The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents


Travels and Explorations

of the Jesuit Missionaries

in New France

1610 —1791






Reuben Gold Thwaites

Secretary of the State historical Society of Wisconsin


Tomasz Mentrak


Vol. XXI


1641- 1642

CLEVELAND:            The Burrows Brothers






[Page 2]

The edition consists of sev-

en hundred and fifty sets

all numbered.


The Burrows Brothers Co.

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Copyright, 1899


The Burrows Company

 — — — — —

all rights reserved

The Imperial Press, Cleveland

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Reuben Gold Thwaites






| Finlow Alexander



| Percy Favor Bicknell



| William Frederic Giese



| Catharine 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]





Preface To Volume XXI


Documents: —




Relation de ce qvi s’est passé en la Novvelle France, és années 1640. et 1641. [Chaps. ix.-xiii. of Part I., and Part II., concluding the document.] Paul le Jeune; Kebec and Paris, undated. Jerome Lalemant; Ste. Marie aux Hurons, May 19, 1641






Lettre au P. Étienne Charlet, Assistant de France à Rome. Charles Lalemant; Paris, February 28, 1642




Lettre à son frère. Charles Garnier; des Hurons, May 22, 1642.



Mémoire touchant les Domestiques. [Jerome Lalemant; 1642]


Bibliographical Data; Volume XXI





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

XLIV. In Vol. XX., we gave the first eight chapters of Part I. of the Relation of 1640-41; the remainder of this part (written by Le Jeune at Quebec, without date) is herewith presented, also the whole of Part II, (the Huron report, by Jerome Lalemant, dated May 19, 1641), thus completing the Relation.

Commencing with Chap. ix., Le Jeune recounts the capture (February, 1641) of François Marguerie and Thomas Godefroy by the Iroquois, who take them away to their own country. The two Frenchmen at first expect death; but the Iroquois decide, at a council, to liberate the prisoners in the spring; meanwhile, the latter are treated by their captors “like their own children.” In June, a numerous band of Iroquois appear before Three Rivers, with their prisoners, of whom they send Marguerie, on parole, to demand an interview with the commandant; Champflour immediately sends to Quebec for Montmagny. The latter hastens, with armed men and vessels, to Three Rivers; and a long parley ensues between him and the Iroquois, in which many speeches and presents are mutually made. The Iroquois are full of treachery; it is obvious that they wish only to patch up an alliance with the French, in order to [Page 9] have better opportunity for attacking the allied Hurons and Algonkins. Finally, finding Montmagny their match in sagacity and adroitness, they openly show their hostility, but are quickly dispersed by shots from the French cannon, —fortunately, not till after they have liberated the two prisoners.

About the same time, Father Brébeuf narrowly escapes capture by another Iroquois band, while on his way from the Huron country to Quebec. Reaching his destination in safety, he tries to secure an escort for the returning Hurons, to protect them from the enemy. He obtains a few French soldiers, and some Christian Indians from St. Joseph; but, on arriving at Three Rivers, dissensions arise among the Algonkins who await them there, on account of the presence of two Abenaki Indians who have come to render satisfaction for the murder in their country of Makhcabichtichiou, the Montagnais chief, for some time a resident at St. Joseph. The Algonkins withdraw their promises to help escort the Hurons, and Champflour is unwilling to expose the Christian Indians to the danger of defeat; but news is brought that the Iroquois marauders have gone home, and the way is now clear. The Hurons accordingly return in peace, accompanied by Ragueneau and Ménard. Certain other Hurons who came down to Three Rivers, spread calumnies about Brébeuf, declaring that he has conspired with the Iroquois to ruin the Hurons.

Le Jeune gives an account of the mission recently formed at Tadoussac, the credit for which is mainly due to the neophytes of St. Joseph, who, visiting their Tadoussac tribesmen, commend to the latter the Christian faith by both word and deed. In June, [Page 10] 1640, a missionary (De Quen, according to Rochemonteix) is sent to them, for whom they erect a bark house and chapel combined, and listen attentively to his teachings. He spends the month of June with them, finds them very teachable and affectionate, and baptizes about fifteen.

An important event occurs late in the summer of 1641, —the coming of the Sieur de Maisonneuve, with the first installment of the new colony at Montreal. With them comes also the Jesuit De la Place. But a little while before the coming of the fleet, the missionaries drape their altars in mourning for the death of François de Gand, one of the Hundred Associates, and a pious and benevolent man; and that of the Chevalier de Sillery, founder of the Christian Indian settlement at St. Joseph. Le Jeune also mentions the death, last year, of René Rohault, the first to give money for the education of the Indian children.

The death of De Sillery had at first checked the aid given by him to the Canadian missions; but other wealthy persons in France, who “are not willing that this great work should cease,” are supplying this deficiency. One of these wishes to charge himself with the settlement of an Indian family, —building them a house, and supporting them during the first year. The Father recounts some of the acts of devotion performed in Europe for the benefit of these missions. Among these, “there has been found, even in the country, a Curé so zealous for the salvation of the poor Savages, and Parishioners so full of kindness, that they have made three general processions and seventy-five fasts; they have taken the discipline a hundred and twenty-four times: they [Page 11] have offered eighteen almsgivings, and a great many prayers, —all for the conversion of these tribes; is not that delightful?’’ Being told of the deep interest thus manifested in their welfare, the Christian Indians inform Le Jeune that they have resolved to spend a whole day in fasting and prayer for these good friends across the sea.

He is encouraged, by the success already attained in their enterprise, to predict great things for the future, —the assembling and colonization of the St. Lawrence tribes at Quebec and Three Rivers, and of the Ottawa tribes, the Hurons, “and even some Hiroquois,’’ at Montreal; he even trusts that the gospel shall one day penetrate into the regions of the South and West. For this last, as well as for the Company’s trade, and the safety of the French colonists, it is absolutely necessary that the Iroquois should be overcome. Le Jeune mentions their methods of warfare, and complains that the Dutch supply them with firearms. He closes the Relation with some extracts from letters he has received from Claude Pijart, describing his labors among the Indians of Lake Nipissing, the prospect among whom is encouraging; and from Pierre Pijart, who has been on a mission among the Tobacco tribe, with whom he finds many Algonkins. He also hears there of certain Southern tribes, who “plant and harvest Indian corn twice a year, and their last harvest was made in December.”

Jerome Lalemant opens the Huron Relation by stating that, “in their seven missions, they have preached the Gospel to 16,000 or 17,000 Barbarians,” Two of these missions are new, —one being for the benefit of the Algonkins, and in the charge of Raymbault and [Page 12] Claude Pijart, who have been sent from Quebec for this especial work. As the savages are now in good health, and have been blessed with an abundant harvest, they have, in general, become tolerant of the missionaries, who no longer encounter serious hindrances to their efforts, —although they are sorely tried by the worldliness, fickleness, and superstitious follies of their hearers.

The evangelists now possess “a little Church composed of about thirty Frenchmen, and about fifty Savages making profession.” These last have remained constant, since the panic and storms of the previous year; and it is they who form the leaven that shall yet be effectual among these tribes. Lalemant sees the urgent necessity of rendering Indian marriages stable; “and —inasmuch as one of the principal causes of their dissolution comes from this, that one of the parties is not able to supply the needs and necessities of the other, which causes that other to go and seek them elsewhere —one of the most effective means of binding them indissolubly will be to assist them in such a case.” He is greatly encouraged by the aid promised him from France for this very purpose. “Certain persons of merit have resolved to make perpetual foundations of the ten or twelve écus necessary for the establishment of these marriages,’’ setting aside a sum of money to produce the above income. Some of these persons are childless, and “believe that they might here gain children for God and for themselves, by this manner of holy adoption;” and, to keep their memories green, “they desire that their names should be given to the families proceeding from these marriages procured by the efforts of their charity.” [Page 13]

Each of the Huron missions has a chapter, in Lalemant’s report, assigned to its work and progress for the past year. The residence of Ste. Marie is the headquarters of all the Jesuit missions; hither all the gospel laborers come for their annual reunion, and it is likely to become a refuge for the Christian Indians who find it too hard to resist the heathen influences around them. As it is, these converts come on Saturday evenings, from even twelve leagues’ distance, to celebrate the Sabbath with their teachers.

Montmagny’s prudent and just treatment of the savages has done them much good; they admire his liberality, yet fear his sternness. Certain tribes, under this dread, have rendered satisfaction to the missionaries for the injuries inflicted upon them.

On November 2, the Fathers depart from Ste. Marie on their itinerant missions, leaving Chastellain alone to guard the house, and entertain the Christian Indians who might come hither.

Most of the Huron converts are found in the village of Ossossané, where was established the first of these missions, La Conception. The pillar of this little church was Joseph Chihwatenhwa, slain last year by the Iroquois; but this disaster seems on the whole to have confirmed the other Christians in their faith. “We could hardly desire more content and satisfaction than we receive from this little flock. It appears to us like a small lump of gold refined in the furnace of many tribulations.” Joseph’s brother, Teondechorren, is converted, and takes his dead brother’s name; the missionaries have much hope from him. A new chapel has been erected there, where regular services are held, In one of his missionary journeys, Father Le Mercier falls into [Page 14] the water, while crossing the ice, and barely escapes death.

The missions of St. Joseph and of St. Jean Baptiste —respectively the most southern and the most eastern in the Huron region —are under the care of Fathers Daniel and Le Moyne. This is a laborious field, on account of its great extent; and dangerous, because the forest trails are infested by the Iroquois. An Iroquois prisoner is baptized, before his torments begin. A man who in health had scorned the truth, and abused its preachers, sends for these when he is about to die; and his soul is, by baptism, saved from endless woe.

Next is mentioned the mission to the Tobacco Nation, where the difficulties of their work are unusually great, because this tribe, not going to the trading posts of the French, know but little of them, and look upon them as utter strangers. However, the missionaries, who last year were driven from the villages of these people, are now at last tolerated, and some Indians even desire instruction.

The new mission to the Neutral Nation is undertaken by Brébeuf and Chaumonot. This tribe and their country are described, as also their relations with other tribes about them, and their customs. From this region the missionaries have a wide outlook upon other tribes hitherto unknown to them except by name; and they recount various items of information concerning these. Lalemant mentions the journey of the Récollet Daillon, in 1626, to this Neutral tribe. He then relates the present experiences of Brébeuf and Chaumonot; the former, having a widespread reputation as a sorcerer, is greatly dreaded by the Neutrals, who for some time persecute [Page 15] the Fathers, and threaten them with death. The latter are compelled to retreat; but at the village of Teotongniaton, they find an oasis in the desert —a good woman receives them into her house, and treats them with the utmost kindness. This opportunity enables them to compare the Neutral language with the Huron, to their great aid in using the Indian tongues. One village in this tribe “gives them the hearing that their Embassy merited” —Khioetoa, largely inhabited by the Awenrehronons, part of which tribe had, as we have already seen (Vol. XVII.), earlier fled to the Hurons. After returning from this mission, Chaumonot is attacked by an Indian, who attempts to kill him; but the Father escapes with only a slight wound.

The final chapter details the work among the Nipissing Indians, who winter in the Huron country, not far from Ste. Marie. Raymbault and Claude Pijart minister to these people during the winter, and to other Algonkins who have come hither, and find them all much more docile and receptive than the Hurons.

The Relation ends with a specimen of the Huron language (accompanied by a French translation), for which Lalemant chooses “one of the most ordinary communions which Joseph Chihwatenhwa, that excellent Christian, had with God toward the end of his days.’ ’

XLV. Charles Lalemant writes from Paris (February 28, 1642) to Father Charlet, at Rome, in regard to Le Jeune’s request to the French government for assistance in driving the Iroquois out of Canada, and the Dutch from New Amsterdam. Lalemant thinks the former can be done, and states that Richelieu is [Page 16] well disposed thereto; but he thinks the latter scheme costly, impracticable, and useless. He asks Charlet’s opinion on the matter.

XLVI. Charles Gamier writes to his brother (May 22, 1642), from the Huron country. He regrets that his letter of last year failed to reach Quebec in time for the returning French fleet, and is therefore still waiting for its despatch. After various religious exhortations, Garnier speaks of another brother’ (mentioned in last year’s letter), “the poor prodigal child;’’ and he cites letters written by the latter, which indicate much affection, and a desire to return to God. The writer then mentions the present status of the Huron mission, and outlines his own work (apparently in the village of St. Joseph, or Teanaustayaé). A good convert there has given one end of his cabin for a chapel, where the services of the church are regularly held. This man and his family are earnest Christians, and various instances of their piety and devotion are recounted. Other converts are mentioned, and a baptism for which he secures opportunity through a mass offered in honor of a saint.

XLVII. Jerome Lalemant sends to the Father General (apparently in 1642) a memoir upon the donnés employed in the Huron mission. He explains why these laymen are more desirable than the coadjutors of the Society; also what arrangements had been made with the provincial of France (1638) for this service. The whole plan has been opposed by some of their superiors; but Lalemant urges that the Society accept the donnés, —not only in the Huron country but in all the missions of New France, — [Page 17] binding them by certain vows, and providing for their lifelong support. To this memoir are appended forms of acceptance and contract with a donné, and of consecration on the latter’s part.

R. G. T.               

Madison, Wis., April, 1898.

XLIV. (concluded)

Relation of 1640-41



Chaps. i.-viii. of Part I. were presented in Volume XX.; we herewith give chaps. ix.-xiii. of Part I., and all of Part II., thus concluding the document.

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NDER the name of Hiroquois we include six Nations, who are enemies of the Hurons, of the Algonquins, of the Montagnais, and now of the French. We have these people at the South, stretching from the coast of Acadia; they extend from Virginia Westward into the interior. Now, as their Villages are distant from one another, there is only the one Nation of the Agnieeronons, properly speaking, which has declared itself the enemy of the French; this nation has three well-peopled Villages, situated rather near each other, on three little mountains; it is true that these Nations lend a hand to one another in their wars, as do also those who have some intercourse with the French. Several years ago, the Agnieeronons killed a Frenchman in their own country, contrary to the common law [137] of peoples, for he had been sent with some Savages to negotiate a peace with them. On the second day of June, in the year 1633, they treacherously killed three other Frenchmen, very near the stream which we call the Three Rivers. Since that time, they have massacred many Hurons and Algonquins, as I have shown in preceding Relations: in a word, they have reached such a degree of insolence, that we must see the country lost or bring to it a prompt and [Page 21] efficacious remedy. If the French were gathered near one another, it would be very easy for them to master these Barbarians; but being dispersed, some here, some there, gliding at all hours over the great river in shallops, or in canoes, they can be easily surprised by these traitors, who hunt men as we do wild beasts, who can injure and scarcely be injured, —for, when they are discovered, they do not ordinarily await attack, but are beyond the reach of your arms before you are in readiness to discharge them. Let us see now what they have done within the last year.

[138] Toward the end of Autumn about ninety men set out from their country; they scattered themselves, some here, some there, by the little streams and by the rivers, where they know that our Savage allies go in search of beavers. About thirty of them having found their prey above Montreal, carried it away to their own country; the others came to prowl around the Settlement of the Three Rivers. Two young Frenchmen, —one an Interpreter of the Algonquin Tongue for the Gentlemen of New France, named François Marguerie; the other called Thomas Godefroy, who is brother to a worthy inhabitant of the country,[1] —having gone on a hunting trip, were discovered by these Barbarians, who, following the track of their snowshoes imprinted on the snow, approached them with stealthy steps during the night, and suddenly attempting to spring upon them, uttered frightful shrieks and howls. One of the two Frenchmen had time to present his arquebus to the first one who endeavored to seize him; but by good luck, or rather by a providence of our Lord, it flashed in the pan. If it had taken fire, [139] and he had [Page 23] killed this Barbarian, both of them would have lost their lives; he came off with only the stroke of a javelin which the enemy thrust into his thigh. The other Frenchman, having promptly risen at the noise, seized his sword; a Hiroquois shot an arrow at him, which passed under his arm. Another, intending to approach him, made a false step and fell into the snow; immediately the Frenchman presented his naked sword at his throat; the Hiroquois saw him do this without stirring, —not one made a show of hindering him, or of killing him, for fear he might transfix his enemy whom he had at his feet. At length this young man seeing that he would be massacred in a moment, if he went further, threw down his sword and surrendered, in order that he might have leisure to examine his conscience, although he had confessed and received communion the preceding Sunday, —preferring to be burned, roasted, and eaten, to dying in this headlong haste without thinking upon God. Behold, then, these two poor victims in the hands of these Tigers; they bind them, pinion them, and take them away into their own country with shrieks and yells, or rather with the howling of wolves. [140] Nevertheless, having recognized that they were Frenchmen, they did not treat them as they do the Savages, but used greater gentleness; for they neither tore off their finger-nails, nor mutilated them in any part of their bodies.

However, as they did not return on the day appointed, their friends began to suspect that some misfortune had happened to them; they were awaited some time longer, but as they did not appear, the French went to seek them in the place where they said they were going to hunt; they found a pole fixed [Page 25] in the snow, to which was attached a wretched paper, scribbled upon with a coal; they took it, read it, and found these words written: “The Hiroquois have captured us: go into the woods.” They entered the woods, and found a large tree from which the bark had recently been removed, and on which were written these words with charcoal: “The Hiroquois have captured us tonight; they have not yet done us any harm, —they are taking us away to their own country;” there were some other words which could not be read. This [141] happened about the twentieth of February. This blow somewhat bewildered our Frenchmen, who fervently commended to God these two poor captives; all possible ways were sought to deliver them, but none seemed feasible. Our neighboring Savages told us, that it was all over with them, that they had been boiled or roasted, and eaten; but God, who is pleased to grant the prayers of those who have confidence in his goodness, disposed of them otherwise; he restored them to us, and, from their own lips, we learned what follows:

“We arrived at the Village of those who captured us, after a journey of seventeen or eighteen days. At the report of our arrival, every one ran to see us, —not only the neighboring Villages, but also the other Nations wished to have the satisfaction of seeing the captive Frenchmen; they made us stand up .at all hours, that they might look us over from head to foot. Some derided us, others threatened to burn us, others had compassion on us; some [142] Hiroquois who had been prisoners at Kebec, and at the Three Rivers, and who had been favorably treated by the French, looked kindly on us, and told us that we should not die. One among them, to whom [Page 27] François Marguerie had been very kind, and whom our Fathers had aided in his necessity, said aloud that the Frenchmen were good, and must not be put to death.’’ An act of kindness is never forgotten by, God, —he knows how to reward it in his own time; it is well to practice acts of charity and mercy, for the sake of his love.

A young Algonquin prisoner, whose life had been spared by the Hiroquois, recognizing our Frenchmen, said to them: “Take courage, you will not die; inasmuch as you know how to pray to God, he will not fail to succor you.” I do not know whether that young man had any confidence in his sovereign Lord; but, at all events, he escaped from the hands of his enemies.

Notwithstanding all these declarations, these young men had every reason for fear, seeing themselves in the midst of barbarism and [143] of cruelty, without help from any creature. The question was of nothing less than fire, and of the fury and teeth of these barbarians, who practice strange tortures on their prisoners.

Some Savages of the upper Nations, not wishing to irritate the French, made presents that these two poor captives might be set free. At length a council was held in the country, and they concluded to negotiate peace with the French; that being done, they promised the prisoners that in the Spring they should be taken back to the Three Rivers. In the meantime, they were given in keeping to two heads of families, who treated them like their own children. One of these, seeing that his prisoner prayed to God night and morning, and that he made the sign of the Cross before each meal, asked him what [Page 29] this sacred sign meant; having had for answer that the God who had made heaven and earth, the animals, and all the grains, preserved those who honored him and who had recourse to him, —“I wish then to do the same,” responded he, “that he may preserve me and feed me.”

Another time several of these Barbarians [144] invited one of their prisoners to sing after the French fashion. “Then,” answered he, “be respectful; for the God of Heaven and of earth, whom we honor by our voices and by our Hymns, could punish you severely, if you should begin any scornful actions;” they all promised not to laugh, and to conduct themselves discreetly. The Frenchmen intoned the Ave maris stella, to which they listened, their heads being bowed with much modesty and respect; they declared afterward that the song had pleased them. The blessed Virgin who caused that Hymn to be sung every day at Kebec for the deliverance of the prisoners, foresaw from that time their liberty, and perhaps also asked from her son the conversion of these tribes, who will very soon hear the clarion of the Gospel, if old France love the New, as an elder sister should love the Younger.

Now, these two poor Frenchmen being distressed by the severity of the cold, —for, partly through force, and partly out of good will, they had given the best of their clothing to these Barbarians, —one of them, having a knowledge of the English language, [145] wrote to the Hollanders who have seized a part of Acadia, which belongs to the King, begging them to have pity upon their poverty; he used a beaver skin for paper, a little stick for a pen, and some rust or soot sticking to the bottom of a kettle, [Page 31] for ink. The Savage to whom the beaver belonged carrying it to the Dutch, they understood this writing, and, touched with compassion, they sent to these two poor prisoners a couple of shirts, two blankets, some provisions, an inkstand, some paper, and a short letter. The Savage delivered all faithfully except the letter, saying that the writing of the French was good, but that of the Hollanders was worth nothing. François Marguerie, having paper, wrote the whole history of their capture; and, as they feared the Hollanders might not understand the French language, he inscribed his letter in French, and in Latin as he was able, and in English. He believed that it was carried; but he saw no reply, —the Hiroquois doubtless were not willing to deliver one. Neither would they ever permit them [146] to visit the Dutch. “Those people,” said they to them, “are cruel, —they will put us into irons, they will plunder our Countrymen, if they come into these quarters to liberate you.” The Frenchmen believed nothing of all this; besides, they did not wish to escape from the hands of these Barbarians, in order that, being with them, they might better incline them to an advantageous peace.

Toward the end of the month of April, the decision to seek this peace with the French having been made, five hundred Hiroquois, or thereabouts, set out from their country, well armed, taking with them the two Frenchmen. Some went back, others broke from the ranks in great numbers to go and meet the Hurons and the Algonquins, with the design of pillaging, killing, and massacring all those whom they could surprise; the remainder went directly to the Three Rivers. On the fifth of June, at daybreak, [Page 33] twenty canoes appeared below the habitation of the French, all laden with well-armed men; others appeared in the middle of the river, equipped in like manner; immediately there was an alarm among the French, and among the Algonquins who [147] dwell near us; these last cried out that all was over with their people who had gone to hunt beavers. At that moment, an Algonquin canoe, going out of the mouth of the stream which we call the Three Rivers, was taken by its enemies in the sight of the French and of the Savages, without any one being able to render it assistance. While we were in this alarm, another canoe appeared, guided by a single man, coming out from the quarter of the enemy and advancing toward the fort of the French; this canoe carried a little flag, as a sign of peace. We cast our eyes upon the pilot; in dress he appeared to be a Savage, but by the voice we recognized that it was, François Marguerie, one of the two prisoners. Having set foot on land, he was conducted to the fort, that he might pay his respects to the sieur de Chanflour, who commands there. Every one ran, each one embraced him, —he was looked upon as a man raised from the dead, and as a victim escaped from the knife that was ready to sacrifice him, and from the fire that was ready to consume him; they made him abandon his rags, and reclothed him like a Frenchman. All were full of joy, and treated him affectionately, and after the [148] first caresses every one became silent, in order to listen to him. He said then, that the Hiroquois, desiring the alliance of the French, had treated them mildly; that they had set out from the country five hundred in number, of whom three hundred and fifty were seen [Page 35] prowling along the river, in sight of the fort; that they had deputed him to speak concerning peace with the French, but not with the Savages, —the Algonquins, and the Montagnais, whom they hate unto death, and whom they wish to exterminate entirely. “They have,” said he, “thirty-six arquebusiers, as skillful as the French, —the remainder are very well armed in Savage fashion; they are abundantly furnished with powder, with lead, with bows, arrows, and javelins, and with provisions. They are hoping that a present will be given them, of thirty good arquebuses; they are resolute people, whom you must trust only with reserve, since an Algonquin woman, —who has lived for some time in their country, and from whom these Barbarians concealed little, —warned us in secret that these people wished to use our bodies as a bait, in order that they might take all the Savages, our confederates, ruin the whole country, [149] and make themselves absolute masters of the great River. I am commissioned,” said he, “to return without delay; they have retained with them my companion as hostage, and I have given them my word that I will see them again as soon as possible.” The sieur de Chanflour gave as answer, that, this matter being of great importance, it wasp necessary that the great Captain of the French should be notified of it, —that they did not doubt he would approve of the pursuit of peace, that they were going —to send Messengers to him, and that he would shortly be at the Three Rivers. Our prisoner, and a Frenchman who accompanied him, reëmbarked with this answer, set off by a quantity of provisions and little presents, in order to win these Barbarians. They approved our procedure, but they did not neglect to fortify themselves well, while awaiting the [Page 37] coming of Onontio, —it is thus they call Monsieur the Governor. They again sent back François Marguerie and Thomas Godefroy his fellow captive, beseeching the Captain of the Three Rivers to come and parley with them while awaiting the arrival of the great Captain. Father Paul [150] Ragueneau and the sieur Nicolet, —both well versed in the Huron Language, which is related to the Hiroquois Language, —went to them instead of the Captain, who, with reason, was unwilling to leave his fort. Having arrived at the rendezvous of these Barbarians, they stated to them that the French had had great satisfaction in seeing their Countrymen: that they all took pleasure in the news of peace; and that they themselves had been sent to learn what was desired from the Captain whom they had asked to come. They replied that they wished to talk, —that is to say, that they wished to make presents, —not only about restoring our prisoners, but about inviting us to make a Settlement near their country, to which all the Hiroquois Nations could come for their trade. They were answered, that they would be willingly heard, but that we were awaiting the great Captain, who had been informed of all that had occurred, They made long harangues upon the condition of their country, and upon the desire that all the Hiroquois Nations had to see themselves allied with the French; and, as evidence of their sentiments, [151] they made a little present beforehand, while awaiting the coming of Onontio.

