The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents


Travels and Explorations

of the Jesuit Missionaries

in New France







Reuben Gold Thwaites

Secretary of the State historical Society of Wisconsin


Tomasz Mentrak



Hurons, Lower Canada:


CLEVELAND:       The Burrows Brothers





Vol. XXV

[Page iii]

The edition consists of sev-

en hundred and fifty sets

all numbered.


The Burrows Brothers Co.

[Page iv]



Reuben Gold Thwaites




|  Finlow Alexander


|  Percy Favor Bicknell


|  William Frederic Giese


|  Crawford Lindsay


|  William Price


|  Hiram Allen Sober



Assistant Editor

Emma Helen Blair



Bibliographical Adviser

Victor Hugo Paltsits



Electronic Transcription

Tomasz Mentrak


[Page v]





Preface To Volume XXVII






Relation de ce qvi s’est passé en la Novvelle France, és années 1643. & 1644. [Chap. vi. to end of Part II., completing the document.] Hierosme Lalemant; Des Hurons, September 21, 1643, and March 31, 1644






Journal des PP. Jéuites. Hierosme Lalemant; Quebek, September-December, 1645.




Relation de ce qvi s’est passé en la Novvelle France, és années 1644. & 1645. [Chaps. i.-xi.] Barthelemy Vimont; Quebec, October 1, 1645












Bibliographical Data; Volume XXVII






[Page vii]







Reduced facsimile of Brief of Pope Urban VIII., dated February 18, 1644, granting a plenary indulgence




Photographic facsimile of title-page, Relation of 1644-45.









[Page viii]


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

LIII. Part I. of this Relation, written by the superior, Vimont, was given in Vols. XXV. and XXVI.; Part II., sent to Vimont from the Huron country by Jerome Lalemant, was commenced in Vol. XXVI., and is here concluded.

Continuing his survey of the Huron missions for 1642-43, Lalemant states that lack of workers has prevented the Jesuits from carrying on their labors, begun two years before, among the Neutral Nation; some of the Christian Hurons, however, have preached among them, meeting with considerable success. At the end of the winter, one hundred of this tribe visit the Jesuits in the Huron country, and are so pleased with what they see and hear that they promise the Fathers a favorable reception by their people.

A sanguinary attack by this tribe upon the Mascoutens, last summer, is described. The latter constitute a nation more populous than the Neutrals, Hurons, and Iroquois, all together: they speak an Algonkin dialect, and offer a vast field for missionary labor.

The station of St. Jean Baptiste is still in charge of Daniel. A notable increase in the number of conversions is reported; and several instances of [Page 9] devotion and piety are related. Driven hither by the murderous Iroquois, many Algonkins from the St. Lawrence valley have taken refuge with the Hurons; and in their behalf is established the mission of Ste. Elizabeth, in charge of Ménard. He soon finds ready access to them, and they listen to him willingly; several conversions occur among them.

The final chapter describes the labors of Pijart and Ménard, begun in the previous summer, among the Nipissing Algonkins. They meet a friendly reception; but on attempting to rebuke the superstitious and licentious practices of the natives, much opposition is aroused, and the missionaries are even threatened and assaulted. In December, these and several other Algonkin tribes come to winter among the Eturons, and Pijart continues his instruction to them. He secures some conversions, and baptizes several at the point of death.

It will be remembered (see Preface to Vol. XXV. that the original Huron report for 1642-43 was captured by the Iroquois: and the second draft thereof reached Quebec too late, in the autumn of 1643, to be sent to France from Quebec, for insertion in the Relation of that year. In publishing this belated copy in the Relation of 1643-44, the account of affairs in the Huron mission is brought up to date by a supplementary letter from Lalemant to his provincial, dated March 31, 1644. In this epistle, Lalemant reports that the Iroquois have closed all passage by the rivers to Quebec; many of the Hurons, attempting to descend thither, have been slaughtered or captured, or have barely escaped with their lives; and their country has been continually harassed by the foe. Largely as a result of the war, a severe famine has [Page 10] helped still further to desolate this afflicted land, — “prevailing among all the tribes for over a hundred leagues around.’ There is hardly enough Indian corn for sowing the fields. Fortunately, the Jesuits have a good supply of corn; and this enables them to exercise toward the starving Indians a charity that wins their affection. On the whole, the church has been strengthened, rather than injured, by these afflictions. The mission stations have become residences, and the chapels have been everywhere enlarged. The Christians are notably more numerous, and even the Infidels are less hostile.

LIV. We here commence the publication of the Journal des Jésuites — as its title indicates, a brief record, from day to day, of events occurring in the Jesuit residence at Quebec, and written by the superior in charge. It is prefaced by an outline of affairs in Canada, as they existed at the time when Jerome Lalemant came down to Quebec (September, 1645), to replace Vimont as superior of the Canadian mission. The Journal itself commences October 17, 1645, and continues to June 2 I, 1668, with some gaps between 1654 and 1656; we shall present its contents in yearly installments, — the portion given in this volume embracing September to December, 1645.

The Relations were formal accounts, carefully edited in Quebec and in Paris, and avowedly published for the purpose of attracting money and recruits for the missions of New France; it is to the letters and other informal documents of the period, that we must look for side lights with which to illumine the heroic picture of the Jesuits in New France. Among the mass of material of this character which will be supplied in the present series, no document will be more [Page 11] serviceable to historians of the period than the Journal des Jésuites, which is the more valuable because obviously not intended for the public eye.

In his introductory note on the” State of the country” when he arrived at Quebec in September, 1645, Lalemant says that the Hundred Associates had just ceded the fur trade to the French colonists on the St. Lawrence. At Montreal, “there remain, of notable persons,” only D’Ailleboust and his family, and Mile. Mance, Le Jeune and Jogues are assigned to that post for the winter. Coûture, the donné who had been captured with Jogues, two years before, by the Iroquois, returns from an embassy to the Mohawks, with whom he has been negotiating a peace. Fort Richelieu is almost abandoned, only eight or ten soldiers being left there. A list of the appointments at the various mission stations is given.

Here the Journal proper begins. Following are the principal entries: The fleet departs for France, October 24, “laden, as is estimated, with 20,000 pounds’ weight of Beaver skins for the habitans, and 10,000 for the general company, at a pistole, or ten or eleven francs, a pound.” The soldiers sent last year to the Huron country return, this September, to Montreal, with a valuable cargo of furs. “A dispute over this having arisen between the habitans, lately put in possession of the trade, and the messieurs of the general Company, they agreed to employ the proceeds in building a church and clergy-house, for which 6,000 livres were specially set aside,” They make up for this, however, by allowing the Jesuits only thirty crowns apiece for the maintenance of these soldiers during the past year; “they caused us thereby a loss of more than 2,500 lives.” Some [Page 12] of the Hurons wintering at Sillery steal from a Frenchman; they are “intimidated with the anger of Monsieur the Governor at his return.”

Complaint is made of the Huron Atironta and his family, who lodge at the hospital, that they take the place of the sick there. A wedding, at which Le Jeune officiates, causes Chavigny to lose one of his men, for which he blames the priest; but it appears afterward that he was wrong in complaining of Le Jeune. A house for the Jesuits at Montreal is ready for erection, when orders come from France that all the workmen must at once begin work on Madame de Bullion’s hospital. Maisonneuve finds it hard to tell this news to the Fathers; Lalemant says: “I took it upon myself to do so, and to persuade them to regard the matter favorably; afterward, they flung the cat at my legs, as if I were the one who had hindered that work.”

November 15, Vimont obtains Des Chastelets’s consent that the prohibition of trade with the Indians shall not apply to the Jesuits, but that they must carry it on quietly. “The Algonquins of Sillery inflict on themselves severe disciplines for having been several times drunk; but they complain much and stoutly that the French get drunk and are bad, and that not a word is said about it.” At a wedding, “there were two violins, for the first time.” Much curious information is given, incidentally, about the values of wages, food, peltries, etc. Lalemant notes the great expenses incurred for the Sillery establishment, — nearly a thousand écus, — while the revenues therefrom are nil.

December 3, the Ursulines send a dinner to the Fathers —“a perfect banquet, indeed.” “About [Page 13] this time, we began to make bread at the house, not only because that made for us at the warehouse oven was not good, but because we wished to use the corn of the land, which they did not use at the warehouse.” The religious ceremonies observed on the various church festivals of the month are described, — especially those at Christmastide. Two great kettles filled with fire have been furnished by the warehouse, to warm the chapel; through neglect to remove these after mass, the floor beneath them catches fire, early in the morning, but it is fortunately seen by the Jesuits’ cook, who quietly extinguishes the fire. Two Frenchmen create a scandal by getting intoxicated, while waiting for the midnight mass. The Jesuits vigorously denounce this, “because the savages said: ‘They make us take the discipline when we get drunk, and they say nothing to the French.’ Nothing further was required than this public expression; Monsieur the governor had them put on the chevalet, exposed to a frightful Northeast wind.”

Lalemant finds that his predecessor, Vimont, had granted to the two convents of nuns twelve arpents of the best meadow lands owned by the Jesuits, for a term of six years. He blames Vimont for this; but the latter soon afterward obtains a retrocession of the land, as appears by a marginal note in the text.

LV. The Relation of 1644-45 consists of but one part (dated at Quebec, October I, 1645), written by Vimont, because his successor, Jerome Lalemant, had not arrived in time to perform the task; it is supplemented by a letter from Lalemant, dated in the Huron country, May 15, 1645, and treating of the mission in that quarter. We present the first eleven [Page 14] chapters of the Relation in this volume; it will be concluded in Vol. XXVIII.

The great event of the year, says Vimont, is the peace which has just been concluded with the dreaded Iroquois. “Another blessing” to the country is the cession of the fur trade to the habitants by the Company of New France and the Montreal Associates, respectively.

Much space is this year devoted to the pious utterances and behavior of the Christian Indians. Some, who become intoxicated, are shut out from the church, and kneel by the door, in the midst of rain and mud. The Father orders some boards to be brought for them to kneel on, that they may not soil their clothing; but they decline this relief. Some even refuse to enter the church when he gives them permission, so humble and contrite are they.

One of these neophytes, while on a trading trip, meets a small tribe who have thus far had no intercourse with the French. He preaches to them, and so arouses their interest in the new religion that they help him erect a large cross on the banks of a river, where he promises to meet them in the following spring.

The new Christians persist in their religious duties, despite the scorn and jeers of their heathen companions. They resist the numerous temptations to anger, licentiousness, and superstition. They patiently suffer hunger, sickness, and affliction; and comfort one another in those troubles. At Tadoussac, one man is suddenly cured of an illness, and claims that he has been in heaven, where he has seen Jesus, who has given him a message to his tribesmen. This man has seen the book in which are [Page 15] inscribed all their names, and the record of their sins; also he has seen hell itself, and men burning in the infernal fires. To all this, the Indians listen with the utmost attention, and in profound silence; it frightens the wicked, and consoles the good, and has excellent results. Some of them surprise their priest by inflicting the discipline upon themselves, — of their own accord, and in public. This arouses a contagion of fervor among those assembled: “the penance was so general that the innocent wished to share it with the guilty. Even the children were not spared; their fathers and mothers made them approach the altar, took off their little garments, and begged him who held the whip to chastise them. These poor victims went there cheerfully, and without shrinking, or shedding one little tear, they received the blows from the whip, which were gently delivered on their innocent flesh. Some of the mothers even struck with their Rosaries, in the manner of the discipline, their little children still at the breast. This flagellation would have been too long had not the Father put an end to it: he consoled them, assured them of the pardon of their sins, and warned them not to perform any other public penance without the advice of their Confessors.” Afterward, “the discipline was hung up on a nail in the Chapel,” as a warning.

A party of Sillery Indians go into the woods for their usual great hunt; and, at their request, Father Dreuillettes goes with them as their spiritual guide. They greatly edify him by their zeal in observing all religious duties, especially at Christmas. The poor Father becomes blind through the smoke of the cabins. An Indian woman attempts with a bit of rusty [Page 16] iron to remove this difficulty, but to no avail. Finally, his sight is suddenly restored through an appeal to the intercession of the Virgin.

Vimont relates the particulars of several Iroquois raids upon Fort Richelieu, also of a retaliatory incursion made by the Algonkins, in which they capture two Iroquois prisoners; contrary to the usual savage custom, these prisoners are not harmed, but are kindly treated, and are delivered to Montmagny. He orders another Iroquois, who had been kept at Three Rivers, to be liberated and sent back to his own country. This man returns (July 5) with ambassadors, who negotiate a treaty of peace with both French and Hurons. These envoys bring back Couture, who had been captured with Jogues, and restore him to the French. Ten days are spent in the preliminaries of a peace, which is finally ratified, early in September, at a general council of the Hurons, Algonkins, and French, who meet deputies from the Iroquois. The proceedings by which this treaty is made, with the speeches, gifts, and feasts accompanying, are given in much detail. The Iroquois envoys depart September 23, leaving three of their number with the French as hostages.

R. G. T.

Madison, Wis., July, 1898

[Page 17]

LIII (concluded)

Relation of 1643-44



Chaps. i.-viii. of Part I. were given in Volume XXV.; in Volume XXVI. were given the remainder of Part I., and the first five chapters of Part II, (the Huron report); we here with present the remainder of Part II., thus completing the document.


[Page 19]





UR small number being barely sufficient to attend to the villages that are nearest to us, we have been unable to continue the instruction of the neutral Nation, where two years ago we sowed the first seeds of the Gospel. Some Christian Hurons went there in our stead and performed the duty of Apostles, perhaps with more success for the present than we ourselves could have had.

Éstienne Totiri, of the village of St. Joseph, accompanied by one of his brothers, stopped in one of their villages nearer the frontier, and found ears so well disposed to listen to them that they had barely three or four hours at night for sleep. They carried their rosaries around their necks, and, as curiosity excites these barbarous peoples, as it [111] does the most civilized Nations in Europe, such a novelty, in persons who in all other respects resemble them, caused them to be asked the reason thereof at every village. “It is,” they said, “one of the signs that we acknowledge as our master him who alone has created Heaven and earth. He is invisible to us, although he fills the whole world; and he alone maintains all things, as the soul fills the body, vivifies and sustains it, though it never appears to our eyes.” Afterward, they expounded the principal mysteries of the Faith. But what touched those people more [Page 21] than all was the fear of those fires that they were told they could not avoid, unless they adored the great master of nature. “And why,” replied they, “have they not continued to come and instruct us? Why do you give us the knowledge of this misfortune that awaits us if no one come at the same time to deliver us from it? Otherwise by inspiring us with that fear, that we have not had till now, it is enough to make us miserable even in this life, before [112] we are in the other.”

Barnabé Otsinnonannhont, an excellent Christian of the village of St. Michel, who penetrated to the heart of the country, made a longer stay there; and, as he has great authority among these tribes, his zeal has given much more publicity to the truths of our Faith, and his example has preached more forcibly than his words. He publicly refused the desires of a shameless woman, who asked him to do what his conscience could not permit, although the customs of this country sentenced’ him to it, and here they call a virtue what, before God, is but a crime. He had to fight a thousand battles against those even whom he held most dear; for he always firmly refused to obey their dreams, which are the God of all these peoples. And when they reproached him, saying that Faith was an intolerable yoke, as it compelled him thus to sever the bonds of friendship, and to deprive himself of the greatest pleasures of life, “No,” said he, “if, in order to reach Paradise, I knew of a road full of precipices, I would courageously advance, and would consider myself only too happy if [113] perished in the effort. At whatever price we win eternal happiness, we always acquire it cheaply.” [Page 23]

Finally, when the time drew near for his return, he found himself obliged to give Baptism to a daughter of his, whom he left in that country, where he has a great many relatives. “But remember, my daughter,” he said to her, “carefully to preserve the grace that thou receivest through Baptism. When the Devil, or impious tongues, shall impel thee to evil, think that God sees thee, although thy father be absent. And if that consideration do not stop thee, remember at least this one — that the greatest sorrow thou canst cause thy father is to commit a sin that will separate thee from him forever.”

At the end of the winter, a party of about one hundred persons of these peoples of the Neutral Nation came to visit us in this country. They saw here the nascent Church of the Hurons; they questioned our Christians on matters of the Faith; we instructed them ourselves; and, if we may trust their word, they went away regretting that we could not [114] accompany them, and promising that their country would offer no resistance to the reception of the Faith. As soon as we shall have made a sufficient breach here among the Hurons, we shall be able to go to them. God grant that this seed may bear fruit in due time.

These peoples of the neutral Nation are always at war with those of the Nation of fire, who are still farther distant from us. They went there last Summer to the number of two thousand, and attacked a village well protected by a palisade, and strongly defended by nine hundred warriors who withstood the assault. Finally, they carried it, after a siege of ten days; they killed many on the spot, and took eight hundred captives, — men, women, and children [Page 25] After having burned seventy of the best warriors, they put out the eyes and girdled the mouths of all the old men, whom they ‘afterward abandoned to their own guidance, in order that they might thus drag out a miserable life. Such is the scourge that depopulates all these countries; for their wars are but wars of extermination.

This Nation of fire alone is more populous [115] than all the Neutral Nation, all the Hurons, and all the Iroquois, enemies of the Hurons, put together. It consists of a large number of villages, wherein is spoken the Algonquin language, which prevails still farther on. Life will fail us rather than new nations to conquer for Jesus Christ. And it is necessary that the Faith should soften these tribes, as it is commencing to tame those of the same language who live toward the North. At least, some trustworthy Hurons, who go every year to trade with the Algonquin tribes scattered here and there, have informed us that they have met Christians who kneel as we do, clasp their hands, raise their eyes to Heaven, and pray to God night and morning, and before and after meals. And the best evidence of their Faith is that they are no longer wicked and dishonest, as they formerly were. They call them Ondoutaouakeronnon. These are people about a hundred leagues above the Saguene, toward the North, who have been instructed — some at Tadoussac, [116] and others at Three Rivers, where they go merely as birds of passage, bearing with them into their solitary woods, lakes, and mountains the Faith and the fear of God, which finds its abode everywhere. [Page 27]





ATHER Antoine Daniel has continued in charge of this Mission, which this year has had within its province the villages of St. Jean Baptiste, of St. Joachim, and of a third, about six leagues distant, that bears the name of St. Ignace. God has everywhere increased the number of the Christians and Catechumens. But let us give more particulars respecting that Church.

A good old man — a Christian, over a hundred years old — heard that the enemy were approaching his village to carry it by storm. He rejoiced amid the public alarm, and the weeping [117] that he heard on all sides, saying to the Infidels that this time he would be happy and enjoy the pleasures that his Faith led him to hope for.

In this same spirit of Faith, a Christian woman who had just lost her sight, and felt almost unbearable pain, sang while her sufferings were keenest, that the thought of Paradise alleviated her trouble; that her misery would come to an end, but the joy that she hoped to feel in Heaven would never cease.

A Christian young man, last year, saw himself pursued by a band of Iroquois, and threw himself, almost in despair, behind a bush, where he found life when he expected only death. He told us that, in the midst of his fears, he was about to call out to [Page 29] the enemy, thinking that after death he would be happy in Heaven: “My God,” he said in the depths of his heart, “it is you who hide me here. The enemy are twenty paces from me. If you did not help me to conceal myself, would I be safe here? Dispose of my life as you please. If I knew your will, I would present myself, [118] and tell them to burn me; and then I would offer you’ my torments. I ask of you nothing, my God, but Heaven, where I may ever see you as you see me now.” This young man came very frequently from a distance of ten or twelve leagues to hear Mass; and, as it was a dangerous time, owing to fear of the enemies, we told him that he was wrong in exposing himself to that danger without being in a numerous company.” What,” said he, “is not God with me? If I were killed on the road, could I die a better death? Would I not go straight to Heaven? Can I fear death, even when walking in the midst of peril, while I have such thoughts?”

The parents of a young Neophyte proposed to him a marriage that was advantageous for him and asked him if the girl pleased him. “You look only at the outside,” he said to them. “What I wish to love cannot be seen with the eyes. Has she good thoughts regarding Heaven? Is she disposed to die in the Faith? Does her heart belong to God? Will she cherish her salvation? If so, [119] I love her; if not, she will never be anything to me.”

A Christian Captain, one of the leading men of the village of St. Jean Baptiste, who had spoken publicly in favor of a dream of one of his friends, was at once touched to the heart. “I have offended God,” he said to the Father; “my sin deserves to be punished [Page 31] and, as it was a public one, fear not to order me to do penance publicly. Speak, and I will obey thee.” The Father ordered him to abstain from going to any feast for a period of eight days. This meant condemning him to a fast stricter than if on bread and water, and compelled him, more than ten times a day, to reply to all the Infidels that he was doing penance for his sins. Sometimes it was past three in the afternoon before he broke his fast, because the feasts that were given in his own cabin prevented him from taking his usual repast. When the Father perceived this, he wished to relax his penance. “My brother,” replied the Captain to him, “thou hast not enough courage; thou mistrustest us too much. No, no, do not waver. I take pleasure in punishing myself [120] for my sin; I must serve my penance to the end. Whosoever offends God is only too happy to be so easily forgiven.”

I thought that I would conclude this Chapter with the conversion of a magician, the most famous one in this country. The fear of Hell seemed to have touched his heart. He had already publicly thrown his charms into the fire; he had protested, in the presence even of the Infidels, that the Demons would never have anything to do with him, that God alone deserved to be loved by all men, and that, in truth, the Devils conspired together only for our misfortune. But, before he received holy Baptism, he returned to his vomit; and the shame that he now feels for having cast discredit on his art makes him blaspheme against God more horribly than ever, and give himself up to all the Demons, — although from time to time his conscience has urged him to come to us and ask pardon. I pray our Lord that he may [Page 33] derive his own glory therefrom; but, to tell the truth, it seems that this unfortunate man is numbered among the reprobates. In a word, he would wish [121] to belong entirely to God in Heaven, and entirely to the Devil on earth. [Page 35]





HE Iroquois, who make themselves dreaded on the great river St. Lawrence and who every winter for some years past have been hunting men in these vast forests, have compelled the Algonquins who dwelt on the banks of the river to abandon not only their hunting grounds, but also their country, and have reduced them this winter to come here near our Hurons, in order to live more in safety, — so much so, that a whole village of these poor wandering and fugitive Tribes came near the village of saint Jean Baptiste. We were obliged to give them some assistance, and for that purpose to associate with Father Antoine Daniel — who had charge of the Huron Mission of which I have spoken in the preceding Chapter — Father René Ménard, [122) who, having a sufficient knowledge of both languages, had, at the same time, charge of this Algonquin Mission, to which we have given the name of sainte Elizabeth.

Amid this gathering of people — who, as a rule, have no other abode than the woods and the rivers — there were ten or twelve Christians who had formerly been baptized at Three Rivers or at Kebec, and others who had never heard of God.

The Father had not much trouble in winning the hearts of all after a few visits. “Take courage,” [Page 37] they said to him, “thou sayest truly that it is right to have recourse to that great Master of our lives, Teach US what we should say, so that he may hear our prayers. Do not weary of speaking to us; we shall never be tired of listening to thee, although we have not much sense; fail not to have pity on us.” Afflictio dat intellectum — misfortune seems to have opened their minds; and, if dread of the Iroquois did not make them fear to live near the French, I think that in a few years we would make [123] an entirely Christian people of them. At least, they pay much deference to our words, and most of them are becoming amenable to reason.

The Father heard that an Infidel had two wives, one of whom was a Christian. He spoke to that man of the grievousness of his sin; of the greatness of God, whom he offended; ‘and of the pains of hell, that would inevitably be his fate if he continued in that sin. “My brother,” replied the Infidel, “I acknowledge the truth of what thou teachest me; but I do not yet feel strong enough to obey God completely. I will obey him partly; and from this moment I give up one of my wives, and will keep only her who believes in God. Pray him to have pity on me.”

