The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents
Travels and Explorations
of the Jesuit Missionaries
in New France
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CONTENTS OF VOL..
Preface To Volume LVII
Lettres de quelques Missionaires du Canada à M. le Comte de Frontenac. Henri Nouvel, Ste. Marie du Sault, May 29, 1673; Jacques Bruyas, Tionnontoguen, June 12, 1673; Julien Garnier, Tsonnontouanan, July 6, 1673; Jean de Lamberville, Techiroguen, September 9, 1673.
Relation de ce qui s’est passé en la Nouuelle France, Les années1672. et 1673. [Letters from the following missionaries, edited or synopsized by Jean de Lamberville, and subsequently revised by Claude Dablon:] Pierre Chaumonot, Jacques Bruyas, François Boniface, Pierre Milet, Jean de Lamberville, Estienne de Carheil, Julien Garnier, Gabriel Druillettes, Pierre Bailloquet, Jacques Marquette, Louis André, and Claude Jean Allouez. [First installment.]
Bibliographical Data; Volume LVII
[INSERT GRAPHIC HERE]
ILLUSTRATIONS TO VOL. .
Facsimile of handwriting of Jean de Lamberville, S. J., selected from his draft of Relation of 1672-73; original “detached duplicate” MS. in St. Mary’s College archives, Montreal
Facsimile of handwriting of Claude Dablon, S. J., selected from his emendations to MS. Relation of 1672-73; original in St. Mary’s College archives, Montreal
Facsimile of a page from Louis André’s Preceptes, phrases et mots, from the original MS. in St. Mary’s College archives, Montreal
PREFACE TO VOL. LVII
Following is a synopsis of the documents contained in this volume:
CXXIX. During the summer of 1673, some of the missionaries Write to the new governor, Count de Frontenac, giving him information about the various Indian tribes and their relations to the French. Nouvel writes (May 29) from Sault Ste. Marie, saying that the tribes of that region are well disposed toward Christianity ; but that their friendship to the French is endangered by both the Iroquois and the English, who are endeavoring to secure the Algonkin fur trade. The English have established a fortified post at Hudson Bay, and are making liberal presents to the natives of their neighborhood. Nouvel and his fellow-priests are doing all in their power to retain the savages in loyalty to the French.
Bruyas writes (June 12) from a Mohawk village that his colleague, Boniface, is conducting to Quebec a large party of Iroquois Christians, who wish to find an asylum there ; and that others of their tribes-men will soon follow their example.
A letter (dated July 6) from Garnier states that the Senecas, among whom he is laboring, are peaceful and obedient; they intend not to molest the Algonkins, and will send an embassy to Frontenac. They desire to trade at Montreal, rather than at Albany, and to receive French settlers in their country.[Page 9]
Jean de Lamberville sends Frontenac a report (dated September 9) of matters at Onondaga. All the Iroquois are delighted with the new governor, whose liberality and affable manner have quite won their hearts. He has asked the Iroquois to send some of their children to be educated at Quebec; the Father reports that they will consider this proposal which Garakontié will urge upon them. Lamberville also thanks Frontenac for his recommendation of the Jesuits to the Iroquois. He mentions, in closing, a report that the Dutch have recaptured their settlements on the Hudson.
CXXX. The MS. of the Relation of 1672-73 was sent to Europe as usual, although it was not published until 1861 (see Bibliographical Data for the present volume). The main portion of the document is herewith presented; the remainder will appear in Vol. LVIII. Especial interest attaches to this Relation, as here published; for it was written by Jean de Lamberville, and corrected by the superior, Dablon. We are enabled to present, for the first time, both the original and all emendations thereon, — distinguishing them by using different styles of type, as indicated at the beginning of the document.
Beginning with the Huron colony near Quebec, considerable space is devoted to the pious life and saintly death of their captain, Pierre Atironta. The charity and zeal of a certain pious widow are recounted at length. The Iroquois who have come to live with the Hurons are fully as fervent as the latter; and their women refuse to go back to their native land, preferring their present religious opportunities. They even urge their pagan relatives to embrace the faith, and to share their own exile for its sake. These same Iroquois women give the Huron elders [Page 10] valuable presents to secure the recall of a family who have been banished from the village on account of drunkenness, and consequent misbehavior of the man to the Iroquois strangers. The people of the village regularly bring their children to Chaumonot to be punished for whatever faults they may have committed; in consequence, “the little savages are so well behaved that one can now do with them whatever one wishes.”
A Huron chief returns to the village, who had long been absent among the Iroquois; he receives a warm welcome, and valuable presents. A council reinstates him in his dignity as chief; and he soon attains, by his eloquence and liberality, great authority in his village, which he uses to discourage drunkenness and all wrong-doing. The missionaries are delighted at his attitude, since drunkenness is “ the sole enemy that remains for us to fight among our Christian Savages. ’ ’ Their proverbial addiction to theft has been eradicated; they do not even know blasphemous words; they have forgotten their old superstitions; and the marriage tie is as strong among them “ as among the best Christians in Europe.” The Huron youth behave even more modestly and decently than do the French. All these great results are due to their forced migration to the French settlements. “ Who would ever have said that, in order to make the Huron nation Christian, it would have to be exterminated? ” The writer expresses his belief that the Iroquois also can be Christianized only by bringing them into the vicinity of the French. That undertaking has already been begun, a considerable number of Iroquois families having mi- grated to this Huron village. One of these strangers [Page 11] tells the Father in charge of them that this new life is “ a change from Hell into a little Paradise.” A certain Huron, Louis Taondechoren, has a great longing to become himself a missionary to the pagan Indians; opportunity for such work is afforded him by Frontenac’s expedition to the Iroquois country, where Louis greatly aids the Fathers, especially Lamberville.
The greater part of this Relation is comprised in two main divisions-the reports of the Iroquois and of the Ottawa missions. Beginning with the former, letters from Bruyas and Boniface give an account of the work among the Mohawks. These savages — having concluded a peace with the Mohicans, and consequently being able to trade freely with the Dutch at Albany-now continually indulge in brandy; their excess is so great that an epidemic fever results among them, which causes many deaths. The prevalent intemperance checks the efforts of the missionaries to win new Christians; but they are able to recover some of the backsliders, and to keep them in the line of duty. Bruyas’s field, the village of Tionnontoguen, is especially difficult: Boniface’s work, in two villages five leagues distant from the former, has been more successful; although these villages are small, they contain more true Christians than do any others. During the year, he has baptized thirty adults in his Chapel. Various instances of the piety and devotion of these neophytes, and the holy deaths of some, are recounted. The conversion of one of these occurs at the La Prairie Indian settlement, and leads to a considerable migration of Iroquois thither. Their pagan tribesmen are angry at this, and complain to Bruyas that “ the black [Page 12] gowns seem intent upon making a desert of their country, and completely ruining their villages; ” but the Father succeeds in appeasing the malcontents. It is even probable that many of them will also go to live among the French.
Milet describes his work during the last year, at Oneida. He has baptized thirty-four persons, of whom sixteen died; he relates the details of some conversions and of some ‘pious deaths. His success is partly due to the good effects of the medicines that he has given to the sick, partly to the fear of hell which many experience. Over forty unbaptized persons have confessed to him their sins, thus giving him opportunity for special personal instruction; and many refuse to attend superstitious feasts. As usual, it is the women who show most devotion and courage in religion. This gives the missionaries hope that the children will be reared in the faith, — thus, in the future, strengthening the now feeble church.
From Onondaga, Lamberville writes to his superior. He laments the lack of spiritual perception, and even of reasoning capacity, displayed by the Iroquois; he thinks that it needs, for their conversion, “ to win them by presents, and to keep them in subjection-by the fear of arms.” The missionaries possess neither gold nor steel, and therefore can do little with the savages. Still, he counts for the past year “ over thirty who now pray in Heaven for the salvation of their countrymen.” The Christians of this church are “ completely exempt from the vice of intemperance.” The shining virtues of Garakontié are eulogized. Upon examining his conscience, “ he cannot find that he has committed any sin; ” and, “ he added, with a smile: ‘ As to [Page 13] marriage, you well know my wife’s ill temper. Had I not been truly a Christian, I would have sent Her away Long ago, as the Iroquois do, that I might take another.’ ” He exhorts his Christian tribesmen, and at Albany “ prays with a saintly Effrontery in the midst of the preaching of the Dutch, when he happens to be with those Gentlemen on a Sunday. ” His Christian zeal arouses enmity among the pagans, and he is the abject of many slanders; but his people generally refuse to listen to these reports, and maintain his authority among them. Another Onondaga convert is cruelly persecuted for her faith by her husband, but escapes to La Prairie, where she lives most piously. Lamberville continues, with detailed accounts of certain conversions and pious deaths at Onondaga. The Father laments his poverty, since he cannot supply the sick with medicines and food; ” it would be a bait wherewith to secure nearly all the dying.”
The Cayuga mission is reported by Carheil, who has baptized fifty-five persons during the year, mostly children. Until this year, he has been compelled to administer all baptisms as secretly as possible; but the prejudices of the people against this rite seem to be diminishing, and mothers even bring their children to him to receive it. But he has little success with the adults; “ except when they are in danger of death, I find none who are susceptible to any of the inclinations necessary for baptism.”
A more encouraging account comes from the Senecas, in a letter written by Julien Garnier, — who, with Raffeix, is laboring in that mission. They preach freely, and without molestation, even the infidels listening attentively. The converts show [Page 14] fervent piety, and are always ready to maintain their faith against the attacks of the pagans, Garnier asks for another missionary, to serve at St. Jacques (Gandagaro). He has during the year baptized fifty- five persons, and Raffeix has conferred that sacrament upon thirty-eight.
The mission to the Ottawas is now on Lake Huron and Green Bay, for the Algonkin tribes have been driven by the Sioux from the shores of Superior. This facilitates the work of the missionaries, who this year have met with unusual success, having baptized over four hundred persons. At Sault Ste. Marie, the Indians have begun to plant Indian corn. A church has recently been erected, which is well frequented by the savages, who there pray “ to Jesus, the God of war,” as one of their chiefs entitles him. A church has been built at De Pere also, which excites much religious fervor among the Wisconsin tribes. The Kiskakons at the Sault have been urged by the Ottawas of Manitoulin Island to dwell with them, — where, according to Dablon, “ polygamy and Juggleries seem to have dedicated most of the Cabins to hell. ” But “ those instruments of the Demon ” fail to draw away the Kiskakons from their loyalty to the Church. Druillettes, who is in charge at the Sault, also cares for the Mississaguas, dwelling on the north shore of Lake Huron. They receive him most hospitably and kindly. To the twenty converts already there he adds twenty-three newly baptized; and the elders beg him to return soon to continue their instruction.
A chapter is devoted to “ marvels that God wrought at Ste. Marie du Sault.” These include, besides the cure of various diseases through prayer and holy [Page 15] water, the successful raid of an Algonkin band against the Sioux, — the former not even receiving any wound or other injury, — this also in answer to their prayers. Among the Kiskakons, — who, as a tribe, have embraced the Christian faith, “ the children hardly ever die; ” and those who die prove to be “ the children of those who were addicted to polygamy, or of their nearest relatives. ” Many Christians have been marvelously aided in temporal matters, or saved from death. These wonders have greatly impressed the minds of the savages; in consequence, the numbers of the baptized are increasing, and the medicine-men often renounce their superstitions. But, if God grants such success, he “ makes the Missionaries pay very dearly for it.” Father Nouvel has several times narrowly escaped death, — once at the hands of an angry medicine-man; and for all there are many hardships. The mission of the Apostles, among the northern islands in Lake Huron, “ formerly affording much consolation to the missionaries, has this year yielded almost nothing but thorns and difficulties to Father Bailloquet, who has charge of it; ” this is due to “ the malice of some old men,” who wish to get rid of the Father. He, too, has imperiled his life by his zeal; and has often been driven from the cabins. The few who profess the faith show, however, great constancy therein, and refuse to yield to the superstitious customs around them.
A report from the mission of St. Ignace is made by Marquette, in a letter to the superior, Dablon. There the remnant of the Tobacco tribe of Hurons have settled, and are under Marquette’s spiritual care. They are becoming more tractable, but “ God [Page 16] alone can give firmness to their fickle minds. ’ ’ In general, they manifest much esteem for the Father, and respect for the faith. In the autumn, most of his savages go hunting; those who remain ask his sanction for their dances. The chapel services are well attended, despite the severe cold. Marquette visits his parishioners in their fields, at a considerable distance from the village. He has baptized only two adults. In obedience to his superior’s orders, the Father is preparing to undertake a journey of exploration toward the South Sea.
Allouez and André conduct the mission of St. Francis Xavier, at De Pere, and its neighborhood, — André caring for the savages residing at or near Green Bay, and Allouez for those up the Fox and Wolf Rivers. A letter from the former states that a fire in his cabin burned (December 22, 1672) his diary and writing materials. He describes his labors during the rest of that winter, at a fishing village on the bay. The natives at once build him a new cabin; it includes a Chapel, at which the women and children are assiduous attendants. The great obstacles to the missionary’s success are the dependence of these people upon dreams, and the belief of the warriors that prayer is not for them, but for women and children. André recounts various debates which he holds with the chiefs on this and like questions. One of them admits frankly, “ We care very little whether it be the devil or God that gives us food.” Notwithstanding his opposition to their false gods, André is able to say: “I have had no trouble this year with the savages; ” and, indeed, they endeavor to please him in various ways. Some even renounce their superstitions, and accept God as their only [Page 17] manitou. André does not ascribe this improvement to his own efforts during his three months’ stay; but “ God accomplished this, through the great numbers of sturgeon that were speared there, “which makes them conclude that their deity is worth nothing, since they secure abundance of fish without invoking him. The Father baptizes ten adults and nine children during his sojourn there. He then proceeds to the Suamico River, where there is a village of Pottawattomies. These savages entreat the Father to procure for them, by his prayers, success in their fishery. He refuses to do so unless they renounce their false deities, which they readily promise to do. One of them gives a feast, at which, as he assures André, he “ Impersonated God, and not the Devil. I told him that I knew that he was worthless, and had no esteem for prayer. He is called porceau [‘the hog’], and he is a true hog in his conduct.” The Father says, in reference to their answers to his inquiries about the superstitious observances at their feasts, “ But The savages are too great liars to be Believed. ” “ However,” he adds, “ I have no reason to doubt the sincerity of the girls,” who are always assiduous in attending and in learning the prayers. The children clean their faces, when André tells them to; and “ even the Young men came in the evening to pray, and not to see the girls, . . . hoping that God would give them sturgeon, and manifesting their belief that their dreams were folly.” At the close of his report, André adds some curious observations regarding the apparent tides in the Fox River. He ascribes these to the action of the wind.
R. G. T.
Madison, Wis., October, 1899. [Page 18]
FOUR MISSIONARY LETTERS, 1673
Source: We follow the authenticated copies in the Dominion Archives, Department of Agriculture, at Ottawa. [Page 19]
Letters of some Canadian Missionaries to Monsieur the Count de Frontenac.
EXTRACT FROM THE LETTER OF FATHER NOUVEL,
JESUIT, WRITTEN FROM STE. MARIE DU SAULT TO
MONSEIGNEUR THE GOVERNOR, MAY 29, 1673.
Sit is important that you be informed of all notable occurrences in these parts, here is a faithful narrative of them.
The Savages among whom we live have never appeared to us more disposed to embrace Christianity than at present, because of the good treatment that they received last year from Monsieur de Courcelle, and the attentions of all the french with whom they live. Their trade has done much toward this, and the continuation of it is very important. We try as much as we can, conformably to what Monsieur the Governor and Monsieur the Intendant have written to us about it, to incline them to continue their intercourse with the French. But already we see that the establishment of the English on the great bay of the North, and the proximity of the Iroquois, with whom the Missisahis have pursued their winter hunting, will cause a decided prejudice against the colony. The English have already diverted a great many of the inland savages who visit lake Superior, and attracted them to themselves by their great liberality; and the iroquois have sent very considerable presents to all these nations, to confirm, they say, The Peace that [Page 21] Onnontio made, — but rather to get their peltries, with which the iroquois are expecting these tribes to respond to their presents. Some of the savages of these regions, who saw during the winter the Savages from the interior who made their trade last autumn with des groisiliers and the English, have assured us that two ships had arrived at that great bay,[i] And that they were annoyed by a third, which followed them, and from which they apprehended shipwreck. They added that about two hundred men were put ashore, and that in four days they had erected a large House, which they fortified with several pieces of cannon. The savages greatly praise their liberality. I learned yesterday that they are to hold a great council with all the neighboring nations around them. All these tidings trouble the savages attached to us, who are enjoying the peace that the victorious arms of the King have acquired for them, and the protection of Heaven that rising Christianity brings them; they have some fears lest all this be disturbed by these revolutions. We do not fail, thereupon, to give them the necessary encouragement to keep themselves closely united both with God and with the French, assuring them that in this union they have no reason to fear.
The Father who has Charge of the mission of St. françois Xavier writes me that the Tsonnontaoueronnon iroquois have brought 20 peace-presents to the Savages of his quarter; and that they have taken away two women, who had long been captives among the latter. These presents say that the Iroquois obey Onnontio as their common father; and that thus they have only gifts of peace, and are to love each other as brothers. There is no doubt that they [Page 23] are only using this bait either for the sake of their commerce with the Outaouacs, at the solicitation of the dutch, or to beguile them into a renewal of the war, if they succeed with the Andastogué, who are the only enemies that the iroquois now have Upon their hands.
COPY OF THE LETTER WRITTEN FROM TIONNONTOGUEN
BY FATHER BRUYAS, JESUIT, JUNE 12, 1673, AD-
DRESSED TO MONSEIGNEUR THE GOVERNOR.
HAVE Long been Desiring an opportunity Like this, to present to you my very humble respects and those of all the Fathers who live in the Iroquois missions. I could not desire a more favorable one than that afforded by Father Boniface, who is taking to Quebec a large party of our christians; they will take refuge in your arms as in an asylum, where they hope to preserve their faith and be secure from their Enemies. It is not necessary to recommend to you these new Canadians. I am sure that they will not have reason to regret what they have given up; And that they will benefit in finding, at Quebec, the things necessary to Relieve their extreme poverty. Those who remain here will not delay to Follow them, Especially If they learn of the good reception that will have been given to their compatriots. We will urge them to this as much as we can, since Monsieur Talon has assured us that the King desires it, And that we could not do anything more conformable to his intentions. There is no other news in these quarters, Except that our neighbors, the Dutch, have not yet seen any ship [Page 25] land at Manathe; this makes them very uneasy, and causes stuffs to be so dear, that our Iroquois are resolved to provide themselves with these at Montreal. I hope to have the honor of writing to you through our ambassadors, who will soon depart to go to Kenté, to assure you of their obedience. Meanwhile, I Beg you to believe that I Am, with all possible respect, . . .
COPY OF THE LETTER WRITTEN FROM TSONNONTOU-
ANAN BY FATHER GARNIER, JESUIT, TO MONSEIGNEUR
THE GOVERNOR, THE SIXTH OF JULY, 1673,
FTER presenting to you my very humble respects, And after assuring you that I fully share in the common joy of your safe arrival in the country, — Praying God that he will assist you with His spirit that all your designs may succeed to the advancement of His Holy Service, for the honor of the King and for the good of the whole country, — I Am also obliged to inform you of what takes place in this region regarding the Service of the King. As soon as I received your orders, brought by Sieur de la Salle,[ii] I made them known to the Savages of this nation, which comprises 3 villages, — two composed of the natives of the country, and the third of the remnants of several huron nations destroyed by the iroquois. All together may make 800 men capable of waging war upon their enemies. The principal men of each village have been deputed to go and see you at the place you have designated; they are well disposed to receive your orders, and to satisfy you in all things. They have made peace with all [Page 27] the nations against whom Monsieur de Courcelle forbade them to make war, since The King had taken those nations Under his protection; they have expressly recommended to all their Young men not to turn their weapons in that direction. Their leading purpose now is for commerce with Montreal, where they would willingly take their peltries If commodities could be bought cheaper there than at orange, where wares have gone up in price this year. They are also eagerly Desirous that the french should inhabit their country, — especially those who Are most useful to them, as blacksmiths and gunsmiths. These requests they will themselves present to you. I am, . . .
COPY OF THE LETTER WRITTEN FROM TECHIROGUEN
BY FATHER DE LAMBERVILLE, JESUIT, TO MON-
SEIGNEUR THE GOVERNOR, SEPTEMBER 9, 1673.
CAME here from Onnontagué expressly to see Monsieur de La Salle and give him this letter. I am under the greatest obligations to you for the goodness that you have shown in writing me so courteously as you have been pleased to do in the Letter that Garakontié brought me. Both he and all the Iroquois Are delighted to have seen you and heard you speak. The presents that you gave them, together with your affability, completely won their hearts; And I can say that your procedure has not only had the same effect as that of Monsieur de Courcelle, who rendered himself formidable, But it has gained the affection of those who had conceived nothing but distrust and secret hostility.[iii] Garakontié told [Page 29] me that he could not yet give any answer to the proposition that you made, to educate some Iroquois children at Quebec, because that depends upon the five nations; he is to go to them this winter on an embassy, And incline them to give you Every Satisfaction after the advances that you have been pleased to make, and the winning way in which you have captivated their minds. I ought not to forget also, Monseigneur, to render you thanks for having so well recommended us to the Iroquois that, in the account Garakontié gave here of your speech, — which I send to the Reverend Father Superior, — He strongly insisted Upon this, that you declared your desire that we Be not disturbed by drunkards, or Insulted by any one whomsoever. I do not relate here all the favorable remarks that I have heard about your great affability. Monsieur de La Salle, who is in haste to depart, in order to carry you the news of the recapture of Manathe and orange by the dutch, and of a report which is current that they have 20 ships of war which are sailing toward Quebec,[iv] does not permit me to Write you more at length. I have only time to assure you that I Am, . . .
[Unsigned.] [Page 31]
Relation of 1672-73
Source: We follow the original MS. in the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal.
All of the document except the last two sections, is herewith given; the remainder will appear in Volume LVIII.
Lamberville’s text, as retained by Dablon, is here printed in roman; matter substituted or added by Dablon is also in roman, but enclosed in brackets; and matter stricken out by Dablon appears in italics. [Page 33]
OF WHAT OCCURRED
IN THE MISSIONS OF THE FATHERS
of The Society of Jesus
In the years 1672 and 1673.
Of The mission of nostre Dame de foye, near
IERRE Atironta, Captain of the hurons, died on The sixteenth of December, one thousand six hundred and seventy-two, with strong indications of Predestination. During the six years that had elapsed since his return from the Iroquois country, where he was a captive, he had always been very fervent; he had Never been known to indulge in the excessive use of liquor, or in any other scandalous Sin.
Some time after his return he was admitted into The Holy family;[v] thereupon he redoubled his devotions, and was Usually in the Chapel before Daybreak, both winter and Summer, for the purpose of reciting his rosary and his other prayers.
This did not prevent him from assisting daily at Holy mass very devoutly and modestly; and sometimes, when several were said, he heard Them all.
He was always one of the first in the chapel and The last to go out. His modesty and devotion greatly edified The french.
[The good Christians of This Mission Persevere in Their fervor, which very much resembles that of the early Church. I relate only Two instances of this in order not to repeat anything that has already been written In other relations. I will Begin with the death of pierre atironta, Captain of the hurons, who returned six years ago from the country of the Iroquois, where He had suffered greatly during his [Page 37] Captivity; yet he had Never uttered any malediction against them, or showed any resentment, since then. He passed these last six years of his life in a state of most exemplary fervor; usually, both winter and summer, he went to the Chapel Before Daybreak, to recite Long prayers there. He came thither The first of all, and was The Last to leave. He heard all The Masses that were said, with a devotion and modesty that greatly edified The french.] He was never observed in The Church otherwise than on his knees, although that is a very uncomfortable posture for savages.
Although he was an old man When he returned from his Captivity, he did not Fail to learn by heart, in a very short time, all The huron prayers, which are quite Long; in consequence, he became The dogique of his Cabin, and took care to make his Servants recite the prayers aloud, night and morning.
Several months Before his death, he had acquired The habit of praying to God during the night, whenever he awoke; he, therefore, always kept his rosary at the head of his bed or suspended around his Neck.
He displayed his virtue most [His virtue especially shone] in his illnesses, which were very frequent, owing to the blows and other ill-treatment [that he had] Received from the Iroquois. Never was He heard to utter any malediction against that nation, at whose hands he had experienced such cruelties. [did he make any bitter complaints.] He had only these words on his lips: “Onnianni totioua ensisa a encihouenkouas Jesous,” — “It matters not that I suffer; it is well; I have something wherewith to offer satisfaction to the savior for my sins.”
In [During] his final illness, which lasted over four [Page 39] months, he was taken to The hospital. There he displayed his goodness and piety, especially with respect to a niece of his who was there at the same time. One night, she was seized with convulsions which, it seemed, must suffocate her. She called her uncle. He immediately arose, sick as he was, and joined the good nuns, who were already around the sick woman; and he would not leave her until the attack was over.
After his return to the Huron Village, he never failed, however sick he might feel, to go to mass every day, — but, as he daily became weaher and weaher, he was reduced to such a state that he could no longer move a foot to go and pray to God. Nevertheless his fervor, which did not flag, suggested an expedient to Him by which he could make up for the weakness in his Legs. This was to request his wife to raise him up into a standing position, and then to help Him with her hands to lift one foot after the other; and thus he was enabled to go to mass, there to unite his own pains to those of our lord which he offered in that holy sacrifice to the eternal Father. The poor man was frequently observed to drag himself to mass and to Church more by The efforts of his hands than by The movement of his feet; sometimes supporting himself on the poles of the Cabins that he passed on his way, sometimes on the stick that he carried, and at other times on some charitable persons who led Him, holding Him up by the arms. [sometimes dragging himself thither on his feet and hands, sometimes supporting himself on the poles of the Cabin, or on some person who helped Him to stand up, and to put one foot before The other. His wife, among others, aided him in this way frequently and with great Charity].
When it was no longer possible in any way to go and hear holy mass, he resolved to assist at it, at [Page 41] least in spirit, whenever it was said; and whatever pain he felt, [however violent were his sufferings,] he ceased not to say, during the entire [time of the] mass, The same prayers that he would have said had he really gone to hear It [assisted thereat] in the Chapel.
