place in which I certainly believe his soul is.

It is true that we hoped much from him for the conversion of these tribes, whose Apostle he had made himself during the course of this year; but since the Saints have more power when they are in heaven than here below on earth, we are bound to believe that we have gained more than lost at his death. We shall see in due time what it will produce.

Since time presses me, and as the canoes are on the point of starting, I am constrained to stop here, [Page 83] and say no more; although there are things which—though not proper to publish of a man before his death, crowned with the good of perseverance—would deserve to be added here, in order to cause all the world to admit that God is admirable in his Saints, no less in this land of barbarism than in any other place in the world. But, if these things are not known on earth, they will be in heaven: there we shall ceaselessly bless [196 i.e., 198] God for his mercies which he continues to exercise over this poor barbarous people, and over those whom he wills to employ for them. Your Reverence will continue, if you please, by your holy sacrifices and prayers to aid us to render ourselves not unworthy thereof.

Your Reverence’s

Very humble and obedient servant in


From the Hurons, this 3rd

of August, 1640.



Two Letters of 1641


XLII.—Lettre du P. Charles Garnier à son Frère; Sainte-Marie aux Hurons, 23 juin, 1641

XLIIL—Excerpta Epistola Patris Joannis de Brebeuf ad Præpositum Generalem; Kebec, August 20, 1641




Source:      Document XLII. is from a contemporary copy of the original letter, in French, made by a member of the Garnier family, in France. Document XLIII. consists of extracts from Brébeuf’s letter in Latin, made from the original in 1858, by Father Felix Martin; this apograph is in the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal; an indorsement thereon, by Father Martin, shows that the letter was written at Quebec, August 20, 1641.[Page 87]

Letter from Father Charles Garnier to his Brother.




May Our Lord fill Your Heart with his Holy love.

I feel Consolation not only in receiving Your letters, but also in sending you my own. Therefore It was a Mortification to me that you did not receive those that I had written to you two years ago: I Suppose they may have been lost; God be blessed in all. I would, no doubt, have much more Consolation in writing to you if I had some Notable progress to announce to you that I might have made,—either toward my individual perfection, or toward the Conversion of the Savages,—As You Think I have done. But patience! my Consolation is that from Whatever I shall communicate to you, you will derive reason to praise, honor, and love God the more. I am in an occupation wholly divine: Bless God for it forever, and with all your Heart; his Infinite mercy shows me a thousand, thousand favors to Lead me unto the perfection which This Occupation requires. Let Your Heart break in the Transports of love that you pour forth toward That sovereign goodness. I am very Faithless in Responding to These Innumerable favors; be angry At me, with David admire the patience of God, and Console Yourself That we have to deal with so good a Master, who wearies not, and calls us to himself. He is not repelled by Our stupidities, Impertinences, and Evil actions. Courage, [Page 89] my dearest brother; if we have spent two years—Even six, Even thirty—in turning a deaf Ear, let us Believe and Hope that to-morrow we shall Begin to open our ears to This Voice, so gracious and so patient. And why, I beg You, should we not thus Believe, since we see and know that the patient Jesus still calls us? But with a loving call, and one which will gain the day, only we know not when; let us hope, at all events, that It will be as soon as possible. Oh, I do not Believe that we can commit a greater fault in the service of God, than to lose Courage, and to allow our Hearts to be cast down by distrust and pusillanimity. All the other sins are nothing in comparison with That one,—at least, there is none which so much impedes our progress as These low opinions of the Goodness of God toward us; and very often It is by That sin that the Devil seizes Our Hearts in order to let into them afterward all the others. My Dear brother, let us not be alarmed for not having advanced nor even for having receded; there is hardly any soul to which That does not sometimes happen. But let us Hasten to the purposes which God has for deriving his own Glory from These Unfaithful acts; Your sufferings and Inconveniences will purge your Heart. Hope this, therefore, although it seem to You that You take them very ill. I pray God to grant you the grace to find everywhere the peace of Your Heart. I Think that you must find Consolation in reading the other [works] of Monsieur de Salles.8 I know not whether you have seen a Certain little book Entitled . . . . . . . . . . . . . It is A little treasure of Consolation, This Little book ; but the source of all sweetness, and the whole support of Our Hearts is Jesus in the [Page 93] blessed sacrament. And say not that You do not relish This bread of Life: deem it only good to converse for some time after the Holy Mass, and at some Visits to the blessed sacrament, with This wholly gracious Host, according as Your occupations allow You this. Let us adore and Embrace him; let us protest to him that we are his in spite of ourselves, and let him do with Us what he shall please. Pardon me, my Dear brother,—assume that It is myself alone to whom I speak in This letter, and not to you, and thus take me for a lunatic; For it is true that I rave; but pray to God to change me, and then, As I Believe, I shall write to you something good. Such as I am, I do not fail to entreat God for you, and for our poor prodigal brother; and I do so often. I know not whether you both received my letters last year, by which I informed you that I was entreating Our Lord to accept the Intention which I had, that a Certain number of masses that I would say at the time of Your death,—in case of you both, if perchance you depart before me,—should be applied to You. Alas, will This poor prodigal not return to himself? Let us pray the Father and the Mother of mercies to have pity on him.

To tell you some news of This country, you shall know that we have been thirteen priests of Our Society This year: to wit, the Reverend Father Hierosme Lallemant, Our superior; Father Brébeuf, Father le Mercier, Father Daniel ; Father Raimbault, and Father Claude Pijart, who came from Québec last year to Instruct some Algonquin and non-Huron Nations in These quarters; Father Jogues, Father Le Moyne, Father du Peron, Father Chaumonot, Father Chastelin, Father Pierre Pijart, and myself,— [Page 93] who distributed ourselves last winter among six Missions. Father Brébeuf and Father Chaumonot went to the Neutral Nation,—where we had not yet been to carry the Gospel,—which is Five or six Days’ Journey Distant from Our House; on 4 of which one must sleep in the Field. This nation Includes about 40 villages; our fathers have made the round of about a dozen of these, but with many sufferings and Calumnies, which will some day produce their fruits,—such is our Hope. This Mission has for Patrons the Holy Angels. Father Daniel and Father le Moyne have Continued the mission which they had Begun last year among the Arendaenhronon, and have furthermore taken charge of the village of St. Joseph, where they have sustained some good Christians who are there. The Reverend Father Lalemant and Father Le Mercier have taken for their portion the mission of la Conception, which takes its name from the village of la Conception, which the savages call Ossossaňé, where we formerly had a Cabin; now we have there only a little chapel, where we assemble some good Christians that we have in That village. It is in their Instruction that The Reverend Father Lallement has been occupied This winter, with Father Le Moine, to their great Consolation. You have learned by the Relation that last year the good Joseph Chiohoarehra, who was Our first and our good Christian, dwelling in This village, was killed the past Summer by the Enemies, in his own Field. It was in This Christian that we had our Hope, after God; and if we had not Experience of the special providence with which God Guides us here, we might have thought that the incipient Church of This poor barbarian land was about to be [Page 95] smothered by the death of her eldest son; but God Guides us here through the gracious Way of depriving us of Creatures, and He desires that our support be in him alone. He has therefore raised up the brother of this dear Christian,—as he was to us,—to take his place, and become a good Christian; their whole family gives us much Consolation. In the end of their Cabin we have made a little chapel, whither we go from time to time to say mass for them.

Father Jogues and Father du Peron have had for their portion the mission of Ste. Marie, which Comprises 5 villages hereabout, where they have labored with much difficulty and patience. Father Raimbaut and Father Pierre Pijart, remaining at the house, went every day to See the nipissiriniens—This is an Algonquin nation which had Come to spend the winter in This country, a Hundred paces from Our House. They went thither to learn their language, and give them what Instruction they could at This Beginning of their own study of their language; they have taught them to chant some excellent prayers, which the good people have learned very Willingly. Some among them bear witness of having some inclination for the faith; the two Fathers have gone with them to their own country, which is Five Days’ Journey from here, where they spent the summer in Instructing them. Father Pierre Pijart and I have been sent to the mission of the Apostles; This is in The Tobacco Nation, where I had already spent the preceding winter. We were received very ill there the 1st year; in the second, we have been regarded in a tolerably favorable manner; thank God, we find some who listen to us. Patience and perseverance will win the day God [Page 97] helping. It is true that These Missions are filled with Crosses,—both in the difficulty of the Roads during the winter, and as regards food, clothing, lodging, the smoke, etc.; but the chief trouble is the Bondage that one is in with reference to saying one’s prayers and taking a little rest away from the bustle, besides the privation of mass, which is said not at all, or very seldom. We have twice come near dying in the roads: once It was on A frozen lake, where two savages died from cold on the very evening when we passed. O My dear brother, pray for us that he may Preserve us and strengthen the Courage which he gives us ; we have much need of it. We have, through his Goodness, announced his name this winter to fifteen thousand savages, and there have been very few Converted ; we have baptized in all about a Hundred,—nearly all during the Disease. But Yet we see the progress which is being made; we are assured that God is with us,—we see it Clearly,—but he Guides us step by step. He has given us many blessings upon our House in which we have been thirty Frenchmen: there is Comfort in having our domestics,—laymen in dress but religious in Heart. His providence appears to us very special in causing us to find What is necessary to US, for living; on the day of St. Joseph, our good patron, we saw in our house our provision of Corn for a Year. Let us hope, let us hope, my dear brother, that These blessings will be followed by the great blessing which we expect upon These accursed lands. Pray for us, and entreat all Those who love Jesus Christ, to Interest him in the matter which he has placed for us in their hands; among others, we very especially thank the Reverend Father Prosper for [Page 99] His charity; we beg him to Continue. Our Fathers have promised me to pray for you As you beseech them to. I thank you for the memorandum which you have sent me of the easiest remedies: you do not Realize that they are nevertheless, for the most part, difficult for us, in the dearth of This country ; how be it, I thank you for them with just as good a Heart as if we could employ them. But I beg you to send me some medicinal seeds, As the purgatives, and some other like sorts; if you Cultivate the plants at home, please inform me of their Cultivation and use. I close: ora pro me sine fine, who am, etc.

C. G..

From Ste. Marie, of the hurons, this 23rd

of June, 1641.



[Page 101]

Extracts from a Letter of Father Jean de Brébeuf

to the Very Reverend Father Mutius Vi-

telleschi, General of the Society

of Jesus, at Rome.


ONCERNING ours who live with the Hurons, great peace and union prevails among them. . . . Religious discipline is not only observed, in fact, as in the great colleges,—but the punctual observance of all the rules is also increased from day to day.

Indeed all of our household strive toward perfection according to their powers,—chiefly, of course, those who have given themselves to be associates {Fr. dormés]. For the rest, as for this class of men, who in these regions are certainly not only useful, but necessary . . . .

We have among the Hurons a church consisting of about 60 members, whose virtue and fervor give us great consolation. Moreover, the number increases little by little, and will continue, as we hope, from day to day,-if only we are steadfast.

Besides, a greater field opens daily, wherein the zeal and activity of ours may exercise itself. We have established two new missions this year,—one among those Algonquins whom we name Nipissirini, whose native qualities seem sufficiently . . . ; the other, in that nation which we call Neutral, in which there is a great harvest: for there are in it [Page 103] almost 40 villages, filled with many inhabitants. Now this last mission fell to the portion of Father Calmonotus [Fr. Chaumonot] and me. We spent five months therein, and in truth we suffered much. Few, indeed, lent us a willing ear; many vexed, calumniated, and wronged us; yet, when we left them, we were invited by the principal men to return. Father Calmonotus will, I hope, render distinguished service to Christ in these regions: for he has already made great progress in the language of this people,—not a little different from the Huron language. He is altogether a superior man. . . . . . [Page 105]



[Page 106]









Source: Title-page and text reprinted from a copy of the original Cramoisy edition, in the possession of The Burrows Brothers Company, Cleveland.

The document consists of two parts: Part 1. (with an introduction written in Paris) is by Le Jeune, and the first eight chapters thereof are herewith given ; Part II. (the Huron report) is by Jerome Lalemant, and will be given in Volume XXI., together with the remainder of Part I...




[Page 107]





IN THE YEARS 1640 AND 1641

Sent to the


of the Society of Jesus

in the Province of France.


By Father Barthelemy Vimontof the same

Society, Superior of the residence of Québec.


P A R I S.


Sebastien Cramoisy, Printer in ordinary

to the King, ruë sainct Jacques,

at the Sign of the Storks.







[Page 109]



Table of Chapters contained in this Relation.





F the Residence of Nôstre Dame de Recouvrance at Kebec, and the Seminary of the Ursulines,

Chapter I. . . . Page





Of the Residence of Saint Joseph, Chap. II


Continuation of what occurred among the Savages of the Residence of St. Joseph, Ch. III



Of some very remarkable baptisms at the Residence of St. Joseph, Chap. IV



Of the baptism of a Huron at the Residence of St. Joseph, near Kebec, Chap. V.



Of the Hospital, Chap. VI


Of the Residence of la Conception at the Three Rivers, Ch. VII.


Of some baptisms at the Residence of la Conception at the Three Rivers, Chap. VIII. III


[i.e., 122]

Of the capture of two Frenchmen, who were taken to the country of the Hiroquois, and their return to the Three Rivers, Chap. IX.



Of the deliverance of the French prisoners, and the parley concerning peace with the Hiroquois, Chapter X.



Of the war with the Hiroquois, Ch. XI.


Of a Mission held at Tadoussac, Chap. XII.


Of the good prospects for the conversion of the Savages, and obstacles thereto,  Ch. XIII.



[Page 111]

Table of Chapters contained in the Relation of

what occurred in the country of the Hurons,

from the month of June, in the year 1640,

to the month of June, 1641.





F the general condition of Christianity in these countries, Ch. I.




Of the permanent Residence and Mission of Sainte Marie, Ch. II.


Of the Mission of la Conception, to the Attignawantans, or Nation of the Bear, Ch. III.



Of the Missions of St. Joseph to tke Attingueenongnakak, and of St. Jean Baptiste to tke Arenderonons, Ch. IV.



Of the Mission of the Apostles to the Kkionontatekrunons, or Tobacco Nation, Ch. V.



Of the Mission of the Angels to the Attiwandarons, or neutral Nation, Ch. VI.



Of the Mission of the Holy Gkost to the Nipisiriniens, Ch. VII.



[Page 113]


Permission to print.


WE, Jacques Dinet, Provincial of the Society of JESUS, in the Province of France, pursuant to the Privilege which has been granted to us by the Most  Christian  Kings, Henry III., May 10, 1583; Henry IV., December 10, 1605;  and Louys XIII., now reigning, February 14, 1612, by which all Booksellers and Printers are forbidden to print any of those Books which are composed by any one of our Society, without permission from the Superiors of the same,—permit Sebastien Cramoisy, Bookseller, and Printer in ordinary to the King, to print the Relation de ce que s’est passé en la Nouvelle  France, és années 1640. et 1641., as many times, and in such form and type as shall seem good to him; with power also to print all other Relations of the said New France, which shall be sent therefrom. In testimony of which we have signed the present:

At Paris, this 20th of December, 1641.






[Page 117]
[1] Relation of what occurred in New France, in

the years 1640 and 1641.



I do almost as he who, having written his letters, should be himself the bearer of them. I sketched in New France the following Chapters, and I come myself to present them to Your Reverence. The fleet which conveyed these few lines across the Ocean took on board three of our Society,—Father Nicolas Adam, whom the kindness of Your Reverence has recalled on account of his infirmities; Father Claude [2] Quentin, whom you have also summoned that he may labor in the affairs of the Mission; and myself, who appear without being expected, but not without having been sent. Monsieur the Chevalier de Montmagny, our Governor, the principal Frenchmen of our Colony, the Reverend Father Vimont, our Superior, and all our Fathers,—the Savages, even,—have sentenced me to undertake this voyage for the public and common good. We were a company of four vessels commanded by the sieur de Courpon, a brave man, and a good sailor. A storm separated us on leaving the gulf of saint Lawrence, so that we neither saw each other afterward, nor met at sea. The vessel which carried Father Claude Quentin, having taken the channel of saint George for that which separates England from France, did not appear for a long time ; but, at last, God has brought it safely to port. We net on nearing land a great mast [Page 119] and other pieces of wreckage, from ships lost on the coasts of France or of England. At all events, I see but one single good upon the sea, which is, that you [3] are every moment in a dependence upon God greater and more immediate, so to speak, and consequently sweeter, than when upon land. But let us pursue our way. Your Reverence will see in the continuation of this narrative how God continues to heed the fervent prayers that are offered for the poor Savages, how he blesses the help that is given them; but you will also see that the Demons do not sleep, that they exert themselves to ruin everything. These accursed spirits,—seeing that their old subjects are forsaking them, that the holy souls, and the great ones of earth, and those well beloved by heaven, are employed in opening a door to the Gospel in the vast regions that we discover every day, filled with very populous and sedentary Nations,—strengthen, as much as is possible, all their agents to destroy that which is so devoutly begun, to ruin the French Colony, and to close every avenue of salvation to all these souls that have never heard of Jesus Christ. The following Chapters will show the great opposition that they raise against us. However I will comfort your Reverence, assuring you [4] that you have subjects in this New World, who make rapid progress in holiness: God bestows his favors upon them abundantly, difficulties stimulate them, dearth is their treasure, dangers their security, sufferings their delight, death for the Cross their expectation, and the God of the living their great reward. I hope that, as soon as I have executed my mission, Your Reverence will give me my Passport, that I may return to the New World and die in a new country, or among [Page 121] these good Neophytes who have ravished my heart by their piety and their devotion. I commend them all, and all the laborers of the Gospel, and all the French Colony, to your holy Sacrifices, and to the prayers of the holy souls who honor the most lovable Jesus.

Your Reverence’s

Very humble and obedient servant in

our Lord, Paul le Jeune..

