The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents


Travels and Explorations

of the Jesuit Missionaries

in New France







Reuben Gold Thwaites

Secretary of the State historical Society of Wisconsin


Tomasz Mentrak



Lower Canada, Iroquois:


CLEVELAND:            The Burrows Brothers






[Page ii]

The edition consists of sev-

en hundred and fifty sets

all numbered.


The Burrows Brothers Co.

[Page iii]

Copyright, 1899


The Burrows Company


all rights reserved

The Imperial Press, Cleveland

[Page iv]



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 XLIX.






Relation de ce qvi s’est passé en la Novvelle France, és années 1663. & 1664. [Second and final installment of the document.] Hierosme Lalemant; Quebec, August 30, 1664.



Journal des PP. Jésuites. Hierosme Lalemant, Quebek, January-July, 1665; François le Mercier, Quebecq, August-December, 1665.



Relation de ce qvi s’est passé en la Novvelle France, és années 1664. & 1665. [Chaps. i.-v., first installment of the document.] François le Mercier; Kebec, November 3, 1665









Bibliographical Data; Volume XLIX.






[Page vii]







Photographic facsimile of title-page, Relation of 1664-65.



Map of the Iroquois country, and forts on River Richelieu. From the Relation of 1664-65

Facing 266








[Page viii]


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

CXV. In the preceding volume, Chaps. i.-ii. of the Relation of 1663-64 were presented; the remainder of the document is herewith given. A letter by Nouvel continues his account of his experiences among the wandering Algonkins. At Easter, they show great piety and zeal, several voluntarily scourging themselves; and they obey the Father in all his commands regarding their customs. He rewards them with a feast of “sagamité, seasoned with fat and with smoked Moose-flesh. A little piece of tobacco was their dessert.” He then proceeds to the north shore of the St. Lawrence, with a band of Papinachois Indians; his diary of this voyage, and of a visit to another and neighboring tribe, is given in the Relation. They coast along the Labrador shore, and ascend the Black River to Lake Manikouagan; Nouvel claims that no European had ever before been seen in this region. He names the lake for St. Barnabas. A considerable number of savages are at this rendezvous: they build a chapel for Nouvel, and he celebrates the rites of the church and instructs these neophytes. The entire company seek and receive baptism. These people are gentle, kind, honest, and virtuous; and “ they know not what drunkenness is.” Nouvel meets an intelligent [Page 9] savage from the far interior, who tells him of new lands and tribes to be conquered for the faith.

The remnant of the Hurons at Quebec are constantly advancing in faith and piety, of which various instances are recounted. One of these disciples “ intends to make, at her death, the blessed Virgin heiress to all her possessions. ” A letter from one of the Ursulines describes the remarkably devout behavior of an old Algonkin woman, received by the nuns in charity.

Even in the land of the Iroquois, there is a Christian church — which, although in captivity, is full of devout resignation and fervent piety. Not only the enslaved Hurons and some French prisoners are included therein, but some of the Iroquois themselves are zealous Christians. Notable among these last is Garakontie, a leading Onondaga chief. He has kept up the chapel erected in his village by the Jesuits, and built “ a French house for the missionaries whom he expects.” He has ransomed many French prisoners, and has risked his life in this work of charity. Among the Frenchmen still detained at Onondaga is one, the oldest of all, who is a sort of pastor for all the Christians there. The Indian women bring their infants to him for baptism; and he rebukes any dereliction from duty on the part of the Frenchmen. The Huron captives hold secret meetings, and recite all the prayers they know. A letter of Allouez details the conversion and pious death of a Seneca Indian at Montreal.

A chapter is devoted to the captivity and adventures of two French soldiers, made prisoners by the Mohawks. They are about to be burned to death, when an Onondaga envoy asks their lives, that they [Page 10] may aid in securing a treaty with the French. This being granted, he sets out with the prisoners, but deserts them on the way. After many hardships, they reach Onondaga, aided by the protection of the Virgin, and the charity of some women. One of these is a Huron captive, who, as a girl, had been reared and educated by the Ursulines at Quebec; another is an Iroquois matron, who is filled with pity at the misery of the fugitives.

In the spring of 1664, an Iroquois embassy of unusual importance and dignity is despatched to Quebec with overtures of peace, and the request for Jesuits to live among them. So often have they done the same thing in treachery, and so crafty are they, that the French dare not trust them. It is generally supposed that the Iroquois ask for peace mainly as a matter of policy, since they have recently experienced great losses through war, disease, and famine, This embassy is attacked on the way by Algonkins, and dispersed, several Iroquois being killed, and others captured. The French now see themselves in danger of still more cruel war, by which the Iroquois will seek revenge for this disaster. A postscript, taken from a letter written after the Relation had been sent to France, mentions another embassy sent to Quebec by the Cayugas.

CXVI. Lalemant continues the Journal des Jésuites for 1665, until August 3; he is then succeeded by Le Mercier. At New-Year’s, the Jesuits pay the customary visit to the governor (De Mézy), “ although he was on bad terms with us and with all the Ecclesiastics. ” Later, he becomes very ill, and the Jesuits, after much labor, effect his reconciliation with the church; he dies on May 5. Soon after this, Allouez leaves for [Page 11] Quebec for his mission among the Ottawas and Nouvel for his among the Papinachois.

In June arrive the ships from France; on them are several Jesuits, and — most welcome of all, in the great need of the colony — a regiment of soldiers. With them comes also the Marquis de Tracy, appointed royal lieutenant-general for the French possessions in America. The troops forthwith begin work on a new fort at the mouth of Richelieu River. Le Mercier becomes superior of the Canadian missions, August 6, in place of Lalemant. On that day, a great trading fleet of Ottawas comes down to Three Rivers; on their return, Allouez goes with them. Tracy commands the habitants to supply 800 cords of wood for the soldiers who are to winter at Quebec. On September 12, more high officials arrive — the new governor, De Courcelles; and Talon, the intendant. About this time, the superior remarks: “ Up to the present, nearly 20 heretics have been converted. ”

The new governor reestablishes the old council, dissolving that appointed by De Mézy. The Jesuits plan to enlarge their work for the coming year, and to ask for new missionaries; they also decide to ask for a printing outfit, intending to issue publications in Huron, Montagnais, and Iroquois. October 2, an important accession to the colony arrives — a ship from Normandy brings eighty-two girls and women, and one hundred and thirty laboring men.

In November, François du Peron dies at Fort Richelieu; and, a few weeks later, Simon le Moyne, at Cap de la Magdeleine. Charles le Moyne arrives at Quebec, December 2, with an Onondaga embassy, who, as usual, talk of a peace. They are feasted by the Associates and by the Jesuits. [Page 12]

CXVII. The Relation of 1664-65 is sent by François le Mercier, the new Canadian superior. We present herewith but the first five chapters; the remainder will appear in Vol. L. Some copies of this annual contain a letter (which we here reproduce) written by the superior of the hospital nuns at Quebec, dated October 23, 1665. It gives some account of their labors, which have been greatly increased this year. She thanks her correspondent, “ a citizen of Paris,” for aid sent to this hospital. More nuns are needed there, but they should have dowries, that the hospital funds may be used solely for the poor. The writer mentions the constantly — increasing expenses that must be incurred in their work, and adds a list of medicines, utensils, etc., which they need, requesting her correspondent to secure these for the hospital. She mentions certain Huguenots who, after being cared for by the nuns, renounced their heresy. The list of articles needed for the sick fully justifies the praises given by the Jesuits to the Quebec hospital and its devoted nurses.

The Relation proper begins with an urgent appeal for more missionaries. The coming of troops from France has encouraged the hearts of all the people in Canada, and especially of the Jesuits; for now there is hope that the Iroquois may be humbled, and the way opened for the establishment of missions. Le Mercier relates the circumstances connected with Tracy’s commission to visit all the French possessions in America, and that official’s voyage and doings in pursuance thereof. When he arrives at Quebec, he is received with great honors by all the people, the officials, and the ecclesiastics. The Huron and Algonkin allies of the French also [Page 13] welcome Tracy after their own fashion — that is, with harangues and presents, all of which are described at length.

A Frenchman who has spent the past year among the Ottawas, and has come down with their trading fleet, relates to the priests many interesting particulars about the tribes of the great Northwest. Allouez goes with the Algonkins on their return to Lake Superior, to take the place of Ménard there. Tracy sends by him presents and messages to the tribes whom he is to visit, promising the Algonkins the aid of French troops, and exhorting them to embrace the faith. Le Mercier relates the erection of the three new forts on the Richelieu River, which Tracy has ordered; in this connection, he describes “ the Iroquois country, and the routes leading thither” — that is, the Richelieu-Champlain and the St. Lawrence-Ontario waterways.

R. G. T.

Madison, Wis., July, 1899.


[Page 14]

CXV (concluded)

Relation Of 1663-44




Chaps. i.-ii. were given in our Volume XLVIII.; the remainder of the document is herewith presented. [Page 15]





                                        Pax Christi.

You have seen in my preceding letter the most important events that occurred during my wintering with the Savages; you will read in this one what occurred from that day on which I had the pleasure of writing to you, up to the twenty-first of April, when we crossed the great river saint Lawrence, to enter the lands of the North. Having begun my first Campaign under the favorable auspices of the holy family [37] of Jesus, Mary! and Joseph, I experienced on several occasions how greatly God approves of our asking favors of him through the mediation of Jesus Christ, who has earned them all for us, and of our appealing to the blessed Virgin and saint Joseph as to the most powerful Advocates whom we can have with our adorable Savior. I am bound to publish the following for the greater glory of that visible August Trinity.

On the eleventh day of March I lost my way in the woods, which I had entered with the intention of pushing on to a mountain whence the sea may be descried — having undertaken this excursion as a walk, the day being very fine; and I found myself in great perplexity when I had to return to the Cabin. Instead of retracing my steps, I 1381 decided to try an entirely new path, thinking thus to shorten the way; [Page 17] but I was much out in my reckoning. After walking until nightfall, I recognized perfectly that I had lost my way, and I found myself in a difficult situation; for to stop would have been to expose myself to death in the snow during the rigors of a freezing night, while to go on in the darkness of the night was to put myself in great danger of wandering farther and farther astray. In this perplexity I fell on my knees and said my Compline; after which I prayed to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, and made a vow in honor of that very Holy and August Family. Then, changing my course as if directed by a guide, I traversed a very dense wood, where there [39] was at least six feet of snow. After enduring much fatigue, I came luckily to a little stream, entirely frozen over, which I had passed some days before; and recognizing the locality, I reached the Camp toward eleven o’clock in the evening, I cannot express the joy of my poor Savages at my arrival. “ Oh, how sad our hearts were! ” said they to me. “ We could not sleep at all, thinking that thou hadst been killed by the Iroquois, or that thou wert dying of cold after losing thy way in the woods. We all prayed for thee to him who made all things.” “ Let us give him thanks,” said I to them, “ for the favor which I have just received from his goodness. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph took pity on me; I called upon them when I had gone astray, and they set me right again. [40] Let us have recourse to them in our necessities and they will assist us.” After our thanksgiving, as I had not seen in the Cabin the Frenchman who accompanied me, I asked where he was, and was informed that, being anxious about me, he had gone into the woods toward evening to look [Page 19] for me; and that without doubt, having found the marks of my snowshoes, he was following, under favor of the Moon, the entire route which I had taken. This news disturbed me, and I was as apprehensive on his account as the others had been on mine; but he who set my steps aright in my wandering led him back safely to the Cabin. I thanked him for his kindness, and he told me that I had run a great risk, if I had continued my route toward the South; but that, at the spot where I had made a pause (it was the place where I said my Compline [41] and made my vow), I had set my course exactly right, and had come by the shortest way to the Cabin.

On the fourteenth, we arrived at the bank of the great river saint Lawrence. We took pleasure in making our sledges glide over the snow, through a fine beech forest where our hunters had killed some Moose several days before. The beauty of the country alleviated for us all the inconveniences and fatigues of the journey: and we admired God’s providence in ordaining that we should not be deprived of the consolation of saying and hearing holy Mass. The Frenchman’s sledge, which carried a part of our provisions, escaping from his hands in going down a mountain, ran against trees which shattered it, as well as what it [42] bore, with the exception of a bottle in which I had a little wine left for Mass until the arrival of the Shallops from Kebec. All our Savages regarded this as a little miracle.

On the eighteenth, we prepared ourselves for the celebration of the feast of saint Joseph, Patron of New France. Our Savages began with a strict fast and Confession, which they made on the evening before. On the day following this Confession, they [Page 21] heard Mass and received Communion with great devotion, favored by the beautiful day which Cod gave us. After telling their Beads in the afternoon, they prepared a fine bonfire for the evening, there being no lack of wood for this purpose. I chanted the Te Deum with the two Frenchmen, and the Savages [43] added their spiritual hymns, besides the discharge of their rifles, which they redoubled in testimony of the respect and confidence which they have toward this great Saint. Those who, being still out hunting, did not take part in this solemnity, rendered their homage on the day of the Annunciation of the blessed Virgin, for whom the Savages have an especial tenderness.

On the twenty-first, we tried to make our way over the ice to Isle aux Basques, to put ourselves out of danger from the Iroquois — who, some said, had been espied by them when out hunting; but some ice having broken under our feet, we were obliged to turn back, after having already made a good league on the great river.

On the twenty-second of April, the [44] ice having melted in part, we went by land to the place where we had left our Shallop when we entered the woods. We found it all under snow, and it took three days to put it into shape. Thereupon we embarked for Isle aux Basques, whither we made our way through the ice in one day.

This Island, which is distant from the river’s banks only two leagues toward the South and seven toward the North, is very agreeable; it is only one league in length, and half a league in width. It bears the name of Isle aux Basques because the Basques formerly carried on Whale-fishing there. [Page 23] I took pleasure in visiting the furnaces which they built for trying out their oil; and, very near by, there are still to be seen great ribs of the Whales which they killed.

[45] It was to this Island that God’s Providence led us, to spend there Holy week and Easter week, and it was here that our Savages gave evidence of their piety. Scarcely had I marked a spot for the erection of a Chapel, when immediately the men ran to get their hatchets, in order to cut the wood necessary for building it; while the women and girls gathered fir branches for its floor, walls, and roof. We required only one day to put it in such condition that we could perform our devotions there.

In this Chapel I began at once the instructions for the Easter Confession and Communion. I read to them an account of the Passion of Jesus Christ, which I had translated into their language, and to which they listened very attentively. To these general instructions I added [46] private ones, in which each one opened his conscience to me with as much candor as the most scrupulous novice. It is beyond belief how easily they are won over when one speaks to their hearts from his own. I divided those who could receive communion into two bands; the first performed its Paschal duty on Holy Thursday, and the second on Easter Sunday. Good Friday was spent in confessing those who were not yet admitted to communion, and in worshipping the dying Savior. I read the Passion to them for the second time, and added some reflections, after which we adored the Cross. At this sacred ceremony, full of love, their hearts were greatly softened, of which I subjoin a proof. [Page 25]

When the service was over, a good Christian approached me and said: “ Thou [47] hast taught us that, especially at this time, good Christians suffer voluntarily for the love of Jesus; they fast, and chastise their bodies. Oblige me by lending me an instrument of discipline, aouihitou pasagastehigan.” “ Knowest thou well what it is?” I returned. “ I know very well, ” he answered me; “ I have used it before. ” “ Come back after some time,” I replied; “ I know a man, a friend of thine, who has one, and I promise thee that he will lend it to thee.” His zeal made him prompt in claiming the fulfillment of my promise. When I had put into his hands this instrument of penance and love, he asked my leave to take the discipline in the Chapel in sight of all. “ No,” I said to him; “ I wish to moderate thy zeal. Do what I shall tell thee. Go away a good distance into the woods, and, after [48] praying some time, remembering how he who endured so much for thee is looking down upon thee from the highest Heavens, prove to him the regret which thou feelest at having offended him, and the regard in which thou holdest his sufferings. ” He obeyed me without replying. But what is more remarkable is that, after giving himself a hundred strokes, by count, with the instrument, he invited his wife to do the same. She willingly complied, in order, she said, to testify to Jesus Christ, our dearest Savior, the sympathy she felt with his doleful Passion.

This good Christian did not stop there; for receiving back the instrument of discipline from his wife’s hands, he offered it to a Captain, — an ally and a good friend of his, whom I had baptized in the beginning of Winter, — and exhorted him not to spare himself, [Page 27] [49] since Jesus Christ had not spared himself in having been so cruelly scourged for love of us. This Neophyte Captain did not, indeed, spare himself; and, after a severe application of the instrument, he brought it back to me, telling me that he had been taught how to use it, and that he had given himself a hundred strokes for the love of Jesus Christ. Such zeal on the part of these good Neophytes will, without doubt, at the judgment seat of God, rise up in testimony against the delicacy and cowardice of those who are born and raised in the maxims of Christianity.

Their obedience to their pastor merits my mentioning an admirable feature of it. The Papinachois had made a drum for use against the Iroquois, for counteracting the shouts and yells which the latter utter when they make an attack; and this [50] drum was of no use to them in Isle aux Basques, where they were in a secure retreat, A thoughtless young man of another Nation suggested to them at a feast that they should make use of it for dancing, and celebrating the victory which the Montagnais and Algonquins had gained the preceding Spring over their Enemies. These good people, without reflecting that we were in holy week, prepared to dance, while he who owned the drum explained to me their opinion on this point in the following terms: “ We danced before this, at Tadoussac; thou wilt not be displeased if we dance here now. ” “ My brother, ” I said to him, “ dancing is in itself a matter of indifference; but to dance w bile Christians are doing penance, lamenting their sins, and meditating on what Jesus, their Captain, suffered [51] for the salvation of all mankind — that would no longer be a matter of indifference, but a crime. Therefore [Page 29] change thy mind; thou, who art the owner of the drum, wouldst be the most guilty.” “ In how many days may we dance? ” said he. “ On the day following that on which Jesus rose,” I replied, “ and this dance, which you wish to hold in celebration of the victory of your allies, can be held from a still more noble and more sacred motive — that is to say, in order to participate in the joy of all good Christians, who rejoice in the glorious Resurrection of Jesus, their Captain, through their steadfast hope of being raised, as he was, to be no more subject to death.” They obeyed perfectly, not minding the urgent solicitations of him who had first suggested to them the thought of dancing, and through whom [52] the Demon endeavored to disturb the days of devotion of holy week. Otherwise their dance is harmless enough; the men dance apart from the women, without touching one another, and they exchange presents — the men with the men, and the women with the women. When I perceived something in the dance that was not pleasing, and called their attention to it, they left it out without making any reply, although there was nothing criminal in it.

