The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents


Travels and Explorations

of the Jesuit Missionaries

in New France







Reuben Gold Thwaites

Secretary of the State historical Society of Wisconsin


Tomasz Mentrak


Vol. LVI

Lower Canada, Iroquois, Ottawas


CLEVELAND:            The Burrows Brothers





Vol. LVI.

[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 LVI






Relation de ce qui s’est passé en la Nouvelle France, les années1671, & 1672. [Second and final installment.] Claude Dablon [Quebec, October, 16721; Jacques Fremin, St. Xavier des Prez, August 14, 1672; Jacques Bruyas, Onneiout, [1672]; Pierre Raffeix, Goiogouen, June, 1672; Julien Garnier, Tsonnontouan, July, 1672; François de Crepieul, Tadoussac, June 2, 1672; Henry Nouvel, Ste. Marie du Sault, [1672]; Charles Albanel, n.p., n.d.; Marie de l’Incarnation, n.p., n.d.
















[Page vii]







Monument to Claude Allouez, S. J., unveiled at De Pere, by the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, September 6, 1899.













[Page viii]


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

CXXVIII. The Relation of 1671-72 was begun in Vol. LV.; the remainder of the document forms the present volume, closing the regular series of the Relations, begun in 1632 (Vol. V. of this edition). A letter from Frémin gives an account of the mission called St. Xavier des Prés, opposite Montreal, where the Iroquois converts “are now professing the most exalted virtues practiced in Christendom.” They maintain total abstinence from intoxicating liquors, although there is “a dram-shop at their very doors;” and their tribesmen are not welcome among them unless they profess the Christian faith. Their attendance upon religious services is most assiduous.

Dablon next gives a survey of the various Iroquois missions, which employ seven Fathers. They have baptized only two hundred persons, “which means that the sick have been fewer this year; and that those who are well are, although adequately instructed, not yet strong enough in the resolve to forsake their dreams and renounce their superstitious practices.” The Mohawks, who had been “most thoroughly humbled by the King’s arms,” are those most inclined to embrace the faith. Some converts from this tribe have removed to the Huron mission near Quebec. The Oneidas are becoming more tractable. Bruyas has held, for some time, conferences [Page 9] with the elders of the village, at which he has expounded the truths of the Christian religion. These are resulting in several conversions, which greatly encourage the Father in his arduous toils. A noted medicine-man dies “in his infidelity,” and his name has a baleful authority over the Indians after his death, as well as before. Good news comes from Onondaga, especially concerning the steadfastness of the lately converted chief, Garakontié. When in danger of death, he will not permit his family to call in the medicine-men to cure him; and his zeal for the faith never falters. Raffeix gives a detailed account of the mission at Cayuga, “the fairest country that I have seen in America.” He mentions its natural resources, much more varied and extensive than those of the adjacent Iroquois territories. He finds the people more docile than their neighbors; but, as his predecessors, Ménard and Carheil, had been removed from this tribe soon after fairly beginning their labors, he cannot yet report much progress, and says, “I do not think that the hour of their conversion has yet arrived.” He has obtained good results from teaching the people to sing hymns in their own language. He relates how two war-parties were defeated by a band of Andastes boys, and adds, “God preserves the Andastogués, who count but three hundred warriors, and favors their arms, in order to humble the Iroquois and maintain the peace and our Missions.” A letter from Garnier is given, regarding affairs among the Senecas. These people were favorably disposed toward the faith, but one old man makes mischief among them, — declaring that the faith Will cause them to die, and that the black gowns are spies and sorcerers. Garnier [Page 10] asserts his positive knowledge that plots are rife for his death as a sorcerer and spy. Often he is abused; and, when brandy is brought to the village, he is compelled to flee for refuge to his Chapel. He relates the pious deaths of several of his converts. Many others talk of migrating to Quebec.

A letter from Crépieul tells the story of his winter spent with the savages of the Saguenay. His sufferings are painful and continual, but the piety of his disciples consoles him for all. The greatest torment is the smoke from the cabin-fires, “which made us weep day and night, blinding us for a time. I felt very happy to offer those tears to our Lord for extinguishing the flames of some souls in Purgatory.” The savages faithfully attend mass, and observe all the holy days of the Church, regardless of storm or cold; and the children come to the Father for instruction, every day. As soon as Crépieul reaches Tadoussac (May, 1672), after six months of wandering through the forests and mountains, he sets out for his other mission, among the tribes far below Tadoussac.

It is in the Ottawa missions that the Jesuits have reaped most of their harvest during the past year. Their gains are thus triumphantly announced: “More than three hundred baptisms conferred in one year; more than twenty-five nations illumined by the light of the Gospel; many sick persons restored to health in a very extraordinary manner; Churches erected and Crosses planted in the midst of idolatry; the Faith borne far to the North and South.” A more detailed account of this work is begun by the journal of Nouvel, who has spent the winter among the Beaver Indians, on the north shore of Georgian [Page 11] Bay. His mission begins well, but the devil is envious of his success, and stirs up trouble for him with the medicine-men. By God’s grace, he is able to vanquish his opponents, — one of whom, at the Father’s bidding, erects a large cross for the veneration of his tribesmen. During the winter, Nouvel makes various excursions to neighboring encampments, here and there baptizing a few, mainly children — except at Manitoulin Island, where he receives into the Church fourteen adults and youth. He relates several instances of marvelous cures wrought in sickness, by water in which certain relies of the martyr Brébeuf have been dipped.

At Sault Ste. Marie, one hundred and forty-five baptisms are recorded. A church has recently been built there, which is the abject of much admiration, from Frenchmen as well as savages. The rest of the report from this mission is occupied with accounts of miraculous cures wrought by prayer and holy water. These wonders “have gone far toward eradicating the two chief vices prevalent among these Tribes, jugglery and polygamy.” “Those who recognize only the true God enjoy Perfect health. We see, in fine, Christianity becoming established here, despite all hell.”

The mission at St. Ignace, opposite Mackinac Island, was recently opened for the benefit of the Hurons, who have fled thither from Chequamegon Bay in dread of the hostile Sioux tribes. Marquette has accompanied them, and has charge of the mission. Such of these Hurons” as have continued in the faith now display great fervor.”

A chapel has been built for the Green Bay mission, at the De Pere rapids. The advantages of this [Page 12] location are recounted at length. The writer gives an interesting account of the methods employed by the savages of the place in catching fish, and praises the beauty and fertility of the surrounding country. Allouez and André are laboring with those tribes, — the former, with the inland tribes on the Fox and Wolf rivers; the latter, with those about De Pere and along the shores of Green Bay. The divinities venerated by these tribes, and their superstitions regarding them, are recounted. André makes a strong impression on the minds of his savages by songs, — composed in the Indian tongue, but sung to French airs, — which he accompanies with a flute. These songs, many of which are expressly directed against their superstitions, he teaches to the children, and with a band of “these little Savage musicians” goes about the villages, “to declare war on Jugglers, Dreamers, and those who had several wives.” He also employs pictures to instruct the people; and spends the winter in going from one village to another, instructing and baptizing. He is subject, of course, to trials and annoyances, “but such Crosses are the delight of Missionaries.” André adds notes of his observations upon the apparent tides in Green Bay.

Among the tribes of Central Wisconsin, Allouez has accomplished much, — instructing savages of five different tongues, of whom some had never before seen a Frenchman. The Mascoutens and Illinois “receive him as an Angel from Heaven, and crowd about him, both day and night.” The Outagamies are especially interested in the cross; almost every one, Young or old, frequently makes its sign, and a war-party from this tribe believe that they have won [Page 13] a battle by this means. Allouez erects in their village a large cross, “thus taking possession of those infidel lads in the name of Jesus Christ.”

One of the most important events of the year is the discovery of a land route to Hudson Bay, — made under Talon’s orders, by one of his officers Paul Denis de St. Simon, and the Jesuit Charles Albanel. A full. account of this long and arduous journey is furnished in the journal kept by Albanel. With Indian guides obtained at Tadoussac, they ascend the Saguenay (August, 167 1). On September 17, they meet, far up the Chamouchouan, a party of Indians from the far North, who tell them that trading-ships are anchored in Hudson Bay, and that hostilities have occurred between the strangers and the natives. The Frenchmen accordingly halt at this place, and promptly send messengers to Quebec for official credentials of their mission. At the end of October, the whole party go into winter quarters. This proves to be the most trying winter that Albanel has ever spent with the Indians; because his Tadoussac guides, desirous to abandon the expedition, harass and annoy him in every possible way, hoping thus to compel him to return to the St. Lawrence. After many conflicts with these savages, he secures other guides, from the Mistassini tribes; and the Frenchmen resume their journey, June 1, 1672. After crossing the watershed between the St. Lawrence valley and Hudson Bay, they encounter a tribe who must be propitiated in regard to affording the French a passage. A council is held, where Albanel announces the peace now existing among the Eastern tribes, recommends to these Indians the Christian faith, and advises them to trade with the French[Page 14] rather than with the English who have recently come to Hudson Bay. The delighted savages accept his presents, and ask for instruction; but, after baptizing some children, and assigning a future rendezvous with him at Lake St. John for the adults, Albanel resumes his march. Journeying by way of Lake Mistassini and the Rupert River, — through mountainous regions, by many lakes and streams, and over numerous portages, — the French reach Hudson Bay, June 28. Here they find an English vessel and two houses. No savages are dwelling here, where-upon Albanel’s Indian guide desires to return immediately to his home. The Father is indignant, and his reproaches, reinforced by threats of God’s displeasure, bring the recalcitrant to terms. Albanel adds, “I have always found the Savages very easily moved by representations of Hell’s torments, and by the charms of Heaven’s delights.”

Proceeding twenty leagues up the toast of the bay, they find a considerable encampment of Indians. Albanel wins their confidence, and all desire him to instruct and baptize them. He confers that rite upon the chief and sixty-one other persons, and promises to visit them again. In his journal he notes much interesting information, such as he could hastily gather during his short visit, about Hudson Bay and its tributary rivers, the nations dwelling about it, the characteristics of its climate and soil, its natural products, etc. The Father admires the vast forests and beautiful plains, the salubrious and even pleasant climate, and the rich pasturage for cattle.

Returning homeward from the Bay, the Frenchmen “plant the King’s standard” at Lake Nemiskau, and, later, on one of the rivers flowing south [Page 15] into Lake St. John, “to serve as a safeguard to all those Tribes against all the Iroquois Nations.” On the way, they meet various parties of savages, and Albanel confers baptism on many children. In all, he baptizes during this journey and his return, two hundred persons, both children and adults. The party arrive at Tadoussac, August 1, 1672. Albanel felicitates himself upon his success, and upon his responsible position in this enterprise. “The conduct of the expedition was my due, after my eighteen years of effort to that end.” The Father, in closing, views with great hopefulness the prospect for missions among those far Northern tribes. They desire trade with the French, are well disposed toward the faith, and are not so immersed in either licentiousness or superstition as are the other Algonkin tribes.

The Relation ends with an account of “the holy death” of Madame de la Peltrie, and that of Mother Marie de l’Incarnation, — the former the foundress, the latter the first superior, of the Ursuline convent at Quebec, — events which were “a public affliction.” Dablon recounts the circumstances connected with Madame de la Peltrie’s vocation to Canada, and her relations with Jean de Bernières and Marie de l’Incarnation. The vision of Canada seen by the latter, and her voyage thither, are also related, in her own words. Dablon continues the story of Madame de la Peltrie’s pious deeds and saintly life in Canada. She dies November 12, 1671; and, a little later (April 30, 1672), she is followed by Mother Marie. Dablon highly eulogizes the virtues, intellectual ability, and lovable character of this nun.

MADISON, WIS., October, 1899.

R. G. T.

[Page 16]

CXXVIII (concluded)



Chap. i. of this document was published in Volume LV.;

the remainder is herewith given.[Page 17]



FATHER Fremin, who has charge of this Residence and of the Colony thereto attached, composed of Hurons and Iroquois, writes me about them, under date of August 14th of the present year, 1672, as follows:

“I recognize clearly that the holy Ghost exercises a special providence over the guidance of this little Church; and that the blessed Virgin, who is honored in it, and saint Francis Xavier, who is its Patron, make their power with the divine Majesty felt there by quite extraordinary manifestations of grace, on behalf of these poor souls, — most of whom, after being reared in infidelity in the past, are now professing the most exalted virtues practiced in Christendom.

“I was surprised, last year, on my return from the country of the Iroquois, to see here so much devotion and fervor; but I am still [54] more so now, to see their constancy in these pious sentiments.

” Since I have been here, there has not come into their cabins, so far as I know, a single drop of the liquor which causes so many disturbances among the Savages. They all have an extreme aversion for it, although everywhere around them the Savages daily become intoxicated, indulging in excesses which render visible among them a veritable picture of hell, with such madness are they carried away. For more[Page 19] than three weeks the people here have had a dram-shop at their very doors, but not a man has thought of setting foot inside it. Moreover, — a circumstance which makes me see even more clearly the working of grace, — I Count in this little Church fully fifty or sixty who were formerly hard drinkers, but who now feel such a horror at that vice that they cannot tolerate those who are addicted to it; and do not speak to those persons when they meet, except for the purpose of inspiring them with an aversion for intemperance. They themselves use the most effective means to be found in the Christian religion for obtaining from God [SS] the victory over their passions, and for subjecting them to reason and to his holy Law. Whether I have the people here under my eyes, or the hunting season calls them away to the woods to seek their living, they never miss their prayers, morning or evening, and all their spiritual exercises go on as usual, — which is a manifest proof to me of their faith and virtue. Such public profession thereof do they make at all times and in all places, that all Savages who come here, either to dwell or to visit their friends, resolve to become Christians, or pretend to be such, well knowing that otherwise they would not be welcome.

“Upon the arrival of a stranger, the first thing our Savages do is to instruct him, and urge him to, ask for Baptism; and I am of opinion that they, by their zeal, piety, and good example, contribute much more toward the conversion of unbelievers than I do by my teachings. Their assiduity at Church is extraordinary: not to attend and offer one’s prayers to, God, or not to hear [56] Mass even on a workday, when one is in the Village, passes with them for a [Page 21] serious offense; and it very rarely occurs that any one is remiss in that respect. Many hear two Masses on Sundays and Feast-days, and do not fail to attend both Vespers and Benedictions, besides paying several visits to the blessed Sacrament during the day. All these public devotions, finally, do not prevent their also kneeling, each in his cabin, every evening before retiring, and saying their prayers.

“The devotion of the holy Family, of which we have a little assembly here, is of great service in keeping them in such a state of fervor and in abhorrence of sin. A Young woman who had committed some offense was so filled with contrition over it that, resolving to make immediate confession, she went away into the woods and took a severe discipline in expiation of her sin. Another, finding two leagues from here an Infidel who was maintaining improper relations with a Christian woman, so far prevailed by her remonstrances as to persuade the latter [57] to come and live in her cabin.’ At least,’ said she to me,’ I shall by this means prevent some of that wretched man’s sins.’ I omit many other similar instances of their zeal and piety, but I cannot pass over a striking proof, given me not long ago by one of our Christian women, of her faith and her trust in the blessed Virgin. She came in quest of me on the occasion of her child’s dangerous illness, and said to me:’ My Father, my poor Child is sick unto death; I have, as you know, spared no efforts to effect its cure, employing for the purpose every conceivable remedy, but in vain. I am resolved to use such means no more. Some time ago, I was no less anxious to secure my mother’s conversion, as she was then an infidel. I had recourse to the blessed [Page 23] Virgin, causing Masses to be said in her honor for my mother. She granted me my petition, and my mother is now a good Christian. I hope for the same favor from her goodness on behalf of my child. Here is a porcelain collar which I offer her to that end; and you, [58] my Father, you Will have the goodness, if you please, to say nine Masses; and the blessed Virgin Will give me back my son, if it be her Will.’ The novena was not yet finished when the sick Child was perfectly cured. I wish that those who used to ask me whether there were any Christians among the Savages could be here. We are likely, both they and 1, to be covered with confusion before God in the other life, at sight of so many poor barbarians who Will be found to have made better use than we of the succor of his grace.”.[Page 25]

kg] Of the Iroquois Missions.



WE have seven Missionaries among the five Iroquois Nations. Father Bruyas, who is their Superior-General, has, with Father Boniface, taken charge of the Mission of the Martyrs at Annie, after laboring four or five years in the Nation of the Onneiout, the haughtiest and least tractable of all the Iroquois. That arduous Mission, saint François Xavier, has fallen to the tare of Father Millet. Father de Lamberville[i] is over the Church of St. Jean Baptiste at Onnontagué. Father de Carrheil, who was detained at Quebec by a contraction of the tendons, returned thence in the Spring to his Mission of St. Joseph; he had been cured [60] of his ailment in a miraculous manner, by having recourse to Our Lady of Foy and to saint Anne. We have learned that he arrived in Perfect health; and that Father Raffeix, who had charge of that Mission in his absence, has gone to aid Father Garnier, and share with him the tare of the three Missions — la Conception, St. Michel, and St. Jacques — in Sonnontouan, where from twelve to thirteen thousand souls are reckoned. The progress of all these Nations in learning the truths of our Faith has continued to be very marked this year, although I find in our Missionaries’ notes only two hundred baptized, — [Page 27] which means that the sick have been fewer this year; and that those who are well are, although adequately instructed, not yet strong enough in the resolve to forsake their dreams and renounce their superstitious practices. That work of the Holy Ghost will be accomplished by the prayers of the good, and the zeal and constancy of the Gospel Laborers. The Savages of Annié, who were those most thoroughly humbled by the King’s arms, continue to be those best inclined to embrace [61] the Faith. Affliction is needed by these People to render them responsive to the impulses of grace. In proof of the notable progress made among them by our Fathers, through their tireless constancy in teaching them, more than sixty have received holy Baptism.

Fifteen of the most fervent members of that Church, Christians and Catechumens together, have severed their connection with it, in order to come and partake of the spirit of Christianity and devotion among the Huron Christians of Nostre-Dame de Foy. They were received with such benevolence that all the cabins — that is, all hearts — were opened to them, and each one freely shared his best with them. More than fifty others were entertaining the same purpose, and their canoes were all in readiness; but their well-grounded fear lest they might displease their relatives, and lest the Loup Nations, their enemies, might be tempted to take advantage of their absence, forced them to postpone their departure until a more favorable juncture [Page 29]



THE Onneiout — whose hearts seem to partake of the nature of stone or rock, whence they take their name — become more docile as they are better instructed in our holy Mysteries. The divine Providence never fails, sooner or later, to bestow its blessing on the labors of a truly Apostolic Missionary; nor does he shrink from any hardship. Closely united as he is with him to whom alone belongs the conversion of souls, he is ever hopeful. He employs a thousand devices, one after another, to gain his end; and, even if not one of these means should succeed, he never despairs. He is ever seeking new ones; he has recourse to Prayer, and he awaits without impatience the moments of grace, Thus, by insensible degrees, Heaven is effecting the conversion of the Iroquois Tribes, raising up true imitators [63] of the Apostle of the Indies, who consecrate to this glorious calling the vigor of their years, their talents, labors, and lives.

Father Bruyas, who is still at the above-named Mission, writes to me concerning it as follows: “God has afforded me the opportunity which I had long sought for a thorough talk on our holy Mysteries to the Elders of this village. I proposed to them, when all the Young people were away hunting or at war, a project of mine for holding daily meetings, where I might explain to them our Christian truths, and, at [Page 31] the same time, show them the vanity of their own fables. They highly approved of this proposition. These talks were held in the manner of conferences, in which I was listened to with deep attention. Our attendance never failed to be fairly large, — many coming through curiosity, others to pass the time, or, finally, to receive instruction and fit themselves for embracing the faith. A man of the village, wise in matters relating to their dreams, desired the honor of opening the first conference, — begging that I would, before speaking myself, hear him [64] relate what he had learned through his ancestors regarding the creation of the world. I willingly granted his request, in order not to displease the people at the outset, and that I might seize the opportunity thereby presented for giving them a higher estimation of the substantialness of the truths which we teach them. At the close of these talks, I always offered a prayer on behalf of the entire Company, asking God for grace to know him, to believe in him, to serve him, and to keep his holy Commandments; expressing also the resolution to attend prayers daily, to renounce the diabolical superstitions of the Nation, and to embrace Christianity. This prayer produced excellent results. The benefit which I derived from these public and informal lessons has been very manifest to me in my own facility — which I found to be greater than before — in preparing for holy Baptism some adults who were at death’s door. Some old men among the number afforded me great consolation, leaving me after their deaths very hopeful of their salvation. One of them being a hundred years old, and the other six-score, they [65] were only waiting for this grace to exchange a feeble and [Page 33] wretched existence for a blessed and eternal life. Since my last letter, in the month of May, 1671, I count thirty people baptized, most of whom were children who have gone to swell the number of the predestined in Heaven.

“I had the affliction to see a noted Juggler die in his infidelity; but his presumption and pride rendered him unworthy of the grace of holy Baptism. What I wonder at every day in that class of men is, that, although convinced by their own experience that all their jugglery is only a fraud, nevertheless they still allow themselves to be deceived until their dying day; and not one of them has yet been heard of as exposing the trickery of a comrade, — not even when intoxicated, a state in which they commonly betray their most secret thoughts.

“The noted Juggler of whom I just spoke was held in unusual veneration among all the Iroquois; and, even as his reputation and example retarded [66] the progress of the Faith during his lifetime, so his shade still seems to be baleful to Christianity, and to have issued from the abysmal depths that he may continue to persecute this infant Church. In fact, he has found not less submission in the disposition of these Peoples than he was wont to meet with in his lifetime. An elder recently convoked the Council, and announced to it that this Juggler had appeared to him in a dream, and, regarding him with a terrible expression, had bidden him bear word to the elders that they were irremediably lest; and that the Gandastógués would come the next Spring, without fail, to besiege the village and burn and slay all who resisted them. If, however, they wished to avoid these disasters, they must remove his body [Page 35] from the spot where it was buried, and carry it out along the road leading to Gandastogué. He said that then there would be no further cause for alarm, since, as he had overcome this common enemy of the Nation during his lifetime, he was still pursuing him after his death; and his body, on being transferred to the place that he had designated, would not fail to inspire terror [67] in the hearts of all who should venture to approach the village. All thanked this old man for the good counsel that he had given them; and, although the ground was covered with snow, they failed not to execute to the letter the order they had received, — bearing the dead body out along the road to Gandastógué, and there erecting to it the finest mausoleum to be seen among these barbarians. After all, as this knave was found to be a liar while alive, he proved no less untrustworthy after his death, — two women having recently been brained by those very Gandastógués within fifty paces of the palisade surrounding the village.” [Page 37]




FROM the Mission of St. Jean Baptiste we receive information of two very encouraging circumstances, which plainly show us that the Faith has made great progress in that country. One is, that thirty-nine persons have there received the grace of holy Baptism, — [SS] twenty of them entering, soon after, into the possession of glory. No doubt in the matter can be entertained concerning sixteen little children; while the remaining four, who were adults, gave in dying decided signs of predestination — especially a Young man of twenty-five or twenty-six years. The personal kindness and help that he received from the Priests of Mon-real, after being ill-treated by some Frenchmen, aided not a little in winning him to God. All his family, unbelievers though they still were, often testified their gratitude, and even showed themselves zealous for his salvation. His mother was the very first to make him pray to God, and to invite Father Millet to instruct him, — while, a short tine before his death, she hastened to the Father to warn him of her son’s danger, that he might help him to die well; and the dying man responded faithfully to all these bestowals of grace.

