The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents


Travels and Explorations

of the Jesuit Missionaries

in New France







Reuben Gold Thwaites

Secretary of the State historical Society of Wisconsin


Tomasz Mentrak


Vol. XLVII.]

Iroquois, lower Canada


CLEVELAND:            The Burrows Brothers






[Page iii]

The edition consists of sev-

en hundred and fifty sets

all numbered.


The Burrows Brothers Co.

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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


[Page v]





Preface To Volume XLVII.






Relation de ce qvi s'est passé la Novvelle France és annés 1660 & 1661. [Second, and final, installment of the document.] [Paul le Jeune,  editor; Paris]. n.d.





Relation de ce qvi s'est passé la Novvelle France és annés 1661 & 1662. Heirosme Lalemant; Kebec, September 18, 1662




Epistola ad R.P. Joannem Paulem Olivam, Præpostium Generalem Societatis Jesu, Romæ. Hieronymus Lalemant; Quebeci in nova francia, August 18, 1663





Déclaration Des Terres Que Les Peres Jesuites possedentdans Le païs De La Nouvelle France. 1663. [Québec.], October 1663.



Journal des PP. Jésuites. Hierosme Lalemant; Quebek, January, 1662, to December, 1663.


Bibliographical Data; Volume XLVII






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Photographic facsimile of title-page, Relation of 1661-62.



Facsimile of handwriting of Claude Dablon, S.J.; selection from his petition to the Governor in 1662.


Facing 268


Facsimile of letter written by Claude Alloues, S.J., to Paul Ragueneau, S.J.


Facing 308





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

CVII. In the preceding volume appeared Chaps. i.-iii. of the Relation of 1660-61; the rest of the document is herewith presented. The fourth chapter relates the miraculous deliverance of a Frenchman who is wrecked upon the St. Lawrence, in the depth of winter. This is followed by another account, of like tenor — a man being rescued, also by the Virgin’s help, from the fires of the Iroquois. The sufferings of other prisoners, who perished at the hands of these cruel foes, are likewise recounted, — also a vision of heaven and hell, which came to one of the Huron captives. He and other disciples constitute and maintain “a Church in bondage, but fervent; and so constant in the faith that secret Assemblies of Christians are held in some outlying cabin, removed from the noise and gaze of the Iroquois” — assemblies which are likened to those held, in olden time, in the catacombs of Rome. Another band of Christian Hurons had escaped, after the ruin of their nation, to the Erie tribe; they were led thither by one of their number, an old man, who was “a veritable Moses to this poor wandering Church.” He acts “as Preacher, Bishop, and general Pastor of his Church,” and even as their confessor.

The missionaries “have not failed, despite all the [Page 9] Iroquois and all the Demons, to extend our Missions this year to the four quarters of this New World.” Le Moyne has gone to the Iroquois tribes; Ménard, — from whom no tidings have come for two years, — to the West; Bailloquet, to the tribes far below Tadoussac; and Richard labors in Acadia. In this last-named mission, Father Lyonne has died, which event is narrated at some length. He falls at his post, as also did Turgis in earlier years, while ministering to the victims of an epidemic disease.

The last chapter gives ‘“the latest news from the Iroquois.” This concerns Le Moyne’s mission to Onondaga, to procure the release of the French captives there. He has succeeded not only in this undertaking, but in securing the reopening of the Iroquois missions. A letter from the Father is published in the Relation, also several from Frenchmen who have been captives among those barbarians. Le Moyne writes that both the Onondagas and Senecas desire the Jesuits among them. He relates the events of his journey from Montreal, in which they several times encounter parties of arrogant and hostile Mohawks, with whom they narrowly avoid fighting. The liberation of the French captives has been largely due to the chief Garakontie, “with whom our Fathers have lodged every time we have visited this country.” In consequence, probably, of his friendship to the missionaries, Le Moyne is also received by the common people with great hospitality and kindness. Garakontie prepares in his own cabin, a chapel, where all the Christians, both French and Huron, gladly receive communion. Le Moyne relates the proceedings in the councils held with the Onondagas in regard to his embassy. They consent to [Page 10] release the prisoners, and then he preaches to them concerning religion; they listen “with respect and attention.” Garakontie himself conducts half of the prisoners to Montreal; the others are detained for the winter, with Le Moyne.

The Father sends certain letters which he has received from Frenchmen still held captive by the Mohawks. François Hertel twice asks Le Moyne to visit him, that he may thus have an opportunity to confess his sins; also to comfort Hertel’s mother in her grief at her son’s captivity. The youth has lost one of his thumbs, and one of his fingers is burned. He also sends to the Father a letter to be forwarded to his mother. Another Frenchman in captivity writes to a friend at Three Rivers. This man, with several others, was cruelly tortured by his captors; he describes their sufferings, and the pious deaths of some of his comrades. This writer adds some important information respecting the numbers and defenses of the Mohawks, both of which are but paltry in comparison with the ravages they have wrought in Canada. He implores the French to rescue him and the other prisoners, and adds: “The Dutch are no longer willing to secure our freedom, as it costs them too dearly.” The writer of the Relation (doubtless Jerome Lalemant) adds a long account of the deliverance of these and other prisoners through the efforts of Garakontie; he rescues all the Frenchmen whom he can find among the Iroquois tribes, and provides for them in his own village, being therefore “commonly called the Father of the French.” At Montreal, he is received with the utmost gratitude and hospitality. He announces that the Cayugas and Senecas join with him in assurances of peace, and [Page 11] invites the French to settle at Onondaga in large numbers. These words are pleasing to the French; yet they dare not trust too readily the promises of those who have so often proved cruel and treacherous, both to the French and the Hurons. The writer makes various observations on the present aspect of affairs with the Iroquois, political and religious. These crafty barbarians have involved themselves in hostilities with neighboring tribes, both east and south, which has much to do with their present attitude toward the French. Their recent devastations in the St. Lawrence valley are recounted, and the necessity of checking these is forcibly presented,-for which purpose prompt and vigorous aid from France is urgently demanded. If the Mohawks are but subdued, all the other tribes will fear the power of the French; the fur trade will flourish, and thus give new life to the Canadian colony; and, above all, the way will be opened for the missionaries to spread the gospel among all the pagan tribes. The Jesuits expect to open, in the coming spring, missions among the Onondagas and Senecas; for these, they need many new laborers. A final postscript gives news, received at the last moment, from Father Ménard, who had gone to Lake Superior two years before. He expects to return to Quebec in the spring, and writes of new discoveries which he has made.

CVIII. The Relation of 1661-62 is sent to France by Jerome Lalemant. He states that the reinforcements from France, promised by the king, have not yet (in September) made their appearance. He proceeds to recount the wars which the Iroquois are waging against many tribes, even at a distance of four hundred leagues, and describes some of the [Page 12] peculiar features of the Southern regions which they have invaded. Among these are reeds as tall as oaks, in the trunks of which live large bears, which feed upon the pith; Indian corn with “ears two feet long, and grains as large as Muscatel grapes;” serpents of prodigious size, but harmless; and native tribes who poison springs, and even rivers. There are even vague accounts of the Mississippi and the Spaniards; for the vengeful Iroquois have undertaken to carry war almost to the shores of the Mexican Gulf. Other of their bands are ranging the entire Northwest, even to the Missouri River; and the savages of Nekouba — visited, the preceding year, by Jesuits for the first time — are cut off by these prowling marauders, who are now planning to devastate the entire region of Hudson Bay. These raids leave the French settlements in comparative peace, although, by cutting off the fur trade, they sap the life of the colony. At Montreal, two prominent men have been slain by the enemy, during the past year — Lambert Closse, major of the garrison, whose bravery saved that town from the Iroquois; and a priest, Vignal.

After relating the pious deaths of several converts, Lalemant describes the experience of Bailloquet in wintering with the Montagnais among the mountains south of the St. Lawrence; in such a life, privations abound, and “one must seek his living from mountain to mountain, with no assured provisions except such as are furnished by providence, which does not always choose to work a miracle in order to transport moose, as it did of old in sending a shower of quails.” The Father is most gladly received by these simple and kindly people, who also hospitably entertain a [Page 13] large company of Frenchmen who are unable to reach Quebec.

Le Moyne has wintered at Onondaga. He has there ministered to the French captives,” restored the Huron church, and laid the foundations of a new Iroquois church.” He sends to his superior accounts of these labors, and of the superstitious practices so prevalent among the savages, which greatly hinder all his efforts. Most of these are based upon their reverence for dreams; and “it frequently occurs that a hot fever, by causing grotesque and senseless dreams, gives the poor Medicine-men much trouble.” Many of these follies are simply ridiculous; but often they cause great danger to those who stand in the way of the desires which their dreams occasion, and the missionary’s life is in frequent peril. These dangers are greatly increased by the drunkenness in which the barbarians indulge; “they bring from New Holland brandy, in such quantities as to make a veritable Pot-house of Onnontaghe.” The French find that the Cayugas are the least cruel and the most hospitable of the Iroquois tribes. Le Moyne takes refuge with them for several weeks during the worst disorders at Onondaga. A French surgeon goes with him, and with his lancet cures many sick persons, which “won the hearts of all those people.” Garakontie’s return from Montreal brings also peace and comfort to the Frenchmen at his village. At the end of August, 1662, all these poor captives arrive at Montreal with Le Moyne, liberated through his exertions. During Le Moyne’s stay (or, rather, captivity) with the Iroquois, “his greatest care was to let no infant miss baptism;” and “the smallpox, opportunely intervening, gathered in a rich harvest [Page 14] of those innocent souls” — over six-score dying soon after baptism. He also does what he can to convert. adults, mainly those who are sick; but his chief success here is among the captive slaves, who have been brought hither from eight or ten foreign tribes. The poor Hurons welcome his ministrations with especial delight, “coming by stealth from the neighboring villages to perform their devotions at Onnontaghe.” He celebrates mass every day; and, when his supply of wine gives out, sends to the Dutch for some, “on account of his health.” They send him a small bottle, well sealed, telling the savage who carries it that “it is medicine for the Father, and that he him-self must not drink it unless he wished to contract a serious illness.” The Indian fulfills his commission, but also asks the Father for a taste of that medicine, “to see if it was as bad as they said. The Father took some Barbados Nuts, cut them up in a little of this wine, and presented it to his Savage; and it proved a Medicine of such purgative effect as to deprive him of all desire to ask for a second dose.”

The liberation of the French captives is again described, with details of the dangers incurred by Le Moyne. But one of these men dies in captivity, and he is murdered because he refuses to take an Iroquois wife — thus dying as “a martyr to chastity.” Another man succeeds in baptizing more than sixty children during his captivity. A third is miraculously warned of a plot against his life, and enabled to escape to Le Moyne for safety. Many other miracles in behalf of these poor prisoners are recorded. Le Moyne’s enterprise has secured not only the lives of these men, but great advantage to the entire French colony. He has checked hostilities from the [Page 15] three western Iroquois tribes, thus giving the St. Lawrence valley comparative tranquillity; the settlers have had opportunity to plant and harvest their crops. Nevertheless, those tribes are restrained only by their own selfish interests; and they can be permanently held in submission only by armed forces, which the settlers eagerly look for from the mother country.

A supplementary chapter — compiled, apparently by Le Jeune, from a letter by Richard — describes hostilities waged by the Micmacs of Gaspé against some Montagnais north of the St. Lawrence. Richard ransoms from the Micmacs a little captive boy, whom he takes with him to France, and places in the Jesuit college at Clermont, where he proves a very docile pupil.

CIX. Jerome Lalemant writes (August 18, 1663) to the father general. He acquaints him with the appointment of a new governor for Canada, and other changes in its government. He also describes the death of Father Ménard, of which tidings has but recently arrived at Quebec; lost in the Wisconsin forest, the missionary disappears from the sight of men — either starving to death, or murdered by some savage. At Montreal, the Jesuits no longer have a residence; but Chaumonot has spent the past year there as a missionary, at the desire of Laval and the governor — “ very greatly to the approval and edification of all the orders of priests, notably of those Secular ones” (the Sulpitians).

Lalemant reports the instructions given to Le Moyne, who is about to undertake another embassy to the Iroquois; and the condition of the several Jesuit residences along the river. All these are [Page 16] successfully carrying on their work, in peace, and to the edification of the entire colony. He mentions also the severe earthquake which occurred in February, 1663.

CX. This is a “Declaration of the Lands which the Jesuit Fathers possess in the country of New France, 1663.” These lands are enumerated under two heads — those of value, and cleared; and “those not yet of value, and not yet cleared for lack of Habitans.” In the former division are included the Jesuit estates in Quebec and its environs, at Tadoussac, and at and near Three Rivers. In the latter are named Isle des Ruaux and Isle Jesus, in the St. Lawrence River; and lands on the River de 1’ Assumption, at Prairie de la Magdelaine, and between the Batiscan and Champlain Rivers. It is noticeable that this list does not include De Lauson’s grant (1656) in the Onondaga country — an excellent instance of the practical common sense of the Fathers. Additional information of much interest is given in this enumeration, showing the number of persons on each estate, and improvements made upon the land up to the time when this statement was made.

CXI. In this volume we present the Journal des Jésuites for the years 1662-63. It is still continued by Jerome Lalemant. In January of the former year, “there was much talk respecting the permission to sell liquor to the savages, that was given by Monsieur the Governor; we used every effort, except Excommunication, to oppose it.” “On the Feast of St. Mathias, it became necessary to withdraw the Excommunication, owing to extraordinary troubles and disorders;” but it is not clear whether this penalty had been published by the Jesuit superior or [Page 17] by Bishop Laval. On March 2 5, news from Le Moyne reaches Quebec, brought by Iroquois envoys; these give “some presents, which said nothing.” Soon after, Closse and several others are slain at Montreal by Iroquois foes.

In April, the governor removes, on his own authority, the members of the council, and appoints ten others in their places; and “other innovations” are made. On May 3, Groseilliers sets out on an expedition to the North Sea (Hudson Bay). A month later, the Jesuits send to Montreal supplies of wheat and flour for distribution there; this alms is paid for by them, the bishop, and Madame de la Peltrie. Laval and Ragueneau sail for France, in August. Le Moyne returns, September 15, from the Iroquois country, bringing the French captives; also news that a sedition had occurred in Montreal, directed “against those who wished to establish there a public warehouse.”

In September, two Frenchmen marry Huron girls, who are given marriage portions by the religious establishments. Through the autumn, occasional raids are made by the Iroquois; a party of Frenchmen set out “to strike some blow at the Yroquois, but they returned on All Saints’ day, without having accomplished anything.”

October x4, the long-expected reinforcement arrives from France — one hundred soldiers and two hundred settlers. During the rest of the year 1662, no matter of special importance is recorded. In January, 1663, numerous robberies occur — in one case, a house being set afire to conceal the crime. “As the disregard for the Excommunication respecting liquors continued, it was renewed; and, as but little [Page 18] improvement resulted therefrom, it seemed to be the will of God that he himself should avert the insults offered to him.” An earthquake occurs on February 5, which inflicts but slight damage to houses or other property, “but did a great deal of good to souls,” — so many are the persons who come to confession and communion. In this month, numerous concessions are made on the lands of the Sillery savages.

Sowing begins April 15. In May, the Algonkin warriors return from an expedition against the Iroquois; they bring ten scalps, including that of Le Fer, the most renowned captain of the enemy. A servant robs and kills his master, and burns the house to conceal his crime. Being captured, he is tried and convicted, “and sentenced to have his hand cut off, to be hanged, and then burned. Monsieur the Governor was contented that he should die upon the staff old; after having been tormented there-on by the executioner, he was shot.” Somewhat later, a Frenchman who has attempted to flee from Tadoussac is made prisoner, and is hanged for that offense.

Early in August, the party whom Ménard had accompanied to the Ottawa country in 1660 return. Not only the Father, but his companion Guerin, has found death in the great wilderness. A considerable amount of peltries is brought back by this party, but not enough, by 800 livres, “to compensate us for the expense incurred for that expedition.” In September, Laval returns from France; a new Jesuit, Father Raffeix, also comes, while Father Simon goes back, after but one year’s stay in Canada. Another change occurs in the government; D’Avaugour is recalled [Page 19] to France, and his authority as governor is conferred upon the Chevalier De Mézy; the latter arrives September 15.

R. G. T.

Madison, Wis., June, 1899.

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CVII (concluded)

Relation of 1660—61


Chaps. i.-iii. were published in our Volume XLVI.; the remainder of the document is herewith given.

[Page 21]




N the twenty-eighth day of last January, three of our Frenchmen were returning from a Moose-hunt when they found themselves obliged to cross our great river St. Lawrence, a league above Kebec, at a season when the cakes of ice that entirely covered it rendered such crossing very dangerous. They made ready an old Canoe for the purpose, and, after loading it with [109] their slender spoils, embarked — first commending their voyage, which was to be not long but perilous, to God’s care. Before proceeding far, they saw themselves involved in the midst of the ice-cakes which, obeying the impulse of winds and tide, jostled and struck one against another with a loud noise. The largest of these often made a passage for themselves through the midst of the small ones by force of their own weight — proceeding at times all alone, while at other times they would push before them a large mass of ice, leaving the river free and open behind them for a short time; other pieces of ice, however, followed, borne along by the impulse imparted by the winds, or by their own weight.

Our Voyagers thought that they [110] could slip between these moving ice-fields, and follow some opening — or clearing, as they say here — which should offer them a prospect of passing from one [Page 23] open path into another, gliding through the passages which their good fortune and adroitness might secure for them; but they were not long in recognizing the rashness that had involved them in this disaster.

The masses of ice had separated to give them free entrance into their midst, and then, suddenly coming together on all sides, enclosed them in a prison whence they expected to escape only through the gates of death. In truth, these poor prisoners, seeing themselves closely encompassed, thought they were about to be crushed by the ice, or swallowed up by the water; hence they had [111] recourse to Heaven, not so much to escape being wrecked as to reach the harbor of a blessed eternity. During their prayers, they could not avoid colliding with a block of ice, which shattered their Canoe and threw them all three into the water; whereupon two of them, who were brothers, more expert in this kind of boating, seized the prow of the Canoe and held on, each one for himself, clinging to it in such a manner as to leave scarcely anything but their heads above water. In this pitiful condition they encouraged each other to keep a firm hold and not let go; but, the younger one’s strength failing him, and the intense cold, which penetrated his whole body, benumbing his hands, he cried out: “I cannot hold on any longer, my poor brother. Farewell! I am sinking. 0 God, forgive me [112] my sins; have mercy on me; receive my poor soul!" Thus saying, he disappeared.

His brother, more robust than he, after a longer resistance to the cold, was luckily brought near a cake of ice on which he threw himself with agility as into an asylum where he could wait for death more at ease, or for succor if it were the will of Providence. [Page 25] to send him any. And Providence did not fail him; his cries having reached one of the riverbanks, means were found to go to his rescue during the night, and thus he was safely delivered from a danger that he deemed inevitable.

The fortunes of the third are much more wonderful, and hence this Chapter is really devoted to him. [113] This man, before embarking, had his eyes more open to the danger than did the other two, and supplicated the blessed Virgin’s aid with great fervor. He stepped into the Canoe as into a coffin, such was his opinion of the proposed passage — which he had opposed for a long time, seeing only certain death in such a hazardous undertaking. Yet he was obliged to follow his companions, and, in spite of his objections, to take paddle in hand, which he was forced soon to drop when the ice came and crushed the Canoe. Seeing himself without a boat, he began to swim, not, however, believing in the least that he could save his life. He had not proceeded far when suddenly he felt, under his feet, a piece of ice on which, [114] wonderful to relate, he found himself standing; but this cake of ice was so small and weak that it could not bear him up out of the water, and so he sank with it, but only up to his knees.

In this unexpected occurrence he fully believed there was something divine, and that the blessed Virgin, to whom he had made his appeal, was caring for him. Nevertheless, for five hours he was left in this position, upright, both feet in the icy water, balancing this way and that at the will of his cake of ice, and seeing all about him only abysmal depths, into which he would have been hurled had his foot slipped ever so little, or had he failed in the least to [Page 27] maintain perfect equilibrium, — a position [115] very uncomfortable, indeed, and very difficult to maintain for a long time. When now his feet were gradually becoming numb with the intense cold, he was fully conscious that they were failing him — or, to express it better, that they scarcely retained any farther sensation. In this extremity his recourse was again to his good Mother, to whom he had never prayed with greater warmth. “My dear Mistress,” he said to her, “why do you forsake me thus, after having performed a miracle to put me where I am? If you wish me to die, I am content, and offer you my life to satisfy the Justice of your Son. Beg him to forgive my sins; and if I am to die, as I clearly see I must, I pray you that I may expire in your arms, in order that you may receive my dying breath.”

[116] It passes belief how devout and eloquent one is in such extremities, the sight of a frightful death seeming to loosen the tongue, open the mind, and give fluent speech to the most stupid. There were no modes of prayer that our poor Navigator did not use to obtain from the Virgin entrance to some good haven. Meanwhile, his cake of ice still bore him up, gliding between two waters, and following the course of the tide. I am uncertain whether this first cake of ice went and joined a second, or whether that second, much stronger and thicker, drifting on the surface of the water, came and united with the first; but I do know that those two cakes joined, and adhered in one mass, so fittingly for his rescue that he found himself sitting on the second one, [117] the collision with which, though gentle enough, had made him bend his knees, and left him seated as if in a chair. That was truly a propitious succor from [Page 29] Heaven; but alas! the poor man could hold out no longer. What was to be done in that situation during the horrors of the night? The north wind blew in his face and chilled his whole body, while he was seated on a cake of ice in the middle of a great river, whose current carried him ever farther from its banks, and dragged him over a thousand abysmal depths to certain death. He redoubled his shouts and his prayers, until the cold deprived him of speech and bereft him of his senses. Then it was that the Virgin, ever holy and ever good, stretched forth her hand and wrought a thing so astounding as to be miraculous. She put that poor man to sleep’ on his bed of ice, a sleep [118] so peaceful, too, that he was borne, with the ebb and flow of the tide, from near Cap rouge down half-way past the Island of Orleans, and thence back to Kebec, — covering a distance of ten or twelve leagues, and drifting all night amid a hundred abysses, — without being conscious of them, or being awakened from his sleep. Wonder at this incident, you who will; but it exceeds the wonderful. He was covered with snow, hoar-frost, and the shades of night. With such garments does God clothe the Sea, according to Job,—cum ponerem nubem vestimentum ejus, et caligine illud quasi pannis infantiœ obvolverem. Nevertheless, he was awakened by the impulse of a temptation of despair, into which the Devil tried to plunge him, as into the deepest of all gulfs: [119] but having overcome it by the prayers which he addressed to his Deliverer, he fell asleep again, as if his head had rested upon the softest of pillows, and passed the remainder of the night in this miraculous slumber, borne to and fro by his two cakes of ice. In the morning he was aroused by the [Page 31] noise and cries of those who were hunting for him, who found him seated on the ice — as it were, on the stage of Providence. He might well have made it a Preacher’s Pulpit for proclaiming the marvels of his deliverance, and the goodness of the blessed Virgin, who can change a yawning chasm into a place of safety for the rescue of her Servants.

Those who know how piercing the cold is in Canadas during the Winter, especially in the [120] month of January, will easily perceive that this man, remaining so long in the water and on the ice, should naturally have lost his feet and his life. As a slight proof of this assumption, note the following. A Frenchman, telling a Comrade of his that it froze in Canadas out of proportion to the coldness of the temperature, added that he did not believe a man could go barefoot, from a place which he named, to another, at no great distance from it, and back again, without having his feet frozen. The other replied that he would wager the contrary. The bet was made, and then the more venturesome one took off his shoes and stockings, and ran as fast as he could to the spot designated, which was the house of a Frenchman. Arriving there, he cried out that he could go no farther; warm clothes were promptly wrapped [121] about his feet and legs, and he went to bed, yielding the victory to his comrade, as he preferred to lose his wager rather than his feet, which latter he would have lost had he returned to the starting point, although it was distant only about two or three hundred paces. Compare now the one case with the other, and bless the holy Virgin for her benefactions [Page 33]





INCE, according to the Saints, the Empire of the Mother of God extends over all creatures, fire does not remove one [122] from her domain any more than water, and it costs her no more to extinguish flames than to melt ice. Snow and glowing coals render her homage alike. She stretches forth her hand into the watery depths and into the fires, to rescue her servants. As we have seen her, in the preceding Chapter, exact obedience from the waters and the ice, so in this we shall see fires and flames working for her and serving for her triumph, in the person of one of the prisoners captured at Montreal toward the end of the Winter.

