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, Ottawas


CLEVELAND:            The Burrows Brothers





Vol. LII

[Page iii]

The edition consists of sev-

en hundred and fifty sets

all numbered.


The Burrows Brothers Co.

[Page iv]



Reuben Gold Thwaites




|  Finlow Alexander


|  Percy Favor Bicknell


|  William Frederic Giese


|  Crawford Lindsay


|  William Price


|  Hiram Allen Sober



Assistant Editor

Emma Helen Blair



Bibliographical Adviser

Victor Hugo Paltsits



Electronic Transcription

Tomasz Mentrak


[Page v]

Copyright, 1899


The Burrows Company


all rights reserved

The Imperial Press, Cleveland

[Page ]





Preface To Volume LIII






Relation de ce qvi s’est passé en la Novvelle France, les années 1669. & 1670. [Chaps. i.-vi., and part of Chap. vii., being the first installment of the document.] François le Mercier, n.p., n.d.; Charles Albanel, n.p., n.d.; Pierre Joseph Marie Chaumonot [Nostre-Dame de l’Annonciation], n.d.; Jean Pierron [Agnié], n.d.; Jacques Bruyas, [Onneiout], August 14, 1669, to June 17, 1670; Pierre Millet, Onnontagué, June 15, 1670.





















Bibliographical Data; Volume






[Page vii]







Photographic facsimile of title-page, Relation of 1669-70.












[Page viii]


Following is a synopsis of the contents of the present volume:

CXXVI. This volume is entirely occupied by the Relation of 1669-70, of which we herewith publish Chaps. i,-vi., and part of Chap. vii.; the remainder Will appear in Vol. LIV. A preliminary note by Le Mercier exultantly announces that “all the Iroquois Nation is on the eve of embracing the Christian religion.” Another important item of news is the return of the intendant Talon, accompanied by Récollet priests who now reënter Canada for the first time since it was surrendered to the French by Kirk.

The Iroquois are so humbled by their fear of the French army that they dare not attack the colonists, or even interfere with the missionaries who are now laboring in all the tribes. The French now enjoy peace; but, knowing the savage nature of the Indians, recognize the possibility that war may again occur, and every precaution is being taken to strengthen the colony for possible defense.

The first chapter of the Relation gives the proceedings of “a council held at Quebec for adjusting the differences between the Iroquois and Algonquins,” in which the French governor, Courcelles, and the Onondaga chief Garakontié are the leading figures. The Senecas have attacked an Algonkin village, and carried away all its women and children; this threatens [Page 9] a general war between the two nations, consequently involving the French. Garakontié at once sends envoys to all the Iroquois tribes, urging them to meet the Upper Algonkins at Montreal, and there settle their difficulties, in the presence of Onontio. He is the only Iroquois chief present at the council — even the Senecas not appearing, although they are most concerned in the matter. Onontio decides that both parties are to blame; and that the Senecas must restore the Algonkin captives, or incur the hostility of the French. After this council, Garakontié is solemnly baptized and confirmed in the cathedral, by Laval, with Courcelles as his godfather.

Letters from Albanel are given, regarding the Montagnais mission near Tadoussac. Cold, famine, and pestilence have ravaged the tribes; the fearful suffering occasioned by these evils has been the greatest of all the Father’s many trials. The first to die is the man who had not long ago succeeded the Sillery chief Tekwerimat. Albanel pronounces a eulogy upon his virtues and ability, and relates the particulars of his pious death. He also commends the goodness, piety, and resignation of Tekwerimat’s wife, who is “an example to the wives of French Christians.” Albanel goes about among the sick and dying, aiding them with religions ministrations, — and, when he can, with food and medicine, — and burying the dead. All this is in the dead of winter, and he suffers great hardships from cold, fatigue, and hunger, — besides those arising from his labors with the smallpox victims. The heroic missionary spends six months in these arduous and perilous toils; he finally contracts the disease, but is cured by the effects of a vow made to St. Francis [Page 10] Xavier. The Tadoussac mission is almost ruined by its severe afflictions, but Albanel consoles himself by the pious deaths of many of its members, and the zeal and courage displayed by those who remain.

The savages of that region are now convinced that they must hold firmly to the Christian faith and prayer. Albanel visits the tribes below Tadoussac, among whom Nouvel had labored, and finds them in better condition, both temporal and spiritual, than those with whom he has wintered. They “journeyed two hundred leagues to come and be instructed, and received me as an Angel from Heaven.” “All day long they were at my side, to receive instruction; and even at night they did not give me any Test.” He baptizes forty-five, children and adults.

Some account is given, in a letter by Chaumonot, of the little Huron church still remaining at Quebec, now established in a village near that town. Most of this chapter is occupied with details of the pious deaths of Christian Indians there — especially of one man, a chief, whose piety is unusually great. He is honored by Laval with a solemn funeral service in the cathedral at Quebec; and Chaumonot recounts many details of the man’s virtues and piety. These Hurons take especial pleasure in rescuing souls from purgatory; “there are even some who would let themselves die from hunger, sooner than pawn or sell certain articles that they have set aside for the assistance of relatives who shall die before them;” and, of the furs that they obtain in hunting, “they use a good part in buying Porcelain, which they keep in reserve, in order to apply it to these good works.” This little community of neophytes receives a precious gift — a statue of the Virgin, made from an oak [Page 11] in Belgium in which had been found, many years before, a similar statue, of miraculous origin. The little church in which this image is kept becomes a shrine to which pilgrims resort, from even the most distant French settlements.

A large part of this Relation is devoted to the Iroquois missions — among these, especially, that to the Mohawks. Pierron, in charge of that mission, describes its condition and progress. The Mohicans attack (August, 1669) the leading Mohawk village; but, after considerable loss on both sides, the assailants are repulsed. Ten of their number are captured, and, later, burned to death by the Mohawks, — but not before Pierron is able to instruct and baptize them. He notes the injury sustained by the Mohawks in their wars, even when successful; and, in cheering contrast, the rapid increase and the prosperity of the French colonies. By way of retaliation for the attack on the Mohawk village, four of the Iroquois tribes undertake to capture a Mohican fort far down the Hudson; but they are repulsed, and compelled to return home without any spoil.

In one of the Mohawk villages, Pierron finds a large cross erected in its midst, “through the agreement of all the Inhabitants.” He learns that their chief soothsayer had dreamed that this must be done, to protect the village. The Father has found “only two persons, in all our villages, who were unwilling to listen to me on these important matters, and one of them has died a reprobate.” The pious sentiments and holy deaths of some converts are related. Among these is an old woman, who has been “the firmest support of this new-born Church.”

The neighborhood of the Dutch is a serious [Page 12] hindrance to the missionaries’ efforts — through their sale of brandy to the Indians, and their opposition to the Catholic doctrines. Some of the Iroquois women boldly proclaim their faith among the Dutch who try, in every imaginable way, to turn them from it; but these zealous neophytes are filled with “righteous indignation at such impious discourse,” and so vigorously confute the arguments of the heretics that the latter are routed in confusion. One of these women so charms the Dutch by her piety that “some begged her to teach them her way of praying to God;” and others, that she Will sell them her little statue of the Virgin — which, however, she “Will not part with, except with her life.”

These women show invincible courage, when threatened by those of their own tribesmen who are infidels; of this, numerous instances are related, which greatly comfort the missionary. He has baptized, in the last eight months, fifty-three persons, “nearly all of whom have gone to Heaven.” He describes his methods of work, — catechisms, sermons, and exhortations, reinforced with the paintings of heaven and hell. He has used “mildness and force, threats and prayers, labors and tears, to build up this new Church and convert these poor Savages.” He teaches the children to read and Write, but soon finds that this work takes too much of his time. “God inspires him” with an idea which “produces great results among these peoples. It is a game, in order to catch our Savages by means of what they most love.” This game is composed of emblems, representing the sacraments, the virtues, the commandments, the principal sins, etc. This game is called “from Point to Point” — i.e., “from the point [Page 13] of birth to the point of Eternity.” Pierron intends to have this game engraved, with “directions for playing it given at the bottom of the card on which it will be printed.” The Iroquois learn it easily, and like it so well that the Father and his catechumens pass “the Easter Feast-days agreeably with this game, which is equally holy and profitable.” Pierron has “invented another Game, — a worldly one, — for destroying all the superstitions of our Savages, and giving them some excellent themes for conversation.”

He attends the Iroquois “ceremony for the dead, — at which the savages recount to one another their old traditions and superstitions. The Father derides these, and is consequently obliged to leave the company. Later, however, the leading men apologize to him for this slight, and “conjure him not to get them into trouble with Onnontio.” A series of councils are held, representing all the Mohawk villages, to consider this matter, and Pierron’s threat to leave them and return to Quebec. The result is, that this fierce and haughty tribe answer him thus: “We make thee the absolute Master of OUT bodies and of our souls; we believe what thou believest, and we renounce all that thou hast warned us to abandon, — dances, medicine-men, and invocations to Agreskoue. At the time of writing this letter, Pierron records their apparent intention and effort to carry out these promises, and his strong hope for their conversion, “although their natural inconstancy still divides my heart between fear and joy.” Pierron makes a journey to Quebec, and Beschefer and Nicolas are sent to aid him in this mission. [Page 14]

The mission to the Oneidas is in charge of Bruyas, from whose journal extracts are given. Rumors come from Montreal that certain men of this tribe have been murdered by Frenchmen; this irritates the savages, and places the mission in danger. Some of them return from a trading expedition to the Dutch, bringing sixty kegs of brandy; this looses Pandemonium, as it were, and so much disorder arises in the village that Bruyas, although still weak from a fever, is obliged to go away, to visit a fishing camp beyond. An ambassador of peace comes from one of the Mohican tribes; but he “takes flight, frightened by the drunkards.” The missionaries among all the Iroquois tribes hold a conference at Onondaga; upon Bruyas’s return to Oneida, he finds that his French servant has been so maltreated by these drunkards that he has been obliged to leave the village, and take refuge from them in the fields. Three months after the brandy had been brought to the village, the supply gives out, and the Father writes: “It seems to me that I am now in an earthly Paradise.” The Young men all go hunting, or to war, and “the women who remain betake themselves assiduously to the Catechism.” At Christmas, he is obliged to preach nearly the entire day to the savages who throng his little Chapel. A fortnight later, the people gather daily at the house of a woman, — “mad, or possessed,  — who claims to have had an interview with the chief Iroquois divinity, in consequence of which she utters prophecies for the future. In February, it is reported that large Iroquois bands have gone to attack the Ottawas. A few weeks later, Garakontié, ever zealous for peace, urges the Oneidas to meet the Ottawas at Montreal, and “light [Page 15] the fire of peace.” Just before Easter, the traders bring to Oneida forty kegs of brandy; the debauches recommence, and poor Bruyas is compelled to take refuge with Milet at Onondaga.

The latter missionary sends to Le Mercier an account of his own work. Twice a day, he summons by his voice, in default of a bell — the people to prayers in the Chapel. “Sometimes I called out, ‘ Fire! Fire! Ever-burning hell-fire! ’ At other times, ‘ TO Heaven! To Heaven! Where are found all kinds of blessings, with eternal happiness. ’” He describes his methods of instruction, and his efforts to wean the people from their reliance upon dreams, and their invocations to the devil; he is aided therein by Garakontié. In a few weeks, crowds attend the instructions given in the Chapel, and the village is stirred to great interest in the new religion. At Christmas, an impressive service is held in the Chapel, in honor of Christ’s birth, which most of the elders attend. “It seemed to me that I was not among Savages and Barbarians, but rather in the midst of a country of Christians, — so much piety and devotion did I remark in the people.” Some time afterward, Milet exhorts the Oneidas to cease their trust in dreams; almost to his own surprise, they consent to his proposals, and “pledge themselves to obey dreams no longer.” They consent to give up their “eat-all” feasts and impure rites. This great victory of truth over infidelity overjoys the missionary; but he is well aware of the difficulties that still lie in the way of the savages, in carrying out this decision of the council. He next puts certain medicine-men to open confusion, and also exposes them in a public assembly. Not only Garakontié, but [Page 16] other elders come to Milet, promise to do all in their power to support him in his efforts, and beg for further instruction in religion. [Page 17]

R. G. T.

Madison, Wis., August, 1899..


Relation of 1669-70



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

Owing to the length of the document, we publish herewith only chaps. i.-vi., and part of chap. vii. The second and final installment Will appear in Volume LIV.





of the Society of Jesus,



in the years 1669 and 1670.

Sent to the Rev. Father Éstienne Dechamps,

Provincial of the Province of France.

P A R I S.


Printer to the King, ruë st. Jacques,

at the Sign of the Storks.



By Royal License.

[Page 23]

To the Reverend Father Estienne Dechamps,

Provincial of the Society of

Jesus in the Province of




I send to Your Reverence the Relation of the most important occurrences in the Missions of New France. I hope that therein will be found material for satisfying the curiosity of those who take pleasure in being informed of what is happening in foreign Nations; and, ut the same time, for edifying the Piety and animating the zeal of Apostolic men. It can be said with truth that for a long time the cultivation of this land, sprinkled with the blood of so many Christians, has not been so successful as in this year; and that the Gospel Laborers, who have so often moistened it with tears, are at present joyfully reaping a very abundant harvest there. For besides a very large number of infants and dying persons who have been sent to Heaven by Baptism, and the conversion of several Infidels of an advanced age — it will be seen how all the Iroquois Nation is on the eve of embracing the Christian Religion; and that, during all the time in which labors have been expended on this great undertaking, never have there been entertained stronger or more firmly-grounded hopes than now. This Relation will give a view of the present state of that Church, and the great inclination which all those Barbarians have for Christianity, — even to the extent of planting the Cross in the midst of [Page 25] their territories, by resolution of a public Council; of declaring themselves openly for the Faith; and of imitating to those of our Fathers who have charge of that Mission that they all wish to become Christians. I doubt not that people are very glad to see the haughtiness of those tribes, which has been for so many years the terror of all the country, being humbled every day and being finally brought into subjection to the law of Jesus Christ. God has been pleased to make use of the King’s arms to subjugate this barbarous people to his Empire; and the fear entertained by them toward so mighty a Monarch of the earth makes them disposed to revolt no longer against that of Heaven. Monsieur Talon, our Intendant, has at last arrived here safely, after being almost shipwrecked at the port, under circumstances of greater danger than in the shipwreck which he suffered in the preceding year at the Port of Lisbon in Portugal. Here it was toward Tadoussac that his Vessel was stranded on a rock, whence it could not be taken o# except through an extraordinary succor from Heaven, procured for it by Saint Anne. We may say that the joy afforded us all by his safe arrival was not less than the fear and the universal consternation into which the news of his shipwreck had thrown US. The Reverend Récollet Fathers whom he brought from France, as a new reinforcement of Missionaries to cultivate this Church, gave us an increase of joy and consolation. We received them as the first Apostles of this country; and all the inhabitants of Quebec, in acknowledgment of the obligation felt toward them by the French Colony, — which they accompanied hither upon its first establishment, — were delighted to see these good Religious settled again in the same place where they were dwelling more than forty years ago, when the French were driven out of Canada by the English.[i] I commend to Your Reverence’s Holy [Page 27] Sacrifices the entire Mission, and all those who are employed therein; and I am,


Your Reverence’s very humble and

very obedient servant in

Jesus Christ,

François Le Mercier. [Page 29]

Extract from the Royal License.


Y the Grace and License of the King, permission is granted to Sebastien Cramoisy, Printer in ordinary to the King, Director of the Royal Printing-house of the Louvre, former Alderman of Paris, to print or cause to be printed, to sell and retail a Book entitled: Relation de ce qui s’est passé en la Mission des Peres de la Compagnie de JESUS en la Nouvelle France és de années 1669. et 1670. And this during the period of twenty years; prohibiting all Booksellers, Printers and others, from printing or causing to be printed the said Book, under pretext of any disguise or change, under penalties provided by the said License, Given at Paris in January, 1667. Signed, by the King in his Council,


[Page 31]

[3] Relation of what occurred in New France

in the years 1669 and 1670.


IT is impossible to be more convinced than we are, here, of the advantages of peace, since the victorious arms of the King have happily procured it for us. Formerly, one hardly dared go out of his house, from the well-founded fear he had of seeing himself immediately surrounded by a band of Iroquois, who overran the whole country. [4] At present, a Missionary will go alone and without escort from the first Village of the Iroquois to the last; and will make, without running any danger, about a hundred leagues’ journey in the very lands of those Barbarians. There is no longer any one among them who dares disturb us in our Apostolic functions; and if any of them — casually, or under the influence of wine — happen to maltreat us in words, or menace us, the more discreet ones of the country check them immediately and prevent them from harming us. But what Will appear almost incredible, to those who know the haughty spirit of the Iroquois, is that, while this seemed to be the year for the breaking of the peace between them and us, because some of the French had unfortunately killed several Iroquois, [5] yet the strict justice which was exercised in that instance obtained from God that the Iroquois have not, up to the present time, shown resentment of the [Page 33] injury. As this blessed peace is the work of the most Christian King, there is no doubt that it Will draw upon his august person the blessings of Heaven, — which he has, by this means, opened to innumerable souls. It is certainly very glorious in him ’ to have put Jesus Christ, so to speak, in possession of what was promised him by God, his father, — who pledged himself to give him, as heritage, an absolute empire over all peoples, and even over those who dwell in the uttermost parts of the earth. But it is not less advantageous to the Missionaries who are engaged in the culture of this Church. Yet we dare not flatter ourselves with the hope of an unalterable peace: [6] the brutality and lack of faith that have been so often recognized in our Barbarians give us cause to fear everything. The natural antipathy which seems to exist between the Iroquois nation and some others of those that are allied to us, makes us apprehend some rupture. It is hard for the old quarrels to be so extinguished that there remain not always some secret sparks, in hearts which breathe only war and pillage. Finally, peace, good understanding, and union cannot be so strong among peoples that find all their pleasure in burning one another, and in strengthening themselves by the ruin of their neighbors.

These reasons, which keep us in fear and in distrust, at the same time prompt those to whom [7] the King has entrusted the government of this country to make every imaginable effort to put themselves in a condition not to be surprised, and to maintain in all these nations a peace which crowns them with every sort of blessing.

The five Companies which the King has had the [Page 35] goodness to send US this year Will serve us as a powerful recruit for holding our Barbarians to their allegiance; and the fear that they have conceived of the victorious arms of so great a Monarch Will serve marvelously to reassure our minds. His Majesty is so persuaded that it is necessary to maintain troops constantly in this country, for the purpose of subduing the Iroquois pride, and preventing them from breaking the peace, — as they have done, as soon as they thought themselves the stronger, — that he has taken care to send over, a few [8] months ago, a hundred and fifty girls, in order that the Soldiers settling in New France may have families here, cultivate lands, and defend the colony. It will be seen, in the conclusion of this Relation, what an extraordinary impression this great care has made on the spirit of all these peoples; and I dare, indeed, say that there Will be found in it things of sufficient importance to edify and, at the same time, please those who like to be informed of what is going on in foreign countries.

Perhaps there will be some curiosity to know how the winter was passed here. It has been extraordinary in its length, and in the severity of the cold, which has dried up the greater part of the roots, grasses, and plants. [Page 37]





THE proud and imperious spirit of the Iroquois is well known; and we have only too often learned by experience that a very small matter is enough to make them offer an insult which shall lead to a rupture with those who are living on good terms with them. For a long time, they had been seeking some pretext, with which to disguise their passion for making war on their neighbors and pillaging them. The Upper Algonquins were the first whom they attacked; now see what occasioned the beginning of that war. A band of twenty Iroquois, [10] being engaged in hunting toward the region of the Algonquins, encountered two men of their own nation, who had been taken prisoners of war by the Algonquins, and had fortunately escaped from their hands. These men informed them that the Village whence they had come was not defended by any one, that the warriors who dwelt there were all gone hunting, and that, as only women, children, and some old men were left, it was very easy for them to sack the place. Immediately the resolution Was adopted to make an attempt in that direction; and they succeeded so well in this that they entered the village without any resistance, and, after killing [Page 39] some of the inhabitants, took the women and children prisoners, to the number of a hundred. The absent warriors, [11] being promptly notified of what was occurring, gave chase with all speed; but it was to no purpose, for they could not overtake the Iroquois. The neighboring nations — feeling themselves obliged, according to the customs of the country, to avenge the injury that had just been offered their allies — formed a considerable party by joining their forces, and came to attack some cabins of Iroquois who were out hunting; the latter were all defeated. The news of that irruption, being carried to Tsonnontouan, alarmed all the nations; from that time, they breathed only war and vengeance. Garakontie, — Captain of Onnontagué, which is chief of all the Iroquois nations, — who had voluntarily offered himself as surety for the peace made with the French, saw that it was [12] in danger of being disturbed by these acts of hostility that were being committed on both sides. And, because all the French, ascending and descending the River with the Savages, might become involved in the strife, he sent collars of porcelain to all the Iroquois nations, to stop the bands and war-parties that they were beginning to form. He showed them that it was more expedient to launch their canoes, and betake themselves to Montreal, to meet the Upper Algonquins who were to come down thither, at the same time, for the purpose of trading; that there was the place where they ought to make and hear on each side their reciprocal complaints, and end their differences in the presence of Onnontio (for so they call Monsieur the Governor), since they had [13] chosen him formerly as umpire in their quarrels. [Page 41]

Having thus given his orders everywhere, and persuaded the Iroquois to adopt this resolution, he himself was the first to set out to execute it. Fortunately, he arrived at Montreal at the same time when the last band of Upper Algouquins appeared there — to the number of 80 or go Canoes, in which were more than 400 persons. They were expecting to find there Monsieur the Governor, who was immediately informed of the matter; but he did not think it best to leave Quebec, and summoned the Chiefs of the Nations to come to him here, — which they did, twenty from each Nation being chosen to proceed hither. They arrived at Quebec toward the end of July. At first Garakontie was at a loss, when he [14] found himself Unaccompanied by any other Iroquois Captain, — not even by any of the Tsonnontouans, who were the most interested in that affair. Nevertheless, he continued on his way. The Council was convened, and in it were held three general assemblies. The first was merely for the exchange of salutations, and was passed in compliments. The second assembly was held on the next day, for business; and there the Algonquins spoke first, by means of presents, according to their custom, — saying, in the first place, that they had respected Onnontio’s orders touching the peace; but that the Tsonnontouan Iroquois did not imitate them, having defeated nearly a hundred of their allies, of which number the greater part had been taken prisoners. In the second place, they begged Monsieur the Governor to remember [15] that he had declared, in full assembly of all the Nations, that he would punish those who violated the articles of peace; and so they exhorted him to keep his word to them. [Page 43]

On the third day, Monsieur the Governor, giving presents in return, answered them that he was true to his Word; and that, inasmuch as he had caused some Frenchmen, his own nephews, to be put to death in punishment for the murders committed by them on the Iroquois, — since that deed was enough to rekindle the war, — so it ought not to be doubted that he would exact justice from the Iroquois, or from any other tribes that should dare to disturb the peace. Moreover, as for the Tsonnontouans, he began to punish them that very instant, by retaining the captives who had been brought to him from the Outaouak to restore to them.