I would have been much chagrined if I had not had means to give them a feast on Easter Sunday, to show them how well satisfied I was with them. We had left some Indian corn at Isle Verte in the beginning of Winter, and I sent a Canoe thither to bring it. Upon its return, the feast was soon prepared; my host [53] took charge of everything, forgetting nothing of his skill to render it entirely successful. A good Christian, who had often shown kindness toward me during the Winter, having heard of my project, made me a present of a large package of [Page 31] Moose-tongues. The morning of this great feast having been given to devotion, and the dinner hour approaching, my host invited the inmates of all the Cabins. Each person provided himself with his ouragan, — that is, his plate of bark, — and came at once to take his place in the festal hall; and when all were assembled, as I was the one who gave the feast, it was my duty to make a speech. I said to them: “ The Christians have times for weeping and times for rejoicing — always, however, within the bounds of modesty. Those who have mourned during Holy week, [54] meditating on Jesus Christ suffering and dying for the love of mankind, have a right to rejoice when they meditate on the same Savior risen. ’ ’ I dilated for some time upon this theme. They would have been very much pleased if, at the conclusion of my speech, I had sung in their own way; but I excused myself on the plea that I did not yet know how to do so, begging my host to sing for me. This good Christian, after making a speech in praise of the feast and in favor of prayer, and after exhorting his fellows to be faithful to God and to love prayer to the end, acquitted himself perfectly of the commission I had given him. He sang two songs, the first for me and the second for himself; all the others paid their reckoning in a like manner, each one with [55] a song. They spent fully an hour in this preamble to the feast. The songs completed, I pronounced the Benedicite, after which two young men of the Cabin distributed the festal meal, which consisted of a dish of sagamité — that is to say, a kind of mush made of cornmeal cooked in water, and seasoned with fat and with smoked Moose-flesh. A little piece of tobacco was [Page 33] their dessert, and pure water served them for drink. Men, women, and children performed their parts perfectly. This mush made of Indian corn was to them a very delicious dish, a long time having passed since they had eaten any. After this, each one withdrew to his own abode, well pleased and satisfied. At about three o’clock, we told our Beads all together, [56] In conclusion, we saluted Our risen Lord with a song in the Algonquin tongue, the solemn occasion furnishing the theme. We sang it twice on each day of the Octave; it pleased them much, for it is indeed a good song,

Before leaving Isle des Basques to go Northward, I performed the last rites over the body of a little girl who had died about two months before. Her father, a Montagnais, was very glad to have her buried in our little Chapel before a large Cross which, on Good Friday, we erected opposite the door. I will give a proof of the love and respect which these people have for the bodies of their deceased relatives. When I had admonished this afflicted father to have his daughter buried, after she [57] had died, he asked me for time to consider what he should do in the matter. Some time afterward, he made answer to me: “ Thou seest that we are in constant fear of the Iroquois. If I bury my daughter in the woods, perhaps those wicked men will find her body, which they will certainly burn. Let us avoid this danger; we will bury her elsewhere in a place where there will be nothing to fear. ”

This, my Reverend Father, is what I have gathered together from the end of my winter season, of which I render an account to you in compliance with your command. The kindness which you showed me in [Page 35] naming me for this Mission is a benefit which I shall never forget; I thank you for it with all my heart, and with all the more [58] reason that it seems to me I have never known God except in the dense forests of Canada, where all the eternal verities upon which I had pondered elsewhere have become wonderfully clear to me. Oh, what pleasure there is in living for God, and separating oneself from all creatures! Another would have profited much more by so fine an opportunity. Obtain for me, if you please, through your prayers, pardon for the sins which I have committed against the infinitely good God; and in my behalf ask in your holy Sacrifices that I may die in his sacred service, abandoned by men, although I can never be abandoned by God. [Page 37]






HE resolution to undertake this journey having been adopted during the winter season, we set about its execution on the twenty-first of April. Leaving the Montagnais who had wintered with us at Isle aux Basques, I proceeded toward the North with the Papinachois, under favor of a fine day which God gave us to enable us to make about seven leagues. We landed at the Esseigiou,[1] a river famous for the number of Salmon taken there in the [60] fishing season. Two things rejoiced us upon landing: first, the sight of a large Cross, which we saluted by singing the Vexilla Regis prodeunt in the Montagnais tongue; second, the taking of five Moose, which, coming to feed on the banks of the great river, were killed by our hunters. At this the Papinachois, proud of this success in hunting, said to me: “ Some Montagnais told thee that ours is a wretched country, and that thou wouldst die of hunger there if thou earnest with us. Thou seest now that they did not tell the truth. Kataouatichouasti Oupapinachiouek asti, asti. It is a good land, ” said he, “ the land of the Papinachois. ’ ’ I repeated to them often these same words, to show them how glad I was to be with them in their country. We remained at this post for about [61] a fortnight. My host gave me there a proof of [Page 39] his great love. I was afflicted with a rather violent fever for some days, and this good Christian comforted me from time to time. He said to me one day: “ Oh, how sad my heart has been since thou hast been ill; I suffer greatly in seeing thee suffer, and I pray God with all my heart that I may be ill in thy place. And if thou art to die, I ask this favor of him, that I may die, and that thou mayst continue to live.” Whoever knows the sincerity of these good Savages, knows well that this was no mere politeness; he said what he thought. I thanked him for his kindness, and assured him that I considered myself happy to suffer, for the love of Jesus Christ, the ill which it pleased him to send me; and that, if he wished to dispose of me, I would hold [62] it a great favor to die in entire destitution of all things. He had offered to bleed me had my fever lasted longer; but I believe the prayers of these good people obtained for me my perfect recovery.

We felt much joy, on the second day of May, at the arrival of the Frenchman and the Savage who had gone to Kebec while we were still on the Southern side. I had no more wine for saying Mass, having poured out the last on that very day. The newcomers crowned our joy when they told us that the Shallop in which they had come was a league above us, and that Father Gabriel Druillettes was in it. On the next day all our Savages wished to accompany me to go and see the French, and especially [63] the Father, whom they love very much. Our little Shallop did not lack rowers, and we soon arrived at our place of meeting, where we were received with much love. The Father and I, having conferred on what we had to do touching our Missions, decided [Page 41] that I should accompany the Papinachois on their journey inland, while he would proceed up the Saguene to visit the Savages of those regions. After this, we separated.

On the fifth day of May, we arrived at saut au Mouton, a great waterfall by which the river called by the Savages Kaouasagiskaket[2] empties into the great river saint Lawrence. We remained a week at this place. Two Savages, who had [64] lost their two little girls during the winter, having chosen this place as that best suited for giving them their last burial, we erected a little Chapel and interred them there. All the finest articles possessed by these Savages were placed in the children’s bier. The ceremonies of the Church, which I explained to them, gave them much comfort, — above all, when I told them that these two little innocents had no need of our prayers, and that the prayers then offered were only to thank God for the graces which he had shown them, and which they possessed in Heaven, where they were waiting for us. The fathers having seen that the French put Crosses on their Graves, of their own accord made two; and they begged me to erect these on the spot where their [65] little girls were buried, as a sign that they were Christians. They told me that they would often visit this place to invoke the departed, as they have been doing ever since their death. It is incredible how much respect they have for the bodies of the dead, and I have often used it as an argument to inculcate in them a belief in the immortality of the Soul and the resurrection of our bodies.

On the eleventh of the same month, we arrived at the river which the Savages call Kouakoueou. We [Page 43] saw in passing the ravages wrought by the Earthquake in the rivers of Port neuf; the water coming there — from is all yellow, and it retains this color far into the great river, as does also that of the Bersiamites[3] The Savages could no longer navigate these two rivers.

[66] Leaving this last place, we met two Canoes coming down from the interior, well laden with peltries. They turned about, and came with us. Our Savages made their trade with these newcomers, after which they finished the Canoes which we needed for our journey. Some days later we reached the river Peritibistokou[4] where we halted until the second of June before proceeding inland by this river. The arrangement for our journey was that the women, the children, and some men should remain on the bank of the great river, while the rest would go up to Lake Manikougan. But the Frenchman who accompanied me, and I myself, were excluded from the journey. A good Christian having informed me of [67] the effort made by some newcomers to prevent my accompanying them to the Lake, I referred the matter to God, and then called them together in the Chapel. After hearing my arguments, they changed their minds. Some merely said to me: “ The way is so hard that we fear greatly for thee, lest thou be unable to bear such great fatigue. That is the only reason why we found it difficult to consent to thy going; but since God wills it, as thou hast assured us, and since thou feelest strong enough to surmount all these difficulties, we are very glad of it.” After all had performed their devotions on the day of Pentecost, we set out on the morrow, the second of June, after Mass, to the number of ten [Page 45] Canoes. So there we were on our way, [68] plying our paddles in emulation of one another; in this handicraft I served my apprenticeship under the direction of the Frenchman and the Savage who were with me. We proceeded — on that day as far as a great waterfall, where our Argonauts, finding a good number of Seals, killed many of them, using their guns, javelins, and arrows in this hunt. In the evening I was told that the Savage who commanded our Canoe was ill, — or at least pretended to be so, — and that he had some thought of turning back. The Evil One was playing his last stake to prevent my journey. I had recourse to God; then I visited the sick man, gave him a simple remedy, and encouraged him; and on the next day he was entirely cured and thoroughly resolved to continue the journey to the end.

[69] On the third day of June, after four Canoes had left us to go and join their families, we made a portage which occupied an entire day, spent now in climbing mountains and now in piercing forests. Here we had much difficulty in making our way, for we were all laden as heavily as possible, — one carrying the Canoe, another the provisions, and a third what we needed in our commercial transactions. I carried my Chapel and my little store of provisions; there was no one who was not laden, and sweating from every pore. We entered, somewhat late, the great river Manikouaganistikou, which the French call riviere Noire [“ Black river “I, because of its depth.[5] It is quite as broad as the Seine, and as swift as the Rhone. The eleven portages which we had to make there, and [70] the numerous currents which it was necessary to overcome by dint of paddling, gave us [Page 47] abundant exercise. Blessed be God, who gave me the strength to meet all that. I had the consolation of saying Mass on holy Trinity, midway on my journey, opposite a high mountain which we call mont de la Trinité. It was the first sacrifice ever offered in this country, where never before had a European made his appearance. I entreated our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Sovereign of this as well as of all other parts of the world, to make himself master of all hearts there, which belong to him by right.

On the ninth day of June we reached Lake Manikouagan, where I found sixty-four souls. They were Papinachois, who, returning from the chase, [71] had assembled in this place to trade with their Compatriots who dwell along the great river saint Lawrence, and have commerce with the French. They received us with many marks of affection. Two Canoes, after coming to reconnoiter us, returned promptly to their Camp, to prepare our reception. We saluted’ them, upon approaching, with all our little artillery; and they replied with their guns. Then, after we had disembarked, they took charge of all our packages, which they carried to the Captain’s Cabin; hither, too, they conducted us, and we were at once regaled with a great piece of Smoked meat, together with a bit of Moose-fat.

The greater part, having [72] never seen any Frenchmen or Jesuits, could not weary of looking at us, and the whole Cabin was filled with spectators. We all kept silence, until the thanksgiving which my Savages and I offered after taking our refreshment. After this, I announced the good news to them, — namely, the design which God had concerning them, to deliver them from Hell and give them [Page 49] his Paradise, if they would imitate those Compatriots of theirs who accompanied me. The good Christians took the word after me, and as they knew the language better than I, they expatiated still further in praise of prayer. I was delighted to hear these new Preachers, whom God used for the conversion of all that audience.

[73] The next day, the tenth, was employed partly in visiting individual families, in noting down their names, and in distinguishing those who were baptized from those who were not, and partly in erecting a Chapel. It was a pleasure to watch the movements of the workmen. Some ran for poles, others for bark, and the women for fir branches; while the builders prepared the ground, and made the plan of the first Church ever built in that country. The body of the Chapel being finished, I erected the Altar, and adorned it in the best way I could. Having seen at the Captain’s place a fine Moose-skin, covered with ornamental work, I thought he would willingly lend it to me, and I was not mistaken; that good Catechumen was well pleased that it should serve [76 i.e., 74] to adorn the house of prayer.

The eleventh was employed, after celebrating the first Mass there in honor of saint Barnabas, — the day being that of his feast, — in giving Baptism to six little children, The first was named Barnabe, in honor of that Apostle, whom I have held as the especial patron of that great Lake, which will bear his name henceforth, and which we shall call Lake St. Barnabé.

On the twelfth, I gave Baptism to some more little children, after which I began my teaching. All those who had not received Baptism presented [Page 51] themselves to become Catechumens. My old Christians who accompanied me were delighted at seeing this, and repeated to me from time to time: Tapoué noua kimiroueriten kataiamiaouek nachiriniouinanak, — [77 i.e., 75] “ In truth, my Father, thou art much pleased; our Compatriots will pray. ’ ’ They recalled to mind what some had said to me during the Winter, — namely, that I would lose my time by going inland, and that the people whom I should find there would mock at me and my teachings, They also recalled the answer that I made them: ‘ ‘ My children, your Compatriots will pray; he who made all things, who is our common Father, ordains to save them. Let us pray every day for the salvation of their souls. ”

When I had sufficiently instructed my Catechumens, recognizing besides that the holy Ghost was at work in their hearts, I chose six and solemnly baptized them, on the fifteenth day of the same month; on the sixteenth, seventeenth, and twentieth, I finished conferring the Sacrament upon the rest, [76] Baptizing in all twenty-seven Adults, men as well as women. There is no false religion to combat among these tribes; they are intelligent and very gentle, and it is no wonder that they have so soon understood our Mysteries.

The first thing that inclined them to receive the Gospel was the earthquake, which to them proclaimed aloud a divinity; the second was the example of those Compatriots of theirs who accompanied me; the third, the disinterested love of the black gowns, who expose their lives to a thousand dangers, solely to come and teach them; and the fourth, the beauty of our mysteries, and the harmony between God’s Commandments and reason. One could not believe [Page 53] the horror which they have of falsehood and theft. I found no polygamy among them. [77] To become angry is to commit a great crime. As to drunkenness, they know not what it is, and as for avarice, their goods are held almost in common. You would say that they are a people without passion; I have not yet seen any who are more peaceful and more kind. Gaudeant bene nati! Oh, what happiness it is to sow in a soil where there are neither thorns nor rocks, where one can sow and reap at the same time! Dextera Domini fecit virtutem.

Blessed be he forever for the bounties which he lavishes upon these poor tribes! His mercy was especially evident in the case of a Captain of much note, named Ouiskoupi. This man had never appeared at Lake saint Barnabe, and he went thither to visit a Captain who [78] is in command there, taking with him his wife, ten of his children, and two of his grandchildren. This entire family found in Baptism a source of blessings. Ouiskoupi had formerly followed the calling of a Juggler, — that is to say, of one who invokes the Demon; but he protested to me that since the earthquake he had renounced the trade; and when I asked him whether he still retained any of those things which he had used in his invocations, he ingenuously declared that he had some in his pouch. I asked for them, and he gave them to me to sacrifice them to God, which I did, throwing them into the fire. When I visited him in his Cabin, some days after his Baptism, he said to me: “ Thou knowest that I was ill before thou didst baptize me; he who made all things cured me at the same time when thou didst baptize me.” One of his children, who had [79] been unwell, told me the same thing. [Page 55] I said to them that the God whom the Christians worship, who is the true and only God, is so good that he gives to those who believe and have trust in him, more than they ask of him; and that Baptism, which is instituted to confer holiness upon the soul, often gives health to the body.

On this occasion, I related to them the miraculous cure of the Emperor Constantine. This story pleased them much, above all because of the resemblance which they noted between the cure of Captain Ouiskoupi and that of the great Constantine. This good Neophyte gave me a beautiful proof of the confidence which he had in prayer, and of the desire which he cherished to be faithful to God. The Demon appearing to him during the night, — so he assured me, — he at once went [80] out of his Cabin, came to awaken me in the one where I was, and said to me: Nouta aiamihatau, niouabamatas matchi manitou nichikatau, — “ My Father, let us pray to God; I have seen the Demon; I hate him. ” I encouraged him with words which God put into my mouth; then we offered our prayer together, after which he returned to his Cabin, with no more fear of the Demon. His most usual abiding place during the day was the Chapel. He could never become sated with looking at the pictures, which I explained to him from time to time. Neither he nor any of his family had ever seen any Frenchmen before.

I must not omit something that happened almost immediately after I had given Baptism to the little children: the greater part fell ill, a circumstance well suited to inspire [81] in the Adults an aversion for Baptism. One of my old Christians thought so, and came to tell it to me. [Page 57]

“Let us,” I said, “ have recourse to him who made all things; he is all-good and all-powerful, and it is easy for him to give health to these little sick children. ” On the next day I had them all brought to the Chapel, and after reciting over them the prayers which the Church has instituted for asking health, I gave them a little theriac, and they all recovered. This effect of God’s goodness in the case of these little innocents excited the admiration of the old Christians and of the Catechumens, and greatly strengthened both in the faith.

I must not omit something that I observed in regard to Baptism given to little children. Among the persons whom I [82] met at Lake saint Barnabe, I found twenty-three who had been baptized by the Fathers of our Society, when their relatives came to Tadoussac or the river of the Bersiamites; some were twelve years old, some fifteen, others about twenty. After I had instructed them, — the greater part having no knowledge of their blessedness, — I confessed them, and found in them so much sincerity and innocence that I could attribute this especial protection of God only to the baptismal grace and the merits of Jesus Christ, which had been applied to them in this Sacrament.

Two women, Christians of long standing, who had seen none of the Fathers of our Society for some years, gave me much consolation when they [83] rendered me an account of their lives since their last Confession. I found that they had added to the innocence of their lives the practice of the Christian virtues. They experienced much joy when I told them that I would be very glad if they would receive communion, as a worthy expression of gratitude to [Page 59] Our Lord for the favors which they had received from him. They prepared themselves for the ceremony with much exactness, and then received communion very devoutly. “ Pray, ” I said to them, “ you for your husband, and you for your brother,“ — they were sisters-in-law. “ He is not baptized; exhort him to pray, I will teach him willingly. ” Since then he has been taught and baptized. What joy for those two good souls whose prayers God undoubtedly has heard!

We thought that we would remain only [84] three days at Lake saint Barnabe, for we had provisions only for that length of time; but God decreed otherwise. The Ouchestiguetch, a more Northern tribe than the Papinachois, did not appear at the rendezvous at the appointed time. “ We must wait for them, ’ ’ said my old Christians; “ they are the ones who have the most peltries.” Their resolution was very agreeable to me, God giving me more time for the better instruction of my Neophytes, besides the hope to see the Ouchestigouetch. We waited until the sixteenth, when a Papinachois Canoe, returning from its winter expedition, brought us news of having seen some Ouchestiguetch at a neighboring Lake, whereupon a Canoe was immediately despatched to make them hasten. Among the young men who [85] were sent out was a Catechumen, who, after letting them know that we were waiting for them, gave them the first teachings in Christianity, but with so much zeal that he excited in their hearts a desire to see the black gown as soon as possible, in order to receive thorough instruction. Some of those messengers outstripping the rest, announced to me this news on their arrival: Noutakataniamieoueth [Page 61] ouchestigoueth, — “My Father, the Ouchestigouets will pray; they are very near and will arrive very soon. ’ ’ O God, what joy when I saw appear eight Canoes, filled partly with Adults and partly with little Children! I invoked their guardian Angels, imploring their succor and their intercession with God for the salvation of these souls so dear to them. After the people had landed, I showed them [86] the joy which I felt in seeing them and then I retired. They spent the rest of the day in housing themselves and in exchanging visits.

On the next day, the 21st of June, the feast of the Blessed Louis de Gonzague, I was in the Chapel at the time when I was to begin the instruction of these newcomers, and God sent me all the men separately; and, as I was pressed for time, I set about my task at once. I told them that he who made all things bade me love them; that I was obeying him, and that I did indeed love them; and that it was to give them sure proofs of this that I had come to that country after passing the winter with the Papinachois, their allies. They interrupted me often with their exclamations, “ O, o, o! ” “ I care naught,” said I, “ for [87] your Beaver and Caribou skins; I have not come to trade; that is the business of the Papinachois and the French merchant who has come up here with us. May it please God that the Papinachois and Ouchestigueti burn not forever with the Demons in Hell; may it please God that they find eternal happiness in Heaven. Those are precisely my thoughts concerning you; and now it is for you to profit by the favor which God offers you, and to make good use of the time that we have to remain together, in order to render yourselves fit for [Page 63] Baptism. Meanwhile, are you not glad to have me baptize your little children? ” Karapouan, replied they, — “ Yes.” They went to fetch them after the lesson, and came back all together with the little children and [88] with their wives. In the meantime, I prepared to administer Baptism to all those innocents, begging Monsieur Amiot[6] to be their godfather. When all was ready, I explained to them the advantages of Baptism, its very marvelous effects, and also the meaning of the ceremonies attending it; after which I baptized sixteen little children in two groups. On the faces of the fathers and mothers could be read the joy they felt in their hearts, of which they gave many signs by the different exclamations which they uttered from time to time.

That being over, I was informed that we would take our departure on the twenty-third; this left me only a day and a half to teach the Adults. That was a very short time to render fit for Baptism persons who had never heard of the Mysteries of our [89] Religion; but God, who never fails in time of need, made up for the shortness of the time by increasing his graces twofold. The savages applied themselves so assiduously to the different lessons, and showed so much fervor in learning what they had to know before being baptized, that on the twenty-third I felt it my duty to give them private baptism, postponing the ceremonies to our next meeting.

While I was teaching them a rather amusing thing happened. I was explaining to them the last judgment, letting them see, on a large picture where all was represented, what would be the happiness of those who believed in God, hoped in him, and loved [Page 65] and served him to the end; and, on the other hand, what would be the misery of those who did not believe in him and [90] obey him: how the good Christians would be the companions of the Angels in Heaven, and the Infidels and bad Christians the companions of the Demons in the fires of Hell. At this point one of those good Catechumens interrupted me, exclaiming: Nouta tapoué naspich nichikatanan natchi manitou, — “ My Father, in truth, we utterly hate the evil spirit. I beg you, let us not look at him any longer; let us always fix our gaze above. Oh, what pleasure we take in contemplating Heaven, and those who are happy there! ” At the same time, perceiving that his eldest son, about twelve years of age, had his eyes fixed on the representation of Hell, he rebuked him: Nigousai kesta Kitirinissin espimitck ouabanta, — “ My son, thou hast no sense; look always upward. ”

[91] Being informed that among these Catechumens there were three who had formerly been jugglers, I summoned them into the Chapel in private, and examined them on what they had done in juggling, and what were their intentions regarding it. They told me that their notion had been that there was a good and a bad manitou; that they hated the bad one, and loved the good one; and that all they had done had been solely for the purpose of honoring the good manitou. When I had thoroughly inculcated in them what Faith teaches us in this matter, they were satisfied, and resolved to obey him who made all things, and always to love prayer.