“ I hope,” says Father Millet in his letter, “that he will not be the only Christian or the only [Page 39] predestined member of his family. The joy that they felt after his death, in the hope [6g] of his eternal happiness, is no small sign of their Faith, and so they seem to me net very far from God’s kingdom; while the great desire they evince to see the son again some day in Heaven makes me hopeful of soon seeing them children of the Church.”

The other circumstance that must give much joy to all who desire to see God glorified in the conversion of these Peoples, is the constancy of their Chief, Daniel Garakontié, in his high opinion of the faith, and in his fidelity in everywhere making open profession of Christianity. He did this with all solemnity two years ago when, after being baptized at Quebec, he declared upon his return, in a public meeting, that he intended thenceforward to discharge no function of his Office except so far as it should be in conformity with God’s commandments. This declaration he repeated in a more courageous manner in New Holland, before the Europeans who hold command in that country, and the chief men of all the five Iroquois Nations, who had been summoned for the purpose of concluding a peace with the Loup Nations. The Father [70] informs us in his last letter that Garakontié showed a truly Christian courage, the past Winter, in an illness that brought him to death’s door. His relatives and all the village, seeing themselves in danger of losing him, urged him with great importunity to permit, for the sake of being cured, the employment of the usual juggler’s arts, which pass for remedies in that country. TO this he made constant and strenuous resistance. Nevertheless, a superstitious ceremony was executed in his cabin, after the custom of the jugglers when [Page 41] they undertake to cure some ailment. The Father, hearing of it, felt some suspicion that it had received the sick man’s consent. He went to visit him toward evening, and found with him ail the elders, — who, believing his death to be near at hand, had come in a body to do him honor, and bid him a last Farewell. The sick man spoke first and said to him: “My Father, I was much distressed today on account of the ceremony which was performed, without my knowledge and out of my sight, at the other end of my cabin.’ Alas!’ said I to myself,’ what Will Teharonhiagannra’” — [7 1] Father Millet’s name — “‘ think and say of me? He will believe me to be a hypocrite and dissembler.’ No, my Father, I have not changed my mind since my baptism, nor am I any longer the man to consent to such follies, I merely suffered myself to be scarified, and a little blood to be drawn from my head; but I do not think that I thereby offended God. I have too much spirit, Father, and have too solemnly promised God to keep his holy law all my life, to resume like a coward the old practices that I have renounced, and now once more renounce, with all my heart. No, my Father, I Will never break my promise, even though my life should be at stake.” The Father strengthened him in these good resolutions, which afforded the company great edification.

Subsequently our Neophyte, having recovered his health, went down to Mon-real as Ambassador from all the Iroquois Nations, to hold council with the Algonquin tribes known as the Outaouaks, — who held their rendezvous there for the arrangement of their affairs with one another, as well as for the sale of their, furs. Now in this assembly [72] of a [Page 43] hundred and fifty canoes, — that is, of more than five hundred Savages of various Nations, — in the presence of Monsieur de Courcelles, Governor of the country, for whom all these Tribes have a very marked veneration, Garakontié displayed his intelligence and good sense, and especially his Faith and zeal. For, after they had finished their negotiations, and ratified the treaty of peace by fresh protestations of friendship and an exchange of presents, he raised his voice to tell them that he had formerly been as they were, — ignorant of the true God, given to the worship of his dreams, and observing all their superstitious practices; but that now he was a Christian and was living a happy life, obeying God’s commandments and hoping for a life eternal. He concluded his harangue by exhorting them, with his wonted eloquence, to imitate and follow him.

Such a speech, from the mouth of a Savage who thus frankly declares the feelings of his heart, often produces more effect upon these people’s minds than the words of the most zealous Missionary, — as is shown by [73] two very recent instances. This same Daniel Garakontié, says Father de Lamberville in his letter of September 23rd, “having, on his home. ward journey, encountered a kinswoman of his who was mortally ill, sought me out, and asked me for some remedy for her.’ My brother,’ said I to him,’ the sole remedy that can avail her in her present state is Baptism, to save her from hell. But she is utterly averse to receiving this Sacrament, being obstinately bent on dying like her Ancestors, whom she wishes to go and find in the so-called “land of souls.” If thou hast a true affection for her, exert all thy efforts to render her more docile; but make [Page 45] haste, for she has only a little longer to live.’ No sooner had I made this proposition to him “— these are the Father’s words — “than that genuine Christian, who possesses no attribute of the Iroquois Savage but his birth and name, went to visit her; and wrought on her so admirably by his zeal that she was thereupon sufficiently instructed to receive holy Baptism — to the great satisfaction of all the family.” The Father was still unable to gain access to another [74] poor dying creature, for the purpose of speaking to her concerning her salvation, because she showed an intense aversion for such themes, as well as an incredible attachment to the native superstitions. In this difficulty, he had recourse to a woman who was a friend of that family; she was not yet a Catechumen, and did not even attend prayers, but she had some knowledge of our mysteries and was well-intentioned. She met with such success from the very first time when she spoke to the sick woman about becoming a Christian, and cleverly contrived to predispose the latter so favorably toward the Father, that he was made most welcome in her cabin, and she never refused him a hearing thereafter. Being then sufficiently instructed, she was baptized; and, soon after her Baptism, she died a very Christian death. “Thus it is” — says the Father in closing his letter — “that, in spite of intemperance, which reigns here to the greatest excess, and the other obstacles that hell is constantly opposing to the advancement of the faith, we are continually finding souls to win, and fruits of the Blood of Jesus Christ to gather.” [Page 47]



THE Letter received by me on the 24th of June from Father Raffeix, who was sent from here last year to go and take charge of that Mission in Father de Carrheil’s absence, gives us an account of it in considerable detail. He writes as follows:

” Goiogouen is the fairest country that I have seen in America. Its latitude is 42½ degrees, and the variation of the magnetic needle there is scarcely more than ten degrees. It is a tract situated between two Lakes, and not exceeding four leagues in width, consisting of almost uninterrupted plains, the woods bordering which are extremely beautiful.

“Annié is a very narrow valley, often abounding in stones, and always covered with mists. The mountains hemming it in seem to me of very poor soil. Onneiout and Onnontagué appear to be [76] very rough regions, and little adapted to the chase, the same being true of Sonnontouan. Around Goiogouen there are killed annually more than a thousand Deer.

“Fish — salmon, as well as eels and other kinds — are as plenty here as at Onnontague. Four leagues from here I saw by the side of a river, within a very limited space, eight or ten extremely fine salt-Springs. Many snares are set there for catching pigeons, from seven to eight hundred being often [Page 49] taken at once. Lake Tiohero, one of the two adjoining our village, is fully fourteen leagues long by one or two wide. Swans[ii] and Bustards are very abundant there, during the entire Winter; and in Spring one sees nothing but continual clouds of all sorts of wild fowl.

“The Ochouéguen [Oswego] River, which flows from this Lake, divides, in its upper waters, into several channels, bordered by prairies; and at intervals are very pleasant and somewhat deep inlets, which are preserves for game.

“I find the inhabitants of Goiogouen [77] more tractable and less haughty than the Onnontagué and Onneiout, and if God had humbled them as he has the Anniez, I believe the Faith could be planted here more easily than in any of the other Iroquois Nations. There are estimated to be more than three hundred warriors here, and a prodigious number of little children.

“As for things spiritual, and the interests of the Mission, I hardly know what to say. Since God removed hence, some time ago, Father Ménard, when he was beginning his labors here with such excellent results; and, nearly a year ago, Father de Carrheil, — after he had learned the language perfectly, and implanted in these barbarians’ hearts a disposition most favorable for their salvation, — I do not think that the hour of their conversion has yet arrived.

“TO remove from our Catechumens and Neophytes the aversion to Christianity that some slaves from the neutral Nation and some renegade Hurons had given them, I introduced Church singing among them, adapting thereto various Prayers, and some [Page 51] Hymns in their tongue on the principal [78] mysteries of our faith.

“On the first day of the year we offered these Songs of praise as a new-year’s gift to our Lord; and have since continued them with good results, and to the great gratification of our Savages.

“I am occupied most of the day in visiting the sick, instructing them, and taking tare that they do not die without Baptism. God did not permit me to succeed with the first one whom I visited on my arrival, who died soon after. I went to see him several times, and was even beginning to give him some instruction, but his mother could not endure it. One day when I remained with the sick man longer than she wished me to, she took a stick to drive me out, and her daughter a large stone, which she threw at me, — without hitting me, however. I ceased not to watch for opportunity to effect my object, — accosting that wretched mother on various occasions, and conjuring her to take pity on her son, but finding her ever inflexible. Thus that poor Young [7g] man died without Baptism, — at least, an actual one. It seems as if God’s curse were upon that cabin, Father de Carrheil having been still more unworthily treated there than 1, and for a similar cause.

“Some time after this affliction, which was a very bitter one to me, God was pleased to console me by the conversion of a Young prisoner of war, between twenty and twenty-two years of age. I have never found a Savage of greater docility. He had just had half of one hand cut off, and his nails pulled out; a crowd of people surrounded him on all sides, vying with one another in making him sing; he was suffered to take breath from time to time, and these [Page 53] occasions I used for instructing him. Amid all this disturbance, he seemed to have presence of mind only for grasping the truths of Christianity, which I taught him. Finally he gave me such satisfaction that I baptized him, thereby affording him so great joy that he thanked me publicly by singing of the kindness that I had just shown him.

“I count thirty, children and adults together, [80] to whom God has granted the same grace since Father de Carrheil’s departure. I hope that company of little Innocents, who are everywhere swelling the Church triumphant, Will at length constrain God, by the prayers that they offer him to that end, to hasten the time of these barbarians’ conversion, which, does not yet appear to be very near. For the idea that a whole nation can be converted at once, or the expectation that Christians can be made by hundreds or thousands in this country, is a delusion. Canada is not a land of flowers; to find and pluck an occasional one, it is necessary to walk a long distance through briers and thorns. Persons of exalted virtue find here material for the exercise of their zeal, and the faint-hearted, like myself, are delighted to find themselves forced by necessity to suffer much, to derive their sole consolation from God, and to toil incessantly in self-sanctification. I pray Your Reverence most heartily to leave me in this happy condition all my life, and to believe that it is the greatest favor you can accord me,” etc.

“I Will add this one Word more,” [SI] says the Father, “to tell you the news concerning our petty wars. On Ascension day, twenty Tsonnontouans and forty of the haughtiest of our Young men set out from this village, to go and strike a blow in the fields [Page 55] of the Andastogués, four days’ journey hence. The Tsonnontouans — who formed a band by themselves, the others having gone on ahead by water — were attacked by sixty Andastogué boys, 15 or 16 years old, and put to flight, with the loss of two of their number, — one being killed on the spot, and the other led away captive. These Young victors, learning that the Goiogouen band had gone by canoe, promptly took canoes, and pursued them with such speed that they overtook and routed them, — eight of our men being killed in their canoes; while fifteen or sixteen returned badly wounded by arrows and knives, or half killed by hatchet-strokes. The battle-field remained in possession of the Andastogué boys, with a loss, it is said, of fifteen or sixteen of their number. God preserves the Andastoguez, who Count but three hundred warriors, and [82] favors their arms, in order to humble the Iroquois and maintain the peace and our Missions.”

Since the above letter was written, Father de Carrheil has returned safely to his Mission, as I have already stated; and Father Raffeix has gone to labor with Father Garnier in the Tsonnontouan Missions, of which we shall speak in the following Chapter. [Page 57]




LETTER from Father Julien Garnier, written in July, 1672.

“The spiritual interests of these Missions depend largely on temporal affairs, and above all on the state of men’s minds regarding the peace with the French. The elders of the village of Gandachiorágon had declared to me, in a council called for the purpose, that they wished to adopt the custom of praying to God, and indeed some began to do so; [83] and, although I could not yet see therein any great beginnings of faith, yet their example induced the people to give me a hearing, and procured for me entire freedom in visiting and instructing the sick. But rumors of the approach of a French army soon undid these small beginnings. The people’s minds being ill prepared, the demon used the opportunity to make them speak against the faith and against its preachers. An old man who came some years ago from Goiogouen, — a mischief-maker, but a persuasive speaker, able to do what he Will with our Tsonnontouans, and passing among them for a prodigy of wisdom, — is wont to demonstrate to them that the faith makes people die. He cites whole families who embraced it in times past, when the late Father Ménard, Apostolic Missionary, was sojourning at Goiogouen — families, of whom, he [Page 59] says, not one soul is now left. He adds that the black-gowned men are here only as spies, and convey all information to Onnontio, — that is, to Monsieur the Governor; or that they are sorcerers, who effect by disease what Onnontio cannot accomplish by his arms. I know with certainty [84] that my death has been proposed, on the ground that I am a spy, and more or less a sorcerer; and that our host himself, Onnonkenritaoui, the most influential Chief of this great Nation, has often proposed to his sister to kill me as a sorcerer, when she declared to him her great distrust of me because of her daughter’s frequent fits of sickness. As I do not retire as early as is their wont, and as I spend a considerable part of the evening praying in the Chapel, they are persuaded that I cannot be otherwise engaged during that time than in communing with some evil spirit, and plotting with him the ruin of their family. Thus, humanly speaking, my life depends on that little girl’s health; and I would run great risk of losing it, were she to die. I would also have equal cause for alarm if probable tidings reached us of the march of a French army to this country, — a number of men having assured me in advance that, in that case, they would certainly brain me.

“Therein, my Reverend Father, [SS] I am happy; and therein do I reckon the blessedness of my Mission, which forces me to regard each moment as the last of my life, and to labor joyfully in this condition for the salvation of these poor souls. The sending of a single Child to Heaven by holy Baptism is enough to change all this bitterness to sweetness.

“That old man of whom I just spoke also turns to his own advantage all that has occurred in these [Page 61] latter years, as well as what those who have visited Quebec have reported against me especially. Such pains were unnecessary to turn aside from prayer, and embitter against us, people as quick to take umbrage as these are, and wholly given over to Jugglery and superstition. And so they ceased to attend Chapel, — while, if I visited their cabins in quest of the sick, I was only regarded with disfavor; and, if I attempted to instruct them I was usually interrupted by some words of abuse. Drunkenness being added to all this, I was compelled to take refuge in the Chapel, where I have ever found a safe asylum. I am surprised that, in all these disturbances, [86] only a single drunken man has followed me thither, while even he was prevented from harming me. In eleven months, there have died in all the Villages of this nation only thirty-three baptized persons, of whom nearly all were children. We have baptized seven more, who are still ill, making forty in all.

“God has shown great mercy to some adults who were baptized, and, among the number, to a Captive from the Ontouagannha, or Chaouanong, a man declining in years. Ordinarily, only Young people are brought from those countries so far distant. It was God’s Will that I should fortunately be at the place where he arrived in company with an Interpreter, — the only one for that language in this country, so far as I know. He listened with pleasure to all that I taught him of the principal mysteries of our faith, and of eternal happiness in Paradise. At length I found him prepared for Baptism, and I believe that he went to Heaven on the very day of his arrival at Tsonnontouan, — divine Providence having led him, bound and fettered, more than three [Page 63] hundred leagues, to make him find here the true liberty of God’s children.

[ST] “A woman, seized with the epilepsy, fell into the midst of a great fire; and, before she could be rescued, was so severely burned that the bones of her hands and arms dropped off, one after another. AS I was not in this village at the time, a Young Frenchman whom I have with me, who knows the language well and discharges worthily the duties of Dogique, hastened to her. Finding her in possession of her reason, he spoke to her concerning God and her salvation, instructed her, made her repeat all the prayers necessary on such an occasion, and baptized her. This poor creature passed the eight or ten days of life remaining to her in prayer, which was her sole comfort in her intense sufferings, and her extreme bereavement of all human alleviation, — a condition which she bore with admirable patience, in the hope of a life everlasting. It is such strokes of grace which manifest themselves most visibly in these barbarous countries, and greatly mitigate a Missionary’s pains, fatigues, and bitter experiences.

“A Young Christian of another nation, who died a most pious death, [88] moved me to tears every time when I made him pray to God during his last illness, — his feeling and devotion showing themselves in his eyes, on his countenance, and in the fervor of his utterance. His relatives were struck with admiration. Hundreds of times he testified to me his wish for death, that he might reach Heaven as soon as possible. Such sentiments are a very evident sign of Faith. A Christian Huron woman gave us equally manifest indications. She had [Page 65] finally, in the prostration following a long illness, allowed herself to be persuaded that a superstitious, feast would cure her; but she recognized her error, and determined, of her own accord, to make public atonement therefor, — showing great grief at having obeyed those agents of hell, and rebuking them in a large gathering for having maliciously given her such abominable counsel.

“The Hurons of the Mission of saint Michel are more desirous than ever to go to Quebec and swell the Church of Nostre-Dame de Foy; and some of those who are not yet Christians have declared that they would then [Sg] embrace the Faith. The chief and eldest of them all took the Word, after a short lesson from me on the subject, and declared that, for his part, he would not wait so long before turning Christian; that he then and there resolved to be one; that he renounced his dream-worship, and all things forbidden by God; that he would seek instruction without delay, and would not fail to attend prayers daily; and that he exhorted the rest to follow his example. Thus far, he has kept his Word, and I hope that he will soon be baptized.

“I will finish this letter with the account of a deed worthy of a Christian’s courage. An elder belonging to this little Church, — who has filled, to the great edification of ail, the Office of Dogique during more than twenty years, in which it was deprived of a Pastor by the long-continued wars, — learning that his son, his only one, had been killed on the battle-field in an engagement with the Gandastógués was filled with the utmost grief, although in a spirit of entire resignation to God’s Will, and constantly manifesting his heroism therein. [go] But all were [Page 67] surprised when a second report came that the Young man was not dead, and that the wounds which he had received did not appear to be mortal. Upon his finally being brought home on a sort of litter, the old. man, recovering his spirits and reviving his Faith with fresh vigor, passed the day in thanksgivings to God that were full of reverence and gratitude. All the people of the village gathered in throngs in his cabin to show him their joy. They came out with a. high opinion of his virtue.

“After ail, I have observed that it is not so much depravity of morals that prevents our Savages from being Christians, as the prejudiced impressions which most of them have of the Faith and Christianity. I know nearly two hundred families among them, who maintain inviolate the marriage-bond, and rear their children in morality; who keep their daughters from undue freedom of intercourse abroad, and from plunging into riots of sensuality; and who, would be inclined to live [gr] very Christian lives if they had the Faith. That is a gift of God, and we ask him for it unceasingly on behalf of these poor souls who are the price of his Blood, and whom I most especially commend, my Reverend Father, to your holy prayers and sacrifices. Tsonnontouan, this 20th of July, 1672.” [Page 69]

[93]Part Second.

Of the Missions to the Montagnais and Algon-

quin Tribes at Tadoussac, to the Outa-

ouacs, and to the North Sea, in

the Years 1671 and 1672.





2, 1672.


Since you bid me Write you — what has occurred during my [94] winter’s sojourn here,[iii] I Will obey you with sincerity, giving a little diary of our journey, wherein you Will see only a succession of good and ill fortune, of ease and hardship, sent by divine Providence, one after the other, in a manner truly worthy of our love.

I started from Quebec on the 25th of October, 167 1, with the Savages whom I was to follow through the woods all Winter long; and in three days we reached Tadoussac, where I found the Savages of the place delighted at my coming. They gave me very encouraging signs of their piety throughout my entire sojourn with them, but especially on all Saints’ [Page 71] day, — celebrating that great Festival with all the practices of devotion that are observed in the midst of the Holiest Christian communities.

Not until the sixth of November did we leave that place to enter the Saguenay river; but, being stopped on the following night by bad weather, we sought refuge in a bay of considerable size, where we remained during four days of wind and storm.

[gs] I had here the happiness to taste the first discomforts of the winter season, caused by the cold, which was already very severe; by our being thence-forward obliged to make our beds on nothing but the snow covered with some fir-branches; and above all by smoke, the great Cross of those who winter with these Savages. One must have had the experience to conceive how painful that kind of smoke is to eyes unaccustomed to it, and even to those of the Savages. It is especially trying when one is shut up, as we were, in a little bark cabin, where the wet and half-decayed wood used for fuel, the damp air, the snow, and the occasional winds, render the smoke so stinging that, although we may avoid it a little by constantly maintaining a reclining posture as low as possible, yet we often nearly lose our eyesight from weeping; for tears flow incessantly all day long, — tears, too, so briny and stinging that at night the same pain is felt as if the eyes were charged with salt.

As one is forced, after journeying [g6] a number of leagues, to halt for 5 or 6 whole days, and sometimes longer, he must make up his mind to pass that entire period, with no intermission, in this little martyrdom.

I am glad to have explained this discomfort to you [Page 73] once for all, for we suffered from it during almost the entire Winter. But still it did not check the devotion of our Savages, who, in order not to be deprived for a single day of the consolation of hearing Mass, preferred to expose themselves, while I said it, to the severe cold, — extinguishing the fire, as by its smoke it would have prevented this holy observance. This custom was followed daily, without fail, no matter what the weather might be.

On the eleventh of November, after saying Mass and planting the Cross in this desert region, we spread our sails to a favorable wind, which, however, pierced us with a cold rain that chilled us all severely.

Toward evening, we approached a large bay where a landing on our part seemed to be invited by the beauty of a rather [97] commodious Harbor, which it offered us, — which, as seen in a very pleasing view, appeared to be crowned by thirty high mountains surrounding it on all sides. The foot of the highest one was chosen as the site for our cabin, and as a place for suffering four or five nights of cold calculated to put one’s patience to the test. so intense was it that it closed the rivers with ice and forced us to pursue our way through the woods, amid almost incredible hardships. The comfort afforded me by looking at the Likeness of my beloved Father St. Francis Xavier, and my reliquary, in which I carry a piece of the true Cross, greatly ameliorated my little sufferings.

On the 13th, the cold increased exceedingly, and compelled us to remain for six days in the midst of a thick smoke which made us weep day and night, blinding us for a time. I felt very happy to offer [Page 75] those tears to Our Lord for extinguishing the flames of some souls in Purgatory.

On the 21st, after we had begun the fatigues of a journey through the snow, [g8] threading dense forests and climbing steep mountains, our hunters killed a moose; they showed me her fawn, which was no bigger than one’s thumb. After studying carefully the entire anatomy of this little animal, I was struck with admiration for the wisdom of the Creator, who can enclose in so small a compass so many different parts, all so well adapted to their functions. Had the creature been larger it would have relieved the hunger that beset us, and, until the first day of December, caused us no less suffering than the cold and smoke. I confess to you that there is much to endure in this kind of life; but, on the other hand, the spiritual favors that God then lavishes upon his servants greatly mitigate these bitter experiences. What gives me the most consolation, however, is to see the fondness that our Savages have for prayer, which they even inspire in their children; for those little innocents fail not, every day as soon as they are up, to come to me to learn the prayers and catechism — a work for which the days seem to me short indeed. And during the silence of the night, when our Savages [gg] cease their singing and talking, and the children their crying and weeping, I have leisure to commune with Our Lord amid these solitudes.