The next day three hostile canoes moved up and down before the fort, within hearing; one of the oldest men belonging to this squadron cried with a loud voice, speaking to the Savages: “Listen to me! I come to treat for peace with all the Nations of these [Page 39] parts, with the Montagnais, with the Algonquins, with the Hurons; the land shall be beautiful, the river shall have no more waves, one may go everywhere without fear.” An Algonquin Captain, perceiving the knavery of this impostor, answered him in a louder voice, and in a harsh tone: “I represent, in their absence, all the Nations thou hast named; and I tell thee, in their name, that thou art a liar. If thou camest to treat for peace, thou wouldst deliver at least one of our prisoners, according to our custom, and thou wouldst commit no act of hostility; but every day thou art on the watch to surprise us, and thou massacrest all whom thou canst entrap.” This being said, each one retired to his own quarters. In the meantime, the canoe that had been sent to Kebec made all possible haste. [152] Monsieur the Governor, having received the news, armed in a trite a bark and four shallops, took with him Father Vimont, our Superior, and voyaged against winds and against tides; but, seeing that the bark did not advance, he took the lead with his shallops, the sailors and soldiers rowing with all their might. At length they arrived at the Three Rivers, sooner than they had hoped. As soon as the enemy perceived them, they withdrew into their stronghold; they were, however, so enraged against the Algonquins that, an hour before Monsieur the Governor went to them, they fell upon an Algonquin canoe, managed by two men and one woman; the latter was killed, one of the men was taken prisoner, and the other escaped. On the preceding day, Anerawi, a war Captain of the upper Algonquins, had escaped from their hands, hating seen them far off at the mouth of the large Lake near the Three Rivers, all the avenues of which they guarded with a multitude of their canoes. [Page 41]

[153] CHAPTER X.





ONSIEUR the Chevalier de Montmagny, having learned from the French prisoners, the mood of these Barbarians, and having discovered their malice by their actions, conducted himself with great prudence and tact. He cast anchor before their fort, within musket range; these Barbarians made, very adroitly, a salute of thirty-six or forty shots from their arquebuses. That being done, two canoes came from the Hiroquois to meet him, on board of which were put Father Ragueneau and the sieur Nicolet, that they might go and speak for the two prisoners, withdraw them from their hands, and hear the propositions for the peace which they came to seek. All four then entered the stronghold or fort of the Hiroquois, whom they found [154] seated in a circle, in very good order, without tumult and without noise. They had the two negotiators of the peace sit upon a shield, and the two prisoners on the ground, binding these as a matter of form, to show that they were still captives. Thereupon, one of the Captains, named Onagan, arose, took the Sun as a witness of the sincerity of his proceeding, and then spoke in these terms:

“ These two young men whom you see, are Hiroquois, they are no longer Frenchmen, the right of [Page 43] war has made them ours; formerly the mere name of Frenchmen struck terror to our hearts, their look appalled us, and we fled from them as from Demons, whom one does not dare to approach; but at last, we have learned to change Frenchmen into Hiroquois. These two whom you see before your eyes were taken this winter by a squad of our young men. Finding themselves in our hands, they feared lest they should be ill treated; but they were told that the Hiroquois were seeking the alliance of the French, “and that no one would harm them. ‘If that be so,’ said they, ‘let one of [155] us return to the French, to inform them of your good intentions, and let the other go away into your country.’ We replied that it would be more to the purpose if both of them should come to comfort all the Hiroquois Nations by their presence, since these all had affection for the French. Indeed, the more distant tribes made us presents; in order to save their lives. Their attractions were not needed to inspire in us love and affection towards you, our hearts were already wholly inclined thereto; you will learn from them that they have been treated as friends, and not as slaves. As soon as Spring appeared, we set out upon our way to bring them back; they are still Hiroquois, but immediately they will be French; let us rather say that they will be French and Hiroquois at the same time, for we shall be only one people.” Saying that, he took the hands of Father Ragueneau, and of the sieur Nicolet, the delegates to negotiate peace, then touching them on the face and on the chin, he said to them: “Not only shall our customs be your customs, but we shall be so closely united that our chins [156] shall be reclothed with hair, and with beards [Page 45] like yours.’’ After some other ceremonies, he approached the captives, broke their bonds, and tossed these over the palisades of their fort, exclaiming: “Let the river carry these cords so far away that there may never be a remembrance of them; these young men are no longer captives, —their bands are broken, they are now wholly yours.” Then taking a Porcelain collar, he presented it to the Negotiators of the peace with these words: “Keep forever this collar, as a sign of their full and entire liberty.” Then causing two packages of beaver skins to be brought, “I do not wish,” said he, “to restore you wholly destitute to your brothers; here is something to make for each of them a beautiful robe.” He made then a number of presents, according to the custom of the country, in which the term “present” is called “the word,’’ in order to make clear that it is the present which speaks more forcibly than the lips; he made four of these in the name of the four Hiroquois Nations, as a sign that they desired our alliance. Lifting up a beaver robe, “Behold,” said he, “the standard that you shall plant upon your fort, when you shall see our canoes appear [157] upon this great river; and, when we see this signal of your friendship, we shall land with confidence at your ports.” Taking another porcelain collar, he put it on the ground in the form of a circle; “See,” said he, “the house that we shall have at the Three Rivers, when we come there to trade with you; we shall smoke therein without fear, since we shall have Onontio for a brother.”

The peace Deputies expressed to these Barbarians a great satisfaction in all that had taken place in this council; they added that they were going to make a [Page 47] full report of the whole to Monsieur the Governor, who would not be able to speak to them until the following day, because it was already late; they carried away their presents, and took back the two liberated prisoners. As they were going away, this Captain called to them: “Say to Onontio that we beg him to conceal the hatchets of the Montagnais and of the Algonquins under his robe, while we are negotiating peace.” They promised, on their part, that they would chase no Algonquin canoe, and that they would set no ambush for them; but their promise was only perfidy, for the Frenchmen [158] had hardly withdrawn to the port of the Three Rivers before they pursued four Algonquin canoes, which were returning from the chase well laden with provisions and with pelts; the men were scarcely able to escape, all their baggage was plundered, and a poor woman, burdened with her child, was taken.

Monsieur the Chevalier de Montmagny judged from the report that had been made to him, and from the behavior that he had observed in this crafty and treacherous enemy, that the fear of the French arms made them desire peace with us in order that they might be able to massacre with more liberty, even before our eyes, the tribes which are our confederates; nevertheless, as he is prudent and skillful, he sought means of inducing these Barbarians to enter into a firm, universal peace with all the Nations which are allied to us. The next day, the feast of Saint Barnabas, these Barbarians, who did not dare to approach the fort, for fear of the Algonquins, awaited with impatience Monsieur the Governor; but the winds and the rain detained him, so that it was not until the following day that he set out in his [Page 49] shallops, [159] laden with seventy men, well armed. He came to anchor before their fort; but the bad faith of these Barbarians making them guilty, aroused in them distrust, based upon a day’s delay which was caused by the bad weather, and upon the acts of hostility which they themselves had committed, suspecting with reason that we had knowledge of them. We expected that they would come for the Deputies, to the peace, as they had already done, but their mistrust hindered them. They pushed an empty canoe towards our shallops, inviting Monsieur the Governor, Father Ragueneau, and the sieur Nicolet to embark and come to them; their design was to slay them, as a young Algonquin who had escaped from their hands told us afterward. This wholly brutal proceeding caused us to be more than ever on our guard. The Captains were invited to come and listen to our words, as we had listened to theirs; no news from that! They were urged to send some Hurons, those who had been naturalized among them, and had become Hiroquois; to this they raised great objections. [160] At last, two approached our shallops in a canoe; they looked around on all sides, to see if some Algonquin might not be concealed among us; but not perceiving any, three Hiroquois Captains embarked in another canoe; when they had approached within pistol-shot, they invited Onontio, that is, Monsieur our Governor, to speak, —in other words, to offer his presents.

I shall not relate the speech he made to them by, his interpreter; it will suffice to say a few words of the manner in which he offered his presents to them, in compliance with the code of these peoples; his gifts surpassed by far those of the Barbarians. [Page 51]

He made one as thanks for the good cheer that had been given to our Frenchmen in their country, —he offered blankets, for the mats that had been spread under them during the nights; he gave hatchets, for the wood that had been cut in order to warm them in the time of winter; robes or hoods, for having reclothed them; knives, in the place of those that had been used in cutting off the heads of [161] deer, of which they had made them feasts. Some other presents were for the Nations who sought our alliance, and others still, as a sign that they should see upon our bastions the standards of peace, and that they should find a house of security near us.

All these gifts were accepted by these Barbarians —apparently with great evidences of affection; but as they saw no arquebuses, for which they have a strange longing, they said we had not spoken of breaking the bonds of our captives whom they had set at liberty. Thereupon, still other presents were made to them for having struck off these bonds; but as we did not mention firearms, which was the most ardent of their wishes, that incited them to speak again. They then presented a porcelain collar as an invitation to us to make a settlement in their country; they gave a second one to serve as a conveyance, or as oars to our barks, that we might ascend thither; they offered a third one in the name of the Hiroquois youth, that their uncle Onontio, the great Captain of the French, might present to them some. [162] arquebuses; they brought forward a fourth one as a pledge of the peace which they wished to make with the Montagnais, with the Algonquins, and with the Hurons, our allies. They produced some beaver skins, as security that on returning to their Villages [Page 53] they would call a general assembly of the most distinguished persons of all the Hiroquois Nations in order to publish everywhere the generosity and the liberality of the French; in short, they made a last present to declare that they would give a kick to the Dutch, with whom they no longer wished to have any intercourse, they said. Observe, I beseech you by the way, the procedure of these people and no longer tell me that the Savages are brute beasts; certainly they do not lack good training. Their design was to make a patched up peace with us, so as to be free from the dread they have of our arms, and to massacre, without fear, our confederates. Could they more artfully induce us to give them arms? could they more ingeniously insinuate themselves into our friendship, than by restoring to us our prisoners [163] and offering to us gifts, than by indicating their willingness to be on good terms with those whom we protect in their presence, than by inviting us into their country, assuring us that they prefer us to the Dutch, extolling us above the generality of men? Such is their conduct, which lacks indeed the true Spirit of the children of God, but not the spirit of the children of the world. Monsieur our Governor, more discreet and prudent than these simple people are crafty, asked the advice of the Reverend Father Vimont, and of Father Ragueneau, on the present occasion; but, they having excused themselves from speaking upon a matter of war, he concluded, after having gathered the opinions of the leading men who accompanied him, that he ought not to make peace with these people to the exclusion of our confederates, —otherwise, we might enter into a more dangerous war than that which we wished to [Page 55] avoid; for if these peoples, with whom we live day by day, and who surround us on all sides, attacked us, as they might do, should we abandon them, they would give us [164] much more trouble than the Hiroquois. Moreover, if the Hiroquois had free access to our ports, the trade of the Hurons, of the Algonquins, and of the other tribes who come to the warehouses of the Gentlemen of New France, would be entirely stopped; I say still more, —that from this very moment the trade is going to be ruined unless the inroads of these Barbarians be prevented. After all, neither Monsieur our Governor, nor any of the Frenchmen, could decide on throwing into the jaws of the enemy the new Christians who publicly profess themselves Frenchmen: it is also true that our good King, whom may God bless in time and in eternity, looked upon them and recognized them as his Subjects in the gift that he made of these regions to the Gentlemen of New France.

Monsieur the Chevalier de Montmagny, apprehending the force of these reasons, judged that it would be necessary to make the Hiroquois speak plainly; he gave notice to them that, if they wished a universal peace, it would be granted to them with great satisfaction by the French, and by [165] their confederates; and that, if the present which they had made to the Algonquins for the purpose of entering into a peace with them were without pretense, they would immediately deliver one of the prisoners they had recently seized, such being the custom of friendly and allied nations. They replied that on the following day they would cross the great river, in order to come and treat of this affair with the Algonquins in our fort, and that we should withdraw. Monsieur the Governor, seeing well that their design was to [Page 57] escape in the obscurity of the night, replied that he desired to take back with him an Algonquin captive in order to restore him to his allied brothers, as an evidence of the peace which they wished to conclude. They pretended a willingness to give up one; but they finally replied that we should retire, and that, this affair being important, they would confer upon it among themselves during the night. Monsieur the Governor had them told that they might treat of it at their pleasure, but that he would not withdraw until he had seen the course of their resolution. While they were parleying, lo! seven Algonquin canoes, —ignorant of the coming of [166] the enemy, and filled with men, and game, and beavers, —appeared above on the great river. The young Hiroquois warriors, having perceived them, with difficulty restrained themselves, —their hands itched, as one says; but the presence of our armed shallops and of the bark —which, not having yet been able to ascend, began to appear drawing toward us with its sails unfurled —stopped them, and caused them to retire into their fort with some talk of setting at liberty, as soon as possible, an Algonquin captive. The execution of their promises was awaited; a full half-hour slipped by in profound silence; then suddenly was heard so horrible and frightful an uproar and clashing of hatchets, a fall and wreck of so many trees, that it seemed as if the whole forest were being overthrown; and then we were more than ever aware of their knavery. Monsieur the Governor, wishing to put them completely in the wrong before coming to hostilities, decided to spend the night on the water with his bark and shallops, in order to prevent their flight, and to sound them yet once more on their opinions concerning peace. [Page 59]




HE next morning, Monsieur the Chevalier de Montmagny had a canoe equipped with a flag, in order to invite the Captains to a parley; they despised the canoe, the flag, and the herald. They assailed us with jeers and barbaric yells; they reproached us that Onontio had not given them arquebuses to eat —this is their way of speaking, to say that he did not make them a present of these; they erected above their fort, as a flag denoting war, a scalp which they had taken from some Algonquin; they shot arrows at our shallops. All these acts of insolence made Monsieur the Governor resolve to give them arquebuses to eat, but not in the way that they asked: he ordered to be discharged upon their fort the brass pieces of the bark, the swivel guns of the shallops, and all the [168] musketry; all this was done by the French with such ardor, and so repeatedly, that although the enemy, by a stratagem that would not be expected from the Savages, indeed put themselves in safety, they nevertheless took such fright that, as soon as they were shielded by the darkness of the night, they carried their canoes through the woods, that they might embark a quarter of a league further above us and escape from our hands. When this was discovered, we resolved to pursue them; the shallops were rowed with all force, but the adverse wind and tide hindered them. Some [Page 61] Algonquin canoes attempted to give them chase; but, as they were few in number compared with the Hiroquois, Monsieur the Governor called them back. A young Algonquin, who had been for two years among the Hiroquois, and who escaped in this retreat, reported to us that these Barbarians were afraid of our cannon, and that if we had been able to approach them they would have been defeated, —that is to say, we should have put them to flight in the woods; for, as to killing many of them, that is something to which the French cannot pretend, inasmuch [169] as they run like deer, they bound like harts, and they know better the ways of these vast and dreadful forests than do the wild beasts, whose dwelling they are; the French did not lightly venture to entangle themselves in these dense woods.

After their retreat we saw, more than ever, their cunning and ability; they had a fort rather near the shore of the great river, from which they spoke to us; they had another, hidden further within the woods, but so well constructed and so well supplied that it was proof against all our resources. Now, mistrusting that we might come to hostilities with them, on account of the resolution they had made to continue war with our Savage allies, during the night they put their canoes in safety; they transported all their baggage to their second fort, to which they themselves secretly retired; and, to the end that we should believe them to be in the first one at which we were firing, having no knowledge of the second, they kept therein a fire continually burning. They left there also their arquebusiers, [170] who, after having fired some shots, came out to take closer aim at us, skulking behind trees and shooting very [Page 63] skillfully. They let loose their whole fury upon our bark, knowing that Monsieur the Governor was therein; and truly, if it had not been well shielded, they would have wounded and killed several of our men, —a French sword, being visible above the screens, was carried away by an arquebus shot, many ropes were cut, and all the screens were filled with balls. They effected their retreat with good management, for they had charged their arquebusiers to fight valiantly, as they did, so that they might not be perceived while they carried across marshes and woods their baggage and their canoes. When night came they made their escape, as I remarked above. Thus the war with these tribes has broken out more fiercely than ever; but let us see what followed.

They had set out from their own country five hundred warriors strong, as I have already said; one band had gone to meet the Hurons, in order to set ambushes for them, [171] and to await them as one awaits a wild beast in its flight. While these were on the watch, they perceived two canoes which were bringing to us Father de Brébeuf and some Frenchmen, but having descried them rather late, in a place where it was possible to escape by vigorous paddling, they let them go on without pursuing them or revealing themselves. It was a great proof of the goodness and of the providence of our Lord towards the Father, and towards those who accompanied him; for five other canoes filled with Hurons, coming shortly after, were attacked by these robbers, who massacred some of them; others escaped, and others fell alive into their hands, to be the sport of flames and of their rage, and to be the food of their wretched stomachs. Such is the funeral and such the tomb [Page 65] that awaits us, if ever we happen to die by the claws of these tigers, and the fury of these Demons.

One of those who had escaped from this ambuscade went at once to the Three Rivers, the others ascended towards the country of the Hurons, to warn those who were coming down of the danger by which they might be lost. Some [172] time after this defeat, Father Paul Ragueneau and Father René Ménard, while reascending to the country of the Hurons, escorted by some canoes, met eight or ten Savages who told them that their lives would be lost if they went further, as the enemy had not yet withdrawn. At this unexpected news, these canoes returned to the Three Rivers for the purpose of asking assistance from the Algonquins; these last exhorted them to go as far as Kebec in order to procure arms from the fort, and aid from the Christian Savages of Saint. Joseph, —promising themselves to meet that escort. Father de Brébeuf, Father Ragueneau, and the good Charles Sondatsaa undertook this commission; they came to Monsieur the Governor, who shipped some well-armed and very resolute soldiers, commending them to the new Christians of Saint Joseph, who on their part armed eight canoes for the same purpose. When they were ready to set out, two Savages arrived from the country of the Abnaquiois, who told as news that the whole country of the Hiroquois breathed only [173] war; that the English had abandoned the settlement they had made at Quinibequi; and that a man named Makheabichtichiou, of whom I have spoken above, had been wretchedly slain in their own country, by an Abnaquiois nearer to the sea. They said that this deed was done in drunkenness; that all his Countrymen had strongly disapproved of [Page 67] it, and that they had been sent to give satisfaction to the parents and to the relatives and to the whole Nation of the deceased. Now, as his relatives were for the most part at the Three Rivers, these two Abnaquiois had embarked with the fleet to go to them; the report of their arrival having already spread, our warriors, who had taken into their own canoes these two Ambassadors, met a rather unfriendly reception from the Algonquins.

They were told at first, that these Algonquins were inclined to seize the Abnaquiois, that they might put them to death, contrary to the law of all Nations; for they came to treat of peace. Jean Baptiste Etinechkawat and Noël Negabamat, who are the two principal Chiefs of Saint Joseph, seeing that the Algonquins were crowding together, and that some were [174] armed, commanded those who were following them to make a halt and to load their arquebuses with balls. At these words, a young’ Algonquin advanced, knife in hand, to thrust it at one of the Abnaquiois, but this last, taking a step, backward, presented to him the muzzle of his arquebus. The Algonquins exclaimed that it was a feint, —that their custom is to terrify those who bring news of the death of any one of their Nation, even though they come as Delegates and as Mediators of peace.

At these words, each one stood still; they looked, although rather coldly, on the Abnaquiois discussing their affair; and an Algonquin Captain, a near relative of one of our Saint Joseph Christians, approaching and addressing him, said: “My nephew, I am very glad at thy coming.” “And I,” said this young Christian, “was much astonished, on landing at the [Page 69] Three Rivers, to see that arms had been seized. ‘Indeed,’ said I to myself, ‘have we already arrived in the country of the enemy?’ When I left Saint Joseph, I said in my heart, ‘I shall find my [175] relatives at the Three Rivers, —I shall surely be consoled by seeing them;’ but as soon as I had set foot on land I found the country of the Hiroquois, for we were commanded to load with balls.” “Didst thou load?” said his uncle to him. “Yes,” responded he, “I put two balls into my arquebus.” “Wouldst thou have fired on thy relatives?” “I would have obeyed our Captains, and fired right and left: I am on the side of those who believe in God.” These responses made me see the strength of faith so much the more as these Savages are closely bound to their relatives: but Jesus Christ came to break this bond. Veni separare hominem adversus patrem suum.

When this tumult was appeased, the sieur de Chanflour ordered the chief Montagnais and Algonquin Savages to be called, and to be asked when they would set out to escort the Hurons. The Algonquins made a sign to Jean Baptiste Etinechkawat, a Montagnais Captain, that this was for him to say; his speech was comprised in a single word, —“ I am a Frenchman,” said he, “I have nothing more to say.’’ This word was worth ten thousand; he meant that he was a Christian and a Frenchman at the same time, [176] that he was ready to obey the will of him who commanded the French, and that, in so urgent an affair, it was not a question of much speaking, but of marching without delay.

The Apostate Oumasatikeie began to speak with a thousand impertinences; at last he came to the conclusion that the enemy had departed, and consequently [Page 71] that there was no need of giving an escort to the Hurons.

Charles Sondatsaa, a Huron, thereupon vigorously harangued, —he pictured the danger and urged the Algonquins; but he spoke to those who had closed ears, and who rushed from the assembly as soon as they had inflicted their blow. The question now was, to see if the Christians in these eight canoes, which also bore a few French soldiers, would go on with the Hurons; their small number in comparison with the enemy was enough to terrify them. The French soldiers were asked if, seeing themselves destitute of help from the Algonquins, they were willing to go on further; they answered with a truly generous firmness that, Monsieur the Governor having commanded them to accompany the [177] Christian Savages of Saint Joseph, they would never abandon them on account of any danger. Faith has an indescribable bond which unites hearts. The soldiers, on their return, spoke in the highest terms of our Neophytes, and our Neophytes could not sufficiently praise the soldiers. Here then were our French soldiers ready to embark, if the Christians in these eight canoes wished to go on. They were asked what their opinion was; they answered that it was not for them to decide it, that they were wholly disposed to receive the orders and commands of the French. This troubled the sieur de Chanflour, and all those who were present; not even one voted that they ought to command this voyage, no person was willing to expose these good Neophytes to the great dangers that were dreaded. “This small number of Christians,” said some one, “is like the yeast which ought to leaven the whole mass of Christianity [Page 73] in these regions; if they are defeated, the Unbelievers will become more troublesome than ever, and will accuse us of having forced to their death those who have received our belief.” On account of these objections, the poor [178] Hurons, seeing themselves abandoned by all aid, were much distressed, and we as well as they; for Father Paul Ragueneau and Father René Ménard were to accompany them.

At length, our Lord consoled us; for, at the very time they had resolved to set out, a Huron canoe arrived, and we learned that the enemy had retired; so that the Fathers went on with the good Charles Sondatsaa and the other Hurons without any other discomfort than the great fatigues of a most frightful road.