This poor man was no sooner in the enemy’s hands than he threw himself with all his soul into those of the blessed Virgin, by virtue of a promise he made her to burn with no other fire than [123] that of love to her, if by her means he could escape the fire of the Iroquois. Nevertheless, he was sentenced to be burned; and, had not the pains taken by that good Mother infinitely exceeded those of his cruel executioners, he would never have made his escape, So careful were they to guard this poor victim — who, it was intended, should die a thousand times on the way before consummating that burnt offering. He was bound every night, and that, too, by a new [Page 35] method: for those barbarians, only too ingenious in devising fresh sufferings, would split large pieces of wood half-way, and put their captive’s hands and feet into the clefts. These pieces of wood, opened by force, would, upon closing, cause him a terrible discomfort and torture, making him [124] groan pitifully all night long; but those barbarians were no more moved by this than if they had had tigers’ hearts, or souls of stone. The sufferer’s pain was increased by the intensity of the cold, since he lay on the bare snow while in this posture. As, moreover, prisoners are stripped of their clothes upon being captured, they are left naked — or, at most, are clothed in wretched rags, which generally afford such scanty protection that some have been known to cover themselves at night with decayed wood, moss, and rushes, in order to protect themselves from the cold, Is not that being reduced to extreme misery? It was made still greater in our Frenchman’s case by the cruelty of his Master, who, for fear his [125] prey might escape him, lay every night on his feet, which were confined in those fetters as described, in order to be aroused if the captive should chance to move while he himself slept.

This torture continued a long time; for the Victors changed from warriors to hunters, and turned aside from their route to find better hunting. This prolonged the sufferings of the prisoner, who groaned by day beneath the loads placed upon his back, as if he had been a beast of burden, and by night under the pieces of wood which squeezed him so tightly that the night’s rest was more unbearable for him than the day’s toil. His nightly sufferings increased as he approached the village where it was intended [Page 37] that he should find an end to his woes in the end of his [126] life. This prospect made him resolve to make an effort to escape from his captors’ hands. Renewing his vows to the blessed Virgin, he managed so skillfully one night that he gently rolled his man from off his feet, without awakening him; and freeing himself from his instruments of torture, he plunged into the woods and ran breathlessly through brambles and thickets, stopping neither to pick his way, nor to avoid dangerous places. But alas! this poor man, after a long run, or, rather, a wide circle, found himself exactly at his point of departure. Fright seized him at sight of his executioners, from whom he thought himself far away. Accordingly he darted away at once in another direction, and began to run again more swiftly than before. His [127] fear, redoubling, had rendered him lighter, and made him fearless in plunging now into the melting snow, now into the icy waters; striking now his head against the trees, and now his feet against the pebbles; nothing was held of any account, provided he ran, and increased his distance from his enemies. Finally, as dawn was beginning to break, he almost believed himself led by some magic spell or deceived by some illusion, upon again beholding, after running so long and going astray so many times, the cabin whence he had started. He concluded that he was doomed, and, rather to defer his capture than in the hope of escaping, he climbed a tree whence he could watch every movement of the Iroquois. [128] He saw their astonishment when, at daybreak, they perceived his flight, and he heard them give the cry to start in pursuit. He watched them going and coming all about him, following his footsteps, which [Page 39] were printed clearly enough in the snow. And then he became conscious that his ill luck might well be the cause of good luck to him, since, after all the turning and doubling he had made, his tracks were so confused that the Iroquois could make nothing of them, and knew not in what direction to give chase, in the bewilderment of so many footprints, which doubled on their course without order and without sequence.

I leave the reader to judge with what alarm he was then seized on the treetop, since it needed only [129] a glance to work his destruction. He has since confessed that fear, added to the intense cold that had chilled his whole body, made his teeth chatter so fast and with so much noise that he had not a doubt that this alone would have been enough to betray him, had not the blessed Virgin, who had caused him to lose his way most fortunately in his wanderings, miraculously preserved him, by preventing his pursuers from seeing him, although he was exposed to their eyes. The day and the night were passed in these mortal terrors; but on the following day, the entire forest being wrapped in profound silence, he deemed it safe for him to descend and see whether his flight would be more successful by day than by night. As he had given heed to the direction taken by [130] the Iroquois upon their departure, he took just the opposite and proceeded at a smart pace, fleeing from, and, at the same time, approaching his own ill luck; for the more he avoided one band of Iroquois, the nearer he came to another, until at last, without intending it, he rushed into the latter’s arms, They did not fail to bind him fast, as a recaptured prisoner.

But all such precautions are vain, for there are no [Page 41] bonds that the Virgin cannot sunder. She mocks at iron gratings; she opens dungeons when she chooses; and so, for the second time, she caused the escape of her servant, who loosed his fetters with such skill that he once more found himself free. He then made a firm resolve to order his steps with such care [131]] that he could not again fall into the snares he had escaped.

Leaving the highways — if, indeed, that term can be applied to great forests where neither road nor path is to be seen — he tried to go astray, wishing to get lost, for fear of being found by another band of those barbarians, whom the poor man was constantly fancying he saw ahead of him. The least puff of wind frightened him, as he was continually taking these whispering breezes for Iroquois voices, while his too ingenious fears sometimes changed the trees into men, to his view, and their branches into swords or muskets. For a number of days he was thus disquieted, ever advancing and drawing nearer to Montreal. By good luck, Providence made him chance upon [132] a foot, or, rather, a dry bone of a Moose; and this he sucked and gnawed for some time, after which he found himself reduced to nothing but leaves and twigs of trees for food. He never lodged at nightfall without finding in his company two unwelcome guests, — hunger and fear. Nevertheless, as nature, in such extremities, derives strength from her weakness, he was always full of courage, and animated with a firm hope that the Virgin, who had made him escape so many perils, would care for his safety to the very end. Strengthened by this thought, he pushed on, drawing nearer and nearer to his goal, which he longed to reach [Page 43] more ardently than the Sailor longs to gain his port. It happened that, in pursuing his way, he was obliged to climb a little hillock; and [133] here he met with fresh misfortunes. While he was ascending one side of this hill, the same band of Iroquois from which he had first escaped was ascending the other on its way back from Montreal, where it had only recently captured some prisoners; so that, by one of the most unexpected chance encounters possible, he ran into their very arms at the summit of this little mountain. With equal surprise on each side, he saw them and they saw him, such an unlooked-for occurrence filling them all with unbounded astonishment. But that did not prevent the immediate seizure of this unfortunate man, whose strength was exhausted, his face like that of one risen from the dead, his complexion ashy and death-like, his body nothing but a living skeleton, [134] and his voice so weak that he could only lament his ill luck and groan over his hardships, And yet he was bound and manacled, and his bonds were doubled in number, as if this half-dead man could have broken redoubled fetters, and escaped from his captors’ midst like a phantom. Nevertheless he did escape, sundering his bonds not by violence, but by adroitness. Rather it was his Deliverer’s powerful hand that broke them: for, taking advantage of his weakness, he pretended to be ill and to fall into convulsions, which, as he declared, arose from the violence done to the vital and animal spirits by all those bandages with which he was so tightly bound, hand and foot. So well could he simulate, refusing the while all kinds of food [135] and depicting on his countenance the emotions of a madman, that he attained his end, — [Page 45] namely, the slackening of his bonds, that the passages for the spirits might be left free. This was with the purpose of gaining his freedom — as he actually did, by a miracle at which he himself cannot sufficiently marvel. Thus for the third time he escaped, but with entire success, as he met with no, further mishap.

And thus it is that this favorite of Providence and of the Virgin returned to Montreal, where he paid his acknowledgments to his Deliverer, fulfilling his vow and rendering her his thanksgivings in public. [Page 47]





E have learned during the past year that one of the seventeen Frenchmen from Montreal who signalized their courage in the fight that took place in the Spring, having received a musket-ball in the head, which made the enemy decide to commit him to the flames, as they despaired of being able to conduct him alive to their country, — we have learned, I say, that this Frenchman manifested no less piety than constancy in his torture, continually accompanying his torments with prayer. While in the fire, he ceased not [137] to make the sign of the Cross upon himself, thus consecrating his flames and making them truly precious and glorious by a piety which was not extinguished with his life. Indeed, he did more; for having near him a Huron as companion in his sufferings, he wished to make him also share his own merits. But not knowing his language, and yet desiring to exhort him to die with him in the profession of Christianity, as they had been made captives in its defense, he was rendered by Charity at once ingenious and wise; for, making the sign of the Cross repeatedly, he spoke to him by this beautiful gesture, with arm and eyes alike, in default of verbal utterance; and encouraged him by signs, glances, and a few stammered words [Page 49] to follow his [138] example. Charitas nunquam excidit, sive linguæ cessabunt, sive scientia destrurtur.

Another Frenchman, captured at Three Rivers and taken to Agnie, a village of the Iroquois, was so fortunate in his misfortune as to obtain from those barbarians a commutation of sentence from death by fire to captivity. Accordingly he was condemned to lead a very wretched life: but, as he had been cruelly maltreated on the way and was all mutilated, those to whom he was given as a slave found him so unsightly that they decided to burn him, as unworthy to live with them. So he heard his sentence, being a criminal only because his enemies had been too cruel; and his pitiful lot, which was enough to melt tigers’ hearts, only made theirs the more savage, [139] and rendered him, instead of an object of pity, one of wrath on their part.

Yet this poor man, who was no longer alive except in half of his body, could not lose his love of the little life yet remaining to him. Seeing, then, his guards asleep on the night preceding his execution, he escaped and fled into the woods, where he passed ten days, living like the Moose and eating only leaves of whitewood[1], thus keeping his bones alive with a life worse than death, but easier to endure than the fires. He failed to escape, after all; for, being recaptured, he was immediately consigned to the flames, which he endured with a resignation truly Christian.

Some time ago, the Agniehronnons carried off a [140] poor Huron woman into captivity, and, in crossing a Lake, they were overtaken by a storm which made those wretches blanch at the prospect of shipwreck and death. The poor woman, being less afraid of water than of fire, witnessed the approach [Page 51] of death with pleasure; but, in order to prepare herself to receive it by prayer to God, she knelt in the Canoe, a posture that cost her her life — or, rather, brought her a glorious martyrdom. For the Iroquois, whether in mockery of so holy a ceremony, or because they thought she wished thus to shake and overturn the Canoe, in order to involve them with her in one and the same wreck, treated her with a severity that passes belief. Binding her, hand and foot, they held her fastened [141] by the hair, day and night, in a constrained and painful position, until they reached their village and put an end to her woes and to her life, crowning her sufferings with a death that was truly precious.

The following will show how God treats some poor captives much more gently, and how he consoles them in their bondage and imprisonment by even sending them Angels of peace — very much as he sent them to the dungeons of the Martyrs, to encourage those first Champions of the Church in their contests. A good Huron Christian, being captured by the Agniehronnons and stretched every evening on the ground, as it were, upon a chevalet, there to pass the night in all the discomfort of the most cruel torment, [142] found comfort in converse with God, and prayed to him with all the more ardor because he found no other lenitive for his sufferings than in the thought of eternity and things celestial. Once when he was most deeply engaged in prayer, and was suffering intensely, two Angels appeared to him in the guise of Frenchmen, of comely appearance and all crowned with glory; and by their mere aspect they wrought such a soothing charm upon him as to put him to sleep, in order to show him wonders such as his [Page 53] mind, in bondage to the flesh and dependent on material visions, could not have conceived. In this rapture, rather than during his sleep, accordingly, he saw himself carried by those two Angels up to the top of a mountain, at whose foot there suddenly opened a vast abyss of fire, [143] with billows of flame that seemed bound to reach the clouds, so vast were they. There was nothing but boiling floods on every side, but all of fire, abysmal depths that lost themselves in other depths, and labyrinths involved in other labyrinths of burning sulphur, where he saw people in throngs — some, even, whom he knew — who, by the horrible contortions of their limbs, and by the gnashing of their teeth, showed plainly enough the excruciating torture that they were suffering. He distinguished very clearly, among all the others, a Huron who had been put to death a short time before by the Iroquois, and who in his lifetime had not been one of the most fervent in prayer. From the midst of the earthly flames he had not uttered more piercing cries than [144] those with which he now bewailed his fate, and deplored his remissness in listening to the word of God, to whom he had paid too little honor.

While this enraptured man was occupied with such direful spectacles, he was directed to turn his gaze aloft and feast his eyes on a more pleasing sight; and he did, indeed, see all Heaven as if disclosed to him, showing such charms that, he confesses, he has no words wherewith to describe them. One of his keenest delights, during all that pleasing vision, was to contemplate the upward flight of souls, in a beautiful halo of glory, to that abode of rapture; and among these souls he recognized five, whose [Page 55] earthly life had been above reproach, and who were worthy, he said, to be enrolled among the black Gowns. Thus do Innocence and Virtue [145] find a place in the forests of our Savages, as well as in the Cloisters of the Religious. We know not how long this good Huron’s happy transport continued, for he himself does not know, and found it only too short. But we do know that since that occurrence, ‘whatever it may have been, he sanctifies his bondage by unremitting prayer, ceases not to urge his fellow-captives to consecrate their sufferings, and, in a word, makes of his captivity an Academy of all the Virtues.

Of this man’s stamp was, beyond doubt, a poor Huron woman who, while a slave in Agnié some years ago, upon the coming of one of our Fathers to the village, did a thing the like of which can seldom be found [146] among the best Christians. Carried away by her fervor, she ran and plunged twice into the water, in very cold weather, in order to cross two rivers and hasten to kneel at the Father’s feet as soon as possible, for the sake of receiving the Sacrament of Penance, and of rejoicing with him at his coming. The Father, overjoyed, found in that barbarous country a Church in bondage, but fervent, and so constant in the Faith that secret Assemblies of Christians are held in some outlying cabin, removed from the noise and gaze of the Iroquois. There these good Hurons say their prayers together, exhort one another to guard their Faith more jealously than their lives, and give us some idea of those crypts and subterranean haunts which the primitive Church [147] made the depositories of the most sacred of our mysteries, when persecution forced it to confide them only to grottoes and caverns. [Page 57]

More than four hundred leagues from here, in our vast forests, the Angels have seen and admired a poor fugitive Church seeking some asylum after the Hurons’ destruction, in which it had lost everything but the Faith. A good Old man was the Shepherd of this wandering flock, and he led it a long distance, through many great forests, to some infidel Peoples called Rigueronnons, who seemed, from their remote situation, to be out of the Iroquois’ reach.[2] This Moses, this Leader of the little People of God, there discharged all the duties [148] of a Curate, with a fidelity fitted to ravish Heaven and all the Angels, who here beheld a Savage acting as Preacher, Bishop, and general Pastor of his Church. Gathering his people together every Sunday, he taught them to say their prayers, preached to them, and catechized them, — using reprimand toward some and gentler words with others, according to their several needs. But he did so with a zeal to which God had imparted such authority that these good people went to him in entire simplicity, and candidly told him all the sins they had committed during the week — just as they had been wont to do to their Confessor, before the Iroquois had smitten and slain the Shepherds and scattered all the Sheep.

[149] If this cruel enemy of the Faith did not check our progress and hem in our desires, we would find many other marvels in all these poor Churches, captive, wandering, or fugitive, which may well be called suffering Churches — or let us rather say, triumphant Churches, since Paradise is found in smoky cabins and in the depths of the woods. I mean to say, the joy wherewith God alleviates the afflictions of these poor Christians, and the sweets of [Page 59] devotion with which he seasons their hardships, make them triumph in their sufferings, and suffer as if they were triumphant.

But, although our enemies prevent our free passage in all directions for gathering fruit of such sweetness and ripeness, we have not failed, [150] despite all the Iroquois and all the Demons, to extend our Missions this year to the four quarters of this New World, and to go almost everywhere in search of these poor wandering sheep. Southward, Father Simon le Moine has gone to the country of those very Iroquois, perhaps to moisten with his blood those lands which we have bathed with our sweat. Westward, Father Rend Ménard is more than three hundred leagues from here, either dead or alive; for in the two years since he entered upon that great Harvest we have been unable to gain any tidings of him. It is enough that his life be offered up to all imaginable hardships, and death in a thousand shapes, for the salvation of those Infidels. Northward, the two Fathers whose journey we described in the [151] third Chapter, have pursued their end as far as famine and the Iroquois permitted. Eastward, a little to the North, Father Pierre Bailloquet has pushed on as far as the mouth of our river St. Lawrence, a hundred and sixty leagues from here, visiting seven or eight different Nations, — the Papinachiois, the Bersiamites, the Nation of the bare Mountains, the Oumamiouek, and others allied to these. There the Father was petitioned for baptism by some, who believed that they fully deserved that happiness for having of their own accord learned the prayers, with no Teacher but the Holy Ghost, through meeting with some Christian Savages; others presented him [Page 61] their children for holy Baptism at his hands, not deeming their own pious enough for that [152] sacred Office. Still others rekindled in their hearts the fire of devotion, which is extinguished not so much by the intensity of the cold and the abundance of snow, as by their exceeding remoteness from Churches and Pastors.

Eastward, again, a little to the South, Acadia enjoys the labors of Father André Richard, and has been sanctified by the death of Father Martin Lyonne, an event of such precious import that it may well form the conclusion of this Chapter.

He was the only Priest in the settlement called Chedabouctou, where the inroads of a certain contagious malady gave him abundant cause to exercise his zeal, and to aid the sick, the dying, and the dead, as he was entirely alone in that region, toiling [153] with all the pains of a fervent Missionary. The disease seemed to spare him, almost alone, while it was attacking all the others with the greatest fury. But, whether because it was impossible for such a contagion not to be communicated to one who was devoting himself, even beyond his strength, to those infected with it, or because it was God’s will to reward so many good services rendered to these sick ones, by sending the sickness itself, — for he has often given as recompense the glory of Martyrdom to those who made Martyrs by their exhortations, — however that may be, the Father was stricken with the disease. But, Providentially, he was the last one of all, in order that the glory he enjoyed in dying from this common ailment might not be gained at the cost of the salvation of the afflicted, and that he might render [154] the last offices to all his flock. [Page 63] before drawing his final breath. He was destined to consummate his Martyrdom of Charity neither earlier, because his glory would not have been quite complete; nor later, since, as he closed his eyes only after closing those of all the sick, it may be said that he terminated the malady, and that God called him to himself in order to crown his labors, there being no field left for the winning of new Crowns. At last, love of his neighbor caused him the stroke of death and of life, On being informed by a messenger that some one living at a little distance was attacked with the disease, he dropped everything and hastened to him. Crossing a frozen brook, the ice broke under his feet and he fell into the water, whence he emerged with a [155] part of his body all drenched and chilled. He continued on his way without changing his garments or drying them, succored his sick patient, comforted him, and put him in a good condition. Then the fever seized him; in two days an internal abscess, the result of overwork and insufficient nourishment, broke, and he was borne to his resting — place, January the sixteenth, in this year, one thousand six hundred and sixty-one. [Page 65]




S the last Vessel which this year came to anchor in our roadstead was about to set sail, and we were saying our last Farewells, there appeared [156] a Canoe coming from the upper countries, and hastening as swiftly as paddles could propel it, to bring us tidings of Father Simon le Moine, and all that had occurred at Onnontagué in regard to the liberation of the French Captives, for whom, in part, he had undertaken that perilous journey.

At this news, which we were ceasing to hope for, we can exclaim with the Prophet that God, who made a World to arise out of the depths of nothingness, still daily derives life from the bosom of death, since he has revived our hopes when we were regarding them as most drooping.

Not only is the Father alive; not only has he procured at once life and liberty for a number of poor Frenchmen; not only [157] do a large part of the Iroquois seem to throw themselves at our feet, deeming themselves obliged to implore our aid against the powerful enemies God has raised up against them; but added to all this is the renewed opening of those fine Iroquois Missions. The gateway seems more spacious than ever; and the only farther need is for Laborers, to go at the earliest moment and gather in the fruits of those fair domains that have been moistened with so much innocent blood, and [Page 67] consecrated by the sweat of the Gospel Laborers who bestowed the first pains on the culture of that Vine. The shortness of the time remaining before the sailing of the Vessel prevents us from putting in order all the notes we have just received; but perhaps confusion will not be displeasing, and the reader [158] will take pleasure in seeing, in various fragments of Letters, how Providence has wrought to give us more than we hoped for.





From the Chapel of Onnontagué, this twenty-

fifth of August, and seventh of September,

one thousand six hundred and sixty-one,



Pax Christi.

It was thought at Kebec that the whole case was desperate, and I was privately told, when on the point of [159) stepping into the boat: “There is nothing else to be done.” And yet here are two Missions stretching out their arms to us, one here and the other at Sonnontouan — so true is it that God is managing our affairs, which are to be none other than his own; and this I clearly recognized through — out my journey, the successive events of which I will now relate.

On the day following our departure from Montreal, which was the twenty-first of July of this year, one thousand six hundred and sixty-one, we encountered an Agnieronnon Canoe lying in wait for us, and on [Page 69] the point of defeating one of our own Canoes, which by good luck began to raise a shout. We halted there until evening, to avert this storm from our lands, — they at first receiving our presents, but finally returning them to us [160] with a promise to raise the hatchet only against their old-time enemies.

Three days afterward, when we had crossed the rapids, twenty-four warriors from Onneiout in three Canoes, having discovered us in the evening, advanced upon us during all the ensuing night. Toward Reveille, they charged us, weapons in hand, and also carrying manacles, thinking to make us prisoners. But perceiving their mistake, the most brazen-faced came pressing around me, armed with hatchets and knives with which they made as if they would cut my throat. This compelled our Ambassadors to parley with them, and give them two porcelain collars, in order to avert their hatchets from my head, and from those of the French at Montreal and other settlements. [161] They at first promised not to proceed farther; but their Chief came and woke me in the night to tell my escort that he brought them back their gifts and to give them to understand, with a little present of porcelain, that he was going to prosecute the war against his ancient foes. On the Ontario, the great Lake of the Iroquois, we met three Canoes from Onneiout on their way (as their occupants said) to fight against the Nez-percez. They told our men, by way of news, that the Andastogueronnons (Savages dwelling near new Sweden) had recently killed in their fields three of their Oiogouenronnons.

At Otiatanhegue, the first landing — place, we slept with a Canoe — full of Onnontagueronnons, [162] eight [Page 71] or ten men in number. They were about to follow thirty more of their countrymen on a hostile expedition led by Otreouati, who was going to Montreal to avenge the insult he believed he had received in having been detained there in prison.

Here I received the first polite attentions from these people, who fairly surrounded me with great kettles full of sagamité of all kinds.

Two leagues from the village we met a Captain named Garacontie, the man with whom our Fathers and I have lodged every time we have visited this country. He is a man of excellent intelligence, of a good disposition, and fond of the French, of whom he has gathered as many as twenty in his village — rescuing them, some from the [163] fires of the Agnieronnons and others from captivity; so that they regard him as their Father, their Protector, and their sole refuge in this barbarous land. He has, indeed, undertaken the liberation of all those poor French Captives, and is maintaining peace between his Nation and ours. Therefore he came out two leagues to meet me, accompanied by four or five other elders — an honor never, as a rule, paid to other Ambassadors, to meet whom they deem it sufficient to go scarcely an eighth of a league outside of their village. Thenceforward there was nothing but a running back and forth of the common people, who lined that entire route of two leagues and devoured me with their eyes, never satisfied with [164] gazing at me. Each strove to secure the best place for seeing me pass, and they made it a matter of rivalry who should clean the paths, who should bring me the most fruit of all kinds, who should give me the most greetings, and who should shout loudest in sign of rejoicing. [Page 73] They waited for me, as far as they could see me, and measured me from head to foot, but with gracious and entirely affectionate looks; and, as soon as I had passed, those who had seen me left their posts to run far ahead, and again secure places for watching me go by, repeating this twice, thrice, and even ten times. In this manner I proceeded gravely between two rows of people, who gave me a thousand blessings and loaded me with all sorts of fruit, with squashes, blackberries, loaves of bread, [165] strawberries, and other things. I gave my cry of Ambassador as I walked; and, seeing that I was near the village, — which was almost hidden from my view, so covered with people were the palisades, cabins, and trees, — I halted before taking the first step that should introduce me into the hamlet; then, after briefly expressing my thanks for this kind reception, I continued on my way and resumed my cry.

My host Garacontie, prouder than I of this splendid reception, wished to conciliate the men of his Nation, who might have felt jealous at having no share in procuring this new peace. To that end he led me directly into their cabins, and not into his own, in order to give them first the [166] honor of lodging me, and to remove all cause for envy on their part at the happiness which he was to enjoy in being my host.

Meanwhile, he prepared in his own cabin a Chapel, which he erected without cut stones or carpentry work. Our Lord, who consents to be embodied under the form of bread, does not disdain to lodge under a bark roof; and the wood of our forests is not less precious in his eyes than the Cedars of Lebanon, since he makes Paradise wherever he is. Our Garacontie thought he could do nothing that would please [Page 75] me more; and indeed I leave the reader to judge what a consolation it was for me and our poor captive Frenchmen, as well as for many old-time Huron Christians, to find ourselves all assembled [167] in the heart of this barbarous land, to pay our devotions and celebrate the most August of our Mysteries.

