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



Iroquois, Lower Canada, Hurons


CLEVELAND:            The Burrows Brothers






[Page iii]

The edition consists of sev-

en hundred and fifty sets

all numbered.


The Burrows Brothers Co.

[Page iv]

Copyright, 1898


The Burrows Company


all rights reserved

The Imperial Press, Cleveland

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Reuben Gold Thwaites




|  Finlow Alexander


|  Percy Favor Bicknell


|  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 XXIX.






Relation de ce qvi s’est passé en la Novvelle France, és années 1645. & 1646. [Chaps. iii.-x., of Part I.; Chaps. i.-iii., of Part II., — second installment of the document.] Hierosme Lalemant, Quebek, October 28, 1646; Paul Ragueneau, Des Hurons, May 1, 1646
























[Page vii]


As stated in the Preface to Vol. XXVIII., the Relation of 1645-46 [Doc. LX.) is in two parts — Part I. (dated at Quebec, October 28, 1646) being by the new superior of the Canadian missions, Jerome Lalemant; Part II. (dated in the Huron country, May 1, 1646) being the annual report on the Huron mission, this time by Ragueneau. In Vol. XXVIII. we published the first two chapters of Part I.; there are herewith presented the remaining eight chapters of that part, and the three opening chapters of Part II. — leaving the remainder of the document (five chapters) to form the opening portion of Vol. XXX.

Continuing his Relation, Lalemant describes the “blessed deaths” of Fathers Anne de Noüe and Enemond Massé. The former was frozen to death on the St. Lawrence, while on an errand of charity; a sketch of his life and character is given. Massé — who, with Biard, had first of the Jesuits come to the Canadian mission [161] — died at St. Joseph, an old man. His adventurous, toilsome, and self-denying career is described, and his purity and devoutness are eulogized.

A mission is at last begun in the Iroquois country. Jogues goes to the Mohawks, with Bourdon, as envoy from the French governor; his journey, and the proceedings of the Mohawk council, are related. Having been received there in a friendly manner, [Page 9] devoted missionary resolves to return thither, that he may preach the Gospel to his former tormentors; he therefore departs on this fateful journey, shortly before the present Relation is sent to France.

The residence of St. Joseph, at Sillery, is next discussed, Almost all the Indians who frequent this place are now baptized. They, in turn, have influenced the Attikamegues and Abenakis to seek the truth, and have sent to those tribes some of their own number to preach the Gospel. The Abenakis having asked for a missionary to reside among them, Druillettes has gone to winter with that tribe. Some conversions have occurred among the Algonkins of the Island, but many of these savages “are, in a sense, reprobate.” The Sillery Indians watch over not only their neighbors, but themselves; they will not harbor persistent infidels; no obstacles hinder them from daily attendance at mass; they spend whole days quite without eating, rather than break the prescribed fasts; they punish themselves most severely for petty faults. “The Fathers newly arrived tell us that in France one has no conception of what they here see with their own eyes.‘” At the Christmas season they march — in piercing cold, and fasting — to Quebec, and back to Sillery, to celebrate a jubilee ordered the previous year.

At Three Rivers, — the central point of intercourse and trade with all the upper tribes, — there are a considerable number of Christians; but they are so exposed to annoyance and temptation, from the many pagans who come and go at that settlement, that the missionaries experience great difficulty in maintaining their station there, and in cultivating the Christian virtues in their converts. The latter, in their [Page 10] annual hunt, form a band separate from that of the pagans, and are thus enabled to practice their Christian duties,

The Attikamegues at times come to Three Rivers for confession and communion: these are a simple and innocent folk, who give much comfort to the missionaries. Through them, the knowledge of the faith is beginning to spread to even more distant tribes. Some conversions are recounted in detail.

The savages at Tadoussac are so devoted to their religion that their ignorant zeal carries them into several indiscretions, and their spiritual director is obliged to administer reproofs; they acknowledge, thereupon, that “the devil has led them astray,” and penitently confess their faults, — also offering the Father “a present to take away his sadness ” there — at. As at Sillery, many hitherto pagan tribes are attracted by the new religion that is preached to those at Tadoussac, and many individuals go thither to receive instruction and baptism. When they return to their homes, the Father gives them a set of variously notched and colored sticks, to remind them of their prayers and other duties.

In the island of Montreal, “peace, union, and concord have flourished this year. ” Some Indian bands have settled there, intending to become sedentary; others would do the same, if it were not for rumors of Iroquois hostilities. The Mohawks keep the peace; but the Oneidas and Onondagas are still enemies, and make raids into the Huron country. Several interesting conversions at Montreal are here described. Some Huron families talk of coming down to live on that island, It is hoped that Jogues will succeed in persuading the Mohawks to restrain [Page 11] the upper Iroquois from passing through their lands to harass the French and their allies.

Lalemant relates numerous instances of the courage and fidelity of the neophytes in resisting temptation and repelling the superstitious follies of the pagans. Various cures of sickness are effected by certain relics applied by the Fathers.

In the Tadoussac mission, the children are employed, by the Father in charge there, to search for the drums, fetiches, and other instruments of superstition, which “the children have rendered so ridiculous that there is no longer any one who dares to use them, unless perhaps at night and in the depths of the woods. ”

The writer recounts various savage customs, regarding death and mourning, marriage, etc. He describes the firefly, tree-toad, elk, and other creatures, — also certain traits of the savage character. He mentions the wretched deaths of the Iroquois who had slain Goupil, and tortured Jogues and Bressani.

The Queen of France sends to the Sillery Indians a portrait of herself, her husband, and their heir; this is presented to them with speeches and gifts, after their own custom, and they are overcome with admiration at their kindness.

Part II. is Ragueneau’s report, to the provincial in Paris, of the Huron mission for the year. The tribes therein have had some little respite from the calamities that have so long oppressed them. Their crops, fisheries, and trade have, Ragueneau says, all been successful; and the epidemic has, for the time, ceased. Their only serious difficulty is in the hostilities still carried on by the Iroquois tribes nearest [Page 12] them, — the Mohawks alone having made a treaty of peace. Several encounters between the Hurons and Iroquois are related, — one of these following a crafty and treacherous pretense of peace on the pad of the latter, by which the Hurons were surprised and defeated. In other cases, they have been victorious, — routing their enemies, and burning captives to death in retaliation for their own losses. Deeds of great courage are performed on both sides.

All the missions in Huronia, except that to the wandering Algonkins therein, have been made permanent residences. Each of these is in charge of two missionaries, — Ragueneau, the superior, going about to visit each in turn, and remaining at each residence as long as its special needs require. At each of these stations a chapel has been built, where — in mass and vespers are said daily. In all, 164 persons have been baptized. These Huron converts exhibit much zeal and devotion, of which several instances are recounted. One of them takes occasion, at the burning of an Iroquois captive, to harangue his tribesmen on the like punishment in hell which their sins are bringing upon them; and he then proceeds, at the risk of his own life, to instruct and baptize the poor victim. Another spends many hours, and sometimes almost whole nights, in prayer; often he cannot find words wherewith to express the devotion that fills his soul.

R. G. T.

Madison, Wis., August, 1898. [Page 1]

LX (continued)

Relation of 1645-46



This document was commenced in Volume XXVIII,; we herewith publish the second installment — chaps. iii.-x. of Part I., and chaps. i.-iii. of Part II. The remainder of the document will appear in Volume XXX.





INCE in the preceding Chapter we have mentioned the death of Father de Noüe, we will here speak of it more at length; and at the same time, of that of Father Massé, which occurred in this same year. One of the great favors which God has granted to the holy Apostles and the blessed Martyrs has been to place them within the opportunities — and, as it were, under the happy [28] necessity — of bold action and of great suffering for their Master. The two Fathers, of whom I am about to speak, seem to have shared in this blessing.

On the 30th of January in this present year, 1646, Father Anne de Noüe left the residence at three Rivers, in the company of two soldiers and one Huron, to go away to Richelieu, twelve leagues distant from three Rivers, in order to say Mass, and to administer the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist to the French who are there. All the rivers and all the lakes were but one expanse of ice, and the earth was everywhere covered with three or four feet of snow, as is usual during the winter. This good Father and his companions, walking on snowshoes so as not to sink into the snows, made only six leagues the first day, and even that with much difficulty: for although the snowshoes are a relief, they are [Page 17] nevertheless somewhat of a hindrance to those who have no great experience with them.

They built for themselves a little house in the snow, sheltered by the trees and covered with the Sky, in which to spend the night. The Father — having remarked that the two soldiers who accompanied him [29] had, on account of being new in the country, much difficulty in walking with trammeled feet, and, in addition to that, dragging after them all their baggage — rose about two hours after midnight, in order to gain the start and give notice to the soldiers at Richelieu to come and aid their comrades. This charity took away his life; happy martyrdom, to die at the hands of charity! He left his companions, and directed them to follow his trail, assuring them that relief would soon come to them; he took neither his steel for striking fire, nor his covering, nor other provisions than a little bread and. five or six prunes, which were still found upon him after his death. It is necessary, in this country, to carry one’s hostelries with one, — that is to say, one’s bed and provisions; as for the house, one finds it wherever one encounters the night.

While this man of fire was walking on the ice of Lake saint Pierre, which lies between three Rivers and Richelieu, having for guide only his good Angel and the brightness of the Moon, the Sky became overcast, and the clouds, depriving him of his torch, were changed into snow. But this was so abundant that the shades of night, [30] always frightful, were doubly so, — one saw neither the shores of the Lake, nor the Islands with which it is in some places studded. The poor Father, having no compass or quadrant to guide him, lost his way; he walked much [Page 19] and advanced little. The soldiers whom he had left, on rising to proceed on their journey, were much astonished when they saw not the tracks or the foot-prints of the Father; the newly-fallen snow had concealed these. Not knowing which route to take, one of them who had been only once at Richelieu, draws forth a quadrant, and guides himself nearly by the rhumb or line of wind along which he believed it fixed. They journey the whole day, without assistance reaching them; finally, worn out with toil, they spend the night on the Island of St. Ignace, not very far from the place where the Father was, — but they knew naught of that. The Huron, better qualified for these fatigues than the French, getting his bearings, reaches Richelieu; he asks if the Father has not arrived. They say “No; ” he is much astonished, — and the Captain of that place still more so, on learning that he had started so early to make only six leagues. As it was now night, they wait [31], till the next morning, to send to meet him. The soldiers of the garrison run: they seek him on the South shore, and he was on the North shore; they shout, they call, they fire arquebus shots, but in vain, — the poor Father was very far from there. As for the two soldiers whom they were expecting, the Huron having described the place where they were, they were soon found and led to the fort. All that day was spent in running hither and thither, in shouting, and in seeking, but finding nothing.

Finally, on the 2nd day of February, a clever soldier takes two Hurons, out of four who happened to be just then in that settlement; he goes in search of the shelter where the Father and his companions had spent their first night. Having found it, these [Page 21] Hurons, well trained in distinguishing trails hidden beneath the snow, follow the poor Father’s tracks, observing the turns and windings that he had made, and find the place where he had spent the second night after his departure. This was a cavity in the snow, at the bottom of which he had put some branches of fir, upon which he had taken his rest, — without fire, without a house, without covering: having only a single cassock [32] and an old jacket. As this place is not much frequented by the French, the Father could not ascertain where he was. Thence he crossed the river, in front of the settlement at Richelieu, which he did not perceive, — either because it snowed very hard, or because toil and the snows had weakened his sight. The soldier, continually following the trail which the Hurons uncovered, saw at the Cape called “massacre, ” a league above Richelieu,[1] a place where this good Father had rested; and three leagues higher, facing flat Island and the mainland, between two little brooks, they found his body on its knees, quite stiff and frozen upon the ground which he had laid bare, having cleared away the snow in a ring or circle; his hat and his snowshoes were near him; he was leaning over the edge of the heaped-up snow. It is probable that, having expired on his knees, the weight of his body had caused him to lean upon this wall of snow; he had his eyes open, — looking toward Heaven, the place of his dwelling, — and his arms crossed on his breast.

The soldier, seeing him in that posture, touched with a devout respect, falls on his knees, makes his prayer to God, and honors this sacred trust. [33] He notches a cross on the nearest tree; wraps the [Page 23] body, all stiff and frozen, in a blanket which he had brought; puts it on a sledge; and conveys it to Richelieu, and thence to three Rivers. He believes that he gave up his soul on the day of the Purification of the Virgin, for whom he had a most special devotion. He fasted every Saturday in her honor, recited every day a brief office to honor her Immaculate Conception, and spoke of her only in wholly affectionate terms. It is credible that this great and most faithful Mistress obtained for him that death, — so purifying, so saintly, and so removed from all earthly helps, — in order to receive him on a higher plane in Heaven.

The soldiers of Richelieu and the people of three Rivers knew not whether they should give their hearts to the admiration of so happy a death, or to sorrow at seeing themselves deprived of a man who was all for others and nothing for himself. He was buried with the attendance of all the French and all the Savages who were at three Rivers. Some ulcerated souls could no longer conceal their sores at the sight of those blessed remains; they came [34] to confession as soon as possible, saying that it seemed to them that this good Father was urging them to it; others were not able to pray for him, but could indeed commend themselves to his prayers.

In a word, this glorious death is the end of a holy life. This good Father was the son of a worthy Gentleman, Seignior of Villers en Priere, — or rather, en Prairie, — which is a Castle and a village, or a market town, distant six or seven leagues from the city of Rheims in Champagne. In his youth he was made a Page, and, finding himself at Court, he was solicited by courtesans on account of [Page 25] his beauty; but his good Mistress kept him chaste for thirty years in the world, and thirty-three years in Religion. He was harsh and severe toward himself, but full of affection for others; things the lowest and most vile were great and lofty to him; and all that there is in splendor seemed to him filled with darkness. He toiled sixteen years in the Mission of new France, always with courage, always with fervor, and always in deep humility. When he saw that his memory did not allow him to learn languages, he gave and dedicated himself entirely to the service of the poor Savages [35] and of those who instructed them, — lowering himself, with an ardor unparalleled, to the hardest and most humiliating offices. Our French and our Fathers having chanced to be, at a certain time, in great necessity for provisions, he went to seek roots in the woods; and he learned to fish so well that he relieved a whole house by his toil, as innocent as charitable.

He was extremely sensitive in regard to obedience. Whatever urgency he had in the affairs at hand, whatever difficulty presented itself to his sight, he was ready to leave everything or to embrace everything at the voice of his Superior, without examining his own power or his own skill, — desiring that only the will of God should give the impulse to his actions, and rejecting that indefinable prudence which, by dint of opening the eyes to arguments too human, closes them to the beauty of obedience. Accordingly, if he offended this virtue, even in the least, one saw in him, at the age of sixty years, the tears and tenderness of a young child who had in some manner displeased his father.

Some one, seeing him begin to grow infirm, [36] [Page 27] proposed to him to return to France, that he might there spend his old age more comfortably. “I know well, ” he answered, “that the Mission is burdened, and that I hold the place of a good workman. I am ready to relieve it, and to obey in everything; but I would be very glad to die in the field of battle. It is not that I do not approve the charity of those who, seeing themselves infirm, or too old to learn to speak the Savage tongue, make place for some good Gospel laborer; but, as for myself, I feel this inclination, to employ my life here in the service of the poor Savages and of those who are converting them, and in the aid that I can render to the French.” This blessing was granted to him; the desire to suffer has made a victim of his body; obedience has slain him, and charity has made of him a sacrifice which it has burned and consumed in the honor of his God, who alone, with his Angels, was spectator of this great offering. So much for Father de Noüe.

As for Father Enemond Massé, he was a native of the city of Lion, and entered our Society at the age of twenty years. He toiled therein fifty-two years, at the end of which time he died, on the twelfth of May in [37] this present year, at the residence of St. Joseph, aged 72 years. He lived in a great variety of times, and in very different occupations; but nothing has appeared in the course of his life save the ardor that he had for suffering in foreign Missions, — it was this desire that caused him to enter our Society. Having received sacred Orders, he was appointed companion to Reverend Father Pierre Coton, at that time Confessor and Preacher to the King, Henry the Great. His zeal for converting the Savages caused him to prefer their great forests to [Page 29] the air of the Court; he urged with so much love that finally he was sent to Acadia, with Father Pierre Biart. They embarked at Dieppe in the year 1611, and were the first two, of all the Religious Orders, to enter that part of America which bears the name of New France. It is not credible how much these two poor Fathers suffered in this new world. Acorns were, for several months, their food: those who were bound to protect them covered them with insults; they were imprisoned and slandered by those very persons to whom they were rendering all the duties of love and charity. [38] One of the principal among those who treated them ill, dying afterward without the assistance of any Ecclesiastic, said, with regret and grief, that he was paying very severely for the torments that he had caused these poor Fathers to suffer.

Having removed from that settlement, an English pirate seized them, and, after plundering them, took them aboard his vessel. This ship, being compelled to enter a Catholic port, was taken for a sea-rover; the Officers of marine boarded and inspected her. A single word of those two prisoners would have caused the capture of the vessel, and the hanging of all the sailors; but not only did they not speak, but they concealed themselves so well that they were never perceived. When the visitors were on one side, the Fathers slipped to the other; the Heretics, seeing this action, exclaimed aloud that they would have committed a great crime in killing those two Innocent men, as they had thought of doing when the storm drove them into that port inhabited by Catholics.

On departing thence, those pirates withdrew to England, where they were accused of some robberies; [Page 31] but having experienced the [39] magnanimity of their prisoners, they produced them as witnesses; the Fathers gave assurance that they had not seen the act committed with which their captors were charged.

Finally, they crossed over to France in the plight of two poor beggars, all in rags. Father Enemond Massé, having beheld the country of the Cross and the poor Savages in need of help, could not live; his body was in the old France, and his heart in the new. Seeing that the doors were closed to him on the side of earth, he takes the way of Heaven, as the surest in all good enterprises. He calls the Crosses and sufferings of this new world his Rachel, and says that, to recover her, he is going away to serve God as faithfully and as long as Jacob served Laban; and, in order better to strengthen his resolutions, he wrote them in a paper which was seen and read at his death. Here follow its principal articles:

“If Jacob served fourteen years for Rachel, with how much stronger reason ought I to serve my dear Master twice 7 years for new France, — my dear Canadas, embellished with a great variety of most lovable and adorable Crosses! So [40] great a blessing, so lofty an employ, so sublime a vocation, — in a word, Canadas and its delights, which are the Cross, — can be obtained only through a frame of mind conformed to the Cross. For this reason, one must resolve to observe inviolably that which follows:

“1. Never to lie down except on the bare ground, — that is, without sheets, without mattress, without straw bed; one nevertheless must have some of these in his room, that he may be seen only by the eyes from which one cannot hide oneself.

“2. To wear no linen, save about the neck [Page 33]

“3. Never to say holy Mass without being clad in a hair shirt; that armor will make thee remember the Passion of thy Master, of whom this Sacrifice is the great memorial.

“4. To take the discipline every day.

“5. Whenever thou shalt dine without having previously made thine examination of conscience, no matter how circumstances may hinder thee, thou shalt eat only a dessert, as one may do at the collation on days of fasting.

“6. Thou shalt never give to thy taste that which it might crave as a delight.

 “7. Thou [41]  shalt fast three times in the week, but so that none may perceive it save that one who must have knowledge thereof. As thou usually takest thy meal only at the second table, thou canst easily conceal these little mortifications.

“8. If thou suffer to issue from thy lips any word which offends charity, however little, thou shalt gather up secretly with thy tongue the spittle and phlegm proceeding from the mouths of others. ”

Behold the sheep which this Jacob tended in order to espouse the beautiful Rachel; such was the money with which he bought the Crosses of new France. God could not resist so many desires, nor deny so faithful a perseverance; he was sent back to Canadas in the year 1625. He found there his Rachel, — that is to say, Crosses in abundance; the vessels failing to come, famine assailed the French who were in this country. It was then that Father Enemond Massé and Father Anne de Noüe, his companion, sought roots to preserve their lives; and that they made themselves, the one a Gardener and Plough-man, and the other, Fisherman and Woodcutter, in [Page 35] order to be able [42] to subsist in this end of the world, where the souls have cost Jesus Christ as dear as the souls of Princes and Monarchs.

The end of that Cross was the beginning of another; an Anglicized Frenchman, having taken Kebec, sent this poor Father back to France. What will he do? Can all these rebuffs take from him the thought and the love of a Rachel who had appeared to him so beautiful, but who was so ugly, so deformed, and so frightful? The eyes and minds of men are very different, — what one calls grandeur, another calls baseness; these rigors were the softness and beauty of his Rachel. The coward flees on feeling the blows, and the good soldier is inspirited at the sight of his own blood.

This poor Father, regarding himself as an exile in his native land, makes to God a promise and a most solemn vow, that he will exert every effort to die on the Cross of new France. God is the greatest warrior in the world; nevertheless, love and perseverance disarm him. The Father gained what he asked, —he returns to his land of blessing in the year 1633; he dies there in the year 1646, all [43] laden with years and merits in the midst of the Savages, to whose salvation he had consecrated his whole life and all his labors. He received all the Sacraments of the Church, and, at his death, gave proofs of the tenderness which he had for his blessed Mistress; for, — unable, through his extreme debility, either to speak or to open his eyes, or to stir except with great pains, — as soon as they spoke to him of the blessed Virgin, or of her dear Spouse St. Joseph, he made signs that that pleased him extremely, begging that they should often give him [Page 37] that sweet nourishment, and that restorative which made him live.

Those who knew him most intimately remarked in him two or three very notable characteristics. He had a vivacious, ready, and ardent nature, which was to him an exercise in virtue all the course of his life. This ardor gave a fire and an admirable promptness to his obedience and his charity; and the falls that he incurred through frailty engendered in his soul a profound humility, and so great a contempt for himself that he esteemed himself less than a dog, when nature caused him to commit some failing. He was born with the love of [44] mortification; for, from his early youth, he treated his body harshly — especially when some little emulation of anger would vex his heart.