When his spiritual Father suggested to him some pious sentiment, he would say: “That is my subject for meditation for today. I will think only of that all this day.” He had set apart the days of the week so as to perform certain devotions appropriate to each separate day. [during the whole of this Day.” He had assigned to each Day of The week special devotions appropriate to it.] On Sunday, he said The rosary of the most holy Trinity, consisting of Thirty “Gloria patri’s;” on Monday, he said another for the dead; on tuesday, another in honor of the Angels, etc. [and so on.]
Above all, he was very punctual in saying The angelus Three times a day, in order to gain the Indulgences that had recently been granted.
When he was about to die, he said that what gave him most consolation was that he had been admitted to the holy family, in consequence of which [since he fully hoped that] the many good people who belonged to it would pray to God for Him after his death.
His Poor countrymen went to visit Him during his last illness, and were deeply Touched by his Patience. Although he endured great sufferings, — since his flesh was falling off in Shreds, and he was bathed in blood and in pus, through lack of Linen and other dressings, of which these poor people are destitute, — he gave no sign of Pain. A good Christian woman, who admired the gentleness and tranquillity of mind [Page 43] that this good man [he] retained amid his sufferings, told me some days after his death that, when she went to visit Him, She seemed to see The fortitude and patience of the savior represented by those of that poor savage.
There is [It is] a pious Custom now, in vogue among [that has been introduced among] these new Christians — namely, of visiting the sick frequently and Praying to God for them, after greeting and consoling Them. It was the deceased who introduced it. He Spent The last hours with the sick, reciting The Rosary for them, and, as he was captain, the whole village soon followed his example; and from that time the custom has been introduced in the village of going to Pray to God with the sick to console Them, as soon as it is Known that they are confined to their beds. [It was this good man of whom we speak who established It, and by his example caused It to be Adopted; for, as he was Captain, all The others soon became accustomed to imitate Him in that holy practice, to which he devoted much time, praying with the sick and visiting them every Day. Indisputably,]
The savages, as a rule, are too indulgent toward their children, and know not what it is to punish them. Our late captain never forgave his people a fault, and not only reproved his own children, but also any one who offended in his presence.
Another vice to which The savages are addicted is idleness. He was an Enemy to it; he worked continually, While in good health, either in the fields or in [he was a foe to idleness; he labored Incessantly, either In his fields or in] his house. And what is still more to his credit is, that work never caused him to abandon or abate his devotions; nor did the latter [Page 45] keep Him away from work. He added to his labors a number of Ejaculatory prayers, by which he offered his toil to God; and The good God so blessed his efforts that his field has been observed to be The largest and the most fertile of all those of his countrymen. [He conversed almost unceasingly with God through Ejaculatory prayers. so holy a life would necessarily be followed by a death which affords us all The evidence of his predestination — As we have, etc.]
An Iroquois woman Had gone to new Holland with a Rosary around her neck, and a crucifix at the end of it. A heretic upbraided her for honoring and Invoking The Blessed Virgin. “How could you,” she said, “make me believe that she who has given Birth to Jesus deserves no honors?” etc. After such boldness, The heretics felt An esteem and affection for Her, which they afterward manifested on Various occasions.
A good huron woman said to me not long ago, while giving me an Account of her conscience: “My Father, God has for some time past given me the grace of no longer Cherishing anything whatever. I am surprised at the Change that I observe in myself. Formerly, all the porcelain beads and all the corn that I owned never seemed sufficient to satisfy my avidity; the more I had, the more I wanted to have; I was never content. Now it is just The contrary. I no longer envy the rich; I rather feel compassion for Them, because they place Their affection in things that are of no use to them after a brief moment of this life.” One of her intimate friends told Her in confidence that it grieved her to leave The residence of nostre Dame de foy to go and dwell at nostre Dame de Lorrette,[vi] and she received the following answer: “I see very well that your regret at changing your village comes from The love that you bear to the Fields which you have here, and which [Page 47] you cannot transport so far. But consider, I beg you, whether our deceased relatives carried Theirs with them, when they left this world to go to heaven. Why should we not accustom ourselves to do that during our lives which we shall have to do after death?” This satisfied and appeased the discontented woman. If the sentiments of that heart detached from the goods of earth manifested themselves in mere words, they would not deserve much Praise. The works that result from them make Them still worthier of consideration. After bestowing alms several times from a chest of corn that I had placed in Her hands, she came to tell me that it was almost empty, but that I would find two other full ones in its place. She herself had given Them out of her own store. Is not hers a merciful heart? It is a pity that this charitable soul has not so much wealth as our great Ladies in France. Ah, how many monasteries and hospitals would She not found! How many thousands of Poor would she not assist!
This good creature frequently said to me: “Why was I not born in france? I would then have believed from my Childhood; I would have been well Brought up, and well educated in the fear of God; and perhaps I would never have offended Him.” And sometimes, addressing herself to her daughter, she said to her: “Take care, my daughter, not to resemble thy mother. Thou art under obligation to be much better than I, for thou hast had good teaching when Young, while I never had any.”
The wife of one of her nephews, who dwells with her, attacked Her with most insulting words. When she saw that the impetuous woman continued too Long to vent her ill-humor on her, she, instead of replying to the other, went out of her cabin, so as to remove from that Woman’s sight The object whose presence might continue to Irritate Her. A long time Afterward, she entered very quietly, without [Page 49] saying a word; and on The Following morning, as if what had happened The night before had been but a dream, she greeted the Other, and ordered her to prepare the dinner, without uttering a Word or making any complaint to the Niece about her impudence toward her. The niece was so affected by this kindness that at once all her gall Changed to honey; and she made it her duty to serve her aunt better than she had ever done before. Thus The good Christians, by Allowing themselves to be devoured as sheep are devoured by Wolves, convert the latter into lambs. Would to God that we, who have sucked in The faith with our mothers’ Milk, could at least once in our lives imitate The generous spirit of that poor savage woman!
Virtues, when Perfect in a soul, all Hold Together like The links of a Chain. I observed this in that good creature. She fell ill of a violent fever; I sent for a Surgeon to bleed Her, but he could not be found. As I urged that He be again Sent for, she said to me very Calmly: “Ah, I am not in such urgent need that he should be sent for. He will come when it pleases God.” She told me, When she was a little better, that she had expected to die — so ill had she been; and yet, to see The peace of mind with Which she suffered, and The little anxiety she displayed to have The surgeon hasten, you would have thought that she was suffering very little.
That good widow is charged with the duty of opening and closing The door of The Chapel, in The morning and at night. Whenever she sees any dirt in The Chapel, she at once sets to work to sweep it out. One day, while she was rendering this good service to The blessed virgin, she was tempted by vanity, for there were many people looking at her. She rejected the thought, saying to herself: “But what is there in sweeping out a Room to make one vain-glorious? Is it not The lowest menials in The house who [Page 51] are employed at it? That work should humiliate me rather than make me Proud; for it shows me that I am The lowest of the village, since I am set to perform The lowest of all services in honor of The Blessed Virgin. This Office suits me, not because I am better than The others, but because I am the vilest and most abject of all.”
The Iroquois whom our lord has drawn from Their own country to come here and openly profess The faith, are for The greater part the most fervent of our christians, An elder of Agnié came here this spring, with the design of taking back some women whose return was asked for by Their relatives, under the pretext of Instructing Them in The faith. The Dogique of the Agnié women replied in the name of all that if Their relatives wished to see these Women again in Their country, they needed no other stratagem than to embrace The faith for good, and be baptized. “For,” said she, “it is not likely that, if they refuse to be instructed by The Fathers, who are in Their country solely for that purpose, they will be willing to accept teaching from us, who are but Idiot women.” Thus the worthy old man had to return without having obtained anything.
Whenever any Opportunity presents itself of Sending Letters to Their country, these poor creatures hasten to have me Write to our Fathers, and beg Them to speak to Their relatives — whose names they make me Write down — to urge Them to become Christians. They dictate to me Short exhortations in Their Language to be Read aloud to Their relatives; they even send Them little presents, to induce Them to Listen to our fathers; they invite them to come and dwell here, promising Them that they will be better here than in Their own country. In a Word, they omit nothing that Christian charity suggests to Them to attract Their relatives and Countrymen to The faith. [Page 53]
Marie Tsaouente, The most notable of those who have come here, was not content with having a letter written to her Father, who is in their country, to come and join Her here to work out his salvation; but she also Added to the Words a present of a thousand porcelain beads, to attract Him hither. She placed them in The hands of an Iroquois Catechumen, who left Quebec to return to his country for the sole purpose of bringing here his whole family, that they might be instructed and baptized all together.
At the Beginning of the month of August, those poor strangers performed a noble act of Charity, in the following manner. A huron who, with his wife, was greatly addicted to drunkenness, had caused so much scandal and trouble to The whole village of nostre Dame de foy, that they were forced to Expel him, and forbid him to make his appearance in future among The Christians. They even pulled down his Cabin, to Which The children afterward set fire, so as to take away from Him every pretext for returning to The village. After that banishment, the poor wretch dwelt only in The brushwood and in The Fields, now on one side, now on The other. However, there was among his countrymen a Charitable creature, who secretly brought him food. Some time later, The Christian Iroquois women who came last year from Their country heard that The family of that drunkard had been Expelled from the village on account of his objurgations and ill- treatment of Themselves; and so they Resolved, in a little council that they held, to offer to the Elders presents of over four thousand porcelain beads, to obtain for the fugitive The favor of being allowed to return to the village. The porcelain beads were presented at The meeting of the elders. In the first place, they Praised The Christian generosity of the kind strangers Who, Instead of rejoicing at The punishment of Their foe, wished to purchase his [Page 55] Liberty and his recall to The settlement; then it was Decided that such kindness should not Be without fruit; and that, provided The Culprit would give evidence of sincere repentance, he should be granted what those good women begged for Him. He was sent for, and, on being found, was made to appear before The meeting. There He was reproached with his Debauchery, and with The scandal that he had so long occasioned. Then He was asked what his intentions for The future were. He was told that, had it not been for the poor Iroquois women who had begged for his pardon and for that purpose had tendered three porcelain Collars He Would Never have been admitted into any Cabin — so great was the horror inspired by his drunkenness; he was told, moreover, that it was his little child who had most excited the compassion of his benefactresses; for, had there been but Himself and his wife, those women would probably not have given themselves any trouble about them. Our drunkard listened to all these reproaches very attentively, and was greatly embarrassed. Then he replied as follows: “My uncles, I beg you to believe that I have not been angry that my Cabin was burned, and that afterward I was compeled to live in the midst of the Fields; for I am convinced that I well deserved such a punishment. And if out of consideration for these good Iroquois women who constitute themselves my advocates, you are pleased to grant me mercy, I promise you that I will Never relapse into my past misdeeds. If I do not keep my word, I beg you never to have pity on me again. I would like my wife to make in your Presence The same promises that I have made, for she is The chief Cause of our evil conduct.” Thereupon, it was deemed advisable to summon that creature before the council. She came, and was immediately reproached, as her husband had already been, with her excesses and The disorders that [Page 57] accompanied Them; and they did not fail to tell Her that her husband had publicly declared that it was she who had committed all The evil, although her sex should have made Her more circumspect. The woman was not Bewildered by these reprimands, and gave an answer that astonished The entire assembdy. “My uncles,” she said, “it is perfectly true that I am the sole cause of all The evil that is done in our household. You may rest assured that, such being the case, you will no longer be scandalized by us; for I am fully resolved to Change my mode of living, so that, after having Caused disorder in my family by my bad conduct, I may in future bring orderliness into it by a more regular life. I am a poor sinner, I admit; but I Nevertheless have The faith. When I was Expelled from the village, I was advised to withdraw to some country where I could live according to my fancy, with full Liberty to do everything I pleased. The Fear of being damned prevented me from doing so. I far prefer to live with beasts in The woods, with the hope that some day you will have The Kindness to receive us in The village, — or that, if we fall into some mortal illness during our banishment, we shall not be refused absolution for our sins when We ask to Confess. That is what keeps us near here, and prevents us front going away from nostre Dame de foy. Moreover, my uncles, I know very well that The person whom my husband and I have most deeply offended is The Blessed virgin, to whom This viliage is consecrated, and whose name it bears. We would like to be very rich, that we might make Her a fine present in order to appease Her. I have only Fifty sols. I give them to Her, to buy Wax or some other Thing that may be used in her Honor. I hope that she will be kind enough to accept this little offering, and then pardon us for all the bad example that we have given to this village.” This discourse touched [Page 59] The whole assembly, and produced such an effect on all The elders that the poor exiled family was restored to The village; they would not even accept for The public treasury The porcelain Collars that had been offered for that object by The Iroquois women, and Their presents were returned to them. From that time, The husband and wife have faithfully performed Their duties as Christians.
This year our hurons observed that, in The School which is kept in their village of nostre Dame de foy for the french children, those who are neglectful of Their duties are frequently punished; and they thought that, in order to bring up Their own children properly, it was necessary to chastise Them for Their faults, as is done with The french children. So The Captain has been in the habit of going around the village from time to time, Calling out aloud that the fathers and mothers are to tell Father hechon [i.e., Chaumonot-Ed.] their children’s faults, so that he may have them punished therefor, — The Boys by The french schoolmaster, and The girls by a good matron. On hearing The voice of the Captain, the good people bring Their children to the Father Who, after inquiring into Their faults, causes The Guilty to be punished. Such exemplary Punishment has made the little savages so well-behaved that one can now do with them whatever he wishes.
The example of the french Pupils — who every night, on leaving School, go to Sing at benediction in the Chapel of nostre Dame de foy, — has had the good effect that the little savages, in order to imitate Them, have learned to sing beautiful Hymns in Their own Language; and they sing them even in Their houses, in The streets, in The Fields, and wherever they happen to be. Thus these little creatures, Ignoring all the profane Songs of their Ancestors, have on their lips only the spiritual motets that [Page 61] the Father teaches them. The result is, that in a short time they learn with Pleasure the mysteries of our faith, and all The Prayers, which They are made to sing to various airs, Changing The Words and The Music as is done in The Church, on the return of the yearly festivals.
Among other Persons who have come from the Iroquois Country to profess The Christian faith in Freedom, we have had The of seeing once more one of our huron Captains, named Jacques Onnha‘tetaionk, with all His family, consisting of ten persons. This good man had been taken by Reverend Father Lemoine to Agnié; he was to aid Him by his example, in the conversion of that nation, But when he saw that drunkenness opposed many obstacles to the faith among those poor savages, fearing, also, that his Children might become addicted to the same debauchery, if they continued to have intercourse any longer with the Iroquois, — he resolved last Summer to come and join his countrymen, in order to live in greater Freedom as a Christian among them.
As soon as this Captain arrived at nostre Dame de foy, where the hurons dwell at present, they all strove to surpass one another in giving him warm welcome. Mothers of families Vied in bringing Him Loads of indian corn; some gave Him Chests full of it, while others, to out do Their companions in Liberality, gave Him presents of fine Fields of indian corn, almost ripe. A number of feasts were given in His honor. In order that he might be Acknowledged and reinstated in his Office of Captain, Each of The matrons brought Him porcelain Collars, to establish a fund for Him, — from which he might draw whatever was necessary to be Munificent, when the occasion presented itself; and to make reparation for The faults of his nephews, according to The obligations of his office. This done, The Council assembled; and when all were Present, [Page 63] I restored to Him, with a porcelain Collar, The Captains voice, which had so long been silent, at least for us. I spoke as follows: “It is not I — Echon — who restore thy voice to thee this day. It is he Who has preserved thee amid so many risks that thou hast Run among The Iroquois. It is Jesus who has so happily withdrawn thee from so treacherous a country, Who places once more in thy mouth The voice of a Christian Captain. It is not The voice of Echon [i.e., Brébeuf — Ed.], — restoring thee his own, to compel thee to speak only As he Himself would speak if he still conversed among us. Consider in thy mind all that The Savior would condemn, and what he would approve and Recommend, if he were in thy place; and endeavor to do the same. If thou do so, thou wilt be The Colleague of God’s Lieutenants, and thou wilt strengthen Their word, and you will thus become so thoroughly united that there will not be a single vice that you will not banish from The huron Colony, not a single virtue that you will not there practice.”
The good man thanked the Father on The spot, but without a present. This he gave at a feast where, to install himself in The dignity of Captain, he replied according to Their Custom with a porcelain Collar; he presented it to our Lady as a slight Contribution toward the building of her house of Lorette, which is to be Erected in the new huron village, on the same plan as that which came from Nazareth.[vii] He added two others: one for Monseigneur The Count de Frontenac, our Governor, to beg Him to continue the Paternal care that he had manifested for his unfortunate nation; The other he gave to the old huron women who were dependent on him in his Capacity of Captain to unite Them all together and kindle a Common fire for Them.
He was not satisfied with making his porcelain speak, [Page 65] to Reinstate him in his office of Captain. Many fine harangues which he delivered on various occasions have caused him to be acknowledged as such to a much greater extent. The first speech that I heard Him make in public was against drunkenness. So clearly did he depict the evils and misfortunes that this vice has caused among all the nations who are addicted to it, that, since he has so inveighed against that monster, — we have had no disorders in that respect in our village. One day, I was exhorting a young man to abandon that vice, and he replied: “Would I pay so Little heed to the words of my captain, who so often dissuades us from that sin, as to Allow myself to fall into it in future?” Some Young men, who returned from Hunting after The arrival of that captain, upon learning that he had a great horror of The Excessive use of liquor, and had induced all Their comrades to renounce it, At once took the resolution never to allow themselves to be carried away by it in future; and, in fact, since that time they have abstained from it. This shows what a powerful effect is produced, even among The most savage of men, by The good or The bad example of those who are in authority. May God be pleased to preserve The fervor and zeal of this good captain in extirpating drunkenness, which is The sole enemy that remains for us to fight among our christian savages. Theft, to which The hurons were exceedingly addicted before Their baptism, is now so rare among them that they would scruple to appropriate a double, a Nail, or a Pin which they might find in the street. No sooner do they pick up Anything than they bring It to me, that I may restore it to the person to whom it belongs. As for swearing, blaspheming, and cursing, which cause the damnation of so many Frenchmen, our huron savages do not even know The Terms for these. The Superstitions of their forefathers are entirely a’one away [Page 67] with, and are no longer spoken of, as if they had never existed. The stability of marriage, and conjugal constancy, which formerly, in Their own country, we Lad so much trouble in establishing and in causing to be observed, now reign to the same extent among them as among The best Christians in Europe. Luxury in fine clothes finds no entrance into their families. Superfluous expenses in feasts are never encountered in Their households; all Their banquets consist in a well-seasoned Kettle, filled in proportion to the number of guests. Sins of impurity, such as kisses and Lascivious looks, are not habitual among them; exposing The naked figure, which formerly in Their country was not considered Immodest or wicked, is now done away with, so that at present there is much more modesty and decency among The huron youth than among The french.
“Salutem ex inimicis nostris;” these poor people owe all this great Change in their customs to the loss of Their country and Their Transmigration into ours. How wonderful is God in his designs! “Notas facite in populis adinventiones ejus.” Who would ever have said that, in order to make the huron nation Christian, It would have to be exterminated? Formerly I wept at the overthrow and destruction of the hurons by The Iroquois, and now I Praise God for it; for I see clearly that, if the nation had remained flourishing as it was of old, we would not in a hundred years have gained so much ascendancy over Them, to adapt Them to our Christian customs, as we have gained in a few years. I have The same Opinion as regards the Iroquois. I am convinced that to make them good christians in their own country is a difficult thing, and one that will take a long time to accomplish; but if we could gradually detach Them from Their dwelling-place, and attract Them to Our huron Colonies, it would [Page 69] be very easy to make worthy Christians of them in a short time. Indeed, great expenses would not be necessary to attain this end. If we had clothing to give Them When they should come to us, until such time as they could become familiar with The Hunting-Grounds, so that they could procure it for themselves, we would soon gain a good part of those who have already some disposition for embracing The faith, — who, however, have not yet sufficient courage publicly to profess it in Their own country, owing to the serious obstacles they encounter there. A manifest proof of this lies in The coming of nearly Fifty persons, who started from a single Iroquois village on The faith of a promise given Them by Father Bruyas, on behalf of monsieur de Courcel and Monsieur Talon, that They would be in want of nothing when they should have reached here. Now, if The mere promise to take care of them here upon Their arrival has had such an effect upon Them, what will not its fulfillment do When It shall have become known in Their country? Beyond a doubt, it will bring us many others, provided that The prayers of good people, And the slight assistance which we lead Them to hope for, do not fail us.
I wish that The good souls who are Zealous for The salvation of these nations could see The devotion displayed here by The Iroquois as soon as they arrive. It would doubtless be a further inducement to redouble Their prayers, in order to obtain from the good God, for those who are still in The Iroquois country, The strength and courage to burst The bonds that retain them there and settle beside us. For unless our Lord, at the solicitation of good people, perform a little miracle to detach those Iroquois from The natural affection that they have for Their own country, they will never be able to make up their minds to abandon It, and to come and dwell among us. The experience with [Page 71] the Savages that We have had during several years has causes to observe that it is not more difficult for The richest personages in Europe to abandon Their great wealth and enter The Religious State, than it is for our Iroquois to quit Their relatives and friends, their fields, their Cabins filled With Indian Corn and small articles of furniture suited to their manner of living, in order to go and dwell in another Spot where they are not sure of finding a single one of all the things that they abandon. Therefore, Whenever we see any of those poor people coming to us, we should admire The effect of grace on them as much as we admire The power of The divine Inspiration which causes great lords to renounce Their estates and enter cloisters, to serve God therein. New, as those great conversions Usually Occur only after many good souls have prayed to God for Them, the Conversions of the Iroquois who come here to secure their salvation must, in the same manner, have been effected by the prayers of God’s servants.
Moreover, when these poor Iroquois have once broken the Bonds that kept Them attached do their own country, and have come to us, they find great peace of Mind and God grants Them much Inward consolation. One of Them told me, some days after his arrival, that, on comparing The quiet life that he led here with The manner of living of the Iroquois with Whom he had been, it seemed to Him that Hell had been changed into a little Paradise.
A Young warrior of The same nation, after residing for some time with The hurons of Quebec, formed almost the same opinion as The one of whom I have just spoken. He said, when he returned to his own country, that the manner in which the hurons lived Was so surprising and so different from that of other savages that he expected that The account he would give of it would be looked upon [Page 73] as a fable. This is The same warrior who, returning from hunting and passing by La prairie de La Magdelaine, where there is another huron Colony, was so touched by the good example of the hurons who compose It, that he resolved to become a Christian after he should have returned to his own country, ad brought back all his relatives to procure The blessing of the faith for Them; this he happily effected.
On hearing of this noble achievement, executed last summer by this warrior, another Iroquois of note, who was at nostre‘ Dame de foy with The hurons, resolved to do as much — namely, to return to his country ad solicit his relatives, and As many people as he could, to come here and embrace The faith. With that object he left Quebecq in the month Of august. May God be pleased to grant Him The same success as to him whom he has proposed to imitate!
It is not only among civilized nations thnt God raises up persons zealous for The spread of his glory and of his Kingdom. We also find some such among our poor savages — men who have no other wish than to win souls to God. Louis Taondechoren is one of them. This good huron had for several years entertained the project of going three hundred Leagues from here to the place whence he came, in order to preach The Gospel there; but The need that his wife and children had of His support led me always to dissuade Him from that design. Finally this Summer, — when he with The other hurons accompanied Monseigneur The Count de frontenac, our governor, on a journey to the Iroquois country, — he resolved of his own accord to do in that hostile land what he had so Long wished to do in his own. I have learned from a frenchman who saw Him at Onnontagué that he fills the office of preacher, both in public in The councils and in private [Page 75] visits to the Cabins; and that Father Lamberville, to whose lot that mission has fallen, says that lie is happy to have found such a vicar. We have no details as to The good that he does; next year, with God’s help, we shall Know everything.[viii] [Page 77]
Relation of what occurred in the Iroquois
missions in the years 1672 and 1673.
O convey information of what is going on in those missions to the persons who are possessed with Zeal for the salvation of souls, and who, being unable to transport themselves to this extremity of the world, contribute all the assistance within their Power toward procuring These nations The knowledge and possession of their Creator, I shall begin with what Father Bruyas, the superior of the Iroquois missions, writes me from Agnié, of which he has had Charge for the past year and where He and Father Boniface [what has been written to me from Agnié by Father Bruyas and Father Boniface, who] work jointly in the instruction of The Christians of that mission. And, inasmuch as they divide Their cares among the various villages of the country of Agnié, I shall divide The Contents of their two Letters into as many Chapters. In them it will be seen that there was some foundation for the statement in the last relation that the lower Iroquois were arousing great hopes for their conversion. [Page 79]
OF THE MISSION OF SAINTE MARIE AMONG THE
HEN the Agnieronnon Iroquois concluded peace with their enemies, they had not sufficient Prescience to foresee What disadvantages would befall them, and that The hatchet of the mahingan would be less redoubtable to them than the liberty of going as often as they pleased to trade for brandy in new holland. As soon as that baleful peace between them and the Loups was concluded at new orange, the Road was at once opened to them to go there at all times in Perfect safety, and afterward to become intoxicated daily during the greatest Heat of The summer. Formerly, they used to drink here only at intervals and at certain seasons; many had to band together and keep themselves in readiness to resist The enemy in case of attack. But since they have no Fear of being insulted by the Loups, drunkenness has become so continual that they cease to drink only on leaving the village; and some have even been known to carry their kegs of brandy to the place where they fish, situated at a distance of over twenty-five Leagues from here.
This general dissipation was quickly followed by a kind [This country has been greatly afflicted this year by a kind] of pestilence, which began in the month of june, and ceased only in september. It was a fever of so malignant a character that in less than Five days one would either recover, or succumb to its violence. “It was a very sad spectacle for us,” says [Page 81] Father Bruyas, “to see brought into the village from all sides the dead and dying, whom two or three days’ illness had either carried off or reduced to The last extremity. Most of those who were attacked by the disease felt such violent pains in the head that they lost Their reason. Father Boniface and I had a great deal to do while this General affliction lasted. The fatigue and continual watching, which gave us an opportunity of practicing Charity while endeavoring to relieve the poor dying people, seemed to us to be very Trifling in comparison with The anxiety that we felt at seeing many of those miserable people deprived of reason, and unable to make use of the last moment of Their lives to avert the greatest of all evils after their death. I had The happiness of Administering baptism to those whom I found in possession of Their faculties; when they observed that I would have liked to relieve them, they became very docile in listening to all that I told Them.