By a happy chance I here found opportunity to address the five Iroquois Nations, whom God doubtless had gathered together, in the persons of their deputies, to hear the message of salvation which I brought them from him.

On the twelfth of August, all the Elders being convoked in Council by the ringing of a bell, the deputies were exhorted to give me their attention — the summons being shouted through the village, and all taking their places in the cabin where I am lodged, which is one of the largest in the place.

To open the Council, I offered a prayer, with most of our Frenchmen, and then addressed the whole Assembly, partly in their own tongue, [168] partly in Huron: “To thee, 0 Onnontagueronnon, I address these four words.

“ First, thy Son, the Oiogouenronnon, told me that he was deputed by thee to reunite our two heads — namely, that of Onontio and that of Sagochiendaguete;” or, in other words, to make peace between the Frenchman and the Onnontagueronnon. “Is it not so?” They answered me that it was so, and I made my present.

“ Secondly, he further assured me that he was commissioned to tell me that, as soon as I should restore thy children, the Oiogouenronnons who were prisoners at Montreal, thou wouldst likewise return mine, the Frenchmen whom thou holdest here in. [Page 77] captivity. Wilt thou do it?” “Yes,” was the answer, and I made a second present.

[169] “In the third place, thou hast further informed me that thou didst place at my disposal the bones of thy dead, to bury them so deep in the earth that the memory of them should be forever lost. To thee, in return, I present the bones of my nephews slain in the last wars, that thou mayst bury them in the same grave with those of thine own, so that no further mention may be made of either. Dost thou approve?" “Yes.”

“ And thou, Sonnontouaerqnnon, is it true, as thou hast informed me through these same Oiogouenronnon Ambassadors, that thou didst wish to participate in and go on an Embassy to Onontio, to ask him for some of his nephews, who should go and lodge with thee in token of perfect reconciliation? [170] Art thou thus minded?” He answered me, “Yes,” and I gave him a beautiful collar.

“ As for the Agnieronnon,” I added, “he is still determined to play the ill-disposed and the haughty. I do not address him publicly, for he speaks in secret and makes underhand presents to secure my assassination; but he will find some one to speak to.” After presenting these five words, with the customary gifts, I tried to speak to them, with all the eloquence at my command, concerning Paradise, Hell, the Son of God, and the other mysteries of our Religion. They heard me with respect and attention. The Address concluded, the assembly adjourned, after the usual ceremonies and the exchange of compliments commonly made [171] at these Councils.

Some days later, the Elders were again convoked, and I was informed: [Page 79]

First, that seven French prisoners at Onnontagué and two at Oiogouen were released; but that the others would remain with me during the Winter, — their detention being, for reasons of State, still thought necessary.

Secondly, that our host Garacontie would himself conduct these nine Frenchmen back to Montreal, and would be declared the Chief of the Embassy they were preparing to send to Onnontio.

In the third place, that the Sonnontouaeronnon would be of the party and would come, in ten or twelve days, to join the Ambassadors [172] from Onnontagué, in order to proceed all together to the French. Although this was a morsel hard enough for me to digest, — to see half of our Frenchmen detained, — still I was forced to pass it over, after using all the urgency and even menaces at my command. I consoled myself with the promise that was given me, that they should be taken home next Spring.

There were nine, then, who met with good fortune, and who started joyfully on their way under our Garacontie’s escort; while the others, to the number of ten, remain in tolerable content to finish their Purgatory here, as long as God shall choose. They turn their hardships to good account for eternity; their fetters bind them [173] firmly to virtue, and they make public profession, despite their servitude, of living in the liberty of God’s Children. One of them manifested this not long ago, when, upon being tempted to evil by a shameless woman, he not only rebuffed her, but also cast her from him, from the roof of the cabin, showing a boldness that indicated nothing of the captive. The others also strive to sanctify their slavery, and some of them have had [Page 81] the good fortune to send a number of little children to Paradise by administering holy Baptism to these before their deaths. Their diligence in coming to prayers is a powerful spur to my own remissness; and although I were here but to confer the Sacraments upon them, I would count myself only too well employed.

[174] The French prisoners among the Agnieronnons are not less virtuous, but more wretched. I append some Letters that I have received from them, from which the reader will judge of their hard lot and of their virtue.

The first are from a youth of family, who was captured this Summer at Three Rivers. He is of comely appearance, and delicate, and was the sole delight of his mother, to whom he also writes, His name is François Hertel.[3] His words, then, are as follows:






On the very day when you departed from Three Rivers, I was captured, toward three o’clock in the afternoon, by four of the lower Iroquois. The reason why, to my misfortune, I did not make them kill me was that I feared I was not well prepared to die. My Father, if you should come hither, and if I could thus have the happiness to confess, I believe that you would receive no injury; and I believe that I could go back with you if you could come. I pray you, take pity on my [176] poor Mother in her great affliction. Yea know, my Father, the love she bears [Page 83] me. From a Frenchman captured at Three Rivers on the first day of August, I have learned that she is well, and that she takes comfort in the thought that I shall be near you. There are three of us Frenchmen alive here. I commend myself to your good prayers, especially to the holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and pray you, my Father, to say a Mass for me. I beg you to pay my respects to my poor Mother and to comfort her, if you please.

And farther down:

“ My Father, I pray you, bless the hand that writes to you, which has had one finger burnt in a Calumet as reparation to the [177] Majesty of God, whom I have offended. The other hand has a thumb cut off, — but do not tell my poor Mother.

“ My Father, I beg you to honor me with a brief word from your hand, and to tell me whether you will come before Winter.

“Your very humble and

very obedient servant,

“François Hertel."




I pray you to do me the honor to write me in reply, and to give the Letter to him who will hand you [178] this one. Let me know whether you will come before Winter. I have had the consolation of finding one of your Breviaries here, and it serves me in my prayers. Inform me, if you please, when you can be here. I pray you, pay my respects to all the [Page 85] Reverend Fathers at Three Rivers and at Kebec, whom I beg to remember me at the holy Sacrifice of the Mass — and you especially, until I have the happiness to see you again. I remain,

My Father,

Your Servant,

François Hertel.



Y very dear and honored Mother,

I well know my capture must have greatly afflicted you. I ask your forgiveness for having disobeyed you. My sins have brought me to my present condition. Your prayers, and Monsieur de St. Quentin’s[4] and my sisters’, have restored me to life. I hope to see you again before Winter. I beg you to ask the good Brethren of Nostre Dame to pray to God and the blessed Virgin for me, my dear Mother, and do you also, and all my sisters. From

Your poor Fanchon.

[180] I add another Letter which will give us information well worth knowing in regard to the Agnieronnon Yroquois. The ingenuousness with which it is written makes us the less doubtful of the truth of its contents.







I have scarcely any fingers left, so do not be surprised that I write so badly. I have suffered [Page 87] much since my capture, but I have also prayed much. There are three of us Frenchmen here who were tortured in company. We had [181] agreed that, while one of the three was being tortured, the other two should pray for him — which we never failed to ’ do; and we had also agreed that, while the two were praying, the one under torture should chant the Litany of the blessed Virgin, or else the Ave Maris stella, or the Pange Lingua — which was done. It is true, our Iroquois scoffed and hooted in great derision upon hearing us sing in this manner; but that did not prevent us from doing it.

They made us dance around a great fire, in order to make us fall into it, they standing about the fire, to the number of forty and more, and kicking us violently from one to another, like [182] the ball in a game of tennis; and, after giving us a severe burning, they put us out in the rain and cold. I never suffered such severe pain, and yet they did nothing but laugh. We pray to God with good courage; and, if you ask me whether I did not lose my patience, and wish ill to the Iroquois who were so maltreating us, I shall answer you, “No,” and that, on the contrary, I prayed for them.

I must give you tidings of Pierre Rencontre, whom you knew well. He died like a Saint. I saw him while he was being tortured, and he never said aught but these words:” My God, take pity on me,” — which he repeated continually until he ceased to breathe.

[183] Did you know Louys Guimont,[5] who was captured this Summer? He was beaten to death with clubs and iron rods, receiving so many blows in succession that he perished under them. But yet he [Page 89] did nothing but pray to God, so that the Iroquois, enraged at seeing him constantly moving his lips in prayer, cut away his upper and lower lips entirely. What a horrible sight! And still he ceased not to pray, which so irritated the Iroquois that they tore his heart, still throbbing with life, out of his breast and threw it in his face.

As for Monsieur Hebert, who was wounded with a musket-ball in the shoulder and arm, he was given to the Iroquois of Onneiout, and was there stabbed with knives [184] by some drunken men of the country. As for little Antoine de la Meslée, that poor child moved my compassion deeply; for he had become the servant of these barbarians, and then they killed him too with the knife, when out Hunting.[6]

There are yet many more Frenchmen in bondage, but I write you nothing about them, for I would never finish, — they arrive here almost every day, — and then my fingers give me much pain. We are indeed a pitiful sight to behold, we who are alive; for they think more of their dogs than of us, and we are glad sometimes to eat the scraps left by the dogs. On our way hither, although we all had our feet raw with wounds, our captors nevertheless made us walk bare-foot, and loaded us with their entire [185] luggage, — hastening our steps with blows from sticks, as one would drive a horse. Whenever they met any of their own people, they would pull out some of our finger-nails before their eyes, in order to welcome them; but we always prayed to God, and always those barbarians jeered at us. Pray heartily for me, for I sadly need your prayers. Father le Moine is said to be at Onnontagué for the purpose of making peace [Page 91] but he will never make peace with the Iroquois of this country; for they say they will not have it, and they regard the French as dogs. Still, one would never believe how few they are — they have at no time amounted to two hundred men, all told, in the country; while their three villages have no palisades, except here and there some [186] stakes as large as one’s leg, through which one can easily pass. If Father le Moine could deliver me from this place, he would do me a great charity; and the same can be said of the other Frenchmen here, for we are indeed wretched and worthy of compassion. The Dutch are no longer willing to secure our freedom, as it costs them too dearly; on the contrary, they tell the Iroquois to cut off our arms and legs, and kill us where they find us, without burdening themselves with us. I commend myself to your kind prayers and to those of all our good friends. In saying this last Farewell to them, I cannot refrain from weeping bitterly; for I know not what will become of me.

Happily, the writer of the above Letter was himself its Bearer; [187] and he recognized the blessed Virgin as his Deliverer, to whose service he had pledged himself by a vow of exceptional solemnity. It was through Garacontie that he was rescued from the Agnieronnons’ hands and restored to our own, and he is unremitting in his Praise of that obliging Barbarian, and in his rehearsal to every one of his misfortunes and his deliverance. But let us see the success of the Embassy to the French, undertaken by Garacontie with the Sonnontouaeronnons.

They embarked at Onnontagué toward the middle of September, full of joy — especially the nine. [Page 93] Frenchmen whom they were taking home, who at the very outset began to breathe a freer atmosphere, almost forgetting the hardships of their [188] captivity; when lo! they encountered a band of Onnontagueronnon warriors who were bearing home some French scalps. One of the party was arrayed in a black Gown, of which he made a great parade, glorying in its possession as if it had been an illustrious trophy. At this sight our Frenchmen, as if struck by a thunderbolt, saw all their hopes defeated, especially as they knew that the wearer of that cassock was a Captain of importance, Otreouati by name, who had been held in irons at Montreal two years before, and upon escaping had determined to take revenge for his imprisonment by the death of some Frenchmen of rank — as in truth he had done by the murder of Monsieur [189] le Maistre, Priest, in whose costume he had attired himself, as we related in the first Chapter. The Ambassadors were not less surprised at this meeting than the French. A halt was called, council upon council was held, and deliberations went on day and night. “With what safety,” asked the Sonnontouaeronnons, “can we go to Montreal, where the blood of a black Gown, but recently shed, threatens us only with irons and imprisonment?” The Ambassadors from Onnontagué had much more cause for alarm, as they were more culpable, men of their own Nation being the murderers. Both parties began to play sick, in order to be relieved of so dangerous an Embassy. It would have been sport for our Frenchmen to see those long-faced [190] make-believes, had they themselves not been seized with genuine heaviness of heart; and they may be said to have become veritably ill on beholding that feigned [Page 95] illness, which threatened to consign them once more to a painful captivity, and perhaps to the necessity of dying for the ailments of others.

Nevertheless Garacontie, Chief of the Embassy, determined to go on, being fully convinced that the French who were left at Onnontagué with Father le Moine were a sufficient surety for the safety of his own life, especially as he was about to set nine Frenchmen free. Witnessing his determination, our Captives were filled with as much joy as if they had escaped from a shipwreck or risen from the grave. This joy soon subsided [191] at sight of another band of Warriors from Onneiout, who were going on a fresh expedition against our settlements. Garacontie, in much perplexity, tried to ward off this blow, rightly judging that the peace he was about to offer the French would be ill received if it were mingled with the blood of this new war. Therefore, by means of presents, he turned these warriors’ hatchets in another direction; and at last, having made a clear passage through the band, arrived on the fifth of October at Montreal. There the joy was great at seeing nine Frenchmen escaped from the flames, and they were received as men risen from the dead.

They proceeded at once to the Church, to thank the Author of their deliverance, and to avow at the foot of the [192] Altar that, next to God, they were indebted to the blessed Virgin for their lives, and that the vows they had made to her — either to fast every Saturday, or to recite certain prayers to her every day, or to imitate her purity by the vow of chastity — had wrought miracles for their preservation [Page 97]

After the interchange of embraces and kisses, bedewed with tears of joy, they recounted all their adventures, which would be well worth hearing if we had as much time to write them as they have desire to relate them to us. Least of all could they keep silence in respect to the kind treatment they had received from the Onnontagueronnons, but recounted with pleasure all the endearments that had been lavished on them, all the feasts [193] to which they had been invited, the joy felt at seeing them, and the Charity shown them in clothing them well, lodging them comfortably, and furnishing them every kind of convenience possible to savage life. What they prized above all was, that they were free to assemble every day in a cabin which they converted into a Chapel. There they were wont at times to exhort one another to fear God and continue in innocence, since they had no Priest to hear their confessions; again they would recite their prayers, not merely as individuals, but all together and aloud: and at other times still they would make the village reëcho with the Canticles of the Church and the Litany of the Virgin, which they sang to the [194] admiration of the people. All this, too, took place amid a silence and calm as marked as if they had been in the midst of Kebec. Often they would find their number increased by several Savages, and especially by some Huron families who, following their example, formed 2 second Choir of Music, very melodious and acceptable to the ears of God, who received vows and prayers in several very different languages at the same time.

The soul of all this was Garacontie, who rescued from the Agnieronnons and other Iroquois all the [Page 99] French Captives he could, gathering as many as twenty of them into his village, where they enjoyed entire freedom in living as good Christians. He even made [195] them feel the sacredness of the Sunday Festival by some unusual attention, and by certain little feasts to which he invited them, for the purpose of adding to the solemnity of the day by so charitable a ceremony. So he is commonly called the Father of the French; and the latter did not fail, on his arrival at Montreal, to offer him like attentions. They carried their kindness so far, upon his departure, that every one, even to the very children, made him some present; he was delighted to receive from the latter handfuls of meal or ears of Indian corn, with which these little innocents loaded themselves, in order to load his Canoe. He was saluted, upon reëmbarking, by a general discharge of muskets which were fired from every side, no longer to kill [196] the Iroquois, but to honor him — even the cannon celebrating the departure of him against whom it had until then been aimed.

But let us consider in a few words the motive of his Embassy and the purpose of thirteen fine presents, of which he made a splendid display. But, however rich they may have been, they were not so precious to us as were the nine Frenchmen whose bonds he broke in offering a handsome porcelain collar, with the assurance that in the following Spring we should see him again, with the ten Frenchmen left at Onnontagué With a second present, he declared that he had reserved them to ennoble the Embassy on which he purposed to come, he and the Sonnontouaeronnon, — to conclude, all together, a firm peace with us, — leaving out the Agnieronnon, [197] who was[Page 101] absolutely determined upon war, and resolved to conquer or perish.

With another collar, he presented us the keys to his own village and to those of Oiogoen and Sonnontouan, that we might enter there in perfect safety for the purpose of proclaiming the Faith, and restoring the ruins of the Churches overthrown by the misfortunes of the period.

With another he invited the French to come and dwell with him in large numbers, in order to form but one people of French and Iroquois; cause only one Religion to hold sway on the Ontario, and on our great river; and unite anew, in a genuine alliance, France and America. Such, in substance, were the purposes of his Embassy. Next Spring [198] will give us more light on this subject. We do not lightly believe, although we gladly listen to, these words of peace, that beautiful term being so pleasing that it cannot fail to give us joy even when proceeding from the mouths of knaves and of our foes. It is true, if we consider only the past, that we have everything to fear for the future. For we have not yet forgotten the tragic deed they wrought upon our poor Hurons, uniting perfidy with cruelty, and slaughtering the Sheep in the very arms of the Shepherd. We well remember the secret councils that planned our death in Onnontagué, when we were settled among them, and that forced us to flee, in order not to become responsible for the death [199] of some fifty Frenchmen, who had entrusted their lives to us. We know that the Onnontagueronnon has always had the reputation of being a knave, as the Agnieronnon of being a cruel monster; and that these two characteristics are scarcely ever lost except [Page 103] with life itself. We see almost the same proceedings, enacted by the same persons, as four years ago, when we were so solemnly deceived. We know also that, at the very time Father le Moine was on his way up from Montreal to Onnontagué, a band of Warriors were on their way down from Onnontagué to Montreal, where they sacrificed a Priest to their fury, while a Father was offering himself in their country as a sacrifice to their caprice. Finally, we are well aware that for nine Oiogouenronnon captives restored by us, [200] nine Frenchmen are returned to us; but the retention of ten in captivity still causes us fear of some plot, which may be formed without our knowledge, but not without our suspicion.

After all, God is the Master of hearts, and can plant sincerity in them in place of subtlety, and cause deceit to give way to truth. The Iroquois have ever been deceivers, but can they not cease to be such? They have always plotted our ruin; but perhaps now they have so great a fear of their own destruction as to find their preservation in our own safety, and have perhaps enemies so powerful that they are glad to have us for friends.

Be that as it may, our Missionaries [201] have exposed themselves with happy results for the saving of their souls; these risks are eagerly sought, and cause the gaining of the port in shipwreck, and the finding of life in death.

But, before concluding, let us once more take a view of so many unexpected incidents, and make the following reflections.

First: of two thousand Iroquois, or thereabout, which is their total number, we see fifteen or sixteen hundred laying down their arms, either permanently [Page 105] or at least for a time. Meanwhile, we have on our hands only four or five hundred, who themselves have to deal with three different Nations, — the Abnaquiois, the Mahingans, and the so-called ‘I people of the East,”[7] — against whom they resume hostilities afresh, being so [202] haughty that they do not think us worthy of reckoning in the number of their foes.

Second: we doubt not it is a stroke of Heaven that has, very seasonably, caused a diversion of forces and roused up in our behalf the Andastogueronnons, Savages of warlike spirit and ever held in dread by the upper Iroquois, against whom war is kindling in such strength that we have now against us only the Agnieronnons and Onneioutronnons, who form but the smaller part of the Iroquois.

Third: this smaller part of the Iroquois is yet most dreaded by us, for it alone has committed nearly all the ravages from which we have suffered this year. It was [203] the Agnieronnons who filled with fire and bloodshed the neighborhood of Kebec; they have made a desert of Tadoussac; they have left their taint in the entire Island of Orleans, having massacred there, in particular, Monsieur the Seneschal Delauson and his brave Companions; they have made Three Rivers mourn, having mingled the tears of poor mothers with the blood of their children, whom they either slew or carried away; and then they pushed their victories and ravages as far as Montreal, and loaded the scaffolds at Agnié with more French Captives than had ever appeared there before. All this, too, has been accomplished in less than four months by a band or two of these lower Iroquois; and they will henceforth play a successful game in cutting us off from all communication [204] with the [Page 107] Upper Iroquois, and in preventing our enjoyment of the fruits of the peace which now presents itself, if they are not checked by some powerful hand.

Fourth: the hour seems to have come when God imposes upon us the happy necessity of overthrowing, this time, that Nation which is so persistent in attempting our ruin. Our lives have been hitherto preserved only by a miracle, so to speak, and our exertions have resembled nothing so much as those of a dying man, — symptoms of death rather than marks of health. Until now we have languished and seen ourselves dying piecemeal, in the same ratio as our foes have grown strong on our weakness and fat on our blood. But — since one portion of them have so formidable a war [205] on their hands with New Sweden, which is forcing them to seek an asylum with us almost at the same time that they are driving us to seek one in the remotest grottoes and rocks; while the other portion are offering us their protection and their country together — so few of them are left that we shall be no longer excusable either before God, whose glory is so intimately concerned in the matter, or before men, who have so long been sighing for this change of fortune, if we do not urge forward in the strongest manner the succor we are expecting from France; that shall extract from our foot this thorn, which is checking the progress of the Faith and the establishment of the Colony.

Fifth: if we are not succored now at [206] so favorable a juncture, the enemy will be able to rally, and then destroy us, root and branch. It is easier to cure a sick man than to revive a dead one. If we conquer this little handful of arrogant men, we shall [Page 109] make ourselves Masters of all the other Surrounding Nations, who will fear their own fall after the over-throw of this Colossus, and will deem themselves unable to resist the arms that will have secured submission from that Nation before whom all the other tribes are wont to bow. The Onnontagueronnons will tremble, and receive from US such Laws as we shall choose to prescribe, whether in respect to OUT settlement in their country, or in regard to their dealings with us. The Oiogouenronnons will not dare to stir in this reversal [207] of fortune, for they were moderate enough in their attitude toward us even when the Agnieronnons were inciting them against us. The Sonnontouaeronnons, who carry their Beaver-skins to the Dutch with great inconvenience and by long and perilous routes, — the Andastogueronnons laying ambuscades for them at every step, and forcing them at present to form Caravans of six hundred men when they go to do their trading, — these people [I say) will be glad to be spared all those difficulties and to avoid all those dangers, by being enabled to visit us in Canoes, and enrich our Frenchmen with the spoils of their chase captured above Montreal. They will be delighted to be able to return hence by water, laden with [208] goods for which they are now forced to go a great distance, on foot, to the country of the Dutch.

The sixth reflection is that not only shall we render our America French, but we shall also make it wholly Christian, and shall form a Sanctuary out of a vast solitude, where the divine Majesty will find worshipers of every Tongue and Nation. We shall no longer make our way over precipices and by yawning chasms to visit the Kilistinons, since the direct and easy routes [Page 111] will be open to us. We shall seek the upper Algonquins at our ease, and without fear of being either pursued or delayed in our course by the Iroquois, We shall be able to penetrate to those [209] remotest parts of the West where we shall find Idolatry to combat, raising up Christianity in its place. We shall visit fugitive Churches, stray sheep, new peoples, and Nations that are calling US from four and five hundred leagues’ distance, to let them see the first rays of the Sun of Righteousness, which has not yet risen over the heads of all these Peoples of the West. But all this depends upon a little handful of Agnieronnons, whose sacrifice at the hands of France, as being the sacrifice of irreconcilable enemies of the Faith and of the French, seems now to be the will of divine Justice.

The last reflection is, that with the opening of next Spring, one thousand six hundred and sixty-two, we fully hope to undertake in good [210] earnest, among the upper Iroquois, at least two fine Missions — one to the Onnontagueronnons, in which Father le Moine will employ his winter campaign in advance, and one to the Sonnontouaeronnons, which will give us several villages to cultivate, especially that of St. Michel, composed entirely of Christian Hurons who carried their Faith with their Colony to their Conquerors’ country, after the destruction of their own. These two Missions alone call for many more Missionaries than our present number here; and, if we could divide ourselves in pieces, we should find ample employment in many different places at the same time. We shall divide the field of labor among ourselves, so far as we can, until [211] these fine openings bring us the succor of Apostolic men from [Page 113] France; while our good King, most pious, powerful, and generous, will send over the necessary force of soldiers for setting free the French Colony, and a vast number of Nations who are not followers of Jesus Christ because they cannot receive, and dare not seek, the Gospel Preachers whom his Majesty has despatched to this New World. At length, this last war will plant Peace and the Lilies in all our forests, to make Cities of them if it be desired, and to convert a land of Savages into one of Conquest for Jesus Christ and for France.

Those who have at heart the conversion [212] of the Peoples of New France will be pleased to learn that, since this Relation was carried to the Ship which was about to weigh anchor and return to France, there has arrived at Kebec a Canoe with news from Father René Ménard, of whom mention was made above in the third and sixth Chapters. The Master and Guide of this Canoe is the son of the host with whom the Father lodges. He tells us that the Father is in good health, and will return in the Spring well attended; and the Father’s Letters say that he has discovered many very populous Nations, and that the harvest is abundant, but the Laborers all too few. In short, the cry is raised on every hand, “Send aid; save bodies and souls; destroy the Iroquois, and you [213] will plant the Faith throughout a territory of more than eight hundred leagues in extent.” Next year, we shall learn particulars of the journey of the Father, who is alone amid many Villages and Peoples whose wants he cannot meet.