[Page 123]






N this Chapter I ought to speak of the virtue of our French people; but it is sufficient to say that the peace, the repose, and the tranquillity that we possess, and the good example of those who rule us, with the absence of opportunities for sin, put us in the way to Heaven without great effort,—so that, if any one of those who die in these lands be lost, I believe that he will be doubly guilty; for everything inclines us to Virtue, and the path of vice is here altogether full of shame and disgrace. Enough of this matter. Let us say a few words about the Seminary of the Ursuline Mothers. Two courageous sisters, provided with a suitable endowment,—[6] to aid in building the House which they are commencing this year at Kebec, and which will cost them dear,—would be well received in their Monastery, which contains more joy in its little enclosure than the Palaces of the Cesars in their great extent. It is said that there will scarcely be found secular sisters who would consent to bring their fortunes and spend their lives in this New World, either among the Sisters of Mercy in the Hospital, or in the house of the Ursulines. Indeed! is it possible that all the generous sisters that were in old France have come over into the New? and that there are no longer [Page 125] found hearts brave enough to follow the footprints of these first Amazons? That is what I cannot believe ; at least, I can affirm that if we wished professed Nuns, we could find ten for one. “Yes, but they would lack employment.” Not if the Savages become sedentary, to which they are very well disposed, thank God. Madame de la Pelterie, who has a truly generous heart, and all her sisters, do their best to advance this plan; also it seems to me that our [7] Lord favors them; for there are found in France some persons of merit and virtue, who perform this truly Christian office of providing for the marriage of some Seminarists. They send, for instance, one hundred ecus to build one of them a little house; and behold a household established, with some other help that may be given it, to cultivate a little land for its support. There are four Seminarists, very nearly ready to marry. I pray God that he will favor them with a fortunate opportunity. If such piety touch the hearts of many, the Savages will quit the forests to come to us; and the parents will give their children to the Seminary, that they may be able to enter these houses, and to enjoy this charity recorded in the books of the great God.

Moreover, the work of these good Mothers is very useful, and will be still more so hereafter, when they shall be established. Besides the little French girls whom they teach, they have the little permanent Seminarists; these children will be much firmer in the faith than the others: for they are under continual instruction, they [8] see nothing that does not influence them to virtue. We have married this year Magdeleine de saint Joseph Amiskweian, who was taken from their Seminary ; this young woman went [Page 127] out from their house well clothed, and the Mothers gave her her little furniture. Very soon after, she gave proofs of a faith strong and animated by love; while she was at the three Rivers she was courted and entreated by several young pagans, but her constancy repelled them, and showed that Jesus Christ has attractions stronger than nature. When she saw certain Jugglers breathe upon her sick brother, and sing to him, she only wept; as soon as these Charlatans had been driven away, the poor child began to laugh, indicating by her tears the horror that she had for their ancient superstitions, and showing by her joy the pleasure she took in seeing her brother inclined to have recourse to God. She bears the name of the Blessed Mother Magdeleine de saint Joseph, the Carmelite. That holy soul, honored of God by many miracles, has procured upon earth the marriage portion of this young Neophyte; I am quite sure [9] that she speaks powerfully for her in the heavens and for those who labor in this vineyard, which she so greatly loved.

Besides these permanent Seminarists, we send others, who are transient, and clothed in Savage fashion, who remain some time in this little house, that they may be instructed in the Mysteries of our belief. These young girls, having received some good impression in this House, go back afterwards to their parents. When these good Mothers shall dwell in more spacious quarters, they will have still another occupation,—the girls and women who are admitted to baptism will go to spend several days in their Monastery, before their baptism, in order to learn there with more quiet the doctrine of Jesus Christ; even the Neophytes can go there, to prepare themselves [Page 129] more devoutly for holy Communion. Now, although they are straitened for room, they are sure to be often visited by the simple Savage women when goaded by hunger; the Mothers have them pray to God, speak a good word to them, feed them, and then send them away with this double alms. But let us come down more [10] to details, and let us say a few words of the little Seminarists, following the account that the good Mothers have sent me.

These little creatures have so great a desire to be instructed, that they sometimes tell their teacher that she may chastise them, if they fail in their task; and, if one of them commit any fault, she throws herself immediately on her knees to ask pardon for it. One of our Fathers having gone down to Tadoussac this Spring, at the request of the Savages, the two tallest Seminarists sent letters to him in their own writing,- expressing on the one hand a great satisfaction that he was instructing their countrymen; and, on the other, a desire for his return. The Father read these two letters in the presence of the Savages, showing them that their children were capable of Massinahigan as well as ours. They took these letters, turned them on all sides, and looked at them with attention, as if they had been able to read them; they made him read over and over what was written therein, and were very glad to see that our paper spoke their language, for the children wrote in the Savage tongue. It is a pleasure to see the [11] largest and the best-taught girls approach the transient Seminarists, explain to them the doctrine of Jesus Christ, use the same questions that have been put to them, study out a picture, relate prettily a story, and win the attention of those who listen to them [Page 131]

If outward acts be an index of the motions and affections of the heart, these children are growing every day in devotion and in virtue; they make every evening their examination of conscience, and quietly warn one another of their little faults. They take great care to search out their offenses, when they must confess ; there is one who is no more than eight years old, who speaks to the smallest ones, helps them to examine themselves, and charges them above all not to conceal any sin. I can render good testimony to their conscientiousness ; and indeed I can affirm with sincerity, that I have heard no French child of their age, either on this side of the Ocean, or on the other, who opens the heart more frankly, and who knows better its most hidden recesses. In a word, the Savages make a thoroughly good confession ; it is admirable, [12] their apprehension of the importance of this Sacrament. I am sometimes amazed to see that barbarians know what heretics ignore or wish to ignore.

On the eve of the Assumption of the blessed Virgin, a Father having heard the confession of little Anne Marie Negabamat, this child said to him after, absolution : Nousai eapitch ni-wich tissarawi. “My father, I wish to be always a virgin ; do not make me leave this House, I wish to live here all my life,” Her words touched the Father, as he remembered the opposition that she used to make to him, until he took her once and pretended to throw her into the river, seeing that she was not willing to obey her parents, who bade her remain with these good Sisters.

Agnes Chabwekwechich, hearing the Mother Superior speak of the great sufferings of our Lord, [Page 133] exclaimed: “Alas! if he had not atoned for us, we would fall into the fire after our death; truly, I love him more than I do myself.” The others also declared that they loved him. [13] Some one inquired if God were not good enough to pardon the wicked Manitous; the Mother answered that the Demons were proud, and that, if they could humble themselves, God would be merciful to them.

Heavy snows and freezing cold are not able to extinguish the ardor of a soul which loves Jesus. Christ. Madame de la Pelterie, who has no greater solace than to visit the Savages, went to St. Joseph through the snows, so as to be present at the midnight Mass with the new Christians ; she took with her two or three Seminarists. When these children had returned to the House, Agnes began to relate what a Father had said of the Birth of the little Jesus, in the Sermon that he preached to the Savages on this Mystery. “She reproduced his gestures,” said the Mother Superior, “and showed how the Bethlehemites repulsed the blessed Virgin, with indignation against them and compassion for the Mother and for the Child; ” she described the little Jesus in the manger, with words which moved the good Mothers.

[14] They had set up in the Seminary a little manger: the children went incessantly to see the little Jesus that was lying there, they remained upon their knees near him, and carried little pieces of lighted bark, for want of wax candles. They often make bouquets and garlands of flowers which they offer to the image of the blessed Virgin, upon whom they call with the most tender love.

One day, having met together, they made a little [Page 135] cabin of boughs, lined it with green leaves, in their own fashion, and then went to ask leave of the Mother Superior to spend the night there. The Mother, wishing to dissuade them from it, told them they would be afraid, and that the door of this cabin did not shut. “ We fear nothing, ” said they, “we shall carry with us the Images of Jesus and the blessed Virgin, and the wicked Manitou will not be able to come near us. We do not fear the souls of the departed; for those who die, if they are truly good, go to Heaven ; if they have not expiated their sins and atoned for them, they go to Purgatory; if they are very wicked, they go to Hell,—they will not leave that place [15] to come to us. If the Devil come near our cabin, we will pray to God, and he will make him flee.” The Mother adds in her account: “This reply astonished me; our little French girls are far from being so self-possessed; although they are continually instructed.”

There is a little Huron girl among the Algonquins; on being asked if she had still her mother, “She whom I have in my country is no longer my dear mother,” answered the child, “because she does not believe in God; it is you who are my true Mothers, since you instruct me.” This little Neophyte was a long time with the good Charles Sondatsaa, the night before her Baptism; she spoke to him of the benefits that are received from the holy water, the great rewards that God gives to those who obey him, and the horrible chastisements that he visits upon the proud and upon the rebellious; she urged him strongly to induce the little Huron girls to come and stay at the Seminary; she said a thousand good things of it. “These virgin Sisters love us so [Page 137] much,” said she; “they are truly our mothers, we lack for nothing with [16] them.” This wise and serious man was so extremely pleased with the discourse and the conversation of this young girl, about twelve or thirteen years old, that he spent more than two hours and a half with her.

If any one from her own country comes to see her, she does not inquire for her parents, nor about what happens among her relatives; but she asks if the Hurons have no desire to believe in God, if they do not give up their dances and their superstitious chants, and if they still consult the Devils.

When one of her relatives asked her if she did not wish to return to her own country, “No,” said she, “I no longer think of it, I am very well satisfied where I am.” “My daughter, you are not doing right,” said he to her; “you must not think only of yourself; when you are well instructed you must come and teach your countrywomen.” Behold how the most Savage children become the children of God; may he be blessed forevermore among all the nations of the earth!

Good Madame de la Pelterie, who laid the foundation of this little Seminary, has cause to bless God that he has [17] chosen her for a work which is so acceptable to him. But her heart is large; the wish that she has to gather together the still wandering fathers and mothers, in order to aid in saving the children, makes her long for a treasure beyond her own means. She does not cease to visit these poor people; she speaks to them with her eyes not being able to speak to them in their language. She would speak to them much more willingly with her hands: and if she were able to practice the trades of a mason. [Page 139] and of a carpenter, so as to erect for them little dwellings, and to plough, in order to aid them in cultivating the land, she would exert herself therein with an ardor in proportion to the good disposition she sees in these peoples to settle down; but her arms are weak, as well as ours.  Deus Dominus fortitudo nostra in œternum. [Page 141]




HE number of Christians is increasing every day; the rest of the people, who are [18] not baptized, and who have taken refuge in this Village just started, have no alienation from the faith. Prayers are offered publicly ; also in cabins, and in houses, and in the chapel the Sacraments are honored. Many are unable to bear upon their hearts any transgression that they consider in the least serious; as soon as they think that they have offended, even slightly, they have recourse to the sacred remedies which God has left to his Church. No public fault is allowed; the Neophytes are strongly bound together with a zeal that one would not have dared to hope for from Savages,—for it is strange how cold these peoples are, and how far removed from our warmth and hasty disposition. But let us come down to more details: à fruitibus eorum cognoscetes eos.

The most zealous Christians met during this winter, unknown to us, in order to confer together upon the means of keeping themselves in the faith. One of them, in making an address, said that he thought more highly of prayers—it is thus that they speak—than of life, and that he would rather die than give them up; [19] another said that he wished he might be punished and chastised in case he forfeited the word he had given to God; a third exclaimed that he who should fall into any error must be put into [Page 143] prison, and made to fast four days without eating or drinking. The acts of justice that they see from time to time exercised on delinquents, give them these ideas. Charles Meiachkawat, who was very recently baptized, was in this assembly; not only did that not frighten him, but, on the contrary, he was comforted by it: “I am one of you,” said he to them; “all that you shall decide upon will please me. It is in earnest that I believe in God; and if you have any conviction that I shall lose courage, I now give you liberty to bind me and to hold me in prison; but my heart tells me that I shall walk straight, and that what I have embraced with so much affection will never leave my mind.”

This meeting took place in the silence of the night, and in the morning they came to give us information of it. We answered that they proceeded with too much severity ; that mildness [20] had more power over souls than force ; that a woman had very recently said to us that what hindered her from urging her baptism was, that she did not believe she could live so devoutly as did the Christians, and she would not be able to come every day to Mass as they did, in all the severity of the winter, when they were sometimes rather far from the Church, and snow, hail, and cold besetting the way. “What will happen, then,” we said to them, “if you speak of prisons to people who are weak, and not yet enlightened by the torch of faith?” They did not cease to pursue their point, and to say resolutely that they had formed a plan among themselves, that the first of their number who should commit any fault, however inconsiderable, should suffer imprisonment and fasting. This frightened the weak, and the report spread among [Page 145] the unbelievers that the Christian Savages had chains and bonds all ready to bind the refractory. Some Pagans told us that they were risking the ruin of everything, and that the Savages would kill one another. All this consoled us much, for we [21] took pleasure in seeing the union of the Christians; it is much more easy to temper fervor than to kindle it. It is well that the Savages feel these ardors, but we must not yield to all their desires; the customs of a people do not change so soon,—it is necessary to proceed with skill, gentleness, and patience.

Some time after these resolutions were taken, one of our Fathers having entered the cabin of one of the chief Savages who had received and approved them, this simple man looked at the Father with a sad eye, and said to him: “Nikanis, I am angry, I have grieved God. I have thought of going to Kebec to surrender myself as a prisoner, that I may spend four days without food or drink, according to that upon which we resolved; but I am waiting for thee to send me there.” The Father was surprised at these words, not knowing what to reply; this man, seeing him thoughtful, said to him: “ Thou hast no courage; thou art distrustful of us all; thou art not firm enough; thou imaginest that if thou enjoinest these penances upon us, we would not do them. Make the trial now, in my case,—command me to go to prison; give me [22] a note, so that the door may be opened to me, and this instant I will set off in your presence.” The Father asked him if his fault really merited such a chastisement. “Yes,” said he, “I have grieved God; my sin is great. I struck my wife in anger; it is true that she irritated me, for, this morning, in going to Mass, I told her that she should follow [Page 147] me; not having seen her, I struck her on my return. I wish no person with me,” said he, “who does not pray to God.”  “Yes,” the Father answered him, “but you know well that it is not a holy day and that she is under no obligation to be present today at holy Mass.”  “It is true,” he replied, “but, since it is better to be present there, she ought to have gone—considering too that I had invited her, and that it is our custom to hear it every day. Nevertheless, I merit chastisement, for I have let myself be carried away by my indignation; give me a note, so that I may do penance for my sin.” The Father thereupon began to excuse this fault, and to show that this good woman was indeed grieved at having disobeyed, that she loved her husband, and that a similar thing would never happen to her again. [23] This poor creature, beginning to speak, said, with a voice full of mildness and regret: “My Father, I have in my heart what you have on your lips;” and then she was silent. The conclusion was that the very next day at dawn they both came to confession; but what extremely astonished us was that this good woman never excused herself, whatever her husband said to her, or however he reproached her. Notwithstanding, she had an excellent reason for excuse; for she told us afterwards that when her husband called her to go to Mass, she did not hear him; nevertheless for fear of offending him, she had preferred to appear guilty, rather than to excuse herself.

Some time thereafter, a young man having fallen into a somewhat gross fault, for he became intoxicated, one of his Christian relatives resolved to have him put into prison. When they asked the opinion of [Page 149] him whom I have just mentioned, he replied: “I have not a word to say on the subject. I merited chastisement, it was not given to me; I cannot condemn another to it.” Indeed, he was never willing to declare his opinion; however, they sent the thoughtless young man to [24] Kebec. Monsieur the Governor had him put in a dungeon, at the request of the Savages: he was put there on the very eve of Christmas, and the day following that great festival five of the principal Christians went to monsieur de Montmagny and one of them made this speech to him: “Here are the two nearest relatives of the prisoner, that is to say, Noel Negabamat, and Charles Meiachkawat ; it is a long time since the first one was delivered from the chains of the Devil; as for the second one, he has been very recently set at liberty by holy Baptism. But as for him whom you have had imprisoned, he is pinioned on all sides,—the Devil holds him fast bound, for he is not yet baptized, and his sin merits a double prison; nevertheless, his relatives pray you to do justice to him, for, being Christians, they wish to keep all the laws of God; they entirely renounce his relationship.” This is an act fit to astonish all those that know the customs of the Savages, who cannot endure that any one should touch their kinsmen; but God has more power than nature. Monsieur the Governor replied that he [25] would have him brought before him, and that he would give him good advice, and would frighten him; and that, if he should again commit the fault, he would not fail to have him again arrested. All went on with discretion and profit. This poor man having left the prison, came immediately to us at saint Joseph ; he said to us that he did not disapprove [Page 151] of what the Frenchmen and the Savages had done,—that in the beginning it had greatly irritated him, but, having known that it was for his good, he was appeased. “I shall improve,” said he; “the Captain has given me good advice, and I shall pay attention to it. He has made me understand that he has long arms, and that, although I might go to Tadoussac or to the Three Rivers, he could reach as far as there, and still further; I have promised him that I would no longer displease him and that I would become obedient. That is the word I give you also, and which I shall keep; but hasten to baptize me, so that I may become wiser.”

Having returned to his cabin, the chief Savages went to him toward night, and spoke to him in this manner: “Thou knowest well that thou hast meddled with sorcery; [26] but as we are now Christians, we no longer fear thy invocations of the Demon,—thy threats and thy charms no longer give us dismay. Besides, thou must know that it is we who have had thee put in prison, it is we who have begged our Captain to arrest thee; be wiser now, abandon thy usages. If thou wilt believe in God, and accept his Law, we will love thee and protect thee everywhere; if not, from this time forth we renounce thy kinship and thy friendship. If thou wilt persist in thy wickedness, thou wouldst do well to go away; for, if any one put thee to death, of which thou hast been already in danger, we will not avenge thy death.” At these words, this man, who was wont to give terror to others by his deceit and by his impudence, was quite confounded. “You have done me a kindness,” he responded; “what you have done tends only to my good. I have already said this to our Captain. I [Page 153] shall be more restrained and more discreet hereafter; my resolution is made. As for my sorcery, it is a thing that I have already abandoned, and which I shall never take up again. This is the [27] first act of justice that the Savages have administered; little by little, and with tact, they must be brought into submission.