An Infidel mother commanded her daughter to be present at a superstitious feast, at which the ceremonial required that they should attend quite naked. When Father Ménard heard of this shameless order, he reproved the mother and the daughter. “Our Captains command it,” they replied. “Yes, but God forbids it; and the fire that burns sinners forever shall be your [124] punishment if you refuse to obey him.” To these words, the women made no [Page 39] answer; and they did not even venture to go out of their cabin to witness the ceremony, when they heard that God would be offended by it.

An Infidel woman fell grievously ill. She was told that we had recourse to God in our afflictions as to one who could deliver us from them; that she should pray to him with all her heart, and that perhaps he would have pity on her. The same Father who had taught her passed that way, two days after, and was surprised to see her working as hard as the others. The woman called him, and told him that he was not a liar; that, in truth, God is all-powerful; that she had prayed to him, and at the same time she was cured. Then, speaking more privately to him, she added that her mind was in trouble, — that the wicked Manitou had appeared to her during the night, and had threatened her with death if she did not offer a sacrifice to him, and publicly avow that she owed her life to him. “Thou knowest,” said the Father to her, “that God alone has cured thee; obey [125] not that Demon who seeks the means of damning thee forever.” “No, no,” replied the woman, “I wish to honor God; I will pray to him all my life, and I will never forget him. She is very well disposed to Baptism, and all of her family are not far from the Kingdom of God.

Some followed the Father from cabin to cabin, being never weary of hearing him speak of God. Others went regularly to see him, every night and every morning, no matter how stormy or tempestuous the weather in the depth of winter. Although these Algonquin cabins were distant from the village of St. Jean Baptiste a quarter of a league, and the road was very bad, it was consoling to our Fathers [Page 41] to see God worshipped in their Chapel at the same time in two different languages, the Huron and the Algonquin, and by nations who had nothing in common but the Faith.

The guidance of God has manifested itself particularly in the case of some who have been granted holy Baptism, and, among others, a warrior who received in those [126] sacred waters the name of Antoine. This man had escaped more than eight times from the hands of the enemy; and, ever since his birth, his life has been but one series of combats and adventures that succeeded one another. Quite recently, not more than six months ago, while in the hands of the Iroquois, who had already commenced to vent their fury on him, he found means to cut his bonds and to flee, — quite naked, in the dead of night, — making his way for over a hundred leagues by devious paths, with no other food than the grasses and roots that he found in the woods. “From that moment,” he said, “I thanked God, without knowing him, for I had never received any instruction, — only, some years ago, one of my comrades told me that there was a great Master of the whole world, who must be adored. I had forgotten about him; but, when I saw myself so wretched, he was all my refuge. I looked to him for help; and, when I found that I had escaped the terrors of death and of the fires prepared for me, I recognized that to him alone did I owe my life.” When the Father [127] heard him speak in that manner, almost as soon as he arrived, he said to him, “But knowest thou the designs that God has for thee? It is not enough that thou shouldst acknowledge him; he also wishes thee to love him, that, after obeying him here on earth, [Page 43] thou shouldst be happy forever in Heaven.” These words entered so deeply into the soul of the poor captive, who had so often escaped from death, that he at once ardently resolved to be a Christian. And ever since, no matter what opposition he may have encountered, whatever difficulties have arisen, he has never belied his holy resolutions.

Another of about the same age, who kept him company at Baptism, took the name of René That young man had no sooner returned from ‘hunting than he went to the Father. “Wipe away my sins, I beg of thee,” he said. “We are in continual danger of our lives. Where would I go, if I were not baptized! I dread hell more than death. I am quite resolved to serve God, and, whatever may happen, I will not offend him. He perceives the sincerity of my heart, and I think that he is satisfied with me. Be not more rigorous (1z8] than he.” Indeed, his actions have not belied his words; and he has always behaved as a Christian, even before becoming one. [Page 45]





LTHOUGH the Huron language is very widely spoken and is common to a number of peoples whom Faith has never enlightened, nevertheless it is so concentrated in the midst of a multitude of Tribes, — scattered here and there, to the East, to the West, to the North, and to the South, — who all speak the Algonquin language, that the tribes of the Huron tongue almost seem to be only at the center, as it were, of a vast circumference filled with Algonquin tribes. Consequently, our trouble is not to find employment here, but rather, considering our small number of laborers, in deciding where it were better that we should apply our labor.

[129] In concluding the Relation of last year, I said that Father Claude Pijart and Father René Ménard had embarked a few days before with the Nipissiriniens, in order to continue instructing them in their own country, which is distant about seventy leagues from the place where we are. They remained there from the month of April to the month of September; or, rather, during all that time they followed those homeless people in the woods and on the rivers, over the rocks and across the lakes, — having for shelter but a bark hut; for flooring, but the damp earth or the slope of some uneven rock, which served [Page 47] as table, seat, bed, room, kitchen, cellar, garret, Chapel, and all. In a word, one leads there a life in which one soon learns that Nature is content with little; and, if one has to abandon his house wherever he goes, he finds that he has lost nothing, and in less than half an hour he has erected a complete lodging.

The Fathers commenced their instruction with the principal Captains; sed non hos elegit Dominus, but God does not [130] commence his works by that which makes most display. It was necessary that a poor old blind woman should be preferred and be the first to receive the blessings that flow from Heaven. Grace took possession of her heart, and soon changed her nature; she had a proud and mocking spirit, which scoffed at the things of the Faith. No sooner had God touched her, than she was no longer what she had been. Her words were all gentleness; she respected our mysteries; she desired Baptism. Finally, when she had received it, and found herself in the happy condition of the children of God, she thought only of Heaven. “It was a pleasure,” our Fathers say, “to see her on the day when she came to be baptized, — in rather severe weather, over a rocky road where she lost her way, owing to her blindness; and where, no doubt, she would have lost courage if her fervor had not made such difficulties agreeable to her, and made of her wanderings a means of showing her love.”

An infidel woman, in the pains of childbirth, was for two days in despair of her life. The Medicine men, or rather the Sorcerers of the country, had exhausted [131] their arts; and, thinking that the mother and child could not escape death, they sought [Page 49] our Fathers: “Is it true,” they said to them, “that he whom you honor is more powerful than our Demons? Let him manifest his power. Entreat him to bring back to life this woman, who has lost the use of her senses, and is about to lose her life, — at least, that she may be delivered of her child before she dies. If he grant your prayers, you shall dispose of the child; you may instruct it and administer Baptism to it, and no one will oppose you.” Our Fathers went to the place where the sick woman was, and recommended her to God and to the prayers of St. Ignatius. That great Saint was not long unheard. At that very hour, the dying woman was happily delivered of her child, who was full of life. The mother’s health returned; all gave glory to God, and acknowledged that it was he alone who was worthy of being adored. It is not difficult’ to induce these people to have recourse to God in their necessities; and if the Heretics, who claim that Faith without works can justify, [132] were to come to this country to teach their error, they would find our savages quite in accord with them. For, if they were allowed to live as barbarians, they would soon become Christians. But, when we tell them that, in order to honor God and to be happy in Heaven, they must abandon vice; live as men, and not as beasts; think more of their souls, that are immortal, than of a body that will rot after death; finally, that with Faith good works are needed, — that is what seems difficult to them, what frightens and repels them from the holiness of our mysteries; and that alone makes them hostile to US.

Our Fathers soon experienced this, amid this nomad people. For, when it was necessary to come to the [Page 51] point, — to cast discredit on vice, to reprove those who had two wives, to forbid recourse to diabolical superstitions, — then they encountered more opposition, and had to contend more arduously; then the instruments of the Devil, and those who pass here for Magicians, became more insolent in blaspheming, against the Faith, in making use of threats, and in doing something more. [133] Whoever comes here must carry his life in his hands, and expect death, — perhaps as much from the fury of an Algonquin or of a Huron as of an Iroquois foe. A barbarian, who dreads the justice neither of God nor of man, will very readily commit a crime.

One of these instruments of Satan one day became angry with one of the Fathers, rushed furiously on him, threw him down, and tried to strangle him. The Father called on God to succor him, and was heard by some one who fortunately was not far away, and who, having a horror of so black a crime, threw himself on the man, tore his victim from his hands, and prevented this crime.

These acts of opposition did not hinder some, even among the principal persons, from relishing matters pertaining to God. They assiduously obtained instruction and attended the prayers said in a Chapel which had nothing rich in it but an Altar whereon the Angels adored every day the most august object of their vision in Heaven. But our Fathers did not see, as yet, in all this anything sufficient [134] for the foundations of a Church, which must be solid, if we wish to build anything lasting on them; and, when they heard that these tribes were to winter here in the Huron country, they resolved to baptize only those whom they saw in danger of death, and [Page 53] to put off the others for a probation during the whole course of the winter.

Indeed, at the end of December, not only the Nipissiriniens but also several others of these nomad Tribes, and of the same Algonquin language, who dwell on the shores of our fresh-water sea, came almost to our doors. They set up their cabins quite near us; and Father Claude Pijart, who was the only one left us able to speak the Algonquin tongue, continued to instruct them.

The first who received Baptism while in full health was a war Captain, named Alimoueskan. He was of an impetuous and arrogant character, especially toward us. Faith has made a lamb of him, and has changed him beyond recognition. He took the name of Eustache when he became a Christian; and since then he has so exerted [135] his courage in conquering himself, in scorning the banter of the Infidels, and in repelling their attacks, that, whatever efforts the enemies of the Faith have made to induce him to commit sin, they have never been able to overcome him. One day, while he was being dragged by force to. a place for which his Faith alone could inspire him with horror, when he saw that he could not win by fighting, he escaped by flight from the hands of those who sought to effect his ruin through love. He has often left the company of people on that account. He has abruptly come away from feasts in the midst of the ceremonies, although that is considered an offense among these peoples. “But,” he said, “I prefer to be a criminal in the eyes of all men than in the sight of God.” He prays publicly, night and morning, in his cabin, and is never ashamed to appear a Christian in any place [Page 55] When some scoffers reproached him, saying that Faith made him a slave, and that it was lowering himself too much to obey the Father who taught him. “Well,” said he, “I do not wish to obey him any longer, but I wish to obey God, whose word he bears.’ “I have now but one [136] fear in this world,” he said on one occasion, “and that is that I may lose the grace of Baptism. That is the occupation of my thoughts, and the strongest desire of my heart.”

One favor from Heaven soon attracts another, and the graces of God do not stop at a single person. He who followed this Captain in Baptism was named Estienne; his surname is Mangouch. He is a man of very sweet temper, who had already some knowledge of our mysteries through having nearly always been the Teacher of the language to our Fathers. But he knew them without believing them, and what he had heard of Paradise and of Hell had never effected a breach in his heart.

When God gives life to words, they have a thousand times more effect than the most forcible Rhetoric of an Aristotle or a Cicero. Father Charles Raymbaut spent last Summer with the Nipissiriniens, and while he was suffering from the disease that killed him after his arrival at Kebec, he said but a few words to this man, which pierced his heart. “Mangouch,” he said to him, “thou seest well that I am about to die; and at such a moment I would not tell thee a lie. I assure thee that there is [137] down below a fire that will burn the wicked forever.” This man had heard this truth a thousand times, but this time he feared it. He did not reply, although his heart was more strongly agitated than ever [Page 57] “Beyond a doubt,” he concluded in his own mind, “that is true. I must obey God. But who will loosen the chains that keep me captive?” In a word, he felt himself too weak, and saw his misfortune without being able, as yet, to extricate himself from it.

Finally, grace crowned its work. Last winter, when one of the most important personages of the Nation, whom God had touched first of all, lost courage and, just as he was on the point of being baptized, refused the happiness of the children of God, this man took his place, and was quite changed in a moment. He suddenly broke his chains, and burst the bonds of his captivity. He began to pray to God publicly; he renounced the superstitions of the country; he laughed at those who opposed his designs; and it was manifest in his person that in one moment the Holy Ghost gives, to a heart of which he wills to take possession, strength greater than was [138] the depth of its weakness, when abandoned to the baseness of a corrupt nature.

His fervor has increased since his Baptism, he continues to progress in the spirit of Faith, that animates his zeal, that inflames his charity, that gives life to everything that he does, and makes him known everywhere as an excellent Christian. He has won his wife over to God, and teaches her himself, to prepare her for grace. “No,” he sometimes says, “I no longer find difficulty in anything. Everything is easy to me, and I feel that I walk in a road all smoothed, knowing what I know. Even if those who have taught me should league themselves against me, and should drive me away from the company of the Christians, I would have recourse to God. He would [Page 59] be my guide, and I would always live in the hope that, as I wish to belong entirely to him, he alone will have pity on me, no matter what men may do.”

Some other persons are moved by these examples, and give us hopes of fair success; but we do not consider that we should be in haste with [139] savages, or confide our holy mysteries to them without some thorough test. Meanwhile, we fail not at least to send to Heaven some innocent souls, and occasionally with so much happiness that it is easy to see that the ways of divine providence are adorable everywhere, and are in all places full of love for his Elect. These are so many Advocates in Heaven; so many intercessors with God, who in the end will cause his mercy to incline, and will call down his blessing on these peoples. [Page 61]

Letter of M. DC. XLIV.



Last year, I sent the Relation to your Reverence; but when the bearers were captured or killed on the way by the enemies, the Angels of Heaven happily made it fall into the hands of Father Isaac Jogues, to serve him as some consolation in his captivity, and to show him the fruits of his Apostolic labors and sufferings. We [140] afterward sent a second copy, but we do not know what became of it, We have every reason to fear that the same accidents will happen this year. Therefore, in order to attempt every possible means of giving your Reverence some news of us, since I have not received more ample notes from our Fathers for a new Relation, I now send a few words in advance, to give you some idea of the present state of the affairs of God in this country.

War continued its usual ravages during the Summer. The Iroquois, who are the enemies of these tribes, have closed all the passages and avenues of the River that leads to Kebec; and of those whom the necessity of obtaining goods from France had compelled to close their eyes to these dangers, many have fallen therein. Most of the others have come back entirely naked, or pierced with arquebus balls, after having escaped seven or eight times from the hands and the cruelties of those barbarians.

There was no less desolation throughout the [Page 63] country. Nearly every day, unfortunate women were killed [141] in their fields. The villages were in a state of continual alarm, and all the troops that were raised in good numbers to pursue the enemy over the frontiers were defeated and routed; captives were taken by hundreds, and frequently we had no other couriers and bearers of these dismal tidings but poor unfortunates who had escaped from the midst of the flames, whose half-burnt bodies and mutilated fingers convinced us, more than their words, of the misfortune that had fallen on them and on their comrades.

This scourge of Heaven was all the more felt as it was accompanied by that of famine, which is universal among all these Tribes for over a hundred leagues around. Indian corn, which is the sole staff of life here, was so scarce that those who had the most had hardly enough for sowing their fields. Many lived only on a kind of acorn, on pumpkins, and on paltry roots which they often went to seek very far away, in places where they were exposed to massacre and which were [142] covered only with the enemies’ tracks.

We have derived this benefit from the public necessity, that God, by a special providence, had furnished us with a sufficient supply of the corn of the country; and this gave us, at the same time, a fine opportunity of showing our Christians by very perceptible effects the close union that we contract with them through the spirit of Faith. Our house, in which we have a sort of hospital outside of our apartments, has always been open to them. They have come there from time to time, and one after another, to recruit their strength, so that they might afterward more easily work in their fields. The Infidels were [Page 65] greatly touched by such charity, which is unusual among them; and many of them have become excellent Christians.

Methods elaborated by human prudence are too inferior to carry out undertakings that God considers, as his own. War, famine, persecutions, all these storms that seemed more likely than ever to overwhelm Christianity, have greatly [143] strengthened it. Contrary to the usual experience of previous years, our Fathers have had as much and more occupation during the summer than during the winter. Our Missions have been changed into Residences, and the Chapels have been everywhere enlarged. Through lack of bells, we have had to hang up old caldrons, at the request and solicitation of our Christians. The cemeteries were blessed; processions were held in the villages and funerals were solemnized according to the custom of the Church; Crosses were erected and solemnly adored, in the sight of the barbarians.

The older Christians lead a life that is irreproachable and full of godliness. The good sentiments, with which God inspires them more than ever, show us that the holy Ghost every day takes new and stronger possession of their hearts. They perform the office of Dogique,[1] in the absence of our Fathers. In their wars and on their hunts, even when they are in large bands, they offer public prayers, and hold divine service, as strictly as if they were in their Church; they instruct and baptize, with much satisfaction and [144] edification, in times of danger; the reputation of their virtue pervades the foreign Tribes with whom they trade; they preach there the holiness of the Christian law; they inspire everywhere [Page 67] the desire of enjoying the blessing that they possess, and imperceptibly open the door for us to many great nations who could not hear our name without a shudder, and who had looked upon US in the past only as persons who brought misfortune upon them.

As for the new Christians, their number has been much greater this year than in previous ones, Even the Infidels, who are humiliated and made more docile by affliction, seem to US to be less distant from God’s Kingdom. Finally, the body of Christians, after heavy trials sent by Heaven, is becoming more considerable, and begins to be in the majority in some of the villages. Concerning this, one of the most important personages of this country complained one day, to a Christian Captain, of the sway that the Faith was imperceptibly gaining over the customs of their forefathers, and said that it would be [145] advisable to oppose the course of the Gospel as soon as possible. “That would have answered at the beginning, ‘’ said the brave Neophyte; “but, now that matters are so far advanced, such an undertaking would be completely beyond human strength. It will be easier for us to convert those who still remain infidels, than for you to make us abandon our resolution and give up the Faith.”

May God confirm what that courageous heart has said. Before obtaining it, we have still great obstacles to overcome, of which the inveterate instability of marriages would not be the least, but for the charitable assistance of certain persons, to whom we are indebted for a goodly number of Christian families, whom we would never have won over to God without such temporal assistance. And we have every reason to hope that our Churches will continue [Page 69] to grow everywhere, as long as such pious sources are not exhausted. A well-established marriage often gives us fifteen or sixteen Christians.

But our sharpest thorn [146] is, that the enemies of these tribes have the advantage over them through the arquebuses that they obtain from certain Europeans. We are now, as it were, invested and besieged on all sides, without being able to relieve the misery of a multitude of peoples who, as yet, live in ignorance of the true God. Nor can we receive aid from France without incredible trouble. To Heaven alone do we look for the removal of these obstacles; and the prayers that will be said and the vows that will be made for us, and for so many poor Barbarians, will, no doubt, be the surest assistance that can be given us. At least, if the misfortunes of the times prevent the effects of the charity of so many saintly souls from coming to us, all the tears that they shed night and day before the sacred Altars, their sighs and groans, will, in spite of the fury of the Iroquois, reach to the highest Heavens, and cry for mercy in favor of so many Nations redeemed by the precious blood of the Son of God. We [174 i.e., 147] all send our humble salutations to your Reverence, and affectionately commend ourselves to your Holy Sacrifices and Prayers.

Your Reverence’s

From the Huron Country,

this last of March, 1644.

Very humble and very obedient

servant in Our Lord,

Hierosme Lalemant

[Page 71]



Septembre — Decembre, 1645

Source: We follow the original MS., in the possession of Lava1 University, Quebec.

[Page 73]

Si Vacat Annales nostrorum audire Laborurn;

Ante annos clauso Componet Vesper olympo,

Quàm, primâ repetens ab origine, singula tradam.

Quæ regio in terris, nostri tam plena Laboris?

Dispice sacratas nostrorum ex ordine pugnas;

Bellàque jam famâ totum Vulgata per orbem;

Et Laceros artus, ambustâque corpora flammis.

Juratus prœclaram Huronun exscindere gentem

Iroqueus, multa vastabat cœde codonos:

Hostibus occisis, pessumdedit Algonquinos.

[Page 75]

Text Box: Hieroseme Lalamen.

State Of The Country When I Arrived There,

In September, 1645

The 7th at Montréal; the 10th at 3 rivers: the 1st of October at Sillery: and the 2nd at Québec; Declared superior the 16th of September, at 8 o'clock in the evening at 3 rivers.


N the month preceding, —to wit, in the month of August, — Vessels arrived, of which Monsieur de repentigny was admiral; the principal news that they brought was that Messieurs of the general Company had ceded the right of trade to the Habitans, on certain Conditions conveyed by their Agreements, which are in our Archives, agente regina et nobis impellentibus.[2]

Next the Inventories were taken; and the Hurons arrived with me prosperously, on the 10th of September, after all the announcements were published; so that all the Beavers went to the Habitans. Montreal had made Its own Agreements privately with the habitans, and seemed to have fulfilled, with respect to them, most of its obligations. There remained at Vilmarie, of notable persons, only Monsieur d’Alibour, his wife and sister, and Mademoiselle Manse. Father le Jeune, at the request of Monsieur de la Dauversiere, Intendant of the affairs of Montreal in France, and Father Jogues, were appointed to winter there; father buteux and father Jogues had [Page 77] wintered there before. Monsieur de maisonneuve, who commanded at montreal, went back to France this year on account of the death of his father.[3]

At the very time when I arrived, they were expecting the return of some frenchmen and Captives, who had been sent to the Annieronons to treat for peace; they returned here with Cousture the 17th of the same month of September, and went away again on the 22nd. The Hurons and the Algonquains had been present at this peace conference, and, had adopted a resolution to escort the Annieronons back to their country; but, having arrived at richelieu, they returned; only Cousture, with 4 Annieronons and three Hurons, went beyond.

About the 12th of October, three or four Montagnais were killed, who were hunting; it was feared that these slayers might be Annieronons, although it was thought that they might well be sokokiois, of whom some had been killed a few years ago. There were, at that time, five Annieronons, who 

were wintering with the montagnais and Algonquains; these suffered no harm, but Piscaret, an Algonquain Captain, who had two or 3 of them in his care, deemed it advisable to send back his, — both to avoid all risks, and the fury of the young men, and to give warning to Anniés of what was going on. They notified Cousture of this, to the end that, if the offenders were Annieronons, he might know that, in case satisfaction were made, the peace would not [Page 79] be broken. One of those whom Piskaret had sent did not go far; he came back immediately, — fearing, he said, the Algonquains.

Text Box: Our brother Claude JoyetRichelieu was almost abandoned, — to wit, with the exception of 8 or 10 soldiers. Our Fathers dendemare and Joseph duperon returned thence, toward the end of September; and no one went to stay there in their place, Monsieur de Sennetaire, who commanded there, returned to France; monsieur de Champhlour, who commanded at 3 rivers, also returned; Monsieur bourdon was placed for a time in his stead; and finally monsieur de la poterie went thither as commandant. Father buteux was appointed superior there; with him were father de noüe, father p. pijart, procurer for the Hurons, father Joseph duperon, and three men.

At Sillery were stationed father de Quen, father Massé and father druilletes, a brother, and four men.

At Quebek, father hierosme lalemant, Superior; father Vimont and father dendemare, three of our brethren, and one man — our brethren liegeois, Ambroise Cauvet, and P. feauté. Father Quentin, Procurer, went and came in the vessels: brother liegeois was his Companion, who performed the duties of Procuror in the country; he had recently returned from France, having sojourned there a year.

Text Box: Archives

The 3 men who resided at 3 rivers received 100 livres; one was named chrestiennot, the second, mathieu Chouré, and the 3d Antoine desrosiers. At Sillery, the two hired [Page 81] men, also at 100 livres, were appointed — one Simeon, and the other la neigerie: the two Domestics ad vitam, Jaques Junier and robert hache. At Quebek there was only Pierre Gontier, as Domestic ad vitam: we shall see in the Archives the Status of the Domestics ad vitam, and their history.


Journal begun, 1645



N the 17th, Chrestiennaut was received into our service, at wages of thirty écus a year, and was sent to 3 rivers in order to serve there as Cook and Clothier, — in a word, for everything. He had come hither from France in Monsieur de repentigny’s retinue, and had become discontented there, so that he had resolved to retreat to the woods rather than go back [to France]; there was no written contract with him.

On the 19th, we began to build an oven at our house, after having asked permission from Messieurs the owners of the house.[4]

Text Box: Savage garments for the King.

On the same Day, there left the house a little box in which were 3 or 4 savage garments, all complete, to be presented to the king by Monsieur de repentigny, — because the king had expressed a desire that something from over here should be sent him. The warehouse had borne the main expense thereof.