A short time after their departure, some other canoes arrived, bearing Hurons, who greatly slandered poor Father de Brébeuf; they said that, having met a Huron who had escaped from the hands of the enemy, they had learned from him what I am going to relate. “Being in the hands of the Hiroquois,’’ said this escaped prisoner, “one of them spoke to me in this wise: ‘We have an acquaintance and a good understanding with the black-robed Frenchmen who are in your country, and especially with a certain man whom you call Echon,’ “ —it is thus they name Father Jean de Brébeuf; [179] “‘ this man spent the winter among the neutral Nation, where he had communication with the Hiroquois, our confederates; he combined with them and with us that he might ruin you.” Take courage,” said he to them; “we entered into the country of the Hurons in order to exterminate them; we have already caused a great number of them to die by our [Page 75] prayers, as by powerful charms; but we have not been able to destroy them entirely. You must give the finishing stroke to them, by your wars and by your sudden attacks; when they shall be wholly destroyed, we will dwell with you in your country.” When our confederates had informed us of all this, we came to lie in ambush for you. We recognized Echon, and visited him at night; he made us presents, and we let him go away. He apprised us of the canoes which were following him, and thus you have fallen into our hands, ’” said the Hiroquois to this prisoner, according to the report of the calumniators who contrived these impostures in order to ruin us. Saint Paul was quite right in saying that, Si in hac vita tantùm in Christo sperantes [180] sumus, miserabiliores sumus omnibus hominibus. If we expect nothing in the other life, we are more miserable than the rest of men; for those to whom we give our lives in these immense labors, procure our death by the most iniquitous means in the world,

Before concluding this chapter, I must notice an act of magnanimity in our Christians of Saint Joseph, during the sojourn they made at the Three Rivers; their Captain having said in open assembly that he was a Frenchman, since he had embraced their belief, a certain Unbeliever —an impudent man, wishing to affront him and all his people —walked around his cabin, and cried aloud to him: “Go then, thou Frenchman, that is right, go away into thine own country. Embark in the Ships, since thou art a Frenchman; cross the sea, and go to thine own land; thou hast for too long a time caused us to die here.” This Captain came to me immediately, without replying a word. “My heart wishes to be wicked,” said [Page 77] he, “but I shall not obey it; if I had not [181] given up my old habits, I would certainly lower the pride of that impudent man; but since one must not be a halfway Christian, I will say no word to him, I will do him no harm. I know well that they say I have no sense, because I have embraced the faith; they accuse me of causing their death since I have begged them to be instructed. Their calumnies would have troubled me, formerly; but, as I have given my word to God, I intend to do all that is commanded me. I will not cast at them any reproach, which would be very easy for me to do, —not only because their life is no better than ours, but because I have never received any of their presents, although we have several times made presents to them.” Grace has strange effects; it is also true that the God who gives it is an all-powerful God. [Page 79]




LTHOUGH the Savages of Tadoussac are almost the first ones that our vessels meet, yet the good news of the Gospel was carried to them only after it had been taken to many others; and still it must be confessed that it was not we who won them, but our Neophytes, or new Christians of the Residence of Saint Joseph. When they visited one another on both sides, and saw that the chief Savages of this Residence made public profession of the faith, they derided them in the beginning; but, at length, the good example and the good conversation of their Tribesmen made them love that which they had hated, and seek that which they had abhorred. Last year our Neophytes, as I have observed, went to invite them by means of a fine present to come and dwell with them at Saint Joseph, [183] that they might hear of the blessings of the other life. They answered by another present that they were not estranged from the faith, but desired that some one should come and instruct them in their own country. Indeed, they appointed Charles Meiachkawat, who was not yet baptized, to come for a Father of our Society, and conduct him to Tadoussac, where would also be found some Savages of the tribes from the Sagné; as the Father for whom they asked was occupied elsewhere, they were promised that we would not fail to assist them in the Spring. [Page 81]

On the twelfth of May, the Captain of Tadoussac came to our Reverend Father Superior to claim the fulfillment of his promise; the Father most willingly granted him the one of our Society for whom he asked. As soon as our Saint Joseph Christians were aware of this voyage, they came to the Father imploring him to speak to Tadoussac, —that is to say, to make presents in order to draw to Saint Joseph the remains of these poor tribes, “Beg Monsieur our Captain,’’ said they to him, “to speak also, —perhaps they will respect [184] his word; if they come to dwell with us, we will speak on our own part,“ —that is to say, “we will make them presents,“ —“ that they may clear up the ground on which they shall place their cabins or their houses.” Monsieur the Governor, seeing that this plan tended to the glory of our Lord, made his present, with which we joined our own, that we might offer them according to the instructions given us by our Neophytes, for they informed us minutely how we should speak. This done, the Father entered a bark which was going down to Tadoussac, and contrary winds detained him for some time on the way; but let us hear him speak of his voyage.

“ On Wednesday, the eve of the most Holy Sacrament, the Savages came in a canoe to meet us; as I saw that the winds, which had seemed inclined to make a truce with us, were recommencing their war, I set out with them, promising our Frenchmen that I would come to say holy Mass for them on the following day, if the weather permitted. The Savages conducted me to a place where there was neither soil nor [185] tree; it was on the rocks, where they would have passed the night with no other covering [Page 83] than the sky if I had not been with them. I urged them immediately to seek a place, however poor, where we might erect a cabin; having found one, they spread their sheets of bark on five or six poles, and well it was for them, and for me also,” said the Father, “for we were beaten all night by the wind and the rain.

“ The next day, not being able to approach the bark, I spent the great feast of our Lord in this house, —very poor in worldly goods, but richly provided with the blessings of heaven. The greater part of the Savages were Christians: I told them of the honor that was paid on that day to the Son of God, with pomp and magnificence, in the whole of Europe. Then I erected a little Altar that I might say holy Mass; they aided me with so much affection that I was greatly moved thereby; on seeing that the place where I should walk was very damp and muddy, they threw a robe upon the ground to serve me for a carpet. I stretched a little altar cloth across the cabin, to separate the [186] faithful from the unbelievers; then I began holy Mass, not without astonishment that the God of gods should stoop once more to a place more wretched than the stable of Bethlehem. These good people wished to confess and receive communion, but I put them off until the following Sunday. The Savages who had not been baptized maintained a profound silence during this divine Sacrifice, and they also had a great desire to be Christians.

“ The tempest detained us two days and two nights, prisoners under this bark shelter, which was more open than a courtyard. As we were thinking of our departure, the sieur Marsolet[2], who [Page 85] commanded the bark, wrote me these few words, and a young Savage brought me the letter: ‘The Savage surnamed Boyer has come to our bark; he says he has come expressly for you, to take you to Tadoussac. He awaits you here: send him, if you please, a word of reply. I have given to the bearer of this a little bread and some prunes, knowing well that you have need of them. ’

“ When I received these few words, I went to [187] the bark; the Savage who had come to meet me urged my going to Tadoussac, saying that all who were there ardently desired to be instructed; I went there in the canoe which came for me. When I arrived, they manifested to me every sort of good will; they all received me with great friendliness. I visited the sick; I found a woman dangerously ill; I instructed and baptized her, and God took her to heaven. Cujus vult, miseretur, God chooses whomsoever he pleases. This poor woman was waiting for this passport that she might enter Paradise.

“ As soon as I had arrived,” continued the Father, “the Savages built me a house after their fashion. It was soon set up; the young men went to search for bark, the girls and the women for branches of fir, to line it with a beautiful green; the older men did the carpentry, which consisted of some poles that they bent to form a bower, and spread thereon the bark of ash or of spruce; and lo! a Church and a house were quickly built. In the beginning, I wondered [188] where they would cut the bark, so as to make windows; but, when the house was finished, I saw that it was not necessary to take that trouble, for there was enough air and light without windows. I erected within an Altar; I made my little retreat [Page 87] hard by, and I was more content than in a Louvre, and as well lodged. The door alone troubled me, for I desired the means of fastening it when I went out; the Savages, who use only a piece of bark or a skin to close their cabins, did not seem to me sufficiently good carpenters to make my palace secure; but Charles Meiachkawat showed me that they were. He went in search of two pieces of board, nailed them together, and made a little door; I had with me a padlock dangling from a small bag, and he discovered a way of using it to lock up my house, Here I am, then, lodged like a young Prince, in a Palace built in three hours. As I apprehended annoyance from the children, the Captain made a great shout among the cabins and charged the young people not to enter my dwelling except with my permission: ‘0 youth!’ said he, ‘and [189] you, 0 children! respect our Father. Go and visit him; but when he is praying, or is engaged, retire without noise; carry him fish, when’ you catch them.’ The children followed me everywhere, and called me their Father; they brought me their fish, and I gave them a little biscuit; in a word, I was at peace in my house of bark, when I chose to be, for I took the liberty from the very beginning of sending away all whom I would, when I was occupied.” Although it is an unheard —of thing for a Savage to refuse the door of his cabin to another Savage, nevertheless, no one took offense at the Father’s manner of dealing with them. It is necessary from the very beginning to give the bent you desire to these simple people; they are reasonable, and are not surprised that our ways are different from theirs.

“ Some time after my arrival, I made for the Savages [Page 89] a feast of Indian corn, which they like exceedingly; I had had it brought in the bark expressly for this purpose. I meant to speak during this feast, but the Savages [90 i.e., 190] having discovered my intention, put me off until another time. Toward evening, when the sieur Marsolet and I wished to exhibit the presents of Monsieur the Governor and our own, the Captain ran to meet us, and spoke to me in these terms: ‘My Father, there is no need of making us presents to invite us to believe in God; we have all before this resolved to do so, Heaven is a sufficiently great recompense; we do not wish to be proud, nor to boast of being honored by your presents; let it suffice for all speech that you teach us the way to heaven. Without entering upon further discussion, all those whom you see here have resolved to pray, but not to leave their country to ascend the river.’ He brought forward many reasons to show that it was important to them, not to withdraw from Tadoussac. In fact, his remarks were good, but based upon human and temporal considerations. Thus, then, we were checked in making our presents. Charles’ Meiachkawat who had retired, as I have already said, from Tadoussac, that he might live as a child of God at Saint Joseph, spoke to them several times, very earnestly, [191] but above their comprehension, for men do not promptly lay aside the interests of the world, although that be but a point in comparison with heaven. ‘Ah! I see well,’ said this good man, ‘that the Devil detains you here; he gives you notions that you will be poor if you abandon your country, —he makes you imagine that the riches of the earth are of great importance; and how will all that help you at the [Page 91] hour of death? He well knows that he cannot deprive you of the determination that you have to believe in God; but he will put you under the impossibility of carrying it into effect, by keeping you in a place where you cannot be instructed. As soon as you no longer see the Father, you will no longer think of God; who will counsel you in your difficulties? who will hinder you from falling back into your superstitious chants, and into your feasts? If any one have a drum, who will have the hardihood to take it from him? “We have thrown them all away,” you say as if you could not make others! Although I myself believe with all my heart, yet it seems, when I am a long time absent from the [192] Fathers, that my old ideas are inclined to return; this is why, even should I become the poorest creature in the world, I would never leave them.’ This good Neophyte did not cease morning and evening, and even at night, to urge his Tribesmen to come and dwell with those who teach the way of salvation. The Savages, when urged by these reasons, concluded, not that it was necessary to ascend to Kebec, but that it was expedient for us to descend to Tadoussac, and set up a House there, that we might instruct them. ‘The neighboring Tribes will come and dwell there,’ they said, ‘they will unquestionably embrace the faith.’” But the country is so wretched, that soil is scarcely found therein for their graves; there are only barren and frightful rocks. If, nevertheless, Monsieur the general, and the fleet of the Gentlemen of New France, which passes some months of every year at Tadoussac, should cause a house to be built there by their order, like the one Monsieur du Plessis Bochart[3] had [Page 93] commenced, that would be a benefit to all their crews, and to the poor Savages; for some Fathers of our Society could withdraw there [193] in the Spring and remain until the departure of the vessels, so that they might aid the Frenchmen and the Savages in their spiritual needs. To dwell there during the winter is a thing I should never advise any Frenchman to do; for the Savages go away at that time, abandoning their rocks to the cold and the snow and the ice, of which some remains are still seen this year very late in the month of June. Moreover, I do not doubt in the least that, if the fury of the Hiroquois can be checked, all the Savages of Tadoussac, and of the Sagné, and of many other small Tribes, will go farther up the river, if we continue to aid them. But let us hear all the observations of the Father.

“ During the stay I made there, these good people,” said he, “invited me ordinarily to their councils; they imparted to me their little affairs; they asked me to their feasts, treating me as their father. They made a feast over the graves of their dead, immediately after my arrival, at which they served eight moose and ten beavers; the Captain, haranguing, said that the souls of the deceased [194] took great pleasure in the odor of these good viands. I wished to speak, in order to refute this error, but they said to me: ‘‘Do not be troubled; this will not hinder our believing, and we are going soon to throw aside all of our old customs.’

“ See how I employed my time among them. At daybreak, which was about three or four o’clock in the morning, I went and offered up prayers to God in their cabins: then I said holy Mass, at which all [Page 95] the Christians who had come down to Tadoussac, in order to trade, were present every day, —not unfrequently making confession and receiving communion. Mass having been said, I withdrew apart, beyond the noise of the cabins, in order to have a little time for myself; afterward I visited the sick, then I brought the children together, to teach them the Catechism. The Sun did not regulate my rising up, or my lying down, or the hour of my repasts, but convenience alone, which was hardly advantageous or favorable to my body.

“ I gave some time after dinner, —now to the men, and then to the women, [195] who assembled that they might be instructed; and toward evening, after having retired by myself for some time, I had prayers offered, with a public instruction, when the children gave an account before their fathers and mothers of what they had learned in the Catechism; this encouraged them, and infinitely gratified their parents.

“ I have seen some of them so eager to be instructed that they have spent whole nights with our Christians waiting to be told and retold a single thing, that it might be fixed in their memories. I questioned publicly the most aged, as I did the children, and all gave me an account of what I had taught them. In a word, if this Mission is arduous, it is enriched with much consolation.

“ On a certain day, I told them that some Frenchmen had said to me, on my leaving Kebec, that I could do with them anything I would, before the arrival of the Vessels; but that on the landing of the Ships they could no longer be restrained, —that they would be intoxicated from morning until night. One of them, beginning to speak, said to me [Page 97] good-naturedly: ‘My Father, make a wager with [196] those who told thee that, and we will see that thou dost win, for assuredly we will not be intoxicated. Remain with us until the fleet comes, and we will bring thee all the liquors that we have, —thou shalt be the Cupbearer and the distributer of them; thou shalt pour them out for us with thine own hand, and we will not exceed the measure that thou shalt give us.’

“ I saw some young men of the Sagné here, who had never seen any Frenchmen; they were much astonished to hear me speak their own Language. They asked from what place I was; they were told that I was from Kebec, and was one of their relatives; but they could not believe it at all, for our beards put a difference, almost essential, so to speak, between a European and a Savage. I have had intercourse with some families from the Interior; they are simple people, and very capable of receiving the good grain and rich seed of the Gospel.

“ Being present, on a certain day, at a meeting where the Savages discussed sending their young men with merchandise to these more distant Tribes, I offered to accompany them, that I might speak of God to [197] those poor people; this somewhat troubled them, for they are unwilling that Frenchmen should have a knowledge of their trade, and of what they give to other Savages for their furs, and this they keep so secret that no one is able to discover it. They described to me the horrible and frightful roads, as they are, indeed; but they magnified the horror of them so as to astound me and divert me from my plan. Having perceived their apprehension, I began to discourse upon eternal woes [Page 99] and blessings; and, seeing them touched, I asked them if they would be content that these poor peoples of their acquaintance should fall into those fires. They answered, ‘Certainly not.’ ‘They must then be instructed,’ I replied; ‘who will do it, if you shut the door to me?’ ‘It is true,’ said one of the chiefs; ‘the Father must be permitted to go anywhere; he is not laden with knives, or hatchets, or any goods, he is our Father, and he loves us; I am of opinion that he should go wherever he will.’ All the others having agreed to this, a Captain exclaimed: ‘Go whither thou wilt, my Father; the door is open to thee, [198] to all the Tribes with which we have acquaintance. We will take thee there in our canoes; but remain with us for this Spring, because, having come to instruct us, thou oughtst not to leave us until we have learned the prayers; thou canst go and visit these good people another year.’ When I saw them thus afraid, I told them that they were well aware of my purpose. ‘It is true,’ said one of the chiefs; ‘the Father does not come here for our furs; he has no merchandise in his hands. He loves us, he is our Father; the door to all the Tribes with which we have acquaintance must be opened for him.’ All the others were of the same opinion, but they, nevertheless, besought me to remain there. Those who had not been baptized asked me for Christians who might embark with them, and speak in my place to these peoples. I put some presents into the hands of two Christians in order that they might invite two Tribes to come and lend ear to the good news of the Gospel. They sent back to me other presents, with a message that, if I would stay at Tadoussac, they would come there. One of our Christians of [199] [Page 101] Saint Joseph, brother to a Captain of the Savages who are in the Interior, inviting him to come and see their fields and their grain, so that he might incite him to cultivate the land, the latter responded:’ Work courageously; beg the French to aid you energetically in clearing the land; as soon as you shall have grain, so that you can assist us, we will all go to see you and remain with you; but we fear the Hiroquois.’ ”

Some time after this, Charles Meiachkawat went, on his own account, to invite another Tribe to believe in God; he found these people so well disposed that he was surprised. This is the way in which he entered upon the subject with them: as they had already heard of our faith, by the report of it which had spread throughout these great forests, they asked him if he had any knowledge of it: “Yes, indeed,” said he; “I myself have been baptized, and I believe in him who made heaven and earth.”’’ Then,’’ said they, “instruct this poor sick man whom thou hast visited, and who is dying.” He approached him, spoke to him of the power of God over all men, and of the recourse he should have to him, and caused him to pray [200] and to ask aid of God’s goodness. The sick man after this prayer was half cured; he arose and walked, to the astonishment of his Tribesmen. Charles, seeing them attentive, told them of the creation of the world, of the Incarnation of the Word, —in short, he taught them what he had learned from us. Being weary of speaking, he went away alone, recited his rosary, and communed with himself in holy thoughts, —walking apart, regardless whether his people were astonished at it or not, imitating what he had seen done by the Father who instructed the Savages at [Page 103] Tadoussac. As soon as he reentered the cabin of the sick man, all the other Savages ran toward him; they placed themselves around him in a circle, in profound silence, and he instructed them according to his ability, No longer knowing what to say, he began so strongly to denounce their superstitions and their eat-all feasts, —showing the brutality of their manners, and blessing God that he had forsaken his old barbarism, —and said so many things against the uselessness and the folly of their drums, that all those who had these went immediately for them, and broke them into a thousand [201] pieces in his presence; this astonished him and greatly consoled him. When he came back, he did not know how to contain himself. “Nikanis,” said he to me, “I did think of bringing them here with me; if they had had anything with which to buy provisions to suffice for the winter, they would have followed me. All those whom I saw are resolved to be instructed, and to abandon their old customs in order to embrace ours.’’ Indeed, I do not doubt that all those poor little Tribes that are in the woods to which our Christians resort, will come and place themselves within the fold of the Church, if they can be assisted.

To conclude, the Father arrived at Tadoussac on the second day of June, and was recalled thence on the twenty-ninth. He baptized fourteen or fifteen Savages, principally children and aged persons; he would have baptized many more, if these poor people had been in a place where they could have been kept in the faith; all that will come in its own time. God, who has touched them and who calls them, will open to them a door and will give them the means of accomplishing his holy will. Amen. [Page 105]





HE arrival of the Vessels ordinarily brings a mingling of joy and sorrow. We took satisfaction in seeing the men of the Gentlemen of Montreal, because their design is wholly for the glory of our Lord, should it succeed. This satisfaction was alloyed by the delay of the sieur de Maisonneufve,[4] who commands these men, and who put into port three times while in France; and, at last, he arrived so late that he was not able to ascend the river above Kebec this year. God grant that the Hiroquois may not shut up the roads, when it shall be a question of going farther forward. Whoever has made a strong resolution to work for Jesus Christ ought to love the Cross of Jesus Christ. Non est discipulus super magistrum. The Cross is [203] the tree of life, which bears the fruits of Paradise, et folia ligni ad sanitatem gentium. The conversion of the Savages will be made only by the Cross.

It was however a welcome consolation to us to see that the long hardships of the voyage had not impaired the health of the passengers who came to increase our little Colony; Father Jacques de la Place[5] and our Brother Ambroise Brouet arrived in good health, thank God. A young Lady, who had not in France two doubles’ worth of life, as they say, lost more than half of it on the Vessel, so much [Page 107] did she suffer; but she has found at Kebec more life than she had when she sailed from la Rochelle. The workmen generally arrive here with very sound bodies and teeth; and if their souls have any sickness, it is not long before they recover good health. The air of New France is very healthy for the soul and for the body. We have been told that it was reported in Paris, that there had sailed to Canada a Vessel laden with girls whose virtue had not the approval of any Doctor; it is a false report, —1 have [204] seen all the Vessels, not one was laden with these wares. Let us change the subject.

Our Altars had not been a long time in mourning for the death of Monsieur Gand[6] when the fleet appeared. This man of wealth actively aided the Savages who retired to Saint Joseph; their conversion moved him to tears, and won his heart. He died in a sublime practice of patience; in a word, he died as he had lived, —that is to say, as a man who seeks God in truth. Hardly had we finished the last services which were his due, when we were again obliged to drape our Chapels in black, that we might perform the service for Monsieur the Commander de Sillery;[7] Monsieur de Montmagny, our Governor, Monsieur the Chevalier de l’Isle, and many others were present thereat. Some Savages wished to receive communion on that day, and all prayed for his soul, knowing the great obligations under which they are to this holy Man, who has laid the foundations for the settlement of these wandering tribes, in the Residence of [205] Saint Joseph. May it please God that those who shall profit by the kind interest of this noble Man may see a slight portion of the great reward that he is enjoying in heaven. His death had [Page 109] checked the aid that he gave us; but I learn that some persons of merit are not willing that this great work should cease, and they are strengthening our hands which were being weakened by the decease of those who are worthy to bear the name of true Fathers of the Christian Savages.

Monsieur the Marquis de Gamache,[8] deceased, was the first who deserved to bear this title, for he opened the first door to the great Missions that we have undertaken in these last limits of the World. His son, having consecrated himself to our Society, ended his days last year, with the crown of a rich perseverance in virtue; both of them now see how devoutly and how usefully these great gifts have been employed, and how a noble action performed in time bears fruit for Eternity.

An act of piety has been brought to my notice, of which, I do not at all doubt, the Holy Ghost was the inspirer; Charity is skillful. [206] A man of merit and of position wishes to provide for a family of Savages; he has set apart a hundred écus to build them a small house, he wishes to be told the number of persons who compose this family, and how they are named; he asks what will be needed to establish them for the first year, and what rule must be observed for their support. This thought did not come from Archimedes, but from a higher spirit. This is precisely the way in which to give to Jesus Christ all the descendants of this family, et nati natorum, et qui nascentur ab illis. All the children of their children, their nephews, and their latest posterity will believe in God. He who converts a sinner in France, ordinarily converts but one man; he who attracts to the faith the head of a Savage family, attracts to it [Page 111] a11 his descendants, usque ad tertiam et quartam generationem, et ultra. I can only believe that sooner or later God will pour his blessings upon the families of those who procure the extension of the family of Jesus Christ his Son.

I shall make use of repetitions, if I mention [207] the earnest prayers, devotions, fasts, and other self-denials which are made in many places in Europe, .for the conversion of these peoples, and especially in the Houses of some Nuns remarkable for piety. I know a Monastery where for several years there has been, continually, day and night, some Nun before the Blessed Sacrament, soliciting this Bread of life to make itself known to the poor Savages, and enjoyed by them. There has been found, even in the country, a Cure so zealous for the salvation of the poor Savages, and Parishioners so full of kindness, that they have made three general processions, and seventy-five fasts; they have taken the discipline a hundred and twenty-four times; they have offered eighteen almsgivings, and a great many prayers, —a11 for the conversion of these tribes; is not that delightful? I pray the great Shepherd to have a very special care of this good Pastor, and of his flock. When I am told that the most saintly souls of France urge heaven to Pour out its blessings upon these countries; when we see delicate young girls, shut up in their houses on the banks of [208] our great river, taking part in the labors of this new World with unparalleled cheerfulness; when I observe a Lady, more than a thousand leagues distant from her own country, giving her means, and her life for these Barbarians, preferring a roof of bark to a ceiling of azure, taking more pleasure in conversing with Savages, [Page 113] than in visiting the greatest Nobles of the Court; when I behold a young Lady, to whom, in. France, a white frost would give a cold, crossing the Ocean, and coming to defy our long winters, and that, in order to speak a few helpful words to some Savage before her death, and with her own eyes to see some of them invoke the sacred Name of God; when I see Savages become Preachers; and when I see eaters of human flesh draw near to the Table of Jesus Christ with modesty, and with the feelings of true children of God, —can scarcely doubt that God, who has begun the great work of conversion among these tribes, will bring it to completion, notwithstanding all the obstacles that may be encountered.

Not long ago, I told [209] our Christian Savages of the aid that elect souls were giving them, and of the fervent prayers that were offered for them in France. That touched them; but, as they appear very cold, they seemed to take no notice of it then. The next day, two of the leading men came to me and said: “Nikanis, we have met together because of what thou didst tell us yesterday; we are poor, we have no way of repaying those who aid us; but we have decided that we will fast for them, and that we will pray for those who pray to God so much for us. We shall fast, without eating or drinking all day long,” said these good Neophytes. This resolution moved me and made me say: “May those who plead before divine Justice for the Savages gain their cause, through the favor of Jesus Christ.”

I am neither a Prophet, nor the son of a Prophet, as says the proverb; but, seeing what God has done in one France and in the other for the salvation of [Page 115] the Savages, I scarcely doubt that one day will be, seen what I am going to remark.

First, I expect that Saint [210] Joseph will be: peopled by Abnaquiois, by Bersiamites, by Savages, from Tadoussac, by the Porcupine Tribe, by the, Oupapinachiwekhi, and the Oumamiwekhi;[9] these are unimportant tribes in the Interior, who will rally about our Neophytes of Saint Joseph, and who will also, by degrees, call others. These Tribes have heard of Jesus Christ, —his Doctrine seems to them beautiful and desirable; the example of their fellow tribesmen who have become Christians, touches them powerfully; but the little assistance that we can give them, and the fury of the Hiroquois, hinder their coming to join us.

Secondly, the Attikamegues, and other Tribes of’ which I do not know the names, who are in the Interior, will settle at the Three Rivers; they would: already have done so, but for the fear of their common enemy, the Hiroquois. They are good and. docile peoples, very easily won to Jesus Christ.