Among the Ouchestigouetch there happened to be, by a special providence, an Oumamiois[7] Captain, a man of intelligence, who seemed to be the most [Page 67] devoted to prayer. [92] This good Catechumen, whom I baptized with his wife and four children, was never tired of speaking in praise of our mysteries. He honored them on all occasions that offered, particularly in a fine harangue which he delivered in his Cabin, in the presence of Sieur Amiot, the Papinachois, and the Ouchestigouetch. I was at the time very busy in the Chapel. Sieur Amiot made him a present of a roll of tobacco, a sword, and some other things which they value, and I gave him two fine Pictures. In one of these the Mother of God was represented holding in her arms her Son Jesus; and in the other was the Savior of the world, holding a globe in one hand. At this he said wonderful things to us; he was going to exhibit these Pictures which I [93] had presented to him to all the nations allied to his own, and he would make a tour of all the Villages which lie along the North Sea, to invite all the Inhabitants to prayer. He said that he would tell them in advance what I had taught him; that all the Captains of that country would taste the tobacco which Sieur Amiot had given him; and that the sword of which he had made him a present would speak in a loud voice in honor of the French. As I found him to be a man of intelligence, and thoroughly acquainted with all that country, I did not lose this excellent opportunity to ask him a number of questions, which I shall set down here, with the replies.

“ Is it very far from here to the two Villages where thy relatives and thyself dwell? ” “ One can arrive there in twenty nights, or thereabout.”

[94] “ Can one ascend thither in a Canoe? ” “ Yes; but beyond those Villages Canoes are not used, [Page 69] for want of bark to make them, the trees of that country being very small.”

“ Are those two Villages well peopled? ” “ There are a great many people there.” A Papinachois who wintered with us confirmed this statement for me, having been there formerly.

“ Are there any other villages near these?” (‘ Yes, there are two; and, farther away, two others.” “ On what do all the inhabitants of those districts live? ” “ In summer on fish, which they catch in large lakes, where they are found in abundance; and in Winter on Caribou flesh, which they prefer to Moose.”

“ Is it very far from those Villages to the North sea? ” “ It takes a Winter to go there and return.” [95] “ Hast thou been to the North Sea? ” “ Yes.” “ Is the coast of that Sea inhabited?” “ I have seen a great many Savages there. ”

“ Oblige me by giving me the Massinahigan, the description with the names of the tribes inhabiting that coast.” He gave me the Topography of those regions with the names of the inhabitants composing the different nations.

O God, how many souls to win over to Jesus Christ!

“ Have Europeans — French, or Spanish, or English — made their appearance on that coast? ”

“ No.”

As a result of this conversation, it was decided that he should return next year to the same Lake, — saint Barnabé, — and that I, or some other one of our Fathers, should go and join him at this same post, in order to go up from that place [96] to the two villages, and labor there in teaching his Compatriots. God [Page 71] grant that my sins be no obstacle to this purpose! I know well that the Evil One will do what he can to balk it; but quis ut Deus? si Deus pro nobis, quis contra nos.? I pray all good souls who shall read this Relation to offer Masses, Communions, Rosaries, and mortifications to God, for the happy outcome of this Mission and of this new discovery, which offers many souls to be won. The Baptism of nearly eighty persons by me at Lake St. Barnabe has afforded me much joy; but it is far surpassed by that which I feel at sight of this new Mission presenting itself.

We parted on the twenty-third of June, and in four [97] days — so swift is the river — we arrived safely at the bank of the great river saint Lawrence, where our coming had been eagerly awaited by the French and the Papinachois. Finally, two days and two nights of good northeast wind brought us to Kebek. [Page 73]




OD’S Spirit works its wonders wherever he chooses. It is not merely among civilized nations, and in souls consecrated to God, that devotion is found; Savages are capable of it, and Cabins of Bark conceal as much virtue as can be desired in cloisters. [98] Since there has been introduced into the Huron Church of Quebec a devotion which bears abundant fruit among the French of this country, and since they have been inspired with the idea of modeling their families after that of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, it is impossible to believe the length to which the fervor of these poor Barbarians goes. Those who are admitted into this holy family do not allow in their homes any sinful talk; and one now sees poor women, who before would not have dared to open their mouths, rise up like Lionesses against rascals who try to hold sinful converse in their presence — a conduct very rare, and to be highly valued, among Barbarous nations, where license of speech and action reigns with impunity.

But the devotion of these good people does not end there. During [99] Holy week, after the Father who has charge of that Church had spoken on our Lord’s sufferings for the expiation of our crimes, a good Huron woman went back into her Cabin and said to her Companion: “Why should we not show our sympathy with our good suffering Savior? He [Page 75] was scourged so cruelly! Come, let us scourge each other; there are my shoulders, begin! ” “ We have not the Father’s permission,” replied her companion, shutting the woman’s mouth with these words. But the latter at once resolved that she herself would execute what she had been unable to obtain from her companion. In fact, when she found herself alone in her Cabin, thinking that to inflict the discipline on oneself required no permission, as it did to strike others, she took [100] the discipline with such severity that the marks of it remained for a long time engraven on her shoulders.

This noble spirited Huron has as much goodness and gentleness for others as she has rigor for herself. She takes care to visit the sick, and to help them as far as she is able. She repeats to them in private the exhortations which have been made publicly in our Chapel. She takes orphans under her shelter, as she did with three poor little children whom, notwithstanding her poverty, she willingly feeds and cares for, — lest, being bereft of father and mother, they should fall into the hands of one of their relatives, whose faith is not sufficiently rooted in his soul. She acts as father, mother, and even spiritual father, to these little children, bringing them up in innocence, [101] and inspiring them with the fear of God. This was sufficiently shown by what she did one day, when they indulged in some frolic natural at their age. For in order to give them some conception of the gravity of their offense, which she herself regarded as very serious, she told them that it was all over with them, and that they would be hanged just as they had seen a Frenchman hanging on the gallows. She said this so earnestly that those [Page 77] poor children thought every passerby was the executioner come to take them; one of them hid in, a corner of the Cabin, and the others took refuge, half-naked, in the snow among the bushes. At last she persuaded them that, in order to avoid this punishment, they must make confession as soon as possible; and then she came to Quebec to speak [102] to the Father. She caused him serious alarm by leading him to suspect that what she had to relate was some strange case, and it all ended in these childish trifles, which she regarded as so grave that she found no rest, and gave none to the children, until they had confessed. That is being keenly apprehensive even about the least imperfections.

The manner of raising her children adopted by this good Huron woman is extremely wonderful. When her little son, only two or three years old, has been beaten by his little comrades, and comes back into the Cabin weeping, she does not set about soothing him, wiping away his tears, and caressing him, as other mothers ordinarily do; on the contrary, she teaches him to make an offering to God [103] of his little sufferings. “ Be quiet,” she says, “ be quiet; thou art crying, instead of offering up to God the pain which thou feelest. Make haste; down on thy knees, and make an offering to God of the injury thou hast received. Pray for those who have hurt thee, in order that their sense may return to them, and they may abstain in the future from ill-treating others. ” And then this poor little one kneels down, and repeats what his mother prompts him; and when the prayer is done, lo! he feels perfectly well again.

She is very zealous for the conversion of her compatriots, instructing them, exhorting them, and [Page 79] confounding them with her gentleness, in order to reclaim them from sin; and her charity makes her so eloquent that she penetrates the most rebellious hearts to make of them hearts wholly Christian.

On the occasion of the arrival of some alms from France for the Savages, [104] after their distribution, she said to some libertines who did not mind their duties: “ It is not this day only when the faith and charity of the French ought to convince us that what they preach to us is infallible truth. How many years is it during which they have been preaching to us and teaching us, without any other reward than the expectation of an eternal life from God? Neither the fear of the Enemy’s fires, nor all their cruelties make those draw back who went to the country of the Iroquois in quest of us.

“The alms which have been sent us from France for ten or twelve years, since the Iroquois drove us out of our Huron country, are evidences of the piety and the living faith of the good souls [105] who deprive themselves of what we receive from their hands. The care which the holy maidens of the Hospital take of our sick; the teachings which the Ursulines give our children, without gaining anything in return except the Paradise which they expect as a reward — is not this a proof which ought to convince us that we too are to win Paradise? Either those who send us their alms from France prove themselves to be fools by sending them to us, if they have not the hope of an eternal reward; or we show that we are mad by not striving after this same reward of Paradise that is promised us. Thinkest thou, ’ ’ she asked, addressing a young debauchee, “ that thou art wiser than those who teach us? [Page 81] When thou didst escape entirely naked from the hands of the Iroquois, [106] they covered thy nakedness, and stood to thee as father, and mother, and relative, and all. Beyond a doubt they love thee, and desire thy good. Why, then, dost thou not obey their counsels? Why doest thou not what they tell thee that thou must do in order to avoid the fires of Hell, and escape from a captivity more cruel than that which thou hast experienced among the Iroquois, from whom thou didst escape with so great difficulty? ” In a word, the charitable Christian eloquence of this virtuous Huron woman converted on the spot the young Huron debauchee who, touched by this glowing discourse, was thoroughly converted, and changed his life.

The calmness of her disposition was made evident in the case of a woman to whom she had lent a kettle, which chanced to be lost during some [107] cajolery that this woman permitted to be practiced upon her. Instead of getting angry with her, this good Christian said to her: “ My sister, it is not this loss that I shall ever regret, but the loss of thy soul; for thou hast sinned and offended God, by permitting cajoleries of which thou shouldst have a horror, because thou art a Christian. No, I shall never speak to thee about my kettle, provided thou makest confession as early as possible. I give it to thee; but do thou give to God what thou owest him, and be more discreet in the future.” It needed no more to make a penitent.

Her husband being extremely ill with a malady from which, in fact, he died, an Abnaquiois Juggler, who had recently come from far inland, said he would undertake the cure of this man, if [108] he were [Page 83] permitted to use his art and his Demon in the cure. “ I have bewitched him,” said he, “ I admit it; but I have pity on him. Let me only visit him, and I will dispel the charm, and the sick man shall be cured.” That was too much to ask of this good Christian, who preferred to see her husband die before her eyes, although he was very dear to her, than to permit the Juggler to enter the Cabin. And, some time afterward, when she was reproached with having let her husband die, she exclaimed: “ What? You would wish me to add to the affliction I have received in his death, that of having made him commit a sin before dying? No, no. I loved my dear husband more than myself; but I prefer to see him dead and to know that he refused to commit [109] this sin, than to see him alive because he, and I with him, had committed a sin of that nature. And I would wish this Juggler greater ill for having restored my husband’s health by offending God, than for having let him die without using his witchcraft.” Her charity did not stop there; for, a little later, the wife and children of this pretended sorcerer being in great need, she took them into her Cabin, fed them, and gave them every evidence of genuine friendship, — in this way returning good for evil, and saving the lives of those to whom was imputed the death of her husband.

On being one day solicited, by a rich present which a Frenchman gave her with this end in view, to do wrong, “ Wretched man, ” she exclaimed; “ knowest thou not that I have the faith? And of what use will all thy porcelain be to me in Hell, except [110] for an eternal remorse that, in the hope of a slight gain, I delivered myself over of my own [Page 85] accord to so many woes. ” She overwhelmed this shameless man with confusion, and she, who is in the constant exercise of piety, cared not to speak otherwise.

She knew how to respond — it was the response of solid virtue — to certain libertines who reproached her that all her behavior was only hypocrisy, and that she wished to win the esteem of men by these fair appearances. “ That might well have been the case, ” said she, “ when first I began to be instructed; but now that I know what my practice of devotion will be worth to me in Heaven, I do not care to take for sole reward a vain applause which is only smoke, or words which are lost in [111] the air. ” Finally, she intends to make, at her death, the blessed Virgin heiress to all her possessions. It is no great amount that a poor Huron woman, who during her lifetime has great need of our help, can give at her death; but if the mite of a poor woman was preferred to the gold pieces of the Pharisees in our Savior’s judgment, what are we to think of a Savage woman who, in the presence of her relatives, declares the blessed Virgin her heiress?

The Huron Church furnishes us other souls of this stamp, a detailed account of which would be too long. I will merely give two or three instances of their good sentiments.

Some young girls newly arrived from France entered our Chapel at the time when [112] our Christian Huron women were saying their prayers there; and they could not help having their eyes constantly turned toward these Savages, because of the novelty. The latter, soon becoming aware of this, went out of the Church quietly, before their customary prayers [Page 87] were finished. The Father who has charge of them asked them the reason of their going out; and they answered frankly that they preferred not to pray rather than cause these French girls to pray ill. They said that, consequently, they would willingly wait at the Church door, in order to remove the cause of distraction which the girls found in them; and that their time was not so precious to them that they could not put off their prayers a little, and they did not wish their devotion to disturb that of others. So, when these French girls had left [113] the Church, the Huron women went back, and finished the prayers they had begun.

A good Huron woman, to whom God made a very special manifestation of himself during the earthquake of last year, has inspired in her husband, who used to be very remiss in prayer, a fervor which is quite extraordinary. Her conversation is about the things of God and of the other world; and thus the younger of her two children, who is about six years old, hearing her tell about the frightful torments of Hell, was so alarmed thereby that he asked her permission on the spot to retire to our Seminary among our little Boarders, in order to be removed from occasions for offending God. His mother answered him that the little French boys in the Seminary would beat and maltreat him, as one not of their own [114] nation. “ Well,” he returned, “ let me then go and live with hari ouaouagui,“ — that is the name the Hurons give to Monseigneur the Bishop of Petræa. The boy was so urgent that he had to be taken there, where he was assured by Monseigneur the Bishop that he would be admitted when he was larger, if by the grace of God he continued in this [Page 89] good desire. Such are the fruits of the good education which parents give their children when they instill in them, with their mothers’ milk, a spirit of devotion.

In this connection, I remember the practice of a good Huron woman when she suckled her child. She ordinarily addressed this prayer to the child Jesus: “Ah, Lord, how happy I would have deemed myself if, during your infancy, the blessed Virgin had let me give you a few drops of [115] milk from my breast! But since I had not the good fortune to be living at that time, and to render this little service to you in your own person, I wish at least to render it to you in the person of my son; for you have said that whatsoever one shall do unto the least of your children you will consider it as done unto yourself.” Such was her custom every time she put her child to her breast, addressing our Lord with altogether charming tenderness and familiarity. A single thing made her uneasy in this act of devotion, and that was that she deemed herself too vile and contemptible to treat him with such intimacy; and it was necessary to add courage to her humility, to make her continue this innocent practice.

The good Heleine, whose children were carried off at Montreal, last year, [116] by the Iroquois, — from whom she received so many blows with the hatchet that she was left for dead, one of her eyes blinded and her face grievously and lastingly disfigured — yet never fails to be present at all devotional meetings; and every morning she offers to our Lord each new humiliation that she must endure from the looks cast at her during the day. She does not complain that she is SO disfigured, but that her [Page 91] poor children are in such danger of damnation among the Iroquois; and it is solely to weep over this misfortune that she would desire the use of both her eyes. She often addresses this gentle prayer to the blessed Virgin: “ Holy Virgin, have pity on me! You alone know by your own experience the grief that [117] a mother feels at the loss of her children. Help me then, if you please, according to my needs, which you know much better than I myself.”

Piety gives not only tenderness to the Huron women, but also steadfastness to the Huron men. This was made evident in the case of a good Christian converted, some time ago, from a somewhat licentious life to a devout state of mind, which is no whit inferior to the fervor of the Religious most practiced in the virtue of patience, This man, having some sore on his hand, decided to apply to it one of their ordinary remedies, cutting himself with a knife and making several incisions, but with so little skill that he severed some of the tendons and veins. This brought on mortification of almost the entire hand, so that, [118] in order to rid himself of the stench of this gangrene, and the pain that he felt, he made up his mind to cut off, by himself, several fingers of this hand — and this he executed with a firmness which was admirable and truly Christian. For during the whole of this severe operation, and all the time following, when it caused him cruel tortures, one never heard an impatient word from him; but he always gently conversed with our Lord. “ Ah, great God,” he would say; “ what is this that I suffer now in comparison with what I had deserved to suffer in Hell, if you had not saved me from it when I merited it for my sins? Ah, my God, it seems to me that, if [Page 93] it were well understood what comfort faith brings us in the hope of Paradise, amid our sharpest pains, [119] nothing else would be needed to make us conclude that all that we are taught is true.” He often repeats these prayers in his home; but it is a pleasure to see and hear him when he thinks that he is alone in our Chapel, for then he pours out his heart with his tears before the blessed Sacrament. God’s grace must indeed have great power to work this in the hearts of his poor Savages, who are born and reared in Barbarism.

It is well to add here what the Ursuline Mothers of Quebec have given us in writing concerning a good Algonkin woman who has dwelt a considerable time with them. This is what they say about her.

“ Among the Seminarists whom we have had this year in our Seminary, there has been a good widow, [120] quite old, named Genevieve, an Algonkin of the Nepisirinien nation. Knowing well that we did not receive women of her age, she had had the Father in charge of the Savages beg us not to refuse to do her this kindness. During the twenty-three years that we have spent in this country, I have seen no Savages so fervent as this good woman. She followed us every day to the Choir services, where she said her Beads over and over for different purposes, — among others for the salvation of the Algonkains; and when she had said them several times, she would offer Jaculatory Prayers on her Rosary. She never tired of praying, or of receiving instruction in the mysteries of our holy Faith. She would often tell us her adventures, and, among others, she once [121] related the following: ‘ I have had signal experience of God’s aid, in the firm belief that I have in him; [Page 95] he has protected me everywhere. When returning from our country to come into these regions, we met some Iroquois. I threw myself on the ground; ouaboukima, my brother, was very much frightened, while our band fled hither and thither in the woods. “ Take courage,” I said to my brother; “ be firm, and earnestly believe in him who made all things; he will save US, and protect us from our enemies, ” Without ceasing,’ said she, ‘ I continued to exhort him, while the musket-balls whistled around us on all sides. But God was so strong a protection to us, in this encounter, that not one of us was wounded, or seen by the Enemy, whom we saw quite near us.’

“ When her husband was dying in her own [122] country, which is more than five hundred leagues from here, there was not at that time any Father there to help him die a holy death, or to administer the Sacraments to him. This good woman was therefore breaking her heart with grief. Nevertheless, as she is very eloquent, in the fear which she entertained that her husband was not in a proper condition, she exhorted him earnestly, and constantly made him perform acts of Contrition; so that, as a result of her fervent admonitions, he died a good Christian, She is inconsolable when she thinks of her children, who have all died, some of them without baptism. A single one who had been left her died when he was at the age of nine or ten: and, because she saw him speak to a Juggler one day, she thinks he may have been damned for this sin. Although a long time has passed [123] since she suffered these losses, she still laments them, and gives alms, in order that God may be pleased to take pity on her. When she entered our Seminary she [Page 97] made US a present of a Beaver robe that had served as a coat for her dear son, now dead, in order that we might pray to God in his behalf.

“ This good woman admired all our Religious functions; and, contemplating us, she would say to God: ‘ Preserve these good maidens! From morning until night they think always of you, and do nothing but serve you. ’ When she chanced upon any instrument of mortification, she desired to use it, and sometimes she did, especially a girdle of iron points, the pain of which is very acute. But we did not let her do all that she would have liked.

[124] “ On Good Friday she was deeply moved in meditating upon the Passion of our Lord; and during our tenbræ she burst into tears, so keenly sensible did God make her of the love which he had borne mankind in enduring such extreme sufferings. Recovering her self-control, she said: ‘ I am quite at a loss; I have never experienced anything like that. Would the Devil perhaps deceive me? ’

“ She has a very clear insight into her own internal states. One day, when she appeared very thoughtful, some one asked her what subject occupied her mind. ‘ I am thinking that I am very wicked. It seems to me that I do what I can, not to offend him who made all things, and yet I see myself quite full of sins. The other day, a man took away my [125] Beaver robe in my presence, under pretext of keeping it for me. I ran after him, yet I was not angry with him, and wished him no ill. Nevertheless, I felt in myself a malice which strove to deceive me. ’

“ She watched our Choir ceremonies, and we had to explain them to her. She said that we imitated [Page 99] the Angels and the Saints who are in Heaven. When Monseigneur the Bishop administered the Sacrament of Confirmation at our Church last Lent, she saw that several of our Boarders were instructed and prepared to receive the Sacrament. She suspected that it was something holy and momentous, and went through the house seeking some one to tell her what it was. ‘ Alas! ’ she exclaimed; ‘ it is something holy, [126] and they do not teach me, but they do the children. ’ Being then instructed, she was delighted; above all when she learned that, by receiving this Sacrament, she would be strengthened against the temptations of the Demon, and become more firm and courageous in the faith; and that she would carry the marks of it in Heaven, in the same manner as those of Holy Baptism. As soon as she had received Confirmation, she asked leave to go to Sillery to tell her good fortune to her relatives and friends among the Savages; and she preached to them with such fervor that they admired her, and adored God’s greatness in the exalted sentiments with which that woman was filled. She left us to go to Three Rivers, to look for some women of her tribe, in order to prevent them from engaging in an affair which might turn them from the practice of Christianity. ’ ’. [Page 101]




HESE are the most distressed of all our Churches, but not the least acceptable to God, who sees himself honored in the heart of Barbarism at once by French, Hurons, and Iroquois. There are maimed Frenchmen, who lift to Heaven hands without fingers; Huron slaves, who in their captivity take the liberty to preach Jesus Christ to their executioners; and, as there are Iroquois persecutors, there are also Iroquois Preachers. One of these is a man named Garakontie, who was [128] formerly our host when we were in their country — one of the most notable men of Onnontae, and a good friend of the French, so far as one can judge from results. It has been God’s will often to make use of this man for his glory. Besides rescuing so many poor Frenchmen from the hands and the flames of the Agniehronnon Iroquois, — some of whom he brought back to us, while the rest he has harbored at his cabin as he would his own children, — he has by his authority maintained the Chapel that we erected in their village. There he assembles all the French Captives for prayer; while, in order to unite material with spiritual charity, he gives them a feast at the close of prayers, to encourage their devotion and at the same time alleviate their misery. This charitable Barbarian has done still more, erecting [129] in the middle of his Village a French house for lodging the [Page 103] Missionaries whom he expects; and in the desire to hasten their arrival, he nearly lost his life and became a captive of the Algonkins while working for the deliverance of our Frenchmen from their captivity among the Iroquois — as we shall relate in the seventh Chapter.

