The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents
Travels and Explorations
of the Jesuit Missionaries
in New France
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CONTENTS OF VOL.LVIII.
Preface To Volume LVIII
Relation de ce qui s’est passé en la Nouuelle France, Les années1672. et 1673. Jean de.Lamberville, Claude Dablon, and others. [Finalinstallment.].
Relation de la descouverte de plusieurs pays situez au midi de la Nouvelle France, faite en 1673. [Claude Dablon; Quebec, August 1, 1674].
Voyage autour de 1’Isle Jesus. Antoine Dalmas; [La Prairie, October, 1674].
Relation de ce qui s’est passé en la Nouvelle-France pendant les années 1673 et 1674. [Letters from the following missionaries, edited or synopsized by Claude Dablon:] Claude Jean Allouez, Louis André, Pierre Millet, Jean de Lamberville, Julien Garnier, Pierre Rafeix, François de CrépieuI, and Louis Nicolas; np., n.d. [First installment.].
Bibliographical Data; Volume LVIII
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ILLUSTRATIONS TO VOL. .
PREFACE TO VOL. LVIII
Following is a synopsis of the documents contained in this volume:
CXXX. The greater part of the Relation of 1672-73 appeared in Vol. LVII.; the remainder of the document is herewith presented.
Allouez’s work among the Wisconsin tribes is described in his report to his superior. In May, 1672, he goes to the Mascouten village on the upper Fox River. Here he finds nearly two hundred cabins of savages, representing five tribes. A cabin is erected, for his chapel; but, when he undertakes to say mass, so great a crowd assembles, and so great is their curiosity “ to see the black gown,” that for some time he cannot even make himself heard by them. He succeeds at last in explaining the ceremony to them, when they show profound respect, and even refrain from smoking and talking while Allouez is using the chapel. Crowds attend his instructions every day, and he says, “ I had barely time to take my food.” He erects a great cross; and his parishioners hang upon it “ clusters of Indian corn, girdles, and red garters, ” to show their veneration. Two of the tribes begin to quarrel over it, each desiring to have it when the Father shall depart; “ this holy contention gave me joy.” He settles it by erecting another cross in the rival [Page 9] encampment. Allouez remains among these people until September 6, when he sets out on his return to De Pere. His canoe is wrecked in the Appleton rapids; all his baggage is soaked with water, but fortunately is not lost. With one of his boatmen, who is ill, he remains eight days on “ an Islet ten feet Long,” until his men can procure another canoe. They then return safely to the mission-house at De Pere.
In the mission of St. François Xavier, which includes the Pottawattomie village on the east shore of Green Bay, Allouez baptizes thirty-four persons during the year-all children, except one sick man. After September, he dwells in his house alone — the savages all departing, “ because this year there are neither acorns nor Ducks.” Many parties of Indians pass that way, however, going to or returning from their hunting; these he instructs as he has opportunity.
At St. Mark’s, among the Foxes, he has baptized forty-eight. In November, he goes there to visit some sick converts, of whose religious experiences he gives some account. In February, 1673, he again visits them, but finds that they have been prejudiced against the faith by the Iroquois. Moreover, notwithstanding their prayers to God, they have lost many warriors at the hands of the Sioux. He says mass every day, and preaches boldly against their superstitions and their licentious customs; yet no one interferes with him. “ This is a special grace for this village, where the people are self-willed beyond anything that can be imagined.” Allouez relates the course of events during his stay there. They listen to him readily, but are easily diverted [Page 10] from belief in the new faith, especially when it does not protect them from their enemies.
The Father departs, April 30, for the Mascouten village, where he is welcomed by a friendly but noisy crowd, so anxious to get inside his chapel that, as before, they tear off the rush mats of which it is made. Of the Miami Indians, who also dwell here, some profess the faith; but others do not approve of the Father’s preaching. He observes, however, that all those who believe have not suffered from hunger during the winter, while the pagans have experienced such famine that some of them died. The Miamis have given up invocations to their manitous, and invoke “ him who has made Heaven and earth.”
Marquette has departed on his voyage toward the South Sea, and Albanel has again set out for Hudson Bay.