Having heard mention of the labors of the great saint François Xavier in the Indies, he had some thought of shedding his blood, or at least employing his life, in some foreign country for the salvation of souls. This thought becomes changed into desire, this desire into resolution; this resolution, increasing with age, causes him to ask admission into our Society, into which he was received; but, as his sight was extremely feeble, there was talk of sending him back from the house of probation. That terrifies him; he has recourse to his blessed Mother, and entreats her with the simplicity of a child to give him a sign of her will that he should remain in the Society. He prays with ardor; he takes a Book, opens it, and reads without difficulty the smallest characters; that consoles and surprises him, and effaces from the minds of his Superiors the thought of sending him away. As it is one of the tests which our [Page 39] Society makes of those who wish to be enrolled in it, to send them on certain pilgrimages, asking alms, [45] the good Enemond Massé, as well as the others, was sent out thus, with desires for the contempt and the hardships which accompany that probation — NOW it happened to him, in his pilgrimage, that an Ecclesiastic of piety and rank received him, and his companions also, with manifestations of extraordinary respect and love: he, who sought only contempt and the Cross, was at first seized with dread, — imagining that the rebuffs of the world must be the mark of the union with God which he wished to have. He resumes his usual simplicity, has recourse to the blessed Virgin, and entreats her to change this man’s kindness into coldness, and his charity into repulsion — and that he would take this change for a sign of his continuance in the society of her Son. This prayer — perhaps less discreet and less conformable to rule than innocent — was heard by the blessed Virgin; the words dry up in that man’s mouth, his fire is changed to ice, — he sends these pilgrims away by his agent, without casting a glance at them. From that time this good Novice held himself assured of his continuance in the service of his Lord and of his good Mistress, who made him a [46] present most special and most rare, that of purity. The Fathers who most intimately visited and conversed with him affirm that he never experienced any rebellion in the flesh. Those who combat and subdue this sting, like St. Paul, are not inferior; but it must be acknowledged that it is a great privilege to be delivered from the annoyance of those flies of Hell.

If his purity was great, his charity was not less; it made him a wood-sawyer and ship’s carpenter, along [Page 41] with Father Biart, his companion. They made planks and built a shallop or boat, in order to go fishing for cod, so as to succor the settlement in which they were, which was under the pressure of extreme necessity. This good Father plied all sorts of trades, but especially that by which one gains Paradise; he has run so well that he has carried off the prize or the crown; he has navigated so prosperously that he has at last arrived, in spite of all the storms, at the port of a glorious eternity. [Page 43]





HEN I speak of a Mission among the Iroquois, it seems to me that I speak of a dream, and yet it is a truth. It is with good right that it is made to bear the name of the Martyrs; for — besides the cruelties which those Barbarians have already inflicted upon some persons impassioned for the salvation of souls; besides the pains and fatigues which those who are destined to this Mission are bound to incur — we may say with truth that it has already been crimsoned with the blood of one Martyr; for the Frenchman who was slain at the feet of Father Isaac Jogues lost his life for having expressed the sign of our creed to some little Iroquois children, which so greatly offended their parents that they — imagining that there might be some spell in this action — made of it at once a crime and a martyrdom.

[48] Add this, that — if it be permitted to conjecture, in things which indicate great probabilities — it is credible (if this enterprise succeed) that the designs which we have against the empire of Satan, for the salvation of these peoples, will not yield their fruits before they be sprinkled with the blood of some other Martyrs. Nevertheless, the principal design of this denomination is that this Mission may be assisted with the influence and favor of those [Page 45] blessed and consecrated victims who have the honor to approach nearest to the Lamb, and to follow him everywhere. But let us begin the discourse.

Monsieur our Governor having resolved to send two Frenchmen to the country of the Annierronnons, — in order to convey to them his word, and to betoken to them his joy and satisfaction over the peace happily concluded, — Father Isaac Jogues was presented to him, to be of the party. As he had already purchased an acquaintance with these peoples and their language, with a coin more precious than gold or silver, he was soon accepted; the Iroquois welcomed him, and he who had sustained the weight of war, was not for retreating in time of peace. He was very glad to sound their friendship, [49] after having experienced the rage of their enmity. He was not ignorant, however, of the inconstancy of these Barbarians; the difficulty of the roads was patent to him, as a man who had experienced it; he saw the dangers into which he was throwing himself; but he who never risks for God will never be an extensive dealer in the riches of Heaven. He was ready sooner than the proposition was made to him. Monsieur the Governor thought proper to send, besides, the sieur Bourdon, a settler in the country, — who showed his zeal for the public welfare all the more that he forsook his own family, in order to throw himself into hazards which are never small among these Barbarians.

The Algonquins, seeing that a Father was embarking, gave him warning not to speak of the Faith at the very first; “for there is nothing,” said they, “SO repulsive at the beginning as our doctrine, which seems to exterminate everything that men hold most [Page 47] dear; and, because your long robe preaches as well as your lips, it would be expedient to walk in shorter apparel. ” This warning was heeded, and it was considered necessary to treat the sick as sick, and to behave among [50] the impious as one does among the heretics, — that one must become all things to all men, in order to gain all to Jesus Christ.

They started on the 16th of May from three Rivers; and on the 18th, the eve of Pentecost,[2] they embarked at Richelieu on the river of the Iroquois. They were conducted by four Annierronnon Iroquois; two young Algonquins accompanied them, in their own separate canoe, laden with the gifts which they were going to make for the confirmation of the peace. The Holy Ghost, — to whom is dedicated the largest village of the Iroquois, — whose feast was about to begin in the Church at the moment of their departure, gave them even then a foretaste of the good fortune of their voyage.

They arrived, on the eve of the Blessed Sacrament, at the end of the lake which is joined to the great lake of Champlain. The Iroquois name it Andiatarocté, as if one should say, “there where the lake is shut in.” The Father named it the lake of the Blessed Sacrament.[3]

They left it, the day of that great Feast, continuing their way by land with great fatigues, for they had to carry on their backs their bundles and their baggage; the Algonquins were obliged [51] to leave a great part of theirs on the shore of the lake.

Six leagues from this lake, they crossed a small river which the Iroquois call Oiogué; the Dutch, who are located along it, but lower down, name it the River van Maurice.[4] [Page 49]

On the first day of June, their guides, overcome by their burdens and the toil, turned aside from the road which leads to their villages, in order to pass by a certain place called in their language Ossaragué; this spot (according to the Father’s report) is very remarkable as abounding in a small fish, the size of the herring. They were hoping to find some assistance there; and indeed they were loaned some canoes to carry their baggage as far as the first settlement of the Dutch, distant from this fishery about eighteen or twenty leagues.

God has a guidance all full of love: his goodness caused this detour to be made in order to give some assistance to the poor Therese, a former Seminarist of the Ursulines; our party met her at this place. The Father refreshed her memory concerning her duty, and heard her confession, to the great satisfaction of her soul.

[52] On the 4th of June, they landed at the first settlement of the Dutch, where they were Very well received by the Captain of the fort of Orange; they departed thence on the sixteenth of the same month, accompanied and assisted by the Iroquois who happened to be in that quarter. The next day, at evening, they arrived at their first small village, called Oneugiouré, formerly Osserrïon.[5] There it was necessary to stay two days, in order to be gazed at and welcomed by those peoples, who came from all parts to see them; those who had formerly ill-used the Father no longer showed any inclination to do so; and those whom natural compassion had touched at the sight of his torments, were evidently delighted to see him in another position and employed in an important office. [Page 51]

On the 10th of June, honored by the feast of the holy Trinity, he gave this Most holy name to that village. There was held, at the same time, a general assembly of all the principal Captains and elders of the country; there were exhibited the gifts which the sieur Bourdon brought with the Father; there were also present the two Algonquins who accompanied them.

[53] Silence procured, the Father sets forth the word of Onontio and of all the French, betokened by the gifts of which I have given the explanation in the preceding Chapter. He indicates the joy that was caused by the sight of the Ambassadors, and the satisfaction of all the people at the conclusion of the peace between the French, the Iroquois, the Hurons, and the Algonquins. He assures them that the council fire is lighted at three Rivers; he presents a necklace of 5000 Porcelain beads, in order to break the bonds of the little Frenchman captive in their country, and the like for the deliverance of Therese; he thanks them for having refused the heads of the montagnais or of the Algonquins massacred by the Sokoquiois. He made a special present of 3000 Porcelain beads to one of the great families of the Annierronnon scattered through their three villages, in order to keep a fire always lighted when the French should come to visit them.[6]

His harangue was favorably heard, and his gifts very well received. He spoke next for the Algonquins, who were not acquainted, with the Iroquois language, and who were somewhat ashamed at the lack [54] of a great part of their presents; for, of 24 robes of Elk skins, they had left 14 on the way, as we have remarked. The Father excused them by[Page 53] reason of the injury received by one of those two young men, through the weight of his burden, and the difficulty of the roads. He failed not to give the sense of all these speeches, and to specify all these gifts, insomuch that the assembly was satisfied therewith, — to the extent that afterward the Iroquois responded with two gifts which they made to the Algonquins; and they sent two others for the Hurons.

As for what concerned Onontio and the French, — as a favor to whom they had made peace with their allies, — they answered with more pomp and with a great manifestation of affection.

At the request of the little Frenchman, they drew forth a necklace of 2000 beads. “There,” said they, “is the bond which held him captive; take the prisoner and his chain, and do with them according to the will of Onontio. ”

As for Therese, whom they had given in marriage after her captivity, they answered that she would be restored as soon as she should return to their country; and, in token of the truth of their word, they offered a [55] necklace of 1500 Porcelain beads. The family of which we have spoken — which is named “the Wolf family “ — assured the French, by a beautiful gift of 36 palms[7] of Porcelain, that they should always have a secure dwelling among them, and that the Father, in particular, would always find his little mat all ready to receive him, and a fire lighted to warm him. All this was done with great demonstrations of good will.

But some distrustful minds did not look with favor on a little chest, which the Father had left as an assurance of his return; they imagined that some [Page 55] misfortune disastrous to the whole country was shut up in that little box. The Father, to undeceive them, opened it, and showed them that it contained no other mystery than some small necessaries for which he might have use.

I was almost forgetting to say that the Father, having remarked in the assembly some Iroquois from the country of the Onondaëronnons, made them in public a gift of 2000 Porcelain beads, in order to make them understand the design which the French had in going to see them in their country; and told them [56] that he made them this gift in advance, so that they would not be surprised at seeing the faces of the French. He said that, furthermore, the French had three roads by which to go to visit them, — one through the Annierronnons; another, by the great Lake which they name Ontario, or Lake of St. Louys; the third, through the land of the Hurons. Some of the elders manifested surprise at this proposition. “It is necessary,” they said, “to take the road which Onontio has opened; the others are too dangerous; one meets in them only people of war, men with painted and figured faces, with clubs and war hatchets, who seek only to kill,” — adding that the way which leads into their country was now excellent, entirely cleared, and very secure. But the Father followed up his point, not considering it expedient to depend on the Annierronnons, in order to go up into the Nations above. He put his gift in the hands of the Iroquois, who promised, in presence of the Onondaëronnons, to go and present it to the Captains and elders of their country. Thus ended the public affairs, in which the Father was not forgetful of those more private and important. [57] [Page 57] He gathered some ‘few Christians, — who are still there, — instructed them, and administered to them the Sacrament of Penance; he often made the round of the cabins, visited the sick, and sent to Heaven by the waters of Baptism some poor dying creatures, — predestined, however, to riches.

After all these assemblies, the Annierronnons urged the departure of the French, — saying that a band of Iroquois from above had started in order to await, at the passage, the Hurons who were to come down to the French; and that those warriors would move thence to Montreal, in order to come and cross before Richelieu, and go back to their own country by the river of the Iroquois. “We do not believe,” said they, “that they will do you any harm when they meet you; but we fear for the two Algonquins who are with you.”

The Father thereupon told them, very pertinently, that he was astonished to see how they permitted those upper Iroquois to come down into their district, and proceed to make war within their limits, descending the rapids and waterfalls which were of the jurisdiction and within the marches of the Annierronnons. [58] “We have given them warning of this,” they answered. “What then?” said the Father, “do they despise your commands? Do you not see that all the lawless acts that they may commit will be imputed to you? ” They opened their eyes at this argument, and promised to apply to the matter an efficacious remedy.

In conclusion, the Father, our French, and their guides left the village of the holy Trinity on the 16th of June. They journeyed for several days by land, not without difficulty: for it is necessary to do [Page 59] like the horses of Arabia, — carry one’s own provisions and baggage; the brooks are the hostelries that one meets. Having arrived on the shore of the Lake of the Blessed Sacrament, they made canoes or little boats of bark; having embarked in these, they made their way by paddling, until the 27th of the same month of June, when they landed at the first settlement of the French, situated where the river of the Iroquois empties into the great flood of St. Lawrence.

Such is the beginning of a Mission which must furnish an opening to many others among well-peopled Nations. If these roads are strewn with Crosses, they all are also filled with miracles; [59] for there is no human skill or power which could have changed the face of affairs so suddenly, and have drawn us out of the utmost despair, to which we were reduced. There are neither gifts nor eloquence which could have converted, in so short a time, hearts enraged for so many years. I know not what may not be hoped for, after these acts at the hand of the Almighty; may he be blessed beyond ages and beyond eternity.

Father Isaac Jogues, entirely attentive and devoted to this Mission, after having rendered account of his commission, thought of nothing but undertaking a second voyage in order to return thither and especially before the winter; for he could not endure to be so long absent from his spouse of blood. At last, he succeeded so well that he found the opportunity therefor, toward the end of September; and he started from three Rivers on the 24th of that month, in company with a young Frenchman, and some Iroquois and other Savages. We have learned that he [Page 51] was abandoned on the way by most of his companions, but that he continued his voyage. He goes intending to spend the winter there, and, on all the occasions which shall present themselves, [60] to influence the minds and affections of the Savages, — but especially to care for the affairs of God and the riches of Paradise. He has much need of earnest prayers for the success of an enterprise so difficult. [Page 63]




HE Residence of St. Joseph has gathered the first fruits of the Gospel grain sown in this new world; it has resembled the good things which are communicated all the more in proportion to their goodness. Its torch has spread abroad its light very far along both banks of the great river; its fervor and zeal have made their warmth felt in regions almost unknown to the Summer, where the Winter always keeps a storehouse of snow and ice.

Superstitions and the Sorcerers are banished from this Residence; there now remains hardly any one to be baptized of those who usually retreat thither; the few Christians [61] who compose it form a squadron marvelously powerful before God. Their march has carried the Faith into various places, and their good example has gained many Savages. Those of Tadoussac, who mocked them at the start, were finally touched by their patience and constancy, — insomuch that they came to ask at Kebec, that some Fathers should be sent to them in order to instruct them. That was granted them in the year 1641; since that time, we have always continued to visit them, and to teach them the true doctrine of Jesus Christ, They have embraced it with so much fervor, and have published it with so much zeal in the Nations of the North, that these great forests, which heard but the howlings of the wolves, now [Page 65] resound with voices and Hymns concerning Jesus Christ.

The Attikamegues, who live North of three Rivers, have received the Faith from the Christians of St. Joseph. One of the Captains of this residence derived his origin from that nation; the visits which they have made on both sides have given them a new alliance, which regards Eternity.

A good widow, already quite aged, has done [62] wonders in that country; going to visit her nephews and nieces, she began to preach with so much success, and to instruct her fellow-countrymen with such good results, that several, coming afterward into our settlements to ask for Baptism, knew not only the principal articles of our creed, but also the prayers and the little exercises of a good Christian. This poor woman has made three journeys among those peoples, — not so much to see her kinsfolk and. her Friends, as to give them birth in Jesus Christ. “I love well my relatives and my children,” said she, “but I would leave them all very gladly, and all the riches of the French, for the conversion of a single soul. ” These fruits have issued from the garden of the glorious St. Joseph.

This is not all; the Abnaquiois, whom we have between the East and the South, have made such an alliance with our Neophytes, that some among them, having been baptized, now dwell at St. Joseph. And, for as much as fire is always fire, — that is to say, always active, — these new Christians took the resolution, this last Spring, to make an [63] excursion into their own country, to publish the Faith there, and to ascertain from the principal persons of their nation whether they would consent to lend ear [Page 67] to the Preachers of the Gospel. They have kept their word, and finally returned on the 14th of the month of August; and, on the fifteenth, — after having attended a solemn procession which is made at Kebec that day, in honor of the blessed Virgin, in order to present to her the person of the King and all his Estates, — the most influential person among them addressed us in these terms: “I had promised you last Spring that I would proceed to my own country, that I would carry thither the good tidings of the Gospel, and that I would learn from the elders what love they might have for our belief. As they are greatly attached to my brother Noel Negabamat, whom you see here, I cast into their ears the words which he had put into my mouth. I told them that my brother made great account of their friendship, but that that friendship was very short which ended with life; that friends should love even after death; and that if they did not believe in God, their separation would be eternal. I told them of the beauty of Heaven, and of the [64] horrors of Hell; after having heard me, thirty men informed me that they would embrace our belief. Ten women gave me the same assurance. All the others exhorted me to come and seek a Father, — and said that they would be very glad to listen to him before pledging their word.”

A Captain who has seen the piety of the Christians of St. Joseph, happening to be in this assembly, told wonders of our belief, — protesting that he would be baptized as soon as possible, and that he would not suffer near him any person who had no wish to become instructed. “Such,” said this Christian Ambassador, “are the opinions and resolutions of [Page 69] my country. See if you are willing to give me a Father; my people are all to assemble in the same place during the next winter, in order to hear, in peace and at leisure, the voice of him whom you shall send.”

This request appeared so devout and so reasonable that it could not be denied. Father Gabriel Dreuillettes, who has already lived among the Algonquins in their extensive rovings, has gone to spend the most trying season of the year with those Abnaquiois, [65] fully resolved to live and to die at the Cross of Jesus Christ. He will be able to satisfy in full the desires that he has for suffering; that is the most unquestionable and certain result which he can expect among these peoples. The fruits which may be gathered from this Mission, in course of time, will proceed in the first instance from the children of the great St. Joseph: this Mission has been surnamed that “of the Assumption.”

The Algonquins of the Island have had much opportunity to profit by the virtue and the good example of these first Christians, — accordingly, it is true that some of them have followed their trail; but one might say that a part of these wretches are, in a sense, reprobate. The Hurons, still more distant, coming down toward the French, have admired the Faith of these good souls; and some have been influenced, even to the wish to imitate them.

A Captain of their nation who has spent the winter at Kebec, said this Spring, at Montreal, that the Christians of St. Joseph were the true believers. In fact, this is the name which all the other Savages give them; and if any one among those would show his fervor, he says: “I will go [66] to dwell among the [Page 71] believers,“ — that is to say, “among the Christians of St. Joseph.”

It must be acknowledged that many Savages, — if they had the politeness of the French, and if they presented themselves with equal grace, — would ravish the eyes and hearts of those who should see the depth of their souls. They cannot endure that any infidel shall dwell in their cabins, unless he give signs of his conversion; they visit those who have any quarrel, give them good advice, and make them presents, in order to bring them back to their duty; and the parents begin to take a very special care to teach the prayers to their children, bring them to confession, and make them remember their sins. A good woman said to her little daughter: “My child, see the offenses that thou hast committed: do not forget them. Ask God’s pardon for them, and tell me on thy return from confession, if thou didst not forget something.”

Their devotion to holy Mass is altogether delightful, and quite singular: they hear it every day, with great modesty. There is no Casuist so strict that he would oblige any man to betake himself to Church in the severities of an [67] unusually piercing cold, when the distance is considerable; but neither the mountains nor the valleys, nor the length of the way, nor the ice, nor the snows, nor the wind, nor the cold, prevent them — either the men, or the women, or the children — from coming every day to the Chapel in order to hear there holy Mass. The Fathers newly arrived tell us that in France one has no conception of what they here see with their own eyes. These good people come from time to time during the day to visit the blessed Sacrament; [Page 73] they bring their children, and offer them to God with a tenderness truly loving. Here follows the prayer of some parents: “Thou who hast made all, thou knowest everything; thou seest, very far away, whatever will happen. Here is my child; if thou knowest that he will not have sense when he shall be grown up, if he will not believe in thee, take him, before he offend thee. Thou hast lent him to me; I give him back to thee; but as thou art all powerful, if thou wilt give him sense and preserve him to me, thou wilt do me a favor.”

The poverty of the Savages is so great, and their provisions are so wretched, except on some days when they kill animals in [68] abundance, — and, even then, they eat the meat of these without bread, without salt, and without other sauce than the appetite, — that it has not hitherto been believed necessary to speak to them of fasts, or of abstinence from meat, unless by reason of devotion. However, they sometimes become so devout on this point, that they will spend whole days without eating anything whatever, rather than to eat meat which in truth is worse than the poorest bread in the world, — so dry and hard it is, after being dried by smoke.

If any one commits a notorious fault, either he himself receives punishment from it, or the others will not fail to make him bear the penalty and the penance therefor. Not long ago, a Captain, coming to the Church, called the Father, who was on his way to the Altar, and said to him, “My Father, I will hear Mass outside the Church; I do not deserve to enter it.” “Why? ” said the Father to him. “I have drunk with people who have indulged to excess. ” “Hast thou thyself drunk to excess? ” said [Page 75] the Father. “No, but I have drunk with those who have done so.” “That ought not to prevent thee from entering the Church.” “I beg thee, my Father,” answers this good Neophyte, [69] “that I be punished, so that the others may hate the drink which destroys us. ” Moreover, whether it rain or hail, or the place be dirty and muddy, they stand uncovered, in the sight of every one.

There was some contention in a household; the dispute became public, in such sort that they wished to leave each other, according to their former custom. One of the principal Christians, knowing that the separation was proceeding rather from the husband’s side than from the wife’s, rose at the end of Mass. “Stop,” said he to the assembly; “we have here a man who dishonors prayer, — he talks of leaving his wife; let him know that we will never suffer him to take another." We are Christians; we will believe. But where is he? Let him appear; I will punish him myself, if he does not return to his duty.” All who were present approved this speech; the Father, turning round, was much astonished to hear this Preacher, — the culprit, still more; he said never a word, but returned thence quietly to his wife. This excess, which can easily be reduced within bounds, gives more joy than sorrow. The conclusion was, that the husband and the [70] wife came to confess and receive communion at the first opportunity.