In the third place, the Algonquins, —as well those, of the Island as of the petite Nation, the Onontchataronons, and many others who are in those quarters, —some Hurons, and even also some Hiroquois, [211] will one day dwell on the Island of Montreal and in neighboring places. This Island ought to be a great resort for many tribes. I do not say of the Hurons, the upper Algonquins, and the Hiroquois, what I have said of the Attikamegues, of the Kakwazakhi, and of the Bersiamites; these latter are lambs, and the former are fierce as wolves; but habitabit lupus cum agno, et puer parvulus minabit eos.

In the fourth place, after Montreal, Video turbam [Page 117] magnum quam dinumerare nemo potest ex omnibus gentibus; “I see at the South and at the West a great number of Tribes that cultivate the land and that are entirely sedentary, but have never heard of Jesus Christ; the door to all these peoples has been shut against us by the Hiroquois. In all these vast tracts there are only the Hurons, and some other neighboring Tribes, to whom we have carried the good news of the Gospel; but then we are obliged to approach them by horrible roads and long detours, and in continual danger of being boiled or roasted and then eagerly devoured by the wretched Hiroquois. We [212] do not lose courage on account of this; we believe that God will make a light in this darkness, and that some powerful Spirit will open the door to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in these vast regions, and that old France will save the life of the New, which is going to be lost, unless it be vigorously and speedily succored; the trade of these Gentlemen, the French Colony, and the Religion which is beginning to flourish among the Savages, will be subverted, if the Hiroquois be not overcome. Fifty Hiroquois are capable of making two hundred Frenchmen leave the country, —not if they fought unflinchingly, for in that case fifty Frenchmen would rout five hundred Hiroquois, if the Dutch did not give them firearms. If these Barbarians become enraged at our Frenchmen, they will never let them sleep soundly; a Hiroquois will remain for two or three days without food behind a stump, fifty paces from your house, in order to slay the first person who shall fall into his ambush. If he be discovered, the forest serves him —for an asylum; where a Frenchman would find only hindrance, a Savage will bound as lightly as a deer [Page 119] What opportunity is there to take breath, in such [213] anxieties? If we do not make friends with these people, or if they be not exterminated, we must abandon to their cruelty many good Neophytes; we must lose many beautiful hopes, and see the Demons reenter their empire.

I thought to finish this chapter; but here are some fragments of a letter which will be a good conclusion. “I set out last year from the Three Rivers,” says Father Claude Pijart, “to go to the country of the Nipisiriniens. God delivered us from the ambushes of the Hiroquois, and from a shipwreck, in which I thought I should lose my life; the Savages who were conducting me having stepped into the water, in a torrent against the current of which they were dragging the canoe that bore me, and the rapidity of the water having made them lose their hold, I saw myself being carried away by the torrent into a precipitous rush of water full of horror. I was, while full of life, at two finger-lengths from death, when a young Huron, who alone had remained with me in the canoe, sprang nimbly into the seething water, pushed the canoe out of the current, and, in escaping himself, saved me and all our little baggage. I encountered, besides, other dangers, from which Eripuit me Dominus, et mater misericordiœ. God [214] and the Mother of Mercy delivered me. We have made several journeys this winter; God has rewarded our humble labors with some predestined souls, that seemed only to await Holy Baptism that they might enter heaven. Our usual dwelling place during the winter has been in the country of the Hurons, which we left on the eighth of May, that we might go and instruct the Nipisiriniens. We say holy Mass every day in their [Page 121] cabins, making a little recess, or a little Chapel, with our blankets. These peoples seem to me very gentle, truly modest, and in no wise proud; they are very thrifty, —the women do not know what idleness is, and the children go to fish as soon as they are somewhat grown. The young people show a great eagerness to learn what we teach them of the doctrine of Jesus Christ, and they are much given to singing. The men go to trade or barter with other Savages in the North, whence they bring back a quantity of furs; one Savage alone, having his supply of grain, had besides three hundred beavers, which are the best money of the country. If God give his blessing to these poor [215] peoples, we shall need a goodly number of brave workers, who will devote themselves to the Algonquin tongue; all these regions are filled with people who speak it. I hope that our Nipisiriniens will go down to the Three Rivers with Father Charles Raimbault; I beg you to be present, if you please, with the new Christians, in that neighborhood; their example and their conversation will have much influence with our Savages. ”

From another letter: “Your Reverence can hardly believe how welcome you would be in these parts, for the establishing of our itinerant Missions; I pray our Lord that he may order all things to his greatest glory. I have no news since my last letter, except that Father Paul Ragueneau and Father Ménard arrived here in good health, on the day preceding the Assumption; in the evening, prayers were chanted in our Chapel of bark, in Latin, in Algonquin, and in Huron. What you have been told concerning the men who are beyond the Sagné is true; our Nipisiriniens, returning not long since from the [Page 123] Kyristinouns,[10] who trade on the Northern sea, assured us that they found four hundred men who all speak Montagnais, —that is equivalent to four thousand souls.’ ’

[216] Here are a few words from Father Pierre Pijart: “I have been on a Mission to the tobacco Nation; I found two Villages where Algonquin was spoken, in one of which the men go entirely nude. It is asserted that the people of the fire Nation, and of another that is called the Awanchronon Nation, also speak Algonquin; here is a fine extent of country for our Fathers who shall learn this language, —here is indeed something to animate their zeal. As prisoner belonging to the fire Nation told me that he had heard, in his own country, that there were found certain people at the South of those lands, who planted and harvested Indian corn twice a year, and that the last harvest was made in the month of December.” These are the Father’s own words. Whoever shall check or vanquish the fury of the Hiroquois, or shall succeed in means of winning them, will open the door to Jesus Christ in all these regions It is a great honor that God grants to men, to make them partakers in the labors of the Cross of his Son, for the conversion of souls. [Page 125]

Relation of the most remarkable things that oc-

curred in the Mission of the Fathers of the

Society of Jesus in the Huron country of

New France, from the month of June in the

year one thousand six hundred and forty,

to the month of June in the year

1641. Addressed to the Reverend

Father Jacques Dinet, Provincial

of the Society of JESUS, in

the Province of France.




The Relation of this year, that I send to your Reverence, will show you how our Fathers who were here, have been distributed in seven Missions, in which they have preached and published the Gospel to sixteen or seventeen thousand Barbarians. If the sufferings endured in so noble an employment are a measure of the hopes which we should entertain for the conversion of these tribes, we have reason to believe that at last we shall make good Christians of these poor unbelievers: and whatever resistance earth and hell may bring to the designs that we have, we shall not for that lose a jot of our confidence. The blood of Jesus Christ, which was shed for them as [4] well as for us, shall be at last adored there; and not only the Hurons, but a multitude of nations still more populous, which surround us on almost all sides, will submit themselves to this great King of glory, to whom all the nations of the earth shall at last render homage. It is these hopes alone that sustain all our labors; and to the end that they be not vain, I supplicate Your Reverence to assist us by your Holy Sacrifices and prayers.

Your Reverence’s

From the permanent

Very humble and very

residence of Ste. Marie

obedient servant in Our

among the Hurons, this


19th of May, 1641.


[Page 129]





UR Barbarians having enjoyed this year perfect health, and the fruits of a great and prosperous harvest, have not rebuffed us in our visits, nor cast so black looks upon us as in the preceding year. I do not know, nevertheless, which we ought rather to wish them, —adversity, or prosperity; sickness, or health. For, if the healthy do not become wiser in time by one than by the other, some sick ones, at least during their maladies, give us in dying the assurance —or, at all events, —the hope of their happiness.

From the month of June in the preceding year, until the month of November following, our occupation [6] was to keep together the few Christians who had remained with us after the violent storm of the preceding winter; to make some trips to the Missions already begun; and to prepare ourselves for the Missions of the winter.

Towards the middle of Autumn, —having considered our proficiency in the language, and what there was to do among the peoples to whom we had proclaimed the Gospel in the past, —we found that, without doing harm to the five Missions of the preceding year, we could undertake two new ones, —one in the Huron language, and one in the Algonquin; and this last, with the help of two of our Fathers [Page 131] recently arrived from Quebeq, and sent for this purpose.

Behold us then, immediately after, distributed among seven missions, where we preached and published the Kingdom of God to sixteen or seventeen thousand Barbarians of divers tribes. There was no village or hamlet, cabin or fireside, to which we could approach, where we did not discharge our duty. And if we do not see in them so many conversions as we might desire, at least [7] we have the consolation of finding in their minds much more inclination to the Faith than in preceding years.

Notwithstanding, it is a pitiable thing to see the ideas and imaginations in which the evil spirit still keeps these poor tribes. Some of them are seized with fright as soon as they see us, and ask if the malady does not return with us; others, after having heard us, have no reply except that they have no mind. Some, before pledging themselves, ask if we will assure them that they shall grow old; others entreat that we should then undertake wholly the healing of all the sick, since we forbid the feasts and the ceremonious dances, which are the remedies of the country; others ask upon what they shall live, and how they shall spend their time, since they are forbidden to steal, and to cherish the women; others do not cease to protest that they believe, with a thousand politenesses and flatteries, which end [8] at last only in asking for something or in stealing it if they can.

There are some who listen seriously and consent willingly to everything, remaining convinced of the truth; but on being urged to come to the performance of it, and to forsake all their superstitions, —and [Page 133] especially their Aaskwandiks or familiar demons, real or imaginary, —they lose courage, not being able to resolve on abandoning that which for so many ages they have persuaded themselves to be essential to their preservation and that of their families, and the source of all their good fortune.

We find generally in this dust some pearl, I mean some predestined soul, which profits by our visits. But the number of these is indeed like that of the elect, —small in comparison with the others. The number of those who have been baptized this year is about a hundred, of whom several have died happily, —without speaking of many little children deceased, who had been baptized in preceding years.

[9] After all, we find here, in the midst of this great Barbarism, a little Church composed of about thirty Frenchmen, and about fifty Savages making profession, assisted and continually favored by a very special Providence of God: we can believe no other thing, but that it is a bit of leaven which, little by little, is growing, and which in its own time will produce its effect.

Now —in whatever time it may be that it please God to give full and entire blessing to this work —the way by which we must begin will be to fix and confirm the marriages, which have here no stability, and are broken more easily than the promises which children make to one another in France. And, —inasmuch as one of the principal causes of their dissolution comes from this, that one of the parties is not able to supply the needs and necessities of the other, which causes that other to go and seek them elsewhere, —one of the most effective means of binding them indissolubly will be to assist them in such a case [Page 135] I cannot sufficiently admire divine Providence, nor sufficiently adore his goodness and [10] mercy, —since, having slightly alluded to this subject in preceding Relations, it has pleased him to quicken many holy souls, whose charity has surpassed all our hopes; so that we have assurance, at least for some time, that means will not be lacking to assist many of these poor barbarians, that their marriages may be rendered stable. It is for this purpose, with the help of this aid, that we have begun to work,

Certain persons of merit, not being contented with a temporary alms, have resolved to make perpetual foundations of the ten or twelve écus with which I said that each of these marriages could be established; so that they may be continually thus employed, by order of the Fathers of our Society, while the Faith shall be firmly rooted in these husbands and wives and in their families; and in case it happen to be lacking in them, that we may propagate it in other families which shall be Christianized; the principal for such income shall be set aside for this. This is in [11] truth to establish and maintain Christianity in these regions, by a devotion as judicious as charitable.

Among those who are inclined to this charity have been found some, as I learn, who are freed from marriage and without children, or even who have always lived free from such bond, and who have believed that they might here gain children for God and for themselves, by this manner of holy adoption, and thus perpetuate their names in this land of a rising Church, when these are lost in their own. And to cause that by this means remembrance of them may be always more present in the prayers of these people, they have desired that their names should be [Page 137] given to the families proceeding from these marriages, procured by the efforts of their charity. We are awaiting the list of these, that we may begin the execution of their design; while the book of life will preserve the names of all, in order one day to render —to each one, according to his merit and his charity: for this we supplicate most humbly the divine Majesty.

So many holy thoughts and plans for aiding our poor Savages [12] joined to the courage of Messieurs of the Company of New France, —which is never disheartened by any misfortune of the times in advancing the chief object of our work, which depends much upon their firmness and good will, —confirm us in the opinion that sooner or later God will do some great thing.





F the number of Fathers who were with us in the Huron country at the time of the last Relation, Father Paul Ragueneau, and Father Joseph Poncet went down to Quebek last Summer to spend the Winter there; and, toward the beginning of Autumn, Father Claude Pijart and Father Charles Raymbault came here, on account of [their knowledge of] the Algonquin language; and they complete the same number of [13] thirteen Fathers which we bad last year. It is in this House of the Mother of God that at some time in the year we see ourselves all reunited; and we even hope that it may serve as a retreat to the poor Christian Savages, who, —feeling themselves carried away by a torrent of debaucheries, and by the barbarous and infernal customs of their Country, while dwelling in their own villages, —will have a means of escaping ship-wreck by taking refuge near us; some of them have already done so, and we shall willingly welcome as neighbors entire families who may wish to approach us, some of whom have given us their word.

At all events, it is a very great consolation to US to see arrive here from two, three, and four leagues’ distance on Saturday evenings, a number of ‘our Christians, who dispose themselves in villages very near [the residence], in order to celebrate Sunday [Page 141] therein, and in the midst of this Barbarism to render all together the homage which since [14] the creation of the world has been there denied to him who alone has merited it. A number of Algonquins having wintered near us this year, it was a sweet anthem to hear at the same time the praises of God in three or four languages; in a word, I can say that this house is the house of peace, —so much so, that the very Savages who elsewhere are most hostile and most insolent towards us, take on an appearance of feeling and disposition wholly different, when we see them in our home. We hope that, with time, matters will become more and more quiet, and that, at last, we shall see the people brought to their duty.

The order that Monsieur the Chevalier de Montmagny, our Governor, established last year at the time when they went down to the trade, in punishing and repressing the acts of insolence that had been committed against us up here, has already had a good effect on the minds of these Barbarians. They, after their return, did not less admire the wisdom of his conduct and of his justice in the past than they [15] feared his menaces for the future; indeed, even a few entire tribes have rendered us justice here for the wrong we had received from some among them, in order to avoid the punishment and the reproach which they feared to receive down at the three Rivers. It is using his authority wisely to bring under the law of justice a barbarous people, three hundred leagues from you, and it is a pious employment of power to render it efficacious in maintaining in peace the Preachers of the Faith, in a country where impiety and insolence have reigned from the beginning of the world. Such a support of [Page 143] the Gospel will not avail less for the conversion of these tribes than even they who announce to them the word of God. It is God alone who can be therefor the just reward; we pray that so it may be.

On the 2nd day of November, we all left the house, —separating, in order to begin our Missions, with as much joy as we had experienced in finding ourselves all together. [16] Father Pierre Chastelain was left there quite alone, to receive and entertain the Christians, and provide for peace and quiet within and without when the Savages should arrive, —which he did with a special blessing of God.

The care of the Mission which bears the name of this House, and which includes four or five of the nearest villages, fell to Father Isaac Jogues, and to Father François du Peron; having had therein the same employments and the same difficulties that we shall see in the following Missions, they have likewise participated in the consolations that there are in laboring in the vineyard of the great Master who employs us therein. [Page 145]




ATHER François le Mercier has had the principal care of this Mission; I have had the satisfaction of accompanying him to it and of often seeing with my own eyes the most pleasing object, and the greatest treasure that we have in these regions, —that is, the first Church which was planted here composed of a small number of Christians who live in the fear of God, and adore him in truth, in the midst of a nation which for five thousand years has recognized only demons as masters. The greater part of these good Christians are found in the chief village of the Mission, which extends over” several other villages and hamlets.

It was to this village of la Conception (which bears the name of the whole Mission) that the brave and generous Christian Joseph Chihwatenhwa belonged, of whom there has been so often mention in preceding relations, [18] and whom the Iroquois slew last Summer, having rushed unexpectedly upon him.

Who would not have thought that the whole edifice must fall into ruin after the apparently so disastrous death of him whom all, unbelievers as well as Christians, regarded as the pillar and column of this little rising Church! and upon whom, in truth, we had looked as an Apostle of this country, since —existing only for the glory of God, having love only for him, [Page 147] relying only upon the verities of the faith, which unceasingly illuminated his mind and animated almost all his desires —he not only had the qualities of one, but he had even performed the office of one at the peril of his life. There was no place in all these regions, in which we had set foot while he lived, where he had not boldly preached the greatness of him whom they ought to adore as God, and the obligations under which we are to the Blood and to the Cross of Jesus Christ.

But so far from the faith having received any harm from this blow, in the [19] hearts of the Believers, it seems rather to have become firmer than before.

His wife —who, it seemed, should have been the most cast down by this occurrence —told us that, when the news of it was brought to her, she remained some time speechless, without realizing anything; and that the first thought which came to her was what she had so often heard the deceased say on many occasions. He who is the master of it has thus arranged it; what could we do in the matter? She afterward so bore herself in her affliction, that I do not know how any one of the best Christians in our Europe could have done better. Several of the family told us that the conversations which the deceased had so often held with them while he lived —not having convinced them in his lifetime —came again into their minds at the time of his death, and so forcibly affected them that they apprehended that which they had never well understood, and made resolutions to change their lives.

In fact, his elder brother named Teondechorren, who before had not had a high regard for his instructions [20] and good advice, came to” us three days [Page 149] after the murder, to ask us urgently for Baptism. He was examined, was sounded, and was found instructed and informed upon all that was necessary for it. However, some time was taken in order the better further to observe his disposition, in which finding nothing to criticize, he was baptized on the feast of the Nativity of Our Lady. We gave him the name of Joseph, which was the name of the deceased, in the hope we had that the virtue of his late brother, as well as his name, might be made to live again in his person. We do not know what will be the progress and outcome for him, but at this beginning we are not receiving less satisfaction from him than we received formerly from his late brother, when he began to be a Christian; nay, we even find in him something more, —yet with this difference, that his brother had had no one before him whom he could imitate; but this one has had the example of his brother, which seems to have been the whole cause of his good fortune.

[21] The conversion of this new Joseph seems so much the more important, as he had been for twenty years steeped in the practice of the Aoutaenhrohi, or festival and dance of fire, —the most diabolical, and, at the same time, the most general remedy for maladies that there is in the country. He has corroborated for us everything that has been already written about it; and he related to us that when about twenty years old he began, through a youthful fancy, to follow those who turned their attention to this; but when he saw that he had not, like the others, hands and mouth which were fireproof, he was very careful not to touch what was too hot, but he made only [Page 151] a pretense of doing it and played his part to the best of his ability.

At the end of some time he had a dream, in which he saw himself present at one of these dances or festivals, and handling fire like the others, and he heard at the same time a song, which he was astonished to know perfectly on awaking. At the first feast of this kind which was made, he began to sing his song, and behold, by degrees he [22] felt himself becoming frenzied, —he took the burning embers and the hot stones with his hands and with his teeth from the midst of the live coals, he plunged his bare arm to the bottom of the boiling kettles, and all without any injury or pain, in a word, he was master of his trade. And since then for the space of twenty years, it has befallen him sometimes to be present at three or four festivals or dances of this kind in one day, for the healing of the sick.

He assured us that, far from being burned then, one felt, on the contrary, a coolness of the hands and mouth; but that all must be done following and depending upon the song that has been learned in the dream; that otherwise nothing extraordinary takes place.

He told us, besides, that then from time to time he saw himself in dreams present at these feasts, and that then something was given or lent him that he should wear about his person during the ceremony. This was a warning to him that he must not undertake it the next time, unless he had about him that which he had seen in his dream; [23] for this reason, at the next dance, he declared his wish, and immediately there was thrown him that which he had declared to be necessary to him, in order that he might [Page 153] play his part. This, in my judgment, ought to be called by its true name, a renewal of homage and of recognition that the evil spirit now and then draws from these poor Tribes, as from slaves to his power.

Now this poor man is wholly charmed at finding himself in his present condition. He is often imagining that he is like a prisoner of war in these quarters, escaped from the hands of his enemies, while his companions, bound with chains, are on the eve of suffering horrible torments; these are his own thoughts. He broke away, at once, from all the superstitions of his country; at all the feasts to which he has been invited since his baptism, he has courageously kept the liberty that we ask for our Christians on such occasions; and, wherever he has been, he has openly made profession of what he is. He wished that the will of the deceased should be carried out, concerning the little Therese, his niece, —[24] that she should be taken to Quebek and put into the hands of the Ursuline Mothers, —saying that he was resolved upon anything that God should order concerning her; in a word, he gives us complete satisfaction.

This good man, until now, was not of much importance among those of his Tribe; but since he has become a Christian he has been looked upon in a’ very different light by the Captains themselves, and by the most influential men of his village, who have wished to employ him in public affairs. Now, one day, when he had engaged to render us a certain service (it was to make a journey to the Neutral Nation, and to attend on their return the Fathers who were there on Missions), having found that they wished to employ him at the same time in public business [Page 155] he endeavored to join one with the other, and proposed expedients for that to the Council. But, as these could not be accepted by those who presided thereat, —the two affairs having been incompatible, —he begged they would not take it amiss should he not engage in the Public business, making a solemn protestation, that whenever [25] it was a question of the service of God or of ourselves, there was no business which he would not defer thereto.

His wife, who has a very good mind and a beautiful disposition, having become a Catechumen at the same time that her husband was baptized, was finally herself baptized last Easter, and named Catherine: we hope much from her. May it please God to bless with all desirable stability this marriage which has been confirmed in a Christian manner.

It is not only upon the family of the deceased Joseph Chihwatenhwa, that the blessings of Heaven have fallen favorably since his death; but we see its effects, full of consolation, on all the other Christians who compose this little Church; for we could hardly desire more content and satisfaction than we receive from this little flock. It appears to us like a little lump of gold refined in the furnace of many tribulations, which have at last separated the true from the false; so that we scarcely see any person among our Christians [26] whose sincerity we have reason to doubt.

The report having reached the village of la Conception, about the middle of January, that our Fathers of the Mission of the Apostles to the Khionontateronons had been lost in the snow, in returning here to make a trip, a few of these good Christians immediately set about going to seek or aid them; but [Page 157] having found them 2 or 3 leagues from the village to which they were coming, —after having passed the night safely in the woods by a favorable chance, or rather a leading of God, —they preceded them, in order to have food prepared for these poor Fathers, who had eaten nothing that day.

The deceased, after the transfer of our residence from his village, had intended to give a part of his cabin for a chapel. This during his life could not be accomplished, his death happening at the time the site of the village was being changed, and when every one was making himself a new cabin. But in the month of October following, everything having been arranged, a very comfortable Chapel was set up, and the first Mass was said on the 14th of the same month. In this [27] Chapel (of which in our absence this new Christian has the key) the Christians assemble morning and evening in order to say their prayers, at which the oldest Christian —and at present, the most influential one of this little Church —presides, who is named René Tsondihwane. It is he, above all, who has the care of observing the Holy Day, that is to say, Sunday; which he does in the presence of the others, saying every day of the week a decade of his rosary for this purpose.

They meet together in this same Chapel, every Sunday, either to hear Mass and the public instruction when we are there, or to repeat in common their rosary. When they think that we are not to be with them on Sunday, some one of them rarely fails to be present with us, that he may celebrate this Holy day. He of whom I was just speaking, René Tsondihwane, has sometimes spent 8 days with us. Now, before concluding what concerns this little [Page 159] Church, I cannot omit what happened to this good Savage, which was perhaps enough to shake his faith, if God had not very specially helped him.

[28] He is about sixty years old. At the beginning, when he was at an age to make feasts and to be present at them, he had a dream, in which he was forbidden ever to make a dog feast, or to permit that any one should make one for him, or else misfortune would happen to him. He had always taken great care to obey this dream, until last year, at the beginning of winter, having gone on a visit to some village, one of his friends desired to make a dog feast for him. He immediately remembered his dream; nevertheless, thinking at the same time that he was a Christian and that his dreams ought no longer to be important to him, he accepted the feast. He had no sooner returned to his house than he found one of his daughters and one of his sons sick, who afterward died. This stroke unsettled him, and caused him to make a false step, which we noticed in the preceding Relation. But having recovered from his fall at the end of a few days, by the assistance and the good words of our late Christian, —who, having first won him to God, won him anew this second [29] time, —he has since given us great satisfaction; but here is an occasion upon which he wholly repaired the error of his fall by the firmness of his faith and by the constancy which he displayed.

René, a short time after his baptism, was fishing with our late Christian Joseph Chihwatenhwa, and the latter happened to dream all that really befell him about fourteen months afterward, —namely, that three or four Iroquois attacked him; that, having defended himself, he was thrown to the ground; that [Page 161] they took off his scalp, and gave him a blow with a hatchet on the head from which they had removed it. The late Christian awaking after this dream, spoke to René, his companion. “Ah, my comrade,” said he, “it is now, if we were not Christians, that we should be obliged to have recourse to our songs and feasts, in order to efface the calamity of my dream. But it is not that which is the master of our lives, —it is he of whom they have taught us, and in whom we believe, who alone disposes of it [30] according to his good pleasure.” And thereupon he related to him the dream that I have just stated. We have reason to think that this same dream returned to him several times afterward; for members of his family declared that often in the morning they heard him speak on awaking, and say, Art thou the master of it? No, no, it is only God who shall dispose of it. NOW that which he had dreamed having happened to him in every point, and the report being abroad in the country that he had died on account of not having observed his dream, —which, menacing him with enemies, commanded him to make a sacrifice or feast of z dogs, —this was very likely to revive in the mind of the poor René, as well as those of the other good Christians, the general belief and deference that all these Tribes render to a dream, as to the master of life and of death. However, it pleased God to deliver him from this temptation, and to strengthen thoroughly his spirit and his courage. He was the first to solve the difficulties which are therein presented, and which are not trifling.