At La Prairie, near Montreal, have gathered many Iroquois Christians, with other converts from the captives who have been brought home by Iroquois war-parties. In this one mission are representatives of twenty-two tribes, and of several different languages. The inhabitants of this colony will not suffer vice and superstition in their village; they will not even admit therein any one who does not promise to live as they do. A full account is given of the hospitality, devotion, zeal, and other virtues displayed by these savages. “ Brandy has ruined the Algonquin mission” — a calamity due to “ the insatiable avarice of the French,” who cheat the savages out of their furs by making them intoxicated. The little mission at La Prairie, however, is free from this curse, through “ a miracle of Providence, ” and the care of the guardian angels. Several infidels [Page 11] attempt to observe their superstitions, but they are promptly frowned down, and, if contumacious, are expelled from the village. One of them is punished by Divine justice, for within three months he loses all his children by death. The most important agency for retaining these savages in both devotion and morals is the “ confraternity of the Holy Family ” established among them.
CXXXI. Dablon writes a letter (August I, 1674) to his superior in France, giving an account of the recent discovery of the Mississippi by Joliet and Marquette, obtained from reports made by the former. He describes the extent and course of the great river, and mentions the tribes dwelling upon its shores. The savages of that region appear gentle and friendly. At the first village that they enter, a magnificent calumet — the pipe of peace — is presented to the Frenchmen. The beauty and fertility of that country, the abundance of game, and the mildness of the climate, delight the travelers. They proceed until, as the Indians inform them, they are but fifty leagues distant from the sea. At this point, fearing that they may be detained as prisoners by the Spaniards, they conclude to go back to Quebec, to inform the governor, as soon as possible, of their discoveries. They return to Mackinac (this time, by the Illinois river route), and Joliet proceeds to Quebec; but he has the misfortune to wreck his canoe above Montreal, losing all his papers, and barely escaping with his life. Dablon’s first comment on this important voyage, is, that it opens the way for missions to new tribes, among whom there is a bright prospect for success. He also observes that it is now tolerably certain that [Page 12] the Mississippi discharges into the Florida sea. This disappoints the hope of explorers that the river would offer a passage to the China sea; but they think that, by ascending the Missouri, some other river which flows westward may be reached. The writer — or, more probably, Joliet — suggests that a ship-canal might be built across the Chicago portage, to connect the Illinois River with Lake Michigan, thus affording a short and inland route from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Joliet recommends the Illinois prairies as suitable for French colonies.
CXXXII. This is a report to the superior, Dablon, of an expedition of observation around Isle Jesus, near Montreal, made by Father Antoine Dalmas, in September, 1674. He has been sent to inspect the island, to ascertain if there is any place suitable for the establishment of an Indian colony. He finds little to encourage this scheme, for such good locations as remain are subject to various disadvantages, the worst of which is the danger that traders will go thither, to sell brandy to the Indians. A hasty survey leads him to suggest that a better place might be found above the mouth of the Ottawa; “ all the nearer country is either taken, or is poor, and a prey to the traders.” After this general report, Dalmas gives a journal of his voyage, which covers six days.
CXXXIII. The Relation of 1673-74 was sent, as usual, to the French provincial by Dablon; we present in this volume all of the document except the report on the Montagnais mission, which will appear in Vol. LIX.
The Huron colony near Quebec is rapidly increasing in population. As these savages need more land and wood, the Jesuits have removed them to a new [Page 13] settlement, called Lorette. A general survey of this Huron mission is first given. The Hurons, poor as they are, have welcomed the Iroquois converts who flock to their village, and show the utmost Christian charity to these, their former enemies and tormentors. The good Hurons also bestow a large amount of corn as alms to the poor among the French people, besides sharing their possessions most generously among their own tribesmen who may be in need. They also show such fervor and devotion in their prayers that they put the French to shame. Shortly before his death, one man offers his only daughter to the Lord; and, although she is but five years old, arrangements are made to place her with the Ursulines, that she may be trained for a nun’s vocation.
The Hurons remove to Lorette on December 27, 1673; their chapel is completed and blessed on November 4, 1674. A description is given of this edifice, which is modeled after the house of the Virgin at Loreto, Italy. It is a notable stimulus to the fervor of the savages; and many Frenchmen also come as pilgrims to this shrine. The Indian boys are delighted to serve at mass therein. Many incidents are related of the faith, resignation, and love, exhibited by these Huron Christians.
The various missions among the Iroquois tribes furnish reports of the year’s work. Bruyas, who is in charge of the Mohawks, is obliged by the press of his duties to ask for assistance. Many of this tribe have migrated to the French settlements, but many of those who remain are also receiving the gospel, and ask for baptism. The number of these has been greatly increased by the conversion of a prominent chief named Assendase. This man has “ so [Page 14] faithfully kept his promises, and practiced all the Christian exercises, that he is the model for all the Christians.” The prospect is bright for the triumph of the faith at Agnié.