It is useless to forbid the trade in wine and brandy with the Savages; there is always found some base soul who, to gain a little Beaver fur, introduces by Moonlight some bottles into their cabins. The Captains complain and storm, but it is very difficult to [Page 77] banish altogether this illegal practice. Some persons having accordingly drunk to excess wished to punish and chastise themselves. One of them at the end of the sacrifice of the Mass, exclaimed: My brothers, since you have had knowledge of our sin, it is necessary that you see our penance for it. Come now,” he says to his fellow-sinners, 64 let us repay to God what we have stolen from him by our offense. I know well that those who do not believe will mock us, but their jeerings must not prevent us from atoning for our offenses.” That said, he draws forth a great whip; he has himself severely flogged by another, and then he also spares not the shoulders of the culprits, any more than they had spared his own. The women showed this sight to their children. “How now?” said they, [71] “will you be naughty? will you ever lie? See how they treat the disobedient. ”

A pagan, involved in the same fault, presented himself to expiate it by the penalty; but they told him that the Church was not yet open to him. This consoled the Christians, who believed that God preferred them to the Infidels, by accepting their penance.

A young lad, having drunk with the others, and seeing that not a word was said to him, went afterward to the Father, to complain that they had not punished him like the guilty, — asking at least Permission to beat himself in private. Nature teaches the most barbarous, that all sin deserves punishment; but it must be acknowledged that those who are well acquainted with the Savages, — who have been removed for so many centuries from all submission, and from every act of justice, — are not a [Page 79] little astonished to see this change, so little expected. God grant that this fervor may last them a long time.

A stranger Savage, who happened to be involved in this penance, asked why the French who committed [72] the same faults did not undergo the same penalties. The other Savages answered him that Justice, or the Captain of the French, took knowledge of their crimes, and that they had seen with their own eyes some of them chastised; but that they themselves preferred to be punished in the Church, by order of the Fathers.

It is true that these public penances are necessary in these first beginnings, and especially among Savages, — first, because the Pagans are very easily scandalized by the faults of the new Christians; and, unless some public punishment were inflicted for these, they would attribute the sin not so much to the person who commits it, as to the doctrine which the Neophytes embrace and profess. In the second place, — as the Savage Captains have no regular Justice, or any authority to punish the failings of their people, — we are constrained to serve them as fathers and Judges, preventing disorders by certain punishments which they accept very willingly. But the irregularities which the vessels usually occasion by their liquors, cause us to abandon this [73] charity, and to refer to the Justice of the country the punishment of the too frequent cases of drunkenness, while they are anchored in our ports.

The preceding Relations have made mention of the most blessed death of a Neophyte named François Xavier Nenaskoumat; it was he who, in company with Noel Negabamat, laid the first foundations of Christianity in the residence of St. Joseph. [Page 81] He left two children, a boy and a girl; the latter is married, and leads a very Christian life. His son, who was named Vincent Xavier Nipikiwigan, was miserably wounded to death this last Autumn by the Sokoquiois, of whom we have spoken herein above. This poor man was brought back to Kebec, and taken to the Hospital, where he was received and treated with great charity; seeing that his wounds were incurable, he wished to die with the Christians of St. Joseph. He delighted, both in his sickness and at his death, all those who knew the emotions of his heart. One of the strangest passions of the Savages is vengeance against their enemies; it was not possible, at the beginning, to persuade them that it was well done [74] to pray for these, — they were scandalized at that. “Thou dost not love us,” they said to the Father who was giving them this counsel; “that prayer is of no use; what good can come to us, if God bless or succor our enemies? ” Those who believe have indeed changed their tone; this man — treacherously murdered, without ever having committed any act of hostility against that nation, which they did not wish to have as an enemy — not only forgave his murderers, but often prayed God to bless them, and to do them the favor of converting them. And when the Viaticum was brought to him, after having reiterated the prayers that he made for them, he promised, in a tone that touched all the bystanders, that he would remember them in Heaven, and that he would ask from God their salvation, and the knowledge of Jesus Christ for their whole nation. This death was precious in the sight of God and of men.

His wife showed an admirable charity and [Page 83] constancy in attending her poor husband. She had received a blow from a hatchet, at the hands of those traitors; they had removed a part of her scalp, with her hair, — in short, they had left her for dead; [75] but, her wounds not being mortal, as soon as she could drag herself along, she caused astonishment in all those who know the character of the Savages. As soon as a husband is in a condition where he can no longer recover his health, his wife quits and abandons him, leaving him in the hands of his relatives, if he has any; if he has none, she hastens his days, to deliver him, and herself also, from the trouble which a severe illness causes; the husband does the like to his wife, in similar case. This barbarism no longer exists among those who receive and preserve the Faith: that torch makes them see the beauty of conjugal charity; but it does not take away, however, the inclinations of a nature reared in those habits since the beginning of the ages. This wife, truly strong and faithful, nursed her husband every day, enduring the stench of his wounds, from which she continually wiped away the pus. She said sometimes, within herself: “I feel indeed that I am a Christian, — for without that it would not be possible for me to remain one day near a man who so rudely offends my senses; and yet I cannot withdraw from him.” This was, without doubt, a [76] very special grace, and an effect of the Sacrament of Marriage.

This poor patient had a little daughter, whom he had consecrated to God from the day of her birth, promising him that he would influence her to be a virgin all her life. He gave her from her early childhood to the Ursuline Mothers: it is not credible how much these good Mothers made account of that [Page 85] little child. They admired her good inclinations and the gentleness of her nature; one would have said that her greatest recreation was to pray to God; never, in whatever humor she was, did she refuse to do this. When she wept, as children do, if one said to her, “Let us pray to God, ” immediately joining her little hands, she checked her tears and uttered her prayers, which she knew perfectly from the age of three or four years. Her father, seeing himself nigh to death, wished to see her; they took her from the Seminary, conducted her to that poor dying man, and presented her to him. She was so prettily dressed, and she greeted him with so many graces that he was charmed with her. He could not satisfy himself with embracing her; he kisses her, takes her on his bed, holds her to his bosom, gives her a thousand blessings, [77] and congratulates her on having fallen into such good hands; he speaks to her as if she had been fifty years old: “Good-by, my daughter, I am going away to Heaven: do not grieve over my death. Be very obedient to the virgin sisters, — they are thy nearest relatives; never leave them; when thou art grown up, they will tell thee what thou must do. ” This love, too ardent, caused that poor child to die; she caught the fever from the breath and from the dying lips of her father. As she was very tender, being no more than five years old, the corrupt air very easily seized upon her little body, and caused her a sickness which sent her, six months afterward, to the grave.

Her father being dead, they soon learned the news of it at the Seminary, where they had carried her back. Her teacher led her before the blessed Sacrament, in order to have her pray to God for his soul. [Page 87] Having offered her prayer, she turned toward her teacher, and said to her: “Will Jesus be my father, since I no longer have any other? The Virgin likewise will be my mother, and you will be my relatives; my father told me so. ” She related to the Mothers all that her father had recommended to her.

[78] Her fever, becoming more and more evident, prostrated her so that she rose from it no more. She wished to confess; the Father who heard her was, delighted therewith, not supposing that a child whom he wished to console could ever have had so much judgment. They asked her if she would not be very glad to see Our Lord; napik nisadkiha missi kakichitdtz, she answered, —” Entirely I love the one who has made all; ” and thereupon she expired, to the joy and the regret of all those good Mothers.

The confusion which the coming of the vessels occasions made us postpone the Jubilee of last year to a time more convenient for obtaining it with more leisure; it was announced some days before the nativity of the Savior. The Christians of St. Joseph, who had not yet heard mention of this devotion, prepared for it with most extraordinary affection. They were told that the preparations for obtaining this pardon were fasting, alms, and prayer or orisons; as for fasting, they observed it very easily, for they had not many things to eat at that time; a piece of good fortune nevertheless rendered it more meritorious and more remarkable. A Hunter [79] having encountered a Caribou, which is not quite so large as one of our oxen in France, pursued it and felled it to the ground. Famine was in their cabins, and the desire to eat fresh meat strongly tempted them; yet never did any Christian consent to taste it on the [Page 89] days which had been appointed to them for fasting, — not even the Hunter himself. Nay, more, — some Pagans of his cabin, seeing this example, touched that flesh no more than if it had been poisoned.

As for alms, they had more difficulty; for they knew not what to give. Gold and silver have no currency among these peoples, and their poverty easily dispensed them from being wasteful. Yet it was necessary, in order to satisfy their devotion, that they should fulfill this clause. Some brought a few Porcelain beads, others a little piece of flesh; there was one who presented a small dish of bark, full of raisins that he had bought from the French. In a word, we gave all their alms to one of the more zealous Captains, to distribute them to the most necessitous.

[80] As for the prayers, they failed not to perform their Stations, and all, besides, to take part in a somewhat arduous and difficult Procession, which they made from saint Joseph even to Kebec, — the distance is about a league and a half. It was held on the day of saint Stephen, the day after Christmas, in extremely cold weather; they all walked, two by two, in fine order; the children wished to be of the company. The cross and the banner marched before; the Fathers who have charge of that little Church led their flock. They intoned Hymns on issuing from the Church; they continued their Procession, reciting their Rosaries, and offering other prayers. Arriving at Kebec, they delighted the French; their first Station was in the Church of the Ursuline Mothers; having there prayed to God, and sung some spiritual Songs, they moved straight to [Page 91] the Parish church, where the blessed Sacrament was exposed. They were received with motets full of piety, which were sung in honor of him whom they came to adore; when he had given them his blessing, by the hands of the Priest, they proceeded to the third Station, which was at the Hospital, where likewise [81] they prayed for the objects contained in the Bull, being continually led and directed by their Pastors. Upon departing thence, they returned fasting, — two by two, as they had come, — concluding the last act of the Jubilee in their own Church. Those who had seen the country in its barbarism — casting their eyes on such devotion, and so great a modesty; seeing Barbarians make three leagues on foot, in a most piercing cold, and fasting, in order to gain the remission of their sins — rendered a thousand praises to the God of Heaven, who pours his blessings where he pleases. [Page 93]





HREE Rivers is the landing — place of all the Peoples of these regions, good and bad: one sees there from time to time Savages of all the nations which navigate the great river of saint Lawrence, from its mouth even [82] to the Hurons, and beyond; this length makes perhaps four hundred leagues and more.

This gathering of so many tribes, so different, causes great confusion; and though only the Christians are most cherished by the French, one is constrained to tolerate the others, and to await the time for their conversion.

All the assemblies which have been convened with the Iroquois have been held at three Rivers; two or three notorious Apostates have retreated thither; all the rogues from other places have come to that place to spend a part of their time; and all those who are curious to learn the news land there; all this is but an ebb and flow, which greatly hinders the Faith from taking root. The Christians, however, have not failed to give proofs of their faith and of their constancy, notwithstanding the bad examples which they have before their eyes, and which sometimes cause the weak to stumble.

An Infidel so successfully cajoled a Christian woman, that he took her for his second wife; the [Page 95] French, indignant at that action, forbid him entrance to the fort and to their houses. This furious man [83] proceeds to the quarter of the Savages, making a public denunciation against prayer, — that is to say, against the Faith, — using threats against all those who should issue from their Cabins in order to go to Mass or to instruction. A Christian, hearing this speech from his Cabin, leaves it, armed with a holy anger; he raises his voice, he shouts, he storms against that insolent man; he speaks highly of the faith, gives courage to the Christians, protests that the threats of the impudent will never shake him. In a word, the Pagan, seeing this torrent, withdraws, for fear that from words they might come to violence, — not hoping to find so much courage among his own, in behalf of lies, as he believed there was among the Christians for the truth.

Another time, a Christian, seeing the lawless acts which were committed in this mixture of every sort of nations, and having no other arms than his speech, in order to resist them, went out in public, and — walking, according to their custom, among the Cabins of his fellow-countrymen — he harangued in these terms:

“Listen, my brothers, it is to you all that I address my speech. You know [84] that I am baptized; if any one be ignorant thereof, let him learn it today from my lips. I love neither goods nor honor; I love prayer, and I honor the Faith, —I would that all people might honor it. All is of no importance, — belief is of price and of value. If your ears were pierced, the doctrine which is taught us would enter them; and, if you had not your eyes closed, you would see its beauty. One [Page 97] sees only insolent actions in our cabins; the young people run about every night; I would certainly Stop these disorders if I had power over you. Hold it as certain that these mischiefs will draw upon our heads the wrath and vengeance of him who has made all. As for you others who have received Baptism, and who do not keep your word, you are deceivers; either renounce your faith, or live conformably to the promises which you have made in your Baptism — If you are cut off from the Church, if you are driven out like dogs, I will be the first to take sides against you unless you cease your disorders.” His words — uttered with much emphasis, and by a man of authority — astonished the inconstant, and very greatly consoled the more fervent and courageous.

[85] On the following night, a Christian who had been banished from the Church for a public scandal, and who had become reconciled after a thorough penance, moved by the force of this address, made another before some apostates, in a most earnest tone. The Savages are very reserved in their words, before their fellow-countrymen; it rarely occurs that even a Captain gives himself the liberty of reproving the faults of his people, unless perhaps of some youth. This man spoke before the most t adorned and the proudest of his nation, in this wise: “He who has uttered his thoughts in the harangue which he has made to us today, has spoken like a person who truly believes: his age and his great authority deserve that the faithful and the unfaithful should obey his voice; and his perseverance in the Faith obliges all the Christians to keep the promises which they have made to God. As for me, who have set a bad example, I can give no weight [Page 99] to my words; if, nevertheless, you look at them very closely, you will find that they turn to neither one side nor the other, but that their course is entirely straight. I have sinned, — every [86] one knows it. well; I have asked pardon for it from God, and I have confessed. I believe that he has shown me mercy, and that the little time which remains to me until death is given me to do penance for my crimes; I cannot enough admire his goodness. But say not that, if you follow my example in vice you will follow it afterward in penance; such words are dangerous, — he hears them, he listens to you. If he has not delivered me to the wicked demon, it is a kindness which astonishes me, and which he has not showed toward countless others who have ruined themselves. Do not also say that you will have sense when you shall have white heads; the demon will prevent you, — there will no longer be time to wish for wisdom when you are in the fires. Wars, sicknesses, and death itself, are the punishments for our offenses, and not evil effects of the Faith and of prayers, as some say. It is prayer which says to God: ‘Arrest thy wrath; do not shoot thine arrows upon us. Give us the leisure to have sense; drive out diseases, and deliver us from war.’ That is what the Fathers ask day and night for us; that is [87] what they advise us to do and to practice. Without the prayer of those who love God, the demon who desires to destroy us would soon have plunged us into the pit full of fire. Those are much deceived who believe that prayer causes diseases and hastens death, — he to whom we pray is the very one who gives health and life; the honor which is rendered him does not provoke him to do us injury. [Page 101] Up then! let those who have sinned do penance with me; and let those who have not defiled their Baptism keep their word steadfastly, even till death.”

I think that it will be quite proper to say here a few words about this man’s conversion. Being enticed by a woman, he took her publicly, along with his lawful wife. God having punished him with a wholesome sickness, he opened his eyes; but, because they feared his inconstancy, of which he had already given indications, he was abandoned a long time, like one excommunicated. He sent, several times, to ask for some of our Fathers, — to all his requests, no response at all; finally, as they believed that he was truly touched, a Father went to see him [88] in his great pains. “Ah, my Father,” said this man to him, “have pity on me.” “I cannot,” the Father replied to him, “take thee into the Church; thou hast given too great a scandal.” “Alas, my Father, I do not ask that, —I am not worthy to enter it; I ask that my sins be blotted out by confession. I am extremely sick; death makes me afraid, since I am still burdened with all my crimes. ” The Father, seeing well that he was not yet in so great a danger, assigns him a day, goes to find him at the appointed time, and listens to him. This poor man draws forth a little bundle of wood, like a bunch of matches, and showing it to the Father, said to him: “There are all my sins, I have written them upon these pieces of wood, after our fashion, for fear of forgetting them.” He confesses with great remorse, his eyes filled with tears, his utterance choked with sobs, and his heart full of regret and grief. After his confession, he related to the Father how he had fallen into the abyss of his [Page 103] sins. “I did, ” said he, “preserve for a long time the whiteness of my Baptism; I carried a long time the torch which they made me hold, well lighted, without extinguishing it. When that woman who has ruined me [89] was endeavoring to gain me, I fled from her, at first; but little by little I took pleasure in her friendship. I thought of no harm in that, until I realized that my heart desired to be wicked; I drove her away from me, but she went not far, — very soon, she appeared before my eyes. Finally I began to love her; my heart trembled, reproaching me that I would forsake prayer. I was going to confess at once; but this demon, pursuing me, ruined me. I came to love her in good sooth; and, seeing well that I would have no peace near you, I left you and went away to the Island, and thence to the Hurons; love was blinding me. I sinned sometimes without remorse; more often, fear seized my soul. I sometimes wished to apply to you, — again, I despised you. Then I exalted you, admiring your patience and your goodness; for your brothers who are among the Hurons do up there what you do down here, — they pacify all the dissensions, they make presents to appease the wicked, they teach the way to Heaven. All that astonished me, and I said to my soul: ‘Thou art going into the fire; thou disobeyest [90] him who has made all.’ Being in such anguish, I fell sick; indeed, I was in awful fears. All my sins presented themselves to my eyes, as if they had been told to me one after another; I marked them all on these bits of wood. I asked to be brought down here, — I thought only of you, whom I had so much despised. I said to God: ‘Thou doest well to make me sick, — I have been the first to leave thee; I [Page 105] have no sense.’ I felt horrible pains; I cried out in my trouble: ‘I have deserved all this, — thou doest well; but kill me not until I have confessed.’ I thought every time that I was about to go down into the country of the demons. Finally, when I saw myself near you, my agonies were somewhat relieved; for, although you rejected me, I still said: ‘They are right; they fear that I may deceive them.’ Nikanis, ” said he to the Father, “pray for me; tell him that he shall increase my pain, if ever the desire seize me to leave him.” They kept him still very long in that state of penitence, before having him enter the Church; he is in it now, firmly resolved never to go out of it. He said, not long ago, [91] to some cold souls: “Ah! if you knew what a great misfortune it is to be driven out of the Church, and how many pangs that costs, you would be very careful not to commit anything which might ever cause you to fall over this precipice.” God grant to give him perseverance.

To return to our discourse; the Christians, seeing themselves surrounded with so many difficulties, took resolution, in order better to preserve themselves, to form a separate band in their great hunt during the winter, and in the other journeys which they should make for their trade. A Frenchman having accompanied them, testified to us, on the return, that he had been delighted at seeing them live as true Christians, — never failing to pray to God all together; also strictly keeping holy Sunday, as if they had been near our little Churches.

On returning from their hunt, they camped as near as they could to our Chapel; the Pagans took offense at this, casting at them a thousand taunts because [Page 107] they had not desired to join them. It is the custom among these peoples that the girls, when sick with their usual illness, separate themselves [92] from the others, as did the Jewish women.[8] The Infidels, seeing our Neophytes united together, said to them, jeering, that they were acting quite in the manner of the women, to lodge apart. They suffered these mockeries patiently, feeling compassion for their blindness. “What can we learn from you others,” answered a Christian, “except slanders and jeers? Be not astonished, then, if we place ourselves apart.”

There is no land in the world so dry and so arid where there does not appear some little spray of green. The little Church of three Rivers sees, amid this ebb and flow of the Savages who approach it, a nation altogether simple and candid, and very far from haughtiness: these people come from an inland region; they spend their lives in the innocence of hunting and fishing, seeing the French only once or twice in the year, in order to buy some necessaries in exchange for their peltries. They derive their name from the word Attikameg, which signifies a kind of fish that we call “the white fish,” because it is, in truth, all shining and all white. These poor white fish come to cast themselves into the nets [93] of the Gospel, as many times as they approach the banks of the great river of saint Lawrence. They now compose a little migratory Church, which has nothing more fixed or more constant than the Faith, and the practice of virtue, — which they preserve all the more easily since they are removed from the enemies who might steal these from them.

They carry with them a list or calendar of Feasts and of Sundays, and of all the days of the week; [Page 109] and not one of them has erred this year in his reckoning. Besides the evening and the morning prayers, they assemble every Sunday in a cabin in order to sing some spiritual Hymns, and to recite, all together, their rosaries. If there is among them a good speaker, he incites the rest to obey him who has made all, and to give up their former superstitions.

All winter, they console themselves in the hope which they have of coming to confess and receive communion in the Spring; they do likewise during the Summer, preparing themselves to come and see us in the Autumn; they reveal their faults with an admirable candor. [94] One might truly say that the sin of Adam has not reached these peoples, so far are they removed from the mischiefs which are encountered among the youngest children.

Their first Captain, named Paul de Tamourat, having arrived at three Rivers, went to visit the Father who has charge of that residence, and said to him, before all his people: “My Father, shall it be at this time, then, that I shall receive communion? Thou hast always refused me this happiness; thou hast put me off from Spring to Autumn; I was afraid during all the Summer of dying before they had conveyed to my lips that food of our souls. God has preserved my life; now that I am here again, what wilt thou say now? Do not grieve me longer.” Such was the salutation made by that man at his landing, — a hundred times more pleasing than those airs and those great abasements of the Court, which very often have nothing but appearance.

The wife of this Captain wastes no more words than does her husband; she brings to the Father her two daughters, and urges him with all her power to [Page 111] grant the mother and the children that bread of life; she asks [95] to be instructed, if she is not sufficiently so. One Saturday evening, the Father hating thoroughly examined her, along with some others, they supposed that it was in order to receive Communion the next day: they came, accordingly, to Mass in our Chapel, and presented themselves to a Father to confess them; but, as he did not understand their language, he sent them away. They withdraw to one side, hear two Masses, and remain in the Chapel until Vespers. The Father whom they were expecting, and who had celebrated Mass in the Parish church, coming in, finds them with their hands joined before the Altar; he asks them what they do there. “We are awaiting thee, my Father, for confession, and to receive communion.” ” What then? ” said the Father, “do you not know well that one does not receive communion after having eaten? ” (He supposed that they came from their cabins.) “We know it well,” they answer; “we have not eaten since yesterday at noon; we have been here since morning, continually hoping that thou wouldst have us receive communion. ” “But why did you stay so long, seeing that I did not come? ” “Alas! ” said a good widow, ‘<we would gladly stay here all day, in order [96] to thank the good Jesus for the favors which he has granted us. We will come here often; we cannot grow weary in the house of prayers. ” The Father, touched even to tears, granted them the next morning what they desired with so much ardor.