[16] He replied, in the second place, that the submission which they had shown to his orders in regard to peace was all to their advantage, since they reaped a considerable profit therefrom, — being able to come in safety as far as Quebec to get the things needed by them, and even Missionaries to instruct them in the mysteries of the Christian Faith.

Then a Huron Captain nearly 80 years old, taking the Word, said: “Onnontio, oh, what a large family thou hast! Ah, how many children thou hast acquired for thyself! The most fruitful women have only two at a time; but thou hast produced, in the space of these few years since thou camest hither, an innumerable multitude of them. Thou hast them on all sides — Eastward, Westward, to the South, and [17] to the North. The Algonquins are thy children, the Montagnais, the Outaouaks, the Hurons, and the Iroquois. What father is there who has ever equaled thee in multitude of children? Yes, thou art truly our father, since thou dischargest so worthily the function of one, — now checking some, [Page 45] and again punishing others; threatening this one, and exhorting that one to Eve in peace with his brothers. But we must acknowledge that, more than in all else, thou showest thyself our father in this alone, that thou procurest for us a happy and eternal life; that, by the peace which thou dost establish everywhere, thou openest the way to the Apostolic men who go forth to instruct all the nations, and teach them to thank thee for it. And surely the Onneiout have never better [18] recognized that thou treatest them as thy children than when, contenting thyself, for their punishment, with keeping their prisoners some time, thou didst send the latter back again into their country with their father. Oh, Annonkouaiouton” (that is the Captain of those Onneiout), “never wouldst thou have returned to thy country with more glory, after a victory gained over the proudest of thine enemies, than thou didst return from the prisons of Onnontio in company with Father Bruyas; if thou hast obeyed his voice with docility, never has Conqueror been more honored than thou wilt be. It is in that very thing that Onnontio conducts himself as a charitable father, procuring for his children the greatest of all good things. Courage, then, Nations of the Iroquois, Outaouaks, Hurons, Montagnais, [19] Algonquins; acknowledge Onnontio as father, follow exactly his orders, obey his commandments, and listen to the advice that he gives you for the strengthening of the peace between you, if you wish to be fortunate in this world and in the other.”

Garagontié, Captain of Onnontague, spoke, in his turn, in the name of all the Iroquois; and, first, he protested that the Tsonnontouens had net offered [Page 47] any insult or done any injury to the Outaouaks, but only to the Ontouagannha,[ii] whom Onnontio had never taken under his protection: and that thus this last Iroquois Nation ought net t0 be accused of having, in this matter, broken the peace.

“As for the Faith,” added he, “which Onnontio wishes to see spread abroad everywhere, I profess it publicly [20] among those of “y Nation, and no longer adhere to any superstition, — renouncing Polygamy, the vanity of dreams, and all kinds of sins. It is really I who obey Onnontio, and net these Outaouaks, who, after so many years of instruction, are not yet Christians.”

From all that was said and that occurred in this council, it was decided that the Algonquins were wrong in having begun the war again by acts of hostility; that the Iroquois were to blame for net having waited until Monsieur the Governor exacted justice, upon hearing their complaints, and for having chosen to take vengeance themselves; and that, in other respects, the Algonquins seemed to desire peace with more sincerity than the Iroquois, — inasmuch as they [21] had set two prisoners at liberty the past year, and had sent them back into their own country; while this very year they sent back four others, and declared themselves ready to restore all those that they had in their country, if Onnontio so ordered them. On the contrary, the Iroquois had net sent back a single captive, or taken any action to show that he wished to live on good terms; while the people of Tsonnontouan, who had the most concern in this quarrel, had not even been present at the place where its amicable termination was under discussion. [Page 49]

The conclusion was that Monsieur the Governor should order the Tsonnontouens to restore the Algonquin prisoners; that otherwise he should consider them [22] as disturbers of the peace, and should treat them as enemies to the King. [Page 51]





HAT worthy Iroquois Captain — who, for sixteen years, has always shown himself the friend and protector of the French in his country —  spoke with so much fire and zeal, in the Council, of the love he had for the Christian Faith, and of the ardor he felt for Baptism, that Monseigneur the Bishop, having become acquainted with the disposition of his heart, after he had learned from the Fathers who are among the Iroquois how [23] pure and Christian his morals were, decided that the Baptism which he was passionately desiring ought not to be deferred in his case any longer; and that, since he had for so many years given aid to our Frenchmen, whenever they were slaves in the country of these Barbarians, it was just that he should find a prompt succor in the bosom of the Church, to free himself from the slavery of the Demons. Finally, since he had always espoused the interests and the glory of the French with such great zeal, they ought to contribute to the pomp and solemnity of his Baptism.

Monsieur the Governor offered to be the Godfather; Mademoiselle Boutroue, daughter of Monsieur the Intendant, was the Godmother; and Monseigneur the Bishop himself consented [24] to confer upon him, with his own hands, this Sacrament, and afterward that of Confirmation. It was in the principal [Page 53] Church of Canada, the Cathedral of Quebec, that this solemnity took place. The concourse of people who attended could not have been greater; and he had the satisfaction of having as spectators at his Baptism a throng of people gathered from almost all the Nations inhabiting New France, — Hurons, Algonquins, Outaouaks, Mahingans, Agnies, Onneiouts, Onnontaguez, Tsonnontouens, and Etionnontates.

While the ceremonies of Baptism were being conferred on him, he was very attentive to the explanation of them that was made to him; and he listened with so great presence of mind [25] that, at the least Word, he understood all that was being said to him. TO all the questions that are customarily asked of Catechumens upon baptism, he responded with as much firmness and good sense as could be expected from a man of learning; and, among other things, upon being asked whether he wished to be baptized, he said that for three whole months he had been sighing for that grace.

The newly-baptized man humbly thanked Monseigneur the Bishop for having opened to him, by the two Sacraments that he had just conferred upon him, the door of the Church and of Paradise. Then, after making new protestations to Jesus Christ that he would thenceforth live like a good Christian, he was conducted to the Castle, that he might there go and thank Monsieur [26] our Governor for the honor that he had just done him in giving him his own name at the Baptismal Font. At his entrance he saw himself saluted by the discharge of all the Cannon of the Fort and all the Musketry of the Soldiers, who were drawn up in line to receive him. TO conclude this festal occasion, he was presented. [Page 55]  with the means to regale amply all the Nations assembled at Quebec, and give them a sumptuous feast, which Monsieur the Governor had caused to be prepared. It was at this feast that a Huron Captain published his Baptismal name in this wise: “Here we all are assembled at the feast. It is Daniel who entertains us, he whom we have hitherto known under the name of Garakontie. He invites us to his feast, to assure us and call us to witness [27] that he has embraced the Christian Faith; and that he is not a Child, to revoke his Word. * He Will, upon his return home, make solemn profession of his faith before all the people of his Nation, and you will never hear it said that Daniel has forfeited his word in what he has just promised God at his Baptism. ’ These words were followed by acclamations of joy, thanks, and applause from all the guests. [Page 57]






E cannot better acquaint the reader with what has occurred in this Mission, [28] than by the two Letters written therefrom to the Reverend Father Superior by Father Charles Albanel, who has had charge of it.



 AM infinitely obliged to Your Reverence for the employment you have given me during these last eight months, which I have passed in continual and precious experiences of suffering. Yet it is not the excessive rigor of the seasons, or the extreme fatigue of traveling, or the lack of provisions, that has given me the most distress; all these hardships are, I know, suffered by our Fathers who pass the winter in the forests. But nothing has given me keener sorrow than the sight of the incredible miseries and the destitution to which our poor Savages were reduced; and I have been obliged to dwell with them without being able [29] to succor them in such unusual extremities. I confess to you that my heart was so keenly touched by this that I put that pain in the number of the severest I have ever experienced.

The smallpox, — which makes as great ravages. [Page 59]  among these peoples as the plague, — and the extremes of hunger and cold have been the principal evils that have afflicted this miserable colony; they have swept away from it about two hundred and fifty persons, — both Montagnais and Algonquins, Papinachois and Gaspesiens, — from the Mission of Sillery and from Tadoussac.

We set out from the town of Quebec on the 14th of November; and we arrived on the 20th of the same month at the place which our Savages had chosen for the winter rendezvous, which [30] is situated near Tadoussac, toward the South. It was on the first day after our arrival that it pleased God to take from us Theodore Tekouerimat, our host. I must confess that this first stroke of divine providence, who orders things according to his pleasure, for his own glory, was extremely grievous to me. But the piety with which Theodore died served not a little to console me for a loss which was so considerable to me; and by that accident I recognized that God is wont to take ways that seem to us harsh and vexatious, in order to detach us from even the most necessary things, and oblige us to entrust to him alone the care of our lives and of our perfection.

The Savage of whom I speak was a man who had great qualities, and who could render great [31] services to a Missionary. His rare intelligence and his extraordinary prudence had acquired for him such influence with all the people of his country, and even with strangers, that they deferred to his judgments in all things. And as he was very courageous, and a very experienced warrior, he was followed generally by all the Nations, although he was a Montagnais. But he marvelously increased. [Page 61] the fame of his great qualities by the holy use to which he put them; for he seemed to be raised above the others only to bring them nearer to God, and he took pleasure in making his glory and reputation serve toward establishing the Faith among the Savages. He had an esteem and friendship for the French exceeding the power of words to express; and no one could be more submissive than he [32] was to the orders of Monsieur our Governor, of whose wishes he was always the faithful executor. Accordingly, he received special marks of favor from him, and was treated in accordance with his merit. The Mission of Sillery, that of Tadoussac, and all the others have lost much in the death of that excellent Christian and brave Captain. Yet, as I saw him die with all the tokens of predestination, there is ground for consolation in so great a loss.

Three days after we had embarked, he fell ill; and, as his malady constantly increased, he received all the Sacraments of the Church, with every feeling of extraordinary devotion, and with a Perfect resignation to God’s Will. Having become aware of some change in the expression of my face, which [33] marked the anxiety I felt, he asked me why I was distressed. Then I answered him that it was because I found myself obliged to go in a Shallop to visit the Savages who were toward the South, and that I was extremely sorry to leave him. “No, my Father,” returned the sick man; “you Will not leave me, if you please. I am a dead man, and will never suffer you to abandon me in this extremity. He who is your Superior said to me, upon your departure from Quebec, that he put you in my hands; and, begging me to take care of you, he assured me that you would [Page 63] take care of me in return. If now you were in my place, and I in yours, what would you think of me if I consented [34] to abandon you? I expect of you at least this last office, after so many obligations as I have been under to you for twenty years; and, as you have taught me to live well, I hope you will now aid me to die well. You know that this moment is the decisive point for my eternity.” I took care not to leave him, or even to lose him from sight, until his death. It is incredible with what application and piety he made the most of every moment of the short space of life remaining to him. On the morning of the sixth day, having renewed, with an incredible fervor, all the virtuous observances that the most accomplished Christians are accustomed to practice at the hour of death, and having then made confession for the last time, he seemed to me to desire something. I asked him what he wished, and [35] whether he was not glad to die. Then this virtuous Christian raised his voice and said: “No, I am not afraid to die; I die gladly, and thank God who governs me for withdrawing me from occasions for giving offense to him. I hope, in the condition in which I am at present, — and I hope it solely from the infinite goodness of God, — that he Will be merciful to me; and the danger of not being so well prepared at another time makes me prefer death to life. It is true, nevertheless, that I would very much like to receive communion once more before I die; but since I cannot swallow anything, God’s will be done.” Thus he died, in a manifestation of the most Perfect submission to the Divine Providence; and showed in dying that virtue is not less pure or less heroic in a [36] Savage, when he takes care to [Page 65] cultivate it, than in the most enlightened and most civilized person in the world.

But, if I admire with reason the holy death of this great Captain, I must net refuse his wife the praises that she deserves for the strength of mind, the courage, and the submission to God’s decrees, shown by her during her husband’s illness and after his death. Contrary to the custom of the majority of Savages, that noble woman, Susanne by name, never abandoned her husband, however great might be the infection coming from the body of the patient, who appeared more like a Corpse than a living man. She ran over in my presence all the places and the different occasions for offending God, in her husband’s experience, saying to him [37] from time to time, “Have you confessed that, and that?” For among the Savages, and particularly between husband and wife, there are no secrets, and they know everything about one another. If it happened that I retired for a moment from the patient’s side, she would immediately take my place, and would speak to him only of God, of Paradise, and of Hell. When one day he manifested the regret that he felt at leaving her, in the apprehension that she might come to want of some sort, she said to him: “Do not speak to me any more about it; think only of dying a good death, and we shall soon see each other again. Meanwhile, God who governs us will take care of us.” This pious woman has not failed, a single day since her husband’s death, however bad the weather might be, to go and pray to God at [38] his grave, for the repose of his soul, —without being deterred therefrom either by the distance of the place, or by the hindrance of her own affairs. She received communion [Page 67] every week, recited her Rosary twice a day, fasted during the whole of Lent, and, in addition to that period, twice a week, — in order to expiate entirely her late husband’s faults, and release him from Purgatory. The wives of our French Christians can learn, from so admirable an example of virtue and fidelity, to have a true love for their husbands, and to extend their affection toward them beyond the limits of this life.

On the 28th day of November, the French Shallop which had brought me hither arrived, loaded with fifteen or twenty sick persons. They all resembled Monsters rather [39] than human beings, their bodies were so hideous, emaciated, and full of corruption. TO me they were abjects of compassion, and at the same time called for an exercise of charity. I tried to render them all the services in my power.

On the first day of December, four Canoes came to join us, and swelled the number of the Faithful composing this forest-roaming Church.

On the fifth day of the same month, some Frenchmen went down to Isle Verte, which is not far distant from Tadoussac, and is formed in our great River Saint Lawrence. They found a Cabin full of dying persons, and came to beg that I would go and render them all the assistance I could. I had much [40] difficulty in quitting my post, because the place where I was might have passed for a Hospital for the sick, and my presence there was every moment necessary.

Nevertheless, on the tenth day of December I resolved to go and visit those poor people who were dying on that Island, which was destitute of all aid to comfort them, and administer to them the Sacraments of the Church. I carried them some provisions; [Page 69] and when, during the journey, one of our Sailors, loaded with Indian corn, broke through the ice, he was saved by a kind of miracle-God having regard, without doubt, to his charity toward the poor Savages.

On the eleventh day, I arrived at that Island, and saw there only living skeletons and bodies all [41] disfigured, for they had already passed four whole days without having anything to eat. I began my duties with prayer, and, toward evening, prepared some Theriac, of which I gave them some doses. It is a sovereign remedy against that kind of disease. On the following day, all made confession; and I gave holy Communion to those who were in a fit condition to receive it. A woman, an excellent Christian, put in my hands a Child of six or seven years of age, with these words: “My husband, before dying, said to me: ‘ We have two children; I give you the younger; but, as for the elder, I leave him to our Father ’” (he meant me). “‘ He Will have him taught in their Seminary at Quebec, and you Will tell him that I beg him to teach the boy [42] to pray to God for me.’”

On the 20th day, some Savages of Gaspé, about fourteen or fifteen leagues distant from us, sought us out; and all performed their devotions before separating from us. This was a dispensation from Heaven for them, and a very especial grace; for scarcely had they returned to their cabins, when the disease attacked them, and carried away almost all of them.

For the month of January, 1670, the burden of my duties was to relieve the sick, exhort the dying, and bury the dead. If I had known well how to profit by this employment, I could have practiced therein great acts of virtue, and, above all, of no small [Page 71] self-mortification, — obliged, as I was, to live in a place infected with a horrible stench.

[43] On the third day of February, I went into the forests, leaving the banks of our great River to go and visit our Savages. The little snow, which scarcely covered the ground and did net yet bear us up, gave us much trouble in walking with snowshoes, As we had almost no provisions, we soon found ourselves exhausted.

On the tenth day of the same month we came upon a Cabin of Savages, where we halted for the space of two whole weeks, in order to instruct them, comfort them in their wretchedness, and administer the Sacraments to them.

On the twenty-fifth, our Hunters, having met other Hunters from two large Cabins about six leagues from us, came to [44] get me, and obliged me to remain twelve days with them for the purpose of instructing them. On the fifteenth day of March, seeing that I wished to depart in order to return to our Frenchmen, they sent me back to the banks of our great River.

Upon my safe arrival there, I prepared all the people to celebrate their Easter, which they all did with great piety, like perfectly good Christians. And, as it is unjust to deprive our Frenchmen of the glory which they deserve in this connection, I Will say to Your Reverence that they rendered me efficient assistance by the assiduous attentions which they bestowed upon our sick Savages, — and upon their own comrades, when there was need, — in attending them, dressing their sores during their illness, and burying them after their death, without suffering the intolerable stench which came [45] [Page 73] from those corpses to hinder them from rendering toward them the duties of a truly Christian charity. So far was this carried that I have even seen some of them, with an admirable courage and zeal, load the dead bodies upon boats in the icy waters; and then, unloading them, carry them on their shoulders, although the putrid matter ran from all parts upon their garments and cloaks. These noble acts of courage ought to raise a blush at their own effeminacy in an infinite number of Christians who have a horror of even hearing about what these men did not have a horror of doing.

That employment, severe and disagreeable though it was, did not fail to have its own delights and unction. It made me consider with pleasure that so many melancholy abjects, so many tears, so many labors, and so much wretchedness [46] at last find a happy issue in a death precious in God’s sight, who crowns all a Missionary’s sufferings, if he knows how to make a good use of them. And I was not a little consoled when I thought that, if our Church Militant suffered great losses this year, I had every reason to believe that the Church Triumphant had profited thereby.

Moreover, it has been noted that God, choosing to reward our Frenchmen for the charitable assistance that they had given those poor Savages, preserved them as by a miracle. so true is this that, excepting one of their number who was ill, but quite lightly, none of them have experienced any injury.

I was the last to suffer any ill effects, having my whole head extremely [47] swollen, and my face covered with pustules like those of smallpox. A severe earache came upon me, together with a furious [Page 75] toothache. My lips became as if dead, and my eyes were extremely afflicted with an inflammation, while, to crown all these ills, I had a very great difficulty in breathing. I vowed a novena to Saint Francis Xavier, and at the same time I was cured. Perhaps God paid regard to the present necessity of our poor Savages, who had need of my assistance. I finish this Letter by commending myself to your holy Sacrifices, and am, my Reverend Father, Your very humble and very obedient servant in Our Lord,

Charles Albanel.




HILE I was making preparations, on the first day of May, to go up again to Quebec, after passing the winter in our forests with our Savages, I received orders from Pour Reverence to visit the Missions that lie toward the North, on the other side of the Saint Lawrence River, whither I repaired on the 12th day of the same month.

Among all the abjects that I have seen, worthy of compassion, that which most touched me was the great solitude and the few people that I found in that beautiful and flourishing Mission of Tadoussac, called the Mission of Sainte Croix. I compared it with what it formerly was, when I had the good fortune to guide that Church; [49] and I saw there only some wretched remains of its old-time splendor. Ordinarily, every year as many as 1,000 and 1,200 persons were wont to come hither; while, this year, scarcely a hundred Savages have been seen. It has lost more than six-score persons this past winter, — all of who were fortunate enough, last autumn, to [Page 77] prepare themselves to receive with patience the scourge with which God has afflicted them this year. For Father Gabriel Druillettes was sent to them, by a special providence of God, to confess them all; and it has been known that, since that visit, the greater part of them had lived very Christian lives. As I served that Mission twenty years ago, and knew almost all the people, it was a special consolation for me to know that they had died with so favorable indications of their salvation.

[50] During the height of the contagious and general malady that afflicted this country, there were two Captains, who, with the purpose of corrupting the faith of the Young people, offered a sacrifice of three dogs to the Demon, hanging them at the door of their cabin, to ask him for his assistance, and entreat him to stay the course of the contagious disease; but their prayers were not heard, and the undertaking resulted in their own confusion. Two other persons, a man and a woman, — the one named Pierre, and the other Anne, — warmly opposed this detestable impiety.

The man, after he had begged them gently to desist, and had recognized that he could not make any impression on their minds, harangued the Youth Forcibly in these words: “No, my brothers, there is no question [51] here, — either of hunting, or of war, or of Political affairs, — regarding which we need listen to these old dreamers, although they are our Elders. It is a question of Prayer, which our Fathers have taught us. They have never said to us, ‘ In your afflictions have recourse to the evil Spirit; put your trust in him, and hope for your health from him;’ but on the contrary they have taught us that we [Page 79] must have recourse to God, who is the one who governs us, and who alone is able to protect us. Let us then, my brothers, say to him: ‘ Great God, all-seeing and all-powerful, take pity on us. We wish to die as we have lived. It is you, great God, who are the Master of our lives: if yon wish us to die, we consent; but if you [52] wish us to live, give us your assistance.’” The woman added that those who ceased to pray would not only all die, but they would even be the first to die. And so it was; for in three days those two impious ones, who had been well before, were stricken with the disease, — which reduced them to such extremity of illness that, after losing their right minds, they strangled themselves with their own hands. Then all the Savages who were in that region divided themselves into two bands. This man and woman also separated, and, although they were very feeble, they ceased not to occupy themselves constantly in visiting the sick and exhorting them to pray, and in preparing them to die well.

From that great desolation, [53] caused by the disease in this country, there have remained, in the minds of the Savages whom I have seen, two things of which they are strongly convinced. The first is, that a great part of the more prominent persons among those who have died of this malady have been taken away from this world only to be punished for their infidelity. The second is, that they are all convinced of the necessity of holding firmly to the Faith, and praying better than ever. That good Christian woman who had opposed their Idolatry told me, besides, that she had received manifest help from God; and related to me that one day, when all [Page 81] the party were dying of hunger, she felt a strong inspiration to separate from the body of the people, and that she proposed her plan to her son, who was between eleven and twelve years old; at first he would not consent to it, [54] but finally he followed her. When, accordingly, she had separated from the others, and, with her son, was in a place two days’ journey from them, where there was only a foot of snow, being quite at the point of death and utterly exhausted by hunger, she said to him: “My son, go and kill some beast, to give us something to eat.” He, being as much reduced as his mother, often said to her: “Mother, I cannot go a step farther; let us die here.” But finally he had courage to take his javelin in hand, and put his snowshoes on his feet. Meanwhile, his mother had recourse to prayer for a fortunate issue to his hunting; and lo! almost in sight of their cabin, he came upon two Moose impeded in a little comer of the plain, where there was six or seven feet of snow, so deep that they could not stir. That Child was afraid at [55] first, having never killed anything before; but, feeling himself impelled by an extraordinary force, he took his stand, and killed those two animals, on which they subsisted during the winter. The mother of this Child had no sooner arrived at Tadoussac than she presented the skins of these Moose to the Church, saying to me: “It is God who gave them to me; I make a sacrifice to him of them, as of a thing that belongs to him.” But I made her, in view of her poverty, buy with them the things that she needed; and told her that God would be satisfied with her good intentions.

