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








Lower Canada, Ottawa, Canadian Interior



CLEVELAND:            The Burrows Brothers









Vol. XLVI.




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The edition consists of sev-

en hundred and fifty sets

all numbered.



The Burrows Brothers Co.



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Copyright, 1899


The Burrows Company


all rights reserved



The Imperial Press, Cleveland


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Reuben Gold Thwaites












|  Finlow Alexander



|  Percy Favor Bicknell



|  Crawford Lindsay



|  William Price







Assistant Editor


Emma Helen Blair




Bibliographical Adviser


Victor Hugo Paltsits




Electronic Transcription


Tomasz Mentrak



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Preface To Volume XLVI.








Relation de ce qvi s'est passé . . . . en la Novvelle France, és années mil fix cent cinquante neuf & mil fix cent foixante. [Chaps. v.-viii., completing the document.] [Hierosme Lalemant], n.p., n.d.




Lettre au R. P. Hierosme Lallement. René Ménard; n. D. de bon Secours dit Chassahamigon, June 2, 1661




Deux lettres, adressées à M. le Prince de Condé. Paul Ragueneau, Québec, October 12, 1661; Du Bois d'Avaugour, Québec, October 13, 1661




Lettre au P. Germain Rippault, a Dijon. Joseph-Marie Chaumonot; Kébec, October 20, 1661




Journal des PP. Jésuites. Hierosme Lalemant, Quebek, January-December, 1661




Relation de ce qvi s'est passé . . . . en la Novvelle France, és années 1660. & 1661. [Chaps. i.-iii., first installment of the document.] [Paul le Jeune, editor; Paris], u.d.



Bibliographical Data; Volume XLVI.








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ILLUSTRATIONS TO VOL. XLI.I.Map of New France in 1660, by Franciscus Creuxius, S. J. ; reduced facsimile from his Historia Canadensis (Paris, 1664)









Photographic facsimile of title-page, Relation of 1660-61






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

CII. —Chaps. i.-iv. of the Relation of 1659-60 appeared in Vol. XLV.; the remainder of the document is given here.  In Chap. iv. was related the story of the gallant defense of the Long Sault by Dollard and his little band; the writer proceeds, in Chap. v., to relate the marvelous escape from the Iroquois of several Huron captives taken in that assault. After undergoing tortures from their cruel captors, and the utmost hardships and sufferings during their flight, they arrive safely at the St. Lawrence, guided thither by the Virgin, whom they have earnestly invoked. One of these, while tied to the stake, is miraculously saved by a sudden thunderstorm, which extinguishes the flames and compels his tormentors to seek shelter. At this juncture, the head of the family to whom he has been given returns from hunting, and orders that the captive's life shall be spared; and he is treated as one of the household. Pretending to join a war-party against the French, this Huron escapes from them while on the way to Three Rivers, which place he reaches after great privations. He recounts the particulars of the tortures inflicted at Onondaga upon one of the Frenchmen captured at the Long Sault; these are described at length in the Relation. The news of that sad disaster being brought to Québec, the Huron [Page 9] widows manifest a Christian resignation which is truly marvelous. Instead of the usual shrieking and wailing practiced by the savages, these poor women come quietly, although in tears, to pray in the Chapel.

The writer next enumerates the peoples " who are stretching out their arms to us, asking for Fathers of our Society to go and instruct them." These 'tribes extend from Maine to the Missouri River, and from Labrador to Hudson Bay; and missions could be at once opened among them, were it not for the Iroquois, the Canaanites of New France. A mission to the Upper Algonkins (Ottawas) has been undertaken by Ménard, but at the risk of his life; for the Iroquois haunt the rivers, by which alone travel in that vast wilderness is possible. Bishop Laval shows great interest in this enterprise. A letter written by Ménard to a friend, upon the eve of his departure, is here given.

A chapter is devoted to the burning, at Québec, of some prisoners captured from the Iroquois. Such fires, however, prove the surest road to heaven; " so sure are they, that we have scarcely ever seen an Iroquois burned without regarding him as on the way to Paradise; nor have we considered a single one as certainly on that road whom we have not seen pass through this torture." Before their torments, these prisoners are duly instructed and baptized by the Jesuits; " the Wolf is changed all at once into a lamb, and enters the fold of Jesus Christ, which he came to ravage. " Full details are given of the fearful tortures inflicted by the Algonkins upon these their hereditary enemies.

Since Laval's arrival in Canada, " one of the most remarkable occurrences . . . is the almost total [Page 10] suppression of drunkenness among our Savages." This has been accomplished through Laval's efforts. " After the King's orders and the Governors' decrees had proved ineffectual, he, by excommunicating all the French who shall give intoxicating liquors to the Savages, suppressed all these disorders." This action was taken in the preceding May. The result is especially felt at Tadoussac, where the evils of drunkenness have been most pronounced. The Huron converts who are slaves among the Iroquois are leading most exemplary Christian lives, notwithstanding the scorn of their infidel masters. The providence of God has enabled the French to sow their grain and gather their harvests. The former was secured through the sacrifice of Dollard and his band at the Long Sault; the latter, through D'Argenson's prompt and resolute action in arresting some pretended Cayuga ambassadors, and holding them as hostages for the Frenchmen still held captive by the Mohawks.

Late advices, received as the Relation is being closed, mention an encounter between the Ottawa fleet which Ménard accompanied this summer, and a band of Onondagas; but the latter, being outnumbered, retreat. It is rumored that the few Hurons remaining in Québec are to be carried away by the Iroquois in a raid on that town. The Mohawks are urging the Onondagas to join them in a general raid on Canada; but the French hope that this may be prevented by their possession of the Cayuga hostages. The Relation closes with an earnest appeal to Christians of France for aid to their brethren in Canada.

CIII. —This is a letter (dated June 2, 1661) by Father Ménard to his superior at Québec, Jerome [Page 11] Lalemant; it is written from the Bay of Ste. Thérese (Keweenaw Bay), Lake Superior, where Ménard has labored among the Ottawas whom he accompanied thither the preceding year. He has gained six converts in that time, whose pious fervor and pure lives console him in his life of privations and trials. He mentions his poverty; he needs presents for the Indians, clothing for himself, some medicines for the sick, and some tobacco, which is money in that region. " These people are so poor, and we like-wise, that we cannot find a scrap of cloth wherewith to make a compress; or a piece of stuff as large as one's hand, with which to mend our clothes."

Ménard mentions the unusual mildness of the winter at Lake Superior. He is uncertain how long he will remain at Keweenaw, and states that he must go to the spring rendezvous of the Algonkins, at St. Esprit (Chequamegon) Bay. The letter at this point (March 1) remains unfinished for three months; on June 1, he resumes it, and gives a summary of his experiences during the interval. The supply of fish was deficient this winter, and " those who wished to keep Lent suffered greatly; " but after Easter they have, for a time, abundance of moose-meat. This also failing, the Frenchmen, nine in number, leave the Indians, and go in canoes to the rendezvous, The spring is cold and stormy; " the winter and white frosts continued until the middle of May." Among the fugitive Hurons, many are dying with hunger; and to this misery is added an attack by their relentless foes, the Iroquois, and another by the Sioux. Again they flee, seeking refuge in the forests of Central Wisconsin.

Ménard sends some of the Frenchmen to an Indian [Page 12] chief, to procure corn; but they do not return when he expects them, and his provisions are almost gone. Joliet and a companion have just left him; and, with the remaining three Frenchmen, he is encamped near eighty cabins of Ottawas.

CIV. —Two letters are included herein, addressed to "the great Condé;" they are earnest appeals for military protection to the struggling colony of New France, against the incessant harassment of the Iroquois. The first is written by Paul Ragueneau; he asks that a regiment be sent to Canada, and maintained there for two or three years, as the country cannot bear that expense. The other is from the new governor, D'Avaugour. He praises the beauty and fertility of the country; and asks that settlers and soldiers be sent over, and aided with provisions. Then the colony " Will grow, as all other states have done —provided they be not burdened with useless functionaries, such as the petty governors and men of law who are sent out to them every day." The governor thinks that 100,000 souls could be supported within the radius of 1% leagues around Québec; and suitable fortifications would render it " the finest, the strongest, and the greatest port in the world; compared with it, Brisach is but a shadow." A postscript to D'Avaugour's letter states that he has appointed Ragueneau head of a council to manage public affairs, and commends the work of the Jesuits in Canada.

CV —Chaumonot writes (October 20, 1661) to a brother Jesuit in France. He states that the Onondagas have brought back nine French prisoners, and promise to restore others in the following spring. Le Moyne —who in July had gone to escort some [Page 13] Iroquois hostages to their own country —writes that he was well received by the savages, who have built him a Chapel; and that the Mohawks and other tribes really wish for peace, since they are at war with certain other tribes. The new governor is planning a decisive campaign against the most hostile of the Iroquois tribes, if only he can obtain sufficient aid from France; he also intends to build forts to awe the others. The Iroquois who have come to Québec profess to desire the presence of Chaumonot among them, and promise to take him to their country next spring.

CVI —The Journal des Jésuites is continued in 1661 by Lalemant, and, as usual with him, is mainly occupied with ecclesiastical affairs. At New-Year's, he returns the visits made to him by the habitants, and takes " to the Children an Agnus Dei and a small piece of Citron-peel." On February 13, a house is destroyed by fire, the family losing all their goods; the bishop and the Jesuits aid them. At one of the church ceremonies, the governor claims precedence of the bishop in receiving a salute; " we induced him to agree that the Children's hands should be kept occupied, so that neither one nor the other would be saluted. The Children were notified and commanded to do this; but the Children, who were Charles Couillar and Ignace de Kepentigny, instigated and persuaded by their parents, did just the contrary, and saluted Monsieur the Governor first. This greatly offended Monseigneur the Bishop. We tried to appease him; and the two children were whipped, on the following morning, for having disobeyed." This and other quarrels regarding precedence finally " resulted in the Interdiction of processions."

Early in April, news comes that the Iroquois have [Page 14] again begun their attacks upon the French, of whom they have captured eight at Three Rivers. Soon afterward, however, twenty French prisoners are brought back to Montréal. On May 11, Dablon and Druillettes depart from Québec for a mission among the Crees near Hudson Bay. Hardly have they left Tadoussac when a large band of Mohawks fall upon the Frenchmen engaged in fishing there, of whom several are killed. The post is immediately abandoned by all, both French and savages, who hastily retreat to Québec. Upon this follow similar raids near all the French settlements, in which a considerable number of Frenchmen are killed or captured. The most notable of these is the seneschal, Jean de Lauson the younger. Yet Cayuga ambassadors bring back French captives, and ask for " black robes " to go and instruct them. July 2, Le Moyne goes to their country, to secure the liberation of the captives they hold, and to reconcile them, if possible, with the Onondagas. On the twenty-seventh, Dablon and his party return, through fear of the Iroquois.

On August 3, the Abbé de Queylus again comes from France; he goes up to Montréal, despite the command of the bishop; but in October he is obliged to return to France. On the last day of the month, the new governor, D' Avaugour, arrives. Laval plans to receive him with much parade of ecclesiastical functions; but, as the governor pays a visit to Montréal, soon after his arrival and afterward comes to the parish church in the ordinary fashion of other citizens, and as he " was an enemy of all Ceremony, it happened that nothing was done." D' Avaugour compels Lalemant to become a member of the Council. Early in October, two men are shot, and one is [Page 15] flogged —all for trading brandy to the savages. In November, Bishop Laval comes to the Jesuit residence to spend the winter. Another Iroquois raid results in the killing of several Frenchmen at Montréal —among them, two priests.

CVII. —In this volume, we give Chaps. i.-iii. Of the Relation of 1660-61; the remainder will appear in Vol. XLVII. The Relation is prefaced by an urgent and eloquent appeal to the King of France, for aid to Canada; this is signed by Paul le Jeune, Paris agent of the Canadian missions, who is apparently the editor of the publication. The opening chapter gives a melancholy account of the wretched condition to which the fierce Iroquois have reduced the French colony. These misfortunes were presaged, the past winter, by an earthquake, a comet, and other prodigies, which terrified many of the people. Many Frenchmen have been taken prisoners by the Iroquois —some of whom have been tortured to death, others made slaves to those cruel captors. Montréal and Three Rivers have fared worst; Québec is sufficiently fortified to be safe. A band of Attikamegues, accompanied by two Frenchmen (one of them a son of Godefroy), encounter nearly thrice their number of Iroquois; they fight for two days, and all the former band are killed or captured. The deaths of Jean de Lauson and the priest Le Maître, at the hands of the Iroquois, are circumstantially related. These enemies vary their acts of hostility with peace parleys; but the French dare not trust their amicable professions, knowing too well their treachery. The particulars of these parleys are given, with the speeches of the envoys. The latter not only talk of peace, but invite the Jesuits, and [Page 16] on one occasion, even the nuns, to Settle in their country. An Onondaga ambassador insists that a " black robe " must return with him, or the twenty French captives still held in his country will be killed. Such of these as have been restored say that the Onondagas treat them kindly; and that there are so many Christians among that tribe that public prayers are held every day, to which they are called by one of their chiefs.

The demand made by the Onondagas greatly perplexes the French, who know the Iroquois too well to trust them. They finally decide that it is better to risk one Jesuit than all the twenty captives; and that " one of the Fathers should go and sacrifice himself for the public, and for the rescue of the prisoners. " The lot falls upon Le Moyne, " who had already four times risked his life among the Iroquois." He accordingly departs with the envoys and the liberated Cayuga prisoners; the former promise to return soon with the French captives. The coming of the new governor gives fresh hope to the distressed colonists. D'Avaugour carefully inspects the fortifications, the settlements along the great river, and the resources of the country, with which he is delighted.

The missions to tribes in the Northwest are now considered. No word has yet been received from Ménard, who went, two years ago, to labor among the Ottawas of Lake Superior. Letters and a journal have been received from Druillettes and Dablon, who last May set out on a mission to the Cree tribes; they have reached Nekouba, midway between Tadoussac and Hudson Bay, and the height of the watershed between those regions. [Page 17]

The journal (probably written by Dablon) describes their route, and the dangers they encountered therein. At the outset, they are detained at Tadoussac several weeks, an epidemic sickness having arisen there which causes many deaths. Upon entering Lake St. John, they hear of the deaths of some Indians belonging to their party; these men have been put to death by the other savages, because they were seized by a mental disease which rendered them ravenous for human flesh. It is a sort of werewolf tale, which the missionaries receive somewhat cautiously. At that lake, they baptize eight Indians from the regions to which they are bound —an auspicious entrance upon their voyage into unknown lands, " Satan's dominions." They ascend the Chobmouchouan River, meeting frequent cascades and rapids, which compel them to make laborious portages. After thirty days spent in threading their way through a wilderness of rapids, lakes, and forests, and crossing sixty-four portages, they reach Nekouba —a point but eighty leagues in a straight line from Tadoussac, and a center of trade for the Northern tribes, Here they are welcomed by a band of savages, with shouts of joy and polite speeches, the discharge of muskets, and a ceremonious dance. Nekouba is in a barren, desolate region, with comparatively little life, either animal or vegetable. The "sole redeeming quality of these deserts is their inability to maintain even those little troublesome creatures," the mosquitoes and gnats. Forest fires are so frequent there that the travelers seldom enjoy a cloudless sun, owing to the smoke which fills the air. These fires cause periods of intense heat, and at other times intense cold occurs in summer. [Page 18]

At Nekouba, the missionaries meet Indians belonging to numerous tribes, some of whom have never seen a Frenchman, or heard of God; they instruct and baptize many. They are threatened with famine, owing to the large number gathered there (nearly two hundred souls); and always arises the haunting fear of the Iroquois, of whose ravages they hear in every direction, —even far up the Saguenay, and toward Lake Superior. These relentless foes have taken by surprise and utterly destroyed the Squirrel tribe, several days' journey from Nekouba; and all the neighboring tribes are so terrified thereby that they are dispersing to more remote regions, hoping there to find safety. It is reported that the Iroquois now contemplate raids on the tribes that border Hudson Bay. For these reasons, Dablon and Druillettes think it necessary to give up their plan for farther advance westward.

R. G. T.

Madison, Wis., May, 1899


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CII (concluded)

Relation of 1659-60



In Volume XLV. We gave the first four chapters of this document; the remainder is printed herewith.

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NE of those from whom we learned all that we have related in the preceding Chapter is a Christian Huron, who, by the truly marvelous aid of Heaven, escaped from the hands of the Iroquois after ten days' captivity. The incident is memorable, and deserves an especial account.

[91] He was a man of comely appearance, a good Christian, and long ago thoroughly instructed in all the Mysteries of our Faith. No sooner did he see himself loaded with shackles than he felt inwardly impelled to have recourse to the Blessed Virgin, of whom the Fathers had told him so many wonders. The first resolution he formed was to honor her during his misfortunes more fervently than before, and he therefore promised her to say her Rosary every day. That he might fulfill his promise faithfully, he used his ingenuity to make good the want of his Rosary which the Iroquois had taken from him with all his clothes. He used, accordingly, straws to Count the decades, and leaves of trees for noting thereon with his finger-nail each Ave Maria, passing most of the day in this holy and [92] ingenious exercise. He was so attached to it that, when he was invited to sing as is the custom of prisoners, he excused [Page 23] himself by saying that he wished to save his voice in order to sing the better on arriving in his captors' country; for this is a vanity that reigns even on the scaffold and at the stake. Our good Christian, however, used this pretext to avoid being diverted from his prayers, which he addressed to all the Saints of whom he had heard, and even to those of our Fathers who have been burned or slain by the Iroquois, whom he had often accompanied on their Missions.

After some days had passed in these little practices of devotion, with no relaxation on his part, he felt one day stirred by an unusual fervor. Addressing Our Lady with feelings of entire confidence, [93] " Holy Virgin," he said to her, " your Son refuses you nothing, because you love him too much and he loves you too much. Ask him then for my deliverance, I implore you, and I give you three days' time to obtain it, during which period I will redouble my prayers with the utmost attention in my power." There you have a very simple prayer, but one that came from a good heart. The three days pass without his being delivered. Then he says to himself: " I cannot doubt that the Blessed Virgin interceded in my behalf, and was unable to obtain my request; but undoubtedly my sins render me unworthy of her favors, and I see plainly that it is God's Will to punish me in this world, in order to spare me in the next. Very well, then, let us die; I have well deserved it, and a thousand deaths [94] do not match my crimes." Behold him, then, firmly resolved to die, awaiting his fate and resigned thereto; when all at once his heart says to him: " No, thou shah not die for this; thou shalt see Québec again. " At this inward voice he recovers his spirits and renews his [Page 25] prayer to Our Lady, resolving to attempt escape on the very next night. But what likelihood of his accomplishing it, so firmly bound as he was? What gave him courage was that, in the evening, after he had said his prayer with redoubled fervor, the Iroquois to whom he belonged, upon fastening him to the stakes, did not bind him so tightly —telling him that he was not cruel to captives, and would let him rest a little more comfortably. These words augured well for our prisoner. What earnest looks did he not turn Heavenward, what sighs did he not direct to his good Mother! At length, after [95] praying devoutly and making supplication to the Blessed Virgin, when every one is asleep, he makes a little trial and attempts to free himself from his bonds. Having luckily a knife about him, but being unable to use it without at least one hand free, he again renews his prayers, and, turning his right arm this way and that, finds it in some way or other clear of its fetters. O God, what joy! He gently unties his left hand, then unfastens the cords from his neck, and finally, with his knife, cuts the one that binds his waist, using such stealth that his neighbor is not awakened. It only remains to untie quickly the cord about his feet and then dart with all haste into the woods. He raises himself for this purpose, but is much startled to see an Iroquois smoking before the fire. [96] This was like a heavy blow on the head to him; a cold sweat like that of the dying started out all over his body, and he thought that he would die with fright —not doubting that he was discovered, and consequently destined soon to be burned. Although he was greatly perturbed, there nevertheless came into his mind this thought: " The horror," [Page 27] he said to himself, " that seizes a soul at the moment of its condemnation to everlasting flames, must be fearful indeed, since the fear of a surprise causes in me such strange disturbance. " He escaped, however, with nothing worse than a fright; for —whether because the Iroquois who was smoking was half-asleep, or because the Blessed Virgin extended her especial protection to her devotee —[95 i.e., 97] he was not perceived. After allowing some time to pass without moving, he again raised himself, but only to drop back once more to the ground in all haste; for an old man was then making the rounds, visiting all the fires and all the prisoners, lest a single one should escape from their hands. He passed our prisoner at no great distance and gave him a greater fright than a thunderbolt would have done by falling at his feet. Upon rising for the third time, seeing no one on guard, he dexterously loosed his bonds, and, without making a sound, walked very gently through the midst of the Iroquois sleeping on all sides. No sooner had he gained the cover of the woods than he began to run, all naked as he was, and kept it up for the rest of the night, never letting the brambles, thorns, or thickets check his course [96 i.e., 98] for a moment. Ah, how speedily would we flee from all occasions for giving offense to God, if we feared the fires of Hell as much as this poor man feared those of the Iroquois!

Four days and four nights he ran without stopping, at each step imagining the Iroquois at his heels, and having his mind full of the Iroquois fires, which did not even let him look where he set his feet. At last he reached Montréal, and who can say with what joy? His first concern was to go straight [Page 29] to the Church, to thank his Benefactress and prepare himself by the Sacraments of penance and the Eucharist, in thanksgiving for so signal a favor. But, as there was no Priest at Montréal who understood Huron, he wished to confess through an interpreter, and had the courage to do so, —[97 i.e., 99] which must have won him abundant grace; for he has since testified that never in his life did he taste such delight, or feel such gladness, as in the Communion which he then received. Dominus mortifcat et vivificat, deducit ad inferos et reducit.




NOTHER Huron, who had enjoyed the good fortune of receiving holy Baptism from the hands of Monseigneur of Petræa himself, escaped on the very first night after his capture, in a manner not less wonderful than that which I have just related. There was manifest also a very singular protection on the part of the blessed Virgin, to whom this poor man attributed his deliverance, [98 i.e., 100] recounting the circumstances with a tenderness worthy of so miraculous a favor. One of his thumbs had just been cut off; his mouth was still seared with the fire which they attempted to make him eat; and an act of cruelty had just been performed on one of his legs, which had been inhumanly burned, Despite all these tortures, he had no sooner been bound in the manner we have described, to pass the night in that position, than he fell asleep; and he saw in his slumbers a Lady of divine beauty, who thus addressed him: Satiatontawa, —" Escape from thy bonds." At this voice he awoke; his mind filled with that [Page 31] wonderful beauty which he had just seen, and from which he had heard so sweet an utterance, he remembered that the Fathers had often told him that there is no earthly beauty [99 i.e., 101] equal to that of the Mother of God; and he no longer doubted that it was she who had aroused him, that he might escape. Accordingly, he invoked her very heartily, praying her to give him the strength and the means to obey her. His prayer was fervent, but short, as time was pressing. Attempting to free his unwounded hand from its bonds, he succeeded after some effort; and this was doubtless with the help of the blessed Virgin, as the pains taken by the Iroquois to bind their prisoners securely, during the first days, are quite extraordinary —yet far less so than the tare taken of her good servants by the Mother of God. This was shown in the case of this man, who, after thus easily freeing one hand, used it to untie the cords around the other, around his feet, and around the rest [100 i.e., 102] of his body, without being either seen or heard. Thereupon he took flight, entirely naked, having only a miserable rag around his loins. He ran without pause until daybreak, when he saw that his feet and legs were all torn, and in such pitiful plight as to excite his compassion, although they caused him as yet no pain. To aid him to continue his running, he took the bit of cloth he wore and put it on his feet in place of shoes and stockings; and then he resumed his flight, without thinking of taking breath or drink or food. His legs and thighs, however, becoming inflamed, he was in despair of ever reaching Montréal, when, having appealed with renewed confidence to the blessed Virgin, he felt himself strengthened afresh, and, as [Page 33] it were, [101 i.e., 103] persuaded that she was attending him throughout his journey. So he ran vigorously for four consecutive days, heedless of his course, and without taking other refreshment than a little muddy water, which was his only nourishment. Yet this exertion did not fail to leave him greatly weakened, his strength suddenly becoming so reduced that he could scarcely continue to put one foot before the other; and he almost thought himself forsaken by his good Mother. In this extremity, as a last effort, he climbed a tree with much difficulty, to reconnoiter the country where he must die; but, to his great surprise, he found himself at the foot of the mountain of Montréal. " Ah," he cried, " I no longer wonder that the blessed Virgin ceased to guide me, since here I am at last, returned again." [102 i.e., 104] He was forced to go to the hospital to have his wounds dressed, and to recover his strength somewhat; but the passage to his stomach was so contracted that he could no longer swallow, and was in danger of dying. However, he asked for some melted Bear's fat, and cured himself by drinking it, being thus enabled to offer his thanksgiving to the Blessed Virgin —to whom he is so grateful that he does scarcely anything but say her Rosary.