“Now, there is no reason to be astonished if the faith has made so little progress since that time, and if we have to deplore the frustration of the bright hopes that we had for the conversion of the Agniés of Tionnontoquen or sainte Marie.
“When I saw what little prospect there was here of making new Christians, [The disease finally coming to an end,] I applied myself chiefly to Instructing the old people, and to bringing back to The fold many of the sheep who had strayed from it, — I mean, many agniés who called themselves Christians, but were so only in name. Bad example and Profligacy had so corrupted Their morals, and they had so completely forgotten their duty, that they barely remembered that they had been baptized. God has granted me [Page 83] The grace of withdrawing a considerable number from Their evil ways, and of seeing at present a little Church, which is beginning to give as much edification as it formerly caused scandal. [full of fervor.] I know not when it will increase; but The Fear that I have of making Apostates of the savages renders me more cautious, until they have given me proofs of a sincere heart and of true repentance.
“I have conferred that favor upon a man and a woman. The former is an old man, sixty years of age, who at one time was a person of note, but whom a natural infirmity has caused to be so despised by the Agniez that they look upon Him As a slave. God chooses the humble, and has nothing but contempt for the proud. This good man is very assiduous at prayer, and endures with admirable patience The affliction that God has sent Him, in The hope that he will some day receive consolation. The other is only twenty-five years of age. She had Long resisted grace, which urged Her to abandon her Idolatry; but the dread that she felt that baptism would send her to Heaven sooner than she wished, caused her to have An aversion for that sacrament. The error still prevails, in The minds of many Iroquois, that baptism shortens life; and it is no slight obstacle to Their conversion.
“I also baptized four little children, at the request of Their parents — all the more willingly because it is a pledge on their part that they wish to go where Their children will be blessed.
“The Greatest gain that I have had has been among the sick. God has granted me the grace of preparing [I have prepared] twenty-two for death, most of whom in Jesus Christ, have very probably gone to [Page 85] enjoy the blessedness that the blood of Jesus Christ has earned for them. I hope that The coming year will be more fruitful; and that the good example of the Agniez of The mission of saint Pierre, who are being converted every day, will produce such an impression on the minds of those of sainte Marie that, in the end, these will imitate Them.” [Page 87]
OF THE MISSION OF GANDAOUAGUÉ, OR OF SAINT
PIERRE, IN THE COUNTRY OF AGNIÉ.
N the two villages that lie nearest to new holland, which are situated at a distance of about five Leagues from Tionnontoguen, a second mission has been established, the care of which has for the past four years been conferred upon [given to] Father Boniface. To this mission The name of saint Peter has been given, because, after his majesty’s arms had conquered The lower Iroquois, it was at Gandaouagué that the faith was embraced with more constancy than in any other district of Agnié. There it was, properly speaking, that a nascent Church was first seen; there The Christian courage of those who compose it has manifested itself more strikingly than in any other Place. [There the faith is embraced with more constancy, and there Christian courage manifests itself more strikingly, than in any other place.] Therefore we call It The first and Principal mission that we have among the Iroquois.
It is true, this Church exists in the two smallest villages in the whole Iroquois country; a single village of the Upper Iroquois is larger and more populous than the two of which I speak. But on the other hand it has, to a certain extent, The advantage over The other Iroquois missions that the small Tribe of Judah had over all the other tribes of Israel, who were much larger and more populous than that of Judah. “Notus in Judœa Deus.” I admit that considerable evil conduct and Infidelity still prevail at [Page 89] Gandaouagué, as well as elsewhere; nevertheless, in these two small villages there are more faithful ones who worship God in spirit and in truth, and more souls who are truly Christian than in the other Iroquois villages. As the agniés were The first to shed The blood of the missionaries who bore The faith to Them, they were also the first to receive the fruit of their merits in greater abundance than the other Iroquois nations. In new france, as well as in other countries of the world, what Tertullian said of the martyrs of The early Church is verified, that the blood of martyrs gives birth to new Christians.
[In fact,] For ten months heaven has so favored the operations of the missionary in that quarter, [God,] that he counts thirty adults who have been solemnly baptized in his Chapel. This number may perhaps appear small to those who live in Europe, which is as populous as the Canadian forests are solitary. But, When it is known that these are thirty adults baptized with the ceremonies of The Church, in a country where there are not more than four hundred souls, and where superstition, Impunity, and Profligacy contend against The Gospel, it will be admitted that, even if a missionary wins only those thirty souls, he still accomplishes more than the most zealot is preacher in Europe can flatter himself upon having done in converting sinners after many eloquent sermons pronounced before a large assembly.
Add to this that, while contagious diseases were carrying off a great many people, that Father [he] administered baptism to fourteen persons on the very Spot where they died. These are so many elect who now enjoy the blessedness that he procured for Them, and who constitute his crown and all his joy.
This success that God has been pleased to grant him has so greatly astonished those who formerly [Page 91] jested at our mysteries, that at present they speak of them only with reserve; and they needs must say that they begin to see that before long they will all become french.
In Fact, prayers are said as regularly, morning and evening, as in the best-ordered families in france. Nothing can be more consoling than to see these good Christians praying aloud, all together, and concluding that holy action by singing various spiritual songs. Many little children, seven or eight years of age, also Have Their own little choir, and do on earth what The angels never cease to do in heaven. It is a pleasure to see these little Innocents forming in ranks in The Chapel, and rendering Their homage to God, as well as Those who are more advanced in years.
A Little Cradle which he arranged at Christmas, illuminated with a number of Candles and adorned with green boughs, wonderfully excited The devotion of the Christians; and they gave The infant Jesus proofs of Their gratitude and love by Singing. It was impossible to resist the persistent requests of those who are still infidels to be allowed to enter, and gratify Their Curiosity by gazing for a Long time at everything that rendered the Spot agreeable to Their eyes. The festival was spent in Singing and in praying for a Longer time than usual, in spite of The severe cold. Because of the great concourse of all sorts of People, it was necessary to remain at the door of the Chapel and allow only Chosen persons to enter, while the Christians enjoyed, quite at their Leisure, the representation of the birth of our lord. So great is their devotion for that lovable mystery that, in order to promote their piety, The Father allowed Them to continue Their Christmas airs and Hymns Until [Page 93] Easter. Can anything more fervent or touching be desired in a country that at first seemed inaccessible to the faith The great maxim of the missionaries is: “Patientia pauperum non peribit in finem,” But would you believe [will it be believed] that the ceremony of offering the blessed bread is performed every Sunday by all at Agnié? That means, that this is done among people who have hitherto been known as Cannibals; who have formerly glutted themselves, not only with the flesh of their enemies, but even with that of those who announced The gospel to Them. They practice this ancient custom of The church with all the more pleasure since they are taught that it is The token that they are all brothers and children of God, — whose bread they eat, until he makes Them taste eternal delights. She who offers the blessed bread gives a modest entertainment to all the Christians in her Dwelling, where they say the Prayer before and after meals. The Civilities that they pay to her who has invited them indicate nothing of the savage, and these gatherings serve wonderfully to foster fervor and Charity. “Justi exultent et delectentur in hætitia.” It must truly be said that The finger of God is in this, and that He alone can effect such Changes and so alter The brutal nature of the natives as to make Wolves worthy of being among the number of the sheep belonging to the great pastor of souls.
I say nothing of The esteem manifested by this new Church for all The outward signs of our holy Religion. Crosses, medals, and other similar Articles are Their most precious jewels. So fondly do they preserve These that they wear them around their Necks, even at preaching in new Holland, [Page 95] where The heretics have never been able to tear away from Them a single bead of Their Rosaries.
The zeal of a good Christian woman went so far as to make her drive her husband out of their Dwelling, because he had thrown her Rosary into the fire. But when she was told of The meekness that Jesus Christ enjoined upon all the faithful, she profited so well by that instruction that her husband was won over by her self-restraint, and wished to become a Christian. He commenced to make his intention publicly known by means of a solemn feast, to which The most notable men of the village were invited. He said that he had forgotten his old formula of invocation to Agriskoué, — this is a spirit to whom they are in the habit of addressing themselves, as to a divinity, for all sorts of Things; and therefore he begged. The Father to speak for Him to the master of men’s lives, who is in heaven, and to whom alone he would in future present all his petitions. The Father pronounced The blessing and thanksgiving, and highly Praised this practice of thanking him who gave us our daily food, and not a demon, who Desired nothing better than to make us The companions of his misery in Hell.
Another Christian woman has been sought in Marriage, for two years, by an Iroquois who enjoys great: renown in his country, Any other but she would consider herself fortunate in meeting a suitor so worthy of honor, and so good a hunter as he is; but that good Christian, whose name is anastasie, prefers to be alone and to endure The Trials of widowhood, rather than to marry that man. She has declared to him that she would never have any affection for Him so long as he would continue to detest prayer [Page 97] and to prevent by his authority the conversion of several who intended to be baptized — for this is what he is doing. God tries The virtue of this woman by sending afflictions upon Her, and she endures them with great courage and faithfulness. Last year, she saw three of her relatives die in her Dwelling; but she would not allow the jugglers to approach them. She has since been urged to call Them in to give some relief to her children, who were said to be in A critical condition because she would not permit the remedies of the medicine-men of the country to be employed. She has constantly resisted all These solicitations, and has stated that she would rather see The children dead, and be assured of Their salvation, than have Them cured after having been The abject of the criminal superstitions of those false physicians.
Disease — which Generally diminishes The devotion of the most fervent, and so weighs upon The mind that it experiences difficulty in uplifting itself to God — has not caused the Christians of this Church to relax their fervor in prayer. On the contrary, it was in the midst of their greatest sufferings that they embraced It most tenderly. They have asserted that it served as an Alleviation of Their evils; and it is now The custom, When any one is dangerously ill, for The Christians to assemble near the dying man, to pray all together for Him, and by Their example to incite Him to have recourse to God.
One day, while the Father was exhorting The Christians in The Dwelling of his hosts to perform an act of Charity, a Child died there. The relatives of the dead Child at once began to express Their grief by the cries customary on such sorrowful [Page 99] occasions. The Christians who were present, without being astonished, asked to be allowed to commence The works of Charity recommended to them, by themselves laying out The dead Child in the Chapel, and accompanying It to its grave while reciting The Rosary. To the Father this ceremony seemed too great an innovation. He deemed it advisable to defer It, lest that funeral array should bury The devotion of some other new Christians, who would have imagined that prayer had caused the death of this baptized Child, and that they also would soon be borne to their graves.
In the first Chapter, I spoke of the evils caused by brandy in the Country of Agnié. You have seen that the diseases which afflicted The inhabitants were among the results of that baleful liquor; so I will say no more about it. Here your Reverence will learn only the following. The Father writes that he saw [One could see] nothing more touching than The misfortune of a little Child — if, indeed, one can call that a misfortune which caused its blessedness. The mother having died two days after her confinement, and The Father being at The point of death, the Child was carried to Him in order to learn who should be Its nurse. The Relatives had resolved to strangle It, that It might be buried with Its mother, who in Cruel compassion had wished that they might be buried in the same grave. However, many of the women deplored The sad fate of the little unfortunate, and by Their Doleful wailings increased The sorrow of the dying Father. The missionary, who was a witness of the spectacle, saw that baptism must not be deferred any Longer, and that he had reason to apprehend that the Father’s silence would be construed Into a confirmation of The sentence [Page 101] of death which The relatives had already pronounced. At once, without Heeding whether or not he were observed, He took some water that was fortunately being carried into The Cabin, and baptized the child. [Some one warned the Missionary to baptize the Child before it was placed in the grave with its mother.] Nevertheless, God permitted that It was not killed. It lived three months longer; and, on the day when The Church celebrated The festival of all saints, it went to Heaven to increase Their number [a happiness that it would probably never have enjoyed had it not been for the Zeal of the Christian women].
Another Child, about four years old, who was dying of a hectic fever, was asked several times to what Place it would go when it died. As it was unable to speak, it looked upward and pointed with Its finger to The Place where it hoped to go.
A Young Boy, fifteen years old, who had become so emaciated by a Protracted illness that he resembled a living skeleton, was several times urged, but in vain, to let himself be baptized; he contented himself with saying some prayers with The father. Finally, when he felt his end approaching, he asked for baptism of his own accord; he received It, and two days afterward he died.
A fourth, who was younger, observing the Father passing, left his Comrades to come and tell Him that he wished to become a Christian. This, which he said merely in jest, really came to pass; for two months later he fell very ill, and when called upon to remember his Word, said that now he really wished to become a Christian. The Father made him pray to God, and baptized Him; he died the death of the predestined. [Page 103]
Let us add to these happy deaths that of a good Christian woman, named Christine, who had lived very innocently since her baptism. As the violence of The fever that carried Her off increased, She also increased the fervor of her prayers, and prepared herself for death by acts of the three principal virtues. Shortly before she died, she repeated very frequently that she was at last going to Heaven, whither she had Long desired to go. She gave directions for her funeral, and died in wonderful peace and presence of mind, holding her Rosary in her hand.
I shall conclude by relating to you what I have just learned from a Letter of the same Father Boniface. He writes to a missionary that a woman who had been baptized only six months before was [I shall conclude with what happened to a woman who had been baptized only six months Before. She found herself] abandoned by her husband, The most noted Captain of the locality where he resided. He had Left Her an only daughter, whose cheerful nature made Her beloved by all The village, while she was her mother’s only consolation and hope. But God was pleased to call Her unto himself, and thus to try The courage of that Christian woman by so great a loss and so deep an affliction. Every one at once blamed Her for having adopted The customs of the strangers by becoming a Christian, it being said throughout The village that The faith had caused her daughter’s death. The Demon took advantage of these murmurings, and made use of wicked tongues to try to make Her apostatize. That virtuous Savage woman courageously scorned all The reports that hatred and Calumny spread against her. She [Page 105] remained as constant as ever in her devotion, being regularly seen to go to The Chapel both morning and evening, communing often with God by means of The sacraments, and leading a most exemplary life. God, who is The Father and consoler of the afflicted, did not Long delay to reward her faithfulness. For, shortly after this storm, in exchange for a little daughter whom he had taken away from Her, he restored to Her, as a Christian, her husband who had abandoned Her, While he was still an infidel, on account of that very daughter. He now took Her back, and loudly proclaimed that he condemned his superstitions in order to embrace our religion. This man, — who had been won partly by conversation with Father fremin near montreal, and partly by The good example given Him by his Christian countrymen, whose piety The same Father maintains, — [This man, — who had been won by The striking virtues and good. examples to which is due the flourishing condition of the church of the savages who dwell at la prairie, de la Magdeleine, near Montreal, — ] immediately upon his return to Gandaouagué, spoke highly in favor of The faith in the presence of a great number of persons, and also of the advantages of dwelling near the french. The account given by that Captain, as well as the declaration of his intention to set out, as soon as possible, to go and live with The — Christian Agniez who are settled near montreal, [as I have stated, at la prairie de la Magdeleine,] so greatly astonished and affected The majority of the Agnié that they are following Him with a number of women and children, leaving Their country, and Their relatives who persist in remaining behind, to go and dwell as Christians among The french. To [Page 107] witness Their eagerness and diligence in starting at early dawn, you would say that it is The representation on a small scale of what happened of old in Egypt, when The Israelites stole away at night from Pharaoh’s Tyranny, to go to a Free country and one abounding in comforts of all kinds.
[It is no slight proof of the faith of These good savages that they have abandoned Their Native country, Their petty household effects, and Their fields abounding in corn; and have sought a foreign land, to live there, — in poverty and want, it is true; but also that they may be able publicly to profess Christianity there, which they could not do at home on account of the great disorders caused by intemperance.]
A resolution so quickly taken and so promptly carried out aroused astonishment in the savages. The Agniez of Tionnontoguen, who are not yet fully inclined toward The faith, expressed to Father Bruyas Their resentment, and The reason they had for complaining of the Black gowns, who seemed intent upon making a desert of their country and completely ruining Their villages. The Father replied, by a porcelain Collar, that he felt compassion for Them on seeing Them thus abandoned by their people; that neither Father Boniface nor He had inspired the Agniés of Gandaouagué with the idea of going away; but that The example and voice of Their bravest warrior had exerted such an influence upon them that they thought that they should not remain any Longer in Their country while he was absent from it. The Father told them that, moreover, the change would not ruin Their villages, as they thought; but on the contrary These would increase and become more flourishing than before, under The protection of Monsieur our governor. The latter would inform his [Page 109] majesty that We were now convinced of The sincerity of the Agniez, who formerly stated, in one of Their embassies, that The french and The Agniez were like two bodies animated by one soul or like two brothers who acknowledge the same Father.
This address, Delivered by The mouth of a person who fully possesses The Hearts of the Agniez, Appeased The rising storm, and The entire assembly had nothing to say against so clever an answer.
We are further assured that The other Agniez, who in very small number have remained in The two villages of Gandaouagué and Gannagaro, me so dismayed by this departure that there is no doubt that they will soon follow the example of Their countrymen. [Page 111]
OF THE MISSION OF ST. FRANÇOIS XAVIER AMONG THE
IROQUOIS OF ONNEIOUT.
LETTER from Father Millet will show The condition of that mission. He Begins It thus:
“ In the time [one year] that I have spent in this mission, I have baptized thirty-four persons — among these, six adults and twelve children, with The ceremonies of The Church; The remainder, both adults and children, when in danger of death. Sixteen of the converts died. Such, in a few words, have been this winter The fruits of our insignificant labors, — or, rather, of God’s grace. But, inasmuch as more detailed information regarding These matters is desired, I will give [you] a short account of them.
“No sooner had I arrived here than I endeavored to become acquainted with The people, gather The Christians together, and seek out The sick.
“I fortunately found a poor woman who had but another day to live. Time pressed greatly, but I saw no opportunity of speaking to Her of God and of her salvation at the first interview. I returned in The evening, and was again unsuccessful; she turned The conversation, and spoke to me of quite different Things. The hour of grace had not yet come. I had scarcely any hope for her salvation, nevertheless, after leaving The matter in God’s hands, I went to see Her on The following Day, and placed myself opposite to her. She could hardly speak, and was obliged [Page 113] to employ another person to explain to me The state of her illness, and The pain that she had experienced through The night. I caused The same person to tell her [had not a good Iroquois woman come to my assistance, and offered to act as interpreter. I therefore caused this Zealous woman to tell her] that indeed I thought that She was dying, and that on such occasions we black gowns prayed to God for The sick, so that on losing this mortal life they might find another, in which one is eternally happy. I asked her whether she did not wish me to procure that happiness for her. She made me draw near; I instructed and baptized Her, and on The same day she died. This baptism filled me with joy, and I thanked God for having used me as his instrument to win for Him this soul, whose loss I apprehended.
“ The same person who served me so well as interpreter with that sick woman also procured for me the opportunity of baptizing another in The same Cabin, shortly before her death; and she herself became worthy of baptism, which I administered about two months ago to Her, and at the same time to her two children.
“ The blessing that God has granted to our medicines has partly enabled me to succeed to The affection that our onneyouez had for Their first pastor, Father Bruyas, and then has given me an opportunity of instructing them in The matter of Their salvation. I found in many persons very good dispositions toward The faith: in Some, fear of hell; in others, belief in and hope of Paradise; and in The majority, a great sincerity in baring to me Their Consciences, even among those who are not Christians.
“ I shall relate but one slight instance of The fear [Page 117] that they have of hell, although their dread of It is of a very primitive nature. During The night, some one stole from a Christian woman everything that was of most value to her, — namely, a Deerskin, and other similar articles of clothing. She had a search made for them; and as she could obtain justice in no other way, she said, as I have been told, that The black gown would cast into hell those who had robbed Her. This frightened every one in The Cabin that contained the guilty one. The mistress of That Cabin came to me. She related what I have just said, and added that It was her sister who had committed the theft; that restitution had been made of everything, except a Kitchen utensil which her sister wished to retain, in payment of Some old gambling debts that had not been settled. I told Her that, in truth, thieves would be cast into hell; that it would not be The black gown who would cast Them into it, but God, who knows everything and who punishes sinners; that they had done right in making restitution; and that, as to what was still left, either It should be restored, or Some amicable agreement should be made with the person to whom it belonged. I have since learned that this was done and that The parties were reconciled.
“ But, since I have begun to speak of this Christian woman, I cannot help Praising The constancy that she manifested in refusing to have recourse to The superstitions of the country to obtain The cure of her children. She told me, one day, that she would rather see Them die than employ those superstitious remedies to cure Them.
“ As to Their belief in and hope of Paradise, they nearly all say that they have come from there, and [Page 119] that they will return thither. Those among them who have the best Knowledge of Their fables and superstitions, Believe in metempsychosis. They think that Their souls have come down from the sky; that they will return thither when they are separated from their bodies; and that, after remaining there for some time, they will be reproduced in Their own family by Their descendants. But those who have some slight instruction have another opinion on this point. They think that, in order to go to heaven, one must have The faith, and be assisted by The black gown at one’s death. Some persons who were not baptized sent for me, one evening, to come and pray to God for a dying child, so that it might be happy in Heaven. Others have been pleased that I should do This, after I have proposed It to Them. The mother of a young woman who had died from a sudden illness, during my absence, one day expressed to me great displeasure because I had not prayed to God for her daughter, so that she might go to heaven. I told her that I felt no less regret than she did; but that it had been impossible for me to be of any assistance to Her. She persisted that I should at least have thrown some holy water upon Her Body after her death, for I had come soon enough to do so. The Poor woman did not know that this would have been of no use, as her daughter had not received The necessary sacraments. I consoled Her to The best of my ability; and she now exhorts all her Cabin to be baptized, and me to baptize Them.
“ In addition to The confessions of the Christians, ’ which have been frequent and have greatly edified me, Over forty unbaptized persons have opened Their hearts to me, and have made a sort of general confession. They do this with admirable simplicity; [Page 119] and we listen to everything, that we may thus obtain opportunity to instruct each one, according to The state of his conscience.
“ Moreover, a great many of them have refused The invitations given Them to attend feasts at which intemperance, debauchery, and superstition prevail.
“ And as, on the other hand, I have found The Christians very exact in observing Sundays, — when they decorously assist at mass, at which they generally pray in two chairs, Some in huron, The others in Onneyout, and instruct One Another, — I thought that I ought not to abject to baptizing the adults, — although it is to be feared that, after baptism, they may fall into some sin. But where do we see Christians who are Sinless? I considered that I would be responsible for Their salvation if I did not baptize Them when I saw Them so well disposed; and if they afterward happened to be killed by Their enemies, a risk which they frequently run.
“ I baptized those whom I considered best prepared and who might contribute Most toward The advancement of this Church, — for instance, mothers with children who had been baptized, either at their request or when ill, and who could not be brought up as Christians if The mothers were not Christians also.
“ One of those whom I baptized came to me recently, and said: ‘ I am somewhat in trouble, and thou must Advise me. The time is approaching when The warriors will return. The Father of my little daughter, whom thou hast baptized with me, had left me and married another; but, when he went to the war, he told me that he would take, me back when he returned. I know not whether he will be [Page 121] pleased at our being Christians. I am resolved,’ she said to me, ’ to show Him my daughter’s little crucifix and my Rosary, and to say to Him: “ Seest thou these emblems of Christianity? We are no longer what we were. When thou didst leave, we were infidels; now we are baptized.” If he say that he is displeased at it, I will tell Him that He is Free to withdraw, and that I think more of The faith than of marriage. ’ I confirmed Her in her good resolution; and I considered it all the more Praiseworthy and meritorious before God since husbands are scarce in this country, and The fate of the women depends upon Their husbands, who supply them with food and clothes.
“ The majority of The men have not the same simplicity or docility in Matters of faith, or The courage to give up Their vices and The superstitions of the country, in which they have been nurtured. But there is a hope that The children, who here remain a Long time under Their mothers’ wings, will be habituated with them to the duties of Christianity; and that, before long, there will be a well-ordered Church here, in spite of intemperance and The other vices of the Country.
“Many persons no longer invoke Agriskoué and this has often been professed in open assembly. Some say to me: ‘We have made no invocation, because thou tellest us that it is not right.’ Others say. ‘Such a one will offer The prayer; He knows how to say It;’ and usually they are The first to inform me of it. But when they forget to offer prayer, I do not, for that is The chief Reason why I go to feasts, which in this country are religious ceremonies.
“When the chief man of the village went recently to Hunt, he recommended that, if a feast should be given in [Page 123] His absence, no invocation was to be made; but that I was to be called upon to say The prayer, or that It was to be said as I had taught them. I heard of this only after he had left, when his wife, on The occasion of a feast, related it all to me.
“If that Captain were a Christian, as, he says, he thinks he will be, it would be a great benefit to this mission. But still more time is needed, and perhaps God will grant Him The grace that he himself will receive baptism and procure it for many others also.
“As I had given a feast to the elders on my arrival, I gave One to the Christians at Christmas and at Easter, — which, I found, had good results. It rouses The most apathetic, and makes Them listen to The instruction. Had we but a little more than we have, to invest with greater splendor matters pertaining to the faith, and to enable us to perform more acts of Charity, it would doubtless win The Savages still better, and would more easily withdraw Them from Their superstitions. But we must rest content with what God gives us. If temporal assistance fail us, may your Reverence procure us, if You please, spiritual aid, and often remember us in your prayers.” [Page 125]
OF THE MISSION OF ST. JEAN BAPTISTE AT ONNON-
F Laws and souls were of old found incompatible in The most flourishing empire in the world, it must be very difficult to establish The Laws of The Gospel in a land of savages, where The demon of war, of pride, and of intemperance has full possession of all minds.