On the last day of May, we set out from Tadoussac [Page 83] to go to the Papinachois, who are about thirty leagues distant thence, toward the North, along our great River St. Lawrence.

[56] On the third day of June, we arrived at the place where they were assembled, to the number of a hundred and fifty persons. I found there a Savage of the great and celebrated North [i.e., Hudson) Bay, who told me a French vessel had been seen in his country, and that it had pillaged and grievously maltreated the people; that the Chief who commanded the Ship had assured them that in the following year he would come and take up his position in that Bay, and that word must be sent to all their people to repair thither, and bring him their peltries; that he was the master of peace and war, and that he would bring with him a large force of Iroquois to destroy them, if they did not obey him.

That Mission of the Papinachois is in a very good condition, and piety reigns there as much as ever. Father [57] Henry Nouvel worked hard there, a few years ago, and the good impressions that he left upon them still survive, — so that the small number of those who have kept two wives, contrary to the promises that they made to God at their Baptism, have not dared to make their appearance here. I remained twelve days at that place, to instruct them and confirm them in their good resolutions, to Confess them, and to administer the Sacrament of the holy Eucharist; and all, in general, gave me great satisfaction.

Up to this point I have discoursed to Your Reverence only concerning the sick and the dead, famine and pestilence, difficult roads and sufferings. That which follows will give you more consolation; and, [Page 85] you should participate in our joy.

[58] For five years past, our Missionary Fathers, being engaged elsewhere, had been unable to visit the Nation of the Oumamiois, who are below the Papinachois along our river Saint Lawrence. This made me adopt the plan of asking Monsieur de saint Denis for two Frenchmen to accompany me, he being very zealous for the glory of God and as anxious for the spiritual welfare of the Savages as he is for the interests of Messieurs the members of the Company, in whose name he is sent to this country. He willingly granted me all that I desired. I also took with me two Savages from Tadoussac, and a Shallop, with which I undertook my journey. On the fifteenth of June, which was Sunday, I set out in the morning, after saying holy Mass; and I arrived [59] in the morning at the Black River, where there were Savages who had been waiting for me for a month, in order to perform their devotions and have themselves still further instructed than they were.

On the sixteenth day of the same month, I confessed them all and administered to them communion; and toward daybreak, I witnessed the arrival of twelve Oumamiois, who were coming to get me.

The seventeenth was employed in comforting the poor abandoned ones who wander the entire year in the forests, and in instructing those that chanced to be present.

On the eighteenth, I departed with twelve Oumamiois and repaired to the River Godebout, where they had gathered to the number of a hundred and thirty persons, — not only Oumamiois, but Ouchessigiriniouek. [Page 87]

These good savages, who had [60] journeyed two hundred leagues to come and be instructed, received me as an Angel from Heaven. They are a comely people, docile, peaceful, and of a good disposition. They have a good and facile intelligence; and, besides, are very discreet, and live very innocently. Polygamy passes among them for an infamous thing; and they have an aversion for those whom they call Sorcerers, who have recourse to the Devil for the cure of the sick. Some years ago, they killed one of those who practiced that profession. They are, moreover, poor — much more so than one can imagine. They go all covered with Caribou skins, which are artistically ornamented and enriched with porcupine bristles, or with certain feathers, stained in all sorts of colors. Hunger is their great evil, and destroys them. [61] Moose come near their country, and they have some Caribous and a very few Beavers, with some fish, for their food. They do not yet use firearms, but are very skillful in shooting with the bow. When they have a string to fish with, they think themselves very rich.

Upon my arrival, the Captains regaled me as well as they could, — excusing themselves for not doing better, on the plea that they had been waiting for me twenty days already, a delay which had exhausted all their provisions. After this I sent them the means to prepare a feast, and presented them with a fishing-net, which enabled them to enjoy good cheer. I speak not of the blessings that they bestowed upon me, which indicated to me, more than aught else, the regard that they have for their eternal salvation.

[62] On the following morning we erected a Chapel, [Page 89] covering it with the sail from our Shallop; and all the Savages came and made their cabins near us. I said holy Mass, and then gave them the first instruction, after explaining to them the motive that had induced me to come so far to see them. In the Afternoon, I took the names of all those present, and separated those who asked for baptism from those to whom I had to administer Confession, Communion, and instruction; and I gave them another lesson.

On the twentieth of the same month, I baptized twenty-one little children.

On the twenty-first, I baptized eight adults. On the twenty-third and the twenty-fourth, I baptized sixteen.

All day long they were [63] at my side, to receive instruction; and even at night they did not give me any rest.

I was quite surprised at seeing one good man whom I wished to instruct for confession. “It is sixteen years,” said he to me, “since you baptized me at Tadoussac and taught me what it was necessary to believe, what I must do and what shun, and what I must ask for, in order to be saved. Since that time, I have carefully followed your instructions, and I do not know that I have forgotten anything.” He taught his children, and his wife during her lifetime, and took particular care that they should know their belief perfectly. Me ran over with me all his daily acts, and said to me, “That is what I do each day; that is what I say to God.” And they were [64] excellent prayers. It is true that I felt some confusion at hearing and seeing how this Savage man was living in Perfect innocence. He told me also that the reason why he had so much [Page 91] wished to see me was, that he might receive Communion, and hear me speak of God and of the other life.

I know not how to finish my Letter with anything more consoling. My Reverend Father, Your very humble and very obedient servant in Our Lord,

Charles Albanel.

Let us add to those precious deaths of our Christians, of which mention has been made in these two Letters, that of Iskachirini, a Montagnais; he deserves an honorable place here.

This Young man, coming to Quebec in company [65] with the French, whom he greatly loved and by whom he was likewise much beloved, was seized there with the smallpox. He immediately turned his thoughts to death and repentance, and had one of our Fathers summoned. The Father, crossing at once our great River Saint Lawrence, to go and assist him, found that he had caused his Crucifix to be put up in a certain place where he could see it; and that, holding his Rosary in his hand, he was addressing his prayers now to Jesus Christ, and now to the most blessed Virgin, in whom he had especial trust. He made his general Confession to the Father, received from his hand the holy Viaticum and Extreme Unction, and died in the exercise of virtue and in a holy colloquy which he held with God. The great care that he had, while in the woods, taken of the Missionary Fathers [66] and of the French may have won for him the grace of dying a holy death in the house of a Frenchman, who forgot nothing for his aid in his illness.

The care to have recourse to the Sacrament of [Page 93] penance is admirable in our Savages. It was marvelous in this Young warrior of whose pious death we have just written; but it seems to have been net less so in an Atikamegue woman, who, being overtaken in the woods by the same disease as this Young man, and seeing herself without a Confessor, called her elder sister who waited upon her, and said to her: “My sister, I feel a great regret at dying without Confession, yet I hope from God’s goodness that he Will pardon my faults, since I am sorry for them.” In truth, the holy Ghost breathes where he pleases, and confers his [67] grace on whomsoever he chooses.

All the Christian Savages that have died this year in the neighborhood of Quebec and of Cap de la Madelaine, have made evident how firmly the faith was rooted in their souls. The Fathers who, with incredible hardships, assisted them at death in the Forests, have returned thence infinitely consoled at having seen them end their lives in such Christian sentiments as those manifested by them. Some Catechumens who had postponed their Baptism asked for it with urgency. The death of so many Savages has keenly touched the heart of Monseigneur of Petræa, our Bishop, who serves as their protector and father. He caused the celebration of a solemn service for the repose of their souls; and as he labors with all his [68] strength in building up the Church of the French, so he forgets nothing that shall forward the conversion of the poor Savages, and thus extend the limits of the empire of Jesus Christ in a country which is so vast, and peopled by so large a number of Barbarians. [Page 95]




HIS Mission has taken the name of l’Annonciation de Nostre-Dame, and is near the town of Quebec.

It has been spoken of at considerable length in the preceding Relation. It is composed only of what remains from the ruins of the old Huron Church; and yet it embraces, in the little number of Christians [69] forming it, all the faith and all the piety of that great multitude of faithful ones who formerly rendered it so flourishing. What we are about to relate concerning it is a verification of this Eulogy that we have just pronounced upon it.



FATHER Chaumonot, who has had charge of this Mission for many years, speaks of the life and death of the above-named good Christian in these terms:

“Last Spring this virtuous man, talking with his wife about the beautiful death of two of their children, mention of which has been made in the Relations of late years, told her that he was seriously considering the means for obtaining a similar one from God; and that, being inspired to [70] appeal t0 the blessed Virgin, in order to obtain this grace by her intercession, he had resolved to make her heiress [Page 97] to what their children had left, — namely, some Beaver-skins which had been set aside to buy for them the wherewithal to cover themselves, if they had lived longer. The good woman was delighted with this proposition, and they immediately resolved, by common consent, to make a present of these to Our Lady; but the execution of this pious design was retarded until the illness of Ignace, which began, on the twentieth of February, with a very violent pleurisy. Two days afterward, although he was much reduced, he determined to make his way to the Chapel, supported by two of his nephews, in order to receive his Lord there; after which, when he had been carried back into his Cabin, I went [71] to see him with very little delay. Scarcely had I taken my seat at his side, when he said to me: ‘ My Father, I have a little present to make to the Blessed Virgin; I beg you to accept it for her. There are some beaver-skins that belonged to my children: I offer them to her with all my heart. She takes such good care of the children in Heaven, that it is just that they should thank her for it on earth with the little that they have left here.’ The poor man, seeing that I accepted it, manifested especial gratification thereat, as did his wife also; and they both thanked me, as if I had greatly obliged them.

“This little present was so acceptable to Our Lady that one cannot imagine how great was the assistance she rendered this good man, to prepare him for a pious death. During the nine days of his illness [72] he never showed any fear of death, although he well knew that he could not avoid it. When he saw the care that I took to have him bled and purged and given some refreshment, to temper the severity [Page 99] of his disease, he would say in a very low tone t. his wife: ‘ Alas! what pains this poor Father is taking, as if I were to get well! No, indeed, I shall not get well.’

“When it became known in the Village in what danger he was, there was nothing but continual visits from his friends, who showed him that they were greatly afflicted at the loss they were going to suffer in his person. But the sick man soon declared to me that this too natural compassion was scarcely pleasing to him. ‘ Father Echon,’ said he to me, ’ I pray you notify the mourners that [73] I take no pleasure in seeing those sad and dejected countenances before me. No, no, it is not for a Christian who suffers his illness in patience, and continually offers himself to the good God, that one must feel pity; but rather for those who die out of the true faith, or without receiving the Sacraments. Let them come and visit me, by all means, as much as they wish; but let it be to help me with some good prayer, and to animate me to die like a Christian. Of all those who come to see me, there are only two who give me extreme consolation by their visits; for, as soon as they enter my Cabin, after saluting me and exhorting me to bear my affliction with patience, I see them recite their Rosaries, to obtain for me from the [74] blessed Virgin a powerful protection in this last hour of my life. And they do not leave me until they have entirely accomplished their abject. It is thus that I wish those to conduct themselves who come t0 visit me henceforth.’

“On the next day, after my Mass, I failed net to make known to all those present the commission which the poor dying man had entrusted to me; after [Page 101] which those good people soon made his Cabin a place of prayer. I never went into it without finding several persons at prayer, devoutly reciting their Rosaries, and thus changing into holy exercises of devotion the tears which they at first bestowed on their friend’s affliction.

“His daughter, who was twelve years old, and his son, who was only three, [75] both kneeling before their father, when he was in the death-agony, in order to ask his blessing, received it in these few words, which formed, so to speak, the Testament of that holy man: ‘ My dear children, remember that I die a Christian; and give me the consolation, after my death, of seeing you live and die in the same Faith. ’ The daughter could not hear these words without bursting into tears, and breaking forth into pitiful lamentations. But the mother, recalling the distress that the patient had shown at seeing himself wept over in a condition wherein he deemed himself so happy, drove her out of the Cabin, saying: ‘ Go and weep away from this place. Dost thou not know that this weeping is displeasing to thy poor father? ’ At these words the Child went out immediately, [76] all bathed in tears. This spectacle touched so keenly those who were present, that they could not avoid showing that it affected them. But Ignace was no more moved by it than if he had net been her father, so great was the peace in his heart.

“I exhorted him from time to time to receive death with Perfect resignation to God’s decrees, telling him he should in no wise doubt that it would serve him as a passage to a better life. But, as he always answered me that he had no apprehension, his wife, fearing that he had some sentiment of [Page 103] presumption, said to him, ‘ Ignace, take heed lest there be some vanity in saying, “I do not fear death.” ’ TO which he replied: ‘ Put a few questions to those who have seen me in the [77] country of the Iroquois, — in the midst of the torments, and on the point of being burned over a slow fire, — and thou shalt know from them whether I have ever shown the least weakness in the face of all the cruelties that were exercised on my body. Now if I did not fear death then, — although I was not so well instructed in the future life, and had not the help of a Father and of the Sacraments of the Church, — why should I fear to die now, when I see myself so powerfully sustained, and when God has given me a firm hope of soon seeing again, as Saints in Heaven, my children who died a short time ago? ’

“He often invoked his daughter, who had died two years before with the reputation of sanctity, saying to her: ‘ Gaouendité, my daughter, remember [78] that thou didst promise me, at the time of thy death, that thou wouldst come and succor me at mine. That time is now at hand; do not forget thy poor father. ’

“He had great confidence in Saint Michael, and would often say to him: ‘ Great Saint, it is you who have safely led us to the place where we now dwell. We are on your lands; regard me as one of your subjects, and, as such, protect me from the evil Spirits.’ Although he often implored the aid of several other Saints, yet his greatest trust was in the holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph; and up to the moment of his death, he ceased net to tell his Beads to them.

“I admired above all the excellent [79] acts of [Page 105] virtue performed by this good man, when he saw himself near his end; and I cannot doubt that this was a very perceptible effect of the quite extraordinary aid rendered him by the blessed Virgin in this last hour. Now he would ask pardon for his sins, with profound humility, offering up to the divine justice the affliction he was then suffering, to offset the future punishment that was his due; and again he would unite his sufferings with those of the dying Savior, and say to him: ‘ Would it be reasonable, 0 my Jesus, that you alone should have suffered, and that a sinner like me should endure no pain? No, certainly; the criminal must suffer, since he has done wrong. ’ At other times, he would kiss the Crucifix that he held in hand, and say to it: ’ Alas! Lord, without you I would never have escaped [80] the torments of Hell; without you I never would have had any hope of Heaven. Ah, how much blood I have cost you! Ah, how much you suffered, in order to earn for me the life eternal! But, alas! how much gratitude have I felt for such signal benefits? I burn with desire to go to Heaven at once, that I may thank you for this throughout all eternity. ’

“In the extreme weakness which he suffered from his illness, as he could no longer carry the Crucifix to his lips, he held it clasped to his bosom; and, not having strength enough to make the sign of the Cross as it is ordinarily done, he made it continually on his heart. As soon as I suggested to him that there was plenary Indulgence for those who, at the point of death, invoke — either with [81] their lips, or at least in their hearts — the sacred name of Jesus, he began at once to pronounce it; and he [Page 107] did this so often that, every time he breathed, this holy Name issued from his lips. It was remarked that this was the last action his soul performed, at the moment of its leaving his body.

“As he felt himself very notably reduced, he said to his wife: ‘ Good God, how long the Father delays giving me Extreme Unction! Go, I pray thee, and tell him to make haste; for I fear I shall not have this Sacrament in time. Does he think that now, when I have confessed and received communion, I have no need of that aid for the entire remission of my crimes I Ah, how well God sees in me other sins than those that I have confessed! That is what makes me [82] ardently desire to receive this last Sacrament, in order that by its virtue the rest of my faults may be effaced. ’ While he was uttering these words, I entered his Cabin with the sacred Host and the holy Oils, to give him the Viaticum and Extreme Unction. It was then that there was seen a brightening of his countenance, and a quite extraordinary joy; and that, after receiving his Lord with an admirable piety, he himself made ready to receive the holy Unction. He also, of his own accord, uttered the prayers by which he asked pardon from God for the faults that he had committed in each part of his body to which the sacred Oil was applied.

“A very short time afterward, he fell into the death-agony, which continued for the space of two hours, during which he remained [83] constantly motionless, his hands clasped on his breast, without any violence — as gently as a lamp that goes out when the oil is exhausted. And at last he closed his eyes, of himself, as he breathed his last sighs.

“The kindness of the blessed Virgin, who had [Page 109] taken such extraordinary pains to aid him in dying so beautiful a death, carried its aid still farther. For, as soon as the news of his decease had been carried to Quebec, it inspired Monseigneur the Bishop to hold for him a solemn service in the great Parish Church. He at once ordered one of our Fathers t. commission me to have the body brought to Quebec, for burial there, after holy Mass should have been celebrated in that place for the deceased.

“On the following day, the twenty-second [84] of February, Our Lord moderated the severity of the cold, which had lasted for several days; but it was only for the exact length of time required for bringing this body to Quebec, performing the service, and burying it. Then the cold and stormy weather began anew.

“There was hardly an Inhabitant of the Huron Village, who did not accompany the body of their good Captain. Men, women, and children, all wished to render him the final respects.

“But, when they arrived at Quebec, they were surprised at seeing the solemnity with which the service was conducted. There were a great many lighted torches around the body, and all the Clergy took part in the high Mass for the dead, which was chanted with the most solemn ceremonies of the Church. But, [85] above all, the presence of Monseigneur the Bishop, and the devoutness with which he prayed for the deceased, so charmed those poor people that they knew not whether they ought rather to weep with joy at the honor rendered to one Of their compatriots, or with sadness at his death.

“After the body had been laid in the ground, his wife, who had been present during all the ceremony, [Page 111] drew me aside in order to put on me a great collar of more than four thousand beads of Porcelain, together with a Moose-skin, very well painted after their fashion, — saying to me: ‘ My Father, I have never, thank God, sought worldly goods; but I confess to you that now I would like to have some, in order to give them out to good people, that I may engage them to procure by their prayers, at the earliest moment, my husband’s entrance into Paradise, [86] This Collar is for Monseigneur the Bishop’s house and for yours, and this skin for the Ursuline and Hospital Nuns, — in order that all of you who are servants of God, both men and women, may continue to aid with your prayers the soul of the poor departed. ’

“Two days after the burial, going into her Cabin to comfort her, I was surprised to see in a savage woman so much tenderness toward her deceased husband; and an insatiable desire, so to speak, to help him in the need that he might have of the suffrages of good people. She had remaining some of the dead man’s clothes, his snowshoes, a beautiful belt, and a handsome dish. These things she presented to me with the request that I should give them to some Frenchman whom I knew to be a good man, [87] in order to oblige him, out of gratitude, to contribute his prayers to the deliverance of her dear husband, if perchance he were still in Purgatory. This good heart so deeply moved me that I had difficulty in restraining my tears; and I felt a marvelous consolation at finding amid Barbarism so great piety toward the soul of a departed husband. I have not the slightest doubt that, if she had inherited from him treasures such as great Lords leave to [Page 113] their heirs at death, she would have distributed them for the relief of his soul, not less than she did that little outfit that he had left her.

“They loved each other with Christian affection, and with such deference, the one toward the other, that she assured me that, in the twenty years they had lived together, they had never [88] had the least discontent with each other. She had remarked in him so great gentleness for every one that, although he had often been maltreated by quick-tempered persons, he had never resented it, although he was very courageous and intrepid in danger. And he would reply to those who accused him of cowardice on these occasions, that Christian generosity does not teach us to take vengeance on our enemies in any other way than by doing good to those from whom we have received injury.

“All the Hurons, and the French who knew this good Ignace, mourn him greatly because of his fine qualities, which had shone out particularly during the last three years, during which he had been Captain of his Nation. It would be difficult to explain how [89] worthily he acquitted himself of this trust, both in matters of divine worship and in those that had to do with Government. He lost no opportunity to speak on behalf of the Faith in all the assemblies that he convoked to deliberate on public affairs. And this he would especially do when there were Iroquois present, or other strangers who were still unbelievers. We have learned, through the Letters of our Fathers who are among the Iroquois, that some Ambassadors who came from their country to Quebec had, on their return, asserted that, after hearing Ignace speak on the Christian Faith, they [Page 115] had been convinced of the truth of our Religion, and could no longer entertain doubts in regard to what we told them.

“He did net, however, talk to these [90] strangers on the truths of the Gospel without discrimination, or at all times; but chose especially the night-time, when they were freed from business and visits. It was in this time of rest that that pious Captain took pleasure in passing two or three entire hours of the night in explaining our doctrines to them, without their ever growing tired of hearing him; on the contrary, the impatience they felt to know the sequel of what they had begun, made them wish for the next night, in order to hear Ignace.

“As soon as he saw a Church in his Village, built in honor of the blessed Virgin, he showed an unparalleled desire to have his Compatriots contribute to its decoration; and, in order to set them the example, he [91] began the very first to pay, with great exactness, the tithes of what he had earned. In this he was followed by all the rest of the inhabitants of the Village. It was he also who, perceiving that the French offered every Sunday a blessed loaf, with a little money, urged all the Hurons to imitate them, and to give as an offering, instead of money, porcelain, which is the currency of their country.

“When a torch is on the point of dying out, it ordinarily casts a more brilliant light; so the good Ignace, a month before he was taken with the illness of which he died, gave some altogether remarkable tokens of his piety. As he had once heard me say, in an exhortation, that one must, during his [92] health, perform as many good works as he can, — because, in time of sickness, one finds it hard even to. [Page 117] think of other things than one’s disease, — he profited by this advice to such an extent that from that hour he began to make a notable increase in his, prayers, in the Church as well as in his Cabin. ‘ To look at him,’ said his wife, ‘ it seemed as if he were doing as people do who, before undertaking a long journey, exercise an extraordinary diligence in providing themselves with a great store of provisions that are necessary for them on the way.’

“During the last nine days of his life, his Cabin was always full of people, Savages as well as Frenchmen, who came to comfort him; and all returned thence greatly edified at the patience and gentleness with which they saw him [93] endure his suffering, which was so violent that it even prevented him from breathing. Never was he heard to complain; never did he refuse either bleeding, or medicine, or any other remedies, however bitter or hard to endure they might be. Never did he show any fretfulness in his countenance; on the contrary, there was observed in him an even temper that was imperturbable.

“Some Hurons preserve, even now, so sweet a remembrance of him that they say to me from time to time: ’ Oh, may I die like Ignace! Oh, my Father, how shall I be able to die the death of that saint? ’

“A good Christian named Helene said to me today: ‘ I saw in the person of Ignace the truth of what you said some time ago, — namely, that one dies [94] as one has lived. Ignace has always lived in sentiments of exemplary piety toward God, of ardent charity in regard to his brothers, and of extraordinary goodness toward all the world; and it is in this, disposition that we saw him die. ’

“Those who profited most by his death are his [Page 119] relatives, all of whom he called to him, a little before losing his speech, to say to them: ‘ Now it is, my dear relatives, that I am conscious of having used my affections ill in loving worldly good. I see nothing worth loving, now that I am dying, except the few good deeds of my past life. Nothing gives me any consolation at present, except certain little services that I have rendered to God and to my neighbor. Undeceive [95] yourselves at my expense, my good friends; love and seek for nothing in this world except what can give you joy at your death.’ These few words made such an impression on the minds of those poor Savages, that they speak of almost nothing else than contempt for all the blessings of fortune, and esteem for only the good deeds that can sweeten for us the bitterness of death.