[Page 115]

Table of the Chapters contained in this Book.

Chap. I.

Chap. II.


HE Iroquois war fiercer than ever.

Peace Parley with certain Iroquois.





Section I.

The Mission to the Iroquois renewed.



Section II.

Fortunes of the Iroquois Mission.


Chap. III

New Mission, named for saint Francis Xavier, to the Kilistinons toward the North Sea.




Letter written to Reverend Father Hierosme Lallemant, Superior of the Missions of the Society of Jesus in New France.




Section I.

Journal of the first Journey made to the North Sea.



Section II.

Dangers on the way to the North Sea.


Chap. IV

The remarkable experience which befell a Frenchman at Kebec.



Chap. V.

Wonderful flight of a Frenchman escaping from the clutches of the Iroquois.



Chap. VI

Other events which befell certain Frenchmen and Savages in captivity.



Chap. the last.

Latest news from the Iroquois.



Letter from Father Simon le Moine, written to Reverend Father Hierosme Lallemant, Superior of the Missions of the Society of Jesus in New France.





Copy of two Letters written at Agnié, upon bark, to Father le Moine who was at Onnontagué? [Page 117]




Another from the same, on a piece of gunpowder wrapping-paper.




That which he wrote to his Mother.



Letter from a Frenchman in captivity among the Agnieronnons, to a Friend of his at Three Rivers. [Page 119]






Extract from the Royal License.


Y the Grace and License of the King, permission is granted to Sebastien Cramoisy, Bookseller under Oath in the University of Paris, Printer in ordinary to the King and Queen, Director of the Royal Printing House of the Louvre, and Citizen and former Alderman of this city of Paris, to Print or be Printed, sold, and retailed a book entitled: Relation de ce qui s’est passé en la Mission des Péres de la Compagnie de Jesus, aux païs de la Nouvelle France depuis l'Esté de l'année 1660. Jusquies à l'Esté de année 1661; And that during the time and period of ten consecutive years, forbidding, under the penalties provided by the said License, all Booksellers, Printers and others, to print or cause to be printed the said Book, under pretext of any disguise or change that they may make therein. Given at Paris, January 23, 1662.

Signed, by the King in his Council,


[Page 121]

Permission of the Reverend Father Provincial.


E, André Castillon, Provincial of the Society of Jesus in the Province of France, have granted for the future to sieur Sebastien Cramoisy, Bookseller, Printer in ordinary to the King and Queen, Director of the Royal Printing house of the Louvre, Citizen and former Alderman of this city of Paris, the right to print the Relation de ce qui s’est passé en la Mission des Péres de la Compagnie de Jesus, aux païs de la Nouvelle France, etc. Done at Paris, this 20th of January, 1662.

André Castillon

[Page 123]


Relation Of 1661-62




Source: We follow a copy of the original Cramoisy, in Lenox Library

[Page 125]





Of the Society of Jesus,



IN THE YEARS 1661 AND 1662

Sent to the REVEREND FATHER André Castillon,

PROVINCIAL of the Province of France.

P A R I S.

Sebastien Cramoisy And Sebastien

Mabre-Cramoisy, Printer in ordinary

to the King and Queen, ruë st. Jacques,

at the Sign of the Storks.




[Page 129]

Relation of what occurred in the Mission of the

Fathers of the Society of Jesus in the

country of New France, from the

Summer of the year 1661 to the

Summer of the year 1662.



                                  Pax Christi.

Scarcely any blessing is conferred in the Church except by the sign of the Cross. If this sign is the symbol of Messing and of salvation, we are rich; for we have Crosses on every hand. The hardest and heaviest comes to us from the Iroquois, who are constantly killing and slaughtering us, incessantly destroying our Allies, and everywhere closing the door to the Gospel. We have learned with joy that it is the King’s will to remove these obstacles, and give our Missionaries liberty to carry Jesus Christ into all these vast regions. May God bless him and all the Royal House forever The surest means to strengthen his own Kingdom effectually is to establish that of Jesus Christ. We hear by letter that his Majesty has made a beginning this year by sending two vessels for this purpose; but they set sail so late that they have not yet made their appearance, although we are already well along in the month of September; and this causes us apprehension and the fear of some mishap. May it please our Lord to avert such a blow and, as he has crowned our Great Prince with so much glory, to cause him to bear the name of Conqueror in America as well as in Europe, honoring him with the conquest of souls, together with that of Cities and [Page 131] Provinces. His earthly victories bring him credit on earth; his victories in heaven’s cause will redound to his honor in heaven. Thither must his thoughts turn, and thither are directed our prayers and vows for his Majesty, and for the peace of these poor afflicted Churches. To these prayers we implore you, My Reverend Father, to add the succor of your own and of those of add our Fathers and Brethren in your Province.

Your Reverence’s


Very humble and obedient

Kebec, this 18th

servant in Our Lord,

of September, 1662.

Hierosme Lalemant

[Page 135]

Table of the Chapters contained in this Book.

Chap. I

Chap. II.


IVERS Iroquois wars.

Some murders of importance committed by the Iroquois.





Chap. III.

Father Pierre Bailloquet’s wintering with the Montagnais and Algonquins.



Chap. IV.

Father Simon le Moyne’s wintering in the country of the Upper Iroquois.



Chap. V.

Father Simon le Moine’s return from the Iroquois country.



Chap. VI.

The liberation of eighteen French Captives.



Chap. VII

Concerning certain murders committed by the Savages of Gaspé—among the Savages known as the Papinachiouetkhi.

















[Page 135]

Extract from the Royal License.


Y the Grace and License of the King, permission is granted to Sebastien Cramoisy, Printer in ordinary to his Majesty, Director of the Royal Printing House in the castle of the Louvre, and Citizen and former Alderman and Judge-Council of this city of Paris, to Print or cause to be Printed a book entitled: Relation de ce qui s’est passé en la Mission des Péres de la Compagnie de Jesus, au païs de la Nouvelle France és l'années 1661 et 1662. And that during the time and period of ten consecutive years; forbidding all Booksellers, Printers and others, under the penalties provided by the said License, to print or cause to be printed the said Book, under pretext of any disguise or change that they may make therein. Given at Paris, December the eighteenth, 1662.

Signed, by the King in his Council,


[Page 137]
[1] Relation of what occurred in the Mission of

the Fathers of the Society of Jesus in the

country of New France, from the

Summer of the year 1661 to the

Summer of the year 1662.




NE of the Ancients has well said that Fortune is ambitious, seeking only noble prey; and that her designs are much [2] oftener against stately Edifices than against rustic Cabins which, by their lowliness, are defended against this Meteor’s fury, while the peaks of lofty mountains receive all its blows.

Perhaps we were so humbled last year and reduced to so lowly a state as not to be hit by the thunder-bolts of the Iroquois, who have turned their arms elsewhere, and are haughty enough to disdain the conquests to which they are accustomed. They are going in pursuit of others, three and four hundred leagues from here, leaving no corner of these vast forests which they do not fill with terror and blood-shed.

Some have directed their course Eastward, toward new England, there to fight the Abnaquiois, [3] Savages of docile nature, and very susceptible to all good influences, — as is testified by one of our Fathers, [Page 139] who has several times gained access to them by frightful roads and ways beset with famine, and with precipices that must be passed. They dwell on the banks of a River called Kenebeki, and cultivate a country so delightful, according to their account, that they maintain, following their Legendary tradition, that the son of him who made all things, choosing to become a Savage, found no land more beautiful than theirs wherein to sojourn. Into that peaceful and delightful region a band of armed Agnieeronnons is about to carry disturbance, in order to avenge an insult offered to thirty of their number who, wishing [4] to exact a sort of tribute from those people, were themselves all slain by them, with a single exception. This man, after having his upper 8 lip cut off and losing half his scalp, was sent back in that plight to carry the tidings of what had befallen his Compatriots, being ordered to tell his countrymen that like ignominy was in store for them if they undertook a similar act of molestation.

Those arrogant people, more accustomed to impose laws than to obey them, straightway took the field, purposing to devote two years, before their return, to the avenging of this insult.

We learned recently that they had already made a good beginning, [5] by surprising an entire village when all its inhabitants were intoxicated with liquor, sold to them by the Dutch; thus, by a wise choice of their time, they captured the village, which was nothing but a great Pot-house full of drunken men. They made blood flow in the Cabins as freely as wine had flowed there before; and then burned the women and children, and all whom the sword had spared, only one old man meeting with mercy, because he [Page 141] was not drunk at the time and had, shortly before, gone on an Embassy to the Agnieronnons’ country, to treat for peace with them. At first he was well received at Agnie, and, although a captive, was regarded as a [6] man worthy of veneration because of his age and temperance. After remaining some time in Agnié, he was unfortunately met by five or six drunken Iroquois who seized him and bound him without delay to a stake, where they made him suffer all the cruelties that barbarism added to drunkenness can devise; he, however, bore them with a tranquil countenance, never letting a tear fall from his eyes, or a word of complaint escape from his lips. What a misfortune for this poor man, to perish through the intoxication of four or five rascals, after escaping from that of an entire village! That, then, is the war in the East which is occupying a part of the Iroquois.

Others are pushing their way farther down [7] toward the South, without well knowing against whom they bear a grudge, seeking, they know not whom, and declaring war before they have any enemies. Proceeding more than two hundred leagues through the Forests, without compass and yet unerringly, they finally reach the sea near the Virginia coast, as we suppose. They find a country where snow is unknown and everything is always green, except the Beavers, which are white. The men there dress like women, and the women like men, especially in regard to head-dress. Bears, wild Boars, Leopards, and Lions inhabit those wildernesses much more than man; while Turkeys and [8] fowls fly in flocks, as Starlings do in France, and the cock’s crow is heard in the woods just as in our [Page 143] villages. There are whole forests of trees very similar to palms. These are, our Iroquois say, reeds, in thickness and height equal to oak-trees; they are pithy and have knots at intervals; and they bear leaves three feet long, a foot wide, and two or three inches thick. These leaves are, moreover, round, and as straight as a sword, and serve as a body guard or support to the trunk, which is, of itself, weak and flabby, but is girt about as with a rampart armed with cutlasses. Our warriors found by chance one of these Trees prostrate, [9] and, upon approaching it, discovered in its hollow three large Bears, which were enjoying spacious lodgings, and had grown fat on the pith of this Tree, which served them for food and shelter at the same time. Thus they leave their house only after they have eaten it.[8]

Proceeding rather Westerly than Southerly, another band of Iroquois is going four hundred leagues from here in pursuit of a Nation whose only offense consists in its not being Iroquois. It is called Ontôagannha, signifying “the place where people cannot speak” — because of the corrupt Algonquin in use there.[9] Furthermore, if we believe our Iroquois who have returned thence, and the Slaves [10] whom they have brought thence, it is a country which has none of the severity of our winters, but enjoys a climate that is always temperate — a continual Spring and Autumn, as it were. The soil there is so fertile that one could almost say of it, within bounds, what the Israelite discoverers said of the Promised land; for, to mention the Indian corn only, it puts forth a stalk of such extraordinary thickness and height that one would take it for a tree, while it bears ears two feet long with grains that resemble in size our large [Page 145] Muscatel grapes. NO Moose or Beavers are seen there, as they live only in cold countries; but, to make up for this, Deer, Buffalo, wild Hogs, [11] and another Species of large animal wholly unknown to US, inhabit those beautiful forests, which are like so many Orchards, consisting almost wholly of fruit-trees. In their branches live very peacefully birds of all colors and of every note, especially little Paroquets, which are so numerous that we have seen some of our Iroquois return from those countries with scarfs and belts which they had made from these birds by a process of interweaving. One finds there also a kind of Serpent of prodigious size and two brasses in length; but these are harmless Snakes, their venom not being hurtful or their sting injurious. [12] The people are not so inoffensive as the snakes, for they make use of a poison with which they understand perfectly the art of infecting springs, and even whole rivers; and they do it with such skill that the water loses nothing of its fair appearance, although it be tainted throughout. Their villages are situated along a beautiful river which serves to carry the people down to the great Lake (for so they call the Sea), where they trade with Europeans who pray as we do, and use Rosaries, as well as Bells for calling to Prayers. According to the description given us, we judge them to be Spaniards. That Sea is doubtless either the Bay of St. Esprit in the Gulf of Mexico, on the coast of [13] Florida; or else the Vermilion Sea, on the coast of new Granada, in the great South Sea.[10] Be that as it may, against those peoples the Onnontagheronnon Iroquois have turned their arms, to appease (as they say) the souls of those of their number who were killed there eight or nine years ago. Those [Page 147] souls will find no resting — place in the other world until they have been atoned for, as it were, by fires of burnt captives, — a cruel expiation, begun last winter with some poor women and infants at the breast, who fell victims to the flames, and to the cruelty of those too pitiless Barbarians.

Another Iroquois expedition is beginning [14] a two years’ war against the so-called Ox Nation;[11] another is turning its course against the Tobacco Nation, in the direction of the Nez-perces; and still another, starting out to discover, as it were, a new country, penetrated so far into the unknown forests that the men perished there of hunger.

The rest were more successful in the new under-taking executed by them, this past winter, against our Savages of the North. These are the people whom two of our Fathers visited last year by remote paths from Tadoussac, when they repaired to Necouba, very seasonably for many Neophytes, some of whom were instructed anew in the mysteries of our Religion, while the others made their peace with God. [15] All those poor Neophytes were able later to recognize the care which Providence had for their salvation by sending them Missionaries under circumstances truly wonderful. For never before had either Iroquois or Frenchman set foot in their country, nor had mention ever been made of Necouba, either at Agnié or at Kebec; and, behold, in the same year men came thither from both places. It was, however, the will of that gentle Providence that our Fathers should arrive there first, to rescue from the fires of Hell those who, although they knew it not, would soon be cast into the fires of the Iroquois.

What we are about to relate we learned from two [Page 149] Savages who after being captured at Necouba [16] itself by the Agneronnons, happily escaped from their hands when they were approaching their village. One of them, twenty years of age, used cunning to effect his escape. After putting the Iroquois in good humor on the way by playing with them, — now at straws, and now at throwing dice, the games most played by them, — he challenged them to a race, and defied the most agile of their party, all disabled as he was. Emulation sprang up in the company, and they gathered around; the nimblest of the Iroquois was chosen, the captive entered the lists with him, and, the goals being marked, they started to run, each at his best speed. The prisoner, however, regarding his liberty as the prize of victory, [17] took the lead, amid the applause of his enemies themselves. But they changed their tone when they saw the Victor passing the goal they had set and plunging into the woods, refusing the praise and glory to which they invited him. Thus he continued on his course with all the more courage that he no longer had any Rival in his victory, fear and hope lending him strength. But he was running toward his own ill luck; for he unexpectedly threw himself into the hands of another band of Iroquois. These, however, were no shrewder than the first; since they allowed him to escape, when they were on the point of consigning him to the flames.

Such was the account he gave us upon his arrival at Montreal. He told us, moreover, [18] that all the lands of the North, which had never before seen any Iroquois, have become so infested with them that there is no cavern in those vast regions of rocks dark enough to Serve as a place of concealment, or any. [Page 161] forest deep enough to be entrusted with one’s life. In the very beginning of the winter the Iroquois made a great capture of a number of families, composed of men, women, and children, who had never fought against other enemies than their own Beavers and Moose; and, pushing their conquests farther, they surprised a large body of Savages at Necouba engaged in funeral rites. The enemy chose just the time when these were holding the banquet for a dead person and had in [19] hand, instead of arms, nothing but dishes and spoons; and thus Compelled them to continue for themselves the lamentations they had begun for the deceased. We were told that the plan of the Iroquois was, not to pause there, but to push on as far as the North sea, to carry all before them there, like a torrent; then to descend by way of lake Saint John and Tadoussac, ever adding to their prisoners as they went; and finally to return homeward by our great Saint Lawrence river, in order to pass in front of Quebec and our other settlements, laden with spoils, and with victims who would adorn with their tears and blood the triumphant entry which these Barbarians are preparing [20] to make into their villages.

Thus, then, our enemies, dispersing through all those regions, have left us in peace for a part of the Summer, because they were waging war all around us. Consequently, our good fortune is due only to the misfortune of others, although, to tell the truth, our Allies’ ill fortune is our own, since the fountain-head of Beaver-skins is dried up with the ruin of those who bring them to our settlers

[Page 155]





HIS brief respite which we have enjoyed has not been a general one, Montreal having closed the past year and opened the present one with two considerable losses. One was the death, last February, of Sieur Lambent Closse, who was killed by a band of Iroquois when he was going to aid some Frenchmen in danger. He was a man whose piety was no whit inferior to his valor, and who possessed extraordinary presence of mind in the heat of battle. At [22] the head of only twenty-six men, he stood firm against two hundred Onnontagueronnons, fighting from morning until three o’clock in the afternoon. Unequal though the contest was, he repeatedly forced the enemy to retreat; often routed them from their vantage-ground, and even from redouts which they had seized; and justly won the credit of saving Montreal, both by his might and by his reputation. Hence it was deemed advisable to keep his death concealed from the enemy, for fear that they might take advantage of it. This Eulogy we owed his Memory, since Montreal owes him its life.

The other loss is no less severe, being that of a good Ecclesiastic [23] named Monsieur Vignal. In the month of October of last year, he accompanied [Page 165] some workmen who went out to get stone on an Island near Montreal: and while they were landing, suspecting no danger, some Iroquois, concealed in the woods, rushed upon them unexpectedly with a loud cry. Three were killed on the spot, with the first discharge of their muskets; they wounded the others, and seized Monsieur Vignal, who, having already received several wounds, died therefrom in their hands, soon after. He bore in life a very good repute among all the French, through his exercise of humility, charity, and penitence — virtues which were highly developed [24] in him, and made him beloved by every one. His death, too, was very precious in God’s eyes, being received from the hands of those for whom he had often wished to give his life. He was very tenderly concerned for their salvation, offering several times to come and join us, when we were at Onnontagué, in order to labor with us for the conversion of those Barbarians; and he would have done so, had his constitution and strength been equal to his courage and fervor.

Amid these disasters, — which are as keenly felt by us as the persons whom we lose are precious to us — our courage is sustained with the hope, given us by our good King, of powerful succor which is to introduce [25] the reign of the Faith through the destruction of the Infidels, and give life to more than fifty Nations through the overthrow of four or five villages. We are this year expecting two vessels laden with soldiers, who will dispel a part of OUT fears. The salutes of their Cannon we shall answer with public benedictions for our incomparable Monarch who, while bestowing his attention on all France. [Page 159]





HE Savages who pass out of this world under our care manifest a desire to throw off every trace of the barbarian before leaving this life — dying, for the most part, as good Christians as if they had never led a Savage existence; and possessing at death sentiments of devotion which savor rather of the Cloister than of the forest.

Some time ago we closed the eyes of a good Huron named Louis Aquienhio, who died the death of a Saint. During [27] a four months’ illness he made a Temple of his Cabin, and the bark whereon he lay was a kind of Sanctuary where he consecrated all his sufferings with a marvelous patience and constant prayers. His every wish was but for Heaven, ‘his every word on things celestial. When Monseigneur the Bishop of Petræa, who has much tenderness for these poor Savages, was so kind as to visit him at the height of his illness and procure for him the Indulgence of the Dying, he thereupon exclaimed: “Jesus, take me; I have naught else to do in this world. Jesus, take me!“ — words which have a sweetness and force all their own in the [28] Huron Tongue. And these words he had constantly in his heart and on his lips. A short time before his death, as he was extremely low and greatly emaciated, some [Page 161] one who was present exclaimed, out of compassion: “Alas, how disfigured he is! He is no longer like himself.” Overhearing these words, he roused all his energies, and, in a voice of considerable strength, dying although he was, he began to chant his death-Song, composed then and there, and bearing the refrain, I am no longer like myself, but I shall soon be like my Jesus; and he only ceased this Song to resume his usual prayer, “Jesus, take me!”

His wife, a most excellent Christian, encouraged him in this holy exercise by continual exhortations, [29] which were none the less holy that they came from a Huron mouth. In our absence she served him as Teacher, speaking to him only of Heaven, and encouraging him to hasten thither, since one of his little children was there, stretching out its arms to him. During the two days preceding his death, she devised a method of helping the dying which indicates nothing of the Savage. She resolved to make such good use of those last moments that not one of them would pass unsanctified by prayer, by imitating to some extent our Forty hours’ devotion, which she had witnessed in our Church. She begged a kinswoman of hers to aid her in these last offices which she wished to render her husband. Accordingly, they began [30] that ingenious device of piety by constructing, at the patient’s bedside, an Oratory of bark, where they ceased not to pray, — now one, now the other, and now both together, — relieving each other in such wise that they continued these charitable offices, day and night, until the sick man drew his last breath and rendered up his soul with the words, “Jesus, take me!”[Page 163]

This courageous woman, who had kept back her tears during all her husband’s illness, for fear of moving his sympathies and diverting his thoughts from God, gave them vent as soon as he had expired; and shed them over him in such abundance as to make plainly evident both her fortitude in having restrained them, and her tenderness in letting them flow [31] at the fitting time. It is true, hers was the mourning of one resigned, and her tears were meritorious; for she soon went away to shed them at the Altar’s foot, in order, as she said, to extinguish the flames of that place through which her dear husband’s soul was to pass. By this course she wished to counteract the old custom of Huron women, who, at their husbands’ decease, were wont to keep themselves shut up for fifty days without speaking to anybody, in order to testify the excess of their grief by this rigorous silence and superstitious solitude.

A good Algonquin woman, wife of a former Captain, finding herself at death’s door while thirty leagues from Quebec, felt such a passionate desire [32] to die in our arms, although she had confessed her sins some time before, that she despatched hither a special messenger with this communication to the Father in charge of the Algonkin Mission: “Make haste; my Father, and tarry not, for I am about to die, and already feel my soul hovering on my lips; but I will hold it back for four days, in order to put it in thy hands; and if thou canst not come in season to receive it, at least prepare for it, by thy prayers, the road to the other world.”

The great trust reposed in us by the Savages makes them wish to have some of our Fathers with them when they go to pass the winter in the woods [Page 165] Last Autumn, the Montagnais of Tadoussac and some Algonkins of this place made this [33] request of us with much urgency, their purpose being to go and spend the winter near the Nostre Dame Mountains, which are well known here for their height, and for being the most ill-favored and forbidding part of all these regions. But one can find no spot too dreadful for a hiding-place from the Iroquois.

Father Pierre Bailloquet was assigned to them as the Pastor of that wandering Church. The life that a Missionary is obliged to lead on such expeditions is the life led by the Savages themselves. That means that one has no inn but the woods, no bed but the snow, no fixed abode; but one must seek his living from mountain to mountain, with no assured provisions except such as are furnished by [34] providence, which does not always choose to work a miracle in order to transport moose, as it did of old in sending a shower of quails. One must have a stomach inured to hunger, eyes used to smoke, and feet accustomed to snow. The worse the weather is, the better, because then hunting is more successful, Only rugged, wild, and inaccessible regions are sought, because there the wild animals are more easily found. Pleasant days are unwelcome, but storms make the hunter rejoice, for he does his best work during such most inclement weather; hence there is nothing more to be feared than a mild winter, and pleasant seasons cause wide-spread famine. In a word, one must live no other than the life of the Savage, [35] who is adapted to the inclemency of the weather, as are his own elk and beavers. And, verily, such a life amid such hardships would be unendurable for a Missionary, did he not taste the [Page 167] fruits of devotion and meekness, in which these deserts are fertile, and which the love of Jesus Christ renders savory.

Truly wonderful innocence makes its abode there, See how the Father speaks of it, in the following extract from a Letter written by him concerning his winter’s experience: “I have found that vice reigns in towns much more than in forests, that association with animals is not so injurious as that with men, and that our Savages live in such innocence as to have, in my opinion, no very frequent need of [36] the Sacrament of Penance. I speak not merely of those who have been under my influence during the winter, but also of those whom I have seen only occasionally, and of those with whom I could have intercourse only in the Spring.

“ These no sooner heard about me than some of them came eighteen leagues over the snow to confess their sins, and assure me that many more had a Passionate desire to do the same. They encouraged me to undertake the journey for the consolation especially of many mothers — who, although they could neither leave their children nor carry them over such a difficult road, nevertheless offered to perform half of that rugged journey. [37] ‘ We do not ’ (said they) ‘ wish thee to walk twenty-five leagues on snowshoes for the purpose of visiting all the cabins in succession, at a time when the thawing of rivers and mountain streams renders such a journey not only difficult, but dangerous. Yet do thou inconvenience thyself a little for the convenience of so many persons: come to meet us and we will come to meet thee, that we may consecrate a season which is Holy the world [Page 169] over. ’ They alluded to holy week, which we were approaching.