Here are other deeds as remarkable as the preceding ones. Some Savages of the Island, and of other places, having come down to saint Joseph, the Christians, seeing that the new guests had nothing for dinner, made a collection among themselves, and furnished as many as twelve hundred smoked eels, divided into twelve large packages ; having gathered together this alms, they sent for us to know if it would be acceptable to God. The poor people had not too many provisions for themselves; but, as acts of charity are recommended to them, every one contributed joyfully. Having then sent for four of the chief of the recently arrived Savages, they put this gift into their hands, to be distributed to all those who were in need. We greatly approved this kindness; it will not be without reward,—God will bless it a hundredfold.

[28] This charity did not prevent these new guests, naturally haughty and proud, from having several quarrels with the Christians of saint Joseph, and almost always on account of Religion. The few following words reveal the great vanity and insupportable pride of the Captain of these Islanders. Having come to see us during the stay that he made at St. Joseph, he held this discourse with us: “I had some intention of spending the winter here, but I am told that neither your Captain loves me nor do you. Perhaps [Page 155] you do not know that I have ruled from my youth, that I was born to rule. As soon as I open my mouth, every one listens to me; it is also true that I bear up and maintain the whole country during the life of my grandchildren and my nephews,”—it is thus he calls his people. “Even the Hurons give ear to me, and I command among them; I rule them, as if I were Captain. I say not a word over there,—-the rest speak; but there is nothing done except that which I have in my mind. I am like a tree,—men are the branches thereof, [29] to which I give vigor.” To see a man wholly nude, who has neither covering for the feet, nor other raiment than a wretched bit of pelt, which screens only the half of his body; ill-favored by nature, having only half his eyes, for he is blind in one, and dried-up like an old tree without leaves,—to see, I say, a skeleton, or rather a ragamuffin, bear himself like a President, and speak like a King, is to see haughtiness and pride under rags. This Thraso and part of his people being in this mood, very soon came to disputing with our Christians. They taunted them, saying that faith and prayer made men die ; that since some had been baptized, maladies had prevailed among them, and that, when they were taught another belief than that of their fathers, at that very time death exterminated them; that a part of those who have become Christians are concerting with the French to ruin the whole country of the Savages. They cite examples that they consider very forcible. “Such a one,” they said, “having two wives, and not being inclined to obey the Captain of the French, fell [30] sick immediately; others died suddenly, who had abandoned their ancient customs.” The Christians thereupon [Page 157] defended themselves, some with too much zeal: “If prayers kill you, go away elsewhere, and do not remain with us; every one here finds his advantage in believing in God, and in having forsaken his old wickedness. It is not faith that exterminates us, but our sins, and especially your unbelief; it is you who cause your own death, retaining the Demons in your midst by your wicked acts; know that we do not fear you at all, and that we shall never forsake the faith that we have embraced.” The matter came to such a point, without our having knowledge of it, that the Infidels spoke of beating to death some of the believers. When this was heard by one of the leading Christians, he went towards night to the baptized young men, and said to them: “They are talking of murder; keep firm in the faith. If they wish to massacre any one for his belief, he must not touch his arms,—let us suffer death for Jesus Christ our Captain. [31] But if they try to kill us from individual enmity, or from envy, we must defend ourselves courageously.” We knew this proceeding only a long time afterwards, and even then by accident; I leave you to imagine how much the firmness of the Christians consoled us. Benedictus Deus in œternum; the Savages appear as cold as ice, but God is sure to warm and fire their hearts when it pleases him.

In the meantime, a Christian having spoken very boldly, the others came to inform us of it, saying that he provoked the Unbelievers too much; we sent for him that we might recommend to him mildness and discretion. He said these words to us: “I Are you now teaching us another doctrine than that which you taught us formerly?”  “No, indeed,” said we [Page 159] to him. “Did you not tell us,” he replied, “that when it was a question of faith, we must stand fast, and speak boldly, and show that we did not fear death? and that if we died for our belief, we should go straight to heaven? It is that,” added he, “which made me speak boldly. They reproach us with causing their death [32] by forsaking the customs of our ancestors, and with killing the Savages by our prayers; and for that reason they menace us. I told them that I did not fear them, nor all their Demons,—that I dared them to kill me; that I should believe, however much they might dislike it; and that they should go away from us, if they feared our prayers.” His zeal pleased us, but we exhorted him to temper it with mildness, and told him that this severity would not attract hearts embittered by their misfortunes.

Some months after, the same Christian—having learned that his freedom had greatly irritated some of them, and that they were plotting his death, as he had been told—went to Monsieur the Governor to ask him about a case of conscience; for, as it was a question of death, and knowing well that we do not carry arms, he imagined that it belonged to him who commands soldiers, and has a military profession, to answer his question satisfactorily. One of our Fathers of saint Joseph was present by chance that day in Kebec, and this man, seeing him, begged to be conducted to the residence of Monsieur the Governor, [33] to whom he had a few words to say. Being in his presence, he asked how he ought to comport himself in case any one attacked him and wished to put him to death. “Since I am a Christian,” said he, “I wish to do all that a good Christian should do; [Page 161] he must defend himself, I will defend myself; if he must lay down arms, I will lay them down.” Monsieur the Chevalier de Montmagny asked him if he had any enemies, and why he made this inquiry. “I am the first of my nation,” he answered, “to become a Christian ; those of my country, seeing that I have left their party, believe that the prayers and the faith which I have embraced cause the great diseases that have almost exterminated them; this is why they hate me unto death.” Monsieur the Governor having given him the solution of his doubt, this good man said to him: “Every day, as soon as I have risen, I say to God, ‘If they kill me because I believe in thee, I shall be very glad,—I shall be well pleased to die.’ I tell him the same every day at Mass; and I feel in my heart that I do not fear the whole of them however many there be, for they will not be able [34] to touch my soul,—their rage can fall only upon my body. If any one attack me for other cause than for the faith, he will not be received with open arms.” He said this in so cheerful and determined a manner, that he delighted Monsieur the Governor, who, admiring his courage and his good disposition, let him know that, if he were attacked for the faith, he himself, in his own person would be attacked,—since he had the same faith and the same God as he. That wonderfully cheered this good Neophyte, who went away as content as if he had gained a great Empire. Enough of that for this Chapter. [Page 163]





HE Devil, who sees well that the settling down of the roving Savages is the shortest and surest way of their salvation, bends all his energies to destroy that [35] which God has so happily begun. The Savages of the Island, of whom I have spoken above, being upon the point of withdrawing from Saint Joseph, whither they had come for a little time, did not wish to depart on bad terms with our Christians and our Catechumens. They put in operation a scheme which would have done much harm, if God had not given constancy to these good Neophytes ; they invited them to a feast, and said to them, that prayer was good, that our doctrine was indeed rather harsh, particularly touching Marriages,—but, as it had been received by some of them, the others might also embrace it in time. They said that, in order to facilitate the matter, and to bring about a closer union with each other, it would be fitting that they should all live together, and that they must choose some place more distant from Kebec than Saint Joseph was, for a thousand reasons which they pleaded; that the Fathers should be with them, to instruct them ; and that, by degrees, each one would yield himself to the customs of the French. In short, they expressed a great friendship and a great desire that the Christians should abandon [Page 165] their abode [36] and go to dwell with them in some other place. It was an underhand thrust of the Enemy of God and man, who used the eloquent speech of a wretched one-eyed man, who sees only half of the earth, and nothing at all of the beauty of heaven. Our Neophytes, having heard this discourse, came to give us an account of it. It was not difficult to make them see the malice of Satan, and the instability of those who invited them; that is why one of them, in a council they held concerning this matter, said these words to them: “If I did not believe in God, I might follow you, but the step is taken,—I have responded to God, and told him that I would obey him; and thus I cannot leave the place where we are taught his will.” Another added: “You say that you will remain firm in the place that you shall choose; but I warn you that faith alone will give you steadfastness. I know you well; neither your head nor your feet will have any check until you believe in God.”

These Algonquins having returned to the three Rivers, sent to invite the Savages [37] of Saint Joseph to go with them to war: he who brought the word, used these terms: “Here is a Masterly stroke for the prayers and the faith that you have chosen; the Algonquins of the Island and of the petite Nation say that, if you will accompany them to the war, they will all be baptized on their return, and they will adopt the prayers.” Jean Baptiste Etinechkawat responded in the name of all: “Your argument is not properly stated,—you have inverted your words: you say, ‘Let us go to the war, and then we will be baptized;’ reverse your language, and say: ‘Let us be baptized, and then let us all go together [Page 167] to the war.’ If you speak thus, your speech will be straightforward; you will not put yourselves in danger of being lost, and God our father, seeing his children together, will have favorable opinions of us.” This speech, in his own language, was not at all barbarous; and these sentiments are found only in a truly Christian heart.

Some of our Neophytes, however, accompanied them,—although with sorrow, on account of their superstitions. This is what one of them related to us [38] on his return: “Setting out from Saint Joseph, we went to the Chapel to pray to God; passing through the three Rivers, we who were baptized confessed; and a little further on the unbelievers made a feast of two dogs; they chanted and howled according to our old customs, and all that for the sake of killing the enemy. I said plainly to them that that would avail nothing, but they mocked at it; five times they consulted the Devils in their tabernacles. During all that time we withdrew apart, kneeling in prayer; a Savage not yet baptized sided with us, renouncing the Sabbat of the infidels. At the last consultation, the enemies surrounded us; as soon as we had wind of it, my Jugglers quitted their tents, and took to their heels. I cried aloud to them and asked them of what use their demons had been to them; my speech was not long, for I had to escape, as well as the others. Some made for the woods, others for the water; we embarked upon the great lake, on which the Enemy was paddling; we passed and re-passed each other [39] in these dangers, without being discovered. I prayed to God in silence with all my heart; it seemed to me that I felt within me an unknown power which sustained me, and [Page 169] which gave me hope for my safety. So this is the way our war ended,” said this good Neophyte. But let us touch upon some special actions of the most steadfast Christians.

A young man spoke to us of marrying a Christian girl and we counseled him to take advice of his elder brother, a man of consideration among the Algonquins: “He is not a Christian,” he responded, “he is an enemy of prayer; I do not acknowledge him for my brother. If he believed in God, I would obey him with all my heart: what good advice could a man give me who does not accept for himself the good counsels that are given him for his salvation? It belongs to you to counsel me; you have given me the life of my soul,—I will also follow your direction for the good of my body.” His mother, losing her temper one day, said to him that she wished to leave Saint Joseph, and dwell in some other place where she hoped for more assistance. Her son [40] replied to her: “My mother, we have not received the faith for the sake of earthly riches; though every one should go away, I shall always remain with those who have taught us the way to heaven; I believe earnestly in God,—I shall hold fast even to death.” One of his relatives, wishing to take him away after his marriage, told him that he should set out as soon as possible in order to prevent the ill conduct of his wife,—who, having gone to visit her parents at the three Rivers, was behaving badly, according to the report of this impostor. Thereupon this good young man came to us, and said: “I have just heard news that afflicts my heart,—I have been told that my wife has disobeyed God. But no matter,—let her forsake God if she will, let all my relatives leave and abandon [Page 171] me, I will never renounce the faith. What saddens me more, is the fault she commits, and the little regard that she has for her soul.” Fortunately, we had just received letters from the Fathers who are at the three Rivers, which bore full proof of the modesty, and the constancy in the faith, of this young woman; [41] her husband, hearing these letters read, exclaimed: “Ah! now I see well the design of my relatives; they have forged this calumny to ruin me,—they imagine that, if they keep me among them, they will make me forsake the faith. They are far from their reckoning, I will give it up only with my life.” The firmness of this young man touched me to the heart.

One day I heard a Christian Savage preach in a cabin where a baptized young man was dying; the arguments that the Spirit of God suggested to him astonished me. He did not see me, for I was behind the cabin, where I had stopped to listen. He spoke of contempt for earth, and of the happiness of Heaven, with words of fire: “That which we believe is true,” said he; “it is envying those who go to Paradise, to be saddened by their death.” Another time he urged an unbeliever to give himself up to God, and the man said to him: “I have not mind enough to be baptized. I cannot retain all that they teach me, I am dumb before God, I do not know what to say to him.”  “There is no need,” said the Neophyte to him, “of much speaking [42] with the lips, it is enough that your heart belongs to God. When I was still a little boy, and my father, going to the chase or somewhere else, left me in the cabin, I did nothing but think of him; I thought of him at night on lying down, and in the morning on rising up; [Page 173] .and I said in my heart, ‘When shall I see him?’ My mouth did not speak, all this went on in my mind. It is thus,” said he, “that you must conduct yourself towards God. It matters little what you say,—it is sufficient that your heart should speak to him: at night before taking rest, in the morning on awaking, think of him, and say to him only these few words: ‘If I knew what I ought to say to thee, I would say it;’ that is enough, he asks no more.” The language of the heart is the most audible in Paradise. Noel Negabamat, while sailing in a canoe this spring with one of our Fathers, related to him what I am going to mention: “Two winters ago I thought I should lose my life in this place.” The Father asking the reason, he continued: “While I was crossing the great river with my people, going to hunt on the other shore, we were surrounded by a great bank of ice, which broke to pieces [43] with such impetuosity, from the meeting of two currents of water, that we thought we were all lost. Seeing danger imminent, we climbed upon a cake of ice, upon which we also drew our canoes; unfortunately, it was so small that we could scarcely stand thereon. There we all were on a floating bridge, but so narrow and wavering, that at the least shock, we expected death without resource. I exclaimed: ‘It is all over with us, let us pray to God for the last time.’  ‘Thou who hast made all things, thou art all-powerful, save us if thou will to save us; if thou will that we should die, we are indeed willing; since we believe in thee, we shall go to heaven, and we shall see thee; we do not believe in thee in order to live a long time on earth.’ Having offered my prayer aloud, I said to my people: ‘Let us not fear, let us die courageously. [Page 175] We are baptized; be of good cheer, we shall go to heaven.’ In the beginning of the danger, I was much afraid; but, having said my prayer, I no longer feared death. I had not finished the sentence, when a great opening was made before our eyes,—the ice scattering to [44] open a way for us ; immediately we put our canoe in the water, and leaped into it more swiftly than the wind. We paddled without knowing whither we went, for the ice prevented our seeing the banks of the river; in short, this opening led us up to the shores which we desired to reach, We were so appalled by this wonder that, without speaking to one another, each one knelt on the bank of the stream to thank God that we had escaped from this peril by his favor.” This good man had not before related to us this great mercy of our Lord ; the Savages speak little of what happens among them, if opportunities are not offered for it.

A poor woman, having come two or three times to confess, and not having been able to do so, on account of the absence of the Father who could hear her, went away so sad, that she passed a great part of the night in tears. Having returned in the morning, she said to the Father: “I have had no rest since my transgression; I will not go back until I have confessed.” I have already observed that some of them cannot [45] bear upon their hearts any offense, however trifling, which they have voluntarily committed. A young Christian Savage having awaked in the night, and seeing a woman immodestly covered in her sleep, was seized with fright,—so much does the opportunity for sinning affect these good people. Not knowing how to warn this woman, for fear of putting her to confusion, he bethought himself [Page 177] of roughly beating a dog, and making it yelp aloud, so that the woman on awaking should again cover herself properly. If I told you how many girls and women and young men, entreated to evil even by menaces, have imitated Saint Joseph and the chaste Susanna, I should use repetitions; these acts, being reiterated, deserve to be published, for in truth, they are heroic.

A young pagan, having stolen by night into a cabin, addressed a young Christian girl, and said these four words to her: “Believest thou in God?”  “Yes,” said she, “I do believe in him.”  “Dost thou believe in him in earnest?”  “In earnest,” answered the girl. “Good-bye, then,” said the rogue, “I have nothing to say to thee.”

A good Neophyte said to us one day, [46] that he was weary of this life, and felt that now indeed he was a prisoner,—that he thought incessantly of the life that never ends; that his heart was always with God.

One of our Fathers having spoken of our Lord in a household of Savages, and recommended modesty, a young woman, recently married, followed him and asked him in private, if she could rightly be separated from her husband and lodge with a female relative. The Father asked her if she hated her husband, and if he treated her ill: “By no means,” said she, “but I would gladly be saved.”

The same person, having gone with her companions to receive communion at the house of the Ursulines, the Mothers made them a little feast: this one only wept while the others ate. They urged her to give the reason for doing so, but she would in no wise speak of it. This having come to our ears, we [Page 179] asked her the cause of her tears ; at length, after a long silence, “I was sad,” answered she, “because you had married me; I saw those good Nuns, with whom I had lived, and I would indeed have wished [47] to live as they do, and now I no longer can.”  “But did I not ask you,” said one of us to her, “if you desired to be a Nun? did you not answer that you wished to be married?”  “You did indeed ask me,” said she, “if I wished to be a Nun; I did not reply that I wished to be married, but, really, that I did not think I was able to do as these good Sisters, do; and this is the cause of my grief, that I had not enough spirit to live like them.”

A young Christian woman thinking she would die in her confinement, and her little newborn girl being so sick that the Savage women said she was about to expire, the father and mother of the child promised God that she should always be a virgin,—that is, that they would make her a Nun when she was grown up, if she wished to be one. God saved the mother and the child. Now these good people often present their offspring to the Lord, and beg him to accept it for his House. The sieur Giffard9 saved the life of the mother; and our Lord resuscitated, so to speak, the little child.

A good Christian woman having been confined [48] in the woods, seeing her newly-born child very sick, and not knowing what to do for it, consulted some other Christian women; but as these good people did not know the formula of Baptism, they bethought themselves of hanging their rosaries on the neck of the little child; and perhaps our Lord, accepting favorably their faith and their simplicity, preserved that little creature, who since has received holy Baptism [Page 181] and is very well. I would have many other like acts to relate of our Neophytes, but I must avoid tediousness. Truly, God is good, and his Goodness has no bounds. The Scythians and the Tartars belong to him as well as the Greeks; I would that all tongues in heaven and on earth might bless him for the wonders that he has worked and is working every day before our eyes, in the midst of Barbarism. He who does not wonder at these Metamorphoses does not see them; or he who sees them, and does not wonder at them, has no heart,—not apprehending what it cost Jesus Christ to change the children of’ Satan into children of the great God. [Page 183]





HE number of those who have become Christians this year, at the Residences of la Conception and of St. Joseph, is not less than that of previous years; we have now this consolation that not only children and the sick are baptized, but even adults who are full of life and health.10 The mercies that God shows to some of these simple Neophytes are striking ; I shall touch upon some of them in this chapter, which I shall offer as a rich recompense to all those who procure, before God and before men, the conversion of these peoples.