“The brother of the deceased came and sought me in the Church, a little after his death, in order to beg me to take the same pains in his behalf, and in behalf of his other relatives, as I had for Ignace, —  saying that they were fully resolved to imitate the latter, and to respond to my efforts to the same extent as had he of whom God had made disposition.

“His charity toward his neighbor was remarkable. When the Hurons [96] had no fields for sowing their Indian corn, having been driven out by the Iroquois From those that they had cleared on the Island of Orleans, a great many Frenchmen offered some to the good Ignace; for they loved him. He, with much civility and many thanks, willingly accepted their offers; but distributed these lands, so far as he could, to poor widows and to the families least able to procure any for themselves, — reserving some for himself only after every one had been provided for. [Page 121] Whenever he returned from the chase, he distributed almost all that he brought back among those who had need of it, and especially among the sick. If some French settlers made application to him to buy some of his corn for planting, he would never take anything for it, esteeming himself [97] too happy to have an opportunity, in this small matter, to acknowledge the affection that all the French bore him.

“Whenever any quarrel arose among those of his Nation, it is incredible with what zeal he engaged in reconciling the disputants, and checking the disorder that might arise from the strife.

“On every Feast and Sunday, his Cabin was full of Frenchmen, who, coming from a distance to attend Mass, went there to warm themselves while waiting till the service should begin. This inconvenienced him so greatly that, most often, neither he nor his wife nor his children could get near the fire, there being so many strangers around it. And yet he never showed the least coldness to these annoying guests, [98] even when he was on his death- bed, and a Frenchman — coming in to warm himself, as usual, and not knowing our patient ‘s condition- took his place before him, and, without giving any heed to the matter, shook upon him all the snow with which he was himself covered. Ignace never showed any displeasure at this.”




 YEAR ago, the smallpox terribly ravaged this colony; and the Montagnais and the Algonquins almost all died from it. Our Hurons, who [Page 123] their recovery to Our Lady of the Faith, who, having deigned to choose their little Church for the place of her abode, was [99] pleased also to take them all under her protection. I lost only four persons in all the time during which this contagion lasted.

“Of this little number was Mathieu Atarannouenta, who, from being an Esau, — as we used to call him formerly, because of his haughty bearing, — had become a Jacob during his illness, which continued six months, and caused him incredible sufferings. For about a month I saw him so completely covered with smallpox that he had no part of his body free from it. He passed another month bereft of his skin, which was taken from him by the violence of this disease, and he remained thus, all covered with blood and almost entirely naked, in the midst of intense cold. After that, he was attacked with a pleurisy; and then with an asthma, that suffocated him and made him unable to [100] breathe. Nevertheless, amid such great afflictions I was never able to detect in him any sign of impatience; and one day when there escaped from him these words, ‘ 0 my God, how long my sufferings last!’ — immediately he checked himself, saying, ‘ Pardon, my Lord; what have I just said? Do not heed it. Yes, my God, if it is not enough to suffer all next Spring also, in expiation of my sins, then prolong my pains as long as it shall please you.’

“One night, when I had gone to bed in his Cabin, in order to aid him, I heard him address the Crucifix in these terms: ‘O Jesus, my Savior, how much suffering did you take upon yourself for me, you [Page 125] who were so holy! Ought I, then, to be so sensitive to [101] suffering, — I, who am only a great sinner? ’ He uttered these words so devoutly, kissing his Crucifix the while, that he would have softened the most hardened hearts in those who might have seen him.

“I cannot omit what Marie Gandigonhra did, at the death of this Young man. She and her mother had had entire charge of this poor Christian during the whole course of his maladies, — without any hope of gain, and without any obligation other than that which charity toward our neighbor imposes upon us. And yet, simply because he had died in their Cabin, they could not bear to let his body be taken away from their home for burial, without offering for him something to secure prayers to God for the repose of his soul. That good girl [102] set aside for this deed of charity a fine red ratteen blanket, in which she was wont to attire herself on high feasts; but her mother would hardly consent to it. I gained a knowledge of this little dispute, and wished to settle it in this wise. I told the mother that I was unwilling her daughter should deprive herself of the only decent garment that she was able to have; but that she should rather give a Porcelain Collar, in order that prayers might be offered to God for the soul of the departed; and that I would give it back to them privately, — without, however, any loss as far as the deceased was concerned, for whom I would say and cause to be said the necessary Masses. The mother was delighted with this little arrangement; but, upon proposing it to her daughter, the latter spurned her indignantly. ’ How, my mother?’ said she; ‘ would we not be ashamed, on the day of judgment, [Page 127] [103] to pass for hypocrites? Could we bear the reproach, which our Judge would make us, of having tried to seem liberal and compassionate toward the poor deceased, although in reality we had given nothing for him? No, no, mother, we must not use these tricks and frauds with God. I am of opinion that we should give the Lord of our lives the dearest thing we have, in all sincerity, — in order that he may, at the earliest moment, take pity on the soul of poor Mathieu. ’ The mother allowed herself to be overcome by her daughter’s zeal, and charity gained the victory over the economy which she wished to practice on that occasion.

“As for others, this devotion for the souls in Purgatory makes such an impression on the hearts of our Hurons that they now no longer fear [104] poverty for the sufferings that it causes them, but simply because it would deprive them of the means of making presents, to honor the deaths of their relatives, and procure them Prayers and Masses. There are even some who would let themselves die from hunger, sooner than pawn or sell certain articles that they have set aside for the assistance of relatives who shall die before them. When they return from the chase, I have often noticed that, of the skins that they bring back, they use a good part in buying Porcelain, which they keep in reserve, in order to apply it to these good works.

“Some persons of piety have remarked that there are scarcely any towns, among Christians, where there is not [105] some Church or Chapel in which the Son of God takes pleasure in honoring his holy Mother by an infinite number of favors that he there grants to those who come thither to implore this [Page 129] great Queen’s aid. That is now being experienced at Quebec.

“Last year there was sent to our Reverend Father superior a statue of the most blessed Virgin, made from the oak in which, many years before, was found a miraculous Image of Our Lady of the Faith, near the town of Dinan, in the district of Liege, As those who sent this statue had manifested their desire that it should be placed in some Chapel where the Savages ordinarily perform their exercises of piety, — in order that they might there honor the Mother of God, and [106] ask from her the grace needful for the conversion of all those peoples of New France, —  the Reverend Father superior doubted not that Divine Providence had procured him this precious gift for a little Church that had just been completed in a Village of the Hurons, a league and a half distant from Quebec, which Monseigneur our Bishop had desired that we should dedicate to Our Lady, under title of the Annunciation.

“This Image of the blessed Virgin was solemnly unveiled on the day of the Nativity of the most blessed Virgin, — when the first Mass was said in that Chapel, and all the Savages who were there offered her, at the same time, both that little Church which they had built for her, and their hearts as a living temple to her Son Jesus Christ.

[107] “That Mother of mercy made us see clearly that she had accepted the offering of those good people, and had approved the desire they manifested to see her honored in that place. And certainly one would hardly believe how that Chapel has been frequented since then. On Sundays and Feasts there come hither from all parts so many Pilgrims, even [Page 131] from the French settlements that are farthest distant, that often they cannot all find entrance. Some observe there entire novenas; and others, who cannot leave their domestic affairs for so long a time, substitute in their places good Huron Christians, to pay to the blessed Virgin, during nine days, the respects which they themselves would like to render her.

“This devotion toward the Virgin [108] does not end merely in reciting some prayers in her honor; it goes even to actual deeds. There is hardly one of the Inhabitants of that region, however poor he may be, who has not exerted himself to present something to her.

“The Mother of mercy has too much kindness not to acknowledge the fervor of those good people, by favors that are quite extraordinary. As the account of her graces, and of the devotion of those good people, would be too long to give, we Will reserve it for some other occasion.” End of the first part. [Page 133]


End of the first part.

Of the Mission of the Martyrs

in the Country of Agnié,

or of the Lower


[Page 135]

[111] CHAPTER V.





FATHER Jean Pierron, who has charge of this Mission, has himself written what follows: “One of the most important things I have to Write is the attack on Gandaouagué, which is one of our best Villages, and situated nearest to the enemy’s country. On the eighteenth of August, 1669, three hundred of the Nation of the Loups — who live along the Sea, toward Baston, in new England — presented themselves at daybreak before the Palisade, and began to make so furious a discharge [112] of musketry that the balls, piercing both the stockade and the cabins, soon awakened men, women, and children, almost all of whom were, at the time, sound asleep. The men at once took gun and hatchet in hand; and, while they defended the palisade, the women began, some to make bullets, and others to arm themselves with knives and defensive weapons, in view of an irruption.

“Four Iroquois were killed at the outset, in the heat of the combat; and two were wounded, one of whom died a very short time afterward. The neighboring Village, alarmed, took flight in all directions, and carried to Tionnontoguen, distant four leagues from those first two Forts, the news that the [Page 137] whole country was lost, that Gandaouagué was besieged by an army of Loups, that all the Young men had already fallen, and that perhaps Gandagaro, which is the neighboring Fort, was at present in desperate straits.

“When this news had spread through all the district, at eight o’clock in the morning our Warriors, without becoming disconcerted, dressed themselves [113] promptly in all the most precious things they had, according to the custom observed by them on these occasions; and’ all, without any other chief to command them than their own courage, advanced on the enemy with force.

“I was among the first to march, in order to see whether, amid all the carnage that was going on at the palisade of the Village, where so many infidel souls were being lost, I could not save some one of them.

“At our arrival, we heard only mournful outcries over the death of the bravest of this Village. The enemy had already retreated, after about two hours of very obstinate fighting on both sides. There was only a single warrior of the Nation of the Loups left on the place, and I saw that a Barbarian, having tut off his hands and feet, skinned him and separated the flesh from the bones, in order to make from it a detestable repast.

“All our warriors, arriving and finding the enemy no longer there, promptly had cornmeal prepared, that they might pursue him in his retreat. The provisions being ready, they immediately embarked in [114] Canoes on our river, which is very swift; and, as they followed the current of the stream, ‘they made very good progress. But, night overtaking them on their march, they had some of their people [Page 139] without any noise, the place where he lay encamped. When these scouts had reached this spot, they wished, in order better to observe its situation, to approach very close to it; but they could not do this so quietly that one of the Loups, who were posted tolerably near them, did not hear a noise, and cry out, according to their custom, Koué, Koué — (the Savage equivalent of ‘ Who goes there? ‘). However, as there was no answer, and as he could discover nothing, he did not think best to give the alarm.

“When the spies had returned, and had made their report on the situation of the enemy, it was resolved not to attack him in his redout, where he seemed too strongly intrenched; but to lay an ambuscade for him, on the route that it was thought he must take.

[115] “To execute this plan, the Iroquois made a wide detour, and went to lay their ambuscade in a place that was precipitous — a very advantageous spot, from which all the road leading toward the Dutch was commanded. In the morning, the Loups broke camp; and, as they were marching in single file, according to the custom of the Savages, twelve of their number became involved unawares in the ambuscade. A shower of balls, with which they saw themselves all at once received, immediately put to flight those whom chance had spared. Frightful yells at once arose on all sides in the forest, and the Loups, having rallied on the same spot where they had encamped, were hotly pursued thither by the Iroquois, — who, upon overtaking them there, made a furious assault upon them. At first the Loups made a vigorous resistance; but, the cowardice of some of their number forcing them to yield to the [Page 141] fury of the Iroquois, ten from out the entire band intrenched themselves in the earth, in order to defend themselves to the last. This new intrenchment caused our Agniés terrible vexation; but, as they are a tireless and valiant people, they lost neither [116] courage nor the hope of dislodging them. And, in order to do it with less danger, they made use of an old tree that they found there, which they carried before them, to shield themselves, — which they could do, going up only one by one to the place where the enemy had fortified himself. Nevertheless, that manœuver was of no use to them, — for, in spite of this device, the Loups ceased not to keep up an active fire on them from all sides, and to kill and wound a great many of our people; and the combat I would assuredly have been much more disastrous to them, had not night overtaken them, and put an end to it. Our Savages had, in the beginning, taken four women of the enemy, out of twenty-four who had come on this expedition; and afterward six men, in the heat of the combat.

“On the following morning, when they returned to the charge, they found that the enemy had taken flight in the night and had left them masters of the battlefield. The victors, following the custom of the Savages, cut off the heads of those of the Loups who had been left on the place, in order to remove the scalps from them; [117] and then they took care to bury those of their own people that had died in the battle.

“It was said that there were nearly a hundred Warriors, on the side of the enemy, that perished — by being either slain in the engagement, or drowned in the flight. Yet I found it difficult to believe that [Page 143] their number was so great, because the Iroquois brought back only nineteen scalps from that defeat.

“A short time ago, I learned, from some Loups who had been in this combat, that they had lest &y fifty men; and the Iroquois nearly forty, counting those that the Loups killed, — on their march before the siege of the Iroquois Village, in the siege, and in the fight that occurred some days later. Nevertheless the Iroquois hold that they lost only thirteen on the battlefield.

“While these things were taking place, I was at Gandaouagué, whence I was preparing to make my customary visit to the neighboring Village — sot having thought it best to follow our Savages, in the uncertainty [118] of a dangerous issue. But as soon as I learned of the victory, — it was about three o’clock in the afternoon, — I set out alone to go to find our Warriors, to see if I could not induce some of them to acknowledge him from whom they obtained the fortunate success of their arms. I made such haste that I arrived, even before night, at the place where the fight had occurred, which was nearly eight leagues distant from our Village. I testified to them the interest I took in their victory, for which they showed themselves greatly obliged to me; and each one of them was eager to tell me all the particulars of a day that had been so glorious for them. But as my principal purpose was t0 visit the wounded, to try to render them capable of receiving the truths of our Faith, through the hope I should give them of an eternal and blessed life, I saw every one of them. After this, I had permission to speak to the captives, and I tried to instruct them on that very spot, for fear I would net be able to do [Page 145] it so conveniently in our Villages, because of the [119] ill treatment being prepared for them by the animosity of each and all.

“I found two of them that heard me willingly enough; but God so favored me on the following day that, having spoken to them very fully about our mysteries, I observed that they took pleasure therein, and that they were not far removed from the Kingdom of God.

“We set out two days after the battle, in company with a great number, both of those that had been in the fight and of persons who had come to see them. The victors carried the scalps, finely painted, on the ends of poles made to bear these trophies. The Slaves, divided into several bands, sang as they marched; and, as I perceived that one of the captive women had a sick Child, which she carried at her breast, I thought I would do well to baptize it, seeing it in danger of dying. Therefore approaching it, at a time when we were crossing a brook, I baptized it. This poor Child seemed only to have been waiting for that grace, to depart this life; [120] for it died soon afterward, to live eternally in Heaven.

“You can judge whether I did not esteem myself well rewarded for the fatigues of my journey, in having been so fortunate as to snatch from the Demon a prey that he was hoping to carry off. But the Baptism which all the captives asked me for, a few. days later, was to me a crowning consolation and joy, exceeding all that can be imagined concerning it.

“Accordingly, after I had allowed a little abatement to the fire and wrath of the hatred of the Iroquois toward these wretched persons, seeing that they had been left alone on the scaffold where they [Page 147] had just been tormented, — and where they were still surrounded with all their countrymen’s scalps, which were serving as trophies to the glory of the: victors, — I approached them; and, making them. descend from the scaffold, led them into a neighboring Cabin, in order to prepare them there for a Christian death. While I was earnestly talking to them about their salvation, I heard some of the Iroquois saying to one another, [121] ‘ Seest thou how he loves our enemies?’ and others adding that I ought to let people who had done them so many injuries hum in hell also. But there were some among them who acknowledged that I was doing well to instruct them; and that man in his vengeance ought not to carry his resentment beyond the limits of his enemy’s life.

“Thereupon I embraced the opportunity to say to our Agniés that I loved their enemies — but with the same love wherewith Jesus Christ loves us all — because, as they had souls that were immortal, and so capable of being happy in Heaven, it was part of a Christian’s duty to procure the same happiness for them all; that, besides, we were to form in Paradise only one beautiful family of true friends, because there is only one God — who, loving us all with the same love, unites in himself all our hearts; and for that reason I was under obligation to love their enemies. But, I added, as for them, besides that common obligation that bound me to love all men in that wise, I had also a very special love for them, because [122] Jesus Christ, who is the Master of our lives, had sent me into their country to show them the way to Heaven, and net into the country of the Loups, their enemies. I said in conclusion that it was just that I should love them more than the [Page 149] Loups, since I was being maintained by them; since they were acquainted with me, and suffered me to live in peace in their midst; and since I did not know whether the Loups felt the same kindness toward me.

“I prolonged this little discourse with all the emphasis I was able, and dwelt particularly on the description of Hell, the frightful torments of which I depicted to them in lively colors, in order to inspire in them some compassion for those wretched victims. whom they were about to put to death with torture. My words, aided by grace, made such an impression on these Barbarians that they all told me that I was. doing well to instruct the prisoners.

“I accordingly began by giving them very full instruction in all that I deemed necessary to render them capable of receiving the Christian Faith; and they heard me in admirable silence. It [123] is true, I received an altogether extraordinary help from God, who furnished me then with fitting words and powerful arguments, — which made good the deficiencies caused by the Shame that the interpreter whom I used felt at teaching in public what she had not yet well learned herself.

“As soon as the instruction was ended, I saw one of the captive women begin, of her own accord, to address a long prayer to Jesus Christ, for the purpose of asking from him her salvation. Then one of the bravest and greatest warriors of that. Nation, who had, with his own hand, killed several Iroquois in the fight, also offered his prayer to God in public. I made a happy use of the new-born fervor of these Neophytes; and after I had induced them all to follow the example of those first ones, and had by means of the ceremonies that I made them perform, [Page 151] prepared them all for holy Baptism, I baptized them.

“After such a consolation, which was capable of alleviating all the pains and fatigues of my occupation, the good God gave me another, which crowned me with [124] joy. I learned that another band of warriors had just arrived at a Village tolerably near the place where I was, and that they had a captive, a woman. I betook myself thither immediately, to see whether I could not win over this soul to God. It happened by the greatest good fortune in the world that, in the midst of the cruelties that were being inflicted on her, I had abundant leisure to instruct her fully in our Mysteries, because she listened to me with so much pleasure and joy that I seemed to see on her countenance sure signs of Predestination; and as she longed only for Paradise, her Baptism undoubtedly opened to her the way thither, her death occurring immediately after she had received it. How admirable is God’s Providence toward his Predestined ones! Who would have believed that that woman was destined to find her salvation in her captivity; and, in the midst of the fires of the Iroquois, .an eternal glory that she never could have obtained, had she always remained in her own country?

“During all these engrossing occupations, there came to me from Onnontagué a Letter, in which our Fathers besought me to [125] repair thither as soon as possible. This news obliged me to retrace my steps promptly to Agnié, and to visit all the wounded in the six Villages belonging to my Mission. One must needs confess that God well knows how to alleviate the bitterness and toil of the Missionaries, when he so chooses. In ten days I had accomplished more than a hundred leagues, that I might try, amid these [Page 153] forests and frightful solitudes, to meet some souls whom I might be able to win over to God; and — as if his goodness had chosen to reward me for what little suffering I had undergone, by giving me what I was most ardently desiring — besides the Loups and that captive woman whom I had the good fortune to baptize, I conferred the same Sacrament on twenty-four more persons, three days before setting out for Onnontagué. Among these last, I found children who were only waiting for that happy moment to go to Heaven, and who almost all died after being prepared therefor by Baptism.

“These wars weaken the Agnieronnon terribly; and even his victories, [126] which always cost him bloodshed, contribute not a little to exhaust him. On the contrary, I learn that our French Colonies are becoming stronger every day, by reason of the great number of families that are settling there, and the aid sent over every year from France. So, from the knowledge I have of the two countries, I can say with truth that that old and redoubtable enemy is no longer so greatly to be feared by our French people as he was; that, on the contrary, he now fears our Arms, and has only respect for those whom he despised before — which is a marvelous advantage for his conversion.”



“THE victory of our Agniés over the Loups was more glorious than profitable, because they are very few in numbers, compared with their enemies, who can bring against them fifty [127] men to their one. Yet it did not fail to inspire them with [Page 155] courage; and — without considering that even their victories weaken them, and that they lose much more in a single one of their warriors than their enemies do in fifty of theirs — they came to the resolution to avenge themselves for the affront which they thought they had received from the Loups. The four Lower Nations having joined forces, as being interested in this common cause, a troop of four hundred warriors b was made up; and the plan was formed to attack one of the Forts of the enemy situated near Mannate, and to seize it rather by some stratagem than by open force. Their plan was concerted in this wise: a band of eight or nine Young warriors was to go and make some murderous assault near the Palisade or Fort, in order that, at the noise of this massacre, the enemy might make a sortie from the place and be drawn into the ambuscade, and the other side be enabled to make themselves masters of the Fort without difficulty, when it should be stripped of its garrison.

“Accordingly, arriving in sight of the Fort, they laid the ambuscade, and sent [128] men to make the first approaches to the Palisade; but as they saw no one come out, and as every one kept himself intrenched in the Fort, they resolved to proceed to open war and to attack the place in the same manner that the Loups had attacked Gandaouagué. But, in truth, it was with much less success; for meeting with a Palisade impervious to all their blows, they despaired of being able to force it, and were at length obliged to retire in much confusion, without having killed or wounded a single one of the enemy, while two of their own number had been wounded.

“At the time when these four hundred men were coming back without having succeeded in their [Page 157] undertaking, a little band composed of only rive warriors arrived from another direction, all boastful at having brought back a scalp and led home a prisoner.

“I was net, at that time, at Gandaouagué, to prepare him for Baptism; but one of our Christian women, named Marie Tsinouentes, — who had already sometimes performed the office of Catechist, with much [129] success, — repairing to the place where this prisoner was, was greatly surprised to see that he was offering his prayer to God, according to what he had learned among Christian Savages, who were instructed by those of our Fathers who have charge of the Algonquin Missions. She drew near him and instructed him in our mysteries; and that poor man, quite filled with consolation, thanked this generous Christian for showing him such charity in a hostile country, where he had thought that he could find nothing else than a cruel death. In fact, he was put to death some days afterward; but he died as one predestined, having been baptized a little while before. These are the first-fruits, so to speak, of that numerous Nation of the Loups, where I hope God Will some day give entrance to the faith; and I also hope that some children of that country, who have gone to Heaven by means of a happy Baptism, Will there secure for their relatives the blessings of Heaven and the light of the Faith.”