At this point a Christian family of the Savages called Esquimaux came to join us, having left their Compatriots, — who are, they say, so brutal as to cause those who receive Baptism to be strangled. As we were proceeding all together through the [Page 77] woods and mountains, I encountered a poor sick girl on my way, who excited my pity; and although I had difficulty enough in dragging myself along, God gave me sufficient strength to take on my shoulders the burden she was carrying, and thus help her gain a place of shelter. This deed of charity, besides the inner consolation I received from it, perhaps gained for me a remarkable favor from God; for he rescued me from a very serious danger when I had inadvertently plunged into a hole beneath the snow, in the midst of the ice that covered the river, — where I was likely to have a leg broken, at least.

About this time, we celebrated with all possible solemnity the [100] Feast of the Immaculate Conception, — in which the Confessions, Communions, Spiritual songs, and other devotions performed by our Savages during that entire day, were doubtless most acceptable to the blessed Virgin, who saw herself thus honored in regions so forbidding, and by Barbarians so zealous for her glory.

Meanwhile, we continued on our way, which was indicated only by moose-tracks; we directed our course by these as far as possible, for the sake of procuring provisions. Thus it was that we became involved in difficult paths, where I often sank in the snow up to my waist, the difficulty being to extricate myself again. After we had thus journeyed a number of days to no purpose, and in dire hunger, at length the good God, who takes pity on his servants in their necessities, led us to encounter two elks and four beavers. This occurred most seasonably for the day preceding Christmas, when our Savages used the time in preparing for the great Festival, — being unwilling, from a feeling of reverence, to go [Page 79] hunting on that day; and observing the fast of the Church, despite the fasts that had gone before. The whole night and the following day [I~I] were spent in devotions such as, I doubt not, delighted the guardian Angels of those forests. The devotions of a Young man and a Young girl, who received their first communion at the midnight Mass, gave me no little consolation.

My host’s son, who fell ill at that time, afforded me a new occasion for practicing patience. He was a Child of six, who loved me like a Father, and for whom I felt a very tender affection. He came to me to be instructed every day, morning and evening, — even during his sickness, and when he was critically ill. I tried to perform toward him the duties of Physician and of Father, but all my remedies were of no avail; and it seems to have been God’s Will to let that little Angel’s death fall in the Week of the Innocents, so that he might go and swell their number in Heaven. His parents were more deeply affected than can be imagined. Nevertheless, in their firm belief that he was in Paradise, they invoked him without ceasing; and, after we had buried him with the ceremonies [102] of the Church, which afforded all our Savages great consolation, the child’s father, before leaving the spot, went and knelt on his grave, commending himself to the Child and entreating him to hold thenceforth the place of Father to him.

Hunger finally forcing us to resume our journey, we were compelled to make our way over some very rough places, climbing mountains and then descending them, — which is accomplished only with much difficulty when they are covered with snow. We were also obliged to cross lakes, where the water [Page 81] left by the rain of the three days preceding gave us much trouble, since it came up over our snowshoes and even half-way to our knees. Finally, we had to endure a cold wind that sprang up and put us in great danger of having our faces, feet, and hands frozen. All these hardships greatly weaken the strength of a Missionary who, like the others of his party, has eaten hardly a morsel before starting. But the severest of these sufferings comes toward evening, in the three or four hours devoted to erecting cabins, before [103] there is any fire. It is no little consolation to join these sweats and chills to those which Our Lord was pleased to suffer for love of us. Thus the whole month of January was passed.

One day in that month, — it was a Friday, — being unusually pressed with hunger, we besought Our Lord by his sacred wounds to take pity on us. Our prayers were not displeasing to him; for on that very day he gave us, within a very short time, five beavers which served to restore our strength and prepare us for undergoing fresh hardships as we continued our journey. Here it was that, as we were crossing a river, the ice gave way under me; and I would have completed my sacrifice, had the water there been a little deeper.

TO tell you what occurred during the last three months of Winter would require a repetition of all that befell us during the three preceding. Our route was, indeed, a different one, but we experienced the same difficulties. The month of February was the severest [104] as to temperature; but that of March seemed to us the most troublesome, on account of the smoke. We passed the former in scarcity, but in [Page 83] the latter enjoyed an abundance of moose, which God seemed to lead with his own hand into our cabin, much oftener than into that of the others; and I concluded that, in his infinite goodness, he wished to reward, by that little temporal succor, the faithfulness with which our Savages constantly attended prayers and the holy sacrifice of the Mass, which I celebrated daily in their cabin.

In the course of these two months we twice felt an earthquake, — a rather moderate one, but the continuation of that which began with such violence throughout all Canada in the year 1662, and which has not yet ceased in these regions of the North, although, as I said, it is felt but very slightly and only occasionally.

At length — to avoid repetition — all our journeyings, which were made only by paths all strewn with Crosses, came to an end very fittingly at a lake bearing the [ION] name of the Cross, from its having the Perfect shape of one. TO make it bear that beautiful name for a still better reason, we planted many Crosses in its neighborhood, in memory of those which we had suffered in reaching it.

It was also a providence of God that assigned us the region of this Lake de la Croix for making our Savages observe the holy Ceremonies of the adoration of the Cross. It Will perhaps excite astonishment that, for the due celebration of the most august Mysteries of our Religion, we were able to find room in a poor cabin for all that conformity to the Church during Holy Week requires. We accomplished it, however, in order to bring our winter to a happy end, and to consecrate those Rocks and Mountains by all that we possess that is holiest and most worthy [Page 85] of veneration. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, of Holy week, converted our forests into a Church, and our cabin into a consecrated Chapel, where very few of the ceremonies observed at this time by Christians were omitted by [ 106] our Savages. Above ail, they showed profound respect for, and maintained a religious silence in, the cabin in which the blessed Sacrament was placed during the night between Thursday and Friday; and in that utter desert this august Mystery was honored without ceasing, in continual prayers which suffered no interruption from the darkness of the night.

Truly, wherever we went, our Savages seemed to sanctify this barbarous region by their communions, and by a life as innocent and holy, for their condition, as that led by Anchorites in their solitude; but they determined to crown their piety on Holy Easter Day, before leaving the woods, — in order, by such devout exercises, to make me forget all the hardships that I had suffered with them throughout that Winter.

After this Festival, accordingly, we ascended to the Saguenay, reaching it on the 16th of May, 1672; and on the following day we joyfully beheld once more Tadoussac, which we had left six months before. It was the season for undertaking the Mission to the Papinachiois, [ 107] for which Our Lord had left me sufficient strength. Its situation is 30 leagues below Tadoussac, and I reached it safely, at the time when the Savages were arriving there from the depths of the woods to carry on their petty trading with the French.

I gave the necessary instruction to a number of those poor people, who had never seen us before — baptizing 13 of their children, and administering to [Page 87] the Adults the other Sacraments for which they were prepared.

God’s goodness appeared to me most admirable in the salvation of two women, 80 years of age, who had formerly been baptized by the late Father le Jeune, and had not seen a single Missionary since then. The innocence and purity of life maintained by them in their forests for so many years, undoubtedly won for them the grace that God showed them in causing their visit here, before dying, for the purpose of preparing for that important passage to eternity.

Here ends, my Reverend Father, my brief account of what occurred during my winter campaign. [108] The great favor that I ask of you is to grant me the same happiness next Winter, — when, I hope, God Will give me the courage to make amends, by fresh sufferings, for the errors that I may have committed this season. Hoping for that favor from Your Reverence, I am, as long as I live, etc. [Page 89]

[109] Of the Mission to the Outaouacs.


MORE than three hundred baptisms conferred in one year; more than twenty-five Nations illumined by the light of the Gospel; many sick persons restored to health in a very extraordinary manner; Churches erected and Crosses planted in the midst of idolatry; the Faith borne far to the North and South, — these things give us reason to praise God for the blessings that he continues to pour in abundance upon the Outaouac Missions.

Last year, we published a Map of the Lakes and Territories where these Missions are situated. We have thought best to republish it this year, in order to satisfy the curiosity of those who have not seen it,[iv] and to designate some new Missions recently planted in that country, — [110] as, for example, that of St. François Xavier, very lately established on the river emptying into the bay des Puans, two leagues from its mouth; and the Mission of the Apostles, on the Northern toast bordering Lake Huron. Father Henry Nouvel, Superior of all these Outaouac Missions, has had especial charge of the latter, and thus describes what has occurred there [Page 91]




“ON the 26th of October, 1671,” — says the Father, — “I set out from sainte Marie du Sault to go and take up my Winter quarters in the country of the Amikoués, where I arrived only after 18 days’ journeying, — having had the consolation on the way to baptize 4 little children, and to instruct their parents, who heard me very willingly.

“The bad weather and contrary winds forcing us to take refuge in various Islands, I could not reach CI I 1] that of Ekaentouton before the 6th of November. I served as Missionary there, in passing, and baptized seven children. It was there that I saw that good Savage named Louis, who may be regarded as the miracle of this part of Christendom; for it is no small wonder to see a barbarian who for several years has stood firm in his resolve to spend the remainder of his days in Celibacy, — his sole abject being to render himself more acceptable to God by this mode of life, which is unheard — of among the Savages. I was delighted to see the respect shown him by the Young people of his Nation, and the tare taken by him to prepare a slave for receiving Baptism in the following Spring. After giving him holy Communion, I left him full of trust and resolution to persevere, relying on the strength given him by [Page 93] the Sacrament of Confirmation, which he had received at the hands of Monseigneur our Bishop.

“Leaving Ekaentouton November 8th, and being detained 2 days on a rocky point by head-winds, at last I reached the place where I [1123 was to pass the Winter with the Amicoués, the Savages known as the Beaver Nation. I began this Mission by Baptizing 14 little children, on the day of the Presentation of the blessed Virgin, to whom I offered those first fruits of my Mission.

“Our little Chapel was soon erected, and was then consecrated, in a certain sense, by the Baptism of a poor old woman; health of body was restored to her with life of the soul, by the merits of the blessed Virgin and of saint Francis Xavier, to whom she had commended herself.

“Soon afterward, in the same place, five little children received holy Baptism with all the ceremonies of the Church.

“The Devil, envious of the good that this Mission was beginning to do, and of the honor I had caused our Savages to pay to Jesus Christ on Christmas night, strove to disturb the solemnity of that occasion by certain superstitious ceremonies which we call jugglery, and which these barbarians employ for restoring the sick to health. One of our good Christians being reduced to a critical state by a very dangerous illness, [r 13] a large number of infidels assembled in his cabin, and employed all the superstitious rites known to them, to restore him to health. Being informed of this, I repaired at once to that cabin, where I found the entire company very intent on this act of impiety. I approached the sick man, wrought his reconciliation with God by the Sacrament [Page 95]of Penance, in the midst of that crowd, and remained constantly at his side, — resolved to suffer anything, rather than allow the sheep to be snatched from his Pastor’s arms. Those barbarians, seeing their Jugglery interrupted, grew angry, threatened me, and haughtily bade me withdraw and let them finish what they had begun. I stood firm, and told them that the sick man belonged to me, because he was a Christian; and that I would never forsake him. One of those madmen, more insolent than the others, determined to use force in ejecting me; I resisted, the rest joined him, and they dragged me out with violence; and, as rage was added to force, they could not eject me from the cabin [I 14] without leaving marks of their anger on my face. I was more delighted to bear those wounds than if they had given me an empire; and the atonement that they rendered me afterward, in acknowledging their error and asking my forgiveness, gave me less pleasure than did the blows that I had received, — reminding me, as they did, of the joy felt by the Apostles when they were found worthy of suffering ignominy for Jesus Christ’s sake.

“The success that God granted me in the case of a Juggler was still more signal. I went to assail him at night, when he made it a point to perform his superstitious rites in order to divine the cause of the death of two children recently deceased. Now so far was he from succeeding that, on the contrary, — seeing his wife fall ill, and being astonished that God should so suddenly restore her by means of prayer, — the author of that Jugglery acknowledged his error; and with his own hands made, at my bidding, a fine large Cross, which we erected [Page 97] with much ceremony, to be henceforth the abject of [1I 5] these People’s veneration, and to increase the triumph of the Cross over idolatry. At the same time, I baptized that old woman whom God had restored to health at saint Francis Xavier’s intercession; together with two little girls of hers, already considerably beyond infancy, who had shown themselves worthy of this grace by the innocence of their lives, their piety, and the unusual pains they had taken to become instructed in our Mysteries.

“In concluding this ceremony, I was called upon to Baptize a baby two days old, — that we might be enabled to make Our Lord a new-year’s present of people of all ages on that first day of the year 1672.

“It was not long before I resumed this holy occupation. On the 6th day of January, four girls, instructed in matters of the Faith, received Baptism, then a grown man, and next a Child. After that, having undertaken to go on a Mission to the Nipissiriniens, I felt all the fatigues of a very rough journey removed by the piety shown by most of those poor Savages; and especially by the Baptism of nine children, two of whom were only waiting [II~] for this passport to be received into Heaven, — dying two days after having been admitted into the Church.

“This Mission was followed by another that I undertook to the Outaouacs of Ekaentouton, where God made me find three children to baptize, — one of whom died three days later, and was taken up into Heaven.

“That was merely preliminary to the Baptism of a Young man of twenty years, a Child of eight, two Young married men, three Young girls of fifteen or [Page 99] sixteen, six lads from twelve to fourteen years old, and two widows, the foremost women of the entire Nation. Such was my choice from among the Catechumens, admitting to this Sacrament only the most fervent, the best instructed, and the most constant in the practice of virtue.

“About the same time, I made various excursions on the ice in quest of stray sheep, — finding five children to Baptize, and a sick Young man, for whose salvation Providence was more watchful than 1. For, having inadvertently baptized him, [117] net with natural water, but with a certain liquor that runs from the trees toward the end of Winter, and which is known as’ Maple-water,’ which I took for natural water, I discovered my mistake when, wishing to give this patient a dose of Theriac, I asked for some maple-water, — which, being naturally sweet, is more suitable for such a purpose. I was given some of the same liquor that I had used in baptizing him, and was thus obliged to repair that error, — happily, a little before his death.

“With the approach of Spring, I was forced to think about closing my winter’s work and returning to the Sault. Our Christians, seeking consolation for my absence, made a large Cross, and begged me to assist them when they planted it in the midst of their Fields. This ceremony was performed with much devotion, the Vexilla being sung in their language while that adorable wood was being raised aloft; and they promised me that they would come daily, without fail, and pay their homage to this triumphant Standard of the King [118] of Heaven and Earth.

“I was obliged, then, to my regret, to leave these [Page 101] good Neophytes, after baptizing many of their children; and not to waste my time on my return, I called at Missisak, where I conferred nine Baptisms, and discharged a’ Missionary’s duties as far as was possible in the short time I could remain there.

“Before concluding the present account, I owe this tribute to the memory of Father Jean de Brébeuf, — who years ago consecrated a part of this Lake by his labors, and gave his life for Jesus Christ, suffering the most horrible of all the cruelties practiced by the Iroquois, — I owe it as a tribute to his memory, I say, to make known some marvels that God was pleased to work upon our Savages by virtue of his merits. I Will relate only three instances, which seem to me noteworthy.

“A Child being so ill that all remedies were ineffectual, its parents decided to call in the Jugglers; but seeing that the ailment was growing constantly worse, they thought of a better [I 19] plan, which was to bring their Child to me. I examined it, but so serious was its disease that I did not think any human remedy could save it. Accordingly, I advised the parents to have recourse to Our Lord, who would suffer himself to be moved by the intercession of one of his servants whom most of the’ Savages had seen in the country of the Hurons. I then bade them bring the Child into the Chapel on three successive days, to let it take a little water in which I had dipped a Relic of Father de Brébeuf’s. With the second day a cure was wrought, and the child’s Father testified his joy in a public banquet that he gave to commemorate the occasion, after which he received Baptism.

“A Young woman who had been baptized some [Page 103] years before, at Cap de la Magdelaine, was seized with a violent fever, which endangered her life as well as that of her little one whom she was nursing. I went to see and comfort her; and, finding her exceedingly ill, I gave her, after making her say some prayers, a little water to drink, in which I had steeped the above-named Relies. Thereupon she fell asleep, [120] and passed the whole day in that sweet slumber. On the morrow she felt entirely cured, and went into the forest with the other women to fetch her load of wood.

“A Young Christian, the daughter of an idolatrous mother, was afflicted with a painful inflammation of one eye and a cheek. Her mother spared neither medicines nor Juggler’s arts to cure her, but all in vain. Calling the girl into the Chapel, I bathed her eye and cheek with the water already mentioned; and, with the first application, she was entirely cured of her ailment.

“Such, my Reverend Father, is a part of what occurred during my winter campaign of more than six months, occupied in visiting the Missions of the North, around Lake Huron, from sainte Marie du Sault to Nipissing — that is, more than a hundred leagues. I pray you to help me give thanks to Our Lord for the goodness that he has shown, during all that period, to the flock and to the Pastor.” [Page 105]



GOD has continued his mercies toward this Mission, which, in the past year, shows more than a hundred and forty-five persons baptized, — in a fine Church, recently built in this country. It is an abject of admiration, not only to the Savages, but also to the Frenchmen, who regard its appearance with considerable surprise, — situated as it is, on the frontier, more than four hundred leagues in the forests.

Our Lord, who was pleased to lay the first foundations of Christianity here by extraordinary signs, has had the goodness to enlarge it, by the same means through which he gave it birth. He has wrought wonders in people of all ages, to show that all were called to his Kingdom. We shall cite but two of each age, which Will suffice to prove that God’s mercies extend even to this place.

[122] In the tenderest age, the first marvel that occurred was the following, of October zg, 1671. A number of Savages had been baptized, all together, on that day, dedicated to the great Protector of the Church, St. Michael; his name was given to one of the baptized, and that of Gabriel to another, the latter being a Child three or four years old. This Child was at death’s door, and he even lost all consciousness during the four days following his baptism, so that he was already regarded as dead, — when [Page 107] Father Gabriel Druillettes, who has charge of this Mission, went to say some prayers over him, and sprinkled him with holy water, making therewith the form of a Cross. Scarcely had he done so when, to the great astonishment of ail, the Child became entirely well; and since then he has been constantly making the, sign of the Cross, of his own accord, as if in gratitude for this favor.

The second marvel befell an Outaouac Captain’s Young daughter, named Ursule. She was mortally ill with a chronic fever, which had brought her so low that she had long since ceased to eat. One [123] Friday, the Father went to see her; and, after instructing her concerning the Mystery of Our Lord’s Passion, told her that it was upon that day of the week that he had shed his blood for our salvation, and encouraged her to put her trust in holy water. At the same time, he sprinkled some upon her, entreating saint Francis Xavier to interpose his influence for her cure. After this, he left the cabin; and on the next morning the sick girl’s father hastened to the Church, and said to Father Druillettes: “Let us thank God, my daughter lives; she began to eat last evening, immediately after thou hadst left my cabin.”

We can Select two more quite extraordinary wonders, which God has wrought in persons more advanced in years. A Young woman was almost at death’s door, and was not expected to live a day longer. All hell seemed to be interested in her recovery, but her cure was due to Heaven. The most noted Juggler of the country had filled the sick woman’s cabin with his underlings, to execute in her presence all their [ 124] diabolical ceremonies. [Page 109]

The Father entered, and rebuked this Juggler for not keeping the promise he had made, after being himself cured by prayer, not to employ superstitious rites of that sort any longer. He made him leave the cabin, with all his suite; and, gathering the children to take the place of those ministers of hell, he caused them to unite in prayer with the sick woman. Nor was it in vain; for immediately afterward she was overtaken by a sweet sleep, and on the morrow, when her friends thought that she must die, she made her appearance early in the morning at Church, in Perfect health, to give thanks to God and to saint Xavier, her deliverer.

The other wonder was wrought upon a Young man who, after being wounded with an arrow, which was thought to be still in his body, was rubbed with holy water five times, and straightway cured, when all were in despair over him.

Old age also shared in these favors. We cite here only two instances. A woman of great age, and very near death, resolved to go to [ 125] Church once more before dying. Her kinsfolk, believing that she could not walk two steps, sought to dissuade her from this purpose. She persisted, declaring emphatically that she could not die content without performing that act of devotion. She was accordingly conducted to our Chapel, where she offered such fervent prayers to God that they delighted all who heard her; and then she was helped back to her home, where she continued alive, contrary to every one’s expectation. Nor did she die until she had told how she thought that she was borne to Paradise, where, she said, she saw certain persons whom she [Page 111] designated, — naming, among others, a girl who had died soon after Baptism.

An Old blind man had himself led to the Church, and there asked Our Lord for sight, asking it with such faith that his prayer was answered. Thanking God, he left the Church entirely cured, and went away into the woods, where he pursued his hunting and set his moose-traps all Winter long, acting as if he [ 126] had never been blind.

We could instance many more wonders of like nature, which have gone far toward eradicating the two chief vices prevalent among these Tribes, — namely, jugglery and polygamy; for we see persons suddenly carried off by death because they have recourse to their Jugglers, and others who escape manifest danger because they have recourse to God. We often see Savages with several wives suffer cruel hunger, and Christians of the same place enjoying an abundance which is evidently procured them by the children’s prayers. We plainly see superstition confounded in those who put their hope in a number of familiar demons, whom they regard as the masters of their lives and welfare; and those smitten with disease, who acknowledge no other divinities than the Moon and the wolf; while they who recognize only the true God enjoy Perfect health. We see, in fine, Christianity becoming established here despite all hell, which fails not to [ 127] place numerous obstacles in its way; but they Will only serve to render this Church the more flourishing, in proportion to the number of persecutions that it bas to endure. [Page 113]



THE Hurons of the Tobacco Nation known as the Tionnontaté, being expelled years ago from their country by the Iroquois, took refuge in that Island so noted for its fisheries, named Missilimakinac. Here, however, they were suffered to remain but a few years, that same foe compelling them to leave so advantageous a position. They therefore withdrew farther to some Islands, which still bear their name, situated at the entrance to the bay des Puans;[v] but, not finding themselves even there sufficiently secure, they retired far into the depths of the woods; and thence finally sought out, as a last abode, at the very end of lake Superior, a spot that has received the name of point St. Esprit. There they were far enough from the Iroquois [128] not to fear them, but too near the Nadouessi, — who are the Iroquois, so to speak, of those Northern regions, being the most powerful and warlike People of that country.

Still, everything had been quite peaceful for a number of years until last year, when, these Nadouessi being angered by the Hurons and the Outaouacs, war broke out between the two sides, beginning with such warmth that some prisoners captured on each side were burned to death.

The Nadouessi, however, would not begin hostilities until after they had sent back to Father Marquette [Page 115] certain Pictures which he had given them, to convey to them some idea of our Religion and teach them through their eyes; he could not accomplish this otherwise, on account of their language being entirely different from the Huron and the Algonquin.

Such redoubtable enemies soon struck terror to the hearts of our Hurons and Outaouacs, who resolved to abandon point [Izg] Saint Esprit and all their fields, which they had long been cultivating.

In this retreat the Hurons, recalling the great advantages that they had formerly enjoyed at Missilimakinac, turned their eyes thither, purposing to seek refuge there, which they did a year ago.