Faith holds The understanding Captive, and strives to subject man to the duties of a true Christian but The Iroquois cannot endure The slightest Thing in the world that trammels Him. The nature of the savage is to live as he pleases, and to follow strange maxims only in so far as They suit him. It must be understood that The Iroquois are Not capable of reasoning, as do The Chinese and other civilized nations, to whom we prove The faith, and The truth of the existence of a God. The Iroquois is not guided by reasons. The first idea that he has of Things is the sole light that illumines Him. The reasons for Credibility, which Theology employs to convince The most skeptical minds, are not listened to here, where our greatest truths are called falsehoods. As a rule, they believe only what they see. To convert The upper Iroquois, it would be necessary to subdue Them to The faith by two arms, as it were — one of gold, and The other of iron; I mean to say, to win Them by presents, and to keep Them in subjection by The fear of arms. Missionaries here have neither The attraction of The one nor The strength of The other. Only The fear of some evil, or The hope of some temporal good [Page 127] can determine Them to embrace our religion. But, after all the missionary must labor faithfully, and await The time when providence is resolved to make children of Abraham out of The most hardened. It is a great honor for us to be God’s agents, to bear his word and his interests, and to cause Him to be adored by some christians who compose a small Church, in a country where The devil is so completely The master through infidelity and Profligacy. God has his elect everywhere, and it is a great thing to Coöperate in the salvation of The predestined. [Father de Lamberville, who has charge of This Mission, speaks of it in these terms:] “ Hell, As you have all ready seen, does not swallow up The souls of all those who die in The forests of Canada. This year, in this place, I Count over thirty who now pray in heaven for The salvation of Their countrymen; and I may say that there are very few dying persons who refuse The grace of baptism, provided we act with The caution and skill that we try not to omit, in order to succor souls of the predestined in The final danger of being lost.
“ Since Father millet has Left me The care of The mission of Onnontagué, to go and reside at Onneiout, I have endeavored to keep up The good Customs that he introduced, — among others, public penance for those who by some evil deed have given scandal to The Christians, and even to The infidels, who do not fail to inform me of The slightest fault that they observe in The Christians.
“ I admired the great Christian courage manifested by a huron woman in resolving to endure The shame of humiliating herself in the presence of an assembly, after committing a grievous offense. This woman had been invited to a brandy feast, at which [Page 129] it is Customary for all The guests to get drunk. She had become intoxicated like The others, but with this difference, that The act in which The others gloried afflicted Her exceedingly. She no longer ventured to come to prayers with The others; she experienced The sorrow and The Anxiety which, As The apostle says, inseparably accompany sin. She met me in The village, and begged me to have pity upon her, and not allow her to be wretched in hell. Such good sentiments on the part of this repentant sinner well deserved The pardon of her offense. I told her that she must give public expression of her regret. ‘ I am ready to do whatever you wish, ’ she said. I put Her off until Easter, to make The act more conspicuous. Father millet having given me The pleasure of paying me a visit about that time, she applied to Him also to be allowed to attend prayers and to do public penance — so much did she apprehend The delay. I greatly Praised her courage, after having blamed her intemperance; and I afterward invited Her to a modest feast that I Then gave to all The Christians, to make The festival of Easter a more solemn one for Them. [And thereupon she made that. reparation with such good grace that she completely removed all The bad Impressions that an offense of that Nature had already produced in The other Christians.]
“It is impossible to believe how much temporal matters here affect spiritual ones. He who would have much to give would assuredly bring about many conversions. Although Jesus Christ is all-powerful, he nevertheless made use of the aid and alms given to Him by pious persons to found his Church. I speak only according to The venerable bee. The acts of the Apostles and The Epistles of saint Paul teach us that The Disciples of so [Page 131] good a master imitated him in this as in all other things. But we must be content with our poverty and frequently bear in mind these words of the psalmist: ‘Patientia pauperum non peribit in finem.’
“ This assurance I can give to your Reverence that all the christians [others] who compose this Church are completely exempt from the vice of intemperance, which has now become a Custom among The Iroquois. It is true that they are not all fervent to the same degree. I am not surprised at it; I am much more astonished to see that, in the midst of iniquity, they so well resist The torrent of bad example. I remember that, When I was in Europe, I heard on many occasions that among The christian savages in Canada The women are The most devout and faithful; and that Their rare virtues are more frequently mentioned in the relations than those of the men. I will enable you to judge of this. I will not cite any other example among The men than that of Garakontié, whose virtue and reputation do honor to our Church. I will commence by telling you that, When he comes to the sacrament of penance, it seems to me that I see one of those Christians of The early Church who maintained Their baptismal innocence either until death or during a very long time. After instructing Him as to The proper manner of self-examination, he has always told me that he could not find that he had committed any sin; that since He had been made to promise to observe The commandments of God, he did not remember having ever violated any. He added That, as regards dreams, I was a witness of The constancy with Which he had rejected The proposals made to Him to give invitations to feasts of which he had dreamed; that, after declaring [Page 133] at a solemn feast that he should in future follow and observe The Law of him who made heaven and earth, he had hitherto kept his promise to the captain of the black gowns, — he meant Monseigneur The Bishop of Petræa, who had baptized Him. Then he added, with a smile: ‘As to marriage, you know well my wife’s ill temper. Had I not been truly a Christian, I would have sent Her away Long ago, as The Iroquois do, that I might take another.’ It would take too Long to relate in detail all that this good Christian told me to show me that he spoke sincerely. If The exterior be a manifestations of The interior, I can assure your Reverence that I have never observed anything in his conduct that was not right. He is so punctual in saying his prayers, night and morning, that he anticipates The time for this when he has to be at any meeting that might deprive Him of The Liberty of coming to his Chapel. He likewise performs his duties as a Christian in his Country house or Cabin as well as in The village. Some Iroquois have told me that he made Them pray in His Home, and that they had learned what prayers they know from Garakontié. I asked one of his nieces who it was that had taught Her to make The sign of The cross and to pray. ‘ My uncle Garakontié,’ she said, ‘ has made me pray to God every day since I left this place.’ One day, when I was entertaining the christians, in order to make The festival of Christmas more solemn for them, I was quite unable to persuade Him to eat with The others. He said that he wished to speak to the guests, and that, according to the custom of the country, he who Speaks does not partake of the feast. He spoke therefore to the Christians, who were present in fairly considerable numbers. He reminded Them of what they had promised [Page 135] when they became Christians, and, making use of the words of The apostle whose example he wished to imitate, he said: ‘I heed not my dreams, I do not divorce myself; I have no wicked Thoughts; I do not get Angry; I am not a thief; I do not get drunk; I pray to God without fail twice a day, and whenever I am about to eat. Do as I do, and we shall all be truly faithful christians.’ He frequently asks why The Europeans sell brandy, since The Iroquois make such a bad use of it. ‘Its sale should be forbidden,’ he said. I told Him that The dutch were not good christians. ‘That is true,’ he added; ‘for they do not approve of our making the sign of The cross.’ They have also vainly tried several times to take away from him his Rosary, and The small crucifix that he carries round his Neck. He prays with a saintly Effrontery [He says his prayers aloud and very resolutely] in the midst of the preaching of the dutch, when he happens to be With those Gentlemen [them] on a Sunday. The last time when he went to new yorck, He was asked whether he was still a Christian, and whether he could really Read. He replied that his faith would last as long as his life, and that he was not altogether ignorant of writing. His constancy, he said, was Praised, and He was exhorted to persevere. The manner in which he loudly professes Christianity has drawn upon Him The hatred and the calumnies of some of the most notable men of Onnontagué. They have endeavored to discredit Him in The minds of their people by Saying that he was no longer a man; that he had become french; that The black gowns had turned His head; and that, since he had abandoned The customs of the Country, he had also ceased to have Any affection for it. They even said that Their affairs should no longer be confided to [Page 137] Him, and that he would die at the first sin that he should commit. God did not allow this sort of talk to be listened to; on the contrary, it seems that his credit and reputation is sustained by his faith. He is Praised for being so constant to Christianity; The affairs of the village are confided to Him; He is deputed as envoy to The french and The dutch; he is The mouthpiece of his nation, by whom he is highly esteemed. No ceremony takes place without Garakontié speaking; it is He, they say, who knows all The affairs and who is as clever as a demon. This was proved last year, When he was very ill. The Whole village was in consternation; and even those who had spoken ill of Him came to His cabin to declare The great loss that the Country would suffer if The person of that Captain. The chief men came in a body to thank him for the attention and faithfulness with Which he had managed affairs; and they begged him to tell Them his East opinions as to The manner in which they were to conduct matters in future, — saying that, since they were to lose Him, at least his memory and his counsels would survive him. God, whose will it was to preserve him still longer for The good of this mission, permitted that The remedies administered by Father millet and myself should prove successful, and he was cured in a few days. I say nothing here of the pious sentiments that he had and that he manifested to us during his illness; your Reverence has already heard of them. I shall content myself with writing to You that he enjoys more consideration than ever, — both on the part of the christians, of whom he is The most fervent; and on that of his countrymen, who honor Him as The soundest mind and The best councilor they have. And I have no doubt that he will win the esteem of Monsieur The Count de Frontenac, The King’s Lieutenant-general in Canada, — [Page 139] to whom he is going to pay his respects at The entrance of Lake Ontario, and congratulate Him upon his safe arrival in this country.
“I must not omit to mention here The piety and Christian patience of an Iroquois woman who was instructed and baptized by Father Fremin [at La prairie de La Magdeleine,] near montreal, two years ago. That woman had already resolved to pass her Life among the french, with whom [at that Place, where] she could better keep up her devotion than in her own country, where intemperance and other bad conduct are more prevalent than are The maxims of our religion. When she saw that her husband, a Catechumen, was yielding to the solicitations of the persons deputed from Onnontagué to induce Him to go back to his own country, and that it was in vain that she opposed his return, after representing to him that he would infallibly revert to The evil Habits which he was beginning to give up, she deemed It her duty to follow Him, for fear lest her son, whom he took with him, should learn to live like The Iroquois, — that is, become a drunkard and Profligate. As soon as they arrived at Onnontagué, they came to The Chapel, where, after saying Their prayers, they protested to me,” [says Father Jean de Lamberville, who relates all this,] “ that they wished to live as Christians. Her husband begged me to grant Him The grace of baptism which Father fremin had refused Him when he saw that he was resolved to return to his own country. I told Him that Father fremin had not put off His baptism without reason, as he might resume his former superstitions; that, if he really wished to be baptized, I would judge of the sincerity of his words if he continued to refrain from intemperance for a certain length [Page 141] of time. He told me that he was satisfied with that delay. But by bad example and The continual solicitations made to him [to the husband] to return to his former mode of living, [He became corrupted,] to such an extent as to say that all things related about Paradise and hell were nothing but fables and fictions of the black gowns; and that Ire was not a frenchman, to believe such stories. He even tried to compel his wife to renounce Christianity. She begged Him to return to better sentiments and not to listen to the counsels Given Him. He threatened to leave Her, and make Her endure every ill treatment within His power. Finally, when she saw that he was proceeding to extremities, she told him that she felt compassion for him at seeing him so perverted; that she was horrified at His proposing to Her to renounce The faith; that his threats did not frighten Her; and that she was resolved to endure anything rather than lose The hope of being some day happy in heaven. ‘ As for you,’ she said to Him, ‘ you will some day be unhappy, like those whose evil counsels you follow and whose actions you imitate. ’ She came to relate this to me, and told me with truly Christian courage that she cared very little for all her husband’s threats; that she considered herself fortunate in being able to endure Something for The love of Jesus Christ: that she feared only lest her little son — who had already been made to drink brandy, and had been compelled to leave his mother’s Dwelling and reside with Him — should also begin to imitate his Father; and that she would try to take advantage of The time during which he would be gone to war to steal the Boy from Him and return to montreal [to la prairie de la Magdeleine] near to Father Fremin. [Page 145] The latter has charge of a Church composed entirely of various nations, whose piety and good example edify not only all The french but also all The Hunters who have passed by the spot where The Father resides.
“ This man, so perverted, did not long delay in manifesting his ill will. After marrying another woman, he made himself drunk, — or pretended to be so, as they do who wish to injure others with greater impunity. He entered The Cabin of his first wife; he threw down or broke all The furniture; he tore off Her clothes; he struck Her, and said that he would kill Her. She was wrested from His hands, and assisted to escape. She at once came to Pray in The Chapel, and to recount to me what I have just said. The same outrages were continued for several days, and did not cease until some relatives of this Christian woman, unable to restrain Their resentment, made themselves drunk also, and avenged The ill treatment that Their Relative had been made to endure. She was afterward sought in marriage; but she said that, since God had thus permitted her to be separated from her first husband, she would not marry another, and that she was very glad to be Free and live alone. After that, she redoubled her devotions, and took the greatest care in bringing up her son properly. [She even stole him from his father, to fly with Him and take Him to la prairie de la Magdeleine. This she did, arriving there Fraught with the merits of her patience, and of the toil that she had endured to Preserve her faith and That of her son.
“ What was done with the same object by one of the first Captains of Agnié, named assendassé, is still more worthy to be remembered than what we have [Page 145] just stated. It is but proper to repeat here the conversion and death of a man of such importance, in the manner in which Father Bruyas relates It, (recounted at page 3 of my Journal).] She cast discredit — with great cleverness, so as not to Offend her people — on the recourse of the genius of the Country whom The Iroquois call Agriskoué. They urged Her in vain on many occasions to call in The jugglers and medicine-men of the Country. These by Charlatanry pretend to draw from the bodies of the sick the hair and teeth of animals, or small pieces of wood or cloth, after invoking, in most instances, The Agriskoué. To him they usually sacrifice either Dogs, with which a feast is given to the sick person; or tobacco, which they throw into The fire. Her uncle, a very superstitious man, wished on one occasion, in spite of her opposition, to call in The medicine-men to cure her son. She protested that neither she nor her boy would use any other medicines than those that I might give Her. She was greatly troubled with a violent toothache, which prevented Her from attending to her household duties. Her uncle, who became impatient at seeing his Food grow cold while cooking because she had to stop her work, insisted upon her having recourse to the jugglers, and her relatives urged Her to do so. To relieve herself from Their importunities, she told Them that She was not permitted to allow The invocations that they would utter over her person; and that as she was a Christian, she must do nothing in religious matters without The advice of The black gown; that, if I thought it right for her to make use of the jugglers’ remedies, she would at once consent to do so. One of her relatives, who belonged to the corps of jugglers, immediately carried these words to me; and, after giving me a long account of the wonders that he [Page 147] worked through his art in removing spells, he concluded that I ought not to prevent him from exerting his skill, or from giving Her medicine. I told Him that it was not necessary to give any medicine; that The disease was in The jaw. ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘I shall expel the little demons that some malicious persons have caused to enter Her, to give annoyance to our family. Would you, then, take pleasure in seeing Her suffer?’ I told Him that I would not, and that I Had compassion on Her; but that, in order to show Him and all the family that the pain was not due to the oski, or demons, as he said, I would relieve her by extracting a decayed tooth that Caused Her so much suffering. And at once, taking my Forceps, I pulled out The tooth, and put an end to The pain. This has given me such a reputation that all who have toothache came to me, either to obtain some remedy, or to ask me to extract The aching teeth. Thus they are now convinced that toothaches are not caused by spells or demons. That good christian woman seized The opportunity to prove that The diseases usually attributed to imaginary sorceries are due to as natural causes as toothache is; but The jugglers, whom that discourse accused of falsehood, withdrew, and would not listen to Her. She never failed to say her prayers three times A day, and to perform all The devotional exercises that Father Fremin had taught Her. She heard mass every day; and so great was her fear of not assisting at it, that one day, when The door of The Chapel was closed in such a manner that it was difficult to open It without making a noise, she remained outside in The rain, — kneeling near The door during The whole time that The mass lasted, without heeding what passers-by might say. Finally she returned to montreal with her little son, Fraught with the [Page 149] merits of her patience. Her absence is beyond a doubt prejudicial to this mission, where her example and her conversations attracted many persons to prayer.
“As to the other Christians, I endeavor to sustain Them against The torrent of bad examples, and to exhort Them to Perseverance.” [Page 151]
OF THE BAPTISM OF SOME ADULTS.
HE experience which The missionaries in this quarter have had — that one must be very circumspect in baptizing Adults, for fear of making of them either bad Christians or Apostates — does not allow us to administer baptism to all who say that they desire it. We know well enough that many savages, who are not yet sufficiently convinced of the truth of Our Belief, desire baptism solely as a means which they consider suitable for the success of some design; and they are unable to Conceal it, when we try to penetrate Their intentions. This causes us to warn Them that they must not be influenced by some apparent Interest, and must not ask to be admitted to Christianity unless they are really willing to observe The Law of God, who alone rewards our faith and our fidelity. There are others whose nature is very different; They are kept back by a certain shame, and dare not make any advances to obtain baptism. After ascertaining Their good dispositions, it is necessary to forestall Them, — to urge Them, As our Lord says, to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. There are some who say, Like bad Christians: ‘I will be converted at My death.’ Others declare that they must wait still longer, — that they will pray to God from time to time in The Chapel; and When Their minds are well formed — such is Their way of speaking — they will say that they really wish to embrace The faith.
“Eight months ago, I baptized a man of note among The Onnontagué, one who belonged to the latter [Page 153] class. He prayed to God willingly, especially with Garakontié, for whom he had a great friendship; and he showed on all occasions that he loved The french. While Father Millet was here, he observed in him many good qualities that are desirable in a Christian, and urged Him to tell what prevented Him from being baptized. Thereupon, he frankly told Him that His proneness to observe his dreams was not consistent with our Religion. Then Garakontié seized the opportunity to ridicule his superstition, and told us privately that we must not baptize him prematurely. But God, who had destined him to become one of his elect, sent Him an illness, which tried his patience for eighteen months. At first, he had recourse to the jugglers and medicine-men, who in vain exerted all Their skill to procure Him health, — some by administering large potions of water Colored with a pinch or two of powder, which they use for all diseases; and others by pretending to extract oski, or Little spells, which they said his enemies had introduced into His body during the night through The wall of his Dwelling. As he obtained no relief, either from the artifices of the latter or from the medicines of the former, he wished finally [Therefore] to Try my remedies also. These relieved Him considerably; But, as his disease was incurable, I told Him that [I] did not wish to deceive Him, as The others did who promised in vain to cure Him, and that he would die of that Disease after great Prostration. He thanked me for having told him what I thought of his illness. ‘Let us pray to God,’ he said to me, ‘and come to-morrow to visit me.’ We prayed together then, and every time when I went to see Him. From time to time, I gave Him some slight refreshments, which completely won His [Page 155] Heart. He told me that I had more pity on Him than had all his tribe; and that he had no fear of death, provided I would promise Him that he would Go to heaven. I told Him that it rested but with him to place himself in The state in which God wished Him to be to make Him happy. He said to me: ‘I will do all that you may suggest to me to do. [I am glad to be baptized, and I desire It.]’ He had conceived a great aversion for those who had cast oski or spells into Him. As He was still made to hold dream-feasts, and as The Agriskoué was invoked for him, I told him that he plainly saw that all those invocations and superstitious feasts were of no avail for His cure; that all the things that The jugglers related of the oski were myths; that we were not Immortal; that he should resolve to die a good death, and offer his pains to God, to deserve a reward for sufferings that he must necessarily endure. God, who worked in his heart, made Him see The truth of what I said. He interrupted me, to tell me that I appeared to Him to be sincere, and that he listened to me more willingly than to all The Iroquois; that he renounced dreams and everything that might prevent his happiness in heaven; and that I might baptize Him whenever I pleased. His wife, whose sentiments were very different from those of her husband, could not approve his such good discourses as these. Some Words contrary to the sentiments [wishes] of the good Catechumen happened to escape Her. He reproved Her in my presence, and before the whole of his family, and added that she would be miserable in hell unless she imitated Him; that, When he should be dead, neither she nor his children were ever to forget what he had just said; and that, if they had any affection for Him and for themselves, they should do all that I told Them for [Page 157] Their salvation. Such good dispositions as these almost induced me to baptize Him on The spot. But I remembered what Garakontié had told me, and after giving Him some prunes, bade him adieu until the Morrow, I communicated this to Garakontié. He went to visit Him and reported to me that The sick man had Concealed ten Knives, which he kept very carefully, because They had been given to Him to Satisfy his dreams; that he looked upon Them as The preservers of his life; that, if he gave them up, I would have reason to Believe that he really wished to become a Christian. I therefore returned to Him, and gradually brought the conversation around to The Knives. ‘It is true,’ he said, ‘that I have Them still; but, to show you that I am nowise attached to them, I place Them in your hands.’ All who were in his Dwelling were greatly surprised at this proceeding. The sick man observed it and said aloud: ‘Why Believe that Knives are The masters of our lives [my life]? Let the black gown do with them As he thinks best.’ I persuaded him to give them, as Presents to his friends, whom he was to invite to a feast of bear’s meat on The following day. This he did; and, in order that I might be a witness of it, I was one of the guests. I said A prayer before and after The repast. While The guests ate, he told Them that he had formerly believed that Articles which were given Him on account of his dreams could preserve His life, but that he had been disabused of that error. ‘ Here are ten knives, which I kept. I make you a present of them; ’ and he distributed These among Them on The spot. When the guests had withdrawn, he asked me why I deferred His baptism; and whether it would not be better to administer It [Page 159] to Him while he was in His right mind, instead of waiting until he began to lose His senses. He said that then God would not receive Him in heaven; that therefore I must not put Him off to another time. I was delighted to see Him so well disposed. I made Him say all The acts that must precede baptism; and I administered It to Him in the presence of his whole family, whom I exhorted to imitate Him.
“ He lived three months after he was baptized. He sent his children to pray in The Chapel, and he was very angry When they did not obey Him in this as promptly as he desired. One day he fell into a swoon, and, feeling that his strength Began to fail Him, he sent for me and made his Confession. I gave Him absolution, and shortly afterward administered to him a little medicine, which made Him recover from his faintness. Finally, life became a burden to Him, and he wished only for death that he might see God. He often held out His arm to me, that I might tell Him, from The knowledge that The french are believed to have of the time when one is to die, in how many days he would cease to be miserable. ‘ Well! ’ he would say to me, ‘ are you going to give me good news? Shall I not Die soon? [shall I not go to Heaven soon?]’ After feeling His pulse I told Him that his end was approaching. ‘ Oh,’ he said to me, ‘ what kindness you show me, by gladdening me with such good news! I thank you for it. Let us pray to God together. ’ So great was his desire to go to heaven that The fear that he had of being excluded from it caused Him no slight sorrow. A dream which he had had — that he was dead, and that The master of men’s lives Drove his soul away from The gates of Paradise — disturbed Him to such [Page 161] an extent that he repeated it to me three times, adding: ‘ But you told me that we must pay no heed to dreams. ’ ‘ Certainly not,’ I said to Him; ‘ God forbids It, and wills that you should believe that he will give you a favorable reception after your death, because you believe in Him with all your Heart. ’ He repeatedly told me that he believed in Him, because he did not lie. He begged me aloud to grant Him absolution for some impatience that he had felt at The disobedience of his children, who were becoming Wearied by his Long illness. I gave It to him, and we prayed to God together, for The last time. I asked him whether he would not remember me before God after his death. ‘ Yes,’ he said to me; and, taking my hand, ‘ We shall be there together [for I hope that I shall go to Heaven].’ On the Following day, he sank into a state of insensibility, which lasted until His death. Even had I baptized but this one person since I have had The happiness of being here, God would have honored me only too much by allowing me to contribute toward the salvation of that predestined soul.
“To this precious death I add that of an old man who died very shortly after baptism. God is admirable in The ways that he adopts for The salvation of his elect. A Christian hears by accident, about nine o’clock in the evening, that he of whom I Write is at The last extremity; that He is suffocating with a Catarrh. He comes to inform me of it. I Hasten thither, and find Him so overcome by the disease that he cannot utter more than two words in succession. I tell Him in the presence of the medicine-men that he must think of him who has made Heaven and earth; that he must entreat Him to have pity [Page 163] on Him. I make Him invoke The holy name of Jesus. He pronounces It with me, and repeats all that is needed for receiving baptism. I ask Him whether he wishes to be baptized. He tells me that he does wish It, and his last words are: ‘I desire you to wash away my sins. Jesus, have pity on me.’ I baptize Him, and he dies in less than ten minutes.
“A Poor woman, who lived at a distance of a quarter of a League from here, and who had been consumptive for two years, would not listen at all to Any mention of The faith, nor would she even see The Europeans. I visit Her twice, and meet with nothing but rebuffs. On the third occasion, I carry Her a little ragout and manifest compassion for Her. She finds that what I give Her is good, and allows me to remain near her; but she will not hear The faith spoken of. One evening I feel inspired to make one more attempt, and to try and dispose Her to baptism. She listens to me, and wishes to go to heaven; she prays; I baptize Her, and on The Following morning I learn that she is dead. By The same means, God has permitted me to baptize six other persons, who are probably in Heaven, and now praying for those whose Zeal has founded and maintained The Iroquois missions.
“Another took some Hemlock juice, because she could not bear to see herself abandoned by her husband, who married her rival. I am summoned in the capacity of a physician who has already succeeded in counteracting the effects of that poison. I make her take orvietan[ix] and shortly afterward some theriac, — on condition that no one else shall give Her any other medicine, lest it should take away The strength of mine. But hardly have I left the [Page 165] Dwelling than a woman makes Her swallow more than a pint of Colored water. I return; I taste the water, and find that It has no strength. I ask the attendant whether she thought that it was good medicine; she says that she knew nothing about it, but that, as she had been requested to give a medicine, she prepared one As she was able. I reprove The persons whom I had warned not to allow any other medicines but mine to be given so soon to the sick woman; and I tell her that my remedy has been spoiled. I give an emetic to The patient, to make Her throw up The water that she has taken; but The poison has already penetrated into the intestines. The blame is imputed to her who took upon herself to administer medicine contrary to the physician’s orders. I tell them that there is no longer any probability of saving Her, and that she will die. The Jugglers at once hasten to her; they perform all Their Apish tricks, and say that an oski is killing Her, which is stronger than The poison. While preparations are being made for The jugglery, I make The mother understand that her daughter has sinned in thus trying to destroy herself. ’ It is true,’ she says; ‘ but what is to be done?’ ‘ It is necessary,’ I say, ‘ that I should wipe out her sin before she dies, and that you should help me by inducing her to listen to me. ’ Meanwhile, the sick woman is foaming at the mouth; she utters loud cries, and is seized with dreadful convulsions. What chance is there of baptizing Her? I cause Her feet and arms to be held, while I hold her head to prevent Her from moving, and to speak to Her in closer proximity. I try to make her say that she asks God to pardon her. ’ I have not sinned, ’ she says; ‘ he [Page 167] who has abandoned me is The only one who is Guilty. ’ Finally, after many earnest entreaties, she told me that she was sorry for having offended him who alone is The master of our lives, and that she asked him to have pity on her. That was all that I could obtain from her, owing to the violent convulsions that attacked her. Therefore, I baptized Her solely on condition that she had the proper dispositions for receiving baptism in The state in which she then was. She died on The same day.