“ Sparing them the trouble which they so heartily offered to take, I went to see them all, one after another; and I found that they had never failed, [38] all winter long, to say the customary prayers on bended knees every morning, and the Rosary every evening.

“ Those were, indeed, consecrated woods and rocks. In all their cabins I was received with an open-heartedness truly lovable; for hospitality is found in these woods, although they have only Barbarians for hosts. We were so reduced as to have nothing but porcupines to eat, the moose-hunt having been unsuccessful; and not only did our Savages endure famine with resignation, and without any omission of prayers, which we daily addressed to Heaven, but they also received with all imaginable kindness two Shallop-loads of our Frenchmen, who had been unable to reach [39] Quebec before winter. They were forced to spend that season in our Forests, where they found that all our cabins were like so many inns, in which they were received at the common table without charge. ‘ We never would have believed,’ these Frenchmen say, ‘ that newly-Baptized Savages can pray so well, had we not witnessed the fact all this winter; nor would we ever have thought that Barbarians are so benevolent, had not our own experience proved it to us. Each head of a family would have willingly entertained us if his means had been commensurate with his good will; and the chief man of their number, seeing that one of us was ill, under — took a very hard journey in quest of remedies, walking four [40] successive days without halting, not [Page 171] even stopping to shoot at the moose that came in his way, for fear of delaying the relief he wished to bring to the patient.’ ”

The Father says no more, either because he is content that God alone should be witness to what took place amid those great mountains, — which, from their ruggedness, are well fitted to keep the secret, and to hold in hiding everything confided to them, — or because the famine and fatigues which he endured seemed acceptable to him, being sweetened with the innocence and fervor of his flock. Hence he was often led to say that his Mission was very worthy of his affection, verifying Samson’s Enigma, in forti dulcedo — honey is found in the [41] Lion’s mouth, sweetness in bitterness, and joy in Crosses. That is the fruit of Missions full of toils and dangers, such as are in general those of this New world. Let US examine the character of that Mission of which we are to speak in the next Chapter.

[Page 173]





HIS is a Mission of blood and fire, of toils and tears, of Captives and Barbarians. It is a country where the ground is still stained with the blood of Frenchmen; where scaffolds are still standing, strewn with their ashes; [42] where survivors of the cruel torture bear its direful marks on feet and hands, with nails torn out and fingers and toes cut off; where, in fine, Father Simon le Moyne has spent a year, that he might hear the lamentations of that afflicted Church, and, like a good Shepherd, share all the afflictions of his beloved Flock.

During the entire winter he has been occupied with three Churches — one French, one Huron, and one Iroquois. He has maintained the spirit of piety among the captive Frenchmen, and has been the sole depositary of all their afflictions; he has restored the Huron Church, formerly so flourishing in the Huron country; and he has laid the foundations of a new Iroquois Church, [43] going from village to village in order to baptize the children and the dying, and to instruct those who, in the depths of barbarism, were not very far distant from the Kingdom of God.

A little Chapel, built of bark and stakes, formed the Sanctuary where God daily received the worship of those three Churches. The French repaired thither assiduously every morning, half an hour [Page 175] before dawn, to hear holy Mass, and assembled there every evening to say their Rosaries together, and often during the day to seek comfort from God in their afflictions, and to throw their burden of bitterness and bondage upon his goodness. There they joined their hands, half cut in pieces, raising them to Heaven in prayer for those [44] very ones who had treated them so ill.

And not only do those who are with the Father feel thus kindly toward their tormentors, but the others, at a distance from him, write in the same sentiments, — as appears from a Letter sent by one of the two Frenchmen captured with the late Monsieur Vignal and taken to Onneiout. Its writer had his right arm broken in his capture, and is believed to have been that one of the two captured whom those Barbarians killed to avoid being longer troubled with a cripple. Following is the purport of his Letter, which contains too many good sentiments not to find a place in this Chapter. He writes to Father Simon le Moyne, whom he knew to be at Onnontagué, about twenty leagues distant from him.

[45] “There are two of us prisoners from Montreal at Onneiout. Monsieur Vignal was killed by these Barbarians, having been unable to walk more than two days, because of his wounds. We arrived here on the first Sunday of December, in sad plight. My comrade has already had two finger-nails torn out. For the love of God, we pray you, repair hither and do your utmost, with presents, to rescue us and take us with you; and then we shall care no longer whether we die or not. We have made a compact to do and suffer all we can for the conversion of those who are killing us, and we pray to God daily for their [Page 177] salvation. We have not found a single Frenchman here, as we had hoped to do, and as [46] would have greatly consoled us. I am writing you with my left hand. Your servant, Brigeac."

Of all the devices employed by the Devil for thwarting the Father’s good purposes, there is scarcely one of greater efficacy than dreams, which form almost the sole divinity of the country; while the people glory in committing a thousand extravagances, for the sake of obeying this God of darkness and falsehood. Below are some examples, selected from a very large number which the French Captives have witnessed, they having this past winter seen with their own eyes what hearing could not have made them conceive.

A warrior, having dreamed that he had been taken prisoner in battle, in order to avert the fatality of this direful dream, summoned [47] all his friends, upon awaking, and implored them to aid him in his misfortune, and to show themselves his true friends by treating him like an enemy. Accordingly, they threw themselves upon him, stripped him entirely naked, bound him, dragged him through the streets with the customary hooting, made him mount the scaffold, lighted the fires around him, and prepared, with cruel compassion, to render him that odious service. But he was content with all these preliminaries and, after passing some hours in singing his death-song, thanked the company, believing that after this imaginary captivity he would never be actually a prisoner.

Another man, having in a dream seen his cabin on fire, could find no [48] rest until he could see it actually burning; and the Elders, after mature [Page 179] deliberation upon the matter, proceeded in a body to set it on fire, which they did with ceremony — very nearly as city Aldermen light the bonfires.

What happened to a third man is far more extraordinary. This wretched dreamer, not thinking it was showing enough respect to his dream to have himself burned in effigy, was determined that the fire should be actually applied to his ‘legs, in the same way as to captives when their final torture is begun, What a spectacle, to see this Martyr to Dreams submitting to a veritable roasting, of such duration and cruelty that it took six months for him [49] to recover from his burns! Alas, how few Christians there are who would be willing to suffer for Jesus Christ the hundredth part of what that Infidel suffered for the Devil!

In their ailments they find no better medicine than a good dream; it frequently occurs, however, that a hot fever, by causing grotesque and senseless dreams, gives the poor Medicine-men much trouble.

The Father’s hostess, being troubled by an inflammation of the cheek, saw herself apparently cured in a dream by men of another nation, who were captives in Onnontagué. They were summoned, and ordered to administer to the patient the best drugs used by [50] the Medicine-men of their country. They made their preparations, and all the Village assembled in the cabin to witness a wonderful cure. First appeared some old women, who began to dance in time to the beating of a sort of Tambourine; and soon afterward there were seen to enter, with measured tread, three counterfeit Bears, hopping now on one foot, now on the other, and making as if they would pounce on the sick woman and devour her, although their purpose was merely to apply warm ashes to her [Page 181] swollen cheek. Finally, the men and women joined with these animals in executing a dance which was certainly capable of exciting laughter in those who did not pity these people’s blindness, and the prompt obedience which they render [51] to their demon. The result was that the woman was left very well pleased with the ceremonies, but as ill as before.

Such pieces of foolishness are ridiculous, indeed, but not very dangerous. Those which have several times placed the Father in great peril are ominous, and may well cause anxiety to a poor Missionary who, amid this barbarism, has naught but the arm of Providence on which to rest, in sight of a thousand accidents crossing every moment of his life. A young man, having in a dream seen himself dressed in the Father’s Cassock, although well aware that the fulfillment of his dream would be difficult, was yet bent on gaining his end, cost what it might. With that in view, he [52] cunningly played the madman — running through the streets, making an attack on the Chapel, and breaking into it; and in his frenzy uttering only his determination to strip Ondessonk (for so the Father is called in Iroquois), and to be obeyed, in order to obey his dream. The veneration in which these people hold this divinity causes much trouble on such occasions.

At another time, all the Elders were forced to interpose, to check a young man who in a drunken fit laid violent hands, not on the Father’s garments, but upon the Crucifix in the Chapel. To begin with, he broke open the Chapel, and, entering like a madman, attempted to pounce upon that adorable wood and carry it away. The Father vigorously opposed [53] such insolence, offering his head to the hatchet [Page 183] rather than permit that impious deed, resolved to give his life sooner than surrender the Crucifix. Accordingly, he took his stand in front of it, to receive on his own person that madman’s first acts of violence, and to shed his blood in so good a cause. The frenzied wretch — instigated by two Demons, that of Dreams and that of Drink — rushed upon him with diabolic fury, and, holding his hatchet in hand, was about to let it descend on his head, when by good luck the village Elders, having heard the noise, ran to the Father’s rescue just in time. They saved him from that madman’s violence, but had no excuse to offer for such a disturbance, except that Dreams are very powerful and merit deep respect. Others [54] threw the blame on the Dutch, who (they say) furnish them a certain drink that makes madmen of the wisest, and deprives one of his reason before he knows it. Brandy was what they referred to, which they bring from New Holland in such quantities as to make a veritable Pot-house of Onnontagué. Be that as it may, whencesoever come these follies, a Missionary to the Iroquois can well say with the Apostle to the Gentiles, Quotidie morimur, “We die daily;" and with the King of Prophets, Anima mea in manibus meis semper, — that he carries his life in his hands, or, rather, that it is every instant in the hands of the most faithless of all peoples.

[55] The Iroquois of Oiogoën — who are the least cruel, and have shown us the most good will, especially when we were cultivating the remnants of the Huron Church in their country — were touched with pity for the Father’s afflictions; and, to rid him of danger, invited him to stay with them during the continuance of that state of disorder. Delighted [Page 185] with this offer, more for the salvation of those obliging Barbarians than for the sake of his own safety, the Father paid them a visit of some weeks’ duration. He was received with public cheers from all the people, and found opportunity for the exercise of his zeal, and use for the lancet of a French Surgeon who accompanied him. God so blessed the latter’s labors, in a rather serious disease that was prevalent, [56] that in a short time a number of patients who had been almost given up were set on their feet. This won the hearts of all those people, and opened to the Father the doors of every Cabin, where he was looked upon with much favor and listened to with affection when he spoke to the inmates on the subject of their salvation.

A whole month was all too short for him for baptizing nearly all the children and giving consolation to many good Christian Huron women, from whose hearts a bondage of fifteen or twenty years has not wrested the Faith. They turn their Masters’ Cabins into Temples, serve one another as Pastors; and they consecrate with their prayers woods and fields where Jesus Christ has [57] yet received no homage, except from those poor Captives. What joy for that scattered Flock to see its Shepherd again! The eyes speak more eloquently than the tongue in that happy interview. How restrain one’s tears of joy and compassion at seeing those good Christian women weep with devotion? Verily tears of that sort, flowing from a Savage’s eyes, repay all the toil and sweeten all the labors undertaken in going to visit him. Yet he was forced to terminate that pleasant sojourn, which lasted scarcely a month, in order to return to Onnontagué, where Garacontié (the man under whose protection are the French Captives), having returned [Page 187] from [58] Montreal and published the kind reception which he had there received, rendered the like to the Father on his return from Oiogoen. He made him a bountiful present consisting of squashes, with which he regaled him. They make a truly delicious dish when bread is lacking, and when, as is not unusual, one has but one meal a day, consisting of a little sagamité made of clear water whitened with a handful of meal of Indian corn — for such was the good Father’s customary regimen. This generous Savage and protector of the French ceased not to express his gratification at the presents that had been given him, and, among others, at a beautiful porcelain collar made by the hands of the Ursuline Mothers, in a pretty and ornamental design such as pleases and [59] charms those people. Especially were they delighted upon being told that it was the work of those women who had not feared to cross the sea for their sake, and for the instruction of their little girls, whom they were awaiting at Kebec whenever the parents were willing to send them, They were also told that, if they wished to go thither themselves, they would find still other holy maidens (for so they call the Nuns), who would receive them in their ailments in a great Hospital built for them, and would render them the same services as the Hospital nuns of Montreal had rendered only recently to certain members of their nation. That is what we learned, toward the end of the winter, concerning the Father’s visit, from some Savages of Onnontagué who came over the snow to see us, and who [60] promised to bring him back to us this summer with all the French Captives, as pledges of the sincerity with which they desire our alliance. [Page 189]





T length Heaven has heard our vows, and restored to us the Shepherd with his little flock. I refer to Father le Moine, whom we regarded as a man escaped from the flames, to which he had courageously exposed his life for the rescue of eighteen Frenchmen, whom he restored to life when he thought that he would, more than once a day, lose his own. It [61] passes belief with what transports of joy those poor Captives were seized upon leaving the Village of Onnontagué, which they had thought was to be their grave. Hardly would they believe themselves free, although they had left behind them the scene of their Captivity; nor could they, on the way, be severed from their dear Deliverer, to whom they clung unceasingly, crowning his steps with a noble Diadem; until, upon arriving at Montreal, they offered him a glowing tribute by merely showing themselves, being regarded as men rescued from the fire, and as victims happily escaped from the Scaffold.

On the last day of August of this year, 1662, the Father made his appearance in a Canoe below the falls of [62] Saint Louis, having around him all those happy rescued ones and a score of Onnontagehronnons who, from being enemies, had become their boatmen. This Canoe — flying an ensign, to make [Page 191] itself known as a friend — gently approached the bank, laden with those happy Argonauts, who gave a volley from all their muskets to salute the land so ardently longed for, proclaiming peace through the mouth of war itself. They landed amid the cheers and embraces of all the French of Montreal. While they follow their Pastor to go and render thanks to God in the Church, let us retrace their steps to Onnontagué entering without fear, — and making the round in all security, [63] at least for a time, of the cabins where our Frenchmen very often trembled with fear, — in order that we may survey with pleasure the scenes which bear faithful witness to their tears and blood.

Let us begin our visits with the little bark chapel, which has seen wonders not to be found in the great Churches of marble and porphyry. It was the Asylum not merely of three Churches, but, we can say, of eight or ten, since there are in Onnontagué that number of conquered nations, some of whom are finding their salvation in their ruin, and the freedom of God’s children in their Captivity.

But let us enter more into particulars. The Father’s greatest care, during his sojourn [64] among those various peoples, was to let no infant miss baptism, the Captive Frenchmen dexterously coming to his aid in this noble occupation. The smallpox, opportunely supervening, gathered in a rich harvest of those innocent souls; for, of more than two hundred who received Holy Baptism during the winter, there were over six-score who died soon after, to take their flight to Heaven.

His next care was to prepare the adult sick to pass to a happier life. It is true, his success in their case [Page 193] did not always meet his wishes; for it is very difficult to die like a Saint after having always lived like a Barbarian. Often was he driven out [65] of the cabins, and his charity repaid with the old reproach that the faith is only fitted to kill people; often, too, was he listened to in peace; and grace, which knows how to choose its predestined ones, found lodgment in the hearts of some, while it was expelled from those of others. It is true, it rests more willingly on the humble and the poor than on the rich, being banished not merely from great Palaces, but also from great cabins; while pride is found in the woods as well as in the towns, and one meets a haughty Savage in a bark hut no less than a proud Emperor in a gilded Palace. Whenever the Father visited sick patients of quality, they would end [66] his talk on the life everlasting by expressing a desire for some remedy to preserve the life temporal. On the contrary, when he found some poor Captives at death’s door, he saw plainly at the same time that they were not far from the Kingdom of God. Among other instances, this was manifest in the case of a young man of twenty-five, belonging to the so-called OX nation, who had long been a slave, and, for the past three years, had been eaten by an ulcer of an offensive and incurable nature. Upon the Father’s visiting him, and talking with him about the beauties of Paradise, “What must one do” (asked the sick man) “in order to go to that abode of delight, whence death and disease are forever banished?” (One must believe,” replied the Father. “Well, then, I believe,” said he. “One must pray.” [67] “Very well, I wish to pray, but I have not the sense to do so. Thou canst show me how, if thou wilt [Page 195] Come and see me every day, for my ailment holds me here, and prevents me from going to thee; and thou shalt see that, if I lack intelligence, I am not wanting in good will.” The results fulfilled his promises; for during the whole course of his illness he complained, not of his sore, which had not left him any more than the skin on his bones, but only that he was left too long without being made to pray; and he gave the Father loving reproaches for leaving him too long unvisited. Such ardor won for him Baptism, after which he died; he was buried in the French manner by our French Captives, who were all delighted to have [68] seen him die so good a Christian death.

One of the Father’s great consolations was to receive many poor Captive Huron women, who came by stealth from the neighboring Villages to perform their devotions at Onnontagué, setting out from Oiogoën and from Onneiout ostensibly to go and sell or buy some goods of the country, but with hearts fixed wholly on those of Heaven. That Captive Church offers a Picture of what occurred in the Church hidden in England, where our Fathers disguised themselves as Peddlers, in order to carry on a precious traffic for eternity. The Example of the servants touched the Mistresses, and gave some of them a desire to come and receive instruction, so that the Father was furnished a [69] very agreeable occupation in both instances.

His great joy and consolation was to be able to celebrate holy Mass every day in the heart of that barbarous country. But wine was failing him, and he could replenish his supply only from the Dutch — who, however, were not likely to be willing to furnish [Page 197] any for such a purpose as his. He wrote to them nevertheless, telling them that, as he was then situated, he might well have need of some for his health. The Dutch sent him a small bottle, well sealed, giving it to a Savage to carry, and telling him that it was a medicine which the Father needed, of which he himself must not drink unless he wished to contract a serious [70] illness. That was a very necessary precaution; for if the Savage, who had a great fancy for the wine of the Dutch, had known what the bottle contained, he never would have delivered it until it was empty. Even the Father was forced to resort to the same deception to satisfy this Savage, who asked to taste a little of that medicine, in order to see if it was as bad as they said. The Father took some Barbados Nuts, cut them up in a little of this wine, and presented it to his Savage; and it proved a Medicine of such purgative effect as to deprive him of all desire to ask for a second dose. By this device the Father, together with his dear Flock, was not bereft of the sole happiness remaining to him [71] in his destitution of all else.

But let us see how, while toiling so ardently for the Savages, he did not forget the French. It is a subject well worthy of a separate Chapter, embracing as it does some very remarkable episodes. [Page 199]




OME were sent back last Autumn, and the others conducted home this Summer; and they all unite in acknowledging that, next to God, they owe their lives to Father le Moine, who so bravely risked his own in [72] their behalf, fearing not to enter a country still smoking with the charred remains of many of our Frenchmen.

From the time of his arrival, his death was determined upon, and orders were even issued to split his head; but God preserved him, by means inscrutable to us, for the sake of saving the lives of some and the souls of others. Escaping these first dangers, as well as the unsuccessful plots formed against him in different quarters, he spent the whole ensuing winter as a captive; but he willingly endured his chains for the sake of breaking those of our Frenchmen. The same Heaven that brought to naught the wicked devices of his enemies so blessed his purposes that, contrary to all human likelihood, [73] he himself received freedom and gave it to the others, God interposing to liberate the Shepherd who thought only of freeing his Flock. There was only a single man at Onnontagué — and he bore the surname Liberté--who did not obtain his liberty. Nevertheless, he rejoices in that freedom wherein the Children of God rejoice in Heaven. Captured at three Rivers last year, 1661, he was given to Masters who preserved [Page 201] his life, and even felt such good will toward him as to seek a match for him, and plan to marry him in the Iroquois fashion — that is, to involve him in a perpetual Concubinage. He, feeling an abhorrence of any such union, refused at the outset; and, although entreated, cajoled, urged, menaced, and well-nigh constrained, [74] remained firm in his refusal. He had recourse to God and laid before him the extremities to which he was driven; and, the more he prayed, the stronger he felt in his good purpose. Finally his Masters, wearied by his refusals, resolved to give him, once for all, the choice between death and a wife; but with all their threats they did not move that brave heart. Consequently they rid themselves of him while pretending to offer him food; for, in the very act of presenting him a piece of bread from one side, from the other they leveled a hatchet-stroke at his head, which they thus crowned with the glory of the Martyrs of chastity.

The other Frenchmen, who were liberated, all experienced the effects of an altogether extraordinary protection [75] on the part of Divine Providence. The accounts of some of them will not be unwelcome, since they give us reason to bless Heaven for taking such care of that poor captive Church.

One of the men, before the Father’s arrival, had yielded to evil influences, and was all ready to give himself up to vice and embrace the life of a Savage, having even cast in his lot with some Iroquois for accompanying them on a hostile raid. It is true, God still held him back by the hand — or, let us rather say, by a finger, which, having been cut off when he was first taken, refused to heal, despite the application of all the usual remedies. The Father, on his [Page 203] arrival, ministered to his more serious ailment, [76] prescribing some acts of devotion to the blessed Virgin, which had so good an effect that in a few days he was rid of his temptation, and cured of the sore he had had on his hand for more than six months.

Thereupon he put that hand, partaking as it did in some sense of the miraculous, to a most excellent service, using it to baptize children. He not only sought them out in the Cabins, but even went to await the Caravans of the Sonnontôëronnons as they passed; for these go on their trading expeditions in large companies, for fear of being met by their enemies. Thus he stopped in some defile all the mothers with their children; and he knew so well how to win their hearts that in a short time he baptized more than sixty children, [77] of which the greater number died of the prevalent disease.

There was another Frenchman in bondage at Onneiout, who suffered very grievous afflictions, from which God delivered him through the agency of a child only five years old, and scarcely able to talk. Yet it was so successful in making the Frenchman understand (although he knew not a word of its Language) that there were designs upon his life, that he took this warning as if it had come from Heaven through that innocent mouth. Accordingly he determined to take flight. He left the village of Onneiout on the instant, purposing to go in quest of the Father at Onnontagué, although he knew not which way to turn his face, or even in which direction Onnontagué lay. Hastily taking the first path [78] he found, without knowing its direction, he journeyed on for a considerable time by unknown ways, hunger in close [Page 205] pursuit, but the enemy’s fires still more vividly before his imagination. In his solitude he consoled himself with the better opportunity he enjoyed for prayer than in the village. Thus he constantly pushed on, slowly, but in considerable security. When now he thought his enemies far in the rear, lo and behold, he saw a party of them coming toward him at a sharp pace, and thought then that he was lost, already feeling the cruel fires which, as he imagined, were lighted to burn him. He was assuredly right, for in the matter of captivity it is as with diseases, the relapse being worse than the original illness. Nevertheless, he leaped warily enough [79] to one side of the path, allowing these Iroquois to pass without their perceiving anything — a circumstance rare indeed, without doubt, as their eyes are remarkably sharp for seeing at a distance, and for discovering footprints. The first pursuers having passed on well ahead of him, our fugitive made all haste to take another unknown path, rendering a thousand thanks to Heaven for such signal protection; but, behold, suddenly he caught sight of a second band, into whose hands he was on the point of falling. He needed only to be seen to’ be condemned to the flames; but the same Providence which had concealed him the first time from the eyes of one party, delivered him, for the second, from the hands of the other, [80] leading him in his blindness directly into Onnontagué, and, by good fortune, making him enter a Cabin where there were some Savages friendly to the French. As soon as they saw him and recognized him as a fugitive, they threw a blanket over him to hide him, merely giving him some morsel to eat, hunger having reduced him to a [Page 207] pitiful condition. The hand of Providence in his case is seen herein, that if he had entered the neighboring Cabin he would have been lost; for there he would have found men of the Nation he was fleeing, who happened to be there at the time; and they would not have failed to seize him, in order to make a public example of him for all fugitives. When he had thus been happily concealed, some one went with all speed [81] to apprise the Father, in order that he might interpose in his behalf, and make the presents requisite on such occasions. Meanwhile, I know not how it occurred, the poor unfortunate was drawn forth from his hiding place and sent in person to find the Father; but he had taken only a few steps when he met some drunken men in the street who fell upon him as upon a stranger. At this encounter he sank down in a swoon, either from fear or from weakness. The Father, being notified in time, hastened to him, raised him up, and led him, head erect, into his own Cabin, where he sustained numerous approaches of the Onneiochronnons, who came as often as seven times to recover their prisoner, but were each time met by the Father’s answer [82] that he would part with his life sooner than surrender his ward. His affair was finally adjusted after much trouble.