Milet reports from Oneida forty-five baptisms, “ much more than I had hoped for, in view of the efforts of the Dutch against us.” Here, as at Agnie, a notable chief has been gained to the side of the Faith — in both instances, strongly impelled thereto by the favorable impressions given them by Frontenac, at his conference with the Iroquois chiefs in July, 1673. The missionary finds in a lunar eclipse (January 21, 1674) an excellent opportunity to expose the falsity of the claims to supernatural powers made by the medicine-men. Various embassies are sent to Oneida by the other Iroquois tribes, to settle affairs of mutual concern. Milet describes the ceremonies and procedures connected with the appointment, reception, and speeches of these ambassadors. He then proceeds to narrate the details of various baptisms in his mission; and of the pious actions of some of the leading Christians there. Among these is Louis Taondechoren, a Huron evangelist who, devotes himself to spreading the gospel among the pagan Iroquois. In general, the leading men of Oneida are well disposed toward the faith, and many have embraced it. Divorces are much less frequent than formerly; and many are becoming emancipated from bondage to their superstitions. “ Drunkenness is probably the sole obstacle that now hinders their conversion. ”
Many of Lamberville’s converts at Onondaga have gone to La Prairie; his main success now is among the dying. Garakontie is still the devoted friend of [Page 15] the mission, and a shining example of piety and virtue. Lamberville relates the particulars of various baptisms and deaths among his people. He mentions the great trials that a missionary must endure in his efforts to secure the conversion of old people during protracted illness. “Great patience is needed to endure their ill humor and their savage whims, if one desires, in spite of rebuffs, to procure their salvation.” Most of his baptisms, however, are of children in danger of death. “ This is the most certain fruit that we gather in this country, where it is desirable that the children should die before obtaining the use of their reason.”
At Cayuga there have been comparatively few baptisms; but the savages are more kindly disposed to the faith than heretofore. Their contempt, and even hatred, are being succeeded by esteem, and a desire to be instructed.
Among the Senecas, the missionaries do not have to combat intemperance, for that tribe has had but little intercourse with the white men; but their superstition and licentiousness render the gospel distasteful to them, although in one of the villages Garnier finds the people desirous of baptism, — not willing, however, to give up for it their superstitious dances. The circumstances attending the few conversions here secured are related at length. Raffeix gives a similar report from his village, emphasizing his work in securing through baptism the salvation of dying children.
With the Iroquois missions is classed that at La Prairie, because the resident savages are mainly Iroquois. These are “no longer arrogant and barbarian, but men perfectly submissive to the laws, [Page 16] full of gentleness and love for the Gospel.” This colony is steadily increasing in numbers, many being attracted thither by friends already settled there. Their abstinence from brandy is steadfast, even in the presence of strong temptations. On one occasion, three of them become intoxicated; but, when they return to La Prairie, they are fined by the elders, “ and would have been expelled, had they not been married to three of the best Christian women in the village.”
The Ottawa missions are next considered. At Sault Ste. Marie, the chapel first built, which was consumed by fire in 1671, has been replaced by a new and finer one. This, too, was in danger of the same fate, in the spring of 1674, — the residence of the Fathers, which stood near it, being burned to the ground. This fire results from a treacherous attack made upon some Sioux ambassadors who had come to treat for peace, and had been placed, for their safety, in the mission-house. Nevertheless, the ambassadors are attacked even there, by certain Cree Indians who are implacably hostile to the Sioux. The ambassadors are all slain, after having killed many of the Crees and Ottawas. During the fight, the mission-house is burned, with all its contents; and, worst of all, the Fathers see the door shut by which they had hoped to make the gospel enter the Sioux tribes. The Algonkins at the Sault, fearing reprisals from the Sioux for this treacherous murder, take flight; and the missionaries are thus left alone to face the expected enemy.
Allouez gives an account of his work at Green Bay. “In the conviction that the house of God will protect them, ” the Illinois tribes are flocking to that region, [Page 17] as well as many from the upper Mississippi. “If they do not all pray as yet, they at least esteem Prayer.” When they pass the church, they throw tobacco all around it, as a token of respect “ to the greatest divinity of whom they have ever heard. ”
André is laboring among the Menomonees and other tribes along the shore of Green Bay. He finds the former invoking the sun to send them success in fishing for sturgeon; he persuades them to replace the image of the sun by his crucifix. On the next day, they catch abundance of fish; this renders them surprisingly attentive to his instructions. He baptizes many children, and two sick men. At another of these outlying stations, the young men are taught the folly of invoking the devil, by the failure of an expedition on which they set out against the Sioux; they then are willing to have recourse to the true God. Andre’s efforts are also aided by the cure of a sick man through baptism. His people go in November to the shore of Lake Michigan, but he is unable to follow them. He falls ill, and is obliged to remain alone at the Menominee River during six weeks, suffering from the cold and his sickness, and exposed to possible attack from enemies; but his confidence in God, and his expectation of the coming of some Illinois bands in January, sustain him amid these hardships.