“ A man and a woman died after having persistently refused to be baptized, The latter said that she did not wish to go to the paradise of the french, where She would be burned as Captives are burned here. Neither of them was of the Iroquois nation.
“Two Andastoguez who were captured by The Iroquois were more fortunate. They received baptism Immediately before The Red-hot irons were applied to Them. One of them, who was burned during The night in a Cabin, from his feet to his knees, prayed again to God with me on The Following day, while tied to a stake in The public place of the village. I will not repeat here what is already known — that The tortures inflicted upon prisoners of war are horrible. The patience of these poor victims is admirable; but one cannot contemplate without a feeling of horror the sight of Their roasting Flesh, and of men who Devour it like famished Dogs.
“ One day, when I was passing near the Spot where The Body of one of those tortured captives was being cut to pieces, I could not help drawing near and inveighing against such brutality. I saw ‘one of these Cannibals, who asked for a Knife wherewith to cut off an arm. I opposed him, and threatened [Page 169] Him, that, if he did not desist, God would sooner or later punish him severely for his cruelty: He stated, as his reason for doing so, that he was invited to a feast commanded by a dream at which They were to eat nothing but human Flesh, to be brought by those who were invited to it. Two days afterward, God permitted that his wife should fall into The hands of the Andastoguez, who Revenged themselves upon her person for The Cruelty of her husband.
“ Four Christian women also died, after receiving The sacrament of Penance. One of them was very old, and had been blind for a Long time. Father Millet had baptized Her shortly before his departure from Onnontagué, and had strongly recommended Her to me. This poor old woman inspired me with devotion whenever I made Her say her prayers. She said that she never felt greater joy than when She was told that The frenchman was coming to visit Her. She naïvely asked me when she would go to heaven. ‘ Will not Jesus have pity upon me soon? ’ she said. ‘ [I fully hope so.] The greatest pleasure that I hope to receive from Him now is death.’ God granted Her desire, but in an unexpected mariner. A drunken man, who had just crippled another old woman, entered her Cabin. The only person who was with her at once ran away, and abandoned Her to that furious man, who, with a wooden pike, bruised Her entire face, Broke Her jaw, pierced Her cheeks, inflicted several wounds in Her head and shoulders, and Left Her for dead on The spot. Although they disapproved of my dressing The wounds of the old woman, for whom they had less pity than for a Dog, I dressed Them, and comforted Her to the best of my ability. This caused many persons to say that [Page 171] it was well to be a Christian, since The black gowns thus assisted until death those who had loved The prayer. I made Her pray once more; and, after making her confession, she began her death-Song, consisting of the following words, which she enunciated with difficulty — for, as The Iroquois Language contains no Labial Letters, she could still speak: ‘Egiheia onne,’ she said, ‘garonhiagué agatsiennonnia; nictouenha Jesous — gué ouagué, Jesous tagitenra.’ [of acts of hope of going to Heaven, expressed by these words:] ‘ At last I am dying, I am going to heaven to see Jesus; that is well. Jesus have pity on me. ’ She breathed Her last after repeating this five or six times.
“Two other women whom I baptized when at The point of death recovered Their health through the assiduous attentions that I paid Them, and through what aid I gavc Them from time to time. They no longer have the coldness and indiference that at first They had for prayer and for The black gown. Oh, why have I not a quantity of medicines, and of what is needed to sweeten Their bitter lot! It would be a bait wherewith to secure nearly all The dying. There are some who, when they find that They are given no medicine, turn Their backs to me, and say that I have no pity on them; and after that they cannot be approached.
“ In addition to these adults, — Some of whom have died after baptism, and others after salutary repentance for Their sins, — I Count twenty-two little children whom I baptized. Three of these received baptism in The Chapel, with The rites of The Church; and The others have gone to heaven, to enjoy the happiness obtained for Them by The blood of Jesus Christ. I add a twenty-fifth, who was baptized, Ten leagues from here, by a frenchman whom [Page 173] Monsieur our Governor had deputed to The Onnontagués.
“ Without medicines, I cannot be sure Of baptizing any child, because most of the people still remain in The error that baptism either hastens death, or prevents them from going to the Iroquois heaven. After baptizing three dying children, as a measure of precaution, while giving Them medicine, I wished to learn whether The parents would permit me to baptize Them; but they always persisted in objecting to baptism. On one occasion, among others, they wished to ascertain whether My fingers were wet when 1 approached a sick Child, so greatly did they fear that I would baptize It. But, by means of the medicines, very few escape us, and we give no cause for mistrust.
“Such, my Reverend Father, is in full The main result this year. May God grant that The powerful exhortations of Monsieur The Governor to the assembled Iroquois to embrace The faith — supported as they are by numerous presents — will have The effect that we hope from a Zeal which so thoroughly unites The Interests of the King of Heaven with those of our monarch” All this is Taken from a Letter Of Father de Lamberville.[Page 175]
OF THE MISSION OF ST. JOSEPH AT GOIOGOUEN.
HE following is what Father de Carheil writes of it: “The number of persons who have been baptized this year is 55, eleven of whom are adults. The remainder are children, 13 of whom have received baptism in The Chapel with The Rites; The others without the Rites. Up to this year, I had been unable to baptize any one except in secret, and without the Knowledge of any one excepting of those from whom I could not Conceal It. Whenever necessity and the manifest danger of death compelled me to prepare Them for that sacrament by a preliminary instruction; for I could not omit this on account of their advanced age. I was forced to act Thus, in order to avoid The Slanders that hell incited against me and Against baptism, through The universal belief which it had impressed upon Their minds that this, the 1st and most necessary of all The sacraments, had not the beneficial effect which I told Them that it had; but other and quite contrary effects, which I Hid from them, in order the more easily to make Them consent to it. The 2 principal of these were, they said, an early death, and after death eternal Captivity, under the domination of the french. As The fury of the demons could invent nothing more opposed to the Salvation of souls in my Beloved mission than this idea, which originated from them, I could not therefore hope to do anything toward The establishment and advancement of The faith without removing this error from the minds of the people, or at least causing it gradually to [Page 177] disappear. But, notwithstanding all my efforts to do so in previous years, I met no success; and even this very year 1 could hope for still less than usual, because more illness prevailed and more deaths occurred than before. Nevertheless, — although I know not how providence has acted, — in spite of all The false rumors that have Circulated more freely Against me than Usual, he has granted me The grace of instilling into The Hearts of some mothers dispositions that I could not hope for from my own exertions. There were 13 who asked from me, on behalf of Their children, that which they were yet unwilling to ask for themselves. They begged me to baptize Them, and brought them into The Chapel. Such a request could only be Infinitely agreeable to me, since it was a first Step toward dispelling from the minds of the people all Those erroneous Impressions Against baptism, toward removing aversion, and toward producing The esteem and love that I desired. But As nothing must be done precipitately, I Never granted them Immediately what they asked. I always put them off to some future feast-day, so as to make them conceive, by that delay, a higher Opinion of what I wished to grant Them. I did, in fact, grant it to them on the appointed day, when I baptized Their children with The Rites; and even made some of them, who were Capable of doing so, reply to the Questions that have to be put.
“Some other mothers also asked me for baptism for Their children, and I granted It to them in time. For 1 have found, by experience, that those whose children are baptized have much more respect for a missionary, and afterward are better disposed toward the faith than are The others, — inasmuch as they consider themselves obliged, as I have told them, to come and bring Their baptized little ones to prayer, when they are not old enough to come by themselves; or to receive Them there, when they can do so [Page 179]
“As for The eleven adults whom I baptized, they have all died; for I have not as yet baptized any who were not in danger of death. Except when reduced to that extremity, I find none who are susceptible to any of the inclinations necessary for baptism, The liberty of marrying and of divorcing themselves When they please, The spirit of murder, and worldly considerations prevent Them from being docile to our Instructions. Of the baptized children 18 have died; and This number, Added to that of The adults, makes 29 in all. But
[The following is What Father de Carheil writes of it:
“ The number of persons baptized during the past year in This Mission is 55, of Whom 29 have gone to take possession of glory in the name of The others — that is to say, eleven adults and 18 Children, all of whom died after Their baptism.
“ Happily, I have This year Begun to Administer that sacrament publicly In my Chapel, and with The Rites of The Church. This is no slight step toward The advancement of Christianity here. Hitherto I had not been able to act in That manner.
“ The Slanders that hell incited Against me and Against baptism prevented me from doing so, through The erroneous Impressions with which it had imbued all The people, — the idea that that sacrament had not The beneficial effects that f announced, but that, on the contrary, it produced very bad effects, which I Concealed.
“Two, among others, were mentioned, death and Captivity: death after baptism, and after death Eternal Captivity, into which they were thrown as soon as they came into The power of The french, — and to which I wished to Send Them, that they [Page 181] might groan Eternally under our Cruel domination.
“ As the fury of the Demons could Invent nothing more Opposed to the salvation of souls in my Beloved Mission than That idea, however ridiculous it may be, I could therefore have no Hope of establishing and advancing the faith except by removing this Error from the minds of the people, or at least causing it to disappear gradually. But, notwithstanding all my efforts to do so in previous years, I was unsuccessful; and even This year I could hope still less to save souls, because much more illness prevailed, and many more deaths occurred than before.
“ Nevertheless, — although I know not How providence has Acted, — in spite of all The false rumors that have circulated Against me, to a greater extent than Usual, he has instilled in The Hearts of some mothers dispositions that I could not have expected from my own exertions.
“ There were thirteen who asked me on behalf of Their Children that which they were as yet unwilling to ask for themselves. They begged me to baptize Them, and brought Them to me in The Chapel.
“ Such pains could not be otherwise than Infinitely agreeable to me. For this was a first Step ‘toward dispelling from the minds of the people all The erroneous Impressions that they have of baptism, toward removing aversion, and toward producing The esteem and love that I desired.
“ And Affairs have happened Just As I expected. For, at the invitation of Those mothers to whom I granted — it is true, with difficulty, and with The necessary precautions — The favor that they asked from me, others have given me the same pleasure in [Page 183] regard to Their children; and I shall grant It to them in time. For I have found by experience that Those Whose children are baptized have much more regard for The Missionary, and afterward are better Disposed toward the faith than are the others.
“ These first Beginnings give me great hope, and Fill me With a very lively Joy, — As do also many dealings of providence which I have remarked in connection with the salvation of the adults baptized by me in Their last Illness.
“ But] I must admit that what has Consoled me most during this year, [1673,] has been The death of a Young Warrior, aged 25 years. He was attacked by a disease that caused Him to Languish for a Considerable time, and gave me Leisure to instruct Him gradually. He always listened without repelling me, but also without manifesting What I said to him, [much pleasure at what I said to Him.] — and Like a person who wishes to examine and decide for himself whether what is said to him is reasonable. He remained in This state until, finding that He grew weaker, I Thought it necessary to press Him still more, — in such manner, however, that I forced Him gently, by simply representing to him The importance of the truths that I taught him in Accordance with his own Intellect, to ask me of His own accord for baptism. In fact, He did ask me for It; and I baptized Him with all the greater assurance of his [good] disposition since I had had more time to prepare Him, and knew that he had frequently considered what I had taught Him. He Lived for some days after his baptism, his disease not appearing to make any perceptible progress. I myself fell into a state of weakness that compelled me to take to my bed, [remain prostrate [Page 185] on my Mat,] in order to have some slight repose and restore my strength. But, on The very day when I tried to do so, my patient felt much worse than usual; and, having no doubt that it was The last day of his life, he sent at g o’clock in the morning to beg me to come and visit Him in his Cabin. I proceeded thither Forthwith. He at once told me that he saw very well that death was near, and he begged me to do all that I knew to be necessary to secure his eternal blessedness in Heaven. [as he had a strong hope of obtaining it through me.] I was delighted to see him so well disposed, and Began, as he desired, to repeat to him in brief our principal doctrines, — causing Him to say acts of faith, in the form of prayers, respecting Each one of them. Thereupon I questioned Him as to what he might have Done since his baptism that would be displeasing to God. I also warned him that, if he had not Felt true contrition for his sins Committed previous to his baptism, he was bound to Feel It now; for otherwise his baptism would be of no Avail to Him. He assured me that, before I had Baptized Him, He had felt true sorrow for his sins; and that lie still Felt the same contrition — both for the latter sins, and for such as lie might have committed since his baptism. I then gave him absolution, after Which he begged me not to leave him Until he was dead, to remain always near him, without ceasing to pray or to make Him pray. This I did from g o’clock in the morning until 4 o’clock in the afternoon, when he died. During all that time, if I wished to breathe a little while and take a few moments’ rest, He would at once tell me to begin again. He Greatly Comforted me by such eagerness, which could proceed only from the holy Ghost, Who kept the [Page 187] patient’s attention fixed, in spite of his sickness, upon the prayers that I said aloud on his behalf, since he could no longer say Them Himself. From time to time, he rallied his strength to question me respecting Paradise, in order that I might Confirm Him in His hope of going thither, and that I might add to The Consolation that he derived from it. Toward The end, he felt at times such violent pains, that they betrayed Him into uttering exclamations of impatience; but I checked them at once by telling Him that such Impatience was displeasing to God, and that he must endure The pain that he felt, in order to atone for his past sins. He readily acquiesced, He Felt contrition for his Outburst, and I gave him absolution; after Which he remained quiet Until, death came, without manifesting The slightest sign of impatience, however great might be The pains, Caused by his disease. I closed his eyes, and could not refrain from embracing and kissing Him when I saw Him dead — so great was The joy that I felt, and such my assurance that he would earnestly pray to God for me, as he had promised.” [Page 189]
OF THE MISSIONS OF LA CONCEPTION AND OF ST.
MICHEL AT TSONNONTOUAN.
E have Never performed our duties in greater quiet and with more Freedom than this year. Father Rafeix arrived at La Conception at The end of the month of July; and, a month afterward, I returned to st. Michel whence I had gone forth a year before, — Both because The village had been entirely consumed by fire, and because I alone remained at Tsonnontouan. Here, I have experienced all The Satisfaction that I could hope to obtain from our Christians, — through Their assiduous attendance in The Chapel, night and morning, at prayers, and Their punctuality in coming every Sunday to The instruction that I give Them before Mass; and through The Zeal that several of them manifest in taking The part of The faith when any Irreligious men speak Against it. One
[Father Raffeix has charge of the former, and Father Julien Garnier, who labors In the latter, speaks of both as follows:
“ We have never performed our duties in greater quiet and have never preached the Gospel here with more Freedom than this year. We have been listened to by the infidels more attentively than we could have hoped; and we have derived all the satisfaction that we could expect from our christians. They have displayed very fervent piety by coming to the chapel — not only on sundays and festivals, but also [Page 191] on working-days — with most admirable assiduity and punctuality; and they have manifested their Zeal to no less a degree whenever it was necessary to uphold boldly the faith, when it was assailed by the idolaters.
“ One] day a person said, at a superstitious feast given by himself, that it was The Fear of being reprimanded by me that had kept Him for a long time to his duty. ‘ The Fear of God and of his Punishments should keep thee to it forever,’ said a worthy Christian to Him, who happened to be There; and, As he is well versed in our mysteries, He thereupon gave an excellent instruction to all who were present.
“ That which gives [It] prayer additional Influence is The example of the elders, who are The first to come and pray to God. The Chief of the hurons never Allows an opportunity to pass without exhorting [all the people, but] especially The old men, to embrace The faith in earnest; and were it not for Their persistence in having recourse to superstitious remedies in Their sicknesses, This Church would receive a notable increase in a short time. The, Neutrals and The Onnontioga, two nations who form part of this village [of the village of st. Michel], have at last followed The example of the hurons, and now Generally come to prayers As do the latter [to the Chapel, to pray, and to receive The Instructions that we give Them].
“As there is as yet no Chapel in the village of st. Jacques, which is at least twice as large as that of st. Michel, I am compelled to make up for the deficiency by. Frequently going through The Cabins, — both for the purpose of baptizing The sick children and for Instructing The sick and other adults. I make Them say prayers after [Page 193] The instructions in The Cabins; and afterward many come to me, at st. Michel, to be Instructed and to pray to God in The Chapel. The complaint that Every one has to make when I go to see Them is, that we prefer The hurons to Them; and that, of all The Iroquois villages, theirs is the only one in which no missionary resides. If Your Reverence does us The favor of sending us a third, I expect that he will be well received there. Une is needed there, both for the purpose of effecting the Beginning of a Church, — which cannot very well be done except by a person residing on The spot, — and on account of the many children and adults who die before I hear of Their illness — Consequently without assurance of salvation, because I am not on The spot. However diligent I may be, some always Escape me.
“Since The month of July, 1672, I have baptized 43 children — 29 of whom already Enjoy the happiness that baptism has procured for Them, while several of the others still Linger — and 12 adults, 9 of whom died shortly after Their baptism, Giving me many evidences of their predestination. Besides these, several of the children who were baptized in previous years have died. To some among The adults whom I baptized, The divine mercy manifested itself in a more special manner [especially], for they seemed to offer more resistance to grace. The first was an old man who was greatly attached to all The superstitions of the country, and especially to The chief one, The fulfillment of dreams. God made use of that very attachment to effect his salvation. He granted to the old man — after he had frequently heard of the great master of all Things who is in Heaven, of his mercies toward those who obey Him, and of the punishments that he inflicts upon those who rebel against Him, — [Page 195] a vision of himself as such, in a dream, offering Him his friendship and promising him blessings of all kinds in Heaven. On The following Day, I had no difficulty in convincing him that, if he would listen to The divine Word, God would have pity upon Him. ‘ I doubt no longer,’ said The sick man; ‘ teach me as soon as possible to Know his will, so that I may do It.’
“ Another old man, of the Ouenro nation, whom I had urged for a long while to become a Christian, and who had always repelled me, fell ill [was seized with a dangerous illness]. His wife, who alone could give Him any relief, fell sick also; and, a few days afterward, she died As she had lived, a very good Christian. When that man saw himself thus completely forsaken, he Then Began to listen to The Instructions that I gave him. He no longer had any other Consolation on earth than The hope of Paradise, which ever increased in proportion as he became weary of this life.
“ I conclude with [I must not omit] The baptism of a Young woman, who had been Wasting away for a long time. She was of an excellent disposition, very Innocent, and quite inclined to listen to The instructions that I gave her. But all her relatives, who had a great aversion to The faith, continually pressed her not to listen to me, — telling her that I was deceiving Her, and that in heaven she would find fires instead of the blessings that I led Her to hope for. As the savages have a great respect for Their relatives, and readily believe all that they tell them, This good woman for a long time prayed to God only Conditionally: ‘ If it be true that one is happy in Heaven, o thou who art Its master, have pity on [Page 197] me, and Take me there after my death! ’ After endeavoring for a Long time to remove The suspicions with which they had Inspired Her, I had The Consolation of seeing Her, at The end of her life, thoroughly convinced of the truths of The faith; and with a strong desire to go to Heaven, which caused her to make [she conceived a very ardent desire to go to Heaven, making at the same time] earnest Entreaties to be baptized as soon as possible. When I saw Her animated with such holy dispositions, I granted her request; and, going to see Her on The following day, I heard that she had died shortly after her baptism. I learned at the same time that a Child, who had been wounded with an arrow, was at The point of death. I baptized It, and it died an hour afterward.
“Seven adults and eight children, who were baptized by Father Rafeix and who died shortly after baptism, have increased The number of these elect.
[“It is of the Number of the 43 Children to whom I have administered baptism during the last year; 29 of them already Enjoy The bliss that that sacrament has procured Them, and they will soon be followed by several others, Who still Linger, but cannot live Long. As to The adults, I have baptized only 12, 9 of whom died shortly afterward, leaving me many evidences of their predestination.
“ The 38 persons, both adults and children, baptized by Father Raffeix, the majority of whom died after baptism, have increased The number of These elect.”
Such is a portion of the fruits produced by The labors of These brave Missionaries, who, throughout The Course of The year, sow God’s word with much [Page 199] toil leading a more miserable life than That of the savages themselves. But at harvest time, “ Venientes autem venient Cum exultatione portantes manipulos suos,” they find Their hands at the end of The year Laden with more than 200 Children and over 80 adults baptized, — the majority of whom Enjoy Eternal bliss; for they died after having been cleansed in The sacred waters of baptism.] [Page 201]
Of the mission of the Outaouacs or Algonquins.
HE war that all these tribes wage with The Nadouessi has compelled Them to leave lake superior, and to come and settle on lake Huron, where The peace that they have with The Iroquois procures Them an asylum against their new enemy. It seems to have been the will of Divine providence to gather Them thus together, almost in one spot, and make them less wandering, in order to render it easier for the missionaries to go to them to show Them The Road to heaven. They have done so this year with greater success than in other [previous] years, and with a greater abundance of God’s blessings. They have illumined several new nations with the light of The Gospel, and have baptized over four hundred persons. It is true, this was not done without great opposition on The part of the very persons for whose salvation they labored; but it was also not without many marvels on The part of God, who deigned to favor Their labors with his most extraordinary and most Signal graces.
We divide these missions into four, which are all comprised within A space of over three hundred Leagues.
The first is The mission of sainte Marie du sault. The second is The mission of the Apostles, in The northern part of Lake huron. [Page 203]
The third is that of saint Ignace, to the southwest, on the same Lake.
The fourth is that of saint Francois Xavier, in The great bay des Puants. [Page 205]
OF THE MISSION OF STE. MARIE DU SAULT.
HIS Place, to which The abundance of whitefish Caught there gives considerable importance, daily becomes more beautiful and more comfortable, — especially since the savages apply themselves to planting Indian corn there. This has given them an opportunity of displaying at the same time their piety, by bringing The first-fruits of their corn to The Church; and Their confidence in prayer, by asking Father Gabriel Druillettes, Their pastor, to come and sprinkle Their Fields with holy water and say The usual prayers over them. The Church that has recently been built there, and some fine ornaments sent by Charitable persons, excite Their admiration, and inspire Them with a high opinion of Christianity. They are assiduous in saying Their prayers in the Church, readily listen to The instructions given in it, and take pleasure in chanting beautiful hymns in their Language. They also reflect with joy upon The advantages that they have over all The surrounding nations [all The other tribes] to whom we have preached The Gospel, in being The first to have a building erected in honor of him who has made all. To this joy is added a loving Confidence that they feed in him whom they go frequently to honor in this sacred edifice. In their reasonable fear of being attacked by The Nadouessi, Their enemies, they prefer to Dwell near The Church, rather than in Their own fort [Page 207] They even wished to place Their women and children There for safety, when they went down to Montreal to trade. One of their oldest Captains, named Iskouakite, — who is covered with stars from wounds which he has received either from The Iroquois or from the Nadouessi, — endeavored from time to time to increase that Confidence by His discourses. He did this especially when Father Gabriel Druillettes called the People with his Bell to come to The instruction; for he observed that the Father caused The women and girls to pass inside The palisaded enclosure that surrounds The Church. “They are truly our Fathers,” he said, “These black gowns who protect us and give life to the sault, by receiving our women and children into their house, and by praying for us to Jesus, The God of war. Yes, although The Nadouessi are about to attack us (as we have learned), we place all our confidence in the King of Heaven and earth, whom they preach to us. He alone can protect us; He it is who so frequently cures our diseases; He it is who preserves our Young men from accident When they go to trade or to war. How fortunate we are to be Lodged near The Church Young men, women, and Children, let no one be slow in going to The Prayer.” But It was not without a holy Jealousy, or without a desire to have The same happiness, on the part of the surrounding nations, that this Church was built at the sault; and therefore, in order to satisfy so just a desire, a most suitable spot has been selected on The river of saint françois Xavier, which discharges into The bay des Puants. Already a large Church has been built there, to which The tribes of that quarter will resort from time to time, during the fishing and Hunting season, to be instructed in the truths of Christianity. While these two Edifices were being erected, fervor was [Page 209] increasing among these tribes; and it seems to have been God’s will to reward Their Zeal in asking for Them, by additional Zeal in embracing The faith. The missionaries, who have assembled, according to their Custom, to deliberate upon various Matters connected with these missions, have acknowledged that The savages have Never been better disposed to receive The Gospel than at present [and this will readily be observed in The following memoir]. And assuredly the very open eagerness that they manifest to see Churches built in Their country is an evident proof of this, since nothing seemed to interest Them, and to excite that wish in them, except the true and sincere desire to have a place in which they could pray and be instructed. The savages of The Kichkakoneiak tribe have not been content with that eagerness, or with The joy of seeing that that favor has been granted to Them; but, in addition to that, they have manifested an extreme desire nevermore to move away from the place that has been built for them. The Demon, jealous of the benefit that they would derive from The proximity both of The church and of the Missionaries, seemed to have incited the people of Kaentoton to solicit Them to go and dwell in Their country, — where, Far from there being an edifice dedicated to God, polygamy and Jugglers’ arts seem to have dedicated most of the Cabins to hell, with such insolence do they prevail there. Those instruments of the Demon did everything in Their power to carry out Their design. In the first place, they gave presents to the elders at the sault, who were Their relatives. Then they applied secretly to the chief of the Young men, also giving Him fine presents; they offered Him the choice of any one of Their girls for his second wife, and finally promised to make Him the chief of Their warriors. All these allurements might have caused a [Page 211] savage less faithful than he to succumb. But He, in order to confound all Their designs once for all, and to free himself from Their importunities, went into The church to pray to God; then he informed Father Gabriel Druillettes of what was going on, and assured Him that he was resolved not to give up either The Church, or The opportunity of obtaining instruction; At the same time, he related to Him The favors that those of his country had received by means of prayer, and The accidents that had happened to those who had slighted It. The people of Kaentoton, however, made a final effort, and endeavored in a council to bribe publicly him whom they could not corrupt in secret. They displayed The presents that Their chief sent to The Kichkakoneiak tribe to attract Them; and then, addressing Him in particular, they placed two porcelain Collars at his feet, and said to Him: “It is thou whom we desire.” Thereupon his Father spoke for Him, and said to those of Kaentoton: “Know, my brothers and nephews, that even if my son and all my kindred wished to go whither you desire them, and to move out of sight of The Church, I could only Be dragged thither; and I would weep in advance over The loss of those who would attract us thither, as a father weeps when he sees his children carried away by The enemy and taken into Captivity.” He continued to speak to Them thus, in an Eloquent manner, to persuade Them to cease from Importuning his People. Finally his son brought The whole matter to a conclusion, opposing craft To craft. He represented to Them that, as The enemy had killed one of Their relatives, Their honor required that they should avenge that death; and that he was quite ready to accompany Them to war for that purpose. He did This with The design of inducing Them to come themselves and Live near The Church, and to win Them by means of the [Page 213] savages of the saut, whom he would bring to join them on that expedition. They agreed to this; and the have Chief, before his departure, came to The Church to protest, as he had already done at a feast, that he renounced all The superstitions to which, before The Gospel had been preached to them, they had had recourse in going to war, and that he acknowledged Jesus alone as The master of war. So public a protestation, following upon such firmness and fidelity, on the part of one of the principal and most notable men must certainly produce a deep impression on The Mind of the savages, and bring The preaching of The Gospel into good Repute among them. But The Following paragraph will show as, in connection with this matter, something of greater importance, which happened among The Missisakiks.