As we were in his cabin this winter, the news was brought to him that one of his sons had been taken by the enemy, [31] and led away alive into their [Page 163] country. This news moved him at first, and, as if communing with himself, “Alas! my God,” said he, “what can I find amiss in that which you have ordered for him? ”

This is the condition of our little, growing Church, in which, if we do not see a great flock, at least we have the consolation of seeing the fear of God and the service of his Majesty honored. Above all, during Advent and Lent, we have not failed morning and evening, at the close of their prayers, to give them a little instruction in common, in order to establish in their minds and in their hearts the principles of the Christian life. Such fruit has followed therefrom as we could have desired.

We have visited all the other villages and hamlets appertaining to this Mission; we have returned from them with this thought, that sooner or later they will belong to us, or rather to God. I cannot pass over the peculiar obligation under which we are to God, for having preserved to us Father François le Mercier, who in one of his winter journeys, passing by necessity over a frozen lake, happened [32] to fall into the water, before he had perceived the weakness of the ice. A few Savages who were following him stopped suddenly, thinking more of the danger in which they were, than of helping the Father, which they saw not even the possibility of doing without putting themselves into a greater danger. The Father, stretching out his elbows, supported himself as well as was possible, from one cake of ice to another; and at length, having chanced on a place a little firmer than the rest, he ventured to make an effort, and lifted his leg upon the ice. The Savage least distant from him, seeing him in this condition [Page 165] put down a sack of grain which he had on his back, cautiously approached the Father, and, seizing him by the shoulder and the leg, made an effort to draw him out; but finding him too heavy, he left him, that he might return quickly to a place of greater safety. There, after having looked at the Father, who on his part continued to do what he could to facilitate the help of which he had need, he could not refrain from returning to make a second effort, greater than the first, by which [33] at last he drew the Father out of the water.

These are some of the dangers that are inseparably attached to the search for our poor wandering sheep in these regions, as we shall see still further hereinafter; but these are the delights of the servants of the good Shepherd [Page 167]






HESE two Missions are sufficiently well peopled to give adequate employment to six or eight workers; but the small number that we have among the Hurons not being even ample enough to furnish two Fathers to each Mission, we have found ourselves obliged to unite these two under the care of Father Antoine Daniel and of Father Simon le Moyne. Their labor has been thereby considerably increased, were one to mention only the distance of the villages [34] in which they are to teach, as the paths from one to the other are very often infested by the Iroquois, the enemies of the Hurons; but their joy increases in proportion, since the steps that one takes for the conquest of a single soul are so many steps towards Heaven.

An Iroquois was to be burned in a rather distant village; what a consolation to set out, in the height of Summer heat, in order to deliver this poor victim from the hell which was prepared for him! He was approached and instructed, even while he was groaning under the cruelty of tortures; suddenly faith found a place in his heart, —he recognized and adored, as the author of his life, him whose name he had never heard until the hour of his death. He received the grace of Baptism, and then longed only [Page 169] for Heaven; they increased their fires and flames, and everything that cruelty supplies to spirits maddened by rage. This new but courageous Christian, —having ascended the scaffold which was the place of his torment, in the sight of a thousand people who were his judges, his executioners, [35] and his enemies, —raised both his eyes and his voice to Heaven, there being nothing upon the earth to attract his heart; and, shouting in a loud voice, made known to every one the cause of a joy which appeared on his brow in the fiercest tortures that he was enduring: “Io sakhrihotat de Sarakounentai, onne ichien aihei aronhiae eeth de Eihei;’’ “Sun, who art witness of my torments, listen to my words. I am at the point of death; but, after this death, Heaven shall be my dwelling.” He repeated and reiterated often these words, and died in this sweet hope. What happiness for that soul! but what joy does he experience who has sped eight or ten leagues that he may procure for him this grace! This fortunate prisoner was named Tehondakwae, and in his baptism, Joseph —the name of the village in which he was burned.

In the village of St. Jean Baptiste, a young man fell suddenly sick, and sick unto death. For several years he had been often spoken to concerning God, —both in Quebek, where he [36] had been seven or eight months in our seminary, and, after his return home, in frequent visits that had been made to his cabin; but neither faith nor the fear of God had ever entered his soul; his words were nothing but calumnies against us, but blasphemies against God, and seemed infallible signs of a reprobate soul. How remote from ours are the thoughts of God! This [Page 171] young man had no sooner fallen sick than he of his own accord opened his eyes to the truth; the fear of hell, which until then he had considered a fable, made him think of Paradise: ‘I Alas!” exclaimed he, “I am dying, and the Fathers are not here. Run to them, I beg you, my brother, wherever they may be” (said he to one of his elder brothers, chief Captain of this tribe) “run quickly, and let them know as soon as possible the peril in which I am.” This brother set out in haste and came to our Fathers, who were 12 leagues distant. God knows with what anxiety they flew to this poor sick man, who opened his arms to them, asked their pardon, and longed for Baptism. When [37] God prepares a soul, and speaks to the depths of a heart, many words .are not needed. He very soon received Baptism and at the same time peace of mind; and the little that remained to him of life he employed, even to the last moment, in saving himself from eternal woe.

However rebellious a soul may be against the truths of our faith, we must not despair of it before death. If God, who is the only one injured, await the hour of our salvation with so much patience and long-suffering, it is for us to follow his leadings and to reverence in all things the movements of his divine providence.

We have seen this again recently, in the person of another young man of the village of saint Ignace, who was named Joseph Tewatirhon. The Seminary of Quebek had maintained him two whole years, and he went out from it with the grace of a Christian and the fear of God; but at such an age it is very difficult to preserve so precious a treasure in the reign of shamelessness, —when he was again in his own [Page 173] country, it was not long before he was seen drawn into the vices which there are accounted [38] virtues. Our remonstrances and the strokes of God brought him back, from time to time, to his duty; but, among the Hurons as well as in the midst of France, he who is not fortified by an extraordinary help from Heaven, is seen to fall again very soon into his wretchedness. And the worst is, that the more he falls, the more he plunges forward toward the precipice, —one abyss leads to another; and very often faith is found stifled in the midst of so many sins. We feared this misfortune for this young Christian, but the moment of his salvation had come. He was overtaken by an accident of fire which was near destroying him on the spot; this fire extinguished a more infernal one that was devouring his soul, —it was necessary now to think only of Heaven. Our Fathers ran to him, and lent him assistance. The Mother of Mercy, whom he implored until death, without doubt aided him in that moment on which eternity depended, and made us see that not one of those whom God has chosen as his elect is lost.

Our consolation in the midst of our trials is to go thus from town to town, [39] from village to village, gathering these ears of grain that the Angels are separating from the tares, so that in Heaven they may compose that crown of the elect, which has cost so many labors and fatigues to the Son of God. [Page 175]





ATHER Charles Garnier and Father Pierre Pijart have had care of this Mission, in the instruction of which they have neglected nothing that could be expected of good workers. The difficulties are so much the greater in this Mission, as this Nation is not of the number of those that go down for the Huron trade, —those who claim the trade for themselves not permitting it, as we have already said. This causes them to look upon us as strangers, and as persons with [40] whom they have no connection. But, besides the ordinary calumnies of those among whom we live, which fill their ears and minds continually, they look upon us only with an eye suspicious of some misfortune that we have come to bring them; for which reason, they put forthwith a bad construction on everything that they see us do, and above all on the most holy acts; nevertheless they bring forward no other motive for their mistrust, than the cause that the Hurons give them for it by their conversation.

In order to soothe and calm these minds, we judged it would be fitting that the Fathers when they went on their Mission this year, should do their best to hold there some general meeting of the chief men of the country, in order duly to inform them of .our intentions. And since they saw no better means [Page 177] of accomplishing this than that of presents, they carried some with them; and, after arriving in the country, they made known their purpose.

I do not know that ever any matter was argued there as this was, —some agreeing to the proposition, others not wishing to hear [41] mentioned either the meeting, or presents coming from our hands, saying boldly and clearly, that this was a. charm which we intended to use in order to ruin their country, as we had hitherto ruined those in which we had been. However, the meeting was, held, but the presents were refused: what we gained was that, in this assembly of the most Notable men of the Country, our commission in the name of God was declared to them, and the obligation of recognizing and honoring his divine Majesty and Our Lord Jesus Christ as the master of their lives and their salvation, was enjoined upon them. Perhaps there was present some Predestined soul, which in its own time will profit by so blessed a discourse.

Since that time, however, the Fathers have gone through all the villages and hamlets of this district, and have discharged their duties therein with all freedom, as having a power independent of all these ceremonies; and they have found in these people a totally different manner and reception from that which had been intimated to them by a Captain, —who, in open Council, gave them a command to vacate [42] the country as soon as possible, if they were wise. Indeed, there has been no village in which they have since been better received than in the one where this Captain dwells, —the inhabitants endeavoring, it would seem, to repair the fault of their chief; but they stop there for the present, and [Page 179] do not Yet speak of embracing the Faith in earnest. We shall see, in time, what constancy will produce in these People, unless God, solicited by some devout SOURS, be pleased to open a quicker way.

We begin to question if the scourges and punishments, which happen to those who despise the calls and sweet invitations of Heaven, may not be one of the expedients of his goodness, to cause the eyes of these poor blind ones to be opened. At all events, it is certain that to the village of Ehwae, surnamed St. Pierre and St. Paul, —the principal village of this Mission, whence Father Garnier was driven last year, —all imaginable misfortunes happened before the end of the year. The greater part of the cabins were burned by the enemy about three months afterward. [43] Many died of hunger, of cold, or of smallpox; others perished in the water, and many were taken by the enemy. In fact, the matter appeared so extraordinary that the Captain of a neighboring village might well notice it, —attributing the desolation of this village to no other cause than to the refusal they made to the Preachers of the Gospel, last year.

I would greatly lengthen this Chapter if I undertook to set forth here in detail all that the Fathers were compelled to suffer from these Barbarians; in the space of the 4 or 5 months that the principal term of their Mission continued, —to say nothing of that which is common to all the Missionaries of these regions, of which something could be seen in the last Relation, and which has been so much the more considerable this year, as the snow has been here extraordinarily deep. One day, as they were going from one village to another, laden with [Page 181] their bundles, when they issued from a little thicket, each one felt a hand seize him by the shoulder and a voice cried: “You are dead men!” Immediately they found themselves upon the ground. They [44] expected next nothing less than a blow from a hatchet or a knife; but nothing else followed. Then they arose, and perceived the naked Savages who were fleeing, some to one side, and some to the other, without being able to know or to conjecture what they had intended by this action, or what had arrested their design.

At another time, when they were making a journey, they found themselves in snow above their knees, their feet in water, and the wind so rough, that two Savages, taking on that same day that same path, died therein from cold. A remarkable thing occurred at the death of one of the two. This latter was making the journey with a twin sister; seeing her in as great danger of death as himself, he took the Bear skin with which his sister was covered, and gave her his Beaver skin or robe, as it was warm; and, in fact, the girl escaped, and the young man died.

In connection with this act of piety, I will speak here of another, that occurred in the Neutral Nation while our Fathers were there. [45] A young child went to draw water from a frozen river and fell into the hole; one of his brothers, having been told of it, immediately ran and threw himself in after him; he was so fortunate as to seize his little brother and draw him out of the water by another hole, and also in time enough to save his life.

The consolation that the Fathers had at the end of their stay was, —besides some children baptized [Page 183] last year, who they found had died, and others whom they recently baptized, —to see, generally speaking, these People gentler and more docile by half than they were last year; many of them begin willingly to hear of God, and a few of them would even seem sufficiently prepared for Baptism, if experience had not shown US that, as regards Barbarians, immediate baptism is not best. Some Algonquins in these parts begin even now to pray, and to sing the praises of God. The example of some of their own tongue, whom they have seen here in our house, and (‘46) of others of whom they have heard, gives them, it appears, some holy emulation. May it please God to increase and strengthen it in them!

These Algonquins are especially important to us, as we know that they have dealings with the Western Nations, which we have not yet found any means of reaching. Perhaps this is the door that God in his own time will open to us, if we are faithful to him in that which we have in hand. [Page 185]

CHAPTER VIII. [i.e., vi.]





HIS is one of the new Missions that we have begun this year, to one of the most important Nations in these regions. For a long time, according to the recollection of many persons, we had cast our eyes on this quarter. But many workers in strange languages are not found, or very quickly trained, unless the Holy [47] Ghost engage therein in an extraordinary manner; especially when one is destitute, as we are in these parts, of the aid and assistance of Masters, Dragomans, or Interpreters, who teach them.

Besides, our orders were, not to go to the limits without passing through the centre, or devote ourselves to teaching more distant Nations before laboring among those nearer. As this had been done in preceding years, we found ourselves at the beginning of Autumn ready and able to allot two Workers to this Mission without doing any harm to the former ones.

The lot fell upon Father Jean de Brébeuf, who before had been the first one chosen to introduce and establish us in these regions; and as God had given him for this purpose a special blessing, —namely, in the language, —it seemed that this ought to be to us a presumption of what his divine Majesty demanded [Page 187] on this occasion in which it was a question of an entirely new introduction into a Nation different in language, at least in many respects, [48] and in which (if it should please God to grant his blessing) it would be necessary to establish a fixed and permanent dwelling, which should be the retreat of the neighboring Missionaries, as this one, in which we are at present, is for the Missionaries of the quarters on this side.

He who was given to him as companion was Father Joseph Marie Chaumonot, who came from France the year before, and had been acknowledged very gifted in languages.

This nation is very populous; about forty villages or hamlets are counted therein. Setting out from our Huron people to reach the first and nearest villages, we travel four or five days, —that is to say, about forty leagues, —going always directly South. So we can say that if, according to the latest and most exact observation which we have been able to make, our new house at Sainte Marie (which is in the midst of the Huron country) is in forty-four degrees and about twenty-five minutes of latitude, the entrance to the Neutral Nation from the side of our [49] Huron people will have a latitude of 42 degrees and a half, or thereabouts. For to think of making, for the present, a more exact research and observation in the country itself, is what cannot be done. The sight of the instrument alone would drive to extremities those who have not been able to endure that of inkstands, as we shall see hereafter.

From the first village of the Neutral Nation which one finds on arriving there from this place, and continuing to travel South or Southeast, it is about [Page 189] four days’ journey to the entrance of the SO celebrated River of that Nation, into the Ontario or lake of St. Louys. On this side of that River, —and not beyond it, as a certain Chart indicates, —are the greater part of the villages of the Neutral Nation. There are three or four beyond, ranging from East to West, towards the Nation of the Cat, or Erieehronons.

This Stream or River is that through which our great lake of the Hurons, or fresh-water Sea, empties; it flows first into the lake of Erie, or of the Nation of the Cat,[11] and at the end of that lake, it [50] enters into the territory of the Neutral Nation, and takes the name of Onguiaahra,[12] until it empties into the Ontario or lake of saint Louys, whence finally emerges the river that passes before Quebek, called the St. Lawrence. So that, if once we were masters of the coast of the sea nearest to the dwelling of the Iroquois, we could ascend by the river saint Lawrence without danger, as far as the Neutral Nation, and far beyond, with considerable saving of time and trouble. According to the reckoning of the Fathers who have been there, there are at least twelve thousand souls in the whole extent of the country, which relies upon being still able to furnish four thousand warriors, notwithstanding the wars, famine, and sickness which for 3 years have been unusually prevalent there.

After all, I believe that those who formerly ascribed such an extent to this Nation, and assigned to it so many tribes, understood by the term “Neutral Nation,” all the other Nations which are South and Southwest of our Hurons, —which indeed are very numerous, but which in the beginning [51] having been only confusedly known, were comprised [Page 191] almost under one and the same name. The greater knowledge that we have gained since that time, both of the language and of the country has made us more discriminating.

Besides, of many different Nations with whom we now have acquaintance, there is not found one that has not trade or war with others more distant; this assures us that really there is a great multitude of these Tribes, which remain for us to see; and that, if there are not yet abundant harvests to gather, there are great fields to plough and to sow.

Our Frenchmen who were first here surnamed this Nation “the Neutral Nation,” and not without reason; for this country being the ordinary land route of some Iroquois Tribes and of the Hurons, who are sworn enemies, they keep themselves equally in peace with both.[13] Nay, even, formerly the Hurons and the Iroquois, when they met in the same cabin or in the same village of this Nation, were both in security so long as they did not go out into the fields; [52] but for some time the rage of one against the other has been so great that, in whatever place they be, there is no security for the most feeble, —especially if he be of the Huron side, for which this Nation, for the most part, seems to have less inclination. Our Hurons call the Neutral Nation “Attiwandaronk,’’ which is to say “Peoples of a slightly different language:” for, as to the Nations who speak a language which they in no wise understand, they call them “Akwanake,“ —of whatever Nation they may be, —which is to say, “strangers.” Those of the Neutral Nation, reciprocally, for the same reason call our Hurons Attiwandaronk.

We have every reason to believe that not long ago [Page 193] they all made but one People, —both Hurons and Iroquois, and those of the Neutral Nation; and that they came from one and the same family, or from a few old stocks which formerly landed on the coasts of these regions. But it is probable that, in progress of time, they have become removed and separated from one [53] another —some more, some less in abode, in interests, and in affection; so that some have become enemies, others‘ Neutral, and others have remained in some more special connection and communication.

These Tribes which are Neutral between the Hurons and the Iroquois, have cruel wars with other Western Nations, and especially with the Atsistaehronons, or Fire Nation, —from which they took last year a hundred prisoners; and this year, having returned there for war with an army of two thousand men, they again brought away more than a hundred and seventy, toward whom they conduct themselves with almost the same cruelties as the Hurons do towards their enemies. However, they practice the further cruelty of burning the women prisoners of war, as well as the men, —which is not done by the Hurons, who either give them their lives, or content themselves with knocking them down in the heat of the moment, and bearing off some portion of their bodies.

The food and the clothing of this Nation do not greatly differ from those [54] of our Hurons: they have Indian corn, beans, and squashes in equal plenty; the fishing likewise seems equal, as regards the abundance of fish, of which some species are found in one region, that are not in the other. The people of the Neutral Nation greatly excel in hunting [Page 195] Stags, Cows, wild Cats, wolves, black beasts,[14] Beaver, and other animals of which the skin and the flesh are valuable. The supply of meat has been great there this year on account of the heavy snows which have fallen and which have facilitated hunting; for it is a rare thing to see in the country more than half a foot of snow, and they have had this year more than three feet. They have also multitudes of wild Turkeys, which go in flocks through the fields and woods.

As for the refreshment of fruits, not more of them are found there than among the Hurons, unless it be chestnuts, of which they have plenty; and wild apples, a little larger than these.

They cover the bare flesh with a skin, like all Savages; but [55] with less modesty than the Hurons as to the breechcloth, which many do not use at all; others use it, but generally in such a way that with great difficulty is that concealed which should not be seen. The women, however, are ordinarily covered, at least from the waist as far as the knees; they seem more dissolute and shameless in their licentious acts than are our Hurons.

They dress their pelts with much care and skill, and study to beautify them in many ways; but still more their own bodies, upon which, from the head even to the feet, they cause to be made a thousand different figures with charcoal pricked into the flesh, upon which previously they have traced their lines, —so that sometimes one sees the face and breast ornamented with figures, as are in France the helmets, breastplates, and gorgets of military men; and the remainder of the body is appropriately decorated.

As for the rest of their customs and manners, they [Page 197] are, in almost all things, like the other Savages of these regions, especially in their irreligion and government, [56] whether political or domestic. However, there are some things in which they seem a little different from our Hurons. First, they appear taller, stronger, and better proportioned. Secondly, their affection toward their dead seems to be much greater. Our Hurons immediately after death carry the bodies to the burying ground and take them away from it only for the feast of the Dead. Those of the Neutral Nation carry the bodies to the burying ground only at the very latest moment possible when decomposition has rendered them insupportable; for this reason, the dead bodies often remain during the entire winter in their cabins; and, having once put them outside upon a scaffold that they may decay, they take away the bones as soon as is possible, and expose them to view, arranged here and there in their cabins, until the feast of the Dead. These objects which they have before their eyes, renewing continually the feeling of their losses, cause them frequently to cry out and to make most lugubrious lamentations, the whole in song. But this is done only by the women.

[57] The third respect in which they seem different from our Hurons, is in the multitude and sort of lunatics. In going through the country, one finds nothing else but people who play this part with all possible extravagances, and any liberties they choose, and who are suffered to do all that is pleasing to them, for fear of offending their demon. They take the embers from the fire, and scatter them around; they break and shatter what they encounter, as if they were raving, —although in reality, for the most [Page 199] part they are as self-collected as those who do not play this character. But they conduct themselves in this way, in order to give, they say, this satisfaction to their special demon, who demands and exacts this of them, —that is to say, to him who speaks to them in dreams, and who makes them expect the fulfillment of their wishes for good success in hunting.

While the Fathers were in these quarters, they learned that the Oneiochronons (who form one of the five Iroquois Nations) had a very peculiar form of government. The men and the women therein [58] administer alternately the affairs; so that, if now it is a man who governs them, after his death it will be a woman, who during her life will govern them in her turn, except in what regards war; and, after the death of the woman, it will be a man who will resume again the administration of affairs.

Some old men related to our Fathers that they had acquaintance with a certain Western Nation, against which they were going to make war, and which was not far removed from the sea; that the inhabitants of the place fished for Vignots, that are a kind of oyster, the shell of which serves to make porcelain beads, which are the pearls of the country. This is the way they describe their fishing: they observe when the sea rises in places where these Vignots abound, and when the violence of the waves drives them towards the shore, they throw themselves headlong into the water and seize those that they can catch. Sometimes they find them so large, that it is all they can do to stretch their arms around one of them. Now, many affirm that it must be [59] young men, who have not yet had knowledge of woman, who can carry on this fishery, as otherwise [Page 201] these creatures withdraw from them. I will not decide the truth of this.

They related that these same Tribes have a kind of war with certain aquatic animals larger and lighter in running than the Moose. The young men go into the water to tease these animals, which do not fail immediately to gain the land and pursue their assailants. The latter finding themselves too closely followed, throw some piece of leather, as the shoes of the savages, to these animals, which stop and amuse themselves therewith, while the hunters gain the advance, and as often as they see themselves followed too closely they do the same that they did at first, until they have arrived at a fort or ambush of a band of their people, who, surrounding the beasts, make themselves at last their masters. These are the most important things we have learned in these regions.

Many of our Frenchmen who have been here have, in the past, made journeys in this country of the Neutral Nation for the sake of reaping [60] profit and advantage from furs and other little wares that one might look for. But we have no knowledge of any one who has gone there for the purpose of preaching the Gospel, except the Reverend Father Joseph de la Roche Daillon, a Récollect,[15] who in 1626 made a journey thither, and spent the winter there, But the Frenchmen who were then here, having learned the evil treatment that he had received there, fearing lest matters should go to the extreme, went for him, and brought him back in the Spring of the following year. The zeal which led the aforesaid Father to make this journey, as soon as he had set foot-in the Huron country, not having permitted him to [Page 203] train himself beforehand in the language, and he being the greater part of the time without an Interpreter, he was constrained to instruct those whom ‘he could, rather by signs than by word of mouth, as he himself relates in one of his printed letters. This, joined to the evil tricks which were played on him then by the Hurons, —who feared the removal of their trade, as did those of whom we shall speak presently, —did not permit him in so [61] short a time, to do what he had desired for the service of God. Then, fourteen years afterward, the two Fathers .of our Society who have had charge of this Mission set out from this House of Ste. Marie the second day of November of last year, 1640.

When they had arrived at St. Joseph, or Teanaustaiae, —the last village of the Hurons where they were to make provision for their journey, and find guides for the way, —those who had given them a promise having failed them, they could do nothing else than appeal to Heaven; after having offered a prayer, Father de Brébeuf met a young man who had no thought of making this journey. I do not know by what impulse he addressed him; however, having said to him only these two words, “Quio ackwe,” “Come, let us go away together,” this young man, without opposition, immediately followed them, and remained their faithful companion. They had with them two of our French domestics, as much to assist them in their journey as to make a show of trading with their [62] help, and to pass as merchants in the country, in case that without this inducement the doors of the cabins should be shut against them, as in reality happened.

They slept four nights in the woods; and on the [Page 205] fifth day they arrived at the first village of the Neutral Nation, named Kandoucho, to which they gave the surname of “all Saints.[16]

As we were not ignorant of the evil tendency in the minds of these People, —saturated solely with all the ill-natured remarks that had been made concerning us in our quarters in past years, and who, besides, had no other knowledge of us, —we deemed it expedient to go to them with presents, and to have in view some assembly of the Captains and Aged men whom we could enlighten as to our intentions.