OD restored to us still another of those poor Huron captives in such a manner that its rehearsal Will be welcome to those who delight to adore the remarkable dealings of Providence. Let us hear his own account of his adventures, which he Will relate [103 i.e., 105] much better than I can, since they [Page 35] cost him some fingers cut off, arms roasted, and thighs burned.

"After our capture," said he, " I was taken to Onnontagué in a state of uncertainty whether I should there find life or death. On the way I was treated like a prisoner, as were also all the rest who had voluntarily surrendered to the Iroquois. When I arrived within eight leagues of the village, a Huron —an old friend of mine, and for a long time a captive —told me secretly that my case was hopeless, that I was condemned to be burned; that, as soon as I should enter the village, I would be given to the flames; and that I must accordingly take thought for my own safety. With these words, he stealthily slipped a knife under my robe, that I might cut my bonds. On the following night, which was to be the last of my life, never was a captive [104 i.e., 106] so closely watched as I was, never was a man so securely bound; and even the specters were in league with my enemies to destroy me. When night had fallen and my shackles had been redoubled, during the deepest sleep of my guards, I seemed to see a horrible phantom in the form of a hideous serpent, and in other shapes, hovering around me, and feigning an attack upon my feet and arms, and even approaching to hiss in my ears; this made the hair of my head stand on end, as if the vision had been a lurking demon, stationed as a sentinel to match over me, If it forced me to move a foot or an arm, my guards immediately awoke and inspected my shackles, in order to keep them always quite tight, so that, during this whole [105 i.e., 107] night, I could not use my knife to set myself free. Day dawning caused these specters to vanish, indeed, by its light, but did [Page 37] not dispel my fears; on the contrary, they increased with the approach of death, which appeared ever more hideous and more frightful to my fancy, the nearer we came to the village. I confess that prayer is a very soothing lenitive in such calamities, and is well able to charm away the keenest pains, and even render us insensible to the most frightful cruelties. This I have experienced on various occasions. At one time, among others, —when fire was applied to my left arm with such severity that its fierce heat, penetrating to the very bone, injured all the tendons and rendered my hand entirely powerless, —I acknowledge that I [106 i.e., 108] then resorted to prayer so fervently that I felt scarcely any pain from this cruel burn, and saw rather than felt the injury done to my arm. I made as much use as possible of so good a remedy; and in my death-song, instead of rehearsing my former deeds of prowess, as is our wont, I invited all the French of my acquaintance to pray for me, —now calling the black Gowns to my aid, and now the maidens consecrated to God. I sang my hopes of enjoying eternal happiness after my body should have been the butt of my executioners' rage. To this I added reproaches directed against them, telling them that instead of a fire of one day, with which they tortured me, they would burn for all time in the fires of hell. Finally, in the midst of these holy thoughts [107 i.e., 109] wherewith I filled my song, we reached the top of the mountain whence may be seen the village of Onnontagué. I was seized with fright at this view, I cannot deny; but much more so when, on drawing nearer, I descried a great multitude awaiting me, in order to inflict on my poor body all the cruelty with which [Page 39] fury and revenge could inspire them. Then I thought of my knife, which I kept concealed about my loins, and resolved to cut my throat in order to escape by a sudden death —and one that was very gentle, in my opinion —the thousand deaths that I had before my eyes. I had the knife in my hand, and was all ready to deal the blow, when I recalled what the Fathers had told me in times past —that we are not the masters of our lives, that it is for [108 i.e., 110] God alone to lengthen or curtail our days, and that I could not employ this violence without committing a great sin. After this thought, which from the first made me waver a little in my resolve, I offered myself to God, to suffer all the torments that he should ordain, rather than displease him; and, to free myself from the temptation, which was a very strong one, I cast my knife far from me, and bravely took up my march toward all the people awaiting me. Never did I conceive more vividly all that had been told me of the fury with which the demons pounce upon a damned soul when it enters hell, than I did upon finding myself in the midst of that throng. All leaped upon me in a crowd on every side, some cutting off my fingers, others lacerating my flesh; these [109 i.e., 111] discharging on my body a Perfect hailstorm of blows with sticks, and those pulling out my fingernails. My poor hands were insufficient for all the women tugging at them on every side, while one of the boldest of the men tried to cut off one of them entirely. He to whom I belonged objected to this; the other offered violence, and threw himself upon me; his opponent defended me, and snatched away my hand from the grasp of that cruel savage. The struggle, which cost me only the loss of a finger, [Page 41] made me cleave the throng in order to enter as soon as possible the village which I regarded as my tomb, where I hoped very soon to be reduced to ashes, that I might conclude my woes by ending my life. I expected to proceed straight to the scaffold, which I found all ready for the execution, but was turned aside to enter some of the cabins and gratify, with the sight of my person, [110 i.e., 112] those who took an interest in my death. In the third one my death-sentence was pronounced. One of the chief men of the village, rising in the midst of the assembly of all the oldest men, —who had been convoked to hear my condemnation and be present at my torture, —delivered a speech in a very loud voice. Then, —after thanking the Skies several times for having so favored them as to give them an opportunity to take vengeance on a man of high station for the death of those who had been slain in the last expedition, —turning toward me, he pronounced the decree of death, and named those who were to execute it. He ordered the latter to supply me with leggings that very evening, —that is, to burn my legs, —preparatory to completing [111 i.e., 113] my dress on the following day. He further gave positive instructions not to touch either of my arms or my heart, as those were to be reserved and given to eat to an Iroquois of the Village, who had dreamed some months before that he was to eat them. I listened to all this, and prepared myself by prayer to undergo the execution with the utmost courage at my command. They ordered me, accordingly, to proceed to the place of torture. But scarcely had I taken one step in that direction when I felt my head laden with some burden or other, which I cannot. [Page 43] describe better than by likening it to a big cloud that came and settled down upon me; for I seemed to have over my head a veritable storm, which would have well-nigh made me lose consciousness, had I not, during this prodigy, believed that I was transported to the Chapel of the [112 i.e., 114] black gowns at Québec, where I distinctly saw all the pictures and observed all the pieces of sculpture. This vision made me redouble my prayers, and I did so with all the greater ardor that those things which were passing in my mind seemed to me quite extraordinary. But my captors ceased not to drag me to the scaffold, where, all my vision vanishing, I saw myself surrounded by fires all ablaze. I saw the iron implements of all sorts that were being heated to redness for my torture; and at last I saw myself tied to the stake in a manner entirely new —for my arms were extended, and bound thus outstretched to a second stake crossing the first, in order that I might be unable to ease myself by moving during the torture. When all was thus in readiness, and my executioners had approached [113 i.e., 115] the fire to get some firebrands with which to begin my torture, suddenly a bright flash of lightning rent a cloud above my head. This, with a loud clap of thunder, precipitated such a flood of rain that the fires were immediately extinguished, and my executioners were compelled to retire from fear of wetting their fine robes, wherewith they had decked themselves in honor of my torture. Thus I found myself alone in the midst not only of the fires but also of the waters, which made me recall my foregoing vision. Looking around in every direction a little more freely, I saw some dogs eating the last morsels of the corpse of a [Page 45] Frenchman, who had just been burned at the same stake and on the same scaffold that I occupied.

" I saw them licking his blood and [114 i.e., 116] contending over some Of his limbs, which had escaped the teeth of the Iroquois only t0 be devoured by beasts; and my own misery caused me less compassion than that spectacle. To this tenderness, which made me shed tears over the remains of his body, succeeded a feeling of esteem for his holy life and brave death; and this it was that drew from my mouth, as soon as that spectacle met my view, the following words: 'O Frenchman, a thousand times happy, thou now enjoyest the felicity that thou hast so justly earned by the fervor of thy prayers, and the constancy that has made thee endure so many torments! Ah, why am I not now in thy place? How happy would my ashes now be to be mingled with thine, while my soul would accompany thee to [115 i.e., 117] the enjoyment of the reward that thou receivest for all thy torments! ' I said this heartily; and, although my wishes seemed on the point of being fulfilled, yet I thought too great delay was shown in uniting me, through my death, with the Frenchman whom I believed to be in Heaven —whither, with an extraordinary trust in God's mercy, I was hoping soon to follow him. " While I was thus conversing with myself, though alone, the storm continued, and, the sky appearing wholly overcast, took from my executioners all hope that they could continue the execution on that day, unless the rain should very soon cease. Accordingly, they came to unbind me and lead me into the cabin wherein I had scarcely set foot when, by a loving Providence of God toward me, one of the [116 i.e. 118] [Page 47] chief men of the family to which I had been given returned from the chase. Learning that my death had been decreed without awaiting his return to ask his advice in the matter, and seeing besides that the other Huron captives brought along with me had received mercy, he held that his family was not under greater obligations to avenge the public wrongs than the others, who had, despite these injuries, spared their prisoners' lives. Thereupon, he decided that I should not die, caused my bonds to be broken, arrayed me in fine clothes, and, from so unexpected a change of fortune, made me for some time uncertain whether I were awake, or whether all that was passing were only a dream. I was given food and was made to promise that I would be faithful to the Nation, and, above all, would not run away to the French. I feared that all [117 i.e., 119] this might be only a piece of sport to give the assembled company a good laugh. That is why I answered coldly enough that I would not run away, saying the words with my mouth, but uttering the contrary in my heart; for I felt my conscience too oppressed to consent to remain with those demons, among whom I would soon have lost the habit of prayer, and would surely have been damned with them. Nevertheless, I failed not to put on a good face, and in order the better to conceal from them my purpose of escaping, I offered to join a war-party about to proceed against the French. On the way, I was often on the point of making my escape, but in each instance the fires to which I exposed myself, in case of recapture, presented themselves with such horror to my mind that I could not muster courage to attempt it. Finally, on one occasion, [118 i.e., 120] believing that now [Page 49] was my time, I took a hasty departure, thinking that I would not be perceived. But I had not gone fifty steps before I heard a loud outcry from the whole company, spreading the intelligence of my flight; and, at the same time, I saw myself pursued on every side by those who were the most eager to catch me, and had the greatest interest in doing so. Yet —whether because I had gained a little start, or because the fear of the frightful torture inevitably assured to me gave me wings —they could not overtake me before night, during which I ran on through the trackless wilderness until day broke, and, by good luck, showed me a hollow tree-trunk just suitable for my reception and concealment until the Iroquois should have [119 i.e., 121] finished their first hunt. So I squeezed myself in, as into the safest asylum that I could find, arranged some branches in such manner as to cover the opening, and passed a day and two nights there without moving, drinking, or eating —but not without serious alarms, caused by an unceasing uproar that I heard all about me, made by those who were hunting for me with the greatest zeal. Meanwhile, I had leisure to commend myself to all the Saints of Paradise, and I never would have believed how good a Christian one is in such straits. The second night having passed, and all the woods being wrapped in deep silence, I came out of my lair and took my course through the forest, keeping so far from the main routes that I was sixteen days in reaching three [120 i.e., 122] Rivers. I would have reached it in four, had I not made so great detours, to render my escape the surer; but one does not feel fatigue on such occasions. During the last six days I ate nothing at ail, and yet ceased not to run as [Page 51] vigorously as at the start, my strength failing me only when I had no farther need of it. The kind reception accorded me at three Rivers made me forget all my past hardships, and they only left me a great weakness —which, however, did not prevent me from paying my thanksgivings to God for such signal protection, for which I shall be indebted to him all my life."

Such is the account of that good Huron's adventures, very nearly as he gave it, as well as our tongue can faithfully render the expressions of his own.



N the engagement described in Chapter 4, five Frenchmen were captured by the victorious Iroquois and divided among all the Nations, that they might vent their rage on those poor prisoners. One of the five was given to the Onneioutheronnons, but was so badly wounded by a ball which had passed through his body that he was burned on the battlefield, lest he should die on the way. Two others were given to the Agnieronons, and we know as yet nothing more definite about them than that one was likewise consigned to the flames upon his arrival at Agnié; while the other, after escaping from the Iroquois, probably died of hunger and want in the woods, since he has not come back [122 i.e., 124] to us. Finally, the other two were delivered to the Onnontaguehronnons. They presented one of them to the Sonnontwaehronnons, who could not wait until they arrived in their own country to burn him, but made him suffer the torture by fire on the way. The fifth, who was left to the Onnontaguehronnons, is [Page 53] the one of whom we now have to speak, having learned from the third Huron who escaped some circumstances of his death, which are worthy of being described, and can well fill us with consolation, even in the face of the most horrible tragedy possible to witness.

He was a Young man, who had been so courageous as to go with us to Onnontagué when we took up our station on the shores of the little lake [123 i.e., 125] of Gannentaa, in order to convert those Barbarians. There he began the practice of an extraordinary virtue and a rare devotion, in preparation for a most holy and precious death, inasmuch as he was cruelly killed by the very ones to whose salvation he had contributed by his sojourn in their country. His was a mild and peaceful disposition, but a brave one; and I know that God visited him with his grace in a very marked degree during his residence with us in the country of the Iroquois, where he served an apprenticeship to that virtue and courage which he manifested in his last days, As he was carefully trained in habits of devotion, so he maintained them during all the time of his captivity, inspiring this spirit, by gestures, looks, and the few savage words he knew, in the Huron captives [124 i.e., 126] who were led to Onnontagué with him. On one occasion, he asked this third Huron of whom we have just spoken whether he was a Christian, and whether he had enjoyed the benefit of communion. Learning that he was a Christian, " Very well," said he, " let us then pray, my brother; let us pray together, and make Churches of all these forests through which we are passing." He also asked the Huron, when they were approaching the Village, whether they would [Page 55] be burned there or whether their captors would content themselves with breaking their heads with a hatchet, or stabbing them in the side with a knife. Upon being assured that they would become victims of the flames, the intelligence at first affected him; but, having at the same time offered himself to God as a burnt-offering, " Very well, my brother, " said he to his companion; " since it is God's will that we be burned, let us adore his holy Providence [125 i.e., 127] and submit to his decrees." Indeed, he put his teachings into practice. By frequent and fervent prayers, which won for him the admiration of even those Barbarians, he made chapels of all the halting places where they passed the night, and, upon arriving at the Village, he was subjected without delay to the cruelties commonly inflicted on those who are condemned to death. They began with his hands, cutting off all the fingers, one after another, without leaving a single one. But —O spectacle worthy of being seen by God and admired by Angels! —Immediately after the severing of each finger, he threw himself on his knees to give thanks to God and make an offering to him of his offerings, joining his hands and the fingers still left him with a devotion that would have drawn tears from those executioners, had they not [126 i.e., 128] been more cruel than tigers. Finally, —when all his fingers had been cut off, one after another; and when he, after each operation, had worshipped the Majesty of God, who gave him courage to suffer those tortures with such constancy for his glory, —he knelt for the last time, and, joining his two poor fingerless hands all covered with blood, offered his prayer before ascending the scaffold, which had been prepared in [Page 57] a manner more than barbarous, and wholly contrary to custom in the most cruel Barbarism. For, in place of a stake, —to which the sufferer is fastened in such a way that he can still move from side to side during the application of the fire, —the cruelty of those Barbarians, ingenious in devising new tortures, had, besides the customary stake, so arranged others that our poor [127 i.e., 129] Frenchman was made fast there as if astride a pale, —his feet and hands, however, outstretched in the form of a cross, and bound in such a manner that he could not turn either way when the fire was applied. Moreover, —as if firebrands and lighted bark, which are the usual instruments of their cruelty, were only sufficient on this occasion for the preludes of the torture, —they heated to redness some hatchets, files, saws, pieces of gun-barrels, and other like articles that we had left in our house of Gannentaa upon our departure, and applied these red-hot irons to his body with a cruelty whose record this paper cannot endure. Meanwhile, our virtuous sufferer ceased not to pray to God, casting [128 i.e., 130] Heavenward almost unintermittent looks of love, the witnesses of the agony of his body and the feelings of his heart. The executioners were astonished at this, and could not sufficiently admire his bravery, which enabled him to continue his prayers through all his torments. These at length compelled him to yield to the violence of his agony, and give up his soul to God, —a soul happy beyond a doubt, appearing before God, as it did, stained with its own blood shed for his glory; a soul holy and glorious, having been separated from a body all roasted in defense of Religion at the hands of the enemies of the Faith. This precious body was [Page 59] treated after death with no more honor than during life, being chopped into bits, of which the more delicate were carried away to [129 i.e., 131] be eaten, while the rest were left to the dogs. These animals were devouring them while our third Huron was on the same scaffold, awaiting a treatment similar to that given this virtuous Frenchman. The spot seems to have been consecrated by this brave Man; for our Huron was no sooner made fast there than he began to sing his death-song, —a song, however, full of piety, as I have before stated; a song wherein he invoked now one Saint, and now another, and called upon us, far distant although we were, promising himself with certainty that we would accompany his last sighs with our prayers.

When news of the defeat of which we spoke in the preceding Chapter was brought to this place by the three fugitives, it may be imagined [130 i.e., 132] what must have been the feelings of so many poor Huron widows, who —seeing their whole nation exterminated by so fatal a blow, and left without hope of being able to reëstablish itself, since no more men remained —must have been inconsolable. It is the Savages' custom, when such casualties occur, to make the air resound with doleful lamentations, cries, and groans —women calling their husbands by name in pitiful accents, children their fathers, uncles their nephews. And this sad ceremony is enacted not for one day merely, or two, but throughout an entire year, nothing but weeping and lamentation being heard, every morning and evening, in the whole Village that has suffered some great loss. What then did these poor widows do at the first intelligence of [131 i.e., 133] this fatal calamity? Perhaps the reader [Page 61] will have difficulty in believing it, but prayer took the place of lamentation; and, instead of the shrieks that those bereaved women were expected to utter, according to the custom of all these Nations, they came, every one, into our Chapel, —with tears in their eyes, indeed, and sobbing bitterly, but with such inward peace and such entire resignation to God's decrees that they themselves were astonished thereat, and could not sufficiently marvel at the efficacy of prayer, which made them find consolation in extreme anguish. One of their most earnest desires is to know whether their poor husbands or their dear children ceased to pray during the violence of the torture. " Oh, if we only knew," they say, " and if we were assured [132 i.e., 134] that they died in the Faith, all our grief would be dispelled; for our separation would not be long, and we would live in the hope of seeing one another again in Paradise. " Is not this a Faith like that of the mother of the Maccabees, who witnessed her Children's death with joy because they died in the defense of Religion? Supra modum mater mirabilis pereuntes filios conspiciens, bono animo ferebat, propter spem quam in Deum habebat [Page 63]





E can well apply here the remark of St. John Chrysostom, and say that God leaves us the Iroquois in our midst with the same intent [133 i.e., 135] wherewith he left the Canaanites in the midst of the land which he gave to his people, ut erudiret in eis Israëlem, ut postea discerent filii eorum certare cum hostibus et habere consuetudinem prœliandi.

Our Frenchmen would have learned no other warfare than that upon moose and beavers, and would have become savages worse than the Savages themselves, had not God given them the Iroquois to be their Canaanites. That accursed Nation often seemed to bring ruin to the affairs of God, and prevented his people from enjoying a sweet peace, during which the worship of his divine Majesty would have been neither interrupted by the clashing of arms, nor abandoned for the sake of hastening to the field in defense. The same complaint we make of the Iroquois, who thwart all the noble purposes that [134 i.e., 136] we can form for the glory of God, and keep in suspense ten or twelve fine Missions, in regard to which we can say that flores apparuerunt in terrâ nostrâ, tempus putationis advenit?, —the fruit is even ripe there, and it only remains to go and gather it. In the first Chapter 1 said that, whithersoever we [Page 65] turned our eyes, we found, in the four quarters of our America, Savages to convert and lands to conquer for Jesus Christ. These I am going to enumerate, that you may see, on the one hand, the necessity of destroying the Iroquois, and the advantages that Will follow his destruction; and, on the other, our present need of a reinforcement of brave Missionaries to meet all these fair hopes and not allow [135 i.e., 137] the treasure of all these Languages, that we have amassed with so much exertion, to be lest. I Will say nothing of all the peoples surrounding us, who must one day be united to form but a single people in a single fold, under one and the same Shepherd; for I would never end. I will merely speak of those who are stretching out their arms to us, who are asking for Fathers of our Society to go and instruct them; and among whom we would now be, if the approaches to them were not blocked. Of these I find at least ten different peoples, for ten Missions, without counting those that we actually occupy.

First, I begin with the part of this world that must hold the first rank as being first in natural situation —I mean the East. There is located [136 i.e., 138] the Abnaquiois Mission. This, beginning at the river Kenebki, includes on its right the Etechemins of Pentagwet, together with those of the river St. John; and on its left all those great Nations of New England that speak Abnaquiois, as also the Socoquiois and those six large Villages of the Naraghenses —some having three thousand and others six thousand men, according to the report of the English of New England. The latter, although of a different Religion, have yet always testified to the Father settled there as Missionary, that they approve [Page 67] of the pains he takes in instructing those Barbarians, who have been asking for and awaiting us for several years. But the Iroquois is too near to let us enter upon that great Harvest.

[137 i.e., 139] Secondly, on the Southwest, the Tobacco Nation has sent one of its Captains. He is making preparations here to conduct some Frenchmen, as soon as spring opens, to a spot sixty leagues beyond the lake of the people of the sea, where his compatriots have taken refuge, and believe themselves safe in the midst of several Algonkin Nations; settled there from time immemorial; but the roads', to them are not safe.

In the third place, on the west a great Nation of 40 Villages, called the Nadouechiowec, has been awaiting us since the alliance which it only recently concluded with the two Frenchmen who returned from their country this summer. From what they have remembered of that Language, we hold with considerable reason that it has the same structure as the Algonkin, although it differs therefrom in a number of words.

[138 i.e., 140] In the fourth place, on the Northwest, the Poualacs and other Nations —as numerous as the preceding, or very nearly so —are not less well-disposed to receive us, and are altogether inclined thereto since they have formed together a league, offensive and defensive, against the common enemy.

In the fifth place, farther toward the North, the Nation of the Kilistinons, situated between the upper lake and the sea-bay that we have mentioned, begins or ends that of the Poualac. They have sent Us an invitation by a Christian Captain who came from the [Page 69] upper lake down to Tadoussac by the routes described by us above, and they exhort us to form an alliance with them and go next spring to visit their nine Villages, where [139 i.e., 141] we shah find people of a gentle and tractable disposition, as well as the Atikamegues and the Montagnais, with whom they have language and disposition in common.

In the sixth place, due Northward, the Nations dwelling on each side of the bay wish to have the glory of seeing us settled among them first of all; and for that reason they have made haste to send us presents, offering us all their Villages to cultivate; and fully expecting to be the first to receive the French, as they are the first on the route one must take to ascend to those upper districts by way of Tadoussac.

The great advantage is that, the languages of all those nations being Algonkin or Montagnais or Abnaquiois, we are ready [140 i.e., 142] on the instant to give them succor, since we have arranged all the principles of those Tongues exactly according to those of Greek and Latin.

In the seventh place, let us return to the east, to complete our round of the points of the compass. There we shall hear from afar the good Neophytes of the seven Islands calling us more urgently than any of the rest; and they also have more reason to do so, since, having been baptized by our Fathers, they ask, like good sheep, to hear the voice of their Shepherds, who might comfort them in their distress caused by the fear of the Iroquois. That is what prevents them from repairing to Tadoussac to have their children baptized, and to receive the instructions necessary for wandering Churches, in order [Page 71] that they may spend the year [141 i.e., 143] as good Christians should, being taught what they are to do during their Pastor's absence. They are distant eighty leagues from Tadoussac.