Here is one more remarkable incident. Another of our French captives, very devout and of good morals, had made a vow to God to consecrate his freedom, should he ever recover it, to his service. But he had encountered two Mistresses of very different temperaments, although of equal cruelty: one was determined that he should not leave the Cabin, even to go to the Chapel to pray; while the other would not let him stay within. One drove him out, [Page 209] and the other kept him in, but neither bore him any good will; on the contrary, they had given, or caused [83] to be given, two presents of considerable value to certain young rogues, to split his head. What is this poor young man to do? If he go out, he is guilty; if he remain within, he is also guilty. He cannot obey one of these Mistresses without disobeying the other, and yet nothing less than his life is the penalty of disobedience. The Father, informed of his straits, procured his escape through the agency of some Iroquois friends of his; but no sooner had he disappeared than those two Furies, who had hitherto been irreconcilable in regard to him, united in an attempt to catch him, sending out their relatives in pursuit, for that purpose. The poor Frenchman, well aware that he was being pursued with intent to capture, plunged into the water up to his neck and [84] crossed to a little Island, in order to hide in some rocky hollow and stay there as long as nature could withstand the pangs of hunger. A day and a night he passed without eating, and never had he prayed to God more fervently. The Father’s friends who had helped the fugitive to escape, seeing the friends of the two Mistresses so strenuous in their search for him, put forth equal efforts on their part, roaming over the whole district, through the woods and along the river, in the prosecution of a similar search, but with far different intentions — the one party seeking to take his life, the other to save it. Each of the parties called to him, at the top of their voices; but whom was he to answer? He heard [85] their voices from his rocky retreat, but mistook his friends’ cries for those of his enemies. At length, after both parties had long been running and calling [Page 211] to no purpose, they met as if by agreement near the little Island, and, moved perhaps by some sort of pity, or, rather, despairing of finding the prisoner, exchanged promises that if they should find him they would put him in the Father’s hands, to be disposed of as the latter should choose. Had that poor refugee heard these words, he would soon enough have come forth. But hunger or, rather, his good Angel prompted him how to act; for he came out of his hole, and gave himself up, although he thought that he was sacrificing his life. If ever men were surprised, [86] those two bands of Iroquois were, They marveled at the timeliness with which the Frenchman had delivered himself into their hands — just at the moment when they had agreed to spare his life. As for him, after worshipping Providence, he ratified anew his vow to consecrate to God’s service the rest of his days, which had been prolonged to him through circumstances so unexpected.

There is likewise something marvelous in the deliverance of the other captives, of whom some escaped the flames and others shipwreck, by the manifest aid of the Blessed Virgin. It was not without a miracle that, in coming down from Onnontagué to Montreal, when one of the Canoes was upset in the middle of a rapid, [87] two Frenchmen who were in it remained a considerable length of time under water without drowning. But a still more wonderful circumstance is that one of the two came gently to land half-way down the falls, while the other made an Oratory of the bottom of his overturned Canoe, and, by the prayer which he addressed to God and the Blessed Virgin, consecrated those boiling torrents in their very midst. [Page 213]

I cannot better end my account of these pleasing occurrences than by describing an event of considerable note concerning a Crucifix, about two feet in height, which the Agnieronnon Iroquois carried off last Year from Argentenay in the Island of Orleans, when they committed ravages there as already related by us. I know not whether it was in scorn or in [88] esteem that they seized this image. However that was, they carried it off to their own country, exhibiting it in their cabins as one of the most precious spoils taken from the French. Garacontié, protector of the French, happened to see it when he visited Agnie; and as he well knew the respect in which we hold such images, he would not suffer that one to be profaned. Accordingly, he undertook to buy it back, making a handsome present for the purpose; while, to insure against refusal, he delivered a eulogy upon this Crucifix, more worthy the utterance of a Preacher than of a Barbarian. He gained his end, both by the richness of his present and through the eloquence of his speech. Returning to Onnontagué in triumph [89] at having performed so handsome a deed, of which he knew not the full merit, he gave this Crucifix an honored place on the Altar of the little Chapel, where the French, Hurons, and Iroquois daily went to render it their homage. And thus it was God’s will to employ a Barbarian’s hand in promoting the triumph of his Cross in the heart of Barbarism.

Let us conclude with an examination of the benefit accruing to the public by the Father’s sojourn at Onnontagué. While toiling diligently for the welfare of his Church in particular, he spared no Pains to promote the common good of all the French [Page 215]

He it was who averted from our heads the hatchets of the three Upper Nations, [90] preventing the murders with which our lands and houses have each year been stained. We remember only too well last year’s disasters, which make us groan even now, for we have not ceased to weep over our blood shed from Montreal as far as Tadoussac — that is, over nearly a hundred leagues of territory. Moreover, he caused us this Summer to breathe an atmosphere that we had not enjoyed for a considerable period — an atmosphere of some degree of peace and quiet; and we owe to him the advantage of having planted our crops undisturbed, our harvests being fairly abundant, and unstained with our blood.

Finally, some believe that he has exerted himself to such good purpose that we have now [91] only two nations of Iroquois on our hands, those of Onneiout and Agnie. These two nations are, it is true, the most cruel; but they are also the least populous, and the nearest. As for the three other more distant ones, they declare themselves our friends and allies, and that through the intervention of the good Father le Moine; but, with the Savages, one cannot assume any other standard than that of their own interests. The nations that have received the faith are attached to us in the interests of their salvation; as for the others, who have not embraced it, nothing but the terror and fear of our arms, or the hope of some considerable profit in their trading, or the aid to be obtained from us against their enemies, can hold them in check; and even [92] that will not prevent some from separating from the rest and coming by stealth to slay us. Hence only the strong arm, present and effective, can securely bind their hands. For this [Page 217] we look to the greatest of all Christian Monarchs, and he will not suffer his New France to remain longer in bondage to the tyranny of a handful of Barbarians. Jesus Christ makes himself weak, so to speak, in order to afford him an opportunity to use the power entrusted to him by our Lord for establishing him in these vast domains, and in order to give him then the noble reward which our Lord chooses to bestow upon his piety, his valor, and his magnanimity. Amen, Amen; fiat, fiat. [Page 219]






N entering the great Gulf of Saint Lawrence on the way to Kebec, one encounters three places, toward the South, whither French Vessels go in quest of Codfish. These Harbors or ports are very near one another, and bear the names of Isle Percée, Bonaventure, and Gaspé.[12] Father Martin Lyonne, recently deceased, and Father André Richard, both of our Society, for some years devoted their labors to the shores bathed by the waters of this Gulf, as [94] well as to the surrounding districts. Father Richard gives us the following account of an expedition undertaken by certain Savages whom we call the Savages of Gaspé because they come and camp with considerable frequency near the Bay or Port bearing that name. “These Barbarians having assembled during the winter of last year, 1661, some of them proposed in their Councils to go and wage war against the Esquimaux. These are a people hostile to Europeans, and dwell on the shores of the Gulf toward the North and at no great distance from the great Island of Newfoundland, which is situated at the mouth of the great river and Gulf of Saint Lawrence. Ascending still higher, on the same banks, one comes to the Papinachiouekhi, [95] next to the Bersiamites, and then to Tadoussac.[13] The last two [Page 221] Nations, as well as some others allied to them, are good, simple people, fond of peace, who receive our Fathers from Kebec with great affection when the latter visit their country as Missionaries. But let us return to our Savages of Gaspé

“ When, therefore, some proposed in their Councils and feasts a hostile expedition, they were listened to by one party and opposed by another. But when the Bravoes and Ruffians ridiculed those peacefully inclined, about thirty young men raised their hatchets, in sign of their advocacy of war.

“ That moved me deeply,” continues Father [96] Richard, “because their war is nothing but a man-hunt, quite often undertaken merely to fulfill some dreams which come to them in their sleep, and make them believe that their departed relatives will not rest in peace unless some human beings are sacrificed to them. After passing the whole winter with this purpose in view, they repaired in the Spring to the banks of a River called Bacadensis, which empties into the Gulf. I was with them,” proceeds the Father, “and testified to them the grief I felt at so thoughtless an undertaking, strongly suspecting that they would attack and kill the first persons they met beyond the Gulf, without heeding whether they were friends or enemies. They spurned [97] my counsels and embarked amid ceremonies that were truly grotesque and superstitious.

“While they were at their feasting, and in Council, two Shallops were prepared for them. These Shallops they buy of the French who frequent their shores for the sake of fishing, and they handle them as skillfully as our most courageous and active Sailors of France. They made a little Bridge of wood to [Page 223] enable them to embark dry-shod in these Shallops, which were held for them ready-launched. That done, and the feast concluded, our warriors issued from a large Cabin, well armed after their fashion, singing, dancing, and then running quickly to their Shallops. Those who embarked last immediately threw into [98] the water the pieces of wood constituting their Bridges, and, taking the oars in hand with incredible celerity, were clear of the bank in a moment. Had any one fallen into the water or wetted himself in embarking, or had the Shallop run aground or been delayed in the least degree, such an ill omen would have brought them to an instant halt and made them change their plans. When one is without the torch of the Faith, he easily mistakes darkness for light, night for day, and madness and folly for wisdom.

“ While these Argonauts were plying their oars on the River Bacadensis, ‘behold, two Canoes issued as if from an ambuscade and started [99] directly toward them to attack them, plunder them, and prevent their expedition. They were filled with young women, very active and well dressed, who came to convey an ‘idea and present a picture of the battle these warriors were to fight with their enemies. They passed and repassed, turning and executing a thousand caracoles around these Shallops, trying to board them for the purpose of pillaging them, or, at least, of carrying off some little plunder. Bravely attacked, bravely defended. The men repulsed them, discharging their muskets frequently, rather to make a noise than to harm them.

“ At length the young women withdrew, thoroughly tired, and without succeeding in plundering [Page 225] a single article, They [100] returned to the bank where the other women, who were waiting for them, received them with shouting and hooting, as if they had been vanquished enemies, pouncing upon them, stripping them of their new robes and of their ornaments, and giving them some old rags instead. One of these Amazons was ridiculed and mocked because she had not put on her handsome robe and fine attire, having strongly suspected that she would be robbed of them. These women are very willing to be thus despoiled for the sake of furnishing a happy omen of the victory which they desire for their relatives and friends.

“ But let US follow our Warriors. They had not proceeded far in the Gulf when one of them called a halt. ‘ I have just now [101] recalled,’ said he, ‘ an order given us by one of my relatives when dying. You know that the commands of the dying are important, and that, the deceased having been a man of influence among us, his wishes must be executed. Now, as they are opposed to the undertaking in which I have inconsiderately joined, from a lapse of memory, I am obliged to turn back, and abandon all thought of warfare.’ Those who had engaged in this expedition simply from a fear of their comrades’ opinion, told the speaker that they would accompany him, as being relatives or friends of the Deceased. Accordingly, the Band was divided in halves, one of the two shallops heading toward the land and returning to the shore, the other, manned by fifteen Hunters, proceeding forward.

[102] “They at length reached the Island of Anticosti, where the Gulf begins, as it were, to change into a river. Leaving it to cross to the mainland on [Page 227] the North, they perceived a Canoe issuing from another Island, coming from a hunting expedition. The wind favoring them, they gave chase with sail and oars; and, without inquiring its Nationality, overwhelmed it with a discharge from their arquebuses. It was enough that it contained human beings; that was the prey and game they were seeking. This Canoe bore a man and a woman, a girl and a little boy. At the first volley the man, woman, and girl were killed, and the little boy wounded. Immediately the enemy pounced upon the slain, cut [103] the skin around their heads, removing their scalps, and took the little boy into their boat, wounded as he was; and their war and hunt were accomplished. The wind changing, they turned their Shallop and came back to their own country, full of pride over so successful an issue. Monarchs who direct the movements of great armies indeed ridicule these poor Barbarians, who are as proud in their victory over four people as are Princes after slaying ten thousand. And the Angels have reason to mock at both, for both take pride in curtailing men’s lives, which are already so short. But let us witness the triumph of our haughty Conquerors.

[104] “As their departure had been accompanied with superstition, so their return was full of folly and cruelty. Approaching their country’s shores, they uttered a loud cry in sign of their victory. Upon hearing the shout,” says the Father who furnished these Notes, “I immediately concluded that they had not been so far as their enemy’s country, which was too distant for a journey of so short duration. I judged that they might perhaps have met with some Savages allied to those of Tadoussac, who might well [Page 229] resent their action some day. As a matter of fact, I was told that they had killed some Papinachiouekhi, good friends to the French and to the latter’s allies.

‘I At the noise and outcry made by these Warriors, all left their [105] Cabins, the French who were then in the vicinity hastening to the spot with the rest, I determined not to appear, in order to show the indignation I felt at so cowardly a deed. When they were yet at a considerable distance from their proposed landing place, they indulged in a bit of cruel barbarism toward their poor little prisoner, throwing him into the water, wounded as he was in various places. At the same time they threw in the scalps they had taken, surrendering to plunder all the spoils they had captured from their pretended foes. Forthwith most of the Savages, both men and women, plunged in and swam, the women straight toward the floating scalps, and the men [106] toward the little boy, who was drowning. The women, after seizing the scalps, wished to snatch the little prisoner from the men, and the poor child found himself pulled and torn about like a victim fallen into the clutches of wolves or lions; but finally, after much altercation, he was adjudged and given to the Captain’s wife. She, wishing to show that she had courage as well as her husband, and that she could witness human bloodshed without shrinking and without weakness, drew a large knife from her bosom and plunged it with inhuman cruelty into the arm of that child, — half-dead as he already was, both from the wounds received in the encounter, and from the cruelty with which [107] he had been treated in the water. Yet he was forced to sing as he beheld his own blood, which drew from him neither tear nor [Page 231] cry. The training which parents give their children to display courage in such circumstances, and the noise and din made by those Barbarians, cause such a stupefaction of their prisoners’ senses that even the youngest are not wanting in the manifestation of fortitude.

“ Our Frenchmen, touched with pity at so sad a spectacle, sought means to liberate the child; but it was not yet time. I confess to you that, at the account they gave me of such a cruel proceeding, which I had been unwilling to see with my own eyes, my feelings were so outraged [108] that when, toward evening, those haughty Thrasos presented themselves at the Chapel to receive instruction and be directed in their prayers, I drove them out and shut the door of the Church upon them, telling them that God did not countenance murders committed upon the persons of the Innocent. But, their hearts being still all inflated with pride, spite took possession of them, and made them say to the French whom they met that they were going to break the prisoner’s head, and start out in their Shallop again for the purpose of continuing their man-hunt.

“ Our Frenchmen reported this to me, and added that it was all over with the child’s life unless I changed my tactics. That moved me, and, hastening immediately to the spot where they were assembled, [109] I said to them: ’ My brothers and my nephews, I come to mingle my tears with your rejoicing. You have brought me within two finger-breadths of death; the love I bear you is the source of my pain and grief. When a father has lost his well-beloved son, you see only tears and hear only lamentations. Are you not my children? HOW would You [Page 233] have me laugh in your misfortune? You are dead in your souls, you have displeased God, you have yielded yourselves slaves to the Demon, and you wish me to rejoice with you! First wrest from my heart the love I bear you. Let me weep and bemoan your wrong doing. ’ ‘ But dost thou really love us? ’ they asked. ‘ Yes, I love you, [110] and more tenderly than you think.’ ‘ Why, then, didst thou shut the Chapel door upon us?’ ‘ Love made me adopt that course, to bring you to yourselves again and open your eyes, in order that you might wash your hands, still all covered with blood, before entering into the presence of God. ’ ‘ We see plainly that thou lovest us, ’ they replied. ‘ Continue to love US, my Father; we are no longer vexed; we love thee.’ ‘ If you love me,’” returned the Father, “’ do not kill the child; spare its life.” Go, my Father; we love thee, and he shall not die.’ I retired, satisfied with so fair a promise.

“ The withdrawal of that band to Isle Percée, whither I too betook myself, gave an opportunity to the Surgeon [111] of our Frenchmen who were fishing there, to dress this poor child’s wounds. He had four bullets in his head, of which three were removed, while the fourth, and another which he had in his shoulder, could not be reached. Too great effort for this would have been manifestly dangerous to him. The poor child gave only one little gasp while under a treatment that was very severe and painful. Our Frenchmen made every effort to rescue him from those Barbarians’ custody, but without any success. Seeing that they were on the point of carrying him away, and judging from his weak and reduced appearance that he was not over seven [Page 235] years old, I baptized him privately, after only slight instruction and with no ceremony whatever, the time and place not permitting it. That done, he was put into a boat to be [112] conveyed elsewhere. The regret I felt at witnessing the removal of this poor little innocent: whose life might be sacrificed to the fancy or dream of some Savage, made me resolve to seek out the Captain’s wife, to whom he had been given. She was about to take her departure, and I addressed her nearly as follows:

“ ‘ My Sister, I have a request to make to thee, and I beg thee not to refuse me. I have never asked anything of thee, nor do I feel inclined ever to do so. I confess that my wish is great and my entreaty important. Thou knowest what I have done for thee, and the occasional aid I have rendered thee. Give me thy little prisoner; he is dying and [113] will be of no service to thee. The presents that I will give thee will be a hundred times more useful and advantageous, since he will even be a source of I expense to thee.’ Then I approached her husband’/ and offered him the same arguments. I succeeded so well that they granted me the boy. He was taken from the Shallop and put into my hands: they embarked, weighed anchor, and departed. I withdrew with my prey, highly delighted and not without astonishment that they had not asked me for pay — ’ merit before leaving. It is true, they knew me and felt assured that I would keep my promise.

“ They had not been long gone when a contrary wind drove them back into port. They came to see me and spoke to me about the presents which I [114] had led them to expect. I told them that I was all ready to fulfill my promise, but that it was for them [Page 237] to let me know what they would like. They convoked the Council and had me summoned. One of the elders took the word and, after exaggerating the importance of the present given me, assured me that the love and respect they bore me limited them to a very moderate demand. Nevertheless, he asked an exorbitant price.

“ I answered them that they were right in asking a large ransom, and that a human being’s life was too precious to be adequately paid for by presents. But, as they knew, my arms were very short, my hands very small, and I [115] could not hold very much in my embrace. For a long time my hands had been constantly open to assist them in their needs, and there was only left me what I offered them and displayed before their eyes. They accepted it with demonstrations of great satisfaction, while I was still more pleased, since my little ransomed boy could not be demanded back again, the transaction having occurred in the Council of the chiefs.

“ This poor child, finding himself by a happy mishap among our Frenchmen, who caressed and cherished him tenderly, began to breathe again, and to believe that he belonged to the living. His wounds were dressed, and he was nursed and carefully fed, [116] so that in a short time he to whom, in his wretchedness and torture, I had ascribed an age of but seven years, appeared to me, in his good condition, about ten or twelve years old. When he saw none but French people, he was wide-awake, merry, and apparently full of spirits; but as soon as he saw a Savage, he would run away and hide, trembling with fear and utterly stunned.

“Now as I was forced to return to France, and [Page 239] found no opportunity to send him to Kebec, I took him with me. He is very pretty for a child born in Barbarism. So great a fear has he of Savages, having experienced their cruelty, that, in pausing at Rouen on his way to Paris, when he saw [117] a chimney-sweep in the streets and heard his cry, he mistook him for a Savage, and was seized with such violent terror that he fled into a shop to hide himself; and so extreme was his alarm that no words of mine could reassure him. He is now at our College of Clermont, where he makes it evident that our little Canadians have hardly less intelligence than our little French boys. He is of a very pliant and docile disposition. His body has been ill-treated by the Savages. In complexion he is olive-colored, owing to the oils with which he has been anointed from his birth; but he would be not less white than Europeans’ children born in New France, had he not been darkened and painted in oil, so to speak, from his infancy.”

[118] I will add in conclusion that when I who publish this chapter questioned him in his own tongue concerning his relatives, he said to me: “My father killed my grandmother and three other relatives of mine.” When I asked him the reason, he answered, “He was in a fit of anger.” Hence you would say that God had sent the Savages of Gaspé as administrators of his Justice, to exact vengeance for that crime.


[Page 241]

Permission of the Reverend Father Provincial.


E, Claude Boucher, Provincial of the Society of Jesus in the Province of France, have granted for the future to Sieur Sebastien Cramoisy, Printer in ordinary to the King and Queen, Director of the Royal Printing-house of the Louvre, and former Alderman of this city of Paris, the right to Print the Relation of New France. Paris, January 8, one thousand six hundred and sixty-one.

Signed, Claude Boucher.

[Page 243]



CIX. — Epistola Patris Hieronymi Lalemant ad R. P. Joannem Paulum Olivam, Prænpositum Generalem Societatis Jesu, Rome; Quebeci in nova Francis, Aug. 18, 1663

CX. — Declaration Des Terres Que Les Peres Jesuites possedent dans Le païs De La Nouvelle France. 1663; [Quebec], Octobre, 1663

CXI, — Journal des PP. Jésuites, és années 1662 et 1663


Sources: In publishing Doc. CIX., we follow an apograph of the original (which is ex MSS. Soc. Jes.), in the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal. The original MS. of Doc. CX. we found in the French Archives Nationales, at Paris. Dot. CXI. we obtain from the original MS. in the library of Laval University, Quebec.

[Page 245]

Letter from Father Jerome Lalemant to the Very

Reverend Father Gian Paolo Oliva,

General of the Society of

Jesus, at Rome.



I have received the letter which Your Paternity was pleased to send me by the first passage, and I have learned therefrom that it has not yet seemed good to you to appoint my successor in office. My obedience is ready to retain it, my heart to resign it.

Concerning our affairs, I can say to Your Paternity, in general, that they have remained in good condition for the conversion of these regions. When the Governor was recalled, before his term of three years had expired, we were on such terms with him that, God so favoring us, he has withdrawn from us in a friendly mind. We are continually expecting the new one, from day to day — one very Devoted, as is reported, to the affairs of the church and the Society. Having been offered by the Most Illustrious and Most Christian king, and in turn accepted, he will agree with him, as we hope, in all things, to the great advantage of our commonwealth. Nevertheless, we are not a little anxious concerning the safety of both; because, although they should have already come to us, they do not yet appear.[14]

Hence, there were also other changes in affairs; [Page 247] for these regions have not now the Masters whom they have hitherto had. The company was called that of new France; their right the king has appropriated to himself, intending to recompense them from other sources on account of this change. At least this good will result, that the Most Christian king thereby seems further bound, for several reasons, to protect us against the barbarian enemies. God brings it to pass that he is the one by whom salvation is to be effected in these regions, and thus an approach be made for heralding the kingdom of God and the Gospel.[15]

To come down now to particulars, this especially pertains to Your Paternity’s notice, that news of the death of Father René Ménard has at last been brought to us, three whole years after his departure from us. It occurred as follows.

In the year 1660, in the month of August, he departed from us with about three hundred barbarians of various nations, who had come hither to trade; and with eight Frenchmen, one of whom was our life-bound Domestic. After some weeks they arrived at a station of one of those tribes, four hundred leagues distant from here, wherein they spent the winter. During that time, as the father sees that He advanced but little, and that those with whom he lived were far from the kingdom of God, he turns his attention to another nation, not so distant from that kingdom. For it had formerly even been illumined by us with the Light of the faith, and cultivated while still a part of the remaining Hurons, who had fled as far as possible from the stubborn fury of the enemy; their station was about a hundred Leagues distant from the father’s winter station [Page 259] The good father therefore made ready to visit these, With one of Our Frenchmen, and some savages as guides *Or the Way; but when these, after two days, saw that ours advanced at a slower pace, and that there Was danger lest, on that account, the provisions should sooner fail on the journey, they, having forsaken ours, hastened to the appointed place. Ours, proceeding alone at their own pace, after some days of great fatigue, wandered from the right way. Now in that error, while the Father’s companion goes ahead to reconnoiter some path, — the father being first warned not to leave the bank of the river which they had reached, — it happened that the father appeared no more. His companion could not trace his footprints, although he sought the Father everywhere, and uttered loud shouts, — nay, even called him back to the right course by shots from a gun.

The matter being thus desperate, that good Companion, while seeking hither and thither for the way which led to the desired village, fortunately encountered some natives in boats, who showed him the wished — for way. When he arrived there, he left nothing undone that he might obtain traveling Companions for diligently seeking the Father; but in vain. A certain man, however, was at last found who said that he had seen that Father lying dead beside a lake; but he would neither offer himself, even for a great sum, as a guide, nor yet would he point out in what region that place was.

There was a rumor, and no light Suspicion, that the good father had been killed by this very barbarian; nay, more, some Spoils of the father were seen about him. These were either inducements [Page 263] for the murder, as in the case of Father Noël Chabanel, some years before; or were taken from him after he had been killed, already dazed by hunger and other calamities in the midst of the Forest.

These things I have to say to your Paternity concerning the death of one of your sons: we will send Your Paternity his Obituary, to be drawn up in due time.

In the colony of Montreal, which comes first as one descends from those very remote nations, we no longer have a residence; wherefore secular Priests have occupied it. However, Father Joseph Marie Chaumonet has spent a whole Mission year there, especially at the suggestion of the Most Illustrious Bishop and the Governor of the People, — very greatly to the approval and edification of all the orders of priests, notably of those Secular ones.