Text Box: Departure of the vessels.

On the 29th, the vessels sailed, five in number, — laden, as is estimated, with twenty thousand pounds’ weight of Beaver skins for the habitans, and ten thousand for the general Company, at a pistole, or ten or eleven francs, a pound. Monsieur de repentigny was admiral; his brother, monsieur de Tilly,[5] commanded the vessel of Montreal, in which [Page 85] Monsieur de maisonaeuve was returning; and monsieur Godefroy, another vessel. Three shots were fired from the fort, when monsieur de repentigny left it, having taken leave of monsieur the governor; and three shots from the warehouse, when he embarked in the shallop. All the vessels, upon weighing anchor, saluted, in their turn, monsieur the Governor.

Father Quentin, procurer in ordinary, and our brother dominique skot — who had come from the Hurons, because of his Infirmity of the lungs — went over in the Admiral’s ship.

On the 25th, monsieur the Governor set out to go to the Isle aux oyes, where he was cultivating the land, and had

Text Box: Oratory lent to Monsieur Nicolet, priest, etc.; delivered. and described infera.

thereon 7 workmen. He left monsieur de Chavigny[6] as His lieutenant, and gave me a sealed paper, in which was the order to be observed in case any accident befell him. He took with him monsieur Nicolet,[7] priest, and sent the request to me to lend him a furnished oratory. He was given one in which there was a Silver chalice, a new chasuble, a very beautiful and large cloth, and a handsome alb, and every thing else in keeping; he especially desired that he be given a candle and hosts; in short, nothing was wanting.

Text Box: Trip to Beaupré.
monsieur de St. Sauveur.

This same Day, monsieur de St. Sauveur[8] left for beaupré; messieurs of this Company give him 25 écus a year to make some trips thither, and to have charge there of spiritual and temporal affairs. This has been done with our consent, in order to provide meanwhile for a priest at the hospital; but that will [Page 87] be only for one year; another priest is sent by those in France for the hospital, in the place of monsieur de St. Sauveur.

Text Box: marriage

On the 26th, françois Marguerie was married to the daughter of Master Zacharie;[9] Father Vimont was invited to the wedding, and went thither.

22 Soldiers had been despatched to the Hurons in 1644, — sent from France with several others, for the good of the country, by the queen, who for this purpose had given a hundred thousand francs. While among the Hurons, they lodged at our house, and lived at our table. They returned a year later, to the very day; for, having arrived among the Hurons the 7th of September, they arrived at montreal, with 60 Huron canoes, on the 7th of September in the following year; they came back laden with a quantity of Beavers, to the amount of thirty or 40 thousand francs. A dispute over this having arisen between the habitans lately put in possession of the trade the and messieurs of the general Company, they agreed to employ the proceeds in building a Church and clergy house, for which six thousand livres were specially set aside, — with the proviso that we might add to the same if we were so disposed. Moreover, — as it was Payment of outlay no more than reasonable to give us the maintenance intended for these soldiers, which might amount to about 200 livres apiece, — they gave us only thirty écus apiece, including in this all the other expenses of having repaired the arms, aided the sick, etc.; they [Page 89] caused us thereby a loss of more than two thousand 500 livres.

An order was given at the same time to monsieur du Chesne,[10] uncle of Charles le Moyne, for 20 écus, which we

were giving his nephew for four years’ service rendered among the Hurons. He was clothed and decently supplied with linen, and was sent to 3 rivers as soldier and Interpreter.

Nicolas Giffar — who also, in the capacity of a Lad, had served us 4 years among the Hurons — had a decent coat and another of linen to keep it clean; sufficient body linen; and 50 livres, for which we were in debt to him. He made a bargain with Master Zacharie, carpenter, to be with him 5 years, in consideration of 40 livres in wages. They both had some profits from Beavers.

Text Box: It appears that the cry was worse than the hurt.

Toward the end of the month, there were great complaints of the Hurons who wintered at Sillery with the Algonquains, — to wit, among other things, that they had several times climbed through the window of the Gadois dwelling, and had taken some of the salt pork therein; that they had beaten the said gadois,[11] who had stripped certain ones of some wretched scrap of Covering. The remedy applied thereto was to Intimidate them with the anger of monsieur the Governor at his return, and to induce them to make some satisfaction.

Atironta, his wife, his grandson, and Jaques Acharo, Hurons, were lodging at the hospital; we furnished them a part of their provisions, — wheat and Eels; they supplied their [Page 91] wood. Complaint was made that they took the place of the sick there.

On the 29th, monsieur the Governor returned; three shots were fired from the warehouse, at his arrival.

This same Day, word was brought of new terrors and apprehensions, on the part of the Algonquins, concerning fresh massacres; they were beginning to think that these slayers were indeed Annieronons.

Text Box: Candles in the Church.

On the 30th, it was decided that no more than one Candle should be lighted in our Chapels during Mass, — at least, on working Days.

Text Box: Mariage of Nopce

Toward the end of the month of October, father le Jeune and father buteux, while returning from Quebek to 3 rivers and Montreal, married by the way a certain Nopce and the daughter of one Picar,[12] who were at that time with monsieur de Chavigny; after this, they lived with Monsieur de la poterie. Monsieur de Chavigny resented this change, and blamed father le Jeune for it; but it appeared afterward that Monsieur de Chavigny was wrong in complaining of father le Jeune.

When I arrived at montreal, they had prepared a timber dwelling for our Fathers, and it seemed that there was nothing more to be done than to raise it; but, when they were on the point of doing so, the vessels arrived, bringing word and orders from France to those who commanded at Montreal, to employ all the workmen for other things, — namely, in erecting a hospital, for which large funds had been received in the preceding years; and yet [Page 93] no beginning had been made. Monsieur de maisonneuve, who was then at Montreal, found it hard to tell this news to our Fathers; I took it upon myself to do so, and to persuade them to regard the matter favorably; afterward, they flung the cat at my legs, as if I were the one who had hindered that work.

Text Box: Farmers at 3 rivers

At 3 rivers, there were two farmers holding our lands per modum Unius; they only half attended to the land, working elsewhere for themselves. We deliberated whether we should take back the lands, in order to manage them, and it was decided to do so. The farmers willingly agreed; and when, in view of our Inability to find men for ourselves, we sought to incline them to take back the land, they would not listen to it; we were then constrained to cultivate the lands ourselves.

Text Box: Order of Communion for the governor

When I arrived here, Communion was given 1st to Monsieur the Governor, and then they proceeded in the proper order. Not having Informed myself in the matter the 1st time, I did not begin with Monsieur the Governor. Having been apprised of the custom, I began with him, the 2nd time; but he himself having told me that he was thereby offended, I did afterward the same as the 1st time, and thus he receives communion the last at the 1st round, in his turn, according to the place which he himself takes.


There was high mass on All Saints’ Day and on all souls’ Day [Page 95]

On the 4th, we were Invited, father Vimont and I, to witness the marriage Contract of Monsieur Giffar’s daughter; we were present, but we did not sign it. Monsieur the governor and several others signed.

On the 6th, Monsieur Nicolet again took away an oratory completely furnished, to the Isle aux oyes; there was a gilded silver chalice, a chasuble of white damask, etc. We gave him two cakes of candle wax, and 3 large paper Images; and we

lent him two books — the life of Jesus Christ, and the abridgment of dupont.[13]

Text Box: Marriage

On the 7th, Monsieur de launay married the daughter of pinguet; father Vimont was present at the wedding.

Text Box: Given to mademoiselle Giffar

On the 12th, we give Mademoiselle giffar some black stuff from an old cassock, for lining sleeves.

Text Box: Exchange of Pierre Gontier and mathieu Chourel.

This same Day, Pierre Gontier arrived from 3 rivers, whom robert hache had gone to fetch in a Canoe, to do the cooking here, in the place of our brethren, who found it too hard; to relieve our Fathers, we sent in his place mathieu Chourel, who lived here.

Text Box: Gifts acepted are an injury

Father de Quen, superior at Sillery, found himself embarrassed, for having accepted some Beavers from an old woman and her kindred, who were adopting him in the place of one of their relatives, who was killed.

Text Box: Concerning the beaver trade

Every Day, these new relatives overwhelmed him with requests, as one who was expected to do for them all that the deceased was [Page 97] accustomed to do; they had to be fed, lodged, etc., during the winter.

Text Box: Snows

The 15th of November, — the rumor prevailing that the prohibition was about to be published here which had been published at 3 rivers, to the effect that no one was to trade with the savages, — father Vimont asked Monsieur des Chastelets, general Manager, whether we would be in worse condition under them than under Messieurs of the Company. The Conclusion was that we would not be, and that this matter would proceed for us as usual, but that we should carry it on quietly; father Vimont added that we would notify father buteux, and Monsieur des Chastelets approved this.[14]

This same Day, the lasting snows began: it had snowed heavily on the Day of St. Ursule, the 21st of October, but that did not remain.

Text Box: Marriage

On the 21st occurred the marriage and the nuptials of Marie Giffar and the son of Monsieur de Maure,[15] at which father Vimont was present.

Text Box: Relics given by us to the hospital.

About this time, some excellent relics were given by us to the hospital; they were not enshrined, and for several years had been without veneration and reliquary; and the hospital nuns had reliquaries, without relies.

At this time also, a Young Algonquain escaped from the

Text Box: Confirmation of the breach of peace.

Annieronon Enemies, and a little later a Huron, who were captives there; they reported that the Annier had no good will for the Algonquains. It is said that the Young Algonquain, before going away, seeing [Page 99] himself alone in the Cabin, piled up whatever there was, especially the skins, and burned everything. They confirmed the idea that it was the Annieronons who had either committed or instigated the massacre in the past month.

The Algonquains of Sillery inflict on themselves severe disciplines for having been several times drunk; but they complain much and stoutly that the french get drunk and are bad, and that not a word is said about it.

On the 25th a larger bell was placed in the parish church, instead of the small one which was there.

Text Box: Marriage of Guyon

On the 27th, Marriage of the daughter of Monsieur Couillar to The son of Jean GUI;[16] father Vimont was present at the nuptials; there were two violins, for the 1st time.

Text Box: A surgeon at Sillery

One Dubuque — a soldier, and an Empiric —was invited to go and see the sick at Sillery for 3 or 4 Days: he was lodged with us, without giving any information thereof to the Superior, et hoc male, and he stayed there from the 20th of November, or thereabout, until the end of January. The affair was not a success — Invisus barbaris et gallis.

Text Box: Loan of Tabernacle

At the Beginning of this month, the Tabernacle of nostre dame des Anges was lent to the Ursulines, — except the Angels, which were lent to the parish church as ornament for their Altar.

Text Box: Vestry Furniture sold.

There was sold, also during this month, to the parish church, nearly 400 livres’ worth of Church furniture or ornaments, which they [Page 101] used there; also the classification of the furniture was made, and the Lists were drawn up.

The mass of the Holy Ghost, which was to be said at the hospital for messieurs of the at general Company, on the last Day of this month, was postponed till the next day, which was Friday.

Sundry things were given to the Algonquain savages this month by the hand of father Vimont, — among others, two kegs of peas, some stuffs, etc.: these savages were, I believe, Noël and Jean baptiste. Besides that, we received nothing in

the way of revenue from Sillery, and yet we incurred an expense there of nearly a thousand écus; we also fed 3 or 4 hurons at the hospital, — to wit, Atironta, his wife, his son, and Jaques Acharo.

Text Box: Prohibition of trade

On the 26th of the month was posted the order not to trade any peltry, but to carry everything to the warehouse, which would pay the bearers its value; this prohibition had been made long before at 3 rivers.

This year they began to sell wood; and the man who furnished it through the houses had 30 sols a cord for it, if he took it from the lands of others; but, for that which he took from his own lands, he had 2 livres, — which is, therefore, ten sols a cord [more].

Text Box: Value of bread

They furnish us with wood as usual: most frequently, two sledges a Day.

Bread, at this time, was worth 15 sols at the warehouse.

Text Box: Friday assemblies of our Institute

On Fridays, a half-hour before Supper, we assembled to read something about our [Page 103] Institute, or bearing thereon; we did so every Friday, considering that after easter it would be difficult to do this, because of the various absences and journeys. We began with the reading of the 3rd treatise of rodriguez,[17] of the Society; and we Interrupted it from time to time, in order to read the summary and other things which are read every month with us; we were three Fathers, three brethren, and one of our Domestics.

Text Box: St. Eloy


Text Box: St. françois Xavier

On the 1st, those of the forge came to ask for the wine for the feast of St. Eloy. They were four: we gave them four rosaries, and to the master a bottle of wine.

On the 2nd, at the mass of St. françois Xavier, high mass was said, at which our brethren served in surplices. On the Sunday before, the Indulgences were announced; and Monsieur the Governor had the Reveille sounded in the morning at Daybreak, and a gun fired; there was no other Ceremony on that Day. At the house, the vow of the Conception[18] was then renewed; and to this end the litany was said before the Blessed Sacrament, — and, the day before, at the Ursulines’.

Text Box: Ursulines send us dinner

On the 3rd, the Ursulines sent dinner to the house, — a perfect banquet, indeed. It was the 1st Sunday in Advent

when Father Dendemare began to preach there, and I to the Hospital Nuns. [Page 105]

On the 4th we sent a complete Chapel to beauport, in which the chalice was of pewter; it was broken, but was repaired, and consecrated anew.

Text Box: Day of the Conception.

About this time we began to make bread at the house, — not only because that made for us at the warehouse oven was not good, but because we wished to use the corn of the land, which they did not use at the warehouse.

On the 8th, — Day of the Conception, — a Cannon was fired in the morning at Daybreak, and three others at the Elevation during high Mass. On the Sunday previous, I announced plenary Indulgence, by virtue of the bull of Paul 5th, which is among the Hurons, — whereby plenary Indulgence is granted to all our Churches on the Day of the Patron or Titular Saint of the Church. Having Fasted the day before, we did not observe abstinence on the Day itself, which was Friday.

Text Box: Beginning of benedictions; special prayers.

On the 7th, — first Thursday in Advent, — the benedictions of the Blessed Sacrament with four candles began; the benediction consists, of the vespers of the Day, of the Blessed Sacrament, beginning with the pange Lingua, and some prayers are added, suitable to the exigencies of the time. This devotion took the place of the Litany of our Lady, which was said every Day at the end of the masses, up to the season of Advent; nevertheless, the Litany of our Lady was said every Saturday at the End of the masses, — among which there was a principal one, which was always de Beata, so far as possible: or, if not possible, [Page 107] with commemoration, instead of the Congregation or Brotherhood of the Rosary.

Text Box: Sundays in Advent, within the octaves.

On the 9th we were in doubt whether, because of the octaves of St. françois Xavier and of the Conception, it was required to wear Violet and say the gloria — on the Sundays in Advent; and it was found that, according to the rubrics, Violet was required and not the gloria.

On the 17th, Began the Jubilee granted by Innocent X. We made no Procession here, but on the morning of that Sunday, — which was the 3rd in Advent, — after the holy water had been blessed and sprinkled, we began a Veni Creator, during which the Blessed Sacrament was exposed; and then we said the Sunday high mass, with violet vestments and without the Gloria, with Commemoration of

Text Box: It is better not to make a commemoration at Vespers, and to stop with saying at the close, the Tantum ergo sacramentum for benediction, with the prayer of the Blessed Sacrement and the prayer Deus refugium nostrum et virtus, et cetera.

the Blessed Sacrament. During the Veni creator, while the Blessed Sacrament was being exposed, three Cannon Shots were fired: the 3 stations were the parish church of Quebek, the Hospital, and the Ursuline Convent. Vespers were chanted by the priests, standing and bareheaded; and all the people, having been previously notified thereof, stood or knelt, Monsieur the Governor standing, — all conforming to the notice given the Sunday before, concerning the extraordinary honor which must be rendered to the Blessed Sacrament when it is exposed, conformably to the Ceremonial of the Bishops in Gavantus.[19] At the beginning of Vespers, there were only two candles lighted, and at the Magnificat 6 others [Page 109] were lighted for the benediction, which occurred after Vespers, with a commemoration of the Blessed Sacrament: O sacrum Coconvivium, with the prayer. After this, was said the Alma redemptoris etc., and then we gave the benediction to the people, with the Blessed Sacrament, — a mistake was made herein, by not singing just then the Tantum ergo Sacramentum, during which the incense should be burned without saying the prayer: we ended with a laudate, and the sermon was preached afterward. The Blessed Sacrament was exposed only on Sundays and feasts within the fortnight; on working Days, it was not. The Ursulines among others, gave noble alms of Cloth to the french and savage poor: as for us, our chief Alms were 7 loaves, each of the value of 15 sols, for as many persons as we were in this house at Quebek, — however that was exchanged for cloth, shoes, and linen, of which things the poor people had more need. Monsieur the Governor also gave generous alms: 1st, two pistoles, given upon the spot, — one of which, for the french poor, was exchanged for cloth; the other was left to the disposition of father dequen, for the poor savages of Sillery and, he gave orders to Monsieur des Chastelets to give what we should ask of him for the poor, up to the amount of 200 livres.

The benedictions were held at the religious orders at four o’clock, one after the other, — Indifferently, according to the convenience of the Superior; he preached at one of them, and [Page 111] then withdrew only after the benediction, and then went to the other; and Monsieur the Governor and the people followed.

Text Box: Ceremonies completed and 1st communion of Caterine, wife of Atironta

On the 23rd of December, the Ceremonies of baptism were completed upon Caterine, wife of Atironta, and on her son mathieu, age two years, this took place in the chapelat

Québec; they sat in Monsieur the governor's pew, at the start, and were thereby Introduced to the Church. Monsieur Tronquet, secretary to monsieur the Governor, was godfather to the little one; and Madame de la ferté, the newly-married daughter of monsieur Giffar,[20] was godmother to Caterine, who received her 1st Communion at Midnight.

Text Box: Ceremonies for the Feast of Christmas.

The 1st stroke of the midnight mass rang at eleven o’clock, the 2nd, a little before the half-hour; and then they began to sing two airs — Venez, mon Dieu, etc., and Chantons noc, etc. Monsieur de la ferté sang the bass; St. martin {11} played the violin; there was also a german flute, which proved to be out of tune when they came to the Church. We had finished a little before midnight; they nevertheless sang the Te Deum, and a little later a cannon shot was fired as the Signal of midnight, when mass began; the bread was blessed when the priest went to open his book. This was the 1st bread blessed for several years, during which it had been stopped, on account of the precedence in its distribution, which every one claimed. The renewal of the custom was caused by the devotion of the toolmakers, whose devotion urged them to have [Page 113] it during midnight mass; and people’s minds were disposed to restore this custom. Monsieur the Governor received the chanteau[21] that he might furnish it on the Sunday following: what was done to obviate the complications of the preferences claimed was, to order that after a portion had been given to the priest and to the Governor, all the others should receive as they might come and chance to be in the Church: beginning now in front, and now in the rear.

Monsieur the Governor had given orders to fire several Cannon shots at the Elevation, when our brother the sacristan should give the Signal; but he forgot it, and thus there was no salute. The people received Communion at the end of high mass; after which a low mass was said.

Text Box: Danger of fire.

There were four candles in the Church in small iron candlesticks in the form of a Bracket, and that is enough. There were, besides, two great kettles full of fire, furnished by the warehouse in order to warm the chapel; they were kindled beforehand, on the bridge. Directions had been given to remove them after mass, but, that having been neglected, the fire caught in the night on the floor which was under one of the kettles, in which there were not enough ashes at the bottom. But fortunately, diriegnte Domino the fire did not appear till toward 5 o’clock in the morning, above our hall or

refectory, and kitchen, in which was Pierre gontier, our Cook, — who, perceiving this, immediately went up and, without other noise, put out the fire.

High mass for the Day was said at 8 o’clock, and, before and afterward, two priests said their three masses.

At vespers, some psalms were chanted in faux-bourdon.

Text Box: Trip to beauport.

Father Vimont, after being present at the Benediction at the Hospital Nuns’, went away to beauport, for those who had not been able to come here; he was there 3 Days.

On the 26th, Day of St. Stephen, The village of Sillery came here in a procession to make its stations in order to gain the Jubilee: two of our men bore the banner and the cross; Fathers de Quen and dreuilletes came with them, in Surplices and dominoes, and between them the whole troop of Christian savages to the number of more than a hundred. They came Fasting, at an extremely cold season, and returned without eating. A feast was given them on their return to Sillery, on the part of Monsieur the Governor. They sang very melodiously everywhere, and said a decade of their rosaries.

On the last Day of the year, the Jubilee was closed; we thought of making a procession, but the winter season is not at all convenient for that; accordingly, we were content with giving the benediction as usual at the end of vespers. Three Cannon shots were fired when the benediction with the Blessed Sacrament was given, and we went to the religious houses to give the benedictions in [Page 117] like manner, and to close the Jubilee; there was no salute.

Text Box: Difficulty about the consecrated bread

The bread blessed on Sunday was distributed on Monday, day of the Circumcision; Monsieur the Governor gave it. There was some discussion afterward as to whom it should be given after him; and it was found more suitable to give it to the two churchwardens, Monsieur Giffar and Monsieur des Chastelets, and then to begin at the top of the side of Ste. genevieve, as in case of a street; then to return from behind, as if by another street, and to continue in that way. Father Vimont drew up a List for them.

Text Box: Justice to two Drunkards

Two of our french having begun to drink, while waiting for the midnight mass, became intoxicated, with much scandal to some frenchmen and savages who saw them. We preached vigorously against it, because the savages said: “They make us take the discipline when we get drunk, and they say

nothing to the french.” Nothing further was required than this public expression; Monsieur the governor had them put on the chevalet, exposed to a frightful Northeast wind.

Father de noüe started from 3 rivers the Sunday before Christmas, in order to go to richelieu, and have them gain the Jubilee; he remained there 12 Days, and reported that there was some sort of necessity to return there, in order to prevent much disorder and confusion.

Toward the end of the year, the Ursulines and Hospital Nuns showed me a document by [Page 119] which father Vimont, my predecessor, had given and ceded to them, for 6 years, 6 arpents of grazing land to each convent, on the best natural meadows that we had, — to wit, from the river of the Cabin to the Topiers,[22] 12 arpents, in the direction of Monsieur Giffar. The grant was signed in the month of April or of May, 1645, almost a year after he had received the letters patent of his successor, who was expected at that time. After seeing the papers, I returned them without approving or Disapproving them, — not Judging it advisable to do anything further. In reality, I found two things to criticize therein, — one, that he had made this gift for 6 years, whereas he should have been content to make it for one year, at the most; the other, that he had made them such a concession for a considerable time, gratuitously, without any charge — as, for instance, a tenth, or twentieth, or thirtieth.

There were at Sillery, this year, about 167 Christian savages souls, all Christians or Catechumens, — 98 Communicants, 47 not qualified for Confession, 14 qualified for Confession alone, the rest were considered Catechumens. [Page 121]











RELATION OF 1644-42;



Source: We follow a copy of the original Cramoisy edition, owned by The Burrows Brothers Company, Cleveland, a duplicate of the one at Lenox Library (H. 84).

Chaps. x-xi. are given in the present volume; the remainder of the document will appear in Volume XXVIII.





IN THE YEARS 1644 AND 1645

Sent to the Rev. Father

Provincial of the Society of Jesus

in the Province of France.

By Father Barthelemy Vimont

of the same Society, Superior of

the whole Mission.

P A R I S.



By Royal License.

Table of the Chapters contained in this Book.


ELATION of what occurred in new France, in the years 1644 and 1645.

Chapter I. Of the general state of the mission.


Chap. II.

Of some good actions and some good sentiments of the Christian Savages.


Chap. III.

Continuation of the same subject.


Chap. IV.

Continuation of the same subject.


Chap. V.

Of some especially remarkable actions.


Chap. VI.

Of the wintering of a Father among the Savages.


Chap. VII.

Of some surprises by the Hiroquois.


Chap. VIII.

Of some Hiroquois prisoners.


Chap. IX.

Treaty of Peace between the French, the Hiroquois, and other nations.