Having set a day for some to come and confess, a good woman came to excuse herself, asking a longer term in order to prepare herself. ‘I How?” said [Page 113] the Father, “didst thou not know well, as early as yesterday, that thou wert to confess today? Did I not see thee nearly all the afternoon at the Chapel? What hast thou done during all that time? *’ ‘4 I have been thinking,” she answers, ‘6 of my sins; I thought of them yesterday, nearly all the day. I intend to think of them even till tomorrow; and, after all, perhaps I shall not do as I ought, I would, indeed, that my heart were no longer wicked at all; I am very sorry to have displeased God.” However, as these good SOURS make no difficulty in revealing themselves, her greatest sin was, that she had been too sad at seeing certain persons less inclined to pray to God, — so that she had allowed herself to be angry at them. She confessed with a charming candor; [97] and, when the Father gave her a penance too light to suit her, she complained of it, and said to him, “I will not fail to add other prayers; ” indeed, she remained more than an hour at the Church, after her confession.

She has gained her husband to Jesus Christ. This man, who was very rough before his Baptism, has become docile and pliable as a child: the blessing of Heaven is truly upon this family. The good woman brought her daughter to the Father who had baptized her, in order to receive his blessing; this child, who is only three years old, carried a little bundle on her head. The mother began to speak: “Here, my Father, is thy little girl, who makes thee this present, in order to remind thee to ask God for her, that he may give her sense to retain the prayers well. ” It was a Deerskin, neatly prepared, which the Father gave back to the child in order to make a little dress for her. True innocence is among [Page 115] these peoples: I would fain say that in France one becomes ignorant through knowing too much, and that for wishing too much, one wishes nothing; for, in truth, what is pursued with so much ardor is only nothingness.

[98] The mother-in-law of that good woman surpasses even her daughter-in-law in devotion, in candor, and in piety. The holy Ghost has given her such a desire to preserve the purity of her heart, that she fails not to confess every week, — not to the priests, for she has none of them in those great woods, but to the Sovereign Pontiff. In the night which precedes Sunday, when every one is in profound sleep, she rises, kneels, examines her conscience, and then makes her confession to God in the same way that she does before a Father; she asks pardon, she does a penance, she asks God that he may give her the grace to recall all her offenses, in order to tell them afterward to her confessor. One would not believe with what feelings she explains them; “I am,” she says, “sometimes a very dog; I do many acts without directing my intention: I go to fetch wood, without thinking that it is for God. I am like those swine which incessantly grunt; for I sometimes complain of a headache which worries me, and which very often makes me suffer.”

She has so great a tenderness of conscience [99] that the mere shadow of sin makes her afraid. The esteem in which she holds persons who speak to her of God, and who instruct her, is so great that you would say that she listens to an Angel, when she lends ear to a Father; this is what renders her zealous for the salvation of her fellow-countrymen, — notably of her own family, which is quite numerous. [Page 117]

Her husband has no less fervor; he does more for the glory of Our Lord in his country than the most zealous Missionary of New France. Not long ago, some young rogues of Algonquins, having entered his cabin toward evening, in order to banter and cajole, he warned them gently of their duty; but, seeing that they did not stop for his gentleness, he said to them in a dry tone: “Go out from here, and learn that there is no one in my cabin who does not believe, and who does not fear God.” Severe words effect among the Savages what good drubbings would do in France among the insolent.

The good life and the zeal of these new Christians spread the Faith of Jesus Christ far within the more distant nations. Persons who have [100] never heard any Father of our society speak, ask us for holy Baptism. When we wish to instruct them, we find that they have knowledge of our mysteries, and that they know the prayers and the practice of a good Christian; that, without deceit, is a source of great consolation.

A Captain, from a country above the Attikamegues, came to present himself to the Father, with his whole family, in order to learn from his lips that which he had heard mentioned in the great woods of his own country. He remained three weeks near him, expressly in order to be instructed. We baptized only his eldest daughter, whom we commissioned to teach the prayers to her father, to her husband, and to all those of her cabin. Two Canoes have arrived from another nation of which we have not yet heard mention; these are new faces, which appear for the first time among the French. As soon as they landed, they came to seek “the one who prays and who [Page 119] instructs,“ — that is the name which the Strangers give to the Fathers, — for the purpose, they said, of learning the way to Heaven. This desire has [101] possessed them through having seen and heard some Savages who have communication with our Neophytes. God is goodness itself; may he be blessed forever. As he knows that there is no human might which can scour these great forests and gather up these poor sheep, — gone astray and hidden in the mountains, in the woods, and in frightful cold, — he touches them himself, and leads them, as by his hand, to the sources of life, which are the Sacraments of his Church.

Of thirty-five Canoes which have come from those regions, we have baptized only 37 or 38 persons. One cannot believe how important it is to lay solid foundations for the Faith.

Among these Canoes, there have come some from a nation called Kapiminakwetiik, who have assured us that their neighbors had been visited by Savages who have never appeared in these regions, and who had never seen any of the wares which are brought into this new world. They relate many things concerning the multitude of the men of their nation, and of their customs; we shall learn tidings of them, in course of [102] time. They are subject to the great God; they, as well as the others, will come to acknowledge him. There is no bugle so resonant as that of the Gospel; it must make itself heard in the four corners of the world. [Page 121]



WHAT we call Tadoussac is named by the Savages Sadilege; it is a place full of rocks, and so high, that one might say that the Giants who formerly sought to combat the Heavens, might have laid in this place the foundations of their escalade. The great river St. Lawrence makes, as it were, in these rocks a bay or cove, which serves as a secure harbor for the ships which sail in these regions; we call this bay Tadoussac.[9] Nature has rendered it very convenient for the anchorage of vessels; she has formed it like a circle, and sheltered it from all the winds. There were reckoned, formerly, [103] on the shores of this port, three hundred warriors or effective hunters, who made with their families about twelve or fifteen hundred souls. This little people was very proud; but God, wishing to incline it to receive his Son, has humbled it by diseases which have almost entirely exterminated it. These blows, nevertheless, are beneficent; while his justice was slaying bodies at the great deluge of the world, his mercy continued to gather up the penitent souls. We might say relatively the same, — that, his wrath putting to death a part of the Savages by wars and epidemics, his kindness gave to others a life which must be sought amid a thousand deaths.

That is what we have seen with our own eyes: for [Page 123] these poor people, assailed by many diseases, and worn out with the fatigues of war, have finally thrown themselves into the haven of life and peace. They have given themselves up to Jesus Christ, who seems to wish to repeople this tribe with a goodly number of Savages who land there from various places, in order to see with their own eyes that which they learn with their ears, — that there are men formed like them, who preach and who publish [104] the greatness of God, and who teach the way to Heaven. It must be admitted that, for five years, these good Neophytes have excelled in fervor and in devotion; but wishing, this year, to run too fast, they have stumbled, — going to excess in a direction that one would not have expected.

I think that I once read this about the sieur de Joinville, who wrote the life of St. Louys.[10] Being in a great storm on the sea, his soldiers and sailors, crying out that the vessel was about to perish, cast themselves at his feet, and asked him for absolution from their sins. “But think you,” said he to them, “that I have this power I ” “Who will have it, then, Monsieur,” they answer, “since there is no Priest in the ship?” At this reply, he raised his voice: “Well then, I absolve you with all the power that I have for it; I know not whether I have any, but, if I have it, you are absolved.” That good Gallic simplicity, though joined with a little too much ignorance, might be acceptable to God for the humility which accompanied it. The Savages of Tadoussac have fallen this winter into the same error; seeing themselves in their great forests, at a distance from their Father, and passionately desiring, moreover, [105] to hear holy Mass, one of [Page 125] them presented himself, in order to express its sacred ceremonies with all the solemn preparation and all the devotion that an over-fervent mind can experience. This is not all; the desire for confession urging them, an aged woman, seeing that the men did not lend ear to them, presents herself to exercise that office. This indiscreet zeal was approved by some, with more simplicity and ignorance than Theology, — but only in behalf of persons of her own sex.

From this indiscretion they passed to another: if any one committed some fault, they made him come publicly to their assembly; and, after having reproached him with his sin before all the people, they flogged him with a cruelty which still savored of its barbarism.

Their fasting covered two or three days without eating; in a word, zeal without knowledge is a bad guide. Their indiscreet fervor passed from piety into external discipline; they begin to imagine that, in order to be good Christians, they ought to live altogether in the French fashion; and, upon this thought, they act the polite. They render the [106] honors to their Captain which they see rendered to Monsieur the Governor by the French; they make a cabin apart, in which to take their meals; they set up tables; they make the men eat together, and the women separately; and, as they had remarked that the French did not eat all that was offered them, those who served at table did not give the leisure, especially to the women, to take a sufficient meal. No one, however, said a word; all these apish tricks passed for mysteries. The Savages and the French, in the matter of compliments, hold the two extremes: [Page 127] the former are insipid and boorish in the little respect which they bear for one another; and the French are annoying in the excess Of their ceremonies, and very often deceptive in the too great demonstrations of their friendship. Rustic candor is preferable to a feigned courtesy; excess was never good, in whatever it be; if these good Neophytes adopt it, they will soon be weary of it.

The Father who has charge of this Mission, returning in the Spring to cultivate it, found a new people. He is welcomed [107] with many bows and compliments; he finds no more painted faces, or hair anointed or greased according to their former custom; they come to receive him in the French fashion, with a grace and a politeness which was not the most accomplished, as, indeed, it was but newly born; in a word, he finds that these disciples had learned three times as many things as he had taught them. Some good women say that they have confessed; others, that they have attended Mass: every one affirms that there has been prayer, in public and in private, all the winter season; each one renders account of his little devotions. The poor Father, much astonished, begins to accuse them of arrogance; he reproves their indiscretion, he makes them understand the seriousness of their crime, — not that he did not plainly see that ignorance and simplicity covered the half of their faults, but in order to give them a safeguard for the future. These simple people, quite astounded, bow their heads; they all go to the Chapel to ask pardon of God. He who had begun that innovation, starting to speak before all the others, exclaims: “The devil has [108] led me astray, and I have deceived you; it was all over with us if [Page 129] God had not recalled us to the right way by the voice of our Father. The Faith was going to destruction in Tadoussac, and we would soon have communicated our poison to the nations of the North, who come to see us, and whom we go to visit. As the wind plays with a straw, so the demon tosses us and makes us go where he will, when we are absent from our Pastors. I am the one who listened to him the very first: it is I who infected you, my brothers. My crime is so great that I hardly dare hope for its pardon; drive me out of the Church, —I am not worthy to return to it. Heaven is closed for me, —I have too greatly offended him who has died for us; what must I do? What shall I do, my Father, for so great sins? ” He spoke with so much fervor that there was no one in that assembly who was not touched; the tears flowed from their eyes; the sorrows of their hearts spoke a language truly agreeable to God, — all asked to do penance for their sins. The Father, having caused them to understand the gravity of their offense, places a Cross in a space of the Church, [109] as is done on good Friday, and commands them to go and make honorable amends to Jesus Christ, in his Image, — to ask his pardon, and to protest solemnly that they will never again allow themselves to follow such innovations. He commands them also to fast, in the manner of the Church: and to transfer a great Cross, which they had set up near their cabins, to a place more eminent and proper, so as to go there every Friday to declare that they acknowledged Jesus Christ for their Savior and their Redeemer. All that was soon accomplished; but before everything else, they made confession with an admirable candor. Some carried little [Page 131] sticks, in order to remember their sins; others marked them on the beads of their Rosaries; others wrote them, after their fashion, on small pieces of the bark of trees; they all gave indications of their regret and penitence. The Cross which the Father had ordered them to transfer, was probably about thirty or thirty-five feet long; the Captain wished to bear it himself on his shoulders. He assembles his people, makes [110] some take arms, and leads the others into the Chapel, where he addresses them in these words: “My brothers, you know that we have erred in our devotions, and that our sin renders us unworthy of pardon; but he who was nailed to a Cross for us is full of mercy,  —I shall never lose the hope that I have in him. If we have left the true road, we have returned to it; let us not lose courage, — let us obey more faithfully than ever.” Then turning toward some Savages of the North, not yet baptized, “My brothers,” said he to them, “not all those who have gone astray are lost; if our sin has scandalized you, may our penance edify you, and cause you to say in your own country that the Faith and Prayer are not banished from Tadoussac. We shall be as firm in the Faith as ever; and as for me, though an Angel should come from Heaven to teach me a doctrine contrary to what the Father teaches us, I would not believe him. As for you who still bear your sins in your souls, do you soon become baptized, — so that we may indeed be all brothers, and that we may have but one Father and [111] one house in Heaven.”

That said, he loads that great Cross upon his shoulders: the procession starts, and they all march, two by two, with a modesty truly Christian. Having arrived at the place where this Tree which has [Page 133] borne the fruit of life was to be planted, they raise it and put it in position, with the noise of arquebus shots, which they cause to resound with great delight. The Cross being planted, they fall on their knees, and adore the Crucified in his Image; and, in conclusion, the Father gives them to understand that, as for acts of civility or of social discipline, they were free to follow their own ideas, provided they should not oppose the law of God, — but that the orders of God and of his Church must be to them forever inviolable.

I have already said that it is the custom of the Savages, when any one has some cause of sadness or pain, or even withal of anger, for them to make him a present, in order to comfort his heart. The Captain of Tadoussac, seeing well that the Father was sad and afflicted by their offense, undertook to appease his sorrow with this little harangue: “My Father, this little present is made to you, in order to draw from the depth of your [112] soul all the sadness that you might have conceived for our sins and for our deception; it will wipe away all your grief. And, as for me, I assure you that I will take care that each one shall henceforth walk in the way that you have pointed out to us.” If one refused to touch the present, he would give to understand that he does not grant that for which he is asked; the best way is, to take it and to use it for the relief of the very poor. Those who, after this procession, had the happiness to approach the sacred Table, prepared themselves for it with prayer and fasting; and, not content with confessing once, they usually returned for the second time, a few, days after their first confession, “for fear,” they said, “lest something [Page 135] remain, through forgetfulness, in our souls.” This candor is very usual with nearly all the Savages.

A good Neophyte, unable to contain himself after the Communion, said to the Father: “My heart is quite other than it was; I feel an indescribable sweetness, an indescribable joy, that I cannot express in speech. Before the Communion, I was [113] like a little animal shut up in its hole, not daring to come out of it, — it appears, it comes out half way, but fear causes it to dart back into its den; I was like that, before I had received that sacred food. Confession had calmed my heart, but it dared not come out, — fear and confidence divided it. As soon as my Savior visited it, he broke all the obstacles, he set me at liberty. You would say that it is no longer within me, — that it flies in the air, all ready to do the will of God, in whatever it be.”

A woman already old has shown something strangely above the common in her devotions: her fervor caused her to learn in half an hour a very long Prayer which they are made to say after Communion: hardly had it been uttered twice, when she recited it word for word, and taught it to the others. She has an extreme desire to know all that must be done in order to satisfy God; she leaves her cabin and sometimes withdraws aside in order to say her prayer; her heart speaks a language which no one has taught her. “You know,” she says, “0 my God, that I love only you, — that all that is on the [114] earth is nothing to me; you alone know the astonishment and joy that I experience because you have given me the Faith and the grace to know you. It seems to me that nothing in the world could separate me from you; I fear neither poverty, nor pain, [Page 137] nor death. I feel, nevertheless, that I love my little daughter, but I love you much more, — for, if you desire her, take her, my Lord; I will not leave you for that, nor for anything that is in the world.”

It is not credible how full of wonder are the Savages who come from the other districts to Tadoussac; the peoples shut up in the cold of the North, hearing mention of this new belief, come in small bands, one after another. There were counted of these, this year, two hundred from a single nation, — who, seeing that Savages preach the Faith, listen and present themselves and their children for Baptism. The Father has made about sixty of them Christians this year; they become instructed, they offer their prayers to God in the Chapel, — which they admire, though there is nothing so poor: in a word, they will all come, little by little, [115] to warm themselves and set themselves on fire by the flame which Jesus Christ has come to kindle upon the earth. Their life is strange; they appear only in certain months of the year on the banks of the great river, and some remain there only a very few days. For the rest of the time, they return to those great forests, in order to make war on the fish and the beasts. After all, experience teaches us that they lead a very innocent life, and that they preserve very well the graces which they come to draw from the Sacraments of the Church; it must be also acknowledged that they are averse to everything which serves as food for vice and sin.

The Father, when obliged to separate from these good Neophytes, left them five Books, or five Chapters of a Book, composed after their manner; these Books were no other than five sticks variously [Page 139] fashioned, in which they are to read what the Father has earnestly inculcated upon them.

The first is a black stick, which is to remind them of the horror that they must have for their innovations and their former superstitions.

The second is a white stick, which marks for them the devotions and the prayers which they [116] shall say every day, and the manner of offering and presenting to God their minor actions.

The third is a red stick, on which is written that which they are to do on Sundays and Feasts, — how they are all to assemble in a great cabin, hold public prayers, sing spiritual Songs, and above all, listen to the one who shall keep these Books or these Sticks, and who will give the explanation of them to the whole assembly.

The fourth is the Book or the stick of punishment, therefore it is wound with little ropes. This Book prescribes the manner of correcting the delinquents with love and charity; to their fervor must be granted what is reasonable, and the excesses to which they are easily inclined must be cut off.

The fifth Book is a stick notched with various marks, which signifies how they are to behave in dearth and in plenty, — the recourse which they must have to God, the thanksgivings that they must render him, and the hope which they must always have in his goodness, especially as regards eternity.

These poor people, withdrawing into their forests, usually separate themselves into three [117] bands; the Father has given to the chief of each squad these five Books, or these five Chapters, which contain all that they must do. It is a truly innocent pleasure to see these new Preachers hold these Books or these [Page 141] sticks in one hand, draw forth a stick with the other, and present it to their audience with these words: “Behold the stick or the Massinahigan,“ — that is to Say, “the book of the superstitions; ” “our Father has written it himself. He tells you that it is only the Priests who can say Mass and hear Confessions; that our drums, our sweatings, and our throbbings of the breast are inventions of the manitou or of the evil spirit, who wishes to deceive us; ” and so of all those other Books of wood, which serve them as well as the most gilded volumes of a Royal Library. God speaks as well to the small as to the great; their docility shelters them from the strokes of lightning which overthrow minds filled with self. [Page 143]





EACE, union, and concord have flourished this year in the Island of Montreal; confidence has prevailed among the French, and fear has, from time to time, troubled the Savages. Before giving a reason for this, it will be well to remark that, just as under the name of Iroquois we include various peoples, — the Annierronons, the Oniwetchronons, the Onontagueronons, the Sountwaronons, and some others, — likewise, also, under the name and the language of the Algonquins we include many nations. Some of these are very small, and others very populous: the Wawiechkariniwek, the Kichesipiriniwek or the Savages of the Island — because they inhabit an Island which is encountered on the way to the Hurons, — the Onontchataronons or the Iroquet nation, the Nipisiriniens, the Mataouchkairiniwek, [119] the Sagachiganiriniwek, the Kinouchebiiriniwek, and several others. Since the peace made between the Annierronnons and the French and their allies, there have been found at Montreal, as a rule, some persons from all these nations.

Teswëhat, — otherwise le Borgne of the Island, — Tawichkaron, Captain of the Onontchataronons, and Makatewanakisitch, Captain of the Mataouchkairiniwek, had resolved to dwell there, to spend the winter there, and there to plant Indian corn in the [Page 145] Spring. The false reports which were current, that the Annierronnons had made only a feigned peace, gave the alarm to the camp, and caused Teswëhat and his troop to dislodge in order to withdraw to three Rivers. The Onontchataronons, whose ancestors formerly inhabited the Island of Montreal, and who seem to have some desire to recover it as their country, remained firm, and, after their example, the Mataouchkairiniwek.

These false reports were followed by another, better founded, which was likely to banish from Montreal all these poor Savages. The Annierronnon Iroquois told them that the Oneiochronons and the Onontagueronons had not entered into the treaty of [120] peace which the former had made with the Algonquins and the Hurons; and that, consequently, they should hold themselves on their guard, because those tribes had set out to surprise the Hurons, and thence come to attack Montreal. Terror seized some of them, who fled like the others. Teswëhat, who had withdrawn among the first, sends messengers, one after another, in order to urge those who remained to come down as soon as possible, — that otherwise they are all dead; but the chase, it is to be supposed, detained them. Indeed, it is excellent in these quarters, because the game, during the war, was as in a neutral region, where the enemy scoured neither the open country nor the woods. Those two squads, having taken resolution to remain, notwithstanding all the dangers with which they were threatened, have passed the winter without any harm, slain animals in abundance, and cultivated some lands in the Spring. That has not been done without dread and terror, — for from time to time [Page 147] they mistook shadows for men, and phantoms for realities. It is true, nevertheless, that those tribes with which they were threatened were in arms. we have [121] learned this Spring that they have nearly destroyed a village of Hurons; and that Teswëhat, going back to his own country, lost one of those who accompanied him, in an ambush that they set for him, — this was a young man who, being hit by an arquebus shot, was carried back to Montreal, Never had he received any instruction, and yet he opened his ears in such a way to the words of Jesus Christ, that he almost persuaded him who baptized him that he had received that shot from death, only to pass immediately into life by the means of that divine Sacrament, which bore him in an instant from earth to Heaven. Unless those tribes make peace, as it is hoped that they will do, or unless the Annierronnons prevent them from crossing through their lands, as they have been requested, they will give no rest to the Savages who shall withdraw to Montreal. Those barbarians have shown that they were friends to the French; but if they came to seek Algonquins or Hurons, and found none of them, I would not like them to encounter Europeans when they had the advantage, — for, when they come to war, they take no [122] pleasure in returning empty-handed to their own country; they very often make enemies for themselves, when they have none. Let us now come down somewhat more to particulars. As this Island is, in some Sort, a frontier of the Annierronnon Iroquois, it has, nearly all the winter, some young men of those tribes who come through curiosity to see the French and the Algonquins. It was very fortunate that Father Isaac [Page 149] Jogues happened to be in this settlement, for he maintained their kindly feeling and their desire to continue the peace, — preparing them, little by little, to lend ear to him, when he should go to visit them in their own country.