That spot has everything possible to commend it to Savages: fish are abundant at all seasons, and the soil is very productive; there is excellent hunting, — bears, deer, and wildcats; and, furthermore, it is the great resort of all Nations going to or coming from the North or the South.

Therefore last year, clearly foreseeing what has occurred, we erected a Chapel there, to receive the passers-by and to train the Hurons who have there taken up their abode.

Father Jacques Marquette, who followed them from point St. Esprit, continues in charge of them. As he has not furnished us any special account of the occurrences at that Mission, all that can be said about it is that, this Nation [I 30] having been trained in Christianity years ago, before the Hurons’ destruction, those who have continued in the Faith now display great fervor. They fill the Chapel daily, visit it often during the day, and sing God’s praises there with a devotion that has communicated itself in no small measure to the French who have [Page 117] witnessed it. There the grown people have been baptized, and the old people set the children an example in their assiduous attendance at prayers. In a Word, they observe all the exercises of piety that can be expected from a Christian body organized more than 20 years ago, — although it has been, most of that time, without Church, without Pastor, and without other Teacher than the Holy Ghost. [Page 119]

[131] CHAPTER V.




THE bay commonly called des Puans receives a river, in which wild fowl and fish are caught both together. Of this practice the Savages are the inventors; for, perceiving that Ducks, Teal, and other birds of that kind dive into the water in quest of the grains of wild rice to be found there toward the Autumn season, they stretch nets for them with such skill that, without counting the fish, they sometimes catch in one night as many as a hundred wild fowl. This fishing is equally pleasant and profitable; for it is a pleasure to see in a net, when it is drawn out of the water, a Duck caught side by side with a pike, and Carp entangled in the same meshes with Teal. The [1323 Savages subsist on this manna nearly three months [in the year].

Nature and necessity, which have taught them this mode of fishing, have prompted them to invent still another on the same river, two leagues from its mouth.

It is a device that is somewhat rude, but excellently adapted to their purpose, and it enables a child to fish with great success. They construct it in such a manner as to bar the entire river from one bank to the other, making a sort of palisade of stakes, which they plant in the water in a straight line, [Page 121] leaving only space enough to allow the water to run between certain hurdles, which stop the large fish. Along this barrier they arrange scaffolds, on which they place themselves in ambush and await their prey with impatience, When the fish, following the current, reach this barrier, the fisher plunges in a pocket-shaped net, into which he easily coaxes them.[vi]

These two kinds of fishing draw to this spot many Savages [133] from all directions. The situation of the place contributes not a little to this result; for, bordering that river, near the spot of which we have just spoken, we see a prairie of four or five arpents in width, bounded on either side by woods of full-grown trees. And besides the grapes, plums, apples, and other fruits, which would be fairly good if the Savages had patience to let them ripen, there also grows on the prairies a kind of lime resembling that of France, but having no bitter taste — not even in its rind. The plant bearing it slightly resembles the fern.[vii]

The Bear and the Wildcat — the latter being as large as a medium-sized dog — abound in the country; and as the woods are free from underbrush, extensive prairies are seen in the forests, and contribute to the pleasure of living there. The above-named animals, as well as the Stag, are easily hunted, — both in the woods, which are not dense, and on the river, into which the last-named animal often plunges in its course, when it is pursued, and is taken without difficulty.

TO all the advantages of this place may be [134] added the fact of its being the great — and the only — thoroughfare for all the surrounding Nations, who [Page 123] maintain a constant intercourse, either in visiting or trading. Hence it was that we turned our eyes thither, with a view to placing our Chapel there in the midst of more than ten different Nations, who can furnish us over fifteen thousand souls to be instructed in the truths of Christianity.[viii]

There Fathers Claude Allouez and Louis André have taken up their abode, for the purpose of laboring to save all those peoples; and, for their greater convenience in this pursuit, they have divided the work, — one devoting himself to the more remote Nations in the forests, and the other to those gathered on the shores of the bay des Puans.



FOUR different Tribes are situated near the head of the bay, where they live partly on what they gather from the fields, and partly by fishing and hunting. [135] Two others, a little farther away, make their usual abode on the rivers emptying into this same bay from the North; and all acknowledge various sorts of divinities, to whom they offer frequent sacrifices. These People have Gods, as had the Pagans of old, — having them in the Skies, in the air, on the earth, in the woods, in the water, and even in hell. And, as there have been Theologians who placed special intelligences not only in the heavenly bodies, but also on the earth, for the preservation of each species of all creatures, so those of our Savages who are regarded as intelligent among their fellows hold the belief that, besides the Sun and thunder, — which they recognize as the Gods of the Sky and of the air, — each species of animal [Page 125] fishes, and birds, has a special genius who cares for it, watches over its safety, and protects it from the harm that might befall it.

Therefore, just as the Egyptians offered rats and mice on their altars, so these people cherish a [136]’ special regard for these animals, as was illustrated in the case of a mouse that we had caught and thrown outdoors; for, a girl having snatched it up and being inclined to eat it, her father first took the mouse and bestowed a thousand caresses upon it. Upon our asking him why he treated it thus, “Because,” said he, “I wish to propitiate the genius that cares for mice, in order that so unusual a dish may not hurt my daughter.”

There are certain animals to whose genii they pay far more respect than to others, because they are more useful to them, It passes belief what veneration they have for the Bear; for after killing one in hunting, they are wont to hold a solemn feast over it with very special ceremonies. Carefully saving the animal’s head, they Paint it with the finest colors they can find; and, during the feast, they place it in an elevated position, to receive the worship of all the guests and the praises that they bestow upon it, one after another, in their choicest songs.

[137] They follow a somewhat Similar usage in regard to the other Divinities; but, to secure their favor, they practice devotions of various kinds, of which the following is the most customary and the most important. They pass four or five days without eating, in order that, having their heads weakened by this fast, they may see in their dreams some one of those Divinities, on whom, they think, depends all their welfare; and, as they believe that [Page 127] they cannot be successful in hunting the Stag or the Bear, unless they have first seen these in a dream, their whole anxiety is, before going to seek these animals, to see in their sleep the animal upon which they have designs.

Accordingly, they prepare for their hunting excursions by long fasts, — which they sometimes protract even to ten days, as is most commonly done by those of the Outagami Nation. They do far more; for while the men are at the hum, the little children are obliged to fast, that they may dream of the Bear, of which their relatives are in quest; and they imagine that the animal Will be [138] caught, if it be once seen in a dream, even by these children.

They have many more superstitions, which it would be tiresome to describe here, but which cause much trouble to a Missionary, — who has all these monsters to combat at the same time. Such has been the experience of Father André, of whose labors, undergone for the sake of freeing those poor people from error, we are about to give some account.



THE Father had already assailed them vigorously on account of their vices, and especially their superstitions, during several months which he spent with them last Summer; but wishing to devote the whole Winter to the work, he set out on the I 5th of December, to repair thither by a route equally rough and dangerous. For, starting out on the ice that covered the bay, and desiring to make short cuts from point to point, to facilitate and shorten his journey, he found [ 139] toward evening, when he [Page 129] wished to gain the shore, that access thereto was. barred by mountains of ice-floes, — heaped one upon another, and forming a sort of rampart, which it was impossible to pierce. Meanwhile, the Sun set before he could find an outlet. The Father had already directed his attention to a pile of ice-floes, in the midst of which he proposed to pass the night, under the lee of those mountains of ice, But he was happily inspired not to tarry there longer; for that heap of ice was swept away by the wind on that very night. He found a safer retreat on a point of land that projected into the Lake, and there he remained with his Companions, — out of danger, indeed, of perishing, but exposed to the rigors of a very severe cold. Yet he was forced to keep that highly disadvantageous position for three days; after which a north wind, succeeding the rain, made of the entire Lake nothing but one sheet of ice, so smooth that it was extremely difficult to walk without falling at nearly every step. TO escape from so arduous a route, he hastened to adopt another, both more difficult and more dangerous; [140] for, taking his course along the woods, and becoming involved in a region encumbered with cedars and firs, where the ice was not strong enough to bear him, he broke through at every moment, and even found himself caught in the midst of numerous holes that had formed in the ice, so that it was difficult indeed for him to extricate himself. Nevertheless, he made his escape, dragging himself out from amid those pitfalls, and continued his journey with the same dangers and fatigues until he reached the spot where the Savages were, — one of whose chiefs offered him a bag of acorns, to regale him well after so much toil. This was net to [Page 131] be refused, being a present of no small account among those people, who have no more delicious dish during the Winter, when they are unsuccessful in hunting or fishing.

The Father’s first tare was to visit all the cabins, teach the children, and explain on every occasion the mysteries of our religion. The days were too short for satisfying the holy curiosity of all these people, who did not [ 141] give him leisure even to take his meals until very late; or to perform his devotions, except in some remote spot, whither they persisted in following him.

The reason why he was so eagerly sought was found in certain spiritual Songs that he was wont to have the children sing to French airs, which pleased those Savages extremely; so that our mysteries were published in the streets and cabins, and were received with applause, impressing themselves insensibly on people’s minds through these Songs.

This success encouraged the Father, and made him resolve to assail the men through the children, and to combat idolatry with souls of extreme innocence. In short, he composed some Songs against the superstitions that we have mentioned, and against the vices most opposed to Christianity; and after teaching the children to sing them to the accompaniment of a sweet-toned flute, he went everywhere with these little Savage musicians, to declare war on Jugglers, Dreamers, and those who [142] had several wives. And, as the Savages are passionately fond of their children, and Will endure anything at their hands, they accepted the reproaches, bitter though these were, that were made them through the Songs, since they came from their children’s mouths. [Page 133]

It sometimes occurred, when the Father, in the heat of discussion, was obliged to refute the errors of these superstitions people, and convince the old men of the falsity and senselessness of their idolatry, — it was wont to happen, I say, that this band of children, wearying of so much debate, would throw themselves in the way, so to speak, and by striking up their Songs force their parents to be silent. This greatly delighted the Father, who saw God make use of those innocent mouths to confound the impiety of their own parents.

Besides _these exercises of piety, which were performed in the village, the Father used to call the Savages together in his little Chapel, where he had three large Pictures adapted to these People’s instruction, — one representing the universal judgment, in the upper part of which the [ 143 J parents were glad to be shown the place that their baptized children would occupy; while below they saw, with horror, the torments suffered by the devil.

In the second Picture were represented twelve emblems, each of which contained one of the articles of the Apostles’ creed. The third showed, Jesus dying on the Cross. Their eagerness to come and pray to God before these Pictures, and to receive instruction, was such that many children used to come barefoot through the snow, over nearly a quarter of a league’s distance.

In these occupations the Father passed the whole Winter, — visiting the Villages, one after another, and inspiring a holy emulation as to who should best know the spiritual Songs, and who should have the most children baptized, and children best versed in our mysteries. [Page 135]





aware that, in the river emptying into the bay at its head, the tide rises and falls twice in a little more than 24 hours, — rising usually a foot; while the highest tide I have seen made the river rise three feet, but it was aided by a violent Northeast wind. Unless the Southwest wind is very strong, it does not check the river’s course; so that ordinarily the middle flows constantly downward to the Lake, although at each end the water rises with the fixed periods of the tide. As there [146) are but two winds prevailing on that river and on the Lake, one might easily ascribe to them these tides, were it not that the latter follow the Moon’s course, a fact which cannot be doubted; for I have ascertained beyond a question that at full Moon the tides are at their highest, then they fall, and they continue to diminish as the Moon wanes. It is not surprising that this flow and ebb is more appreciable at the head of the bay than in Lake Huron, or in that of the Ilinois; for were the tide to rise even but an inch in these Lakes, it would necessarily be very noticeable in the bay, which is about 15 or 20 leagues long by five or six, or more, wide at its mouth, and narrows constantly. Consequently the water, being contracted within a small space at the head of the bay, must of necessity rise much higher there than in the Lake, where it is less confined.”




WE would need here almost as much time for following Father Claude Allouez in an account of his Apostolic journeys, as he took in making them; [Page 139] for he has not visited a single Nation without performing deeds for the glory of God, that would be very long to relate.

The Father’s labors could be reckoned by the Baptisms he has conferred, and these Baptisms by the admirable dispensations of Providence, which have been signally displayed for these Savages’ salvation.

This Will be easily recognized from the short account that we are about to give of the well-nigh incredible pains he took to instruct Tribes of five different tongues, — some of whom, coming but recently from the regions of the Southwest, had never heard of the Faith.

Upon the Father’s arrival at the bay des Puans, [148] after more than a hundred leagues’ journey by water, he had no sooner landed than he found a new-born babe, who was at the point of death. He baptized it, and sent it to Heaven, at the same time. At the same place and on the same occasion he baptized an old man who was ill, but who, surviving his baptism, was still unable to obtain, after more than sixty years, what the Child secured after living a quarter of an hour.

Let us consider two more acts of Providence. The favorable reception accorded the Father by the Maskoutench gave him an opportunity to confer two baptisms, while the ill treatment that he received on the way to the Outagamis was compensated by two more.

In that village of the Maskoutench, — that is, the fire Nation, — he found three tribes, of different tongues. He was received there as an Angel from [Page 141] Heaven, — especially by those who had recently come from the regions of the South, and had never been acquainted with any Frenchman. They could not sate themselves with looking at him; the days were too short for [r49] hearing him tell about our mysteries; the whole night must needs be used for the purpose. so favorable a reception detained the Father, by no means against his Will, and enabled him to baptize two sick persons. A sick woman whom he made a Christian on his way to the Outagamis cost him no little fatigue; for he was obliged to go in quest of her in a forest where, losing his way, he was forced to seek shelter under a tree and pass the night in the snow, with no fire.

Still other baptisms he was compelled to pay for with severer sufferings, when he chanced upon starving villages, where, in company with their wretched inhabitants, he was fain to content himself with acorns only, which the people gave him in very small quantities, not having enough for themselves.

The baptism of sixty children and some adults, in the village of the Outagamis, represented so many marvelous designs of Providence. But these designs were still more plainly manifest in the death of two adults, — one, a woman who came to that country in quest of baptism, and a happy death under the Father’s tare, after many [I~o] eventful wanderings. She had been captured here by the Iroquois and taken to their country, and thence conducted to Montreal, when she returned to the Outaouacs, there to find her happiness. The other was an old man, who was only waiting for the Father’s coming to die a Christian. He was confined to his wretched mat by paralysis, with pains so acute that he could not be [Page 143] moved without being caused unbearable agony. Nevertheless, he took tare to have some one lift his hand at very frequent intervals, and make on his person the sign of the Cross, despite the intense pain caused by this movement; nor did he cease to kiss the Crucifix as long as he drew breath, and to address it with words so tender and devout that he may be said to have died in the transports of a Perfect lover of Jesus Christ.

The sign of the Cross is held in such veneration among those Outagami Peoples that the Father thought it time to plant a cross in the middle of their village, and thus take possession of those infidel lands in the name of Jesus Christ, whose standard [I 5 r] he was erecting farther within the realm of the demon than it had ever before been planted. And since then hardly a person has been seen in the village, Young or old, who does not make the sign of the Cross with reverence. They even have such confidence in it that, some Young warriors having formed a company to wage war on the Nadouessi, — tribes who make themselves feared by all their neighbors, — and having appealed to the Father to learn how they could ensure a victorious return, he related to them the story of Constantine, and encouraged them by his example to have recourse to the Cross. They believed it, for, of their own accord, they marked their shields with this adorable sign; every morning and evening they made it on themselves, without fail; and on meeting the enemy, the first thing they did was to make the sign of the Cross, after which they gave battle so confidently that they happily won the victory. And upon returning home they celebrated the triumph of [Page 145] the Cross, proclaiming everywhere that they were solely indebted to it for such good success.

[152] Thus our holy Faith is more and more gaining a footing among these peoples, and we have good hope that in a short time we shall carry it as far as the famous river named Missisipi, — and, perhaps, even to the South sea, that the Gospel may extend as far Southward as, we are about to see, that it has been borne Northward. [Page 147]





THE sea to the North of us is the famous bay to which Hutson gave his name; it has long been stirring OUT Frenchmen’s curiosity to discover it by land, and learn its situation with reference to ourselves, its distance, and what tribes dwell on its shores. The wish to gain a knowledge of this sea bas increased since [I 5 3] we learned through our Savages that very recently some ships made their appearance there, and even opened a trade with those Nations, who have always been represented to us as populous, and rich in peltries.

Therefore Monsieur Talon, our Intendant, deemed it his duty to neglect no means in his power to effect this discovery; and, knowing that it was his Majesty’s purpose to have all the Tribes of Canada instructed in Christianity, he asked for one of our Fathers, to open a way for our Frenchmen to that bay at the same time when he bore the Gospel thither.

Accordingly, we fixed our choice on Father Charles Albanel, former Missionary to Tadoussac, since he bas had much intercourse with the Savages who possess a knowledge of that sea, who alone are able to act as guides over those hitherto unknown ways.

Monsieur de saint Simon[ix] and another Frenchman being chosen for this enterprise, and Monsieur the [Page 149] Intendant having [154] most fully equipped them with everything essential to its success, the Father set out from Quebec August 6, 1671, assigning them a rendezvous at Tadoussac, where he was to choose a Savage of address and intelligence to serve him as guide throughout this journey.

We Will follow him step by step, and we shall best learn all that occurred on this expedition by giving here his journal, just as he wrote it during his journey.

“I reached Tadoussac,” he says, “on the 8th &y of August; and there I found myself forced to contend vigorously to overcome the opposition offered by the Savages against this undertaking.

“The Captain of the place having died a few days before, I appealed to the uncle of the deceased, as the one possessing the greatest influence. This Savage, who has much respect for us, and no less affection for all the French, decided to oblige me with a good grace. He assembled all his men, and, after some conversation with individuals, turned to me and said:’ My Young men have no sense. If my nephew were not dead, I myself would [15 5] guide thee. It is an honor for us to accompany a Missionary, who is the first to sacrifice himself that he may open a new road for the introduction of the Faith; and we are under obligations to thee for offering us the means of doing a charity to our brothers, whom we will go to visit for the purpose of instructing them. Here are two of my people, whom I give thee, — my brothers-in-law; and this other one, who is my own nephew, Will make a third. They Will assume thy guidance, and thou wilt let them take part in the good that thou wilt do in laboring for the [Page 151] conversion of so many infidel nations.’ Then, addressing those Young men, he said to them:’ My nephews, remember that I am interested in the success of this journey; and that I choose you to release me from the obligation of going in person, having long ago pledged myself for the purpose.’

“This good man’s affection did not stop there: he insisted on embarking us and our baggage in his shallop, as being more commodious than our canoes, and on conducting us, with his attendants, for a distance of forty leagues.

“We had already accomplished fifteen leagues in our course [I 56] up the Saguenay River, when we met two canoes coming down, in one of which was a man who was supposed to know the way to the sea, as he had come thence not more than eight years before. After informing him of our purpose, I begged him to consent to serve us as guide; but, experience of the past making him fear the future, he excused himself for a long time, alleging the difficulty of the route, but was constrained to yield to the urgency of our conductor.

“Accordingly, we all set out together on the 22nd, and spent four days, owing to head-winds, in reaching Chegoutimit, where we remained three days. The first two were employed in hearing confessions, and administering the communion to the people, — ceremonies in which they joined with great. devotion, in order to obtain for us from Heaven a prosperous journey. On the third day, they carried our canoes and all our luggage, on their backs, for a league and a quarter.

“On the 29th, after making a considerable present to those good Savages who had conveyed us thus far [Page 153] in their shallop, [ 157] and thanking them for all the kind services that they had charitably rendered me, we embarked in our canoes to ascend the rapids — the first that were encountered — to lake Kinougami. We arrived there the next day, and I found two cabins of Savages from Sillery, who were greatly rejoiced at this opportunity to perform their devotions, to confess, and to receive communion.

“On the 1st of September, we encamped on the farther shore of a lake called Kinougamichis, noted for the great numbers of long-tailed frogs that occupy it and maintain a constant croaking.[x] They are held to be extremely venomous, although the toads, snakes, and vipers in those regions are not so.

“On the 2nd, we made our quarters near the mouth of lake St. John, which is known as Pingagami, and has a length of 30 leagues and a width of 10. Into this lake flow 12 rivers, while from it issues but a single one, forming that fine large river called the Saguenay. It is a beautiful region, the land being very level and apparently fertile, with fine prairies. It is the. country [158] of the otter, moose, beaver, and, above ail, the porcupine. Therefore the Savages living there are called Kakouchac, taking their name from the word Kakou, which in their language means’ porcupine.’ It was formerly the place whither all the Nations between the two Seas, those of the East and the North, used to repair for purposes of trade; and I have seen more than twenty Nations gathered there. The Inhabitants were extremely reduced by their latest wars with the Iroquois, and by the smallpox, which is the pest of the Savages. Now they are beginning to regain their numbers, by additions from the outside Nations who, since the [Page 155] peace, resort thither from various directions.[xi] We halted there for three days to provide ourselves with food, which was already beginning to fail us.

“On the 7th, we reached the end of the Lake. As good luck would have it, I met two Savages, who supplied us with two muskets suitable for hunting, four of ours being useless.

“On the 17th, five canoes bearing Attikamegues, or poissons blancs, and Mistassirinins, [15g] came and joined us, bringing word that z vessels had anchored in Hutson’s bay and conducted extensive trading with the Savages, having taken their station there for purposes of traffic. They showed us a hatchet and some tobacco, which they had obtained from a Papinachois who had been on a trading trip toward the North sea, that very Summer. They added that our lives would be in danger, as hard fighting had taken place there, — one Savage having been killed in the strife, and another led away captive. They had said enough to terrify all our men; but, as it was then past the season for continuing our journey, on account of the approach of Winter, their words had no serious weight with me.

“Nevertheless, not to act without guidance in this matter, seeing that I had no passport, I resolved to send to Quebec for one, — rendering, at the same time, an account of all that I had just heard; and asking what measures I should adopt under present conditions.

[160] “Two Savages and a Frenchman set out on the 19th of September with my letters. Pending their return I engaged in teaching that little band whom God so seasonably sent me. I baptized a little Child and two adults, after the necessary instruction; [Page 157] and occupied myself in training those who were Christians, until the tenth of October, when our canoe returned with letters-patent from Monseigneur our Bishop, and passports from Monsieur de Courcelles, our Governor, and Monsieur Talon, our Intendant. I also received their advice, which has been useful to me in the existing state of affairs.

“The season being too far advanced for us to reach the sea before the coming of snow and ice, by which we were stopped on the last day of October, our Savages chose that place for passing the Winter, on account of its excellent hunting.

“I do not purpose to give a detailed account of that winter’s events, or of its accompanying hardships and fatigues. It Will suffice for me to say in general [I~I] that, as this condition in life has the advantage over others of being a constant sacrifice of our lives to the glory of God and the salvation of souls, it also imposes on us the necessity of exercising our trust, and rendering our submission to the decrees of his Providence both more Perfect and more humble; and must serve us as a most powerful allurement for following and fulfilling his designs in our vocation.

“Granted the truth of the common saying, that in the matter of suffering we easily forget the past, and nothing but the present counts with us, yet I can affirm that, of the ten Winters which I have passed in the woods with the Savages, the first nine caused me less discomfort than this last.