He is not the only Iroquois in this Village of Onnontae who favors the faith. There are several of them who invite these French Captives to their feasts, in order to induce them, at the close of the feast, to pray to God in their behalf; they ask, and indeed can expect, nothing else from these poor wretches than the aid of their prayers, of which they make great account, Iroquois although they are, appearing thus to be not far removed from the Kingdom of God.

[130] The women of this Village do still more. No sooner have they given birth to their children than they carry them to the oldest of the Frenchmen for Baptism, giving him profuse thanks when he confers this Sacrament upon the little predestined creatures. “ We thank thee,” they say to him, “ for having put our children in the way to Heaven, where they will be forever blessed if it happens that they die before they grow up.” Are not these wonderful secrets of Providence, which inspires so ardent a desire in these mothers, — who, when we were among them, thought they were conferring on us a great favor to let us baptize their children; and who even sometimes feared Baptism, as if it were the death of their little ones? For this reason we were then obliged to regenerate the children in [131] those sacred waters without the mothers’ knowledge, if we wished to prevent so many children from being lost; [Page 105] at least two-thirds of them die before they have the use of reason.

It is, then, to the oldest of the Frenchmen that they apply, and they consider him as pastor both of the Iroquois and of the French; for he assumes over the latter the authority to rebuke them sharply, if they are wanting ever so little in their Christian duty. It needs only a gesture or a word of too great freedom to merit a harsh reprimand. He therefore has the consolation of seeing in this captivity Josephs who not only flee from their shameless mistresses, but also deal them blows with no sparing hand, although this may result in the cutting off of some of their fingers or the splitting of their heads with a hatchet. This weapon very easily strikes [132] refractory Captives, as we have seen many times with our own eyes; for among the Iroquois the life of a Captive is valued no more than that of a dog, and it needs only a slight disobedience on his part to merit a hatchet-stroke.

As for the Hurons who are in captivity, they are also in the same dangers, and some of their number bravely preserve their faith amid so many storms. There are in Agnie some Huron Matrons who constitute flying and hidden Churches, and who assemble either in the thickness of the Forests or in some out-of-the-way Cabins, in order to recite there what prayers they know. One evening, when one of them was praying aloud, the others following her or repeating after her, it happened [133] that some person or other began to ridicule them, which so scandalized this good Christian and afflicted her so grievously that she fell ill in consequence — such was the displeasure which she felt at the affront offered [Page 107] to the faith. So it is that our forests conceal substantial virtues; and there are found under our roofs of bark generous souls and zealous Savages, who show that we can have, and already do have, Doctors, Confessors, and Martyrs among the Barbarians. We shall see in the following Chapter some other instances of the piety of these poor captive Churches.

But before coming to that, it will not be inappropriate to relate here the conversion and death of an Iroquois of Sonnontouan; it contains circumstances which make us bless and adore the kind providence [134] of God toward his elect.

This man, having been captured by our Algonkins in the defeat of the Iroquois Ambassadors, — as will be related in the seventh Chapter, — fell ill at Montreal, where at that time there was only one of our Fathers. The latter was making preparations to join the Outaouaks, whose arrival was expected, and to go with them, as successor to the late Father Ménard in his Apostolic labors, to continue those Missions which are distant from here four or five hundred leagues. This was Father Claude Allouez, who was well versed in the Algonkin tongue, but little in the Huron, to which he had applied himself for but a few months. So, then, he was on the point of going to labor in the Algonkin Churches, when God caused this Iroquois of whom we are speaking to fall into his hands, in order that he might send him to Heaven by ways truly extraordinary. [135] This is what the Father writes from Montreal concerning the matter, on the 20th of August, 1664:

“ Our Outaouaks do not yet appear. I have begun my Mission with an Iroquois; he is the Sonnontouehronnon, Sachiendouan by name, who was taken in [Page 109] war last Spring, and sent here to return to his own country. We buried him yesterday.

“ Having fallen dangerously ill, he gave to our good Hospital nuns here abundant opportunity for the exercise of charity; they received him and dressed his wounds with a care worthy of the zeal of those good sisters. This was a man irritated at the affront which he thought he had received in having been taken prisoner when he was coming on an embassy, and of a haughty disposition — in a word, an Iroquois who repaid only with disdain all the kindness that was [136] shown him. His surliness increased with his illness, and the pain, together with his fear of dying, made him almost unbearable.

“ When I was told that it was time to prepare him, since he was on the point of death, I was taken by surprise; for I did not speak that Iroquois tongue, and knew only very little of the Huron, which has some affinity with it.

“ Nevertheless, in this extremity I went to see him; and, on speaking Huron to him, I perceived that he understood me a little, and gave me appropriate answers, until, when I spoke to him about God and Paradise, he told me that he did not comprehend. I easily concluded that he had an aversion for the faith; and, in fact, on the following days, when I spoke to him about it, he became angry, hissed at me, and said things to me which I did not understand. [137] Sometimes he would hide under the bedcover in order not to hear me; and he even struck me a blow on the head, to repulse me. If he had injured me, I would have deemed myself happy, for it. Nevertheless, this made me very hopeful, and gave me the thought of praying in his [Page 111] behalf to saint Ignatius, whose feast was approaching; for, besides the fact that I could say hardly anything in Huron, the Frenchmen who might have served me as interpreters said that they did not understand well the language of this Savage. Moreover, he did not speak distinctly, was always complaining, and had a very bad disposition. On the eve of the Feast of saint Ignatius, I felt strongly impelled to say Mass for him, although I was bound by an urgent consideration to say it for a certain Deceased person, The Hospital Mothers also offered [138] especial prayers for him. And so, on the morning of the Saint’s day in whose honor I am about to relate this, I went to see my patient, as was my custom, and found him as gentle as a lamb. He listened to me quietly, answered several times that he understood me well, and after giving the indications of approval which are customary with the Savages, he said with gentleness several things that I did not understand. On the evening of the same day, when I told him that I would come to teach him daily, he said in Huron: ‘ That is good! I thank you. That is good! ’ After I had taught him for some days, seeing that he was growing much weaker, we thought to baptize him; but we did not know how to broach the subject to him, for he still retained the old belief that Baptism causes death.

[139] “We availed ourselves of an Onnontagehronnon Iroquois, who had arrived here a. few days before, — without doubt, under the special guidance of Providence, — to persuade our patient to have himself baptized. This he accomplished by assuring him that prayer does not cause death, but that it even serves sometimes to give life. In consequence, the [Page 113] sick man began to ask me for Baptism, and that so urgently that I began to make him perform acts of faith in the three Divine persons, and in the other mysteries necessary to believe; also acts of Contrition, and others, during a considerable length of time. But fearing that he asked for Baptism in order to prolong his life, according to the hope that the Onnontagehronnon seemed to have given him, I repeatedly assured him that Baptism would make him live forever in Heaven, where he would no more suffer death. All this I said [140] in Huron, and the patient at the same time in his own Savage tongue, but with so much devotion and ardor that others, recognizing the aid of saint Ignatius, told me that the Savage must have that name and no other, that he fully deserved it. Accordingly, I baptized him and gave him the name Ignace, on the sixth day of that saint’s Octave.

“ After that, he lived only three days, showing an extraordinary patience and calm of spirit in the heat of the fever, and in the serious affection of the lungs from which he suffered, while he prepared himself for a good death by acts of virtue, which he repeated over and over with great pleasure. He seemed on the point of death on the very day of his Patron’s Octave; but the saint obtained for him still the following day that he might prepare himself better for death. In fact, the entire day was employed [141] in this. I remained at the hospital to prompt to him appropriate prayers and thoughts; he understood them and repeated them in his heart with much devotion, for aloud he could pronounce only some syllables. At length, toward evening, as we were commending his soul to God, and while I was prompting [Page 115] to him acts of virtue to be recited by the Dying, he gave up his soul to Cod, constantly moving his lips during the death-agony to repeat the prayers. He filled with holy joy several persons who had hastened up to see him die; they could not sufficiently admire God’s goodness, and the manifest aid of saint Ignatius in behalf of a man who, after living about sixty years in the cruelty and infidelity of a Savage, passed the last three days of his life as a good Christian, and won Paradise by so beautiful a death.” [Page 117]





HE cruelty with which the lower Iroquois treat those of us whom they make prisoners is so horrible that all New France will never bestow enough blessings on our incomparable Monarch who is undertaking to deliver his Subjects — French, Algonkin, and Huron — from these Barbarian Enemies. They have killed this year in our Fields several Frenchmen, who are less to be pitied than those whom they have carried into captivity; among the latter there are, in particular, two poor girls, one of whom was carried away by them from the Island of Orleans, while the other, twelve years old, [143] was taken at Three Rivers. We do not yet know what cruelties they have inflicted on these last captives, but we judge of them only too well from those with which they tormented two Frenchmen of whom we shall speak in this Chapter.

In the Autumn of the year one thousand six hundred and sixty-three, two Soldiers of the garrison at Three Rivers, while hunting on the Richelieu Islands, fell into an ambuscade that the Agniehronnon Iroquois had laid for them, and were soon taken and bound, as Captives usually are. In the attack, one of them was wounded by a ball, which, after passing through his body, stopped at the surface of the side opposite to that by which it had entered. [Page 119] The Iroquois — who take Pride in leading home [144] Prisoners alive and full of strength, to endure the strain of torture to which they destine them — turned Physicians in the case of this wounded man, and, with cruel compassion, dressed his wound and bled him with an assiduity only too charitable to him, They probed the wound full through his body, and finding the place where the ball had stopped, made an incision there and removed it, with admirable skill. After this successful operation, it is incredible what pains and care they took of this poor patient. Some would cleanse the wound and infuse into it the juice of roots, either boiled or chewed, which is a sovereign remedy with them; others would bandage it, and acquit themselves with such delicacy in handling it that they seemed to fear giving him the least pain in the world. Others would prepare his [145] meals for him, with all the kindness one could wish for in any Hospital; some would support him under the armpits when he walked; while others would encourage him with kind words, full of tenderness. ’ ’ Courage, my brother! ” they would say to him; ’ ‘ we shall soon be there. Thy wound is getting better and better. Thou seest well that we are sparing no pains to restore thy health; so take courage, and do not put an affront upon us at the entrance to our Village. ” Their real meaning was, that the ill of which they were curing him was only to prepare him for greater ills, which awaited him upon their arrival in their own country. In fact, as soon as they were perceived, every one came out to meet them with rods and staves in hand; and when they had all arrayed themselves in rows on both sides [146] of the road, they made our two Frenchmen Pass through [Page 121] their midst entirely naked, discharging on them as they advanced such a shower of blows, each one striving to hit them, that they fell fainting at the entrance to the Village. Such was the purpose of all the care that they had taken of this poor sick man on the way; they had feared that he would die and thus deprive all this Barbarian tribe of the pleasure which they take in these cruel executions.

While our two Frenchmen were in this pitiful condition, lo! a Huron approached them to console them. He was one of our good Christians of Kebec, who was captured by the same Iroquois a few years ago; and having been treated with the same severity, he knew well what consolation they needed. “ Courage, my brothers! ” [147] he said to them; “ pray to God earnestly, in this little time which you have still to live. Tomorrow you will go to Heaven, for they have adopted the resolution to burn you at daybreak. You will soon be rid of the woes which you will be made to suffer; but the reward that the master of our lives will give you in return will never end. Remember me when you are in Heaven.” It is incredible how much this little exhortation cheered them, and what joy they felt in their hearts at seeing in the midst of such a frightful state of Barbarism so good a Christian. All his words seemed to them to be fiery arrows, burning their hearts with much greater heat than that of the fires which were being prepared for their bodies.

Day breaking, the captives made themselves ready for that cruel torture, [148] and were surprised at the delay in beginning the execution. They did not know that God was working for them; and that, at the very time when they were about to offer themselves [Page 123] to him as a sacrifice, he was procuring their deliverance. It was through an Ambassador recently arrived from Onnontae, who asked of the Elders that the two Captives be delivered up to him, to help to bring about a projected compromise with the French. Behold, then, our two victims summoned. They tremble at every word that is said to them; they are unbound, and they think that it is in order to make them mount the scaffold. Sentence is pronounced on them, not of death, but of life; and they are put in charge of an Onnontaeronnon, who undertakes to conduct them in safety to Onnontae, there to join the other French [149] Captives and be ready to embark when it is desired to take them back to Montreal. All these things appeared to them so surprising that they could scarcely believe them; nevertheless, seeing themselves really delivered, they thanked Heaven for so signal a favor. They were not yet, however, in safety; for a certain Iroquois, who had already devoured this prey with his eyes, and who was vexed that it had been taken from him, resolved to satisfy his desire with the death of one of the two Captives. He pursued him with hatchet in hand, no one, either Elder or Captain, opposing the insolent man. There was only a good Huron Christian woman, who — captive although she was, and consequently liable to have her head broken, in the event of discovery — did not hesitate to take this [150] poor Frenchman into her Cabin, where she concealed him under some bark for three days, until means was afforded the Frenchmen to escape with their guide without being noticed by this furious man.

Behold them, therefore, on the road, full of joy, although severely bruised with blows, and all covered [Page 125] with sores. They walk on peacefully in those great forests and begin to breathe again. But lo! another accident, which throws them into new dangers, and into greater alarms than ever. Their guide, seeing himself alone in the middle of the woods with two Frenchmen, is seized with a panic of terror — persuading himself that he is not safe with them, and that they could very well make an attempt against his life. This imaginary fear taking hold of him, one night when the Frenchmen were sleeping, he rose, and, as if he had been himself [151] the captive of his Captives, fled from them, leaving them greatly surprised when, awaking, they found themselves alone. In what direction were they to turn, not knowing even in what place they were? What path were they to take, in a forest where there was none? If they followed the tracks of their fugitive, they would arrive at Onneyout, the most cruel of the Iroquois nations, and the most furious against the French. How were they to pass the nights without fire, not having wherewith to start it? And yet it was in the month of November, a very cold season for men almost naked, as they were. But on what were they to live, having no weapons to kill the animals they would find on their way? In these extremities their recourse was, as it usually is, to the blessed Virgin, who has always [152] appeared to be the very special protectress of the poor French Captives, They conjured her to complete in their persons what she had so well begun. After their prayer, they perceived that their guide had forgotten in his flight a little bag of Indian cornmeal. They mixed some with water, morning and evening, and that was all they had to sustain them. After walking [Page 127] three days, with incredible sufferings, they saw themselves at the gates of the village of Onneyout. But what now? Had they the courage to give themselves up, of their own accord, into the hands of the most cruel executioners of the French? They had recourse again to the blessed Virgin, who impelled them to throw themselves, by stealth, into an abandoned Cabin, which happened to be situated all by itself outside the village, in order to hold themselves in hiding there, and decide, [153] more at leisure, what they were to do. They entered it accordingly, and were much surprised to find a woman inside, who — instead of crying out at the sight of these fugitives, and going to announce their arrival — invited them to enter, gave them kind looks, and even addressed them in good French. Our two pilgrims did not doubt that she was a guardian Angel sent them by their holy deliverer, hearing as they did their own language spoken by a Savage woman, and receiving from her acts of charity which would deserve admiration among the most fervent Christians. For she set about entertaining them kindly, preparing a fire for them, giving them something to eat, and wiping the matter from their sores, without showing any disgust at the stench which arose from those ill-dressed ulcers. She even went to fetch some medicinal roots, and made of them a [154] dressing, which she applied to all the places on their bodies where the gangrene seemed most dangerous, and cleansed the others, — all this with extreme charity, omitting nothing of all that a wise and kind Surgeon could do.

She played, in truth, the part of an angel; and they would have believed her such, if she had not [Page 129] made herself known to them. “ I am,” said she, “ poor Marguerite Haouenhontona, well known to the black gowns, from whom I received Baptism, and to the holy maidens, the Ursuline mothers of Quebec. I was brought up at their house; and I received from them such good teachings that, notwithstanding my unfortunate captivity, I think I never shall abandon the faith which they instilled into my heart with the nourishment and the education of several years. That is the real [155] reason why I pay back to you a part of the many charities with which they overwhelmed me when I was with them. They taught me to speak French, and is it not just that I should comfort you now, speaking to you in that same language; and that I should feel kindness for you, just as they showed kindness to me? This little that I do for you is nothing in comparison with what they did for me.” In this way that good Christian woman pleasantly entertained her guests with an account of all the services that those good Nuns had rendered her, enumerating the smallest details. She told them, moreover, seeing them so covered with ulcers, that it was with all her heart that she applied herself to dressing them, after the example of those other holy maidens whom she had seen serving the sick with such charity; she was alluding to the [156] Hospital Nuns.

During all this pleasant talk, by which she tried to cheer them up to the best of her ability, the news was carried into Onneiout that two Frenchmen had gone into the Cabin outside the village; that they had been seen going in that direction toward evening. The Elders assembled to deliberate upon this matter; and it was proposed to go immediately and knock these men on the head, and make them enter [Page 131] the Village as prisoners — that is to say, under a hail-storm of blows; to tear out their nails, cut off their fingers, and burn them, like the other Captives. Meanwhile, the men themselves were peacefully enjoying the pleasant conversation of their hostess, and were offering up devout prayers with her, before taking a little rest during the night, after so many fatigues and sufferings. [157] But hark! a loud noise was heard at the door of the Cabin, made by those who were sent by the Elders to seize the Frenchmen. What a reverse of fortune! Oh, how short were those moments of cheer and comfort! Scarcely had their wounds been bandaged when they had to prepare to receive new ones. But the protection of the blessed Virgin toward these unfortunate men had begun too well not to continue to the end. In fact, contrary to all the laws and customs of those Barbarians, the Council of the Elders had decreed that no injury should be done them, and that they should be conducted in perfect safety to the place whither they desired to go. It was done as they had determined. They were given a peaceful entry into the Village, [158] where French Captives had never been seen to enter except amid horrible yells and countless blows with cudgels. And as they were so exhausted that they had not strength enough to pursue their journey, God inspired an Iroquois Matron to ask that they might be lodged in her hut; and she thereupon took care to clothe them, dress their wounds, and feed them well for five days. At the end of this time, after many kindnesses, she furnished them with the provisions necessary for the rest of the journey and courteously conducted them a long distance outside the Village. [Page 133]

They went on their way, accordingly, and at last reached Onnontae, where they found several Frenchmen, rescued like themselves from the hands of the other Iroquois by that Garakontie, who is styled the father and [159] protector of Captive Frenchmen, about whom we spoke in the preceding Chapter; he will furnish material for a good part of the following one, in which we shall relate the remaining adventures of our two Frenchmen. [Page 135]




INCE war broke out between the Iroquois and ourselves, we have not yet seen on their part a more solemn Embassy — whether in point of the number and rank of the ambassadors, or the beauty and number of the presents — than that which they despatched last Spring.

Upon investigating the causes of such an extraordinary event, it is not [160] easy to hit on the true one. They proclaim that they wish to unite all the nations of the earth and to hurl the hatchet so far into the depths of the earth that it shall never again be seen in the future; that they wish to place an entirely new Sun in the Heavens, which shall never again be obscured by a single cloud; that they wish to level all the mountains, and remove all the falls from the rivers — in a word, that they wish peace. Moreover, as an evidence of the sincerity of their intentions, they declare that they are coming — women, and children, and old men — to deliver themselves into the hands of the French, — not so much in the way of hostages for their good faith as to begin to make only one Earth and one Nation of themselves and us.

All these words are specious, but for more than five years we have known from our own [161] experience that the Iroquois is of a crafty disposition, adroit, dissembling, and haughty; and that he will [Page 137] never descend so as to be the first to ask peace from us, unless he has a great scheme in his head, or is driven to it for some very pressing reason.