For this purpose it was necessary to apply to one of the Captains, named Tsohahissen, who managed the public affairs. His village was in the midst of the country;[17] in order to reach it, we were obliged to pass through many other villages and hamlets, on arriving at which the Fathers were much surprised to find that terror had gone before them and had caused [63] the doors of the cabins everywhere to be closed. The name of Echon (which the Savages have given at all times to Father de Brébeuf) resounded on all sides, as that of one of the most famous sorcerers or demons that had ever been imagined. However, the pretext of trade made everything easy, and this consideration enabled them to reach quite successfully even the village of the chief Captain, who chanced to be away at war, and would not return until Spring. Our Fathers appealed to those who were conducting the affairs in his absence; they explained to them their plan of publishing the Gospel throughout the extent of these territories, and of forming, by this means, a special alliance with them. As a proof of this, they had brought a collar [Page 207] of two thousand porcelain beads, which they desired to present to the Public.

The Captains, after having held a council, said in reply that, as the chief of the country was absent, they could not accept the Presents before he came back, since according to their customs this would oblige them to make others in return; but, if we were willing to wait until then, we could in the meantime [64] go freely into the country, in order to give therein such instruction as we pleased,

Nothing, it seems, could have happened more opportunely for giving time to instruct in private some of the most Aged men, and to begin to tame these fierce spirits. But, before commencing, the Fathers deemed it expedient to retrace their steps, in order to lead our domestics out of the country, then to take for the second time their way, and begin their duties. This they did, but the pretense of trade failing them, they had much to suffer afterward from a thousand calumnies which were stirred up on account of their journey.

Our Hurons related that, when Echon set his foot in their country for the first time, he had said: “I shall be here so many years, during which I shall cause many to die, and then I shall go elsewhere to do the same, until I have ruined the whole land.”

Others related that Echon, after having caused the death, by disease, of a part [65] of the Hurons, had gone to make an alliance with the Sonontwehronons, who form one of the Iroquois Nations, —the one most feared by the Hurons, and the one nearest to them, as the former are distant but a day’s journey from the last village of the Neutral Nation, on the side of the East, which is named Onguiaahra, the same name [Page 209] as the River. ‘They said he had gone to visit them, in order to make them a present of porcelain Collars and arrowheads and to instigate their coming to complete the ruin of the country.

Some warned us privately to beware of this undertaking, as there had been no other cause for the murder of one of our Frenchmen, that occurred here —some years ago, than just such journeys which made the country uneasy and fearful of a transference of trade.

Others said that when that excellent Christian, Joseph Chiwatenhwa, was buried, Echon, turning in the direction of the country of the Sonontwehronons, who had killed him, said aloud (“ Sonontwehronon, it is all over with thee, —thou art dead “); and that, immediately after, the Father had proceeded [66] toward their district, that he might carry the disease to them, —which in truth was raging fiercely among the enemy during the sojourn of the Fathers in the Neutral Nation. Upon this, the Hurons begged us to have good courage and to cause the death of all their enemies.

From the departure of these Fathers until their return, I do not know that a week passed without some one’s coming to bring us news that, these having been found in the Neutral Nation by the enemy, they had been slain by their hands. But I cannot doubt that these reports came from the Barbarians of our own region, who for a long time were meditating some evil design that they saw no possibility of ever executing with more impunity than then, —such a murder being likely to be attributed to any one else rather than to them; and, it being committed [Page 211] in a strange Nation, their own country would be in no wise responsible.

However, it is certain that one of our Hurons, named Awenhokwi, a nephew of one of the chief Captains of [67] this country, in company with another Huron, had been through many villages of the Neutral Nation while our Fathers were there, and said he had been Sent in the name of the Captains and aged men of this neighborhood, with presents of hatchets, which he showed, in order to inform the Captains that they should beware of these Frenchmen unless they were willing to see the country ruined from their not having anticipated us. And. these bearers of advice added that, in case they should refuse to carry out the scheme, the Hurons had resolved to accomplish it immediately after the return of the Fathers; and that the thing would have been done before this, had we not all been gathered together in the same house.

While this Awenhokwi was on his way, he met the Fathers in a village, showed them a thousand attentions, invited them and almost forced them to continue traveling further into the country with him; but they having business elsewhere let him go on. Afterward, when they had heard of the speeches and. propositions of this fellow, they consulted with some Savages of the country concerning the design this Awenhokwi could have had in urging them so strongly [68] to make the journey with him, and they surmised nothing but evil therein.

This man, although the most dangerous, was not however the most shameless. But one named Oëntara, who came to the Neutral Nation, after having entertained the country with all the evil speeches [Page 213] and calumnies with which the preceding Relations are filled, —that we had bred the malady in our own house; that our writings were only sorceries; that we had caused every one among the Hurons to die, under pretense of presents; that we were arranging to bring all the rest of the world to the grave, —added that they should everywhere boldly close the doors of the cabins against us, unless they wished shortly to see desolation therein; and he was so impudent as to affirm everything in presence of our Fathers, and some aged men of the country, who had desired to confront them with each other.

Now, although Father de Brébeuf pertinently refuted all these evil persons, silencing each one and filling them with confusion, still [69] venom once dropped into the heart of these poor barbarians is not very easily cast out; for they fear everything, since they do not know him who alone is worthy to be feared and dreaded. And many other Hurons arrived —unexpectedly at that time, who confirmed all these remarks, and, in fact, inspired the chiefs and Captains with so many suspicions respecting us, that at the end of about two months and a half after the Fathers had entered upon their duties, those to whom they had spoken at first about holding a council, and —who had deferred the matter until the return of Tsohahissen, the chief Captain, sent for them and declared that they had power to decide pressing affairs in the absence of Tsohahissen, that they began to think our undertaking was of this nature, and that, therefore, they would deliberate upon it immediately. Thereupon they made a pretense of holding a council to consider this matter, which was “already resolved upon among them; and one of them [Page 215] went to the Fathers to notify them of the result, which was, that their present was refused. The Fathers said that this was not the only [70] thing which had brought them, but the principal thing was the desire to give them a knowledge of the one God, and of his Son Jesus Christ, our Lord: and therefore they would like to know if they refused to be taught, since they had refused the present. To that they answered that, as for the Faith which had been preached to them, they accepted it, finding therein nothing but good; but as for the present, they refused it absolutely.

The Fathers were sufficiently content and satisfied with this answer, because they believed they had gained the principal thing to which they aspired, which was the liberty of preaching and publishing the Gospel in the country; however, they deemed it fitting to ask a cause for the refusal of the present, saying they had been commissioned to give it and would be obliged to render an account of this refusal. They said, at first, that the Treasury was poor, and that they had no means of making one in return. The Fathers answered that if it were only that, they should have no difficulty in accepting the present, as they themselves disclaimed a compensation or reward of this nature; that it would suffice [71] that they should regard us as brothers. They persisted in the refusal, and, not being able to bring forward any pretext which was not immediately set aside, at last the chief of the Council said: “Ah! indeed, do you not know what Awenhokwi said, and came here to do? and do you not know besides, the danger in which you are and in which you are putting the country?” They endeavored to reply to this as to the [Page 217] rest; but as no one was found willing to listen, it was necessary to withdraw.

Notwithstanding, the Fathers did not consider themselves driven out of the Country by the result of this Council. However, they thought that if, in the past, they had had trouble in going through the villages, they possibly would have more than ever in the future. Indeed, they no sooner approached a village, than from all sides was screamed: “These are the Agwa who are coming” (this is the name they give to their greatest enemies), “fasten your doors;” so that the Fathers coming to cabins in order to enter them, according to the rule and custom of the country, found there generally only closed doors; for they were looked upon as sorcerers who carried death and misfortune everywhere. And if [72] any received them, it was more often through fear that a refusal might be resented than for the hope they had of great gain, —God utilizing all things to maintain his servants.

Besides, it is inconceivable into what terrors the reports of our Hurons had put the minds of these poor Barbarians, —already by nature extremely suspicious, particularly of strangers; and above all of us, of whom they have never heard anything but evil; all the reports and calumnies forged by our Hurons in preceding years, have, since that time, filled their ears and their minds. The very sight of our Fathers, clothed and arrayed in a fashion so different from their own, their gait, their gestures, and all their manners, seemed like convincing proof and confirmation of what they had been told. Breviaries, inkstands, and writings were considered by them as instruments of magic; if the Fathers began [Page 219] to pray, it was, in their thought, only the performance of sorcerers. It was said that when they went to the brook to wash their [73] dishes, they poisoned the water; that in all the cabins, wherever they went, the children were seized with a cough and a bloody discharge; and that the women became barren, In short, there was no misfortune present or to come, of which they were not considered the source. And many of those persons, in whose cabins the Fathers were lodged, did not sleep either day or night: they dared not touch the food they left, and they brought back their presents, holding everything in suspicion. The poor old women considered themselves as already lost and only regretted their grandchildren, who might have been able to repeople the land.

The Captains threatened the Fathers with the arrival of the Sonontwehronons, who, they asserted, were not far away. Others did not conceal that as our presents had not been accepted, that meant there was no security for them in the country. Above all the insolence and the tyranny of some of their hosts were insupportable, who commanded them as slaves, and wished to be obeyed in all things. Sometimes they [74] gave them almost nothing for food; and at other times they compelled them to go to the cabins of all their relatives, to eat what was set before them, and then to pay what they should dictate.

In short, they spoke of nothing but of killing and eating these two poor Fathers. In the meantime, the madmen were running through the villages and the cabins. Once, three of them, as bare as one’s hand, suddenly entered the cabin in which the Fathers were, and, after having performed several tricks [Page 221] of their trade, went away; at other times, these madmen came to sit down by them, and asked to search their pouches, and, after snatching what they had in their hands, went away, feigning insanity. In a word, it seemed that the Fathers were like a ball with which the demons in the midst of this Barbarism were playing, but with a command from divine Providence, that nothing should be lacking to them, —for, really, in the four months that they were there, they lacked nothing that was necessary to life, neither lodging, nor sufficient food; and they were always in good health, amid hardships [75] and inconveniences which can be better imagined than explained. They showed their ingenuity by laying in a supply of bread, baked under the cinders after the manner of the country, and which they kept for thirty or forty days, that they might have it in case of necessity.

The Fathers in their journey passed through eighteen hamlets or villages, to all of which they gave a Christian name, which we shall use hereafter when occasion arises. They made a special stay at ten, where they gave instruction as often as they could find a hearing. They estimated about five hundred fires, and three thousand persons, that might be contained in these ten villages in which they set forth and published the Gospel; but it is very probable that the tones thereof have resounded throughout the country. However, in our reckoning we rely only upon the three thousand.

Now as the Fathers saw that these people were not sufficiently willing, and the reports and terrors were continually increasing more and more, they deemed it expedient to retrace their steps, and return to the [Page 223] first village of [67 i.e., 76] Kandoucho, or all Saints, in which they seemed to be the least unwelcome; and, laboring there for the instruction of the inhabitants of the place, to wait until Spring, when we had engaged to send for them. But God arranged differently both for them and for us. For when they had arrived midway on their return journey, at the village of Teotongniaton, surnamed St. Guillaume,[18] snow unexpectedly came, in so great quantity that it was impossible for them to go further. This misfortune, if such it must be called, was the cause of the greatest good and the greatest comfort they had had in their whole journey: for, while they had been unable to live anywhere in peace and quiet, —so as to study, at least somewhat, the language of the country, and become still better qualified for work in the future, —in this village they happened to lodge in the cabin of a woman, who endeavored to give them as much satisfaction as all the others in the past had given them occasion for sorrow.

She took most special care to give them the best fare that she could; and, when she saw that on account of Lent [77] they ate no meat, —of which, notwithstanding, she had an abundance at that season, and on which alone the inmates of her cabin lived, —she took the trouble of making them a separate dish seasoned with fish, which was much better than she would have made for herself. She took rare pleasure in teaching them the language, dictating the words to them, syllable by syllable, as a teacher would do to a little pupil; she even dictated to them entire Narrations, such as they desired. In imitation of her, the little children, who everywhere else ran away or kept out of their sight, vied with one another [Page 225] here in rendering them a thousand kind services, and could not be weary in talking with them, and giving them every satisfaction, either in the language or whatever it might be,

This is not all. In all the other cabins of the village, they did not cease to cry after her that she must drive away the Fathers, and they intimidated her with all the misfortunes of which these were considered the bearers. She laughed at everything, and so cleverly refuted all the calumnies that were [73] loaded upon them, —which she discovered to be only impostures, because she herself was considering and observing their manner of proceeding, —that we ourselves would not have been able to do so more pertinently. When any one menaced her with death, and the desolation of her family, —which would follow after the departure of the Fathers, and this for having welcomed them to her house, —she replied that it was a common thing for men to die, and that she indeed expected to die; but that those who were talking in this way, were themselves the ones who were attempting to bewitch her and to cause her and her children to die; however, she would prefer exposing herself and her family to the danger of death, to sending the Fathers away at a time when they might perish in the snow.

Not only was she obliged to reply to those without, but also to some within, her own cabin, who reproached her, among other things, with her father’s being a sorcerer, —saying that it was no wonder she took such delight in receiving sorcerers; but this did not disturb her more than the rest. The little children frequently had quarrels over this same subject with their companions; they even fought in [Page 227] defense of the Fathers. It was especially noticeable that this good woman was never impatient in bearing so many annoyances, and in continuing her attentions and good cheer to the Fathers until the day of their departure, The only regret which the Fathers experienced in separating from her, was their inability to give her then the blessing which we came to bring to the most barbarous of these regions, as her inclination to receive this was not yet sufficient. They hope that the fervent prayers of those who shall hear of this hospitality will obtain the accomplishment of that which they had begun to effect in her mind.

The greatest sorrow this woman had, was that she could not prevent the outrages which she saw these Fathers endure. A madman of her own cabin began to spit upon Father Chaumonot, to tear his cassock, to attempt burning it, and to call him very hard names; and during several nights he made so great a din that the Fathers were not able to sleep. Others came, who took away from them by force, in her presence, their most precious things; and, for all amends, spoke of nothing less than of burning them, —and perhaps they would have done so, [80] had not their good Angels interfered.

Toward the last, the father of this good hostess came unexpectedly, and approved of all that his daughter had done for the Fathers; and he expressed a very special liking for them, promising to come and see us in our own house. I pray our Lord that his steps may not be in vain.

The delay of the Fathers in this place was, doubtless, an exceptional providence of God: for, in the twenty-five days that they remained in this cabin, [Page 229] they were able to harmonize the Dictionary and the Syntax of’ the Huron language with those of these Tribes, and accomplish a work which of itself would deserve that one make a stay of several years in the country, —as our Savages take much more pleasure in those who speak their own language than in those who only attempt it, and whom they consider for that reason as strangers.

On the other hand, we ourselves only rarely received news of them, —the Hurons, to whom they intrusted letters, losing them on the journey, or casting them away through [81] malice or through fear; we were anxious about what was taking place. This made us resolve to send some people who should accompany them on their return, for which service our Christians of la Conception willingly offered themselves, notwithstanding all the reports which were current of what was happening. Two of these, accompanied by two of our domestics, made the journey: and it pleased God to return them to us after eight days of travel and fatigue in the forest, the very day of St. Joseph, the Patron saint of the country, and they even came early enough to say Mass, which they had not been able to say since their departure.

During all these gusts and tempests, the Fathers had not failed to provide for the salvation of the little children, the old men, and the sick, whom they could approach and whom they found fitted therefor. In all the eighteen villages which they visited, there was found only one, to wit, that of Khioetoa, surnamed saint Michel, which had given them the hearing that their Embassy merited. Some years ago, through fear of their enemies, there took refuge in [Page 231] this village [82] a certain strange Nation, who had dwelt beyond the Erie or cat Nation, called Awenrehronon; and they seemed to have come into these quarters only to enjoy the good fortune of this visit, and to have been led by the providence of the good Shepherd, that they might hear his voice therein. They were sufficiently instructed; but the Fathers did not think it expedient to go still further, and baptize them. The holy Ghost will cause this seed that has been dropped into their hearts to ripen, and, in his own time, the harvest that has been already watered by so many tears will be gathered.

It is in this Nation that the Fathers administered the first Adult Baptism, in the case of a good old woman, who had already nearly lost her hearing. A remarkable thing at her Baptism was the devotion of a good woman of the same cabin, who served the Fathers as interpreter, making known to her the mysteries of our Faith, —more clearly and effectually than the Fathers had to herself, in the first place, so they said. The poor woman had nothing to reply, except that, as she was now old, she [83] would have too much trouble to reach Heaven; besides, she had nothing of which she could make the Fathers a present, and she must await her children who were hunting, so as to have the necessary garments to adorn herself. It was easy to satisfy her regarding these things, and she was, at last, safely baptized. Two or three other adults participated in the happiness of this visit, and a small number of little children, who have gone early to Heaven, —among others, a little Huron boy two years old, who was then with the Neutral Nation, and was sick. He recovered from that attack, but, a few months after, when he returned [Page 233] to his own country, he was killed by the enemy in the arms of his mother.

The Fathers remarked in their account that one of the most special Providences of God, in respect to them, was ‘that one of our domestics, who last year was attacked and marked by smallpox, had been sent to bring them back: for the Barbarians of these regions, when they saw him, were disabused of the belief they had received, and which [84] they held, —that we were undying demons, and masters of maladies, of which we disposed at our good pleasure. Since so slight a thing was enough to begin the opening of their eyes, in time they may indeed be entirely disabused, and become thereby more fit for the enlightenment and the visitations of heaven. However, we see well that it is God alone who has protected us in this strange nation, since even among .the Hurons, who, are our allies, our lives have often been attempted. Here is an incident that happened not long ago.

Shortly after Father Joseph Marie Chaumonot returned from the Neutral Nation, he was given as companion to Father Antoine Daniel, who was beginning the Summer Missions in his district. When they had arrived at saint Michel, a village of the Mission of saint Joseph, a harebrained young fellow, whom the devil had already attempted to use in several other wicked deeds against us, resolved to kill one of these two. He concealed himself near a cabin [85] where the Fathers were making a visit of instruction; when they went out and had turned their backs, he chose his time, and with his left hand seizing the hat of Father Chaumonot, who was walking last, he dealt him a blow on his bare head with [Page 235] a stone he was holding in his right hand. I do not know what prevented the harm he desired to do; however this latter, perceiving that his act had not succeeded as he had expected, ran for a hatchet and raised it to let it fall upon the Father. But at this point, Father Daniel, his companion, and a few Hurons came in haste and kept back the arm and the x blow. One of our Christians in this village, seeing Father Chaumonot in this condition, undertook to care for him and to heal him. Having actually found only a bruise and swelling in the injured part, he scarified it with a stone, breathed thereon, and moistened it with saliva; then he applied to it the gum of certain roots, by which he was enabled to return to us the next day. As for the murderer, the punishment which [86] followed him was, that some of his nearest relatives told him that he had no sense. We beseech our Lord to become the Father of these poor blind creatures, and that they may at last be his heirs, and our fellow heirs and brothers. [Page 237]





HE Askikwanehronons, according to our Hurons; or Nipissiriniens, according to the Algonquins, —form a Nation of the Algonquin tongue which contains more wandering than settled people. They seem to have as many abodes as the year has seasons, —in the Spring a part of them remain for fishing, where they consider it the best; a part go away to trade with the tribes which gather on the shore of the North or icy sea, [87] upon which they voyage ten days, after having spent thirty days upon the rivers, in order to reach it.

In summer, they all gather together, on the road of the Hurons to the French, on the border of a large lake which bears their name, and is about two hundred leagues distant from Quebeq, and about seventy from our Hurons; so that their principal dwelling place is, as it were, two-thirds of the way from Quebecq to the country of our Hurons.

About the middle of Autumn, they begin to approach our Hurons, upon whose lands they generally spend the winter; but, before reaching them, they catch as many fish as possible, which they dry. This is the ordinary money with which they buy their main stock of corn, although they come supplied with all other goods, as they are a rich people and live in comfort. They cultivate a little land near [Page 239] their Summer dwelling; but it is more for pleasure, and that they may have fresh food to eat, than for their support.

[88] Our Fathers at Quebec, and at the Three rivers, —who in the past have successfully labored for the improvement of all the wandering tribes which were nearest to them, and have made nearly all of them men and Christians, —cast their eyes upon this Nation, the nearest to the last one which came down in order to settle near them. But as these no longer came for Trade, on account of some opposition which others from below made against them, they did not know how to broach this matter. Last Summer, God was pleased so to order things that they themselves resolved to feel their way, and to send some canoes for the Trade with the French. They arrived safely, without any difficulty, and nothing could have happened more opportunely for that which we desired.

Consequently we spoke to them, not of abandoning their country and coming to place themselves near the other Algonquins already settled, but rather of receiving a few of our Fathers among them, that they might be instructed; they declared that this would be [89] very acceptable to them. This is why Fathers Claude Pijart, and Charles Raymbaut, setting out from below to come and help us, had directions to offer themselves, on the way, to them. But not having found them at their Summer dwelling, and having learned that they were to come and winter in our quarters, they landed here without losing hope of seeing those to whom they were specially sent.

They were not disappointed in their expectation [Page 241] These Savages, numbering about two hundred and fifty souls, arrived shortly after, and took such a district in this country, for their winter quarters, that it seems to have been the holy Ghost, and no other, who guided them.

They chose their ground on the same side of the river, upon which we were, and at two arquebus shots from our house. It was precisely from not being inconvenienced by their nearness to us, and, also from our not being very distant from them, that our Fathers were easily able, every day, [90] to go, and instruct them; which they did not fail to do. We must admit that Tribes like these have an indescribably greater aptitude of heart for the seed of Faith than have our Hurons. The Fathers had not talked with them for a fortnight, before they took the utmost delight in listening to them; and they had no greater satisfaction than when they were taught to chant the greatness of God, the articles of’ belief, and the Commandments. In a word, nothing more pleasing can be found, than the way and manner in which, from the first, they bore themselves toward the Fathers.

In the beginning the chief Captain of this Tribe, named Wikasoumir, made a public announcement that every one should pray to God and honor him, in the way taught by the French. After that, the little children began to learn the first principles of the Faith, and applied themselves so, that in a short time they were found remarkably advanced therein.

They make no difficulty about permitting their sick to be instructed and baptized; [91] some of them even contribute willingly to their own instruction [Page 243] A few have been baptized in that condition, to whom it pleased God to restore health.

Nevertheless the Fathers have not yet been able to decide upon baptizing any one who is in health; although they have been urgently entreated to do so, as they desire to make a longer proof of their firmness and constancy; and, in order to do this, they resolved to follow them to the place where these were going for the rest of the year, and by this very means to advance and become still more and more proficient in the use of their language, —which in many respects appears to be different from that of which they had the first smattering with the Algonquins in the districts below. They set out from here, all together, on the eighth of May, the day before the Ascension, with the hope of arriving at the principal dwelling place of this Tribe by Whitsunday. May it please that adorable Spirit whose name their Mission bears, to take perfect possession both of the minds and hearts of these poor [92] Tribes, and of our own, and to reign therein eternally.

The opportunity we had of instructing the Nipissiriniens, on account of their nearness, and the great aptitude they showed in receiving instruction during the short time that their wintering lasted, made us unable to abandon them and devote ourselves to, others of the same language, who had also come to, winter in the country. However, Father Claude Pijart visited a few other places, in one of which he found perhaps five hundred persons gathered together of different Tribes, to whom, in passing, he spoke of the Kingdom of God, and caused them to sing God’s praises. Nearly everywhere he found some predestined soul, which was only awaiting his [Page 245] visit, that it might ascend to Heaven. I will note a rather remarkable instance of this.

The Tontthrataronons, an Algonquin Tribe, numbering about ‘fifteen cabins, were wintering upon the lands of the Mission of saint Jean Baptiste to the Arendaehronons. Father Claude Pijart, [93] on going to visit them, received from them every manner of hearty welcome. When the evening came, as he ‘was almost asleep, he heard a plaintive voice; he asked what it was, they told him that it was a poor sick old woman, who was in the next cabin, and who was dying. The Father begged to go and see her; the head of the cabin, an important Captain, arose and lighted a torch, —that is to say, a piece of bark; and, the Father being at a loss for water for the baptism, this Captain quickly melted some snow for him. The Father entered, instructed this poor creature, and questioned her; she gave him full satisfaction, as if she had been long before instructed; he baptized her, and shortly after she died happily.

The Father found in all those whom he visited, a disposition of mind similar to that which he found in the Nipissiriniens; but it was much better in those who had traveled most, and had most frequented the warehouses of our Frenchmen at the Three rivers and at Quebeq for some years past. [94] We shall see that with time, and with the reinforcement that we are hoping for in this language, we shall be able to do more, in the future, for all these poor wandering sheep, as well of the one language as of the other.

I cannot believe that the lack of progress in this matter ought to come from the quarter whence they in France threaten us, —which is their inability to [Page 247] supply means for undertaking and maintaining all these plans. The master of the feast, who sends us to invite and constrain our crippled ones to enter the banquet hall, has only too much power and wisdom not to support and sustain us to the end; and it is not conceivable that he would forsake us in so glorious a path. Among the many devout and generous souls that are now in France, —and that appear to have no other occupation than that of seeing where and in what they may be able to use, for the service of God and their Redeemer, and by this means to secure, these few worldly goods, of which death shows them only too well that they can otherwise have but the usufruct, —what probability [95] of discouragement can there be of seeing before death this permanent house of sainte Marie, the mother of all the Missionaries, and each one of these seven Missions, and those also which shall follow hereafter, by the help of God, established and endowed forever; and especially as the question is only of the support and maintenance of two Evangelistic workers in each Mission? These Missions bear titles and names sufficiently fitted to satisfy the devotion of those who might wish to be Fathers of them; but if their inclination lead them to change the names, I know no law which can hinder their being, at the same time, both fathers and godfathers of them. The holy Ghost, on the blessed day of whose descent I am closing this Relation, will be the master and guide of this affair, —which, as well as all the others that concern these regions, I cannot sufficiently commend to the Sacrifices, prayers, and devotions of those who shall have any knowledge of them [Page 249]



ERTAIN persons have desired to see a specimen of the Huron language, in order to ascertain its structure and their methods of expression. 1 cannot select anything better than one of the most ordinary communions —which Joseph Chihwatenhwa, that excellent Christian whom we have mentioned, had with God toward the end of his days; by the same means can be recognized the Spirit of God which animated him.




at last, then,

I know thee,



Sa chiewendio


onné ichien


outoekti ichien


I know thee.