S I was one day visiting the Villages that are within the province of my Mission, — a thing which I do every week, unless the bad weather makes it impossible for me, — I was strangely surprised at [Page 159] seeing, in the middle of the open space in one of these villages, a large Cross that had just been erected there. I immediately knelt before this Cross, net only to adore my Savior who had just taken possession of this country, but to inspire in the Inhabitants veneration for the Cross; after which I asked who was the man whose piety had led him to erect it. They answered me that the thing had been done through the agreement of all the Inhabitants, and that it had been deemed of great importance for the public good.

“A devotion so new among those tribes, and at the same time so generally received, overwhelmed me with joy, and prompted me to inquire into the motive [131] which they had entertained in its establishment. I was told that he whom they all recognized as the prophet of the country had learned, in a dream, that a Cross must be planted in the middle of the Village, because it would protect them and defend them against their enemies, who would never be able to conquer them as long as it stood there; and that this Cross was the master of life. You can imagine how much this speech surprised me, and to what length my delight went at seeing that the very enemy of the Faith was the first to establish it. I thereupon took occasion to instruct them in the mystery of the Cross, and to confirm before them what their prophet had clearly told them, — that it was adorable, and truly the source of life.

“I knew net at that time what to think of so extraordinary a dream, — to which our Savages, regarding it, according to their custom, as a Divinity, had rendered such prompt and faithful obedience, — unless that, although it was the Demon himself who [Page 161] had given this sage counsel to the false prophet of that Village, I had some reason to hope for a good [132] result therefrom; because I saw that the Kingdom of Satan was about to be destroyed even by himself. Indeed, if the Cross if worshiped as the stay and support of the country, it is beyond doubt that Christianity Will soon reign there; but if the prophecy prove false, I shall have ground for destroying the false God of the country by discrediting dreams, in order to establish there the Faith of the true God of all the earth.

“I praise his infinite goodness for the opening he gives us for entering so easily into the hearts of all our Savages; and for the facility which we enjoy from him, in inspiring in them the words of life and of salvation. I have found only two persons, in all our Villages, who were unwilling to listen to me on these important matters, and one of them has died a reprobate. In eight months, I have baptized fifty- three persons, of whom the greater part were children who died immediately after receiving Baptism; for, as we justly distrust their natural inconstancy, I have baptized few who were not in danger of dying. The great harvest that is beginning to ripen Will furnish us, [133] as I hope, a field for labor during the next two years. I invite souls generous and full of zeal to a harvest so abundant.”




OD has often guided me quite opportunely for the salvation of some persons in whom there was left only so much life as was necessary to prepare them for Baptism. [Page 163]

“On the second of November, 1669, thinking it best to go to visit my Savages who were fishing, ten leagues away from the Village where I dwell, I was greatly surprised, on arriving at the place where I had seen them in the preceding Summer, not to find any one there. But as I was turning back to go and pass the night under some pieces of bark that I had noticed in passing, I was inspired to follow a little path upon which I chanced at one side, — conceiving a strong expectation [134] that I should infallibly find what I had come so far to seek. Merely the steps of some person, which I perceived freshly imprinted in the snow, induced me to abandon myself to this unknown route. I accordingly penetrated all alone into those vast Forests, but not without some strong anxiety, for night was not far distant. At length, after a journey of two long leagues, I safely arrived, at Sunset, at the place where the Savages had erected their Cabins. If all those poor Savages were delighted to see me, I assure you I was still much more so at having found them. But all the kind reception that they gave me, regaling me with some little fishes, did not afford so great alleviation to the fatigues of my journey as the Baptism that I gave a little child, — who immediately afterward left the earth, to go to Heaven, — and the fortunate repentance of a dying man who had, for a long time, lived the licentious life that is common with these peoples. I thought myself sufficiently rewarded for my pains, in having contributed to the [135] salvation of those two souls, — who, without doubt, would have been lost for all eternity, had not God’s providence conducted me in a marvelous manner to the place where they were. [Page 165]

“A warrior who was being carried home dangerously ill, on passing the village where I was, slept there one night only. When I was informed of this, I repaired immediately to the Cabin where he was, His illness seemed to me beyond remedy. I spoke to him earnestly about his salvation, and was so fortunate as to be listened to with pleasure. Causing him to offer up prayers to God, I prepared him to obtain from him the grace of Baptism and of a good death; then leaving him, to attend to an urgent matter, — and purposing to return in a moment, in order to finish his instruction and baptize him, — I came back very soon, and, finding him no longer there, was seized with a horrible fright, in the fear lest he had died without Baptism, through fault of mine. But I learned that he had been conveyed to another Village, distant about two leagues and a half from that in which he had passed the night, I repaired thither in haste, and, by [136] the greatest good luck in the world, found him still alive. ‘ My nephew,’ one of his uncles, who was a friend of mine, said to him, ’ here is the man who bears the word of God; he has come to seek thee, knowing the danger thou art in; and, as he wishes to procure thee an eternal happiness, listen well to what he Will tell thee, and fail not to put it in practice.’ He declared that he would willingly listen to me; and I accordingly spoke to him of God, and the great hopes given US by the Christian Faith. I made him pray with me, and then baptized him with incredible joy. This was the eve of his death and of his eternal happiness.

“I met another man, while paying my ordinary visits, whom poverty had rendered as pale and emaciated as a corpse. I saluted him, and encouraged [Page 167] him to suffer his affliction with patience, having at that time no leisure to enter into discourse with him, On the next morning, I went to see him, in order to speak to him concerning his salvation — wherein he took so much pleasure that he begged me not to leave him in so important a matter. A few days later, finding himself sufficiently instructed, and deeply moved, he sent one of [137] his relatives to me, to beg me to come and baptize him. When I saw him so resolved to do all that I had told him, and, above all, never to employ those who invoke the Demons in their remedies, I baptized him, although the danger of his disease did not yet appear so evident; but I did so, that he might profit by the little time there was left to him to live. In truth, the more his disease increased, the more he thought about the other life and the less difficulty he had in leaving this. If I did not go to visit him three times a day, he would send for me. ‘ Come, my brother,’ he would say, ‘ let us pray to God; ’ and he had the exercise of prayer so much at heart that, if I gave him some little sweets that I was accustomed to give to the sick, he was unwilling to take any until he had first rendered this little homage to Our Lord. I give here his good sentiments and his customary prayers, which he was wont to offer during his illness. ‘JESUS,' he would say, ‘thou who art the Master of my life, I thank thee for having taken pity on me. I know now that thou didst love me; for, had I died in the war, where I have so often been, I would be burning at this moment [138] in the fires of hell, which are never extinguished. Thou hast had the goodness to prolong my life for some time, and to send me one of those who bear thy word and go all [Page 169] over the world to preach the Faith, in order that he might instruct and baptize me; after which thou wilt make me leave the earth, to conduct me to Heaven, where I am to be eternally happy. I thank thee, Jesus, for having remembered me; I will also remember thee as long as I live. With all my heart I offer thee my sufferings: thou didst suffer for me because thou lovedst us, and I, on my part, suffer for thee because I have sinned. Have pity on me, then; forget my sins, and suffer them not to drag me down to hell.’

“These prayers inspired me with devotion, and obliged me to go to see him as often as he wished, before he should die.

“He summoned the few relatives he had, and said to them: ‘ I wish it to be known that I am a Christian. Therefore let the voice of this Father be heard, who has baptized me, and who opens for me the road to Heaven, where there is eternal happiness. [139] Do all that he shall order for my burial; for I wish to be buried like the Christians. And if you love me, you will all do as I have done, and will all die Christians.’

“He then had the most fervent of our Christian women come to him, in order that she might publish what he had just said; and he gave her the few personal effects he had, for fear lest they might be buried with him, according to the custom of the country. He then asked to be carried into our Chapel, in order to die and be buried there. For his consolation, I kept him in this hope as long as he lived, but could grant him only a part of what he asked; he was buried there. This petition he often repeated to me at each visit, — saying that, since he. [Page 171] was wholly God’s, he could not die better than in the house of God.

“I watched with him until two hours after mid. night. He gave up his soul to God on the 27th of January, at the age of thirty-eight years, having lived only a month after his baptism, all of which time he passed with as much piety as could have been shown by a very fervent [140] Religious in preparation for death. He also showed an admirable patience, in very violent pains suffered by him during his illness. He was called Tegannahkouahsen; I had given him the name of Jean at baptism.

“I had him carried into our Chapel after his death; and, after remaining exposed there for some time, our Christians bore him to the grave with all the solemnity that was possible for us. A Banner was borne, as emblem of the baptismal innocence that he had carried to Heaven. I lighted all the Candles I had, to make for him, a sort of Chapelle ardente. The crowd of people there was so great that our Chapel could not hold them all. I found that it was a favorable opportunity to preach, even to the Infidels who were present in great numbers. ‘ My Brothers,’ I said to them, ‘ you weep, and you are overcome with grief at the death of your relatives; but as for us Christians, we sing and rejoice, just as you see us doing now, when any of our people die. [141] The blessed souls that are in Heaven, have already received with joy that of this man, whose body you see there. It is crowned with a joy that will never cease. These Candles which you see lighted are as stars of Heaven, where he is now crowned with glory; and this fine stuff with which I have covered him, is only a feeble representation [Page 173] of the admirable and shining robe with which God has clothed him. Moreover, we have come hither and have left our relatives, our property, and the comfort of our native land, only to procure for you all the same happiness, — which I promise you in God’s name, and which Will infallibly be yours if you listen to his word and obey his law with faithfulness. ’

“After this little discourse, the funeral Procession set forth; and we followed it, singing Psalms, to the place where the body was to be interred.

“A few days afterward, a little Child, one of his near relatives, was baptized, and went to join him in Heaven.

[142] “God made use of this blessed death to touch the man’s mother — so powerfully, that she came publicly to urge me to associate her with the company of our Christians. But, although she had been well instructed, I nevertheless wished to defer her baptism still longer, as it was my opinion that I could not use too much precaution in granting this favor, — which is the more esteemed, the more it costs to obtain it.

“In the same Cabin six persons, adults as well as children, died very soon afterward, having all received holy Baptism. Happy Cabin: to have been the abode of so many predestined ones! You deserve to be a hundred times more prized than all the Palaces of the Great.

“I will finish with the account of a death that was not less precious before God. It is true, it was the cause of much grief to me, because I lost the firmest support of this new-born Church. It was the death of an old Christian woman, who had always preserved [Page 175] a rare innocence in the midst of the licentiousness and impiety of [143] the people of her country. Her greatest vice was that she sometimes became angry with those who spoke ill of our Faith. Her zeal was so great for its extension that she used to preach wherever she found auditors; but she was more worthy of admiration when she discharged this function in the Chapel, and explained the pictures there that were shown for this purpose. She sometimes came to find me, with nine or ten Young girls that she had won over to the Faith. ‘ Here, my brother,’ she would say to me, ‘ here are some fine children whom I bring to thee; teach them well the principles of Christianity, and finish what I have begun.’ She commonly began and ended her talks by representing, with great earnestness, to her hearers that there was nothing in the world of greater importance than the Faith and the service of God. So when she was sick unto death, this was almost the only sentiment that she impressed on her two daughters, — doing it with so much zeal and unction that her words penetrated their hearts; and filled them with such tender consolation that, coming upon them [144] sometimes when they were engaged in this holy intercourse, I used to find mother and daughters all bathed in tears.

“Although she was so seriously indisposed that she could hardly leave her cabin, yet she never failed to come, morning and evening, to pay her little respects to Our Lord in the Chapel, however intense the pain that she felt, and however bad the weather might be; and she commonly remained there half an hour each time.

“Since she had conceived the hope of an immortal life, she felt no longer any attachment for this one, [Page 177] although it is natural for the Savages to base their happiness on its preservation. ‘ God is the Master of our lives, ’ she would say; ‘ I am always ready to give back to him, when he pleases, that which he has given me.’

“The love of purity which the Faith caused to spring up in her soul was so admirable that, at the least word that she heard which could wound this virtue, she would say to the more licentious ones: ‘ Do you not know that I am a Christian, and that the Faith [145] is a thousand times more precious to me than life? ’

“She had rendered Our Lord’s presence so familiar to her that she continued to talk with him up to the moment of rendering up her soul. She died after receiving all the Sacraments that are administered in case of extremity, leaving with us at the same time regret at her loss, and consolation at the happiness which I believe she is enjoying in Heaven.”







T is beyond belief how much the neighborhood of the Dutch injures the Faith, — both on account of the brandy that they sell to our Savages, which is to the latter an unending source of debauchery, and because they try to give them bad impressions of our Religion. It [146] is true that for some time the Dutch have been more guarded in this matter, because they have often found by experience that the firmness and ability even of our Christians took [Page 179] from their opponents all hope of being able to shake them. I will relate some examples of this, which will show at the same time the impiety of those Heretics and the piety of our Christians.

“One day when those enemies of the Faith perceived that a good woman wore, wherever she vent, an image of the blessed Virgin, that she might never lose sight of her in whom, next to Jesus Christ, she reposed all her hope, they did everything imaginable to make her discontinue this holy practice. And when they saw, at the same time, that it was the pious custom of our Christian women to wear a Rosary at the neck, in order to make a public profession of their Religion, they tried, by words that were guileful and colored with a false appearance of piety, to turn them from this practice. ‘ Is it not worshipping idols,’ they asked them, ‘ to render to a created being the honor that is due to God alone? [147] And are you not unfortunate in having fallen into the hands of people who, instead of reclaiming you from idolatry, engage you in it anew? In what passage of Scripture did they see that God orders us to pray to him over some little pieces of wood, such as you wear upon you? These things are works of the human mind, and not laws of the Lord.’

“One of our Christian women who was present could not suffer such an impious discourse; a righteous indignation made her immediately take the Word, on behalf of all the rest, and prompted her to answer the Heretics in these terms: ‘ You certainly show either that you have very little sense, or that you believe us to be very little enlightened in our faith. Do you imagine that we honor the blessed Virgin as the Mistress of our lives? You are deceived. [Page 181] We know too well the worship that we owe to God, to bestow it on a creature. We are not ignorant that it is he alone who has made all things; and that therefore it is he alone whom we ought to honor as [148] our sovereign Lord. But as he was willing to make himself man for our salvation, and as he chose Mary to be his Mother, is it not reasonable that we should honor her in that capacity? If Jesus Christ her Son, has himself honored her, if the Angels and the Saints pay her their respects in Heaven, why shall not we render her our homage on earth? As for the rest of your reproaches, this Rosary that we wear aids us in paying to her every day a fixed number of our acts of devotion. Her image, which we have so often before our eyes, recalls her herself to our minds, and renews in our hearts the love, the confidence, and the respect that we ought to have for our Savior’s Mother.’

“It is thus that the zeal of that good Christian woman triumphed over the malice of those Heretics, who dared not expose themselves a second time to the confusion which they had just experienced.

“The same thing happened to some other Dutchmen who endeavored to discredit, in the minds of our good Savage women, the custom that they had of [149] wearing a Crucifix at the neck. ‘ You are very simple-minded,’ they said to them, ‘ to believe it necessary to pay honor to wood and brass, as if they were the masters of our lives.’ To this one of the most zealous of our Christian women made answer as follows: ‘ When we pray, prostrated before this Cross, we do not address ourselves to this piece of wood or copper, as to him who has made us what we are; for we know too well that God, who is the [Page 183] author of our lives, is a pure spirit who cannot be seen with the eyes of the body, and whom we shall not see as he is except in Heaven. We are not ignorant that wood and copper are far inferior to ourselves, and that they have no power; but we wear this Crucifix because, at sight of it, we are reminded that Jesus Christ was fastened to a Cross, and that he died there, to give us life and earn Paradise for us. That is why we love and adore him on this Cross, as we adore him in Heaven. ’

“An answer so wise and full of piety touched some of those Heretics, [150] and closed the mouths of the others; and they were all constrained, by the force of truth, to tell the women that they were right to act thus, and that they were very well instructed.

“Our Christian women, however, did not content themselves with having thus vanquished the enemies of our Faith; but, in order to prevent them from uttering such words to them a second time, the most fervent among them, named Marie, took them boldly in hand, and said to them, with an energy worthy of her zeal: ‘You urge us not to listen to the voice of those that bear the word of God. Is it you that we shall listen to — you, I say, who have never taught us anything but wrong-doing? You, who seek only our Beavers, and not the salvation of our souls? You, who even drive us away from the place of your prayers, when we wish to enter there, as if we would profane it? You, in fine, whom interest alone attracts to this country, and not zeal for the Faith? The Fathers who instruct us, having come to our country only to teach us the truth and the way to Heaven, have left [151] their country and their friends only to work for the salvation of our souls; [Page 185] that is what they seek solely, never speaking to us of Beaver or Porcelain, or anything that we value most highly, except to persuade us to despise these things and to value Heaven alone. It is with this view that they tell us so often that all the good things of this life are of little stability, and that we shall be forced to give them up at death; and that we must desire solely an eternal life and the blessings of Paradise, which we shall never lose. They even treat us with respect, and are never more pleased than when we go to Chapel to receive instruction. Therefore, as they give us the good things of Heaven, without asking us for those of earth, it is clear that we are bound to give our entire trust to them, rather than to you. We are all resolved to obey them, and to believe all that they shall tell us; because they Will tell us nothing that is not for the salvation of our souls, and because we wish to be blessed with them in Heaven. As for you people, you will all be damned; for I know that [152] you are worthless, and that you try only to corrupt us. Know then that, after your death, Hell will be your lot, as it is the eternal abode of the wicked men whom you imitate.’

“The Heretics, surprised at that woman’s firmness, contented themselves with telling her that, if they committed faults, they were wont to ask pardon of God. ‘ Yes, but you do not practice confession,’ added this Christian woman; ‘ and that is, after all, the only remedy that wipes out sins. ’

“During this debate, as the Bell had rung for Divine worship, the woman went to it with the Heretics whom she had just worsted; and taking her place in the midst of the assembly, she knelt down [Page 187] at once, in sight of all the people, and began to recite her Rosary, which she continued with great devotion all the time while the Minister preached. After this, as she saw some one going through the Temple collecting the people’s alms, she contributed thereto like the others.

“A demeanor thus holy and noble-minded so charmed the Dutch that [153] some begged her to teach them her way of praying to God; and others besought her earnestly to sell them the little statue of Our Lady that she had, which the Mother Superior of the Ursulines of Quebec had sent her; but she always protested that she would never part with it, except with her life. When she was urged to tell how she honored the Blessed Virgin, she answered: ‘ This is what I say to her: “Mary, thou who art a Virgin, thou hast Jesus Christ as a Son; therefore exhort him to grant us what we ask of him.” Observe,’ added she, ‘ that by this I do not say that she is God, but only ask her to pray to God for us, in order that he may grant us the grace of a good death. Now God will not refuse her anything, because she is his Mother, and a Mother whom alone he loves more than all the people taken together. And so Mary addresses her Son Jesus Christ, and says to him: “My Son, I wish to do a kindness to those who are imploring my aid; that is why I pray you to grant me what I ask you for in their behalf.” Then the Son says: “My Mother, [154] dispose of my favors for the benefit of whomsoever you shall desire; all is yours.” ’

“When she had said these things to those Heretics, a Dutch woman, who had listened to her, led her into her house and said to her: ‘ Continue, as [Page 189] you are doing, to defend the Catholic faith well; it is the only and the true belief. I have no other Religion than thine. Always listen to him who teaches thee. ’ Then she showed her some Images, Crucifixes, and Rosaries that she had. ‘ It is to let thee see, ’ said she to her, ’ that I pray as thou dost, and that I believe what thou believest. ’ After this little talk, which filled that good Savage woman with joy, the Dutch woman regaled her with some fruits.

“It several times happened that, when some people had threatened our Christian women, saying that their zeal in the faith might well cost them their lives, they would all answer, with a noble spirit equal to that of the Martyrs, that life was no longer anything to them, since they had consecrated it to God in their Baptism.

“Marie Tsiaouentes added that, even if one were to cut off her arms and legs, [155] he would wrest her life from her sooner than the faith. Soon afterward, she gave proofs of such a high-spirited resolution.

“Four determined men resolved to make her drunk. To this end she was invited to a feast which was given in the Village, at which brandy was to be drunk. She went, without knowing anything about the evil design that had been concerted When all the guests had taken their seats upon mats on the ground, in their usual manner, the drinking began. Her turn came, and she refused to take any brandy. ‘ I had, ’ she added, ‘ committed enough follies in this matter before my baptism. I am resolved to be more discreet than I have been in this respect.’ They pressed her, but she steadfastly refused to do it. On being threatened with ill treatment, she said [Page 191] she feared nothing in the world but sin. From threats they proceeded to deeds. She bore all their insults with an invincible courage. Finally those four dissolute men seized her, one by the arms, another by the head, and the third around the waist, while the last tried to pour some brandy into her mouth; but she kept her teeth [156] so tightly closed that it was impossible for them to make her swallow a single drop of it.

“That is not the only occasion on which this noble-spirited Christian has given proofs of her courage; and her example has so animated all the others that there are no insults or acts of violence that can shake their firmness.

“One day some of them were invited to a feast, where they had every reason to believe that all would be orderly, and nothing allowed that could wound the innocence and purity of Christianity; for the feast was held at the house of a Christian woman already advanced in years. But they were much surprised to hear the Sorcerer who presided at this feast declare, at the opening, that it was ordered for restoring health to a sick person. At the same time, Marie Tsiaouentes arose, and said aloud: ‘ Whoever is a true Christian, let him follow me, and go out with me. As for those who are such only in name, they can remain at this superstitions feast.’ She was followed by four or five of the female guests. A resoluteness so firm, and so unusual in this country, caused astonishment [157] and admiration in all the company, — who could not sufficiently wonder how women had dared to do a thing which passes, among these Peoples, for a fault that is sufficient to make infamous the one who commits it. It is on this [Page 193] score that they are treated as persons having neither judgment nor honesty in their conduct, and net knowing how to order their lives. It is said that they must not be surprised if they become, for the most part, either poor, or captives, or are abandoned by every one; but those good Christian women offer to all these reproaches only a patience and firmness that surprise all who try, in vain, to make them waver.

” ‘ We have been told,’ they usually say on these occasions, ‘ that Jesus Christ and the first Christians were not better treated than we. Nothing can happen to us so grievous that we are not ready to receive it from God’s hand; it suffices for us that our poverty is not displeasing to him, and that it does not hinder us from being good Christians; that fact alone makes it agreeable to us. We do not expect from those who instruct us, [158] that they Will also give us earthly riches; we are content that they labor to put us in possession of those of Heaven. As far as the Customs of our country are concerned, we do not refuse to adapt ourselves to those that are in conformity with reason and the Law of God; but we cannot make up our minds to observe those that violate both.’