Some think that the Agniehronnons — the nation nearest to us and the most arrogant and cruel — ask us for peace because they are no longer in a condition to make war, being reduced to a very small number by famine, disease, and the losses that they have suffered in the last two or three years, on all sides whither they have directed their arms. Quite recently they suffered a bleeding which greatly weakened them. We learn that an army of six hundred Iroquois, the greater part of whom [162] were Agniehronnons, went out to sack a Village composed of certain Savages called Mahingans or the Wolves. The latter saw that the army which was about to pounce upon them would put the whole place to fire and sword, if it were allowed to approach the Village; and so they resolved to advance against it and take it unawares. They accordingly went out, to the number of a hundred only, and after going two leagues, encountered the Enemy and gave battle. The fight lasted a very long time with great loss on both sides. Nevertheless, superior numbers prevailing, the Mahingans were forced to retire into their Village, leaving the Field of battle to the Iroquois, who found themselves so hardly used in this first engagement that they thought only of retreat. But when they saw [163] such a large number of their men, fallen on the spot, they resolved to revenge themselves for this loss, although they should all perish in the attempt. In order not to give the Mahingans time to recover and rally, they set out on that very evening, and at daybreak made the attack [Page 139] on the Village with great fury and frightful yells, as if they had already made themselves masters of the place. The heat of the combat was great on both sides, and the Iroquois lost many men, because they made the assault without taking the precaution to cover themselves, which obliged them at last to retreat, leaving many dead around the Enemy’s Village. This check, with some others that occurred at the same time, humbled them greatly, and brought them very low; and that is thought to have been the reason which [164] forced them to come to us and ask for peace. Others think that the Sonnontouaehronnons — the nation farthest distant from us, simplest in nature, and most numerous — asked us for peace in order to be able to make head against the Andastogueronons; these are Savages of new Sweden, very warlike, and better able than any others to exterminate the Iroquois. In order to secure themselves against so redoubtable an Enemy, the Sonnontouaehronnons ask the French to come in large numbers and settle among them. They ask this, hoping that the French will surround their Villages with flanked palisades, and furnish them with the munitions of war, — which they hardly dare any longer to go and obtain of the Dutch, as the Mahingans render the roads very dangerous. Finally, they beg that some black gowns be sent them, [165] to take control of an entire Village of old Huron Christians, and to convert the others. Father Simon le Moyne had already gone to Montreal with this design; he was delighted at being destined to expose his life for the sixth time to the Iroquois; and would be there now, if the Embassy had succeeded.

As for the Onnontaehronnons, some think that they [Page 141] desire peace, others believe that they are far from it; and both may be said to be right. For Garakontie, that famous liberator of the French Captives, has done too much not to wish for peace; on: the other hand, there are other families who are too envious and too much opposed to him to suffer him to have the glory of concluding a general peace with the French. Nothing of that sort, however, is apparent; [166] but as the Iroquois are more crafty than is imagined, both the one side and the other may conceal some knavish trick under that fair appearance; and the richer the presents are that they wish to make, the more are they to be mistrusted.

But, without pausing longer to examine the designs of this Embassy, let us see how it succeeded. The Onnontaehronnons, its prime movers, did not wish to expose rashly the most prominent men of their entire country; and so, in order to assure themselves fully in the matter, they sent to Montreal, as early as the month of August, advance couriers, as it were, to sound the way, and find out whether the envoys would be well received there. They appeared, accordingly, above our settlement with a white flag in their Canoe, in order not to be taken for Enemies. Under [167] such protection they landed at Montreal, and made some presents as a declaration that all the Iroquois nations, except that of Onneiout, asked for peace, and that even the Agnehronnons were thus inclined, —confirming the whole with a letter written ’ to Monsieur de Mezy, our Governor, by one of the prominent men of new Holland, who gave his guarantee of their good faith. This proposition was listened to with joy, but nevertheless with distrust, since at the very moment when they were talking to [Page 143] us of peace? they were making war on US in our Fields, where murders were being committed upon our Husbandmen. Yet, in order not to rebuff them entirely, they were sent back from Montreal with friendly words; and they departed with a resolution to go and hasten the departure of the Ambassadors.

[168] In fact, a short time afterward, Captain Garakontie — who was the soul, as it were, of this enterprise — joined the Sonnontouaehronnons, together with those of his nation; and to this end he made a prodigious collection of porcelain, which is the gold of the country, in order to make us the most beautiful presents that had ever been given us. There were, among other gifts, a hundred collars, some of which were more than a foot in width. They embarked to the number of thirty, laden with these riches; and, in order to be still more welcome, they took with them the two Frenchmen of whom I spoke in the preceding Chapter, to begin their presents by giving these men their liberty.

But their ill luck seems to have accompanied them wherever they went. After they had made some [169] days’ journey, our Algonkins, who were waging war in that part of the country, perceiving traces of these Ambassadors, laid an ambuscade for them below the great sault, and, attacking them unexpectedly, put them all to rout. Some were killed on the spot, others were made prisoners, and the rest took flight. As for the two Frenchmen, they sustained the first onset, and had great difficulty in making themselves recognized as Frenchmen by the Algonkins, — who, in the heat of the conflict, throwing aside their guns to take their hatchets, were striking right and left without considering on whom the blows [Page 145] fell. They were finally recognized, but had the grief of seeing that their liberty would cost their liberators their lives or their freedom.

[170] Thus the grand project of this Embassy has vanished in smoke, and instead of the peace which it was bringing us, we have on our hands a more cruel war than before; for the Iroquois would cease to be Iroquois if they did not make every effort to avenge the deaths of those Ambassadors. Perhaps they will dissimulate for some time, if they find themselves too much weakened by their late losses; and then — if they are not either entirely exterminated or put into such a condition that they cannot stir again — sooner or later they will take vengeance on the French, as they did on the Hurons, ten years after having become reconciled with them.

Beyond this, it is very difficult to judge whether this defeat is advantageous or disadvantageous to us. There is much to be said on both sides. In [171] general, we can assert that the great body of the Iroquois do not love us, and that they have a deadly hatred for the Algonkins. Consequently, when we see them so remarkably urgent for making peace with us, we do not doubt that they are afraid of the victorious arms of our triumphant Monarch, and that for once they really fear the plan which he has adopted to exterminate them, learning of it, as they have — partly from new Holland, and partly from some French Captives. And so, seeing themselves within two finger-breadths of total destruction, — famine and disease having begun it; the Andastoguehronnons, Mahingans, Algonkins, and other Savages having advanced it; and the French being interested in completing it, if they undertake it, — [Page 147] feeling, then, in this way the approach [172] of their ruin, they pretend to wish for peace, or rather necessity forces them to wish for it. But they do so to let the storm pass, and to renew the war more vigorously than ever after they shall have evaded this blow, and recovered from the extremity to which divine Providence has reduced them. It is, without doubt, a last punishment for so much opposition which they have offered to the Faith; and it enables our great King to acquire the glory of extending the Kingdom of Jesus Christ by enlarging his own, and of bearing his victorious arms over more than a thousand leagues of very fine territory. Thither our Missionaries will afterward bear the torch of the Faith, and make conquests for Heaven, which will increase the Blessings that God confers upon those conquests which our August Prince [173] is about to make as far as the ends of the world.




INCE despatching the Relation by the Ship which sailed from here on the 31st of August, the Onionenhronnons have come on an Embassy, reaching Quebec on the 18th of September. Its Chief is one of our old friends; he was Father René Ménard's host when the latter was Missionary among the Iroquois. They spoke through twenty presents, of which six of the finest were for the Ecclesiastics, — Monseigneur the Bishop of Petræa, and the Fathers of our Society, for whom they ask with urgency to instruct them in the Faith, — and for the Hospital Nuns [174] and the Ursulines, whose kind offices they hope [Page 149] to receive when they shall be sick here, and when they bring their daughters here to receive instruction.

Ten of these twenty presents were for the Algonquins, their old Enemies, with whom they testify their desire to form a friendship which shall never be broken.

They spoke for all the Iroquois Nations except that of Onneiout.

Had we not been often deceived by such Embassies, which have concealed deadly treasons under these appearances of Peace, we might have been deceived in this; but our experiences make us mistrust these faithless Barbarians, even when they trust us implicitly.

To render more lucid the information desired regarding the Iroquois Nations, let it be stated that there [175] are five of them, — forming, as it were, five different Cantons, leagued against their common Enemies.

The Anniehronnons are the nearest to us, and neighbors to New Holland, where they obtain fire-arms, powder, and lead; with the Dutch, too, they carry on all their trading.

The Onneiochronnons are two days’ journey farther distant.

The Onnontaehronnons are still farther away.

The Onionenhronnons are about three days’ journey beyond the last-named tribe.

The Sonnontouehronnons, who are the most populous and have several Villages, are the farthest distant, by about three days’ journey.

They are all situated along the great Lake of the Iroquois called Ontario, [176] from 20 to 30 leagues inland. [Page 151]

They are settled in Villages, and till the soil, raising Indian corn, otherwise called Turkish corn. Wheat grows there very well, but they do not use it.

Behind them, farther southward, they have Savage Enemies who for some time past have been making vigorous war on them, — the Nation of the Wolves, the Abnaquinois, allied with New England, and the Andastoehronnons, allied with New Sweden.

Thus seeing themselves attacked on both sides, they fear the arms of France, and that with reason.


[Page 153]


Journal des PP. Jésuites

en l’année 1665


Source: We follow the original MS. in the library of Lava1 University, Quebec. [Page 155]


Journal of the Jesuit Fathers, in the year



JANUARY, 1665.



OTH at Christmas and on new-year’s  day, everything was done as in past years. Monseigneur the Bishop dined with us, and so did Monsieur Mesere; and in the




New-year’s Day.

evening we Invited the sieurs Morin and Joliet, our Musicians, to supper.


We went to pay our respects to Monsieur the governor as usual, although he was on bad terms with us and with all the Ecclesiastics. Afterward, in the evening, he sent his Major to our house, and to Monseigneur the Bishop’s, to pay a sort of compliment by sending back the order for payment of our pension, signed by him, which he had kept before him.


In the morning, we received Monseigneur the Bishop in our Chapel, — having sent boquet to conduct him here at 5¼ o’clock, and given orders to ring 5 or 6 Peals on the bell for his coming, and to bring him in by the door of the lower Chapel.


During the carnival, as usual, high Mass on Monday and Tuesday.


During Lent, on working-Days there was but one sermon here, on Monday mornings.

Lenten Sermons.

Monseigneur The Bishop would not allow any to be preached in the religious communities [Page 157] of women, and ordered it to be preached here.


Monsieur the governor fell grievously ill; we endeavored to facilitate his reconciliation with the Church. This was finally effected at the beginning of March, when he confessed and received Communion; and on the Feast of st. Joseph, and on easter Sunday, we said mass in his room.

Reconciliation of the governor, who was ill.



At the Beginning of this month, 2 or 3 Days before easter, a 3rd comet appeared.


At the same time, we had news from fathers Gabriel Droulletes and Henry nouvelle, who had wintered with the savages about Tadousac, and had already baptized among them about 50 persons.


Item, from 3 rivers, that a frenchman had arrived there from Montreal, saying that he had escaped from the yroquois, who had captured him.

Three rivers.

The snow was deep this year — 5 or 6 feet in the woods: consequently moose-hunting was excellent.

Deep snow,

On the last of the month, father bailloquet started for his mission of Tadousac and its dependencies, in the Canoe of the man who has charge of the salmon-fishery.

Departure of father bailloquet.

Monsieur de la Chesnaye’s bark left on the 23rd.

And of Monsieur La chesnaye's bark.



On the 5th, Monsieur de Mezy, the Governor, died; and, on the 7th, 150 savage warriors left 3 rivers to go to war. [Page 159]

Death of Monsieur the governor.

At the same time we heard of several Massacres at Montreal.


On the 14th, father Alloues left for his mission among the Outawats, accompanied by two of our Servants, La Tour and Nicolas.

Father Alloues leaves.

On the last of the month, father Henry nouvel left, with sieurs Amiot and Couture, for his mission of st. barnabas, among the papinachiois.

Also father nouvel for the mission of st. Barnabas.



Father Thiery (Theodoricus) beschefer[8] arrived on the 19th, in Le Gangneur’s Ship, with 4 Companies of the Carignan regiment.[9] Sieur petit’s ship had arrived on the 18th.

Arrival of Ships;

Father beschefer

And, on the 30th, father Claude bardy[10] and Father françois duperon arrived, with Monseigneur de Tracy[11] and 4 other Companies.

Father bardy.


Monseigneur de Tracy



On the 16th, Captain poulet arrived, with Monsieur bourdon, 12 Horses, 8 girls, and others.

Arrival of poulet.

On the 23rd, the first 4 Companies left to commence fort richelieu; father Chaumonot went with them.

Departure for the Beginning of the war.

One of the Captains, sieur de fromont, left a deposit of one hundred Louis d’or, which was placed in the hands of the father procurator, Father Claude dablon, monito superiore, father francois Mercier, and father bechefer, with a note containing the Intentions of the said sieur de fromont.


A Drummer of one of these Companies, named françois du Moussart, — a native of [Page 161] Ennelat, near Clermont, in Auvergne, — aged 19 years, was given to us by sieur la Tour, his Captain, because he was an excellent musician; but with the design that we should do him the charity of making him study.

Francois moussart q new Musician.



On the 3rd, 3 ships sailed away together.[12]


I, Francois le Mercier, reëntered into office on the 6th of August, at 8 o’clock in the evening.

The 6th.

On this same day, news came of the arrival at three rivers, on the 3rd, of more than 400 Outawak, well loaded with Furs. They left on their return, with Father Allouez, on the 7th.


The 8th. The lieutenant of the Aigle arrived; he had left his ship and that of captain guillon at Molinbault,[13] and he reëmbarked, after having obtained from Monseigneur de Tracy 4 pilots for etc.


The 10th. Monsieur de Chambley left three Rivers, with his troops, for the falls of the Richelieu.


The 12th. Father Fremin arrived with Monsieur Boucher, whom Monseigneur de Tracy received very well.


The 15th. Monseigneur the Bishop solemnly officiated in the parish church, etc.


The 17th. Father Fremin returned as superior of Cap de la Magdelaine, where temporal affairs are in good condition. As he is freed from all care regarding any traffic, he is [Page 163] to devote himself to the instruction both of the Montagnais and of the Algonquins — in such manner, however, that Father Charles Albanel may know that he is always entrusted with the chief care of that mission.


The 19th. Monsieur de salieres, the Colonel of the Regiment, arrived with Monsieur his son, 15 annorum, and 4 companies. The chaplain of the regiment, named the Abbé du bois, caused a letter to be given us, recommending him, which turns out to be forged.


The 20th. Captain guillon arrived, with 4 companies.


The 22nd. We received letters from the Richelieu River, by which we learned that some barks and shallops had ascended almost to the falls. 40 boats, for 20 men each, are ready.

Richelieu falls.




The 24th. Monseigneur administered the sacrament of confirmation to a great many soldiers and to some of the habitans. Father dablon prepared them for it by two sermons on penance, on the 21st and 22nd, at 8 o’clock in the morning, in the parish church.


In the evening there was a bonfire, at which the troops were present, with all the Clergy in surplices, and 4 of our fathers. Monseigneur, with Monseigneur de Tracy, set fire to it.


Monseigneur de Tracy caused an ordinance to be published, by which he commanded the habitans to supply 800 cords of wood this winter for the soldiers who are to winter at Quebecq. [Page 165]




The 12th. The st. sebastien arrived, having on board Monsieur de Courcelles, the governor, and Monsieur Talon, the Intendant.[14]


The 14th. The Ship called la Justice arrived, with more than 100 sick in all. Most of them were placed in the hospital, some in the sick ward, and some in the Church. Many of them died.


News came from 3 Rivers, that two canoes had arrived from New England, and reported the destruction of two villages of Annieňé by the sokokiois, etc.; that 80 women had been made captives, and that the remainder had been killed; also that another band of 700 or 800 was preparing to go and destroy Tionontogen, the largest village. All this turned out to be false.


Up to the present, nearly 20 heretics have been converted.


The 19th. The ships l’Aigle d'or and la paix Weighed anchor for france.


The 23rd. The former council was reëstablished; the new one, established by the late Monsieur de Mesy, was dissolved.

Council reëstablished.

The 24th. We came to the conclusion, in our consultation, to ask for 5 or six of our fathers for next year, and also a young teacher, or two. Item, that Father Bechefer shall continue to learn Montagnais until Christmas, and then take up Huron and Iroquois. We also came to the conclusion to write and ask for a printing press and type here for those languages. [Page 167]


The 29th. Monsieur Morin, a priest born in the Country, said his first mass.




The 1st. 4 companies departed, to wait for Monseigneur de Tracy at three Rivers.


The 2nd. The ship from Normandy arrived, with 82 girls and women — among others, 50 from a charitable institution in Paris, where they have been very well taught. Item, 130 laboring men, all in good health; an excellent cargo for the company, and at good prices; all the communities had on board all that comes to them from france.


The 3rd. Father Chaumonot returned from fort st. Louys, built at the foot of the Rapid on the Richelieu River.

Fort st. Louis.

The 4th. The last sacraments were administered to Monsieur du Douyt, who was ill of a pestilential fever.


The 7th. News came of another ship that was seen near Tadoussak.


The 8th. A captain of one of Monseigneur de Tracy’s companies made his abjuration of heresy in the principal Church, under the care of Monseigneur, — who was in Pontifical robes, and accompanied by all the clergy in surplices, — in presence of Monseigneur de Tracy, Monsieur de Courcelles, the Governor, Monsieur The Intendant, and 4 of our fathers.

Solemn abjuration.

The eleventh. News came of the loss of the King’s Ship commanded by captain Guillion, beyond Tadoussac, while going down the [Page 169] river on the south shore opposite the bare mountains.[15] 2 or three sailors, who were in too great haste to get to land, were drowned.

Loss of a king's ship.

The 12th. Father Bailloquet arrived from gaspé with the miners, not having found the mine good. He was unable to go to port Royal.

Mine not good.

The 13th. Father Nicolas was brought here from three Rivers; he was ill of a protracted fever, and had suffered a great deal of discomfort during the four days while he was on the water.


The 14th. The 3 King’s Ships weighed anchor; they received orders to pick up captain guillon’s Crew in passing.... On the same day, Father Bechefer was brought here from sillery in a cart.

Fathers nicholas And Bechefer ill

The 15th. News came that fort ste. Terese, above the rapid of the Richelieu River, was completed.... that the savages had had good hunting in that quarter, having killed bears, over 80 beavers, and a number of moose.

Fort ste. Térése.

On the same day, about a quarter past 9 in the evening, the earth trembled perceptibly for the space of a miserere.

Terræ motus.

The 21st. Farther Bardy pronounced the panegyric of st. Ursula at the ursulines’.

Father Bardy.

On the same day the two des meres — who, while under the influence of wine, had killed a soldier — were flogged; and the guiltier of the two was branded with the fieur-de-lys by the Executioner. [Page 171]


The 22nd. Monsieur de st. Denys arrived from Tadoussac, with a fair cargo of furs.


The 23rd. When we presented a petition for our 5,000 livres, Monsieur The Intendant gave a favorable reply to our petition, and promised us every assistance in all matters concerning our interests.


The 28th. A vessel arrived from Mon-real bringing news of the defeat of 20 Nipicirinien Algonquins, with their wives and their children, toward the petite nation; only one escaped, and he had his fingers cut off; 7 were killed, and 12 taken alive, with some women.

Defeat of algonquins.

We also learned that Monsieur de saliere had caused a boat to be built at the fort of ste. Terese, and had sent 18 or 20 men to explore the entrance of lake champellein. They advanced 4 leagues up the lake, and admired the beauty of the country.


Fuller exploration of

Lake Champlain.

The 31 st. Monsieur the governor returned from his voyage up the river, whither he had gone to inspect the fortifications, and to assign winter quarters to the troops. Monsieur de salieres arrived at the same time; they had some disputes together.

Disputes begin.




The 4th. The ship from Normandy weighed anchor for france.


Monsieur de salieres embarked, to go and spend the winter at Mon-real.


Monseigneur The Bishop went on his visit to the Island of Orleans and the coste de [Page 173] Lauson, with Monsieur de Meseré and two little savages.


The 10th. The earth was white with snow.


The 15th. A vessel arrived from Richelieu, bringing us the body of Father François du Peron, who died on the 10th at fort st. Louys, on the 13th day of his illness. Monsieur de Chambly,[16] the governor of the Place, writes me that he died, as he had lived, a good religious. In the evening, 5 soldiers brought the body in a coffin of boards that Monsieur sorel,[17] the governor of Richelieu, had ordered to be made for him, after going to receive him at the water’s edge with all his soldiers under arms. We also learned that he had had him guarded all the night, with lighted tapers around him. We had the body placed in the room occupied by the congregation, As he had been dead 7 days, we did not open the coffin.

Father françois du perron died at fort st. Louis.

The 16th. We assembled in the rooms of the congregation at half past 9 o’clock in the morning and issued forth in procession. Master Julien garnier bore the cross; two of our little pupils, the candlesticks; two others, the tenser and the holy water. We said the office, at which Monseigneur de Tracy assisted. Monsieur de Bernieres said mass presente corpore. He was buried in the vault of the chapel, near the confessional on the side of the street. There remains only enough room for one more body.


We received 2 thousand five hundred livres — one half of our pension.[18] [Page 175]


On the same day Monsieur Boucher went up to three Rivers with Father Drouilletes —the father to go to the cape, and to take the place of Father Albanel; the latter is to go to fort st. Louys, at the first opportunity, to take the place of the deceased Father du Peron.