“This was not due to any lack of provisions, — the region where we wintered being fairly well stocked with moose and caribou; while the beaver and porcupine had been increasing there for seven or eight [Page 159] years, during which no one had hunted in those vast forests. It is true the snows were very heavy, but our hunters [x62] were extremely dexterous, and all sure-footed, steady of hand, and keen of sight; while of lead and powder, hatchets and knives, swords and muskets, they had no lack, Monsieur Talon’s liberality having provided for all our wants.

“The cause, then, of all our sufferings was solely the ill treatment that we received from our guides themselves. They were undecided what course they should adopt, — or, to express it better, they were all determined not to proceed farther, but to return. Yet, apprehending an ill reception at Quebec, in order to shield themselves, they undertook, by trying my patience with every kind of indignity and outrage, to make me take the first step in retreat, and abandon all thought of continuing the journey. In such a conjuncture, should not a poor Missionary resolve to endure to the utmost all their insults, seeing himself obliged to travel with Savages superior in number, and serving him as guides? Those seasons of storm, however, were not without their pleasant days; and those sufferings were not [163] unattended with their spiritual unction.

“I was greatly consoled by the holy and courageous resolve of a good old man, about seventy years of age, — who, learning that his children had taken refuge in Quebec at the time of the Iroquois incursions, and that they had there been baptized, made a journey of four hundred leagues to receive instruction and enjoy the same happiness.

“It was no slight consolation to me, on the twenty-sixth of December, to have this good man come with all his family, to the number of nine persons, to visit [Page 161]  us at our winter quarters. On the evening of his arrival, I made him a handsome present of congratulation upon the holy impulse that brought him thither; and of especial thanks, in view of the obligation under which I was to him in the persons of my hosts, his own nephews or grandsons, who were conducting me on my journey of Missionary work and discovery toward the North.

“This good old man, after often repeating his’ o, o, o,’ in sign of great gratification at the present I had given him, replied to me thus:’ Black gown,’ said he,’ I am no Councilor, to [164] know how to make a speech. Thou wilt permit me to postpone my answer until another time. I now beg thee to believe that I come hither only to treat with thee concerning my salvation, and that of all my family. Here is a little girl who has long been ill; baptize her in advance, while waiting until we are in a condition to receive the same grace, which we all most heartily desire. Be not, moreover, discouraged if, old as I am and lacking in intelligence, I find it very difficult to understand and remember all the teachings thou givest us. My son whom thou seest there’ (pointing to the younger one)’ is Young, quick-witted, and possessed of a good memory. Instruct him thoroughly; he Will easily learn all that thou wishest, and later he Will repeat to us in private, in our cabin, all that thou shalt teach him.’

” Indeed, that Young man, who was between twenty and twenty-five years old, of an excellent disposition, very docile, respectful, and as innocent as possible, learned in less than four or five days his Pater, his Ave, the Credo, God’s commandments, and the most important [ 165] of our Mysteries, — which [Page ]  he often repeated in his cabin, and at all hours of the day, with an amiable importunity.

“Not wishing, however, to be in the least precipitate, I continued for a month explaining all our mysteries to them, instructing them thoroughly in the things essential to salvation, and preparing them for holy baptism, which they received with such feelings of piety, and such devotion, that I could only view with admiration God’s beckoning hand and the workings of divine grace in the conversion of so good a family.

“The frequent visits paid me by another Captain, of the Mataouiriou Nation, who is called Ouskan, — that is,’ the bene,‘ — caused me at the same time much joy and much pain. My first talks with him promised me great results. so ardent a desire had he to receive instruction that he gave me no rest by day or night. He sent his son-in-law to beg me to visit him on the sixteenth of April; but being engaged in preparing our hosts for the communion [166] of the Easter Festival, I could not go to his quarters, with my two Frenchmen, until the eighteenth. He received me with great affection, which redoubled at sight of the present that I gave him. Our men came and joined us on the twenty-second, and we remained there together about six weeks. I had ample leisure at that place to catechize this man, and confer baptism upon seventeen members of his family; as for him, he showed himself unworthy thereof by refusing to break off a scandalous intercourse that he was maintaining with his wife’s niece. Despite the docility he had shown in wishing to be instructed, and the assiduity I had used in overcoming his repugnance to conversion, I could not attain. [Page 165] my abject. It was not that that rebellious nature failed to be deeply moved, as he often confessed to me; and if he resisted, it was not so much for the want of being thoroughly persuaded of the truth of what was told him, as from the secret opposition of his heart, which was unfortunately wedded to those unruly affections. He furnishes us a good example in proof that a Savage’s conversion [167] is the work of God’s hand, — to whom alone it belongs to touch the heart effectually, and to give to the teachings of his Missionary the success that the latter ought to expect from his grace.

“But it is time to resume the course of our journey. Spring had already succeeded to the rigors of Winter, the rivers were free, the ice had melted, when it became necessary to enter upon a series of conflicts with our guides on the subject of our enterprise. That unfortunate creature of whom I just spoke, being extremely incensed at my refusal to confer Baptism upon him, determined to close the river against us, although he had no power to do so. TO disguise his purpose, he gave a long description of the route, the great number and difficulty of the portages, the rapids, and the waterfalls; and as the whole tendency of his recital was but to discourage my men, it was easy for him to persuade them to second his design by saying that they had forgotten the way, and could not go on for want of a good guide. At this point I began to suspect that they were all [ 1683 conspiring together; and that that captious fellow had used this expedient to do us the present ill turn and check our progress.

“TO defeat this purpose, I decided to make use of a good old man of the nation of the Mistasirinis, [Page 167] who — being very needy, having a large family, and having long been at odds with the above-named malicious fellow, readily allowed himself to be won at sight of a rich present.

“I further promised him as much tobacco as he could use on the way, and a second very considerable present upon our return, if he and his son would embark and guide us to Miskoutenagasit on Hutson’s bay, twenty leagues along the shore.[xii] He began to laugh, and said to his son,’ Come on, we shall not want for tobacco this Summer.’

“On the first of June, 1672, we set out from Nataschegamiou to continue our journey, our party numbering nineteen, of whom sixteen were Savages and three Frenchmen, in three canoes. We had six days’ journey of rapids, where [ 169] we were obliged to propel the canoes almost constantly against the current. Very often we had to land and walk through the woods, — climbing over rocks, leaping into ditches, and again scrambling up steep heights through clumps of trees whose branches tore our clothes; while, with all that, we were very heavily burdened. After this, we were delayed two days by rains.

“The ninth tried our patience severely by reason of an extremely difficult portage, both on account of its length, which some place at four leagues, and because of the bad traveling. One must always be in the water half-way to his knees, and at times even to his waist, in crossing and recrossing streams that flow through the midst of a vast Plain which must be traversed to gain the river Nekoubau, to the Southwest of the one left behind. Even the Savages dread this journey, as one full of fatigues and peril. [Page 169]

“Toward six o’clock on the morning of the tenth, we arrived at Paslistaskau[xiii] which divides [I 7’0] the lands of the North from those of the South. It is a small tongue of land, an arpent in width and two in length, the two ends of this point being bounded by two small Lakes, whence issue two rivers. One flows down to the East, and the other to the Northwest, — the former emptying into the sea at Tadoussac by way of the Saguenay; and the latter into Hutson’s bay, by way of Nemeskau, which marks the middle point of the route between the two seas. Toward evening, we met three Mistassirinins in a canoe that was in excellent condition. They were coming to meet us, having perceived the great smoke we made from time to time, as we approached that Nation, as a signal of our arrival. This canoe took leave of us at nightfall, under pretense of continuing on its way; but all of a sudden, after turning the Island on which we were stationed, it came and joined us again that very evening. Examining more attentively the eldest of the three men, whose name was Moukoutaen — meaning’ crooked knife’ — I began to suspect that he wished to make us purchase our passage. But, perceiving my suspicion, he [r7 1] tried to conceal his design; and in the morning, when he took his departure, he explained himself by saying to me:’ Black Gown, stay here; our old man, the master of this country, must be notified of thy arrival. I Will go and tell him.’

“It is no new thing for the Savages, obeying a maxim of their policy or of their avarice, to be extremely cautious in granting strangers a passage, by way of their rivers, to distant Nations. The rivers are to them what fields are to the French, [Page 171] their sole source of Subsistence, — whether in the form of fish and game, or in that of traffic. Nevertheless, I pretended to take offense at this language, and therefore answered him somewhat brusquely:’ IS it thou that bidst me halt?” No, it is not I.” Who, then?” The Old man Sesibaourat.” Where is he?” Far from here,’ was his answer.’ Well, then, thou art to let him know that today I Will rest, as I am very tired; but if tomorrow morning thy Old man does net appear, do thou tell him that I am in haste and shall continue my journey,’ He embarked and took his departure at once; but I [172] was greatly surprised when, in the evening, four canoes made their appearance, coming to beg me in the Old man’s name to excuse him for not coming, as a head-wind had detained him until the morrow.

“On the 13th of June, eighteen canoes appeared, most of their occupants with painted faces, and adorned with all their costliest ornaments, — such as high head-dresses and porcelain collars, belts, and bracelets. They came and landed very near us; and, when the Captain set foot on land, I had him saluted with ten musket-shots in sign of rejoicing. On the same evening, too, I caused him and the chief men of his party to be summoned, that I might present to them two rich gifts, accompanied by the following address:

“‘ Sesibahoura, it is not to purchase the passage of this river and of thy Lake that I am pleased to regale thee with two presents. The Frenchman, having delivered this whole country from the incursions of the Iroquois, your foes, well deserves to be accorded the right to go and come with entire freedom through this region, which he has subdued with his arms. [Page 173]

Moreover, God whom You yourselves [ 173] acknowledge to be the master of all things, since he is the creator and ruler of ail, gives me the right of free passage everywhere, as he sends me to make him known throughout all these regions. Neither Annié, Oneiout, Onontagueronon, Oiogouen, Sonnontouan, Nepissirinin, Outaouac, nor any strange Nation has ever required anything of my brothers, when they freely passed to and fro through those peoples’ territories, to instruct them and teach them the Laws of the Gospel.

“‘ As Your friend, ally, and kinsman, I give you a mat to cover the graves of your dead who were slain by the Iroquois, your enemies; and to you who escaped their fires and their cruelty, it Will say that you shall live in the future. Onnontio has wrested the war-hatchet from their hands. Your country was dead; he has restored it to life. He has cleared away the trees and rocks that blocked your rivers and checked the course of their waters. Fish, hunt, and trade in all directions, without fear of being discovered by your enemies, either from the noise [r74] of your arms, the odor of your tobacco, or the smoke of your fires. The peace is general everywhere.

“‘ This second present tells you that the Iroquois prays to God now, since the Frenchman bas given him some sense; and that the Frenchman intends that you too shall imitate him, now that he has restored you to freedom.’ ( I love God,” says the Frenchman to you. “I will have no allies or kinsfolk that acknowledge the Demon for their master, and have recourse to him in their needs. My friendship, alliance, and kinship are not to be merely on earth and in this world; I desire them to be [Page 175] continued in the other, after death, and to be maintained in Heaven.”

“‘ And, to that end, abandon the plan of carrying On commerce with the Europeans who are trading toward the North sea, among whom prayer is not offered to God; and resume your old route to Lake St. John, where you will always find some black gown to instruct and baptize you.’

“That whole evening was nothing but one great feast for our cordial reception, and for making us share, in the native fashion, all the best things that [I75] the people had; and at night, when all had assembled in response to the Captain’s call there was ordered, as the best means of testifying to us their transports of joy, a public dance, — wherein, with occasional mingling of voice and drum, they passed the night thus rejoicing, everything being conducted with propriety.

“On the following day, the Captain, at the close of a fine feast, spoke in his turn, as follows:

“‘ Today, my Father, the Sun shines upon us; and, favoring us with thy benign presence, thou givest us the brightest day that this country has ever seen. Never have our fathers or our grandfathers had such happiness. How fortunate are we to be born at this time, for the free enjoyment of the blessings that thou bestowest upon us! The Frenchman places us under great obligations; in giving us peace, he restores us all to life.

“‘ But he makes the debt much greater by consenting to instruct us and make US Christians. We shall regard him as the one through whom we can escape eternal punishment after death.’ He closed [176] by giving me a present, and addressing me as [Page 177] follows:’ MY Father, we detain thee here to instruct and baptize us all. On thy return thou shah tell Onnontio that We all pray to God, and have listened to his Word.’

“It would be difficult for me to express our joy at seeing such favorable inclinations for the Faith in that country, and our zeal in seconding the cordial attitude there manifested toward Christianity. After the thanks customary here on such occasions, I told them that, as to the children, I would baptize them, as it would be too much trouble for the parents to carry them to Lake St. John; but concerning the Adults, as I was in haste to depart, I could not instruct them fully in all our mysteries, and those who were in earnest in what they said could go to Lake St. John on their trading trip, and await me there, and I would satisfy them all upon my return. TO that they agreed.

“On the 15th, all the common people entertained us after their custom; and I continued to discharge our functions, and to instruct the inhabitants.

“On the 16th, after saying holy Mass, [r77] we took our departure, and arrived at Kimaganusis. On the 17th, we reached Pikousitesinacut, — that is,’ the place where shoes are worn out,‘ — so named from the difficulty of the route.

“On the 18th, we entered that great Lake of the Mistassirinins, which is supposed to be so large that it takes twenty days of fair weather to go around it.[xiv] This Lake owes its name to the rocks in which it abounds, and which are of a prodigious size. It has many very beautiful Islands; and wild fowl, fish of all kinds, moose, bears, caribous, porcupines, and beavers are abundant. We had already proceeded [Page 179] six leagues among the Islands that are scattered through its waters, when I perceived what looked like a bit of rising ground, as far away as one could see. I asked our men whether we were to direct our course thither.’ Be silent,’ said our guide;’ do not look at it, unless thou wish to die.’ The Savages. of all those Regions imagine that whoever would cross this Lake must carefully refrain from curiously inspecting his route, and especially [178] the place where he is to land. Merely looking at it, they say, stirs up the waters, and evokes storms that chill the boldest with fear.

“On the 19th, we arrived at Makouamitikac — that is,’ the Bears’ fishing-place.’ It is a flat region with very shallow water, and also extremely rich in fish, — small sturgeon, pike, and whitefish having their haunts there. It is a pleasure to see the bears walking on the shores of this piece of water, and, as they go, catching with a paw now one fish and now another, with admirable dexterity.

“We reached Ouetataskouamiou on the 22nd, after a very hard day’s journey, — being forced to leave the great river, as the waterfalls and rapids were too violent, and make our way among some small lakes, with seventeen portages, to regain the same river. Here our guide went astray twice, which forced us. to make a portage of two long leagues amid rivers, declivities, mountains, submerged plains, and [ 1793 brooks that we had to cross with the water up to our waists.

“On the 23rd and 24th, we found a less mountainous region. Its atmosphere is much milder, and its fields are beautiful; and the soil would bear abundantly, and be capable of supporting a large [Page 181] population, if it were cultivated. This region, the fairest on our entire journey, extended as far as Nemiskau, where we arrived the 25th of June, toward noon.

“Nemiskau is a large lake, of ten days’ journey in circumference, half surrounded from North to South by a semicircular range of high mountains. At the mouth of the great river, which extends from the East to the Northeast, are seen vast plains, which continue even below the semicircular mountain-range; while all this open country is so agreeably intersected by water that there appear to the eye to be a corresponding number of rivers. forming so many Islands that it is hard to Count them. All these Islands are seen to be so scored with the trails of the moose, beaver, deer, and porcupine, that they would seem [ 180] to be the place of their abode, where they are wont to range. Five large rivers empty into this lake, making it so rich in fish that the latter formed the main subsistence of a populous savage nation dwelling here eight or ten years ago. The sad monuments of their place of residence are still to be seen; and also, on a rocky islet, the remains of a large fort constructed of stout trees by the Iroquois, whence he guarded all the approaches and made frequent murderous sallies. Seven years ago he killed on this spot, or led away captive, eighty persons; this caused the entire abandonment of the place, its original inhabitants departing thence. Owing to the size of the river and the nearness of the sea, there was formerly much traffic here, people coming from various quarters. The river forms a great elbow in turning to the Northeast, compelling us to make four very difficult portages among some [Page 183] small lakes, to regain it by a direct Northeasterly course. We went to Nataouatikouan to pass the night.

“On the 26th, we arrived at Tehepimont, an exceedingly mountainous region. On the 27th, we accomplished the [181] last of the portages. Thus far we had experienced no discomfort from the persecution of those little Sharp-stinging flies known as mosquitoes and gnats. But at this point it became impossible for us to sleep, constantly occupied as we were with defending ourselves, by the smoke that we made on every side, from the cruel warfare waged against us by those tiny creatures, whose numbers seemed infinite.

“On the 28th, scarcely had we proceeded a quarter of a league when we encountered, in a small stream on our left, a hoy of ten or twelve tons, with its rigging, carrying the English Flag and a lateen sail. A musket-shot’s distance thence, we entered two deserted houses. A little farther on, we found that the Savages had wintered near there, and had recently taken their departure. We pursued our course, accordingly, as far as a point of land six leagues distant from the house of the Europeans. There, the tide being low and the wind against us, we withdrew, the mud up to our waists, into a little river on [182] our right, flowing toward the Northeast. Here, upon turning and looking around, we found two or three cabins and an abandoned dog, showing us that the Savages were near, and had decamped only two days before. All that evening we remained there, firing loud musket-shots to make ourselves heard, and amusing ourselves with watching the sea which we had so long sought, and [Page 185] that famous Hutson’s bay, of which we shall speak later.

“On the 29th, one of our canoes started for Miskoutenagachit, where our men thought the Savages must be. On the 30th, my host, falling into an ill humor, lost heart for continuing the journey; and, intent only on returning, said that he was anxious about his four-months-old granddaughter, whom he had left behind. We went back to the Englishmen’s house. I was obliged to curb myself, in order to bear with that surly humor and conceal my indignation.

“On the morning of the first of July, after saying holy Mass, I tried to [1833 show him that, as our canoe had not returned, it must, in consequence, have met with Savages and be waiting for us.

“At first he objected that it would be extremely difficult to make a passage of twenty leagues by canoe on the sea. Then I thought that he was persuaded; but, to force him to declare himself more decidedly, I answered him:’ Thine own honor, and that of those that sent thee, demand that thou shalt not halt so near the goal. After so many past fatigues, there is no obstacle so difficult that thou canst not easily overcome it, with God’s help. If there is nothing so noble and great as to carry the Faith among infidels and extend God’s Empire, thou shouldst Count thyself happy to cooperate in saving some one who Will remember thy deed, even after his death, and Will pray to God for thee; while, on the contrary, thou wilt have good reason to fear, at the hour of thy death,’ the reproaches that may well be uttered against thee, if any one perish through thy lack of spirit.’ This brought him over entirely; [Page 187] and the fear of God’s judgment at that last passage made him decide to continue the [r84] journey, I have always found the Savages very easily moved by representations of Hell’s torments, and by the charms of Heaven’s delights.

“Thereupon, he answered me with much brusqueness, ‘Make haste, then, let us embark.’ We started that same day, toward six o’clock; and ten leagues from there, about two o’clock, we met a canoe which the Captain, knowing that we were coming, had despatched in haste, to meet us and act as our escort.

“As soon as the people caught sight of us in the distance, they all left their cabins and came down to the water’s edge, — the Captain crying at the top of his voice, in compliment to us:’ The black Gown is coming to visit us; the black Gown is coming to visit us.’ At once, a band of Young men left the main body, and hastened toward us, the water up to their waists. Some carried us ashore, others seized upon our canoe, and the rest took our luggage. The Captain, taking me with one hand and seizing my paddle with the other, led me directly to his lodge, had all our baggage carried thither, and placed the two Frenchmen one (185] on each side of me. There we remained until he had caused the erection of a cabin for us. While the women were working upon it I produced a handsome calumet and three brasses of tobacco, which I gave to the Captain, that he might smoke and regale his Young men. TO give him a smoke is the greatest pleasure and courtesy that one can render a Savage, — especially in that country, and at a season when tobacco is very scarce.

‘6 As soon as we were housed, the Captain prepared a fine feast; while all vied with one another in [Page 189] their expressions of endearment toward us, bringing US the best of their possessions, They all, one after another, came to visit us, the women even bringing their children to see a black gown — a novel sight to them.

“I was net, however, fully satisfied with these extraordinary civilities. One thing troubled me. I had reflected, in talking with the occupants of the canoe that had come to meet US, that, under pretext of favoring the Nation with whom they were wont to trade, these people [186] were likely to take umbrage at our visit and our claims, our purpose not being clear to them.

“To make them take a correct view of our action, I determined to convince them that I was entirely disinterested in my visit; and that I had not come to carry on any trading, or to enrich myself at their expense, or to the prejudice of the people with whom they were wont to deal — but rather to enrich them, by giving them freely all that we had brought so far with such difficulty.

“Accordingly I called together all the Captains and chief men, and thus addressed them:

“Present 1.’ Kiaskou,‘ — the Captain’s name, signifying’ gull,‘ —’ we often experience, and with pleasure, a benefit whose author and cause we do not know. The blessing of peace with the Iroquois, now enjoyed by thee, is of that nature; thou knowest neither him that gives thee this peace, nor his purpose in giving it to thee.

“‘Look at this present, which Will open thine ~187] eyes to a knowledge of thy benefactor. “It is 1,” says Onnontio to thee, “who have made peace, without thy knowing it. For the past five years the [Page 191] Iroquois has ceased to disturb you; he makes no more incursions into your territories; I have snatched from him his Pakamagan”’ — his battle-axe‘ “and have even rescued from the flames thy two daughters and many of thy kin. Very well, then, live in peace and safety; I restore to thee thy country, whence the Iroquois had driven thee. Fish, hunt, and trade everywhere, and fear nothing henceforth.”’

“Present II.’ It is not the allurements of traffic or of commerce that bring me hither. If I have borne the fatigue of so long a journey amid so many risks, it was from no other motive than to enlighten you with the light of the Faith, teach you the way to Heaven, and render you happy after this life. Those were my thoughts, and those, too, were the thoughts of the Frenchmen who sent me hither, — to assure thee, by this present, that the reason why they secured peace for you with the Iroquois, was to constrain you to pray to God in earnest. Your conversion to Christianity must be your acknowledgment [188] of that great blessing. This is the second present.’

“I well know that it is for God alone to touch the heart and give efficacy to his servant’s Word, which is uttered in his name and for his glory. But these presents produced such an effect on the hearers that, under the influence of the Holy Ghost, which touched their hearts, they then and there adopted the resolution to have themselves all instructed. Then they all wished to embrace the Faith and be baptized; and their chief led the way for all the rest, being unwilling to let me depart until I had baptized him.

“I took pleasure in arguing with this good old man when he pressed me for baptism, and in offering [Page 193] him great OPPOsition, in order to strengthen him still further in his good resolutions.

“‘ you are so wavering,’ said I to him,’ and so unstable in your belief in a Sovereign spirit governing all things — the creator of all things, and the one *n whom all things depend — that when the slightest danger threatens life, health, or success in thy undertakings, which rest solely with the [189] Will of that sovereign spirit, thou wilt straightway have recourse to the evil spirit, and wilt relapse into thy former ways. Then this noble purpose that now moves thee to pray Will, at the least misfortune that befalls thee, die out and vanish in smoke, — like an illumination exposed to the slightest wind.’