Chap. X.

Continuation of the Treaty of Peace.


Chap. XI.

Of the last meeting held for the Peace.


Chap. XII.

Of what occurred at Miscou.



Letter from Father Hierosme Lalemant, written from the Huron country to the Reverend Father Provincial of the Society of Jesus.



[Page ]



Extract from the Royal License.


Y Grace and Privilege of the King, permission is granted to Sebastien Cramoisy, Bookseller under Oath in the University of Paris and Printer in ordinary to the King, to print or to have printed a Book entitled: Relation de ce qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France és années mil six cens quarante-quatre et quarante-cinc, envoyée au R. P. Provincial de la Compagnie de Jesus en la Province de France, par le P. Barthelmy Vimont de da mesme Compagnie, et Superieur de la Residence de Kebec; and this during the time and space of seven consecutive years; prohibiting all Booksellers and Printers to print or to have printed the said Book, under pretext of disguise or change that they might make therein, on pain of confiscation of the copies, and of the fine provided by the said License. Given at Paris, the eleventh of December, 1645.

By the King in Council,


[Page 129]

Permission of the Father Provincial.


E, Estienne Binet, Provincial of the Society of Jesus in the Province of France, have granted for the future to sieur Sebastien Cramoisy, Bookseller and Printer in ordinary to the King, the printing of the Relations of New France. Done at Paris, the 26th of March, 1638.

[Page 131]

[I] Relation of what occurred in New France, in

the Years 1644 and 1645;.



Here is our Relation that I send this Year again to your Reverence. Reverend Father Hierosme Lallemant, our Superior, arrived so late that he was unable to attend to it. I think that this Year’s news will give consolation to Your Reverence, and to all who take any interest in the affairs of the establishment of God’s Kingdom in these countries. Your Reverence will be pleased to help us [2] to thank the divine Goodness for it, and to obtain the necessary graces to make us worthy of his favors.

Your Reverence’s

From Quebec,

this Most humble and most

1st of October, 1645.

obedient servant in


Our Lord,



[Page 133]




OD be praised in time and in Eternity; the bloodshed for Jesus Christ in the country of the Iroquois — mingled with the prayers and vows of so many holy souls, who are interested in the spread of his Kingdom in the new World — has finally brought us Peace with those Barbarians. Father Isaac Jogues and Father françois Bressani, on their return, embraced as friends those who [3] had lacerated their bodies, torn out their nails, and cut off their fingers, — in a word, those who had treated them as tigers would. This event was due to Heaven; we shall presently see how it came to pass. This is a wide gateway opened for Crosses and to the Gospel in many very populous Nations, provided we can maintain Evangelistic laborers there. While Monsieur the Chevalier de Montmagni, our Governor, was treating for this Peace with his usual prudence, the country possessed another blessing, which came to its knowledge only when the ships arrived. The Gentlemen of the Company of New France, wishing to procure the conversion of the Savages, and to increase the French Colony, returned into His Majesty’s hands the traffic in Furs that he had granted them, — being fully aware that the strength of the French would be the support of the new Churches that we endeavor to beget to Jesus Christ at this extremity of the World. Now as [Page 137] this Colony is, as yet, but in its Infancy, the Gentlemen of Montreal, zealous for the Conversion of these peoples, have likewise manifested the excess of their love and of their charity toward the French Colony. [4] The Queen, whose kindness is not limited by the boundaries of Europe, has distinctly declared herself the Mother and Protectress of her French and Savage subjects in these countries. All these blessings are the sweeter, since there are bitter experiences in a country so filled with horrors and barbarism; for it must be admitted that these peoples are very far from having the French courtesy, and that Heroes, Hercules, and Giants are needed to fight Monsters, Hydras, and Demons. The Savages who are usually found in all our settlements, from Tadousac to Montreal, have been fostered with much care, and with much trouble in various ways. The Ursulines and the Hospital Nuns have performed their duties with joy and content worthy of their courage. The latter have been afflicted by long illnesses of their Sisters; and the former have found a new employment, in the instruction of the Savages. The Christian women asked a Father of our Society if it would not be possible to have one of these good [5] Mothers reside with them, to make them pray to God. As this would not be proper, they sent them one of their Seminarists, who has very well performed her little task.

The Fathers of our Society have labored with success. The Savages of many small Tribes have gradually drawn near, and the fame of the Gospel is spreading to the remotest depths of the thickest forests, where Barbarism has its lair. We will not say anything in particular of the various residences, or of [Page 139] the various Missions of our Society, for fear of repetition; the new events that occur are so similar to those which have already been written of, that the fear of causing distaste will make us more and more concise, — so much so that, in this Relation, we will mention only some sentiments and some actions of the most fervent Christians, without specifying whether they belong to Montreal, to Saint Joseph, or to Tadousac. And afterward we will see the Ceremonies that were observed in the negotiation of the Peace with the Iroquois. While we were engaged in that pleasant occupation, which had long been more [6] the object of our desires than of our expectations, God chose to give us the fullest joy. For Reverend Father Hierosme Lallemant came to take charge of the whole of our Mission, with a considerable band of Hurons, among whom were some thirty worthy Christians, who occupied the foremost rank in the harangues, and in the affairs that were concluded with the Iroquois. Praised forever be the God of Israel, because he has showered his greatest mercies upon us. He can both humble and exalt when he pleases; but, after all, this new light is a ray from Mount Tabor, where the death-sufferings of Jesus Christ alone are mentioned. Our labors must not be sweetened; the salvation of mankind was effected on the Cross and it cannot be obtained in any other way. It is by that road alone that souls can be brought to God; and he who has no desire to enter upon it need not make his appearance among the Savages. [Page 141]





 WOULD only use repetitions were I to mention the prayers said by the Christians, every night and morning. Their hunting and the Iroquois kept them away from the Church throughout the winter, but neither men nor Demons could prevent them from performing their minor duties toward God. They take with them to the woods a memorandum or short Catalogue of the Festival days, which they observe with much respect, for men born and brought up in the forests like beasts. They all assemble in one Cabin, say their prayers publicly, and sing a Hymn, and sometimes one of them will give a discourse on some points of our belief. These Meetings do not prevent each one from saying his prayers again in his Cabin, on rising [8] and on going to sleep. If they are near the Church, the bell calls them every day to Mass, and summons them at evening for prayers and instruction. This goes on regularly — in such manner, however, that some advance much faster than others.

When they return from their long hunts, they usually confess themselves twice before receiving Communion. They give as a reason for this that their memory is short; that they have neither paper nor ink, as we have, wherewith to write down their sins; and that, if they omit some through forgetfulness at [Page 143] the first Confession, they will be able to remember them at the second. Some of them use the beads of their Rosaries as a local reminder. A good woman, whose simplicity is as great as her want of memory, approached a Father one day, and said to him, with most pleasing ingenuousness, “Here are all my sins;” and she showed him about a decade of her Rosary. “They are all on those beads,” she said; and, passing them one after another through her fingers, as if she had been saying her prayers, she accused herself of having committed many harmless things.

Another sent her husband to bear her excuses [9] for not having approached the holy Table as she had promised. “She has forgotten,” said her husband, “a great sin;” and I think that he had been charged to tell it to the Father, but the good woman herself came, and the Father gave her Communion, having recognized the fear and innocent simplicity of the husband and wife.

A young man who had obtained permission to receive Communion — for, as a rule, they do not approach that divine Sacrament unless we allow them to do so — also came to excuse himself, saying that he wished to prepare his soul, to fast several times, and to sorrow for his sins a long while, before receiving his Lord. Some beg their Confessors to give them hard Penances, and to make them fast; and they manifest great regret for having made God angry, as they say.

A Captain found means to procure wine, and gave some of his friends a portion of it to drink, so that one of them became intoxicated. When we were informed of this, we protested against such disorderly[Page 145] conduct. The Captain came to the Father who has charge of the residence and said to him: ‘6 It is I who have committed the sin; do not, I beseech you, upbraid that poor [10] Man; it is I who must do Penance for it.” On the following Sunday, when every one had gone to Mass, this Captain knelt before the Altar, ‘and, raising his voice, exclaimed: “Thou who hast made all, I have angered thee. Have pity on me. Let not my sin lead thee to think badly of me; I detest it, and I am very sorry for having committed it.” Thereupon he threw a collar of two or three thousand Porcelain beads on the step of the Altar, saying: “This is to atone for my sin, and to succor the poor; this is to prevent every one from following my bad example. I am sorry in the very depths of my heart for having angered God.” The Father, who was already robed in his vestments to begin Mass, turned toward the people and explained to the French who were present what the good Neophyte had said. This edified them all, and touched some of them. A portion of his present was given back to him, and the remainder was employed in succoring some needy persons.

The following offense seems to me more culpable, but also it seems to have been more thoroughly atoned for. Some Christian Savages, last Spring, came across a Basque ship [11] above Tadoussac, from which they bought wine; and some of them drank to excess. The Father who has charge of them heard of this bad conduct, and told them that they could not enter the Church until they had atoned for their offense. They all remained outside the door on a Festival day, while the French and Savages went in. The spot was muddy, for it was actually raining at [Page 147] the time; but they knelt on both knees in the mud, The Father gave orders to bring them some boards to kneel on, that they might not soil their clothes. “NO, my Father,” they said; “we deserve much more, for we have angered him who has made all.’ * They publicly begged pardon of God, acknowledging themselves to be unworthy to enter his Church. They nevertheless prayed us to have pity on them, and to admit them in the company of the others. “Pray for us,” they said to those who were in the Church. In fact, we said a short public Prayer, and then the Father told them that, as God was all kindness, he would allow them to enter his House. Some of them entered at once; but others, who were angry with themselves on account of their sin, took their places in the muddy water [12] outside of the Church, and cried out: “We will not enter, my Father; we have too deeply offended God. It matters not that we are in the mud, and that the rain falls on us, We are unworthy to be in the company of those who love God.” The Father was surprised and touched, on observing such fervor; he left them alone, and they passed the whole time of Mass in this posture of humility and Penance. Such devotions are good in a nascent Church, in order that the Pagans may know that the sins of Christians come not from their doctrine but from their own weakness.

That is not all; the Captain of that band wished to submit to the same ignominy as his people, saying that, although he had not become intoxicated, he had nevertheless drunk, and was guilty. The conclusion was that some of them on entering the Church threw on the steps of the Altar some alms which served to provide food for the poorer ones. [Page 149]

After that Penance, one of these good Neophytes came to see the Father in private, and said to him, with his heart oppressed with woe: “Alas, that I should off end God [13] so grievously! I had not yet defiled my Baptism; I had not yet strayed far from the road. The Devil deceived me, and the liquor upset my mind. I have no comfort when I think of my sin.” He uttered these words mingled with sobs, which he tried to repress, but his sorrow revealed itself.

 “I know not,” said another, “whether what animates me is good. When I am in the Chapel, and think of my sins, tears come to my eyes; I feel my face quite wet, and I say to myself:’ It is my heart that should weep and not my eyes.’ Is that good?” said he, “because it often happens to me for sins that I committed before my Baptism. I feel these same regrets, when I see that my people do not obey God as they should.”

A widow, who was very poor and forsaken, was married in the fashion of the Savages. She allowed herself to be cajoled by a Pagan, who deceived her. She felt such regret for her fault that, after asking pardon publicly in Church, she said to the Father that when she felt the pains of her pregnancy she wished for death, in order to expiate her crime. [14] “I entreat God every day,” she said, “to punish me. When I see women who scoff at me, when I hear them jesting about my sin, I say to myself: ‘I have well deserved this.’ I answer nothing and remain quite ashamed. It is just that I should suffer all my life. I was greatly afraid that I would be expelled forever from the house of Prayer.” When she sometimes went to the Ursulines, she kept her child away [Page 151] from the grating, lest some one might see it. But the poor little thing made its presence known one day, by crying; and the Nun who was speaking to her innocently asked her if that were her child, and if she were married again. The poor woman blushed, and confessed her sin with such sorrow and modesty that the good Mother was edified to the highest degree. She told her that she had been strongly tempted to kill her child, and to bring about her own death; but that she did not wish to offend God, and it was better to bear the shame of her sin than to commit another. [Page 153]




 GOOD Neophyte, who had penetrated very far inland toward the North, met the Captain of a small Tribe which has no intercourse with the French except through the Savages who are our neighbors. This man, who had gone to that country to trade, from a Merchant became a Preacher. He spoke of God to these new hosts; he explained to them that his Son had been made Man, and had loved his brothers to such an extent as to give up his life on a Cross. And, when he saw that his Auditors relished this new Doctrine, he begged them to help him erect in that land the great Memorial of our Salvation. No sooner said, than done; they set to work at once, cut down a large tree, from which they remove the branches with more affection than skill, and raise a great Cross on the banks of a fine river where they had met each other. “I made use,” said this new Carpenter, “of some bones of [16] a Deer that I sharpened to a point, like nails, to hold the transverse piece of this Cross, which we planted in a very prominent place where it can easily be seen from a great distance. I told them that that tree would bring them happiness; that the Demons feared it; that they must assemble at that spot; and that I would come and meet them there next Spring. 1 felt,” said the good Christian, “pleasure and joy in my heart while I labored at that holy Work. 1 said [Page 155] JESUS: ‘Thou art good; help these poor people. Thou didst die for them; open their eyes; make them know thee and believe in thee.’” This is indeed a chosen soul, and its sentiments are out of the common.

Mademoiselle d’ Alibour one day asked a good Neophyte what his thoughts were when he saw the Iroquois arrive at three Rivers to negotiate the Peace, On hearing this question, he took off his Cap, clasped his hands, raised his eyes to Heaven, and seemed greatly touched. “Alas!” exclaimed he, “I said in my heart, speaking to him who has made all: ‘These people know thee not. Peace will bring them great blessings, for they will be taught and we shall be with [17] them in Heaven, I rejoice, not so much at seeing myself delivered from the hands and teeth of those so cruel people, as at seeing them disposed to become children of God. We shall hereafter be but one with them.’ That,” said he, “is what I thought.” Monsieur d’ Aliboust was delighted to find sentiments so refined in the soul of a Barbarian. It must be admitted that grace effects strange transformations.

This same man was singularly addicted to smoking. This passion is so great that there are Frenchmen themselves who sell even their clothes to gratify it. When this new Christian saw that that smoke was useless to him, he abstained from it to such an extent that one would have said that he never cared for this plant. Not only on this point has he done violence to himself, but he has frequently passed entire days without eating anything, in order to keep the Commandment of the Church which orders its Children to abstain from meat on certain days. AS a rule, he [Page 157] contents himself with a little bread and water, or peas, in order to observe such obedience, although he is given to understand that necessity dispenses him from it.

[18] A Christian Captain, speaking to a Pagan who had come to see him and who was about to go on a long journey, said to him: “Tell me clearly, I beg thee, what thou thinkest of prayer. It is a long time since I told thee that I prayed from the bottom of my heart; formerly I urged thee to adopt our Belief, and thou didst not answer me. If thou wert to give me a quantity of food and of robes, I would not rejoice at it; but if thou saidst to me, ‘I believe in God,’ my heart would be delighted. For my part, I am not able to give thee advice. Go, however, with this thought of me, that I would rather lose everything, even life itself, than the Faith.”

An impious man was arguing against a Father respecting the truth of our Doctrine; and, after much talk, he cried out that our prayers caused the Savages to die. A Christian who was present could no longer keep silent, and, raising his voice in anger, he said to that infidel man: “Speak no longer in such terms. It is your impiety that spoils all; it is your incredulity that kills us. You retain the Demons with you. My Father,” he added, “I have always had this thought that the malice and infidelity [19] of those people would be our ruin. I have often told them so, and there are still some of them who venture to cast that reproach at us.”

This same Christian, who is of the Attikameg tribe, was present at a meeting of his Countrymen, most of whom were not yet baptized; and, when he saw that a Father wished to preach to them, he [Page 159] forestalled him, that he might prepare them to listen to what should be told them. “My relatives,” he said to them, “YOU know well that, though I am far from our own country, I still belong to your Tribe. But observe that relationship here below is very short; we shall soon be separated from one another, — let us meet in Heaven. Listen to the Father; I assure you that what he says is true. He will teach you how to be content and happy forever.”

This man, who introduces himself only when opportunity presents, while speaking to some young Relatives, said to them: “I love you, because you believe in God; my greatest happiness is to see you constant in the Faith. I committed many follies before I was baptized. Consider not what I was in my youth, but what I have been since my baptism. I have no more than one wife, and I proclaim [20] aloud that I do not desire another. Fall not into the errors that I committed before I acknowledged God. You are my nephews; but my closest relationship is in the Faith. Such a one” — naming him —  “although he belongs to a tribe that is hostile to ours, no longer seems a stranger to me; I consider him as a relative, because he believes firmly in God.”

A woman accused herself one day of feeling estrangement against her father. He who heard her asked the reason of it, and she replied: “He loves not the Faith; he will not believe in God. It seems to me that some one says to me in my heart, ‘That is not thy father; God alone is thy Father.’ I have tried to force myself to it, but I cannot love one who does not love God.’

It must be admitted that God has his elect everywhere, and that Faith produces powerful effects in [Page 161] the most savage minds. A young man, who was a great hunter and a great runner, was away for a long time from the place where he had been instructed, and passed the winter in very bad company. But his constancy and firmness in the Faith kept him straight, where others wavered. [21] He did not fail, a single night or morning, to say his prayers on his knees, and in public, so long as he was in good health; his wife prayed with him. He was among Pagans, and with men who were half Apostates. They scoffed at him; they urged him to sing superstitious songs which they use when they have recourse to the Devil. They reproached him, saying that he would not be fortunate in his hunting. This good young man never faltered in his belief, either in heart or by word or deed. The example of those who fell, the raillery of those who scoffed, could never shake him. I asked him if at least his courage had not been sometimes weakened. “Not at all,” he replied, “I very often felt sorrow and regret for my sins; but it seems to me that I had in my heart such strength for prayer and for Faith that I was more touched with compassion for these poor people, on account of their incredulity and their jests, than I felt aversion for the contempt with which they treated me.” It is true that this young man is the son of one of the bravest Christians of the reduction of St. Joseph.

[22] His wife was delivered of a child in that very remote region. “The child,” he said, “appeared to be barely alive. They told me that he was dead — that it was all over with him. I knelt and offered him to God, begging him that he might at least be spared until he could be baptized. God granted my [Page 163] prayer, for all of a sudden the child’s life was restored, to the astonishment of all who were in the Cabin.”

There were in this Band some Christians whom the example of this good Neophyte’s testimony encouraged; he sustained them, and made them persevere in the Faith. And we may even believe that those semi-Apostates who afterward did Penance were attracted to it by the virtue and constancy of that brave soldier of Jesus Christ. Above all, he consoled a poor sick man who was greatly persecuted by the ungodly. They jeered at him and urged him to have recourse to the Demon; the good sick man said that he would rather die. One day, the Father related the story of Job, in the presence of this good Neophyte. He began to laugh and, on hearing his wife’s reproaches, said: “All that is exactly what they shouted at me this winter. ‘Thou wilt die,’ they said to me, ‘if thou pray to God; thou [23] wilt never be cured unless thou sing’” a song which was to implore the aid of the Demon. The Savages say very little of what passes in their minds. If we had not by accident related the story of Job, we would not have had any knowledge of the courage of that brave Athlete.

I will close this Chapter with some actions of a young boy but newly baptized. “When I first heard prayer mentioned,” he said, “I wished to put into practice what was preached to me. I was with some of the Algonquins who are near neighbors to the Hurons. At night, when I wished to say my little prayer, every one began to laugh, and many jeered aloud at me. ‘Thou hast no sense,’ they said to me. ‘To whom speakest thou? Where is he? Dost thou [Page 165] see him? Dost thou allow thyself to be tricked by those strangers who have recently come here?’ To all this I answered not a word. On the following day, as I was about to eat, I began to pray to God; again they commenced to laugh immoderately. Thereupon one of my relatives said to me: ‘My nephew, thou hast no sense; thou art not surprised at anything; hearest thou not those people who are scoffing at thee?’ Nevertheless, I would not give up my prayer. They continued their banter. ‘Is he mad?’ they said. I [24] did not lose courage for all that. I did not content myself with merely believing; I endeavored to win over my little sister. I took her to one side, and said to her: ‘My sister, what wouldst thou say if thou wert taught to pray to God?’ She replied, ‘I do not wish to pray, for I would die. How can one speak to him whom one does not see?’ The Father who instructed me had given me a little bell; when my sister saw it, she asked me for it. I told her that I would give it to her if she would pray. ‘No,’ she said, ‘I will not pray, for I would die.’ ‘And if thou takest the bell, wilt thou not die?’ ‘No, I shall not die,’ she said. ‘Then,’ I replied, ‘if thou wilt not die because thou takest a bell that comes from the French, why shouldst thou die for receiving prayer from them, which is very much better?’ She answered nothing then. Finally, I gave her my bell to win her; but, at the same time, I left her to come down here.”

While this young Neophyte was baring his conscience to his director, he said: “Sometimes, in truth, my soul has no sense. It sometimes leaves its path, without saying anything, — 1 do not notice its going; and when, all of a sudden, I observe [25] [Page 167] that it wanders, I bring it back.” Sometimes he is so affected by the recital of some sacred Stories, that tears fall from his eyes. Finally, he cannot do anything that he considers wrong, without at once unburdening himself of it through Confession. [Page 169]




E have had but few cases of sickness this year, and still fewer deaths. Disease would soon have killed all, had it continued to rage as furiously as we have seen it do.

A good and truly Christian woman was attacked by a rather violent illness. As soon as she felt its stress, she said to one of her countrymen: “I beg you to bring a Father to me. I would like very much to confess, and to prepare myself for death, while I still have possession of my senses.” The Father went to visit her, and, seeing that she was not far from the Chapel, he had her carried thither, in order to give her the holy Viaticum. [26] A sick person among the Savages is soon raised and soon bedded. When this poor creature had confessed, she said to the Father: “I am exhausted; my strength fails me. I am not sorry to see myself near death; my body is cast down, but my soul is content; it seems to me that I am going to Heaven. Nothing disturbs me; death causes me no fear; I suffer much, but that will soon pass. I have always in mind the last words that my son said to me, when he was dying. He called me and said: ‘My Mother, I am going to Heaven; believe firmly in God; never abandon the Faith; do not lose the Hope that you have in him who has made all. For my part, I die in the belief of my Baptism that we shall see each [Page 171] other in Heaven if you persevere in the Faith.’ I always have those words graven in my heart, since my son’s death. I hope that I shall soon see him, for, in truth, he firmly believed in God.” She confessed herself and received the Viaticum, while she had a great oppression on her chest. This did not prevent her from saying, from time to time, “Jesus my guide and my Captain, I believe in your word; you are in my [27] heart, although you appear not. I believe it; yes, in truth, I believe it. Do with me as you will. I shall see you; I shall see you.” When she was taken back to her Cabin, the Father some time afterward carried to her Extreme’ Unction. She never betrayed the slightest sign of sorrow or of fear. You would have said that she was sure of the place to which she was going. Indeed, if we proceed with love and simplicity before God we shall pass from death to life as from Winter to Spring.

A good Christian, who saw that she was greatly oppressed, said to her: “Charité,” — such was her name, — “be not afflicted. I have always had this thought of thee that thou believest firmly in God. If that be the case, be not sorrowful, for thou wilt soon go to Heaven; be constant in the Faith to the last breath.” Mi entian, she replied, Ka nont nite-ponetauzin;“ I am in that disposition, I will no longer only half believe; I believe fully. That is why I am not sad. I am going to Heaven; I believe it.” She died while in that fervor.

One of our Fathers met a woman carrying wood to a sick person. [28] He said to her, after having praised her charity: “When you do a good action toward your neighbor, you must say in your heart, [Page 173] ‘I am going to carry wood to my Savior Jesus; I am going to light a fire: I am going to give him food; I am going to attend him and to dress his wounds;’ for he has said that what might be done to the least of his brethren, he would reward as if it were done to him.” The poor woman replied: “My Father, I was really thinking of what you say; and — as God afflicts me myself, and has taken most of my children from me, while the others are sick — 1 say in my heart that it matters not if he try me still further. Aiantch nigatepouet; I will believe even more. It is for him to decide all things.”