In the eighth place, the people of lake St. John, who are only sixty leagues from Tadoussac, are no less desirous of possessing us, and manifest their minds clearly enough to those who visit them in traffic.

In the ninth place, not to mention the upper Iroquois, —among whom there would be work for a number of Missionaries, if the lower Iroquois were humbled and reduced to a respectful attitude, —we were invited some years ago by the people of the Village of St. Michel, who are good Hurons, cultivated of old by our Fathers in their own country, and now residing in a place of refuge [141 i.e., 144] among the Sonnontweronnons, as we have related. They are a vine that bas in the past borne many excellent fruits for Paradise, and bears them now, but in patientiâ, for, being in the territories and under the dominion of the enemies of the Faith, it is deprived of the succor necessary to enable it to bear fruit a Hundredfold. It gave fair promise of doing this some years ago, —when we visited it, at the time of our sojourn at Onnontagué, —had not the perfidy of our hosts driven us out of that country.

In the tenth place, the last Mission of which I shall now speak is that which we began this year at the first opening that offered, in order not to fail to meet the opportunities that God gives us for converting our Savages. [145] It is true, the route we are obliged to take is still stained with our blood, but by that blood our courage is increased, as was the case [Page 73] with the Elephants mentioned in Maccabees: Elephantis ostenderunt sanguinem uvœ et mori, ad acuendos eos in prœlium. The glory, too, enjoyed by those who have died for JESUS CHRIST in making this expedition makes us desirous rather than timid.

In the year one thousand six hundred and fifty-six, a fleet manned by three hundred of the Upper Algonkins coming to this place to trade, we were led to hope that by joining them we could go up together to their country, and work for the salvation of those peoples. Two of our Fathers embarked for this purpose, but one was forced to turn [146] back; while the other, who was Father Leonard Garreau, was killed by the Iroquois stationed on the route they were to follow. This year, one thousand six hundred and sixty, another fleet manned by the same Algonkins, sixty canoes in number, having arrived, two of our Fathers again joined them, in order to leave no way untried. But one of them could not go beyond Montréal, owing to the whim of a Savage, who would not allow him in his canoe, while the other, Father René Ménard, passed that place, indeed, but we do not know whether some accident, similar to that which befell Father Garreau, has not overtaken him. For we have learned that a band of a hundred Onnontagueronnons was to lie in wait for them above Montréal, for the purpose of attacking them in some narrow pass, [147] or else assaulting them in some rapids, where one has enough to do to contend with currents and rocks, without having other enemies on his hands. We know not what success the enterprise of the Iroquois may have had, but fear that they will strangle that poor Mission in its cradle, as they have done once already. [Page 75]

If the Father can escape their clutches, he Will follow the Algonkins to a point midway between the Lake of the Sea People and Lake Superior, where those peoples promise us a residence on another Lake, three or four hundred leagues from here. Near it, they are to fell, this Winter, the trees for their abode, and to form a sort of center for several Nations who have already appeared there, and who Will repair thither [148] from different directions.

It passes belief how much good Will Monseigneur the Bishop of Petræa manifested in the enterprise, as soon as he learned of our design to enter upon that Mission. His zeal, which is all-embracing, and to which the whole Ocean has been unable to set bounds, made him wish that he could be one of those fortunate ones who exposed themselves to death; and that, at the cost of a thousand lives, he could go into the deepest of those forests in search of the lest sheep for whom he had crossed the Seas. He would have done so, could he have divided himself; and the journeys he performed over the snow, in his very first winter, to visit his flock —not on horseback or in a carriage, but on snowshoes and over the ice-show that he would do his part well among the most [149] excellent Missionaries to the Savages, if he could leave the more necessary duties and hasten to those more dangerous. His heart at least has clown thither, while he himself remains here, as at the center of all the Missions, to be able to give his attention to, and share his zeal with, all equally, All our French people and our Savages —whose hearts he has won by the holiness of his life, and the abounding charity wherewith he is continually aiding them in all sorts of necessities —would have lost too much and would [Page 77] have been left inconsolable if those forests, so remote from us, had obtained possession of this precious treasure, of whose value they are not yet sufficiently aware. It suffices that the Father to whom this good fortune fell goes thither as his representative, and assures all those poor Savages that they have here a Father [150] who Will not fail them, and who Will furnish them Pastors, as far as the Iroquois will permit.

It must be acknowledged that the enterprise is glorious, and promises very abundant returns, in view of the number of Nations dwelling in those countries; but euntes ibant et flebant mittentes semina sua, —that rich harvest is only secured by watering those lands with sweat and blood. I mean that a Missionary destined for this great work must make up his mind to lead a very strange kind of life, and endure unimaginable destitution of all things; to suffer every inclemency of the weather, without mitigation; to bear a thousand impertinences, a thousand taunts, and often, indeed, blows from the Infidel Savages, [151] who are at times instigated by the demons, —and all this without human consolation; to be daily in the water or on the snow, without tire; to pass whole months without eating anything but boiled leather, or the moss which grows on the rocks; to toil indefatigably, and as if he had a body of bronze; to live without food, and lie with no bed under him ; to sleep little and journey much; and, with all that, to hold his head in readiness to receive the hatchet-stroke oftener than every day, whenever a juggler or some malcontent shah take a fancy to deal it. In short, one must be a barbarian with these barbarians and say with the [Page 79]. Apostle, Grœcis ac barbaris debitor sum; one must play the Savage with them, and well-nigh cease to live [152] like a human being, in order to make them live like Christians.

In such manner did Father Ménard live among the Hurons and among the Iroquois, where he essayed the life which he is now undertaking; and he expects it to be such, indeed, as he shows in a letter written in haste to one of his good friends, to whom he bids a last farewell. It runs as follows:



                                                Pax Christi.

This is probably the last word that I shall write to you, and I wish it to be the seal of our friendship until eternity: Ama quem Dominus Jesus non dedignatur amare, quamquam maximum peccatorem; amat enim quem dignatur suâ [153] Cruce. May your friendship, my good Father, be useful to me in the desirable fruits of your holy sacrifices. In three or four months you may include me in the Memento for the dead, in view of the kind of life lead by these peoples, of my age, and of my delicate constitution. In spite of that, I have felt such powerful promtings and have seen in this affair so little of the purely natural, that I could not doubt, if I failed to respond to this opportunity, that I would experience an endless remorse. We have been somewhat taken unawares at not being able to provide ourselves with clothing and other things; but he who feeds the little birds and clothes the lilies of the field, will take care of his servants; and even if it should be our lot to die of want, it would be a great piece of good fortune for us.

I am overwhelmed with duties, and all I can do is to commend our journey to your holy sacrifices, and [154] [Page 81] embrace you with the same feelings wherewith I hope to embrace you in eternity.

My Reverend Father,

From three Rivers, this

27th of August, 2 hours

after midnight, 1660.

Your very humble and affectionate

servant in JESUS CHRIST,



God is always God, and the more bitter the hardships one suffers for his sake, the more sweetly and lovingly does he make one feel this. [Page 83]





F ever there was reason to worship the profound secrets of Divine Providence, and to marvel at the methods, inscrutable to the view of any of us, which God employs in the design of his eternity to bring about man's good fortune, and conduct him by means as wonderful as infallible to his predestined goal —which, according to saint Augustine, est prœparatio mediorum quibus Certissimè liberantur quicumque liberantur, —such reason is undoubtedly found in those of whom we shall speak in this chapter, whom God [156] causes to arrive by unhoped for routes at the blessed port of eternity. Who would believe that the torture by fire —which often overwhelms the victim with despair, and sometimes shakes the constancy of the best Christians —opens to some of the Iroquois the road to Heaven, and that these fires are the surest means, Certissimè liberantur quicumque liberantur? —So sure are they, that we have scarcely ever seen an Iroquois burned without regarding him as on the, way to Paradise; nor have we considered a single one as certainly on that road whom we have not seen pass through this torture.

The first one to cause us, quite recently, to entertain this opinion, was a Young man who came here from the depths of Barbarism, —I [157] mean, from the midst of the Agnieronnons, —to make prisoners [Page 85] of war; but, being himself taken prisoner, he found Heaven while in his fetters, and eternal happiness in his misfortune. He was of the Mahingan Nation (the people called by us the Wolf Nation, neighbors of the Dutch and allies of the Agnieronnons), but had been naturalized among the Iroquois, whose cause he embraced. He was captured by our Algonkins on the Richelieu Islands. Three of his companions were killed on the spot; he, however, had only the tip of his tongue cut off by a musket-ball which passed through his mouth from cheek to cheek.

Conducted to Québec by the victors, he was immediately tried and condemned [158] to be burned, in order that the rest might lose their boldness in coming to disturb us with impunity at the very doors of our houses. The Algonkins, who were the Judges and executioners of this criminal, did not use much formality in the matter. They were Algonkins and he professed himself an Iroquois; that was sufficient to prove him deserving of death by fire. One of our Fathers, who understood his language, employed his time in instructing him; and —whether because, amid such grievous torments, the hope of the delights of Paradise charmed him at once, or because God made a powerful appeal to his heart, looking upon him as upon one of his elect and selecting him, by a stroke of his loving Providence, de medio Nationis pravœ —he prepared himself for receiving holy Baptism, and did receive it a little before [159] ascending the staff old. There he prayed to God with courage during his torture, and even called for the Father again a short time before he died, that he might be farther instructed and aided in making that great [Page 83] and important passage. Is it not a marvel to see a Wolf changed all at once into a lamb, and enter the fold of JESUS CHRIST, which he came to ravage? It was perhaps the reward for his having in his youth, as he confessed to the Father, believed the poor Hurons, captive among the Iroquois, when he heard them, as he often did, speak of the Mysteries of our holy Faith —showing himself worthy, by this submission, that that sacred seed should, in its own time, bear fruit for eternity.

[160] What happened a few days later to four Hurons, captured in war and burned before our eyes, makes the infinite treasures of God's mercy toward his predestined ones shine forth to much greater advantage. Listen to the words of the Father who played his part best in that horrible tragedy, and who received the last gasps breathed by those victims from the midst of the flames, where they lived perhaps better than they had ever done, and where they at least died in the hope of eternal enjoyment.

" Certain Hurons," says the Father, " who were settled among the Iroquois and had left Agnié last Autumn to hunt the beaver, were urged on their return to proceed to Québec with hostile intent, [161] in order to avenge some affront that one of them had received. Arriving there toward the end of the following Spring, they captured, on the coste de Beaupré, a French woman with some children, but were themselves captured with their prey. Monsieur our Governor, who is not caught napping on such occasions, took such wise measures and laid ambuscades in so advantageous positions, that the enemy's canoe fell right into them while it was reascending the river in silence, and was passing point de Levi. No [Page 89] sooner did our Frenchmen and Algonkins perceive it in the darkness than they discharged their muskets, plunged into the water, and seized upon the enemies. Out of their whole number of eight, three were drowned, —the canoe capsizing upon being boarded, —[162] and five were seized and led in triumph to Québec to be burned. While their stakes and scaffolds are being prepared, admire the tare with which the divine Providence watched over the safety of that French woman. Seeing herself captured and destined for the flames or for a captivity still more cruel, she should have given vent, it seems, to cries and tears, as demanded by so lamentable a condition of the mother and her poor children. The latter wept pitifully, without knowing their misfortune, since they did not see that they were about to become Iroquois and would be torn from their mother's bosom as soon as they reached the enemy's country; that they would be scattered in different cabins and reared in the native Savage mode of life, [163] in order that they might imbibe the Iroquois nature with their milk, and lose every trace of Christianity. Was not all that enough to throw this poor woman into a state of holy despair, and make her shed tears of blood both over her own misfortune and, far more, over that of those innocent creatures whose souls were in far greater danger than their bodies?

" In spite of it ail, she did not give way to vain lamentations during the time of her captivity; but, looking to the hand of God, which managed that of those recreants, and remembering that it was Saturday, —a day dedicated to the blessed Virgin, toward whom she cherished a very especial devotion, —she felt strongly convinced that Our Lady would net let [Page 91]  [164] that day pass without showing her some signal mark of favor. And even though the shades of night already covered the robbers, and well-nigh freed them from all fear, yet she felt inwardly persuaded that, in passing Québec on a Saturday, she would be set free by the help of the blessed Virgin —as happily occurred on that very evening.

" It is true, she received a mortal wound at the discharge made upon the Iroquois canoe; but she received it as a mark of grace, and afterward blessed God a thousand times for graciously permitting her to die in the arms of the hospital Mothers instead of abandoning her to live among the Iroquois. She ceased not to pray for those barbarians during the few days while she survived; and, [165] in dying, she left us marks of a soul guided to the happy goal of its predestination by paths wholly worthy of adoration.

" But let us return to our captives. I knew them well," adds the Father, " as having been baptized before necessity compelled them to entrust themselves to the Iroquois. I visited them when the prelude of the tragedy was being begun upon them, —nails torn out, fingers cut off, hands and feet burnt, and all the other treatment of like nature, which was merely the game and diversion of children. Seeing that I could not deliver them from their torments, I spoke to them about God, and they heard me willingly; I tried to make them recall their prayers, and they had not forgotten them; I [166] encouraged them to undergo death with stout hearts, in expiation of their sins, and they resolved to do so. Finally, I confessed them; and I had every reason to admire the effects of grace, which can change hearts of [Page 93] bronze and stone into children of Abraham, and cast bodies into the flames to draw thence souls.

"The first two who were put to the torture were near relatives, grandfather and grandson, the former an old mm between fifty and sixty years of age, powerful and robust, and the latter a youth of seventeen or eighteen years, of a sensitive nature and a more delicate constitution. As Soon as that man saw the fires, in which he was to be burned, lighted around him, he had me summoned to help him during his torture, [167] throughout which he uttered only these two words, which were heard ringing out from amid the flames: Jesus, take pity on me! Mary, give me strength! That was his death-song, and therewith ended all his cries. With that beautiful invocation he filled the air, whereas others, as a general rule, fill it with pitiful weeping and wailing. I heard him from a distance, and, approaching, gave him encouragement, leading him to hope that his torments would soon be changed to rapture, provided he continued to meet them with courage. ' I Will do so,' he replied; ' and to assure thee of it, I promise not to cry out, whatever cruelty may be exercised upon me. ' This promise he kept throughout [168] a good part of the night and of the following day, during which time his torture lasted, without ever uttering a cry, or even a sigh, amid intolerable afflictions and agonies that are scarcely conceivable. Seeing him display so much fortitude in suffering and constancy in prayer, I invited him to encourage his grandson in recourse to God in his torments, which he was unable to bear with such firmness, owing to his Youth and his constitution. L yes,' said he, and therewith turning toward the youth, as much as the fires allowed [Page 95] him, ' Courage, my son,' said he to him; ' let us pray without ceasing. The fires separate us at present, and the smoke rising from our roasting bodies prevents us from seeing each other; but we shall soon meet again [169] in Heaven. Let us not desist from praying, for prayer is the sole remedy for our woes.' Then, turning to me: 'Do not forsake us, I pray thee; and remind us again of God whenever we are given a little respite. Leave us not, and pray for us continually, making us pray as long as we keep our senses.'

" It was a spectacle such as the barbarians of these regions had never seen. As soon as the torturers gave one of those poor sufferers some respite, that they might go and torment the other, I hastened to him to direct his prayers and cheer him with some kind word; and immediately upon their return to this one with the firebrands and heated hatchets, I repaired to the other for the same purpose. It seemed to me, [170] in these goings and comings, that the fire which burned their bodies was also kindling their hearts with devotion, and that their devotion animated my own to spend myself freely in so holy an exercise, with whatever horror it might inspire me; and I doubtless would have been daunted had not the courage they showed in suffering given me sufficient firmness to see their poor bodies thus ill-treated. I can say that I beheld them with consolation, feeling my heart especially touched upon hearing the younger one recite his Ave Maria from beginning to end, as soon as he was allowed a little breathing-space. And as he was young and delicate, he made me his excuses for not being able to imitate the constancy of his grandfather, who mocked at the [Page 97] torments. [171] ' Alas! ' he said to me, ' I am not brave enough to keep back the tears at the height of my sufferings; for they are indeed violent.' ' Weep and cry out as much as thou wilt,' I answered him; ' that does not displease God.' But the old man, touched by the pitiful cries of his grandson, —one of whose feet they were piercing with a red-hot iron, while they burned the other by pressing it against a stone heated to redness, —could not refrain from calling out to the executioners: ' Ho! Why do you net let that Child alone! Am I not able alone to satiate your cruelty without your exercising it on that innocent? ' They threw themselves accordingly on the old man and —with red-hot javelins, with which they pierced the most sensitive parts of his body; with hatchets, all glowing hot, [172] which they applied to his shoulders; and with firebrands and flames, wherewith they encompassed him —did their utmost to make him cry out; but all those cruel efforts were fruitless, and he appeared as if insensible in the midst of that horrible butchery. I was touched with pity for him, and wished to persuade him to moan a little, that he might spare himself some of these inhuman inflictions; for it is the Savages' custom not to cease their torments until they have made the sufferer cry out; as if that cry, extorted by the intensity of the pain, became for them a cry of joy. So I said to him, speaking low in his ear: ' Know, my brother, that it is no sin to cry oat; thou canst do so without displeasing God thereby. Still, [173] I do not bid thee do it.' He gave me no answer, but I saw clearly that he was resolved to continue to suffer with firmness; for neither the red-hot iron plates wherewith they broiled his more [Page 99] fleshy parts, nor the hot ashes that they threw on his head after removing the scalp, nor all the live coals in which they buried his body, could wrest a single sigh from his breast.

" At last, when his strength was exhausted by loss of blood and by such protracted tortures, he was thrown into the fire, which was to serve him as a grave. But, being a robust and vigorous man, he suddenly arose from amid the flames, parted the throng, and started to run, having the appearance of a demon on fire, his lips out away, [174] with no skin on his head, and with scarcely any on his whole body. Although the soles of his feet and his legs were entirely roasted, he ran so swiftly that it was difficult to overtake him. But as it was only a last effort of nature, his strength finally failing, he was recaptured. Thereupon his first word was a call for the Father and a request that he would help him still to pray to God, —until, a little later, being cast into the fire, he died there.

" The three others were not so courageous, nor were they so strong; but their piety appeared no whit inferior, their constant wish being to have the Father beside them during the execution, while they ceased not to recite their prayers as long as the intensity of the torture permitted them."

[175] Who can doubt that, after such severe torture, borne with such courage and holiness in expiation of their sins, they have found the enjoyment to which Divine Providence in its mercy conducted them —sic tamen quassi per ignem? [Page 101]




NCLUDE in this chapter everything that offers, observing no order beyond that of the notes that have been placed in my hands.

One of the most remarkable occurrences in Canada since the coming of Monseigneur the Bishop [176] of Petræa, one which can be considered no less than marvelous, is the almost total suppression of drunkenness among our Savages. God has so blessed this good Prelate's zeal that he has at length overcome an evil which had been gaining in strength for so long a time, and which seemed beyond remedy.

Those who have mingled somewhat with the Savages (I speak only of those living near our settlements) are well aware that drink is a demon that robs them of their reason, and so inflames their passion that, after returning from the chase richly laden with beaver-skins, instead of furnishing their families with provisions, clothing, and other necessary supplies, they drink away the entire proceeds in one day and are forced to pass the winter in nakedness, famine, and all [179 i.e., 177] sorts of deprivation. There have been some whose mania was so extraordinary that, after stripping themselves of everything for liquor, they sold even their own children to obtain the means of intoxication. Children, too, when they are overcome with drink, beat their parents without being punished for it; Young men [Page 103] use it as a philter, corrupting the girls after making them drunk; those that have any quarrels pretend t. be intoxicated, in order to wreak vengeance with impunity. Every night is filled with clamors, brawls, and fatal accidents, which the intoxicated cause in the cabins. Everything is permitted them, for they give as a satisfactory excuse that they were bereft of reason at the time; hence one cannot conceive the disorders which this diabolical vice [180 i.e., 178] has caused in this new Church. We found neither a time to instruct them, nor means to inspire them with horror of this sin; for they were always in a state of intoxication or of beggary —that is, either incapable of listening, or constrained to go in quest of food in the woods. This condition deeply moved the heart of Monseigneur of Petræa, who, seeing the fortunes of this new Christendom in danger of ruin, unless these evils were abolished, turned ail his attention toward finding a remedy for the evil which had until then seemed incurable. And he happily found one; for, after the King's orders and the Governors' decrees had proved ineffectual, he, by excommunicating all the French who should give [181 i.e., 179] intoxicating liquors to the Savages, suppressed all these disorders, and they have not broken out again since the excommunication, so richly has it received Heaven's blessing. This result so surprised our better and more discreet Savages, that they came expressly to thank Monseigneur of Petræa on behalf of their entire Nation, acknowledging to him that they could not sufficiently admire the power of his Word, which had accomplished id a moment what had been so long attempted in vain.

The Father who has charge of the Tadoussac [Page 105] Mission, after witnessing in person the benefit to his Neophytes wrought by thus cutting off the supply of liquor, and after recording with joy the ease wherewith [182 i.e., 180] they can now be instructed, relates in addition a very signal act of Providence toward an aged Algonkin of seventy years. This man had formerly received instruction in our faith, but only cursorily; and had since then led a wandering life in the forests, without taking the trouble to apply for Baptism. At last, a mortal illness, which had afflicted him for a whole month, opened his eyes, and made him determine to go at the earliest possible moment in search of a Father to baptize him, promising himself that this resolve would restore his health. In very truth, it was restored contrary to his relatives' expectation; and he, having found the Father above Tadoussac, did not leave him until the latter had completed his instruction and had then [183 i.e., 181] conferred upon him this Sacrament, so earnestly desired. After that, he went back contented, and with the determination, after seventy years of Savage life, to pass the rest of his days as a good Christian. Those are signs of predestination —tardy, indeed, but of very good augury.

A little later, the same Father was informed that a Young Algonkin, named Joseph, had died with the single regret that he had not the Father at his side to direct his prayers and aid him in that last passage; moreover, that he had been so fervent that he did nothing but preach and exhort his relatives during his entire illness —asking them all, as the sole favor before his death, to become Christians. He was between eighteen and twenty years old; and, although he had been [184 i. e., 182] unable to receive [Page 107] all the instruction given to those who live near us, yet, upon stopping at Québec this last spring, he made confession with such clearness, exactness, and piety, as to convince the Father that the holy Ghost had been his master in the woods, and that his guardian Angel had taken charge of his instruction. At this same time also, during his Mission service at Tadoussac, the Father had the consolation of witnessing not only the holy importunity manifested by many Algonkins and Montagnais of all ages, recently come down from the North Sea, who were urging for Baptism for their children; but also another throng of Savages who, [185 i.e., 183] not having seen their Pastor for three or four years, zealously presented themselves at Confession, where they made it evident that they had lived in the woods with as much innocence as can be expected from the best and most fervent Christians. As for those who had ceased to make public profession of Christianity, through either forgetfulness or negligence, they voluntarily condemned themselves to stand at the Chapel door, in order the better to effect their reconciliation. Those who, from their association with Infidels, had discontinued their morning and evening prayers, made urgent request for some black gowns, to hold them always to their duty, and make them preserve the spirit of fervor so necessary in these wandering Churches.

[186 i.e., 184] The notes of the Father in charge of the Huron Mission relate that a Savage named Sondeonskon, recently returned from Agnié, has brought us news of that poor captive Church among the Iroquois. One of the items is that the Huron women, who form the greater part of those that have [Page 109] been reared in the Faith, are keeping it inviolate, and making public profession of prayer, despite all the ridicule and scorn heaped upon it by those Infidels. He adds that one of these women takes tare to mark the Sundays, in order to observe them in so far as their captive condition will admit; and that, after whole years, she has not been found to be a single day in error in her reckoning.

He further states that a good old man, named [187 i.e., 185] Arontiondi, who had formerly been Prefect of the Congregation on the Isle of Orleans, had maintained his devotion during his captivity, living as exemplary a life in the Iroquois country as among us, and had died there a holy death; and that throughout his last illness he had done nothing but pray to God, holding his hands and eyes almost constantly toward Heaven, until his last breath. Is not that a death precious indeed for so barbarous a country?