We baptized on one day three heads of families who generally have withdrawn to Tadoussac, but the desire for their salvation made them join the [50] Christians of the Residence of Saint Joseph. The most remarkable of the three is named Charles Meiachkawat; Monsieur the Chevalier de Montmagny, our Governor, seeing him so zealous for our belief, wished to be his godfather. I would willingly say of him what our Lord said of Nathanaël: Ecce verè Israëlita in quo dolus non est; this good man is a true Israelite,—he is made up neither of fraud nor deceit, he has the same candor, he has always been inclined to good ; but about two years ago God touched him mightily. He related to us that, being one day in the woods, he saw a man clothed like us, and he [Page 185] heard a voice which said to him: “Forsake thine old ways; lend an ear to these people, and do as they do; and, when thou shalt be  instructed, teach thy Countrymen.”  “I do not know,” said he, “if it were the voice of the great Captain of heaven, but I saw and conceived great things.” In the beginning, I took all this talk for the reverie of a Savage; and I passed more than a year without giving any other thought to it than that which I would have given to a dream. But, at length,—[51] seeing that this artless man exerted himself to imitate us, as nearly as was possible for him according to his nature, and seeing his ardor in espousing and proclaiming the faith, whatever it might be, of that vision or dream,—I believed that these good effects could only proceed from the grace of Jesus Christ. As soon as he had heard that voice, he abandoned of his own accord—without speaking to us, for he was far distant from us—all the follies of his Nation, the eat-all feasts, and the superstitious chants; he even gave up indifferent things, like painting his visage, anointing his body, hair, and face, after the manner of other Savages; he left off tobacco, to which the Savages are devoted beyond all that can be said. He began to preach to his own people, saying that they must believe in God, that they must give ear to us, and must make the sign of the Cross,—“This,” said he, “is all that I know.” He did this at every turn, without pronouncing another word, not having yet been instructed. He spoke so well to the Savages of Tadoussac and to some of the Sagné region, that they commissioned him to come to Kebec for some [52] Father of our Society, “that he might teach them the prayers,”—it is thus that they spoke. [Page 187] This simple man, seeing that the Father for whom he asked could not go, was distressed. “I think,” said he, “that they imagine I am a liar.” He made application to sieur Olivier, and conjured him so to arrange with Monsieur our Governor, that this Father should be sent to Tadoussac,—affirming that the Savages who were there wished to believe in God. There was no way of satisfying him at that time. Accordingly, he returned home, bearing the answer that we could not visit them, but that in the Spring the Father for whom they asked would go to see them. Having given his message, he came back to the Residence of Saint Joseph, bringing with him two families. We took pleasure in seeing the artlessness of this good Neophyte; he did not cast his eyes upon the other Frenchmen, but upon us, trying to imitate us according to his power. He came to ask us for a paper, begging us to mark all the days upon it. “Mark,” said he, “the feast days, the working days, the days when meat is not eaten, the fast days; the days when [53] you yourselves fast, and not the Companions,”—it is thus they call the workmen; “for I wish to do exactly as you do.” Having given him this paper, he observed very well the difference of the days. A worthy Frenchman having made a journey with him, told us that on fish days he was contented with a little sea biscuit boiled in clear water; he conducted himself so religiously in this respect that the poor man sometimes passed two days without food, having nothing but meat, and not wishing to violate the Command of the Church, to which he was by no means bound in the destitution of his provisions. Being invited to feasts on days when meat was not eaten, he kept his portion for his family, [Page 189] without touching it; but as we had simply said to him that meat was not eaten on the days indicated upon his paper, he—taking this literally without reflecting further—ate none, but did not fail to drink the broth in which the meat had been cooked. We, having perceived this, did not wish [54] to forbid it to him, having compassion on his poverty; for very often on those days his only food was but a bit of biscuit or bread, and even that very scanty.

He had it so much in his heart to imitate our customs, that he asked if we would really receive him among us; for he would like to leave his wife, since she did not urge her baptism. “The voice that I heard,” said he, “exhorted me to imitate you. I do not care to be married; I will give my little girl to the Ursulines, and I will stay with you.” This proposal made us laugh. As he saw us sometimes withdraw apart to commune with God, he did the same,—walking alone, contrary to the custom of his nation, reciting his rosary, or revolving in his mind some point of doctrine, that he had been taught.

A Father of our Society having gone down to Tadoussac this Spring, as he withdrew every day from the cabins, in order to meditate a while, this artless man followed him without speaking, walking apart without interrupting him. [55] At length the Father, perceiving that he carried a pistol under his robe, asked for what he came, and what he intended to do with those arms: “I am come,” said he, “to say my prayers, and to watch over thee. This place to which thou retirest is dangerous,—some Etechimin or other evil-minded Savage may come even here, and kill thee without our perceiving him; if that should happen thou wouldst sadden all the Savages. [Page 191] This is why I come armed to protect thee; thou oughtst not to go far from the cabins until the coming of the ships, which will give us confidence.”

He was not unfrequently heard exhorting the Savages to follow our customs: “Cast your eyes,” he said to them, “on the principal Frenchmen, on the Captains, on the Fathers,—they are the ones we must imitate. If there is any Companion who does not walk straight, we must beware of him; they do not all know the Massinahigan,” that is, the Book which teaches how one must conduct himself properly. As soon as he was touched by God, seeing the Savages of the Sagné come to Tadoussac, he went to visit them, and exhorted them to embrace the faith, of which he [56] had scarcely any knowledge; and since presents are the language of this country, he offered them a great porcelain collar, that he might win them to believe in our Lord. I learned this only a year afterward, and even then by accident.

These three heads of families of whom I have spoken, were so zealous to be instructed that they wearied us. On a certain day when they had been a long time with us, they were invited to a feast; they said to one another: “Let us not go ; here we are in quiet with the Fathers who instruct us, let us listen to them while we have the time.” He who has a knowledge of the nature of the Savages, will deem that this action was remarkable in them. I have seen, among others, Charles, of whom I am now speaking, struggle so hard to remember his prayers, that it caused him great drops of sweat, in rather cold weather. He had himself taught by children; he wrote, or rather he made marks upon bark, to impress upon his mind what he had been taught. [Page 193] All three have several times passed the night, or little short of it, in being told and retold the Pater Ave, and the Credo in their own language, so that they could recite [57] their rosary. They had deep feeling at their baptism; I was amazed at the courage of one of them, for before he was a Christian he had great fears that his wife would leave him. When he was baptized, he not only lost this fear, but—seeing that she did not urge her own baptism quite strongly enough, in his opinion—he told her plainly, that if she did not hasten to believe in God, he would banish her from his side, and would marry a Christian. These three families are for the present regenerated in the Blood of the Lamb; the wife of Charles is the only one who is now being instructed, although rather slowly: she is a rough and 1 wild creature, who gives a great deal of trouble to the poor man. He came to us one day quite distressed. “You have told me that those who do evil are very often incited to it by Demons; alas!” said he, “then I am always with some Demon, for my wife is always angry; I fear that the Demons she keeps in my cabin are perverting the good that I received in holy Baptism.” And thereupon, folding his arms over his heart, “I [58] assure you,” said he, “that I earnestly believe in God and I wish to obey him ; and, since I have learned that sin drove God from our hearts, when another does evil in my presence, I fear that may bring loss to my soul.”

Another time his wife aimed a knife at his thigh, and he, evading the blow, had only his robe injured, in which this Megera made a great slash. Thereupon he came to us; meeting some Savages on the way, he began to laugh. “See,” said he, “the [Page 195] anger of her who considers me her servant; she thought she would be able to irritate me, but I have more power over myself than to fall into a passion at the anger of a woman.” And looking at his badly-torn garment, “Truly,” said he, “that woman has no sense.” It is strange what enemies the Savages are of anger, and how this sin shocks them.

I know not what this simple man has not done to win her over to God. “If thou wilt believe,” he said to her, “I will love thee above all things; I will wait upon thee in all thy needs, I will even perform the little duties that [59] the women do,—I will go for water and wood; I will love thee more than myself.” He pinched his arm and said to her: “Dost thou see this flesh? I do not love it; it is God whom I love, and those who believe in him. If thou art not willing to obey him, thou must go away from me; for I cannot love those who do not love God.”

His wife derided him: “Dost thou not see that we are all dying since they told us to pray to God? Where are thy relatives, where are mine? the most of them are dead; it is no longer a time to believe.”

“Thou hast no sense,” he replied; “he who has given us life, and who preserves it when we do not believe in him, will he take it away now when we wish to obey him? And even should he take it away, I would not cease to love him; for I do not love him in order to live a long time here on earth, but to see him in heaven. If thou art not willing to believe in him, leave me; if my Father who has instructed me tells me to live alone, I shall obey him; if he allows me to be married again, to a Christian, I shall take her.” When he had been given a list of feast days, and when he [60] observed them in the woods, his [Page 197] wife reproached him for being lazy, and for not hunting,—telling him he would be only a beggar, and that he would have neither food nor raiment. “Your words,” said he to her, “do not shake me; though all you say should happen, I would not cease to obey God. I do not expect from him riches on earth; nevertheless, I hope that he will aid me, and, whatever may be said to me, I shall obey him.” Some Savages, seeing that he threw to the dogs the bones of a beaver that he had caught, accused him of folly, saying that he would catch no more; it is one of their ancient superstitions to throw into the river or into the fire the bones of certain animals, in order that they may have a successful hunt.11 He reproached them for their ignorance: “These animals are made for us,” he said; “it is a deception of the Devil to remain in these superstitions; you are dwelling in falsehoods, and you shut your eyes. to the truth.”

If he were urged to undertake anything in which he suspected there might be sin, “I do not know,” he would say, “if that be permitted me; I will ask my Father, and I will do what he tells me in the case.”

[61] When he went to hunt during the winter, we gave him, as I stated above, a little calendar, on which he marked all the days; we exhorted him also to be in Kebec on good Friday, if it were possible. In this he did not fail; he was there with the French, and was more than three hours in the Church, being present at the Service and at the Passion, although he understood nothing of it. After dinner, he came to confess; and, after his confession, he was still an hour and a half in the chapel. He had eaten nothing [Page 199] during Lent but a little biscuit, and a little seal oil, which he had kept specially for that season. Having confessed and received communion, he went away to hunt; the weather being still favorable to him, he laid in a good supply of Elk meat, but, having given his people orders to come back for him with his shallop, the winds being contrary, he was for a long time, as it were, a prisoner in those great forests, without being able to come to us; on his return, he almost drew tears from our eyes, relating to us how he bore himself in that short banishment.

[62] “I said to God,” declared he, “ ‘Thou who commandest the winds, stay them, that I may go to thy House; I am weary of being so long without confessing, and without seeing the House of prayer.’ ” When he did anything he thought a sin, he immediately fell upon his knees, asked pardon of God for it, and smote himself, in order to take vengeance upon what he thought a fault, and which very often was not,— taking the fear of sin for the sin itself.

His little girl having fallen ill, so that he thought she must die, his wife reproached him, saying that baptism was making her die ; this good man, putting his hope in God, took his rosary, hung it on her neck, and presented her to God with these words: “This child is thine, thou gavest her to me, and I have returned her to thee. Decide upon her life as thou wilt,—thou art the master of it; if thou will that she die, I will submit to it; if thou wilt give her to me again, I will thank thee,—and, as soon as she is grown, I will give her to the virgin Sisters, that she may be instructed. Do as thou [63] wilt; whatever may happen, I shall not cease to believe in [Page 201] thee.” To the astonishment and the consolation of her parents, the child recovered.

Having heard that a certain man spake ill of him, the thought came to him of paying this person off in his own coin, and of divulging some evil that he had learned of him. Upon reflecting over this idea, he became quite confused, and kneeling down, he asked pardon of God, saying within himself: “If those who are not baptized do evil, those who are must not imitate them:” and thereupon he began to pray for the one who calumniated him. Human nature does not go so far as this; these fruits are gathered only in the garden of grace, in the midst of which is planted the tree of the holy Cross, upon which Jesus Christ prayed for his enemies. When he was exhorting a sick man, and pointing out to him the blessings of the other life, “Do not think,” said he, “that the water of Baptism is poured out to heal thy body: it is to purify thy soul, and to give thee a life which cannot die. Baptism was not instituted for a thing so low as our life; [64] our Father who is in heaven does not place us in the rank of dogs, that he should give us only the life common to the beasts.”

Truly, I have heard him say so much about the blessings of faith, and speak in so devout and tender a manner, that I have been greatly astonished; I am vexed with myself, that I have let escape from my memory the good sentiments that God gives him, and many others ; but as these good people expose the impulses of their hearts only when opportunities are offered, and as we then have neither pen nor ink to note them down, we let slip away many of the holy affections of these good Neophytes without [Page 203] noticing them. Add to this, that the similarity of these acts makes me fear being tiresome, because they seem repetitions.

One of these three heads of families was named Achilles by Monsieur the Chevalier de l’Isle, who takes great pleasure in seeing these good people come into the fold of the Church. While men of virtue and merit shall hold the helm here, the faith will flourish: if those who should be [65] eyes, as it were, are ever blinded by vice, the glorious day we now enjoy will soon be changed into darkness. But, speaking of our Neophyte, I do not think less of him than of Charles. It is true, he has not so much influence, he has less eloquence, but I believe his heart to be no less touched; he was very haughty before his baptism, and we did not hope much from him, but God has changed him into a little lamb. His father was a Captain, more beloved by the French than they were by him, and was wretchedly massacred by the Hiroquois; the son has now as many good qualities as the father had bad ones. He was baptized in November, and fell sick in the month of December; they  gave him up for dead. The fear we had that his malady would be attributed to baptism, as it is by the unbelievers, induced us to visit him often; we always came away much consoled. “I am not sad on account of my sickness; I do not fear death. I think continually of God,” said he; “I rejoice that my sins are blotted out; if I die, [66] I hope that I shall go to heaven ; this is what consoles my heart.” He had only one little girl, whom God took from him some time after his baptism; this blow did not unsettle him, nevertheless he avowed to us that he had suffered from it. “My sickness,” said he, [Page 205] “caused me no sadness, but the death of my child somewhat affected me.” God has since given him a fine son.

During the midnight Mass, as he was sick, he remained in his cabin, but was not at all willing to sleep; he passed all that time in prayer, making his laments to our Lord that he could not go to Church as the others did.

A Savage was taking me to Kebec very early in the morning, and, his canoe springing a leak, he landed in front of the Hospital to ask for some fire, that he might repair his little vessel. Meantime, I entered the Chapel, and found there our new Christian on his knees,—his hands joined, and his eyes raised to heaven, but so attentive to his prayer, that he did not perceive me, although I remained there some time, and [67] went out with considerable noise, His devotion moved me; truly, his conduct shows that his heart belongs to God.

He told us, by chance, what had led him to embrace the faith,—a Christian speaking boldly of God before unbelievers, and praying publicly, although disapproved and derided by them, was the cause of his inferring our belief to be a wonderful thing, since a man defended it so courageously at the expense of his honor.

Another man,—his relative, not yet baptized,—being sick unto death, sent for his friends and said to them: “I have been to Kebec; I heard such a Father speak concerning the things of the other life, and all that he said seems to me true. I greatly regret dying before being instructed; go, all of you, to this Father after my death; listen to him, believe what he will tell you, and be baptized: for what those [Page 207] people teach is good.” Then this poor man died; and our Neophyte, already quite willing in his heart,—having met Charles, his Countryman, who

invited him to believe in God,—joined [68] him to come and dwell at Saint Joseph. God has restored his health, but it is not strong ; and, if he becomes greatly fatigued, he has not long to live.

After Charles brought him away this Spring to Tadoussac, he said to me privately: “Oh, what difficulty I had in resolving upon this voyage! It seemed to me when I left the Chapel to go on board, that my heart was being torn out, and I never could have resolved upon starting, had it not been that I hoped to find you at Tadoussac, and that I should be able to confess and receive communion.”

One day after having received our Lord, he said: “My heart is full of joy; I do not know what it says, I know well that it speaks, but I do not understand it,—it goes faster than my thought. It seems to me that what God does for me is wonderful; I tremble, so greatly do I fear to soil what is within me. I think some one tells me within my heart that it must be that I am good, since I believe in him, and no longer commit any evil. If you knew,” said he, “how much I delight in my baptism, and what great joy I experience from it in my heart! it seems to me that I have no longer anything to fear.” As soon as he had a desire [69] to be converted, the Devil laid a great snare for him. The wretched akheabichtichiou 12 of whom I have often spoken in preceding Relations, ashamed to remain among the Christians, who put him out of countenance by their example, resolved to go away with his two wives, whom he could not give up. He used every endeavor to take [Page 209] this artless man away with him, into the country of the Abnaquiois, promising him mountains and marvels, as they say; but this worthy Neophyte responded to him that, having heard of another life, he intended going to see those who were opening the way to it,—that the thing was of too great consequence to be neglected. “Perhaps I shall not have enough intelligence,” said he, “to comprehend what they shall tell me; but, at least, it is good to hear of these wonders.” He came to Saint Joseph, and Makheabichtichiou went away to the country of the Abnaquiois, where he was wretchedly slain this winter; his wives have returned very poor, his eldest son died like a dog, without baptism,—his family is ruined. Behold the end of those who shut their ears to the voice of God who is calling them.