To the same place Father Simon Le Moyne betook himself, not long ago, to await an opportunity of returning to the Iroquois — not to those from whom he returned to us when bringing back the captives Last year, but to others, by whom he is expressly sought. I know not, however, what has been done. He has received orders not to lightly commit himself to them; and how he should conduct himself in this respect, — which was approved by the retiring Governor and by all others.

Descending thence, we encounter the residence of Three rivers, and that of Cape sainte Magdaleine, only the breadth of the three rivers intervening, In the former, Father François Le Mercier exercised the Parochial offices, with no poor result and to edification. In the latter, we have Neophytes and Catechumens grouped under one head, over whom two of [Page 263] ours preside, and at the same time administer the cure Of the Colony of Frenchmen, which increases there from day to day, Many expenses had to be incurred by us, for gathering and settling men in this way at one place; but only thus can we look for the result at which we aim on behalf of the barbarians. Next comes the residence of Sillery, the first and principal Station of the new Christians; at that post two of ours are in charge, who at the same time administer the cure of a notable part of the adjacent Colony of the French. There the Christian cause makes excellent progress.

Finally, Quebec is reached, which is the principal station both of Ours and of the French; in it, Ours perform all the offices of the society, and are a help to the Ecclesiastics, especially to the Most Illustrious [Bishop]; to the nuns, to the boys who are students, — in fine, to men of every sort. To begin with, I can warrant your paternity this, that there is no one, either of the Fathers or of the brethren in the whole Mission, who does not excellently and religiously perform his duty; and there is hardly any one with whom I may reasonably find fault. At home and abroad, all things are at peace, as far as we are concerned. Thus we live Joyfully every day, awaiting the blessed hope and coming of the glory of the great God.

The whole region was shaken at one and the same time by a violent earthquake, on the 5th day of february — not continuous, but intermittent; now more, now less violent. There was a wonderful commotion of minds, at the start, and conversions, both among the French and the natives; but Conversions so transitory that an increase rather than a [Page 267] decrease of this scourge was desired by many. However, no notable loss has followed, if you except the fall of some [blank space], which immunity is rightly attributed to the special favor of God. These things seemed proper to be written to Your Paternity in this my private letter; I send another, a public one, with matters more fully considered as regards our plan about combating future want. To this end, therefore, embracing in spirit your Paternity’s feet, I do earnestly beseech your blessing, again and again, as humbly as I can, for me and for the whole mission; and I Commend myself to your Holy Sacrifices and-prayers.

Your Very Reverend Paternity’s

Most Humble Servant in Christ,

and most obedient son,

Hierosme Lalement.

At Quebec, in new France, August 18, 1663.

Addressed: To our Very reverend Father In Christ, Father Gian Paolo Oliva, Vicar General of the Society of Jesus,

1st sailing.                at Rome.

[Page 267]


Declaration of The Lands Which The Jesuit

Fathers possess in The country Of

New France, 1663.




ST.     By Concessions of the Gentlemen of the Company of New France, The 18th of March, 1637. At quebec, in the upper Town, Six Arpents of Land for The site of the Jesuit fathers’ house and College which are Built there. Furthermore, Two Arpents of Land adjoining these on the West, bought from Monsieur Couillard in 1663. Also, on the North, 100 perches bought from the parish of quebek in 1662 and 1663, for a windmill which is Built there.

In this Place live 15 Jesuits, and usually more, and 10 or 12 Domestics or Servants; and, besides, about twenty boarders who form part of the Pupils of the College.

2nd.       By Concession of the Gentlemen of the Company of New France, the 21st of January, 1637. At Quebec also, but in the lower Town, a cellar with a court, The whole comprising a Length of Sixty feet and a Width of forty. I., L

3rd.        By Concession of Monsieur the Duke de Ventadour, the 10th of March, 1626, and of the Gentlemen of the Company of New France, the 15th of January and the 18th of March, 1637. Near Quebec [Page 259] — toward Beauport, the lands called notre Dame des Anges, The extent of which is one League in Width, — part upon the River St. Charles, part upon the River St. Lawrence, — with a depth of four Leagues, of which the said fathers Enjoy full possession in Free hold, with all rights of high, middle, and Low Justice, Seigniorial and Feudal. The said Fathers have divided The Lands into twenty-four grants Upon the Banks of the said River St. Charles and River St. Lawrence, and have given them to as many habitans, who actually Reside there, and who have in all 400 Arpents of cleared lands. The said Fathers have Reserved for themselves only Two small farms,

one at Notre Dame des Anges, where there are 100 Arpents cleared, comprising the land on which a Windmill is Built. And on this farm there usually live five or six men to Take care of it. The other is at Notre Dame de Bon Secours, where there are I 50 Arpents of Land, cleared and cultivated by six or 8 men who Reside there. Furthermore, the said fathers have Reserved 5 Arpents of Frontage of the Lands which are least suitable for cultivation, to obtain therefrom Fire-Wood; and in this place there are probably 50 Arpents of Felled Wood. The number of habitans in this entire Seigniory may be as many as 140 Souls.

4th. By Concession of the 20th of January. Opposite Quebec, in the seigniory and caste de Lauson, 5 Arpents of Frontage by 40 in depth upon the River St. Lawrence. To which are added six Other Arpents of Frontage by 40 in depth by Purchase from Monsieur de Lauson, the 15th of november, 1653; and there the said Fathers have an Eel-fishery and have Had felled 44 Arpents of Wood, which 44 Arpents are cultivated by the huron savages, [Page 261]

5th. By Concession of the Gentlemen of the Company of New France, the 13th of March, 1651, and the confirmation by letters patent of the King in July, 1651, Registered in Parliament the 11th of April, 1658. At Two Leagues above Quebec, The Christian Savages Residing at Sillery have the Extent of a League of Land upon the River St. Lawrence, by 4 Leagues in depth, of which the said Savages have been constituted Seigniors by the Concession made to Them.

Now, the Jesuit fathers having been constituted Guardian Directors and protectors of The said Savages by letters of the King in July, 1651, Registered in parliament the 11th of April, 1658, they have consequently divided these Lands into 70 grants, given in the name of the said Savages to as many French habitans, who Reside there; having Reserved for themselves Only 7 Arpents of Frontage, where the said fathers have had constructed a stone Fort, Banked by 4 Towers, into which the Savages retire to Make their Usual Abode there in security with the said fathers, ‘who have Built a chapel and a house there in which they Reside, 8 or 10 persons, including Themselves and their Domestics. The said fathers possess, besides, 30 Arpents of Land in The Cove of the said Sillery, including the level tract upon which a windmill is Built. The number of all the habitans of this Seigniory probably amounts to Two hundred and thirty Souls.

6th.        By Concession of Monsieur de Lauson, The 1st of July, 1656. At Tadoussac, where the said Tadoussac’ Fathers have built a chapel and a house, — without, however, Residing at that place, except in the Season when the Savages are there.[Page 263]


1st. By Concession of Monsieur D’Aillebourt the 5th of June, 165 I. A tract Of one Arpent of land, or Thereabout, in the Town of Three Rivers, upon which the Jesuit fathers have built a house, where dwells At present a Farmer with His wife and Children.

2nd. By Concession of the Gentlemen of the Company of New France, on the 25th of February, 1637. A Tract of land near the said Town, containing g6 Arpents all cleared, which Abuts upon the so-called Costeau de St. Louis. Furthermore, a piece of Land half an Arpent in Frontage, and Ten in depth, abutting upon the aforesaid Tract of g6 Arpents.

3rd. By The aforesaid Concession of the 25th of February, 1637, an Estate of 500 Arpents, Ending, on the Northeast, near a Place commonly called La Briqueterie. This Land is all cleared. Besides, 14 Arpents toward the woods near the grant of Sieur harteil [Hertel], by Arrangement made with sieur hartel.

4th. By Concession of Monsieur de Lauson on the 20th of October, 1654. An island called St. Christofle, in the middle of the river of Three Rivers, containing 80 Arpents or Thereabout, with power to give it in lease and Rent; and, in fact, the said fathers have divided It between six habitants, who have cleared it.

5th. By Concession of Monsieur de la Ferté, Abbé of Ste. Magdelaine, on the 20th of March, 165 I. An Extent of two leagues of Land along the great River St. Lawrence, from the so-called cape of 3 Rivers, going down the said great River, with 20 Leagues of depth on the North; with the Right of Seigniory [Page 265] and Nomination which the said Sieur Donor has through the Concession made to him by the Gentlemen of the company of New France. The said fathers have divided these lands into 40 grants, which they have given to as many habitans, who actually reside there; and they are continuing to give new concessions to all those who present themselves, and have only reserved for themselves 3

pieces of Land. The 1st, of 4 Arpents frontage, near the said cape of 3 Rivers, of which there are 46 cleared and upon which there is a windmill. The 2nd, near the River called Faverel, of 4 Arpents and a half frontage; of this, there are 50 Arpents cleared, and there the said fathers have a house in which they reside, to the number of 8 or 10 persons, including themselves and their domestics. They have also constructed in this same place a fort where the Savages take Refuge, and commonly remain in order to be more conveniently Instructed. The 3rd, of eleven Arpents frontage, toward the place commonly called “the Burned Clearing,” where there are yet only 5 or 6 Arpents of Woods to fell, because it is the quarter most distant from the Aforesaid concessions.







1ST. By Concession of the gentlemen of the company of New France, the 20th of March, 1658. The Island called des Ruaux, situated in the River [Page 267] St. Lawrence near and below The island of Orleans. It is about two leagues in circumference, and the said fathers possess it in full ownership and Seigniory; and it is not yet cultivated, for lack of habitans.

2nd. By Concession of Monsieur de Lanson, the 15th of April, 1652, in virtue of the power given to him by the Gentlemen of the company of new France. The River called de L’ Assumption, Flowing into the River des prairies and the River St. Lawrence, opposite the point of The Island of Montreal; and half a league of frontage upon and Ascending the said River Des prairies from the bend upward; and The mouth of the said River de L’ Assumption, and 3 Leagues frontage upon the River St. Lawrence, beginning at the bend below The mouth of the said River de L’ Assumption; together with the Islands which are Encountered opposite

the said Concession in the River des prairies; and, besides, 4 Leagues of depth within the Lands on the North side, which the said fathers Enjoy in fief and in all rights of high, low, and middle Justice and seigniory.

3rd. By Concession of Monsieur de Lauson, on the 1st of April, 1647. Two leagues of Land along the River St. Lawrence, on the South side, beginning at the island of Ste. Helene and Extending a quarter of a League beyond a prairie called de la Magdelaine, opposite the Islands which are near the Cataract of the Island of Montreal — a space comprising about Two Leagues Along the said River St. Lawrence, by 4 leagues of depth within the Lands Extending toward the South.

4th. By concession of the Gentlemen of the company of New France, the 15th of January, 1636. The island called Jesus, at the point which looks [Page 269] Northeast, situated in the River des prairies between the island of Montreal and the shore of the Mainland on the north, which island is the largest of all those which are comprised between the said Island of Montreal and the shore of the Mainland on the north.

5th. By concession of Monsieur de la Ferté, Abbé of Ste. Magdaleine, on the 13th of March, 1639, Below 3 Rivers, The space of Land which is between the River Baptiscan and the River Champlain, a quarter of a league on this side and a quarter of a league on the other, making in all two good leagues of width by Twenty in depth, in full fief, faith, and homage, high, middle, and Low Justice.

A. M. D. V. G. M. F.

[Endorsed: To the Reverend Father Ragueneau. Copy of the declaration of our Concessions, given to Monsieur the Intendant in 1663.

[Endorsed: This is the Copy of the declaration that was placed in the hands of Monsieur The intendant In October, 1663.]. [Page 271]


Journal of the Jesuit Fathers, in the years

1662 and 1663.

1662, JANUARY.


N the morning, a Drummer came to give a New-year’s Serenade in our Corridor, in honor of Monseigneur the Bishop. We did not Deem advisable to send him away. He was asked on whose behalf he came, and he said that it was on his own, for Monseigneur the Bishop and for the Superior. We gave him a silver écu Perhaps it will be necessary to prevent this when Monseigneur the Bishop ceases to lodge with us.

As Monsieur d’Avaugour, the Governor, is not a man of Ceremony, I contented myself with going to the fort alone after I had said mass at the Ursulines’; but I found that he had already gone out to hear mass, at the end of which he forestalled us. Vespers, sermon, benediction, and procession from the parish church, as last year.

I had prepared something on the evening before to give to ours; but the presence of Monseigneur the Bishop, who wished to be at the distribution of sentences, prevented me. I sent to each of our fathers half a dozen pieces of Citron-peel, a considerable quantity of which had come by the last ships.

Twice during the month messengers arrived from 3 rivers, and twice we wrote back there.

There was much talk respecting the permission [Page 273] to sell liquor to the savages, that was given by Monsieur the Governor; we used every effort, except Excommunication, to oppose it.


On the festival of the purification, Monsieur the Governor did not go to the parish church. He went to the Ursulines’, where a Taper was presented to him.

This month Monseigneur the Bishop paid his Visit to Beaupré etc.

This month commenced the concerts of 4 Viols, 1st at the ceremony of the first prizes, then at the 40 hours’ devotion. The remainder took place as last year.

On the Feast of St. Mathias, it became necessary to withdraw the Excommunication, owing to extraordinary troubles and disorders.


During Lent, sermons were preached as usual — on Wednesdays at the Ursulines’, by father Chaumonot; by father Chastelain on Fridays, at the hospital; by father Ragueneau, at our Church; by father Pijart, at the parish church. The remainder as last year.

On the feast of St. Joseph, At the Ursulines’, Monseigneur said a low mass at 7 o’clock, high mass was sung at 8 o’clock, and the last was said there also, and not at our church. The solemn benediction was chanted, with accompaniment of Instrumental music.

On the festival of the Annunciation, there was benediction at our church, both on the vigil and on the Day itself. [Page 275]

On the same Day, the first news came of father le Moyne, who was among the Yroquois — brought by 5 Yroquois and a woman; Otourewati and Aharrihron were the most notable. We sent 5 soldiers as far as fort St. Xavier, near Cap rouge, to meet them. They took them to Sillery, where 5 other soldiers awaited them, as well as father Fremin, Boquet, and others. Then they were met at le Mire’s by father Chaumonot, Monsieur le Chevalier,[16] nephew of Monsieur Davaugour, the Governor, and several soldiers. They were brought to our house, and there they remained until the 29th, when they left to go and lodge at Sillery. They started thence on the 30th, in the morning, in company with 3 Frenchmen. They gave some presents which said nothing, and this led to the Belief that they came with some object. We gave them 4, — to bring back the Father and the French, to bring little girls here, to erect the may-tree and the storehouse at Montreal, and to assure them that Father Echon would be there. We learned at the same time the deaths of Monsieur Clausse [Closse] and 3 others at Montreal.

In holy week the same as last year.

On easter Sunday, news came of a fresh battle at Montreal with the yroquois, in which 2 were wounded on our side, and several on the enemy’s

On this Day I had to sing two high masses, one at the Ursulines’ and the other at the hospital, because it could not be arranged otherwise. [Page 277]

This month there was a Change made in the Council. Monsieur the Governor, on his own authority, removed those who belonged to it, and appointed 10 others, 5 by 5 for every four months of the year. Afterward, the syndics were removed and several other innovations made.

In the same month, there came from Sonontwan a Huron by birth who had been captured at St. Joseph when father Daniel was killed there, and the village taken and burned. He said that he came to pay a visit, and gave several items of news. The whole appeared very suspicious, but he was nevertheless received in the Huron Cabins.

Shortly afterward there arrived an Algonquain, 14 years old, who had escaped from Agniee. He reported that the Agnieronons had set out for war, to the number of 200; and that they were resolved to return only at the end of two years, after having roamed over the entire land. Their design was to go to the country of the Etechemins.


I left Quebek on the 3rd for 3 rivers. On the way I met des Grosillers, who was going to the North sea. He passed Quebek during the night, with 10 men; and when he reached Cap Tourmente he wrote about it to monsieur the Governor.

On the 1st of this month, François Poisson, aged 13 years, was received upon trial, having solicited that he might become a donné of our Society. [Page 279]

From 3 rivers I returned to Sillery on the 14th, and to Quebek on the 14th; and it was then that the affair began respecting the Confessor of Monsieur the Governor, de qua alibi.

On the rogation days, procession ante missam — 1st at the hospital, 2nd at the Ursulines’, 3rd at our Church.

On Whitsunday, at the end of vespers, alarm of fire was given. It had caught in the palisade of our enclosure, owing to a fire made close to it by a Frenchman, who was burning a field that he wished to sow. Assistance came very opportunely, and all we had to do was to replace 10 or 12 lengths of the fencing that were burned or thrown down.

On the 3rd feria, at the procession that took place in the

rain, Monsieur the Governor changed the usual order of the procession, making the churchwardens walk first after the Clergy, and then the Justices; then he followed with his household; after them came the habitans, then his garrison, and finally the women.


On the 2nd, at 7 o’clock in the morning, father Chaumonot left in Toupin’s Shallop for Montreal. He took with him, to distribute as alms in Montreal, 50 minots of wheat, 2 puncheons of flour, — each of which was equal to 20 minots of wheat, the two being thus equal to 40, — and 4 barrels of Biscuit, each of which was equal to 4 minots of wheat. This amounted in all to over 100 minots of wheat [Page 283] For this Madame de la Pelletrie contributed 100 livres We 60 livres, and Monseigneur the Bishop the remainder. Monsieur the Governor gave 4 soldiers to make this journey.

On the 5th arrived the first ship, that of Captain Remons from la Rochelle, which left two Days before 3 others that were to start from la Rochelle, and 15 Days after the first. And On the same Day, the 5th of June, the Montreal boat arrived.

On the 8th, the feast of Corpus Christi, there was a procession in the morning at 8 o’clock. As usual, it went to the storehouse, where there was a temporary altar, and then it ascended to the fort, where there was also an altar. The soldiers were drawn up in rank from the cannon mounted on the platform outside, with their backs to the gate of the fort; all knelt bareheaded, with The muzzles of their guns turned toward the ground. The 3rd altar was our Chapel. We sang at the 1st altar the Dixit, at the 2nd the Exaudiat, at the 3rd Ecce panis, and at the Parish church the Tantum ergo with musical accompaniment. Then high mass was sung, and afterward low mass at the same place, the parish church. Monseigneur bore the blessed Sacrament in the procession, but did not sing the high Mass; Monsieur de Bernieres sang it. On the octave, the same was done as last Year. The procession was Considered too short.

On the same Day, father Bailloquet returned from his journey or wintering in company with sieur de l'Espiné, after nearly an 8 months’ absence among the savages. [Page 283]

On the 16th, the 2nd ship arrived, that of sieur Peré.


Arrival of Captain Laurent Poulet and monsieur le Gangneur.

The Feast of St. Ignatius fell on Monday, On the vigil, which was Sunday, the parish people came in procession for the first vespers, after which a sermon was preached, and then there was benediction. On the Day of the feast there was high mass, and at 4 o’clock Vespers and benediction, the officiating priest remaining always below.

AUGUST, 1662.

On the 4th, the Ship of sieur la Mothe arrived, having on board Father Henry Nouvel,[17] of the province of Toulouse.

On the 12th, at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, Monseigneur of Petræa and father Ragueneau set sail for France in Poulet's ship.

On the 15th, Remond’s ship sailed, having on board sieur de Mazé,[18] a secretary of Monsieur the Governor.

The procession went to the lower town like that of Corpus Christi, except that on its return it turned off, at the savages’ fort, to our church. It seemed dull. Monsieur de Charny bore the statue of the Virgin. We would have wished it to be borne on a stand. At least two lanterns were needed on both sides.

On the Feast of St. Louis, high mass and solemn benediction. Monsieur the Governor ordered the Cannon to be discharged at the [Page 285] Elevation, and a salvo to be fired by the soldiers at the door of our Church.

This feast fell on a Monday. There was benediction at the hospital on the vigil, and on the Day itself (instead of in our church), on account of the plenary Indulgence granted there for every one. High mass was sung there with Deacon and subdeacon, and a sermon was preached. As the Ursulines had no solemn benediction, there was neither Deacon nor subdeacon, because their Indulgence was not for the public on that Day in their chapel.

On that Day there was only high mass, with two Acolytes, and the blessed sacrament was not exposed. There were two special masses besides the high mass, at which father Dablon preached. This did not satisfy them, and there was much regret and talk in their house on that account,

although they were told that on the feast of St. Ursula, when they have plenary Indulgence for the public,

 as much would be done for them. After all, what can be altered next year is to have benediction on one Day, such as the vigil, in one place; and, on the other Day, in Another.


On the 10th and 11th, 7 Canoes appeared manned by yroquois, who uttered 4 Yells in the direction of the Island of Orleans. However, we had only to regret the loss of Jean le blanc and one Gabriel.

On the 15th, father le Moyne arrived, returning from the yroquois country, whence le Moyne [Page 287] brought back the French Captives. We also learned that sieur la Cour and another officer of Montreal had been drowned near 3 rivers, whither they went in pursuit of people from Montreal, on account of a sedition that had broken out there, in the month of July, against those who wished to establish a public storehouse.

On the 16th, le ber’s boat arrived, on board of which were Monsieur de Maisonneuve, Monsieur souar, Mademoiselle Manse, and others.

Le ber was arrested and made prisoner, as one of the accomplices in the sedition, and his property was seized.[19] Monsieur de Maisonneuve was commanded to return to Montreal to institute an Inquiry, and he left on the 18th.

On the 19th, the marriage of Laurent du boc and Marie Felix, a huron girl, took place. The sum of 500 livres was given to her as marriage — portion out of the property of her deceased mother, an excellent Christian, which had been well looked after. And 8 Days afterward, the marriage of Caterine took place: she bore the surname of creature de Dieu, and was given 260 livres.[20]

On the 20th, the last Ship, that of sieur la mothe, sailed, having on board Mademoyselle Manse, Monsieur de Villeré, la garenne, etc.

On the Feast of St. Michael, I went to say mass at Sillery, where were also Monsieur souar, Monsieur bourdon, and all his family, without having been Invited.

On the 30th, an entire Huron family — Gabriel ondihouchoren, his wife, and his daughter — were captured on the Island of Orleans. [Page 289] It was thought that they

were the same as those who had killed Jean le Blanc and his companion, ut supra.


On the first, which was a Sunday, Monsieur souar preached at the parish church, having been invited to do so.

And on the 4th he left to return to Montreal with father Mercier, who was going back to 3 rivers. We agreed with him to pay one hundred écus for father Chaumonot’s board, commencing from the first of July.

On the 6th, we received news of the massacre by the yroquois of another son of Monsieur Couillar’s, named deschesnes, toward Tadousac, with another Frenchman.

And, on the same Day, Monsieur de Bernières and his Colleagues ceased to board with us.

On the 6th, the yroquois captured, in the Huron fields on the other side, a man and woman; and pursued the others, firing on their Canoes even when they fled opposite the fort of Quebek.

On the 21st, there was benediction on the vigil at the Ursulines’, as well as on the Day itself, in the same manner as at the hospital on the feast of St. Augustine.

About the same time, 30 habitans left for the war, id est, to strike some blow at the yroquois; they returned on All Saints’ Day, without having accomplished anything.

On the 27th, there Finally arrived a biscayan [Page 291] Shallop, on board of which were Monsieur Boucher and A gentleman sent on behalf of the king to command 100 soldiers despatched by the king in advance of the succor for the coming year. There were, moreover, 200 passengers, all of whom came in 2 of the king’s ships that had remained at Tadousac, with father Charles Simon and our brother Garnier, a Scholar and novice.[21]


On the 3rd, the aforesaid Commissioner, named Dumons, started again with father Nouvelle, who was going to relieve father Simon, — and, in any case, to winter with the French, if any who remained were to winter at Tadousac.

Several Shallops followed to take the ships’ cargo.

On the 12th, father Simon arrived; he was ill, and his

Companion, Monsieur Julien Garnier, was in good health.

On the 20th, father Nouvelle and sieur de la Tesserie returned with the last Shallops that came back from Tadousac, bringing all that had come from France, the healthy and the sick, and leaving ten passengers who had gone from Quebek to return to France; these were ten in number, with a Commandant.

Mass on the feast of St. Cecilia.

About this time, we received as boarders François Dangé, a musician, and la Marque, out of charity; for they knew not what would become of them. [Page 293]


On the end, the feast of st. francis Xavier, there were double Vespers, and high mass; and the new ostensorium was exposed for the 1st time.

On the 17th, began the benedictions of the Benedictions of the O’s, the blessed sacrament being exposed;[22] and they continued throughout the octave. Father Simon commenced his preaching on Christmas eve at midnight mass, as usual in other years; all went well. Father Dablon and I went to Matins at the parish church, where the last psalms were chanted with musical accompaniment.