“It is inconceivable how much consolation the zeal of these good Christian women has given me, and how much it has animated me to aid them, even at the peril of my life. “It even seems that the mothers inspire this greatness of Soul in their little children. One of the latter, recently baptized, holding a Crucifix in his hand one day, and remembering the insults and outrages that his mother was accustomed to receive for the Christian Faith, said to our Lord: ‘ 0 Jesus, [Page 195] thou who art the master of our lives, thou hast, indeed, suffered; for thou wast nailed to a Cross crowned with thorns, and at last cruelly put to death: The same thing that caused thy death, is what causes my mother [159] such great afflictions.’ That good mother was in a corner of the cabin, where, without being seen by the Child, she heard with an incredible joy the pious intercourse that he had with his God; and it was she herself who reported it to me a few days after.

“It was only last Easter that I baptized this Christian woman; and as I showed some reluctance to grant the same favor to her children, she and her mother, who was present, petitioned me so urgently to do so, that I allowed myself to be overcome by their piety. ‘ Thou seest our children, ’ said they to me, ‘ whom we love as ourselves, and to whom we wish well no less than to ourselves. Thou knowest the mortal dangers we are in every day because of the enemy, who kills us wherever he chances upon us, and who Will perhaps soon come to lay siege to us here in our Village; and yet thou raisest objections to the baptizing of these little innocents. Know that, if it come to pass that they die without baptism, thou shalt answer for it before God, and we will rise up against thee to reproach thee with it. Speak, what is it [160] that prevents thee from conferring on them the same blessing as on US? Thou knowest they deserve it more than we; for we have sinned, while they have not yet sufficient reason to be able to offend God. If thou didst love us enough to procure us so great a good, thou shouldst love these innocent ones still more, and not refuse it to them.’ This speech alike surprised and touched [Page 197] me, so that I was constrained to baptize the youngest two of her children; and to defer the others until. such time as they should be sufficiently instructed.

“The first of these Young children, aged four, who is the one of whom I have just spoken, was. named Athanase. The other, aged two only, received the name of André; and he already shows so great ardor for the Faith that, as he cannot yet talk, he makes his hand supply the defect of his. tongue. He himself goes and takes the arm of any one who, as he sees, fails to make the sign of the, Cross; he raises it to that person’s forehead, and. compels him to acquit himself of this duty. I have, with pleasure, seen this with my own eyes.”







“WE are not in the time of the Apostles and of’ the nascent Church, when, in order to establish the faith of Jesus Christ in the minds’ of the people, God wrought prodigies in all nature;. and when the graces of Christianity found hearts disposed by means of the miracles to receive so marvelous a law. A Sermon by saint Peter was followed by the conversion of three thousand people; and the discourses of the Apostles had so much force, and power over men’s minds, that there was nothing, more usual than to see people, convinced and touched by what they had heard, strip themselves of all their possessions, in order to follow Jesus Christ [Page 199]

[162] “We are no longer in the time either of the great miracles, or of such marvelous conversions. The Faith insinuates itself gently into the mind, without dazzling it. That is the reason that peoples as barbarous and gross as our savages do net surrender themselves at once to the truths that are preached to them. They see therein nothing that is not the proscription of all their criminal attachments, nothing that is not above the senses and reason; so that they experience much difficulty in suffering themselves to be convinced, and in submitting to the laws of Christianity.

“The greatest miracle that a Missionary can perform in this country is to join to the zeal that he brings from Europe a gentleness which adroitly makes its way into the minds of these barbarians, and a patience that is never rebuffed by their ill humor. Without these two qualities, it is impossible for him either to produce any fruit in these Missions, or even to persevere here a long time. We must know how to manage these dispositions, and must look to God alone for the fruit of our labors; it is for him to render [163] the soil fertile, which we cultivate and water with our sweat and with our tears. When it pleases him to do so, he gives us the consolation of seeing that our pains are not useless; and he takes pleasure in sweetening the bitterness of our labors by some miracles of his grace.

“In the last eight months I have baptized only fifty-three persons, who have nearly all gone to Heaven. Although I should have contributed to the salvation of only a single soul, I would esteem myself too well paid for all my pains, since Jesus Christ gave his blood for that soul. [Page 201]

“I have baptized only three adult women, after giving them a long probation, and I hope that they will be fervent Christians. Perhaps, after some time, the men Will feel the same impressions of that grace which cannot suffer voluntary attachment to sin; otherwise we shall never confer Baptism upon grown men, for fear lest they fall into apostasy, And although, at present, there are a tolerably large number who are asking for Baptism, and who have been sufficiently instructed [164] in the mysteries of our Faith, yet I postpone granting them this grace until I see them out of the danger in which they now are, of engaging anew in their debaucheries and in the superstitions of the country.

“I have made use of all the ingenuity with which God has inspired me, to oblige them to renounce their bad habits; for in order to convert these peoples, one must begin by touching their hearts, before he can convince their minds. It is with this design that I have made some paintings, spiritual and very devout in their nature, which have been of powerful aid in their instruction. I have given instruction in the Catechism twice a day, with all the success that could be expected from these poor Savages; and I was even often surprised at the quite extraordinary impressions that the word of God made on their souls.

“I have attacked drunkenness and debauchery, — which are, as it were, the Divinities of this country, because these peoples are madly attached to them. These vices I have combated by the fear of God’s Judgment, — and, at the same time, by the dread of the arms [165] of a great King, whose name alone is able to hold them to their allegiance. With all imaginable gentleness, and in familiar intercourse, I have [Page 203] tried to win them over. I have represented to them a hundred times, with all the force with which God inspired me, the eternal punishments and regards of the other life. I have often threatened them, saying that God would finally be weary of their obduracy; and that his justice was ready to make them feel, even in this life, the calamities wherewith he is wont to punish those peoples that are obstinate in their blindness and their vices, I made them fear that, if they did not become converted soon, God would raise up some powerful enemy to exterminate them. In short, I have used mildness and force, threats and prayers, labors and tears, to build up this new Church and convert these poor Savages. It remains only to shed my blood for their salvation — which, with all the desires of my heart, I long to do.

“But, after all, I do not yet remark in them those great changes that the holy Ghost works in such of the [166] Pagans as he chooses to place in the number of the Faithful. I praise God for making me see that man’s conversion is his work; and that we are to lay claim to nothing therein but the happiness of serving him faithfully. There are fortunate moments, known to him alone, whereon depends the salvation of men. It is for him to prepare their hearts, in order to triumph over their obduracy.

“I am very glad to note here a means that I have found to be very useful and effective in the conversion of these Barbarians.

“At first I had thought that, in order to establish Christianity on a solid basis among these peoples, it was necessary to make use of reading and writing, which are two things wherein the Savages are utterly ignorant. I had accordingly applied myself, for the [Page 205] space of a month, to the teaching of both of these t. the little children of our Iroquois; and some had already profited to such an extent that they wrote and read fairly well. But the small means that I have for furnishing rewards for the little ones, — which must be given to these children, in order t. hold them [167] to this pursuit, — and the little time that remained to me for the essential duties of my Mission, at last obliged me to think of some other expedient, which should be not less efficacious, and which should leave me more time for occupying myself in the duties of my ministry.

“God inspired me with one, some days later, which is much easier, and produces great results among these peoples.

“It is a game, in order to catch our Savages by means of what they most love, — for gaming constitutes their whole occupation, when they are not at war; and thus I hope to make them find their salvation in the very thing that used often to contribute to their destruction.

“My design is, by this means, to do away with the strange ignorance in which they live touching all that concerns their salvation, and to make good their defects of memory. This game speaks to good effect through its paintings, and gives sound instruction through the emblems with which it is filled Those who wish to divert themselves with it have only to see it, to learn all that they have to do [168] in order to live Christian lives; and to remember all that they have learned, without ever being able to forget it.

“There is nothing easier than learning this game. It is composed of emblems which represent all that a [Page 207] Christian has to know. The seven Sacraments are all seen depicted there, the three Theological Virtues, all the Commandments of God and of the Church, together with the principal mortal sins; even the venial sins that are commonly committed are there expressed in their order, with marks of the horror that ought to be felt for them. Original sin, followed by all the ills that it has caused, appears there in a particular order. I have represented there the four ends of man, the fear of God, the Indulgences, and all the works of mercy. Grace is depicted there in a separate Cartouch, conscience in another; the freedom that we have to obtain salvation or destruction, the small number of the Elect, — in a Word, all that a Christian is obliged to know is found expressed there by emblems which portray each of these things. [169] All is so natural there, and so well depicted, that the coarsest minds have no difficulty in rising to the knowledge of things spiritual, by means of the material Images of these, which they have before their eyes.

“It is thus that our Savages learn by playing to effect their salvation; and that I have tried to join what they loved so passionately to that which they ought to love still more, in order that they might find no difficulty in getting themselves instructed.

“This game is called, ‘ from Point to Point,‘ —  that is to say, from the point of birth to the point of Eternity. Our Iroquois name it, ‘ The way to arrive at the place where one lives forever, whether in Paradise or in Hell. ’

“Directions for playing this game will be given at the bottom of the card on which it will be printed. I intend to have it engraved, that I may have many [Page 209] copies of it, and be enabled, by this means, to render our mysteries intelligible even to those by whom I cannot make myself understood.

“There are some of our Iroquois to whom I have [170] taught it only twice, and who have learned it perfectly; and others to whom I have shown it only four times, who have made themselves so skillful in it that they have obliged me to play it with them. We passed the Easter Holidays agreeably with this game, which is equally holy and profitable. All our Savages have an extreme passion for learning it and playing it, — either because they display in it quickness in easily understanding things that are so difficult; or because they see clearly that this game instructs them, without difficulty, in what they must know in order to be saved.

“The experience that I have had with this new method, and the approval that several very wise persons have given it, make me esteem it highly. Perhaps the Missionaries of France could use it with excellent results among the country people, — both in order to make them pass, in a holy as well as agreeable manner, some hours of Sundays and Holy days; and also to teach them, in a manner equally easy and sound, all the virtues of Christianity.

[171] “Each cartouch and each emblem can furnish very profitable talks that might be given to the people, — as I show in the little Book that I have written thereon, — which I would have sent to France this year, had it not been for an illness which prevented me from putting it in proper shape. I hope to send it next year with another Game, — a worldly one, — that I have invented for destroying all the superstitions of our Savages, and giving them some [Page 211] excellent themes for conversation, which shall make them lose all the pleasure they now take in entertaining One another with their fables.

“Our elders having invited me to their ceremony for the dead, which was to take place at Gandaouagué, I repaired thither on purpose to gratify them. The assembly was composed of the Onnontagué, of some Ouneiouts, and of all the more important men of Agnié. Each tribe was separated from the others, according to their custom. While waiting for the Onnontagué to speak, our Agniés were telling one another their fables and superstitions. I joined them and mingling adroitly some words of truth among their lies, [172] I made them see clearly how ridiculous their superstitions were. A Captain who was a friend of mine, finding it hard to brook this sort of insult, wished to impose silence on me; but I believed that in a matter of Religion and in a crisis of such importance, I ought not to suffer any one to close my mouth. As, furthermore, I was not ignorant of the authority I had among these people, I said to this Captain, with considerable firmness: ‘ Art thou well aware that thou offerest me the keenest affront that I can ever receive? But who art thou, to bid me be silent, and did I come here to obey thee? If I had treated thee in this way at Quebec, wouldst thou not have reason to complain of it? But wherein have I spoken amiss, to close my mouth in this mariner? And if I told the truth, wherefore art thou unwilling that it should be heard? ’

“The Captain was greatly surprised at my showing that I was offended by a word that he was wont to use very often, even to his friends; and he made me no answer, except that it was their custom [Page 213] on these occasions to [173] tell their fables to one another. I again took the word and said, with all the force that was inspired in me: ‘ It is your custom to get drunk; in good faith, is that a good custom, and am I to approve it? It is your custom to steal; am I to say that you do well? It is your custom to abandon yourselves to all sorts of debauchery, to violate all the laws of reason, and to live like brutes; think you it is not a part of my duty to reprimand you for all these vices, and try to give you an abhorrence for them? And yet you bid me be silent when I wish to speak to you about them. Is that reasonable? If these customs were holy and virtuous, they would be respected, and I would do everything imaginable to oblige you to retain them. But to see you pass all your lives in such execrable crimes, that is what I cannot make up my mind to do.’

“The same Captain gave me still another occasion to speak to him a little severely, when he told me rather rudely that I must withdraw from their company, [174] because they were going to sing, according to their custom. It is true, I did not understand a word of their song, and did not wish even to countenance it; but, nevertheless, as I was not one to disturb their music, I thought he was wrong to make me retire in that manner. As, furthermore, one must not pardon any offense in this kind of people, when they commit faults which they themselves ought to reckon as such, I told them that I would not disturb the feast by remaining quiet in the place where I was; and that, besides, it was not becoming for me to leave the men’s circle to join the women’s, or to go among other persons whom I did not know. However, as I saw they were very urgent that I [Page 215] should withdraw, I did so, for fear of offending them, and retired to the quarters of the Onnontagué, — to the captain of whom I declared my displeasure, which he considered very reasonable.

“After the ceremony, which lasted five hours, I returned to the Village without waiting for the rest of that solemnity, which was to be concluded by our [175] Agniés. They knew my displeasure, and believed there was ground for fearing it, — the more so that, some time before, I had caused the report to be spread abroad that I intended to go to Quebec. The whole body of Agniés blamed the imprudence of the Captain who had offended me, and were extremely sorry for the affront that he had offered me. He himself, too, having soon recognized his fault, came to see me with very little delay, to offer me excuses for it.

“‘ My brother,’ said he to me, ‘ I am unwilling to believe, although every one asserts it, that thou art irritated in mind, and full of bitterness of heart, because of my action; for thou canst not but know the love X bear thee, and the high opinion I have always had of thy worth. Up to this time, we two have had only one heart and one soul, and we have treated each other hitherto like the two best friends in the world. ’ Then, putting his hand on my heart, ‘ Tell me, then, frankly,’ he added, ’ in what disposition is thy soul? AS to other matters, hide nothing from me. They say that thou art going to Quebec, and that thou [176] wilt not come to live with US any more. However that may be, I conjure thee not to get us into trouble with Onnontio; for it would be a cause of confusion for thyself, if so many old men and young men, who love and honor thee so greatly, [Page 217] came to be ill-treated on thy account. Tell me, then, in what state is thy heart, and what are thy sentiments? ’

“During all this speech I maintained great seriousness of demeanor, contrary to my custom, and seeing that he awaited my answer with impatience, I spoke to him as follows: ‘ They told thee I was irritated in mind, and full of bitterness of heart. That is true, and thou knowest well that it is thou who art the cause thereof. If I have been present at the ceremonies of thy country, it has been only to please thee, and to satisfy thy manifest desire therefor; and yet thou thyself hast treated me with the last indignity. Thou hast, forsooth, dared to impose silence on me, when I was speaking of the Faith, which is the one thing in the world that, as thou knowest, I have most at heart. If thou hadst wished to give me some mark [177] of thy friendship, thou wouldst have listened to me, at least with patience; or wouldst have taken pleasure therein, which would have been infinitely agreeable to me. Well, then, far from showing me this kindness, thou didst command me to be silent. Moreover, couldst thou have offered me a graver affront than to drive me ignominiously out of the company of those whom I came so far to seek, and with whom I have taken up my abode, to try to make them win eternal happiness for themselves? Wast thou not ashamed to see me so well received by the Onnontagué, whom I did not know, and driven out by those who try to pass for friends of ours?’

“This reproach was a little severe; but God made use of it to obtain therefrom a good result that I dared not hope for. This Captain, after hearing me [Page 219] quite patiently, took the word then and said to me, with much sincerity: ‘ My brother, I see clearly what is, at bottom, the reason of this quarrel: it is that we are not yet Christians. But if thou wilt entrust the care of this important matter to me, I promise thee a favorable issue thereof. This [178] is the way thou must play thy part in it. First, thou wilt gather us all together; and then, offering us three brasses of Porcelain for our three families, with each one of these presents thou wilt say what thou hast on thy mind. After that let me manage it; I take charge of all the rest, and hope that all will go well.’

“I assured him that he could not give me a keener pleasure, that he had entered perfectly into my inmost thoughts, and that I would follow the good advice he had just given me. Then we parted, highly pleased with each other.

“This Captain, who had very great authority among the Savages and was capable of conducting a great affair with address, embraced this with so much ardor that he himself went in quest of the most important men of the country, in order to broach this great project to them, As, however, he had to cross a torrent which, at that time, it was impossible to ford, he postponed his journey until the next day; but he came to see me on the same day, [179] to assure me that he thought very seriously of carrying out what he had promised me. I judged by the diligence he had just shown that he would pursue the affair with ardor. For an old man — sixty years of age, as he was — had only to order his nephews to bring the Elders for him, without taking that trouble himself. On the next day, he returned to the torrent, crossed it, and brought back all the more [Page 221] considerable men in the Villages of the Agnies. I then began to deliver them a speech, which I made as emphatic as I could, upon their false Divinities, their Sorcerers, and all their superstitions. ‘MY brothers,’ I said to tbem, ‘I am filled with joy to see you all assembled here. You have received Word that I was going away to Quebec, and it is true. But I will not deprive you of my bodily presence by departing without your knowledge, or of my spiritual by concealing my thoughts from you; I will open my heart to you without reserve. I am not unaware that you fear lest I shall not return to [180] you again, and that you greatly desire to have me remain here, to maintain the peace that you enjoy with the French. I have come hither only to die here; and you know that, in the three years while we have lived together away from the disturbances of war, I have spared neither my exertions, my health, nor my life to assure you an eternal happiness. I left all my comforts that I had in France, to enrich you with the good things of Heaven; and JESUS, who is the Lord of our lives, having inspired me to instruct you and render you worthy of Paradise, I sacrificed everything to procure you this great good. You know all that I have done to deliver you from Hell, into which you were rushing with an invincible blindness and obstinacy. After so many labors, so many journeys and fatigues, on purpose to instruct you how to become eternally happy; after so much care as I have taken to help you in your illnesses, and to do you all the good in my power; after depriving myself of what I needed, in order to aid therewith [181] those of your brothers who were in want, — I see that I have been unable to make any [Page 223] impression on your minds, and that you cannot resolve to consent to your own happiness. That is what has given me the thought of seeking some other country, and people who are more docile, — who Will, as I hope, make more account of my words and gain greater profit from them, and who Will receive the Faith that you have so long been refusing you have seen how the Loups, your enemies, had them- selves instructed, and found, in your country, a happiness which you despise. What! shall the Iroquois alone be eternally wretched? Will they not be able to make up their minds to open their eyes to the truth, to leave this beastly life that dishonors them, and to follow the light of reason? You wish me to remain here with you, in order to maintain the peace; and, to oblige me to do so, you often allege to me that you are now one, in body and in soul, with the Governor of the French and with me. Have you any reason to say this, — you, who have neither the same sentiments, the same inclinations, nor the same behavior as [182] we? How is it that my soul could be yours, when I am convinced that mine is a pure spirit, immortal, and like to the Master of your lives; while you believe that yours is either a bear, a wolf, a serpent, a fish, a bird, or some other kind of animal that you have seen in a dream? Moreover, your soul and mine have very opposite sentiments. You think that the Master of life is a Demon, whom you call Agreskoue, and I, for my part, say that your Agreskoue is a slave whom God, who is the Master of our lives, keeps chained in Hell as a proud and wicked spirit. You believe in an infinite number of fables, as so many truths, and I regard them as so many lies. If, then, [Page 225] our souls have such greatly opposite qualities, how can there be any firm and true peace between the soul of the French and the soul of the Agniés? The French, seeing that you do not believe what they believe, Will have every reason to mistrust you, and to think that the Agnié is a deceiver and a perfidious person, [183] since he believes himself freed from the obligations that bind the French, and since he has no law that prevents him from breaking the peace with the same lack of faith with which he broke it before. If you have no Faith in God, who is the Master of our lives, how will you have any in men? Therefore be assured that we shall never believe, until you serve the same Master that we serve, that you still wish to live on good terms with us; and that, as long as your minds do not embrace all the sentiments that we hold concerning virtue and Heaven, our hearts cannot be united.

“‘So, my brothers, in order to have a firm and immovable peace, as you wish, you must be like me, and believe what I believe; and then Onnontio Will say: “Now it is that I believe the Agnié to be sincere and faithful; and now do I love him as one of my children.” All the French Will rejoice to know that you are their brothers, and wherever they meet with you, they Will bestow on you a thousand acts of friendship and a thousand endearments. [184] All France will be interested in your good fortune, all the world will know about it, and all Heaven will be filled with joy thereat. God himself — yea, that great Master of our lives, who has his Palace in Heaven — will not fail to prepare for the Agnié, if he becomes a Christian, a happiness that Will never end.’

“After this speech, I threw down a great brasse [Page 227] of Porcelain, saying: ‘Agnié, my brother, if it is true that thou wilt listen to me, there is my voice, which warns thee and begs thee, all in one, to renounce Agreskoue and never to speak of him again; to adore the true God, and to observe the Law.’ This first speech was received with a great cry of applause, and it seemed to me that those Savages were moved by my discourse.

“Then I threw down another brasse of Porcelain, to oblige the Jugglers to cease invoking the Demons for the cure of their sick, and to make use of natural remedies, whose power and virtue I had often shown them. I dilated with emphasis on this point, because it is one of the superstitions to which [185] they give most credence. Thereupon, I heard a second cry of joy, —with which all the assembly, and even the Jugglers who were present, testified to me their disposition to do all in this matter that I should wish.

“The last present that I made, to do away with the superstition of Dances, was received with the same acclamation.

“After this I was told, in a few words, that an answer would be given me in a council. Thus passed off that first interview, which gave us great hopes of this people’s conversion.

“Some days later, two answers were given to what I had said, in two different assemblies that were held on the same subject. The first was in the presence of all the Onnontagué, who were returning from the Dutch Colony, whither they had gone to trade. I was sent for, accordingly, by the Eiders, to hear what reply they had to give me, and to see it confirmed more solemnly in the presence of their new guests. [Page 229]

[186) “As soon as I entered the Cabin where the Council was being held, some one presented me — with a great piece of meat, — to regale me, and make me favorably disposed to that great procedure. I immediately shared it among those nearest me, After this, the Iroquois who was the most important and the ablest of all the country, rising to speak, addressed in the following terms the valiant Garakontié, who had just spoken to them:

“‘ My brother,’ he said to him, ‘ thou didst lately tell us some marvels, and didst see what applause we gave thy speech. Today I am obliged to tell thee that we listen to thee no longer, and that it is not thy words that have touched us. Here is a Frenchman ’ (said he, pointing to me), ’ who has, himself alone, changed our heart and our soul, so that his thoughts and desires are now ours, and we henceforth have only one mind. ’ Then he repeated, with an admirable accuracy and exercise of memory, all that I had said to them in the Council. He added to my speech so much native eloquence and so, many pleasant embellishments, for the refutation [187] of the same errors as I had condemned, that I was charmed. After this he offered, with a few words, the presents that he had to give.