PARAGRAPH 1ST. OF THE MISSISAKIK MISSION.
E Unite this mission of the Missisakiks to The preceding one of sainte Marie du sault, because it is a sort of dependency thereof, being The nearest to it; and because The same missionary has labored in both of Them.
This tribe, in addition to The plurality of wives and The superstitions that prevail in It, in Common with The others, is The proudest and most arrogant of all in the neighborhood. Nevertheless, Father Gabriel Druillettes, who was sent there, was received by them with all The Kindness of which these barbarians are Capable. Even those who had The greatest number of wives, as well as The most noted Jugglers, were The first to come and pay their respects to Him in Their fashion, as soon as he landed. In addition to this, The two Principal personages among them, whom The rank of Captain of [Page 215] the tribe seemed to imbue with more arrogance and pride, were precisely those who brought The gentleness and humility of The gospel most into favor. One of them, in manifesting to the father The joy that he felt at his coming, spoke out and said: “ I know not, black gown, whether, after thou hadst inveighed so strongly at the sault against plurality of wives, thou wilt look upon me with a favorable eye. I come in advance to assure thee that I have not long been involved in that misfortune; my Bonds have not yet acquired such strength that I cannot break Them, as soon as thou wilt have erected a small Church here. My children are already baptized; I love Them, and that is why I wish to see Them in heaven, where those who pray see one another forever. Take Courage; visit all The Cabins; instruct my uncles, my brothers, and my nephews, and baptize The children.” The other Captain was not less demonstrative; he even went further, for he gave a present to the same father and begged Him to return on The following Day to instruct all his Young men, whom he would gather together expressly for the purpose, with the assurance that not one would resist Him. “ I have already spoken to Them by my example,” he said; “ and I have sent away a second wife, whom I had taken out of consideration for my deceased brother, to whom she belonged. ”
These beginnings were followed by the baptism of twenty-three persons. Among them a dying woman, whom a bloody flux had exhausted, made herself remarkable. “ I found in her ” (says Father Gabriel Druillettes) “such ardor to receive baptism, such resignation to death, — notwithstanding that [Page 217] she Left four little orphan children, and that she was in the flower of her age, — and, above all, such innocence and such sincerity in baring her past life to me When I prepared Her for baptism, that it seemed as if God had chosen Her especially for heaven.” Besides those who received baptism, many others asked for It; and, when they could not obtain It as yet for themselves, they entreated that It might be granted to Their children. The fervor of twenty adults, who alone composed this Church before The Father went there, no doubt had obtained from God these effects of His grace for The rest. Among other things, The accuracy with which they examined themselves for confession and The sincerity with which they revealed all The secrets of Their Consciences, even outside of that sacrament, gave great comfort to The Father. It also made Him recognize and admire The finger of God, who alone had preserved The true spirit of Christianity in Their hearts, although The majority of them had not seen a missionary for a Long time. He was no less comforted When, on being compelled to leave this mission, The Captains and elders earnestly begged Him to return in the spring to continue instructing Them.
PARAGRAPH 2ND. OF SOME MARVELS THAT GOD
WROUGHT AT STE. MARIE DU SAULT.
LL these tribes, who are chiefly guided by The senses, needed that God should instruct Them in a sensible mariner, — not only by The preaching of the missionaries, but also by The sight of some effect beyond the usual course of nature. The truths of The Gospel would have been too weak had they [Page 219] rested solely would not have appeared admissible to Them on reason and common sense. As study and refinement are wanting in Them, something of a grosser and more palpable nature was needed to produce an impression on Their minds. Although there be among them minds as capable of understanding the sciences as are those of Europeans, nevertheless Their training and The necessity of Seeking Their livelihood have reduced Them to such a condition that all Their reasoning does not go beyond what relates to The health of Their bodies, The success of Their Hunting and fishing, and good fortune in trade and in war. And all these Things are, As it were, so many axioms from which they draw all Their conclusions, — not only as regards Their residence, occupations, and manner of Acting, but even as regards Their superstitions and divinities. Thus it is a proof that God really wills that these poor people, who are Blind and the slaves of the senses, should be brought to know him, since he deigns for so many years to exert His almighty power in curing the sick and performing other similar marvels, to give Them evidences of the truth of The Gospel adapted to Their intelligences. This is what he has done this year, as well as in previous ones. We have Selected only some of those marvels, Leaving out a great many others to avoid being too Diffuse.
A Band of Chichigoueks, consisting of ten or twelve warriors, had taken care to go and be instructed at the sault, and to ask The blessing of the God of hosts, previous to Their leaving to wage war against the Nadouessi, Their enemies. God so blessed Their undertaking that, after embarking in three Canoes, [Page 221] they not only took thirteen Scalps from Their enemies and brought away two little girls as Captives; but when, on Their return, they were met by seven hostile canoes, which surrounded Them and discharged Their arrows at them for a Long time, they suffered not the slightest injury, and not one of them was even wounded. When They returned they themselves related the marvel, and came to give thanks to God for that favor. Their wives and children manifested Their piety and Zeal by bringing The two little Captive girls to The Church on The following Day, and teaching Them to pray to God and make The sign of The cross. The Captain of this band — who is called Kamichisitit, because he has more toes than the Generality of men — testified that it was nothing new for Him to observe some marvelous effect of prayer. “ My son ” (he said) “ was afflicted with retention of urine, without hope of a remedy; this he found nevertheless in The prayer that Father Gabriel Druillettes made Him say. That has since compelled me to cease to have recourse to the sun or to dreams, and to pray only to the great spirit, the master of men and The lord of war. It is from him that I expected all aid in The expedition that I undertook; to him I offered last winter The heads of all the animals on which I feasted; finally, it is He who, on The day on which I killed those foes, made me say to my Young men in The morning that we should arrive at noon at the Spot where the Combat was to take place.”
Many others have experienced a similar extraordinary protection on the part of God, especially in The extremity to which disease had reduced Them. In this, God has displayed wonderful condescension [Page 223] toward our savages, in being pleased to cure Their diseases through prayer, while they remained stubborn unto folly in the error that prayer caused The sick to die. A widow, who saw her son afflicted for a Long time with continued fever, complicated with dysentery and looseness of the bowels, which placed Him beyond the hope of all remedy, resolved to carry Him herself on her shoulders to The Church, from a Far distance. When she arrived there, it was a pleasure to hear her say to our Lord with as much Confidence as Simplicity: “ Jesus, you are The only one who can do all things. Last summer, I was abandoned to concubinage; I was about to die, very Far from The Church. I had recourse to your goodness, and all at once I found myself cured. Last autumn, my eldest daughter was afflicted with a sore Leg, to such an extent that she could not walk. After The black gown had given Her The stick that he used, you cured Her so completely that she has since walked quite Freely, without feeling any inconvenience. Have pity on my son, whom I bring here from a great distance. I am resolved not to yield to the solicitations of a relative of my deceased husband, who wishes me to be his second wife. Besides that, I promise you that all my children shall believe in you.” When she had spoken those words, Father Gabriel Druillettes made The sick boy pray, and swallow some holy water. On The Morrow, all were astonished at seeing the Young Child go to Church with his mother, to thank God for curing him.
The Zeal of a good old man in causing The cross to be honored, was rewarded in the same manner as The faith of that good woman. Among many sick [Page 225] persons, — who, after praying in The Church, some for three and others for Five days, returned thanks to God for the recovery of their health, — was an elder, a man of note of the Kichkakoneiak tribe, named Agouabami. He could find no remedy for a severe renal disease, accompanied by fever, which kept Him confined to his Bed, without being able to do anything. He had recourse to holy water, which was applied to The affected part by making The sign of The cross. Some time afterward, he observed that some stakes were missing around The cross that had been planted at the sault; and that this was the cause of its not being sufficiently respected. He exhorted his Young men to make the repairs, whereupon, feeling himself cured, he entered The Church with deep feelings of gratitude, to thank God who had so well repaid Him in advance for the slight service that he had rendered Him. It is certainly an admirable thing to see that God does not disdain The little that these barbarians do for Him, and that for The least prayer they say, or the slightest service they render unto Him, he shows himself so Liberal toward Them in The most marvelous effects of his almightiness. He does this with such kindness and profusion that frequently a single family enjoys several of these extraordinary favors. This may be observed in some of the foregoing examples, to which we shall add one only, in which this is more strikingly manifested.
While Father Gabriel Druillettes is making his usual visit Along the lower part of the river on Which The Kichkakoneiak tribe have erected their cabins, to within a league of the sault, he learns that a Young man, the son of one who has long been a [Page 227] Christian, named Messiben, has suddenly been seized with so violent an illness that he has lost consciousness, and is at the point of death. He hastens thither at once, with The sister of the dying man; he prays to God with her for the poor Young man, who, being unable to speak, makes signs that he understands The Father and wishes to be baptized before his death. The Father instructs Him as far as circumstances permit, baptizes Him, and returns to the sault, in order to be able to say mass there for the christians on The Morrow. He had no hope of seeing his sick man again alive; but, contrary to his expectation, he saw Him on The following Day, in The Church, returning thanks to God for the recovery of his health, and heard him proclaim aloud that baptism, far from causing death, gives life. Doubtless, it was this favor that gave The Father of that Young man strength to resist the solicitations of all his kindred and friends, who urged Him to move away from The Church and go to dwell at Kaentoton, where Polygamy and jugglery corrupt The few Neophytes who are there. During the following week, a girl whom this same man had adopted was reduced to such extremity that Father Gabriel Druillettes found Her in the middle of the road, where her relatives had Abandoned Her, as a sick person whose recovery is despaired of. The Father approaches her, but the relatives repel Him, and say: “ Thou callest to her in vain, she is dead; a dead person has no ears.” The Father prays for her and sprinkles holy water on Her, which is all that he can do for the Moment. Shortly afterward, he once more passes that way, and finds Her cured, and resolved to be instructed and baptized. Subsequently, [Page 229] she refused an infidel who had given great presents to obtain Her for his second wife. This cure gave another member of the same family an opportunity of relating that, in The previous autumn, pleurisy, pain in the Legs, and almost total blindness had caused Him to despair of ever regaining his health; but that his little children had obtained it for him, through the prayer that [The] Father Gabriel Dreuillettes had made them say. From that time, one of his two children, aged three years, prays to God of his own accord, and is the first to urge his parents to pray.
This Liberality on the part of God toward these barbarians, in making several members of the same family experience The extraordinary effects of his almighty power, he accompanies with an admirable tenderness in preserving what is most Dear to them. The savages are passionately fond of Their little children, and God has seemed to take a special care of that tender age by preserving it from death, to Which it is very liable among these nations. In fact, some old people have made the remark that since Christianity has been embraced by The Kichkakoneiak tribe, The children hardly ever die; and for nearly a year only two have been still-born, as a punishment to their mothers, who would not give up concubinage. Moreover, a savage of the sault, who counted The number of children that had died, found that they were The children of those who were addicted to polygamy, or of Their nearest relatives. Those persons themselves have complained of it; and God has willed that his own foes should bear testimony to his special protection of The christians. “Prayer,” said they, “injures us at the same time that [Page 231] it serves those who embrace It. Before this black gown reproved us for having several wives, did our children die as they do now? It is assuredly he who is the cause of their death.” Things came to such a pass that it was necessary to refute this publicly, and to make Them understand that he who is the master of health and of sickness, of life and of death, takes special cure of those who serve him, and neglects those who neglect Him, — or even punishes them by The loss of what they hold most dear. Besides all these marvels, there are many others, of all kinds, which we pass over. For God has made these poor people experience his goodness not only in The cure of Their sick, or in The preservation of Their children, but has also extended It to all their necessities, which he has relieved in a marvelous manner by means of prayer. For Some have been succored in The extremity of hunger; others have obtained a happy and extraordinary success in Hunting; others (besides those whom we have mentioned) have been preserved, as by a miracle, in their warlike expeditions; finally, others who have been in manifest danger of perishing, in the waters or under the ice, have been saved contrary to all Their expectations, and contrary to the usual course of Events. The effect produced upon The minds of these savages by those marvels has been great. Prayer has gained more favor with them than Ever. The number of the baptized has been over one hundred souls, among Whom are several adults. Finally, [The number of the baptized was over one Hundred souls That year, 1673. In subsequent years It has been greater still; and the last time that Father Druillettes wintered with his savages of the sault, and while on his way down Here, He Alone baptized as Many as 84 persons.][x] [Page 233] Several jugglers, touched by God, have renounced their superstitions, The vanity and uselessness whereof they have publicly declared, — testifying, on the contrary, to The power of prayer, whose favorable effects they have seen and experienced. It must not be imagined, however, that God has granted this success to The preaching of The gospel without making the missionaries pay very dearly for It; and, if he has given them that consolation of seeing such considerable results from Their hardships, he has willed that these same hardships should not be slight, and even that they should be accompanied by this danger[s]. Father Henry nouvel, who has greatly contributed to the conversion of these infidels, nearly Lost His life. His intrepidity alone saved him and caused the hatchet to drop from the hands of a juggler whom he had opposed, — who had seized it in his fury, and had Raised it three times to strike Him. The same Father also nearly perished in The water on two occasions. The first was while crossing The cave called saint Joseph’s, where he struggled a Long time for life against The waves, which at every moment seemed about to swallow him. His recourse to the chaste spouse of Mary, whose name is borne by this spot, saved Him from that accident, contrary to his expectation. On another occasion, when he was returning from baptizing two children who were in danger of death, and had embarked imprudently (as it seemed at first), he was surprised very far from the shore by a furious storm. He was so pressed on all sides by the winds, Rain, and thunder that, finding Himself deprived of all human aid, he had recourse to divine assistance, which favored Him more than he thought it would; for, after making a [Page 235] vow to The holy family, he finally with great difficulty landed at the Spot whence he had started; and there he found that The lightning had struck down the trees over an extent of more than an arpent. It was God’s will to show Him that he had caused Him to escape from one danger by exposing Him to another, in order to save Him in the end from both at the same time. [Page 237]
OF THE MISSION OF THE APOSTLES ON LAKE HURON.
HIS mission, which in previous years afforded much consolation to the missionaries, through God’s special providence, has this year yielded almost nothing but thorns and difficulties for Father Bailloquet, who has charge of it. The cause of this has been The malice of some old men, who were attached to Their errors in a manner all the more Criminal since they have had more occasion to abandon Them, and to submit to the truths of The Gospel, because we have preached to them for many years. Those wretches, who have great authority over The Young men, have corrupted nearly all of Them, although a portion had already embraced Christianity. The little esteem that they have for The Gospel, or, rather, Their desire to send away from them Father Bailloquet, — who, according to saint Paul’s advice, preached to Them even out of season, — led Them to make use of the pretext, that it was the children who should pray to God, and they reproached Him with not attending to this. “ The time,” they said, “ that thou spendest in instructing us would be better employed in instructing The Young people. ” Thus did they contradict themselves, manifesting on the one hand a desire to have Their children pray, and, on the other, themselves bringing Them up in Their superstitions. It is impossible to conceive with what pain a missionary [Page 239] sees those whom he has taught become thus perverted. The Father has witnessed This but too often, to his deep regret; and it has nearly cost Him His life, because he could not see It without Zealously resisting it, — a juggler, on one occasion, having Raised his hatchet to strike him. He has often had disputes with them on similar subjects; and although he has obtained no other result than to be scorned and ignominiously driven from the Cabins, he has nevertheless continued to preach The Gospel to Them again, — sometimes at The door of the Cabins, sometimes from an elevated spot whence several Cabins could hear Him, sometimes at The feasts where he found them all assembled. But everywhere he encountered only threats of blows, insults, and commands to be silent, to leave them, and to go and preach to others. Meekness served him no more than severity, and Their fatal attachment to their superstitions caused all The means land all The holy skill which he employed to be of no avail. He was even at last excluded from the feasts, because he was accustomed to repeat aloud a prayer formally opposed to the secret and Hidden design that the giver of the feast among them usually has, of giving food to the Sun, or to some other false divinity.
All these difficulties and this scorn of prayer and of the Missionary increase still more The constancy of those who, in spite of such obstacles, openly profess Christianity. There are some who prefer not to be present at feasts where Their age and authority would lead Them to expect the first place and the choicest morsels, rather than run the risk of eating Something consecrated to another than him who has made all, or of seeming themselves to sanction This [Page 241] by Their presence. A woman among them prefers to do her own Cooking [to prepare her meal] apart, rather than eat of what is eaten by all in The Cabin, because she knows that The master of it has given It to the Devil. Another has gone still further; she has sought safety for her faith in solitude, and withdrawn into a Cabin entirely separate from the village. She took for a companion only a little girl, six years old, who will be her sole comfort in The woods, even during The winter. And in order not to Conceal her purpose in performing so courageous an action, she loudly declared that she would no longer be present at any of Those assemblies which the people of her country rendered abominable by Their superstitions. This fervent Christian is quite accustomed to such actions. This year she undertook a rather long journey from Nipissing to the sault, to Seek a black gown; but as she found One at this place, among the Amikoueks, she remained here. She added devotion and Zeal to fervor, For she placed herself at a spot close enough to The little Chapel to allow her to have The consolation of taking to It Those women and girls in whom she discerned An inclination for prayer, so as to instruct Them and make them pray. This she does regularly and joyfully, and even with such prudence and discretion that she Offends none of the distorted Minds of that tribe. Moreover, she knows so well how to regulate her conduct that The Most slanderous Tongues, far from finding fault with what she does, render Her the homage that she does honor to prayer. She receives more visits from all, in her retreat, than if she were in The village; and it seems to have been God’s will to reward Her, even in this world, by abundantly [Page 243] requiting Her for what she has abandoned for love of him. This well-known virtue — the first rudiments of which she formerly obtained at The ursuline mothers’ in Quebecq, where she resided — has not prevented Her from experiencing many attacks against the fidelity that she owed to God and to her baptism; but she has resisted them with a constancy equal to all her other virtues. Here is one instance among others, this year, in which she manifested at the same time her courage, and her indifference to the good things of earth. One of her friends offered Her ten beaver-skins For two Otter-skins, which, the friend said, she greatly needed. But our Christian penetrated That woman’s design, and concluded that she either had dreamed of the two Otter-skins, or considered herself obliged to give Them to some other person who had dreamed of Them. She refused to give Them to her, without heeding either the considerable profit that she might have made, or The friendship that she had contracted with that person, or even The relationship that existed between them. Another Christian woman displayed similar courage, this year, in resisting her son’s entreaties to Allow herself to be treated by a juggler during her illness. And even when The Juggler slipped into her Cabin, and tried to persuade her to permit that he should do to her what no one among them ever refused, not only would she not yield to Him, but she even said .all that she could to Him to induce Him to give up his trade. The same woman one day heard her son reproaching Father Bailloquet, — saying chat, while he himself could not cure his mother, he prevented another from curing Her. She Raised herself into a sitting posture, although she was very sick; and [Page 245] speaking aloud, she said to Him: “ Must my own son cast reproaches upon him who takes such care of me? If the black gown cannot cure me with his remedies, dost thou wish The Juggler to be able to do so with his grimaces? Art thou sorry that I pray? Ah, how I would like thee to have the same happiness! I am now Useless to thee; but, for my part, I am content to die praying.” On entering The Chapel, one day, she expressed a desire that holy water should be there; and from that time, Whenever she finds any, she prays aloud to God, — in the first place for her sins, and secondly for The sins of those who slander her reputation, and by Their calumnies do everything they can imagine to compel Her to abandon prayer. [Page 247]
OF THE MISSION OF ST. IGNACE AMONG THE TION-
ATHER Marquette, who has charge of this mission, Writes the following, in the form of a Letter to Reverend Father Dablon, superior of the missions of the Society of Jesus in new france.
Y REVEREND FATHER,
The Hurons called Tionnontateronnons, or The tobacco nation, who compose The mission of saint Ignace at Michilimakinang, Began last summer a fort near The Chapel, in Which all Their Cabins were enclosed. They have been more assiduous at prayer, have listened more willingly to The instructions that I gave Them, and have acceded to my requests for preventing grave misconduct and Their abominable Customs. One must have patience with savage Minds who have no other Knowledge than of the Devil, whose slaves they and all Their forefathers have been; and they frequently relapse into those sins in Which they have been reared. God alone can give firmness to Their fickle minds, and place and maintain Them in grace, and touch Their Hearts while we stammer into Their ears.
This year, the Tionnontateronnons were here to the number of three hundred and eighty souls, and they were joined by over sixty souls of the Outaouasinagaux. [Page 249] Some of the latter carne from The mission of Saint français Xavier, where Reverend Father André[xi] spent last winter with them; and they appeared to me to be very different from what they were when I saw them at The point of saint Esprit. The Zeal and patience of that Father have won over to The faith hearts which seemed to us to be very averse to it. They desire to be Christians, they bring Their children to the Chapel to be baptized, and they are very assiduous in attending prayers.
Last Summer, when I was obliged to go to sainte Marie du sault with Reverend Father Alloués, The hurons came to The Chapel during my absence, as assiduously as if I had been there, and The girls Sang the hymns that they knew. They counted The days that passed after my departure, and continually asked when I was to return. I was absent only fourteen days; and, on my arrival, all proceeded to the Chapel, to which many came expressly from their Fields, although these were very far away.
I cheerfully attended Their feasts of Squashes, at which I instructed them and called upon Them to thank God, who gave them food in abundance while other tribes, who had not yet embraced Christianity, had great difficulty in preserving themselves from hunger. I cast ridicule on Their dreams, and encouraged those who had been baptized to acknowledge him whose Adopted children they were. Those who gave feasts, although still Idolaters, spoke most honorably of Christianity, and they were not ashamed to make The sign of The Cross before every one. Some Young men, against whom jests had been [Page 251] directed to prevent Them from doing so, made It in The largest meetings, even when I was not present.
Some Christian Hurons who came up from Quebecq and Montreal declared, at the outset, that they would not attend meetings wherein God was offended; that if they were invited to feasts, they would follow The Custom of the Christians. They placed themselves on my side when I was able to be present, and maintained Their Freedom when I was absent.
A savage of Note among The Hurons invited me to his feast, at which The Chiefs were present. After calling each of Them by name, he told Them that he wished to state his intention to Them, so that All might know It, — namely, that he was a Christian; that he renounced the God of dreams, and all Their Dances replete with lasciviousness; that The black gown was the master of the [his] Cabin; and that he would not abandon that resolution, whatever might happen. I felt pleasure in hearing Him, and at the same time [afterward] I spoke more strongly than I had hitherto done, — telling Them that I had no other design than to place Them on The Road to Paradise; that that was The sole abject that detained me with them, and compelled me to assist Them at the risk of my life. As soon as anything has been said at a meeting, It is at once spread [immediately] among all The Cabins. This I soon recognized [This is recognized] through The assiduity of some at prayers, and through The malice of others, who endeavor to render our instructions useless.
1 had given a present to one of the nephews of a Chief who died last year in The woods. Five other tribes were assembled at that Council, and I was given a present of a [Page 253] large Porcelain Collar in answer to what I had said — that I purposed to strengthen Christianity among the hurons, which seemed as yet only Beginning. That man and all his kindred made a declaration, and said that I alone should govern their Cabin. As regards those with whom I am not Satisfied, if I manifest by a single Word that lam not pleased with Them, they at once come of their own accord and bring the inmates of their Cabin to prayer. I trust that what they do through respect and through Fear will one day be done through love, and with the desire of being saved.
Over two Hundred souls left last autumn for The Chase; those who remained here asked me what dances 1 prohibited. I replied in the first Place that I would not permit those which God Forbids, such As indecent Ones; that, as regards The others, I would decide about them when I had seen Them. Every dance has its own name; but I did not find any harm in any of them, except that called “The bear dance.” A woman who became impatient in her illness, in order to satisfy both her God and her Imagination, caused twenty women to be invited. They were Covered with bearskins and wore fine porcelain Collars; They growled like Bears; they ate and pretended to Hide Like bears. Meanwhile, The sick woman danced, and from time to time told them to throw oil on the fire, with Certain superstitious observances. The men who acted as Singers had great difficulty in carrying out The sick woman’s design, not having as yet heard similar airs, for That dance was not in vogue among The Tionnontateronnons. I availed myself of this fact to dissuade Them from the dance. I did not forbid others which are of no importance; for I considered that my winter’s sojourn among them had been profitable, — inasmuch as, with God’s grace, 1 had put a stop to The usual indecencies and exposure of [Page 255] the naked person. This all The Chiefs have resolved no longer to permit, and I have urged Them to it in The large assemblies. But we must always distrust the devils ambushes, and Their great inconstancy, I tried to induce some huron women not to be present at any of those dances, which generally lasted a good part of The day; but they told me that they had only that time in which to divert themselves, and that, Moreover, I did not forbid Them to Dance. Others did not go there at all, for fear of offending God.
Although the winter was severe, it did not prevent The savages from coming to The Chapel. Many came [proceeded] thither twice a day, however windy and cold it might be. In The autumn, I began to give instructions for [to Some to make] general confession [of Their whole lives]; and to prepare others, who had not confessed since Their baptism, to do the same. I would not have believed that savages could render so exact an account of all Their lives. They begged me not to give them absolution until they had said all. Some savage women spent more than a fortnight in examining themselves; and when at last they asked me to give Them absolution, they said that they would come and tell me what they could remember not having confessed. From that time they, as well as many others, seemed greatly Changed, not attending the dances, or else coming first to ask me what they should do. Some who were importuned by the principal men of the village to go through The Cabins to ask what they wished, would not do so without speaking to me about it; and although 1 had permitted Them, one of them would not do so. [that had occurred during The whole Course of Their lives. There were also some who spent more than a fortnight in examining themselves. I found Them [Page 257] greatly changed from that time, — so much so that, one day, they would not attend the usual feasts without first asking My permission.]