A woman who came from Tadousac to St. Joseph — in part, that she might confess and receive communion — displayed great innocence. “Since I have been baptized,” she said, “I have endeavored to love Jesus; I often think of never offending him. In truth, I love prayer. I say to myself in my heart, ‘Those who are baptized no longer do evil; I do not wish [29] to do any; above all, I do not get angry, whatever may be done to me. My daughter is married to a Pagan who is very quick-tempered; he tried to throw her out of his canoe into the river. I was ready to get angry with him; but I said in my heart, ‘I shall offend him who has made all.’ I restrained myself, and said not a word; I was merely ashamed and covered with confusion when I saw how he treated my daughter, but I did not get angry.’

A Captain saw some of his people embark, and said a few words aloud to them on their departure: “Take a writing from the Fathers, as you are Christians, and be not unfaithful to it. Pray to God, every night and every morning. Do not get angry; [Page 175] you women, be obedient to your husbands. Above all, let it be known that you love prayer, and that you cannot commit any evil.”

A good Neophyte, of the Attikameg tribe, related his minor devotions with a most agreeable simplicity: “When I think that God is everywhere, I feel great pleasure; when I raise my eyes to the Sky, when I look at the trees, the birds, the rivers, the animals, it seems to me that my heart is quite full of [30] joy; for I know that all these things come from the Almighty. I think that I am, as it were, a rich man, that I own a great deal. Knowing what I had been ignorant of so long, I say in my heart, ‘I admire him, I love him;’ and then I feel quite content and very joyful.”

This good man added that, having penetrated very far inland, he met some Savages who had never seen any French, and had never heard of God. “Now when we said our prayers every night and every morning, they listened to us, for we spoke aloud; and they were both astonished and delighted at what we said. They were surprised when they saw a little Picture that had been given us. On another occasion,” he said, “I met some Pagans, who laughed at prayer. They told us to pray, while they would have recourse to their drums and their songs; and we should see which of the two bands would find game the sooner. We said that we do not believe in God merely for the purpose of eating, and of living on earth. We did not fail to entreat God to help us. Those wretches nearly died [31] of hunger, and we never were in want of food. When I went out to hunt, I knelt in the middle of my path on the snow, and said to God, ‘Thou hast made the [Page 177] animals; thou disposest of them. If thou choose to give me some, I will believe in thee; if thou give me none, I will still believe.’ While I walked along, this idea came to my mind: ‘Where wast thou a hundred years ago? Whence didst thou come I Thou wast not, and here thou art. In truth, it is admirable. Love, therefore, him who has made all.’ It seems to me that I do love him,” he said.

One of our Fathers asked a little Savage, five years old, where his father was. The child pointed to him with his hand, but his father said to him: “My son, look up to Heaven; that is where thy Father is. It is God who is thy true Father;” and continuing, he added, “I give thee every day to him who has made all; and I beg him to make thee Religious, so that thou mayst know how to pray to him, — for my great — est sorrow in this world is that I do not know how to pray aright to him. I think nearly always of him, and it seems to me that I love him; but I do not know many things that should be said to him.”[Page 179]




HE Spirit of Jesus Christ is a pure Spirit — a spirit that destroys nature, and causes grace to live; a spirit that finds its delight and its repose, not in plush and satin, but in a soul enriched with loving fear. A young man, a Savage, who is somewhat ill favored by nature, — for he is harsh in speech, and his recreations seem to consist in fits of anger and in riddles, — was several times solicited in secret by a Pagan woman. He gave her but one answer: “Thou hast no sense; thou comest too late, — I am baptized; I pray to God. I can no longer commit those sins.” A young boy, who was tempted by a girl, escaped the danger still better; for, without arguing with the serpent, he fled like the chaste Joseph. A widow, still young, who was tempted by a young man, was seized with fear and horror, — being astonished that a man who had heard so much of Hell should be willing [33] to go there for so fleeting a pleasure.

A good Christian, who received the name of Ignace at his Baptism, fell ill of a violent fever last summer. He at once requested that the Father be sent for, to confess him; and, seeing that he delayed too long, he had himself carried to the Chapel, through the desire that he felt to relieve his soul before thinking of his body. From there he was carried to a small bark Cabin, separated from the others, that [Page 181] served him as an infirmary. The Father visits him often, consoles him, watches over him at night, assists him as far as the slender resources of the Tadoussac mission permit, where there is only what we carry there. The Savages, following his example, did him the same charitable services. One, among others, in order to console him, spoke to him as follows: “You suffer much, my brother; take courage, and endure your sickness with patience. I was sick unto death this winter. I never asked God for health, — I always begged him to do his will unto me, and I was all the better for it. Here I am, quite healthy and hearty again, and resolved to serve him for the remainder of my days. Do likewise, and you will be content.” Then he [34] knelt down, said a short prayer for the, sick man, and went away. Another, as soon as he entered the Cabin, saw the patient in strong convulsions, and asked him where he felt the most pain. The sick man made him a sign that it was in his stomach. He moistened his thumb with his saliva and made some signs of the Cross on that part, pronouncing these words: “Lord, I am not doing this without a purpose; I have learned that you suffered infinite torture while attached to the Cross; I beg you, in consideration of those sufferings, to relieve those of this poor sick man.” Another Christian, seeing the patient in danger of death, asked those who were present if he had confessed, and how many times he had done so from the beginning of his illness. “Yes,” he was told; “he has often acquitted himself of that duty.” “Then, there is nothing to fear,” he said. “If he lose his body he will save his soul, which is worth a thousand times more Than the body.” Ignace showed that such [Page 183] visits were agreeable to him. He begged his people to entertain him with similar discourses. When he began to get better, and was able to leave his bark infirmary, to lodge with the others, a very strange thing happened to him. [35] He was seized with I know not what enthusiasm, in the deepest silence of the night. He rises at once to a sitting posture, then kneels down, and raises his hands and his eyes to Heaven, exclaiming: “I come from Heaven; I am cured; Jesus has given me life. I have seen him with my own eyes.” On hearing the noise, those in the Cabin and in the neighborhood awake; they come to see what is the matter; they ask the convalescent, three or four times, what he means. To all these questions he gives no other answer than these words: “I come from Heaven; I am cured; I have seen Jesus." He repeats them over and over again, during the night, until toward morning, when he gets a little rest. After sleeping two or three hours, he again kneels down and requests one of those in his Cabin to summon all the Savages, that he may give them a message from God. It needed but these words to make them believe that the man had risen from the dead. They all hasten to see him, and to hear him speak. When Ignace sees so large an assemblage, he commences to speak as he had spoken at midnight. “I come from Heaven, my friends,” he says to them. “Jesus has given me life; I saw him with my own eyes. He showed me wonderful things, and commanded me to relate them to you. [36] He showed me a great Book, in which are written on one side the vices of which he has a horror, such as drunkenness, the sin of the flesh, communication with the Devil, and many [Page 185] others that he named. And, on the other side of the book, he made me see those among you who are most addicted to those sins. Each one is inscribed in that book, — some for more, some for less. You, such a one” (calling him by his name), “were inscribed there very often. Your Massinahigan,” that is to say, your account, “is a long one. There is something in your conduct that is not right. You do not go straight; you are not sufficiently careful to correct, the young people when they do wrong. Such a one is baptized but his belief does not extend beyond his lips. His faith stops at his throat, and does not reach his heart; it is not probable that he will long retain it. Such a one is not often inscribed in the book; he is a good man, and his wife is also a good woman; both are going straight to Heaven. Such a one, who has abandoned his wife, takes the road to Hell, and is in danger of going there if he do not amend his ways; for his account is a very long one, and there is much writing about him.” Never have you seen people more attentive, or in greater silence. This man [37] from the other world continued: “Jesus showed me,” he said, “on his right hand a thing that has not its equal for beauty. It is a light compared with which the Sun is but darkness, a place of pleasure and of happiness, — in a word, the abode of God himself and of all the Blessed. There I saw the children of our people, who have died immediately after their baptism; but I observed there but few Savage men and women who have been baptized. On his left hand, he showed me a fire that made me tremble with fear, — of which the Father who teaches us often speaks, but which is such that no words can express its intensity. In that [Page 187] fire I saw the Savages burning who believe not in God, and those who, while believing in him, have not obeyed him in this life. There also I saw Frenchmen. Oh! how great is the number of both. Jesus stood between Paradise and Hell. He showed me his hands and his feet, pierced by great nails, and then he said a few words to me. ‘Ignace,’ he said, ‘what you have endured during your illness is nothing. It is I who suffered, while hanging on the Cross for you — I [38] who am your Creator and your King. When I send you any affliction, — hunger, thirst, sickness, poverty, — stiffer it patiently for me, and in imitation of my example.’”

After that, Ignace delivered a short Instruction to his audience: “We must, my brothers,” he said, “assemble every night in a large Cabin, to sing God’s praises and to exhort one another to serve him faithfully. Every morning, after saying your prayers in private, you must come out of your Cabins and walk about reciting your Rosaries, and imitate the Father who withdraws into the woods every morning to pray to God. Do not forget to ask a blessing and to return thanks at your meals. Be careful to correct your children, and to think more highly of the faith that God has given you than of your lives.” Thus ended the Sermon, and each one withdrew to his home in profound silence.

However it may be as regards this vision, — whether it be true or whether it be only imagination, — it is nevertheless a fact that it produced a good effect upon the minds of all who [39] heard it related. The wicked were frightened and the good were consoled by it. “For the time, I found the poor Tadoussac Savages greatly altered,” says the Father who has [Page 189] charge of that Mission. “I saw them come in crowds, both Christians and Pagans, to the Chapel, to say special prayers there. I saw them walking about night and morning, reciting their Rosaries, with most special devotion. I heard them speaking to God at night, while walking round the Chapel, with words full of devotion and coming from hearts which seemed truly contrite. ‘Ah, my Father,’ one of the most zealous would say to me, ‘how Ignace has frightened us by his discourse. It seems to me that I am awaking from a profound slumber; I have been blind hitherto, and I am commencing to open my eyes. It seems to me that I was dead and today I am beginning to live; and, although I was baptized two summers ago, I nevertheless think that I have not yet received that Sacrament as a Christian should.’” An occurrence so novel was quickly made known among the Savages of Sillery and of three rivers, the best disposed among whom were deeply touched by it.

[40] The Christians of the same Mission committed a somewhat pardonable offense, for which they at once did public penance at the Church door. But having learned, from the Father who teaches them, some examples of those who do penance for their sins, — some of whom fast on bread and water, others scourge themselves a certain number of times, others give considerable alms and say long prayers, while others die of sorrow and regret for their sins, — they considered that the penance that they had been given to perform was too light, and that the public atonement which they had made was not adequate to the offense. They all resolved, by common consent, to perform a harder one and to scourge themselves in [Page 191] imitation of the holy Penitents of whom they had heard. They at once made a great discipline of heavy cords, full of large knots, which they tied to the end of a stick, to serve as a handle. They kept it all night, and on the following day, when they assembled at the sound of the Father’s voice calling them to Mass, one of the leading Christians begged every one, without distinction, — [41] both the infidels and the baptized, — to go to the Church to hear something of importance that he had to tell them. There were at the time at Tadoussac 6 or 7 different tribes who were in or near the Chapel. Then this zealous man stood up in the middle of the assembly, and spoke as follows: “I greatly fear,” he said, “that the people of Tadoussac will not be saved; I see that they are too wicked a people, and that, after committing so many offenses, they have as yet manifested but few, if any, signs of improvement. Here, look, see how the earth is made,” he said, showing his closed hand; “the earth is round, like my fist; it is everywhere inhabited, we are told, and there is hardly a place where there are not faithful ones who firmly believe in God. It is only at this end of the world that there are very few Christians; and even those who profess to be such are so weak in the faith, that the Devil easily overcomes them when he attacks them. The French who believe in God are like a strong wall; the Devil meets with resistance when he approaches it. But those of Tadoussac are like that shabby, [42] torn cloth” (this was an old cloth that served as curtain in the Church, for want of something better). “We are,” said he, “like that cloth, full of holes; the Devil passes through our hearts as my finger passes through that hole. That [Page 193] evil spirit does with us as he wishes. For my part, I greatly fear that he will stop me on the way, and catch me in the midst of my career. And, if ever I go to Heaven, the Father who teaches us will be so high up that I, shall hardly be able to see him. For what are we doing, in order to get there? Now, then, I wish to manifest more courage in future. I wish to atone for my sins and to walk straight for the remainder of my days.” Thereupon he drew out the great discipline, that was hidden beneath his robe; and showing it to the whole assembly, and raising his voice, he said, “This is not that Hell-fire that I have deserved. It is but a little straw, in comparison with what is suffered down below in the abode of the Demons. Even if my whole body were covered with blood from this whip, and my flesh were torn by blows, I would not even then consider that I had paid my debts and satisfied God’s justice. But I know that he is infinitely [43] good, and has mercy on those who ask pardon of him with all their hearts. Here,” said he to the Captain, “here is the discipline that I place in your hands, and here are my bare shoulders that I present to you. Strike, and spare me not.” The Captain at once took him at his word, and delivered a shower of blows on his back. The penitent humbly begged pardon of God for his sins while he was being scourged, and threw himself on the ground, to kiss it; and, on rising, he urged all the Christians to follow his example. He cried out, “Come, all ye who are guilty; come and present yourselves before the Altar. Come and satisfy the justice of God.” There was no dispute as to who should go first. The nearest went the first: they all came up, one after another, to perform their [Page 195] penance; each one decided what he wished to give and what he wished to receive. Some asked to be given twenty blows, others ten, — some more, some less. The Father, who was about to say Mass, was surprised at the sight of this new devotion, which he did not expect from a people who know not yet what it is to [44] suffer for God. He did not wish to interrupt it at once, for fear of opposing the workings of the holy Ghost. He merely took care that it did not go beyond the bounds of prudence, and that there were no excesses. The penance was so general, that the innocent wished to share it with the guilty. Even the children were not spared; their fathers and mothers made them approach the Altar, took off their little garments, and begged him who held the whip to chastise them at his discretion, in proportion to their age and strength, — alleging that this chastisement was already due to their disobedience. These poor victims went there cheerfully; they knelt before the Altar, clasped their hands, and, without shrinking or shedding one little tear, they received the blows from the whip, which were gently delivered on their innocent flesh. Some of the mothers even struck with their Rosaries, in the manner of the discipline, their little children still at the breast. A good old man — a Christian, who came from the settlement of saint Joseph and who had only just [45] arrived at Tadoussac — happened, very opportunely, to be present at this holy Ceremony. He was so touched by it that he cried out aloud that he was a sinner and wished to do penance with the others. He came forward, as he uttered these words, prostrated himself on the ground, presented his bare shoulders, and received at once what he fervently [Page 197] asked for. On the following day, he returned in his canoe to Sillery, whence he had come. Finally, he who waited until the last was the best paid. He purposely allowed the others to pass before him, and chose the last place, so as to perform his penance more leisurely and with more humiliation. “It is my turn,” said this brave champion of Jesus Christ, “it is my turn to atone. I am the most wicked of all; I must be punished more than the others. I am the most criminal; I wish to be the most scorned. Strike me boldly,” he said to him who held the discipline, “while I walk about in the Church, to endure the shame and be an object of opprobrium to all.” No sooner said, than done. He walked as best he could through the Chapel, while the other followed him, ever [46] striking and scourging him. At every blow that was given him, he uttered words that almost caused all present to melt in tears. “I beg you, Lord, that what I now suffer in my flesh, by the blows from the whip that I feel, may wipe out the sins that I have so wrongly caused to be inscribed in your book.” “Lord,” he said at another time, “have pity on this poor man who has deserved Hell and who asks your pardon. I resign my body and my soul to you, and promise you to be more faithful in future with the help of your grace.” This flagellation would have been too long, had not the Father put an end to it. He consoled them, when he saw them in so penitent a condition; and he assured them of the pardon of their sins, if their hearts responded to their words and their actions. He warned them not to perform any other public penance without the advice of their Confessors. The conclusion was, that they must live better, and show [Page 199] more courage in fighting against vice, in future; and thereupon the discipline was hung up on a nail in the Chapel, as a warning that it was there to [47] chastise publicly those who should be guilty of any public scandal.

Four or five young men had gone out hunting, and were not present at this public and general atonement. No sooner had they returned when they were asked to do as the others had done, since they also were guilty. They did not hesitate; but all presented themselves at the beginning of Mass, and made their atonement to the satisfaction and edification of all the Christians.[Page 201]





 CONSIDERABLE band of Christian Savages who were preparing for their great hunt, and for securing their provision of Elk meat, begged me to give them a Father of our Society, to accompany them. They alleged as a reason that, as the Iroquois pursued them everywhere, they were compelled to remain at a distance of several days’ journey from the house of prayer; and that, during their sojourn of several months, they ardently desired to have some one with them who could administer the Sacraments to them, and teach them the way to Heaven. They were given Father Gabriel Druilletes. He was soon equipped; all his baggage was contained in a small box or trunk which held only the necessary supplies for saying Mass. Behold him, then, loaded with all his movable effects, and [49] animated by a noble resolution to suffer much; for whosoever embarks with these people will never be lodged throughout his journey elsewhere than at the sign of the Cross. He had for companion a young Frenchman, who could give him no other consolation than to serve him at the Altar. As the main body of the Savages had preceded him, two young men took him in a little boat of bark, and in a few days brought him to the appointed rendezvous. [Page 203]

As soon as the canoe appeared, all hastened to the banks of the great river, and vied with one another in expressing their joy at the arrival of the Father. He was welcomed, not in the fashion of the Court, but with sincerity and frankness. Noël Negabamat, whom these good Neophytes have chosen for their Captain, delivered a public harangue, declaring in a loud and strong voice the reasons that had brought the Father there; the need that they had of him; the benefits that they might derive from his presence and conversation; the obligations that they owed him for having consented to become their companion in their great labors, in order to instruct them, In a word, he exhorted all his people with [50] great fervor to show every obedience and respect to the wishes of their Father.

When all who were to travel together were assembled, the camp was broken; all the houses were rolled up — that is to say, the bark of which these buildings are made was folded up; they quitted the banks of the great river, or the fish country, to enter the region of Elk, of deer, of beaver, and of other animals, against which they were proceeding to wage war. I will not speak of their mode of camping, or of their weapons, or of their baggage wagons, which are no other than their own backs, or very light wooden sleds when the ground is covered with snow. Neither will I speak of the various kinds of beasts that they find in their great forests, or of their: customs, or of their methods of doing things; all these have been described in the preceding Relations. I will merely give a slight sketch of the piety and devotion practiced by these good Neophytes in their great forests. [Page 205]

They never failed, every night and every morning, to say their prayers in [51] public, in a cabin set apart for the purpose. Fathers and mothers brought their children there, and we gave them a slight instruction that wonderfully consoled them. Some of the most fervent gave up a portion of their slumbers for God, rising at an earlier or retiring at a later hour than the others, to hold converse with him in their prayers.

The men asked the Father for his blessing, before leaving the cabin to go out hunting; the women did likewise, before commencing their labors; and all thanked our Lord on their return for having assisted them. Even those who came back empty-handed praised God as heartily as if they had met with very great success.

When there was no longer any game in a place, and they broke their camp to carry their bark pavilions still deeper into the great forests, the Father held up a Crucifix; all knelt down and, casting their eyes on that image of life, they sang with very simple and most delightful devotion [52] the Litanies of the attributes of God. They begged their Savior to be their guide, their leader, and their strength, in the fatigues that they were about to undergo with love, and in satisfaction for their sins. This done, each one would set out on his way, carrying or hauling all their camp equipage. Toward noon, the Captain would call a halt for the purpose of taking a little rest and of restoring their strength in a hostelry roofed in by the vault of Heaven, sheltered by two or three million trees, — where the seats are but the snow; where the beverage costs but the trouble of taking it from a brook after the ice has been broken, or of dipping it from a kettle in which snow has been [Page 207] melted; where for your share, and for all viands, you have but a piece of smoked meat without bread, almost as hard as wood and as insipid as tow. After all, joy and content are found there; and these good people are a thousand times more easily satisfied than those dainty mouths that find more bitterness in the excess of a single grain of salt than they find pleasure in the delicacy of the choicest viands. Finally, one quits these hostelries without putting his hand into his purse; [53] everything there is as free as in the first age of the world.

But, to resume our route: when the Sun approaches its decline, they stop at the most suitable place they find for camping. When the spot is chosen, each one lays down his burden, or quits his sled, and, kneeling down, they thank God for his goodness and for having preserved the whole band. Then they put up the buildings in which they are to dwell and which are completed in two or three hours.

The Father said holy Mass nearly every day; and, if any one foresaw that he would be unable to attend so early, he would come and ask him to delay it a little, assuring him that he would hasten his work.

The Festivals and Sundays were observed in a most holy manner. These good Neophytes confessed and received communion with matchless joy, admiring the excessive goodness of him who did not disdain the lowliness of their huts and cabins.

The Savages have a particular devotion for the night that was enlightened by the [54] birth of the Son of God. There was not one who refused to fast on the day that preceded it. They built a small Chapel of Cedar and fir branches in honor of the manger of the infant Jesus; they wished to perform [Page 209] some penance, to prepare themselves for better receiving him into their hearts on that holy day; and even those who were at a distance of more than two days’ journey met at a given place to sing Hymns in honor of the newborn Child and to approach the table whereat it was his will to become the adorable food. Neither the inconvenience of the snow nor the severity of the cold could stifle the ardor of their devotion. That small Chapel seemed to them a little Paradise.

They begged the Father, for their consolation and instruction, to do in their flying Chapels all that we do in our permanent and stationary Churches, by giving them blessed ashes on the first day of Lent. Their hearts and mouths were filled with the most pious sentiments. They received the Rites with the utmost sincerity and the greatest simplicity, [55] like people who believe that every one feels the good effects thereof. They carried branches as palms of victory, full of joy for the triumphs of Jesus Christ at his entrance into the city of Jerusalem. As they had seen the festival of the great saint Joseph, the patron of all New France, celebrated at Kebec with bonfires, they wished to pay him the same honor; cedar and other woods of all kinds could not fail them in these great forests.

Knowing that Jesus Christ had first given himself to man under the appearances of bread and wine, on the day that preceded his death, they manifested deep gratitude for his love; and, after returning to him a thousand thanks, they very humbly begged his pardon, all together, for not having paid him all the homage of respect and honor due to that adorable victim and to that divine Sacrifice. [Page 211]

On Good Friday, they performed the most generous act that could be expected from a Savage. After having adored the Cross, which they laid upon a fine beaver robe, spread out like a carpet, [56] they remembered that the amiable Savior had prayed for those who had placed him on the Cross; and they said this short Prayer to him from the depth of their hearts, speaking of those who burn, roast, and eat them. “Lord, forgive those who pursue us with such fury, who put us to death so cruelly. Open their eyes, for they see not. Make them know and love you; and then, when they are your friends, they will be ours, and we shall all be your children.” I have no doubt that these good sentiments contributed in a great measure toward obtaining the peace that they now enjoy. The winter passed in these innocent excursions and these pious exercises. As soon as the warmth of the Spring began to thaw the snow, they returned to the banks of the great river, where they had left their canoes and shallops. The first thing that they did, on issuing from the forest, was to frame a great Cross, as best they could. The Captains were the first to lend a hand, and they wished to carry it themselves on their shoulders to a very conspicuous place, [57] where they planted it. As soon as it was erected, they adored in that sacred wood him who had sanctified it by his death, and offered it to his Father in thanksgiving for having preserved them all throughout the winter. They went now and then to kneel before that divine standard, and to say their simple prayers in such words as these: “Lord, we wish to show you by this rood, which we have erected in your honor, that you are the Master of these great forests; that you reign [Page 213] over sea and land, through the merits of your Cross; and that by your sufferings you have paid our debts, and wiped out our sins.”