It is thou

who hast made

this earth that we behold,

and this Heaven that we behold:


Isa ichien


de ka ondechen,

din de ka aronhiaie:

thou hast made us

who call ourselves



isa skwaatichiae












we ourselves

are masters

of the canoe

which we have made a canoe,

To ichien


onionhwa ichien


de ia


and of the cabin

which we have made a cabin,

[97] so also

thou art master,

din de anonchia


to ati hiotti

de sa chiewendio


who has created us.

It is for a short time,


that we

are masters







of all

that we have;

a short time


are we masters

of the canoe

de stan iesta





de ia

which we have made a canoe,


of the cabin

which we have made a cabin;



de anonchia


a short time


are we masters thereof.

As for thee,




awawendio ien.

Tan de sa

aondechaon ichien

shalt thou be master

of us who are called


and while

we are still in life,


awaton de aionwe


din d’asson


can we doubt

that thou art the master of it?

And, then,


thou art the master

aioehron ati


to haonoe

aat anderakti


when welcome to die.

Thou alone,


art master


de aawenhei.


aat akhiaondi



no other is there

beside thee.

Thou art


he whom we ought to fear,

stan dwa tsatan

ta testi.

Isa ichien



thou art


he whom we ought to love;


it is thou

isa ichien




Isa ichien

who art most powerful [98]

and truly

thou art


he who loves us to the utmost.

aat istaout

aat attoain aa



aat skwannonhwe:

Most truly,


for others who are men,


for others

who are demons,

daak attoain aa


d’wa nonwe,



d’ ondaki,

neither these nor those

are powerful,

neither men

nor demons:

no, no,

stan ichien deka te



din d’ondaki:

stan ichien

they are not powerful,

these demons;


they do not love us.


te hat tindaour


ewa ichien

te onkinnonhwe.







For this,


in a special manner

I render thanks,

that thou hast permitted

Ondaie ati





Me to know thee.

To the utmost

dost thou love us:

at last,



Daat anderakti


onne chien


I consecrate myself to thee,

myself whom thou beholdest;

at last



de kiikhon:

onne ichien


I take thee for my master;

thou art entirely the master

of him who is before thee.



daak chiewendio

de k’iikhon.


Direct, thou alone,

me whom thou beholdest.

It does not matter

what I

Sendionran itoch

de k’iikhon:


to de


I shall think


“He will order for me

alone —






he, the absolute master

of myself[99] now before thee.”

Thou thyself,

daak awendio

de k’iikhon.

Isa ichien

thou holdest us all as thy creatures

in our family:


awetti skwaatawan


awanchkran ichien

Although I should not be present there,

and some accident should happen to us

in our family,

de te ikhontak,

chia stan onatawan


I shall think


“He sees it who above

all holds us

as his creatures.”



tehaagnra ichien


sonaatawan aa:

As for me,

I am nothing at all;

if, indeed,

I had been there,


tan nendi,

stan ichien ea teen,

de te


oont ichien

we might have died,


even had I been there.

Behold, then,

how greatly


[Page 255]

de te ikhontak.

Onne ichien


I thank thee!


how I discern thee

in what concerns thy plans.

atones aa!

onne ichien


staat isendionrouten aa:

I will not think

“What if in our family something should happen?”

I shall think

Tewastato aendionraenton

d’awahwa[t]sia, t’eawank:



“He will attend to it,


who loves us.”

If he intend



de Diou


din d’eherhon

That they shall become poor

in their family,

I shall think



to d’attiwatsia:



Behold the purpose

of God

who loves us!”

Or, if he intend


de Diou


din d’eherhon

That it shall be [100] rich,

I shall think


“I do not know what God means.”




Stan ne iherhai de Diou:

Much more would I fear this,

and would be careful

how I lived.

It is very easy

anderakti eatandihi,

eateiensta itochien


akiessen itochien

for the rich to be sinners:


without their being aware of it,

behold at once

d’aorrihouanderaskon daokiwanne:



onne ichien

The devil

who accompanies them.


it is

in vain

that play the braggart







some men

who are rich:

surely we do not excel one another

whether rich

Nonwe d’wa

ondaie d’ondakiouane:

ô ichien te onatatehwichegnonch

de ondakiwant

or poor.




din d’eessas.

[Page 257]









Equally thou lovest us,

both the poor


the rich,



Chia te skwannonhwe ichien






At last

I see thee

in thy designs,


who lovest us,

O God;



ti sendionrouten



de Diou;


do I thank thee,


do I resign myself to thee,

I who am before thee.



anderakti ichien



Behold me


as I cast from me

all things

that we value

[101] while

Onne ichien



enstan iesta



we live;

at last now,

I no longer care for them.

Thou alone

and solely,


onne ichien



to hara

do thou dispose

of me

who am in thy presence,

thou who art my master.





daat chieouendio aa.


This alone would have been much,

that thou shouldst will

that men should exist;


Aioutektik ichien

de te serinen

onwe ichien aionton,

oont ichien

we ought to thank thee

that there is still much

that we can enjoy

upon the earth


aewane ichien



among all the things

which thou hast given us:



in this especially

iaen de stan iesta





hast thou laid us under obligation —

that thou hast willed

that they should go to heaven

anderakti skwatharatandi;


aronhiaie ichien ahendeta

when they die,

there where


they shall


de hendihei

to ati de

aondechahaon ichien

de to [Page 259]


I do not intend


to inquire


really is


I would presume






de aronhiae,


too much,

if I thought

that I could search out what it is


I am nothing.


de erhai,


onek inde

ea te



ought to suffice me

that I know

what thy commandments are. [102]




de erriwatere

ti chiewendouten.

At last, then,


I believe and wholly

in earnest;

nothing there is

at all

Onne ichien


rihwiosta daak

attoain aa:

stan ichien


of which I

have the least doubt,


thou dost not lie,



onek inde

te chiendachiwane

always thou speakest the truth

whatever thou sayest:


is enough for me,

ara ito ti chrieieriata

de stan chihon:


is en to,

that thou hast said:

“Nothing will I refuse you

in heaven,”



stan tewanonstatindihai

de aronhaie:

onek inde

whatever it be,

it is not difficult for thee;


thou lovest us.


Stan iesta

te satandoronkwandik,

ewa ichien



is the cause of my hope,

even thy word.

Is it not then,

true that we might have


ti chiewendouten.

Ou ichien


more hardships to suffer


our lives?


would happen:

attoain awatonnhontaiona




echa aawank:

so much the more

would we gain thereby

in heaven;

and, besides,

one clings less




ewa ichien



to life

when one is in affliction.



[Page 261]









Ah! Truly

it is no longer a thing to be feared,


it is for naught

Ou! Ichien


de enheon,

onek atochien

That we fear [103] so greatly

to die,


we are living;


ti awatandik

de enheon



Ô ichien

we have no mind:

for at the moment that

to heaven

one goes

when one dies,

te onediont:

to haonoe ichien



d’onna aihei,

At that moment


one is happy

in heaven.

We are like

to haoaoe



de aronhiae.

To itochien iotti

Those who go to trade,


we are living:

they suffer continually those




te hontonnhontaionach ichien

Who go to trade.

I leave you to imagine

if one be happy,

when one is returning home:

one thinks only,


aioehron ati


onne tsaoonhake:

aenrhai tochien


we are going to arrive;

see, we are at the end

of our sufferings.”

Thus ought it to be



onne awen dionhia


to ati haiawank

When one is at the point of death;

one ought to think


“Now I shall be at the end




onwa toat eendionhia

of my trials.”

These are my thoughts,

Lord God:

at last, now


Kondaie nendi hiwaendionrouten

de chiwendio Diou:

onne ichien

I no longer fear



when I am at the point of[104] death.


enheon [Page 263]

I shall rejoice

ichien de k’iheonche.

I will not


and be sad

at the death

of any of my relatives;



ewa endionrachenk

de eathei

de kennonhonk,

I will consider


“It is ordered

by God;

he intends




de Diou,

eherhon itihien

That they should depart,

that to Paradise

they may go.”

And, for myself,

I shall think


aronhiae ichien





“How greatly

he loves them,

since he has willed

that they should depart,




de haweri,


And that perfectly

they should be happy!”






[Page 265]






XLV. —Lettre du P. Charles Lalemant au P. Étienne Charlet, à Rome; Paris, 28 février, 1642

XLVI. —Lettre du P. Charles Garnier à son Frère; des Hurons, 22e may, 1642

XLII. —Mémoire touchant les Domestiques; [par Hierosme Lalemant, 1642]


SOURCE: Document XLV., we obtain from Rochemonteix’s Jésuits et la Nouvelle-France, ii., pp. 470, 471. No. XLVI. is from a contemporary copy of the original. No, XLVII. is from a copy by Rev. Thomas Hughes, S.J., of the original, ex MSS. Soc. Jes. — this being, so far as we are aware, the first publication of the document. [Page 267]

[470] Letter from Father Charles Lalemant, to

Father Étienne Charlet, Assistant

of France at Rome.

Paris, February 28th, 1642.



                                    Pax Christi.

I have received what it has pleased Your Reverence to write me in favor of the affairs for which Father Le Jeune has just made a journey to this country.[19] Now, although I am extremely interested in all the affairs of New France, yet it is true that what your Reverence has written me about these greatly increases my affection, according to which I have not failed to assist him. He has obtained ten thousand écus, with which to send men over there to fortify against the Iroquois, and prevent their incursions. Indeed, he would also have desired more effectual assistance, in order to drive away those who are sustaining the said Iroquois in this war, and furnishing them with firearms. But this enterprise has been deemed very hazardous: 1st, because their strength is not known and, if it were known, a considerable sum would be needed to defray the expenses of the men and ships that would be necessary for this purpose. 3rd, after all that, we would not be certain of prevailing over them; and, if the attempt failed, what great outlays we would cause the King without gaining anything, which would result in our not being listened to when we might need [Page 269] some lesser help. 4th, I grant that we might take the place by force; I ask, after that is done, who will secure our fleets against those that have been driven away, and likewise the country, which they will try to surprise as we shall have surprised them? And it is to be observed that it is the Company [471] of the Indies[20] that occupies the settlement there, and that would resent it if that were removed. 5th if the attempt failed, that would certainly incite them against the people of Kebec, and they would furnish more arms than ever to the Iroquois; they might, indeed, join with them to do us harm in the country. 6th, what certainty have we that that will oblige the Iroquois to make peace with our savages? and yet it is upon the assurance of such peace that this whole project is founded. Now we ask if, upon this hope alone, of the fulfillment of which we have no certainty, we should make a definite outlay of so great a sum as is necessary for this purpose, and should expose ourselves to the dangers mentioned above? I would like to request your Reverence to have your opinion of this matter written to me; and, in order that you may better give it, here are the arguments that Father Le Jeune urges in favor of undertaking the enterprise:

If these people are not driven away by making terms with them, or by force of arms, the country is always in danger of being ruined, the mission of being broken up, the nuns of returning, and the colony of being destroyed; the door of the gospel is closed to many very populous nations, and our fathers are in peril of being taken and burned.

There is hope that they can be driven away.

Monsieur de Noyers has encouraged him to expect [Page 271] as if on the authority of Monseigneur the Cardinal, and has almost promised, that whatever is necessary to expel them will be given, provided their forces are not too great.

Of making terms with them there is no prospect, —for he was told that it could not be expected from them, inasmuch as they were Arabs; therefore, force must be used with them. These are his arguments. I pray Your Reverence, then, to have your opinion of this matter written to me. [Page 273]

Letter from Father Charles Garnier to his Brother.



The peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. It was a Heaven —sent affliction to Me when I learned, in the month of September last year, that the letter which I had written to you during the summer had reached Québec, with several others, after the departure of the Vessels returning to France; But it was all the easier for me to resign myself to the Will of God, because I was sure that I had not been able to write my letters or Send them sooner. I hope that Our Lord will have abundantly compensated, through himself, for the Consolation which he might have given you through my letters, since you say that he commonly uses them to afford you some. I hope that This letter will join, at Québec, That which I wrote to you last year, and so as to answer first That which I received from You last summer, dated at Falaix The 4th of March. Continue, I beg you, more and more to bless God for the favors that he has shown me, and Continues to show me from Day to day. It is one of the principal testimonies that you can give me of your Love toward me; or to speak more correctly, since there is nothing to separate us two, and since we are but one Heart, It is a very Holy and very profitable converse for us to thank God Continually for the favors that he has bestowed on us. For I regard Them as Common to us Both. . . . [Page 275]

It is only my sins, and my Ingratitude, and my Continual Unfaithfulness, in which You have no part; I nevertheless beg you with all my Heart to take some part therein for charity, —not burdening yourself with them, but holding Yourself obliged to make Continual Efforts to Abolish them by means of your Holy Sacrifices, prayers, etc.; and I can assure You that by So doing you are indeed promoting the glory of God among the Hurons. For God, in his goodness, having given me some Advantages of grace and nature, to serve him in This Mission, I am sure that the abuse which I make of His Graces, and the negligence that I bring to his Holy service, greatly hinder a fruitful employment of the Talent that he has given me. Howbeit, my dear brother, I beg You to treat Your Heart gently, and never to humble it by the Survey of Your imperfections without at the same time uplifting it by a filial Confidence in our good Master. But I hope to receive letters from You This Year, in which you will send me word that Our Lord has put Your Heart in a condition of Stability and firmness; I pray him that he so dispose mine As soon as possible. I have perceived, by the grace Of God, that one of the things which hindered me from serving God, was that I required too much of myself; and that, in the plans which I formed, I rather considered What was to be desired by me than to be undertaken; and that I had not sufficient Respect for the state of perfection and Virtue that I was in, and for the measure of grace which God was giving me; undoubtedly I Believe that one should certainly Consider this, and not anticipate the sole guide of our Hearts. If I could receive from Our Lord some good word for your weal and for your [Page 277] Consolation, I would tell you it with very good Heart, because you wish it: but what then? This will be when it shall please God; but I still complain of you, who will send me no word of What you Believe you can serve me in. Being free from studies, you have in fact more facility for conversing with God, and fewer distractions. God disposes everything for our good: I bless him for it with all my Heart, and pray him to Lead you to the point of perfection whither he calls you. I avow to you, for my part, that I have always found it difficult to Conceive how there happened to be persons in good religions who could not discover the Means to entertain themselves by prescribing to themselves some occupations, when religion Imposes none on them. I know not what opinions such persons have of Prayer, of the reading of the bible, of the holy Fathers, of the Lives of the Saints; and although they may answer that they take no pleasure in study, at least they would be ashamed to answer that they do not love prayer. And, even though they had aversion for it, they ought to apply themselves to it a little, —and, after a little time, a little more; and by so doing, I doubt not that they would come to find Contentment in it: non habet amaritudinum Conversatio Illius. As for you, my dearest brother, I account you very happy if God call You to This Intimate Communication With Him; and, if he Cast you into Perplexity of business, I beg you, take good Courage, —there is no office in religion to which God calls US, wherein we cannot and should not praise him. I hope that he will grant both of us the Grace thereto, .and that he will place us where we ought to be; let us not trouble ourselves herein, whether you be [Page 279] With st. Peter or With st. John, —quid ad te? Suffice it for US that He is the one who will so bestow us. Concerning the request which the holy Ghost made for YOU on the day of Your profession, I thank his divine Goodness for the Fact that he Confirms YOU in the hope of seeing it one day fulfilled; and I pray him with all my Heart that he fulfill it when it shall be to his glory. Let us both go, my dear brother, to Martyrdom; eamus et nos et moriamur Cum illo. Alas, It is in his goodness and Mercy that we put our entire Confidence. As for seeing you once again, This would be a very special Consolation to me: but I pray God that he do in the matter what is for his glory. Let us try, at all events, whenever we Remember each other, to direct and fix our gaze upon Jesus Christ; And in him we shall find all our Consolation, strength, and Virtue. If I had respect mainly to my own Interest, I would desire that your Reverend Father Provincial would send You often, to accompany Preachers; so that, not depending on a sacristan, you might give me more share in your holy Sacrifices. I thank You very much for having done so. As you request of me, let us Continue to pray for the poor prodigal Child; it is True that he arouses in me exceeding great Compassion. He sends me word that he has been much Consoled by my letters, and that he has read and reread them, in order to maintain himself longer in the thoughts of my good Instructions, and to open the door of his Heart to God, —that he fancied that God spoke to his Soul through my lips. He offers me his service to send me Whatever I shall ask of him; ‘6 1 am wholly yours,” he says, “and Whatever I possess (which I ought not to possess).” [Page 281] Let us not cease to pray and to have others pray to God for him; try to arrange that some persons of Yours Continue to Visit him; and I, too, will try to procure for him the same. My Cousin Bug, her son-in-law, and my Cousin Chaufourneau, have Written to me; I will write back to them, God helping.

But let us speak a little of the Hurons. You know well that, in the preceding Years, we had spent the winter in the Mission of the Apostles, or Nation of the Tobacco; and others had been in the Neutral nation, or Mission of the Angels; and that we Had undertaken to Cultivate These nations as well as That of the hurons; but This year we have merely made some journeys to the mission of the apostles, —hardly more than stopping there, —and have left the neutral nation, —both because Father Jean de Brébeuf, who had been there the year before, has remained for the winter at Quebec; And Because experience has taught us that These peoples become Converted .only after a long and solid instruction. Therefore we have reunited our brethren This winter, —holding them to the Culture of the principal Villages of the Hurons. Father Mercier and Father Ragueneau have spent The Winter in Instructing the village of L’Immaculée Conception; The Reverend Father L’allemant and Father Chaumonot, the Village of St. Michel, and that of st. Jean Baptiste. Father Chatelin and Father Pijart made Excursions to some villages nearest This House, and Father Le Moyne and I had for our portion the village of st. Joseph. Everywhere we have conceived more hope than ever; but we See, indeed, that It will not be without labor and long-suffering, that God will plant his Church in These quarters. It has pleased his [Page 283] goodness to give us Christians in all Those above mentioned villages, —but particularly in That of L’Immaculée Conception and in That of St. Joseph, As being the two villages in which we have worked for a long time, and in which we even had had residences during several years. Now to tell you more especially of my own occupation, we went every day to instruct some Christians of the village of st. Joseph; but they and we were deprived of the Consolation of holy Mass, there being no chapel in This village. What we felt most deeply in This matter was that we could not practice the Christians in the exercise of Devotion. Our Lord raised up one of Our Christians, who offered to give us one end of his Cabin, —closing the door by which he went out, and resolving to go out through the Other end of his Cabin; no doubt st. Joseph procured us This favor. We then built a little chapel at That Cabin’s end, which bears The Name of st. Joseph; it was ready for his feast. We have since then assembled our Christians with much Consolation, and This exercise of devotion has served them well. They came to it, for the most part, to hear mass every day; and every Saturday they Came thither to regular Confession. Two of Our Frenchmen having Come to work at This Chapel, one Estienne Totihri showed them a thousand Courtesies, thinking that they did him a Great favor; and Yet it is Incredible, how Many Conveniences he deprived himself of, by closing That end of his Cabin, and giving the place in which they usually stored their corn and their wood. But I was very glad to maintain him in the thought that God did him much honor; and in fact, When I told him, to This end, that several persons in France had employed all their [Page 285] wealth in having chapels built, I was much astonished that, a half-hour later, This good young man came to bring me, on behalf of his mother, the Beaver Robe with which she Covered herself, —saying that she made a present of it to Those who work at the chapel. This act touched us the more because we knew that These poor People were very poorly Covered, and that it was very cold weather. We assured him that God took pleasure in having their good will, and we gave them back their Robe. This family gives us much Consolation; it Includes the said Étienne, his wife Madeleine, his mother Christienne, and A young Man, Estienne’s brother, who was Baptized at Easter and named Paul. I was forgetting to speak of Estienne’s little daughter, named Catherine; she is only two Years old and prettily makes the sign of the Cross, and herself takes holy Water; and Once she began to Cry, on leaving the chapel, because her mother, who was carrying her, had not given her leisure to take some: it was necessary to carry her back to get it. The good Étienne, his wife, and his brother know their prayers and their Catechism very well; and in our absence they take care to have the other Christians of This village, who are not yet many, —For I make Account only of the good ones, —pray to God. We further baptized at Easter —thank God —a man of This village 40 Years old, named Ahatsistari. He received The name of Eustache. He is a man of a noble and generous nature, a great warrior, and one who —God helping —will draw after him many others, if indeed he Continues As he has Begun; pray to God for him and for all the others, As also for all our Missions. There are more Christians at la Conception than at [Page 287] St. Joseph, and Certainly there are some who do excellently, thanks to God. The deceased Joseph’s brother, who at his baptism took his brother’s name, is wonderfully changed, and greatly Advances in Virtue, as do his wife Catherine, his Nephew Pierre, his Niece Cecile, etc. They baptized at Quebec last Year a Young man named Tsondatsa, who had gone in Father Brébeuf’s Canoe —who is doing very well; there is Consolation in hearing him speak to his Fellow countrymen about the Mysteries of our holy faith: but the relation will apprise You of the Rest and of everything. For What I have written here is only to give You a little Foretaste of the favors which Our Lord shows us. Our Lord has done me the grace of baptizing, This autumn, a little child With Circumstances which will give you Consolation. I had Undergone three battles with the Father and the mother of This child, without being able to obtain from them the permission to be able to baptize This little dying one. I address myself to brother Joseph, our good Christian, and to a Certain Blessed du Serron in Italy,[21] of whom Father Poncet gave me some relics: she Had a talent for baptizing Children who, without her, would have died without baptism; I say in her Honor a Votive mass. The next day, having stopped With one of our Fathers before a Cabin of the Village, —The Father of This child came to leave his Cabin, carrying his son on his back; —he had been for two days greatly oppressed with some Sort of Rattle in the throat. This child, seeing us, said to his Father: “Those yonder? ” —his Father told him that They were French. This child added, “Yes.” Having returned to his Cabin the thought came to him to send and fetch us to baptize [Page 289] his son, and That on account of the word which the Child had said on seeing us. I went thither to baptize him, thank God; He died the following night, Pray to him, and so many Other little Angels, that they may advance the Conversion of their country, and that they pray With you for me. I beg you to commend me very particularly to the Prayers of the Reverend Fathers Bernard, prosper, and Bertaud. The Reverend Father Lallemant, Father Chastelain, Father Pijart, and Our Brother Scot urgently commend themselves to your Prayers; they have promised to remember You in their prayers. I am,

C. G.

From the Hurons, this 22nd of May, 1642.


y dearest brother, I beg you to send me word whether I formerly bound myself to say any masses regularly for us each month. I do not remember it, and I could not do so; we often lose our masses here, although we are withal quite burdened therewith. I do not speak to you of the Rosaries about which I wrote to you two years ago, to obtain for you a pious death and a prompt deliverance from purgatory, I. say them for you sometimes, when I can do so...! [Page 291] by Our Reverend Father General.

The Reverend Father Binet, however, left them free to add thereto, or take away, what might be found necessary to add or take away for each [Page 293] occasion. He added that he thought the said Donné of the Province of Champagne had made some vow.

Father Hierosme Lalemant, passing through Quebek, communicated all this to Reverend Father Paul le Jeune, at that time Superior, who was favorable to the whole matter, and added, of his own accord, that he thought it would be well to have them make some vows, —leaving it all, however, to the judgment of our Fathers who are among the Hurons.

When Father Hierosme Lalemant reached the Huron country, he proposed the matter to the Fathers who were there, who all judged it proper that they should make some vows; and none seemed more suitable than those which are commonly made in our Society, and conditional, like those which are made therein, —but with the essential difference between vows of Religion and vows of Devotion, similar to that which is found in the vows made by Novices before the end of their Novitiate, or by some Penitent who would like to make them to his Confessor. Accordingly, six or seven were afterward received in this way. But, as some desired to give themselves up more devotedly and unreservedly than in the manner provided by the Civil Contract, a Form of donation was arranged, conformable to their devotion, —which, appearing rather to relieve our Society of all obligation, than to burden it, seemed unlikely to encounter more objection than any other.

In the year 1639, the relation of all that had taken place regarding this matter was sent to France, and consequently the two methods of Donation. And in the following year, 1640, letters came from the Superiors, saying that they did not in this affair, approve two things, —one, that we should require [Page 295] them to make vows; the other, that in the Contract our entire Society is bound, while only the Huron mission should have been bound, to assist them all the rest of their days.