Father albanel goes up to Fort Saint Louis.

The 19th. Monseigneur The bishop returned from the Island of Orleans and the coste de Lauzon, whither he had gone on a visit.


The 20th. I received a letter from the cape; they wrote me — on the 18th — that Father le Moyne had been confined to his bed for 3 days with a violent fever, accompanied by a heavy cold. He had already been bled twice.

Father Le moyne ill.

On the same day, a shallop arrived from Gaspé and reported: 1st, that 2 large fishing vessels had been lost there, and that the shallop called le Charroy had gone ashore on the coast; the men escaped, and part of them have returned. The vessel called the st. sebastien took off captain guillon and all his Crew.

Fishing vessels lost at gaspé.

The 23rd. They write us from cap de la Magdelaine that Father le Moyne is sick unto death; and that Father Albanel is detained at three rivers, waiting until the ice is strong enough to enable him to proceed on his mission.




The 2nd. Monsieur le Moyne arrived here with 6 onnontaeronons, who brought him [Page 177] back.[19] There is an onneiout with them, the chief of a band of 25, who had come on a hostile expedition, and whose hatchet they had restrained.


By the same means we learned that Father Simon le Moyne died a holy death at the cap de la Magdelaine, on the 24th of november, at 5 o’clock in the morning, after having received all the sacraments. He had attained the age of 61 years. On The feast of St. Simon and St. Jude, they also wrote us that Father Fremin was not well, nor was Father drouillettes; and that Father Bailloquet was confined to his bed, after having been ill 3 or 4 days.... Father Albanel is still at 3 Rivers, where he has charge of the cure while awaiting an opportunity to Ascend farther up.

Beautiful death of Father Le moyne, an indefatigable man at the cape.

The 4th. The Iroquois spoke, and gave 7 or 8 presents to renew the peace, and this at Monseigneur de Tracy’s. On the following days, they were entertained several times in the french fashion, by The Gentlemen. We also treated them, but in the savage fashion, by giving the chief the wherewithal to give a good feast to the hurons and Algonquins; and, in the evening, by taking to each of them a small loaf, some roasted eels, some prunes, and beer.

Negotiations for peace.

The 8th. They started on their return with Monsieur le Moyne, and others. La grand gueule [“big mouth“] then learned, I know not from whom, of the design of Monsieur the governor respecting Anniée; and he informed garakontie of it in our reception room. [Page 179] They were 9 days on the road, before returning to three Rivers.

La grande gueule.

The 26th. We presented a petition to Monsieur The Intendant, respecting our lands of Nostre dame de bon secours. Frustra.


[Page 181]


Relation of 1664-65




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

Chaps. i.-v. only are given in this volume; the remainder of the document will appear in our Volume L.






in the years 1664 and 1665

Sent to the Reverend Father Provincial of the

Province of France.

P A R I S.

Sebastien Cramoisy And Sebastien

Mabre-Cramoisy, Printer in ordinary

to the King, ruë st. Jacques,

at the Sign of the Storks.




[Page ]

To the Reverend Father Jacques Bordier, Pro-

vincial of the Society of Jesus in

the Province of France.



                                                Pax Christi.

I write to Your Reverence in the name of this new Church, which has cost us, in the last few years, so many tears and so much blood, to prefer an urgent request for persons capable of cultivating and extending it in this country with the same zeal with which it was begun. Never was there greater need for asking this succor, nor a finer opportunity to grant it to us, than at present; for the King is pleased to take thought for Canada, and to send us troops to protect his Subjects of New France, and, at the same time, to open a new road for the Gospel. Our good Neophytes doubt not that Your Reverence, in order to second his Majesty’s holy projects, will likewise give soldiers to Jesus Christ, for the purpose of uniting spiritual arms with temporal, and of combating, at the same time, the fury and the infidelity of the Iroquois, — the one by preaching the Christian Faith, and the other by inspiring a fear of the French arms. We are, besides, well assured that, as this Mission has ever been in high esteem among us because of its great dangers and hardships, many of our Fathers will offer to come and share our Crosses with us, and bravely fulfill the purpose of their calling amid these Barbarians. Therefore we conjure Your Reverence not to oppose their fervor, and to confer upon this infant Church every blessing in the power of [Page 189] your office to bestow — especially at a time when it appears, from these happy beginnings, that Jesus Christ is at last pleased to hear the cry of the blood of his servants who have been sacrificed to his glory; and that he is delivering into our hands these Barbarians, — already nearly vanquished, as they are, by fear, — in order to subject them the more easily to the Gospel’s sacred yoke. Such is the prayer offered you by the guardian Angels of Canada, the converted Neophytes, the Fathers of our Mission, and, in short, all New France. Hence we are led to hope that so powerful an intercession, together with the reasonableness of our desires, will move Your Reverence deeply; and that you will even have the goodness to interest the other Provinces also in continuing to us the succor which they have so beneficially given us in past years. You will then permit me, in expectation of this favor, and in the participation of your holy Sacrifices, to take the liberty of signing myself, with respect,


My Reverend Father


Your very humble and obedi-

Kebec, Novem-

en servant in Our Lord,

her 3, 1665.

François le Mercier.


Extract from the Royal License.


Y the Grace and License of the King, Sebastien Cramoisy, Printer in ordinary to his Majesty, Director of his Royal Press at the Castle of the Louvre, sometime Alderman and former Judge-Consul of this city of Paris, is authorized to print or cause to be printed, a Book entitled: Relation de ce qui s’est passé en la Nouvelle France és de années 1664. et 1665. And that during the period of ten consecutive years, forbidding all Booksellers, Printers and others, under penalties provided by the said License, to print or cause to be printed the said Book, under pretext of any disguise or change made therein. Given at Paris in the month of February, 1666. Signed, by the King in his Council,


[Page 193]





Chapter I.     The arrival of Monsieur de Tracy in New France.

Page 1


Chap. II.     The Reception which the Savages of Canada gave to Monsieur de Tracy.



Chap. III.     The arrival of the upper Algonquins at Quebec, and Father Claude Allouez’s Mission to those Peoples.



Chap. IV.     Of the first forts constructed on the river of the Iroquois.



Chap. V.     Of the Iroquois country, and the routes leading thither.



Chap. VI.     Diary of the second journey of a Father of the Society of Jesus to Lake Saint Barnabé.



Chap. VII.     War of the Iroquois. Their victory and their defeat at Lake Piouagami, called Lake St. John.



Chap. VIII.     Concerning some wonders that have recently occurred.


Chap. X.     Of the Comets and extraordinary signs that have appeared at Quebec or in its neighborhood.



Chap. IX.     Cruelties practiced upon some Frenchmen captured by the Iroquois in the year 1662.



Chap. last. Some circumstances connected with the arrival of the King’s vessels bearing the Regiment of Carignan-Salieres.





[Page 195]


Letter from the Reverend Mother

Superior of the Hospital Nuns

of Kebec in New France.

October 23, 1665.

[Page 197]

[3] Letter from the Reverend Mother Supe-

rior of the Hospital Nuns of Kebec

in New France.

To Monsieur * * * *, Citizen of Paris.



The Love and adorable Blood of Jesus be forever our life and our all.

The Divine Providence having suffered me to continue in the charge of this Hospital, I [4] am obliged to thank you in the name of our little Community for your continued attentions to our poor patients. We have had twice as many of the latter this year as in former years, and almost all at the same time; so that, our Hall being too small to contain half of so great a number, we have obeyed the Commandment which our Lord gives us to spare no pains to relieve his mystic members who are in need, and have chosen the least disabled to place in our Chapel. All the charitable people who aided us in attending them fell ill; and our good God, not wishing to leave unrewarded the great affection [5] displayed by our little Community on this occasion, next visited our dear Mothers and Sisters, nearly all of whom became critically ill, and received their last Sacraments. But the good Master, seeing to what straits we were reduced by our dear Companions’ illness, and having regard for our affliction, soon afterward cheered us by their convalescence; and at present writing there [Page 199] is only one of them in danger, while, as she is young and strong, we hope that, by the grace of God, she will withstand the disease. We need more Nuns, and indeed there are some girls here who would like to become such; but as we are [6] much burdened with patients, we would not dare to receive any of them unless they brought some dowry, for fear that we would be forced to use for the maintenance of the Nuns the resources entrusted to us for the support of the poor. If some virtuous persons were inclined to make a contribution for that purpose, they would perform an act very agreeable to God and of great merit. I beg you, Monsieur, to pardon the liberty I take in opening my modest thoughts to you; the above is a blessing for which I wish, but hardly dare hope. Finally, Monsieur, we have received all your bales, well stocked, and in good condition. They could not have arrived at a more fitting time; for, although we had borrowed [7] largely, both for drugs and for equipment, we were beginning to suffer a scarcity in every department. You know that our revenue is very moderate, and the love of our Lord has so long given you an attraction for acts of piety that you must know what expenses are necessarily incurred in a Hospital, however careful one may be. Thus you will easily understand that, as Canada increases in population, our Hospital will be overwhelmed with burdens, unless God take care to give it benefactors like yourself — a favor for which I hope from his infinite Mercy. I send you a memorandum of our petty needs; it seems rather long, it is true, although I have included in it as little as I could. I doubt not [8] that you will, with the same goodness you have [Page 201] displayed hitherto, work to secure us what we ask, since, as our needs increase, the good Jesus will not fail to increase your charity also, and to crown you with more ample blessings. I believe, Monsieur, that you will be glad to learn that God has visited our poor House this year with very great blessings. Among the patients coming to our Hospital there were many diseased both in body and in soul. Some were Huguenots; and, thanks be to God, they all made public abjuration of their heresy in our house. Others were poor Christians, who [9] had not approached the Sacraments for many years; and they made general Confessions, showing themselves as well disposed as one could have wished. Monseigneur the Bishop of Petræa, our most worthy Prelate, Monsieur de Lauzon, his grand Vicar, and our Superior have conducted a Mission, and reaped a harvest worthy of their zeal. One would have said, at seeing them, that this was a primitive Church: night and day were spent in. endeavors to reconcile the people with God. And those poor creatures deemed themselves, on emerging from their state of misery, so happy to find a place of refuge from their ills, that they made the whole place reëcho with the thanksgivings which they were continually rendering to our Lord, and with the prayers which they [10] offered up to him on behalf of all who labor for the support of this Hospital. As you are among the chief of these, and the most assiduous in conferring benefits upon us, I hope that God will shower his favors upon you in abundance. Such is the wish cherished daily for you by our poor patients and my dear Sisters; while for myself, although the most unworthy, I profess to be [Page 203] the first in remembering you before our Lord, and in declaring myself on all occasions,


Your very humble and obedient servant

in Our Lord, Sister Marie de Saint Bon-

naventure de Jesus, Unworthy Superior.

At the Hospital of Kebec in

New France, October

23, 1665.








ix livres of Senna.

Three livres of Rhubarb.

Three livres of Jalap.

Four livres of Myrrh.

Four livres of Aloes.

Ten livres of common Incense.

Four livres of male Incense.

One livre of Scammony.

One livre of Opium.

Two livres of each of the six Gums. [12]

Four livres of golden Litharge.

Four livres of silver Litharge.

Eight ounces of oil of Camomile.

Eight ounces of oil of Laurel.

Eight ounces of oil of almonds, sweet and bitter.

Two livres of Cinnamon.

Two livres of Cloves. [Page 205]

Two livres of Nutmegs.

Six livres of Pepper,

Six livres of Ginger.

Eight ounces of white Vitriol.

Four livres of corrosive Sublimate.

Eight livres of white Wax.

Eight livres of yellow Wax for making ointments.

Ten livres of Candles, or white or yellow tapers, for saying Mass at the Hospital.

Sugar, fine and Coarse, in as large quantities as possible, for syrups and mixtures — our entire supply being exhausted. [13]

Ten livres of Diapalma.

Three livres of Diachylon.

Three livres of Divinum.

Four livres of Betonica.

Four livres of Extra-Fracturas.

Four livres of Extra-Contusionem.

Two livres of Minium.

Two livres of Balm.

Four livres of White Ointment.

Two livres of Rose ointment.

Six livres of Mundificative.

Two livres of Althea.

Six livres of Burgundy pitch.

Four livres of good Licorice.

Material for making ink.

Six livres of Suppurative.

Senna of Montpellier.[20]

Four livres of Almonds.

One dozen Lancets.

A small brazen mortar for compounding Medicines.

Linen of various sorts and kinds [14] Sheets. [Page 207]

Shirts for men and women.

Napkins, or linen for making some.

Linings for caps.


Linen for shrouding the dead.

Cotton twine; and coarse wicking for putting in the lamps, and for making candles.

Blankets, blue and green.

Woolen caps for men and women.

Thick cloth for making dressing gowns for the sick.

Boxwood combs.

Eight chamber-vessels.

Two padded chamber-vessels of tin for slipping under the patients.

Two other common vessels.

Thirty-six bowls. [15]

Thirty-six sauce-dishes for portions.

Twenty-four cups.

Four large dishes.

A deep tin basin.

Forty-eight spoons.

Two large chafing-dishes.

Four medium chafing-dishes.

Two medium holy-water Stoups of copper.




Five livres of coarse sewing-thread.

Six pairs of scissors.

Four reams of writing-paper.

Two reams of paper, large and medium.

One ream of gray blotting-paper.

Some Heures de la Vierge.

Father Chiffletius’s Book. [Page 209]

The Journée Chrestienne, by Monsieur Olier, of St, Sulpice.

The Conduite of Monsieur de Sales.[21]

The Exercice de da presence de Dieu. [16]

Other Books of devotion, of various kinds.


Holy Pictures.

Gentlemen and Ladies Kindly disposed to contribute, in the cause of charity, such Drugs and other articles as are specified in the above List, are requested to send them to the house of Monsieur Cramoisy, Printer in ordinary to the King, ruë St. Jacques, or to notify him, and he will not fail to send for them. [Page 211]

[1] Relation of what occurred in New France in

the years 1664 and 1665



EVER will New France cease to bless our great Monarch for undertaking to restore her to life and rescue her from the fires of the Iroquois. For nearly forty years we have been sighing for this happiness. Our tears [2] have at length crossed the sea, and our plaint has touched the heart of his Majesty, who is about to make a Kingdom of our Barbarous land, and change our forests into towns and our deserts into Provinces. This transformation will not be very difficult when we have peace; for, as these lands are in the same latitude as France, they will also have the same benign atmosphere, when we are able to cultivate them and clear them of their woods.

Hitherto Canada has been regarded simply as Canada — I mean, we have considered only its rigors and ice, and the severity of its winters. It has been believed that to come hither was to enter the region of frosts, and the most ill-favored country in the world; and this view seems to have been held with some reason, inasmuch as war with the Iroquois has hitherto kept us so closely confined [3] that we have been unable to clear our fields, in order to breathe the same atmosphere as in those of France, or to enjoy the fair realms either occupied, or closed to us, by our foes.

But our chief complaint was not so much that, groaning under the Iroquois’ cruelty, we could not [Page 213] convert all these regions into a noble French Kingdom, as that we were prevented by Barbarians from turning them into a great Christian Empire.

We know that, whithersoever we cast our eyes, everywhere are conquests to be made for the Faith; and if the Gospel is not yet established among those Tribes to whom one of our Fathers went this last Summer, and who comprise more than a hundred thousand fighting men, [4] he was only prevented by a mere handful of one or two thousand Iroquois.

It is certain that there are few foes to contend against, but those few are Iroquois — that is to say, very nearly such as were of old the tribes of Germany and ancient Gaul, when those countries were still nothing but dense forests, inhabited by wild beasts and by men in a state of savagery. But it was those men who so long braved the entire forces of the Roman Empire, and who so often surprised those troops that had been victorious over all the world, — making sudden and unexpected sorties from their dense forests, without fearing lest those triumphant arms should come and attack them.

Our Iroquois are redoubtable only in that kind of warfare; I shall likewise venture to assert that not less courage is needed for undertaking their reduction than that [5] displayed by the ancient Romans.

We bless God that his Majesty has chosen for this war veteran troops already inured to fighting, and commanded by men of courage and Noble birth, who have already succeeded in crossing the Alpine snows and opposing the progress of the enemy of the Christians in Germany, — with such success that this foe now knows by experience the just cause he has to fear the French arms, as he has done for so many years. [Page 215]




THE King, purposing to reestablish the glory of the French in the Island of Cayenne, which we had [6] evacuated some years ago, and to secure a visitation of all the Colonies owned by us in both Americas, South and North, made choice of Monsieur the Marquis de Tracy, with whose capacity he had become acquainted in the different offices which he had given him in his Armies. He caused a Commission to be sent to him, of the most ample and honorable nature yet known; gave him four Companies of Infantry; decreed that his guards should bear the same colors as his Majesty’s; and ordered to be equipped for his use the ships named the Bresé and the Teron, — the former of eight hundred tons, and the latter of somewhat less, — together with several other vessels laden with provisions and munitions of war. His Majesty also provided people to till the soil, a number of artisans, and everything necessary for an expedition [7] of such importance.

Monsieur de Tracy sailed from la Rochelle on the 26th of February in the year 1664, accompanied by many of the Nobility, besides the troops, and by well-equipped vessels. He was complimented by the Portuguese of Madeira and the Cape verd islands with all the honor due to his rank and merit. [Page 217] Monsieur de la Barre, upon landing, was given a splendid reception.

Then the vessels sailed directly to Cayenne, where they arrived in a short time. Upon Monsieur de Tracy’s summoning the Dutch Governor to surrender the Island to the French, to whom it belonged, he readily complied; and Monsieur de la Barre stopped there, in accordance with the King’s orders.

Cayenne having been thus placed once more under obedience to the King, Monsieur [8] de Tracy proceeded without delay to the French Islands, where he was received in a manner befitting his rank of Governor-general, and his Majesty’s Lieutenant in all America, South and North. He imposed such order everywhere, especially in Martinique and Guadaloupe, which most needed it, that his Majesty was fully satisfied, when he learned how Religion and Justice had been firmly established, the people given relief, and all matters adjusted under the authority of the new Seigneurs, the Honorable Company of the West Indies.[22]

But as I must not linger over the details of what occurred in the Islands, and as I purpose merely to describe the condition of New France, it is enough for me to say that Monsieur de Tracy, after [9] effecting in the Islands all that could have been expected from his wise management, received the King’s orders to repair with the utmost expedition to Canada, as soon as he should have provided for the Government of Tortuga Island.

On the 25th of April of the year 1665, he left Guadaloupe, and took the route toward San Domingo, otherwise called Spanish Island. He also coasted by the English of St. Kitts, where he was saluted by [Page 219] innumerable discharges of cannon, — this Nation being determined to outdo the French in its testimonials of high appreciation of that Seigneur’s conduct, and of the admirable justice he had done them in all the differences which he had adjudicated between them and the French.

He easily doubled the Island of Porto Rico, which belongs to the Spanish, and seeing that, owing to contrary winds, he could not go on to [10] Tortuga Island, he contented himself with approaching near enough to it to give notice of his coming to its inhabitants, particularly to Monsieur Dangeron, its Governor, who promptly came to meet him at the French Port of the Island of San Domingo, where the Bresé had anchored.

It required several days to despatch the business, and give the necessary orders to Sieur Dangeron for his Government; and to administer to him, as well as to all the people who were in that Island of Tortuga and on the coast of San Domingo, the oath of fidelity to the King.

After that, the Bresé resumed her course toward the Caicos, in order to proceed straight to Canada with no farther detour.

[11] The Caicos are a number of small Islands, no great distance apart, encompassed by rocks which jut into the sea, and render the passage so ‘difficult and dangerous that, after the occurrence there of many shipwrecks, no large vessel has been known to dare attempt it. Hence, there was hesitation in deciding to venture this passage with the Bresé But Monsieur de Tracy, finding nothing difficult when the King’s service is concerned, — after taking a new Pilot, and adopting the precautions demanded by [Page 221] prudence, — laid his course in that direction, — mindful that, if he were forced to follow the Bahama straits, he would lengthen his voyage by more than five hundred leagues, and could not reach New France within the time set for him by the King.

[12] God blessed his courage, and his resolve to obey as exactly as possible the orders of his Majesty. His vessel, thanks to the wind that he desired, cleared the Caicos without danger; and, encountering soon afterward the currents of that strait of Bahama which render the sea very rapid along the coasts of Florida, he doubled the Bermudas without mishap, coasted along Virginia, and, in one month after leaving San Domingo, entered the great river Saint Lawrence.

To enter the gulf he passed between the Island of Saint Paul and Cap de Raze [i.e., Cape Ray], and, the wind still continuing favorable, went on and cast anchor at Isle Percée, in order to take water and wood there.

At this place were a number of vessels engaged in Cod-fishing, [13] and they all saluted the King’s standard.

Monsieur de Tracy had no farther ‘trouble, except in regard to the troops which he was expecting from France, and which were to have sailed from la Rochelle at the same time when he himself left the Islands. Happily, on the next day, they saw two vessels appear, bearing the first Companies of the Regiment sent by the King against the Iroquois.