“‘ That would be true, if I were a Child,’ replied he;’ thou wouldst have reason to fear that I would not stand firm in my resolution to pray in earnest. He who now gives me these good intentions Will, by his grace, keep me true to them in the future: and if he has been so good and so powerful as to kindle in me the fire of this high purpose, he Will net extinguish it. And who can extinguish it, since he alone is the creator and ruler of all things?’

“‘ Wait until another time,’ I answered him;’ I am in haste to set about my return, and it would take too long to instruct thee thoroughly. Next year, either I or some one else Will come and stay here, t* teach YOU all that you must believe, or do, or shun, in order to go to Heaven.’ L Yes,’ said he,’ but who has assured thee that thou wilt be [X90] alive next year, or that he who shall set out from Quebec for this place Will reach it? And who has told thee that I myself shall be found alive? I am already olds and have been ill for two moons. If I die without[Page 195] baptism, wouldst thou have me burned? I shall tell the maker of all things that I desired to be baptized ad to pray in earnest; but that thou wouldst net grant me that favor.’

“That good man said this with such feeling that he brought tears to my eyes. He was always at my heels, asking for baptism, and had already detained me three days, causing various incidents to occur to delay me. In the evening, I said to him with decision,’ I shall go away tomorrow.” Ah!’ he returned,’ I am not baptized!” Well, then, tomorrow morning, before my departure, I Will baptize thee.” Good!’ he exclaimed;’ thou art no liar.’

“In the evening, he called us together and spoke as follows:’ It is not the difficulty of making a speech that has led me to defer the holding of this Council, but the answer that thou art to give the French is what greatly perplexes me. As presents serve us for words [ 191J in declaring our sentiments, how wilt thou set forth at Quebec what I say, if thou canst not carry or receive what I wish to give? They Will say at Quebec that I have no mouth — that I am a Child, unable to speak. As thy strength is utterly exhausted, as thou art in great haste to return as speedily as possible, and as the way is so arduous, it would completely ruin what health is left thee, were I to burden thee with many packages. Farewell, then, farewell. Depart when thou choosest. Take merely these otter-skins to let the Frenchman know that, wishing to spare the remnant of thy strength, and to testify to him my high appreciation of thy rich presents, my Young men Will bear my words and my thanks to lake saint John next Year’

“On the fourth of July, his just request Was [Page 197] granted; I baptized him, under the name of Ignace.’ Our detention by a head-wind all that day enabled him to show that there was something uncommon in him, and that he had not [192] received baptism in vain. He assembled all his people in our presence and, appearing as if quite enraptured by a secret influence from Heaven,

“’ MY nephews,’ said he,’ you all know the blessing that befell me this morning, I have been baptized; I pray to God now, and I am a Christian. A strong purpose bas deeply moved me to strive to escape eternal punishment and to enjoy some day the delights of Heaven. I am no longer what I used to be; I disown all the evil I have done, I love with my whole heart the maker of all things, in him alone I Will believe, and in him alone Will I put my trust. That is my declaration. Every man is his own master, and thus each may think for himself on what he has to do.’

“He breathed into this speech so much of the spirit of God, and accompanied it with such devotion, that all his people were greatly moved and impressed by it, — so much so that, had I been disposed to comply, with the ardent desire shown by the entire company, I certainly might have given holy baptism to ail, after a few days’ instruction. But we were forced to take our departure.

[ 193] “It was a cause of very keen regret to me to find myself, on the fifth, obliged to leave so soon so fair a Mission-field, — especially after tasting these first delights. I did net, however, feel that I was quitting it altogether, leaving behind me, as I did, the expectation of my early return. This separation was not less deeply felt by all those good Savages, [Page 199] many of whom showed plainly enough the grief of their hearts by shedding tears when they bade me farewell. Accompanying us to the water-side, they followed our canoe. for a long time with their gaze. God being pleased to grant us a rather favorable wind, we set sail, and proceeded as far as the Englishmen’s lodge, where we passed the night.

“Before leaving Hutson’s bay, I ought to give you a sketch of it; but my brief sojourn at Meskoutenagasit did not afford me leisure to explore that bay, or to gain thorough information as to its characteristics and those of the neighboring region; moreover, I was obliged to spend most of my time in teaching and baptizing sixty-two persons, [194] both children and adults. Therefore I shah not give here an exact description of the bay, which can be found in the maps of it that have been made.

“I Will merely say that the River by which we entered it is called Nemiskausipiou, and rises in lake Nemiskau, whence it takes its name. It is a very beautiful river, nearly half a league wide, and more in some parts, but of no great depth, Rising toward the Southeast, it flows Northwestward for about eighty leagues, is very rapid, and is broken in its course by eighteen falls. Fearing, therefore, to shatter the canoes, and run the risk of losing everything, we carried them, with all the luggage, through the woods. All these portages are long and difficult, two or three of them being of nearly three leagues each, the others of one, two, or two and a half leagues.

“The flow and ebb of the tide, which is very well defined here, affects this river for four leagues, until intercepted by rapids; but this fact does not [Page 201] prevent the water’s keeping its freshness in the highest tides, — not only in [ 195] the river, but even four leagues out into the bay.

“It passes belief how far the sea recedes at low tide — estimated at fully twenty leagues by the Savages, all that vast stretch, as far as the eye can reach, presenting nothing but mud and rocks, for the most part, and nearly all being left bare of water; so that the river, flowing over that mud and becoming lost in it, has not then enough water to float a canoe.

“We found that the mouth of the river is at the fiftieth degree of latitude; and remarked that, in emptying, it seeks the bay by many windings, which form Islands fitted for habitation.

“Upon the point to the Westward the Kinistinons are settled; and, upon the bay, the Mataouakirinouek and Monsounik, each nation being separated from its neighbors by large rivers. The people of the sea dwell toward the Northeast on the river Miskoutenagasit — the name of the place visited by us, situated twenty leagues along the sea; it is a long rocky point at the fifty-first degree of latitude, where from time immemorial the Savages have been wont to gather [196] for purposes of trade. And farther toward the Northeast are settled the Pitchiboutounibuek, the Kouakouikouesiouek, and many other nations. Three days’ journey into the depth of the bay, toward the Northwest, is a large river called by some Savages Kichesipiou, and by others Mousousipiou,’ Moose river,’ on which are many nations; while on the left, as you advance, lies the well-known Island of Ouabaskou,[xv] forty leagues long by twenty wide, abounding in all kinds of animals but especially notable for its white bears. There is [Page 203] said to be a small bay where the water never freezes, and in which vessels can pass the winter very comfortably.

“I say nothing of the abundance of wild fowl in this region. On the Island of Ouabaskouk, if the Savages are to be believed, they are so numerous that in one place, where the birds shed their feathers at molting time, any Savages or deer coming to the spot are buried in feathers over their heads, and are [197] often unable to extricate themselves.

“Nor do I speak of the variety and plenty of fruits growing here, as this is not the place to visit in quest of delicacies and dainties. What commonly caught my attention were some small berries, called’ bluets’ [i.e., blueberries] from their color, little red apples, and dark pears, and abundance of goose-berries, which are very common in all these cold countries.

“I saw in various places many large trees from which the bark had been removed; and, upon my asking my guide whether these were not signs and characters which the people were wont to use, he answered me that the Savages had stripped those trees, when pressed with hunger, to feed upon their bark. God has given to warm countries their necessary food-stuffs, and to these cold regions the bear, moose, beaver, and porcupine; they constitute a food-supply which, for bracing the stomach in these regions, are well worth the figs and oranges [of the tropics].

[198] “They are in error who have held that this region, whether by reason of the intense cold, the ice and snow, or the lack of wood suitable for building and heating, is uninhabitable. They have not [Page 205] seen these vast and dense forests, these beautiful plains, and these wide prairies bordering the rivers in various places and covered with every kind of grass suited to the maintenance of cattle. I can assert that on the fifteenth of June there were wild roses here, as beautiful and fragrant as those at Quebec. The season seemed to me farther advanced, the air extremely mild and agreeable. There was no night during my visit; the twilight had not yet faded from the west when the dawn of day appeared in the East.

“On the sixth, we regained our river with great difficulty, due to the swiftness of its current and the frequent waterfalls, by which it is broken. At such places the Savages had to leap into the water, and drag their canoes after them by main strength, — some pulling with ropes, and others pushing with long poles; while very often it was [199] impossible to overcome the impetuosity of the stream, which flowed over the rocks with marvelous swiftness. Canoes and all the luggage had to be carried through the woods, — now amid mountains, lofty and fearful, and now over vast plains and by paths of extreme difficulty.

“We were four days in reaching Nemiskau, where we planted the King’s standard, the ninth of July, on the point of the Island intersecting this Lake.

“On the fourteenth, we met two canoes filled with Savages, who gave us a warm reception. In our interview with them, they told us that a party of a hundred and fifty Mistasirinins were at no great distance; and invited me to go and visit them, assuring me that they would all be delighted to see us, and to be instructed in the Christian religion. [Page 207]

Kindled by these words, I answered them that it would give me especial pleasure to pay them a visit, since there was something to be gained therein. But, when I was on the point of setting out, our guide, who was feigning to be asleep, suddenly cried:’ Whither wouldst thou go, black gown? We are [zoo] in haste; let us continue our journey.’ I was forced to obey him. It is vexatious to be dependent on a Savage’s humor; one cannot always do what he would. Nevertheless, I have every reason to believe that God was satisfied with my good intentions.

“This meeting was greatly to the advantage of two little children that were privately baptized on our way, at the earnest request of their parents, who begged from me the favor.

“On the 18th, we reached the Minahigouskat river, where our coming was awaited by two hundred more Savages, who, after greeting us in the native fashion, regaled us ail, each treating us in turn. Here occurred a good opportunity, without our seeking it, to praise the glory of our nation and the advantages of our holy faith. They heard me with such satisfaction that they thereupon all declared themselves publicly for prayer, and promised that they would repair to Lake saint John the next Spring, to receive instruction and baptism. I had the consolation to see the glory of Jesus Christ, and his flock, increased by thirty-three little innocents, [201] upon whom I conferred Baptism before my departure.

“Toward two o’clock on the afternoon of the 19th I planted the standard of our mighty and invincible Monarch on that river, to serve as a safeguard to all those Tribes against all the Iroquois Nations. [Page 209]

“We reached Lake saint John on the 23rd, after many hardships. I was quite surprised, upon my arrival to learn that the Mistasirinins had been waiting for me a month. They were that first company whom I had met on my way to their country; and I had deferred granting them the Sacrament of Baptism until my return, sending them to Lake saint John, — partly to test their resolution, partly also to instruct them fully and at my leisure upon my return.

“In the baptism of thirty Adults I received full recompense for all the hardships that I had suffered on that long journey. After instructing them sufficiently, I advised them to remain at the lake and spend the Winter there, in order to become better grounded [202] in Christianity.

“I hope this journey Will result in profit to them; for, as the people dwelling on this lake are Christians of longer standing and firmer in the Faith, their example Will be of great value to the nation in question, in giving its members a true idea of our holy Religion.

“We left the lake on the 29th to go to Chegoutimik, where Monsieur de saint Denis, Captain of Tadoussac, awaited us in order to take us on board his vessel. We arrived there on the first of August.

“Immediately after reaching Quebec, I endeavored to give an account of the successive events of our journey to those who had employed me, and whom I knew to be most interested in the success of that Mission. TO render them a full and faithful report, I informed them of the cause of so early a return on my part, of the places that I had seen, and of all that I had done for the salvation of those [Page 211] people, the proclamation of the Gospel, the planting of our holy Faith, and the glory of our great Monarch, in all the Nations with whom we had been able to mingle.

[203] “Hitherto this journey had been deemed impossible for the French, who had already thrice attempted it, but, unable to overcome the obstacles in its way, had been forced to abandon it in despair of success. What appears impossible is found to be easy in God’s good time. The conduct of the expedition was my due, after my eighteen years of efforts to that end; and I received sufficiently manifest proof that God was reserving the final execution for me, in the signal favor of a sudden and wonderful — not to say miraculous — cure that I obtained as soon as I had, at my Superior’s solicitation, devoted myself to this Mission. And, in truth, I was not deceived in my expectation; for I led the way, in company with two Frenchmen and six Savages.

“It is true this journey is extremely difficult, and all that I Write about it is but half of what the traveler must endure. There are 200 saults, or water-falls, and consequently 200 portages, where both canoe and luggage must be carried on the back. There are 400 rapids, where a long pole must be constantly [204] in hand in order to surmount them. I say nothing of the difficulties to be encountered on foot; they must be experienced to be understood. But one takes courage when he thinks how many souls can be won to Jesus Christ. Going and returning, the distance is 800 leagues; we covered 600 in less than forty days. Our rule was to start early in the morning, and encamp very late. Setting forth as soon as the dawn allowed us to catch but a glimpse [Page 213]of the rocks in the river, we continued until, for lack of light, we could no longer distinguish them.

“‘My success in proclaiming the Gospel was surprising, — finding, as I did, among all those Nations a state Of mind so favorable that I had more difficulty in refusing those who offered themselves for baptism, than in winning them and subjecting them to the empire of the Faith. All the Captains and the leading Chiefs were won to God, which will aid greatly in converting the others.

[205] “Not without reason do I cherish great hopes of this.

“In their marriages and superstitions are found the two capital vices, and the most difficult obstacle to overcome among all the Savage Nations. Those Northern tribes seem the less remote from God’s Kingdom, in that they are less subject to these vices, not being accustomed to a very sensual life, and showing themselves less obstinate in their superstitions. It is easy to disabuse them of their errors, and to subject them to the Laws of the Gospel and the purity of the Christian religion.

“I had no difficulty in convincing them of the slight power possessed by the demons for succoring their followers, since they have none whatever for delivering themselves from the fires of Hell; and I explained to them the sufferings endured by these demons, the vehemence of their jealousy, and their horrible malice in wishing to have companions in their wretchedness.

“Polygamy is not common with these people. I even remarked that the second [206] wife of those who had two was nearly always some near relative; and, upon inquiring the reason that could underlie [Page 215] such a custom, I was answered that, when a woman lost her husband, it was the nearest relative’s duty to take tare of her and maintain her, — holding her not as a slave but as a wife.

“I close the account of our journey with the number of persons baptized, amounting, from the time of my departure, to two hundred, children and adults together. What may we not hope after so fair a beginning, especially in view of the ardent desire for instruction manifested to me by all those people, their reluctance to let me depart, the urgent requests they made me that we should go to settle in their country as soon as possible, and their pressing invitations to the French in general to go and trade with them?

“After so much encouragement, can we desire anything except that God may be pleased to bestow his blessing upon all our labors? It is his affair and his interest.” [Page 217]

[207] Part Third.

The Holy Death of Madame de la Peltrie,

Foundress of the Ursuline Nuns in new

France; and that of the Reverend

Mother Marie de l’Incarnation, first

Superior of that Convent.

OUR Canada has lost Madame de la Peltrie, Foundress of the Ursuline Nuns in this country, and Benefactress of our Missions, She died a holy death among her nuns, on the 18th of November of the year 1671; and was followed six months later by the Reverend Mother Marie de l’Incarnation, — her dear companion, and the first [208] Superior of the above-named Convent.

The deaths of these two Illustrious persons were a public calamity. As every one was indebted to them, the whole country shared that obligation and mourned their 10s~. They were everywhere highly honored for their virtue and holiness; but were especially cherished and esteemed for having taken the first steps toward the education of Young French and Savage girls, and for having thereby contributed greatly to the firm establishment and the progress of the Colonies of New France.

They were both called by God to this glorious work at nearly the same time, and both in an extraordinary [Page 219] manner, without having ever seen or known each other before, at least with the eyes of the body — a fact which from that time became an argument in Proof of the excellence of their mode of life and conduct as will appear in the following Chapters — crossing the sea in the same vessel, 32 years am and sustained as they have been ever since by fresh recruits 9 — who have come to them from [209] France, Year after year, and whom Heaven itself bas procured for them from among the girls they have reared in the country, — they had built up a Community of considerable size, which is maintained by a sort of miracle. With it they both labored in concert, until they drew their last breath, in sanctifying many families, by imparting to their members favorable impressions of our holy Religion and of the Christian virtues.

My purpose is not to anticipate here Writers who might wish to give us the complete history of two such holy lives; I intend merely to touch lightly on some of their eminent virtues, and on their holy deaths. I do so, in order to avoid the charge of committing an injustice, by keeping concealed a blessing that ought to be public; and to satisfy to some extent — in advance, so to speak — a multitude of people whose only desire is the glorY of God, by making them acquainted with two holy Souls. These souls burned with the same zeal, and never cherished any other purposes than to live and die in his [21o] holy Love in a barbarous land; and, at the peril of their lives, to see him known and loved by all the people of this new world.

I cannot, however, refrain from speaking somewhat fully of their call to the country of Canada, as [Page 221] it Will show the admirable means adopted by divine Providence for their sanctification, and for procuring, at the same time, for these barbarous Nations so helpful an aid in their salvation. And, however strong my purpose to avoid confusion by grouping in separate Chapters what concerns each individually, yet we must, after hearing this pious Lady on the subject of her call, turn our attention to some very noteworthy facts contained in the account which, by order of her Director, the Reverend Mother Marie de l’Incarnation Will give us of her own. [Page 223]

[222] CHAPTER 1.



MADAME Magdelaine de Chauvigny, widow of the late Monsieur de la Peltrie, was born at Alençon, of parents belonging to the highest station in that country, who took most careful pains to rear her in piety and the fear of God. From infancy she showed her beautiful disposition, her inclinations to virtue, and a spiritual nature already ripe. No trace of levity was seen in her; and from that time her morals patterned themselves after every kind of virtue. The holy Ghost, acting as her guide, inspired her with a most ardent affection for everything pertaining to the service of God; for purity, mercy, and charity toward the poor, whose wretchedness she could not witness unmoved by compassion — which made those who gave any special heed to her conduct regard her as destined some day to become a great servant of God.

[2 12] A thousand edifying incidents that are told of her early youth I leave to certain worthy persons who carefully preserve their records, that I may dwell solely on what concerns her call to Canada. When she was somewhat past her childhood, it was seen clearly enough that her native endowments, and the gifts of Heaven which shone forth in her, rendered her in a far greater degree worthy of Jesus Christ for a Spouse than fitted for passing her life in [Page 225] the pomps and pleasures of the age. The first flights of her devotion, too, were for a Religious life, to enter which she exerted all her efforts; and, in despair of obtaining the desired permission, she effected her entrant by stealth into a Convent, whence she was withdrawn with great difficulty, —. especially as her removal was for the purpose of pledging her in marriage, for which she had no inclination. Nevertheless, her consent was gained through the deep respect which she had ever cherished for her parents, whose wishes were known to her. After countless struggles and floods of tears, she saw clearly that it was God’s Will that she should yield them this obedience, Accordingly, she married a very worthy Gentleman [213] of the House of Touvoys, Monsieur de la Peltrie by name; by him she had a daughter, who received life only to go and swell the number of the Predestined in Heaven. In this state she neglected no precaution, in accordance with saint Paul’s precept, to prevent the least stain being found on her nuptial couch. She faithfully observed the most holy laws of matrimony, until God was pleased to call to himself Monsieur her husband, and restore her to freedom. Then, seeing herself childless and possessed of great wealth, she deliberated before God on what she was to do, undergoing no little spiritual suffering before reaching a decision. For, on the one hand, she felt strongly inclined to resume her early plan of a Religious life; on the other, the wealth that God had given her offered her a very advantageous means of contributing in no slight measure to the conversion of the barbarous tribes of Canada. In the end, pity for so many souls who were being lost touched her heart with the [Page 227]greater force, and prevailed over the vehement desires that she felt [214] for a Religious life; and, after consulting in the matter certain learned persona of worth and of great virtue, she resolved to sacrifice her property and her life to that good work. The paper which she placed in their hands, containing in her own handwriting all her views, her knowledge, and her feelings in respect to this call, has happily fallen into ours.

I have extracted its leading clauses, which follow, as being most important, since they include the substance of the whole. As the end which she set before her was to learn, through these great men, the Will of God, she freely opened her heart to them, and revealed its sentiments with all possible sincerity. She declared in the first place that hers was not a purpose lightly conceived, but had formed the most usual theme of her inner communions with God, especially since six or seven years before, when the fire of her holy love had been kindled in her heart in an extraordinary mariner, — that grace being granted her while she was performing spiritual exercises, under the guidance of a wise Director.

[2 I 5 3 During this retreat, she had felt such powerful impulses to contribute in every conceivable manner to the glory of him who alone possessed her heart, that she set before herself nothing less than to devote herself to promoting, as far as the weakness of her sex would permit, the conversion and salvation of all the nations of the world, which seemed too small for the greatness of her zeal. From that time, she was wont to accompany in spirit all those Apostolic men (who are engaged in that work over the entire world) in their dangers and their hardships. [Page 229]

Hundreds of times a day she would say t. God, in these transports: “Do with me, O God, whatever you choose. O God, all is yours, — my heart, my possessions, and my life.” And she had been inwardly conscious that God took pleasure in her outpourings of love, that he accepted the offering she made of herself, and that her projects would succeed, to the furtherance of his glory. These holy desires were so ardent and vehement as to cause her difficulty in breathing; and she adds that they were always lasting, increasing in force from day to day, But [2 16] as her intentions were then only general, she had thus far no definite purpose; and she felt convinced that, being unable to undertake all that her zeal might dictate, she ought, in order to render her laudable desires effective, to fix on some good work in particular, within the scope of her power and strength. Thereupon she found herself in great darkness, which obliged her to redouble her prayers and devotions, and to cause the saying of many Masses. Finally the thought came to her that she could do nothing that would more redound to the glory of God, than to give her possessions and her life to the cause of educating the little girls of Canada. “Oh, how gladly,” she exclaimed, “would I devote to that end all the riches of the Universe, were they at my disposal! How willingly would I suffer all conceivable martyrdoms, in order to cooperate in the salvation of those poor forsaken souls!”

Amid these thoughts and ardent longings, she was fully determined to enter upon no undertaking without the sanction and approval of some enlightened persons; and she [z 17] saw very clearly that, to gain her end, she must have the entire control of her [Page 231]property, — two very difficult things to effect. But at this Point she showed her courage and her trust in God. Indeed she encountered a thousand difficulties in respect to the latter abject, and extreme opposition in her pursuit of the former. Her undertaking appeared at first chimerical, since, as Canada was then but in its infancy, there was no likelihood that a Young and delicate widow, greatly gifted by nature, possessed of large means, richly endowed by fortune and grace, highly esteemed, and sought after as one of the best matches in her country, would think of crossing the Sea to lead a wretched life in the woods, among the most barbarous people in the world. In the matter of her property she entered upon a great lawsuit, — her opponents, who were powerful, claiming that, owing to her profusion and liberality toward the poor, she was incapable of administering her estate. She was nothing daunted, however, although she had few persons on her side, and lost her suit. She at once appealed. Her [218] adversaries had on their side some of the greatest men in the Kingdom, who were constantly striving to turn the Judges against her. The whole case appeared hopeless; and her friends regarded it as certain that, at the utmost, she would obtain her share only provisionally. In this perplexity she had recourse to God, making a vow to him and to the great saint Joseph, Protector of Canada, that, should she win her suit, she would execute her purpose and would use her entire property for God’s glorY and for the saving of souls. Nothing had thus far been divulged. At the same time that she made this vow, God changed the hearts of her opponents who, to use her own words, were transformed from lions into [Page 233] lambs. In a Word, she won her suit. All her friends and all who had been most opposed to her were filled with surprise at the issue, and with admiration for the guidance of her affairs by divine Providence. She says: “Some good souls said to me,’ We know net what your plans are, but the hand of God bas shown itself in a remarkable mariner on this occasion; and you are under strong obligations to thank him and [z r g] show him your gratitude.’”