There was some disorder in connection with the drink of the singers or Children of our seminary. In addition to their beer, I had a pot of Wine given them on the eve; and, on the Day itself, the churchwardens also gave them some, without our knowing it. This made Amador so hoarse that he could not sing any more on the feasts; the same happened to other musicians, François d’Anger and others.

JANUARY, 1663.

On the eve, as new-year’s gifts to ours, the father Minister carried to the rooms of our Fathers 3 pieces of Citron-peel and a coil of wax taper[23] for each, and to our brethren a coil of wax taper; to Monsieur Garnier, two pieces of Citron-peel and a coil of wax taper. At the sentences I gave each one a Picture on Vellum, and another representing the holy handkerchief.

In the morning, Monsieur dudouit[24] said [Page 295] the Communion mass. Vespers ceased at the parish church on the vigil, which was Sunday; and, on the Day itself, a

procession took place there. Vespers were sung here solemnly, on the vigil and on the Day; and then there was benediction, after the sermon.

In the morning, between 7 and 8, I went to pay my respects to Monsieur the governor, who came here in the afternoon and stayed until Vespers.

The Hospital nuns and Ursulines sent twelfth-cakes for the savages on the Epiphany, without having been asked to do so.

During this month several journeys were made from this place to 3 rivers, and from 3 rivers hither. Among others, Monsieur de la Poterie came.

On the night between the 23rd and the 24th, La badaude’s house was robbed, and the thief, larose, set fire to it to conceal his Crime; but he was convicted and hanged.

Several other thieves were found out, but few were punished. As the disregard for the Excommunication respecting liquors continued, it was renewed; and, as but little improvement resulted therefrom, it seemed to be the will of God that he himself should avert the Insults offered to him.


On the purification, the same services were celebrated as last year. Item, during Shrovetide. This time was remarkable, among other things, for a frightful and sudden Earthquake. It began half an hour after the close of [Page 297] benediction on Monday, the 5th of february, the feast of our holy martyrs of Japan, namely at about 5½ o’clock, and lasted about the length of 2 misereres. It took place again at night, and was repeated many times on the following Days and nights, sometimes more and sometimes less violently. It injured some chimneys and caused other slight losses and damages, but did a great deal of good to souls; for on shrove tuesday and Ash Wednesday one would have said that it was easter Sunday, so many Confessions and Communions were there, and all devotions were frequented. This lasted until the 15th of march, or thereabout, quite perceptibly.

Father Charles Simon, who has come from France, preached on festivals and Sundays at the parish church and on Wednesdays and Fridays at the religious houses; father Chatelain at the Ursulines, and I at the hospital, on Sundays and feast-days.

This month also, there were several journeys from 3 rivers hither, and especially on account of news from Montreal.

Item, Monsieur d’Auteuil’s house at Monceaux was burned. There were many pilgrimages from all parts to the shrine of st. Michael.

Item, a number of Concessions were given on the lands of the savages at Sillery.


As the feast of St. Joseph fell on Monday in Holy week, it was celebrated and not deferred. The Tenebræ were solemnly chanted [Page 299] in our Church, with instrumental accompaniment. We had Thought that the church would be Crowded, and that there would not be enough room; but a fourth of the space was unoccupied. It passed well. We began at 3 o’clock, and finished at 5½. The same on Wednesday.

Compline at the parish church on Saturday, and then solemn benediction at our church. On the 3 ferice of easter there were benedictions at the parish church.

The bell for the office on Saturday was rung at 7 o’clock, one hour earlier than was necessary; this caused some trouble.


Sowing began on the 15th. The first voyage was made by boquet to 3 rivers. He started on the 17th and returned thence on the 25th, with more than one hundred minots of wheat.

Shortly before that, we received news of the French who, to the number of 9, had fled from Tadousac, where they had wintered with two others, who remained there.

On the 25th father Druilletes started for his mission of Tadousac for the 1st time.


On the first, Monsieur phylis[25] left for Gaspé I gave him a letter for father le Jeune.

On the 20th, or Thereabout father Gabriel, who had been detained by the Northeast wind, set out once more. [Page 301]

On the 24th, the festival of Corpus Christi, the Algonquain warriors who, to the number of 42 had gone away 3 weeks before, returned; they brought back 10 scalps, among others that of le fer, the most renowned Captain of the yroquois, and also 3 prisoners alive, two of whom were shot.

On the festival of Corpus Christi, as last Year, mass was not begun until at ½ past eight. It should have been begun at 8, at the latest. On the eve there were no vespers at the parish church, but there was benediction at ours. On the Day itself, the procession took place in the morning, as last year. The Blessed Sacrament was then exposed there until after vespers and the sermon, at the end of which there was benediction. We also had benediction here as usual at 5½ o’clock, and likewise throughout the ensuing octave. On the Day of the octave the Procession took place at 6 o’clock in the morning, on account of the excessive heat. We went to the hospital, with the intention of going next Year to the Ursulines’ quarter.

On the 29th, father Simon started with Departure of Jaques Aubry for 3 rivers, in Monsieur de la Poterie's shallop.

On the same Day, at about 9 or 10 o’clock in the evening, sieur de Beaulieu was burned to death in his own house at the Island of Orléans with one of his valets in a fire that had broken out by accident.[26]

And on the following day, the 30th, Monsieur Jean Guyon died a natural death. [Page 303]

It turned out that the fire which had caught in the house of sieur de Beaulieu had not occurred by accident but through the malice of a valet, after he had killed his master and another valet, his comrade. He was convicted and sentenced to have his hand cut of, and to be hanged and them burned. Monsieur the governor was contented that he should die upon the scaffold; after having been tormented[27] thereon by the executioner, he was shot, on the 8th of June.

On the same Day, Monsieur le Chevalier left, with a detachment of 35, — consisting partly of soldiers, and partly of settlers of the country, — on a hostile expedition, in 9 canoes.

On the last day of June, the ship of Monsieur le gangneur arrived.


On the 5th, Monsieur l’Espiné’s Shallop arrived, having on

board sieur de Mazé, the secretary of Monsieur the governor, and one of the fugitives from Tadousac, named La brie, who was hanged on the following day.

On the 20th, Giton, a merchant, came in a Shallop, having left his ship at Isle aux Coudres.

On the 23rd, monsieur Davaugour, the Governor, left in la Gangneur’s ship; and a short time before sieur philis and sieur de st. Denys had returned, with father Druilletes.

On the 24th, the aforesaid ship of Giton arrived.

On the 30th, the vessel from Normandy [Page 305] arrived, with an English bark which had on board 7 Frenchmen, saved from the yroquois.

On the 31st, father le Moyne started for Montreal, and, in event, for Sonontwan.

On the feast of St., Ignatius, vespers were sung on the eve at 4 o’clock, and then there was benediction. On the Day itself, there was mass at 8 o’clock, with a sermon; at 4 o’clock, the 2nd vespers and benediction. Father Dablon preached; and, on the eve, the Exhortation was made by father Chatelain.


On the 5th, those who had gone to the Outawac 3 years ago returned. When they left they were 9 Frenchmen, and 7 came back. Father Ménard and his man, Jean Guerin, one of our donnés, had died there — father Ménard on the 7th or 8th of August, 1661, and Jean Guerin in September 1662. They reached Montreal on the 5th of July, the party consisting of 35 Canoes with 150 men.

The goods that were left were faithfully disposed of by those who remained. It would take 800 livres more than the value of the Beaver-robes brought back to compensate us for the expense incurred for that expedition.


On the 6th, the ship from Normandy sailed, having on board father Charles Simon, who had come here in november last year.

On the 7th, we received news of the king’s ship, which, we thought, bore Monseigneur of Petræa. A Shallop was sent to meet him [Page 307] at Tadousac, and in fact it brought

back here, on the 9th, Monsieur the governor de Mezy, Monseigneur the Bishop, and others. It was sent back to bring our sick, who arrived here with the Shallop and the 2 ships of the king, on the 22nd, with father Pierre Raffeix[28] and our brother Louys le Boeme on board.


On the 26th, the two ships of the king weighed anchor before Quebek; but, the Northeast wind rising, they were detained quite near here until the 28th.

About this time, father Fremin went up to the Cape to take charge of that post, and father Allouez came here.


On the 19th, father Henry Nouvel left to winter with the savages — with the papinachiois, but on the south Shore with other Montagnais.


On the and, the Feast of st. Xavier, the same was done as in past years; except that Monseigneur the Bishop and Monsieur the governor, monsieur de Chartran, son of the Intendant, and two Ecclesiastics, Monsieur de meseré[29] and Monsieur de Bernieres, dined in our refectory. In case we Invite any one to dinner, it is sufficient to commence mass at 9 o’clock, and vespers at 2 o’clock. They were given only the Commons of the refectory.

On the 17th began the devotion of the [Page 309] benedictions of the O’s, as last year. There was benediction on Christmas eve and on Christmas day, and every Day throughout the octave, until the Circumcision.

On the 15th or 16th, François the musician returned. We undertook to feed him out of charity, and Monseigneur the Bishop or the parish to supply him with vestitum.. [Page 311]



For bibliographical particulars of Relation of 1660-61, see our Vol. XLVI.


In reprinting the Relation of 1661-62 (Paris, 1663), we follow a copy of the original Cramoisy edition in the Lenox Library, which at one time belonged to the Bibliothèque Nationale of Paris. A prefatory epistle from Jerome Lalemant is dated “A Kebec, ce 18. de Septembre 1662.” The “Priuilege” was “Donné à Paris, le dix-huictefme Decembre 1662;” and the “Permifsion” is dated “A Paris, le 8. Ianuier mil fix tens foixante-vn.” This annual forms no. 119 of Harrisse’s Notes.

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; prefatory letter of Lalemant, pp. (4); “Table des Chapitres,” with “Priuilege” on the verso, I leaf; text (7 chaps.), pp. 1-118; “Permifsion,” with verso blank, I leaf. Signatures: 5 in four, A-G in eights, H in four. No mispaging.

Copies have been sold or priced as follows: Harrassowitz (1882), no. 42, priced at ISO marks; O’Callaghan (1882), no. 1241, sold for $50, and had cost him $38 in gold; Quaritch’s General Catalogue (1887), no. 30006, priced at ₤8 10 sh.; and Barlow (1890), no. 1311, sold for $55. Copies are to be found in the following libraries: Lenox, Harvard, Brown [Page 313] (private), Marshall (private), Ayer (private), Laval University (Quebec), Library of Parliament (Ottawa), British Museum, and Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris).


The original MS. of this Latin letter of Jerome Lalemant to the father general, dated at Quebec, August 18, 1663, is ex MSS. Soc. Jes. We follow an apograph thereof, which rests in the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal.


This Declaration of Lands which the Jesuits possessed in New France in 1663, was made for the Intendant in October of that year. The contemporaneous copy thereof, made for Father Ragueneau, now rests in the Archives Nationales, at Paris, its press-mark being “K. 1232, No. 40.” We follow this copy.


Bibliographical particulars of the Journal des Jésuites are given in Vol. XXVII. of our series.


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

[1] (p. 51). — The term bois blanc (“white wood”) is still in use among the French-Canadians to designate various trees. “the wood of which is whitish, and not very compact, such as poplar, aspen, etc.” (Clapin’s Dict. Canad.-Fran.).

[2] (p, 59) — Rigueronnons: Eries (vol. viii., p. 302; vol. xxi., p. 313).

[3] (p. 83). — This youth was the son of Jacques Hertel (vol. ix., note 3) and was at this time but nineteen years of age. He had entered the militia at Three Rivers at least three years previously, and was long Prominent in the military affairs of Canada. In 1664, François (who bore the title of sieur de la Frenière) married Marguerite de Thauvenet, by whom he had thirteen children. He died in May, 1722.

[4] (p. 87). — Quentin Moral de St. Quentin, a lieutenant of the king, married (1652), at the age of thirty, the widow of Jacques Hertel; they had four children, all daughters. St. Quentin died in May, 1686.

[5] (p. 89). — Louis Guimont, a native of Perche, married in 1653, at Quebec, Jeanne Bitouset, by whom he had four children. The exact date of his death is not recorded.

[6] (p. 91). — The lad mentioned in the text was evidently connected with the family of Christopher Crevier, sieur de la Meslé (vol. xxxviii., note 13). According to Tanguay, no son of the latter was named Antoine; but this name may have been a part of the name of Christopher’s eldest son, François (born in 1640) who, Suite says, was slain by the Iroquois.

[7] (p. 107). — Reference is here made to some tribe of the Algonkin stock, allied to the Mohegans — possibly the Sokokis, or the Delawares. Brinton remarks (Lenâpe, p. 19). concerning the Eastern Algonkin tribes: “By the western and southern tribes they were collectively known as Wapanachkik — ‘those of the eastern region’ — which in the form Abnaki is now Confined to the remnant [Page 315] of a tribe in Maine. The Delawares in the far West retain traditionally the ancient confederate name, and Still speak of themselves a ‘Eastlanders.’”

[8] (p. 145). — It seems probable — after making due allowance for the “travelers’ tales” of the Iroquois, repeated from hearsay by the Fathers — that the tree thus described was the palmetto, or cabbage-palm, of the South (Sabal Palmetto).

[9] (p. 145). — Ontôagannha: the Shawnees — when first known, living in Western Kentucky. Their migrations were frequent, and cannot be satisfactorily traced; but they seem to have wandered up the Kentucky and Tennessee Rivers, across the mountains, into Virginia and the Carolinas; then (about 1683) into Ohio; and about 1698, to Pennsylvania. Between 1726 and 1756, most of the Shawnees returned to Ohio. About 1832, they were removed by the Federal government to a reservation in Kansas. — See Brinton’s “Shawnees and Their Migrations,” Hist. Mag., vol. x., pp. 1-4; and Lenâpé, p-20.

L. H. Morgan characterizes the Shawnee dialect as one of the three containing “the highest specimens of Algonkin speech,” and as “colloquially, the most beautiful dialect of the Algonkin speech;” see his “Systems of Consanguinity,” in Smiths Contrib., vol. xvii, (Washington, 1871), pp. 201, 215-217.

[10] (p. 147). — Regarding the Bay de St. Esprit, see vol. xiv., note 21. The Vermilion Sea was an appellation of the Gulf of California.

[11] (p. 149). — Nation du Bœf: the name given by the French to a sedentary tribe of Sioux Indians (vol. xxiii., note 8), on account of the herds of buffalo that roamed through the country of that tribe.

[12] (p. 221). — Regarding these harbors, see vol. v., note 7; and vol. ix., note 34,

[13] (p. 221). — Concerning these tribes, see vol. xviii., notes 11, 13.

[14] (p. 247). — Augustin de Saffray, chevalier de Mézy, was commandant of Caen, Normandy; he had formerly been a Calvinist, but was led to abjure that faith for Catholicism. Through Laval’s influence, and the recommendations of the Jesuits, De Mézy was appointed governor of Canada, in place of D’Avaugour, of whom the Jesuits had made so many complaints to the king that he was recalled to France. Dissensions soon arose between the new governor and the bishop, which, of course, more or less involved the Jesuits; but these were ended by De Mézy’s death, May 6, 1665.

It is worth while to notice here D’Avaugour’s views and intentions regarding the country placed in his charge by the king. Soon after reaching Canada, he wrote the letter given by us in vol. xlvi., pp. 148-153; and, upon leaving the country, he wrote two memorials [Page 316] to the home government — one, upon the defense of Canada against the Iroquois; the other, referring partly to the same subject, Partly to the development of the country, and advising that its resources be not divided and wasted in the attempt to maintain settlements at Gaspé, Placentia, and Cape Breton. He repeatedly urged that adequate aid be sent from France, both in money and soldiers; and promised, if that were done, to humble the Iroquois and deliver Canada from them within a few months. See these memorials in N.Y. Colon. Docs., vol. ix., pp. 13-17, 20, 21.

[15] (p. 249). — Early in 1663, a radical and sweeping change was made by Louis XIV. and his minister, Jean Baptiste Colbert, In the government of the Canadian colonies. In obedience to the royal mandate, the seigniorial rights of the Company of New France were surrendered to the crown; the concessions of lands not yet cleared were revoked and annulled: and all power was vested in a council, to be composed of the governor, Bishop Laval and five councilors, with an attorney-general and secretary — all to be chosen by the governor and Laval jointly. One of these councilors, as named in the edict, was one Robert, intendant; but his name does not occur afterward in this connection, and it is probable that he did not come to Canada. See copies of these documents published in Édits et Ordonnances (Quebec, 1854), pp. 30-33, 37-39. Cf. Suite’s Canad.-Fran., t. iv., chaps. i.-iii.: Parkman’s Old Régime, pp. 131-158, 169-173; Kingsford’s Canada, pp. 284-294; Garneau’s Canada, t. i., pp. 158, 168-182.

[16] (p. 277). — This was probably Pierre Noland (Nolan), surnamed le Chevalier; he married (1663) Catherine Houart, by whom he had six children. D’Avaugour and Mme. de la Peltrie were witnesses of the marriage contract. In the census of 1681, Noland is mentioned as a tavern-keeper.

[17] (p. 285). — Henri Nouvel was born at Pézenas, Mar. 1, 1624; and entered the Jesuit order Aug. 28, 1648. Coming to Canada in 1662, he spent seven years among the tribes at and below Tadoussac. In the years 1669-70, he was procurator, and prefect of studies, at the College of Quebec. The winter of 1671-72 he spent with the Amikoués, near Sault Ste. Marie; and he was superior of the Ottawa missions from 1672 to 1680 (except 1678-79, when Albanel was superior) and again 1688-95, with headquarters at the Sault. Sommervogel says that Nouvel remained in Canada until 1695 and died at Aix-la-Chapelle Jan. 8, 1696. The annual Catalogues of the Society, however, name him as connected with the Ottawa mission, up to 1700. That for 1702 mentions him simply as Octogenarius — the last reference to him in these lists. Father Jones considers it more probable that his death occurred at Aix-en-Provence than at Aix-la-Chapelle (which may be a clerical error in the preparation of “copy” for Sommervogel’s Bibliographie, as the former city was near Nouvel’s birthplace, and contained a Jesuit college.

[18] (p. 285). — Louis Péronne Dumesnil, son of Jean (vol. xlvi,, note 16); he came to Canada with D’Avaugour. as the latter’s secretary (1661). In that same year, he acquired a small fief on Orléans Island. In 1664, he was captain of the garrison in the fort of Quebec, and was appointed a member of the council. Apparently he did not remain long in Canada, probably returning to France about 1665.

[19] (p. 289). — Jacques le Ber, born near Rouen (1633), married at Montreal (1658) Jeanne, sister of Charles le Moyne (vol. xxvii., note 10); they had five children, their only daughter, Jeanne, attaining considerable repute by her extreme ascetic practices. Le Ber was one of the proprietors of St. Paul Island (vol. xliii. note 14), and a prominent merchant in Montreal. The date of his death is not recorded.

[20] (p. 289). — Tanguay gives the names of these parties to the marriage as Laurent du Bocq and Marie Felix Arontio. They had seven children, one of whom became a nun. Catherine (whose surname was Annennontank) married Jean Durand, by whom she had three children; after his death (1671) she married Jacques Couturier (1672), by whom she had five children. She was but thirteen years old at her first marriage.

[21] (p. 293). — Pierre Boucher, governor of Three Rivers in 1653-58 (vol. xxviii., note 18), went to France in the autumn of 1661, delegated by the habitants, and with the approval of D’Avaugour (note 14, ante, to represent the needs and dangers of the colony, and ask substantial aid from the government for its protection and development. Louis XIV. had recently lost his prime minister, Masarin, by death; and the king was now disposed to govern his realms in person. He was surprised at the information given by Boucher of the resources, advantages, and possibilities of Canada; and made plans to place the colony under the direct control of the crown, and to give it material aid. Accordingly he sent back with Boucher, as mentioned in the text, a hundred soldiers, and an officer named Dumont, who was ordered to examine and report the actual condition of the colony. Boucher also engaged 200 colonists in France, who returned with him (1662). During the year following, he wrote (in accordance with the king’s request) his little book, Hist. vérif. et nat. de la Nouv. France, published at Paris, 1664. Sulte claims that the circulation of this book was promptly suppressed by interested Persons who, for their own profit, wished that Canada should remain a wilderness. See his introduction to the Royal Society of Canada’s reprint Of Boucher’s book, in Proccedings, 1896-97, vol. 11., sect. I, pp. 99-119.

Charles Simon, born at Bourges, Feb. 5, 1620, entered the Jesuit novitiate Dec. 16, 1638. Coming to Canada in 1662, he remained but One year; after returning to France, he wrote an account of the earthquake which had occurred during his stay in America. Ragueneau’s Latin translation of this memoir will appear in our next volume (x1viii.); the document is not mentioned by SommerVogel. Simon Was a preacher during thirty years; he died at Pontoise, March 9, 1697.

[22] (p. 295). — Saluts des OO: thus defined by Bescherelle. “An appellation of Seven or nine anthems, chanted by the Roman Church during Advent, seven or nine days before Christmas, — named thus because all of them begin with the exclamation ‘O!’” The same explanation is given in an English liturgy used in the Quebec diocese. I am told that the only place in Quebec where this usage is still maintained is the Hôtel-Dieu. — Crawford Lindsay.

[23] (p. 295). — Pain de bougie: defined by Clifton-Grimaur as “a wax taper about the thickness of a quill, and wound like a ball of string.” They were carried in the pocket of the soutane, and used for lighting candles or lamps. — Crawford Lindsay.

[24] (p. 295). — Jean Dudouyt came to Quebec to officiate in the parish church; he was assistant to its curé, Bernières, and, later, one of Laval’s grand vicars. He remained in Canada till after Frontenac’s arrival; disputes arising between them, Dudouyt returned to France; he died at Paris, Jan. 15, 1688.

[25] (p. 301). — One of the early settlers of Detroit was Jacques Desmoulins, dit philis, which renders it probable that Desmoulins was the family name of the Philis mentioned in our text.

[26] (p. 303). — Reference is here made to Jacques Gourdeau, sieur de Beaulieu (vol. xi., note 12).

[27] (p. 305). — As written in the original MS., the word ‘thus translated resembles seeo é. Laverdière, in the Quebec edition, makes it suiui; but this is not altogether satisfactory. A better emendation is secoué.

[28] (p. 309). — Pierre Raffeix, a native of Auvergne, born Jan. 15, 1633 (following Rochemonteix,. but 1635, according to Sommervogel), became a Jesuit novice at Toulouse, March 23, 1653. He spent the usual term as instructor at the colleges of Aubenas, Rodez, [Page 319] Aurillac, and Alby (1655-61); then pursued his theological studies at Toulouse (1661-63) whence he departed for Canada, He, with Frémin, was appointed to the Cayuga mission in 1666; but, at the same time, Tracy was planning an invasion of the Mohawk country, which prevented them from carrying out their plan. At Tracy’s request, however, Raffeix accompanied the troops as a chaplain. In October, 1667, Raffeix wintered at the Isles Perées (islets in the St. Lawrence, opposite Boucherville, now called Isles Communes), and had charge of the Jesuit seigniory at Prairie de la Magdelaine. There he founded a residence and mission, to which Iroquois converts were sent by the missionaries, to remove them from the temptations, so frequent in their country, to the use of intoxicating liquors. This reduction was called St. François Xavier des Près. In 1671, Raffeix was sent to the Cayuga mission; there and among the Senecas, he labored till 1680. His death took place at Quebec, in August, 1724.

The Catalogue of Library of Parliament (Toronto, 1858) mentions (p. 1615) among the maps in that library copied in Paris, 1852-53, an interesting one by Raffeix, dated 1676, “Map of the westernmost parts of Canada.” A note by the copyist, P. L. Morin, says: “This map is accompanied by an extensive legend, full of information, especially in regard to the voyages of Father Marquette and sieur Joliet.” On the next page of the Catalogue is noted another map (dated 1688), the title of which is the same as that of one in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, ascribed to Raffeix by Sommervogel — a map of “Lake Ontario, with the adjacent Regions, and especially the five Iroquois nations.” Sommervogel cites another map by Raffeix, in the library of the Marine Bureau, “representing New France: from the Ocean to lake Erie, and, on the South, to New England.”

[29] (p. 309). — Louis Ango de Maizerets, a native of Rouen, was born about 1636. Educated by the Jesuits at La Flèche, he was early attracted to the religious life; he was an inmate of the Caen “Hermitage,” from 1653 to 1663. In the latter year, he came to Canada with Laval; he was superior of the Seminary of Quebec during thirty-one years, and filled several other ecclesiastical positions in that diocese. He died in Quebec, April 23, 1721.

[To be updated]


[Seiecred from his pctitivrl to the Govertmr, in 1662, relative to the claims of Sieur de la Potherie at Cap de In Madeleine.

Original is in the archives of St. Mary‘s College. Montrea1.j..,.-.. Ad....