Such matters give great consolation in the midst of Barbarism, but assuredly such pleasures of the spirit must be purchased at the cost of much bodily fatigue. One must sleep on the bare ground covered with a few fir branches, having between one’s head and the snow merely a piece of bark of the thickness of a teston; live as much among the dogs as with men, for everything is promiscuous in their cabins; fast sometimes on Sundays more rigorously than on good Friday; have no other beverage [58] than that which is common to the most neglected creatures on earth; eat, as a rule, meats which stave off death rather than sustain life; have no other cook but uncleanliness, the inseparable companion of their extreme poverty; endure the jests and the scorn of those who are not baptized, and of the children, who — because they do not see in a Frenchman any of the perfections of a Savage, and cannot recognize the virtues of a generous Christian — despise to the last degree those who are not good beasts of burden. Philosophy and Theology have no currency amid these great trees; legs like those of the deer, and strength like that of oxen, hold the first rank among these peoples.

All this, with some Baptisms which the Father administered in the midst of the woods, seasoned with the piety of the good Neophytes, of which I have spoken, gave some satisfaction to a man who loves sufferings. But smoke was his greatest Cross. That half Element, or that imperfect mixture, which retains the heat of the fire and the malignancy of [Page 215] tainted air, so completely dried up the eyes of the poor Father that he became [59] blind. At the beginning, he could see objects only confusedly, without being able to distinguish anything in detail, — so that, when he wished to go out of the Cabin, he sometimes walked through the fire, which is placed in the very center of these dens. At other times, he stumbled over the feet of some, exciting merriment in those even who had compassion on him. Finally, he lost his sight completely, so that he could no longer guide his steps. The Savages were surprised at this accident when they saw that, in addition to the loss of his sight, he suffered such pain that his strength failed him. They consulted among themselves whether they should not wrap him up like a parcel, tie him on their sleds, and haul him like the rest of their baggage. When the Father heard them, he began to laugh, and assured them that, if they would give him a guide, he had still enough strength to follow them. They gave him a child, whom the poor Father obeyed as a pupil does his teacher. That is not all. They held an assembly concerning his disease, the result of which was that, if he would submit to their remedies, he might be cured. The good Father, breathing only renunciation, [60] in truth blindly obeyed them. Thereupon a woman who was selected to effect the cure, rose from her place and said to him: “Go out of the Cabin, my Father; open thine eyes, and look at the Sky.” The poor blind man obeyed without a word. When he had assumed the attitude required, this fine oculist armed with a bit of knife blade, or of rusty iron, scraped his eyes till a little humor flowed from them. Never had the poor Father suffered so much. The hand of the [Page 217] operator was not as light as a feather, and she possessed no more skill than science.

Finally, when the patient had been given up by his worthy Physicians, whose willingness was greater than their experience or their skill, he addressed himself to him who had given him his eyes, and begged him to give them to him a second time, if it were for his glory. He asked the Savages to make the same request in case his sight might be of advantage to them. They all met at the appointed spot to say their prayers, and took the blessed Virgin as their Advocate. The patient knew by heart one of the Masses that are said in her honor. He began it as [61] if he wished to say a blank Mass, with great confidence that the Father of light would grant some relief for his illness. Now, whether the time for his cure had come, or whether God willed to grant the prayers of the children on behalf of their Father through the intercession of their Mother, in any case, a bright ray suddenly opened the eyes of the poor blind man, and so fully restored to him the use of his sight, in the middle of the Mass, that ever since then he has not felt pain or discomfort, either from snow or from smoke; and, after suffering for several months, he returned full of health to our house, — happy indeed at having been for some time a Savage for the love of Jesus Christ.[Page 219]




 WOULD almost as soon be besieged by Goblins as by the Iroquois; the latter are hardly more visible than the former, When they are far away, we think they are at our doors; and when they fling themselves on their prey, we imagine that they are in their own country. The people who dwelt in the forests of Richelieu and of Montreal were brought in and shut up more closely than any Religious or any Nun in the smallest Monasteries of France. It is true that these Croats did not make their appearance at Montreal this year, but nevertheless there was no assurance that they were very far away from there. As regards Richelieu, observe how they approached it.

On the 14th of September of last year, a soldier was working for amusement, at a distance of a musket shot from the Fort, in a small field [63] that he was tilling in order to plant indian corn therein, when four or five Iroquois rushed from an ambush, and threw themselves on him, without doing him any harm. The young man, preferring to die by steel rather than by fire, clung so firmly to a stump and to some roots, that they could not succeed in dragging him away from these. Furious at his resistance, they discharged I know not how many blows from their war hatchets upon his head; and, finding that they were observed from the Fort, and that some shots were already being fired at them, they [Page 221] abandoned the poor man, thinking that they had killed him. He, taking courage, undertook to advance toward the Fort but two Iroquois observed him. They turned back, and gave him two sharp thrusts of javelins through the body; and, if they had not been seized with the fear of being surprised by the French, they would have cut and removed his scalp with his hair, which is one of the great trophies of the Savages. They thought that the man was dead; but the Surgeon hastened to the spot, and most opportunely stopped the bleeding, — exposing himself to the ambuscades of the enemy, who fired from the woods. This good young man’s first act, when he returned [64] among the French, was to ask for a Father to confess him. When this was done, he made his will in favor of the poor, to whom he gave the few effects that he possessed. Now although he had received two wounds on the head, two on the arm and four in the body, — all of which were considered mortal, — he nevertheless recovered, through God’s favor.

Some time after this surprise they heard, on an Island in the vicinity, cries of joy and delight repeated ten or twelve times, to show the number of Hurons whom the Iroquois had taken or massacred a little above Richelieu. Those who fled from this defeat sought refuge with the French. Among others, there was a Huron named Henry Aonkerati, who assured us that he had escaped from the hands and the bonds of his enemies; and that, on two other occasions during the same year, God had preserved him when his people had been routed.

On the seventh of November, a young man who was at the head of the workmen of the Fort, went [Page 223] out alone to shoot game, almost at the door of our French. He was surrounded by the enemies, who lay hidden in the brushwood, and was put to [65] a most miserable death. They stripped him entirely naked, and tore off his hair with his scalp. When it was noticed that the young man delayed his return, and when two Iroquois canoes were seen on the great River, they thought that he had been surprised and carried off alive by them. They shouted, and called him by his name, but received no answer. The cannon was fired at the fleeing foes, but in vain. Three days afterward, Crows, croaking around his body, indicated the spot where he was. They proceeded thither, and found him stretched out on the ground, pierced by javelin thrusts, bathed in his own blood, and his body already slightly injured by the birds’ beaks. The warfare of the Savages is no more the warfare of the French than the warfare of the Parthians was that of the Romans. The Fathers who were at that settlement buried the poor man, and offered to God the holy Sacrifice of the Mass several times, supplying the charity that his relatives would have displayed had he died in his own country.

On the twelfth of December, the earth was covered with snow to the depth of a foot. As we had hardly a thought of those man-hunters, and as the cold made itself [66] felt, seven soldiers went out to get firewood. When they had loaded their sled, and were hauling it over the snow, a band of those Imps unexpectedly rushed on them. The more active ones, and those who were the least encumbered, released themselves from the ropes that they had put around their bodies in order to haul their load, and saved themselves by running toward their entrenchment. [Page 225] One, who was the most securely fastened to the sled, was taken prisoner. The barbarians struck him heavy blows with their clubs, armed with a sharp piece of iron; and, after throwing him down, they cut off a portion of his scalp which they carried off with the hair on it. The sentry gave the alarm, and shots were fired at them from muskets. This caused them to retreat, believing that the poor man was dead. In fact, he was quite motionless. But just as fire was applied to the cannon, to discharge it at the enemies, he roused himself, and began to drag himself along. They ran toward him, and found on his head 7 or 8 great wounds, inflicted with war hatchets, which every one considered mortal. You would have said that his eyes were no longer in their place; and the blood that covered him all over [67] gave him a horrible appearance; a portion of his head was stripped of its hair and its scalp. They called him by name, and spoke to him. He was unconscious, and entirely deprived of his senses, and was animated merely by an animal instinct that led him to drag himself here and there, without purpose. The Surgeon had him carried to the Fort, and attended him so well that he is now in good health. He was unconscious for three days, and was for a long time in danger, owing to the skull having been driven in, while the contusions were very serious. From that time, the French had for a cloister a palisade of stakes, of very small extent. But finally the Iroquois Ambassadors came at the beginning of July, and put an end to the confinement of these poor hermits, who, since not all had the gift of Prayer, did not find much pleasure in so small a monastery. [Page 227]




HE Relation of last year stated that the Hurons, after having taken three Iroquois prisoners, had given one to the Algonquins, and taken the two others to their own country. The Algonquins presented to Monsieur the Governor the one that had been given them. He was half dead, and half burned; but the care that they gave him restored him to health.

Last Spring, some Savages brought in two others, to whom they did no harm, — knowing well that the French do not like cruelty; this event occurred thus: Seven Algonquins went to hunt for Iroquois: they dragged their canoes on the ice as far as Richelieu, to take the river which flows from the Iroquois country, in which the ice melts sooner than in the great river. Having entered a large lake, whence this river flows, they landed on an Island [69] to seek their quarry. One of them, who was watching, heard an arquebus shot, and notified his Comrades. The leader of these hunters ordered them to take their repast. “Let us eat,” he said, “for the last time, Comrades; for, whatever happens, we must die rather than retreat.” When they had partaken of a good dinner, one, whose name was Makons, went away alone, to look for the enemy; he saw two canoes, that seemed to be coming straight toward them. “They are warriors,” he reported. “so much the [Page 229] better,” replied a Christian named Bernard, a worthy and brave man; “there is more honor in vanquishing armed men than hunters of animals.” Diescaret, who led this little band, placed himself at the very spot where the two canoes were about to touch the shore. When the first approached, carrying seven men, who had no idea of the ambush, it was received with a volley from six arquebuses, whose shots were so skillfully fired that they laid low six men, while the seventh escaped by swimming to the other canoe, which came behind. The men in this canoe picked up the fugitive, and did not lose heart. They altered their course, so as to land on the Island at another [70] spot, and to fight on shore; but our Algonquins ran through the woods, to cut them off. There were in this second boat eight warriors, fully resolved to avenge the death of their people; but an arquebus shot overthrew one of these warriors, and this also upset the canoe in the water. As they secured a footing, they regained courage, and tried to reach land. Our Algonquins advanced to meet them, and both sides fought bravely; but God gave the advantage to our people. They threw down four Iroquois in the water, and killed them at the same time. The three others, fearing the victors, turned to flee; but Bernard pursued the tallest of them, and giving him a slight javelin thrust in the loins, he called out to him: “Surrender, Comrade, or thou art a dead man.” The other, who was younger, was soon caught, while the third escaped. In this manner seven men killed eleven, and took two prisoners. The Combat over, the victors went to seek the dead bodies, scalped them, and embarked on their return journey. The younger of the two [71] prisoners [Page 231] found that his bonds were too tight, and complained of it. An Algonquin replied to him, “Comrade, thou seemest ignorant of the rules of war.” “He knows them well,” replied his Companion; “he has seen many of your people weep who have been taken prisoners, and have been burned in our country. He fears neither your threats nor your tortures.” The Algonquin considered that he spoke insolently for a’ prisoner, and gave him two or three blows. But the prisoner did not lose courage, and began to sing, saying that his friends would find means to avenge his death. It is perhaps fifty years since any Savage prisoner has been so gently treated. They did not beat them any more, nor tear out their nails, nor cut off their fingers, which are the first attentions that the Savages pay to their prisoners. One day, before they arrived at saint Joseph, whither they were taken, Dieskaret sent a young man to inform the Father who has charge of the Savages at that place that he would soon arrive, and would bring prisoners to Monsieur the Governor and to the Christian Savages, his friends. They were heard [72] sooner than they were seen, for they came on, singing in their canoes. Every one ran to the bank of the great river. The prisoners were erect, dancing in their fashion to the noise of the paddles and to the sound of the conquerors’ voices. The scalps of those who had been killed in the fight, attached to the ends of some sticks, fluttered in the air at the will of the wind, like vanes. As they neared the shore, a salvo of musketry was fired on either side with considerable skill. When Jean Baptiste Etinechkaouat saw that they were all ready to land, he called a halt, and, raising his voice, he addressed these few [Page 233] words to the Captain who brought the prisoners: “We take pleasure in seeing thee; thou hast behaved valiantly. All rejoice at thy coming; thou couldst not bring anything more agreeable to our eyes than these spoils of our enemies with which thou hast enriched thyself. Thou knowest well that we now proceed in a different fashion than we formerly did. We have overturned all our old customs. That is why we receive thee quietly, without harming the prisoners, without striking or injuring them in [73] any way.” The Captain stood up in his canoe, and replied in a few words: “I am of your mind. I gave my word that the prisoners would not be harmed. Let us rejoice peacefully; let us sing, feast, and dance. These,” said he, “are cause for joy,” — showing the scalps, and the prisoners sifting among the Algonquins in their canoes, The Father in charge of the Savages also delivered a short harangue, praising the warriors for their courage, congratulating them upon their gentleness, and showing them that it was for dogs and wolves to devour their quarry, but that men should be humane, especially toward their fellow creatures; he told them, moreover, that he had notified Monsieur the Governor of their arrival, and that he had sent a squad of soldiers to welcome them. Thereupon, the soldiers discharged their pieces, which greatly pleased the Savages. When these compliments had been paid, the prisoners disembarked from the canoes. As they did not understand the Algonquin language, they greatly [74] feared that, on entering the Cabins, they would be received with heavy strokes from cudgels, with blows from whips and ropes, with slashes from knives, and with burning firebrands, according to [Page 235] their custom. Not long ago, when the Savages returned from war and brought prisoners with them, the girls and women, on seeing the canoes, would throw themselves into the water, stark naked, to catch what they could of the enemy’s spoils. Such unseemly conduct is banished from the residence of saint Joseph. There was only one young man, and even he was not quite naked, who threw himself into the river and dived under the Captain’s canoe. The latter rewarded him by giving him one of the arquebuses that he had taken from the Iroquois. None of the others stirred. The prisoners were received as peaceably as in their own houses. The young girls came and asked the Father to give them permission to dance and enjoy themselves, which was willingly granted. The standards — that is, the flying scalps — were fastened on the cabins; and all feasted and made merry in their fashion.

[75] I may say, in passing, that it is no little hold gained over the Savages, to hinder them from venting their fury on those who, when they hold them, treat them with fiendish cruelty. There was an old woman to whom the sight of these new guests was exceedingly unwelcome; however, she did not dare to touch them without permission. Addressing herself to the Father, she said: “My Father, allow me to caress the prisoners a little.” This is an ironical expression they use when they wish to torture them. “They have killed, burned, and eaten my father, my husband, and my children. Permit me, my Father, to caress them.” The Father replied to her that it was true that the Iroquois had done her great injury; but that she also had off ended God, and that with what measure she meted to her enemies SO [Page 237] would God measure it to her; that she would find forgiveness if she forgave, and vengeance if she revenged herself. The poor woman said not another word in reply, except these: “Then I will do them no harm.”

At the same time, the Father casually asked another woman whether [76] she loved Our Lord. This woman — who is exceedingly vindictive, and had been almost insanely furious against the Iroquois — replied in a gentle tone: “I love God more than I hate the Iroquois; that love alone which I bear to him prevents me from making them feel the injuries that they have done to me. I am the only one remaining of a large family; I am poor and forsaken. They have placed me in that condition for they roasted and ate all my relatives and all my friends. In fact, my heart would hate those people,” she said; “but it has more love for God than hatred and aversion for them. That is why., I wish them no evil.” Let us return to our subject, if you please.

On the second day after the arrival of these prisoners, Monsieur the Governor proceeded to the residence of St. Joseph, well accompanied, and entered our modest house, where were also the victors, the vanquished, and the other Savages. Dieskareth spoke as follows: “It is to you that I address my words, you who are but one and the same thing, you who have [77] but one secret, you who whisper into each other’s ears. It is to the Captain of the French, and to you who in the past three years have become French, — to thee, Negabamat; to thee, Etinechkaouat — to whom I address my voice; you are but one council. Listen to me” (he named the two Captains who are at saint Joseph). “Although I have no [Page 239] sense, allow me to speak to you.” After this preamble, he explained the design that he had had in going to war, and the good fortune that Heaven had sent him; and in conclusion he said: “I have seen, I have killed, I have captured, I have brought back; here they are present. I enter into your thoughts; they are good. I penetrate into your hearts, you who have but one abode and the same opinion. Be the Gods of the earth; cause peace to reign everywhere; give rest to the whole country.” Then, laying his hand on the heads of the prisoners, who lay bound before Monsieur the Governor, “Here they are, uninjured and without harm; I deliver them to you; do as you think best with them.”

Bernard arose and spoke in these terms: [78]” I confirm all that has been said by him who has just harangued us; and, to prove that his words are true, and that he and I give you those prisoners, I will cast into the fire their bonds, the knife that will cut them, and all my anger.” As he said this, he drew a knife and cut the bonds; and, throwing the whole into the fire, he said: “I have no longer any passion, but for peace;” and, making the prisoners stand up, he presented them to Monsieur de Montmagny our Governor. He replied to them, through his interpreter, that he honored their valor and their courage; that he had always loved them, especially those who had become his brothers and his relatives through Baptism; moreover, that he did not wish that his thanks for the present which they were giving him should be but a bare word; that he wished to clothe it with robes, and arm it with powder and lead, — speaking in their mode of expressing themselves, — and then he gave them handsome presents. [Page 241] The Iroquois, who had remained silent up to that moment, — being uncertain as to the result of the council, and of the harangues that they heard and could not understand, — began to change [79] their attitudes and countenances. One of them, a tall and well-shaped man, presented himself before Monsieur the Governor, exclaiming: “This is well, my body is delivered from death; I am withdrawn from the fire. Onontio, thou hast given me life; I thank thee for it, — I shall never forget this kindness. The whole of my country will be grateful for it; the earth will be quite beautiful, the river will be quite calm and smooth, and peace will make us all friends. I have no longer any shadow before my eyes, The souls of my ancestors killed by the Alguonquins have disappeared; I have them under my feet. Onontio, it must be admitted that thou art good and that we are wicked, but our anger has departed; I no longer have any ardor except for joy and peace.” As he said this, he began to dance, in a fashion somewhat different from that of our Savages. He sang, he shook himself; he spread out his arms and raised them aloft, as if addressing himself to Heaven; he knelt down and danced in that posture, raising his eyes and arms to Heaven. Then, suddenly rising, he took a hatchet and seemed to fly into a rage; and, turning to one side, [80] he threw the hatchet into the fire, saying: “There is my anger cast down: farewell to war; I lay down my arms; I am your friend forever.’ If there be barbarous actions among these peoples, there are also thoughts worthy of the spirit of the Greeks and Romans.

The Ceremony over, each one withdrew to his own quarters. The prisoners remained at liberty, [Page 243] except, however, that some French soldiers watched them. This our Savages themselves could not bear, saying that there was no need to fear that they would escape, and that they would be considered as cowards in their own country if they were afraid of those who had given them life. I have often remarked that the Savages, who are naturally fickle and inconstant, are very earnest as regards some customs of their country.

This happened on the eighteenth of May. Shortly afterward, Monsieur the Governor sent these Iroquois back to three rivers, and ordered the sieur de Chanflour to equip the Iroquois prisoner that had been kept all winter, and to send him to his own country to carry the news of what was [81] passing here. This prisoner was also ordered to tell the Captains of the Iroquois that Onontio was grateful for the courtesy that he had received from them when they sent back to him two French prisoners; and that, not only had he released him from the hands of the Alguonquins, but that he had given him his liberty as he had already done to a Sokokiois, their friend and ally; that, moreover, he had two other prisoners full of health, and that he was quite prepared to give up these, after having heard them speak on the subject; that this was a most excellent opportunity to smooth the earth, and to bring about universal peace among all the Nations; and that they might do as seemed good to them. The following Chapter will show US the success of that journey. [Page 245]

[82] CHAPTER XI. [i.e., ix.]




N the fifth day of July, the Iroquois prisoner who had been set at liberty and sent back to his own country, as I have said in the foregoing Chapter, made his appearance at three Rivers accompanied by two men of note among those people, who had been delegated to negotiate peace with Onontio (thus they name Monsieur the Governor), and all the French, and all the Savages who are our allies.

A young man named Guillaume Cousture who had been taken prisoner with Father Isaac Jogues, and who had since then remained in the Iroquois country, accompanied them. As soon as he was recognized all threw their arms around his neck; he was looked upon as a man risen from the dead, who brought joy to all who thought him dead, — or, at least, that he was in danger of passing the remainder of his days in most bitter and [83] cruel captivity. As soon as he landed, he informed us of the design of the three Savages with whom he had been sent back. When the most important of the three, named Kiotseaeton, saw the French and the Savages hastening to the bank of the river, he stood up in the bow of the Shallop that had brought him from Richelieu to three Rivers. He was almost completely covered with Porcelain beads. Motioning with his hand for silence, he called out: “My Brothers, I have left my [Page 247] country to come and see you. At last I have reached your land. I was told, on my departure, that I was going to seek death, and that I would never again see my country. But I have willingly exposed myself for the good of peace. I come therefore to enter into the designs of the French, of the Hurons, and of the Alguonquins. I come to make known to you the thoughts of all my country.” When he had said this, the Shallop fired a shot from a swivel gun, and the Fort replied by a discharge from the cannon, as a sign of rejoicing.

When those Ambassadors had landed, they were conducted into the room of the [84] sieur de Chanflour, who gave them a very cordial reception. They were offered some slight refreshments, and, after they had eaten and smoked, Kiotsaeton, who was always the spokesman, said to all the French who surrounded him, “I find much pleasure in your houses. Since I have set foot in your country, I have observed nothing but rejoicing. I see very well that he who is in the Sky wishes to bring to a conclusion a very important matter. The minds and thoughts of men are too diverse to fall into accord; it is the Sky that will combine all.” On the same day, a canoe was sent to Monsieur the Governor to inform him of the arrival of these new guests.

Meanwhile, both they and the prisoners who had not yet been given up had full liberty to wander where they willed. The Alguonquins and Montagnais invited them to their feasts, and they gradually accustomed themselves to converse together. The sieur de Chanflour treated them very well; one day he said to them that they were with us as if in their own country; that they had nothing to fear; [85] [Page 249] that they were in their own house. Kiotsaeton replied to this compliment by a very well-pointed and neat retort. “I beg thee,” he said to the Interpreter, “to say to that Captain who speaks to us that he tells a great falsehood with respect to us; at least, it is certain that what he says is not true.” And thereupon he paused a little, to let the wonder grow. Then he added: “That Captain tells me that I am here as if in my own country. That is very far from the truth. I would be neither honored nor treated with such consideration in my own country, while here every one honors me and pays me attention. He says that I am as if in my own house; that is a sort of falsehood, for I am maltreated in my house, and here I fare well every day, — I am continually feasting. Therefore I am not as if I were in my own country or in my own house.” He indulged in many other repartees which clearly showed that he had wit.

Finally, Monsieur the Governor came from Quebec to three Rivers; and, after having seen the Ambassadors, [86] he gave audience to them on the twelfth of July. This took place in the courtyard of the Fort, over which large sails had been spread to keep off the heat of the Sun. Their places were thus arranged: on one side was Monsieur the Governor, accompanied by his people and by Reverend Father Vimont, Superior of the Mission. The Iroquois sat at his feet, on a great piece of hemlock bark. They had stated before the assembly that they wished to be on his side, as a mark of the affection that they bore to the French.