[70] I see well that I shall say the same things, if I endeavor to report the good thoughts of others whom we have baptized; for our Lord gives them the same affections and the same inclinations. I will only say, by the way, that two marriageable young men urged us strongly to baptize them ; finally when we put them off until after their marriage, because we have trouble in marrying the young Christians,—inasmuch as the marriage of Savages generally becomes confirmed only by a similarity of dispositions, or by the children whom God gives them, or by a lapse of

time and long-continued and reciprocal intercourse with each other,—so when we put off our young people, promising them baptism when they should be married, they often came to us and said: “Either baptize us without marrying us, or else find maidens suitable for us. Dost thou wish to cause our perdition? If we should die in the woods, or if some accident [Page 211] should happen to us in hunting, what will become of our souls? Thou makest us tremble by thy account of the fires and torments of Hell, and thou [71] wilt not deliver us from this peril.” Finally, this Spring, when. they were obliged to set out for the war, they both told their Captains they would not march unless they were baptized, and that they feared they might die before receiving this Sacrament; they declared they would not marry at all, unless they found Christian wives. “Much do I care about marriage!” said one of them. “You are not conducting yourselves well,” said he to us; “I speak to you of heaven and of Baptism, and you talk to me of my marrying: will a wife blot out my sins?” He was so thoroughly irritated that he said to us: “I see well how it is, you wish that I may be lost, you make me lose courage; but you shall answer for my soul.” At last, notwithstanding the troubles that we dread on account of their marriages, we baptized them, to their great joy. The younger one has been chosen Captain ; and, since he has become a Christian, our Lord has given him a young Christian wife, who could not love him before he became a child of God. They were married publicly, on the arrival of the Ships.  [Page 213]





ATHER Jean de Brébeuf having come down from the country of the Hurons with Father. François du Peron, was conducted as far as Kebec by the Savages, partly Christians, partly Catechumens. There was among them a man of’ importance and of good sense, a son of the Captain of his Village; but, since in those regions children do not succeed their fathers in these honorable posts as regularly as do nephews on the sister’s side, this man leads a private life in his own country, Nevertheless, as he is clever, and recognized as a man of ability, he is listened to and is much beloved by his Countrymen. Monsieur the Chevalier de Montmagny having learned from the lips of Father de Brébeuf the fine qualities of this good Catechumen, asked if they [73] could not properly baptize him before his departure; the Father answered that this worthy man had not the most ardent desires for it, that they delayed it only to test him further. “He has never,” said the Father, “positively opposed the faith. In our severest persecutions,—when on all sides they were banishing us, and the doors of the cabins and admission to the Villages were being closed to us, he received us charitably, and permitted us to baptize not only his relatives, but even his own children. This last Spring, he cast into the fire the [Page 215] charms which he had for hunting,—declaring aloud that he would like to believe in God, but earnestly, and without pretense,—renouncing publicly all his old customs and all the superstitions of his ancestors. Having gone to the war, he became acquainted with two Christians; and, seeing them retire to the woods to flee the idolatrous rites of their Countrymen, and offer up apart their little prayers, he followed them and prayed as they did. In all the voyage from the country of the Hurons to Kebec, which is very long, he passed no day without invoking the holy Name of God; [74] and he never undertook any rapid, or any dangerous effort, without offering up a prayer and being armed with the sign of the holy Cross, He said sometimes to the Father, that if he returned to his own country without being baptized, he would dread meeting his wife. “She will not fail,” said he, “to cast at me this reproach: ‘It is easily seen that there is something lacking in thy faith; if the Fathers with whom thou hast been a great while, during so long a journey, had judged thee worthy of baptism, they would not have refused it to thee. Perhaps the love of some other woman has hindered thee from pursuing so great a good.’ This,” said he, “is the first salutation that I expect from my wife on arriving at home.” Monsieur the Governor seeing a soul so well disposed, said for this good Neophyte what the Eunuch of Queen Candace said to saint Philip: Ecce aqua: quid prohibet cum baptisari? “There is sufficient water in the country, what then should hinder his baptism since he believes with all his heart in Jesus Christ?” The Fathers readily acquiesced; Monsieur the Governor wished to be his Godfather, and the [75] day was fixed for the Page 217] twenty-sixth of June. The news was carried to this good Catechumen, and he was told that the great Captain of the French had interceded for his baptism; he was enraptured,—joy wholly possessed his heart. The ceremony took place in the Church of saint Joseph, to ‘which the Savages go; there was, at the time, a goodly number of them. Each one ran in haste, to see a Savage from three hundred leagues away come to offer himself for baptism in a Church of the new Christians. These good Neophytes took supreme delight in this pleasing spectacle, and as a mark of their joy they made the air resound with their Spiritual Songs,—so that this good Catechumen exclaimed: “If you should sing these Airs in my country, you would captivate the hearts of all my Countrymen.” At length, Reverend Father Vimont began the holy ceremonies, and Father de Brébeuf questioned him upon his belief and upon his desires; as he is a man of judgment, he was not confused, but responded sedately and firmly to all questions, avowing distinctly that he wished to live and die a Christian, in the observance of the will [76] and of the Commandments of God and of his Church. Monsieur de Montmagny named him Charles, making him bear his own name; he was called in his own language Sondatsaa, of the Village Ososane. As soon as the sacred waters had touched his body, and purified his soul, his godfather caressed him, and said to him: “I rejoice to see you now in the number of God’s children ; inasmuch as you are freed from the bonds of the Demons, fight valiantly, and keep the word that you have given to God. Baptism has given you arms and strength against your unseen enemies,—use them courageously; and since the [Page 219] people that make war upon you desire to destroy you, I will arm you against them.” Thereupon he presented him with a handsome arquebus, which astonished this good Neophyte, for these arms are wholly new to them. “Go,” said he to him, “exhort your Countrymen to embrace the faith which you have received; and assure them, for me, that I will protect them if they put themselves within the pale of the Church.” This speech being finished, the Captain of our Christians of Saint Joseph stood up, and, [77] addressing this new Christian, said to him:

“My brother, all the Savages whom thou seest around thee here are Christians ; we have all forsaken our old customs, we have thrown off the follies and the superstitions of our Nation. Thou canst not imagine the joy of our hearts in seeing that thou hast adopted our belief, and hast chosen this little Church in which to be made our brother. Yes, thou art so now,—we have henceforth but one Father, who is God, and but one common Mother, which is the Church; behold, then, thy brothers who declare to thee, that thy friends are their friends, and that thy enemies are their enemies. And, since our Captain has made thee the gift of a firearm, thy brothers present thee by my hands with powder, that thou mayst use it in thy needs, on thy return.”

To these harangues the good Charles Sondatsaa responded: “Onontio, great Mountain” (it is thus that the Hurons and the Hiroquois call Monsieur our Governor, because his name is de Montmagny), “the name you have given me is a rich present,—it is an obligation [78] that is peculiar to me, and which I shall feel all my life. This gun which you have added will make a great talk in our country,—it will [Page 221] show the regard that you have for believers; this affair is important, your power will touch many, and your present will never be forgotten.” Then turning  around to the Savages:“ My brothers, if your heart has joy in seeing me made a child of God, mine ought to have more, seeing you all in possession of this happiness. You have preceded me, I wish to follow and imitate you ; if you desire to go to heaven, I have the same desire ; if you make profession of keeping the Commandments of God, that is what I have to-day publicly promised and vowed; I hope I shall never belie my word. We have nothing so precious as our porcelain collars; if I were to see a score of them glittering before me, to entice me into sin, I would turn away my eyes, and my heart would have loathing for that in which it has so much delighted. In our Villages, we value highly certain garments and certain robes, which are in favor among [79] us; if what we call beauty should present me with one of these robes, to corrupt me, I would say to her: ‘If the God whom I adore wishes me to use these garments, he will cause me to find them by other ways: sin is banished from my heart, it must never reënter there.’ And if with the same allurements one offered me a barrel of powder, and plenty of firearms, to destroy our enemies, I would reply: ‘He who has purified my soul does not wish that I should sully it anew; he has surely other ways of protecting me; I would prefer losing life to offending him.’ These, my brothers, are the resolutions that I take in my baptism. Moreover, my whole family is already baptized, my children and my nephews are Christians,—there remains but my wife. Not only will she follow my example, but, as I am of some [Page 223] importance in my own country, I hope that others also will be seized with the desire of imitating me,—especially when I shall have related to them the honor that the great Captain of the French pays to Believers, and when I shall tell them of the conversion of peoples who are like us.”

[80] After these harangues they made a feast; each one taking part in this joy blessed God for seeing with his own eyes transformations so strange. The world may say what it will of them, but I believe that some Savages express themselves better in their own language than I do in ours; and their thoughts of God are sometimes so tender that the heart enjoys them more than pen can express. The thing to be regretted is, that it is only those who hear them, who know most. fully these wonders of the great God.

Some time after, this good Neophyte, speaking familiarly to Father de Brébeuf, said to him: “If my wife put off, ever so little, her baptism, I shall cast at her the same reproach that I expected from her; I shall sting her even to the quick. I confess that she is wiser and more correct than I; long ago I had proofs of her fidelity to me; but since I desire to see her as soon as possible in the happiness which I have encountered, if she do not urge her baptism, I shall say to her that the sight of the young men blinds her, and hinders her from seeing the beauty of the law of God; [81] I do not believe that I shall come to that, for she is more inclined to the right than I.”

Hardly was he baptized when he began the practice of Christian living, and the frequent receiving of the Sacraments; he confessed three times before [Page 225] going up to his own country. Having made a trip to the three Rivers, just as I was setting foot in the canoe, to go down to Saint Joseph, this good Neophyte spoke to Father de Brébeuf and begged him to tell me this which follows: “I pray the Father to tell Onontio, the great Captain of the French, that I have no words to thank him, but that I shall find some to declare in my own country the great obligations under which I am to him. It is true that the honor he has done me, and his valuable presents, touch my heart; but all that does not approach the joy and contentment which I experience in being a Christian; he has charged me to make known this favor, and I would not know how to be silent. I take back my own language all entire, it has even improved much in this journey, I shall use it all, and in all places, to publish the truths of our belief.” These words touched me, [82] whereupon I embraced him, and set out with a Christian Pilot and another Catechumen; we were much edified by the faith of this good Neophyte. He added to the Father, that he was truly grieved at not being able to acknowledge, by some present in return, the favors of Monsieur the Governor, the amity of the French, and the love of the Christian Savages. But the Father having replied to him that Monsieur the Governor expected from him nothing but constancy in the faith and steadfast obedience to the Commandments of God, “I hope,” responded he, “that I shall give him complete satisfaction on this point; for it seems to me, from the state of my heart, that nothing can shake me. Nevertheless, as I am frail, if I should happen to stumble, the remembrance of the public and solemn profession which I made at my baptism, of wishing to live [Page 227] and die in the observance of the Commandments of God, will recall me to my duty; and you, my Father,” said this good Neophyte, “if you ever see me wavering in the least, put me in mind of this promise made to God, and you [83] as I hope, shall soon see me with my former firmness.”

He said that three things had deeply affected him at Kebec, first, the prompt obedience and the great respect that was paid to Monsieur our Governor. This splendor and this attention do not exist among the Savages; it is in vain that the Captains command,—the Subjects are not for that more obedient, unless they choose to be.

Secondly, the piety and the charity of the Nuns charmed him. In fact, one of the most powerful motives we have, in manifesting our esteem for God and for the acts which are pleasing to him, is to show how young Maidens, tender and delicate, have forsaken their parents, and their friends, and their country so mild and pleasant, to come into a barren and rugged land, through the hope of an eternal life, and in order to please him who is to give it to them. This makes them believe that the other life must really exist; since, without expecting any other recompense, these good Sisters nurse their sick, give them remedies and food, with wonderful neatness and love, and instruct their [84] children with the affection of true Mothers. The Savages not unfrequently ask us, if these daughters of Captains,—for it is thus they sometimes call them,—have still their fathers and mothers; and, when some of them are pointed out whose parents are yet living, they marvel how these could have resolved upon leaving them. Thereupon they are made to see that Grace has more power [Page 229] than Nature, and that the fires of a heart which loves God are more ardent than their great fields of ice and their deep snows are frigid.

The third thing which extremely edified this good Neophyte and his Countrymen was the devotion and the love of these new Christians. The Savages are not so much astonished to see the French inclined to virtue and to believe firmly in God,—they think that is secured to us even at our birth. But to see. Savages who are like themselves,—accustomed to their own superstitions, and plunged into the vices of their own Nation,—come forth from Baptism every one pure and clean; embrace the faith, and publish it without fear; detest that which they have loved, and trample [85] under foot that which others adore,—that is what amazes them, and makes them say: “If those who are like us are, content with one wife only, if they are firm and constant in their marriages, if they love those even who are not of their own Nation, if they pray to God, and if prayers do them no harm, why should we not imitate them?” Indeed, I have observed that one truly Christian Savage, who is zealous for the faith, accomplishes more among his people than do three Jesuits. [Page 231]




 HAVE thought that this chapter ought to be put next to what we have said concerning the Residence of St. Joseph, not only because this House is built in the neighborhood of the Savages, but also because the charity of these good Sisters cobperates powerfully with the settling down of those who withdraw to this newly-begun Village. [86] It is a strange thing how cold these people are, and how exempt they appear from marveling at those things which astonish us ; however they are not so, their heart is touched as well as ours, but does not betray itself so much. I have sometimes heard Savages use this language: “Nikanis, we are amazed that these good Sisters, so delicate, have left so goodly a country as you have described to us; that they have abandoned their parents to come and dwell among us; and, what is more wonderful, that they give us food, and take care of us in our sickness, Chekher,” that is to say, without expectation of any recompense.

Our Lord, who has given to Madame the Duchess d’ Aiguillon the thought of founding a House of Mercy at this end of the World, also suggested to her the place where it ought to be built. Now, as she had wisely referred the matter to those who were in the country, they, in the beginning, conceived thoughts contrary to her inclinations; but, after having carefully considered the affair before God, they judged [Page 233] that the reasons [87] which these good Sisters advanced for having some dwelling place near the Savages, would outweigh those contrary opinions. In fact, if they had been sent away from the Savages, these poor people might never have had themselves carried to the Hospital, but in their last moments; and thus, the Barbarians would have called this House “the House of death,” and not “the House of health,” or “of Mercy,” as some call it. This great Lady, writing upon this subject, speaks in these words: “I am indeed very glad because they have decided that the House of these good Sisters shall be established at Saint Joseph. Without doubt, the fruit thereof will be greater, for it appears to me that conversions which take place in the beginning of sicknesses are more assured than those which take place so near death;” and as the comfort which the poor Savages have therein will doubtless contribute much to their recovery, that is very true.

These good people were so overjoyed when they knew the day the Nuns were to come into their new House, that the chief men among them [88] leaped forthwith into their canoes, to go themselves and bring them. They took our Reverend Father Superior, and some of our other Fathers, in one of their little boats, and these good Sisters in another, and soon brought them to the place where their desires already were. As soon as the Savages who had remained at St. Joseph perceived the canoes, they ran to meet them, expressed the most lively joy, and carried away in an instant all their little baggage; every one was eager to render them some slight service. God knows what were the thoughts and feelings of these good Mothers, when they saw that [Page 235] Barbarians, whose very name causes fear, and whose gaze, at first, appals, were running to meet them,—in raiment fashioned like that of Saint John the Baptist,—as a sign of their good will, more replete with affection and sincerity than with politeness.

They entered into this new House on the first of December, last year. If they had not been vigorously assisted, this House, in so destitute a country, would have dragged on for a much longer time; it is not yet finished. He who begins to build [89] does not so soon come to the end. It is useless to do as did that man who wished to build a tower: Sedens computabat sumptus suos, it is useless to count one’s principal and income ; one always finds himself short in these undertakings,—especially in a country where everything is twice as dear as in France, and where the few Workmen who are to be found, do not hire themselves for a price in silver, but for loads of gold.

I am grateful to a Lady of merit and rank, whose goodness is well known by its effects, for having given the first alms to this Hospital since its foundation. She knows well that Madame the Duchess d’Aiguillon has a large heart; but she is also not ignorant that this heart loves and cherishes both the new and the old France ; and that the distress which in so deplorable a time meets her eye, is as grievous to her as that which crosses the Ocean to come to her ear. She has so much modesty and humility—rather let us say charity—that she considers it a favor that the elect souls should accomplish good even at the ends of the World. I am mistaken in my reckoning, it was the Gentlemen of New France [90] who first coöperated in this great Work, notwithstanding the slight success of their temporal affairs. [Page 237]

I learn that they have also contributed some linen for the poor Savages of Saint Joseph, and for the sick of the Hospital; I pray God that he may be their great reward. A worthy person sent them this year a beautiful Sun, and a beautiful Pyx, silver-gilt, for their Chapel. I believe that all those who love works of Mercy, will be consoled in reading what I am going to say of this little House.

First, these good Sisters, accustomed to practice deeds of charity most repugnant to their feelings and to nature, gather in all the abandoned Savages. Not many days ago, Father de Quen wrote in these terms to the Reverend Father Superior: “ I sent to the Hospital that good old man, Adam, the most aged of the Savages. I rescued him from the death which these Barbarians intended to cause him by a rope, in order to rid themselves of a burden that greatly oppressed them. I begged our Frenchmen who were going down there to take him in their bark: [91] I do not doubt that the Mothers will receive him willingly; they have already fed and aided him, during the whole of last winter. This worthy man has no other malady than that which he began to contract more than a hundred years ago.”

Secondly, all sick persons, both French and Savage, are welcome in this House, and the only regret of the Mothers in the discharge of their duties is their powerlessness to relieve them with the same ministrations that they would have in France,—the country being still wholly new, bare, and destitute of the wealth with which Europe overflows.

In the third place, as soon as a Savage feels ill, he goes to the Hospital to be purged and bled ; some of them go to ask for medicine, which they take in their [Page 239] own cabins. I learn that the Mothers have treated more than one hundred and fifty of them this year.

In the fourth place, this House is not only a refuge for the sick, but also for the needy poor. When these good Mothers see that dearth oppresses these poor people, they provide food for the poorest, and make them come into the sick Ward, where the Reverend Father Superior, or [92] some one of our Fathers who knows the Language, is found, to join the spiritual alms to the material.