Those Barbarians looked at the places where they had come in war, where they had massacred French and Algonquins, where they had taken prisoners; and when they were asked how they had treated those whom they had led away into their country, “We were not present,” they said, ‘I when they were taken into our villages; they were not tortured.” We know quite the contrary; for a young Algonquin who has escaped from their hands, has assured us that he had seen them actually burned alive; that the Iroquois [123] have never treated any prisoner with greater rage; that they used all their efforts to make them weep; that those poor Frenchmen were joining their hands in the midst of the flames, and were looking toward Heaven; that the Algonquin women, captive in that country, seeing them in those horrible sufferings, were unable to contain their tears, — stooping and hiding themselves in order to weep. That time of fury is passed: those monsters will become changed into men, and from men they will become children of God. This people, elated with its victories, is haughty even in the land of its enemies. One of them was singing these words in the presence of the Algonquins: “I wished to kill some Algonquins, but Onontio has arrested my anger, he has leveled the earth, he has saved the lives of many men, “ — intending to signify that, but for the peace, he would have struck down a great number of his enemies. [Page 161]

Some others having encountered a small cabin of Algonquins who were hunting, the women, having perceived them, fled into the depth of the woods, except one old woman, who having no more use of her legs, acted the resolute. Those Iroquois shout to her that they are friends; “Very well,” [124] she answers, “come into our cabin to refresh yourselves. ” The men, arriving toward evening, found these guests, who were making sport of the dread of the Algonquins; but the latter answered them gently: “We dread only the wicked; you are good. It is not you who give us fear, but the Onontagueronons, who are wanting in sense, since they have refused you to enter into the treaty of peace which you have made with us.”

One of those Iroquois, who seemed to have some kindly inclination for the Algonquins, seeing that some among them were praying to God, usually slipped in among them when they came to hear holy Mass; the Father who was saying it, having perceived this, wished to make him go forth. He answers that he believes in God, and that he has a rosary as well as the others; the Algonquins, seeing that, say that he is a Christian. “Ask him,” said the Father, “if he is baptized, and what he is called. ” “What is that,” he replies, “to be baptized?” “That,” the Savage who was questioning him said, “is to receive a water of great importance, which effaces all the spots and stains from our souls.” He — who imagined [125] that this water of importance of which they meant to speak was brandy and that there was none better in the world — exclaimed, “Ah! The Dutch have often given me of that water of importance; I drank so much of it and became [Page 153] so tipsy that it was necessary to bind my feet and hands, for fear lest I should injure some one.” Every one began to laugh at that fine baptism; he added that the Dutch had also given him a name, — having pronounced it, they found that it was a nickname, such as our French sometimes give to the Savages.

As touching the Algonquins, the Father who has had charge of that Mission, has urged them so earnestly to yield themselves to God, and to obtain from the earth a part of their food, that — if the dread of the upper Iroquois and some evil genius do not cause them to go back to their own country — it is to be believed that they will compose, in course of time, if they are assisted, a little Church full of piety. He has not made haste to baptize a great number of them; the Pagans themselves praise him openly for this, — saying that nothing estranged them so much from Christianity as the languor of those whose Faith has no [126] soul. The flowers and fruits, which are too early, are often greeted with cold and frost.

Among those whom he has baptized, there is one who deserves most special praise; he has sought for his Baptism with altogether delightful constancy. He has given quite extraordinary proofs of his Faith; I will report some of these at length.

His wife, wishing to procure him Baptism, — for she is very well disposed, — was praising him for his fidelity: “He does not grow angry, he does not go running about at night in the other cabins. ” “Alas! ” he said, “before hearing mention of him who has made all, I committed those faults; but since I have learned that they were displeasing to him, I [Page 155] have not fallen into them. It is three years since I have been asking for Baptism; I am not angry at those who refuse me it, but indeed at myself, for I have greatly offended God.” Wishing, on a certain day, to indicate the desire that he had to be a Christian, “I love nothing in the world so much as petun or tobacco, ” said he; “1 love it no more, when they speak to me of Baptism, — that is to say, if, in order to be baptized, it [127] were necessary to give it up, I would have no more desire to smoke.” “Yes, but,” Mademoiselle d’Allibout answers him, “if thy wife wished to prevent thee from being a Christian, what wouldst thou do?” “I do not love her, ” he answers, “I love Baptism; ” this is their manner of expressing themselves, in order to show their ardor. “I love no one, I love Baptism; the Father can indeed refuse it to me, but he cannot hinder me from praying; and, though he should drive me away from him, I would nevertheless believe in God, in whatever place I might happen to be.” His people have often tempted and solicited him to take part in their superstitions, — in their eat-all feasts, and in their sweats or vapor-baths; they told him that he was not yet baptized, and that these were permitted to him. ” No,” said he, “I will never do anything which displeases God, even though I should not be baptized,” As he was not deeply plunged into vice, that torch which lights all men who come into the world, was causing him to see some rays of its light before he had ever heard mention of God. Going to the chase, he said: “I would form this thought in my heart, and sometimes [128] I would utter it with my lips, — ‘Whoever thou art who ordainest the life and the death of [Page 157] animals, cause that I kill some for my food; thou wilt do me a favor.’ After I had been instructed, I spoke to him with much more love and confidence, Pursuing, this last Autumn, a bear, and not being able to overtake it, I stop quite short, I fall on my knees, and make my prayer: ‘My Father, that animal belongs to thee; if thou wilt give it to me, give it to me.’ I rise; I pursue and overtake it; I hurl my javelin at it, and cause it to remain on the spot.”

This winter, chancing to be sick in the midst of the woods, he was constrained to lie down upon the snow; as he was heated, the snow melted under him, but the cold straightway turned it into ice. Seeing himself in this extremity, he kneels, and utters from his heart these few words: “Help me, my Father; if thou wilt, thou canst do so; but know that thou wilt not anger me if thou doest it not. If I were baptized, I would not be grieved to be sick, and I would not fear death; cause me to receive Baptism before I die.” These words being said, he feels himself strengthened; [129] he rises, and pursues a stag; but, as his strength fails him, he kneels again, “Thou who hast made all, give me this animal; if thou wilt give it to me, thou hast created it, — it is thine; if thou wilt not give me it, I will none the less believe in thee.” He has not finished his prayer before the beast turns in the direction where he is; he hides himself, in order not to frighten it, approaches from his ambush, and kills it without much difficulty. Then, kneeling over it, he thanked him who had given it to him.

The Father who instructed him chancing to be sick, he came to visit him and said: “My Father, preserve thy life; if thou die, who will instruct us? [Page 159] who will baptize me? If we were all baptized, I would not be concerned if thou shouldst die, and we also: for death is not evil for those who believe in God, since they go to Heaven. But be not in such haste, my Father; wait until we all have sense; there are many who will have some, for they begin to pray to God. ” The Father answered him: “Thou urgest so much to be baptized: perhaps thou wilt do nothing of any account when thou art.” “Perhaps not,” he answered, [130] “for I have hardly any sense; but nevertheless, if I were not afraid of speaking arrogantly, I would say that I will remain firm, and that I will be constant, — at least, I have a strong desire to be. ”

These probations have increased his fervor, and restored esteem for our belief in the minds of the Pagans. The doctrine of Jesus Christ is adorable in itself; but, unless one sees it reflected in the deeds of Christians, its luster appears only darkness to the eyes of infidels.

This good Neophyte was baptized on the day of saint John the Baptist. Monsieur d’Allibout, who commanded at ville-marie, made him bear the name of that great forerunner of Jesus Christ; the French and the principal Savages were present at his Baptism. His modesty, truly Christian, did not prevent him from answering in a strong and steady voice’ to all the questions that were put to him, — even passing the limits that were prescribed for him, for fear of too much length in the ceremonies. He gave, at every step, marks of the faith, protesting that he would preserve and defend it at the risk of his life. When they asked him if he renounced his superstitions, [131] instead of answering by a single [Page 161] word, he named them all in detail, before his fellow-countrymen. “I have,” said he, “flung to the ground all that foolishness. I have given up pyromancy, or divination by fire; I have given up eat-all feasts; I have given up the vapor baths, or superstitious sweats, the visions of distant things, and the songs agreeable to the demon; I have given up divination by the throbbing of the breast; and, if it is necessary to abandon anything else, I am ready to do so. I love nothing, —I love not myself; I love faith and prayer; ” such are his own expressions. A Huron Captain, named Jean Baptiste Atironta, chancing to be at his Baptism, asked to speak. After the ceremony, this permission being given him, he addressed our Neophyte in this fashion: “My brother, listen to me. I call thee so, for in truth thou art my brother, — both because we now have but one and the same Father, and since we both bear the name of him whom the believers are now honoring. Let us hold firm in the Faith; be not astonished at the shoutings of thy people, and do not get it into thy mind that they must [132] all believe, for thou wouldst be in error, — they are not all well disposed. If thou rule thyself by them, thou wilt soon be shaken. As for myself, I assure thee that — though I should be persecuted by all the world, and should see myself within two finger-lengths of death — never will I retreat backward. ” The Neophyte answered him in a few words, very modestly: “I hope that I shall respect my Baptism all my life; and that death will not shake my belief. ” This occurred before Mass, which this new Christian heard for the first time, to his very great consolation. As he was very fervent, they instructed him so that he was found fit [Page 163] to receive communion the same day of his Baptism. God does not consider either the great or small, in the distribution of his favors; these two Sacraments made so notable’s change in this man that, although he was not usually very conspicuous, there was, nevertheless, remarked in him an extraordinary modesty which has continued with him even until now.

Toward evening, having come to see the Father who had baptized him, “It is now,” he said, “that I no longer fear death; I have since [133] this morning, when my sins were pardoned, so great a wish to see my Father, that there come to me desires of dying; but, whether I live or die, I will try not to stain my Baptism. ”

A Christian, somewhat older, said to him: “My younger brother, let us take courage; the way to Heaven seems rather difficult, but it is not so when one believes thoroughly. It is a very important thing to follow that road, and very dangerous to leave it. It is not in order to live long on earth that we are baptized; what they promise us is in Heaven. Therefore, love no more that which is here below, since thou art baptized in order to go there above. ”

“I have given my word; I have,” said he, “answered to him who has made all; I have told him that I would believe in him all my life. I have no wish to lie; I loved him before being baptized. If there came to me any dream, I entreated him to prevent the devil from deceiving me. If there came to, me a thought of taking a second wife, there came to me another, — that I should offend him; and immediately I gave up my thought. If I was sick, I asked him for health, [134] only in order to be [Page 165] baptized; now that I am, my heart has no other thought than to be with him.”

Some days after his Baptism, a certain Savage — who is in some consideration among these people, and who has taken our Neophyte for his adopted Son, for a long time Past — committed some insolent act which the Father judged worthy of a suitable rebuke. That barbarian, extremely haughty, chose to be angry with our Neophyte, who accosted him and said: “If you do not acknowledge God as Your father, I will no longer be a son of yours; if You obey him, I will obey you; if you leave him, I will leave you. You shun the Father who instructs us; though he should strike me, I would go to see him. What has he ever asked of you, but that you should love peace, and that you should obey him who has made all? ” His Father answered him: “As for thee, my child, thou canst believe, thou canst love prayer, for thou art not wicked. As for me, it is in vain that I should pray, —I have too much anger and too much malice; I would have to go every day to confession, and even then I could not reform myself.”

An uncle of his, already quite aged, having arrived [135] at Montreal, forthwith our Neophyte accosts him, preaches to him, and incites him to listen to the discourses of the Father. He leads him gently, and in order to pledge him, he said to him: “MY uncle, never, if you believe in God, will I separate myself from you, either on earth or in Heaven. You will no sooner be baptized than I will obey You in all that you shall wish; but if you persevere in the service of the demons, we shall have to separate soon. Listen to the Father, and you will learn that [Page 167] there is another life than the one that we lead on earth, very different from the tales which tell us that souls go away to the place where the Sun goes down. ” This uncle promised him that he would become instructed; but at that time the Father who understood the Algonquin language was obliged to go down to Kebec on some business. The Father who was to go in his place delaying too long to suit that good Christian, he embarks in his canoe, makes about sixty leagues of distance with a good old man, comes to find the Father and says to him: “Thou wentest away without saying good-by to us, while we were at the hunt. We come to claim thee; return, my Father. Every one is sad up there; each lowers his head, and no one [136] says a word; those who speak say that thou hast no sense, to leave thy children. ” The Father was touched, and promised them that he would go up again when the vessels, for which he had come down, should take their departure. This good Neophyte, going back to Montreal, was seized on the way with a burning fever, — so violent that it was necessary to remove him from the canoe, like a dead body. His wife hastens to him and laments; all those who looked at him cried that it was all over with him. Two Sorcerers and Jugglers come to see him, and make him an offer of their songs and of their drums, to cure him. “I am a Christian,” he answers; “I do not fear death; and, even if your art could heal me, I would not use it. ” A Pagan who happened to be present, and who has some kindly inclination for the Faith, said to him: “I am pleased with thee: that is the way one must keep the word that one has given to him who has made all. ” This poor patient was brought back [Page 169] on the eve of St. Ignace; and the next morning a Father of our Society, going to visit him, told him that on such a day had died a great Saint, who had earnestly desired the conversion of all the world; that he was powerful with [137] God. The Father advised him to implore his help; and said that, furthermore, he was on his way to celebrate the holy Mass, and that he would remember to pray to God for him. The sick man confesses; he has recourse to God, through the intercession of St. Ignace, and the fever in a moment leaves him: he was burning like fire, but finds himself cool as a fish; he rests very quietly; in a word, he is cured, That so deeply touched him that he wished to give the praise for it to God before those who had doomed him to death. He prepares a feast of the first Indian corn cultivated by the Savages: the guests believed that it was a farewell feast, and that he was in extremity. They enter his cabin, see him sound and merry, and listen to him with astonishment. “It was not,” he says, “the drums which restored my life, —I have no more dealings with the evil spirits; it is the God of Heaven who has delivered me from death.” They all acknowledged that this cure was extraordinary, and that a man deceased, as they regarded him, could not revive by himself, and in so little time.

I will indite, in passing, a neat answer made by his wife; she is named, [138] in her own language, Kamakatewingwetch, — that is to say, “who has the face black. ” The Father, seeing that she had a cabin with her people at a little brook, said to her, laughing: “I see well that thou lodgest on the edge of these waters expressly to wash thyself, so that thou mayst no more be named ‘the black face.’ Thou [Page 171] wishest to change thy name; thou wouldst like to be called Kaoubingwetch,“ — that is, “the white face.” “Alas! my Father,” she answered, “nothing but the waters of Baptism, which thou refusest me, can cause me to change my name; this river cannot whiten my soul. ” What she desired so ardently was granted her not long ago.

While the Father was absent, a young Christian, wishing to marry, addressed himself to Madamoyselle d’Allibout, who has a very ready knowledge of the Algonquin language. “Since thou understandest us well,” he says to her, “canst thou not indeed supply the lack of the Father? We have given our word to each other, a young Christian girl and I; I beseech thee, marry us publicly in the Church: for the Father forbids us to marry in secret. ” This simplicity made that good Damoiselle laugh; she answered him, not without some blushes, [139] that it was necessary either to await the Father, or go down to Kebec.

An old man, aged perhaps 80 years, has retired to Montreal. “Here,” said he, “is my country. My mother told me that while we were young, the Hurons making war on us, drove us from this Island; as for me, I wish to be buried in it, near my ancestors. ” This man has been a warrior; his mind was very averse to our belief. Having fallen sick, the Father visits him, and speaks to him of another life, full of pleasures or of pains; but, as he was thinking only of the earth, he had no ears either for Paradise or for Hell. The Father, seeing that mildness entered not into that soul, preached to him on a certain day with unusual force, and with threats of an eternal torture; but that moved him not. The Christian [Page 173] Savages of his cabin, frightened at this obstinacy, exclaim: “Let us pray for him, my Father, to the end that God may give him sense; he knows not what it is to be burned forever in the country of the demons. ” The Father kneels down, and afterward all the Christians, and even all the Pagans also; he prays in a loud voice, — he entreats him who has so greatly suffered [140] for men, to have pity on this poor wretch, who, it was believed, could not survive the night; every one repeats, word for word, the same prayer. The poor old man, astonished at such a proceeding, was touched; the tears fall from his eyes, he exclaims, with sobs: “I am wicked, I have no sense. I shall very easily give up the eat-all feasts and the superstitious songs; but my anger has rendered me wicked throughout the earth, even to the shores of the other sea. Pray for me, ” he said, weeping with hot tears, “to the end that all my evil acts be washed away. ” The Father, seeing him well disposed, soothes him, and himself nurses him. In a word, that poor man again returns to health; he now says everywhere that the Father has cured him, and that he has taught him things which make him live again.

When he was told that some day he should be in the flower of his youth, and that this bloom would never wither; and that the Son of God, having been made man, had acquired for us that happiness, he could not contain his joy, “0 Nicanis, what thou sayest is admirable; speak very loud, and teach me often: it is in good earnest that I wish to believe.”

One could not, before this stroke, [141] make him acknowledge his offenses, — he was the most innocent man in the world. “I was good, ” he would [Page 175] say, “before all the Savages who are on the earth were born, “ — he believed himself the oldest of men. As soon as he was stricken, he spoke a very different language, — he called himself the most wicked person beneath the Sky. He invited all his people to listen to the doctrine of Jesus Christ; he was heard at night, praying to God, reiterating a long time the same prayer, all full of affection; he became instructed, like a child. Glorying when he retained some point of our belief, he repeated his lesson during the night, — desiring to know very soon what was necessary in order to receive Baptism.

He had been captured several times by the Iroquois. ‘I I prayed,” he said, “to him who feeds and preserves men; and I always believed that he would aid me to escape, even though my friends should already be burning me. ”

The depths of the providence of God are extremely profound. This man, who has spent all his life in a Savage’s freedom, and in the fury of war, [142] became a little lamb before his death, — all ready to wash the stains from his soul in the blood of him who consented to be the victim and the sacrifice for our sins.

One of the things which we inculcate most strongly upon the Savages, is to have recourse to God from the depths of their hearts, to pray to him in their needs, and to trust themselves to his goodness and to his omnipotence. Here follows what some among them have related to us.

Two Pagan Savages, being famished, were pursuing a Stag; the one was following it by the trail in the woods, the other was crossing a frozen river in order to cut off its course. Finding themselves [Page 177] both out of breath, they kneel down, — the one on the snow, and the other on the ice, without knowing each other’s purpose. Their prayer being done, they feel themselves strengthened; they take fresh courage and pursue their prey with more ardor. Having fatigued it, they kill it, and kneel over its body, thanking God for having given them food.

Two young Christians — having too obstinately pursued an Elk, without carrying with them anything but a javelin — were four days in the snow and in the rigor [143] of an unusual cold, without fire and without other shelter than a sorry piece of blanket, all worn, which served them as robe, bed, fire and house. Finding themselves in this extremity, the weaker of the two said to his companion: “I can do no more; I am dead, “ — turning toward God in the depth of his soul. He told us afterward, that he felt all at once a warmth which spread itself over all his body, and which continued with him the whole night, and thus saved his life and his companion’s, for he warmed him also with that heat, which made him, he said, almost sweat.

A Pagan Savage, and one of a very evil nature, seeing his child in extremity, comes to find the Father and says to him: “Thou tellest us that those who are baptized go to Heaven, and that they are filled with rapture. Come then, I beg thee, to baptize my child before its death; for I wish to procure it this happiness. ” Natural love, with a little grain of Faith, is able to effect the salvation of a soul. The Father said to him: “Why dost thou not procure this same happiness for thyself?” ” Wait,” said he, ‘I some time longer; I am now too wicked. ” The first day of the year, [144] some pieces of [Page 179] cannon were fired at daybreak, to honor the Feast; the Savages run up in alarm, and ask what that is. They are told that on that day the Son of God had been named Jesus, — that is, “Savior; ” and that the noise of the cannon signified that he should be honored. “Come,” they said to one another, “and let us render him that same honor; ” they load their arquebuses, and fire a very neat salute.

On the day of the blessed Sacrament, they wished to be present in the Procession; there was in the march a squad of French arquebusiers, and the Pagans, as well as the Christians, took part therein. They all marched two by two, in fine order and with becoming modesty, from the Chapel even to the Hospital, where had been set up a beautiful temporary Altar. It is very difficult to see Jesus Christ honored by Barbarians, without feeling joy thereat, even to the depth of the heart.

As conclusion to this Chapter, I will make two statements of great consolation. The Huron Captain whom I mentioned above, having observed the fine appearance of the Indian corn at Montreal, has taken the resolution to go [145] and fetch his family, and to bring still another, in order to come and make their dwelling there. If he continues in his purpose, he will influence many Hurons; and I cannot doubt that, unless the upper Iroquois come down as far as Montreal, that Island will be peopled with Savages in course of time, and that God will be honored there.

Father Isaac Jogues, who has returned to the Iroquois to pass the winter there, has among his orders to do all in his power to incline to peace all the upper Iroquois whom he shall see in the villages [Page 181] of the Annierronnons; and, in case of refusal, he has commission strongly to urge the Annierronnons to prevent the former from coming upon the River des prairies, where the Hurons pass, — limiting their wars on the great river of saint Lawrence very far beyond Montreal, — or at least to forbid them to approach that Island, or the countries which are opposite their villages, as being in some sense of their own district. If God grant us this blessing, that ‘Island will be the center of the peace, as it has been the object of all the wars. Patience and confidence overcome everything. [Page 183]




A FRENCHMAN, unable to take revenge for a wrong which he believed had been done him, took the resolution to entice into sin as many Savages as he could, so as to ruin the country, — not being ignorant, any more than that miserable Counselor of whom there is mention in Scripture, that the way to ruin a people is to cause it to take sides against its God. He cajoles some girls, and invites them to drink, on purpose to intoxicate them, in order to pass from one crime to another. The Savage women are not more blamed by their fellow-countrymen for knowing how to hold the cup in their hands, than the English women or the Flemish. These girls having drunk, that impious one approaches to caress them; but a Christian girl who was of the company began to speak: “I see well thy design, wretch that [147] thou art; it is sin, and not charity, that animates thee. Begone, base man; hast thou no shame, thou who art baptized from thy birth, to incline us to wrong? Do not think to ruin us by thy favors; we fear him who has made all, — we do not wish to offend him.” That man, much astonished, had no more to say; God touched him by the voice of a woman. He goes to find the Father who has charge of the Savages; he frankly accuses himself of his sin, protesting that he was going to [Page 185] change the conduct and course of his life; and that, instead of scandalizing the Savages, he would do his utmost to cooperate in their conversion.