Upon leaving Isle Percée, the Pilots hoped, in order to hasten their course, to take the Bresé as far as Bit; but the winds changed, and forced them to abandon their purpose. In order not to risk a ship [Page 223] of the importance of the Bresé in the Saint Lawrence river, it was deemed more expedient to hire two vessels of lighter draught, and better suited for ascending the river; and still the winds were [14] so steadily contrary that the Pilots could not reach Quebec until a month later.

This delay was unseasonable for Monsieur de Tracy, who had fallen ill. Nevertheless, he finally arrived in our roadstead of Quebec on the last day of June, 1665, — so weak and reduced by fever that nothing but his courage sufficed to sustain him.

The people of Quebec had prepared to give him the most magnificent reception in their power; but Monsieur de Tracy declined all such honors, and contented himself with the shouts of joy which began at the moment of his leaving the vessel, and accompanied him as far as the Church, whither the ringing of the bells invited him.

Monseigneur of Petræa, our Bishop, awaited him at the Church door, [15] clad in pontifical robes, and attended by his Clergy. Offering him some holy water and the Cross, he led him into the choir, to the place prepared for him upon a prie-dieu; but Monsieur de Tracy, although feeling very weak and still suffering from his fever, would not use it, but knelt on the pavement, refusing even to avail himself of the cushion offered him. The Te Deum was chanted, with organ and music.

When it was time to leave the Church, Monsieur the Bishop came again for Monsieur de Tracy, and escorted him as far as the door, in the same order and with the same honors as upon entering. [Page 225]





UR Algonquin and Huron Savages also determined to receive Monsieur de Tracy according to the customs of their country — that is, with compliments accompanied by presents, These latter serve them as symbols to represent, after they have spoken, the speeches that have been made; and this usage they observe with much intelligence, for Barbarians. For to each of these presents they give a name, very appropriate in their own language, to indicate briefly their entire meaning, — in order that the gifts, which are preserved, may also preserve by their names the remembrance of what they signify.

[17] The Hurons took the initiative, because they were at that time all assembled at Quebec, although only ten or twelve of their chief men acted as their representatives.

One of the oldest acted as spokesman, but made as much use of gestures as of his tongue. After displaying the presents which he was about to offer, he spoke with vehemence, and in a tone of voice expressive of both the grief and the joy that overcame him.

“ Great Onnontio,” said he, “ thou seest at thy feet the wreck of a great country, and the pitiful remnant of a whole world, that was formerly peopled by countless inhabitants. But now thou art addressed [Page 227] by mere carcasses, only the bones of which have been left by the Iroquois, who have devoured the flesh after broiling it on their scaffolds. There was left in US nothing but [18] the merest thread of life; and our limbs, most of which have passed through the boiling caldrons of our foes, had no more strength, — when, raising our eyes with extreme difficulty, we saw on the river the ships that were bringing thee, and, with thee, so many soldiers sent us by thy great Onnontio and ours.

“ Thereupon the Sun seemed to shine upon us with brighter beams, and to illumine our fatherland of old, which had been so many years overcast with clouds and darkness. Then our lakes and rivers appeared calm, and without storms or breakers; and, to tell thee the truth, I seemed to hear a voice issuing from thy vessel, and saying to us, from as far as we could discern thee: ’ Courage, O desolate people! Thy bones are about [19] to be knit together with muscles and tendons, thy flesh is to be born again, thy strength will be restored to thee, and thou shalt live as thou didst live of old.’ At first I distrusted this voice, and took it for a sweet dream which was beguiling our wretchedness, when I was undeceived by the sound of so many drums, and the arrival of so many soldiers. After all, although I see thee with my eyes and embrace thy feet, the joy thou bringest is so unexpected that I would fear that I was deceived by a beautiful dream, did I not already feel myself thoroughly fortified by thy mere presence. I see thee, O brave Onnontio; I hear thee; I address thee. Be welcome, and receive this little present from the emptiness of our land, as a sign of the joy we feel at thy fortunate coming, and of the homage we render [Page 229] to the greatest [20] of all Onnontios on earth, who has taken pity on our wretchedness and sends thee to deliver us therefrom. ”

Thus speaking, this Huron Captain threw down at Monsieur de Tracy’s feet a moose-skin, dressed and painted in native style.

This was but the beginning of his harangue, and the first of six presents made by him, one after another. With the second he said that, as Monsieur de Tracy had come to destroy the cruel Anthropophagi and devourers of human beings, he bore too much gentleness in his countenance; and so many charms as shone upon his person were not calculated to inspire fear in those man-eaters. Therefore they wished, at least for this war, to render his countenance forbidding, by clothing it in a blackness that makes terrible [21] those who are painted with it.

He alluded to the custom of Savage warriors, who, when about to attack the enemy, paint themselves all colors, but especially black; so that they make their attack like an army of Demons, with Hellish yells and frightful cries.

With the third present he exhorted the French soldiers to load their muskets so well that, when they were in the enemy’s country, the noise made by their discharge should not only spread panic among those Barbarians, but should also resound as far as this place, and cause here the joy which cannon-shots give when they announce some signal victory. His meaning was that the Iroquois, Savages although they were, were not so contemptible [22] as to render it unnecessary to provide good arms and equipment for their conquest. [Page 231]

“It is true,” he added, producing a fourth present, “ that the enemy places half his prowess in his fast running, fighting usually entirely naked, and with only his musket in his hand and his hatchet in his belt, — either to make it easier for him to win the victory, or to render his flight more unimpeded. When you have defeated him, you will not have captured him, — especially as you are embarrassed with clothing ill adapted for running through thickets and underbrush, unless it is well girt up and secured. Here, then, is a girdle suitable for fastening your garments so properly that you will have the advantage of being clothed in your pursuit of the enemy, and yet will be not less agile than he for running in the woods.”

[23] The fifth present accompanied a clause of importance; for he said that the element of greatest strength among the Iroquois was not the Iroquois themselves, but that their might resided in the large number of captives, — French, Huron, Algonquin, and those from other Nations, — who formed more than two-thirds of the Iroquois Nation, and were compelled by the latter to bear arms against us.

He added that, if we could draw all these Captives to our side, we could defeat that haughty Iroquois without striking a blow; and he would fall to the ground either like a tree whose roots have been cut, or like a mountain whose base has been undermined. Furthermore, he said, it was not so very difficult to entice all these Captives away from the service of those cruel masters, for whom they [24] had only fear and hatred in their hearts, and not love. It would only be necessary to announce to the Iroquois, when the French army approached their villages, [Page 234] that they must hand over to us all these Captives, and leave them entirely free; that otherwise we would resort to violence. If they delivered them up, they themselves would be defenseless; if they refused, we could compel them by force, while the Captives would voluntarily take our side, seeing that their own safety lay with us.

Finally, the last present was meant to encourage the French army to face the length and obstacles of the route leading to the Iroquois, and to serve as a fresh attestation of the donors’ obedience and fidelity to the King’s service.

Monsieur de Tracy declared his great pleasure at these native compliments, [25] having caused an interpreter to explain to him all that was said, and he found therein no indication of the savage. He assured that poor Huron Nation that no pains should be spared to restore it to its pristine splendor.

The Algonquins could not so soon acquit themselves of this duty, because, when Monsieur de Tracy arrived, they were scattered in the woods for the purpose of hunting. But, reassembling some time afterward, they came to seek him at Quebec; and Noel Tekouerimat, the Christian of longest standing, delivered, in the name of all, his harangue, which was accompanied by nine presents.

With the first he declared that he recognized the King of France as Master of all the earth, and that he rendered him the homage that all faithful subjects owe their Master.

[26] With the second, that he regarded Monsieur de Tracy as the King’s right arm, come to establish the country on a firm basis, and to revive the French and the Algonquins. [Page 235]

With the four following he gave him arms suitable for fighting the Iroquois.

With the seventh present he rekindled the war-fire, which had been nearly extinguished by so much bloodshed.

The eighth was to promote the continued firm union of the French and Algonquin Nations, because, without such mutual understanding, the conquest of the Iroquois would be too difficult and very uncertain. Besides, as they were both Christian peoples, they were fighting for the same cause and ought thus to act in concert, having both but one [27] and the same end in view — the destruction of the Iroquois and the publication of the Gospel.

With the last present, this Captain caused the Algonquin Chiefs who stood around him to step forward, and offered them to Monsieur de Tracy, to march with him and attend him on the expedition that he was about to undertake.

It is true, the delay of the other vessels, which were bringing the larger part of our troops, and could not all arrive before the middle of September, compelled a postponement of this war until next Spring and Summer; but Monsieur de Tracy, unwilling to lose a single moment, immediately ordered four Companies of the Carignan-Saliere Regiment, which were the first to arrive, to go with all expedition and seize [28] the most advantageous positions, in order to have an open passage into the Iroquois country.

They started from Quebec on the 23rd of July, and, after reinforcing their troops with a Company of Volunteers from this country, commanded by Sieur de Repentigny, arrived at Three Rivers at a [Page 237] time most opportune to relieve the people from their fear of the Iroquois. These enemies had recently approached that place on one of their customary marauding excursions, and had slain some of the settlers, and taken some captives. [Page 239]






HILE these advance troops were waiting, at Three Rivers, for a favorable wind to continue their voyage and cross lake Saint Pierre, they had the pleasure of witnessing the arrival of a hundred canoes, filled with Outaouax and some other Savages allied to us. These came from the neighborhood of Lake superior, four or five hundred leagues from here, to do their usual trading and supply their wants — giving us in exchange their Beaver-skins, which they have in their country in very great abundance.

[30] A Frenchman who had followed them the year before, and who accompanied them on their excarsions, reports to us that there are more than a hundred thousand fighting men among those Nations; that warfare causes constant devastation there; that the Outaouax are attacked on one side by the Iroquois, and on the other by the Nadouessiouax — a warlike people living more than six hundred leagues from here, and waging also other cruel wars with other still more distant Nations; and that there are more than a hundred villages, with different laws and customs.

There is observed in those regions a kind of idolatry which is rather unusual. They have a grotesque image of black bronze, one foot in height, which [Page 241] was found in the country, and to which they give a beard like a European’s, although the Savages themselves are beardless. [31] There are certain fixed days for honoring this statue with feasts, games, dances, and even with prayers, which are addressed to it with divers ceremonies. Among them there is one which, although ridiculous in itself, is yet remarkable in that it embraces a kind of sacrifice. All the men, one after another, approach the statue and, in order to pay it homage with their tobacco, offer it their pipes, that it may smoke: but, as the idol cannot avail itself of the offer, they smoke in its stead, blowing into its face the tobacco-smoke which they have in their mouths, — which may be regarded as a mode of offering incense and performing sacrifice.

That superstition will not be the chief foe to be combated by Father Claude Allouez, to whom [32] this great and arduous Mission has happily fallen by lot. For a long time he was waiting at Montreal for some Savages of those upper Nations that are more remote from us, in order to return with them to their country and make of it a Christian land. A band of sixty Nepissiriniens being the first to appear, he received them as Angels of that New Church. 50 he called them in a letter which he wrote concerning them, as follows:

“ At last God has been pleased to send us the Angels of the upper Algonquins to conduct us to their country, where we are to aid them in establishing Our Lord’s Kingdom. Toward noon of last Thursday, the twentieth of July, after I had said a votive Mass in honor of Saint Ignatius and Saint Xavier, to promote this end, they arrived [33] after a twenty days’ journey by water from the Sault of [Page 243] Lake superior. I spoke to them at the outset on the subject of Paradise and Hell and our other mysteries — to which they paid excellent attention, listening to me in greater silence than when their Captain harangued them. I hope the Holy Ghost, after rendering them thus docile, will give them the grace to receive with submissive minds the Gospel seeds which we were bearing to their country.”

These Savages, coming from such a distance, were twice attacked by the Iroquois during their journey. The first time was soon after they set out, when the Iroquois laid ambuscades for them in the most dangerous places which they must pass in coming hither to carry on their traffic and commerce with our French. Now, the Algonquins [34] of that Nation are traders rather than soldiers, and they are always encumbered with their burdens, and scantily provided with powder and firearms, — which they come here to obtain. Therefore, however numerous they may be, they always avoid any collision with their foes, however few of the latter they may encounter, ever fearing there may be others in the field, about to fall upon them.

Indeed, when they met with the Iroquois on their way, the latter having ensconced themselves, to the number of twenty or thirty only, in a wretched fort of stakes, the Algonquins, although more than three hundred strong, actually made a feint of besieging them, and lingered for some days about this fort, preventing the Iroquois from coming out, but themselves not daring to attack them.

[35] The Iroquois soon found themselves reduced to great straits for want of water; therefore, in order to be allowed access to the river, some of their [Page 245] number came out of the fort with presents in their hands, and asked for a parley. “Brothers,” said they, “ why do you delay so long about attacking us? We are fully resolved to receive you like brave men, and to sell you our lives at a very dear price — since, owing to your great superiority of numbers over us, we cannot escape you. But the engagement will not be without great bloodshed on both sides. Furthermore, we are in want of water in our fort, and I offer you this present to allow us free access to the river.”

The present was a Collar of [36] Porcelain — the pearls and diamonds of this country — and it captivated the gaze of the Outaouak. They gladly accepted it, and left their enemy free passage to go and draw water in a stream not far from there.

As this first delegation proved so successful for the Iroquois, and as, moreover, they still saw themselves besieged, and their provisions were fast diminishing, they made a trial of a second. Some of them issued from the fort with other presents, more beautiful than the first, and cried out from afar: “ Why do you linger here so long, ‘Brothers? Come and attack us, or continue your journey. We make your departure easy, and remove the rocks that might check or shatter your canoes. ” With these words they threw down additional presents at the feet of the Outaouak, [37] as if to make smooth their path; and, indeed, the travelers deemed themselves fortunate to be able to pass on and continue their journey with some appearance of honor, after the occurrence of several skirmishes on each side, in which a few men had been slain.

The second encounter that they had with the Iroquois during their journey, was a little above the [Page 247] Richelieu river, at the so-called Cap de massacre, where some Iroquois, lying in ambush, fired a volley on the last of the Outaouak canoes, as they were defiling past near the water’s edge. They killed several men, and then fled at once into the woods, fearing an attack from so large a body of foes, whom they had allowed to pass.

After these two encounters, then, they arrived at Three Rivers, [38] where they did their little trading, and immediately hastened home again, in order not to give the Iroquois time to gather their forces, and come to intercept them in some defile, where they could have fallen on them unawares.

Father Allouez hastily joined them, and accompanied them to their country, there to proclaim the Faith to so many vast Regions, and, meanwhile, to bear them the good news of the succor come from France, which at last would free them from the Iroquois.

Monsieur de Tracy gave into the Father’s care three presents, which he was to give to these People when he arrived among them, declaring to them:

First, that the King was finally about to bring the Iroquois to their senses, and hence would grant his support to all their own land that was on the verge of ruin.

[39] Secondly, if the Nadouessiouek, other enemies with whom they also had to deal, would not listen to terms of peace, he would compel them to do so by force of arms.

The third present was to exhort all the Algonquin Nations of those regions to embrace the Faith, of which certain individuals have already received some tincture from the tireless labors and Apostolic zeal [Page 249] of Father René Ménard, who, by a special dispensation of Providence, lost his way in their woods and died there of hunger and want, destitute of all human succor. But surely God cannot have forsaken him, since everywhere he is with those who, for love of him, lose their way in the conquest of souls redeemed by the Blood of Jesus Christ

[40] Some years previously, another of our Fathers, Father Leonard Garreau, who had taken the same route with the same Outaouak Nation, likewise for the purpose of saving their souls — also met with a blessed death among them, on the second day of his journey, being slain in an ambuscade of Iroquois who were waiting for them to pass. It may be that the Father who is now starting out with them will ere long meet with a like accident; but a man who is truly an Apostle is glad to die anywhere, since he everywhere finds entrance to Paradise. If it is a happy death, in the world’s estimation, to die in battle, in the service of one’s Prince, — who, after all, cannot reward a dead man, his power not extending so far, — have not those who die in the [41] service of the King of Kings a death a thousand times happier, since its reward is Eternity? [Page 251]





T the same time when the Outaouak were embarking to return to their country, the wind having become more favorable, the soldiers who had been forced to halt at Three Rivers embarked also; and, crossing lake Saint Pierre, proceeded to the mouth of the Richelieu river, which leads to the Iroquois of Anniegué.

The purpose in view in this first campaign was to erect [42] along the route certain forts, which were deemed absolutely necessary, both for maintaining open communication and the freedom of traffic, and also for serving as magazines for the troops, and places of refuge for sick and wounded soldiers.

For this purpose, three advantageous positions were chosen — the first at the mouth of the river of the Iroquois; the second seventeen leagues higher up, at the foot of some rapids called the Richelieu Falls; and the third about three leagues above these rapids.

The first fort, named Richelieu, was erected by Monsieur de Chamblay, who commanded five Companies sent thither by Monsieur de Tracy.

The second, named fort Saint Louis, — because it was begun [43] the week in which the festival of that great Saint, Protector of our Kings and of France, was celebrated, — was built by Monsieur Sorel, who [Page 253] commanded five other Companies of the Carignan-Salieres Regiment.

Monsieur de Salieres, Colonel of the Regiment, determined to take in person the post nearest to the enemy, and the most dangerous. Hardly did we dare hope that this work would be done before snow came, as it had been impossible to begin it until very late; but the Leader, — who has grown gray in military service, although he has not yet, despite his advanced age, lost any of his vigor or courage, — being the first to put his hand to the work, so greatly encouraged the soldiers by his example that the fort was fortunately completed in the month of October, on Saint Theresa’s day, [44] whence it took its name.

From this third fort of Sainte Terese there is ready access to lake Champlain, without encountering any rapids to check a boat’s progress.

This lake, which is sixty leagues long, finally ends at the territory of the Annieronnon Iroquois, where it is intended to erect, as soon as Spring opens, still a fourth fort which shall command those regions, and whence repeated sorties can be made against the enemy, if the latter refuse to come to terms.

At the end of the following chapter, after noting some particulars concerning these Peoples, — who, because they have never been vigorously attacked, have so long been thwarting our purposes, — we shall give the Plan of these three forts, together with a Map, which has [45] not yet been seen, of the country of the Iroquois. [Page 255]





T must be stated that the Iroquois are composed of five Nations, of which the nearest to the Dutch is that of Anniegué, embracing two or three villages, which contain perhaps three to four hundred men able to bear arms.

These people have always made war upon us, although they have at times pretended to ask for peace.

Forty-five leagues Westward is situated the second Nation, [46] called Onneiout, which has at most only a hundred and forty warriors, and has never consented to any peace parleys, but has always embroiled our relations whenever an understanding seemed to be at hand.

Fifteen leagues farther Westward lies Onnontagué, which has fully three hundred men. We were, in times past, received there as friends, and then treated like enemies; and this treatment forced us to abandon that post — which, as being the center of all the Iroquois Nations, we had occupied for two years, and from which we had proclaimed the Gospel to all those poor people; we were aided by a garrison of Frenchmen sent by Monsieur de Lauson, then Governor of New France, to take possession of those regions in his Majesty’s name. [Page 257]

[47] Twenty or thirty leagues thence, still in a Westerly direction, is the village of Oiogouen, containing three hundred warriors. Here, in the year 1657, we had a Mission which, amid this barbarism, formed a Church filled with piety.

Toward the end of the great lake called Ontario is situated the most populous of the five Iroquois Nations, called Sonnontouan, and embracing fully twelve hundred men in the two or three villages which compose it.

These last two Nations have never made open war upon us, and have ever maintained a neutral attitude. This entire stretch of country, to the distance of a hundred or a hundred and fifty leagues, lies partly Southward and partly Westward of the French settlements.

[48] For the most part, this region is fertile and covered with fine woods, — whole forests of chestnut and walnut trees, among others, — interspersed with many lakes and rivers, very rich in fish.

The climate there is temperate, the seasons succeeding regularly as in France, while the soil, in various parts, is adapted to the growth of all the products of Touraine and Provence.

Snow is not deep or lasting, the three Winters which we passed among the Onnontagueronnons having been mild in comparison with those of Quebec, — where for five months snow covers the earth to the depth of three, four, or five feet.

As we occupy the Northern part of New France, and the Iroquois the Southern, it is not to be wondered at if their lands [49] are pleasanter, better adapted to cultivation, and productive of fruits of superior quality. [Page 259]

There are two principal rivers leading to the Iroquois, — one to those living near New Holland, namely, the Richelieu river, of which we shall speak presently; the other leading to the remaining Nations, which are farther from us, by ascending our great river Saint Lawrence, which, above Montreal, is in a certain sense divided into two branches, one of them conducting to the former country of the Hurons, the other to that of the Iroquois.

It is one of the most notable rivers to be seen, considering rather its beauty than its utility; for there are found, throughout almost its entire course, many beautiful Islands, some large and others small, but all covered [50] with fine forests. These Islands are full of deer, bears, and wild cows, which furnish in abundance the provisions necessary for travelers, who find everywhere such game, and, occasionally, whole herds of animals of the deer species.