One of our good Huron Christians who escaped from the bands of the Iroquois, after being maltreated by them for some years, still bears them so great affection, according to the maxims of the Gospel, that one of his ardent desires, is to see the door of the [188 i.e., 186] Missions opened to those peoples, that he might join our Fathers in that enterprise, attend them in all the dangers, and serve them as Catechist. In that capacity he would not acquit himself 21, since he now discharges its functions with great zeal. When he learns of any cabins in which there is no one to say prayers before retiring, he visits them, and renders this service of piety; and he has gained such credit that, upon his entrance into any place where evil language is being used, the subject. [Page 111] is immediately changed. " Here comes such and such a one," they say; " these words offend him." " No," he rejoins; " not me, but God you offend; and he Will call you to strict account for it some day. "

In winter-time, he never fails [189 i.e., 187] to come to Church at earliest dawn, whatever may be the weather, and often he hears two and three Masses —to make up, as he says, for those that he missed during his captivity. Such sentiments belonged to the primitive Church, and I will give still other examples.

A good Huron woman, in speaking of Monseigneur of Petræa, says that she cannot imagine she is looking at a man, when he is clothed in his pontifical robes; that he seems to breathe an air of Heaven, and that she could not feel more respect for an Angel of Paradise. She adds that, whenever she meets him in the street, she stands aside to let him pass, or else flees in another direction, in order not to offend him by her presence, deeming so great a sinner unworthy [190 i.e., 188] of approaching or being seen by so holy a man. Another, named Marguerite Anendrak, hurting herself severely by a fall on the ice, when she was carrying a load of wood, thus killed the Child with which she was pregnant, and then gave birth to it with the pains usual in such cases. The Father, visiting her in the morning, asked her if she .had remembered God during her sufferings. " Ah, yes," said she; " I ceased not to offer them to him, and to say my Rosary until the intensity of the pain made me lose my senses. Undoubtedly, I would have died had not the blessed Virgin, whom I invoked all [Page 113] night long, kept me alive, contrary to every indication." As Heaven's favors [191 i.e., 189] never go singly, this manifest assistance of our Lady was followed by a very extraordinary devotion which that good woman felt thereafter for the Queen of Heaven. Besides the morning and evening prayers that she came and offered in the Chapel with the others, she spent a good part of the day there in paying a thousand little respects to our Lady and to her Son, whom she honored with sentiments not in the least Savage. I cite only the following example of this. For ten or twelve days preceding the glorious Ascension of our Lord, she prepared herself by various exercises of devotion for solemnizing this Festival, offering prayer after prayer, and making visit after visit to the blessed Sacrament; and the day itself she spent [192 i.e., 190] in practicing all the good deeds she could think of. One would have believed, witnessing all this fervor on her part, that she had some presentiment of what afterward befell her. At least, we cannot doubt that our Lord looked down with approval on all those holy preparations; for, by a very great favor, she died happily on the day after this Festival, following her master at early morn, in recompense for having so well prepared herself to accompany him on that day of his triumph. A little before her death, she was seized with an illness, in the course of which she gave striking proofs of her virtue, wishing to be carried to the Hospital, in order to die in the arms of the holy maidens (for thus our Savages call both the [193 i.e., 191] Hospital and the Ursuline Nuns); and, although her parents were passionately desirous that she should die in their cabin in order that they might close her eyes, she was bent on [Page 115] ending her life in an act of obedience rendered to the Father who had charge of her, preferring his counsel to her parents' desires.

I cannot refrain from noting at considerable length the paternal solicitude that God manifests for this country. We had every reason in the world to be at a loss how to do the Spring planting, and still more how to gather the Autumn harvests; since the Iroquois, who were expected to pour down like a flood upon all our settlements, could easily prevent [194 i.e., 192) both. But God, whose eye has ever watched over us with extraordinary vigilance, helped us to effect the one, —through a loss, indeed, somewhat keenly felt, as we have related in the fourth chapter, —and to accomplish the other through interpositions of Providence, quœ factœ sunt in muscipulam pedibus insipientium, —which enabled us to capture the crafty with their own craft, causing them to fall into the snares that they themselves had laid for us.

Fifty Iroquois from Oiogoen made their appearance at Montréal toward the beginning of August of this year, one thousand six hundred and sixty; and finding the people there well on their guard, four separated from the rest for the purpose of holding a parley. Trusting accordingly to the usual kindness of the French, they asked [195 i.e., 193] to be allowed to go down to Québec and speak to Onnontio, in order to tell him on behalf of their Village that, although war had been rekindled between the French and the Iroquois, they, the Oiogoenheronnons, claimed to observe the neutrality they had always professed never yet having made war on our settlements. And, as a still greater proof of their fidelity, they asked for the black gown who had been a missionary [Page 117] among them, and had started a new Church there during our sojourn at Onnontagué. Monsieur the Governor saw their game at once. Regarding them rather as spies than as Ambassadors, of which latter class they bore none of the marks customary among these peoples, he believed that God [196 i.e., 194] placed them in his hands that he might gain two advantages through them, —the first, that we might gather the harvest in some safety, during their presence among us; the second, to obtain the freedom of our Frenchmen in captivity among the lower Iroquois, by exchanging these men for them. With this design, he ordered that the others, stationed on an Island near Montréal, should be secured and two or three of them sent back to their own country, to tell the eiders that, if they wished to recover their countrymen, they must send back the Frenchmen whom they had held prisoners for the last few years.

We are awaiting the success of this move. Meanwhile, our harvests have been [197 i.e., 195] successfully garnered, and we are beginning to lose our fear of the famine with which we were menaced.

It is true, our fears in one direction are no sooner dispelled than others come to take their place. 'The Iroquois has not ceased to be an Iroquois, and his last efforts are often greater than his first. They are not the symptoms of a man in the death-agony, who destroys himself by his own efforts: for, to finish this Relation as we began it, —that is, by giving some general idea of this country's condition, —the latest news can enlighten us still further concerning what we said in the first Chapter. This news is as follows, First, the three [198 i.e., 196] hundred Cutaways who came this year to trade with us, and with whom [Page 119] Father Ménard went back to their country to labor at their conversion, encountered a hundred Onnontagueronnons stationed below the great falls, but lost only three men, who, advancing too far ahead of the main body of the canoes, were captured by the Iroquois. All the rest, however, passed in safety, the Onnontagueronnon finding himself too weak to sustain a conflict.

In the second place, one of the chief Hurons captured in the defeat of last Spring is expected to conduct some thirty Agnieronnons by night into the very heart of Quebek, in order to steal away from us the rest [199 i.e., 197] of the Huron Colony. It is a very easy matter to give US warning of their approach, not merely that we may be on our guard, but also that we may seize the persons of those who carry their courage to such an excess of rashness. Yet we do not believe that they will risk their lives in so perilous an undertaking, unless the whole army be very near to sustain them.

In the third place, of all the Hurons captured last Spring by the Iroquois, seven were burned, while the rest, together with a good number of prisoners of all sorts, are fully resolved to come and throw themselves into our arms, partly to preserve their faith, and partly to escape from so harsh a captivity.

[200 i.e., 198] In the fourth place, in the month of June of this year, one thousand six hundred and sixty, the Agnieronnons repaired to Onnontagué with costly presents, and invited the people there to form an army corps once more, by a junction of their forces, for the purpose of pouring down upon our settlements in the following Autumn, attempting to sweep away the French Colony of Three Rivers, and spreading [Page 121] general havoc. But all these schemes may well prove abortive, because of the Oiogoenhronnons detained at Montréal. At least, we know that a detachment of the Onnontaguehronnons —who had already entered the field and taken the start in this expedition —thought of using craft rather than violence for the recovery of these prisoners [201 i.e., 199] from the hands of the French.

Finally, we are told that next year Will be more dangerous for us than those preceding, because the entire cabin —so they designate the five Iroquois Nations —is to form a league, and devise a grand plan of war against us.

Perhaps we shall forestall this Junction of forces, if the excellent purposes entertained in France succeed. This is desired by all who are zealous for the Savages' conversion; the poor Savages themselves a& for it with clasped hands; and New France hopes for it from a most Christian Kingdom which, giving peace to all her neighbors, Will not let her children groan under the burden of war; and, having [202 i.e., 200] heard the vows of all Europe, Will not repulse the appeal of so many Nations which have recourse to France as to the last asylum of these poor devastated Churches, We desire it with them, we demand it, and we implore it of those who have any power in the matter, because it concerns the preservation of this country, the glory of France, and the salvation of Souls.



[Page 123]



CIlI. —Lettre du R. P. Réné Ménard, au R. P. Hierosme Lallement; nostre D de bon Secours dit Chassahamigon, 2 Juin, 1661

CIV. —Deux lettres, adressées à M. le Prince de Condé, par Paul Ragueneau (Quebec, 12 Octobre, 1661) et DuBois d' Avaugour (Quebec, 13 octobre, 1661)

CV. —Lettre du P. Joseph-Marie Chaumonot, au P. Germain Rippault; Kébec, 20 octobre, 1661

CVI. —Journal des PP. Jésuites, en l'année 1661


Sources: In publishing Doc. CIII., we follow a French apograph in the archives of St. Mary's College, Montréal. Doc. CIV. we obtain from Rochemonteix's Jésuites et la Nouvelle-France, tome ii., pp. 525-527. Doc. CV. is from Carayon's Première Mission, pp, 260-262. Doc. CVI. we obtain from the original MS. in the library of Laval University, Quebec.

[Page 125]

Letter of Reverend Father Réné Ménard to Rever-

end Father Hierosme Lallement, Superior

of the Missions of the Society of

Jesus in New France, at Québec.


 HAVE seen nothing in this Christendom that has not edified me. Nevertheless, evil tongues have not failed to find cause of scandal in it, as did of old the gentiles in St. Paul's infirmities, considering that there was more to be lest than gained in God's service. After all, God's kindness, which bas guided me, has shown me that it was not without design that Paradise was to be peopled with these poor folk who, although they seem to be of the lowest degree, are men as well as the Europeans and the other nations of the earth. One of my first visits at the spot where we were to winter was to a hovel, the most miserable cabin of all, erected under a large decayed tree, which served as a shelter for it on one side, and upheld some branches of cedar and Hemlock which kept off the wind on the other. I entered almost on all fours, and under that tree I found a treasure. It was a woman, abandoned by her Husband and her daughter, who had left her two little children, and they were dying; one was about 2, and the other 3 years old. I began to speak of the faith to this poor afflicted creature, and she heard me with pleasure which she expressed in these words: " My brother, " she said to me, " I know well enough that my people do not approve thy discourses; but, for. [Page 127]  my part, I relish them very much, and what thou sayest is full of consolation. " At the same time, she drew out from underneath the tree a piece of dried fish, of which she deprived herself to pay me for my visit. But I prized much more highly the Opportunity that God gave me for assuring myself of the salvation of the 2 little Innocents, by administering baptism to them. I returned some days afterward to see that good creature, and I found her fully resolved to serve God; and, in fact, she began from that day to come and pray to God night and morning —so constantly, that she never failed to do so, no matter what affairs she had on hand or how pressed she Was to obtain her wretched livelihood. The younger of those little Innocents did not long delay in surrendering to Heaven the first-fruits of this Mission, whose devotions he practiced during the short time that he survived his baptism. For, noticing that his Mother prayed to God before eating, he at once, of his own accord, acquired the habit of lifting his hand to his forehead to make the sign of the cross, before drinking and eating. This he continued to do until the end —a somewhat extraordinary thing in a Child who was not yet 2 years old. The second person whom God gave us was a poor old man, sick unto death, at 3 Rivers. When his people came down, and I could no longer approach him on account of their jugglers, who surrounded him at all hours, That good man, upon whom Gad had his designs, was not yet ripe for Heaven. The affliction that befell him during the voyage greatly humiliated him; for a squall struck him on Lake Superior, and, to save his life, he lost all that he had gone to get at 3 Rivers. As old age and poverty are held in great [Page 129] contempt among the savages, he was obliged to take refuge with Our Nahakwatkse, his sister, the good widow of whom I have already spoken. On one occasion, he tried to jeer at our Mysteries in my presence, but, as our cause is an excellent one, I took him up on a point whereon he gave me a fairly good chance. He was unable to reply, and, yielding to grace and to the Holy Ghost, he came to see me on the following day and asked me to make him pray; and ever since then he has borne himself openly before his countrymen as a disciple of Jesus Christ, so that I have baptized him Jean Amikous. [Blank space in MS.] The third who seems predestined for Paradise is a Young man about 30 years of age, who for a long time has excited the admiration of our savages by resisting, with a constancy unknown among them, all the temptations of the spirit of impurity, which are probably as frequent here as in any other place in the world. This chosen soul had sometimes approached me on the road, and expressed to me a great desire to become a Christian. But I heard that he was not married, and I persuaded myself that he was worse than those who were settled. I found here, however, that in fact he was not so; and, what is more, that, although he was sought after because he was clever and belonged to a great family, he nevertheless rejected the advances of all the girls or women who loved him, and that they could never draw any licentious or indecent word from him —so much so that none amused themselves by importuning him in that direction. He was one of the first who came to visit me as soon as I had withdrawn into my little hermitage. I asked him, after several excellent conversations, how it happened that he [Page 131] was not married, and whether he intended to remain always in that state. " No, my Brother," he said; " ht what I am resolved to do is not to live in the fashion of my people, or to mite myself with any woman who has a coarse mind, such as I find very common here in that sex. I will never marry unless I find a chaste woman, who is not abandoned like those of this country. I am not in a hurry; and, if I do not find one, I am quite satisfied to remain as I am with my brother during the remainder of my life. Moreover, when thou findest that I am doing any other thing than what I tell thee, thou mayst exclude me from prayer." These bold words afterward seemed to me to have been inspired by Jesus, who had taken possession of that great heart and had preserved it . . . . until the hour of its salvation. This winter, a feast of fornication was held by order of the medicine-men of the country, to restore the health of a man sick beyond hope of recovery. The good neophyte, whom I named Louis in baptism, was begged and earnestly urged to be present, to complete the number of the guests; but he refused. When his relatives urged and scolded him to induce him to go, he got up and went out by one door of the cabin; and after remaining for some time at a certain place praying to God, he reëntered by another door, giving cause for laughter to those who were present. . . . As he is alone in this kind of life he is obliged to endure a thousand insults on all sides. TO this, thank God, he is already inured. His only answer to all that they may say is a slight smile; and he never flinches or relaxes on a single point when his duty as a Christian is in question.

The 4th chosen Soul who has been found is the [Page 133] elder sister of our Louis, a widow burdened with 5 Children —a very quiet woman, who is occupied all day long with the affairs of her little household. She brought me the oldest of her Children, a girl 10 years old, and begged me to instruct her, in order that, as she said, God might have pity on her and restore her health, which she had lost some months ago. She was suffering from a chronic catarrh, which hindered her in speaking, and choked her voice. I made her pray, and then had her bled. The bleeding produced its effect, and she recovered her voice. This induced the Mother to come with all her family and ask that they also might pray to God. I baptized them after a thorough Instruction and trial of their piety. The good creature loves us very much, and her great charity contributes toward our subsistence. I named the Mother Plathéhahsmie.

The 5th person whom I found worthy of Holy baptism is another widow. She has had no children by her husband, to whom she was given in her youth by her parents. The Iroquois took him from her, 6 years ago. This woman, who came to me of her own accord to ask to be instructed, has during all the time of her widowhood lived with great reserve, remaining ever at the Side of her Mother, who is of an exceedingly taciturn nature, and who strongly disapproves of the visits of the Young men. it seems as if God chose her in the place of some Christian women of 3 Rivers, who had taken refuge in her cabin. For she began to serve God so fervently that the others left her: and she heeded my words and the impulses of grace more than anything that deranged persons could say in their ill humor.

Finally, the 6th is an old man, about 80 years of [Page 135] age, who is blind and unable to come and pray to God in our house. This good man also listens to me with pleasure, as soon as I speak to him of Paradise. He has applied himself to learning the prayers, and he repeats them day and night, in the hope of finding everlasting life at the moment of death, which cannot be far off in his case.

(These are all) who have hitherto seemed to me to be ripe for Heaven, and whom I have found sufficiently well prepared for receiving baptism; for in some others who come to pray I have not found such manifest proofs of their faith and piety. What I can say generally with reference to our neophytes is that in each one of them we observe, in particular, a certain spirit of charity and gratitude toward us, Thus, when they have anything out of the ordinary, either meat or fish, they do not fail to share it with us; and they do. Not wait, like those down below, for any acknowledgment on our part: for here we have neither bread, nor peas, nor corn, nor prunes to give them as down below. As to our petty wares, [Blank space in MS.] knives or beads, not only are they abundantly provided with these, but, as I have only a few, and as it is impossible to obtain any more, all the ways by which I might gratify them are closed to me. I left 3 Rivers with 60 or 80 small beads[1]; if I should give them away, I would reach the end of them within a month. I have regretted that I did not bring any medicines with me; for we have none at all. Our surgeon has provided himself with Compresses of Jacinth,[2] J.L.S. in black ointment, and that is all; and thus, after the lancet has been used, there is nothing left for a sick person to hope for. My own help me greatly in earning a livelihood. I [Page 137] have also wished for Tobacco; everything can be done with that Money. After all, the desire for those things that would seem to me to be necessary has been very moderate. [Blank space in MS.] God shows me by experience that I can serve him without that and many other things.

These people are so poor, and we likewise, that we cannot find a scrap of cloth wherewith to make a compress; or a piece of stuff as large as one's hand with which to mend our clothes. They prize as much as we do whatever things of that kind come from below. You may judge to what a state are reduced those who embarked almost without taking thought, and who, like me, came for the most part clad in old clothes, that have gone through the ordeal of so long a voyage, as well as the dust and filth of the cabins.

There has been no winter here, to speak of. Our great bay of Ste. Therèse,[3] on whose shore we have wintered, has been frozen over only since the middle of February. I have said Holy Mass every day from All Saints' day to March, without any fear that the elements would freeze or that I would need any fire at the altar. I brought with me only a pint of spanish wine, which is very little, considering the great distance, for a person who has no other consolation in the world but that august sacrifice. Alas! I know not when that wine will fail me; and I know not whether any one will ever bring me some. Vines are not to be seen here any more than other comforts which are fairly common down below. God has preserved my altar-bread inside a small box, which was quite ruined by the Water that entered it, and it may last me till the autumn of the year 1662. [Page 139] It is a long time until then, and matters Will assume another shape, to determine me either to remain here or to leave this place, as I may deem best for God's greater glory. I must push on to the last post, the Bay of St. Esprit,[4] 100 leagues from here. There the savages have their rendezvous in the early spring, and there we must decide either to leave the country entirely, or to settle permanently in some place where we may hope to grow wheat. I pray the Father of Light to direct the purposes of these poor people toward his own greater glory.

Here is a summary of what has occurred from the 1st of March to the 1st of June. The savages are living on moose-meat, which came very opportunely. The supply of fish failed, and those who wished to keep lent suffered greatly; those who did not keep it, did not suffer. The Savages invite us every day to their feasts. We decamped from our winter quarters on Easter Saturday, to proceed to a very pleasant river where there was good hunting, and where the savages found what was needed for their subsistence, Game and fish failed us; so we left the savages and, 6 of us Frenchmen embarking in three canoes, we continued our navigation. At the end of two days, we arrived at that formidable portage which is a short league in length, midway between the trembling lands [bogs] wherein one sinks of necessity, sometimes more, sometimes less.

On the 1st of May, we performed our devotions in the Cabins of some Algonquins, who stole a part of our provisions during the night. We left them, and found this great lake all bordered with ice. At a distance of 2 leagues from that place, we arrived among other Algonquins where, fearing lest the same. [Page 141] thing might happen to us as among the former ones, we passed on, and after 5 days we finally reached the main body. There I learned that the bodies of [Blank space in MS.] and 2 others, who had been drowned in the autumn, had been found so bad was the weather for several days that Canoes and men were lost. The winter and white frosts continued until the middle of May. On Ascension Day, I saw a huron who had started 11 days before from the Tobacco nation. He told me that people were dying of hunger in his country; that, toward the end of May, the Iroquois had fallen upon 14 persons, and killed 4 men upon the spot; that the Natwesix (Nadouesis or Nadouesieux) had appeared some time afterward and killed 5 hurons, while the latter had killed 8 Nadwesiou; that dysentery had carried off 40 Poutewat and 60 others; that his people had left the country and traveled a distance of 5 days' journey hitherward; that he had come by land in eight days, by a difficult road ; [Blank space in MS.]

This huron left again with 3 Frenchmen —namely, Monsieur du Coulombier, L'espérance, and Brotier and 3 Oupoutesatamis. They have a present to be given to Sasteretsi, on my behalf and on that of dourach . . . . wherewith to get a little corn to make my . . . . These people met 2 slawaks, who came to say that the whole Algonquin country, women and children, were coming hither, and that it was not known whether there actually were 6 or 700 men. According to them, the Algonquins repulsed the hurons, and our people continued on their route. They should have arrived, and I have been awaiting them for I5 days. Our hurons have been invited to the feast of the dead, at which. [Page 143] I am greatly pleased. Our Algonquins had almost . . . . the ten hurons. The whole will be rehabilitated here, but we shall find food. At present, as I write to you, we have not enough for to-morrow. My lancet is very useful to me; and so is the vise of Claude David[5], who mends the weapons with it. I was invited to a sagamité feast, where there was a double handful of indian corn. I was given a present of a handful, which we added to our fish; and happy was he who found some in a plate. Our christians from below have been very kind to us since the spring, —even Abaoutawe. Vexatio dat intellectum.

They are in as great a stress for provisions as we are. Joliet and one Laflêche embarked today for Kataoutrank[6]. Four of us remain, at a distance of a gunshot from 80 Cabins, for the convenience of our Christians

Private letters will tell you the remainder[7]. I commend myself with all my heart to all our Fathers and Brethren, to whom I would Write si liceret per chartem et atramentum. But I have not even a Penknife.

Of Yourself, Reverend Father,

The very humble And obedient

servant in Jesus Christ,

René Ménard.

This 2nd of June, 1661.

From nostre Dame de bon Secours,

called Chassahamigon.


[Page 145]

Two letters, addressed to Monsieur the Prince de


QUÉBEC, October 12, 1661. [525]



                                                Pax Christi.

That with which it has pleased Your Highness to honor me, and the promise it has pleased you to make me to use your interest with His Majesty for the good of New France, when it shall be necessary to procure us some effectual assistance against the Iroquois, enemies of the faith, constrain me to have recourse to you now that the time has come, when, if we lose the opportunity, this country is lost. The King and the Queen mother have promised Monsieur Dubois d'Avaugour,[8] who has come to us as governor this year, that next year he should have vigorous help from their Majesties. A regiment maintained here for two or three years would put an end to all our fears, but nothing less will do. I say maintained, for this country can in no way bear this expense, or even the least part of it. Now that God has given peace to France, the maintenance of one of these regiments would cost no more to the treasury of the King here in Canada, than it would cost in France, and it would save this country, which is worthy of preservation for the glory of God and the honor of France. If we could go and attack those Iroquois, enemies of the faith, through New Holland, that would be the shortest way and the most. [Page 147] effective means. Monsieur Dubois d'Avaugour has written about it to their Majesties. Your Highness can do much in this matter by a single Word, and it is for this that I supplicate you. There is at stake the salvation of souls, and of many very populous nations [526] whose conversion is prevented by these wretched enemies of the Faith. By procuring the glory of God you will procure your own.


At Quebec, in

Your very humble and

New France,

very obedient servant,

October 12, 1662.

Paul Ragueneau,


of the Society of Jesus.




TO give your Highness an account of this country, I assure you that the river saint Lawrence is one of the finest abjects in the world. The country is most fertile, and one whose entrance can most easily be closed to any other power; and it can be developed into two states as large as France. Five or six companies of vagabonds have hitherto prevented its beauties from being appreciated, and its advantages from being sought. Three thousand men could settle the country and scatter that rabble, who have received aid through the entrance of the Dutch —who, as good traders, assist them with arms and ammunition.