An infidel, passionately loving a girl who was a Catechumen, visits her often and gives her indications of his love, — but in vain, for he is always steadfastly rejected. This wretch, believing that the Faith alone preserved purity in that soul, speaks no more of his passion; but he strives quietly to undermine that which offers him resistance. He casts taunts at the Faith, he jeers at those who believe in strangers; in a word, he calls in question our belief. That good girl, discovering his malice, says to him: “Thou [148] art very much deceived; not having been able to unsettle me in one direction, thou attackest me in the other. Know that prayer is the most precious thing that I have in the world: thou shouldst sooner take away my life than the Faith. ” This deceiver was nephew to a truly Christian woman, who was to him as a mother; she was wasting away every day, seeing his debauches. The Father who directed her, having perceived her trouble, asked her the reason of it. “Alas! ” she said, “if, when one of our friends is taken by the Iroquois, to be burned, we feel grief for it, almost even unto death, how could I live, seeing one of my nearest kindred bound by the demons, who are striving to cast him into an eternal fire?”

Another infidel, helping a poor Christian widow, asked her, as recompense, that which decency and the law of God forbid to give. “Alas! ” she said, “what thou desirest is beyond my power; I cannot further offend him who has made all, for I am a Christian.” “Yes,” he answers, “but who will [Page 187] lend thee aid in thy necessity? Where wilt thou find clothing and provisions? the Faith will not give thee these.” [149] “Thy word is worth nothing, and clothing and provisions are of no importance; the Faith is of price and of value.” That said, she withdraws from that shameless man, and God did not abandon her.

As she has a very amiable disposition, another man attacked her, some time afterward. “Thou dost not perhaps know, ” she says to him, “that I pray, and that I am baptized.” At these words, he draws forth a necklace of 7 or 800 Porcelain beads, to dazzle her. She answers, mocking him, “Neither thou nor thy presents are of any value; the word of God is most important. If thou wilt damn thyself, damn thyself all alone, — do not drag others after thee.”

A Christian young man had spoken in the woods to another woman than his wife; he had no sooner arrived at the residence of the French than those who had seen him accused him publicly to the Father. This poor man, guilty enough, asks pardon for his offense, and comes to confession with great tears, — protesting that never more would he cause a like scandal. His only regret was that the Father had given him too light a penance; he asked permission to beat himself.

[150] A girl who was quite poor, having been constrained by necessity to marry an infidel, finding that she was ill-treated because she prayed to God, contented herself with saying her prayers in secret, without kneeling before the Pagans. The Christians, having perceived this, are scandalized; one of them rises publicly in the Chapel, and addressing the Father, says to him: “My Father, listen to my [Page 189] word. This woman, whom thou seest before thine eyes, has allowed herself to be deceived by the devil; she has married a wicked man, who has rendered her a fool. Consider now what thou oughtst to say to her.” Then, turning toward her, he says: “Come, now; stand up. Wilt thou be discreet hereafter? Confess, and open thine ears to the words that the Father will say to thee. ” The poor creature, who had already left that Pagan, suffered this embarrassment with great regret for her offense; she confessed so candidly, and gave so many proofs of her sorrow and of her constancy in the Faith, that the Father was altogether edified thereby.

This zeal causes the Christians to remain in their duty, and the Pagans to respect the doctrine of Jesus Christ; [151] and it leads them to embrace it only with a desire to observe it.

A Christian, who had committed some fault in public, was ordered to kiss three times the earth in the Chapel. While he was performing this, a woman already aged said to him: “Do not do that in order to satisfy our eyes; thou must be grieved in the depth of thy heart at having offended him who has made all. ” Then, casting her eyes upon his comrade, whom she knew to be guilty of the same fault, she said to him: “And thou, “ — calling him by name, — “thinkest thou perhaps that thy sin is no more in thy soul, because it is not known to the Father? There, there, kiss the earth as well as thy companion, — thou art no better than he; let us appease God, when we have offended him.” That poor lad made no answer; he did not need to have his ears pulled, and touched the earth before the [Page 191] words ceased on that woman’s lips; while her fervor was gently moderated.

At the same time, a man rose and exclaimed: “Since Our faults are Public, it is well done to cry for mew On them publicly to God. My design is not to wound, but to heal. Stand up, such a one; [152] every one knows that you are a bad-tempered girl. You, my Father, who decide upon prayers and upon faults, order some needful remedy for bringing back sense to this girl. She has companions who are no better than the lads: unless they reform, it will be necessary to punish them as well as the others.”

A poor widow sympathizing with her invalid son, whom she loved as the sole support of her old age, not knowing to what Physician to have recourse, a Sorceress presented herself to cure him. This was a strong temptation to a poor woman, who has no other support than her child; but grace was stronger than nature, and God more powerful than the demons. This good mother gently answered: “We who believe in God do not avail ourselves of demons. I prefer losing sight of my son to losing my soul and his. If I am poor and forsaken, it will not be for long; it is necessary to suffer in this world in order not to suffer in the other.” The Sorceress became angry, on hearing the answer of that poor afflicted one, and called her a cruel woman for not consenting to save the life of her child. [153] To that she made no reply; patience is mute when its words might cause acrimony.

God has confounded our thoughts and overthrown the foundations or the principles on which we were building. We watered, at the start, only the Young plants, — despising, as it were, those old stumps. [Page 193] which appeared incapable of bearing any fruit; but God has made them put forth green shoots again, to great advantage. We have seen very aged men and women as fervent in Christianity as a Novice of twenty years in a Religious house. An old woman, aged about 80 years, had a very good Christian son; he was the staff of her old age, and the support of her whole family. Having been miserably slain, his poor mother brought six Beaver skins, in order to have prayers offered to God for his soul; but she was given alms of her own property, — for hardly could one have found a person more destitute. It is not credible how tender a conscience this woman has, and how great is the solace that she finds in the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist. In them she drowns all her anguish and all [154] her weariness; from them she derives strength to endure the absence of many children, of whom death has robbed her, having left her alone in the extremity of her age. In a word, he who would gladden her must speak to her of Heaven; she has a confidence so simple and so upright that one might say that she is wholly assured of entering that place. That is not peculiar to her; many Savages, walking in the ways which are prescribed for them, using remedies which God has left in his Church, go hence to death as to the entrance into life, — without fear, without dread, without any agitation. They hold themselves assured that — having kept in good faith the conditions which God requires in the contract which he has made with us, to give us his Paradise — that supreme goodness will not fail us on his side. Uprightness and simplicity give great assurances to docile souls. [Page 195]

A poor woman, suffering great pains in a languishing body, said to one who was asking her whether she had no fear of death: “Why should I dread it? since on dying I shall see him who has made all. Alas! that is my happiness; but, nevertheless, [155] I ask nothing. This is all my prayer: ‘Thou art my master, — dispose of me according to thy will; I wish no other thing.’ ”

This Chapter resembles those works composed in Mosaic; it is made up of related fragments.

An Iroquois acting the Thraso, mocking at death before the Algonquins, wished to appear a Guillaume without fear, — or as a Samson who, alone, defied the Philistines in their own country. An Algonquin, whose eyes the Faith had opened, and to whom it had given modesty, said to him: “One sees well, my dear friend, that you are not well acquainted with him who brings down and who lifts up when he pleases. Not long ago, the shadow of the Algonquins made you afraid; you now despise them because their sins have exterminated them. But do not act haughtily; the hand which has struck them is able to heal them, and to massacre you.” This language, new on the lips of a Christian Savage, met no reply from those of an arrogant Iroquois.

A woman, unable to deliver herself in her confinement, suffered four days [156] with extreme pains; those who were attending her hasten to the Fathers; for they are in all things the refuge and the counsel of this poor people, They were given some relics of the late Monsieur Bernard, well known in France; hardly had the woman in travail suspended them to her neck when she was delivered of a fine child. That greatly surprised all the Savages, — insomuch [Page 197] that another, being racked with a violent fever, and solicited by some Pagans to have recourse to their diabolical superstitions, closed his ear to them, in order to open it to the counsels of the Fathers, who had him wear that same Relic. The poor man, already condemned to death by all his people, appeared sound and sprightly in a very short time.

It is the custom of the Savages to be present, toward evening, at the prayers in the Chapel; and to say them again, in their cabins, before taking their sleep. A young lad, being on his knees at that time, fell suddenly into a swoon. His parents shout, call him, and pull him now to one side, now to the other; they throw cold water on him, in order to bring him back to himself. This poor fellow [157] stirs not at all; he remains even till midnight without giving any sign of life. A message is carried to the Fathers that he is dead, unless they find some new remedy. They put those sacred Relics on his breast; hardly has he touched them when he opens his eyes, comes back to himself, and inspires awe in all those present, who could not sufficiently thank Our Lord for a cure so sudden.

They gave the same medicine to two sick little children; it had not the same effect, but perhaps a better. The parents, having called, the night preceding, a Sorcerer to sing and to breathe upon those poor little ones, rendered themselves unworthy of the favors of that great Servant of God in behalf of the health of those little innocents. But their souls, received in Heaven, and joining their prayers to his, obtained the conversion of their fathers and mothers, who brought from a distance of twelve leagues those little bodies to be buried with the Christians, and [Page 199] promised to follow Jesus Christ, and never more to use any superstitions. The Sorcerer himself threw his drum into the fire, and became instructed and baptized; and at the hour [158] when I write these remarks, they are all living in the fear of God, and in obedience to his Church.

Saint Xavier employed, in the East Indies, little children for hunting out the Idols, which he caused to be shattered by those innocent hands. The Father who has had charge of the Mission at Tadoussac, has done likewise in order to find the drums, and the little manitous or demons concealed in the pouches of the Savages. Those children have rendered all these instruments of superstition so ridiculous that there is no longer any one who dares to use them, unless perhaps at night and in the depth of the woods. These little creatures reveal all the mysteries of those impostors; they boldly reprove those who do any unseemly deed. Among others, a little girl, instructed at the Seminary of the Ursuline Mothers, did not fail to notify the Father of the failings that she perceived among her companions, with a zeal and childish sweetness wholly lovable.

An Abnaquiois, having fallen sick at saint Joseph, was seized with a burning fever, which soon threw him into a delirium. [159] His words and his answers had no connection; but what astonished his companions and the other Savages was, that he never lost the knowledge of the things which concerned his salvation. As soon as one spoke to him of Baptism, his reason was quite complete; if you broached another topic, he closed his eyes, and rendered no fitting answer. He requested Baptism by signs and by words, and by clear indications that he [Page 201] knew its value. He is interrogated; he answers distinctly, and without tripping. He is examined, and gives satisfaction; in a word, he is baptized. He dies, leaving us a belief that Jesus Christ had preserved his reason almost miraculously, in order to have him enter the land of promise after having been washed in the red sea of his blood. He now pleads in the Heavens the cause of his people, who seem willing to become instructed in good earnest.

A squad of Hurons having come down to saint Joseph, the Christians, being in great need of provisions, asked one another, “Shall we indeed be able to feed all those people? ” [160] While they were saying that, lo, part of these guests, leaving their little boats, go straight to the Chapel, kneel down, and say their prayers. An Algonquin who had gone to salute the blessed Sacrament, having perceived them, comes to give notice to his Captain that those Hurons were praying to God. “Is it true? ” said he; “well, well, we must no longer deliberate whether they shall be given something for dinner; they are our kinsfolk, since they believe as well as we, and honor prayer.” Thereupon they caressed one another in the manner of charity, by actions rather than by words.

God sometimes frightens us by shadows, in order to make us practice genuine actions. A Christian family was hunting the Beaver; the good fortune which it met in the chase was crossed by a terror which caused evil and good. The story was thus related to us by a woman, very honest and very virtuous, “Having taken our meal toward evening, and thanked God, according to our custom, my husband,” she said, “going out of our little bark house, [Page 203] heard a noise, as of a person who, having recognized us, was crossing the river [161] at which we were. He asked if all the dogs were in the cabin, suspecting that they had probably caused this noise: having seen them near me, I answered him that not one was outside. He listens; he hears this noise continuing. ‘We are discovered,’ he exclaims;’ save yourselves and your children; the enemy surrounds us. Flee by the favor of the night; we will sustain the shock, and we will die here, in order to give you leisure to escape.’ I straightway embrace one of my children, ” said this woman; “I give the other to be carried by a kinswoman of mine who accompanied me. My husband runs to arms, and the young man who was hunting with him seizes at the same time his javelin and his arquebus; and while they put themselves in position to fight, in order to stop the enemy if he approached, we flee all in tears, — tearing our feet and bare legs in the thickets, knocking against the stones and the fallen trees that we encountered. The darkness increased our fright; we journeyed and ran, all night and all day. Finally, having no more strength, we rested ourselves on the [162] bank of the great river; and, by good fortune seeing a canoe of our people journeying, we called it. It took us and brought us here, where it is true that we are in safety, but not without pain. My poor husband and his kinsman are taken, and perhaps half burned and half roasted; ” and thereupon that poor creature and all her children, and her nearest kinswomen, gave way to cries and to tears that would have softened a heart of bronze. The Father who was at saint Joseph, hearing those cries, runs thither immediately; this sad [Page 205] sight disturbs him. “What then?” said he, “will these griefs and these cries revive dead men? You must pray for them, and not afflict yourselves without measure. ” “Alas! my Father,” she answered, “what troubles and afflicts me, even to the depth of the heart, is that they have died without Confessing; how can one not mourn such a death?” “Fear not, my daughter,” replies the Father; “I know the virtue of thy husband; not only is he of a peaceful and gentle temper, as thou knowest, but I assure thee that he has a very lively Faith, a very great dread of sin, and a very ardent love for his God. [163] Hast thou ever seen him in anger? hast thou seen him omit, a single time, to say his prayers since he is a Christian? ” “Alas! nay,” she answered, “nay; every morning and evening, and each time that we took our meals, we said our prayers together: we lived like children. “It must be acknowledged that this man has a gift for prayers, which he himself does not understand; and that this family is one of the most favored by Heaven, of all those which have given themselves toJesus Christ.

“Let us cease to weep,” added the Father; “let us ask God to strengthen them, if they are still living, and to lodge them in his Paradise if they are dead.” “My tears or my toils have not prevented my prayers, ” she answers; “I assure you, my Father, that in our flight my heart was always with God, — I thought not so much of my pains as I thought of God. I would say to him from the depth of my soul, ‘Lodge them with thyself; strengthen them; have pity on them, listen to their prayers, and lift them up to Heaven.’ And now, in all the cries that you have heard, and in my deepest anguish, God has [Page 207] always been within my heart. I say to him, weeping: ‘Thou art the master, — do that [164] which thou wilt. Save them; that is all that I ask thee. It matters not that I suffer, — I have offended thee; but thou art good; have pity on me. I cannot prevent my tears, — my hurt is too recent; but I would not for anything in the world offend God. Pray for them, my Father, so that they may soon be in Heaven.”

These feelings gave astonishment to the Father; as these souls are quite young in the Faith, he feared some murmur against Heaven, or some rage against their enemies, — seeing, moreover, that the devil strives to persuade these peoples that our belief brings only misfortunes to those who give up their former customs in order to receive it. Add to this, that a woman who is burdened with four little children, and who has for total riches only the arms and the legs of her husband, finds herself very desolate in such an emergency. But the Faith is a great treasure; it has powerful effects in the souls of these good Neophytes.

In fine, as soon as she had related her adventure, one of the Captains of saint Joseph very quickly armed a squad of his people, whom he led into the Chapel, [165] where they made this brief prayer: “Jesus, think favorably of us. Thou knowest well that we wish no ill to our enemies; give them sense, to the end that they may live in peace. We have prayed to thee for them; but they will not listen to thee. Strengthen us, and help us to cut their legs, so that they may come no more to seek us to death. We believe in thee; consider us; command thine Angels to accompany us, to the end that [Page 209] we may not offend thee. ” These words being said, and some others full of fervor, they run to their canoes in order to embark, and to give chase to their enemies. Hardly were they approaching the banks of the great river, when they perceived two canoes, one of which, hearing the noise that was going on, cried: “Stop, we are alive.” Every one ran thither, instead of stopping; those two men, deceased without dying, or those prisoners without enemies, said that a lynx, by its howling, and by its goings and comings about their cabins, deceived them. At these words, the war was ended; each one began to laugh, and they carried back their arms and baggage into the cabins. The desolation [166] of these good people was changed into joy, and into thanksgiving, which they rendered to Our Lord. They believed that those enemies were not Annierronnons or Iroquois, with whom the peace continues, but Sokoquiois, who killed last year, almost at the same season, two or three of the best Christians of saint Joseph, as it has been remarked in the preceding chapters. We are, however, told that those tribes are not in favor of maintaining the war against our Savages, and that they will remain quiet. [Page 211]






 SAVAGE of a nation very distant from Kebec has told us that, when any person of eminence has died in his country, those who can best use the knife and hatchet cut out [167] his likeness, as well as they can, and fix it upon the grave of the deceased, — anointing and greasing this man of wood as if he were alive. They call this figure Tipaiatik, — as if they said, “the head or portrait of one deceased. ”

They have still another remarkable custom in that country. A man having died, if his father, or brother, or any one of his near kinsmen or his friends has gone on some very distant journey, they inform him of the death of his kinsman or of his friend in this wise: they go and suspend the thing signified by the name of the deceased along the way by which this man is to pass. For instance, if he is named Piré, — that is to say, “the partridge, “ — they suspend the skin of a partridge; if he is named Sikwas, — that is to say, “birch-bark, “ — they fasten a piece of it to some branch of a tree, in order to indicate that he who bore that name is no longer numbered among the living. Here is a usage that seems very strange: if the kinsman has recognized the signal, he will enter into his cabin without ever speaking of the [Page 213] dead, or asking how he has died, and his relatives will make no mention of it, — for they speak no more of the dead, for fear of saddening [168] the living. If, however, it is believed that he has not seen the signal, they will tell him that such a one is dead; and that is all.

If a Savage has fallen into any disaster, or if he has lost one of his near kinsmen, he lets his hair grow over his forehead, in token of his mourning and sorrow. But if you wish to deliver him from that distress, make him a present, with these words, or others similar: “There are some scissors to cut the hair which hangs over your forehead; ” if he receive your present, he cuts his hair and forsakes his sadness.

It has already been told, in the preceding Relations, that if any man of consideration, or one much loved by his kinsfolk, have died, he is made to revive in this manner: they offer to some one else the name of the deceased, together with a valuable present. If he accept it, he gives up his former name, and takes the new one; and, if he be not married, he espouses the widow, taking care of her children as if they were his own; but, if the widow accept him not, he nevertheless acts as father to her children. Not long ago, this custom gave us a false alarm, and a false scandal. [169] The husband of a quite young wife having died, his name was transferred to a young man who had recently lost his wife; this one takes his baggage and goes to lodge in the widow’s cabin, and places himself beside her and her children. As they were both Christians, that astonished us; for it was said that they were married together. That young woman is called; she is asked if she is not a [Page 215] Christian, and if she has not forsaken the Faith. “I am a Christian,” she answers; “and for nothing in the world would I forsake the Faith.” “Are you married again? ” “No.” “Such a young man, — is he not with you in your cabin?” “Yes.” “Do you wish to espouse him?” “No.” “Whence comes it then that you lodge him with you? ” “I have not called him, — ask those who have given him my husband’s name, why they have Sent him to me.” The Father who put these questions, said only a few words at his preaching, about this custom, reproving it as too dangerous. Immediately two Captains came to find him, assuring him that they were doing that in order to help the widow and her children; that, if there were any wrong in it, they would abolish this [170] way of doing, as they have done with all the others that have been judged blameworthy. They are told that, if these persons wished to marry, we would espouse them; otherwise, that they ought to separate, — which would not hinder that young man from doing good to those poor orphans. That was quickly accomplished.

They give in France a sum of money, or something else of value, in order to have a young girl marry. Here, on the contrary, a man wishing to espouse a girl makes presents to her parents. But, if the girl marry before the presents are given, and the husband be slow to make them, the parents take away their daughter, and the husband remains all alone, as if he had not been married. Moreover, if a Savage espouse a girl of another nation or of another village than his own, he must — unless he send her back when she is sick, in order to die near her parents — send presents to console them upon her death. [Page 217]

There has surely been mention, in the preceding years, of some flies which shine at night during the Summer, like stars or little torches; if you take one by its little wing, and if you move it Slowly [171] over a book, you will read in the depth of the night as in the middle of the day. It is true that this torch conceals itself and appears according to the motion of this little animal. Besides this kind of flies, there are others which in Spring appear in some places in so great number that one might in truth say that it snows flies, to such a degree is the air filled with them. It is true that they are harmless; but, if they stung, — like the gnats which are here named mosquitoes, — it would be one of the plagues of Egypt; no man in the world would dare to leave his face or his hands exposed during some little time that this rain and this darkness prevail; the air at that time has no more light than when a very compact and heavy fall of snow occurs. I have not seen any of these armies at Kebec; but have seen them a little above, in some Islands where one finds four sorts of toads. There are black ones, and yellow ones, very ugly; there are some white ones, quite large, and others rather small, which perch like the birds, — these climb on the trees, jumping from branch to branch; their feet are adapted to hooking fast. They make a resounding cry which [172] approaches much more to the song of a bird than to the croaking of the frogs. Indeed, the first one that we heard we mistook for a bird; but the eye taught us that it was a toad. I know not whether it has been remarked that there are frogs here which some persons have mistaken for bulls, on hearing them croak; this noise is prodigious for the littleness of their body. They [Page 219] are not large, of their kind; one sees others incomparably bigger, which do not make so much noise.