After this stroke of Heaven in her favor she declares that her longings to glorify God in Canada, contempt for the luxuries and comforts of France, love for her calling, and zeal for the teaching of the little Savage girls gained remarkably in strength, as did also her trust in God. And she frankly confesses, expressing herself with her customary simplicity and sincerity, that henceforth she felt in her heart all that she had ever read or heard concerning the most ardent passions of the Saints for everything relating to the service and glory of God; furthermore, that on the day of the Visitation of the blessed Virgin, during her prayer, Our Lord had conveyed to her a strong feeling that it was his Will that she should go to Canada for the good of so many little girls, and to that end he would confer on her abundant gifts of grace. “This so filled me with confusion,” says she, “that I said to him, my eyes streaming with tears:’ Alas! my Lord, not upon me, who am so great a sinner, so vile and mean a creature, must 1220] such great favors be conferred.’ He seemed to say to my inner ear that it was true, but that his purpose was to give reason for admiring his mercy the more, and that it was his Will to use me in those regions for his glory; that I should go thither some [Page 235] day and should die there; that, although some of his most zealous servants should oppose my course, I had no cause for anxiety — I should go without fail. I remained dumb net knowing what more to say, and burst into tears, seeing on the one hand the favors which God bestowed upon me, and on the other my unworthiness. I arose from my payer, filled with an inward peace, and feeling a Perfect trust that my plans would succeed,”

Despite all such feelings and, so far as she could conjecture, such express information concerning God’s Will, she referred everything to the judgment of those whom God had given her for deciding this question — as she declares in thus concluding the paper which she presented them upon the subject: “Finally, I leave the whole matter in the hands of God” (these are her own words), “and of his faithful servants who [221] are to take the trouble of examining my call to Canada. I conjure them, in the name of his goodness, not to consider what I may have to suffer in the execution of this design, since I would gladly endure a thousand Martyrdoms, if it were necessary and were God’s Will, for the sake of contributing somewhat to his greater glory. I am ready to submit blindly to whatever decision they may reach in this matter.”

They were all of opinion, after hearing her and examining her written statement, that the finger of God was plainly visible in the affair, and that she could safely follow the beckoning hand of the divine Majesty. Some even held that she could net, without resistance to the Holy Ghost, draw back or delay One can scarcely imagine the joy that then filled ber heart. [Page 237]

It was Our Lord’s Will to manifest still further his approval of her resolution, in the course of a severe illness that overtook her in the very midst of her difficulties. She was in a critical state, and about t. fall into the death-agony, — on the first approach of which she was to receive the habit of the [222] Nuns of saint Francis, in which she had wished to die, — when she felt inspired to take a vow that, in case God were pleased to restore her to health, she would apply herself with still more energy to the conquest of all obstacles that might stand in the way of her design. Thus vowing in her heart, and without any one’s knowledge, she was straightway rid of her fever. The Physician, learning that she was not dead, and that she had passed the night comfortably, was surprised, in view of the condition in which he had left her on the preceding day. Visiting her, and finding her with no fever, he said to her: “Madame, I think that your fever has gone to Canada.” The patient, not yet able to speak, raised her eyes gently to Heaven, and gave a little smile.

God having thus, as by a miracle, restored her to health, she nobly fulfilled her vow. Never was man more troubled than Monsieur de Vaubougon, her father, whose plans for his daughter’s future were altogether at variance with those wherewith the Holy Ghost had inspired her. She was his dearly-beloved Child, left [223] a widow at the age of twenty-five, without children, sought after on every side, and one of the best matches in the Province for her beautiful qualities, which rendered her extremely lovable. They both suffered inwardly, father and daughter alike, — the father in trying to move the heart of his daughter, who very plainly testified to him her [Page 239] extreme aversion to marriage. The daughter, too, — who thought only of glorifying God, — seeing herself in a certain sense alone, had difficulty in finding an enlightened person who would, without being suspected, give her advice, and aid her in the execution of her Canadian project. She consulted God, as was her wont; and the thought came to her to apply to a very upright gentleman of exalted piety, the late Monsieur de Bernieres, Treasurer of France at Caen, very well known by his books,[xvi] and still more by the holiness of his life. She found means to speak to him; and after she had, in several interviews, given him all the information necessary for obtaining from him the counsel she desired in the prosecution of her undertaking, she proposed to him a plan that would facilitate and justify the freedom of their interviews, — 1224] which, to enable her to follow his advice to advantage, she thought ought to be frequent. By this plan, as she was being eagerly sought in marriage, he was to consent to ask Monsieur her Father for her hand, but without intending ever to marry her.

That holy man perceived very clearly this pious Lady’s purpose; yet, as the proposition: was very extraordinary, he took time to consider it before God. She also, on her side, did so with the greatest tare. And at length, both deciding that this expedient, which contained nothing contrary to God’s laws, would be effective [in promoting the end they had in view, Monsieur de Bernieres broached the matter very politely to Monsieur de Vaubougon, who, being well informed as to the man’s worth, gave his consent, provided his daughter was disposed to receive his suit. [Page 241]

That discreet Young lady, acting in concert with him in this holy fiction, thereupon heard her father with much respect and modesty; and her answer was that, since this worthy Gentleman who did her the honor to [225] ask her hand, met with her father’s favor, she also preferred him to any one else in the Province. Nothing more was needed to gladden the heart of Monsieur de Vaubougon, and to give these two good souls entire freedom for conferring together and prosecuting vigorously, though secretly, the Canadian project. Monsieur de Bernieres entered upon this with such strong convictions that it would promote God’s glory, that he was determined to’ devote all his property to the cause, if necessary; nor did he leave Madame de la Peltrie until he had himself put her on board one of the vessels sailing for Canada. But, to spare the pain that so violent and unexpected a parting would have caused, it was God’s Will that this daughter, so fondly cherished, should first close her good father’s eyes. He died like a true Christian, a short time after conceiving the hope that, by this second marriage, if it should prove to be what he had pictured it, he would live again in a happy posterity. After this loss, which was a very heavy one to her, she was more at liberty than ever; and her affairs — not to dwell upon [226] too many details, although they are quite noteworthy — proved to be in such shape that it only remained to choose the Convent and the Nuns suited to her purpose. After a search in all directions, it was finally discovered that some Ursuline Nuns at Tours had a call to Canada, and among them the Reverend Mother Marie de l’Incarnation, deceased some months ago in this town. Monsieur de Bernieres and [Page 243] Madame de la Peltrie having gone to Paris to negotiate this affair, there followed immediately a Correspondence on both sides; and the replies proving favorable, it became necessary to hold an interview with the least possible delay. And on this occasion was verified a wonderful vision which the above-named Mother Marie de l’Incarnation had had six years before, and which, as it was finally realized, well deserves to be told by her in the following Chapter. The account was written by her own hand, after the said Lady’s death and a short time before her own by order of her Confessor and Director. [Page 245]






I CITE this testimony all the more gladly that the holiness and worth of this person, of whom we shall speak later, gives it its authority and weight. The following are her own words:

“ About the year sixteen hundred and thirty-three, toward the end of the year, soon after I had made my profession of a Religious life, retiring at the close of Matins to our little cell, I seemed — having fallen into a light sleep — to take by the hand a Young Lady of the World; and, walking with her with a quicker step than hers, I was constantly outstripping her, without leaving her, however. Our way lay toward the place of embarkation. During our voyage we were always together, until we reached [228] our destination. At last we came to a great country. We landed, and ascended a hill by a passageway of about the width of a large church door. Beside this opening appeared a man, attired as we see the Apostles painted, who benignly regarded my companion and myself, — and motioned to me with his hand, giving me to understand that the way to our abode lay yonder. Although he did not speak, his gesture served me as a guide to a small Church situated on the hill. This place was square, in the [Page 247] form of a monastery, the buildings handsome and symmetrical. Yet without pausing to examine their structure, I felt my heart drawn to that little Church that had been pointed out to me by the guardian of this country. I was conscious all the time that my companion was following me, and, as I proceeded, I saw a road leading down to the lowlands of this wide region, which in a moment I viewed in its whole extent. It seemed to me covered with a thick fog, amid which I caught sight of a Church almost hidden in this gloom, [229] so that nothing was seen of it but its spire. This darkness filling that poor country was frightful, and apparently impenetrable. Meanwhile, my companion left me, and descended a few steps into the thickness of those mists. As for me, having at the very first been motioned toward a little Church, on the verge of the hill where we were, I was only anxious to reach it as soon as possible. It was of fine white marble, all ornamented with sculpture in the antique mode. The blessed Virgin was seated on it, in the very middle, and was contemplating this vast region, bearing on her bosom the holy Child Jesus. The Mother and Son seemed to me of marble; yet so winsome was their bearing that it seemed as if I would never reach them soon enough to satisfy my devotion.

“At last I came to them, filled with an ardor that consumed me. At this point, I met with a great surprise; for, upon raising my eyes, I found that the blessed virgin and her divine Child Were no longer of marble, but of flesh, and that the sacred Mother was turning her pitying glances upon that desolate land, and, lowering her head, was addressing [230] the little Jesus. It seemed to me also that she Was [Page 249] speaking to him about me, which kindled my heart more and more.

“The beauty of the blessed Virgin’s face — she appeared to be fifteen or sixteen years old — was ravishing; its impress is still intact in my mind. At that point I awoke, filled with the thought of converting the country I had seen. Yet I had no insight into the possible meaning of this vision; all was a mystery to me, and beyond my comprehension, since through it all not a single word had been said to me. Now one day, when I was before the blessed Sacrament, I was suddenly visited again by this same vision, ail that I had seen of that vast region being presented once more to my mind’s eye in every detail. In this vision the divine Majesty said to my inward ear,’ That is Canada that I showed thee; thou must go and build there a house to Jesus and Mary.’ Until then, I had never heard what Canada was, except when some one, in order to frighten children, threatened to send them to Canada. I [z3 1] took it for a word with which to inspire fear or indulge in raillery. As for that man who acted as guardian of the country, I could not doubt that he was saint Joseph, as it was impossible for Jesus and Mary to be without him.

“Now it was about six years after all this had occurred, that Madame de la Peltrie and Monsieur de Bernieres arrived at Tours to make the contract for their foundation, with the approval of Monseigneur Deschau, the Archbishop, the Superior of the Convent, and of the nuns for whom they had come to ask. The Reverend Father Rector of the College of the Society of Jesus came to bring us these tidings, which our Reverend Mother Prioress received [Page 251] with thanksgiving; and thence, at our solicitation, he went in quest of the said Monseigneur of Tours, and asked him for some Ursuline Nuns to accompany Madame de la Peltrie, who purposed going to Canada found a seminary for the education of the Savage girls. This request at first surprised that good Prelate yet after receiving detailed information from the Father on the whole affair, he made reply, exclaiming:’ Ah I my Father, is [232] it indeed possible that God chooses to take some of my nuns for so glorious an abject? Ah, how happy I shah be if there are found in this Community any who feel called to expose their lives so nobly!’ The Father answered him that divine Providence had provided for that, and had given me this call.’ Go, my Father, I pray you,’ was the other’s reply;’ go and talk with her again, question her carefully on this subject, and return at once to let me know the truth of the matter.’

“In the interim, Madame de la Peltrie entered with Monsieur de Bernieres. He received her with a thousand blessings on her noble undertaking, and was so touched by her rare modesty and by the seal manifest in her words and in the confession she made to him of her inmost feelings, that he joyfully acceded to all the requests made of him — especially when, upon the return of the Father, who, at his request, had come to examine me on my calling, he learned the true state of the case. In the meantime, he desired Madame de la Peltrie to be conducted to us, the doors of the Convent to be opened f233] to her and to her attendants, and such a reception to be accorded ber as would be given to himself. [Page 253]

“That good Lady, who had dreaded to approach Monseigneur of Tours, was delighted to see her business so quickly despatched; and without further delay came to the Convent, to share the good news with us and make the acquaintance of those whom God had assigned her for companions.

“Upon her arrival the Community assembled at the ringing of the bell; and, after drawing up in order, to receive her, with ceremony, in accordance with the said Monseigneur’s intentions, we conducted her to the Choir, singing the Veni creator, which was followed by the Te Deum. All wept with joy at sight of this pious Lady, whom we regarded as an Angel from Heaven; she, on her part, thought herself in Paradise. As for me, as soon as I looked in her face, I recalled my vision, and recognized in her the companion who had joined me for the purpose of visiting that great country which had been shown me. Her modesty, her gentleness, and her complexion only strengthened my conviction: all the [234] features of her face appeared to me the same. That experience of mine had been about six years before, and yet I remembered it as distinctly as if it had occurred only the preceding day. What increased still more my admiration for divine Providence was the intelligence which I afterward received from the lady herself, that, at the same time when God had conveyed to me a knowledge of her, he had also given her the first inspiration of her call to Canada.

“Not to dwell in detail on a thousand circumstances in this agreeable interview, which changed our Community into a little Paradise, the difficulty was [Page 255] to find us a companion; for all wished to be chosen, They went in a throng to Monsieur de Bernieres, who had remained in the parlor, to secure by his intercession this favor from Monseigneur of Tours. Finally the lot fell happily upon a girl full of courage and zeal, well qualified in every way by nature and grace, namely, Mother Marie de saint Joseph, — called in early life de saint Bernard; she was mentioned in the Relation of the year [2 3 5] 1652 as having closed her life in this country in a holy manner, after spending her energies here for thirteen years with rich results in the saving of souls.

“All arrangements being thus speedily concluded to our satisfaction, we took our leave, especially of the said Monseigneur, and, receiving his blessing, left Tours without delay and repaired at once to Paris. Arriving there toward the end of February, 1639, we fully expected to add to our number some of the Ursuline Nuns of the Fauxbourg saint Jacques, who felt the same call as ourselves; and our hope was all the stronger since we well knew that Convent’s zeal on behalf of Canada, and its readiness to undergo privation most gladly for so holy an under-taking.

“In fact, there were some who were quite ready to join us then, — as was done the next year by Mother Anne de saint Claire and Mother Marguerite de saint Athanase; but Monseigneur of Paris did not think it [236] best, feeling yet unable to make up his mind to sanction so extraordinary a project.

“Divine Providence had, for that year, destined this place for Mother Cecile de sainte Croix; we happily found her in the Ursuline Convent at Dieppe, [Page 257] burning with incredible ardor to expose her life to the storms and perils of the sea, in order to coöperate with US in the proper functions of our Institute, to the glorious end of converting these barbarous. nations.

“Finally, after surmounting a thousand difficulties, by the special aid of Heaven, we embarked on the 4th of May, our party numbering five, — not including the Reverend Jesuit Fathers, who helped us in every way, and never left us, or the Reverend Hospital Mothers, whom the holy Ghost had inspired to ask for the same Mission, in order to perform deeds of mercy to the sick among the French and the Savages. They were supported by the piety of Madame the Duchess d’Eguillon, who had taken the first step [237] in that enterprise, and was supplying the means necessary for its foundation.

“At length, under the protection of the blessed Virgin, to whom we had made a special appeal in three or four manifest dangers of shipwreck, we all arrived safely, on the first day of August of the same year, at Quebec, where we were received by Monsieur de Mon-magny, the Governor, by the Reverend Jesuit Fathers, and by the French and the Savages, with all imaginable attentions and demonstrations of joy.

“As soon as I found myself upon this soil so ardently longed for, I prostrated myself and kissed it, with feelings of reverence and gratitude toward the divine Majesty, whom I adored in the country that he had shown me long before. I recognized it as the one which I had seen, except that those thick shades appeared to me to have been dispelled, — the Faith having already made noteworthy progress among the [Page 259] Algonquin, Montagnais, and Huron nations, thanks to the efforts of the Reverend Fathers of the Society of Jesus.

E238] “These good Savages regarded us as persons come from Heaven, and put their hands over their mouths in wonder, astonished that for love of them we had left our country, our possessions, our kinsfolk and our friends. With no disgust at their greasy locks or bad odor, we caressed and embraced those of our own sex, who constituted our only treasures and our sole delight.

“The foremost Christian, Noel Negabamat, brought us two daughters of his, and then all the Savage girls in the place, Madame our dear Foundress was delighted to find herself in possession of what she had so ardently desired, and to be able to serve these girls. She insisted strenuously on taking chief charge of them, and we were forced to grant her that consolation.

“It was a pleasure to see her spread out what she had brought for making her dear girls some little gowns; and we clothed them in red camlet, the Savages being delighted to see them all dressed in the same costume.

“As we could not yet [23g] enjoy any seclusion, the house which was loaned to us never became less full, any more than a great kettle which was always over the fire, nothing being too dear in our eyes for our poor Savages. Our pious Lady’s humility and charity were so great that she rendered our little Savages the same services as a nurse gives to a Child, with a joy as keen as that taken by the world in its most engrossing pleasures. And, although naturally of a very delicate constitution, she did not betray [Page 261] the fact in her new surroundings, often eating in the cabins with the Savages, who loved and honored her, in their own way, more than tongue can tell.”

But this narrative of the Reverend Mother Marie de l’Incarnation has gradually led me on to a brief presentation here of this pious Lady’s chief virtues. [Page 263]




FROM her first movements in the faithful compliance which she rendered to the grace of her call to this country, we can infer with what rapidity she advanced here in every kind of virtue, during the period of nearly 33 years that these peoples had the happiness of possessing her.

What most brightly shone in her at the outset was the zeal that burned in her heart for their conversion. Gladly would she have journeyed in person through all the forests, across all the lakes, and over all the mountains of this vast country, to proclaim to these countless nations inhabiting it, that there is a God, a Paradise, a Hell, a Jesus Christ crucified for love of all men and for their salvation. But first she required a little breathing-space; she was obliged to use her energies in founding the Convent that she had undertaken, she must needs have the consolation of seeing her nuns engaged [241] in the work that she had so passionately desired for them, and she must herself put her hand to it in the tare that she took, conjointly with them, of the little Savage girls. These first outbursts of the divine fire by which she was inwardly consumed, with her humility, gentleness, piety, and charity, which rendered her conduct so holy, excited the admiration of French and Savages alike. But what filled them with delight was her [Page 265] going up as far as Mon-real, two years after her arrival upon learning that the great gathering of the Savages was to take place up the river. Here, her generous heart net Yet finding the means to satisfy her extreme thirst for the saving of souls, she conceived the project Of Pushing Onward for three hundred leagues from Quebec — by ways impeded by torrents and waterfalls that would frighten one to see them merely in pictures Hurons — and visiting the country of the There the fort of the Missionaries was situated, and the population was reckoned at more than eighty thousand souls, including the people of the neutral nation and of the Tobacco nation, — all situated within a stretch of [242] sixty leagues of territory, and all since then destroyed by the Iroquois, or scattered by them to more distant Regions. Everything was ready for this great journey, — her attendants, her provisions, her little packages containing the means of subsistence and presents for distribution when she should reach her journey’s end. Undaunted by anything that people could say to her for the purpose of dissuading her from this undertaking, she was only waiting for weather and season suitable for embarking. But one of our Fathers, coming down from that country with the Huron fleet, showed her so clearly the futility of such a journey for the end she had in view, and the imminent danger of falling into the hands of the Iroquois who were at war with those people, that she decided to forego her purpose. But, not to be wanting in zeal in that cause, she endowed a Mission to be attended to by our society; ad remained satisfied that she would fully meet the demands Of her vocation if she contented herself with seeking the [Page 267] conversion of those forsaken souls by constant prayer, abstinence, and her usual mortifications, and by her offices [243] of charity toward the little Savage girls — she herself continuing in seclusion, and living the orderly life of a religious with her nuns. And this she continued to do, in all holiness and constancy, to the last moment of her life, with never any relaxation, according to the testimony rendered to her virtue by her entire Community. so punctual was she in all matters that she anticipated the others in every thing pertaining to religious discipline; and when the Superior gave some order to the Community, she was always the first to execute it, thus by her example inciting all the rest to prompt obedience. It was also noted that the regular observances were never better or more punctually performed than when she had charge of the bell.

While she had charge of the wardrobe, — a position held by her for eighteen years, — she was more ready to give than people were to ask of her; and she gave with such good grace and so much kindness, that she was wont to make a thousand excuses if things were less satisfactory than she might well have wished. Thus, from her infancy, charity and pity [a44] had been her cherished virtues. She felt such affection for the poor that, out of her respect and love for our Lord’s poverty, she would have liked to have some of them always with her, and to clothe them with her best; and when one day she was reproached, with respect and friendliness, for wearing almost always old and patched garments, — a practice in which she was told there was something unseemly, and that she would perhaps do better to give them to the poor, — “Ah,” said she, “for my part, I would much [Page 269] prefer to give them new ones.” The spirit of self-abasement and humility which reigned in her heart made easy for her the practice of all the virtues, — her pleasure being to perform the meanest duties; to wash the dishes, pots, and kettles; to sweep the house, and to render the last offices to the sick, — which she did in a way that charmed every beholder. Hers it was to take the lowest place everywhere, — in the Choir, in the Refectory, at Communion, and at other assemblies of the Community. It was sure [245] to cause her pain to treat her in the character of Foundress; for then she would exclaim, “Alas! I am only a poor wretch that has done nothing but offend God.” And she believed it, although in reality her conscience was very pure in the sight of God, while her life in the eyes of men was a constant example of all the virtues. Her bearing, although rather stately, was humble; her mien tended to inspire a love of poverty, spiritual contemplation, and devotion. And this humble estimate of herself caused her to speak but little, and never of self except in self-depreciation. One day at the opening of the year, when the little Boarders sought her with a request for her blessing, “My poor children,” said she to them, “to whom are you making application? TO the most sinful creature in all the world.” Counting herself useless, and the least of the whole Community, this same humility made her unwilling that any special dish should be served her at table, notwithstanding her need. With incredible sweetness, she feigned not to notice the little annoyances that are inevitable [246] in the life of a Community, however saintly it may be. Always blaming herself, and unable to suffer any one [Page 271] to ask her forgiveness, she was often the first to seek pardon on her knees. “It is 1, my dear Sister,” she would say, “who have caused you pain by my pride and impatience. Pray to God that he may convert me, and be assured that I love you with all my heart.” Although she had an unfailing gift for prayer, and discoursed excellently on the things of God to outsiders who came to see her, yet her humility made her so reserved in the House that she would speak only when spoken to, and as if she had no acquaintance with such matters. And when Sometimes, in hours of recreation, she was urged to impart the pious sentiments that God gave her in her devotional exercises, she would answer ingenuously: “What shall I say, except that I am continually unfaithful to God’s gifts of grace?”

But as my present purpose is merely to give a brief abstract of her life, I omit her other virtues, — her penances and mortifications, [247] which a robust frame could hardly have borne, and in which she was tireless, even firmly refusing on all occasions the relief that seemed to be demanded by her frail constitution and almost constant infirmities. And if she chanced to know of any one in an evil plight, with his salvation imperiled, she would then re-double her austerity and her prayers.