Or, on the other hand, twelve hundred men and ' three hundred soldiers could sufficiently check them, if flour for one year were sent to the former, and the subsistence of the latter provided for three years. Should the' king be unwilling to do either the one or the other, let him leave the people of the country. [Page 149] free to act, and grant them authority. I assure your Highness that all Will go well, and that they Will grow, as all other states have done —provided they be not burdened with useless functionaries, such as the petty governors and men of law who are sent out to them every day.

[527] If with the knowledge of this the king do not interpose, and do not send me my bread and that of the hundred soldiers whom I have brought with me, I shall have the honor of saying something more on this subject to your Highness next year, with God's help. And in my opinion, I would rather rob the altar than impose upon them a burden which they cannot yet bear. At Quebec, they are strong enough to resist their enemies; but, as regards the remainder of the settlements, they are scattered in a still more un-social fashion than are the savages themselves. As a proof of this, there are one thousand men, and, in all, less than three thousand souls residing over an extent of eighty leagues; and these also very frequently pay dearly for their folly. I can assure your Highness that, for a distance of a league and a half around Quebec, there is sufficient to support a hundred thousand souls. That place is two-thirds surrounded by water, and so steep that it cannot be scaled. The approach is five hundred toises. If the whole were arranged with two forts at a distance of half a league away, —one opposite the head of the island of Orléans, and on the other bank; the other located here, —Quebec would be the finest, the strongest, and the greatest port in the world; and, compared to it, brisac [Brisach] is but a shadow. From this point to the sea, the distance is one hundred and twenty leagues. Ships of four. [Page 151]  to five hundred tons burden abound on it; and, from here inland, the river is over five hundred leagues long, while along its course lakes are encountered, from two to three hundred leagues in circumference, full of most fertile islands. Your Highness may judge of the rest. I am forever your very faithful servant,



At Quebec, the 13th of October, 1661.


I have placed at the head of a general council, for the king's service and for the good of the country, reverend father Ragnaust, who has the honor of being known to your Highness; and with three others he deliberates every day on public affairs. On account of his merits, I thought that I could do nothing better. Should the opportunity present itself, I beg your Highness to authorize this management, and to be fully convinced that it is the Jésuits who have labored most for the country.


[Endorsed: Monsieur du Bois d'Avaujour, to the

Great Condé, October 13, 1661, at Québec


[Page 153]

[260] Letter from Father Joseph Marie Chaumonot,

of the Society of Jesus, to Father

Germain Rippault, of the same

Society at Dijon.

(From the archives of the University of Pont-à-Mousson.)

AT KÉBEC OF NEW FRANCE, this 20th of October, 1661.



                                                Pax Christi.

As the good God has to some extent restored my health, I notify Your Reverence that, since I wrote you last month, the Iroquois of the Onnontagueronnons —among whom I resided for nearly three years and baptized a goodly number of savages —have brought us back nine of our French captives with the assurance that we shall see a greater number of them here next spring.

Father Le Moyne who started from here on the 20th of July with other Iroquois, to take back some of their people whom we held captive, writes to us: 1st, that he received a hearty welcome and was very well treated; 2nd, that they have already built a chapel for him wherein he performs in peace the duties of an apostolic man; 3rd, that [261] that nation, with two others of the most numerous Iroquois tribes, again seek for peace with us owing to a new and very warlike enemy who has recently declared war against them ; 4th, that only two tribes of those barbarians continue to war against us, and. [Page 155] even they are fighting against three other barbarous nations who have already killed many of their people. Have we not reason to believe that the good God fights on our side?

If our King should send US sufficient reinforcements this year, Monsieur d'Avaugour is fully determined to exterminate those two small hostile tribes; and, in order to hold the others in check, to send strong garrisons to man good forts which we shall build in their midst.

They (the Iroquois) assert that they Will, next spring, take me back with them, when they come here for the remainder of .our prisoners —inasmuch as they all regret me (so they say), and especially those whom I have instructed in the faith.

I most earnestly beg Your Reverence and all our Reverend Fathers to commend me to God in your Holy Sacrifices, so that my acts of cowardice and of unfaithfulness may not deprive me of the happiness of going once more to expose my paltry life in that pagan country for the conversion of souls and for the honor of my Creator. Ah, how [262] obliged I would be to Your Reverences if you could obtain for me from the good Jesus the grace of spending the remainder of my days in that holy employment!

My Reverend Father,

Your Reverence's very humble and very obedient

servant in Our Lord,

Joseph Marie CHAUMONOT,

of the Society of Jesus.


[Page 157]

Journal of the Jesuit Fathers, in the year


New years Day.

January, 1661

1ST. Father Dablon and I did not go to the fort before 8 o'clock. We were not saluted by the soldiers.

Procession at our church on the Circumcision.

Monseigneur the Bishop came to say mass at 6 o'clock. I was at the door of the house to meet him, pay him my respects, and receive his blessing for the whole establishment. Afterward, there was no short sermon here in the morning. In the evening, they came in procession, in accordance with the Ceremonial. The procession started from the Church singing the litany of the name of Jesus. Monseigneur the Bishop and Monsieur the Governor with his suite took part in it, as also did the churchwardens and some people. They returned in procession in the same way. The churchwardens were put in our brethren's Chapel, and accommodated with special raised seats prepared for them, four in number. The sermon was preached at the benidicamus Domino, and then there was benediction.

Monsieur the Governor came, as last year, to greet us after High Mass.

As all the Habitants had come individually to pay me their respects, I afterward went to [Page 159] see them; and I took to the Children an Agnus Dei and a small piece of Citron-peel.

February Purification.


At the purification, as last year, Monsieur the Governor left his taper on the Altar of his Chapel. I sent it to him at noon, and he sent back that of last year. Monsieur the governor having been notified, the day before, that, at the parish church, a taper would be given to Him alone before the churchwardens, he was not present there.

Fire in the lower town

On 13th, Septuagesima Sunday, while we were engaged in solemn Catechism or minor Action, the rumor spread that there was a fire in the lower town. In fact, Boutentrein's house was completely destroyed, with all that was in it, excepting the persons who occupied it. Monseigneur the Bishop bore the Blessed Sacrament thither, and some persons remarked that the fire decreased in its presence. In the evening, Monseigneur the Bishop sent a Blanket to the wife, and we Promised the sum of 50 livres to be expended as she wished, Some property besides remained to them.

Trouble about precedence at Action. Pupils punished.

8 Days afterward, that minor Action was repeated. Monsieur the Governor and Monseigneur the Bishop were present, and, as Monsieur the Governor had stated that he would not attend if Monseigneur the Bishop were saluted before him, we induced him to agree that the Children's hands should be kept occupied, so that neither the one nor the other would be saluted, both at the prologue [Page 161] and at the Epilogue. The Children were notified and commanded to do this; but the Children, who were Charles Couillar and Ignace de repentigny, instigated and persuaded by their parents, did just the contrary, and saluted Monsieur the Governor first This greatly offended Monseigneur the Bishop. We tried to appease him; and the two children were whipped, on the following morning, for having disobeyed.

Trouble about churchwardens.

At the same time, the churchwardens were deprived of their place in the procession, and the gentlemen —or self-styled thus —were put in front of them, after Monsieur the Governor. This gave rise to trouble, which resulted in the Interdiction of processions.

The 40 hours' devotion during the Carnival.

The 40 hours' devotion took place as last year. On Sunday, at the benediction, the Ecce panis was sung in plain-chant at the commencement, after Father Mercier had incensed; Father Pijart then preached the short sermon. Monseigneur the Bishop thereupon donned the vestments, and the pange lingua was chanted with some verses of the litany of the name of Jesus. The sub tuum prœsidium was forgotten. The organ played while the Blessed Sacrament was being taken down, and during the benediction. The whole concluded with the Domine salvum fac regem. Item, on Monday, with the Tantum ergo etc., followed by a sermon from Father Mercier, the miserere, and the sub tuum. Monsieur de Bernieres officiated, instead of Monsieur de Charny, who had gone to attend a sick person [Page 163] Finally, on Tuesday, the ecce panis with musical accompaniment; a sermon by Father Chatelain; the litany of the saints; the Domine salvum fac regem, after all the orisons except that for the king, which shall be said last, to conclude with the Laudate. Luncheon was given in the refectory on each of the 3 Days to Pierre Duquet and Fillon[9], who had assisted in the music.

Dispute between the authorities respecting a heretic.

There was a great dispute between the authorities who nearly came to extremities with authorities respect to a sentence pronounced by Monseigneur the Bishop against Daniel Vvil [Will ?], a prisoner who was a heretic, a backslider, a blasphemer, and a profaner of the Sacraments —cujus crimina: utrumque forum sibi vindicabat. Longa historia de qua alibi fuse.

1661, MARCH.

Lent: eggs no grease.

Lent fell on the 2nd of this month. Permission was given to eat eggs, but no general permission was granted to use grease instead of butter.

St. Joseph.

On the feast of St. Joseph, there were 3 fires at night (those of our pupils, of Monsieur Couillar, and of the Ursulines), There was no deacon or subdeacon at the Ursulines', because those who could have officiated as such were prevented by the Confessions, which lasted in our Chapel until 9 o'clock. The remainder was as usual. The Ursulines alone had benediction; the people were Invited thither to gain the Indulgences. Father Chastelain preached on Wednesday at the Ursulines'. I, Hierosme Lalemant, preached on Fridays at the hospital [Page 165]


Yroquois: Frenchmen captured.

On Friday, the 8th, while the sermon was being preached at the hospital, news came of the capture of 14 Frenchmen at 3 rivers by the Onontaeronons, with a report that 800 Yroquois were coming. On the following Sunday, 40 men started to the rescue.

Palm Sunday.

On Palm Sunday, in our church, as at Candlemas, a palm was carried to Monsieur the Governor by that one of our brethren who served in surplice.

Holy week.

At the parish church there was neither procession nor solemn distribution of the palms, to avoid the contention respecting precedence; for Monsieur the Governor desired to make several bodies pass before the churchwardens, while Monseigneur the Bishop maintained the right of the Churchwardens. Then followed the Interdiction of processions and the suspension of similar Ceremonies, to this Day.[10]

On holy Wednesday, Father Pijart administered First Communion to his Children. We gave them cakes, prunes, and beer; this is better than pasties, for which a table and other things are needed.

On Holy Thursday, service was celebrated in this house as last year. All went well.

Holy Chrism.

At the parish church the same mistake was made as last year in the mixing, —the balm was heated too much. The procession went per breviorem viam to avoid Contention for precedence. Then followed the washing of the feet of 13 little Children in St. Anne's Chapel. Multa ibi peccata, namely: 1st, no aprons were [Page 167] provided and consequently the Bishop spoiled his alb; the deacon and subdeacon did not remove their Dalmatics; it had not been foreseen that it would be necessary to chant; nothing was given to those whose feet had been washed, However, they tried to make up for this, on Easter Monday; Monseigneur the Bishop blessed 50 cakes made of scalded paste which were distributed among the Children, while a small reliquary or a similar abject was given to each of the 13 whose feet had been washed. The whole was concluded at Noon.

In the evening we had benediction here; this must be continued. The miserere and the Vexilla were chanted. The members of the Congregation came here after the Tenebrœ, and then go to make their stations. Monsieur the Governor was not present, for he commenced his stations at the hospital. However, he came at the end. He found his place prepared for him at the altar rail of the side Chapel, which served as thetemporary altar. That of Monseigneur the Bishop was prepared inside, with a single Cushion. He was not present.

On Friday, at 7 o'clock, the passion; afterward, service was celebrated here as usual.

On Saturday, the Euxltet was not sung here, because Father Dablon's voice is not suitable; it was merely recited. Monsieur the Governor assisted at the office. All went fairly well. We began at 9 o'clock precisely. If the last bell were rung at 9 o'clock, there would be time enough to begin at a quarter past. A serious mistake was made at the [Page 169] litany, which had to be repeated. Fathers Druilletes and Albanel said them, and our brethren gave the responses. They were for a long time confused, because they did not know whom to answer; for one said Sancte petre and the other sancte paule, and our brethren did not know to whom they should respond.


On the 17th, Easter Sunday, news came of 20 French prisoners at Montreal.

On this Day, 4 masses were said at the parish church, two in this house, and two at the convents. Father Chatelain said one at 4 o'clock at the Ursulines', and I said their High Mass at 8 o'clock. Father Mercier said one at 9 o'clock at the hospital; father Chaumonot at 8. Melius fuisset if father Chaumonot had gone to the mass of Monseigneur the Bishop of the parish church —in default of which, as there was no Assistant priest, things went badly there. Father Pijart said the 1st mass at the parish church, where a great many received Communion. The blessed bread provided by Monsieur the governor was given, and blessed to every one's satisfaction between the Kyrie and the gloria. A mistake was made in giving the blessed bread to Monsieur the Governor before giving it to the Choir. The remainder; was as last year; and among other things; there were benedictions at the parish church on the 3 Days, the Hœc dies being sung there in plain-Chant, as also the filii et filiœ and the rigina Cœli. Monsieur de Bernieres said two orisons there.


St. Mark and rogation days.

On Easter Tuesday, a man named [blank [Page 171] space] who had frequently incurred the Excommunication pronounced against those who Sold intoxicating liquors to the savages, was at last excommunicated nominatim. After having been repelled on all sides, he came to his senses, and submitted to the public penance on the Sunday After. On the feast of St. Mark and on the rogation days there were processions as usual —on St. Mark's day, at this house only; but, on the rogation days, at this house, at the Ursulines', and at the Hospital.

On the 27th, Father Fremin arrived from 3 rivers.

On the 30th, Father Albanel left to go thither.


Journey to the papinachiois.

On the 2nd, Father Failloquet started for Tadousac, or rather for the papinachiois.

Departure for the north sea.

Fathers Dablon and Druilletes.

On the 3rd, our Brother Malherbe[11] arrived with over 150 minots of wheat. He returned on the 8th with Monsieur Boucher; and, on the 11th, Father Claude Dablon and Father Gabriel Druilletes left for the mission of St. François Xavier among the Kiristinons.


Yroquois at Tadousac.

On the 1st or 2nd, the aforesaid fathers Dablon and Druilletes left Tadousac for the country of the Kiristinons, with 80 Canoes of savages. On the 6th, the day after Pentecost, 60 or 70 Agnieronons attacked the Frenchmen who were at Tadousac, and had gone to examine their nets. 3 were killed and one was wounded; and at night all who were there, [Page 173] both French and savages, to the number of over one hundred souls, returned to this place, and abandoned Tadousac. The enemies have probably returned thither and burned everything. Time will show this, and, above all, whether they have pursued those who have gone up the Saguené.

The news was brought on the night of the 8th, by the return of the aforesaid company; and at the same time came news from 3 rivers that the Enemies had killed there 3 men of the Cape. Item, news that two Children of Claude Poulain were lost in the woods or taken by the Yroquois.

Corpus Christi.

On the 16th, the Feast of Corpus Christi, the blessed Sacrament was exposed at our church from the 1st mass to the end of the 3rd; at the parish church, from the Beginning of the 1st Mass, at 9 o'clock, until after the procession, which took place in the Afternoon; At the Ursulines' and at the Hospital, from morning to night. On Sunday the same, except that the procession did not take place. On working-Days, the Blessed Sacrament was exposed at our church from morning until after the last Mass at 9 o'clock; to fill up this time at the Altar, extra masses were said, 7 in all. The Ursulines and Hospital nuns had but one mass on working Days: at 7 o'clock in the morning, and then the Blessed Sacrament was replaced in the tabernacle. However, in the evening at 4 or 5 o'clock, we went there to take out the Blessed Sacrament for their private benediction, for which the bell was not rung at their church. There was [Page 175] no benediction at our church during the octave; at the parish church it was at 5½ o'clock.

Corpus Christi.

The procession followed the same Round as last year. When it reached the temporary altar at the fort, however, —Monseigneur the Bishop had previously stated that he would pass on, if the soldiers should not take off their hats at the approach of the Blessed Sacrament; and, as he had said nothing further, monsieur the Governor had acquiesced on that point, —when Monseigneur the Bishop arrived there, he was not content with that. When the soldiers refused to kneel, he sent word to Monsieur the Governor —who was prevented by ill health from taking part in the procession and remained in the fort —that he would pass on if the soldiers would not kneel. He was answered that the soldiers were doing their duty to remain standing; hence Monseigneur the Bishop passed on, and did not carry the Sacrament to the temporary altar. Hinc magnum loquendi utrinque argumentum. What appears to be most certain, according to the report of a trustworthy person [Sieur André, of Montreal)[12], is, that on such occasions the king's guards kneel down on one knee without removing their hats, —et hoc se Vidisse propriis oculis a paucis annis dicebat ille, et ratione firmari potest. This matter should have been previously elucidated and agreed upon.

On the day of the octave, there was High Mass at the parish church, and a procession around the Church. Benediction was celebrated there throughout the octave. [Page 177]

Yroquois invasion.

On the 18th at 8 o'clock in the morning, began the massacre or capture of several persons at Beaupré and on the Island of Orléans by the Yroquois, Who had come down from Tadousac after striking there the blow described above. On that Day, 8 victims were reported at Beaupré and 7 at the Island of Orléans; and this has proved to be true.

Death of Monsieur the seneschal.

On the 22nd, Monsieur the seneschal, who had started a Day or two previously with 7 or 8 others to warn Monsieur de l'Espiné —his brother-in-law, who had gone out hunting some Days before —of the danger of meeting the Yroquois, was prevented by the Northeast wind from proceeding further and entered the little river of René Maheu, where he was killed with all his crew by the Yroquois. Their bodies were brought back on the 24th[13].

On the 25th, the Yroquois, returning triumphant and victorious and taking 6 Captives with them, were met at Cap a l'Arbre by a shallop coming down from 3 rivers. It also brought us the news that 30 persons, going northward to trade, by way of 3 rivers, were defeated by 70 Agnieronons who formed part of a band of 300, of whom 180 intended to go to the rendezvous of our Algonquins at Tadousac. This placed our Fathers Dablon and Druilletes and 80 Canoes of savages in great danger.


On the 27th, Maheu's Shallop left for Isle Percée, taking letters for France.

On the 29th, Monsieur Suar arrived from [Page 179] Montreal in a Shallop, which had met the same Yroquois in the Islands of Richelieu; and they had uttered the same yells, after making feints in order to capture them. This Shallop brought news of 4 Ambassadors from Oiogoen who had with them 4 French captives, and who asked for the release of the 8 remaining prisoners, and for black gowns to go and continue teaching them. The resolution taken here at Quebek. [blank space]

Departure of Fathers Chaumonot and le Moyne


On the 2nd, Father Chaumonot and Father le Moyne set out, — the first to bear the decision of monsieur the Governor to Montréal; and the 2nd to go to Onontae, to work for the deliverance of 25 or 30 Captives, to render those two nations of Oiogoen and Onontae either friendly or less hostile toward each other, and to do whatever he could for the salvation, etc., of the poor Christian captives.

Father Chaumonot returned hither on the23rd, and assured us that Father le Moyne had departed on the 21st with every indication of a prosperous enterprise.  Amen.

Lightning strikes Jaquete

On the 20th, lightning struck the head of a woman named Jaquete, wife of la Guay[14], and killed her, as also a cow that was near.

Return of Father Dablon

On the 27th, those who had gone, or intended to go, to the north sea or to the country of the Kiristinons, Father Dablon and others, returned.

On the feast of St. Ignatius, which fell on a Sunday, factum ut decretum; the same may be [Page 181] done next year on the vigil, which will be a Sunday.

1661, AUGUST.

On the 1st, departure of Father Mercier, to be the 3rd person at 3 rivers. Item, return of a shallop to Montréal.

Monsieur the Abbé

On the 3rd, arrival of Monsieur the Abbé de Queylus and Monsieur Buissot from Isle Percée, in Maheu's Shallop. They brought the 1st news from France, and apprised us of the Change of Governor.

On the night between the 5th and the 6th, Monsieur the Abbé went to Montréal in spite of the notification of Monseigneur the Bishop.

The 1st ship

On the 22nd, the first ship arrived, that of Laurent Poulet, on board of which was Monsieur Moret, priest,[15]

The 2nd ship

On the 24th, the 2nd Vessel, that of Tadourneau, arrived. On the same Day, the removal of the holy bodies was effected.

The 3rd ship: Arrival of the new Governor

On the last day of August, Sieur Dubois Davaugour, the new Governor arrived, with Monsieur du Mesnil's son, his secretary, whose brother[16] was buried on the same Day. He had been killed by a kick from N.


Departure of the former Governor; The Viconte d'Argenson.

On the 1st, Monsieur the new Governor left on a visit to Montréal and 3 rivers. He returned on the 19th, and on the same Day Poulet's ship sailed, having on board Monsieur the Viconte d'Argenson, the former Governor.

Reception of the new Governor, Monsieur Davaugour.

There was no other Ceremony for the reception of this Governor, except that, —Monsieur [Page 183] d'Argenson having remained Governor until his departure, either by sufferance on the part of his successor, or owing to express orders from France, —on the Day when he left the fort to embark, at the moment when he issued from it with his old soldiers, the new ones marched in under the Command of the Chevalier Descartes, one of the Governor's lieutenants. The Sieur Governor, upon his arrival, had preferred not to sleep at the fort, but had taken up his lodgings at Monsieur Bourdon's house, where he also lodged for some time after his return from Montréal.

Governor received at our church and not at The parish church.

With regard to the Church, he came to our church to hear mass on the Day when he arrived —or, rather, on the Day when he landed from the ship. After I had first paid my respects to him at the fort with two of our Fathers, he came to see us; and thence I took him to mass, where the Te Deum was chanted. On leaving, I brought him back to the house, and all our Fathers, who had assembled in the hall, received him there. He entered our refectory, where, with his suite, he ate a morsel; then he went to look at the outside of the house.

Monseigneur the Bishop had resolved to receive him at the parish church, in Rochet and Camail, the 1st time when he should go there, in the lower part of the Church, to offer him the holy water, and to conduct 'him to his place, while the Te Deum would be chanted. But, as he had gone to Montreal, and afterward had come several times to the parish [Page 185] Church on working-Days, without any Ceremony; and as, moreover, he, Sieur the Governor, was an enemy of all Ceremony, it happened that nothing was done.

Superior of the Jésuits at the council; Another in his absence.



On the first, in spite of all our resistance, Monsieur the Governor d'Avaugour compelled us to assist at the Council. After commanding me several times to do so, by virtue of all the authority that he possessed, without accepting any excuse, when the time came for holding it, he sent his secretary to conduct me thither. When I arrived, he established me in the council, —or, in my absence, such person among ours as I might delegate.

Executions for having traded.

Departure of the last ship

On the 7th, Daniel Vvil was hanged, —or rather shot, —and on the 11th another named la Violette; and one was flogged on Monday, the 10th, for having traded brandy to the savages.

Father Bailloquet.

On the 22nd, the last ship sailed, having on board Monsieur de Queylus[17], Monsieur Boucher, and others.

On the 24th, Father Bailloquet set out to winter with the savages.

house burned down

On the 27th, Chatillon's house burned down with one of his children.


On the 6th, in the evening, Monseigneur of Petræa with Monsieur de Bernieres came to lodge in our house to pass the winter there. His people took their meals with the boarders. [Page 187]

priest killed by the Iroquois at Montréal

On the 12th, news came from Montreal that Monsieur Vignar, priest, and 6 others had been killed or captured by the Yroquois on the 25th of the previous month; and that at the beginning of September news had been received that Monsieur le Maistre, a priest, had also been killed, likewise at Montréal, with some others.

About this time, Father Dablon left for his Algonquin mission at Beaupré.


St. Xavier

The 2nd, the Feast of St. Xavier, —vespers at 3 o'clock on the vigil and on the Day itself; High Mass and sermon in the morning. Monsieur Davaugour, the Governor, came in the middle of the sermon. Monseigneur Bishop said the Communion mass.


On Christmas, at the parish church, Monsieur de Bernieres said the Midnight mass; then, at 7 o'clock, the mass at the break of Day, and his third. Monseigneur said two of his masses in this house, and the 3rd at the parish church. Father Chaumonot said his in this house, at the same time as Monsieur de Bernieres; Father Dablon, at the Ursulines'; Father Pijart, at the hospital. I went to Sillery.


[Page 189]


CII (concluded)

Relation of 1660-61



SOURCE: We follow a copy of the original Cramoisy, In Lenox Library.