There is found here a species of deer, different from the common ones of France. Our French call them “wild cows,” but they are really deer; their branching horns have no likeness to the horns of our oxen, and their bodies are very dissimilar, and of much greater height. These animals go in troops; but, to assist one another during the winter, they follow one after another, the first ones breaking the way for those that come after; and, when the one which breaks and opens up the snow is tired, it places itself last in the beaten path. The deer in France do the same in crossing a river, when they happen to be in a herd. According to report, these animals [173] hardly stop in one place, Continually traveling within these great forests. The Elks do the contrary: though they walk together, they observe no order, browsing here and there, without straying far from the same shelter. This is what prompted, some days ago, a Savage who wished to become sedentary, to say that the Elks were French, and that other sort of roving deer, Algonquins: because the latter go to seek their living hither and thither within these great forests, and the French are stationary, tilling the earth at the place where they make their abode. Besides these deer, there are two other species, — one of which is similar, or which has much likeness, to our deer of France; the other of which is believed to be the Onager or wild ass of the Scripture. It would be using repetitions, to attempt to speak of them in this place. These good people now see in their country another kind of animals, of which they had never had knowledge; these are [Page 221] little bulls and heifers, which have been brought hither with great labors. Their astonishment will be much greater when they shall see these animals working the earth, and drawing huge [174] burdens over snows three and four feet deep, without sinking in.

In this Chapter I will give space to the fear and the strength of two women. On the third of July, two women, all wet from the feet even to the head, entered the settlement of Montreal; they were dejected and all in tears. They are asked the reason of their sadness. “As we were coming down hither, my daughter and I,” said the elder, “we perceived some men whom we believed to be of our enemies; fear seizing us, we abandoned our little bark boat and all our baggage, walking and running eight entire days in these great woods, for fear of falling into their hands.” “What have you eaten since that time? ” they are asked. “Nothing at all, but wild fruits that we came across at times; and even then we gathered them only while running.” “But how have you been able to land on this Island without a canoe? ” “We picked up pieces of wood, which we bound together with bark of white-wood; we placed ourselves on this raft, paddling with sticks, and trusting to the mercy of the waters, — choosing [175] rather to be drowned than to fall into the hands of persons so cruel as are our enemies. Those pieces of wood beginning to break apart, we fell into the current; but, after having struggled hard, we overtook our raft, which brought us even to the shore of your Island.” Notice, if you please, that they made more than two leagues on those floating sticks, awaiting only the hour when they should be [Page 223] swallowed up in the depth of a flood which appears like a sea above this Island. After all, it required no bleeding to cure them of their fright: they were given something to eat, they dried their clothing, and at once they were free from care. The loss of their canoe, their wares, their provisions, and all their baggage, afflicted them not much. What is lightly attached is easily torn away; as goods are not deeply lodged in the hearts of the Savages, the loss of them is less bitter; they make merry in shipwrecks, and mock at the fire which consumes their possessions.

I have already given an excuse for the medley of this Chapter, — here follows an instance of innocent simplicity. An Atticamegue who had not [176] visited the French, seeing that a Father, looking at a paper, uttered some prayers, — this Savage was charmed; he imagines that he would well understand that paper, and asks for it. “Thou wouldst understand nothing upon it,” the Father answers him. “How so?” he said, “it speaks my language.” The Father gives it to him; he looks at it, and turns and turns it again on all sides; then, beginning to laugh, he exclaims in his Montagnais, Tap de Nama Nitirinisin, Nama Ninisitawabaten, — “In truth, I have no sense; I do not hear with the eyes.” It is an excellent word that they have employed to signify that one knows how to read, Ninisitawabaten; this correctly means, “I hear with the eyes.” This word is composed of Ninisitouten, “I hear,” and Niwabaten, “I see; ” from these two words they compose one which signifies “I hear by seeing: ” that is to say, “I read well,” “I know what I see.” Their compounds are admirable; and I may say that, though there should be no other argument to [Page 225] show that there is a God than the economy of the Savage languages, that would suffice to convince us, For there is no human wisdom nor skill which can unite so many men, so as to make them observe the order which they [177] maintain in their languages, wholly different from those of Europe; it is God alone who holds the guidance thereof. Indeed, we should not be astonished that a Savage admires the invention of depicting the speech of men; it is truly a secret worthy of astonishment. Although the Savages are subject to fear, like other men, and though they are less resolute and courageous in their attacks than our Europeans, yet they take pride in not wavering or recoiling when one tries to strike them, either in earnest or in feint. A Frenchman, holding a halberd, and pretending to give a thrust with it at a Savage, wounded him in fact, because he held still, without dodging the blow; he was not offended, however, seeing that the Frenchman had done that in sport, What astonished us was that he concealed his wound, from which he was afterward’ much inconvenienced; yet he never wished any ill to the one who had injured him, — saying that he had done that in play.

The reader may have observed elsewhere this which follows. The journeys which have been made to the countries of the Annierronnons, and the communication that has been held with them, have informed us [178] of a very remarkable instance of the justice of God. The two Iroquois who killed, in cold blood, a poor Frenchman at the feet of Father Isaac Jogues, have died by an unknown death; one of the two was the tallest and perhaps the strongest man of his country. [Page 227]

That woman who cut the same Father’s thumb, had no long career after that rage; and they who gnawed his fingers and those of his companions, and who treated them with most fury, have been killed by the Algonquins in their latest combats, We are told that the same justice has taken cognizance of those who so pitiably lacerated Father Bressany; the country which consented to those cruelties is afflicted with diseases which perhaps will give true health to that poor people.

Here is an incident which recently happened. Seventeen warriors from Ononiioté, having placed themselves in ambush, wounded to death a young lad of the band of Teswëhat, Captain of the Island, — as we have said herein above, — and besides took two women, one of whom was already very aged. While they were returning thence to their own country, dragging after them those two poor creatures, they perceived from [179] afar a canoe of Hurons, and were at the same time discovered by those who were guiding that canoe. Straightway the Hurons, who numbered thirty warriors, disembark, in order to take counsel as to what they should do. Those of Ononiioté do the same. Neither party knew the number of the other. The Captains of these two little bands encourage their people; they exhort them not to recede, and to die rather than to give way. It is the custom of those Captains, when they find themselves on the verge of combat, to draw forth sticks which they purposely carry with them, and to present these to their men that they may fix them in the ground, — that they may protest by this act that these sticks will sooner leave their place than they will retreat. However, it happens very often that [Page 229] the sticks remaining firm, the warriors nevertheless flee. These latter having fastened their sticks well forward, and sworn, after their fashion, that they would die sooner than waver in the combat, those of Ononiioté come the first, in order to attack the Hurons, who were a point behind. At their approach, there arose a great shout on both sides, according to the custom of the Savages, to whom this noise serves for trumpets and [180] drums. The Hurons — imagining that their enemies, forestalling them, were in great number — fled straightway into the woods, with the exception of those who held firm as well as their sticks, and were resolved to die on the spot. Those of Ononiioté having recognized that the shout of the Hurons at the start was greater than their own, all fled, so that not a single one was left; the five Hurons who had not given way found themselves without friends or enemies, and they looked at one another in astonishment. The two captive women — seeing that all the people were running, some hither, some thither — unbind each other and escape into the woods, as well as the rest. While they were fleeing in disorder, one of these women encounters a Huron; they recognize each other, and that poor prisoner relates her fortune, and says that those of Ononiioté were only seventeen. The Huron, quite surprised, immediately runs to notify his comrades; he shouts with all his might: they rally themselves and begin to run, to cut off their enemies’ path. They succeed in catching one of them, whom they bring to Montreal; and they gave liberty to that captive Algonquin woman. Her older companion had fled so far [181] that they could never find her: she returns some days later, all alone, to the astonishment of [Page 231] both the French and the Savages. These marveled how an old woman had been able to traverse so much land and so much water, without provisions and without a boat; having neither knife nor axe, nor strength to make a bridge, either permanent or floating, over an extent of water of more than three leagues, The love of life or the fear of death has more strength and more skill than fire and iron. Monsieur d’Allibout strove, as well as he could, to release that prisoner from the hands of the Hurons, in order to make peace with his nation; he offered great presents for his deliverance. But, seeing that those young warriors wished to take him into their own country, he begged them, by a gift, to save his life, and to conduct him back the next year to Onontio, — intending to make alliance with those tribes by the mediation of that prisoner. Some time later, three hundred Hurons having come down to three Rivers, Monsieur our Governor urged them not to ill-use that prisoner whom they had taken into their country, and to bring him back in due time, according to the promise that had been given him by those who had the prisoner in their hands. Sixty worthy Huron Christians appeared in this assembly, [182] where on behalf of the Iroquois presents were made, — in token that they were enjoying the quietness of the peace; and. in order to assure the Hurons and the Algonquins that, if they killed any one of their nation in their combats with the Sountwaronons, the country would not undertake the defense of such. In this council the Hurons set aside some presents for the Iroquois, beseeching Ondessone — this is the name which they give to Father Isaac Jogues — to convey their word to those peoples. This having [Page 233] been granted them, this good Father departed soon after, in order to go and spend the winter in the country of those Barbarians, — where the adorable Crucified has caused him, and will still cause him, to enjoy fruits of his Cross.

The vessels having arrived unusually late, constrain me to place in this Chapter a deed which would deserve a whole entire volume. We have received this year a magnificent Portrait of the King, of the Queen, and of Monsieur: it is a Royal gift from that august Princess, who, not being able to show herself in person to her subjects newly converted to Jesus Christ, sends them an Image of the chief dignitaries of the world. This kindness is delightful; all the French have experienced from it the most reverential joy, and the Savages have shown for it admiration beyond what we would have supposed. The Father to whom this Picture was sent, in order to exhibit it to the view of this people, having assembled the principal persons of those who are at the residence of St. Joseph, made them a little harangue, [183] indicating that those great majesties asked the help of their prayers, for them and for their Estates; and that, not being able to appear in person in this new world, they showed themselves in their Portraits, in order to give assurance, by the mouth of their Interpreter, that their greatest desire was that all the peoples of the earth should acknowledge and adore Jesus Christ. Now, since it is the custom not to speak in public but with gifts in hand, Monsieur our Governor had given three robes and three arquebuses, which the Father offered to the three Captains who were present in this assembly. “I am only the voice,” he said to them, “of those whom you see [Page 235] depicted with so much grace and majesty in this rich Picture. They present you with robes, in order to preserve the warmth of your piety and devotion; and with arms, to protect the Faith and to defend all those who have embraced it and who shall embrace it.” One of the Captains, rising, answered in these terms: “My Father, what thou sayest is admirable; but would to God that we might see in person those who delight us in their portraits. Indeed, we almost believe them living; their eyes look at us, and you would say that their lips wish to speak to us. My Father, thou hinderest us from being grateful; for thou sayest things too grand. Who are we, that we should obtain from God blessings for our great Captain and his brother, and for that great Captainess, their mother? It is for you’ who understand prayer, to speak to God. It is only 3 days since we were baptized; we do not well know what is necessary to say to him for personages so great. Nevertheless, we love him, and we will say to him all that we know; but we know little. [184] As for the Faith, we will keep it and defend it as long as we live. Although it is not long since I received it, it seems to me that I hold it as strongly as if I had been baptized from my birth. But, my Father, instruct us, and teach us what we ought to say to God for those who give us so much help; our hearts love, but our lips know not what ought to be said.” Thereupon they placed themselves on their knees, and repeatedly said aloud their prayers, — intermingling some Hymns, which they sang with a harmony far from savage. That done, they all arose, much astonished that those portraits looked at them in whatever direction they turned. They passed [Page 237] and passed again, in various places, taking notice whether they might not see their eyes move; then, beginning to laugh, they exclaimed: “In truth, they follow us with their eyes in whatever places we go. ”

The Father, seeing them in admiration, asked one of our Captains at how many Beavers he would probably value a Picture so magnificent. “If I answered, ” he replied, “I would not speak correctly; there can be no price, but only reverence, for things so great. Beavers are nothing; that is something. ” Their eyes could not be satiated with the sight, of an object so Royal. They explained, after their fashion, all the details of that beautiful work, — betokening a satisfaction which writing cannot represent. These acts appeal to their sight, and make them believe that the God whom the Great adore is great, and that prayer is beyond estimation, since the Kings of the earth request its help from so far, and from their subjects.


[Page 239]

Relation of what occurred. most noteworthy in

the Mission of the Fathers of the Society

of Jesus, among the Hurons, a country

of New France, from the month

of May in the year 1645, until

the month of May in the

year 1646.

[Page 241]

[3] To the Reverend Father Estienne Charlet,

Provincial of the Society of Jesus,

in the Province of France.


The obligation which I have, to inform Your Reverence of the state of Christianity in these countries, and of the employment which the Fathers of our Society find therein, would require of me a Relation longer than the preceding years have furnished, if my design were to make you a recital of all the favors which God still continues upon our labors in the midst of this barbarism. But — knowing well that new tidings are expected, and that one might regard as old repetitions the acts of fervor and the sentiments of piety of our Neophyte [4] Christians, which may have some resemblance to the favors which this Church received from God in those first years —I have resolved to obey, in this matter, the most common feeling, and to restrict myself within even greater brevity, writing only a part of the things which will possibly appear new. At the same time, I am not ignorant that Heaven has many other objects of vision than the earth; that the crowning act of the graces of God is the continuation of the same graces; and that our love, our fervor, and our acts of fidelity are all the more agreeable to him that they are less new. Thus, for the years following, we would gladly condemn ourselves to silence, if there arose nothing new, — provided that [Page 243] we might always see this little Church fortified with that same spirit which animates it in its nativity; that the same graces of Heaven should flow down upon it; and that the hearts of the new Christians should conceive the same sentiments which we have been able to remark in those who have preceded them. God, no doubt, would derive his glory from it, and we would have cause to be content in a work wherein there would be more of his doing than of ours; and [5] then, I assure myself, the wishes of the one and the other France, of Heaven and of the earth, would see themselves richly fulfilled. We have need, for this purpose, of the prayers of all France; Your Reverence will procure them for us if you please, and will add to them your own and your Holy Sacrifices.

Your Reverence’s

Very humble and obedient servant

in Our Lord, Paul Ragueneau.

From the Hurons, this 1st of May, 1646.

[Page 245]




LTHOUGH, truly speaking, this past year cannot be called a happy one for our Hurons, yet, their misfortunes having been less frequent than in the past, I may compare them to those who, having been submerged for a time in the storm of some tempest, begin to breathe again from their shipwreck. The earth has been more liberal than last year, — the Indian corn, which is the chief of [6] their riches, having come almost everywhere to a fortunate maturity. The lakes and the rivers have furnished them with fish in abundance. The trade which they have had with distant nations has brought them no little gain. All those who went down, last Summer, to the warehouses at Quebec and Three Rivers, having found the entire road at peace, through the care of Monsieur de Montmagny, our governor, have filled the country with joy as well as with our French wares, of which last they had seen themselves robbed, during five or six years past, by the hostile Iroquois, who were rendering that commerce impossible, — or, at least, so perilous that it cost life and martyrdoms of fire most of those who fell into their hands. The contagious diseases which were depopulating our villages now leave them at rest.

It is only the war that keeps affairs in suspense, for it still continues with the four Iroquois nations [Page 247] nearest to our Hurons; it is only the fifth, the most distant from here, which has entered into the treaty of peace that began last year. I mean to say that, in the various [7] encounters which our Hurons have had within a year with their enemies, the successes of their arms have been divided.

At the beginning of Spring, a band of Iroquois — having landed near one of our frontier villages, by favor of a very dark night, and having concealed itself in the woods — surrounded a company of women who were just going out for work in the fields, and so quickly carried them off in their canoes, that two hundred men in arms, who ran up at their first cries, could not arrive soon enough to save one of them, but were only in time to witness the sad tears of their wives, their mothers, and their children, who were taken captive.

Toward the end of the Summer, — the Iroquois and our Hurons having taken the field on both sides, and having come to hostilities in the midst of the woods, — our Hurons had so resolutely thrown themselves upon the enemy intrenched in a fort, where he had passed the night, that the victory was already half won, if their tactics had corresponded to their courage. The Iroquois demand a parley, and protest [8] that they have only designs of peace; they throw down their arquebuses and tie them in bundles, to show that they have not even the intention to fight, even should the Hurons choose to massacre them all; they display great porcelain collars, which dazzle the eyes of our Huron Captains; they present to the young men, who are quite famished, many elk, Deer, and Bears, entire, which they had taken by the way; they invite the elders to an amicable [Page 249] conference; and they distribute much tobacco, in order meanwhile to entertain the rest of the army.

During this negotiation, an Iroquois — who had formerly sojourned a very long time here, a captive among the Hurons, and had become naturalized with them; but within these last years had been recovered by the enemies, — gave them, himself alone, the victory. This man detaches himself from his people, and makes his way into the Huron army, where — having perceived certain men of note, dissatisfied at not having been called to that council of peace — he scatters distrust in their minds, persuades some that there is treason, and corrupts others by presents. [9] Finally, he acts his character so well that — these latter having withdrawn from the army, others having taken flight, and everything being in disorder — the enemy recovered their spirits, and fell upon those who, having lost the thoughts of fighting, saw themselves conquered in their victory. Some were massacred on the spot, and others dragged into captivity, — most having found their safety only in flight.

Our Hurons too have had, in their turn, success in warfare, have put to flight the enemy, and have carried off their spoils and some number of captives; these have served as victims to their flames, and to the bonfires that they have made of them, with the cruelties common to these peoples.

I speak not of various massacres which have occurred on both sides, in secret, as it were — though I cannot pass over in silence two acts of courage which deserve to find some room here.

Our Hurons, having had information of an army which had designs on the Village of Saint Joseph, [Page 251] were awaiting that enemy there, fully resolved to combat him. The young men keep guard at night, mounting aloft on [10] their watch-towers, and uttering various war songs in voices so terrible that, the fields and the neighboring forests bearing them still further, no one can doubt that they are prepared for the combat. Some Iroquois adventurers who, notwithstanding these cries, had secretly made their approaches, performed an act sufficiently resolute. Seeing that sleep was causing those sentinels to be silent, — the dawn of day, which was beginning to break, having entirely removed their distrust concerning the enemy, — one of these Iroquois climbs alone, like a squirrel, to the top of the watch-tower, and finds two men asleep there. He splits the head of one, dashes down the second and throws him to his companions, who cut and remove the skin from’ his head, while the murderer was descending; and all escaped by running, so swiftly that the Hurons, hastening to the voices of those who were being slaughtered, could never catch them.

To avenge this affront, three Hurons, some time after, struck a blow not less daring. After twenty days’ march, they arrive at Sonnontouan, the most populous of the hostile villages; finding there the cabins closed, they break [11] into one of them, at the side, and enter it in the silence and darkness of the night. They rekindle the fires therein, which had gone out; by favor of this new light, each one chooses his man, in order to split his head. They remove their hair, as is usual with the victors, set fire to the cabin, and inspire terror in the Village, — whence they withdraw, with so much good fortune [Page 253] and skill that more than nine hundred warriors could never arrest their flight.

Such are the wars of these peoples, the scourge of which has not fallen upon the infidels alone, — several of our Christians having been killed or taken in these encounters, and having left us only this consolation, that Heaven finds itself each year enriched by our losses. [Page 255]




HE idea that I can give of this little Church, rising in the midst of barbarism, is to compare it to an army which is in the fight, and which, being separated [12] into various squadrons, sees itself weakened on one side, but breaks through the enemy on the other; and, though it suffers losses, maintains itself invincible in its organization, and remains victorious in the field of battle, — not exterminating its enemy, which still goes on renewing the combat, but strengthening itself with glory, the more it is attacked.

We have changed into residences the Missions which we were conducting at the Villages of la Conception, St. Joseph, St. Ignace, St. Michel, and St. Jean Baptiste; these have occupied this year ten of our number. The mission of the Holy Ghost can have no fixed abode, as it is not possible to settle five or six Algonquin and roving nations, which are spread along the shores of our great lake, more than one hundred and fifty leagues from here, — and for whose conquest we have, nevertheless, been able to send only two of our Fathers. Two others have remained in our house of Sainte Marie, which is the center of the country and the heart of all our missions: whence we try to supply the necessities of all our Churches. There, too, three times within a year, we have had the consolation [13] of seeing [Page 257] ourselves reunited, in order to confer there upon means necessary to the conversion of these peoples, and there to animate one another to suffer everything, and to do what shall be in our power, to the end that God may be Adored.

As for me, who remain the last of fifteen of our Fathers who are here, I have not had a definite share of the work, that I might be able to detach myself more freely, to go the round of all the missions, and to remain in each place as long as its present necessities obliged me to sojourn there. In consequence of this arrangement, I have had the consolation of witnessing the fervors of this new Christianity that has spread abroad in the midst of infidelity; of admiring in it the courage of these good Neophytes; and of seeing among them sentiments of piety so detached from nature that one must needs avow that God is truly the master of hearts, that the Faith does not disdain the barbarians, and that the holy Ghost does not make the difference between our souls which the eye might find between our bodies.

In each one of these Churches, we have built fairly adequate Chapels; we have suspended Bells therein, which make themselves heard at a considerable distance; and, everywhere, most of the Christians are so solicitous [14] to attend the Mass which rings at Sunrise, and at evening to come to prayers, — even before the sound of the Bell has given them notice thereof, — that it is easy to see that this assiduity is at once a cause and a result of their fervor.

On Sundays they increase their devotions, preparing for the same two or three days before, — especially those who intend and have permission to approach the Holy Table; and all the Christians have adopted [Page 259] that devout custom of never passing the Week without having confessed.

Toward Noon, they assemble at the sound of the bell for the Sermon or Catechism, and then they say their rosaries, sometimes all together, sometimes divided into two choirs, — and more often succeeding one another, so as to occupy more sacredly all the moments of that Holy day.

This year we have baptized one hundred and sixty-four persons. [Page 261]




UNTIL recently, the zeal of our Christians had apparently confined itself within the cabins, in the midst of some assemblies, — at least, it had not appeared so publicly and with so much luster as it has since made itself manifest. When the fire powerfully kindles a heart, it must needs at last have vent, and must drive its flames outward, in order to kindle the others with the same ardors which consume itself.