R. G. T.
Madison, Wis., November, 1899.
RELATION OF 1672-73
The greater part of this document was given in Volume LVII.; the remainder is herewith presented.
ARTICLE 4TH. OF THE MISSION TO THE MASKOU-
TENCH, ILINOIS, AND OTHER TRIBES.
hat which Father Claude allouez has accomplished among these tribes is truly apostolic. He has preached The gospel with much toil to a great many pagan savages, of various nations and of different Languages, [and that] with considerable success; so that through his instrumentality The knowledge of one God is widely spread in these remote parts of The earth, which it had as yet never reached. The cross of Jesus Christ has been respected, and planted where it had never been seen; and many souls [have been] regenerated in holy baptism Who-owing to Their remoteness and Their barbarous customs; the fatigues that must be undergone in going to Seek Them, and The diversity of Languages that had to be learned, in order to be able to preach to Them; and the thick darkness of idolatry, added to a singular, attachment to Their superstitions, which had to be dispelled in order to convert Them-seemed to be beyond hope of ever becoming children of God. But it is better to make use of the journal of the same Father, to convey detailed Knowledge of all these Matters.
Y REVEREND FATHER,
A few days after Father henri nouvel’s departure, I embarked for The mission of saint Jacques, among the Machkoutench, — that was on The 9th of August of The year 1672, [and] I arrived there on The 13th.
In this mission we have, during the past year, baptized 114 persons, of whom three adults and five children died shortly after baptism. [Page 21]
I began by procuring a separate Lodging for myself, so that all The tribes might Freely come and listen to The words of life; For I counted there twenty Cabins of ilinoués, thirty large cabins of Kikabou, Fifty of Machkoutench, Over ninety of miamiak, [and] three ouaouiatanoukak. I placed our Chapel near the village, in the midst of Their Fields, Among The machkoutench. It was ready for The feast of The assumption, on which day I said holy mass [in it].
Shortly afterward, there was such a concourse and [such a] crowd of all those tribes that it was impossible for me to make myself heard. They broke through The Cabin, — which was made, according to their fashion, of rush matting, — to see us at Their ease. As I could not make myself heard [listened to by this mob], I sent out an old man to speak to Them. They replied to Him that they wished to see The black gown. [put a stop to The disorder; but he could obtain no other answer from all the people than that they wished to see the black gown.]
A portion of the day had passed in that manner when I issued from the Chapel, and, placing myself on a slightly elevated spot, I said: “It is important that you should listen to me, and not that you should see me. Listen to me therefore.” God granted me The grace of Speaking The miami Language, For The majority belonged to that tribe. Profound silence was observed during a Long instruction; after Which they knelt down, made The sign of The cross — men, women, and children — and prayed to God with me in Their own Language.
The great number of persons did not prevent my saying holy mass every day. I had hung up a [Page 23] Blanket in the middle, to conceal The altar from The gaze of The multitude. They then stood aloof respectfully, after I had explained the mystery of The faith to Them; [and] there were some who pushed back The Hangings a little, and said in a low voice: “ Ah, my father, this is divine,” and afterward caused the new-comers to observe profound silence.
To inspire Them with The respect that they should pay to Churches, I obtained that no one should smoke, and that they should not converse together in it, at least while I was there.
Our Chapel was too small to contain the people. As soon as I had said [finished] mass, I gave instruction, and made all those whom The Chapel could contain say their prayers, after which they withdrew. Others, who succeeded these, received the same instruction, Each in his own Language. We also Chanted The prayers in Their Tongue, at The end of The instruction. The little boys and girls also prayed to God apart, and thus The day passed in these holy occupations. When the crowd was too great, I went outside, either to make myself heard by all, or to save our Chapel, which would have been completely broken. I had barely time to take my food.