Opposite them were the Algonquins, the Montagnais, and the Attikamegues; the two other sides [Page 251] were closed in by some French and some Hurons. In the center was a large space, somewhat longer than wide, in which the Iroquois caused two poles to be planted, and a cord to be stretched from one to the other on which to hang and tie the words that they were to bring us, — that is to say, the presents they wished to make us, which consisted of seventeen collars of porcelain beads, a portion of which were on their bodies. The remainder were enclosed [87] in a small pouch placed quite near them. When all had assembled and had taken their places, Kiotsaeton who was high in stature, rose and looked at the Sun, then cast his eyes over the whole Company; he took a collar of porcelain beads in his hand and commenced to harangue in a loud voice. “Onontio, lend me ear. I am the mouth for the whole of my country; thou listenest to all the Iroquois, in hearing my words. There is no evil in my heart; I have only good songs in my mouth. We have a multitude of war songs in our country; we have cast them all on the ground; we have no longer anything but songs of rejoicing.” Thereupon he began to sing; his countrymen responded; he walked about that great space as if on the stage of a theatre; he made a thousand gestures; he looked up to Heaven; he gazed at the Sun; he rubbed his arms as if he wished to draw from them the strength that moved them in war. After he had sung awhile, he said that the present that he held in his hand thanked Monsieur the Governor for having saved the life of Tokhrahenehiaron, [88] when he drew him last Autumn out of the fire and away from the teeth of the Alguonquins; but he complained gracefully that he had been sent back all alone to his own country. “If [Page 253] his canoe had been upset; if the winds had caused it to be submerged; if he had been drowned, you would have waited long for the return of the poor lost man, and you would have accused us of a fault which you yourselves would have committed.” When he had said this, he fastened his collar in the appointed spot.

Drawing out another, he tied it to the arm of Guillaume Cousture, saying aloud: “It is this Collar that brings you back this prisoner. I would not have said to him, while he was still in our country: ‘Go, my Nephew; take a Canoe and return to Quebec.’ My mind would not have been at rest; I would always have thought over and over again to myself, ‘Is he not lost?’ In truth, I would have had no sense, had I acted in that way. He whom you have sent back had all the difficulties in the world, on his journey.” He began to express them, but in so pathetic a manner that there is no merry-andrew in France so ingenious as that Barbarian. He took a stick, and placed it on [89] his head like a bundle; then he carried it from one end of the square to the other, representing what that prisoner had done in the rapids and in the current of the water, — on arriving at which he had transported his baggage, piece by piece. He went backward and forward, showing the journeys, the windings, and the turnings of the prisoner. He ran against a stone; he receded more than he advanced in his canoe, because alone he could not maintain it against the current. He lost courage, and then regained his strength. In a word, I have never seen anything better done than this acting. “Again” (said he), “if you had helped him to pass the rapids and the bad roads, and then if, while [Page 255] stopping and smoking, you had looked after him from afar, you would have greatly consoled us. But I know not where your thoughts were, to send a man back quite alone amid so many dangers. I did not do that. ‘Come, my nephew,’ I said to him whom you see before your eyes; ‘follow me, I wish to bring thee to thy own country, at the risk of my life,’” That is what was said by the second collar, which he tied near the first.

The third showed that they had [90] added something of their own to the presents that Monsieur the Governor had given to the captive whom he had sent back to their country; and that those presents had been distributed to the Tribes who are their allies to arrest their hatchets, and to cause the weapons and paddles to fall from the hands of those who were embarking to go to war. He named all those Tribes.

The 4th present was to assure us that the thought of their people killed in war no longer affected them; that they cast their weapons under their feet. “I passed,” he said, “near the place where the Algonquins massacred us last Spring. I saw the spot where the fight took place in which they captured the two prisoners who are here. I passed by quickly; I did not wish to see my people’s blood that had been shed. Their bodies still lie in that place. I turned away my eyes for fear of exciting my anger; then, striking the earth and listening, I heard the voice of my Forefathers massacred by the Alguonquins. When they saw that my heart was capable of seeking revenge they called out to me in a loving voice: ‘My grandson, [91] my grandson, be good; do not get angry. Think no longer of us for there is no means of withdrawing us from death. Think [Page 257] of the living, — that is of importance; save those who still live from the sword and fire that pursue them; one living man is better than many dead ones.’ After having heard those voices I passed on, and I came to you, to deliver those whom you still hold.”

The fifth was given to clear the river, and to drive away the enemy’s canoes, which might impede navigation. He made use of a thousand gestures, as if he had collected the waves and had caused a calm, from Quebec to the Iroquois country.

The sixth was to smooth the rapids and waterfalls, or the strong currents, that occur in the rivers on which one must sail to reach their country. “I thought that I would perish,” he said, “in those boiling waters. This is to appease them;” and with his hands and arms he smoothed and arrested the torrents.

The seventh was to produce a profound calm on the great Lake Saint [gal Louys that has to be crossed. “Here,” he said, “is something to make it smooth as ice, to appease the winds, and to allay the anger of the waves.” Then, after having by his gestures rendered the route easy, he tied a collar of porcelain beads on the arm of a Frenchman, and pulled him straight across the square, to show that our canoes could go to their country without any difficulty.

The eighth performed the whole journey that had to be made on land. You would have said that he felled trees; that he lopped off branches; that he pushed back the bushes; that he put earth in the deepest holes. “There,” said he, “is the road, quite smooth and quite straight.” He bent toward the ground, looking to see whether there were any more thorns or bushes, and whether there were any [Page 259] mounds over which one might stumble in walking. “It is all finished. We can see the smoke of our villages, from Quebec to the extremity of our country. All obstacles are removed.”

The ninth was to tell us that we would find fires all lighted in their houses; that we would not have the trouble of seeking for wood, — that [93] we would find some already cut; and that the fire would never go out, day or night, — that we would see its light, even in our own homes.

The tenth was given to bind us all very closely together. He took hold of a Frenchman, placed his arm within his, and with his other arm he clasped that of an Alguonquin. Having thus joined himself to them, “Here,” he said, “is the knot that binds us inseparably; nothing can part us.” This collar was extraordinarily beautiful. “Even if the lightning were to fall upon us, it could not separate us; for, if it cuts off the arm that holds you to us, we will at once seize each other by the other arm.” And thereupon he turned around, and caught the Frenchman and the Alguonquin by their two other arms, — holding them so closely that he seemed unwilling ever to leave them.

The eleventh invited us to eat with them. “Our country is well stocked with fish, with venison, and with game; it is everywhere full of deer, of Elk, of beaver. Give up,” said he, “those stinking hogs that run about among your houses, that eat nothing but filth; and come and eat good meat with US. The road is cleared; [94] there is no longer any danger.” He accompanied his discourse with appropriate gestures.

He lifted the twelfth collar, to dispel the clouds in [Page 261] the air, so that all might see quite plainly that our hearts and theirs were not hidden; that the Sun and the truth might light up everything.

The thirteenth was to remind the Hurons of their good will. “It is five days ago,” he said, — that is to say, five years, —  “since you had a pouch filled with porcelain beads and other presents, all ready to come and seek for peace. What made you change your minds? That pouch will upset, the presents will fall out and break, they will be dispersed; and you will lose courage.”

The fourteenth was to urge the Hurons to make haste to speak, — not to be bashful, like women; and, after taking the resolution to go to the Iroquois country, to pass by that of the Alguonquins and of the French.

The fifteenth was to show that they had always desired to bring back Father le Jogues and Father Bressani; that they had thought that Father le Jogues had been stolen from them, and that they had given Father [95] Bressani to the Dutch because he had desired it. “If he had had patience, I would have brought him back. How can I know now where he is? Perhaps he is dead; perhaps he is drowned. It was not our intention to put him to death. If François Marguerie and Thomas Godefroy,” he added, “had remained in our country, they would be married by this time; we would be but one Nation, and I would be one of you.” When Father le Jogues heard this discourse, he said with a smile: “The stake was all prepared; had not God preserved me, they would have put me to death a hundred times. This good man says whatever pleases him.” Father Bressani told us the same thing on his return. [Page 263]

The sixteenth was to receive them in this country when they came to it, and to protect them; to stay the hatchets of the Alguonquins and the cannons of the French. “When we brought back your prisoners, some years ago, we thought that we were your friends, and we heard arquebus and cannon shots whistling on all sides of us. That frightened us; we withdrew; and, as we have courage for war, we took the resolution to give proofs of it the following Spring; [69 i.e., 96] we appeared in your land, and captured Father le Jogues, with some Hurons,

The seventeenth present was the very collar that Honatteniate wore in his country. This young man was one of the two prisoners last captured. His mother, who had been Father Jogues’s aunt in the Iroquois country, sent his collar for him who had given her son his life. When the good woman learned that the good Father whom she called her Nephew was in this country, she greatly rejoiced, and her son still more so; for he always seemed sad until Father Jogues came down from Montreal when he commenced to breathe freely and be in good spirits.

When this great Iroquois had said all that is mentioned above, he added: “I am going to spend the remainder of the summer in my country in games, in dances, in rejoicing for the good of peace; but I fear that, while we dance, the Hurons will come to taunt and importune us.” That is what occurred at that assembly. Every one admitted that this man was impassioned and eloquent. I gathered only some disconnected fragments, taken from the [97] mouth of the interpreter who spoke only in a desultory manner and did not follow the order observed by the Barbarian. [Page 265]

He sang some songs between his gifts; he danced for joy; in a word, he showed himself to be a very good Actor, for a man who has learned but what nature has taught him, without rule and without precept. The conclusion was that the Iroquois, the French, the Alguonquins, the Hurons, the Montagnais, and the Attikamegues all danced and rejoiced with much gladness.

On the following day, Monsieur the Governor gave a feast to all belonging to those Nations who were at three rivers, to exhort them all together and to banish all distrust that might set them at variance. The Iroquois manifested their satisfaction in every way; they sang and danced according to their custom, and Kiotsaeton strongly urged the Alguonquins and Hurons to obey Onontio, and to follow the intentions and the thoughts of the French.

On the fourteenth of the same month; Monsieur the Governor replied to the presents of the Iroquois by fourteen gifts, all of which had their meanings and [98] which carried their own messages. The Iroquois accepted them all with great marks of satisfaction, which they manifested by three loud cries, uttered at the same time from the depths of their chests, at each word or at each present that was given them. Thus was peace concluded with them, on condition that they should commit no act of hostility against the Hurons, or against the other Nations who are our allies, until the chiefs of those Nations who were not present had treated with them.

When this matter had been brought to a happy conclusion, Pieskaret arose and made a present of some furs to the Ambassadors, exclaiming that it was a rock or a tombstone that he placed on the [Page 267] grave of those who had been killed in the last fight, so that their bones might no longer be disturbed; and that the remembrance of what had happened might be forgotten, and revenge might no longer be thought of.

Then Noël Negabamat arose; he laid down in the middle of the square five great Elk skins. “There,” he said to the Iroquois, “is something wherewith to cover your feet and your legs, lest you might hurt them on your return journey, if any stone should remain in the road [99] that you have made smooth.” He also gave them five others to serve as shrouds for those who had been killed in the battle, and to allay the grief of their relatives and friends, who could not bear to have them left unburied. He said, moreover, that as he and his people at Sillery were invited in heart with their elder brother Monsieur the Governor, they gave but one present with his. Finally three shots were fired from the cannon, to drive away the foul air of war, and to rejoice at the happy advent of peace.

Some time after this meeting, an ill-disposed Huron accosted the Iroquois Captain who had always been the agent and spokesman, and sought to inspire him with distrust of the French. But the Captain nobly replied to him in these terms: “My face is painted and daubed on one side, while the other is quite clean. I do not see very clearly on the side that is daubed over; on the other side my sight is good, The painted side is toward the Hurons, and I see nothing; the clean side is turned toward the French, and I see clearly, as in broad daylight.” Having said this he remained silent; and that evil-minded man was covered with confusion. [Page 269]

[110 i.e., 100] Toward evening, Reverend Father ‘Vimont the Superior of the Mission caused the Iroquois to be brought to our house, where he presented to them some small gifts; he gave them some petun, or tobacco, and to each of them a handsome calumet or pipe wherewith to smoke it. Kiotsaeton thanked him very wittily: “When I left my country, I gave up my life and exposed myself to death, so that I am indebted to you for being still alive. I thank you that I still see the Sun; I thank you for having received me well; I thank you for having treated me well. I thank you for all the good conclusions to which you have come; all your words are very agreeable to us. I thank you for your presents; you have covered us from our feet to our heads. Only our mouth remained free and you have filled it with a fine calumet and have gladdened it with the flavor of a plant that is very pleasing to us. I therefore bid you adieu, but not for long; you will soon hear from us. Even if we are wrecked in the waters, even if we are quite submerged, I [101] think that the Elements will in some way bear witness to our countrymen of your kind deeds; and I am convinced that some good genius has gone before us, and that our countrymen already have a foretaste of the good news that we are going to bring them.”

On Saturday, the fifteenth, they started from three Rivers. Monsieur the Governor gave them two young French lads, both to help them to take back their canoes and their presents, and to manifest the confidence that he had in those people.

When the Captain Kiotsaeton saw that his people had embarked, he raised his voice, and said to the French and to the Savages who were on the banks of [Page 271] the great river: “Adieu my brothers; I am one of your relatives. I am going to carry back good news to our country.” Then, turning to Monsieur the Governor, “Onontio, thy name shall be great throughout the earth; I did not think that I would take back my head that I had risked, — I did not think that it would go forth from your doors; and I am going back loaded with honor, with gifts, and with kindness. My brothers,” speaking to the Savages, “obey [102] Onontio and the French. Their hearts and their thoughts are good; remain united with them and accommodate yourselves to their customs. You will soon have news from us.” The Savages replied by a fine salvo of musketry, and the Fort fired a cannon shot. Thus ended their Embassy. May God cause all this to succeed for his greater glory. [Page 273]




O conclude and to secure peace in this new world, it was necessary that the delegates of the Iroquois, those of the Hurons, and the principal Captains of three or four Alguonquin tribes, should meet all together at some place with Monsieur the Governor; in order, too, that all these Nations, — who speak three or four different languages, whose dispositions are so distinct one from another, and who for so many years [103] have been eating, devouring, and burning each other like madmen, — should perform an act of the utmost wisdom, and that so many inhuman barbarians should find enough gentleness to agree together. In a word, to make everything sure, it was necessary that each should visit the others in their own country. All this seemed impossible to human skill. But, when God interposes in a matter, it cannot lack direction. The holy and pure souls who support these poor peoples by their prayers and by their vows have accomplished that great work. Never had all these Nations who are accustomed to come and see us every year, come down so late; and, if they had arrived sooner, they could not have gone up again, — for the Iroquois Ambassadors, who held the knot of this matter in their hands, were not here. We expected them every day, speculating from afar upon the reasons that could have caused so extraordinary a delay. [Page 275] Not a single canoe had come down, whether from the Alguonquins, the Nipisiriniens, or the Hurons, to bring US any news of what was going on in the upper country. Each one [104] spoke of it according to his own idea and in accordance with his own inclination. Some said that all the French who had gone up to the Huron country with our Fathers had been massacred; that the Devil had spoken to some Savages, and that consequently we need not expect any news from those countries. Others, who were more inclined to take a favorable view of the matter, conjectured that these tribes would come down in great numbers, and that it required a great deal of time to assemble them. Meanwhile, the season was passing away, and our doubts were about to change to despair, when all of a sudden we saw upon the river saint Lawrence sixty Huron canoes, laden with French, with Savages, and with furs. Father Hierosme Lallemant — whose arrival had been expected and desired for a whole year and more — was in this fine Company, which greatly rejoiced all who had at heart the welfare of the country and the salvation of these peoples. The French soldiers whom the Queen had sent out last year came back in good health, better supplied with virtue and with the knowledge of Christian truths than when they had embarked [105] to leave France. The principal Captains of the Hurons brought back one of the two Iroquois whom they had taken prisoners in the previous year, near Richelieu, with the intention of presenting him to Monsieur the Governor; this they did, as we shall see. These Captains had orders from the whole of their country to enter into full negotiations for peace, and to follow the [Page 277] judgment of Onontio. At the same time, the Alguonquins of the upper Tribes arrived, and so opportunely that one would have said that some higher power had sent workmen to make them appear at an appointed spot. All this happened at three Rivers, where only the Iroquois were wanting, who had given their word that they would be there in a short time. Had they delayed but a few days, this great concourse of Savages — Attikamegues, Montagnais, Island Alguonquins and those of the Iroquet Tribe, and others, Hurons — would soon have been dispersed and scattered, without any hope that we could again assemble them together for a long time, But God took pleasure in making them come, one after another, at the most opportune time that could have been chosen. The Montagnais [106] arrived there about the end of August; some Alguonquins came shortly afterward. The Hurons landed on the tenth of September; the Island Savages and other tribes came down two or three days before. Monsieur the Governor came up on the twelfth of the same month. They waited only for the Iroquois delegates. Finally, on the fifteenth, a canoe appeared, bearing five men of that Nation, who assured us that the presents of Onontio had been taken to their country for the confirmation of the peace, and that in a few days we should see some Ambassadors delegated to bring him word to that effect. In fact, on the seventeenth of the same month, we saw four of them, — one of whom delivered a harangue on the bank of the river, according to their custom, — causing joy to all the French and to more than four hundred Savages of various tribes who were then at three Rivers. Monsieur the Governor perceived them from afar, [Page 279] and sent a squad of soldiers to meet them and to prevent disorder. The soldiers formed in two lines and the Iroquois passed through them without being impeded by a large number [107] of persons who gazed at them on all sides. They rested for the remainder of the day, and a council was held on the morrow in the same manner that I have related in the previous Chapter. It is needless for me to repeat so often that words of importance in this country are presents. Suffice it to say that, as he who harangued gave no presents, he spoke in these terms:

 “I have no voice; do not listen to me. I speak not; I hold in my hand only a paddle to bring you back a Frenchman in whose mouth is the message from all our country.” He spoke of the Frenchman whom I have mentioned above, who had been taken prisoner with Father le Jogues, to whom the Iroquois had confided their presents, — that is to say, their words. This Frenchman drew out eighteen presents, all consisting of porcelain beads, of which he gave this explanation:

The first said that Onontio had a voice of thunder, that he made himself heard everywhere, and that at the sound of his words the whole Iroquois country had thrown away their weapons and their hatchets, — but so far beyond the Sky that there were no arms in the world long enough to draw them back from there. [108] The second said that, as the arms were beyond the sight of men, they ought to visit each other without fear while they enjoyed the sweets of peace.

At the third present, “Here,” he said, representing the Iroquois, “is a mat or bed on which you can lie softly when you come to our country; for, as we [Page 281] are brothers, we would be ashamed if we did not treat you according to your deserts.”

At the 4th, “It is not enough to have a good bed; the nights are cold; here is something with which to light a good fire, and to keep yourselves warm.” Observe, in passing, that the Savages usually sleep close to the fire.

At the fifth, “Of what use would it be to have a good bed and to lie warmly covered on it if you were not well fed? This present assures you that you will be feasted there, and will find the pot boiling on your arrival.” He spoke always to the French.

At the sixth, “Here is a little ointment to heal the wounds which have been inflicted on the feet of the French, while they walked in their country, by stumbling against the stones or the roots that are very often found there.”

[109] At the 7th, he said that, from the place where they leave the water to take to the land, there was a distance of fully thirty leagues to be gone over before reaching their villages, and that all the baggage had to be carried on foot: that, as the French had had some difficulty, this present would slightly relieve their shoulders that were chafed by the weight of their packs.

At the 8th, “This is to assure the French that, if they wish to marry in this country, they will find wives here, since we are their friends and allies.”

At the 9th, as the Alguonquins had stated, at the first journey of the Iroquois, that they could not say anything positive during the absence of the chief men of their Nation, this present was given that all might speak, and that they might not cast the blame [Page 283] from one to the other, but clearly declare their presents.

At the 10th, “This,” said he who explained them, “is to make the Hurons speak, and to draw their sentiments from the depth of their hearts.”

The eleventh present said that the Iroquois chiefs did nothing but smoke in their country, and that their calumets were always in their mouths. They wished to say that they awaited the word of the Alguonquins [110] and of the Hurons.

At the 12th, they said that the souls of their relatives who had been killed in war had withdrawn so far into the center of the earth that they could never think of them again, — that is to say, that they had wiped out vengeance from their hearts.

At the 13th, they obeyed the voice of Monsieur the Governor, who had ordered that hostilities be suspended, and that the hatchets be hidden. For that reason, they had passed the summer in dancing and feasting, without thinking of war.

At the 14th, they wished to know as soon as possible if they should continue their dances; and, consequently, they desired that the Alguonquins and the Hurons should hasten to speak, — that is to say, to carry presents to their country, — if they wished for peace.

The I 5th was to lessen the fatigues of the French who had been in their country, who had used much diligence and had taken much trouble to bring news from the Iroquois to Onontio.

The 16th begged Onontio to have a woman of the Iroquois country sent back to it, who had been taken in war by the Alguonquins and given to the [111] French. This woman was taken to France some [Page 285] years ago and, after having been instructed and baptized, she died at the Convent of the Carmelites of Paris with evident marks of salvation, as has been stated in the previous Relations.

The 17th begged Onontio to sound the Hurons and Alguonquins, and get them to say clearly what their opinion was respecting peace or war.

The 18th was an excuse for not having brought back a little Frenchman whom they still detain in their country. “He is not a prisoner,” he said, “he will return with those who shall bear the word of the Alguonquins and Hurons.”

When these presents had been made, the chief man among the Iroquois arose, and, drawing from his pouch some presents of porcelain beads, he spoke in these terms:

At the first present, — which he held in his hands, and showed to the whole assembly, while he walked about the square, — he said that his country was full of Hurons and of Alguonquin women (for, as regards the Alguonquin men, they never spared their lives); that, however, those men and [112] women were seated on logs or on stumps of trees outside of their villages, — that is to say, they were not detained, and were all ready to return to their country like the dried trees on which they sat, which have no roots and can easily be removed.

At the 2nd present, he said that the little Huron girl called Therese — who had been captured just after she had left the Seminary of the Ursulines, while she was being taken to her own country — was quite ready to be delivered up; and that, if the Hurons joined in the peace, she would return with them, if she wished; if not, that they would keep [Page 287] her as a child brought up by the hand of the French, in order to prepare their food when they went to their own country.

The 3rd meant that all the gifts that Monsieur the Governor had given to the first Ambassadors had been carried, according to his orders, to all the Tribes who are allied to them. He named all these.

At the 4th, he said that Onontio had given birth to Ononjote — this is a village that is allied to them — but that, as it was still only a child, it could not speak;[23] that, if Monsieur the Governor took care of it, it would grow and speak. [113] He meant that the present made to that village was a small one for negotiating an important peace, and that it must be increased, in order to get their promise. When this discourse was ended, the Hiroquois began to sing and to dance. He took a Frenchman on one side, an Algonquin and a Huron on the other; and, holding one another by the arms, they danced in time, and sang in a loud voice a song of peace which they uttered from the depths of their chests.

After this dance, a Huron Captain named Jean Baptiste Atironta, a good Christian, arose and harangued loudly and resolutely. “It is done,” he said; “we are brothers. The conclusion has been reached; now we all are relatives, — Hiroquois, Hurons, Algonquins, and French; we are now but one and the same people. Betray no one,” he said to the Hiroquois. “As for us, know that we have sound hearts.” “I hear thee,” replied the Hiroquois; “thy word is good; thou wilt find me true.” Then, raising the last present, he exclaimed, “All the country that lies between us is full of Bears, of Deer, of Elk, of Beaver, and of numerous other [Page 289] animals. For my part, I am blind; I hunt at haphazard; when I have killed [114] a Beaver, I think that I have secured a great prize. But you,” speaking of the Algonquins, “who are clear-sighted, you have but to throw a javelin, and the animal falls. This present invites you to hunt, we shall benefit by your skill; we shall roast the animals on the same spit, and we shall eat on one side, and you on the other.’

An Algonquin replied to this: “I can no longer speak; my heart is too full of joy. I have large ears and so many good words crowd in there that they drown me in pleasure. It is true that I am but a child. It is Onontio who has great words in his mouth; he it is who makes the earth, and who rejoices all men.”

At the conclusion of this council, Monsieur the Governor caused these three Nations to be thanked for the good words that they had given, exhorting them to remain firm in their purposes, and assuring them that he would always be their friend and faithful relative. [Page 291]




N the twentieth of the same month of September, the last meeting was held between the French, the Algonquins, — who comprise several petty Tribes, — the Hurons, and the Hiroquois. Here, in a few words, are all the most remarkable things that occurred.