In the fifth place, as Saint Joseph is about a league and a half distant from Kebec,—where the Ursuline Mothers have made their retreat, the better to retain and instruct their little Seminarists, permanent as well as temporary, who would be less yielding and more inconstant if with their relatives,—the little Savages, who would not be able to go so far to those good Mothers, meet together at the house of the Hospital Sisters, to be instructed there; they have so much zeal for learning, that they even become importunate. Such are the fruits that this holy House produces, and, if their forces increase, fruits will increase in proportion,—for great acts of love are the true Miracles which touch the hearts of Greeks and of Barbarians. In short, one can say of the Savages, what Jacob did in speaking of God: Si dederit mihi panem ad vescendum, et vestimentum ad induendum, erit mihi Dominus in Deun. If you help the Savages, you will possess them all.

[93] The following is what I read in a paper which the Mother Superior gave me: “ We have received and helped in our Hospital sixty-seven sick Savages, and one Frenchman; we have maintained, during the winter, the poor and the infirm who were not [Page 241] able to follow their tribesmen to the hunt; seven persons have been baptized in our House, and only four of our sick ones have passed away to the other life,—and these, with more than probable signs of their salvation. The Frenchman who left us to enter into eternal rest, had the patience of Job: his complaints were not of the paltry help that we in our poverty gave him, but that he could not perform his usual devotions; and notwithstanding, we observed that he recited every day the Office of Our Lady, and his rosary. I do not in the least doubt that God inspired his coming to this end of the world, in order to lead him to heaven.” This young man honored and loved righteousness from his arrival at Kebec, and never did .he belie his profession, after he gave himself wholly to God.

Jean Sakitounegouchit was never [94] cast down, either at death, or in his sickness. The new Christians have an inexpressible strength which animates them, and consoles them in their afflictions. This good Neophyte wishing to avoid temptations to sin among those of his nation, had gone to be for some months with the Fathers of our Society, who are at the three Rivers; he gave proofs of a lively faith and of constancy. At the time they intended to marry him, he fell sick with a sort of pleurisy,—an abscess formed in his side, he was unable to breathe, the fever greatly tormented him ; but his troubles never drove him into impatience, or complaints. They often asked him if he were not sad: “Not at all,” replied he. It is a great blessing of God, and a very great mercy, to see a young man in the prime of life go to the tomb with as much joy as he would go to marriage. The Mother Superior speaks thus of him: [Page 243] “He was meekness itself; he never asked for anything, he took with a most ready obedience all that was given him, without asking if it were bitter or sweet. He took very great [95] pleasure in hearing of God, and often he was seen praying with great devotion ; he confessed and received communion every week; he was present every day at holy Mass. In brief, it was necessary to restrain him some time before his death, as his fervor augmented his suffering.” When he saw himself without hope of recovering his health, he said he had left some pelts at the three Rivers ; he begged the Mothers to see to it that his debts should be paid from these, and that with the surplus they should grant an alms to the poor Savages of his country. He received in great peace the Holy Viaticum and Extreme Unction; in a word, neither in his sickness, nor in his death, did he show any fear,—passing from this life as if he had been assured of going straight to heaven.

“The little Anne Oupitabanoukwe, about 13 or 14 years old, consoled us much in her illness; she had a great desire to be baptized. As soon as she had been instructed in regard to this Sacrament, she showed herself attentive, and her malady, although very distressing, did not hinder her from listening; yet to other conversation [96] she gave almost no attention. Having been regenerated by the Blood of the Son of God, we spoke to her of receiving his sacred Body; this doctrine caused her affection to be redoubled, and, as she had an excellent mind, she was soon capable of receiving this blessed food. Being in an agony she appeared neither to see nor hear; but, as soon as she was spoken to of God, she seemed to recover her senses,—showing [Page 245] by a sign that she took pleasure in hearing of him whom she now enjoys.”

Francoise Ounatchiganikwe feared death extremely, at the beginning of her sickness ; as soon as she was baptized, and was taught that after this life there would be another full of happiness, she lost this fear, although her malady was very tedious, and she had no strength. She was so modest that they never noticed in her the least impropriety. “All the Savage maidens are very modest,” said the Mother, “and filled with bashfulness. They are never seen playing with little boys; and when, one day, a quite young child [97] was brought into the sick ward with its parent, who came to be instructed, the girls asked the Mother for permission to make it go away, pleading that it was a boy ; they treated him so rudely that he did not come back again.

“One of the delights that we have in dwelling at Saint Joseph,” say these good Mothers, “is the comfort of seeing the Savages every day; their devotion charms us. This Spring, when they returned from the hunt, dragging after them their great sleds, they stopped before our Hospital, and came to offer up their little prayers in our Chapel, then they went on their way ; these acts are replete with joy for us. No day has passed, this Summer, without some one of them hearing holy Mass in our Church. I have seen,” said the Mother Superior, “little girls so attentive in reciting their rosary, that-their companions coming for them to go and play, or to return home—they would not leave the Chapel until they had finished them. Often these little souls come to us [98] and say: ‘ My Mother, hear us repeat what the Fathers have taught us of [Page 247] the Catechism, so that we may know our lesson well.’ ” That is enough of this subject; let us say a few words about the simplicity and the candor of these good people. When any one of them has been cured by a remedy, all the other sick ask for a similar one, although their disorders may be quite different. A poor woman having repaired to the Hospital, with two of her children, of whom one was sick, two medicines were ordered, one for the child, and the other for the mother; in the morning the two cups were offered to the mother. Now as it is the custom among these people to share with each other what they eat, or what they drink, this good creature took her daughter’s potion in her hand, first tasted it herself, then gave it to her two children to drink, one after the other; having emptied the first cup, she took the second, and distributed it in like manner, each one drinking in turn. A fine way, that, of taking medicine!

Madame the Duchess d’Aiguillon, having [99] sent to the Chapel of her Hospital a beautiful Crucifix,—on one side of which is the blessed Virgin, who points out to our Lord this good Lady, and on the other Saint John, who points out Monseigneur the Cardinal, and the little Savages painted all about him,—these good people, especially the women and young girls, ran to see this lifelike Picture. Now, as the Mothers had made known to them the obligations under which they were to this great Lady, these good people were not content with simply looking at this beautiful Portrait,—they were obliged to express the actions that impressed their eyes. The little girls said to each other, speaking of Madame the Duchess, “She is on her knees;” forthwith all [Page 249] fell upon their knees. “Her hands are folded;” immediately all folded theirs. “ She is looking at our Captain, who died on the Cross for us;” all raised their eyes and looked attentively at the Crucifix. “She is praying to God;” at once they began to repeat the prayers they knew. Then, having made their petitions, they stood up, and making a low courtesy. to this Lady, proceeded to kiss her, with more simplicity [100] and candor than grace; and then they went away quite content. It is not the custom of the Savages to salute each other with a kiss; but as Madame de la Pelterie quite often embraces and kisses these poor girls on meeting them, these good creatures imagine that this act is of price and value, as they say, and that they must imitate her, in order to do right.

The Mothers speak in their account only of those who have died in their House. They do not see the results that proceed from their Hospital: for those who recover their health, go back to their cabins, without often letting them know the good which this charity has wrought in their souls. A part of what we related in the chapter on the Residence of Saint Joseph ought to be attributed to this House of Mercy; for the Savages, having received therein help in their sicknesses have been firmly won to God. I know one, among others, who was taken to this House by one of our Fathers, who went for him to the woods, where his Countrymen had abandoned him: this good young man, [101] having recovered his health through the care of these good Mothers, was so deeply affected, that he not only urgently solicited his baptism, but resolved to remain all his life among us, in order to be more fully instructed therein; and his relatives [Page 251] were in no wise able to make him renounce this project. They did their best to dissuade him from it, but all their efforts only served to make his constancy apparent. This is not all ; as St. Bernard won his brothers, who endeavored to prevent him from entering the Religious life, even so, this young man will call and will bring with him those who wished to hinder him from listening to Jesus Christ: for I learn that one of the chief among them already wavers, saying that he is inclined to believe in God as does his younger brother.

I shall conclude this chapter with the death of a dear dove,—this is Mother de sainte Marie, whom God has taken from us: Pretiosa in conspectu Domini mors sanctorum ejus. Oh, how precious before God is the death of this Bride of Jesus Christ! She was .somewhat ill after leaving France, from a cold or congestion which seized her at the [102] time of setting sail; the illness increased upon the sea, and still more upon land. Since her arrival here she has preached more forcibly to the Savages by her patience, and by her resignation, and by her cheerfulness in a lingering and painful sickness than three Preachers could have done with all their eloquence. She often dragged herself into the ward for the sick, to have the comfort of seeing them ; we took pleasure in meeting her there, with a group of these poor Barbarians, in order to teach them resignation by the example of this poor .sick woman. They could not comprehend how a young girl, so affectionate and delicate, was able to forget her country and her parents, with such cheerfulness as she showed in her face and in her words.

Sieur Giffard, who treated her in her sickness, [Page 253] told her that there was no hope for her life,—that she had three mortal diseases; this innocent soul began to laugh, showing herself as joyous at the news of death, as another would have done at the news of life. We did not fail to report all this to the Savages, who took [103] rare pleasure in going to see her; she caressed them, smiling, which moved them exceedingly. Virtue has more eloquence than Aristotle or Cicero.

One of us asked her, one day, if she had no regret at having crossed the sea, at having left a house that could relieve her, and that would have found the proper remedies to restore her health; if the poverty of this country, the inconvenience of the dwelling, the absence of so many good sisters, the lack of food suitable for a sick person, did not cause her some sadness. This dear dove, looking at him with an eye which revealed the sincerity of her heart, said to him: “My Father, if I were in France, and I should be offered all the honors capable of enticing a heart, I would leave them all that I might come to Canada, even if I were sure of finding here the disease that afflicts my body; for it seems to me that the resignation I experience in my heart, and the patience that I have in a very long and very painful sickness, have been given me by God, for the sake of Canada, to be offered by me to his [104] Majesty, without reserve, taking pleasure in coming to sacrifice my life to him in the service of the poor Savages.” If an Angel were capable of our desires, he would wish for ability to speak and to suffer like this maiden.

At last this beautiful soul was released from its body, on the fifth of the month of March; she filled [Page 255] her poor sisters with grief, and our hearts with joy; she left a sweet perfume of her virtues to the French and to the Savages. Being in an agony as the paroxysm suffocated her from time to time, then gave her some freedom of breath, she was so composed that she said, at times, “This last stroke is indeed long in coming.” She was asked now and then if her heart were at peace; but one needed only to look at her face to see the peace of her soul. At length, feeling death near, she exclaimed: “This is the stroke! Adieu, my Mother,” said she to her Superior, and with that breath her life ended. Some of the inhabitants told us, after her death, that they looked upon it as a favor that this saint had crossed the sea, to come and leave so sacred a deposit in their country; and they [105] believed that, by her merits and by her prayers, our Lord would bless these regions. If two brave Sisters—with their dowry, so as not to be a burden—would come to take the place of this dove, they would still find the perfume of her virtues. “ We are too few in number,” say these good Mothers, “ for all the burdens that must be borne at this end of the world. ” Two generous souls could here gather palms that would approach to a minor Martyrdom: for the dangers of the Ocean, the prison floating at the will of the tempests, the poverty of a wholly new country, the rigor of the winters, are tyrants which do not take away the joy of steadfast souls; but which fill their garlands with lilies, roses, and palms. [Page 257]





 BELIEVE that the poor Church of the Three Rivers has been beaten this year by more kinds of winds than pilots and mariners have marked on their wind roses or on their charts. There has occurred there, from time to time, a gathering of different Nations, who have indeed given exercise to our Fathers. They have seen there Savages from the Island, those of the petite nation, of the Attikamegues, of the Montagnais, of the Oukotoemis,13 of the Ounatchataronons, and many others,—in peace, in war, and in little jealousies, one toward another; so that the bad harmed the good, and the Demons revived superstitions that are no longer seen at Saint Joseph, and which seemed to be extinguished at the Three Rivers. But let us listen to what Father Jacques Buteux and [107] Father Jean de Quen write of this in the letters which they have sent to our Reverend Father Superior, and in the accounts they have transmitted to me. “ The Christians of Saint Joseph who have come up here are doing very well. The fewer of them that can come, for the present, the better it will be for them ; for the Savages recently arrived from lands of divers countries, not having yet had any instruction, resuscitate the old superstitions; they make the drums rattle, of which there was almost no longer remembrance ; they revive the [Page 259] belief in dreams, that had been almost wholly forgotten. Those who have come from places nearer to the Hurons have brought I know not what dance or diabolical superstition, which has given us much trouble. Pride is reigning here, and the famine which is pinching these poor wretches will not succeed in bringing it down. The fear that they have of their enemies, prevents their going to the hunt so that their lives may be sustained. Every day and every night they have visions ; they see, so they say, the Hiroquois behind their corn, they see them in the woods; they see canoes floating, they see them lying still; they [108] see those that pursue them; they observe attentively the tracks of their enemies on the sand; they identify the place where they have slept, the trees from which they have gathered fruit, they even hear them yelling in the depth of the forest,—they give a thousand false alarms to our Frenchmen. And in all this there is but a single truth—to wit, that a vain fear of death engenders all these phantoms in their imagination, and turns them from the true fear which they ought to have of offending Him who alone can strengthen their hearts. Fugit impius nemine persequente. The reproaches that were formerly made to us are being recommenced here: these new visitors tell us that prayers cause them to die, that to be baptized and to see very soon the end of life are the same thing. If a Christian be sick, or if he happen to die, it is Baptism which has deprived him of life; it is in vain to tell them that many more Unbelievers die than Believers,—the Devil takes his opportunity, and blinds their eyes to the known truth. This last winter, all the Savages who are here having met together, and being shut up as in a fort, the [Page 261] poor Christians suffered [109] the insolence and the evil example of the Pagans. Among their superstitions they had begun one, brought from the upper countries, which was to last three nights, during which the Savages run through the cabins with the shrieks and yells of Demons. The finest act of this tragi-comedy consists in this point,—the girls and women begin to dance, and some men take the Juggler or Sorcerer under the arms, and make him walk over the glowing coals without being burned. Father Buteux,—having secretly had notice, from a Christian, of the time when this diabolical farce was to be played for the healing of a sick woman,—prompted by zeal for the glory of our Lord, went to the cabins about ten o’clock at night, accompanied by Father Poncet; and, inveighing as strongly as he could against these insolencies, accosted the Captain of the Savages from the Island, who alone could check these disorders, as being the chief author and promoter of them. This man, naturally colder than ice, became excited, and reproached the Father, saying to him that Baptism and prayers made the [110] Savages die; the Father replied to him that their sins and sorceries were the cause of their death. At this clamor, the Savages ran in haste from all sides, and alarm was manifest in their camp; the Christians said nothing, being few in number, but the Pagans yelled at the top of their voices; I would be too diffuse in relating all that took place then. In short, this Captain, carried away with anger, threw burning cinders at the eyes of the Father, and took a rope as if he intended to strangle him, threatening to kill him. The Father very coolly presented his neck, but this Barbarian proceeded no further. At last [Page 263] some Savages begged the Fathers to withdraw, which they did; and this diabolical superstition was stopped for that time.”

The French, having learned of the affront that had been made to the Father at their very door, were much troubled. Monsieur de Chanflour, the commandant at the Three Rivers,14 sent for this Captain in order to obtain satisfaction, notwithstanding the entreaty the Father made him to cast all this into oblivion. As this Barbarian was subtle and crafty, he perceived his defeat; he admitted, indeed, that he had thrown cinders at the [111] Father, and that he was ready to receive the same, in reparation for his fault: “But as for the rope which I took in my hand,” said he, “it was never in my mind to bind the Father, much less to strangle him. But, when he reproached me with making the Savages die by my charms, and I, in my anger, reproached him with making them die by prayers, I took a noose, to show him that, if we both spoke truly, we both merited death: to have made an attempt upon his life, that is what never entered my head.” The catastrophe of this tragedy was, that these fine Physicians were not at all able to cure their patient. This is one specimen of the squalls and tempests which have occurred this year at divers times, at the Three Rivers. These thorns have not prevented the upspringing of roses: let us offer some of these upon the altar of our Lord.

“The Church which is beginning to grow in this Residence was composed of eighty Neophytes, in the month of January. Those who are capable of instruction come [112] once every day to the Chapel to hear holy Mass; the slanders of their unbelieving Countrymen have not been able thus far to hinder [Page 265] them from it, neither does the severity of the cold, the snow, the ice, the distance of their cabins, or the hour of Mass, which is at daybreak, keep them away. They often receive the Sacraments; it is this which nurtures them and sustains them in the faith; in a word, they conduct themselves very well, and would do better still, if their eyes were not shocked by the evil example of their relatives and unbelieving Countrymen.” I have been informed that thirty-two Neophytes received communion on the feast of St. Peter and Saint Paul ; that is not a few for a Church which has just been founded, and which is still nourished only by bread mingled with tears: but let us come down more to details.

A young Christian, being more than a hundred leagues from the Three Rivers, and in a cabin of the pagans, introduced prayers; he pronounced them first, and all the others responded. If any one killed a beaver, or some other animal, [113] he knelt down on the spot, and returned thanks to God.

An extremely proud woman was so changed by her baptism, that she has become as docile as a little lamb: she has an incredible eagerness to be instructed. If she goes some time without receiving the Sacraments, she comes back longing for these living waters, like a deer pursued by hunters. A young man of her family having fallen sick, begged her to send for one of their Jugglers, that he might chant and breathe upon him, after their fashion; this good woman was angry at him. “ I would rather,” said she to him, “ see thee die, than that God be offended through my instrumentality ; have recourse to him who made thee; these deceivers could not cure thee.”

She exhorts the new Christians to give a good [Page 267] example to Believers and Unbelievers, to the end that the holy Name of God may not be blasphemed. The fear of God and of sin is so perceptibly impressed upon the hearts of these good Neophytes that even the children begin to take the side of virtue: [114] if their fathers and mothers, through inadvertence or through old habit, let any bad words escape from their lips, these poor little ones tell them that they ought to confess, and that they are offending God and chasing him from their cabins, so as to let in the wicked Manitou.