Accordingly, after these advices, the Contract was drawn up this year for the first time in the manner in which it is sent, worded with reference to him who has last Given himself; and it will be sent back, approved or disapproved, by him to whom that appertains; and in case of disapproval, some other form of Contract will be sent, according to which we can henceforth act with assurance and stability, when there shall be need therefor. For, in regard to the past, there has been none, in fact, which could not be taken according to the approval of the interpreter; and thus there will be no necessity of amending anything in previous contracts.

Now, in whatever manner the Contract is drawn up, it seems wise to notice two considerations. First, that the more advantageous and charitable are the terms that can be offered those who give themselves, the more just, the better, and the more expedient it will be for us, —considering the need we have of such persons, who should be of suitable age, and of a merit conformable to their condition; and the difficulty of getting them, here and elsewhere, for a country such as this is. Secondly, it does not seem reasonable to lay the Huron mission alone under obligation to them, but all those of New France besides.

1st. Because they do not give themselves solely for the Hurons, but for the service of the Fathers of all new France, who, in fact, may have great need of them everywhere, —as, at present, the Fathers who have gone to the Nipissiriniens have or ought to have [Page 297] one of them. Indeed, they have received some, and may receive hereafter some down there, whom it may be judged expedient, perhaps, to send to us up here; and likewise some of those up here may be sent down there, —in which case, there would be a great confusion in our affairs if some missions alone were bound to them, and not all.

2nd. Because it does not seem just that young men in the flower of their youth should give themselves to the Society, —to render it in these regions better service than Brother Coadjutors, in a barbarous country, full of so many dangers and discomforts, —and yet have only such weak assurances of a livelihood, as would be the alms that have been given to some particular mission, or some trifling fund. Besides, in these quarters, the missions depend upon the whims of our barbarians. Now we would be at a loss to justify ourselves before God and before the world, if it were necessary to send back such persons, merely on account of breaking up a certain mission.

3rd. This plan will keep all the missions of New France much more united, if the Fathers and Domestics are common to all the missions, —not to speak of the inconveniences arising from a Division of the property of the missions of New France, which will in time be found impossible, or will be subject to great misfortunes, or to diversity of ideas and interests.

As for the matter of the vow, all external ceremonies have been discontinued, such as pronouncing the form aloud on the day of reception; Also, the public Renewal of it which they made. All is now done privately by each one, under the direction of his Confessor [Page 299]

Now these private vows are more advantageous and necessary to us in this country, than one would at first suppose, since we have here no means of restraining people except by way of conscience. It is well to take into consideration Domestics who have the management of temporal matters, and other transient Domestics who are in the house, —with whom, as well as with the Savages, many things could take place contrary to the good of the house, without much scruple on the part of our Donnés, if they were not retained by some extraordinary bond of conscience. One can easily perceive other advantages, which it would take me too long to enumerate.

These were the difficulties of the past. As to the future, we are troubled to know in what manner the Donations that they make can be rendered valid, —considering the difficulties that arose, and that were represented by Monsieur the Governor, over the donation that Cousture[22] made to his mother of all that belonged to him in France. The same difficulty will prove still greater, if some new inheritance come to them, of which they shall wish to dispose. In reference to this, it is to be remarked that those who Give themselves, after having signed the Contract with the Superior, make a declaration of what they have, and what belongs to them, and of what they wish to be done with it, —a memorandum of which is made, signed by the hand of him who makes this disposition, which is sent to the Procurers of Quebek and of France, to be put into execution as soon as possible.[23]

[Endorsed: Memoir concerning the Donnés, among the Hurons, when the Procurer shall come to the Congregation.

From Canada; Of the Oblates.] [Page 301]

[Form of Contract, accompanying above Docu-

ment; written by the same hand:]


I, the undersigned, Superior of the Missions of the Society of JESUS among the Hurons, certify by these presents, that Jean Guerin[24] having earnestly represented to us his desire to consecrate himself to the Service of God and of our Society, by vowing himself for the rest of his life to the service of our Fathers who are among the Hurons, and in other places of New France, as shall be decided to be for the greater glory of God, —the Same having given us sufficient proof of his piety and fidelity: We, by these presents, accept him as Donné in the capacity of a Domestic Servant during his lifetime, to continue in the same services as in the past, or in such others as we shall deem advisable, among the said Hurons, or elsewhere; promising, on our part, to maintain him according to his condition with food and clothing, without other wages or claims on his part, and to care for him kindly in case of sickness, even to the end of his life, without being able to dismiss him in such case, except with his own consent; provided that, on his part, he continue to live in uprightness, diligence, and fidelity to our service, even as by these presents he promises and binds himself to do.

Done at the permanent Residence of Sainte Marie of the Hurons, this —[In the copy is added:

19th of March, 1642.

Hierosme Lalemant (with paraph)

Jean Guerin] [Page 303]

[Form of Donation; also in same hand:]


I, the Undersigned, declare that of my individual and free will I have given myself to the Society of JESUS, to serve and assist with all my power and diligence the Fathers of the said Society, who work for the salvation and conversion of souls, and particularly those who are employed in the conversion of the poor savages and barbarians of New France among the Hurons, and this in such method and dress as shall be required, and as shall be judged most suitable for the greater Glory of God, without claiming anything else whatever except to live and die with the said Fathers ‘in whatever part of the world I am required to be with them; leaving to their free disposition all that concerns me and may belong to me (except what shall be found declared in a special memorandum drawn up for this purpose), without desiring that any inventory besides should be made of it, —wishing to give up all for God without any reserve, or any resource except Himself. In attestation of which I have signed the present declaration which I pray God to bless and forever find acceptable. Done at the Residence of Ste. MARIE of the Hurons, this 23rd of December, 1639.

le Coq[25] [with paraph]

I, the undersigned, Superior of the Mission of the Society of JESUS to the Hurons, certify that I have accepted the aforesaid donation, insomuch as it is needful that it should have its full and entire effect [Page 305] according to the forms and the spirit of our Society, of which the aforesaid donator has been duly informed.

Done in the same Place, Year, and Day.

Hierosme Lalemant [with paraph],

le Coq [with paraph].[Page 307]



For particulars of this document, see Vol. XX.


Charles Lalemant writes in French from Paris, February 28, x642, to Father Étienne Charlet, assistant of France, at Rome. We find the document in Rochemonteix’s Jésuites et la Nouvelle-France, ii., pp. 470, 471; but that editor does not give the location of the original.


In publishing this letter (written in the Huron country, May 22, 1642) of Charles Garnier to his. brother, —see reference thereto, in Bibliographical Data to Document No. XLII., in Vol. XX., —we follow a contemporary copy, presumably by a member of the Garnier family in France; this apograph is now in the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal. It is supposed that the original is not now in existence.


This is a memoir written by Jerome Lalemant, —although unsigned, —apparently in the year 1642. The original is in the domestic archives of the Society of Jesus. We are indebted for our copy thereof to Rev. Rudolf J. Meyer, S. J., assistant to the Father General, and to Rev. Thomas Hughes, S. J., who have added two brief documents in the same chirography, which are attached to the original MS. [Page 309]


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

[1] (p. 23). —For sketch of Marguerie, see vol. x., note 4. Thomas Godefroy, sieur de Normanville, was a brother of Jean Godefroy de Lintot, and a relative of Jean Paul Godefroy (vol. ix., note 4). Like them, he was an Indian interpreter under Champlain. During the English occupation of the country, he remained in Canada, and resided at Three Rivers from 1634 to the end of his life. On the occasion described in our text, he escaped from the hands of the Iroquois; but in the summer of 1652 he was slain by them, near Three Rivers.

[2] (p. 85). —For sketch of Marsolet, see vol. v., note 35.

[3] (p. 93). —For sketch of Duplessis-Bochart, see vol. v., note 34. It has generally been assumed by historians that Duplessis-Bochart and Duplessis-Kerbodot were the same person. But Sulte queries this, adducing various circumstances which render it probable that these were different persons, and that Duplessis-Kerbodot did not arrive in Canada until 1651 (Bulletin des Recherches Historiques, vol. ii., pp. 178-182).

[4](p, 107). —The colony of Montreal was a religious enterprise. Its founders were Jérôme Royer de la Dauversière, receiver of taxes at La Flèche, in Anjou; and Jean Jacques Olier, a young priest of Paris. To both these men came, at nearly the same time (about 1636), the idea of founding a religious colony at Montreal; uniting their designs, they formed (1640) an association of, at first, but six members —a number increased, within two years, to forty-five, largely persons of rank and wealth. Notable among these was Madame de Bullion, who gave 42,000 livres for the erection and support of a hospital for the colony. They secured from the intendant Lauson (vol. vi., note 2) a grant of Montreal Island (vol. xii., note 13); and in 1641 sent thither forty soldiers and laborers, to begin the new settlement. These men were under the command of Paul de Chomedey, sieur de Maisonneuve, an experienced soldier, and a man of great piety and courage. He was accompanied by Mlle. Jeanne Mance, —a young woman belonging to an honorable family of Nogent-le-Roi, near Langres, —who, like the other associates, was inspired by religious zeal for the conversion of the savages. At their arrival, the season was too far advanced for such an enterprise, so they spent the winter at Quebec; proceeding to Montreal in the following spring, they took possession of the island on May 17, 1642. They were joined by Madame de la Peltrie; and, in 1643, additional colonists came from France, under command of Louis d’Ailleboust. The new settlement was named Ville-Marie, in honor of the Virgin Mary, to whom it was especially dedicated.

Meanwhile, two religious orders were founded in France for the benefit of the new colony, —by Dauversiere, at La Fleche, the Hospital nuns of St. Joseph; and by Olier, at Vaugirard, a society of priests, that soon developed into the Seminary of St. Sulpice, in Paris. The hospital endowed by Madame de Bullion was built in 1644; and the nuns of St. Joseph came to Montreal in 1659. As for the religious interests of the colony, its earliest spiritual advisers were Jesuits from Quebec; but in May, 1657, the Sulpitians replaced them. Six years later, the Associates of Montreal surrendered the colony to the Sulpitians (vol. xii., note 13).

The earliest publication concerning the foundation of Montreal appeared in 1643, probably at Paris: Les Véritables motifs de MM. et Dames de la Société de N. D. de Montréal pour la conversion des Sauvages de la Nouvelle France, —a defense of their project, called forth by hostile criticisms. This has been reprinted (1880), by the Société Historique of Montreal, with introduction and notes by Abbé H. A. Verreau. This editor regards the work as the production of Olier; but Faillon thinks it was written by Laisné de la Marguerie, an associate of Olier’s. François Dollier de Casson’s Histoire de Montréal covers the period 1640-72; this MS. was published, in 1871, by the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec. The same society had published (1840) the MS. Histoire du Canada, by Abbé de Belmont (superior of the seminary at Montreal, 1713-24), which relates many particulars of the early history of this city. See also Faillon’s Col. Fran.; Parkman’s Jesuits; Vie de Mademoiselle Mance (Paris, 1854; 2 vols.); and De Launay’s Relig. Hospit. de St. Joseph.

[5] (p. 107). —-Du Marché and Turgis (vol. viii., notes 18, 19) were replaced in the Miscou mission (1637) by Nicolas Gondoin and Jacques de la Place. The former soon returned to France; but De la Place, aided by Claude Quentin, remained until 1640, when they were compelled, by illness and lack of means, to return to Quebec. De la Place must have gone to France in the autumn of that year; for he came thence with Mlle. Mance (note 4, ante) in the summer of 1641. He was in Miscou the following year, and apparently remained there until the autumn of 1647, when he went back to France; but in August, 1649, returned to Québec, where he labored for several years. In November, 1653, he was sent to Three Rivers, to replace Richard; the Journ. des Jésuites mentions his arrival at Quebec (August, 1657) from that place, but it is uncertain whether he spent the time between those dates at Three Rivers. He returned to France Sept. 6, 1658.

The brother Ambroise Brouet is mentioned in the Relations of 1656 and 1657 as going to the Iroquois country.

[6] (p. 109). —Concerning M. de Gand, see vol. vii., note 22.

[7] (p. 109). —For sketch of Chevalier de Sillery, see vol. xiv., note 12.

[8] (p. 111). —The gifts of Marquis de Gamache and his son are referred to in vol. vi., note 9.

[9] (p. 117). —Concerning the Abenaki tribe, see vol. xii., note 22; the Porcupine, vol. xiv., note 13; the others here mentioned, vol. xviii., notes 11, 13.

[10] (p. 125). —Regarding the Kiristinouns (Crees), see vol. xviii., note 15.

[11] (p. 191). —Concerning the Eries, or Cat Nation, see vol. viii., note 34. p. 302, Parkman (Jesuits, p. xlvi) thinks that this tribe were the Carantouans of Champlain. He also says of the Neutrals (p. xliv, note 3): “They, and not the Eries, were the Kahkwas of Seneca tradition.” This statement gives the scope of a considerable controversy among antiquarians as to the identity of the Kahkwas. Marshall agrees with Parkman; he says (Niagara Frontier, p, 6, note): “The latter [Eries] lived south of the western end of Lake Erie until they were destroyed by the Iroquois, in 1655. The Kahkwas were exterminated by them as early as 1651. On Coronelli’s map, published in 1688. one of the villages of the latter, called’ Kakouagoga, a destroyed nation,’ is located at or near the site of Buffalo. ”

Several other writers take the opposite ground, arguing that the Eries were the Kahkwas. Morgan says (League of the Iroquois, p. 337) that the Eries were known to the Iroquois by the name Gä-quä-ga´-o-no [o-no signifying merely “the people at”]; that” they were an offshoot of the Iroquois stock, and spoke a dialect of their language.” He adds: “It is a singular fact that the Neuter Nation, who dwelt on the banks of the Niagara river, and who were expelled by the Iroquois about the year 1643, were known among them as the je-go´-sä-sa, or Cat Nation. The word signifies ‘a wild cat;’ and, from being the name of a woman of great influence among them, it came to be the name of the nation.” Cf. Schoolcraft, Notes on the Iroquois (N. Y., 1846), pp. 176-179, 221; another’s speech (Systems of Consanguinity, p. 152). Indeed, he suggests that the Gakwas or Eries, are supposed to have been a subdivision of the Senecas (Indian Miscellanies, p. 227). The term Attiwandaronk —signifying ‘those who speak a somewhat different language’ —was applied to the Neuters by the Hurons, and vice versa; and this name would be equally applicable to the Eries, from either a Huron or Seneca standpoint. Considering also their other appellation, ‘the Cat Nation,’ it is certainly a curious coincidence, if nothing more, that the Neuters, too, were known to the Iroquois as je-go´-sä-sa, ‘the Cat Nation.’ ”

It is desirable here to consider what animal is meant by chat sauvage, the “wild cat” so often mentioned by early writers, especially in connection with the Erie tribe. Some suppose it to be the common American wild cat, Lynx rufus, or possibly the Canadian lynx, Lynx Canadensis. J. G. Henderson, in a paper read before the Amer. Asso. for Adv. of Science, at its meeting of 1880, takes issue with this idea, saying: “These two species of lynx were not differentiated by the early French explorers, who classed both as wolves, under the appellation loup cervier; while they gave to the raccoon the name chat sauvage. Sagard clearly distinguishes these animals (Canada, Tross ea., pp. 679, 680), as loups cerviers (lynxes), named by the Hurons Toutsitoute; common wolves, Anatisqua; and ‘a species of leopard, or wild cat, that they call Tiron.’ He adds: ‘In this vast extent of land there is a country that we surname “the Nation of the Cat,” on account of these cats, —small wolves or leopards which are found in their country, which furnish their robes. These cats are hardly larger than foxes; but they have fur closely resembling that of the common wolf, for I myself was deceived in choosing between them.’” This view is corroborated by Clapin (Dict. Canad.-Français), who defines chat lotor, but generally known to scientists as Procyon lotor, belonging to Procyonidæ, a group coördinate with Usidæ).

We may here note another animal sometimes called “wild cat” —-Mustela pennanti, of the Mustelidæ, another group of the great Arctoid order; it is commonly known as “fisher,” “black cat,” “black fox,” or “pekan.” This last name is a Canadian-French word, and was used as early as 1684, for it occurs in a document of that date, “Memoir touching the expenses incurred by Sieur de Lasalle at Fort Frontenac,” —a translation of which is given in N.Y. Colon. Docs., vol. ix., pp. 216-221.sauvage as the raton of France (raccoon, —given by Littré as Ursus

[12] (p. 191) —Onguiaahra: Niagara. Cartier, when at Hochelaga (Montreal), heard vague rumors of the great cataract. Champlain’s map of 1632 locates it quite definitely, at the western end of Lake St. Louis (Ontario); he describes it as “a fall of water at the end of the falls of St. Louis, —very high, in descending which many kinds of fish are stunned.” Its location on the map shows that “sault St. Louis” is a mere slip of the pen, or a typographical error, for “(lac St. Louis.” Sanson’s map of 1656 gives it as “Ongiara Sault;” Coronelli (1688) names it Niagara. O’Callaghan’s index to N.Y. Colon. Docs. enumerates thirty-nine other variants on this name. Ragueneau mentions the cataract (in Huron Relation of 1648, chap. i.). as “of frightful height.”

The name Niagara. or Onguiahra, is generally regarded as of Mohawk (or the kindred Neutral) origin, and signifying “neck,” referring to the strip of land between Lakes Erie and Ontario, cut off by this river. The easternmost village of the Neutrals, probably near the Falls, bore the same name. Concerning Lalemant’s statement in the text, that the Neutrals had forty villages, A. F. Hunter says: “So many village sites are found at the present day in the districts north of Lake Erie that this estimate is fully confirmed” Valuable information in regard to this region is given in Marshall’s Niagara Frontier (Buffalo, 1881); Coyne’s Country of the Neutrals; and Holley’s Niagara (N. Y., 1872). For the physical history of the river, see Gilbert’s paper in Smithsonian Rep., 1890, pp. 231-258.

[13] (p. 193). —For information regarding the Neutrals, see vol. viii., notes 34, 41, and vol. xviii., note 19. Cf. Harris’s Catholic Church in Niagara Peninsula (Toronto, 1895), chap. i.-v.

[14] (p. 197). —These “black beasts” were black squirrels (vol. xvii., note 8). Concerning the “cow,” see vol. ix., note 33; the “wild cat,” note ii, ante.

[15] (p. 203). —For sketch of the Récollet Daillon, see vol. iv., note 23.

[16] (p. 207). —Kandoucho (All Saints) was, according to Lalemant, the Neutral village nearest the Hurons; but opinions as to its location are conflicting. The most satisfactory suggestion is that of Arthur Harvey (Toronto Mail, Dec. 11, 1885) —that the site of Kandoucho was probably one of those found at Lake Medad, Halton county, Ont. Lalemant here states that this village was between four and five days’ journey from Teanaustayae, and (near the beginning of this chapter) four days from the mouth of Niagara River. This halfway position between the two points named corresponds very closely to that of Lake Medad. This locality was used as a place of residence by the aborigines for some time after the arrival of the French, as may be inferred from the numbers of French relics found there. Numerous other remains have been found, including some bonepits which were examined by B. E. Charlton of Hamilton, Ont., all showing that it was a place occupied for a long time by the Neutrals. Lalemant’s estimate of the position of Kandoucho as about latitude 42º 30´ is inconsistent with our present knowledge, but he appears to have made no instrumental observation. His mention of its distance from the Hurons, forty leagues, renders probable its location at Lake Medad. Ragueneau says that in 1648 the Neutral village nearest the Hurons was only thirty leagues distant (Huron Relation of 1648, chap. i. and iv.); and that the Senecas captured it in that year. But, during this interval of eight years, the Neutrals may have moved nearer to the Hurons, and established new villages. —A. F. HUNTER.

Coyne conjectures that Kandoucho may have been not far from the present Brantford; Clark, as cited by Harris (Niagara Peninsula, p. 341) says that it was not far from Brampton, Peel county. It should be noted that Lalemant states its distance as “about forty leagues [from the Hurons], going all the time directly South.” Daillon, in journeying to the Neutrals (1626), arrived at their first village in six days from the Tobacco Nation (Sagard’s Canada, Tross ed., pp. 799, 800); he does not give its name, although it is supposed to have been Kandoucho.

[17] (p. 207). —Tsohahissen’s village would seem to be identical with the Notre Dame des Anges of Sanson’s map, located on the west side of Grand River, near Brantford, Ont.; the Jesuits would naturally give to the chief village of the Neutrals the name of their mission to that tribe, “Mission des Anges.” —A. F. HUNTER.

Coyne thinks that N. D. des Anges was at the Neutral village of Kandoucho (see preceding note), and that the village of Tsohahissen was the S. Alexis of Sanson’s map; and he conjectures that the latter was upon the site now indicated by the “Southwold Earth-work” —an aboriginal fortification still remaining, in the township of Southwold, Elgin county, Ont. (Country of the Neutrals, pp. 1-3. 13, 14.).

[18] (p. 225). —Teotongniaton (St. Guillaume) was probably —as suggested by Coyne (ut supra, p. 19) —the place mentioned by Ragueneau (Huron Relation of 1651, chap. ii.) as captured in 1651; but Coyne thinks that it “was perhaps in the vicinity of Woodstock, Ont.” Harris opposes this view (Niagara Peninsula, pp. 340, 341); but the locations therein conjectured are equally unacceptable. A more probable site than any one of these is in Beverley township, lot 12, concession 7; there many iron tomahawks have been found, indicating a conflict. This location for St. Guillaume would also agree with the text, as it is halfway between Kandoucho and the village of Tsohahissen. Four miles east of this site is another, at which 300 iron tomahawks have been picked up; this is in the same township, in lot 26, concession 8. Another Neutral village had been captured in the previous autumn by the Iroquois, as stated by Ragueneau; and the occurrence of these two sites in Beverley, both bearing tokens of conflict, suggests the strong probability that here stood St. Guillaume and the other captured village just mentioned. —A. F. HUNTER.

[19] (p. 269). —Le Jeune mentions this journey, and his errand, in the introductory note at the beginning of the Relation of 1640-41.

[20] (p. 271). —Reference is here made to the Dutch West India Company, chartered June 3, 1621 —successor to the United New Netherland Company, which received its charter Oct. II, 1614. O’Callaghan, in History of New Netherland (N. Y., I&&, vol. i., p. 89, thus characterizes the new association: “It was modelled after that granted in the beginning of the seventeenth century to the celebrated East India Company, with which body it was designed to cooperate in extending national commerce, in promoting colonization, in crushing piracy, but, above all, in humbling the pride and might of Spain.” Under its auspices were formed the settlements of New Netherlands on the Delaware and Hudson rivers, and the “patroon” system inaugurated (1629). The West India Company practically ruled the Dutch colonies in that region until their capture by the English (1664).

[21] (p. 289). —This was Françoise du Serron, of St. Severin, Italy.

[22] (p. 301). —Guillaume Coûture, an interpreter, and for a time a Jesuit donnés, came from Rouen to Canada, probably in 1641. In the following year, he was captured with Jogues, because he would not abandon the Father, and with him suffered cruel tortures from the Iroquois, —who, however, took him back to Three Rivers, after a captivity of two years. Soon afterward, he returned to their country with Iroquois envoys, to negotiate a peace between them and the French, in which effort he succeeded. Returning to Quebec in April, 1646, he seems to have severed his connection with the Jesuits; for the Jour. des Jésuites mentions that the Fathers, at a consultation held Apr. 26, approved Coûture’s marriage. That event, however, appears on the registers only under date of Nov. 16, 1649, —his wife being Anne Aymard; they had ten children. In 1648, he obtained a grant of land at Côte de Lauson; he became a captain of militia, and a judge in his seigniory. In 1666, he was sent to the Dutch at Albany on a mission concerning public affairs. His death occurred in 1702.

[23] (p. 301). —This Mémoire regarding the donnés summarizes the reasons for their employment in the Canadian missions, and the controversy aroused thereby. Notwithstanding the explanations made in this document by Lalemant, Vitelleschi ordered (Jan. 25, 1643) the dissolution of this branch of the mission service; but further remonstrance and explanation from Lalemant, accompanied by a modification in the terms and requirements of the donnés’ connection with the Society, finally procured (Dec. 25. 1644) the revocation of this decree. During the continuance of the Huron mission, these donnés rendered it invaluable service. On this subject, see Rochemonteix’s Jésuites, vol. i., pp. 388-395.

[24] (p. 303). —Jean Guerin was another of these donnés; his name does not often occur in records of the time, but Lalemant, in the Relation of 1663, chap. viii., says that Guerin had been in the employ of the Jesuits over twenty years, and eulogizes his virtue, devotion, and fidelity. He had served the missionaries in all their fields of labor —among the Iroquois, Hurons, Abenakis, and Algonkins. His last voyage was with the ill-fated Ménard (vol. xviii., note 5); they left Three Rivers in August, 1660, and Ménard perished in the forests of Wisconsin, a year later. In September, 1662, Guerin, while still in the mission service, was killed by the accidental discharge of a gun. Laverdiere, Shea, and other historians have made Guerin the companion of Ménard at the time of his death; but this opinion is controverted by Campbell, in his “Ménard” (Parkman Club. Pubs., Milw., no. 11), pp. 11, 12; he maintains that Guerin was left behind by Ménard, in charge of the infant church at Keweenaw Bay, and that the latter was accompanied by a French armorer, or blacksmith.

[25] (p. 305). —Regarding Le Coq, see vol. xix., note 5.