On the 18th, seeing The affection and respect that all these people manifested for our holy faith, 1 planted at The door of our Chapel a cross 22 feet high. They listened in silence to The instruction that I gave Them on the subject. They knelt, they adored The cross, and prayed to God. The miamy who were present said to me: “ This is excellent; we thank thee for it. Say the same to all The Captains [Page 25] in council.” [But it is well that thou shouldst explain this in open Council to all The Captains.“] The 19th. I went to the miamy. I gathered The elders together and explained to Them The principal points of The faith, [and] The mystery of The cross; they listened to me with approval. At night [This they plainly manifested, for at night] I saw that they had hung on The cross clusters of indian corn, girdles, and red garters. [This is done among them only as a mark of veneration.]
On the 20th, two of the principal miami came to me, and begged that, when I should go away, I would give Them that cross, that they might take It to their village. “ It is not in its right place with The machkoutench,” they said to me; “ they obey thee not.” I gave Them no Positive answer; nevertheless, they Spread the report that I had given It to Them. The machkoutench on hearing [learning] this, came to complain [of it], and told me [to me, saying] that they would not allow it to be removed from the Spot where it was. This holy contention gave me joy. To satisfy Their devotion, I promised Them that it should not be removed from the Place where if was; and, to gratify the desire of the miami, I caused another similar one to be made, which I erected in [transported elsewhere; but that, in order to satisfy The miami, I would have another similar one made. In fact, I erected one in] their village, As I had planted The first among The machkoutench.
At night, I went to a Cabin to see a sick woman, who had come to pray to God in The morning [in a very bad state of health]; I was surprised to find Her cured. I did not recognize Her, for she was working like The other women. She told me that, after [Page 27] she had left The Chapel and had reached her Dwelling, her abscess had broken, and had disappeared so happily that she no longer felt any pain. This poor woman had been brought to us, crowded in with The men. I did not know Her, Because Her head was bandaged, until, after I had finished The instruction, when I wished to make Her go out with The others, she remained on her knees and said to me: “ My Father, have pity on me.” She could hardly speak. Then I noticed that Her Neck and face were very much inflamed. Fortunately I made Her [urged Her to] pray to God once more. She did so with fervor; she made The sign of The cross, and kept her hands clasped, as if she had been brought up to it from her infancy. Her countenance was animated by a lively faith, in consequence of Which God was pleased to restore Her health.
On the 21st, she did not fail to come at an early hour to The Chapel, to bring a small present of indian corn in thanksgiving. I thanked God with her.
The 22nd. I noticed The eclipse of the sun, which occurred about eleven o’clock; I could not well observe its notable features. The savages, who kept me occupied, did not trouble themselves about it. in water poured into a Kettle.
The 23rd. I was passing by The machkoutench Cabins, as I frequently do, without entering every where to see whether there are Any sick, — For they never fail to call me, when there are any. Accordingly, while I was passing, they called out to me, “Come and see a dead Body,” a man said to me. Having entered, I saw [I entered, and saw] a man in a sitting posture, surrounded by his friends. He told me that he had not eaten [any food] for Five [Page 29] days, but had only smoked [a little], because he no longer Considered himself among the number of the living; he thought that he was dead, After feeling His pulse, I found Him a little feverish, and told Him that he was not yet dead [still lived], But that indeed he might die; and I seized the opportunity to instruct Him. When this man learned that he was not yet dead, he asked for food, and showed very plainly that he was not [alive]. One cannot moderate savages when they are sick, or make Them follow any regimen. It seems as if God had sent Him some presentiment of his death, to prepare Him for The grace of baptism. On my part, I prepared Him [I applied myself to this] every day, Until the third of the following month, — on which day I administered baptism to Him, when I saw Him in danger and very well instructed, He asked for baptism several times. While I was instructing Him in order to prepare him for it, he would say to me: “Why dost thou not baptize me? Thou lovest me not, if thou baptize me not.” [and when he had Asked me for It many times, with much Earnestness.] The evening before my departure, which was three days after his baptism [I had baptized Him], I recommended that He should make various acts of faith, hope, and Charity. On the Following morning, when I asked Him if he had remembered to do so, he asked me for [begged me to lend Him] my Crucifix. He took It, and, stroking It gently with His hand, — which is the same As A kiss among Europeans, — he said: “ Jesus, God-man, I love you; if you restore me to life, I shall love you as long as I shall live on earth; and if I die I shall love you forever in Heaven. Have pity on me.” “ That,” said he, ” is what I said all night long, for I have not slept [Page 31] at all.” He said all this with Tears in His eyes, and with affection. He repeated It again several times, adding acts of hope and faith; [and,] some weeks after my Departure, he died in The same sentiments, As I believe [I have every reason to Believe].