When Monsieur the Chevalier de Montmagny had received all the presents mentioned in the foregoing Chapter, he had them divided into three portions, in accordance with the usages of these peoples; and, after having made his Interpreter speak, he offered one portion to the Hurons, another portion to the Algonquins, while the third was for the French. Observe, in passing, that it was necessary to speak in four different languages, — in French, in Huron, in Algonquin, and in Hiroquois; we have here Interpreters of all those languages. When these gifts had been presented, Monsieur [116] the Governor gave two others to the Hiroquois — one to wipe away the tears of the relatives of the Hiroquois woman whom they had asked for, and who had died in France; the other that her bones might be laid to rest in her own country, or that she might be brought back to life, by making some other woman bear her name. Moreover, he also gave two others to the Hurons and to the Algonquins, to invite them to express their thoughts freely with reference to the peace; for it [Page 293] was he, properly speaking, who was the author of it and who procured it for these peoples.

At this speech, a Huron Captain arose and said that, before replying to the words of Onontio, he wished, on behalf of all his country, to make him a present of a Hiroquois prisoner whom he had expressed a desire to have in the previous year. He therefore took this captive with one hand, and with the other he held a branch of Porcelain on a stick;[24] and, walking across the square, he brought the poor Hiroquois to the feet of Monsieur the Governor, with this Porcelain, that represented his bonds, the mark of his captivity.

Monsieur the Governor accepted the prisoner, and had him taken at once, with [117] his bond of Porcelain beads, to the quarter where the Hiroquois were seated, — giving him his liberty, and placing him in the hands of his Countrymen. This young warrior showed sufficiently by his countenance that he felt much pleasure at seeing himself gently led toward his Captain, after having escaped the fire and the teeth of his enemies, who had become his friends.

This ceremony over, the Huron Captain replied to the summons of Monsieur the Governor by fourteen presents, which he gave to the Hiroquois, and of which the following is an explanation. These presents consisted of Beaver skins and Porcelain beads.

At the first, “Here,” said he, “are the bonds of the prisoner who escaped from our hands last Autumn.’ You must know, in passing, that the Hurons had taken three Hiroquois near Richelieu; that they had given one of them to the Algonquins, who was afterward handed over to Monsieur the [Page 295] Governor; and had taken the two others to their own country. One of these two captives escaped on the way, but he died in the woods of cold, hunger, and exposure. He belonged to a village called Ononjoté, that was angered to the last degree against the Hurons; [118] for that nation had, in a battle, exterminated nearly all the men of that village, which was compelled to send to the Hiroquois — who are called Agnierronons, and with whom we have made the peace — for men to marry the girls, and the women who were left without husbands, so that their tribe might not become extinct. That is why the Hiroquois call that village their Child; and, because Monsieur the Governor had sent them presents, and made peace with those who had repeopled their village, they also called him its Father. Let us return to our subject, if you please. The Huron Captain therefore offered the bonds of the prisoner who had escaped, as a token that they would not have put him to death, and that they had intended to set him at liberty.

At the second present, “This,” said he, “is to carry back the bones of your child to his country.” It is the ‘custom of the Hurons to remove the flesh from the bones of their people, and to place them with those of their relatives, in whatever quarter of the world they may die.

At the third, “Here is the bond that will bind those bones together, and enable you to carry them more easily.’ In a word, he wished [119] to console them and to wipe away their tears, according to the fashion of the Barbarians, who give presents to the relatives of their deceased friends.

At the fourth, he said, “This is a token that we [Page 297] are friends; this present will make a road from your villages to ours.”

The fifth opened the gates of their villages and the doors of their houses.

The sixth invited them to go and see some Hiroquois prisoners whom the Hurons detained in their country. This was asking them to bring presents so as to go and claim them in safety.

At the seventh, — as the Hiroquois had said at the previous assembly that Ononjote was their child, and the child of Monsieur the Governor and that it could not yet speak, —  “Here,” said the Captain, “is something to make a cradle for it,” meaning that the Hurons wished for peace with that village.

The eighth was given to cause all the weapons and all the hatchets that might still be in the hands of the Iroquois, to drop.

The ninth was to snatch their shields from their backs, where they generally carry them, moving them backward and forward as [120] they please in battle.

The tenth was to lower their war Standard. The eleventh, to stop the reports of their arquebuses.

The twelfth, to wash away the paint from their faces. These Savages are accustomed, when they go to war, to paint themselves in various colors, and to oil or grease their heads and faces. “Here,” said he, “is something to remove the stains from your faces and your eyes, so that the day may be quite fine and serene.”

The thirteenth was to break the kettle in which they boiled the Hurons whom they took in war, in order to eat them. [Page 299]

The fourteenth asked that a mat — that is to say, a bed or a lodging — be prepared for the Hurons who would soon go to the Hiroquois country.

“All these presents,” he added, “are nothing; we have many others in our country, which await you.” When the Hurons had replied to the demand of Monsieur the Governor, and had manifested by all these presents that they desired peace, an Algonquin arose and gave [121] some presents, of which the following is the meaning:

At the first, he threw down a bundle of Beaver skins. “This is to show who I am, and to what nation I belong, — I who live in traveling houses built of small pieces of bark.” Thus they distinguish the Wandering Algonquins from the Hurons, who are sedentary.

At the second, “This present will stop your complaints; it will subdue your anger, and will cause our rivers and yours to wash away the blood that has been shed by Algonquins and by Hiroquois.”

” This third present will give us free entrance to your houses, after breaking down the gates of your villages.”

At the fourth, “Here is something wherewith to smoke with one another, both Hiroquois and Algonquins, in the same pipe, as friends do who use tobacco together.”

 “The fifth will make us sail in the same ship or in the same canoe; so that, as we shall be but one people, but one village, one house, one Calumet, and one canoe will be needed. The remainder of our words, or of our presents, will be carried to your country.” Thus he ended his speech.

[122] Monsieur the Governor afterward made the [Page 299] interpreters speak, offering a present that assured the Hiroquois that he would see that those two great nations kept their word.

He also gave another present to be carried to the village of Ononjote, so as to give news to his child (making use of their own terms), that he desired to make the whole earth beautiful, and to smooth it so that one might walk everywhere without stumbling, and without meeting any misadventure.

When the Hiroquois Captain had received these presents, he arose and, looking at the Sun and then at the entire assembly, he said: “Onontio, thou hast dispersed the clouds; the air is serene, the Sky shows clearly; the Sun is bright. I see no more trouble; peace has made everything Calm; my heart is at rest; I go away very happy.”

Onontio caused all these nations to be exhorted to remain constant and faithful; then he broke up the meeting, and on the following day he gave a feast, in the fashion of the Savages, to more than four hundred people.

 “Things are going well,” said all the guests; “we eat all together, and [123] we have but one dish.” Reverend Father Hierosme Lalemant who had started from the Huron country with the fear of meeting Hiroquois, watched them at these assemblies with eyes full of joy. He was delighted to see so miraculous a change, and praised God for it both in public and in private.

Finally, on the 23rd of September, these Hiroquois Ambassadors, accompanied by two Frenchmen, two Algonquins, and two Hurons, returned to their own country, leaving among our Savages, who were now their allies, three men of their nation as hostages, or rather as pledges, of their friendship. [Page 303] Praised forever be the God of Gods; may his Name be glorified in all the Countries of the Earth. If these Barbarians — who, because they know not God, have hardly any equity or stability — do not disturb this peace, — which is concluded, as far as the French are concerned; and in a very advanced state, as regards the Savages, — it will be possible to go and suffer for JESUS CHRIST in a great many nations. [Page 305]



For particulars of this document, see Vol. XXV.


In publishing the Journal des Jésuites, we follow the original manuscript in the library of Lava1 University, Quebec. It covers the period from September, 1645, to June, 1668, excepting some lacunæ between February 5, 1654, and October 25, 1656. This manuscript belonged originally to the archives of the old Jesuit Fathers at their house in Quebec, and was found there after the death of their last survivor, Father Jean Joseph Casot, who died March 16, 1800. Afterward it disappeared, but was recovered about the year 1815, when Andrew William Cochran, civil secretary to Governor Sir John Cope Sherbrooke, accidentally discovered it in an obscure corner of his office. After Mr. Cochran’s death — which occurred on July 11, 1849 — his widow presented it to George Barthélemy Faribault, of Quebec. Mr. Faribault died December 2 I, 1866, and by his last will and testament bequeathed all of his books, manuscripts, paintings, and engravings, relative to the history of Canada, to the Seminary of Quebec. The original of the Journal des Jésuites thus passed to the Seminary, and is now among the matchless treasures of the library of Lava1 University.

There is evidence that the Journal was continued [Page 307] down to 1755; but the manuscripts of this continuation, which must have comprised at least two more volumes, have disappeared. In 1897, the Abbé Henri R. Casgrain, of Lava1 University, made special researches for the missing volumes in England among the heirs of William Smith, the historian of Canada — but without success. Smith had quoted from it under date of December 20, 1710, and again under 1752; and in his preface he specially mentions “the Jesuits’ Journals” among the sources from which he derived “valuable information.” Mgr. Thomas E. Hamel, librarian of Lava1 University, writes us, May 7, 1898, that he is under the impression that Mr. Smith had only access to the manuscripts, and was not the owner of them; and that it is only by mere chance that the missing volumes can be found — if, in fact, they have not perished altogether.

In 1871 the Journal des Jésuites was first printed under the editorship of the Abbés Laverdière and Casgrain; but after a few copies, perhaps about sixty, had been distributed, a fire broke out in the printing establishment of the publisher, Leger Brousseau, and nearly all the remaining copies were consumed. A few of them (Henry C. Murphy says twelve, but a penciled memorandum in the copy in the Wisconsin Historical Society’s library says forty), which were singed and water-stained, were afterward bound up, and are now occasionally met with. A description of this printed edition follows:

Le | Journal | des | Jésuites | publié | d’apres le manuscrit original conservé aux archives | du Séminaire de Quebec  par | MM. les abbés Laverdière et Casgrain [Page 308] A Québec | Chez Léger Brousseau, Imprimeur-Éditeur, 7, rue Buade. | 1871 |

Title, with versa blank, I leaf; “Préface,” pp. v.-x.; “Errata,” with verso blank, I leaf; calendar from 1645 to 1668, twelve unnumbered leaves — comprising signatures A-F in twos; ten Latin hexameters with verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 3-361; p. 362 blank; “Table des Matières,” pp. 363-403.

In 1893, J. M. Valois, of Montreal, published a reprint of the 1871 edition; but omitted the leaf of errata. In some cases the errata were corrected in the text, though not always; and in one case (p. 172, l. 29), an insertion was made for a transposition. The cover-title of the Montreal edition is dated 1893; but the title-page has the date 1892.

Copies of the 1871 edition have been sold or priced as follows: Murphy sale (1884), no. 1349, sold for $8; auction sale of Bangs & Co., New York, Nov. 11, 1895, for $9.50; and priced by Raoul Renault (1898 at $30. The 1893 reprint is worth about $5.


In reprinting the text of the Relation of 1644-45 (Paris, 1646), we follow a copy owned by The Bur-rows Brothers Company, Cleveland, and which is a duplicate from the collection in the Lenox Library. The “Priuilege” is dated “Doné à Paris le vnziéme Decembre 1645;” and the date of “Permifion” follows the form of that of the Relation of 1638, and reads “Fait à Paris le 26. Mars 1638. ESTIENNE BINET.” It is generally designated as “H. 84,” because described in Harrisse’s Notes, no. 84.

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Table des Chapitres,” pp. (2);“Priuilege,” with [Page 309] PermiffIon” on the verso, I leaf; one blank leaf, completing sig. ã in four; text of Vimont’s Relation, pp. 1-135; Jerome Lalemant’s Huron Relation, pp. 136-183; verso of p. 183 blank. Pp. 96, 100, and 180 are mispaged 69, 110, and 80, respectively.

Copies of this Relation may be found in the following libraries: Lenox, Harvard, Brown (private), Ayer (private), New York State Library, Lava1 University (Quebec), Bibliothéque Nationale (Paris), and the British Museum (two copies, both badly cut at bottom). The Henry C. Murphy copy was sold with others en bloc in 1884; at the Barlow sale (1890), a copy, no. 1290, sold for $29; and a Lenox duplicate was sold by Bangs & Co., of New York, on April 29, 1895, for $32.50. This annual does not come into the market as generally as do some of the others. We have searched in vain for data in several Parisian booksellers’ catalogues, covering a period of several years. [Page 309]

TO BE MODIFIED & image added


lute, for seven years, to those who, after approaching the Sacraments, should visit on the feast of St. Joseph,

the chapel of St. Mary’s in the Huron co1

ed with being “the first Apostolic document issued in behalf of the Church in what is now the Province of Ontario.”

The original is in the archives of S

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

[1] (p. 67). — Dogique: thus explained by Father Martin, Douniol’s Relations Inédites de Ca Nouvelle-France (Paris, 1861), t. i., p. 138, note:“The name which, in foreign Missions, is given to those of the natives who instruct their countrymen. It would appear that there were in Canada dogiques or catechists not only among the men, but also among the women.”

[2] (p. 77). — The terms of this cession are stated in vol. viii., note 37.

[3] (p. 79). — D’Alibour is but a variant of D’Ailleboust (vol. xxiii., note 16). Concerning Dauversiere and Maisonneuve, see vol. xxi., note 4. A sketch of Jeanne Mance is given in vol. xxii., note 7.

[4] (p. 85). — Regarding this house, Laverdière says (Quebec ed. of Journal, p. 7, note):“The Jesuit Fathers were still lodged in the house belonging to the Hundred Associates, who had lent it to them after the fire of 1640. This house must have been situated near the site of the Anglican church.”

[5] (p. 85). — Charles le Gardeur, sieur de Tilly (the name of the family estate in Normandy), the younger brother of Pierre le Gardeur de Repentigny (vol. viii., note 57), was born in 1616, and came to Canada at the age of twenty. These, with Le Neuf de la Poterie and Charles D’Ailleboust, were among the most prominent Canadian habitants and the first to be ennobled, — all four receiving this honor from the king in 1666. Tilly married (Oct. 1, 1648) Genevieve Juchereau, by whom he had fifteen children. At his marriage, he received, as his wife’s dowry, the estate of St. Michel de Sillery, which later became the property of the Seminary of Quebec. He is mentioned in August, 1653, as deputy from Côte Ste. Genevieve for the election of the syndic of Quebec; and in 1663, and during several years afterward, as a member of the Sovereign Council. He was also one of those associated with Godefroy (vol. ix., note 4) in the Tadoussac trade. He died in November, 1695.

[6] (p. 87). —“François Chavigny de Berchereau, of Creancée, Champagne, came to Canada about 1640. He established himself at [Page 311] Sillery, where estates had been granted to him; his influence in New France was great, — Montmagny appointed him his representative, during the former’s absences from Quebec. As he came from the same province as Maisonneuve, Mlle. Mance, and Mlle. Bourgeois, and was, besides, their personal friend, his advice was sought by the founders of Montreal as well as by those of Quebec. While on a voyage to France for the sake of his health, he died at sea, in 1651.” — Sulte's Can. Français, vol. ii., p. 80. Chavigny married Eléonore de Grandmaison, whose third husband was Jacques Gourdeau (vol. xi., note 12).

[7] (p. 87). — Gilles Nicolet, a secular priest, came to Canada probably in 1640 or 1641. He officiated for several years at Beauport and other outlying settlements where churches were not yet established, and returned to France in October, 1647.

[8] (p. 87). — St. Sauveur was another secular priest; see sketch in vol. xxiv., note 7.

[9] (p. 89). — This was Zacharie Cloutier, a carpenter, who came to Quebec with Giffard (1634). He had a wife and five children; one of the daughters married François Marguerie (vol. x., note 4), and a son married Marie, daughter of Abraham Martin. Cloutier settled at Chateau-Richer; his death occurred in September, 1677.

[10] (p. 91). — Charles le Moyne (Lemoine), a native of Dieppe, France (born 1624), came to Canada about 1641, at the instance of his uncle, Adrien du Chesne (vol. viii., note 68). As stated in our text, Le Moyne spent four years among the Hurons, in the service of the Jesuits. Returning thence, he settled at Montreal, about 1646 or 1647, soon afterward receiving lands there; for many years, he served as interpreter for the colony, also as captain of its militia. He was a brave soldier, and often repelled the attacks of the Iroquois, with whom, in 1653, he negotiated a peace. Two years later, he was captured by them; but they were so impressed by his courage that they sent him home after three months, unharmed. He was one of Montreal’s most prominent citizens, and for his public services was ennobled by Louis XIV. (1668), — under the title Sieur de Longueuil, from the seigniory of that name granted him in 1657, and augmented in 1672. He also obtained (1664) the islands Ste. Hélène and Ronde; and (1673) Chateauguay. Le Moyne married (1654) an adopted orphan, named Catherine Tierry, aged thirteen. They had fourteen children, most of whom achieved distinction in civil or military affairs; among these were Iberville, the noted explorer, and Bienville, the founder of New Orleans. Sieur le Moyne died at Montreal, in 1683.

[11] (p. 91). — Pierre Gadois, a native of Perche, came with his [Page 312] family to Canada about 1640, or perhaps somewhat earlier. He resided for a time at Sillery, but afterward removed to Montreal, where in 1648 he obtained land. He was the first settler in that colony, and died there in October, 1667, leaving several children.

[12] (p. 93). — René Mézeray (Mézier), — nicknamed Noce — born in 1611, emigrated from Normandy to Canada about 1636. The marriage here mentioned was his second, — his first wife having died childless; at this time, he was living on the estate of M. de Chavigny. About 1650, he obtained lands at Cap Rouge; and, in 1656, another grant from Charles de Lauson. In 1661, Mézeray was living in the seigniory of Godarville; he died near Quebec, in March, 1695.

His father-in-law on this occasion was Pierre Garemand, — nick-named“the Picard,” from his native province. He was captured by the Iroquois in 1653, and probably burned to death.

[13] (p. 97). — Luis de la Puente, a Spanish Jesuit. —“generally known, outside Spain, under the names of DuPont, or de Ponte” (Sommervogel), — was born at Valladolid, Nov. 11, 1554. At the age of twenty, he became a Jesuit novice; and, after completing his studies, composed numerous devotional works. The most widely read of these is Meditaciones de los Mysterios de nuestra Sancta Fe (Valladolid, 1605). Translations of this work into nine different languages are enumerated by Sommervogel. The“abridgment” referred to in the text is probably either the Refectoir spirituel des œuvres du R. P. Louys du Pont (Paris, 1621), — a French translation by a priest named Claude Godeme; or, Compendium meditationum, — a Latin version from the Meditaciones, by the Jesuit P. Ximenez (1620). De la Puente died at Valladolid, Feb. 16, 1624.

[14] (p. 99). — Noël Juchereau, sieur des Chastelets, born in the vicinity of Chartres, France, came to Quebec in 1632. He was a licentiate in the legal profession; Sulte conjectures that he was acting“in the interests of Rosée and Cheffault, who desired to obtain from the Hundred Associates a grant of part of the New France trade.” Estates near Quebec were granted to Juchereau, who, being unmarried, conferred them upon his nephews. He is mentioned in our text as“general agent,” — of the Company of France, according to Laverdière; but of the Association of Habitants, in Sulte’s opinion. The latter statement seems the more probable, since Des Chastelets made his last voyage to France (1647) as a delegate of the habitants, to secure certain changes in their government. He died there, soon afterward.

[15] (p. 99). — Marie Françoise, eldest daughter of Sieur Giffard, was but eleven years and five months old at the time of her marriage. Her husband was Jean Juchereau de la Ferté, eldest son of [Page 313] Jean Juchereau, seigneur du Maure, — the latter being a brother of Noël, sieur des Chastelets (note 14, ante).

[16] (p. 101). — Jean Guyon was the name of two men who came with Giffard, — both from Mortagne, in Perche, and both masons by trade. To one of these men Giffard gave the fief of Buisson; his wife was Mathurine Robin, and their children married into prominent colonial families; he died in May, 1663. The other Guyon was an educated man, and often drew up legal and official documents; little else is known of him.

[17] (p. 105). — There were numerous Jesuit writers of this name; the one here referred to was doubtless Alonso Rodriguez, born at Valladolid, Spain, in 1537. He entered the novitiate at the age of twenty, and his priestly life was spent in the colleges of Monterey, Montilla, and Cordova; his death occurred at Seville, Feb. 21, 1616. His principal work was Exercicio de Perfecion, y virtudes cristianas (Seville, 1609), divided into three parts; it was translated into many languages, European and Oriental. The book mentioned in the text was probably the French version by Paul Duez, Pratiqve de la Perfection et des vertvs chrestiennes (Paris, 1621), which went through numerous editions.

[18] (p. 105). —“By this vow, the Jesuit Fathers bound themselves to say twelve masses a year (for those who were priests), or twelve rosaries (for those not ordained), and always to fast on the eve of the feast of the Immaculate Conception; this was done in order to obtain, through the intercession of the blessed Virgin, the conversion of the peoples in this new world.-See Relation of 1635 (at the end), and of 1636 (chap. ii.).” — Queb. ed. of Journ., p. 16, note.

[19] (p. 109). — Barthélemi Gavanti, an Italian ecclesiastic (1569-1638), was consulter of the Congregation of Rites, and general of the Barnabites. He wrote several books; that mentioned in the text is either Praxis visitationis episcopalis (Rome, 1628), or Manuale Episcoporum (Paris, 1647).

[20] (p. 113). — This was another name for Martin Boutet (said by Tanguay to be a professor of mathematics), apparently an immigrant from Saintes, France. In 1651, he opened a school for the children of the French colonists at Quebec. He had two daughters, of whom one married Charles Philippau; the other became an Ursuline nun.

[21] (p. 115). — Chanteau: thus defined by Bescherelle:“The piece of the consecrated bread which is sent to the person who is to furnish the bread on the Sunday following, or on the next feast-day. The pain bénit generally consisted of flat, round loaves of sweetened bread, piled one upon another, and decreasing in size to the top, the [Page 314] last and Smallest being called the chanteau; this was given to the Person Who was to furnish the bread next time. If furnished by wealthy persons, the pain bénit was a very elaborate structure, sometimes resembling a church steeple, or other object.” — Crawford Lindsay.

[22] (p. 121). —“This name was originally given — and probably derived from the first persons who here erected a cabin — to the little river Chalifour, which passes near the Insane Asylum; on account of this latter circumstance, it is now called ‘River of Fools.’” — Queb. ed. of Journ., p. 23, note.

[23] (p. 289). — Ononjote: the chief village of the Oneidas (vol. viii., pp. 299, 300).

[24] (p. 295). — For information regarding porcelain (wampum), see vol. viii., note 70. Cf. Holmes’s“Beads as Currency,” U.S. Bar. Ethn. Rep., 1880-81, pp. 234-255.

Opinions differ as to the meaning of the term“branches of porcelain.” Holmes translates it“strings,” as used by Lafitau; but he says that the latter’s use of this and other terms is somewhat confusing. Slafter (Prince Champlain, vol. iii., p. 150, note) says that“branches were strings of white shells,” as distinguished from the purple. E. E. Taché thinks that they were twigs or sticks strung with large beads, to represent ropes. Crawford Lindsay has seen, among old specimens of wampum, small beads strung on a long thread which was closely wound round a pliable stick or twig. He also mentions information given him by an educated Indian from Lorette,“who says that he has frequently seen these porcelain branches. They consist of large beads strung on the fiber of the ortie (urtica, the nettle), — which is very tough, and which the squaws treated like flax, making from it strong threads, — or on slender thongs of caribou hide. Several of these branches are united on one stem, like the twigs of a tree branch. Each, he says, represents a parole, or word, of a discourse.” Dionne thinks that heads were strung upon the branches of a twig, which, being pliable, would simulate the withes used in binding prisoners. [Page 315]