Owing to the length of the document, we here give but chaps. i-iii.; the remainder of the Relation will appear in Volume XLVII.


[Page 192]

[Insert facsimile of original title page]



[Page 194]





of the Society of J E S U S,



in the years 1660 and 1661.

Sent to the Rev. Father Father Provincial of the

Province of France.



SEBASTIEN CRAMOISY, Printer in ordinary

to the King and Queen, ruë St. Jacques,

at the Sign of the Storks.



By Royal License.


[Page 195]

To the King.



Behold your New France at Your Majesty's feet. She has, as this little Book will show you, been reduced to extremities by a band of Barbarians. Hear, SIRE, if you please, her languid voice and her last words. ''Save me,'' she cries, "I am about to lose the Catholic Religion; the Lilies are to be snatched away from me. I shall cease to be French, being robbed of that beautiful Name with which I have been so long honored; I shall fall into the foreigners' hands, when the Iroquois shall have drained the last drop of my blood, which has almost ceased to flow. I shall soon end my life in their fires; and the Evil One is on the point of carrying away many Nations which were looking to your Piety, your Might, and your Generosity for their salvation." Such, SIRE, are the sighs and sobs of this poor afflicted land. About a year ago her children —your subjects, settlers in this new World —gave voice to the extreme danger in which they were; but, the misfortunes of the time not admitting of their rescue, Heaven and earth signalized by their prodigies the cruelties and the fires to which the people have been subjected, since that time, by those enemies of God and of Your Majesty. Those faithless tribes will rob your crown of one of its jewels, if your mandates be not enforced by your powerful hand. If you consult Heaven, it will tell you that your salvation is perhaps dependent upon that of so many Peoples, who will be lost unless they are rescued by Your Majesty's efforts, if you consider the French name, [Page 197] you will know, S I R E, that you are a great King, who, while making Europe tremble, ought not to be held in contempt in America. If you consider the welfare of your State, your intelligence —which, at the age of twenty. four, perceives what Many great Princes are blind to at fifty —will recognize how seriously the loss of so great a country wild injure your Kingdom. I am dwelling too long on this matter for a Heart so royal, a Virtue so heroic, and a Generosity so magnanimous. The Queen, your highly-honored Mother, whose goodness is known beyond the Seas, has hitherto prevented the total ruin of New France, but has not set her free. She has delayed her death, but has not restored her to health and strength. That is reserved for Your Majesty, who, by saving the lives and property of your French Colony and the souls of a vast number of Nations, will oblige them all to entreat God to confer upon you the name of Saint, as he has conferred if upon your illustrious Ancestor, whose zeal you would imitate by undertaking a holy war. Such are the desires, the wishes, and the prayers of him who, with the permission of your Kindness, calls himself, not in Court-phrases, but in the language of the heart,


Very humble and obedient subject and very faithful servant, PAUL LE JEUNE, Procurator of the Missions of the Society of JESUS in New France.


[Page 199]

[1] Relation of what occurred in the Missions

of the Fathers of the Society of JESUS in

the countries of New France, from the

Summer of the year 1660 to the

Summer of the year 1661.




S the Potter moulds his clay, so God moulds men's fortunes, making a great King of a prisoner, restoring the Scepter he has [2] broken, and crowning the head whose owner has, on that very day, offered his neck to the executioner's sword. So Ezechias received at the same moment a sentence of death and of life, and saw his days prolonged fifteen years by the very man who gave him only twelve hours to live. So even the King of the Prophets and the Apostle of the Gentiles bear voluntary witness that they often experienced these alternations of fortune, that they were never more exalted than when they were abased, and that their strength often sprang from their weakness.

Such is the condition in which we are situated this year; and we may well say that we have never been so hopeless, yet never so hopeful of success in our undertakings. We have found ourselves on the brink [3] of the precipice and, almost at the same time, [Page 201] resolved to hurl over those who were pushing us into the abyss; we have been almost at our last gasp, and within two finger-breadths of total destruction, when suddenly we were filled with vigor and courage. In a Word, we have never been weaker and never more powerful. Let US begin with the cause of OUT fears, and then we shall see the ground of our hopes.

It seems to have been Heaven's will to mitigate our distresses by making us foresee them —or, rather, to prepare US for real evils by showing us their symbols. The earthquake which occurred this last winter at Montréal made the settlers tremble in advance, causing them to dread the misfortunes which followed that baleful omen. [4] The doleful voices which made themselves heard in the air over Three Rivers, were perhaps the echo of those of the poor captives carried away by the Iroquois; and the Canoes that appeared to hover, all on fire, in mid-air about Quebec, were only a slight but truthful presage of the enemy's Canoes. These have prowled about our coasts this Summer, setting fire to houses and consigning to the flames many of our people who were taken prisoners, whose sufferings were such that they merited lamentation on the part of a babe yet unborn. These infant cries terrified US; when the child uttered them from the depths of its mother's womb, whence it was ready to come forth, they symbolized, without doubt, those that we were to utter from the depths of the captivity upon which [5] we were about to enter; and for the Island of Orléans they presaged the calamities destined to be visited upon it by the Iroquois. With borrowed sighs we bemoaned in advance the loss we were to suffer on that Island. [Page 203]

Finally, the Comet which was visible here, from the end of January to the beginning of March, was soon followed by the disasters of which those stars of evil omen are the forerunners. Its tail, extending westward, pointed toward us and seemed to threaten us with a flagellation, of which it was, to us, a brilliant but fatal portent, And, if that Phenomenon showed itself to you in France, where all bask in peace and joy, it was a messenger sent you by us from this new world; [6] and it did indeed move from West to East, following the flight of the constellation of the Eagle, at whose head it appeared, although by another movement it tended a little Northward from us. It was, I say, a messenger, but one which bore only evil tidings; and which, brilliant although it appeared, did not show itself except in the gloom of night, —a too clear omen of our mourning and of our sad fortunes. For scarcely had it ceased to be visible when the Iroquois, as if in collusion with that Star, appeared on all sides like an impetuous flood. If they last year made us cry out loudly enough to be heard in France, they now leave us naught but tears to shed for our dead. I shall not undertake, then, [7] a detailed account of our misfortunes; neither shall I enumerate the places where our enemy has made his inroads, nor describe the murders he has committed from Tadoussac to Montréal —that is, within a territory of more than a hundred leagues. Those are matters not sufficiently pleasant to deserve a careful rehearsal; and it will amply suffice, for an understanding of our desperate straits, to represent in general, and review in epitome, what has made us groan for many consecutive months [Page 205]

Our misfortunes began toward the end of the Winter, when a band of a hundred and sixty Iroquois, appearing at Montreal and surrounding without warning thirteen Frenchmen, whose thoughts were more on their work than on their defense, carried them away without striking a blow. Not without signal proofs of their frenzied rage did those barbarians [8] conduct them home in triumph. Some were overcome by the shower of blows received on entering the village, and died under the weight of the cudgels that were to have served as their funeral pile, the enemy's wrath on this occasion being mild and merciful in its premature cruelty toward them. Others were burned with the usual ceremonies —barbarous ceremonies, which find their sport in a hell of torments, and cause for laughter in the pitiful tears of a poor sufferer; and still others were scattered, to spend the rest of their days groaning under a bondage more grievous than death. This first stroke was soon followed by a second, which, through a surprise nearly identical with the former one, consigned ten more Frenchmen, likewise from Montreal, to the same captivity. [9] Then others still, and yet again others, fell into their hands; so that, throughout the Summer, that Island has suffered constant hard usage from those wanton wretches. They would now appear at the edge of the woods, and content themselves with heaping abuse upon us; then they would steal into the very midst of our fields, to surprise the Husbandman; and again they would draw near our houses, harass us ceaselessly, and, like importunate harpies or birds of prey, pounce upon us whenever they found us off our guard, without fear of being captured themselves [Page 207]

The settlement of Three Rivers received no better treatment, and its heart is still bleeding over the twofold loss it sustained, almost on the same day —that of fourteen Frenchmen, who were carried away [10] in a body; and that of thirty Savages from the country of the Poissons blancs, our allies. These Savages, going inland on a trading expedition with two Frenchmen, encountered eighty Iroquois, and fought them stoutly for twice twenty-four hours —the total duration of this engagement; and they fought with such ardor that they suffered themselves to be riddled with bullets rather than surrender, preferring a glorious death in their own blood to one in the fires of the Iroquois. Even the women were no whit inferior to the men in courage, sparing no effort to secure their own death, rather than fall alive into hands that would surely have made them suffer as many deaths as they were given days to live. All were stirred to emulation at sight [11] of one of the two Frenchmen, son of Monsieur Godefroy, who signalized his courage by a long and brave resistance. He bore the enemy's assault with a boldness that made him appear as if invulnerable, in the midst of the constant fire directed upon him by the foe. He ceased not to encourage his followers both by word and by example, until, all covered with wounds, of which many were mortal, he sank in his own blood and dragged himself, as the others had done, to a heap of dead bodies, there to draw his last breath in the arms of his brave Companions. In this engagement, which was a bloody one for the enemy, since twenty-four of their number were left on the field, all our Algonkins showed marvelous courage to the very last; and had it not been for a [12] [Page 209] understanding between the Chiefs, the victory would have doubtless been theirs.

News of this defeat was soon afterward carried to Three Rivers by one of the prisoners, who escaped from captivity and the flames. Calamity was heaped upon calamity, and woe upon woe, for those poor settlers, who, all Summer long, enjoyed no more repose than the people of Montreal, were forced to witness the abduction —before their very eyes, and sometimes at the very entrances of their village —now of men, now of children, without being able to do anything but shed tears over the distress of those poor captives.

At Quebec the affliction was not of such duration, but was more violent and more keenly felt, for we suffered a loss here incomparably greater [13] than all the preceding ones, in the person of Monsieur de Luzon, Seneschal of this new France —a man of courage and resolution, trained in the wars of this country, and one on whom we largely based our hopes for the destruction of the Iroquois. For more than thirty years Monsieur his Father has been ceaselessly devoting his energies to the settlement of these new domains. Last year he lost one of his children here, and now the second one has given his life for the preservation of a country which, in some measure, owes its birth to his father. This gallant Young man could not witness the destruction and general desolation caused by the enemy's fire and sword, without being stirred by a generous desire to hunt down the foe, [14] in order to save the rest of the French who were in danger. Embarking in a shallop with seven men, he approached a house situated about the middle of the Island of Orléans; for [Page 211] there the Iroquois had stationed themselves in ambush, and it was necessary to engage them there, On the shore there was a large rock that could be used as a means of defense by those who should first seize it. The enemy, well aware of this, took each two or three pieces of wood which they joined together and bore in front of them as mantelets, thus sheltering themselves from the hot fire constantly leveled at them by the French. But the latter could not prevent them from seizing this advantageous position, from which, as from a fortress purposely erected; they had [15] within range of their muskets and under their control the shallop. By ill luck, it had run aground on the shore facing this rock, and presented its flank unprotected to the Iroquois, exposing to their view those to whom it ought to have served as a bulwark of defense.

Then the fight began in good earnest, with a discharge of musketry on each side. But what could our men do, only eight in number against forty, and utterly without cover, while those furious demons were ensconced behind their rock? Fully recognizing, accordingly, that they had no defense but that which lay in their own courage, and that their desperate situation obliged them to take thought for their spiritual rather than their bodily salvation, they began the attack by joining in prayer, [16] repeating the ceremony three times, while the enemy —fully conscious of their advantage, and already regarding themselves as victorious —thrice summoned them to surrender, making them a thousand fine promises of life.

But Monsieur the Seneschal, preferring a glorious death to a shameful captivity, refused to hold any [Page 213] parley with them and answered their invitations only through the mouth of his musket. As he showed the greatest ardor of all, so he was the first to be killed. The other Frenchmen fell soon after, the enemy keeping up their fire upon them in full security from the shelter of the great rock. When only one was left alive, —and he wounded in the arm and shoulder and disabled for resistance, —he was seized and led away by the conquerors to their own country, they're to become [17] the victim of their fury and cruelty.

When this sad news, which we learned from a French prisoner who made his escape from the Iroquois, was brought to us, our people were filled with incredible grief at the loss of their Seneschal, whom they dearly loved, and whose courage they held in such high esteem that, at his slightest signal, they would all rally to his side in arms, ready to follow him anywhere. He won them by a certain familiarity with which he adapted himself to all classes, so that they were delighted to fight under a Leader for whom they felt an extraordinary but well-founded esteem.

Monsieur the Duke d'Espernon had esteemed him highly in France, [18] having honored him, upon his leaving the Academy at the age of nineteen or twenty, with the Ensigncy to the Colonel of the Navarre Regiment —in which, and in that of Picardy, he served three or four campaigns in Flanders. Afterward, he was unwilling to separate from Monsieur his Father, whom the King sent as Governor to New France; and there this gallant Gentleman furnished proofs of his noble qualities, giving evidences of his courage up to his very last breath. [Page 215]

Following on these tidings there came disturbances on all sides, and discouragement made almost everything a Prey to the enemy, who, as masters of the field everywhere burned, killed, and kidnapped with impunity.

If we had a mind to return to Three Rivers, we would find material for [19] enlarging this Chapter, as Our enemies return thither again and again and furnish Us sad accounts by the repeated kidnappings and almost daily murders, which Will render that place more dangerous than the haunts of cut-throats, where one cannot pause with safety. Let us pass it, then, and go up once more to Montreal to witness the catastrophe of this fatal tragedy. Plorabant Sacerdotes Ministri Domini. It did not suffice for our misfortune that all states, conditions, and ages, and both sexes, had this year fallen victims to our enemy's fury; to crown our afflictions, the Church was forced to share in these bloody sacrifices, and, [20] by the violent death of one of her consecrated Ministers, to mingle her blood with our tears.

He was a worthy Ecclesiastic of Montreal, Monsieur le Maistre by name, a man as zealous as he was courageous for the salvation of souls; and one who so emulated the late Father Garreau's death, —who was killed by the Iroquois, on his way to the Outaouak as missionary, —that he deemed himself happy if he could mingle his own bones with those of that Martyr for Jesus Christ, as he was wont to call him. It seemed as if desires so holy could not remain without result; and so he was killed by the same enemy, and likewise had Montreal for a grave. It Was in the month of September that this good Priest while he was bearing company to eight men engaged in [Page 217] reaping grain, having retired a [21] little distance from them to recite his Office more in quiet, suddenly received a discharge of musketry, the injuries from which he felt before knowing their cause. Finding himself mortally wounded, he went to breathe out his soul at the feet of the Frenchmen, who immediately saw themselves attacked on all sides, and surrounded by fifty Iroquois. The latter, issuing from the woods like Lions from their caves, laid one of the Frenchmen dead on the ground at the first onset, captured another alive, and were fully determined to let none of them escape. But the six who remained straightway put hand to sword, and, laying about them to right and left with great courage, cut their way through these fifty foes, and escaped to a neighboring house. The Iroquois, thus left [22] undisputed masters of the battlefield, directed their wrath against the dead, since they had been unable to accomplish more against the living. Pouncing, accordingly, on Monsieur le Maistre, they cut off his head, and, uniting mockery with cruelty, stripped off his cassock, which one of their number donned. Clothed in this precious spoil, he paraded pompously in sight of Montreal, braving the town with an insolence truly barbaric. Such, in a few words, has been the course of our afflictions; but the end is not yet. We prophesy only too truly; and, if during the past year we have cried out so loudly in our prevision of the misfortunes we dreaded, —timor quem timebamus evenit nobis, —our prophecy has [23] proved only too true, by the kidnapping of many children, by the slaughter of so many men, including a Seneschal and a Priest, and finally by the death of a hundred and fourteen [Page 219] persons —more than seventy of whom were French —all lost within a few months. This year deserves to be included among the disastrous and fatal years; and the next few would witness the extinction of a fine dominion had not the King —who is inferior neither in piety, in magnanimity, nor in might to any of the Monarchs who have caused JESUS CHRIST to be acknowledged in the Indies, —resolved to make of his New France, a land of conquest. [Page 221]




ERHAPS I ought to begin this Chapter with an extract from one of the oldest Fathers of the Church, who says that, provided we entrust all our ills to God, and lay our afflictions upon him, he Will not fail to draw happiness out of our misfortunes, abundance out of our losses, and life out of our death. Satis idoneus patientiœ sequester Deus; si injurias deposueris penes eum, ultor; si damnum, restitutor; si mortem, resuscitator. He who glances at the preceding Chapter and at the title of this one [25] Will at first think that our storms are about to subside, and that the all-powerful Hand which has dealt us such hard blows is going to dress our wounds, in order that we may hope for life after receiving so many strokes of death, —si mortem, resuscitator.

Yet, if this beginning of tranquillity, whose appearance seems to be indicated by peace parleys, did not come from our enemies, and our Iroquois enemies at that, we might think our hopes fairly well founded; but our own experiences make us only too wise, and we all have been too often deceived to trust those who have never kept their Word, and not to fear some trickery on the part of a Nation the most infamous of [26] all for its continual rascalities. The Iroquois cry, " Peace, peace! " and at the same time is heard the cry of " Murder! " Peace is proclaimed at Montreal, and war is in progress at Kebec and [Page 223] Three Rivers. And even Montreal is a stage where peace and war play their parts both at the same time; for we there receive into our houses those who slay us in our clearings, and see our Priests and habitans slaughtered by those who protest that they are our good friends.

In the month of July, at the height of our disasters, there appeared above Montreal two Canoes manned by Iroquois who, bearing a white flag, came boldly under shelter of that standard, and put themselves in our hands, [27] as if their own had not been still stained with our blood. It is true, they had with them a passport that relieved them of all fear, .one which could have procured their passage anywhere with safety —namely, four French captives, whom they were bringing back to us as a pledge of their sincerity. They asked a hearing on matters of moment, saying that they were envoys from the Oiogoenhronnons and the Onnontagehronnons, on whose behalf they were empowered to speak. The Chief of this Embassy was, indeed, one of the principal Captains of Oiogoen, a man who appeared to be our friend when we were in the Iroquois country, and in whose hut our Fathers lodged while they fostered that infant Church in his village. A day was assigned him [28] for speaking, and meantime he was received as if he had been guiltless of all participation in the murders that had just been committed throughout our settlements. The day arriving, he brought forth twenty fine presents of porcelain which spoke more eloquently than he himself, although he did not fail to make a creditable harangue, and to expound all the motives of his Mission with intelligence. This aimed [Page 225] especially to secure the liberation of eight Oiogoenhronnons, countrymen of his, who had been in custody at Montreal for the past year; and this was the most important part of his commission. The better to induce US to release these prisoners, he broke the bonds of the four Frenchmen whom he had brought with him, and promised the liberation of the others still remaining among the Onnontagehronnons, [29] to the number of twenty and over, assuring us of that Nation's good Will toward us, despite all the acts of hostility committed during the last two years. His speech, couched in good language, was accompanied by many formalities.

First, he made a present to restore the Sun to the Heavens, it having kept itself in eclipse during the wars, whose woes that Celestial body had been unable to contemplate; it had (as he said) retired, so to speak, for fear of giving light to so many inhuman deeds wherewith warfare is commonly attended.

After speaking for Heaven in offering his first present, his next duty was to exert himself for the earth's restoration, wholly upset as it was by the disturbances of war. This he accomplished with a present [30] which, at the same time, made smooth the course of the river, clearing away all its rocks, and leveling out all its rapids, in order to establish a ready inter-communication.

A third present covered up the blood that had been shed, and raised all the dead to life. Another restored our spirits, which we had lest in the past disturbances. Another gave back our voices, and cleared all the passages of the vocal organs, that we might have naught but pleasant words. And, to show us how sincerely he desired. [Page 227] our alliance, " Behold," said he, presenting a collar of great size and width, " that is to invite the Frenchman to our country, in order that he may return to his mat that has been kept for him at Gannentaa, where still stands his house in which he lived [31] when he dwelt among us. His fire has not gone out since his departure, and his fields, which we have tilled, only wait for his hand to reap a rich harvest. He will revive peace among us by his presence, just as he banished all the ills of war. And to cement this alliance closely and unite us so firmly together that the evil one, jealous of our happiness, can never more thwart our good purposes, we ask for a visit from the holy maidens, both those who care for the sick and those who occupy themselves in teaching the children. " (He meant the Hospital and Ursuline nuns.) " We will build them some large cabins, and the finest mats in the country are set apart [32] for their use. Let them have no fear of currents or falls, for we have removed all these, and have made the river so even that they will be well able themselves to ply the paddle without difficulty and without fear. " Then he gave a long account of the conveniences that these good Nuns would find in his country, not forgetting to set forth the abundance of Indian corn, strawberries, blackberries, and other similar fruits, which were represented in his speech as the most tempting bait that could lure them upon this expedition.

The gestures and attitudes wherewith he selected two presents which he offered with this invitation, showed plainly that he gave them rather through gallantry than in the hope [33] of attaining his end.

But the last Word, which he delivered in a more [Page 229] serious tone, was a request of importance, and not such as to admit of refusal. "A black gown" said he, " must come with me. Otherwise, no peace; and the lives of twenty Frenchmen, in captivity at Onnontagué, depend on this journey." Saying this, he produced a leaf from some Book or other, on the margin of which the twenty Frenchmen had written their names in guaranty of the Embassy's good faith.

After speaking, he presented to us the four Frenchmen, whom he set free, and who told us of the kind reception they had met with at the hands of the Onnontagehronnons, and the good treatment accorded by the latter to those who were detained [34] at Onnontagué. They added that these poor Frenchmen implored us with clasped hands to take pity on them; that we had nothing to fear from those people, by whom they were so kindly treated; and that they conjured us to send a Father, at the earliest moment, to break their bonds and deliver them from the fires to which they were otherwise irrevocably destined.

Moreover, they added that those Iroquois were no longer Iroquois; that the village contained more of the Christian than of the Savage element; that one of the chief men took pains to ring n bell every morning for calling together the French and the Savages to prayers, which were held every day; that the people there talked openly and favorably of the Faith; and that even these French [35] captives were at liberty to baptize the children —some of whom had, after holy Baptism, gone to Heaven by ways very little expected.

All this, taken with what the Ambassador had just said, caused our French people much perplexity, and made them deliberate a long time what resolution to [Page 231] adopt; for they found themselves absolutely constrained either to allow the burning of twenty poor Frenchmen, who were crying for mercy, or else to expose themselves again to the faithlessness of those traitors, who had always betrayed us, Moreover, they were seeking peace with arms in their hands; and, at the very moment when they were discussing its terms, were carrying on a bloody warfare all about us. Under these circumstances we feared to be either too timid or too cruel. It was [36] timidity not to dare refuse absurd demands of knaves; it was cruelty to hear the last cries of twenty poor victims, without going to their rescue.

The reply made at Montreal to these presents was that Onnontio (thus they designate Monsieur our Governor) must be inform of the matter, and that, while messengers went to bear him these tidings, the Ambassadors could, with entire safety, remain in the fort of Montreal. To this they willingly agreed.



CCORDINGLY, messengers came in haste to Kebec, to convey information of what was occurring at Montreal. The desolation [37] was then so general here —blood having been shed on all sides, and the enemy having burned down houses, the ruins of which were still smoking —that we were compelled, on receiving this intelligence, to follow the example of drowning men who clutch at every abject they meet, even at a red-hot iron if it should offer; or of sailors who, losing their course or their rudder in the violence of the storm, let themselves drift at the mercy of the winds, without considering whether they are favorable to them, or otherwise. [Page 233]

All the Frenchmen assembled, to discuss the Embassy's propositions. They W& knew that the Iroquois are knaves by nature; that this proposal of peace was only in keeping with their old-time policy, [38] and was a new game wherewith they sought to beguile us. They knew that only one Nation or two sought our alliance, while the other three —especially the Agniehronnons, who are the most formidable —would be on no better terms with us; but that, on the contrary, stung with jealousy, they would be all the more irritated by this treaty of peace, and would undertake our ruin in good earnest. It was stated that we must make peace with all the Iroquois or with none; because they are all so alike that we would not be able to distinguish them, and would not dare strike any one of them, for fear of striking a friend —while not one of them would hesitate to strike us, feigning that he was our enemy. Furthermore, it was a manifest risk of a man's life, and was like throwing him into the fire, to send him among [39] those barbarians, simply trusting their Word. But if one or two of the eight Oiogoenhronnon prisoners were held back, they would serve as hostages on our side, and would afford some security to those who should enter the enemy's country. In a Word, it was too great a betrayal of our own weakness to surrender all and reserve nothing.