The 29th. While proceeding to call a young Christian Machkoutench to pray to God, I met a band of ilinoues, who followed me. These poor people are so pleased to see a black gown that we cannot go anywhere without having a goodly company, — so that we cannot speak to any one privately, either in their homes or in The Chapel. They were astonished to see that I took The trouble to go to a [that] young man. I showed Them how important it was, and seized the opportunity to instruct Them. God granted me The grace of making myself understood. After thanking me for having instructed Them, they put to me several questions, to which we [I] endeavored to reply. Finally, they asked me what I liked in that country, for they knew not what they might present to me that would please me [not knowing what to present to me]. “ Thou refusest Beaver-skins,” they said; “ thou comest not to our feasts When we invite thee.” They speak truly, For Their minds are so weak that they imagine that we come to this country for that object, and that what we preach to Them about hell and Paradise is merely by way of conversation, — just as those who come from afar relate news of the Place whence they come; and thus The word of God loses its force. I satisfied them on all those points, by explaining to Them The eternal blessings that God has promised [promises to] those who obey Him, and by showing Them The difference between those blessings and The earthly goods for [Page 33] Which they take much trouble, Such as hatchets, Kettles, etc. They listened to me very attentively, and repeated in their own Tongue what I had said in the Language of the miami, which is almost The same.
On the last day of the month, I had a slight Cold, which prevented me from speaking. Our Chapel being open in many places, for it had been broken very frequently, was exposed to every wind; and this was the Cause of my catching cold. Although I could not teach Them as usual, they nevertheless came, as they said, to see The black gown, whose voice was dead and whose throat was sick. I could not make myself heard further than my nearest neighbor, to tell Them that The black gown was a man like them, who was ill and who would die as they would; that there was but one spirit sovereign and Immortal, etc.
On the 6th of September, being called elsewhere, and my voice still failing me, I started to go home. I had The consolation, some days previously, of witnessing the death of a child of the Miami tribe, who, immediately after Its baptism, soared away to Heaven from my arms; and of finding a poor old man, of the Machkoutench tribe, who was ill, and whose nose, Lips, and eyes are eaten by a Cancer. Consequently he is blind; he can hardly speak or hear; he is as hideous, and as offensive to the smell, As is a Corpse. That is why He is called a “tchipai [i.e., corpse].” But he has become beautiful inwardly, in his soul; for, after he had been sufficiently prepared, he was, in view of The danger in which he lies, regenerated in the holy waters of baptism, and. we named Him Lazare. [Page 35]
The 9th. While descending The rapids, our mariners broke our Canoe. I had gone on ahead by land, and had reached a Place called The Kakading, a League farther, at Nightfall. One of the boatmen came to tell me of it, We retraced our steps; but when we arrived, we Could not reach the canoe, to get some of our provisions for supper.
On the following Day, we recovered from The water our baggage, which was soaked through, even my Chapel and my writings. After drying Everything, I sent two boatmen by land to buy a Canoe, and remained with another, who was ill, stranded on an Islet ten feet Long, until the sixteenth; we then departed, and arrived in our Chapel to thank God for having afflicted us, and for having extricated us from trouble.
On the 17th, I went to the fort of the pouteouatami, to procure a supply of corn. At the same time, I gave a short Mission, at which I obtained more satisfaction than I had derived from them in The past. [our canoe was staved in, and became unserviceable; and I was stranded on an islet Ten feet long, where I passed 8 days with one of my men, who was ill, while the others went to seek for another canoe. We left the Islet on The sixteenth, and finally arrived in our Chapel of st. Xavier to thank God for having afflicted us and extricated us From Danger.]
[ARTICLE 5th. OF THE MISSION TO THE POUTEOUA-
TAMI AND OTHER TRIBES IN THE BAY DES PUANS.]
IN this mission of st. François Xavier — either here at our house, or at the fort of the pouteouatami — I have, during the past year, baptized thirty-four [persons], among Whom was an adult man who was ill, and who died shortly afterward; The remainder [Page 37] are children. I do not count those whom Reverend Father André baptized there.
It was a Comfort to me to see even The old people come to The Chapel, kneel down, Clasp Their hands gravely, make The sign of The cross, and pray to God respectfully. I said mass there in peace, every day.