‘Thus from the well-spring of divine love she drew that love of suffering and that consuming zeal, — her heart cleaving to the blessed Sacrament of the Altar, for which she had an admirable devotion, and the presence of which she could not lose. Except for her humility, which made her averse to every indulgence of personal desires, she would have gladly received it every day. To console and satisfy herself [Page 273] in this privation, which was very keenly felt by her, she caused that as many Masses as possible should be said at the Convent, and heard them all with Angelic modesty and reverence, always allowing herself the liberty of quitting the parlor and any conversation [248] whatever, when the bell rang for Mass.

As this pious Lady had won the hearts of the Community by her good example, and of people outside by the sweetness of her holy conversations and by her deeds of liberality, all Canada wished her many years more of life; but God, whose ~41 it was to crown his servant’s merits, was pleased to order otherwise.

On the twelfth of November of last year, 167 I, she was seized with a pleurisy, which resulted fatally on the seventh day. This seemed a very short period to people who were far from being reconciled to lose her; yet it was long enough to render conspicuous in her death the virtues that had been apparent in her during life. These all gathered together in a throng, so to speak, to bear her company on that journey, and shone forth with such extraordinary brilliance that those who had the happiness to attend her in her illness were all astonished.

Never was she more humble, more [249] affable, more patient, more given to self-mortification, more submissive to the Superior and to the Physician’s orders, more devout, in closer union with God or more fully resigned to his holy Will.

She had always cherished a special tenderness for poverty; and so she wished to die as a poor person, even to the extent of begging her attendants to do her the favor to clear a little table, which stood near [Page 275] her bed, of a number of delicacies which, she thought, she did not need, adding that she wished poverty to appear in her room and in all that concerned her —. like a Queen in her Palace, where supreme influence and authority are her due.

On the 15th day of the same month, and the fourth of her illness, she made her formal Will, a ceremony at which Monsieur Talon, the Intendant, insisted on being present, as much to honor her as to give authority to her last wishes; and the deceased, who was always of a sound understanding and Perfect presence of mind, did not fail to pay him her compliments and acknowledge his kindness. TWO days later, learning from the Physician [250] that she would not live through the next day, she remained entirely calm, and begged those who were with her to speak to her thenceforth only of Eternity; and, upon being asked whether she felt any regret at dying, “None whatever,” she replied;’< I Count the single day of my death a thousand times more precious than all the years of my life.”

On the following day, which was the day of blessedness to her, she was quite delighted when, upon inquiring what day it was, she learned that it was Wednesday. “God be blessed!” she exclaimed. “Oh, how happy I shall be to die today: it is a day appointed for honoring saint Joseph.” Indeed, she was overtaken by the death-agony while praying to God, and she expired gently two hours afterward, toward eight o’clock in the evening, within the walls of the Monastery, at the age of 68 years, thirty-three of which she had spent in this country. She passed that last day in such ardent longings to see God and possess him, that the hours seemed to [Page 277] her like years; and she was constantly asking when that blessed moment would arrive which should unite her forever to her sovereign good.

With a devotion and joy which it would be difficult to describe, she received the last Sacraments from the hand of Monsieur de Bernieres, nephew [25 1] of him who had conducted all her Canadian affairs, grand Vicar to Monseigneur of Petræa, and Superior of the Convent. Reflecting on the charity and tare of her dear nuns, who had forgotten nothing and spared no pains to aid her in every way, in things spiritual as well as temporal, she recognized fully, with great satisfaction and consolation, that, in having left all for our Lord’s sake, she received a hundredfold in this life, according to his promise, Those words of the Sage, Timenti Dominum bene erit in extremis, — that in the hour of death it shall be well with the soul that has passed its life in the fear of God, — were verified in this pious Lady, the day of her death being for her a day of blessing — et in die defunctionis suœ benedicetur.

As, too, she had attained to the perfection of Christian Justice, her soul, with that of the Just, was in God’s hand, — Justorum animæ in manu Dei sunt; and in the security of that asylum she felt not the scourge of death, — non tanget illos tormentum mortis. [252] She suffered no anguish in leaving this life, the spirit of contrition which reigned in her heart having induced calm there, and freed it from the anxiety commonly caused by the remembrance of past sins. Finally, the testimony of a good conscience, which constitutes all the glory of a Christian soul, and her trust in the divine mercy, made her regard with an untroubled and fearless gaze all that [Page 279] is most terrible in God’s Judgments. Consequently, at the height of her sufferings, her heart, quite transported with joy and subject to impulses wholly divine, breathed naught but Heaven. She begged her dear nuns, who were always near her, to recall frequently to her memory this Verse of the 121st Psalm: Lætatus sum in his quæ dicta sunt mihi, in domum Domini ibimus. Until she fell into the death-agony she was engaged in sentiments of contrition — full of love, sweetness, resignation to God’s Will, trust, praise, and thanksgiving — and in ardent longings to attain, as soon as possible, the enjoyment of eternal happiness.

On the day following her death, she was buried [z53] in the Nuns’ Choir, in a leaden Casket — a proceeding quite contrary to her intentions, indeed, as that humble Lady had, throughout her life, and especially at her death, sought only humiliation and self-effacement. But gratitude for her acts of kindness and benevolence, which the Ursulines, her nuns, Will ever cherish, made them disregard every other consideration, and obliged them, on an occasion of such importance and solemnity, to render this slight acknowledgment.

Before her body was interred, the heart was removed, according to the directions recorded in her Will, to be placed in the hands of the Fathers of our Society. Complying with their wishes, she had promised it to them several years before, with the express stipulation (another confirmation of her lowly opinion of herself) that she wished it placed in a small and perfectly simple wooden casket, which was not even to be planed, with no other envelope than earth and quicklime. In this condition it was to be [Page 281] delivered to the said Fathers, as a mark of the respect and affection c254] (such are the exact terms of the Will) that she had ever cherished for their holy Society, to be given place and burial in their Church, under the step of the Altar whereon rests the blessed Sacrament, there to be Consumed and reduced to dust at the feet of the divine Majesty.

These last lines of her holographic will having been omitted in the rough draft of the formal document, she had no rest until they were inserted; nor could she, while the insertion was being made, suppress her expressions of indignation against that heart, — which, according to her, had been so traitorous, so ungrateful, and so faithless toward that adorable majesty.

Her obsequies were honored by all persons of importance in this town, and in the neighboring settlements. As this illustrious deceased was mourned by all, so there was no small tribute of tears to her memory. While the assembled company remained in the body of the Church, the Clergy entered the Nuns’ Choir in procession, to make the interment; and, the ceremony completed, the same Clergy escorted to our Church the heart, — borne under black crape, after Monsieur de Bernieres, Curé, [255] by one of the leading citizens of the country, a former Councilor of the Supreme Council; he was followed by Monsieur de Courcelles, Governor, and Monsieur Talon, Intendant, and by the whole assembly, There, at the door, it was consigned to the Superior’s charge by the said sieur de Bernieres, executor of the Will; and thence it was borne by the said Father to the foot of the steps of the great Altar. The large painting on the Altar was a gift of hem, as well as [Page 283] the silver lamp and a fund for its maintenance, — net to speak of other testimonials of her affection for our Society, in France as well as in this country, where she always had one of our Fathers for her Director and Confessor. Thus was her affection manifested for this Society, — an affection which she retained to her dying day, — desiring, before she breathed her last, to see our principal workers who were then in Quebec, in order to receive their blessing and commend herself to their prayers. This is a service which she merits at our hands, and which we shall all most gladly render her, with feelings of undying gratitude. [Page 285]




THE life of this able woman — such a one as Solomon represents to us — in whatever state we consider her, whether in the bonds of matrimony, or in her widowhood, which gave her liberty to leave the world and become, as she did, a most worthy daughter of saint Ursula, — being a work of the Holy Ghost, who found pleasure in that soul and was pleased to enrich it with his choicest gifts of grace, — demands an entire volume and an intelligence better informed than mine in its acquaintance with her conduct, in order to give with exactness the characteristics and outline of that life.

Her call — quite supernatural in its nature — which I was obliged to set forth in considerable detail, gives us some insight into the special Providence which God exercised over her soul; and we must regard that call as a result and product of that bright light wherewith her understanding [2573 was illumined, and of that fire which the celestial Bridegroom had kindled in her heart from her infancy. I say nothing of her altogether extraordinary life while she was still in France. She was known by persons of great worth and eminent virtue, nearly related to her by blood; and zeal for God’s glory burns too ardently in their l hearts to admit of refusing to the [Page 287] public all mention and knowledge of our Mother’s virtues. The life led by her in this country, as compared with the other, was a hidden one, and outwardly ordinary, in accordance with an express order received from Our Lord and approved by her Director. That order she followed so exactly and with such special assiduity during the thirty-three years that she spent in Canada, that, although she had more intimate inward communings than ever with Our Lord, — of whom she never lost sight during the discharge of her duties, and in her intercourse with her neighbor, any more than during prayer, — yet her transports, her ecstasies, her visions, the special marks of endearment that she had been wont to receive from Our Lord and his blessed Mother, and other similar tokens of favor [258] that before had been commonly granted to her, were no longer made manifest. All such gifts of grace remained hidden for the rest of her life under an exterior, in every way heavenly, which charmed all who saw her or had the happiness to converse with her. Her habitual silence had in it nothing sad or repellant: her modesty was Angelic; and her humility and simplicity unexampled, — accompanied, as they were by a more than human wisdom and prudence. Although she was in charge of the Convent for eighteen years, at three different times — to the entire satisfaction of all, both within the Community and without, — yet she was the most submissive and obedient person in the house, and the most Scrupulous in all observances; while she revealed her inmost thoughts to her Superior with all the sincerity of the most fervent Novice. [Page 289]

She maintained an unvarying gentleness of manner toward all; and those who conversed intimately with her, or who had charge of her spiritual guidance, recognized plainly that this equable temperament, so much admired was the product of an altogether extraordinary spiritual virtue, and of that [259] intimate union which she enjoyed with him who said of himself: Mitis sum, et humilis corde — “I am meek and humble of heart.” She was undoubtedly possessed of his spirit, and from that infinite source of blessings of every nature — a source to which she was so near — she drew her high courage and unwavering trust for undertaking so bravely the charge of a Nuns’ Mission in Canada, — a thing without precedent at the time. Thence came her strength for resolving to cross such an expanse of ocean, and settle in a barbarous land; to build there a Convent, in which she gathered together from 25 to 30 Nuns, and a considerable number of little Boarding pupils, both Savage and French; and to rebuild and restore it twelve years after her arrival, when it was completely destroyed by fire. She surmounted all these difficulties and countless others, such as are always encountered in the execution of great undertakings, — meeting all such drafts upon her strength by drawing upon the inexhaustible fund of her trust in God animated by the charity that burned in her heart for these peoples’ salvation, and strongly supported by the order that she had received from Our Lord and his blessed Mother [260] to build them a Mission in this country. Considerations of this sort enabled her to retain her peace of mind, nor did she ever lose it, however vehemently the demon might oppose her [Page 291] plans. Furthermore, her course of action was accompanied by vigor, care, and watchfulness, according to the nature of the matter in hand. Her heart and her arms were ever open to any Savage girls or women desirous of instruction. Neither the cramped space of their first quarters, nor their scanty provisions, nor their lack of many necessaries, could check her zeal and liberality, or cause the least wavering of her trust. She was ingenious, and possessed of every accomplishment to be desired in one of her sex, — whether needlework, painting, or whatever kind of handiwork it might be. She even had some knowledge of architecture. The two Languages most current in this country — Algonquin and Huron — she learned in a short time, with such success as to be enabled to teach them to others; and she may be said to have died in this holy pursuit, as her, last illness overtook her while she was actually [261] engaged in teaching three Nuns newly arrived from France.

Her indisposition began on the sixteenth of January, with an extraordinary overflow of bile, which confined her to her bed until the last of April, the. day of her blessed death. From the first, she was so ill that, by the advice of the Physicians, it was thought best to give her the last Sacraments, there being no likelihood that she would live nine days; and they afterward often declared it a miracle that she continued alive. It was God’s Will that she should fill up the measure of suffering that was to win for her the crown which she now possesses in Heaven.

During those, three and a half months that her [Page 293] illness continued, — with such a complication of various ailments as to cause her, day and night, the most exquisite pain, — she showed a fortitude that lent new luster to all her virtues. It was found necessary to make deep and very painful incisions in two abscesses that had formed upon her body. During this operation, she appeared admirably tranquil and calm, [262] not allowing herself the least murmur — as if the knife had been used upon some one else’s body. She stood in God’s presence, and offered herself to his infinite goodness, like a victim, — wholly prepared to suffer yet more until the day of Judgment, in order to make him known, loved, and glorified by all these peoples. Regarding herself as bound to the Cross of her Savior, the sole abject of her love, who held constant communion with her, she rejoiced with him over this happiness, saying: Christo confixa sum cruci, — a reflection which gave her unutterable joy.

Her attendants remarked that her gentleness, her patience, her humility, her charity, — all those beautiful virtues that they had always admired, — seemed even to increase with her increasing pain. All things led her to God, but especially pain and suffering. Toward the last days of her life, she appeared to be in a sort of sweet ecstasy; with joy on her countenance, and her eyes modestly lowered or turned upon her Crucifix, which she held in her hand, she spoke but little, yet always in tones of ravishing sweetness.

[263] The eagerness shown in asking God for her recovery was a little displeasing to her, as she counted herself of no use in the world. A short time before her death, when her Superior reproached her [Page 295] in a friendly way, saying that she had given some cause for her illness by always insisting on following the regular diet of the Community, — ill suited though it often was to her weak stomach, — she then revealed a secret. It was that, Our Lord having ordered her, unless she were ill, to make all her habits conform to the rules of the Community, she had decided, after consulting her Director, that she ought to allow herself no exceptional privileges; that her life was of slight importance, but that her chief end was to obey the divine Majesty. And therefore it was that, notwithstanding her weariness of the present life, and her ardent longings to go to Heaven, there to praise and love God, when her Superiors desired her to ask God for recovery, she obeyed with simplicity and a Perfect submission, couching her prayer in nearly the same terms as those used of old by saint Martin: “My Lord, if you deem me still [264] necessary to this little Community, I refuse neither toil nor pain; your holy Will be done.”

When she was in the last stages of her illness, she asked several times for all the little Boarding pupils, Savage and French alike, and gave them her blessing with incredible tenderness. She commended them especially to all her sisters, with great zeal; and assured them that she was constantly making an offering to God of the few good deeds that she had performed, and of her life and her death, for the conversion and salvation of the poor Savages — “in order,” said she, “that God may be known, loved, served, and glorified by all these peoples.” With such feelings was it that, full of years and of merits, she quitted the earth to go and enjoy God in Heaven. [Page 297]

That saintly soul parted without violence from her dear Community, because God was calling her to himself; she shared not their regrets or their tears, as her eyes were directed toward the Will of God, who had been the source of all her delight, and her Paradise in this life.


[Page 299]




[i] (p. 27). — Jean de Lamberville, born at Rouen Dec. 7, 1633, became a Jesuit novice March 3,1656, at Paris. After one year’s study there, he became an instructor at Bourges, Alençon, and Rennes, successively; and completed his studies at Bourges and Rouen. Coming to Canada in 1669, he was at once assigned to the Iroquois mission, where he remained (as superior, after a few years) until 1687, when all the missionaries were compelled to flee from the cantons. During that time, Lamberville was a prominent figure in the complicated relations between the Indians, French, and English, and more than once averted hostilities between them. He was greatly esteemed by the Iroquois, and thoroughly understood their character; he was therefore often employed by the French authorities in negotiations with the savages. After leaving this mission, he acted during several months as chaplain to the French garrisons at Forts Frontenac and Niagara; breaking health compelled him to return to Montreal in February, 1688. In 1691, he was laboring in the mission at Sault St. Louis; in the following year, he returned to France, where he acted as procurer for the Canadian missions during nearly twenty years. His death took place at Paris, Feb. 6, 1714.

[ii] (p. 51). — “Now accidental or very rare. A single specimen of the trumpeter swan (Cygnus buccinator) taken on Cayuga Lake, is now in the rooms of the Phœnix Sportsmen’s Club of Seneca Falls, N.Y.” Rathbun’s Birds of Central New York (1879), cited by Hawley in Early Cayuga Hist., p. 64, note.

[iii] (p. 71). — François de Crépieul (Crespieul) was born at Arras March 17, 1638. In boyhood a student in the Jesuit college there, and afterward in that at Doual, he entered the novitiate of the order at Tournay, Oct. 29, 1658. His studies were continued at Lille and Doual, and he acted as instructor at Lille and Cambrian; in 1670, he came to Canada. During the following year, he taught rhetoric, and completed his own course of theology, at the Quebec college. In October, 1671, he began his missionary labors in the Tadoussac region — labors which occupied the rest of his life. During twenty-eight years, he preached to and instructed the Montagnais and Algonkin [Page 301] tribes of Eastern Canada — from Tadoussac far down the north shore of the St. Lawrence, and along its tributaries; throughout the Saguenay valley, and around Lake St. John; and even on the Nikaubau River. In 1696 or 1697, he was appointed vicar apostolic for the Montagnais. That mission was probably discontinued in 1699. Crépieul then returned to Quebec, where in 1700 he is mentioned as “prefect of classes;” he died there in 1702. We shall present in this series some of his missionary journals, and parts of a valuable MS. written by him, containing remarks upon the Montagnais mission, advice to the missionaries who may succeed him, and other interesting matter. — See Rochemonteix’s account of this devoted and successful missionary (Jésuites, t. iii., pp. 415-431).

[iv] (p. 91). — Reference is here made to the map of the Upper lake region which appeared in the Relation of 1670-71; we give a reduced facsimile of it in our vol. lv., at p. 94. The map is repeated in the Lenox copy of the Relation of 1671-72, but does not appear in the Harvard copy.

[v] (p. 115). — These islands lie at the entrance to Green Bay, at the end of the long, narrow peninsula which lies between the bay and Lake Michigan. They are five in number, the largest being now known as Washington Island. The strait which separates them from the peninsula was, from its turbulent and dangerous character, early named “Porte des Morts,” and is now locally called “Death’s Door.”

[vi] (p. 123). — Cf. Allouez’s description of this fishing weir, vol. liv., p. 217, and see note 8 of that volume.

[vii] (p. 123). — The “citrons” here mentioned are the fruit of the May apple (Podophyllum peltatum). Cf. vol. xiii,, note 3.

[viii] (p. 125). — The mission thus founded by Allouez has recently been commemorated in a manner that is highly gratifying to all historical students. On Sept. 6, 1899, in connection with an historical convention held at Green Bay and De Pere under the auspices of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, was unveiled a monument intended to mark the location of the mission, as one of Wisconsin’s notable historical sites. On a pedestal of native limestone blocks is placed a large granite boulder, obtained in the vicinity, to which is bolted a bronze tablet, 2 x 3 feet in size; this tablet bears the following inscription:

“Near this spot | stood the chapel of St. Francis Xavier | built in the winter of 1671-72 by | Father Claude Allouez, S. J. | as the centre of his work | in Christianising the Indians | of Wisconsin. | This Memorial Tablet | was erected by the citizens of De Pere | and unveiled by the | State Historical Society of Wisconsin | September 6, 1899.” [Page 302]

The monument is erected at De Pere, on the river bank, near the east end of the wagon bridge; it stands upon ground owned by the City, and open to the street. It is about three rods lower down than the actual site of the mission-house, which was probably a short distance up the slope. An engraving of the monument appears in the present volume, as its frontispiece.

Upon the occasion above referred to, the monument, after its unveiling, was accepted from the citizens’ committee, in trust for the State, by Reuben G. Thwaites, secretary of the State Historical Society. In this connection, he exhibited the famous silver ostensorium given to St. Francis Xavier mission in 1686 by Nicholas Perrot, then commandant for the French in the West, and related its history. A picture of this notable relic will appear in a subsequent volume of our series. Another interesting feature of the unveiling exercises was a paper on “Early Jesuit Missions in the Fox River Valley,” by Bishop S. C,. Messmer, of Green Ray; this, with the other addresses, will appear in the forthcoming Proceedings of the State Historical Society.

We may here add, in reference to Allouez, that he was appointed by Laval (July 21, 1663) as grand vicar for “all the countries situated toward the North and West.” The document conferring these powers upon him, bearing above date is conserved in the archiepiscopal archives at Quebec; its press-mark is A., p. 166.

[ix] (p. 149). — This French gentleman was Paul Denis, sieur de St. Simon; he was one of the younger sons of Simon Denis (vol. xxxvi., note 50). Paul was born in France (June 3, 1638, according to Sulte; but Tanguay says. in 1649). In 1678, he married Marie Madeleine Depeiras, by whom he had thirteen children. His death took place in October, 1731. Tanguay says that he was grand provost of the marshalsea of Quebec; the census of 1681 mentions him as lieutenant therein.

Regarding Albanel, see vol. xxxiv., note 8.

[x] (p. 155). — The lakes here mentioned are identified in vol. xxxi., note 10.

[xi] (p. 157). — Concerning this tribe, see vol. xiv., note 13.

[xii] (p. 169). — Miskoutenaggasit: this name is given, on some old maps, to a river north of the Rupert, also flowing into Hudson Bay; the East Main (vol. xliv., note 20) or Slade River. Its length is about 400 miles.

[xiii] (p. 171). — D’Anville’s map of 1755 gives, along the watershed between the Hudson Bay and Lake St. John river-systems, the legend “Patchitaskau ou Hauteur des terres.” The Senex map of 1710 seems to have followed Albanel’s description as here given, [Page 303] apparently applying the name of Palistakau to a definite locality north of Lake Nikaubau; that map is, accordingly, more accurate — agreeing not only with Albanel, but with the results of recent explorations. — See the excellent map of this region issued (1896) by the Geological Survey of Canada, “Map of Labrador Peninsula, S. W. sheet.”

The altitude of this point on the watershed is given on that map as 1,360 feet; it lies a little higher than Nikaubau Lake (vol. xlvi., p, 275, and note 19).

[xiv] (p. 179). — Lake Mistassini lies on the west side of the watershed above-named, near its summit; it is the source of Rupert River. Until recently, it was supposed that but one lake was included under this name; and little was known of its extent, save from vague reports made by the Indians. The explorations of the Geological Survey (1884-85) have shown that there are two lakes — long, narrow bodies of water lying parallel to each other. Great Mistassini is about 100 miles long, and (average) 12 miles wide; Little Mistassini is 50 miles long, and I to 8 miles wide. An arm of this lake was, on several early maps, named Lake Albanel.

[xv] (p. 203). — Senex’s map of 1710 shows, in the western part of James Bay, “Agameske or White Bear” Island; other maps style it Bristol, Viner’s, and Bear Island, respectively. It is now known as Agoomska.

[xvi] (p. 241). — Jean de Bernières-Louvigny (vol. xvi., note 6) composed various religious works, of a mystical cast. One of these was published (Paris, 1659). Le Chrestien interievr.... par vn Solitaire. This was exceedingly popular, twelve editions being published within eleven years. It was reprinted as late as 1856..[Page 304]