As The savages have Vivid imaginations, they are often Cured of Their sickness When They are granted what they desire. Their medicine-men, who know nothing about Their diseases, propose a number of Things to Them for which they might have a desire. Sometimes The sick person mentions It, and they fail not to give it to him. But many, during the winter, Fearing that it might be A sin, always replied with constancy that they desired nothing, and that they would do whatever The black gown told Them.
1 did not fail during The autumn to go and visit them in Their Fields where I instructed Them and made Them pray to God, and told Them what they had to do. I also made frequent and regular visits to them, — especially those who, owing to their advanced age, could not come to The Chapel. A Blind woman, who had formerly been instructed by Reverend Father Brébeuf, had not during all those years forgotten her prayers; she daily prayed to God that she might not die without grace, and I admired her sentiments. Other aged women, to whom I spoke of hell, shuddered at it, and told me that they had had no sense in Their former country, but that they had not committed so many sins since they had been instructed.
Since there was as yet no Bell for the chapel, I went to notify Them on The vigils of all the feasts. When time permitted, I delivered a short discourse to Them, in which I always included what they were obliged to believe, and The principal things from which they should abstain. 1 also seized The opportunity to speak to some of them in private, to inculcate what I considered most necessary to Them. [Page 259]
I baptized [this year] twenty-eight children. One of them, who left sainte Marie du sault without being baptized [having received that sacrament], — as Reverend Father henry Nouvel had written to me, in order that I might attend to it, — fell ill without my knowing of it. But God permitted that, while I was instructing in my Cabin two savages of note and of intelligence, they asked me whether such and such .a Child who was very ill was baptized. I proceeded thither at once, baptized It [administered baptism to It], and it died The following night. Others [children] have also died, who [and] have gone to Paradise. Such are the consolations that God sends us, and that make us consider our life the more blessed, the more wretched it is.
1 also baptized two Adults, one of whom, a woman, had come for over a year to be instructed. I had always put Her of until at last, when I saw that she was fully resolved to serve God, I baptized Her, on The day of The annunciation. She does not fail to come, as a rule, three times a day to the Chapel, where she remains longer than the others to finish her prayers.
God has aided in a special manner The Hurons who went to Hunt; for he Led Them to places where they killed a great number of bears, Stags, Beavers, and Wildcats. Several bands failed not to observe the directions that I had given Them respecting prayers. Dream, to which they formerly had recourse, were looked upon as Illusions; and, if they happened to dream of bears, they did not Kill any on account of that; on the contrary, after they had had recourse to prayer, God gave them what they desired. This, my Reverend Father, is all that I can Write to Your Reverence respecting this mission, where men’s minds are more gentle, more tractable, and better [Page 261] disposed to receive The instructions that are given them than in any other Place. Meanwhile, I am preparing to Leave It in The hands of another missionary, to go by Your Reverence’s order and Seek toward The south sea new nations that are unknown to us, to teach Them to know our great God, of whom they have hitherto been Ignorant. [Page 263]
OF THE MISSION OF ST. FRANCOIS XAVIER IN THE
GREAT BAY DES PUANTS.
HE following is what Fathers Louis André and Claude Alloues, who labor there, themselves Write of it; it has been divided into several articles, according to The various places wherein they have labored, or the various Matters about which they have written.
ARTICLE I ST. OF THE CHOUSKOUABIKA MISSION.
Y REVEREND FATHER,
The fire that broke out in my Cabin on The twenty-second of december of The year 1672 has, by burning my Writing case and journal, deprived me of The means of writing accurately of the most remarkable things that have occurred in connection with Christianity in The bay of saint Xavier, of which I was given charge by Reverend Father Nouvel some months ago. I took possession, of it, as it were, on The 16th of november of East year, — on Which day I arrived at Chouskouabika, and stopped there to procure a supply of herrings for my subsistence during the winter. The fishing had begun some days previously, and was very abundant. The savages begged me to speak to God that it might last for a long time; and they promised me to come and pray to God in my Chapel when The fishing should be over, at which time they would have leisure to come to me. I had no desire to make them pray to God in their Cabins, because [Page 265] these were so littered with nets, and so full of fish, that 1 could hardly enter or kneel in them without inconvenience. But after Considering that the women and girls were constantly occupied in smoking The fish, and the men if preparing The nets, I thought that I must not manifest any reluctance to visit them every day, and to make Them pray to God As they wished. They were not very eager to sell us fish; therefore the french who were with me cast some nets into The water, — more for the purpose of making the savages believe that we would not buy fish from them when they might want to sell some, than with the hope of catching any with old nets all torn, the meshes of which were by far too wide. We had brought Them with us in order to mend them at leisure during The winter, so that they might be of use to us in the spring; but the fire rendered that plan of no avail. When The savages saw that we had several nets and that we fished a little, they begged us to buy Their fish. The women, girls, and children brought me some, to obtain Something from me. This gave me an opportunity of making them pray to God in the chapel, and of teaching them; but, when the fishing was over and Their provisions secured, The lazy people found that I was too far away from them, and the attendance was not such as I would have desired. God set matters aright by permitting fire to break out in my Cabin, in which I lodged to protect myself from the cold, having made use of the débris of the dwelling to which The savages had set fire shortly before I came to the bay. These débris having been reduced to ashes, I was compelled to erect a Cabin, Like the savages. The Chief first delivered a harangue, saying that they might build a Cabin for me and a house of prayer; this was soon done. I had no great cause to regret The loss that I had experienced; for, on The very same day, I was Comfortably Lodged in [Page 267] a house of straw. This method of building Cabins is The most convenient of all That I have yet seen. Straw is used to The height of a man, and then mats above it. They afford greater protection against cold and smoke than do bark Cabins; and one need fear neither rain nor snow if The mats have the least slope.
This little accident that had happened to us gave an opportunity to those who were not well disposed toward prayer to taunt me, because I caused to be sung that the Devil was a slave, and that I despised him. Several said to me: “Thou hast no sense; thou angerest the Devil too much; he will again set fire to thy Cabin.” The old women especially blamed me greatly because I said that The evil spirit should be neither obeyed nor feared; but 1 gradually disabused Them by showing Them that God was The author of that accident. “He, and not the Devil, has sense; he foresaw that, if I were near you, your children and girls would often come to me to pray. Cold and sloth rendered Them careless and made Them find The Road too Long. ” They were all of my opinion, when experience showed Them The great assiduity of the children and girls at prayer. It has surpassed all my expectations, and I would never have believed that God would have conferred so great a blessing upon this little mission. I call It little because I never had more than seven Cabins, comprising one hundred and sixty persons. This small number occupied me every day, with a result most consoling and instructive for The future, — one which leads me to hope for the salvation of these poor infidels.
I had not intended to baptize any adults, although many asked me for baptism. I promised it to them on one condition, which I thought they could not fulfill;[xii] that was, to know The Pater, the Ave Maria, [Page 269] and the Credo by Heart, in their own Language. I had been with them but a short time when I found myself compelled either to pass for a liar, or to grant baptism to a girl sixteen years of age. She was very assiduous at prayer and not only had a horror of Committing any act of impurity, but even avoided meeting Young men. Her mother, who also asked for baptism, said to me one day: “ Thou art a liar; thou saidst that thou wouldst baptize my daughter when she should know The prayers; and now, when she knows Them, thou dost not baptize Her.” To prove to this woman that I had not lied, I told The girl to say The prayers alone; this she did without omitting a word or syllable. I Thought Then that I could no longer refuse, and that it was a sufficient test, according to The intention of the Council of Trent, for savages to learn in a short time The lord’s prayer, The Angelical salutation, and The apostles’ creed. Experience showed me that one may be lacking in Confidence in The grace of baptism, by being too particular about baptizing adults through fear of future Lapses into sin. That girl was more fervent after baptism than before it. This gave me Courage to baptize The others who knew The prayers, and to feign not to notice, although they made two or three mistakes; and there was not one who did not seem more assiduous at prayer after baptism than before it. This led me to Believe that God dwelt in Their Hearts. I know not whether Frenchwomen would be as diligent in going to mass. It was said at daybreak in the month of february, when the weather was so cold that I had to approach the fire five or six times during mass; and I had some difficulty in saying all The words of The Consecration before The species [Page 271] should freeze, although I had thawed The wine immediately before pronouncing Them. The cold has been extraordinary in this country; on one occasion The Chalice Stuck to my Lips. It may be considered strange that I said mass so early; but I was to a certain extent Compelled to do so, for fear of being interrupted or disturbed by those whom I did not wish to assist thereat, because they were not Fit to do so. I needed no Bell to warn The Christian women; all that was necessary was to say: “ Tomorrow is Sunday.” Many others knew Their prayers very well, and urgently pressed me to baptize them, as well as Their sisters and relatives. They promised me that they would dream no more, pay no Heed to their false divinities, and keep God’s Commandments. But I did not trust them, Because They are taught from The age of four or Five years to blacken Their faces, to fast, and to dream of some false God, being led to believe that thus they will be successful in fishing, Hunting, and war. The women are the Cause of this evil practice, even more than The men; For — in order to save themselves The trouble of preparing Food, or to economize their provisions, or to accustom Their children to eat only at night — they make Them fast like Dogs. They tell Them that then they will dream of The Sturgeon, the bear, or the stag manitou, or of some other similar one, who will make them spear Sturgeons or kill bears; and, if they be not old enough to go out hunting or spearing, they still make them fast, by leading Them to believe that The hunters and spearers will be successful a. they dream. These little children have the most ardent longing to kill some animal or spear a fish; hence, if a dreamer be successful for once, they place all their confidence in dreams. I had some difficulty in [Page 273] persuading them to clean their faces. They told me that it was for God that they fasted; but their attachment to this custom of blackening their faces when they fast did not permit me to doubt of their bad faith. I found no better way of compelling Them to clean their faces than to show them The painting of the Devil, to whom they made themselves similar; and to refuse them entrance into my cabin when they came to me to pray to God. The desire that they had to pray, in order to sing at the end of The prayer, was more powerful than reason. Marriage may serve as a curb upon lewdness, but there is none for dreams. As they advance in years, they become more attached to them, and The old people are more subject to them than the Young ones; and through this they gain credit by saying that The sun or The thunder, or some other false divinity has said this or that [spoken] to Them.
I have not yet mentioned The greatest obstacle to the baptism of the young men. 1t seems to me that I have produced some Effect on The minds of several among them, by making them reflect upon the hunting and the fishing in which the french, and even They themselves, have been successful without having dreamed. But I do not know a single savage who does not place his confidence in dreams when he intend to go to war. There are even very few who do not believe that prayer is injurious to warriors, and who do not address themselves to the Demon whom they believe to be the master of life and of death. “The Nadouessi who pray not” they say, “Killed us last summer, and prayer is the cause of it, for we had prayed,” It was not difficult for me to convict Them of their error, but I do not think that I won over a single man. Not that nearly all those who told me that they prayed not, [Page 275] because they were warriors, only feigned to Believe what I said; but their feasts in honor of the devil were the true interpreters of their Hearts. To show them that they were wrong in blaming prayer, I attributed Their loss to Their idolatry, which was much more criminal than that of the Nadouessi, who had no knowledge of God. Kiogchin, an Oussaki, while on his way to war, passed here with eighteen companions. I did not wish to make Him pray, because he had several wives, and possessed a Stone Idol, — which, however, had not the slightest resemblance to The human form. Still, it was his God; he offered it tobacco to smoke, dedicated his feasts in its honor; adorned It with porcelain, and embellished It with Paint; he kissed and Caressed It and bore It along with pomp, assuming an air of intrepidity when he had It on his back. Some weeks after he had left, one of the most notable men of his tribe wished to pray in our Chapel. At The end of The prayer he Said to God: “Take cure of the warriors.” I told him that I prayed not for them; and that they would be abandoned by God because their Chief carried with him his Stone Idol, in which he placed his Confidence. He was greatly astonished, and asked me if I knew that their warriors would be Killed. I reflected for a moment, so as not to make a rash statement; and then I said to him: “I know not whether God will abandon Them or not; but I think so, because they scorn prayer. Perhaps they will be Killed, but God alone knows what will happen.” I said as much to several other persons, — in consequence of which, having learned of their defeat, they told me that I spoke the truth, and they made my doubtful words pass for a prophecy. Those warriors were surprised while asleep so that not one defended himself. Three took to flight, while The remainder were Killed and put into the Kettle, This accident gave me An opportunity of taunting those who scorn prayer, and who [Page 277] place Their confidence in the Devil. “ Oh, what a pretty captain the Devil is! how bravely our people fought, without striking a blow! Not one had the courage to fire a gun. We are but few frenchmen here, but not one of us would take to flight, even if all the Nadouessy were to attack us. God gives us courage, because in him alone we place all our trust. You address yourselves to his slave, who is worthless, and who deceives you. I despise all The Devils; I preach continually against the them, and not one of them dares to do me any harm. And you say that the devil has power and courage; tell him to kill me, to show that he can do something; tell him that I do nothing but speak ill of him.” When I dwell upon That subject in a firm tone of voice, they beg me to make them pray to God, which I do not always grant.
He who is to be The Chief of the war-party that is preparing to set out against the Nadouessi, importuned me for two months to make Him pray to God, without succeeding in making me yield. He had Impersonated the devil, imitating his voice to make believe that the latter spoke by his mouth; and he had held feasts in his honor. He said that this did not concern God, and that he could counterfeit The devil without despairing of his salvation; that he had always done so before going to war, that no misfortune had ever happened to him, and that he had always made prisoners. I told Him that God had had pity on him because he had always been willing that his daughters should pray; but that there was no Paradise for Him if he died in his sin, and if he did not renounce the demon. Two months passed in this manner, without my being able to make Him admit that no confidence must be reposed in the Demon. Finally he came and said to me: “ It [Page 279] is all over; I renounce the demon; he has no sense. I spit blood.” I said to Him: “ That is what thou hast gained by singing in order to counterfeit The Devil, — yelling all night long, like one in despair. It is not he who has made thee ill, as thou thinkest; but it is God, who wills it so to show thee that The Devil is a vile slave, and that he has no control over men’s lives.” He believed, or feigned to believe, that he should place his trust in God alone; and from that time I made him pray to God, — saying always to the others that I suffered his presence in The Chapel because he protested to me that he renounced the devil, and would never again counterfeit Him, or hold a feast in his honor; and He told Them that he spoke to me in all sincerity. I give this for what it is worth. There was thus much to be said in his favor, that he took care that his daughters should come to The Chapel every day to pray to God, — although I might have made Them say their prayers in Their Cabin, where there were twelve persons who had been baptized, most of them by Reverend Father Alloues.
The Chief of the Soussaki tribe, who engaged if fisticuffs with a frenchman, could never obtain from me what he who is to be the war-chief obtained, — namely, that I should make Him pray to God. He gave me as his reason that he had been made to pray in The Church at the sault, and at Montreal. I told Him that they knew not that he had two wives. This was not his greatest sin. He pretended to be wise, so as to maintain the Demon’s Cause. I had several disputes with him on this subject, The first of which had a good effect upon the others, and The last one upon himself. As I entered his Cabin he [Page 281] showed me The Kettle which was over The fire, and said: “ I am preparing a feast.” “ That is right,” I said to Him; “ God does not forbid feasts.” “ But,” said he, “ I am making it for the devil.” “ I thought,” I returned, “ that thou hadst sense, and that thou wert a Captain; but since a slave governs thee, I see that I have made a mistake. ” He replied that The Devil alone was Captain and had power; that it was He who killed men, that he would kill me some day, and that he had killed Jesus. After Allowing Him to utter his blasphemies, I begged Him to listen to me. This he did, and I instructed Him at length as to how it happened that men died, and why Jesus had been willing to die and come to life again. He manifested no intention of changing his mind, although he repeated to the others what 1 had said. And he did more good than 1; for one of his Cabin told his wife to bring me his two little daughters, that I might baptize Them. She did so, but I deferred granting them that grace until I had observed in both a sincere affection for Christianity. The last dispute that I had with that Chief was beneficial to Him. It had reference to their dreams or idolatrous Fancies; he told me that I did wrong to blame Their Custom. “ It suits us, and Jesus did not tell thee to decry it. We care very little whether it be the devil or God who gives us food. We dream sometimes of one Thing, sometimes of another; and, whatever may appear to us in our sleep, we believe that it is The manitou in whose honor the feast must be given, for he gives us food; he makes us successful in fishing, Hunting, and all our undertakings. Experience shows us that we succeed better than the french; and, if thou wilt shoot at a mark with me, I [Page 283] shall show thee that, through having dreamed, I can shoot better than thou, who hast never dreamed of any manitou.” He laid stress upon the latter point and taunted me. I told Him that I did not act as a Child; that, when I was a Child, I played at that, game with my companions; and that I would show him whether I could shoot if, while he had a gun and I had another, he tried to shoot at me to kill. me. But I added that, as I was a black gown, I did not pride myself upon being a Hunter or a soldier; and that he could address himself to the french if he wished to fight. This reminded him of the Blows that the [a] frenchman had given Him with his fists [some time before]; it put an end to His Chatter, and [it] made him more docile to me, — whereas, previous to that, he would not listen to me. Later, I said to him: “The Devil maliciously deceives you; he makes you place all your confidence in dreams, in order that God may abandon you. The french, who dream not, are masters of iron and of merchandise. Dream of a gun, dream of hatchets, and thou needest not take The trouble to go below if it be dreams that make you succeed. Consider The condition of the french, and thou wilt see that there is not one who is not better Dressed than thou. Thou art a Captain, and thou art quite naked. You value a sack of corn at twelve Beaver-skins, and down below for one Beaver-skin they give you a large one. ” After I had spoken somewhat at length on that subject, ha was compelled to admit that I was right; and from that time he did not try to appear clever. He told me that he had not contradicted me from the bottom of his Heart; and some days afterward he gave a feast, at which he told the Guests that he gave the feast in honor of the great manitou who has made all, and of Jesus his [Page 285] son. Some weeks later, he begged me to baptize his children and all in his Cabin. I granted that favor to his sister, who was 18 years old; to his daughter, who was almost marriageable; to his grandson; and to two others, adult girls, of his Cabin. But he could not induce me to make him pray in the Chapel; because he had taken a second wife, after becoming aware that that was Incompatible with Christianity.
I have had no trouble this year with the savages. None of them have been angry with me because I decried The false divinity of the sun, of thunder, of The bear, of missipissi, of michabous, and of Their dreams [and of other things]; nor because I spoke Against superstitious feasts and Against The Jugglers. They had no objections to Cover themselves before me; and when they were in my Cabin they were very careful to Cover themselves, — and even The children, who, at The end, did not blacken their faces any more in order to dream or to fast. There were even some who fasted without blackening themselves, telling me that they fasted because they thought God would make Them spear fish. I had not yet obtained from those who fasted, as they said, to please God, that they should fast without blackening themselves; but this year some children fasted, as I told them I fasted, by eating only once a day. Several sturgeon and bear feasts were also given, but in a fashion that led me to entertain good hopes for the adults.
Last year I could never induce them to renounce The bear and missipissi [Missipissi, who is, as it were, Their Neptune]; but this year Many have done so. There were some who said to the guests: “ I am putting on the Kettle [preparing a feast] in honor of him who has made all, and not of the other [Missipisissi]. ” Others said: “ I believe in God alone, and [Page 287] renounce all The other manitous; and for that reason I give you a feast. ” Some said: “ I give God a whole sturgeon to eat.” Others again: “ I wish to go to war, and I give you a feast with no other abject than that of making you eat. ” Their usual conduct would be blasphemous if we gave to Their words Their literal meaning. But taking into consideration what they wish to express, and the meaning that Their hearers attach to It in Their minds, we may excuse It. Nevertheless, I endeavor to make them Change their way of speaking, — which is disrespectful to God, but which they consider appropriate, because they use those words when they give a feast in honor of their own false divinities; and they imagine that they are not speaking properly to God if they do not speak to him in that manner. I cannot say that it is my efforts that have made The savages docile during The three months that I passed at Chouskouabika; God accomplished this, through The great numbers of sturgeon that were speared there. For when The savages saw that, without invoking missipissi, they caught more Sturgeon than in all The previous years, and that their neighbors who gave feasts in honor of missipissi [that God of the waters] caught less than Usual, they told me that they would obey me; that they believed that missipissi was worth nothing; that he was a slave; that I was to take Courage, and instruct Their children and girls; that they prayed not, because they knew not The prayers. I showed Them that it was easy to pray by saying ejaculatory prayers; and that it was sufficient that they should listen to me, and kneel when I told Them to do so. They very willingly agreed to this. I see nothing that inspires the savages [Page 289] with a greater desire to pray to God than knowing The prayers, even imperfectly; and for that reason I visit The Cabins every day, except Sunday, to instruct The old people without taxing their minds, and that they may learn a few of the prayers. I observed this year that The old women, whom I was unable last year to induce to come and pray to God in The Chapel, came this year, because they could follow me Word by word as I prayed. As I speak only Algonquin, and as age has impaired Their hearing, it takes Them much more time than it does the children and girls to repeat what I say, although I speak very distinctly. After a three months’ residence, I left Chouskouabika, to the great regret of all [the people], especially of the ten adults whom I had baptized, and of the parents of the nine little children whom I had likewise baptized. All received that sacrament with The rites of The Church, for I had not deemed it advisable to defer The baptism of the adults until our Church should have been in proper condition, because these savages are too wandering; and, to tell The truth, I thought that it was not God’s will that I should leave Chouskouabika without having completed the instruction of The catechumens. For when I received the Letter in Which those who labored for The Church asked The assistance of those who were with me, immediately after Reading It I had an attack of gout in the right knee for a fortnight, which however did not prevent me from attending to my duties as usual.
ARTICLE 2ND.OF THE OUSSOUAMIGOUNG[xiii] MISSION.
ATHER André continues to speak in these terms:] A village of sixteen Cabins had been established a month before at Oussouamigoung. I delayed going there, however, until the first day of Lent, [Page 291] because I thought that I should do better by completing the instruction of The little flock of Chouskouabika. As soon as I arrived at Oussouamigoung, The elders caused a Cabin to be erected for me, and showed me that I would oblige Them by remaining some time with them. They hoped that I would speak to God for them, so that he might give Them Sturgeons; therefore they [earnestly] begged me to undertake that matter. The women also preferred The same request to me [with equally earnest Entreaties]. I told Them that it would be useless for me to pray to God for them, if they continued to give feasts to Missipissi; and that there was a great abundance of sturgeon at Chouskouabika, since the people there no longer gave feasts to Missipissi [that false divinity]. They promised me everywhere that they would speak only to God, and would not invoke Missipissi. I know not whether they kept their promises to me or not. Feasts were frequently given without my having any reason to believe that They were in honor of any other manitou than of him who has made all. They even assured me that The war-feasts were in honor of God, and not, according to Their custom, of the Devil It is quite true that The Devil had his share in them, for there was always Something superstitious connected with them. There was one who Sang all night long of The manitou, for a bear-feast that he gave, to make Known that he was going to war. He told we that he had Impersonated God, and not The Devil. I told Him what was necessary on That point, and that I knew that he was worthless, and had no esteem for payer. He is called “Porceau,” and he is a true hog in his conduct. I reproved The guests for having been present at a diabolical feast; they alleged as their sole excuse that he had stated to them that he was [Page 293] giving a feast to the Manitou, and that they had not taken the trouble to ascertain to which manitou, but had merely eaten what was given Them. It is customary among the savages not to say to which manitou they give the feast, especially when they fear to Offend some one among the Guests, or The black gown, or The french. But The savages generally know which manitou is referred to by him who delivers the harangue before the food is served. I had reason to believe that a very solemn feast had been given in honor of the devil; but after obtaining accurate information, I was told that he who had given the feast had said: “Here are two Kettles full of sturgeon to give food to God, and here are four of corn not to give food to the Devil.” In fine, all The Pouteouatami protested to me that they gave feasts only in honor of God, with the exception of a single person, who was not in that village. But The savages are too great liars to be Believed.
However, I have no reason to doubt The sincerity of the girls. They were so assiduous at prayers that several of them already half knew them; and I believe that I could have baptized many more than at the previous mission, had I been able to remain a month longer at the same Place. But, as I had given my word to Reverend Father Allouez that I would proceed to The house at the Beginning of march, I started from Oussouamigoung on The sixth of the same month, notwithstanding that The gout had attacked me on The previous day. For that Reason, I was compelled, after walking two Leagues, to have myself dragged by a Dog from The mouth of The river to The house. When the elders heard that I was to leave, they came to me and begged me to stay, saying: “Now that all pray, thou leavest us.” This compelled me to promise Them that I would come and instruct Them when they should be assembled at Ouassatinoung. I was sorry to [Page 295] have that village without completing not only The instruction of the girls, but also that of the children; for there were very few who blackened their faces, and those who did so cleaned themselves when I told Them to. The parents themselves made Them remove the black from their faces, after I had shown Them Their superstition, and had made them fear that their children, blackened like The devil, might by displeasing God cause The sturgeon to go away. Even the young men came in The evening to pray — and not to see The girls, who were not admitted to The prayers at that hour; but most of them came with a sincere desire to pray, as far as I could ascertain, hoping that God would give Them sturgeon, and manifesting their belief that their dreams were folly. What served greatly to disabuse Them was The bear-Hunt that took place while I was in The village. All The Young men were in the Field for ten days: they had dreamed of bears; and, according to Their dreams and Their feasts, The Carnage was to be great. They had even already invited The neighbors to prepare to visit Them and eat bear-meat with them; but not one of them was successful, and not a single bear was killed. They could not attribute this to prayer, because the hunters of Chouskouabika had had a very successful Hunt, and The Chief of that party had given a feast, before their departure, in honor of him who has made all, and of Jesus his son; while they, on the contrary, had invoked only The bear, according to Their custom. I often made use of that unsuccessful Hunt to show Them The folly of their fasting in order to dream of bears. I have conceived a little hope, in this mission, of baptizing some Young men, — or, at least, some children who are almost grown up, next year; for I am [Page 297] confident that God will favor The Hunting and The fishing of the Catechumens. Before leaving, I baptized six little children, with The ordinary rites of The Church; this I shall do until I can erect a small Chapel, and have a Cabin for myself apart from the savages. I had some apprehension that The rites of The Church might cause The Adults to be ashamed to submit to baptism; but I experienced The contrary, and have found that it inspires devotion in those who are baptized.