Despite all these arguments, as no other means offered for arresting the course of so many tragic events as were then laying waste all our settlements, the final verdict was similar to the one rendered of old against Our Lord, —expedit ut unus homo moriatur pro populo. Happy he who was so gloriously to symbolize the Son of God! We were therefore asked to [Page 235] give [40] some one of our Fathers, who should go and sacrifice himself for the public, for the rescue of those poor Frenchmen groaning in so dangerous a captivity, and also that he might serve the purposes of the divine Providence.

Good fortune declared again for Father Simon le Moine, who had already four times risked his life among the Iroquois. He was chosen to risk it a fifth time, and to go to a country where the scaffolds are still standing, and the ground is still stained with the blood of the French who were so cruelly burned there last year. If their ashes are so scattered that he cannot kiss the precious relies of those victorious souls, he Will find heads, arms, legs, and [41] other members, mutilated and scorched, of some of our Frenchmen who have quite recently passed through the usual torture by fire; and, rescuing them from the dogs that are devouring them, he Will give them burial, unless he himself, before doing so, finds his grave in the flames, and in the bellies of those barbarians.

Although such frightful abjects may well startle the most courageous, yet they do not disquiet a heart that is zealous for the saving of souls. The Father looked upon the day of his departure as one of the happiest of his life, and he went to meet death as to a triumph, because he went full of hope for the restoration of that Mission which has already borne so much fruit for eternity. At least, he doubted not that he [42] could baptize some children, instruct the adults, preach and proclaim the Gospel to those Infidels; foster a captive Church of poor Hurons, who were preserving their faith in their bondage; and, like another St. Paulinus, offer himself as a. [Page 237] substitute to those barbarians, in order, by his own Captivity, to deliver the French captives who were sighing for that glorious ransom.

Behold, then, a new Mission, a Mission of blood and fire, and one which makes its missionaries wear their Master's colors, wash their garments in the blood of the Lamb, 2nd purify their souls in the fire of his love.

Before the Father's departure, it was necessary to answer the twenty presents of the Ambassadors; and this was done in three words.

[43] By the first, Onnontio opened the prisons of Montreal, broke the irons of the Oiogoenhronnons confined therein, and restored to them their freedom, placing them in charge of the deputies to go back all together to their own country.

By the second, he gave them Ondessonk, as they call Father le Moine, to go and exert himself on the spot for the deliverance of the French captives.

And, by the third, he called upon them to keep their promise, whereby they had pledged themselves to return at the end of forty days with the liberated Frenchmen, and with some of their eiders, who would deliberate here on public interests, while Ondessonk remained in their country as a hostage to attend to the duties of his Mission.

[44] Under these conditions, the Father embarked and departed, probably to his death; for, at the very time when he was borne away from us by the Iroquois, the latter were smiting as, and continuing their usual ravages in our fields. Scarcely had the people of Montreal lost him from sight, when they beheld the clearings beset by those cruel assassins. Doubtless from a feeling of jealousy which is [Page 239] common among them, or in a spirit of perfidy, almost at the very moment when they were conducting away one black Gown they carried off the head of another, whose murder we described in the first Chapter.

Judge what security there is for the Father among those faithless wretches, and what hope for him is left to us, [45] farther than such as must arm his patience against every stroke of cruelty, and crown his courage with an immortal glory.



HILE that Canoe pushes its way up the Saint Louis Rapids, proceeding toward the West, let us turn our attention to the East, and behold, in the direction of France, a great Vessel, with all sails spread, making its appearance in the gulf of St. Lawrence; it hastens to bring renewed life to us after so many deaths, and to make good fortune succeed our calamities.

This blessing is attached to the person of Monsieur the Baron du Bois d'Avaugour, whom yonder [46] Vessel is bringing us for Governor, and whose arrival has consoled us for losing Monsieur the Vicomte d'Argençon. The King fixed his choice upon the former to come and plant the Lilies over the ashes of the Iroquois, and to gather palms which will spring up under his feet as he advances against the enemy; and thus does the King make the glory of the French name blaze forth in these most remote parts of the Occident, as he has done in those of the Orient; and gives t. our New France what he has not refused to Persia, Muscovy, Poland, Sweden, and Germany.

No sooner did the Baron land here than he wished to examine in person all the stations and settlements of this country, their position, [47] their defects and [Page 241] advantages, their Points of strength and of weakness. He visited Our fields and saw them loaded with fine harvests; he inspected our forests, which are only waiting to be felled in order to disclose extensive lands, and expose to light the lairs of the Iroquois, who will see their strongholds destroyed when the woods are cut down. He also proceeded by boat on our great river from Kebec to Montreal saw with pleasure the fine country bordering it, and the beautiful Islands dotting its surface above Three Rivers, and realized the very hopeful prospect to be entertained of making some day a veritable new France out of the country's multitude of inhabitants. All our fears vanished at his coming and his presence revived our hopes. Hence it was that we [48] said, in beginning this Relation, that we are strong in our weakness; and that a powerful succor, administered by a Leader uniting prudence with courage, and experience with skill, can rescue us from the chasm's brink to which the latest mishap had pushed us.

What now holds us in suspense is the fate of Father le Moine's Mission. We feared for him before his departure, and our fears are constantly growing since the expiration of the time within which the Iroquois were to have returned to Montreal with the twenty French captives. They had asked for but forty days' delay, and already eighty have passed with no sign of them.

All that we know about them [49] is what we were told by some Agniehronnon Iroquois who —Prowling about our fields with intent to kill, which crime they have committed on various occasions, even since the Father's departure —made great fun of that Embassy, and represented it to us as a game employed by [Page 243] the Oiogoenhronnons to abuse our kindness, and to recover from Our keeping the captives of their Nation that were in custody at Montreal.

If we base our opinions on human probability, we have everything to fear for Father le Moine, and scarcely anything to hope for the rescue of the French for whom he so bravely exposed himself to the flames and to death. Perhaps he is now on a scaffold, preaching the Faith [50] from amid the flames that crown his apostolic life with happiness and give luster to his death. Perhaps he is the spectator of the torments of those poor Frenchmen whom he went to ransom, and the depository of their Sorrowful groans, encouraging them to endure fires that are also prepared for him —after he shall have received their dying gasps, and succored their souls as they wing their flight from the midst of the embers toward the abode of rest and peace. Perhaps he has not reached the enemy's country, but some finishing stroke has dashed out his brains on the way, if he has been met by other Iroquois —who may well have done this time what they intended to do on another journey that he made to the Onnontaguehronnons, when his conductor [51] was killed at his side.

But it is possible, too, that he is now in the village of Onnontagué, surrounded by the pitiful remnants of a poor captive Church to which he gave birth in the country of the Hurons. If that be so, there is no earthly consolation like unto his, even in his utmost deprivation of all things; for there is no keener delight to a Canadian Missionary than t0 be so situated that he depends only on God, sees only God, and can hope for nothing except from God. [Page 245]





NE of the Ancients happily observed that the Sun is born and dies every &y, and that the prospect of inevitable death almost immediately after birth does not make it lag at all in its progress; that, on the contrary, it advances always with even step toward the grave of night, well aware that it cannot be born again without dying, and that its rising must ever be preceded by its setting.

A Missionary of these regions who, imitating the Sun, brings the bright beams of the Faith [53] into this state of Barbarism, must follow the example of that prince of the Celestial bodies, and not shrink if he sees Missions springing to life and dying again at the same moment.

When we undertook the Iroquois Mission, five years ago, it was easy to foresee that those who beheld it at its rising would also see it in its setting, and that it might well prove to be the grave of those that gave it birth. Yet this prospect did not make them the less energetic in action; and a large number of Iroquois children would not now be Angels of Paradise had we been too timid in that enterprise, or too observant of the rules of human prudence. When those tribes that fringe [54] the shores of Lake superior, four hundred leagues from here, [Page 247] offered last Year to take some Missionaries to their country, Father Ménard, on whom that lot happily fell, foresaw so many difficulties that he deemed his life too short and his health too broken for so long and Painful a journey; nevertheless, he undertook it; and he has now been two years engaged in that mission, without our receiving any word from him. We doubt not that he has suffered enough to die every day oftener than the Sun; but we also regard it as quite beyond question that the conversion of souls is worth such difficulties, such dangers, and such repeated deaths.

The Mission of which we speak in this Chapter is, from its very nature, [55] one of those whose success is uncertain because its attempt is hazardous; but whatever uncertainty it may involve, whatever risk or whatever deaths may stand in the way, the fact that there are souls to win is enough to overcome all shrinking at such obstacles, which are wont to render victory both more meritorious and more glorious.

We have long known that we have the North Sea behind us, its shores occupied by hosts of Savages entirely unacquainted with Europeans; that this sea is contiguous with that of China, to which it only remains to find an entrance; and that in those regions lies that famous bay, seventy leagues wide by two hundred and sixty long, which was first discovered by [56] Husson [Hudson], who gave it his name, but won no glory from it other than that of having first opened a way which ends in unknown Empires, Upon this bay are found, at certain seasons Of the year, many surrounding Nations embraced under the general name of Kilistinons[18]. [Page 249]

During the past winter, a Nipissirinien Captain entertained us with a full account of the number of those peoples, the situation and nature of the country, and especially a description of a general fair that was to be held there in the following Summer, to which the savages of Kébec and Tadoussac were invited. That was a fine opportunity for us to go in person and gain information which we had hitherto obtained only through the reports, seldom [57] trustworthy, of the Savages. Such information, moreover, is both important and curious, as well for an exact knowledge of the longitudes and latitudes of that new country, —data on which is based in part the assumption that a passage to the Sea of Japan is to be found there, —as also for seeing on the spot what means there are for laboring effectively for the conversion of those peoples.

TO this end, accordingly, Fathers Gabriel Druilletes and Claude Dablon, with the greater part of our Savages started from here in the month of May last —the first-mentioned Father purposing to winter in the country itself, and obtain at leisure all information requisite for assuring that Mission' success; the other, to come and tell us about those new discoveries, and describe to us the present condition [58] of those regions, that we might spare no exertions on behalf of souls for which Jesus Christ gave all his blood .

But, as the Iroquois, the great scourge of Christianity here, hold possession of all the rivers offering any convenient access to those new Nations, it was necessary to seek out remote routes, so rough and dangerous as to be considered impassable for those pirates. [Page 251]

Let us see what the Fathers write on the subject from Nekouba, the place where they arrived two months after their departure hence,




From Nekouba, one hundred leagues from Tadoussac, in the forest, on the way to the North Sea, this second of July, 1661.



                                                Pax Christi.

Transivimus per eremum terribilem et maximam, we can well say with Moses. We have passed through forests such as might easily frighten the most confident travelers —whether by the vast extent of these boundless solitude's, where God only is to be found; or by the ruggedness of the ways, which are alike rough and dangerous, since one must [60] journey over naught but precipices, and voyage over bottomless gulfs where one struggles for his life, in a frail shell, against whirlpools capable of wrecking large Vessels. At last here we are, with God's help, almost half-way to the North Sea, at a spot which is, as it were, the middle point between the two Seas —the one we have left and the one we are seeking. For, in coming from Tadoussac hither, we have constantly ascended, and to such a height that our Savages, wishing to explain to us the excessive heat by which these regions are parched, said it resulted from the proximity of the Sun, to which we have come much nearer by ascending such high and numerous waterfalls. On the other hand, we [61] have henceforth. [Page 253] only to descend, all the rivers on which we are to voyage emptying into the North Sea, just as all those behind us now toward Tadoussac.

Enclosed is a little Journal of all our travels —written now on the surface of a rock amid the roar of the falls; and now at the foot of a tree, when one could be found large enough to shelter US in the shade of its trunk from the Sun's rays, which here are well-nigh unbearable. In it Will be seen some sufficiently remarkable acts of Providence in the choice of its Elect, by methods of guidance which are indeed adorable and surprising.




E were detained three weeks at Tadoussac by a kind of contagious disease, hitherto unknown, which swept away the greater number of those whom it attacked. Their death, however, was due only to the violence of the convulsions, by which they were shaken in the strangest manner, yielding up their lives as if desperate, —or, at least, with contortions of the limbs which rendered a patient stronger than three or even four men together; and that, too, when his soul was hovering on his very lips. Here was the first exercise of charity that offered, but it could not fail to [63] cause us all the more trouble force the fact that it detained us at the very beginning of our journey.

The disease having abated a little, we finally started on the first day of June of this year, 1661, to the number of forty Canoes. We left Tadoussac, but not the illness, which followed us and, again seizing some of our Savages, made our journey hang in the balance at its very outset and retarded our paddles, [Page 255] whose strokes did not keep time with our wishes, Consequently, we were forced to spend five days in reaching a spot one league from Chigoutimi, where we took our station on a rocky Islet, while some went in quest of provisions in the neighboring woods. From the top of this rock we had a clear view of [64] a part of the Saguené, and noted with surprise two rather remarkable characteristics of this noble river. The first is that, for more than twenty leagues from its discharge into the St. Lawrence river, it constantly flows downward, even when the tide is rising, although above this twenty-league Emit it has its ebb and flow corresponding to that of the Sea; hence its waters flow upward in one direction and downward in the other at the same time. The same is observed in the great river St. Lawrence: when the Sea in its flood-tide enters the stream, the latter becomes swollen, indeed, but ceases not to flow ever downward, up to a certain point where the upward and downward course of flood and ebb-tide are observed every six hours. This is because the river is more rapid and violent [65] toward its mouth than in places higher and farther distant therefrom, so that the incoming tide, or flood (as the Sailors say), cannot crowd back its current at that part. The second strange thing is that, although we are thirty leagues or thereabout above Tadoussac, yet the water is high here at the same time and with the same tide as at Tadoussac, —a circumstance not observed in other rivers, which are swollen by the tide in successive steps, sooner in places nearer the Sea, and later in those more distant and farther inland.

On the sixth, we arrived at an early hour at Chegoutinis, a place noteworthy as marking the end of [Page 257] good navigation and the beginning [66] of portages, as we call the places where the rapid current and the falls force Boatmen to land, and shoulder their Canoes and all their baggage, in order to reach a point above the Falls. At this place, then, we began, by a reversal of our position, to carry our little Vessels, which had until then carried us, continuing this for nearly a league. After that, we came to a river on which we proceeded by canoe for some time, but were compelled the next day to shoulder our baggage four times, and twice on the day after. Then we entered a Lake, very narrow and about nine leagues long, which the Savages call the long Lake, one of whose shores gave us [67] a lodging-place for the night of the ninth day, —a lodging-place such as one finds here anywhere, built by nature's hands, and, as a rule, common to men, Deer, and Moose.

On the following day, we paddled over this Lake in high spirits, our progress being easy, and we were not long in reaching its end. Again we had to shoulder our baggage, but replaced it in our Canoes, half a league from the Lake, to paddle in the shade down a little stream —the tree-branches from both its banks forming a kind of natural arbor by their interlacing, but causing us more trouble by impeding our progress than comfort by shading US. We were not sorry to be compelled [68] to leave this thread of water, —which could hardly carry us, and also gave us much trouble, —and enter a river with a somewhat more swollen current, where we in no sense lacked water; for the heavy showers of rain that fell on our heads furnished us more than we desired. This rain bore us almost constant company as far as Lake St. John, which marks the limit of French. [Page 259] navigation, no one having hitherto dared to go any farther, either because the route beyond is too rough, or because it has been unknown up to the present time.

This Lake presents a beautiful appearance, being dotted with a number of Islands near its mouth, while beyond them it gently spreads its waters over a fine sandy beach which entirely surrounds it, [69] forming a circle that tends somewhat toward an oval, and is from seven to eight leagues in diameter. It has the appearance of being crowned with a beautiful forest which shades its shores, and, from whatever point we survey it, forms a kind of verdant scene and fine natural stage, twenty leagues in circumference. It is not very deep, considering the numerous rivers which empty into it, and which ought to increase its size, since it has but one outlet —namely, the Saguené river, of which it forms the source.

Our Savages, charmed with the beauty of this spot, determined to enjoy it for seven or eight days —either that they might take a little rest after the past fatigues, or prepare themselves for those still to come, which were incomparably greater, and of such a nature that they here began to doubt [70] whether we could conquer them. Hence it was that they counseled us not to proceed farther, assuring us that the route was utterly frightful, and consisted of nothing but precipitous falls, where a Frenchman must fully expect to suffer shipwreck, since they themselves, although trained from their youth in this kind of navigation, nevertheless sometimes met with disaster. These were not, they said, ordinary rapids, but gulfs enclosed on both sides by high crags, [Page 261] perpendicularly overhanging the river, between which, if one should make a Single wrong stroke with his paddle, he would be dashed against a rock or hurled into an abyss; and the boldest ones among them confessed that their heads [71] swam in passing those torrents, and that from their effects they were left giddy for a whole day. I am quite inclined t. believe their account exaggerated; but certainly what we have seen of these perils surpasses all power of conception. We answered them that we were too far on our way to turn back, and that the salvation of one soul counted for more than a thousand lives.

What caused us greater concern was the intelligence that met us upon entering the Lake, namely, that the men deputed by our Conductor for the purpose of summoning the Nations to the North Sea, and assigning them a rendezvous, where they were to await our coming, had met their death the previous Winter in a very strange manner. Those poor men (according to the report [72] given us) were seized with an ailment unknown to us, but not very unusual among the people we were seeking. They are afflicted with neither lunacy, hypochondria, nor frenzy; but have a combination of all these species of disease, which affects their imaginations and causes them a more than canine hunger. This makes them so ravenous for human flesh that they pounce upon women, children, and even upon men, like veritable werewolves, and devour them voraciously, without being able to appease or glut their appetite —ever seeking fresh prey, and the more greedily the more they eat. This ailment attacked our deputies; and, as death is the sole remedy among those simple people for [73] checking such acts of. [Page 263] murder, they were slain in order to stay the course of their madness. This news might well have arrested our journey if our belief in it had been as strong as the assurance we received of its truth.

We did not, therefore, cease to pursue our way, pushing on toward the end of the Lake, where empties the river that was to afford us entrance into a country hitherto unknown to the French. But before we set foot therein, it was God's Will that we should take possession of these new lands in his Name, by baptizing eight persons whom he made fall into our hands by the workings of his all-adorable Providence. They were stranger Savages, natives of the country whither [74] we were going —some of them having wintered at Kebec, and others having wandered among the Lakes of these regions during the past Winter, with no fixed abode. God brought them together again very opportunely, and caused our meeting with them here, that we might make them, like poor stray sheep, enter the fold of the Church. Four of their number were baptized in due form on the sandy beach of this Lake, with all the ceremonies that the time and place would allow. The others were either invalids or infants and could not be conveyed into the little rustic Chapel which we had prepared. I fancy that the Angels of Heaven had their eyes fixed upon this spectacle; and that they took more pleasure in viewing these holy ceremonies, [75] performed with entire simplicity in a Church of leaves and a Sanctuary of bark, than those that are celebrated with such pomp beneath the marble and porphyry of Europe's great Basilicas. The first one whom we baptized bears the name of St. Francis Xavier, Patron of this Mission; the [Page 265] second, that of St. Ignatius. These two are brothers, between ten and twelve years old, well instructed and thoroughly versed in their little Catechism; and, as it was their regular custom to recite, morning and evening in their cabin, all the prayers they knew, they influenced their mother by their example, and inspired in her a desire to ask for baptism, which she obtained at the same time with them. Thus she owes the life of her soul to [76] those to whom she gave that of the body; and the mother becomes happily her children's disciple —a relation worthy of no little admiration among Savages, whose children live in not less freedom than do the Beavers and the Birds.

After these happy beginnings, and after returning thanks to Heaven therefor by the holy Sacrifice of the Mass, on the nineteenth, Sunday, in the Octave of Corpus Christi, we started on our way to enter Satan's dominions in good earnest.

We accordingly issued from the Lake, upon a river which we named for the Blessed Sacrament. It is beautiful, wide, cut up by Islands and prairies; and bas a gentle current on which we proceeded at our ease for the distance of three leagues and more. [77] We did not think that such peaceful waters could be lashed to so great fury against the rocks disputing their passage; but we were soon undeceived by a loud noise which warned us from afar to prepare for a struggle. And indeed, we encountered four waterfalls, one above another, which forced us to land four times; and while the Canoes were being carried up over the rapids, we had plenty of time to contemplate these natural cascades. But they cause more fear than pleasure to those who view them, [Page 267] appearing to be nothing but foam falling upon rocks which block the channel, and are placed one above another —now in the form of steps, which seem to be very ingeniously fashioned; and now [78] like a collection of little Mountains piled one upon another, with peaks projecting above the water only to menace the voyager with shipwreck.

Then we proceeded for nearly two leagues on the same river, which resumes its former beauty, and flows so gently that it seems likely never to become turbulent again; but we soon came to a fifth portage, and then to a sixth, which left us so fatigued that we were forced to seek a hostelry wherein to pass the night. The neighboring woods furnished us a fine one, built of great trees, under which one slumbers much more sweetly than beneath the canopies of gold and azure where unrest and sleeplessness make their abode far oftener [79] than in the silence of the forests.

On the twentieth day after our departure from Tadoussac, the men took their arms at break of day to go and reconnoiter a Canoe which had appeared on the preceding day, and which they thought to be filled with Iroquois. We made a short halt, fearing a surprise from this enemy in some narrow portage. But we had another surprise which followed US much more closely-namely, death, which, after beginning its assaults on us at Tadoussac, passed all the rapids with us and, having carried off the eldest daughter of a Nipissirinien Captain, OUT Conductor, attacked the second so violently that in less than two days she followed her older sister to the other world. [80] The father's grief was such as to make it doubtful whether he would be able to conduct us to the [Page 269] Sea; at any rate, this unhappy occurrence caused us three days' delay for indulgence in the customary mourning, and for the burial.

We began the twenty-third day with three rather difficult portages, after which we found the river gentle again, as usual. This alternation has something charming about it, when, after a vigorous struggle with troublesome waters boiling up around us, we glide over a calm stretch of water, tranquil indeed, but mingled with our perspiration, which the heat of the weather, together with the toil at the paddles, draws forth from the whole body. Scarcely had we accomplished two leagues in this mingled pain and pleasure, when [81] we were told to drop our paddles and take in hand some long poles for propelling us up those famous rapids, the description of which had been intended to frighten us. It is true, if the water had been at its ordinary height, we would have well-nigh despaired of making head against it; for not only would the stream, Swift as it always is, have been very deep, but also its banks —which are, almost throughout, naught but great steep rocks, extending as far as the eye can reach, planted upright and as if by the plumb-line —would have been entirely inaccessible. As, however, the waters of this mighty stream were lower than usual, they made the journey both less dangerous and easier for us. Accordingly, we embarked before four o'clock in the morning, and struggled ceaselessly against currents, [82] against rocks, against death, until five o'clock in the evening, taking neither food nor rest; and with all that long day's work, we made scarcely three short leagues' progress. [Page 271]

On the twenty-fourth we rose still earlier than on, the Preceding day; we also had much more Work left to do, to accomplish the passage of the remaining rapids, which we named after St., John the Baptist, having made their ascent on the day of this saint's Festival and the day preceding it.

On the twenty-fifth, we reached a point where the river divides into two branches, the wider one flowing from the right, and the other and narrower from the left. We did not take the former, because it offered much greater difficulties [83] than the latter, which did not fail, however, to give us exercise, compelling US to land and reëmbark five times within a short space.