The banks of the river are usually shaded with great oaks and other full-grown forest trees, which cover excellent soil.

Before reaching the great lake Ontario, we cross two others, one of which adjoins the Island of Montreal, while the other lies midway on the journey. The latter is ten leagues long by five broad, ending in many small Islands very pleasing to the view, and we have named it Lake Saint François.

But what detracts from this river’s utility [51] is the waterfalls and rapids extending nearly forty leagues, — that is, from Montreal to the mouth of lake Ontario, — there being only the two lakes I have mentioned where navigation is easy.

In ascending these rapids, it is often necessary to alight from the canoe and walk in the river, whose [Page 261] waters are rather low in such places, especially near the banks.

The canoe is grasped with the hand and dragged behind, two men usually sufficing for this — one at the prow, and the other at the stern; and as the canoe is very light, being only of bark and unladen, it glides with the greatest ease over the water, and meets with but little resistance.

Occasionally one is obliged to [52] run it ashore, and carry it for some time, one man in front and another behind — the first bearing one end of the canoe on his right shoulder, and the second the other end on his left. One is forced to do this either on account of waterfalls and whole rivers, which sometimes fall straight downward from a prodigious height; or owing to the excessive swiftness of the current; or because, the water being too deep, it is impossible to walk and drag the canoe: or for the reason that one wishes to go across the country from one river to another.

But on gaining the mouth of the great lake, the navigation is easy, the water being calm there, and broadening out, — at first imperceptibly, then becoming about a third wider, afterward more than a half, and finally stretching away [53] farther than the eye can reach. This is especially so after one has passed countless small Islands lying at the entrance to the lake, in such great numbers and variety that the most experienced Iroquois Pilots sometimes lose their way among them, and have much difficulty in recognizing the right course in the confusion and labyrinth, so to speak, formed by these Islands — which, moreover, have nothing pleasing about them but their multitude. For they are nothing but great rocks [Page 263] projecting above the water, and covered only with moss or some firs and other fruitless trees, whose roots spring from clefts in these rocks — which can furnish those barren trees with no other nourishment or moisture than such as the rains are able to supply.

Extricating oneself from this gloomy [54] retreat, one discovers the lake, which appears like a sea, without Islands and without shores, on which barks and ships can sail from one end to the other in perfect safety. Hence communication would be easy between all the French Colonies that could be planted on the shores of this great lake, which is more than a hundred leagues long by thirty or forty wide.

Thence one can go by different rivers to all the Iroquois Nations except that of the Annieronnons, who are reached by way of the Richelieu river; to this stream we can well devote a few words, since on its banks our troops have already erected the three forts mentioned by us.

It is called the Richelieu river, from the fort of the same [55] name that was built at its mouth at the beginning of the wars; it has been quite recently rebuilt, to guard the entrance to that river. It is also styled “ the river of the Iroquois, “ as it forms the highway leading to them; and by that route those Barbarians have most often come to attack us.

The bed of this river is a hundred to a hundred and fifty feet wide throughout almost its entire course, although it is a little narrower at its mouth. Its banks are clothed with beautiful pines, through which it is easy to walk; and, in fact, fifty of our men made their way on foot there for nearly twenty [Page 265] leagues, from the mouth of the river up to the Falls, so called — although [56] there is really no waterfall there, but merely a swift current, filled with rocks which impede its course and render navigation almost impossible for three-quarters of a league. Yet in time the passage can be freed from obstructions.

As for the rest of the river, it has from its source a very fine bed, in which occur as many as eight Islands before the basin below the Falls is reached. This basin is a sort of little lake, a league and a half in circumference, and from six to eight feet deep, in which fish are very plentiful at almost any season.

At the right of this basin, going up, one sees fort ’ Saint Louis, very recently erected on that spot; it is an extremely advantageous place [57] for the purpose in view concerning the Iroquois, since its situation renders it well-nigh impregnable, and gives it the command of the entire river.

After passing the rapids of the Falls, which extend for nearly three leagues, one sees the third fort, which marks the end of all these rapids; for thereafter the river is found to be very beautiful and easy to navigate up to the lake called Champlain, toward the end of which one enters the territory of the Annieronnon Iroquois. [Page 267]



Bibliographical particulars of the Relation of 1663-64 were given in Vol. XLVIII.


Like particulars of the Journal des Jésuites were published in Vol. XXVII. CXVII

In presenting the text of the Relation of 1664-65 (Paris, 1666), we follow a copy of the original Cramoisy edition in the Lenox Library — known there as the Lamoignon copy. It contains a prefatory epistle from François le Mercier to the provincial in France, dated “A Kebec le 3. Novembre 1665.” No printed “Permission” appears in the volume; but the “Privilege” was “Donné à Paris au mois de Fevrier 1666.” In the second line of the imprint of the title-page, “Sebastien” is erroneously printed “Seastien.”

There has been some speculation about two issues of this Relation. Some copies have the following little piece inserted between the “Table” and text of the annual:

“LETTRE | de la r. mere | SVPERIEVRE | Des Religieufes Hofpitalieres | de Kebec en la Nouuelle | France. | Du 23. Octobre 1665.”

This letter is addressed “A Monfieur * * * * Bourgeois de Paris,” and is dated on p. 10 (of its own pagination) De l’Hofpita1 de Kebec en la Nouuelle France le 23. Octobre 1665, and signed “S. Marie de Saint Bonnauenture de Iesvs. Sup. Ind.” The letter was an appeal for help in procuring necessaries for the Hospital nuns and their patients at Quebec. It is evident that it was printed separately, because it has its own signature-mark and pagination. We believe that it was also distributed separately, and that its presence in some copies of the Relation was incidental — purely optional with the printers, and not a component part of the Relation proper. After the necessary contributions had been procured, it was no longer pertinent to issue the “Lettre” with the Relation, and on that account it is lacking in some copies. Furthermore, this piece is not called for in the table of contents; and the catchword on the verso of the table, sig. à6, shows that p. 1 of the text should come directly after the leaf with the “Table.”

A folded plan, measuring 18¾ by 14 in., of considerable interest, is often lacking; it should be placed in the volume between the “Table” and the text. It is entitled: “Plans des forts faicts par le Regiment Carignan Salieres sur la Riuiere de Richelieu dicte autrement des Iroquois en la Nouuelle France.” In the Harvard copy, this plan is bound at end of volume.

This annual forms no. 124 of Harrisse’s Notes. In the Quebec reprint of 1858 the “Lettre” is not reproduced.

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; Le Mercier’s prefatory epistle, pp. (5); blank, p. (I); “Privilege,” with verso blank, pp. (2); “Table,” [Page 270] pp. (2); text (11 chaps.), pp. 1-128. Signatures: à in six, A-H in eights. The “Lettre” consists of sig. A in eight, and collates as follows: Half-title, with verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 3-10; “Estat et Memoire des befoins,....” pp. 11-16. On page 16 is added a notification to the charitably disposed “Messievrs et Dames,” that contributions for the hospital may be sent to M. Sebastien Cramoisy. There is no mispaging.

Copies of this Relation have been sold or priced as follows: Squier (1876), no. 1960, sold for $10.75; O’Callaghan (1882), no. 1243 (without the “Lettre” and folded plan), sold to Library of Parliament (Ottawa), for $21, and had cost him $15; Chadenat, of Paris, priced a copy in 1889, lacking the plan, at 200 francs; Barlow (1890), nos. 1315 (without “Lettre”) and 1316 (with “Lettre”), sold for $6 and $72.50, respectively; and Quaritch (May, 1899), offered a copy, without the plan, for ₤4.

Copies are to be found in the following libraries; as far as possible, we state condition: Lenox, with “Lettre;” New York State Library, with “Lettre;” Harvard, without “Lettre;” Brown (private), with “Lettre;” Marshall (private), without “Lettre” or plan; Ayer (private), without “Lettre;” State Historical Society of Wisconsin, without “Lettre;” St. Mary’s College (Montreal), without “Lettre;” Library of Parliament (Ottawa), without “Lettre” or plan; Lava1 University (Quebec), has copies both with and without “Lettre;” British Museum, with “Lettre;” and Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris), has copies both with and without “Lettre.” [Page 271]


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

[1] (p. 39). — Esseigiou: a river named by Bellin (1744), Lesquemin; by Bouchette (1846), L’Essumain; in Lovell’s Gazetteer, Escoumain.

[2] (p. 43). — This waterfall is 80 feet in height, and gives its name at this day to the small river which forms it, Sault aux Moutons; its waters are discharged into Mille Vaches Bay, about 30 miles below the mouth of the Saguenay.

[3] (p. 45). — The Portneuf River enters the St. Lawrence a little east of Mille Vaches Bay. The Betsiamites or Bersimis, still farther east, is one of the large tributaries of the St. Lawrence; it takes its name from the tribe mentioned in our text (regarding whom, see vol. xviii., note 13).

[4] (p. 45). — The river here named Peritibistokou is that now known as Outardes.

[5] (p. 47). — This river still bears the names given it in the Relation — Manicouagan, and Black River. It enters the St. Lawrence 27 miles below the Bersimis.

[6] (p. 65). — Charles Amyot was born in 1636, his parents coming from Chartres, France, with Giffard (1635). He married (1660) Genevieve de Chavigny, by whom he had three children, Amyot was a merchant; he also obtained the fief called Vincelette, near Cap St. Ignace. He died in December, 1669.

[7] (p. 67). — The Ouchestigouetch were one of the petty Montagnais tribes of the Saguenay, — perhaps that mentioned in Relation of 1643 as Oukesestigouek (vol. xxiv., p. 155). Oumamiois is another term for the Bersiamites (note 3, ante).

[8] (p. 161). — Thierry Beschefer, a Jesuit from the province of Champagne, was sent to Canada in 1665. In the following year, he set out on an embassy to the Mohawks, and to the Dutch at Albany; but a sudden outbreak of Indian hostilities compelled him to turn back. In 1670-71, however, he was a missionary among the Iroquois. He was appointed superior of the Canadian missions in [Page 273] 1680, which office he seems to have held until at least 1687; a year later, he was prefect of classes in the College of Quebec. O’Callaghan, after citing La Hontan’s mention ( Voyages, ed. 1728, t. i., p. 332) of Beschefer’s return to France in 1691, says that the Father died soon afterward (N.Y. Colon. Docs., vol. ix., p. 169, note). But Sommervogel states that Beschefer died at Rheims, Feb. 4, 1711.

[9] (p. 161). — This regiment was recruited in Savoy (1644) by Prince de Carignan, but was, later, incorporated into the regular troops of France. When sent to Canada (1663). it was commanded by Colonel de Salières; hence its double name. The majority of both officers and privates in this regiment became colonists in Canada, as we shall see in subsequent Relations. For an account of the formation and history of this corps, see Parkman’s Old Régime, pp. 181, 182; Sulte’s Canad-Fran.. t. iv., pp. 36, 45-50.

[10] (p. 161). — No information concerning Father Claude Bardy is available, except as given in the Journal. He remained in Canada but two years, ministering in the French settlements at and near Quebec; and was the confessor of Courcelles, the governor.

[11] (p. 161). — Alexandre de Prouville, marquis de Tracy, was born in 1603. He was a lieutenant-general in the French army, and achieved notable successes against the Dutch in Cayenne, and in the adjacent islands. In November, 1663, he was appointed governor-general of all the French possessions in the Americas, and soon afterward left France to visit those regions. He did not reach Canada until June, 1665. His vigorous and resolute measures against the Mohawks brought peace to the harassed Canadian colonies, and so alarmed the savages that they did not again venture to disturb the French settlers, for years afterward. In August, 1667, Tracy returned to France, where he died three years later.

[12] (p. 163). — At this point, Lalemant’s handwriting ends and is succeeded by that of Le Mercier, which continues to the end of the volume (June, 1668).

[13] (p. 163). — A corrupted spelling of Moulin Baude (vol. vii., note 6).

[14] (p. 167). — The governor’s full name was Daniel de Remy, seigneur de Courcelles. He aided Tracy in subduing the Mohawks; in 1671 he visited Lake Ontario, and planned the erection of a fort there-by which the French might control the trade of that region, and oppose a barrier to the attacks of the Iroquois. Louis XIV. approved this project; but Courcelles was obliged by failing health to return to France in 1672, and his plan was executed by [Page 274] his successor, Frontenac. The commission and instructions given to Courcelles are published in MSS. Relat. à Nouv. France t. i,, p. 172-176.

The new intendant, Jean Baptiste Talon, was born in Picardy, in 1625. He held various government positions in France, until he was appointed (March, 1663) Intendant of justice, police, and finance in the French colonies of North America. In this position he displayed great executive ability, energy, and honesty, and did much for the development and prosperity of Canada — carrying out the policy recently devised by Louis XIV. (vol. xlvii., note. 15, 21). Details of his activities are furnished in the Relation of 1667, chap. i. He sent Albanel to Hudson Bay, and St. Lusson to the upper Great Lakes, and thus opened the way for the exploration of the great Northwest. His health giving way in 1668, he returned to France; but, after two years’ stay there, resumed his office in New France, where he remained until 1672, after which he held a post of honor in the king’s own household. He owned several seigniories near Quebec, which were, in 1675, erected into the county of Orsainville, at his request; and thereafter he bore the title of Count d’orsainville. The instructions given him by Colbert while he was intendant, and various memoirs of his upon the condition of affairs in Canada, its resources, etc., may be found in MSS. relat. à Nouv. France, t. i.. and N.Y. Colon. Docs., vol. ix.

[15] (p. 171). — Monts Pelez: now called Pointe des Monts; a mountainous promontory on the north shore of the St. Lawrence.

[16] (p. 175). — “Jacques de Chambly built the fort which bore his name, and obtained (1672) the grant of adjacent lands. In 1673, he took the place of M. de Grandfontaine as commandant of the fort of Pentagoët in Acadia, and later (1680) was appointed governor of that important post. In the same year, he was sent as governor to Grenada. His seigniory of Chambly passed to Mme. Francois Hertel, his sister-in-law, a son of whom assumed the name of Chambly.” — Suite’s Canad-Fran., t. iv., p. 48.

[17] (p. 175). — Pierre de Saurel (Sorel), — like Chambly, a captain in the regiment of Carignan, — a native of Grenoble, was born in 1628. In 1668, he married Catherine le Gardeur; there is no record of children born to them. In 1672, he obtained from Talon the seigniory of Sorel, at the mouth of Richelieu River, where he had built, under Tracy’s orders, the fort named Sorel. He resided there until his death (1682).

[18] (p. 175). — This pension of 5,000 livres a year is the one granted the Jesuits in the year 1647, and continued from that time (vol. xxxvi., note 57).

[19] (p. 179). — This was Charles le Moyne, of Montreal (vol. xxvii., note 10).

[20] (p. 207). — Cf. with this list of medicines the similar lists found in old documents published, from the originals, by the noted German physician Flückiger, in Archiv der Pharmacie (Halle); one of these is the “Nördlinger Register” (1480), — see Archiv, bd. ccxi. (1877) pp. 97-115. Most of the medicines named in the text are known and more or less used in modern practice; regarding some unfamiliar appellations, the following notes may be of service.

Male incense. — A distinction was made, by old writers, in the quality of incense (a gum from Arabia, also called “oliban,” produced by trees of the genus Boswellia). To the cleaner, purer, and more symmetrical lumps, they applied the term “male incense:” those of inferior quality and appearance were called “female.” For information regarding incense, see Guihourt’s Hist. des drogues, t. iii., pp. 516-521.

The six gums.-Although this term is not sufficient to designate the articles included therein, it is highly probable that they were among the following drugs, all of which were in use at that time.

(1)   Gamboge. a gum-resin secreted by Garcinia Morella, a native of Cochin China, Siam, and Cambodia (whence the name of the gum); known as early as the 13th century.

(2)   Guiac, a gum Produced by Guiacum officinale, a native of the West Indies and the north coast of South America; discovered near the beginning of the 16th century; mentioned in London Pharmacopeia, 1677.

(3)   Elemi, a name applied, since the 15th century, to certain resinous substances used in pharmacy. Flückiger thinks that the “elemi” referred to by the older writers was the exudation of Boswellia Frereana, a tree found on the Somali Coast.

(4)   Mastich, the product of Pistacia Lentiscus, a native of the Mediterranean shores; collected mainly on the island of Scio; known from a very remote period.

(5)   Tragacanth, an exudation from the stems of several species of Astragalus; found in the mountainous regions of Western Asia, Greece, and Turkey; in use since a remote period of antiquity.

(6)   Gum arabic, produced by various species of Acacia, mostly natives of Africa; has been known and used since a remote historical period.

(7)   Benzoin, the product of Styrax Benjamin, a native of Sumatra; known since the 14th century, and for a long time highly valued in Europe, although its medicinal properties are but slight.

(8)   Camphor, a gum (of two somewhat different kinds) obtained from Laurus Camphora (in China and Japan), and Dryabalanops aromatica (Borneo and Sumatra); in use since the 6th century, and regarded for many centuries as a rare and precious perfume; known in Europe as a medicine, since the 12th century. [Page 276] For historical and technical information regarding all these substances, see Flückiger and Hanbury’s History of Drugs (2nd ed., London, 1879) pp. 83-86, 100-105, 147-153, 161-165, 174-178, 233-240, 403-409, 510-519. Other gums or gum-resins used in old formulas were sandarac, galbanum, asafœtida, and bdellium.

Plasters. —

(1)   Diachylon was of two kinds: simple, a decoction of iris, “oil of mucilage,” and litharge; and compound, in which were added to the preceding ingredients wax, resin, turpentine, and various gums.

(2)   Diapalma. compounded of litharge, white vitriol, wax, and oil — and, originally, with young shoots of the palm-tree, whence its name.

(3)   Divinum, composed of wax, oil, myrrh, mastic, bdellium, oliban, litharge, and other substances.

Betonica. — The wood-betony (Betonica officinalis), a labiate plant; mentioned in the “Nördlinger Register.”

Minium. — The red oxide of lead; used in plasters and other external applications.

White ointment. — The French name, Blanc-raisin, is a corruption of blanc-rhasis, a contracted form of onguent blanc de Rhasès (“Rhasès’s white ointment”); composed of white lead, white wax, and olive oil, — regarded as excellent for burns. Rhasès was the chief Arabian physician of the 10th century, a prolific writer of books; among these was one upon diseases of children, said to be the first book upon this subject. — See Felice’s Encyclopédie, t. xxxi., p. 196, and t. xxxv., p. 723.

Mundificative. — Du Cange (Glossarium, t. iv., p. 575) defines this as “suitable for purging, cleansing.” Felice (t. xxix., p. 648) says that this term is applied to a large class of medicines — detersive, digestive, desiccative, cicatrizing, and vulnerary. Plasters of this sort are especially good for ulcers.

Senna of Montpellier. — Many kinds of senna are used in medicine — obtained from various species of Cassia, mostly natives of Africa. Among those cultivated in the Nile valley were C. acutifolia (Alexandrian senna) and C. obovata — the latter introduced into Europe, and cultivated in Tuscany early in the 16th century. As Paris and Montpellier were, about 1450 to 1550, the European universities most advanced in medicine; and, as a botanical garden was founded in 1593 by the latter institution, the reference in our text renders it highly probable that the senna of Tuscany was also cultivated by the Montpellier university garden. For information regarding this drug, see Flückiger and Hanbury, ut supra, pp. 216-221.

Thanks for aid in the preparation of this note are hereby rendered to Dr. Rodney True, of the University of Wisconsin.

[21] (p. 211). — Laurent Chifflet was born in Besançon in 1598, and [Page 277] entered the Jesuit novitiate at the age of nineteen. After becoming a priest, he taught philosophy and the Scriptures; and wrote many books of devotion, besides a grammar of the French language. He died at Anvers, July 9, 1658. The book desired by the hospital superior was doubtless his little manual entitled Devx exercices chrestiens povr les malades (Anvers, 1654).

Regarding Olier, see vol. xxi., note 4, and vol. xliii., note 9; De Sales, vol. xx., note 8.

[22] (p. 219). — The Company of the West Indies was one of several corporations promoted or organized by Colbert for the purpose of exploiting the resources of the French colonial possessions — then numerous and rich. The royal edict establishing this company was dated May 28, 1664; it is published in Edits et Ordonnances (Quebec), pp. 40-48; extracts therefrom are given by Suite in Canad.-Fran., t. iv., pp. 36-42. To the company were thus given Acadia, Newfoundland, and “the mainland from the north of Canada to Virginia and Florida, as far and as deep as they could extend into the interior.” All this was bestowed in full seigniory and proprietorship, the king reserving only his sovereignty. The grant included a monopoly of the fur trade; but, within two years, Louis XIV. saw that this privilege was ruining the colony, and obliged the company to surrender the fur trade to the habitants — receiving therefor, in compensation, a duty upon the furs sold by the habitants. Talon saw, at the outset, the injurious effects wrought upon the colony by its subjection to this monopoly; and to his representations is probably due the final revocation (December, 1674) of the company’s grant, and the consequent reunion of New France to the crown possessions. This was the end of proprietary government in the French colonies of America.