Estienne Totiri, of the Mission of saint Joseph, was the first to begin. The whole country was assembled in the Village of St. Ignace, in order to burn there a poor miserable captive, — who, having almost as many executioners as spectators, was uttering frightful cries, which, far from drawing from their hearts any impulse of pity, only tended to excite the rage and the cruelty of the Hurons. In the midst of these cries and these [16] barbarous fires, that good Christian, animated with a more divine fire, exclaims publicly to all that company: “Listen, infidels, and see in this man the image of the woe that will greet you for an eternity. Who of you people will be able to endure the anger of a God, and the rage of demons, and accustom himself to flames that are forever inexorable to those who shall have refused in this world to experience the kindness of [Page 263] God, to obey his laws, and acknowledge his power? ”

Never had there been heard, in the midst of these cruelties, the like harangue; the tormentors desist at the threats, so astonishing, of this new preacher. “No, no, my brothers, ” he adds, “do not think that I wish to seize that captive from your hands, or to procure his liberty; the time of all his happiness is past, and, now that he burns in the flames, death alone can put an end to his miseries. My compassion is for yourselves; for I fear for you, infidels, woes a thousand times more terrible, and flames more devouring, — for which your death will furnish a beginning, and which will never have an end.”

After having a long time spoken of the horrors [17] of Hell, and especially of the eternity of its pains, “My brothers, ” he said to them, “it is not yet for you a woe without remedy. Adore that great God who has created both the heavens and the earth, and tremble at the sight of his awful judgments; then Hell will have no more flames for you. But, if death surprise you in infidelity, those burning furnaces, and those subterranean fires, will be your portion: despair will seize you forever. And then — too late, having fallen into that misfortune — you will believe that our faith is true; that the Christians have chosen the better part; and that they have reason to tremble and fear for you, as much as for themselves, a peril whereof all men cannot have sufficient dread.”

Several of those present were touched by so holy a zeal; others called it madness. But I doubt not that the Angels of Heaven kindled it potently, — at least, it appeared efficacious for the salvation of this poor captive, who, at the climax of his miseries, found the beginning of his happiness. [Page 265]

Estienne approaches him; “My comrade,” [18] he says to him, “I have no flames and firebrands in hand, or torments for thee; do not fear my approaches; I think only of doing thee good. Thy body is in a deplorable state; thy soul is about to separate from it, and then alone will remain alive, and be susceptible to either happiness or woe, according to the condition in which thou shalt find thyself at death. If thou wilt invoke with me an all-powerful spirit, — who himself alone has created our souls; who desires the good of all men, and who loves them, — he will love thee forever, and will draw thy soul to himself; and in Heaven thou wilt be forever blessed with him. Those who fail to honor him, have no part in that place of happiness; the evil spirits who dwell beneath the earth lead their souls. captive, and, as they are immortal, cause them to suffer cruelties and torments which will never find an end. ‘.’

This poor man, half roasted, begins to breathe afresh at these tidings. “Alas! ” he says, “is it then true that there is a place of happiness in Heaven for those very ones who are miserable in this world? Some Hurons, of those whom we have [19] burned, told us these things, and consoled themselves in the flames, — awaiting, they said, that great happiness of Heaven. We thought that those were fables; is it then true that they were realities? ”

Estienne continues to instruct him, and finds a heart wholly disposed to our mysteries, — which longs only for Heaven, and which four or five times asks for Baptism. At these words, the infidel Hurons begin to offer resistance, and vigorously to oppose themselves to the salvation of their enemy, — shouting that his soul must be burned forever by the [Page 267] Demons of Hell, and that, if they themselves could perpetuate his pains, they would never have an end. Estienne wishing to hasten his deed, and seeking water for this Baptism, finds near him only fires and flames. He breaks through the press and runs in haste into the cabins to fetch some water; finally, having undergone a thousand insults and numerous blows, — each man pushing him, in order to make him spill his water, — his charity was stronger than their malice, and his zeal rendered him victorious over everything. So powerfully did it kindle the heart of that poor man of griefs that he seemed to forget his pain, having [20] received holy Baptism, and to have no more voice, except to exclaim that he would be happy in Heaven.

At his return, when the Christians wished to congratulate Estienne upon his zeal, “Alas! my brothers,” he said to them, “I am an earthworm; it is not Estienne who has performed this Baptism, but our Lord who strengthened my weakness, and put in my heart the words which issued from my lips. I had received Communion this morning, and from that time I felt a fire which was burning me, and which I could not have contained within myself. If God did not impel me to the little good that I can do, I would not be powerful except for evil and sin.”

In connection with this baptized Iroquois, I remember the zeal of a poor Christian widow, named Anne Outennen, which — though less public, having had almost no one but God alone for witness — appears to me not less lovable. There was talk of burning a captive; our Fathers had difficulty in finding access to him, the infidel Hurons applying more and more all their efforts to prevent the Baptisms of their [Page 269] enemies. This good Christian woman, moved for the salvation of that [21] soul, having begun to pray for it, feels herself impelled to take a hatchet that still remained to her, and that was her greatest riches; she goes secretly to offer it to those who had charge of this captive, — trying to win their hearts, so that they should no longer oppose themselves to the Baptism of this man destined to death. But, without doubt, this charity gained still more mightily the heart of God; for, in consequence, our Fathers found not only easy access to this captive, but in him a soul so disposed to receive the faith, that they saw well that the holy Ghost was working in it more than they, and that it must needs be that a zeal so holy had deserved for him this grace.

Some Christians of the Village of St. Ignace — fearing, this last Autumn, that the infidel Captains might solicit the weaker ones of that Church to the superstitions of the country, and might turn aside from the faith those who should not yet have sufficient firmness in it — resolved, of themselves, to prevent temptation. They go to find these Captains, convey to them presents for the public treasury, and beg them to leave their Church at rest. Our Fathers, [22] having learned news of this, instead of congratulating them, show that they are not satisfied therewith, and that they fear, at the least, that the way has been opened for something that may lead to consequences, — as the infidels may thence take occasion to annoy the Christians, in the hope of drawing from them similar presents.

“But what? does not God see our hearts?” replied these good Christians; “is it not for him to take account of these losses, and to restore them to us [Page 271] with usury? and the presents that we have made, — are they more precious than the souls of our brothers? Those who are weak, this winter, and whose fall we dread, will be stronger in course of time, and will extend, in their turn, a similar charity to those who shall need it. Thou hast told us, — and we believe it, — that the goods of earth are only for Heaven; and that, if we do not make a good use of them, they will be our greatest misfortune. Can we employ them better than for the salvation of some one? If for us thou hast left France, thy relatives, thy pleasures, thy friends, and all the property that thou hadst, why dost thou take it ill that we have given up so small a portion of ours? ”

[23] In one of the Villages, — of those most attached, in these countries, to the forbidden dances, and to the infamous abominations which those who here pass for Magicians order on the part of the Demons, so as to avert the misfortunes which they predict, — the Captains, no longer seeing the fervor of preceding years, undertook to apply a remedy thereto. They traversed the streets, shouting in loud voices that pity be taken on a country which is going to ruin because the old customs are neglected; that the faith is too rigorous, in never granting dispensation from its laws; and that, at least, people may cease for one night and one day to perform Christian service. They make their way into the cabins; they solicit every one, and especially those whom they judge weakest in the faith.

A good Christian, who could no longer endure this reproach, says: “What? shall the devil have tongues hired for his service, and shall God, who is the master, not be served?” He leaves his cabin, entirely [Page 273] carried away with zeal; he goes to follow those Captains, and enters into the houses of the infidels and of the Christians. He goes everywhere, announcing the threats of God against [24] sinners and their crimes, with an eloquence and a force of arguments so urgent that all the Christians remained in their duty; and even several infidels did so, admiring so holy a freedom in a private individual, — who had, of himself, no authority except that which his love for the faith and his zeal caused him to assume.

Our Fathers of the mission of St. Joseph — seeing that the number of their dead increased — in order to render their cemetery more august, carried thither in a procession a great cross, issuing from the Chapel and passing through the Village, in the sight of all the infidels. The Christians who took part therein endured many mockeries from blasphemous tongues, which made sport of their simplicity in bearing with so much respect a trunk of wood, — which indeed had no rarer beauty than that which a living faith discovers in it, and which an infidel eye cannot contemplate.

Some time after that, the children of these infidels, imitating the impiety of their fathers, cast at this cross stones and filth, which somewhat injured it. Estienne Totiri, who in the absence of [33 i.e., 25] our Fathers, serves as dogique[11] to this Church, deemed himself obliged to maintain, in regard to this insult, the honor of God. Evening having set in, he mounts aloft on the roof of his cabin, and, in order to assemble the whole Village, he gives a shout in an astounding voice, — similar to those which serve as signals when some one has just perceived the enemy, or some army which hastens its approaches. All [Page 275] the people run in a crowd, and with arms, to hear from which direction the enemy comes. “Tremble, my brothers,” he says to them; “the evil is at our doors and the enemy in our Village. The cemetery of the Christians is profaned; God will avenge this insolence. Cease to provoke his wrath; check your children; otherwise you participate in their crime, and the punishment for it will fall alike on all. Dead bodies are sacred things; and even among you infidels they are shown respect, and one commits a crime if he touch a paddle suspended to a sepulchre. Let them break down my house, let them strike me, and let them even kill me, —I will see it without resistance, and will endure it with love; but when they shall attack things consecrated to God, as long as I shall have [26] any remnant of voice I will make you know the enormity of your crime, and will tell you that it is a terrible thing to take God as an enemy.” In a word, he spoke to them so forcibly that since then the parents have repressed the insolence of their children, and have kept themselves within their duty.

But the zeal of the Christians which appears to us most efficacious and most active is that which inclines them to procure the conversion of those of their own families, A Father will win his children to God, — a mother, her daughters; the husband will convert his wife, and the Christian wife will render her husband Christian; and frequently even children, who have first embraced the faith, sanctify their infidel parents with attractions and charms which nature, fortified by grace, and the Holy Ghost, teach them without other master. And the best of it is, that experience teaches us that most of those who are won to God by this means have in their faith something [Page 277] indefinably more steadfast, which even becomes strengthened, rather than weakened, by the death of one or the other.

A good old man of the Village of la Conception, [27] having at last gained to God, by his words, by his example, and still more by the force of his prayers and his tears, a very numerous family, — his wife, his children, and his children’s children, — seeing one day in his house some rather pardonable fault, and rather a simple want of fervor than a sin, says: “How now? are those the promises that you gave to God on receiving Baptism? Do you realize that we are Christians, and that our faith must appear in our works? Will you, by offending God, drive me away from here? I am old and without strength, but I shall have less pain in protracting a wretched life, wandering somewhere in the woods, than in seeing myself near you, if you think of forsaking God. Death will be sweeter to me, abandoned by men, than living in a house of impiety. “These few words, interrupted by a father’s sighs and tears, are worth more than ten thousand of our sermons.

The same man, going down last year to Quebec, for all his Adieu to his family, spoke to them only of the esteem which they ought to have for their faith; and, in finishing his remarks, [28] “If I am taken by the Iroquois,” he said, “do not have the idea that God has forsaken me; I will love him in those fires, and do you also believe that he will love me in those flames. Do not mourn my death; I would see your tears from Heaven, and could not approve them: since my griefs would then be all wiped away, and you would be failing either in faith, or in love for me, to weep for me when I should be [Page 279] blessed. Let us leave tears to the infidels; or, at least, let us employ them in Weeping for their misfortune. Provided that we die Christians and that our souls be for Heaven, what matters it where our bodies be consumed, — here, or in the fire of the Iroquois? ” At these words, his wife and his children can no longer contain their tears; this good old man is himself touched, — for nature can no longer deny itself; they hold mutual intercourse with their eyes. Finally, the eldest of the daughters, speaking for all the others, answered him: “My Father, if you die, draw us to Heaven, and obtain from God that our faith be as living as yours; as for me, I will sooner give up life than forget either you or god.”

[29] The Savages are not so savage as is supposed in France; and I may say with truth that the intelligence of many yields in nothing to ours. I admit that their customs and their natural tendencies are extremely shocking, — at least to those who are not accustomed to them, and who reject them too quickly, without sufficiently knowing them. But if of a spirited Horse, which has nothing about him but nature, one makes, by taming him, a valuable Steed, which yields in no respect to all those Which for a long time have been trained in the riding school, — can one be astonished that the faith, entering the mind of a barbarian, corrects in him what is vicious, and gives him the sentiments of reason and grace which those experience who are born in Christianity? It is true that their manner of expression is different from ours: but, since the word of the heart is the same in all men, one cannot doubt that their tongue has also its beauties and its graces, as much as ours [Page 281] Although they live in the woods, they are none the less men. But let us return to our subject.

I have often admired the constancy of the [30] zeal of a Christian young woman, named Noëlle Aouendous, of the Mission of saint Jean Baptiste, and her indefatigable piety in converting her mother. God was trying her on all sides, and all misfortunes were assailing her; but at the climax of her miseries it seemed, to look at her, that she had no feelings for herself, — at least, they were stifled in the strong desires which, without ceasing, she felt for hastening that conversion. Both night and day, that was the subject of her conversations, her hopes, and the happiness that she was awaiting in order to console herself for her pains, her greatest misfortune — and, to hear her, her only affliction — being to see her mother’s delays in the affairs of her salvation. ” But what? ” they said to her, “are you not afflicted to see yourself in so great poverty? ” “Nay,” she answered, “I cannot desire riches; I bear my miseries with joy, and cannot ask of God that he put me more at my ease. Even though he should have rendered me the richest in this country, could I offer him anything more agreeable than my poverty, and the state in which he chooses to place me 7 But it is my Mother who afflicts me, not having pity for herself, and refusing [31] the faith, — which would be worth to her, as well as to me, all the riches in the world.”

Finally, the constancy of this good daughter for the space of four years, her exhortations, and her prayers, had converted that infidel mother. She was a woman extremely attached to the superstitions of the country, and one who always had had an aversion for Christianity, as well as love for her life, — which [Page 283] she believed could not be long, if ever she embraced the faith.

The judgments of God are everywhere adorable: for, in fact, as soon as she had surrendered to the faith, she was carried away from us by a death so sudden that the infidels have reproached us with it a thousand times, as if the faith alone had been the cause of it. Be this as it may, he alone Who holds in his hands the souls of his elect, and who ordains for their good the hours and minutes of their lives, had so seasonably changed the heart of this woman that the very evening before dying, — as if she had had a presentiment of what was to happen, although she appeared in very good health, — she added, of herself, to the prayers that she was saying, that it might please God to give her a happy death, and that she had no [32) longer any attachment to life.

Amid the tears of the whole family, the daughter alone, reflecting that her mother was in Heaven, blessed God for having so soon taken her to himself. Several days later, being asked by one of our Fathers what feeling was left to her as a result of this death, “I believe, ” she answered, “that God has taken her from me because I was seeking more to satisfy her than God himself; for, although I tried to offer him all my toil, nevertheless the satisfaction of my mother seemed to give me more joy than the thought that I ought to have had, that God was pleased.”

During her mourning, — which in this country, for the women, consists in not visiting any one, in walking with the head and eyes lowered, in being ill-clad, ill-combed, and having a dirty face, and even sometimes all blackened with charcoal, — this good Christian could not then express the joys of her heart [Page 285] “It is now, ” she said, “that I recognize the truth, that God cherishes those whom the world despises; for, he alone remaining to me, — whom I can and will please since the death of my husband and my mother (my brothers and my relatives having abandoned me [33] because I am a Christian), — I see well that he alone suffices me, and that he abundantly takes for me the place of father and mother, of relatives, and all.”

Let us finish this Chapter with the tears — but tears of zeal — of a good Christian of the Village of la Conception, named René Tsondihouonne. This good man is nothing but charity and love for the faith: he goes the rounds of the cabins, visiting the sick, instructing the Christians, preaching to the infidels, confounding the impious; in a word, I may call him the support of this Church and the Apostle of his country. This winter, having begun to offer his prayers, — after a recital that he had heard of the fatigues and sufferings of Saint Paul, while working for the conversion of the gentiles, — he could not contain his tears; and, wholly transported outside himself, and addressing Our Lord, he made to him complaints of himself, with as much faith and fervor as if he had seen him with his own eyes. “Yes, my Savior,” he said to him, “it is true that I am without zeal or love for you, and that I bear without result the name of Christian. I have suffered nothing in this world, and have done nothing in it to make you known. [34] Paradise is indeed given to those great Saints, who have shed their blood and who have died for the defense of the faith; Saint Paul has deserved it. But how can I lay claim to it, when I suffer nothing for you? No, my Lord, I do [Page 287] not deserve it. Ordain my abode after death, —I will not fail to bless you in hell, if you choose to send me thither; I will there praise your mercies and the love that you will have had for me, and I will say that I have rendered myself unworthy of it. There I will love you, and then I will offer you my pains there; accomplish your will with respect to me. But since the great Saints have suffered for you so much in this life, cause that I as soon as possible be worthy to suffer what they have suffered, — that I may endure and die for the faith.”

This good man did not then think that he was heard, being entirely alone in the Chapel; but one of our Fathers, who happened to come in at the end of his prayer, had sufficiently good ear to gather some fragments of it, — and, among others, this little that I have just related. And, some time after, the Father having asked him who [35] had taught him that prayer, he answered: “No one; but I felt in the depth of my heart that Our Lord was reproaching me at the little that I have done for him. As he made me see, at the same time, the love which he has borne for me, and the love which Saint Paul and so many Holy Martyrs have borne for him, I was ashamed to love him so little; and I knew not where to hide myself, in that confusion, if not in Hell. I had no horror of it, not thinking then of any other thing save that I would be willing to suffer everything for God.”

This good man will remain for hours, and sometimes almost whole nights, in Prayer, — and that usually two, three, or four times a day, in the middle of the Chapel, notwithstanding the greatest rigors of the cold, his head, feet, and legs all bare, covered [Page 289] only with a skin of some wild beast; but nearly always with sentiments of devotion so tender and so powerful, that he says he has no words with which to make us understand them. “Often,” he says, “I speak, and I know not what I say. Some one speaks to me in the depth [36] of my soul; I hear what is said to me, and yet I cannot say it again; then I feel, as it were, a fire in my heart, which I take pleasure in feeling there, and which I dare not quench, It seems to me that I am quite near to God, and that he is nearer to me; and then I believe that there is a God, because I feel him. The more I love him, the more I wish to love him, and methinks I do not love — him. I fear to cease prayer, like a famished man who should fear lest one might take from him what he is eating: but, the more I continue, the more it seems to me that I am only beginning.”

To all that we have nothing to say, unless, Beatus quem tu erudieris, Domine, et de lege tuâ docueris cum; for this good man, within the eight years since he has embraced the faith, makes us recognize in his exemplary life, even more filled with holiness than are his words, that God alone is his instructor. [Page 291]


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

[1] (p. 23). — This place was on the south shore of the St. Lawrence, near St. Ignace Island, a little above the mouth of Richelieu River. Laverdière (Champlain, p. 361, note) cites Sagard and other early writers to show that the names Cap de la Victoire and Cap au Massacre were given to the place in commemoration of the crushing defeat there of the Iroquois, by Champlain and his savage allies, in 1610.

[2] (p. 49). — May 18 is here mentioned as “the eve of Pentecost;” but the calendar for that year places this festival on May 20. A little farther on, June 10 is given as a day “honored by the feast of the Holy Trinity,” which, however, apparently refers only to its being the third Sunday after Trinity.

[3] (p. 49). — Reference is here made to Lake George.

[4](p. 49). — Oiogue: the Hudson River (vol. xxviii., note 2).

Beauchamp (Ind. Names, p. 85) defines this word as “beautiful river,” but admits that Bruyas’s definition, “at the river,” may be preferable.

[5] (p. 51). — Oneugioure (also known as Ossernenon): situated a little S. E. of the present Auriesville, N. Y.; the scene of Jogues’s martyrdom, a few months later.

[6](P. 53). — The “families” mentioned by Jogues are subdivisions of the tribe, founded upon the relations of consanguinity among its members; these divisions are variously termed, by modern writers, “clans” and “gentes,” and, in one form or another, are fundamentally characteristic of the social organization of savage life in all times and countries. This organization among the Iroquois peoples, from the gens to the confederacy, is fully treated by L. H. Morgan (himself an Iroquois), in his Ancient Society (N. Y., 1877), chaps. ii.-v. He defines the gens as “a body of consanguinei descended from the same common ancestor, distinguished by a gentile name, and bound together by affinities of blood.” Cf. Powell’s “Kinship and the Tribe; Kinship and the Clan,” in U. S. Bur. Ethnol. Rep., 1381-32, pp. xxxviii.-lxii. His definition recognizes [Page 293] two principles of organization. based respectively on enatic kinship (reckoning descent exclusively through females), and agnatic (reckoning only through males). The former group Powell distinguishes as “clan;” the latter, as “gens.”

Each clan or gens had its own distinctive name and symbol, — the latter called its “totem” among the Algonkin tribes. This totem was “the mythical animal after whom the clan or gens was named; and from which, in the mythic philosophy, it was genealogically descended” (Brinton). With this idea of descent is connected the worship, prevalent in so many savage tribes, of animals or of ancestors, — the two being often synonymous. Among the Iroquois, there have been eight different clans, — the only ones common, however,.to all of the Six Nations being those of the Wolf, Bear, and Turtle. To the Wolf clan, among the Mohawks, Jogues made a special and valuable present; those who killed him belonged to another clan.

[7] (p. 55). — The palm was a measure of length, of ancient origin, and, as the name implies, derived from the space occupied by the human hand. From it came the measure of that name employed in some parts of Southern Europe. The palm of Nice was 261.5 millimeters; that of Sardinia, 248.4 (Littré).

[8] (p. 109). — Concerning this seclusion of Indian women, see vol. ix., note 23.

[9] (p. 123). — For information as to Tadoussac and its trade, see vol. ii., note 51; vol. ix., note 4.

[10] (p. 125). — Jean, sire de Joinville, was a noted French historian (1224-1319), belonging to one of the most illustrious families of Champagne; see A. F. Didot’s sketch of his life and works in Hoefer’s Biog. Générale, t. 26. His principal work, and that referred to in the text, is L’Histoire et cronique du tres-chrestien roy S. Loys IXe du nom (Poitiers, 1547).

[11] (p. 275). — Dogique: see vol. xxvii., note 1.