On Sundays and Feast days they are all present together at a Mass, which is said expressly for them: for, as the Chapel is too small to hold the French and the Savages, they are called separately to divine Service. First, they are made to pray aloud, then they are given a little instruction in their own language; afterward, they chant the aspersion. During the elevation of the host they are made to perform some acts of faith, of hope, and of charity: and, after the holy Office, they are made to sing some spiritual Hymn, which fosters devotion in their hearts.

A worthy woman, recently baptized, having been invited to a feast, and seeing that they talked of eating everything, according to their old superstition, wished to decline, saying that Christians were not permitted to partake of feasts by which God was offended. [115] She who made the feast said to her: “The Fathers do not forbid you to be present at these feasts, but forbid you to make them.”  “The Fathers,” replied she, “forbid us excess.”  “Very well then,” said she who had invited her; “commit no excess; eat only what you please;” the good creature agreed to this, protesting that she would [Page 269] never act contrary to the obligations of her baptism.

A young girl of the Iroquet Nation having had some instruction down there during the Autumn, spent the winter among the Hurons ; and, seeing that in the Village where she was, a thousand blasphemies were spit forth against God, and against us, she took up personally the cause of God, and our defense. They were never able to prevent her saying her prayers; her parents told us, that through her means they had learned to pray to God.

In spite of all the attacks of the Devil, the Unbelievers are, however, opening their eyes by degrees,—so that they are becoming softened and tamed, giving us hopes of their conversion. A certain man who appeared as obstinate as [116] the others, being pursued by the Hiroquois, had recourse to prayer; and when he was asked what he said, he repeated the Pater and the Ave, which he had learned in a few days from a poor blind woman who had been instructed and baptized at the Hospital.

What I am going to say of the Attikamegues, concerns this Residence, because the Fathers who are here instruct them,—but very seldom, for they make their appearance only like flashes of lightning. The Savages of this country call them Attikamegues, from the word “ Attikamegou,” which signifies a certain white fish. I have not seen in France any like this ; it has a very good flavor ; and perhaps it was through finding abundance of it in the country of these good people, that they were given the name of the fish. They dwell in the lands to the North of the Three Rivers ; they have dealings with other Nations still more distant from our settlements; they come down by the river which we call in the Savage [Page 271] tongue, “Metaberoutin,” and in the French, “the Three Rivers,15 to trade at the warehouse of the Gentlemen of New France. During the stay which they make there, our Fathers who are at the Residence [117] of la Conception, at the Three Rivers, carry on a different traffic with them,—they promise them in the name of Jesus Christ an Eternity of glory for an obedience of short duration. These good people had promised that they would come nearer to us, in order to be instructed; but the fear of the Hiroquois, the common enemy of all the Savages, who have relations with the French, has made them abandon this idea; so much so, that, having come down to the Three Rivers this Spring, this is what they said to Father Jacques Buteux: “ We promised thee last year,” said their Captain, “ that we would come and dwell a day’s journey from your Settlement, as much in order to learn the way to heaven as to cultivate the land. We had a meeting concerning this subject in our country, and every one approved of this design; but the boasts of the Hiroquois made us suspend its execution. We are not men of war,—we handle the paddle better than the javelin; we love peace; that is why we keep as far as possible from occasions for fighting. If we could overcome [118] these people who wish to massacre us, we would very soon be near you, for we have a great desire to be instructed.” In fact, these good people are more often with us than at the warehouse where they buy their provisions.

After the speech of this Captain, one of his people came to the Father in private, in order to be more fully instructed. The Father having explained to him at various times a good part of our belief, this [Page 273] worthy man at departing begged that he would give him a chaplet and an Image, before which he could say his prayers ; besides, he asked for a paper on which the prayers, that he ought to say, should be written. The Father, seeing the simplicity of this honest man, granted him all that he requested, although he knew well that this poor Savage could not read; but, not unfrequently, they take their papers, offer them to God, and say to him: “ I have a desire to tell thee all that is here within; if I knew how, I would say it to thee at full length.” Some months afterward, this good man, having returned, came to see the Father and showed the image that had been given him. [119] “ It is not as white,” said he, ‘I as when I received it from thy hand, it is the smoke of the cabin that has blackened it. I took it out of my pouch every day, and hung it up in my cabin; and my wife, and I, and all my family, knelt down to say our prayers night and morning. I often said to my wife: ’ I am very sorry that I do not know all that ought to be said to our Father who has made heaven and earth. ’ I have no understanding; thou wouldst do me a great favor,” said he to Father Buteux, “ if thou wouldst give me the means of having some, and if thou wouldst teach me the way to remember rightly all the prayers I must offer to God. Take courage! teach me every day while I am with you; do not speak to me about anything but my salvation,—that is what I wish to know. The fire that is below is much to be feared ; I hope I shall not go there, for He who is good will help me to believe in him.” Having said this, he drew forth his paper: “ Now then, my Father,” said he, “ see if I have remembered well the prayers which thou [Page 275] didst teach me, and which I had thee write on this paper: look at it, and listen to me, so as to see if I have forgotten anything.” The Father [120] was quite at a loss ; for he had put only the initial letters of several prayers and of several acts of virtue which he had taught him, but which he no longer remembered. He bethought himself of this evasion: “ But rather,” said he to him, “ begin first thyself ; say aloud what I have taught thee, that I may see if thou hast changed anything.” This good Savage began to recite not only what was marked on his paper, but all that he had been taught, with such fidelity, that the Father remained much delighted, and greatly astonished at him. ‘“I must confess,” adds the Father, “ that no Savage has ever touched me more than this one, not only by the candor and simplicity with which he acted, and the feeling of devotion which he manifested, but by the attention that he gave to my words, and the eagerness that he had to know the doctrine of salvation. As soon as I spoke to him of Baptism, he asked for it with the greatest ardor. ‘ Do not fear,’ said he to me, ‘ I shall not turn back; I earnestly believe, and my Father will aid me to obey him.’ I wished to test him before his people,” says the Father; “ he always proved himself to be firm and steadfast,—-so [121] that I had appointed a day for his baptism ; but an alarm about the Hiroquois coming on that very day, these people fled immediately into the country, and he with them, fearing those warriors more than Demons.”

The newly-baptized Neophytes greatly help their Countrymen ; one of those who had retired to Sillery, being at the Three Rivers during the stay of these Attikamegues, who are of his kindred, said to one of [Page 277] them who was being instructed: “ We shall be very soon relatives indeed ; my true relatives are those who believe in God, and who are baptized, for I shall be eternally with them. We have only one Father, who is God ; since thou desirest to know him, thou wilt very soon be among my relations. The kinship that we have according to the flesh, is a trifling matter: thou must be baptized, to be my true relative.” Flesh does not know this language: it is not spoken on earth, it comes from heaven. [Page 279]





HERE is a certain Apostate in the district of this Residence, called by his own people Oumasatikweie, that is to say, “the toad:”l6 this wicked man has more venom in his heart and in his tongue than that unsightly creature has in its whole body. He was baptized during a severe sickness; having recovered, he did not imitate those who openly confessed in health the faith which they had received in their sickness,—he has publicly declared himself the enemy of God and of Christianity, using his utmost efforts to dissuade those who would be inclined to embrace it. He wished to prevent a certain man named Piescars, of whom I shall speak, a man somewhat noted among his people, from receiving holy Baptism; but the Devil has been overcome in one of [123] his most powerful instruments, and God has triumphed in a soul which has borne faithful witness ; this good Neophyte was named Simon by Monsieur de Chanflour, the commandant of the fort at the Three Rivers. When he saw that the Unbelievers, and especially this wretched Apostate, tormented him about the plan he had for being baptized, he desired to make his baptism as solemn as was possible,—protesting by this very public act that he did not wish to believe in secret like Nicodemus, propter metum Judæorum, but that he wished [Page 281] fearlessly to raise the standard of the Cross wherever he might happen to be. Some time before his baptism he called together the chief Savages, and said to them: “I have resolved to be a Christian; I am no child,—I know well what I am doing. I do not doubt that many will disapprove of my intention: but the doctrine which has been taught me seems to me so beautiful and so true, that, although the whole, world should spurn it, I would embrace it with all my heart, even should I be alone in my resolve. ” Seeing that some of them bent down their heads, as a sign that these [124] words had shocked their ears, the next day he made a second charge upon them; he went out in open view, and began shouting aloud among the cabins, according to the custom of the country. When the Captains and chief Savages wish to announce anything publicly, they have no other trumpets than their voices, which they make resound through their Villages, or in the places where they have gathered their cabins. This man went about, shouting at the top of his voice: “ Men, listen to my words!” Immediately every one was silent in the cabins, and, as a sign that they were listening, some responded “Ho, ho!”  “I have already told some of you that I believed in God, and that I wished to be baptized: I now say it publicly. I am doing nothing secretly,—the matter being of itself good and holy, it is not necessary to conceal it. Let whoever will disapprove, my decision is made, I shall be baptized to-morrow.” Having said this he reëntered his cabin; and the Apostate came out from his, vomiting from his mouth poison, with which he endeavored to infect all his Countrymen. “ I see indeed,” he exclaimed, “that he who has just spoken is willing [Page 283] to let himself be deceived by the French. [125] Well and good; let him be deceived, since he wishes to be, but he will be the only one of his company, for no one desires to follow him; some vain hope urges him, for which we care nothing. They baptized me when I was sick unto death ; as soon as my mind returned to me, I disavowed all that I had then said.” Our Catechumen hearing this speech, became the more aroused; he went to Father Buteux, and related to him all that had taken place. “Let us go to the Chapel,” he said to him, “ I mean to make another public denunciation of this Apostate’s insolence; but before undertaking it, I wish to commend the matter to our Lord.” Having offered his prayer, he went toward the cabins, raised his voice, and cried with fiery zeal: “ I have already told you many times that I intended to be baptized, I persevere in my resolution. Whoever has anything to say against me, let him hasten, for it is to-morrow that I shall be baptized; I was to be to-day, but, as the young men are absent, I am awaiting their return, so that they may learn by my example not to fear slanderous tongues, [126] when so holy an act is in question.”

The next day, he came to present himself for holy Baptism, before receiving which, he made this address to those who were present: “Listen, young men! Perhaps, while you see me at the door of this Church, you are saying in your hearts, ‘Here is one who is doing well; Pieskars is going to be a friend of the Frenchmen. He will be favorable to us, he will not lack beautiful robes, he will have provisions in abundance.’ These perhaps are your thoughts; but you are mistaken. Know that Pieskars does not [Page 285] become a Christian for any human consideration—it is to avoid the flames of the other life; it is to be the child of God, and to go some day to heaven: this is ,the purpose of Pieskars. ” Having said this, he threw himself at the feet of the Father, asking for holy Baptism, which was granted him, to the joy of all those who delight in the salvation of these peoples. Since his Baptism, he has lived in the practice of Christianity,—going about boldly, consoling the Christians, and confounding the Unbelievers by his example. This man is from the Island. The other one of whom I shall speak is of the petite Nation of the Algonquins,—less thwarted [127] by men, but perhaps more violently attacked by Demons.

While he was still a Catechumen, Father Buteux told him he must no longer beat his drum,—for his trade was that of the Jugglers, or Charlatans of the country, whom some call Sorcerers. This good man resolved to obey him, but he intended to play a witty little trick at the burial of his drum, so he begged the Father to come and see him the following day. As the Father was approaching the cabin, this Charlatan took his drum, and exciting himself after the manner of the Jugglers, he made it resound so loudly that the Father, hearing it far away, stopped suddenly. A Savage, set to watch by our Catechumen, accosted him, without seeming to notice anything unusual; the Father asked who was beating the drum. “It is,” said he, ” one named Wabiriniwich, who is breathing upon some sick person, and singing to him.” The Father, hearing him name his Catechumen, turned away thoroughly indignant, imagining that this man had deceived him. The Savage invited him to enter, but the Father would [Page 287] not listen to him. The poor Catechumen, seeing [128] that, took his drum, broke it into pieces, and threw it to his dogs. “ I wished,” said he, “ to entertain the Father, and make him an eyewitness of the value that I set upon my drum, by giving it to the dogs in his presence; but, although he would not enter, it shall nevertheless be cast into eternal oblivion.” When the Father heard this story, he was really pleased at having been piously deceived by this good Neophyte, who was named Paul at his baptism.

As soon as he became a Christian, he invited the chief Savages to a feast, in order to give them an account of the motives that had induced him to seek baptism so earnestly : “ The life that we lead here below is short; we are taught that there is another, filled with eternal blessings, which cannot be obtained unless we be washed in the water of baptism; this water then must be of great importance,—we are told that those who despise it must expect only an eternal fire. If this be true, as I believe it to be,—for our souls, being immortal, ought to be rewarded according to their works,—it seems to me that I have been right to search out the [129] way of entering into these blessings, and of avoiding those great evils. Do not think that temporal interest moves me, or that I value highly the connection and the alliance with the French, my thought goes much farther than that.

“Besides, I have resolved to abandon forever our old customs; I no longer have any voice for the superstitious chants, my drum no longer has any sound, and my mouth no longer has any breath to deceive the sick; for all these follies cannot restore [Page 289] their health. I intend to obey God, and all that he forbids shall be interdicted to me forever.”

The Captain of the Island, who strikes only unfairly, and with underhand thrusts, wishing to disparage this holy action, and to show that it belonged only to old women and children to be baptized, cried out among the cabins: “ Go, good old women, go ; and you, little children, who have no way of finding food, go to the black Robes and be baptized, so that you may not die from hunger ; let those who resemble you, imitate you. ” Father de [130] Quen, seeing that this outcry was made in contempt of the faith, and to alienate the Savages from Baptism, paid off this wretched one-eyed man in his own coin; for, on going the next day to summon the Christians to Mass, he added these words in a loud voice: “Men and women who are not baptized, go to Teswehat ”—that is the name of the one-eyed man; 17—“he will give you all food; it is he who kills beavers, and knows well how to catch the moose.” This man, proud to the last degree, believing himself insulted, went raging with. anger to sieur Nicolet and to Father Buteux, and complained of the affront that he had received ; but he was asked if, when he had sent away the old women and children to the Fathers to be baptized in order that they might have food, he intended to set at naught prayers and Baptism; he said, “ No, indeed.” They replied to him that neither did Father de Quen purpose to offend him in sending the men and women to him to be helped, inasmuch as he was their Captain. This clever man, seeing well that he should lose his case if he went on, preferred silence to further argument.

[131] To return to our Neophyte. He had his [Page 291] whole family baptized; his wife, having been well instructed, came to present herself for Baptism three days after her confinement,—neither the length of, the way, nor the severity of the cold could prevent her coming. As soon as her son was born, his father, came to urge his baptism ; the poor little fellow being sick, all the Christians put their chaplets on his bed, hoping that God would restore his health for the sake of this devotion; he is very well at present, thank God.

Prayer is offered to God in his family every day, night and morning, each one kneeling down; they frequent the Sacraments with an admirable sincerity; they obey with fidelity the laws of God and of his Church. One day this good Neophyte was urged to have his snowshoes finished on a feast day, the snow being in a good condition for hunting; he was never willing that any one should work on those days. “I am not a halfway Christian,” said he, “we must obey all that is commanded.” When going to an Elk hunt in the woods, he asked: earnestly if some one [132] of those who could instruct him and keep alive his devotion, would not be willing to accompany him ; and Simon Pieskars urged that he should be fully instructed in all that was necessary to be done when he was remote from the Church, as he felt regret at absenting himself, even for a short time.

A certain Pagan said one day, that he would willingly be baptized if, after having been purified by the waters of Baptism, he could be assured that he, would go to heaven. “ But you tell me,” said he, “ that one may be damned, although. he have been baptized, and that a relapse into sin plunges us into [Page 293] Hell. Who doubts that we may fall again into our transgressions, through the force of our old habits which overpower us?” It is true that habits have a frightful influence on our hearts; but it is also true that Baptism is powerful, and that it makes strange metamorphoses. But this does not prevent some from relapsing under stress of circumstances, and under strong temptations,—which thing happened to this poor Neophyte of whom we are speaking; for, having fallen sick, and being in [133] most severe pain, and a Charlatan offering to chant for him after the fashion of the country, he consented thereto. The good. Charles Sondatsaa, a Huron, and at the time a Catechumen, seeing this superstition, came to inform our Fathers. Immediately Father de Quen hastened to the cabins and found the Charlatan performing, and many Unbelievers around the patient; he began to inveigh against these remedies better adapted to kill the sick than to heal them; one of the company raised his hand to strike him, but restrained himself. The Father asked the sick man if he had any belief in this trifling, which he had himself practiced, and of which he knew only too well the powerlessness: the poor man, repenting of his fault, dismissed the Sorcerer. Some days thereafter, being better, he came to the Church, and in the presence of the French and of the Savages he publicly asked pardon for the scandal he had caused; and on his knees he implored all of the Christians to pray that God might be pleased to forgive his sin, and promised never to fall into it again. It is well to resist firmly in the beginning, for, even [134] to very slight faults, one gives way only too easily. This good Neophyte is now in the practice of [Page 295] patience, and of resignation to the will of God, having manifested by many acts that he has the faith strongly impressed upon his heart.

He who had raised his hand against the Father to strike him, was touched by God some time after that; he often asked for Baptism, but, as he had shown himself averse to the faith, we wished to draw from him strong proofs ; not long ago he gave one which rejoiced us very greatly. Having gathered together those whom he believed most averse to the faith, he said to them that he had resolved to be baptized, and that the thought of an eternal reward or punishment affected his heart. The Apostate of whom I spoke above, being present, could not endure this speech; he rose forthwith and went out, leaving the company without speaking a word. Paul Wabirinwich revived the courage of this new athlete: “ If we make great feasts when we resuscitate a departed one by giving his name to some one of the living, it seems to me there is much greater [135] cause for rejoicing when a man becomes a child of God, and is made to bear the name of one of the Blessed who are in Paradise.”