The twenty-sixth day's journey was a hard one, since we were obliged to carry the Canoes and baggage over high mountains, and travel more by land than by water. It would be a pleasure to pursue our way beneath the shade of large trees and through the dense forests, if we carried no baggage, if the day's journey were not so long, or if we did not make it on foot; and it would also be a great pleasure to travel by boat on the river, if we did not walk the greater part of the way, owing to the excessive proportion of rocks to water. One of these daY's journeys seems long indeed when the traveler is constantly discharging [84] the duties either of a boatman or of a porter; but, on the other hand, the evening seems very sweet, and one drops to sleep with great ease, even with no bed but the rocks. And these in our case formed here the Emit of our labors and dangers and the beginning of a Lake, which we called the Lake of good Hope, because, upon once reaching it, the worst difficulties and dangers cease. [Page 273]

The three following days were spent in crossing Lakes, then in exploring the woods for rivers, then in resuming our course on more Lakes and rivers, which at length brought us to Nekouba —a place midway, as I have said, between the two Seas, that of the North and that of Tadoussac. We found its latitude to be forty-nine degrees, [85] twenty minutes, and its longitude three hundred and five degrees, ten minutes; for, proceeding Northwest by West from Tadoussac, we came to Lake St. John after traveling thirty-five leagues by the shortest route; and, still advancing Northwest by West from that Lake, whose latitude is forty-eight degrees, thirty minutes, and longitude three hundred and seven degrees, fifty minutes, we arrive here, having accomplished about forty-five leagues in a straight line[19].

Furthermore, Nekouba is a place noted for a Market that is held there every year, to which all the Savages from the surrounding country resort for the purpose of conducting their petty traffic. I will describe the reception given us by sixty people who were awaiting us here, [86] and who proceeded to receive us after the native fashion. They began with songs and shouts of joy, wherewith they made all the banks reëcho, and thus, in their simplicity, showed us more unmistakably the delight they felt at our coming, than they would have done by highly elaborate concerts and royal bands of music. The harangues were then delivered; and, as we were still in our Canoes, ready to land, the Orator, who spoke for all, took his stand on a stump that chanced very conveniently to be at the water's edge. There he offered us the first greeting, addressing us at some length, —and with gestures, as if he had been in a [Page 275] gilded Chair, —until the noise of the muskets, with which we were [87] saluted in a general fusillade, drowned his voice, and formed his peroration. This miniature thunder ceasing, the songs were redoubled for the opening of the dance, which was executed by old people and children mingled indiscriminately, but observing such Perfect time that their performance would have won approbation in France. Our Savages, who were still in their Canoes, responded to these games with similar ceremonies —each striving to surpass the others in singing the best, or, at least, in shouting loudest. This was a diversion for us, and made us forget all the past, landing with much pleasure after the repeated greetings on either side.

We saluted this new land whither God had been pleased to lead us by paths full [88] of crosses; so, too, our: coming was for the purpose of planting the cross amid these forests where that adorable wood has never been seen. Nothing beautiful, nothing attractive is to be seen here —the soil being dry, barren, and sandy, and the mountains covered only with rocks, or with little stunted trees which find insufficient moisture for their larger growth in the crevices whence they spring. One sees here neither fine forests nor beautiful fields; and the people of these regions know not what it is to cultivate the soil, but live simply as the birds do, on what prey they may secure by hunting or fishing. Often in Winter, when both fail, they themselves fall a prey to famine-moose and other animals being rare here because, owing to the scanty growth of wood, they find no covert. [89] Birds seem to have withdrawn from these solitudes, so few of them do we see. We find to be true what [Page 277] our Savages told us, namely, that upon arriving here we would have passed beyond the country of Mosquitoes, Midges, and Gnats, as they find nothing to live on here. That is the sole redeeming quality of these deserts, —their inability to maintain even those little creatures which are exceedingly troublesome to man. The air here is almost always brown with smoke, caused by the burning of the surrounding woods, which, catching fire all at once within a circuit of fifteen and twenty leagues, have sent US their ashes from more than ten leagues' distance. For this reason, we have but rarely enjoyed the beauty of a cloudless Sun, it having always [90] appeared to us veiled by those clouds of smoke —and sometimes to such a degree that the most Perfect Solar eclipses do not render air, earth, and herbage more gloomy and somber. These fires —which are very common here for a month or two in the Summer, and as a result of which we have seen many forests wholly composed of charred wood —keep the atmosphere so very warm, and make it so stifling, that it is difficult to live in it. The reason of these so strange phenomena might well be that the woods are composed entirely of small pines, spruces, and thorns —all resinous trees whose sap, exuding, coats them with a sticky, viscous gum, rendering a whole forest as [91] inflammable as is a Ship from the pitch and tar with which it is made waterproof. Thence it results that in these countries, where it scarcely ever rains, the Sun's rays, beating upon the high rocky mountains, heat to such a degree all these substances, which are in themselves very combustible, that with the least: application of fire —either by lightning, through carelessness, or through some Savage's mischievous [Page 279] intent —we straightway sec whirlwinds of flame rolling through the forests, and pouncing upon these dwarf woods with such avidity that, on one occasion among others, we could not prevent them from assailing one of our Canoes which, being suddenly overtaken by them, made us think we were going t. be wrecked in the fire.

One thing that is very remarkable [92] is, that to these excesses of heat succeed cold spells of such intensity that snowshoes are used for walking on the snow as late as the month of June; and, to give no farther instances, we have noted that violets do not appear here until five months later than in France.

This country, although so ill-favored by nature, nevertheless has its inhabitants —who, having as well as we a share in the Redemption of Jesus Christ, fully deserve that we should secure it for them, in order to enable them to enjoy eternal rest after the manifold hardships amid which they drag out their wretched lives.

Furthermore, we have seen people from eight or ten nations, some of whom had never beheld a Frenchman or heard [93] of God; others, who had been baptized formerly at Tadoussac or at Lake St. John, had been for many years sighing for the return of their Pastors. We have, then, the consolation of having preached the Gospel for the first time to various nations, many of whose children have been baptized, many adults instructed, and many penitent souls reconciled through the Sacrament of Confession; while all that poor wandering Church bas been strongly encouraged to persevere in the Faith. All this has greatly rejoiced, among others, a poor Young man who is only waiting for death, having one of [Page 281] his legs already quite corrupted. In this condition he passed the winter in isolation, with only his wife and little children for company, in the heart [94] of the woods. He ceased not to sigh for one of the Fathers and, by an instinct altogether divine, promised himself that he should sec one in a short time, although never before had one appeared in these regions. God gave him the courage and strength t. drag himself as far as Nekouba, without a thought on his part that there he would attain his blessedness in finding us. And, as he had already been a disciple of the Holy Ghost, it was easy to instruct him sufficiently for sharing in our mysteries. Accordingly, he was baptized with his family; and, delighted at this happy meeting, he returned to his home —that is, to the woods —there to continue and Perfect, in the innocence of Christianity, the life he had previously led. This had doubtless touched God's heart to put [95] the poor cripple in the pathway of salvation by a very signal favor.




O not such dispensations of Providence " (continue the Fathers in their Journal) " recompense with usury the fatigues undergone in coming so far to win souls? A single conversation on heavenly themes, held with a Savage in some wooded nook or on the edge of some rock; a soul won for God; a Child baptized; a barbarian at your feet weeping over the sins of many years, although they be often years of innocence, —these impart a joy greater than [96] the trouble caused by all the hardships of a long and arduous journey. Even were one to have only the consolation of honoring God by the Holy [Page 283] Sacrifice of the Mass, in lands where his divine Majesty has never received praise except through the song of birds and the roar of rapids, —which carry his voice in their floods, and make it reëcho amid their whirlpools —that certainly would be only too great compensation. And one must be there in person to conceive the satisfaction there is in seeing Jesus Christ hold sway, for the first time, over an Altar bedecked with bark and subject to the slightest accidents of nature; and in seeing him worshipped in countries where the Evil One has ruled with absolute sovereignty from the beginning of time.

" This joy is undoubtedly great, [97] but, be it also said, grace and, still more, nature demand this alleviation to avoid succumbing on a journey beset throughout with crosses, and full of all sorts of dangers. For-not to mention that unknown disease and malignant infection, from which we were unable to guard ourselves amid the precipices on our route; to say nothing of the rocks, which threatened to wreck US at every step we took; to leave untold the famine which we found it no easy task to ward off, comprising as we did nearly two hundred souls, the greater part of whom had not half enough to eat, being in a country which furnishes no dish except moss and leaves, and in which we would have found still less than we did, had not Providence, which spreads [98] tables in the deserts for the little flies, taken the same tare of us as of the sparrows ; not to describe our other hardships —it was quite enough that the Iroquois was always before and behind US, on the right hand, on the left hand, and in our midst. On our right, he bas destroyed the Squirrel nation, as we shall relate at the close of this Chapter; on [Page 285] our left, he has cut to pieces the French and Savages from Three Rivers who, as we said in the first Chapter, were going to Nekouba as well as we; in our rear, scarcely had we left Tadoussac when the enemies arrived there, and if they did not proceed against US, after murdering some Frenchmen there, it was because God blinded them, [99] and made them forget all about it. In front of us, and at our journey's end, which is the North Sea, the Iroquois intended to be there as soon as we, having left his own country for that purpose, because unable to find any other Emit to his ravages than the Sea, —and that, too, the one farthest distant from his country, whither neither French nor Savages from our land have yet been able to penetrate.

"That is not all. We have had them in our midst, and, as it were, in our very bosom —a hundred and eighty of these rovers having lain in ambush for us on Lake St. John, where we tarried long enough to visit and cheer the remnants of a devastated Church[20].

Not meeting us, they changed their route. Had they followed [100] and caught sight of US, they could very easily have defeated us —taking us either when we were fighting with the turbulent waters, or else in the midst of some portage, when each one was going or coming, laden with Canoe or packages, without arms or means of defense; and when the women, in utter weariness, found it very difficult to drag themselves through the brushwood; while the children, unable to follow them, were filling the woods with their cries.

"In these situations, the men seemed to scale the hills with feet and hands, or else, fully laden as they were, they preserved their balance on the pinnacles [Page 287] of rocks, while a single false step would cause a fall from a precipice. In a Word, some were hastening forward, others halting; some singing, others lamenting; while all were perspiring and bending under their [101] burdens. And in these goings and comings, repeated more than a hundred and sixty times in sixty-four portages, everything was done in haste and disorder, amid the greatest confusion imaginable, and yet a confusion unavoidable in this kind of boating. Now, who was then preventing the Iroquois from meeting US and taking us prisoners —either one after another, or all together, as they saw fit? It certainly was as easy for them to do so as it is for the Hunter to lay his hand on some poor birds struggling vainly in the snares. He alone preserved us who causes us to say with the Prophet: Qui sperant in Domimo current et non laborabunt, ambulabunt et non deficient. We have enjoyed security in our perils and [102] rest amid our journeyings, because all our hopes were based only upon God; and he alone has been able to make us escape the clutches of our enemies, who have stained with blood all the lands except those through which we pursued OUT course, and have encompassed us at every step.

"What confirms us in this truth is the sad news that reaches us and changes the entire aspect of our affairs. We are told that the Iroquois have forestalled us, and have surprised the Squirrel nation, several days' journey hence, defeating it utterly —and so terrifying all the surrounding tribes that they have all dispersed in quest of other and more remote mountains, and of rocks more difficult of [103] access, where their lives may be safe. The panic is said to [Page 289] have spread even to the Sea-coast whither we were going, and whither these barbarians fully intend this year to extend their cruelty, in order to push their conquests as far toward the North as they have done, of late years, toward the South.

" Since hearing of that Nation's overthrow, so near our present position, our Savages think of nothing but retracing their steps, as the tribes they were going to visit have dispersed, For the same reason we find ourselves obliged to bear them company, regretting the injury done to the Faith by the Iroquois in preventing the publication of the Gospel, and in retarding its course.

" Even were this the [104] only consideration, —namely, to undertake the destruction of a people who are overthrowing Christianity everywhere, —would not that be a holy war and a blessed crusade, well fitted to signalize the piety and consecrate the courage of the French against this little Turk of New France? But for him we had fair hopes of this Mission's success, not only because it was to open the door to great countries and many new nations of which we yet know only the names; but also because Monseigneur the Bishop of Petræa, whose zeal, after crossing the Seas, extends even to the remotest depths of our forests, had this enterprise so much at heart that he took the first steps toward its realization, both by his liberality and [105] by the fair name of Saint Francis Xavier, which he gave to the Mission, —in order that that holy Apostle of the East Indies might sustain the same relation to the West, through the proximity of our Kilistinons and of our North Sea to the Japan Sea. But the Iroquois are worse than the bonzes and brahmans: they are not to be defeated [Page 291] with the pen, but by force of arms; and there are no Pirates on the China Sea so dangerous, and whose ravages are proportionately so general. We thought surely to avoid meeting them by taking this wide and perilous detour by way of Tadoussac. But the misfortune of others, —French as well as Savages, who have fallen into their clutches on the same route that we took, —the overthrow of one of the nations we [106] were coming to see, and the ambuscades laid for us on every side, make us say with much truth: Misericordiœ Domini quia non sumis consumpti.

The two Fathers say nothing about their return, because, coming back the same way, they encountered the same rocks, cleared the same rapids, and underwent the same hardships. And if, at times, the current of the stream, down which they made their descent, lightened their labors, it did not fail to increase their danger —as it is very difficult to graze the rocks, when going at full speed, without dashing against them; and to make one's way along the edge of an abyss, without taking a false step. In such circumstances, haste brings disaster. One would like to remain longer amid the [107] whirlpools, even though they are viewed only with apprehension. The floods bear a light Canoe along with such swiftness that one numbers the bottomless gulfs he has escaped by the moments in a day, and by the paddle-strokes he makes, while he scarcely has time to note all the perils he avoids.

But, after all, it is a pleasure thus to pursue one's voyage when, amid all these waterfalls, One sees [Page 293] himself upheld by the gentle hands of the Providence of God, who brings the voyager into port even in case of shipwreck. This it is that cheers our Missionaries, who do not despair of reviving this Mission at a very early date, since we have never been more hopeful than now of the destruction of those who have checked its progress. May God [108] bless a thousand times our good King, from whose piety and generosity we are awaiting this result. [Page 295]



For bibliographical particulars of the Relation of 1659-60, see Vol. XLV.


An interesting letter written to Jerome Lalemant, his superior, by René Ménard, Jesuit missionary to the Ottawas from the mission of Nôtre Dame de Bon Secours, on Keweenaw Bay, Lake Superior, June 2, 1661. The original MS. of the letter is in the archives of the Society at Paris, where it was copied by a French scribe, whose apograph rests in the archives of St. Mary's College, Montreal. This apograph we follow in the present publication. There is another copy of this letter at St. Mary's, made by Father Felix Martin; it occupies pp. 16-19 of Martin's biography of Ménard-a closely-written MS. of 23 pp., principally made up of Ménard's letters, and of facts contained in the Relations.


These two letters written from Quebec to the Prince de Condé, —one by Ragueneau, dated October 12, 1661, the other * by Governor DU Bois d' Avaugour, dated the following day, —we publish as found in Rochemonteix's Jésuits et la Nouvelle-France, tome ii., pp. 525-527. Both were copied by Rochemonteix from the originals in the Condé archives (Chateau de [Page 297] Chantilly), the press-marks being Papiers de Condé, serie P, tome XXV, the Ragueneau letter being folio 157, and the other, folio 162.


The letter of Chaumonot to his fellow-Jesuit, Germain Rippault, —dated Quebec, October 20, 1661, —we obtain from Carayon's Première Mission, pp. 260-262. Carayon gives the name, tentatively, of Chaumonot's correspondent as " P. Ripauls (?); " we are able, however, to supply the correct name. The original MS. rests in the archives of the University of Pont-à-Mousson, where Rippault died in November or December, 1663; see Sommervogel's Bili. De la Comp. Jés., tome vi., p. 1874.


For bibliography of the Journal des Jésuites, see our Vol. XXVII.


In reprinting the Relations of 1660-61 (Paris, 1662), we follow the original Cramoisy edition, from the Lenox Library copy. It is usually classed as Le Jeune's, and contains an introductory epistle from him to the king. The " Permifsion" was "Fait à Paris ce 20. Ianuier 1662; " and the "Priuilege" was "Donné à Paris le 23. Ianuier 1662." The volume is no. 117 of Harrisse's Notes.

Collation: Title, with verso blank, 1 leaf; epistle "AV ROY," pp. (6); text, pp. 1-213; "Table des Chapitres," pp. (2); "Priuilege " and "Permifsion," P. (1). Signatures: ã in four, A-N in eights, O in four. No mispaging. [Page 298]

Copies have been sold or priced as follows: Harrassowitz (1882), no. 41, closely trimmed, priced at 125 marks; O'Callaghan (1882), no. 1240, sold for $45, and had cost him $38 in gold; Barlow (1890), no. 1310, sold for $16. The following libraries have copies : Lenox, New York State Library, Harvard, Brown (private), Ayer (private), Laval University (Quebec), Library of Parliament (Ottawa), British Museum, and Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris). [Page 299]


[1] (p. 137). —The “Porcelain” or “wampum” of the aborigines, Laboriously cut from shells, soon found a rival, for many purposes, in the glass beads supplied by the European traders. These were of two kinds, of which w. M. Beauchamp says: “The canons were probably the long cylindric or bugle beads, one to three inches, or even more, in length; these are frequent in Iroquois sites. The rassades were spherical or ovate beads.”

[2] (p. 137). —The jacinth or hyacinth is a precious stone, known from very ancient times. It is a form of silicate of zircon, having dodecahedral crystals, and is orange-brown in color. Jacinths were prescribed, in old formulas, in a great number of aromatic electuaries, to which potent properties were attributed,—Guibourt's Hist. naturelle des drogues simples (Paris, 1876), t. i., p. 318, 319.

[3] (p. 139).—On the margin of the sheet containing this paragraph is written, “from bay de Ste. Therèse, This 1st of March, 1661.” Arriving at the present Keweenaw Bay on St, Theresa’s day, Ménard named the bay for that saint. His residence while there must have been in the vicinity of L’Anse, Mich. At the end of this letter, he mentions the Algonkin name of the place as Chassahamigon—a name apparently used by no other writer. A similar name, however, occurs in De Bougainville's report (dated Aug. 19, 1757) of the capture of Fort William Henry. He gives a list of the Indian allies present on that occasion; among these are “14 Sauteurs, from Coasekimagen.” —N. Y. Colon. Docs., vol. x., p. 608.

[4] (p, 141). —The name St. Esprit was applied by the early French explorers to numerous Localities (as was Espiritu Santo by the Spaniards; cf. vol. xliv., note 21). The bay mentioned in the text as St. Esprit was that since known as Chequamegon. For much interesting information regarding this region, see Davidson's “Missions on Chequamegon Bay,” in Wis. Hist. Colls., vol. xii., pp. 434-452.

[5] (p. 145). —Claude David, born in 1621, arrived in Canada and [Page 301] settled at Three Rivers, in 1649. In that year, also, he married Suzanne de Noyon, by whom he had seven children. He died in 1687.

Sieur Ducolombier was brother-in-law of Marie le Neuf, wife of Jean Godefroy (Tanguay's Dict. Généal., p, 208, note).

[6] (p. 145). —The Joliet here mentioned was probably Adrien (vol. xliv., note 91, eldest son of Jean (vol. xxx., note 18). The date of Adrien's birth is not given by Tanguay, but must have been about 1641 or 1642. It is not known when he died.

[7] (p. 145). —Cf. with this letter of Ménard those given in Relation of 1664, chap. i.

[8] (p. 147). —D'Argenson, who had come to Canada July 11, 1658, found his position, as governor, full of perplexities and embarrassments. The colony was in constant danger from the Iroquois, and its military forces were entirely inadequate to repel the enemy. Its finances were greatly strained, but the Hundred Associates would do nothing to relieve them. The governor and the ecclesiastical authorities were at continual strife —partly over questions of precedence, and partly in regard to the management of public affairs. D'Argenson finally asked to be relieved from his post, and the Baron Dubois d'Avaugour was appointed in his place, arriving in Canada Aug, 31. 1661. —See Parkman's account of the administrations of both governors, and of the difficulties in their way, in Old Régime in Canada (Boston, 1875), pp. 115-130. Cf. Rochemonteix's Jésuites, t. ii., pp. 302-325. Ragueneau says, in a letter to his general, Nickel. dated Sept. 15, 1661 (Martin's apograph, in archives of St, Mary's College, Montreal): “Monsieur d'Argenson is returning to France, after serving 3 years as governor of Canada. He has always been somewhat ill disposed toward both our Society and Mgr. the bishop of Petræa,”

[9] (p. 165). —This Fillon is probably Michel Feuillon, born 1639. He married Louise Bercier, by whom he had six children.

[10] (p. 167). —“These iusques à ce iour, were apparently added afterward, although they, as well as the rest, are in Father Jerome's handwriting” (Quebec ed. of Journal, p. 293, note).

[11] (p, 173). —François Malherbe was one of the most prominent of the Jesuit donnés in Canada, He was born about 1626; at an early age, he was in the Huron country as an engage of the Jesuit mission there. After the martyrdom of Brébeuf and Lalemant, their remains were carried to Ste. Marie by Malherbe. Having given proof in Huronia of his religious vocation, he entered the Jesuit order (about 1654), becoming a coadjutor or lay brother. The last fourteen years of his life he spent in the missions at Lake St. John and Chicoutimi [Page 302] with De Crépieul. Hardships and age brought on a long and severe illness, from which he died, April 19, 1696. The circular letter upon his death is in the Montagnais MS. of De Crépieul, which was recently discovered in the archiepiscopal archives at Quebec. The letter was printed in Rapport sur les missions de diocèse de Québec, April, 1866, pp. 52-54; this publication contains some errors in dates, which we are able to rectify by the original MS.

[12] (p. 177). —Michel André (surnamed de St. Michel) was born in 1639, in Normandy; his wife was Françoise Nadreau. They had ten children, all daughters.

[13] (p. 179). —The names of these unfortunate men are given in the registers of Nôtre Dame, Quebec. They are cited in the Quebec edition of the Journal, p. 298, note 1.

[14] (p. 181). —La Guay is probably the surname of Jean Normand. He married (1650) Jacquette Riverin (according to Tanguay; but Vivran, as given in Quebec edition of Journal p. 300. note 2). Two months after her death, he married Romaine Boudet; his death occurred in April, 1666.

[15] (p. 183). —The MS. has Moret, but it seems evident that it should read Morel; for Monsieur Thomas Morel was appointed first curé of Chateau Richer in the autumn of 1661; and there is no proof that he arrived before that year. —Quebec ed, of Journal, p. 301, note 1.

[16] (p. 183). —Jean Péronne Dumesnil, sieur de Mazé, an advocate in the Parliament of Paris, was in 1660 sent by the Hundred Associates to examine into their affairs in Canada. His investigations revealed, as he claimed, fraud and embezzlement by several of the most prominent habitants, especially the members of the Council. They refused to make reparation to the company; and when the Associates surrendered Canada to the crown (1663). the habitants attacked Dumesnil, who was obliged to return to France. See Parkman's Old Régime, pp. 131-144.

Péronne's son Louis came with D'Avaugour as his secretary. The other son, whose death is mentioned in the text, is named in the Nôtre Dame register as Michel Péronne, called sieur Des Touches. This would indicate that De Mazé was a son or brother of Champlain's ensign Destouches, who was in Canada from July, 1626, to September, 1627. Sulte (Canad.-Fran., t. v., p. 40) cites a Memoire of 1671, by Péronne Dumesnil. Parkman (ut supra) cites Dumesnil's Memoire embodying the result of his investigations in Canada, written late in 1663 or early in 1664; he claims that the frauds in the colony amounted to 3,000,000 livre.

[17] (p. 187). —Abbé de Queylus had returned to Canada in August of [Page 303] this year, with documents authorizing him to act as curé at Montréal; Laval declined to recognize them until he should receive further information. The king, meanwhile, ordered that De Queylus should be immediately sent back to France; he accordingly embarked Oct. 22, as mentioned in the text.

[18] (p. 249). —Regarding the discovery of Hudson Bay, see vol. xiv., note 22.

[19] (p. 275). —The route taken by our missionaries was up the Chamouchouan River. They followed it probably to the mouth of its tributary, Chegobich River, ascending then the latter stream to its source, Chegobich Lake. A short portage would convey them thence to Ashouapmouchouan Lake, into which the Nikaubau (Nekouba) River carries the waters of Nikaubau Lake. This lake is, as the writer states, about midway between Tadoussac and Hudson Bay; and it is almost at the summit of the watershed, —about 1,300 feet above sea-level.

[20] (p. 287). —Reference is here made to the Porcupine tribe, visited by De Quen in 1647 (vol. xiv., note 13).


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