“Garakontie, Captain of the Onnontagué, rising in his turn, answered the other in these words: ‘ My, brother, thou throwest me into confusion by rejecting my voice in this manner. Is it of so little importance that thou oughtest to prefer to it that of’ this Frenchman who has come to teach thee? What Will my Onnontagué think when I report to them the contempt in which thou holdest their speech? ’ But, all at once, changing the tone of his voice, he [Page 231] added very kindly: ‘ Think not, my brother Agnie, that I am angry at what thou hast said; on the contrary, I thank thee for thus despising my voice and preferring to it that of, a man who sacrifices himself for thy salvation, and brings thee the voice of God. What he has told thee, and what he teaches thee, are important truths for thy welfare; they have entered my own heart. If thou art wise, thou wilt net neglect them; and if thou wouldst be eternally happy, thou wilt follow all that they prescribe.’

[188] “What Garakontié said had all the more weight from the fact that, besides the great authority and the reputation for an excellent intelligence that he has acquired for himself among all the Iroquois Nations, he was also wont to declare himself boldly for the Faith of Jesus Christ, and did not hesitate to pray in public, and before all the people. There is every reason to hope that, being so zealous as he is, he will contribute not a little to the advancement of the Christian Religion throughout the country.

“I went forth from the assembly, filled with a joy that cannot be explained; and as it was on the day of the Annunciation that this Council was held, I drew therefrom a very good augury for the conversion of these Infidels, — a conversion of which I saw so propitious beginnings take birth on the very day when the Savior had become incarnate for the salvation of mankind.

“On the following day, our Eiders, assembling a second time, gave me a second reply, which seemed to me to be still more precise than the first; and the same Captain of whom I have spoken before addressed me as follows: ‘My [189] brother, it is an [Page 233] affair of importance that we are now discussing, Thou askest things of us which it is very hard for us to grant thee. For, in short, is it not very difficult to break all at once with the habits in which we have been brought up, to abandon absolutely things of which we have been in possession since the beginning of the world? Nevertheless, as we are resolved to please thee in all things, and to show thee the great desire we have to listen to thee, we make thee the absolute Master of our bodies and of our souls. There is no obstacle that we will not surmount, to render ourselves worthy of the happiness that thou desirest to procure for us. So we implore thee to instruct us, and to believe that thou wilt find in us spirits submissive to all that thou shalt choose to demand from them. We assure thee that we speak to thee with sincerity; we declare to thee that we believe what thou believest, that we condemn what thou condemnest, and that we renounce all that thou hast warned us to abandon. AS for the rest, if it happen that some evil spirit [190] causes Agreskoué to be invoked, or violate what we promise thee to observe, know that it will not be with our consent. If we had as much power over the minds of our Young people as elders ought to have, we could assure thee that thy orders herein would be universally followed by every one. Furthermore, we commend our sick ones to thee, since thou takest from us all that we have hitherto thought could contribute to their health. Arrange thy Chapel in such mariner that we can all go there to receive thy teaching’s, which we know to be the explanation of God’s will.

“After this speech, I was presented with as much Porcelain as I had given them. I declared to all the [Page 235] assembly that I was greatly obliged to them for the resolution which they had just adopted and that I would do everything in my power to insure the success of a project so advantageous to them. And, after I had left them, I went to return thanks to God for so signal a favor.

“Some days later, I saw that the [191] Sorcerers of this Village were throwing into the fire their tortoise-drums[iii] and the other instruments of their calling; that the women did not summon the Jugglers any more in their illnesses; that no Dance was any longer allowed except that which I approved; and that all the Savages of this country declared themselves openly for the Faith. The Eiders prompted the Youth to come for instruction, to have recourse to prayer, and to make a public profession of the Christian Religion; and, in order to incite these by their example to procure for themselves so great a good, the Eiders came in a crowd to the Chapel, and assiduously attended prayers. It is not possible to desire a greater inclination for the Faith than that which appears in our Savages; and although their natural inconstancy still divides my heart between fear and joy, I yet hope that God Will have the goodness to finish the work that he has begun.

“If things continue in the state in which I left them on setting out to go on a journey to Quebec, there Will be work enough among the Agnies to occupy several fervent [192] Missionaries. A thing that gives me still stronger hope of soon seeing all this people converted is, that since this great change, — although I remained among them four months longer, until my journey to Quebec, — I do not think that in all that time either a single one of [Page 237] them has invoked the Demon, or any dances have been held which I had forbidden. When it happened that a man who did not belong to the country, or who had become intoxicated, invoked Agreskoué, he was ordered to be silent, and was informed that that Demon was no longer invoked among the Agniés. So I can say that we have at present in this Province .a field vast indeed, — which is open to the Gospel, and demands, in order to obtain from it all the fruits .of which it gives such pleasing prospects, both the zeal of several fervent Missionaries, and the prayers of those who cannot come to cultivate it.”

There have been sent thither, as a reinforcement, two Priests, — Father Thiery Beschefer and Father Louys Nicolas. [Page 239]




HIS is the second Nation of the Iroquois as you go toward their great Lake called Ontario. Father Bruyas, who has charge of this Mission, has written a Journal about it, from which the following is taken.

“August 14, 1669. News arrives from Montreal that some Frenchmen have treacherously killed some Onneiouts, upon their return from the chase, in order to get possession of the Beaver and Moose-skins that they had taken. It is added that the Onneiout who was imprisoned by the French of Montreal is still in irons; and that another one has been flogged there in such a manner that he died a short time afterward, from the effect of the punishment. All these tidings, true or false, fail not to irritate the feelings, and the consequences will probably fall upon us here.

[194] “The 16th. People return from trading, with sixty kegs of brandy brought from new Holland. A drunken man breaks in the door of my Chapel, reproaching me for the insolence of our Frenchmen. Another strikes my companion, with such violence that he bears the marks of it. Owing to the disorders that are prevailing in this Village, I take occasion to go on a trip toward our Lake, where there are some fishermen, — although I am still very weak from a tertian fever which, by the grace of God, has not stopped or hindered me from working for the [Page 241] instruction of my little flock. The heaviest cross that I have is that of the drunkards; and I have need of all my little virtue to bear it patiently. It breaks up all our exercises, and all our teaching; and prevents the people from coming to Chapel to say their prayers, morning and evening, — each one thinking only of running away and hiding, in order to avoid the violence of those furious men.

“The 20th. An Ambassador from a certain Nation of the Loups who are at peace with the Iroquois, arrives here with twenty collars, with which he makes his presents, for the purpose of arresting [195] the acts of hostility. This greatly elates our Onneiouts’ spirits, to see themselves thus sought after, — although quite recently, this Spring, they had been at war with that Nation, notwithstanding the peace made with them. They had led one of their men home a prisoner.

“The 23rd. The Ambassador takes flight, frightened by the drunkards.

“The 25th. The scarcity of seasoning, for giving some taste to their Turkish wheat boiled in water, obliges a large part of the Village to go in quest of fish, at a place ten leagues from here, — where, with their javelins, they pierce the Salmon as it swims in the water.

“The 26th. Of two Young men who had gone to Andastogué with hostile intent, one has been captured there and burned; for they are so eager to commit some murder in the enemy’s country that sometimes even a single man Will go and execute a stroke of prowess, — entering a hostile Village at night, and murdering one or several of those whom he finds asleep there; making his escape afterward [Page 243] by flight, although he may be pursued by thirty or forty [196] of the enemy, who have awakened at the noise of the assault. The scalps which they bring back, and which they quickly snatch from the heads of those they have killed, are the sure signs of their victory. But often, too, they are captured in these assaults and cruelly burned.

“The 28th. Father Pierron arrives from Agnié, to take me in passing, that we may repair to Onnontagué, where we arrive on the following day, — all the Missionaries of the Iroquois Nations having gathered there at the same time. What joy for us to see one another again, to embrace, and confer together on the means of advancing the salvation of souls and the glory of God in our Missions! This meeting was necessary for us, and especially so for me.

“The sixth day of September. I return with Father Pierron to Onneiout, he going on to his Mission at Agnié. I learn that during my absence the drunkards so maltreated the man who is with me, that he found himself obliged to leave and take up his abode in the fields, in order to avoid their insolence. We here are obliged [197] to be ready for anything, — for death, as well as for a life of constant persecution; but it is a great consolation that it is for the love of God and the saving of souls.

“The 8th. An Onneiout returns from the Ontouagannha, who are two hundred leagues from here. He informs us that two of his comrades, together with an Onnontagué and a Tsonnontouen, were taken prisoners by some warriors of the Nation of the Nes-percez. These four Iroquois were returning from their skirmishing, in which they had taken two of the enemy; but being met by sixty Outaouaks, [Page 245] they were vanquished in their victory, and were themselves taken captive. Here are seeds, indeed, of war if God do not restore harmony. Sagocchiendageté[iv] returns from Montreal fairly well pleased. The Outaouaks gave him ten wild-cows’ skins, well adorned with their paintings, as assurance to the Elders that they would repair to Montreal in the Spring, to plant the tree of peace there, in order to put a stop to all these acts of hostility.

“The 9th. A band of eight warriors sets out [198] toward Andastogué, another band of five having preceded them two weeks ago.

“The 10th. I found a Child dead, who had fortunately been baptized. The salvation of this little soul sweetens all my bitterness, and makes me forget all the injury that the drunken men did me.

” The 20th. Our warriors depart, to the number of six-score, — including fifty Onnontagué and ten Oiogouen, who had joined them. If our Onneiout were gathered together, they could put into the field a hundred and sixty warriors.

“The 21st. There are a great many sick people. A Child that has been baptized goes to Paradise, to join the innocent band of those already there; it is the twentieth since my coming to Onneiout. How consoling that is I am sure of having so many protectors with God.

“The second day of October. A drunken Onneiout kills one of his comrades at Agnié.

“The 3rd. I believe that God has received into his Paradise a woman aged thirty years, who has just died, and who piously received [199] Baptism, a fortnight ago.

“The 6th. A Child that has been baptized takes [Page 247] flight to Heaven. The mother wishes to follow her Child, and urges me to baptize her, as she has been under my instruction for the past year; and as her heart is, she says, where her son is.

“The 11th. Another little Angel gone to Heaven, There is a special providence of God over these little innocents. When I opened my Chapel — door this morning, two women met there by chance, as they were passing; and one asked the other how the sick one in her Cabin was. ‘ He is going to die, ’ was the reply. I learned that it was a Child and repaired to the place, where I found that little innocent apparently waiting for me, in order to receive holy Baptism, — after which he died.

“The 25th. I learn of the death of an old Christian who was baptized more than twenty years ago in the country of the Hurons. He had been here for about the last ten years, always ill. I confessed him before he was taken away to the fisheries, where God took him to himself. I have been told that, when he was near to death, he repeated only these words: ‘ I am going to Heaven; [200] for a long time I have been a Christian; ’ and that he had the Cabin roof removed, over the place where he was lying, in order to give his soul passage Heavenward.

“November 20. It seems to me that I am now in an earthly Paradise. The lack of drink makes me enjoy a great rest, and gives those that are well inclined entire freedom to come and pray to God. The number of those who are receiving instruction increases every day, especially since I have begun to ask the Catechism. If I had a Bell, it would help me greatly, as I am obliged, for want of one, to go through the streets of this Village and call the people. [Page 249]

“A drunken Onneiout has killed an Agnié. If they spare not one another, what would not we have to fear, if God were not our defense?

“December 5. I have baptized a Christian woman’s Child: it is the daughter of Felicité, who continues to do well.

“All the Youth go in the direction of Andastogué, to hunt the Stag. Meanwhile [201] the women who remain betake themselves assiduously to the Catechism, — in which I question them often, without their being ashamed to answer. It costs me something, but that is not ill spent. The one who can repeat, on Sunday, all that has been taught during the week, has for reward a string of colored glass beads, or two little glass tubes, or two brass rings.

“The 20th. I baptized a dying infant. “The snow is beginning to fall. Until now the weather has been as mild as in Autumn.

“The 25th, Christmas day. I baptized a married woman with the ordinary ceremonies. It is the first solemn baptism I have administered here. I hope that she Will be a good Christian: two years ago she gave me such strong proofs of it that I have been unable to defer her baptism longer, especially since the death of her Child. I was obliged to preach almost all day long, on account of the great throng of Savages in our Chapel, where I was forced to satisfy [202] the devotion of some and the curiosity of others.

“The 28th. I gave Baptism to a Child whose mother is very assiduous in prayer.

“The first day of January, 1670. For a good New-Year’s gift, a little babe, a year old, went t0 Heaven.

“The 10th. The Demon, seeing the fruit of our [Page 251] instructions, has incited a woman of this Village to interrupt them. She affirms that she has seen the great God of the Iroquois, Teharonhiaouagon,[v] — who has revealed to her, she says, that the Adastogué Will come to besiege this Village in the Spring, and that one of the most powerful of their enemies, named Hochitagete, Will be captured and burned by the Onneiout. It is asserted that the voice of that Andastogué was heard; from the bottom of a kettle he uttered wailing cries, like the cries of those who are being burned. This woman — mad or possessed — is believed in all that she says. Every day there is a gathering at her house, where there is nothing but dancing, singing, and feasting, — a powerful deterrent to our prayers.

“The 27th. Two Elders from Onnontagué [203] bring the news of the return of their warriors, with nine Andastogué captives that were surprised while hunting. Two of them were given to Onneiout, — a Young man of twenty, and a woman. This woman was baptized at Onnontagué by Father Millet.

“The 30th. They begin to burn her over a slow fire, and prolong her torture for the space of two days and two nights, — because he for whom she was given was burned at Andastogué for that length of time.

“The first day of February. Having found an opportunity to instruct that poor Young man who was taken prisoner, I did so with entire publicity, in presence of the Elders and many people, who listened to me willingly, — but, more so than any one else, the one who was condemned to be burned. I succeeded in baptizing him. Some Elders wished to prevent me from procuring him this happiness; but I told them that it was our custom to pray to God with [Page 255] those who were put to death, and that they must content themselves with making him suffer in this life, The hope of Paradise [204] is a sweet consolation to these poor wretches.

“On the following morning, I went back there and found him very well prepared for Heaven. They finished burning him, and I saw him render up his soul to God. I was told that he called for me on the previous evening, in the midst of the flames; but he was refused the consolation that I might have been able to give him.

“The 4th. Only two days ago, I baptized a Young girl, between six and seven years old, who today went to Heaven.

“The 5th. Fourteen warriors go to seek their enemies, of the Nation of the Loups, who are hunting in the direction of Montreal, I learn at the same time that six hundred men, both Tsonnontouen and Oiogouen, have gone on the war-path toward the country of the Outaouak, where Father Alloues is to spend the winter.

“The 3rd day of March. I baptized a Young man of twenty-five, who was critically ill. In the beginning of his sickness, he had refused all the superstitious remedies in which the Demons are invoked. But at length his mother persuaded him [205] to have recourse to them; and the Sorcerers of the country — or, rather, the Jugglers — tried all the secrets of their Art on him, but without any effect. They were accordingly obliged to abandon the sick man, whom I did not forsake, and whom God graciously suffered me to win over, and prepare for a Christian death.

“The 4th. Garakontié, Captain of Onnontagué, [Page 255] has come here with forty-six fine collars, to assure the Onneiout that he will always be at one with him. He spoke in favor of the Faith, and exhorted our Elders to attend prayers, after his example. He also gave them a present, as an invitation to light the fire of peace at Montreal, at the time when the Outaouaks come down there.

“The 16th. A little Child went to Heaven today, to swell the number of the Predestined.

“The 3rd of April. Our traders returned with forty kegs of brandy. That is to disturb our devotions during the coming Easter Holy days.

“The 4th. A drunken man set fire to a Cabin, and everything in it was burned in less than a [206] quarter of an hour. If the wind had been in another direction, half of the Village would have been reduced to ashes. When our Savages have received an injury from any one, they get half drunk and do with impunity all that passion suggests to them. All the satisfaction one receives from them is embraced in two words: ‘ He was drunk; he had lost his reason.’

“Seeing all these disorders, I went and passed the Easter Holy days with Father Millet, at Onnontagué.

“The 20th. I found on my return that God had called to himself an old Christian woman.

“The first day of the month of May. I gave Baptism to a Child, who straightway took flight to Paradise; three others followed it closely.

“The 26th. I passed the Whitsuntide Feast-days at Onnontagué, whither Father de Carheil had also gone from his Mission at Oiogouen.

“The 6th day of June. A Child, dying after its Baptism, goes to enjoy God. [Page 257]

“The 17th. A poor woman has just died, two days after her Baptism. I [207] could net gain any response from her until near the end; I went to visit her three or four times a day, and found her unfavorably inclined toward holy Baptism. At last, I happily found the moment when it was Our Lord’s Will to show her mercy. Patience, long-suffering, and confidence in the merits of Jesus Christ are very necessary for a Missionary.” [Page 259]





HIS is the third Nation of the Iroquois. The state of this Mission Will be learned from a Letter sent by Father Millet, who has had charge of it, to the Reverend Father le Mercier, Superior-general of the Missions of New France, [208]


                                                Pax Christi.

Your Reverence commanded me, in your last Letter, to inform you of the more notable occurrences in this Mission. I will obey you, as far as it shall be possible, and as the little leisure that I have at present will permit.

On the day after the departure of Ateriata, who carried you my first Letters, I began in the morning to give the ordinary cry by which the people are summoned to Chapel; and as I am in the Mission of saint Jean Baptiste, I thought that God demanded of me an imitation of that great Saint by crying in these deserts and forests, after his example. I kept up this same cry, morning and evening, during the following days, principally during Advent. Sometimes I called out, “Fire! Fire! Ever-burning hell- fire!” At other times, “To Heaven! To Heaven! Where are found all kinds of blessings, with eternal happiness.” Sometimes I called out to them, “There [Page 261] is only One God, there is only one [209] God, who is the Master of our lives!” And again, “Jesus is the Master, Jesus is the Master of our lives; come and worship him, come to prayers!” These cries, and others like them, — according as I judged them most suitable for dispelling the drowsiness of our Savages in what pertains to their salvation, — were followed by a little lesson, which I tried to make appeal to them and at the same time to render easy of retention.

For a week, I put before their eyes various strings of porcelain beads, to mark the number and variety of the things I taught them. And during the following week I stretched a cord, and attached to it various collars, made of twine, with which the Savages fasten and chain the captives taken in war, to conduct them thus to the fire which is prepared for them. By this symbol I represented to them the cruel chains of sin wherewith the Demon loaded them, to drag them into the fires of hell. At other times I hung to the same cord a handsome porcelain collar, before my Chapel Altar, to teach them that there was only one God; (2) a map [210] of the whole world, to show that he had made all things; (3) a little mirror, to signify that he knew all things; (4) some strings of glass beads, to express the liberality with which he rewards all good actions; also some instruments of human Justice, to express to them that which God exercises in the flames of Hell. I tried, above all, to make them conceive, by the excess of Jesus Christs sufferings, how terrible God’s Justice is; and what torments must await p sinner, for the punishment of his crimes, since the Son of God had suffered so great pains for the [Page 263] expiation of ours. Then I showed them that the Savior, the Master of our souls, could not have given us more striking proofs of his love, than by taking upon himself the burden of our sins, and purchasing for us, with all his blood, an eternal happiness.

The first week of Advent I employed in talking to them on the way in which God created the world; during the second, I told them about the three persons of the most holy Trinity; in the third, about the incarnate Word [211] and the grandeur of the Man-God; and during the fourth, about his birth. Also, in order to render these ineffable mysteries sensible to them, I represented them under different symbols — which I sometimes even carried in the streets, to make them familiar to the people; and which the children would interpret, on the following Sunday, to all those who were present at the lesson.

At the same time that I try to give our Savages a knowledge of the true God, I study especially to discredit in their minds their false Divinities, — namely Dreams, and Agriskoué, — in order to establish the truth on the ruins of falsehood and fables. Thinking that I ought myself to labor at the destruction of that detestable custom, being one day at a feast to which I had been invited, I rose when it began, and, in a loud voice, pronounced the Benedicite in the language of the country; and seeing that such an unusual proceeding had surprised them all, I added that at the banquets held in France the custom was for the Priests [212] in attendance to begin with this kind of prayer. In order, also, to gain Possession of so sacred a custom, — which should Prevent their invoking the Demon, as they do at all their feasts at the conclusion of this one at which I was Present [Page 265] I said Grace, and begged them in the future not to offer any other prayers at their feasts. One of the Elders told them that I was right; and ever since that time they have understood that to invite me to a feast was to invite me to make the prayer.

It happened one day that one of their Captains, intending to anticipate me, began to invoke that Demon of theirs. But I made strenuous opposition to this, and declared that Agriskoué could do nothing of all that he had asked from him; and that I myself was going to pray therefor to the true God, who is the creator of the Universe, and from whom alone they must look for all things. Thereupon, I said the Benedicite; and afterward, at the close of the repast, I said Grace, without any one’s daring to interrupt me. And the Captain who had spoken of Agriskoué even came in the evening to prayers.

But God, who knows how to manage all [213] opportunities favorable to our salvation, caused one to present itself to me, — one as advantageous as I could have desired for the instruction of our Elders and our Captains.

Garakontié represented to me, in the presence of some others by whom he was accompanied, that it was not just for me to give all my time and all my care to the children’s instruction, without their fathers, having a share of it. He told me that I ought to begin by teaching the elders, in order that they might, by their words and examples, themselves contribute to the education of the Young people’; and that, accordingly, it was fitting for me to take Sundays for speaking to them on the mysteries of our Faith and the duties of a Christian. I assured him that I was delighted at the proposal of so excellent” [Page 267] a plan; that the one thing in the world I most desired was to work for the salvation of their entire number; that already, for a long time, I had been forming the plan to call the Elders together, to speak to them; and that, if they were willing, we would begin on the following Sunday. As, furthermore, it was important to [214] win them, I begged Garakontié to invite them to a feast that I wished to give them on that day, — a commission which he promised me to execute faithfully.

To adapt myself in some sort to the custom of the Savages, who sing while preparing their feasts, on the morning of the Sunday assigned, while preparing that which I was going to give them, I sang the mercies of God, the coming of the Savior into the world, and the victory that he, gained over the Demons. And, in order to strike their imaginations by some kind of formal display, I hung up a fine large porcelain collar in the middle of the Cabin, placing on one side of it a map of the World, and on the other the Image of Saint Louis, King of France. In another place, I put the portraits of the King and Monsieur the Dauphin. Beneath the porcelain collar I had put the Bible, on a desk covered with a handsome red cloth, below which was to be seen the Image of Our Lord, — who had at his feet all the symbols of the superstitions and dissoluteness of these countries, as if to indicate that he had overcome them.