I do not profess to speak of all those who have been baptized, but only of those who are esteemed among their Countrymen, and who have the most hindrances and obstacles to receiving our belief. I shall not speak of a certain man called Arimoustigwan, who was named Claude at his baptism. He was an excellent Juggler; some time after he had become a Christian, a sick man sent him a present, begging that he would come and treat him with his chants and with his drums. The good Neophyte answered that he had forsaken these follies, never [Page 297] to take them up again. The messenger left the present in the cabin of the Neophyte, but, seeing that the physician did not come, the sick person sent him back for it, and left this good man in peace. I pray our Lord to give him perseverance.....




For particulars of this document, see Vol. XVIII.


This is a letter, in French, written by Charles Garnier to one of his brothers in France, and dated at Ste. Marie, in the Huron country, June 23, 1641. We follow a contemporary copy presumably by a member of the Garnier family in France, and now in the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal. The copy fails to intimate which of the brothers is addressed; but evidently it is one of the two who were in holy orders—Henri, the Carmelite, or Joseph, the Capuchin (see vol. viii., note 52).


Jean de Brébeuf writes in Latin to the Father General (Vitelleschi), from Québec, under date of August 20, 1641. The original is in the MSS. Soc. Jes., where Father Martin saw it in 1858, and copied therefrom such portions as he deemed of historical interest. A rather free French translation of these extracts was made by Father Martin, and appears as Letter XVII. in Carayon’s Première Mission, pp. 216, 217. We follow the Martin apograph in Latin, preserved in the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal ; our translation is made directly therefrom. [Page 301]


In reprinting the text of the Relation of 1640 - 41, we follow the original Cramoisy edition, from a copy in the possession of The Burrows Brothers Company, Cleveland. It is generally referred to by bibliographers as “ H. 77, ” because described in Harrisse’s Notes, no. 77. The volume purports to have been sent to the provincial in France by Barthelemy Vimont, the superior of the Society in New France. But his part in this volume seems to have been that only of nominal editor. Part I., undated, is by Paul Le Jeune; it was addressed to the Provincial, and carried by Le Jeune, personally, to France. Likewise, Part II. (on the Huron mission) is addressed directly to the provincial by Jerome Lalemant, who dates his preface “ De la refidence fixe de S. Marie aux Hurons, ce 19. de May 1641.” There is no Privilege to this volume, but it contains a “Permission d’imprimer,” signed “ IACQVES DINET,” and dated at Paris, December 20, 1641.

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Table des Chapitres” to Part I., pp. (3); “Table des Chapitres” to Part II., pp. (2); “Permission d’imprimer,” p. (1); epistle from Le Jeune to the Provincial, pp. 1-4; text of Part I., by Le Jeune, pp. 5-216; special title to Part II., with verso blank, I leaf; epistle from H. Lalemant to the Provincial, pp. 3 and 4; text of Part II. (Lalemant’s Huron Relation), pp. 5-95; specimen prayer in Huron, with interlinear French translation, pp. 96-104. In Part I., page 190 is misnumbered 90, and in Part II., p. 76 is mispaged 67; in some copies p. 77 is mispaged 68. [Page 302] Chapter vi., on p. 46 of Part II., is misprinted viii., but it appears correctly in the table of contents. Copies of “H. 77 ” have been sold or priced as follows: O’Callaghan (1882), no. 1220, $20, it having cost him $30.50 in gold; Harrassowitz (1882), 100 marks; Barlow (1890), no. 1282, $22.50; Dufossé, of Paris, priced (1891I-1893) at 125 and 150 francs. Copies may be found in the following libraries : Lenox, Harvard College, St. Mary’s College (Montréal), Lava1 University (Quebec), Brown (private), and British Museum...[Page 303]


(Figures in parentheses, following number of note, refer to Pages of English text.)

1 (p. 21).— St. Jean Baptiste was almost, if not quite, identical with the Cahiagué described by Champlain. Du Creux places it near a small lake,—evidently that now called Bass Lake, in the N. E. part of Oro township, the outlet of which is North River; in the vicinity of this lake are many remains of Huron villages. Martin and Tache identify St. Jean Baptiste with Cahingué, but mistake Bass Lake and North River (as indicated on Du Creux’s map) for Lake Couchiching and the Severn. But the latter are several miles farther east; the vicinity of those waters was less habitable, from a Huron point of view; and they do not correspond so well with the references in the text. Ragueneau (Huron Relation of 1648, chap. iv.) says that the Arendaenronnons, among whom this mission was located, were so harassed by the Iroquois (to whose attacks they were more exposed than the other Huron clans) that in 1647 they abandoned their territory, and withdrew to other Huron villages that were more populous and better able to resist the enemy. One of their villages in the vicinity of Bass Lake even shows indications, in its remains, of having been attacked.—A. F. HUNTER.

Martin says of this site (in Géographie du Pays des Hurons, 1855—a MS. in the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montréal): “I am inclined to place it to the south of the present village of Orillia, but nearer to the head of Lake Simcoe than is the latter.” Father Jones, of St. Mary’s College, (vol. xix., note 9) places St. Jean Baptiste in Oro township, on Mill Creek, about a mile above Hawkstone.

Champlain says of Cahiagué (Voyages, Laverdiere’s ed., p. 518) that in it were 200 large cabins, and that it was the principal village of the country.

2 (p. 21).— St. Joachim is located by Du Creux on the east side of Sturgeon River, next to St. Jean. This is in a locality still wooded to a considerable extent, and where the sites have not yet been revealed by plowing.

Although Ste. Elizabeth is included among the missions to the Arendaronons, other references to it in the Relations show that it was a mission to Indians who spoke the Algonkin tongue. Du Creux. [Page 305] places it on the west side of North River, erroneously interpreted by Martin and Taché (see note I, ante) as Severn River; the latter, however, have not attempted, so far as we know, to identify any one site as that of Ste. Elizabeth. The Huron Relation of 1644 (chap. viii.) describes it as only a quarter of a league from St. Jean Baptiste ; but Du Creux’s map indicates a greater distance between those points. So numerous are the sites west of North River, that no one of them can as yet be certainly identified as that of Ste. Elizabeth.—A. F. HUNTER.

The Relation of 1644, as above cited, states that many Algonkins had been driven by the Iroquois every winter, for several years past, from the neighborhood of the St. Lawrence, and that these Algonkins had fled for safety to the Huron country. ‘I Having found an entire village of these poor wandering and fugitive Nations near the village of Saint Jean Baptiste, we [the Jesuits] felt constrained to give them some assistance,” and thereupon Fathers Daniel and Ménard were placed in charge of this Algonkin mission, which was called Ste. Elizabeth. In all probability this was a different village from the Ste. Elizabeth of 1640; it is a fair inference, from the above-cited account, that the village of 1644 had been in large part formed between that date and 1640. Father Jones locates the mission near the north end of Lake Couchiching, about 9 mile S. W. of Washago.

3 (p. 23).— This tortoise-shell drum is described by Lalemant in vol. xvii., p. 157. Cf. Lafitau (Mœurs des Sauvages, t. i., p. 215), who says their drums are made from a gourd, or from “a Tortoise dried and neatly scooped out, without injuring the head, tail, and feet, or the skin which unites the animal’s two shells; so that it looks as if whole. They fill the cavity of the Gourd, or Tortoise, with some beads of their porcelain; then pierce it with a stick,” which serves at once to hold and to shake the drum.

These drums—or more properly, tambourines-are characteristic of the “medicine” performances among all the North American tribes, as indeed among many savage tribes in other parts of the world. Mallery quotes the following statement by an Ojibwa medicine man (Beur. Ethnol. Rep., 1888 - 89, p. 492): “When Minabō'sho, the first man, had been for some time upon the earth, two great spirits told him that, to be of service to his successors, they would give to him several gifts, which he was to employ in prolonging life and extending assistance to those who might apply for it. The first present consisted of a sacred drum, which was to be used at the side of the sick, and when invoking the presence and assistance of the spirits. The second was a sacred rattle, with which he was enabled to prolong the life of a patient. The third gift was tobacco, [Page 306] which was to be an emblem of peace; and, as a companion, he also received a dog.” Hoffman obtained a similar statement from the Menomonees (Id., 1892-93, p. 93): “ Then the good mysteries gave him the small flat rattle, that he might invoke the good ma′nidos when he required their assistance, or when he was fasting or dreaming.” He also states of the medicine men and their practices (P. 63): “A tambourine drum is necessary as an accompaniment to the chant, as the personal ma′nido is thus invoked for aid in the accomplishment of whatever task may have been assigned to the performer.”

4 (P. 27).— Concerning Iouskeha, see vol. viii., note 36; vol. x., note 12.

5 (p. 33).— This transfer of name and authority, from the dead man to one living, accompanies the Indian ceremony of “resuscitation” (vol. xvii., note 7).

6 (p. 43).— St. Peter and St. Paul-the headquarters of the Mission of the Apostles, to the Tobacco Nation—was located at the village of Ehwae, the most populous in that tribe. Its exact location has not yet been determined,—it may be any one of several adjacent sites in Nottawasaga township; and there is no map to indicate the relative positions of the Tobacco missions, like Du Creux’s of the Huron. Sanson’s map of 1656, however, shows this place at the south end of the Tobacco country, and St. Simon and St. Jude at the north end. From this circumstance, we conjecture that, at the time of the establishment of the Apostles’ Mission, the nine villages of the text were named, beginning at the southernmost village and ending at the northernmost, the order of the names in the text being preserved throughout. The only objection to this hypothesis might arise from Ragueneau’s mention of St. Jean (Relation of 1650, chap. iii.) as then the most southerly or frontier village. But Sanson’s map gives the particulars as they existed about 1640; and it ought to be remembered also that during the next ten years the inhabitants of the frontier villages had to take refuge among those farther north, leaving St. Jean, the fifth village on the list of 1640, as Ragueneau’s frontier village in 1650. Coyne considers the St. Pierre of Sanson’s map as “near the south end of the county of Bruce;” also (though with some reserve of doubt), that it might have been intended for St. Pierre and St. Paul, of the Tobacco mission (Country of Neutrals, pp. 9, II, 44). The rudeness of Sanson’s map and the smallness of its scale make it difficult to say what part was Bruce County, and what part Simcoe County; but it is doubtful whether any of the nine villages were outside of Nottawasaga township. And it may also be observed that the latter part of the name [Page 307] “S. Paul,” is not wanting on the map, being spelled “S. PO).” St. Jean (called by the Indians Etarita) was located among the Wolf clan of the Tobacco Nation (Huron Relation of 1648, chap. ix.), and was in 1650 the most southerly or frontier town of this tribe (see preceding paragraph). It has not yet been identified.

St. Mathias (Ekarenniondi) was among the Deer clan of the tribe; its location cannot be determined. Cf. the name Ecaregniona’I applied to a rock which departed souls must pass, in going to their abode (vol. x., p. 145); also Karegnondi, given to Lake Huron on Sanson’s map of 1656. St. Simon and St. Jude appear on Sanson’s map at the extreme north end of the Tobacco country.-A. F. HUNTER.

Harris (Miss. West. Canada, p. 26) locates the Tobacco tribe within the limits of Collingwood, Nottawasaga, and Sunnidale townships.

7 (P. 61).—Atsistaehronons: the Huron name of the Mascoutins (vol. v., note 20), an Algonkin tribe. Located, on Sanson’s map, in Eastern Michigan, between Saginaw Bay and the Maumee River; on Franquelin’s (1654), in Northern Illinois, from Lake Michigan to the Rock River,-having fled thence from their enemies. Allouez, who conducted missionary work among them, mentions them (Relation of 1670, chap. xii.) as being a day’s journey from the Outagamies (Foxes); and, in the Relation of 1671, he describes his journey to the Mascoutins, up the Fox River from Green Bay, as lasting nine days. Cf. Butterfield’s Disc. of Northwest, p. 64, note 3.

8 (p. 90).— Françsois de Sales was born Aug. 21, 1567, near Annecy, France. His studies were pursued in that city, and in the Jesuit college at Paris (1550-86). He then took, at Padua, a course in civil law, his father intending that he should enter the legal profession; but a clerical kinsman secured permission for François to become a preacher. Ordained in 1593, he spent three years in preaching, at Geneva, and in the province of Chablais, where he is said to have won, in that time, 500 converts; his reputation for eloquence and piety was great. In 1602, he became bishop of Geneva; several other dignities were offered him, at various times, but refused. He died at Lyons, Nov. 28, 1622, from an attack of apoplexy; he was canonized Jan. 29, 1665.

The most noted of De Sales’s works is L’Introduction à la vie dévote (1605), which, it is said, was translated into nearly all the languages of Europe, and reached its fortieth edition in 1656. Another popular work was Traité la l’amour de Dieu (1616).

9 (p. 181).— It will be remembered that Giffard was a physician. (vol. vi., note 8). [Page 309].

10 (p. 185).— A letter from Buteux to Vitelleschi, dated Sept. 13, 1641 (of which Father Martin’s apograph is in the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montréal), states that the residence of La Conception at Three Rivers (of which he was superior) then maintained five missionaries—three priests and two brethren. He also states that about 100 Algonkins had been baptized during the year, and praises the piety and fidelity of the converts.

Of great interest, in connection with the residence of St. Joseph, is its register of baptisms for the years 1638-40; this MS. (written in Latin) is preserved in the archives of the archiepiscopal palace at Québec. It begins with the following introductory note: “The Commander de Sillery, a knight of Malta, and not long ago ordained. a Priest, a man of notable piety, provided for the erection, at his own Expense, of the Reduction of Saint Joseph, a league and a half above Kebec, on the shore of the great river St. Lawrence. He then placed it in charge of the Fathers of the Society of Jesus, that they might call hither the barbarous Natives, and teach them the Law of Christ. The foundations of the house were laid on the [blank] day of july, 1637; and, on the 14th of April of the year 1638, two Fathers of the Society of Jesus came here to reside, and to instruct two families of the savages who had established here their permanent abode. Another family of the Savages also built their dwellings about it, asking assistance to change the wandering life they had hitherto led, for the Christian Religion and civilized life. From this time, those baptized are recorded below, unless they were baptized at Kebec, as were Noël Tekderimar and François Xavier Nenaskoumar, the first Dwellers in this reduction. These will be found recorded in the Register of those baptized at Kebec.”

During the entire period covered by this register, Le Jeune’s name appears frequently. Other priests officiating at these baptismal rites were: 1638, De Quen, Massé, Claude Quentin, François du Peron; 1639, Claude Pijart; 1640. Vimont and Ménard. Among those baptized, were “a girl of ten years, daughter of the late Capitenal;” Cecilia Natoukwabekwe, “wife of the late La grenouille” (vol. ix., note 18); Jerome Oukwe, “an orphan Lad about eleven years old;” Agatha Khisipikiwam, “daughter of the late Makhatewebichtichi” (note 12, post). In many cases, the sponsors were Christian Indians; but this office was often performed by Frenchmen. Among these, may be found the names of Montmagny, Le Gardeur de Repentigny, Pierre de Puiseaux, and Olivier le Tardif.

Another is Achille de Lisle, doubtless Montmagny’s lieutenant of that name (vol. ix, note 7); others still were François Boulle and René Goupil (Jesuit donnés), and (Christmas eve, 1639) Madame de la Peltrie and her maid Carola. This last was Charlotte Barré, [Page 309] whose name, as well as that of her mistress, may also be found in 1640. The baptismal rite was often bestowed upon those ‘“in danger of death;” and often is appended to the record, mortuus est, “he is dead.”

The entries, though written in the first person, are not, as a rule, autographs of the Fathers officiating; most of them are written in the same hand-perhaps by a brother in charge of the church. In four places, however, the name of the priest has been cut or torn out of the MS.,—apparently to secure autograph signatures.

11 (p. 199).—Cf. Le Jeune’s statement of this superstition (vol. vi., p. 2x1, 213). Brinton (Myths of New World, 1st ed., 1868, pp. 257-261) thus explains this belief:” The opinion underlying all these [burial] customs was, that a part of the soul, or one of the souls, dwelt in the bones; that these were the seeds which, planted in the earth, or preserved unbroken in safe places, would, in time, put on once again a garb of flesh, and germinate into living human beings. The Iroquois word for bone is esken—for soul, atisken, literally that which is within the bone. . . . Even the lower animals were supposed to follow the same law. Hardly any of the hunting tribes, before their original manners were vitiated by foreign influence, permitted the bones of game slain in the chase to be broken, or left carelessly about the encampment. They were collected in heaps, or thrown into the water.” James, in Long’s Expedition to the Rocky Mountains (Phila., 1823), vol. i., p. 278, says: “Many of the Minnetarees believe that the bones of those bisons which they have slain and divested of flesh, rise again clothed with renewed flesh, and quickened with life.” Brinton also says (pp. 144, 145): “As the path to a higher life hereafter, the burning of the dead was first instituted. . . . Those of Nicaragua seemed to think it the sole path to immortality, holding that only such as offered themselves on the pyre of their chieftain would escape annihilation at death; and the tribes of upper California were persuaded that such as were not burned to death were liable to be transformed into the lower orders of brutes.”

12 (p. 209).— This Makheabichtichiou was an influential Algonkin, whose partial conversion is detailed by Le Jeune in vol. xi., pp. 149-183.

13 (p. 259).— 0ukotoemis: probably the Kotakouemis (vol. xviii., note 14). Ounatchataronons: the Iroquet tribe (vol. v., note 52).

14 (p. 265).— Francois de Champflour was governor at Three Rivers from December, 1639, to August, 1642, and again from the autumn of 1643, to October, 1645—the intervening year being spent as commandant of Fort Richelieu on the Sorel. He returned to [Page 310] France in October, 1645; and in the following year, at Paris, obtained a grant of a fief near Three Rivers, which, however, he sold to Le Neuf de la Poterie, three years later. He seems not to have returned to Canada.

15 (p. 273).— Concerning the Metaberoutin River, see vol. ii., note 52.

16 (p. 281).— This was probably the successor of the chief mentioned in vol. ix., note 18. Cf. vol. xii., note 31.

17 (p. 291).— Concerning Teswehat, see vol. viii., note 30,. [Page 311]