On the 27th, I planted a great cross on a plateau on the shore of the Lake, between The village of the pouteouatami and that of the Puants at the end of our Chapel. The elders manifested much joy at this; they notified all by public proclamation, which they made The same night, that they must all pay [great] respect to The holy cross, planted in their country as a symbol of the Christianity which they desired to embrace.
After having baptized some children, and a man who was dangerously ill, I was compelled to withdraw to our House. Some time afterward, I went to visit Him. I was obliged to go by land, One-half the Journey being through a difficult country. The wind prevented us from crossing The bay; so I Left my boatman at The mouth of The river to watch The Canoe. I was consoled when I saw [And, when I returned to see Him, over a very difficult country and In very bad weather, I had The Consolation of seeing] from afar The cross that we had planted; and it gave me renewed joy to learn that the children went there to pray to God as I had recommended Them to do. In fact, The women and children, and even some of the men, followed me willingly When I invited Them there. They all knelt Around it, and, after a Short instruction, we recited The usual prayers. After having comforted, instructed, and prepared our sick man for death, and [Page 39] after having visited several Cabins, both of Christians and others, and baptized some children, I returned at night by The same Road, — praising our lord, who gives us a little share in the pains that he took for The salvation of souls. Nevertheless, I had not The consolation of seeing him die. The last time when I saw Him, he told me that he would remove his cabin on The following Day, and would pass by our Chapel to pay to God. I did not go to see Him again. God willed that he should not come on that day and that he should die on The Morrow. He seemed to be well prepared, and I trust that God has land mercy on Him.
“ Benedictus Deus et Pater Domini nostri Jesu Christi.” In The forests where we live among The savages, God grants us the consolation’ of seeing The standard of The holy Cross planted and honored in The four villages where we are, in all of Which that holy tree has brought forth fruits for Heaven; and of beholding The mission of saint françois at The bay des Puants, where are The pouteouatami, The Saki, The ouenibigouc, The Oumalouminik, The outaoussinagouc, and others. Each tribe has its special Dialect. Deeper in The woods, toward The west, is The mission of st. mart to the outagami, where are The ouagoussak, Makoua, makoucoue, Mikissioua. Still farther to The westward, in The woods, are The atchaterakangouen, The Machkoutench, Marameg, Kikaboua, and Kitchigamich; The village of the miami, where The atchatchakangouen are, and whither come The Ilinoue, The Kakachkiouek, Peoualen, ouaouiatanouk, memilounioue, pepikoukia, Kilitika, mengakonkia, — Some for a short time, Others for a longer time. These tribes dwell on The [Page 41] Banks of the Missisipi, and all speak the same Language.
After I had withdrawn to our house, we spent The month of october in instructing Those who passed us on their way to Their autumn and winter Hunting, in making them pray to God, and in baptizing the children who were brought to us by Their parents. No savages remain here, because this year there are neither acorns nor Ducks.
[ARTICLE 6TH. OF] THE MISSION OF SAINT MARC
TO THE OUTAGAMI.
I HAVE baptized during the past year, — that is, from June, 1672, to june, 1673, — I have baptized there [in that Mission,] 48 persons, of whom a child and two adults died shortly after baptism.
Having learned that some Cabins of outagami had remained in Their village on Account of the sick, who could not Walk, — they were those whom I had baptized The previous spring, — I went to see Them. It was [While on the Road to the Outagami,] The 4th of november, when I left to go there by land, — about noon we found, at a little distance from the Road, [opposite a small rapid,] a great rock, roughly carved into the figure of a man, The face of which had been painted red. It was opposite a small rapid, two leagues on this side of a great rapid called The Kakalink. It is an Idol which passers-by invoke for The fortunate result of Their journey. We rolled It into The water.
On the 6th, after adoring [When we came near the village, we adored] The cross that we had planted in Their village The previous winter, we went to say holy mass in one of the Cabins, made of large pieces of bark, in The fort; after that, we Sought The savages, whom we [Page 43] discovered from Afar by means of The smoke that appeared in The woods. We found there our two sick Christians and Their kindred, in ten cabins. All [The people, upon my arrival], but especially The sick, received me very Heartily, when they learned that the object of my arrival [journey] was solely to comfort and see Them, and nothing else; for I would not allow The french with me to buy corn or Anything else [Instruct Them]. Of several Sick Adults whom I had baptized during The past winter, three had died and [year,] there remained but two in whom lingered [who still retained] a little life. I went to see Them twice A day, [When I visited Them,] to prepare Them for death, I observed that one of them, named Joseph, who is a Captain of the outagami and who governs [manages] Their affairs, always asked for The [present] life when he prayed. And when I spoke to him of The life of Heaven [that Of Paradise], he told me that he thought not of death, that he was not yet very old, and that he asked God for The life of the Body [in a word, that he would entreat God to grant Him the life of the Body]. I spent fully two hours before he could be brought [to reduce his mind] to A Christian indifference [and resignation] to the will of the sovereign master. Nothing touched Him so much as The example of Our lord, when I told Him of His agony and of The Prayer [that he offered] in the garden of olives. He yielded then, and, in spite of The Suffering of a Long illness, I saw a marked Change effected by grace in his soul. He took The Crucifix, and Himself said his prayer, like that of our lord, with [a] perfect submission and [a] Christian indifference to life and to death.