[215] When all had assembled, and Garakontié had announced to them the occasion and purpose of the feast, I made them some compliments, with the ordinary presents. Then, after offering a prayer publicly in the middle of the Cabin, I let them know that the collar which I had hung there was meant to [Page 269] signify to them that there was only one God, who was the Sovereign Master of our lives, the creator of Heaven and earth, the God of war and of peace, of the chase and of fishing; that this was a truth which all creatures preached to us, and which the Demons had tried to obscure throughout all the world, in order to have themselves worshiped in place of the true God. I added that, for the purpose of making himself better known to men, he had rendered himself visible and had made himself a man like them, to instruct them in the plan he had for saving them. I told them that he had taken the name of Jesus, and had shown them by his miracles that he was truly all-powerful and the Son of God, — restoring sight to the blind, healing diseases of all kinds, and raising the dead by a single one of his [216] Words; and that, after teaching men the way to Heaven, he had ascended thither in the sight of five hundred persons, in order to receive them there. That we preserved the holy Scriptures, wherein were miraculously written for us his examples and his doctrine; that all the Nations of the earth had received him with respect; and that this was what we were coming to teach them. That our Kings worshiped this same God, followed his law, embraced his doctrine, and observed his commandments. These I then explained to them in detail, and exhorted them to render their country flourishing and peaceful by making their Religion conform to that of the French; and to render themselves happy by renouncing all their superstitions, and the sins which God has forbidden under such terrible penalties. I designated each thing to them by its symbol, in order to instruct them in a way that would most [Page 271] sensibly affect them. Finally I closed this speech with prayer and the Blessing that I pronounced over the feast; after which, we rendered thanks to God, and our Elders testified to me the [217] great obligations they were under to me for the kind reception that I had given them, and for the care I took for their salvation.

Garakontié was so carried away with delight that he knew not in what terms to show me the interest he took in so important an affair; and as for myself, I believed that I ought, without the least delay, to thank God for so signal a favor, and to implore him to continue to show us the signs of his grace, in order to finish what he had so propitiously begun.

Five or six days before Christmas, as our Chapel was not large enough to receive the people who came in crowds to the instructions, I was obliged to divide them into two bands, and hold two Catechisms on the same day. For this purpose I borrowed a Bell — which they had received, thirteen or fourteen years before, from those of our Fathers who were in this Mission when war again broke out here. This Bell served me for calling the Elders together, as I used a smaller one for summoning the children.

I noticed that our Savages were somewhat aroused from the drowsiness [218] in which they were sunk, by the sound of the Bells, the cries, and the Catechisms. The little children were constantly heard singing, in the streets and in the cabins, what they had heard me say at Catechism. Wherever one went were heard these words: “There is only one God, who is the Master of our lives. In Heaven are found all sorts of good things, and a happiness that never ends; and, in Hell, everlasting fires and torments.” [Page 273]

Some days before, I had had a strife with some Sorcerers or Jugglers of the country, whom I had met in the cabin of a sick man for whom I had taken a good deal of trouble, but whom I had never been able to win to God. Some elders had taken the part of these Jugglers, and had caused the door of that cabin to be shut in my face on two separate occasions. I complained of it to some of the chief men of the Nation, who themselves procured my admission to the cabin, and openly censured, in the Council, the rashness and ill behavior of those who had offended me. But as I declared myself [219] not yet satisfied with this reparation, — because I apprehended the consequences of this insult, lest others should claim the right to refuse me admission to the Cabins, where I went to visit the sick, that I might try to prevail on them to render themselves worthy of Paradise, — Garakontié, as the Captain-general of this Nation, called the Council; and, inviting me to it, made me a present of two collars, — one to appease me, and the other to beg me not to make my complaints to Onnontio, whose displeasure could only be harmful.

All things appeared to me to be in a very good condition for a pious celebration of the Christmas Festival, which was approaching. In order to pass this holy day with all solemnity, I adorned the Chapel as well as I could; and prepared a throne for Jesus Christ, in order that he might, at the moment of his birth, receive there the homage of these new subjects, who were to worship him in that place. Toward midnight, our Christians of both sexes paid him their devotion, while I proceeded to sing some Motets in their [220] language, and ring [Page 275] the Bell, to awaken the people all through the Village and invite them to come to Chapel. The throng was great all the morning, and the Elders attended in a body, to honor the Son of God by their respects and homage. “We come,” said one among them to me at the Chapel-door, “to salute and worship Jesus, who has just been born.”

Toward noon, I baptized three little children, with the usual ceremonies of the Church; and some others during the following Holidays, up to the number of twelve, — whom I offered to Our Lord as so many spoils won from the Demon, and so many innocent victims who, without doubt, were very agreeable to him. It seemed to me that I was not among Savages and Barbarians, but rather in the midst of a country of Christians, — so much piety and devotion did I remark in the people. All the Confessions that I had heard before and after the Christmas Festival, the holy Sacrament of the Eucharist which I had administered, and the marriages that I had happily [221] performed anew; the docility with which our savages listened to me, even on the subject of their errors and superstitions; their assiduity in attending prayers and lessons; the charity and zeal of some, which prompted them to go into the outlying Cabins to exhort the sick to pray to God, — all these acts and this air of piety made me see the image, so to speak, of the fervor and devotion of the first Christians.

But in order to put on a still firmer basis the good which God had been pleased to begin in this country — for the purpose of banishing from it entirely all the commerce that is therein held with the Demon, I resolved to declaim strongly against the foolish and superstitious belief that they have in [Page 277] their dreams. I showed them that it was net the true God, creator of Heaven and earth, who spoke to. them in sleep; but that it was the Demons of Hell, tyrants, and enemies to their salvation, who wished to make themselves obeyed as if they were their, legitimate Lords.

“My brothers,” said I to them in a council [222], where I had assembled the Elders, “you are not ignorant that what your dreams order you to do is often very impious and very abominable. Is there anything more execrable than all your indecent feasts, and those where the rule of eating everything is followed, where excesses are committed which often cause you fits of sickness? Can these be held by the orders of a good Spirit? It is clear that the author of so many crimes must be very wicked. It needs only to know what God is, to judge that he forbids our doing things so evil, so contrary to reason, and so prejudicial to the public good. It is not God, then, who speaks to you in your dreams, but rather some Demon of Hell who seduces you; and if that is so, why are you so blind as to obey him? Is it the Demon who made you? Is it he who is the Master of your lives? Is it he who destines you for eternal happiness if you obey him? Is it not the true God who has all these qualities? And why, then, do you choose to destroy yourselves by submitting to the, former, rather than [223] save yourselves by obeying the latter? If a Child dreamed in his sleep that he must kill his father and mother, would you tell me: that God, who has created you, was the author of that dream? Would you not hold him in horror? Would a father wish to kill his Child, and would a mother consent to stifle him when she brings him into the [Page 279] world, because she had dreamed of doing it? It is clear, then, that to obey one’s dream is a folly, if we dream extravagant things; and that it is a crime, if the things we dream are criminal.”

In closing I made them a present of a porcelain collar, in exhortation not to repose faith any longer in their dreams, but rather to regard them as the enemies of their salvation; and no longer to obey any but God alone, if they wished to be eternally happy.

I then withdrew into my Chapel, rather uncertain as to the reply they would make me; for even those of the elders who were best disposed toward prayer and piety, had apprehended the result of this council. But I deemed it absolutely necessary, both for [224] the establishment of Christianity, and to oblige some elders, who were asking me for Baptism, to declare themselves openly on the side of the Faith; for, by this means, they freed themselves from a great many dangerous occasions in which they found themselves involved, in the discharge of their office, which obliges them to procure the execution of the things ordered by dreams.

After a long conference which they held together on this subject, they had me summoned; and Garakontié, speaking in the name of all the others, told me that they all received my voice, that they were persuaded of the truth of my words, renounced the superstitions that I had ordered them to rename, and pledged themselves to obey dreams no longer. I He added that I well knew they had already ceased to speak of Agriskoué at feasts; that, whenever I was present, it was I who offered the prayer, and that in my absence they prayed to God just as I did, — net [Page 281] asking him merely for the good things of earth, but much more for the grace of being blessed in Heaven. He assured me that there [225] would thenceforth be no more impure feasts, and no more excess in eating or drinking; and that in the games, dances, and public assemblies, in fishing and in hunting, there would be no further talk of dreams, — adding that, if every one did not yet come to pray to God, as I wished, I must have a little patience, and soon they would all be Christians. TO give me assurances of the sincerity of their promises, he made me a present of a porcelain collar, which I received, and then offered to God as the pledge of the conversion of our Barbarians.

It is impossible to express the joy that I felt at so great a victory as the Faith had just won over infidelity. It is not that I have not still every reason to fear lest these things have been more easily resolved upon than they Will be executed, — both because there is no government here, as there is in France, to make private individuals obey the resolutions of a council; and because our Savages experience much difficulty in [226] forgetting entirely their ancient customs. As, moreover, they are commonly inconstant and faithless in their promises, I need all the prayers of holy and zealous persons for the salvation of souls, in order to obtain for them from God the firmness necessary to keep them from falling back into their old habits.

The success of this holy undertaking having thus surpassed all my hopes, I thought that I ought not to lose any time, and that I must make use of the good disposition existing in all minds. I accordingly began to declare myself openly against the Jugglers; [Page 283] I tried to bring them into disrepute on all occasions; and I believed that, if I could deprive them of that confidence in and attachment to their sorcery which these tribes entertain, I would soon, by the grace of God, establish Christianity on the ruins of Idolatry. God had already furnished me two occasions on which I had utterly disconcerted them, and exposed their bad faith.

Here is what occurred at the first one. One day, when I had chanced to enter a [227] Cabin where ten or twelve of these Sorcerers were gathered around a man who had only a very slight earache, they straightway offered me a thousand civilities, and made me draw near, although they would have liked to see me at a great distance from them. For some time I looked on at what they were doing, without saying anything, although their ridiculous and extravagant ceremonies made me very indignant. They took into their mouths a certain mysterious water, and blew it with violence over the sick man’s cheeks and temples; and he who acted as chief of this band ordered them to throw some of this water also on the hair and head of this poor man, and even on the mat where he was lying. It was necessary that everything should be sprinkled, to drive away the Demon of the disease in this Savage’s ear. I noticed that they then all drank of this same liquor, and that they took the medicine that was to cure the sick man, ~11 these stupidities made me groan at the blindness of those poor Idolaters, who let themselves be thus seduced by the Demon. After [228] I had watched the operation of these clever people for some time, I approached the sick man to ask him where his ailment Was, and how he felt. The Jugglers, taking the [Page 285] word immediately, said that two little Demons had already come out of his ear, and now only one was left, who was more obstinate than the others. “That is wonderful,” I said to them, “and I would be very glad to see the third one come out; so go on urging him, for I wish to be a spectator of so prodigious a cure. For a long time, I have been curious to see the exit of one of those unclean spirits that, as you say, torment the sick people of Canada; for, thank God, they are not so mischievous in France. But I assure you that I shall be so watchful for the exit of these Demons, which you say have bodies and are visible, that this one will be unable to escape my scrutiny.” I know not whether those impostors saw that I was making fun of them, and that I was not ignorant of their tricks, but they appeared to me so disconcerted and confused that they could not recover themselves; and [229] when I urged them to finish that marvelous operation which was to put the Devil to flight, they said to me, showing some little bags in which were drugs, that therein was what expelled the Demons from sick bodies. “Well then,” said I to him who acted as Master-Juggler, “thou art he who vauntest thyself as the exterminator of Demons, large and small; who is preventing thee in the present instance from causing to come out of this sick man the one that thou sayest is still left in him?” I well knew that it was their usual trick to have in their mouths either a little stone, or a bit of iron or leather, or a little bone; and that, sucking hard at the part of the body where the ailment was, they would say that they had successfully extracted that which they had in the mouth, — which they spit out before the eyes of the sick man, declaring that this [Page 287] was a veritable Demon, which was the cause of his pain. So I warned them that I was well aware of their wiles, and that it was hard to deceive me, and that I was not one to take iron or leather for a Demon. [230] Then it was that I saw some very embarrassed people. Some informed me that it was time to go and hold prayers; others begged me go and pray to God in the Chapel for the health of the sick man; and some even, in order to get rid of me, promised me that they would follow me immediately and become Christians. But I took care not to leave them until I should have forced them to confess, in person, that they were impostors; and in order to cause them all possible confusion thereby, I persisted in asking them to let me see that third Demon that was left in this sick man’s body, — saying that, after they had given me that satisfaction, I would leave them in quiet. It was in vain, however, that I pressed them; they would do nothing of the kind; and they were at length forced to confess to me that this third Demon was no longer there; and — even before they had cured him — that the sick man was well. And what seemed to me still more ridiculous is, that this poor man was simple enough to believe that he had been cured of an ailment which he had never had; and to say to me, as he rose from his mat, that he [231] was cured. I told this story afterward to some of our Savages, and made them see clearly the error and bewitchment they were in, to have so much confidence in such thorough impostors as their Medicine-men.

The other opportunity that God furnished me, for bringing Dreams into disrepute, was the following. A girl of fifteen or sixteen years of age having gone [Page 289] astray in the woods, and passed two nights there, her relatives were in great anxiety on her account. The Jugglers were called, in order to learn what had become of her. These clever Diviners began to put their sorcery in operation, to learn some news of her. The first thing they do is to leap, dance, and shake their limbs, with such energy that they are soon all in a perspiration. After that they beat with stick and tortoise-drum; they sing, they shout; and they consult and question their Demon, who never answers them. After they had perspired well and tormented themselves, to learn in what condition that girl might be, they boldly declared that she had been killed by three Andastoguez, who had [232] scalped her, — cutting the scalp of the size of a small circle which they traced with their fingers on a piece of bark, before the eyes of the bystanders; and that she had died precisely at Sunrise. After so exact and well-defined an oracle as this, our Savages would have been scrupulous to doubt the death of that girl. Accordingly, her relatives’ Cabin, and then all the Village, became filled with weeping and lamentations. Every one was in mourning except the Jugglers — who, to compensate themselves for the extraordinary exertions they had put forth in consulting their Demon, ate with a very good appetite all that had been prepared for regaling them, as is customarily done on these occasions. They were puffed UP with the success that had attended their incantations, and with the esteem in which their skill was held. But they were much surprised when, having barely left the Cabin where they had been so well treated, they saw enter it the girl whom they had so positively declared to be dead, — without her having [Page 291] met with any Andastoguez, or received any rounds. If they had [233] had any hope of being able to convince those simple people that it was only a phantom, they would have spared no lies to sustain their credit, which this imposture was capable of ruining; but the parents, recognizing their daughter, changed their grief into joy, and the lamentations of all the Village into public acclamations.

This story was related to me by the lost girl’s mother herself; and as she had, on that occasion, recognized the trickery of these Jugglers, she disclosed to me several other instances of it, on which this event had caused her to reflect. She told me that these clever Medicine-men sometimes ordered a sick man to prepare himself a good feast, which would cure him, provided they were well regaled; and that, nevertheless, it happened often that he would die on the next day.

I made advantageous use of all these deceptions in the council that I caused to be held against the Jugglers, some days after the solemn promise made me by our Savages to renounce [234] all these superstitions. It was there that I exposed all their knavish tricks and all their impostures, the little intelligence they had in Medicine, and the worthlessness of their superstitious remedies; and, to conclude my speech, I made a present of porcelain, to oblige the elders to apply a prompt remedy to these disorders which were ruining their country, by the death of their children and nephews, and at the same time were making them lose the happiness of the life eternal.

Some time after I had left the council, in order to leave it at liberty to deliberate ‘on my demands, I was recalled, and Garakontié, speaking in the name of all [Page 293] the others, — after renewing to me the solemn Protestation ht they had made to renounce absolutely dreams, Agriskoué and feasts of debauchery, — told me that they recognized, in good faith, that they had been hitherto in error, and they were greatly obliged to me for having undeceived them; that they shared all my sentiments, and were resolved [235] to induce the Jugglers to use only natural remedies, just as I wished, without joining therewith any superstition. Then, as a token of their pledge, and of the promise that they gave me in the matter, they made me a present of porcelain. I testified to them how greatly obliged I felt at a reply so favorable; and as I vas beginning to give them some conception of the benefit this resolution was to them, Garakontié interrupted me, and said: “We are in sadness and dejection on account of sorrowful news that we have just received, to the effect that Father Garnier has just been assassinated.” At first, I was struck with surprise at so sad a piece of news, and wished to speak in person with the bearer of it, in order to inform myself of the real facts in the case; but when I found that he had only conjectures, which were weak, I went promptly to tell our eiders, for their reassurance, that it was only a false alarm. They testified their great obligation to me for the care I was taking to relieve the anxiety and sorrow [236] which so calamitous an accident had caused them. In fact, it was learned, a short time afterward, that this news was false in regard to Father Garnier, but had lacked little of being true in respect t” Father Fremin, — who was almost killed by a drunken man at Tsonnontouen, a Village some days’ journey distant from this one; for a long time he [Page 295] carried on his face the marks of this Savage’s fury.

That is what we are exposed to every day in this country of Barbarians, who often go to similar excesses in their debauches; but I venture to say that it is in that very respect that our condition seems to us a blessed one, — since it compels us during all our lives to bear the lot of victims, wholly prepared to be sacrificed for the love of him who voluntarily sacrificed himself for our salvation. It was in like perils that the Apostles and Christians of the nascent Church were placed every day; and we are overcome with joy at being able, like them, to lead a life exposed to a thousand deaths.

[237] Our Onnontaguez are not so hot-headed or so brutal in their drunkenness. The greater part, even when they are in that condition, bestow on us only caresses; and if some make complaints, it is to reproach me with not loving them enough.

After I had offered up some prayers in the Chapel, to thank God for the quite extraordinary success he had given our plan, I withdrew into my cabin, where I found several more eiders, — who begged me to complete what I had so happily begun, and to strengthen them in the resolution which they held to renounce all their superstitions. I well knew, they said, that errors in which one has grown old are very hard to abandon; that they feared the Demon would cast them anew into their old dreams; that they came to me to arm themselves against that enemy. Therefore, they begged me to instruct them in the falsity of two or three of the old ideas wherein they had been nurtured, — as, for example, that their souls became separated from their [238] bodies during sleep; that dreams were the arbiters of the good [Page 297] or the bad fortune that they had in war or in hunting. They also asked me why, after having a dream to the effect that they would be successful in one or the other of those occupations, it had scarcely ever proved false; while, on the contrary, after often praying to the true God for some success, they had frequently been disappointed in their expectation. I answered every question as well as I could; and they were left so well satisfied with my replies that, in thanking me, they assured me that I had dispelled from their minds all the clouds with which the Demon had overspread them for their perdition, and that I had made the truth victorious there over falsehood. I made them understand that it was to God that all the glory for this was due, and that it was solely his work. [Page 299]



In reprinting the Relation of 1669-70 (Paris, 1671), we follow a Copy of the Original Cramoisy edition in the Lenox Library. It is prefaced by an undated letter from François le Mercier to the provincial in France. There is no printed “Permission” in the volume; but the “Privilege” of the Relation of 1665-66 (Paris, 1667) granted to the elder Sebastien Cramoisy, is used; and the dates have been changed to read, rather ambiguously, “les années 1669. & 1670." This annual is no. 135 of Harrisse’s Notes.

The Barlow copy, which was purchased in 1890 by, and is now in, the Lenox Library, differs from that library’s other copy in having pp. 161-176 of Part II. printed in the following disorder: pp. 161, 166, 167, 164, 165, 162, 163, 168, 169, 174, 175, 172, 173, 170, 171, and 176. The explanation of this peculiarity in the paging is found in the fact that, after the outer form of the sheet (a common sheet of octave) was printed correctly, the sheet was turned in such manner that the whole inner form was printed in reverse, — p. 161 being backed by 166 instead of 162; 176 by 171, instead of 175; and so on. In other words, the peculiarity is the result of carelessness in laying the sheets, preparatory to making the inner impression — not to incorrect arrangement in laying on form. [Page 301]

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; Le Merciers prefatory epistle, pp. (7); “Privilege,” p. (1); “Avant-propos,” pp. 3-8; text of Part 1. (Chaps. i.-iv.), pp. 9-108; half-title to Part II., on p. 109; p. 110 blank; text of Part II. (Chaps. v.-ix.), pp. 111-318; one blank leaf; half-title “Relation des Missions avx Ovtaovaks,” with verso blank, I leaf; text (Chaps. x.-xii.) by Dablon, Marquette, and Allouez, pp. 3-102. Signatures: A-V in eights, V8 being blank; sig. * in four, inserted between A1 (the title-page) and A2 (the first page of the “Avant-propos”); a-f in eights, g in four, g4 being blank. Page 79 of the second series of paging is mispaged 57, and sig. aij is misprinted a.

A partial English translation of the “Relation des Missions avx Ovtaovaks” is printed in William R. Smith’s History of Wisconsin (1854), vol. iii., pt. ii. pp. 51-75.

Copies have been sold or priced as follows: Squier (1876), no. 1961, sold for $10.75; Dufossé, no. 2176, priced at 200 francs; O’Callaghan (1882), no. 1245, with last leaf injured, sold for $20, and had cost him $15; and Barlow (1890), no. 1321, bought by Lenox Library for $11. It is represented in the following libraries: Lenox, two forms; New York State Library; Harvard; Brown (private); Ayer (private); Laval University (Quebec); Library of Parliament (Ottawa); and Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris). [Page 302]


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


[i] (p. 27) — The Récollet missionaries (vol. ii., note 41, and vol. iv.), it will be remembered, were not allowed by Richelieu to return to Canada in 1632; and it was not until 1669 that they obtained permission to resume their missionary labors there. In that year, they sent several Priests for this work; but the vessel which carried these men was shipwrecked, and their project had to be given up. In 1670, however, Talon (vol. xlix., note 14) took with him to Canada a Party of Récollets headed by Father Germain Allart. Frontanac’s instructions, signed by the king and Colbert, advise the new governor to protect both the Sulpitians et Montreal and the Récollets at Quebec, — “it being necessary to support these two Ecclesiastical bodies in order to counterbalance the authority the Jesuit fathers might assume to the prejudice of that of his Majesty” (N.Y. Colon. Docs., vol. ix., pp. 68, 95). Rochemonteix thinks (Jésuits, t. iii., p. 88) that Talon wished to bring the Récollets to Canada to aid him in opposing Laval and the Jesuits. A memorial to the king, dated 1684 (Margry’s Découvertes des Français, t. i., pp. 18-33), claims that the people of Canada desired and needed the return of the Récollets “for the freedom of their consciences.” Faillon (Colon. Fran., t. iii., pp. 198-201) regards the king’s action in sending these priests to Canada as an evidence of his zeal for religion, and his desire for the spiritual good of the colony. He granted the Récollets sent thither a pension of 1,200 livres a year, and forbade them to solicit alms. — Cf. Le Clercq’s Establ. of Faith (Shea’s ed.), vol. ii,, pp. 67-72; Parkman’s Old Régime, pp. 335, 353; Sulte's Canad.-Fran., t. iv., pp. 104-107.

[ii] (p. 49). — Concerning the Ontouagannha, see vol. xlvii., note 9.

[iii] (p. 237). — For a description of these drums, see vol. xx., note 3.

[iv] (p. 247). — Regarding this chief, see vol. xli., note 2.

[v] (p. 253). — The myths regarding this divinity, and their interpretation, are noticed in vol. viii., note 36; and vol. x., note 12.