I found occupation as soon as I reached The house. Some days before, many savages had Encamped on The opposite side of The river, a little below us, and had erected a village of eighteen Cabins. The cold weather of the month of march, which has been unusual for this country, did not prevent The children and girls from coming to me to pray to God. They occupied my attention from about ten o’clock until the evening. Those who went Hunting came to pray to God in The Chapel, on The day previous to Their departure. Hardly any blackened themselves, and those who Knew that It displeased me did not came, or else they cleaned their faces in my presence. They were convinced of The folly of Their dreams when The snow was firm enough to bear The Dogs, but not The skenontons.[xiv] There was hardly a Child who did not kill an animal; and because I impressed upon Their minds that it was God who had made The snow, and that they had not even The first idea that Their dream was The Cause of it, they were readily convinced that it was not necessary to dream of the Manitou in order to kill animals; and thy promised me that they would no longer blacken their faces to fast and afterward dream of some manitou. In exchange, I promised Them baptism, for which they have some inclination; and I do not despair of baptizing some, [Page 299] this year or The next. They offered me some children to baptize, but I only baptized one whose mother had prayed since last year; The others had never shown me that they could pass for Catechumens. On the twenty-fourth of march, all The Savages broke camp, and erected their Cabins almost at The entrance of The river, so as not to be Far from the bay of saint Xavier, where abundance of sturgeon had been caught with nets under The ice; and on The following Day, Reverend Father Allouez came here from the village of the Outagami, and enabled me to go into retreat and perform The spiritual exercises.
ARTICLE 3RD.REMARKABLE FACTS CONCERNING THE
RIVER [THAT DISCHARGES INTO THE BAY DES
PUANS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE COVE]:
HE Small quantity of Paper that I have left reminds me of The promise that I made to Your Reverence last year, at The end of one of my Letters, to tell You what might seem to me [I must not forget to tell what seems to me] to be worthy of note in connection with The ebb and flow of our river. It is quite certain that it has its tides like those of the seas, — or, more properly speaking, of the rivers that fall into them. The unusual severity of The winter this year caused me to make an observation that hitherto could not be made. During The month of march I remarked that The highest winter tide is lower than The lowest of all The tides of the other seasons, when neither The bay nor The river is frozen. It was necessary to advance a considerable distance on The river to find water under The ice, which was a foot and a half thick; and The surface of The ice was not higher than The low tides of summer, or The average of both The highest and lowest tides. [Page 301]
I also observed that The volume of water increased in our river during that month, in proportion as The ice in The bay of saint Xavier diminished and broke UP. This cannot be attributed to The greater abundance of water flowing from above, because The tide extended only as far as the foot of the rapid, — which is easily seen at present, but not in summer, when one does not observe [perceive] that there is a rapid, because The lowest tide is generally higher than it. These two observations have troubled me, for I formerly believed that The winds were not the Cause of The tide. Were I permitted to Philosophize, I would argue against those who attribute The formal Cause thereof to rarefaction, special or general. For if The water rarefies and then Condenses, all that great mass of water of the Lake of the Ilinois rises in its vast basin when it rarefies, and falls when it condenses. And, as water always rises as much as it falls, it would follow that, however thick The ice of The bay and of The river might be, they would offer no more resistance than a pipe, — which, however thick it may be, never prevents The water from rising as much as it has fallen, for it does not press against it. And, although it may be said that The ice presses on The water, still it cannot be said that it prevents The water from rising; for, while pressing on The water, it floats on it; and The Ice should be higher than The highest tides of summer and of autumn, or of spring, — or, at least, than The mean tides, which is not the case. Opposite the fole avoine, The ice was three feet thick, — That is, where The bay Begins. But twelve leagues from there, as one approaches the bottom of it and our river, The ice was about a foot and a half thick. Your Reverence knows better [Page 303] than I The Length and Width of The bay, so I shall not speak to You of them. If The cause of the ebb and flow be attributed to the winds, there will not be much difficulty in explaining how it happens that The lowest tides at the periods when there is no ice are higher than The highest tides of winter. For it will be said that The water, impelled by a violent motion, loses its force in proportion as it strikes against ice beneath Which it Flows, and consequently less water runs into The bay. I conclude by informing Your Reverence that the ice in The bay has commenced to break up toward the bottom, and not on the side of The entrance toward The Open water of Lake Ilinois, where The ice was three feet thick. [Page 305]
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL DATA : VOL. LVII
This document consists of extracts from letters written by four of the Fathers to Count de Frontenac, from Ste. Marie du Sault, in the year 1673 — Henri Nouvel, May 29; Jacques Bruyas, June 12; Julien Garnier, July 6; and Jean de Lamberville, September 9. We follow authenticated copies in the Dominion Archives, Department of Agriculture, at Ottawa — their press-mark being “Correspondance Générale, vol. iv., pp. 3-13.” They are also published in the “ Appendice ” to Douniol’s Relation inédites, t. i., pp. 343-348.
After the publication of the Relations ceased, in 1672, manuscript reports of their work were still sent by the missionaries to their superiors, and by the latter summarized for despatch to the officers of the order at Paris and Rome. These documents were, of course, preserved in the archives of the Society.
The Relation of 1672-73 is, upon the title-page, credited to Dablon, then the Quebec superior of his order. But the first draft was from the hand of Jean de Lamberville; Dablon edited it with much freedom, and sent a perfected copy to Europe, retaining the original MS., which is now conserved in the [Page 307] archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal. We reproduce the document, in our series, directly from this original, thus being enabled to publish for the first time the entire manuscript — Lamberville’s draft, and all of Dablon’s corrections, additions, and excisions; the two texts are distinguished by the style of type used (as indicated at the beginning of the document, p. 33). This manner of presentation (which we have not found possible with any other Relation) gives an interesting and unique example of the methods of editing employed by the father superior, and incidentally throws much light on the mental attitude of the missionaries.
The Relation is mainly a compilation from letters received at Quebec from the following workers in the widely-scattered fields of the mission to New France: Pierre Chaumonot, Jacques Bruyas, François Boniface, Pierre Milet, Jean de Lamberville, Étienne Carheil, Julien Garnier, Gabriel Druillettes, Pierre Bailloquet, Jacques Marquette, Louis André, and Claude Jean Allouez. Some of these letters are given entire.
There are known to exist three MSS. of this Relation: (1) The original, in the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal — which is Lamberville’s text, with Dablon’s emendations; (2) “detached duplicates” of the same, with slight variations (compare illustration at p. 36, in the present volume, with our text, as showing the range of variations), also at St. Mary ‘s — which is Lamberville’s text, not corrected by Dablon; (3) one in the domestic archives of the Society — formerly at the Gesù, in Rome. Of this last, Father Martin says, in his Introduction to, Douniol’s Relations inédites, that it accords with the [Page 308] one at Montreal, “save for some slight modifications which concern the style, and some curtailments of little importance.” Possibly there are others, for some of these unpublished Relations, perhaps all were carefully copied at the time by clerical experts connected with the order, and circulated among the Society’s houses in Europe, as edifying reading; such a contemporaneous MS. copy will be used by us in the emendation of Dablon’s Relation of 1676-77, which is to appear in Vol. LX. of our series.
The Relation of 1672-73 remained in MS. form only, until 1861, when two widely-differing versions appeared in print: (1) John Gilmary Shea’s “ Cramoisy series ” of unpublished Relations — No. 13, according to the arbitrary enumeration in the Lenox Catalogue; (2) Douniol’s Relations inédites (edited by Father Felix Martin), t. i., pp. 3-189. It is not certain which was the first publication; but probably they were in the order given. Father Martin’s Introduction to Douniol’s publication is dated at Quebec, November 1, 1860, and the colophon to the Shea edition gives the actual date of his issue as February 6, 1861; it seems probable that Douniol was issued later in the year, because from November to February would hardly be sufficient time to put the two volumes through the press.
Shea appears to have followed Lamberville’s draft, in the main, perhaps directly from the duplicate MS. at Montreal; but he has somewhat modernized the text, improving the capitalization, punctuation, and paragraphing. In the Douniol edition, Father Martin chiefly follows the text as amended by Dablon, also stating that he has, in certain places, used the Roman MS. to correct the Canadian; he also modernizes [Page 309] the document, but with a far greater freedom, as was his habit in regard to others of his numerous publications of old texts. This practice has led Rochemonteix (Jésuits, t. i., p. xxviii) to make the following stricture: “ As for the Relations inédites, it is to be regretted that the editors should have permitted themselves to retouch the style of the original manuscript, and that they did not print the official relations sent to Rome, without making any changes therein.”
In the present publication, we have, as already stated, followed all of the original MS. in St. Mary’s College archives, so far as it exists — Lamberville’s draft, with Dablon’s emendations of every character, Two pages of this MS. are wanting; these we have supplied from the “ detached duplicates, ” also at St. Mary’s, which are mentioned above.
DATA CONCERNING JOHN GILMARY SHEA'S EDITION OF
“RELATION" OF 1672-73.
The volume under consideration is No. 13 of John Gilmary Shea’s ” Cramoisy series ” of rare and unpublished Relations, as numbered in the Lenox Library Catalogue of the Jesuit Relations. The volumes themselves are not numbered in print; but Mr. Lenox was in close touch with Shea in the business of publishing the series, and his choice of numbers may be accepted as probably being Shea’s desire in the matter of enumeration — although some librarians have adopted a numbering more strictly chronological. The Shea series is a nebulous output. The volumes were issued without regard to chronological arrangement: not all of them are Jesuit Relations — several of the twenty-five which compose the set [Page 310] have no place in a collection of documents relating to the order; there is seldom any information vouchsafed, as to where and when,‘the document was obtained; the editing of the MSS, is sometimes most recklessly done, the text being often modernized, and made to suffer from emendations of every character.
The volumes in the series were issued in two sizes, large paper (8vo) and small paper (12mo). In each case it is stated that 100 copies were printed, and this is attested by Shea’s autograph. Whether that means that 200 were printed in all, it is impossible to say.
The collation of this volume is as follows: Relation | de ce qui s’est passé | de plus remarquable | aux Missions des Peres | de la Compagnie de Jesus | en la | Nouvelle France | les annés [sic] 1672 et 1673 | Par le R. P. Claude Dablon Recteur | du College de Quebec & Superieur | des Miffions de la Compagnie de | Jesus en la Nouvelle France. | [Vignette] | A la Nouvelle York, | De la Preffe Cramoify de Jean Marie Shea. | M. D. CCC. LXI. | Avec Permiffion. | pp. v; blank (1); text, 1-219; (1).
On the last page, the following colophon is printed: “ Achevé d’imprimer à Albany, ce 6 Février, 1861, par J. Munfell.”
DATA CONCERNING “ RELATIONS INÉDITES, ” FAMIL-
IARLY KNOWN AS “ DOUNIOL.”
The two volumes edited by Father Felix Martin, and known as Relations inédites, supplement the regular Cramoisy series (Paris: 1632-1673) and are of considerable importance. They form vols. iii. and iv. of the collection published by Charles Douniol, [Page 311] and are entitled: “Voyages et travaux | des | Missionnaires | de la Compagnie de Jésus | publiés | par des Pères de la même Compagnie | pour servir de complément | aux Lettres Édifiantes. | . . . .”
The first volume of Douniol’s collection was edited by M. F. de Montézon, and relates to the “ Mission de Cayenne et de la Guyane Française ” (1 85 7); vol. ii. was edited by Montézon and E. Esteve, and relates to the “ Mission de la Cochinchine et du Tonkin ” (1858).
Father Martin’s volumes are entitled: Mission du Canada | Relations | inédites | de la | Nouvelle-France | (1672-1679) | pour faire suite | aux anciennes Relations | (1615-1672) | Avec deux cartes géographiques | Tome I [II] | [Ornament] | Paris | Charles Douniol, éditeur | Rue de Tournon, 29. | 1861.
Collation: VOL. I. — Titles, 2 ll. ; “ Introduction, ” pp. i.-xxviii.; text, pp. I-338; “ Appendice,” pp. 339-352; “ Table,” pp. 353-356. A folded “ Carte du Canada.” VOL. II. — Titles, 2 ll.; text, pp. 1-330; “ Appendice,” pp. 331-380. “ Table,” pp. 381-384. A facsimile of Marquette’s map. Pages 239, ff. of vol. ii. contain “ Récit des Voyages et des Découvertes du R. P. Jacques Marquette.”
In his Introduction, Father Martin makes the following statement:
We have been fortunate enough to come across a quantity of material which will aid in making up the relations for the succeeding years.
These precious monuments of another age — as well as many others which proceed from the same source, and have the same purpose — had been left at his death by the Jesuit Father Cazot, as a token of his gratitude and as the inheritance of virtue, to the nuns of the Hôtel-Dieu of Quebec, where he breathed his last in 1800. It is from the hands of these virtuous ladies — an order who, for more than two centuries, have even to our day so heroically [Page 312] perpetuated their mission of charity and devotion — that we have received, with religious respect, this precious deposit. These sheets — separate, and long remaining in disorder — at once furnished us a complete whole, the importance of which could be readily appreciated. We found there material for filling one of the regrettable lacunæ and we would have deserved reproach if we had chosen to be the only ones to profit thereby.
After a silence of more than one hundred and eighty years, we are about to give speech again to the apostolic men of that distant epoch. It is their very work which we present to the public, and we do so with confidence. These new Relations are worthy of those which preceded them, and are capable, as we believe, of producing the same blessed results. They number six, and embrace a period of six years, from 1672 to 1679. They are, therefore, six links more in the chain which extends to that epoch.
This work, the same as we found it, bears marks of the most venerable and incontestable authority. It was Father Jean de Lamberville, then missionary to Canada, and Father Vincent Bigot, founder of the Abenaqui Mission near Quebec, who copied the manuscripts which we possess; and the Reverend Father Dablon then superior-general of the Missions of New France, retouched them — making some changes in them, and adding thereto numerous corrections, in his own hand.
The reader will sometimes find repetitions; these might have been eliminated by cutting out or abridging certain passages, but we have preferred to respect the original text, and to give it in all its simplicity, and in its integrity.
It is interesting, in this connection, to refer to Rochemonteix’s strictures, given above.
Copies of the work sell, generally, at prices varying from two to five dollars. O’Callaghan (1882)~ sold for $4; Chadenat, of Paris, priced (1890 and 1895) at 15 and 20 francs, respectively; and Dufossé, of Paris, priced (1 891 and 1896) at 20 and 25 francs respectively. [Page 313]
FACSIMILE OF HANDWRITING OF JEAN DE LAMBEKVILLE, S.J.
rC-la^rnA r---AI_^ <,>___<:-..-.> .e-m.. .-.FACSIMILE OF HANDWRITING OF CLAUDE DABLON, S.J.
Kklected frorn the original MS. of his emendations of De Lamberville’s draft of the Rel~lion of 1672-734...
NOTES TO VOL.
(Figures in parentheses, following the number of note, refer to pages of English text.)
[i] (p. 23). — Regarding the English at Hudson Bay, see vol. xxviii., note 32. Albanel saw them there in June, 1672 (vol. lvi., p, 185).
[ii] (p. 27). — René Robert Cavelier, sieur de la Salle, was born at Rouen, France, in November, 1643. Belonging to a wealthy family, he received a good education, and showed especial proficiency in mathematics. In early youth, he entered the Jesuit order, but did not remain there long enough to become a priest. Leaving the order, he came to Canada in 1666. An elder brother, Jean Cavelier, had become a Sulpitian priest, and he too came to Canada. The Sulpitians, now seigniors of Montreal (vol. xii., note 13), accorded La Salle a seigniory near Lachine rapids (vol. xii., note ll), where he established a trading post. He soon became interested in the exploration of the West and the search for a western route to China. In July, 1669, he went with the Sulpitians Dollier de Casson and Galinée (vol. l., note ll), to find the Mississippi. The difficulties they encountered compelled them to give up this undertaking; and, in October of the same year, La Salle and the priests parted, near the head of Lake Ontario, after meeting there Louis Joliet on his way home from Lake Superior (vol. l., note 19). Little is positively known of La Salles movements during the next four years; but he seems to have spent much of that time in exploration and trade in the lower lake region, and that of the Upper Ohio, of which he was probably the first white discoverer. He soon gained the friendship of the new governor, Frontenac, who sent him to France (1674) with letters of recommendation. La Salle obtained a royal grant of Fort Frontenac (now Kingston) and large adjacent tracts of land. Here he soon established a prosperous colony, both commercial and agricultural; it included not only Frenchmen, but a considerable number of Iroquois savages, who were friendly to him. In 1678, he obtained permission from Louis XIV. to make explorations in the West, build forts, and open up a route to Mexico. This enabled him to begin the execution of his own colossal schemes, which included far [Page 315] more — to build vessels above Niagara, and later on some branch of the Mississippi, which would thus open a great route for commerce via that river and the Gulf of Mexico ; to explore the region between Lake Erie and the Mississippi, and plant therein French colonies; and to secure for himself the commercial and perhaps viceregal control of this new empire.
La Salle built (1679), above Niagara Falls, the first vessel that sailed on the Upper Lakes, — the Griffin, of 45 tons burden, — with which he sailed to Mackinac and Green Bay. He sent her back with a load of furs, but she was never heard from; the loss of this venture seriously embarrassed him. He himself, with a small party of Frenchmen, voyaged southward in canoes, finally halting upon the Illinois River, near the present Peoria, Ill., where he built Fort Crèvecoeur, and spent there most of the winter. He returned in the spring to Montreal, for fresh supplies, but the men left in Illinois destroyed the new fort and deserted his service. This and other disasters retarded La Salles enterprises for nearly two years; he had, moreover, from the first to contend with the hostility of other fur traders, of the Canadian merchants, and of the Jesuits. A man of indomitable will and perseverance, he persisted in his efforts amid obstacles of every kind — financial losses, sickness, the treachery of his own followers, and the machinations of enemies. Finally, late in 1681, he set out with another expedition, to go directly to the Mississippi. Entering that stream, he descended it to its mouth, where he took possession (April 9, 1682) of the entire Mississippi basin in the name of his king, in honor of whom he named the country Louisiana. In the following December, he built Fort St. Louis, on “Starved Rock,” a lofty height near the present Utica, Ill. Meanwhile, Frontenac had been recalled to France, and his successor, La Barre, proved bitterly hostile to La Salle. The latter sailed for France in the autumn of 1683, to obtain aid for his project of building a fort near the mouth of the Mississippi. The king granted him a squadron, with soldiers, artisans, and colonists; and the expedition left La Rochelle July 24, 1684. Arriving in the Gulf of Mexico, they were unable to find the mouth of the great river, and by error went on westward till they reached Matagorda Bay, in Texas. Landing here, the colony suffered greatly from heat, sickness, and other hardships. La Salle made several fruitless attempts to reach the Mississippi River, in order to bring relief to his people. On the last of these journeys, he was murdered (March 19, 1687) by some of his followers. For full accounts of the life, adventures, and discoveries of this noted explorer, see Parkman’s La Salle and Gravier’s Découvertes et établissements de Cavelier de la Salle (Paris, 1870). Valuable contemporary works are [Page 316] Tonti’s Dernieres découvertes . . . de M. de la Sale (Paris, 1697); Joutel’s Journal Historique (Paris, 1713); and Jean Cavelier’s Relation of La Salle’s last voyage (printed by Shea in 1858).
[iii] (p. 29). — Frontenac’s visit to the Iroquois country (June-July, 1673) was made in order to build a fort at Catarakoui (Kingston), — a project which, as we have seen (vol. xl., notes 8, 10, and vol. xlix., note 14), had been already discussed for several years ; and to secure, at the same time, the good will of the Iroquois. In both these schemes, he was entirely successful. Lamberville’s testimony as to the good impression made upon the savages by Frontenac is fully corroborated by a letter from La Salle to the governor (Aug. 10, 1673), in which he says: “One cannot express, Monseigneur, the praises which all the Iroquois:nations are bestowing upon you. At Katarokoui, they might be suspected of dissimulation; but here [Techiroguen] they make it very evident that you have entirely won them.” Lamberville also says, in another letter to Frontenac (Oct. 29, 1673): “I learn that the dutch have made so many proposals to the Iroquois to get rid of us that, if you had not at Katarokoui won their ileading men by your liberality and complaisance, We believe that all the frenchmen here [at Onondaga] would be by this time either dead, or driven from this country.” — See the journal of Frontenac’s journey, published by Margry in Découv. et établissements, t. i., pp. 195-238; and Parkman’s La Salle pp. 75-86.
[iv] (p. 31). — In March, 1672, England had declared war upon Holland, as the result of a secret alliance between Charles II. and Louis XIV. Both English and French forces invaded Holland, but were driven back, in the summer of 1673, by william of Orange and Admira1 de Ruyter. As an incident of this war, a Dutch squadron captured New York, Aug. 9, 1673; but the province of New Netherland, thus recovered from England, was returned to her by the treaty of Westminster (Feb. 19, 1674).
[v] (p. 37). — The confraternity of ‘the Holy Family, established by Laval March 14, 1664 (vol. xlviii., note 2).
[vi] (p. 47). — This transfer of the Huron colony was made necessary, as explained in the Relation of 1673-74 (vol. lviii. of this series), by the deficiency of wood and water at its earlier location.
[vii] (p. 65). — For description of the Santa Casa, see vol. xviii., note 4.
[viii] (p. 77). — The Huron catechist here mentioned was at first in the service of the Jesuits; an account of his missionary labors at this time is given in the Douniol (Martin) edition of the Relation (t. i., pp. 171-177) — a version presumably copied from the Roman MS. In that edition, this entirereport of the Huron mission is placed near the [Page 317] end of the Relation, instead of being, as in the Canadian MS., which we follow, the first section.
[ix] (p. 165). — Orvietan (derived from Orvieto, a City in Italy): “a medical composition or electuary believed to be an antidote or counter-poison” (Century Dict.).
[x] (p. 233). — This note, in Dablon’s handwriting, is inscribed upon the margin of the Canadian MS. of this Relation; it was evidently added by him much later, in compiling the Relation for 1673-79.
[xi] (p. 251). — Louis André, born May 28, 1631, entered the Jesuit novitiate at Lyons, Sept. 12, 1650. His studies were pursued there, and at Dôle and Avignon; and he was an instructor at Roanne, Besançon, and Bourg. He came to Canada in June, 1669, and was soon assigned to the Ottawa mission. Apparently the first two years of his ministry to the savages were spent in itinerant labors — at Sault Ste. Marie, at Mackinac, and at Green Bay; but this last field became his Permanent station from December, 1671. There he remained at least ten years; in 1682, he was at St. Ignace, and the following year with the Kiskakon Indians. From 1684 to 1690, he was a professor in the college at Quebec. In 1691, he was sent to the mission at Chicoutimi, where he remained two years; the next two years he spent at Montreal; and, in 1695, he carried on a mission at the Seven Islands, below Tadoussac. Accounts of his labors after that date are conflicting. Maurault claims (Abénakis, pp. 276-277) that André labored at St. François de Sales from 1689 to 1691, and again from 1698 to 1700. Rev. A. E. Jones, in his sketch of André’s life (reprinted from U.S. Cath. Hist. Mag. [1891?], says that his name is not mentioned in the Catalogues for 1696-99; but that it appears in those for 1700-1704, simply as “missionary.” But a “Notice historique” of the Tadoussac mission, in Rapport sur les missions du diocèse de Québec, no. 16 (March, 1864), pp. 21-58, — which is apparently written by Abbé Ferland, — thus speaks of him (p. 43): “His numerous missions at the west being ended, he had partial charge of the Tadoussac and Papinachois mission during more than a month [Fr., plus d’un mois], and busied himself with the reconstruction of the church at L’Assomption (Jérémie Islets), the expenses of which were paid by M. Hazeur. . . . This occurred in 1701. Acts by him may be found on the Register of Chicoutimi from 1703 to 1709.” André died at Quebec, Sept. 19, 1715.
He left an Algonkin and Ottawa dictionary; a little.compendium, “Preceptes, phrases et mots de la langue algonquine outaouoise,” with notes in Latin, — these two MS. works being preserved in the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal; and a catechism, sermons, etc., which have now disappeared. — Regarding these, see the sketch [Page 318] by Father Jones, above referred to; and Pilling’s Alg. Bibliography, p. 13.
[xii] (p. 269). — At this point, two pages of the MS. (39 and 40) are lacking. The matter on the missing pages may be found in another copy of part of this Relation, written by Lamberville, but not corrected; this partial duplicate is also at St. Mary’s College, and we follow it for the text of the present lacuna.
[xiii] (p. 291). — Oussoamigoung: now corrupted into Suamico, a name applied to two small rivers flowing into Green Bay from the west. Verwyst (Wis. Hist. Colls., vol. xii., p. 397) explains the name as meaning “place of the yellow beaver;” Father Jones, as “at the beaver’s tail.” Rev. E. P. Wheeler, of Ashland, who has spent most of his life among the Ojibwas, in a letter to the Editor spells the name ö-sä-wä-mick-köng, and says it means “yellow residence place.”
Chouskouabika cannot be identified from our text; the abundance of fish there, which André mentions, leads us to suppose that this place was on one of the rivers flowing into Green Bay — possibly the Oconto, where Allouez probably began St. François Xavier mission (vol. liv., note 6). Father Jones cites André’s “Little Glossary,” nota 7, as showing that chouskoubika means “place where there are slippery stones.”
[xiv] (p. 299). — Skenonton is a Huron word meaning “deer,” — perhaps used unconsciously by the writer, who had been associated with Hurons at St. Ignace; or perhaps borrowed from those savages by the Ottawas.
Crawford Lindsay says of this passage: “Reference is here made to the method; of hunting elk and deer popularly known as ‘crusting’ — pursued when the snow is covered with a trust thick enough to bear dogs, and men on snowshoes, but not the larger deer. The Indians used to hunt moose thus in March; but that practice is now prohibited, and the close season begins Jan. 1.”