The other is a good woman named Marie. When, [Page 45] in order to incline Her to confession, I asked Her whether she did not sometimes get angry, she replied: “ Ah, how could I get angry? — I, who am no longer Counted among the living! I am Nothing but a dead body. ”
I passed The remainder of the day in teaching The other savages, who came continually to The Cabin whither I had withdrawn to pray to God. They brought us some children to be baptized.
I found there another sick person. This was a young man, who had been wounded in battle by an arrow-Shot in The Thigh; the stone arrow-head had remained in The Flesh, and had Produced an ulcer, which ran continually; this had reduced Him to such a state that he seemed a skeleton, I prepared Him for baptism, which he received with joy and [much] thankfulness, and I named Him Marc.
On the eleventh I departed, in order to have some work done on Our Church.
On the 20th of the same month, I started once more to go and see those sick people, whom I had Left in A dying condition. I remained there only one day, because they were breaking up camp to go and Hunt Braver. During the day, they all came, even The oldest people, to listen to us and pray to God. To two of the sick, whom I found at The last extremity, I gave [At the same time, 2 Christian women being reduced to The last extremity, I Gave Them] The last sacrament of extreme unction, after having instructed Them and prepared them for it. This was effected with great respect, — not only on Their part, but even on that of the others who were present, and who looked upon the Ceremony with admiration. [Page 47]
The 24th. I returned, and adored The holy cross that we found on our Road, on issuing from the wood.
February 3rd, 1673. Having learned that The outagami had returned from their Hunt earlier than in other years, on account of a Saki having been killed by an outagami during The Hunt, I started once more to give a somewhat longer mission. The Road was difficult. We reached Their village on The 6th.
The evil spirit has directed his efforts Against these poor people. The outagami who had come from an Embassy to the Iroquois a fortnight before, had received bad impressions of Christianity, and had Communicated These to Their countrymen. Since The spring, The Nadouessi have taken or killed thirty persons, most of whom had prayed to God before going to war. I could barely find what I needed to make a Cabin for myself, and was obliged to seek shelter in an old Cabin that was open on all Sides; but we repaired it, to some extent.
The 8th. As I had my Cabin apart from the others, in order that all might Freely come and listen to The word of God, I erected a small Chapel therein. I performed all our duties in peace: I said holy mass every day, and I baptized with The rites of The Church. I inveighed Loudly against Their  superstitions, against their extraordinary License in having many wives, against Their exposing themselves naked, and against The insolence of the young men, — without any one ever contradicting me, even in Their Cabins and assemblies. This is a special grace for this village, where The people are self-willed beyond anything that can be imagined. On the Contrary, the Captain — who is The most infamous, as regards The Multitude of his wives; and who, last winter, would not listen to me When I spoke to Him of his salvation — came after all those upbraidings, with his youngest wife and [Page 49] his son, to pray to God; and he listened to me willingly When I exhorted Him to be satisfied with that one, and not to Seek others.
I went to see our sick, who were in better condition, especially those to whom I had administered extreme unction. I made Them acknowledge The effect of that sacrament — which is to restore health to the sick — and thank God for it.
The 9th. As soon as It was known that I occupied a Cabin apart from my host, several women brought Their sick children to receive baptism and health. We administered the sacrament, and God was pleased, on account of The faith of their parents, to restore Their health; for not one of them died.
The 10th. A band of young men who have blackened Their faces enter our Cabin in The evening, and say that they come to sleep in The Chapel so that God may appear and speak to Them in Their slumber, and promise to Deliver Their enemies to Them. This is in accordance with Their erroneous belief that Their genii speak to Them in their sleep. I undeceived Them, and made Them pray to God, and they went Home quietly.
The 11th. They summoned me to the council, where The ambassadors who came From The Iroquois handed me Reverend Father Garnier’s Letters. When I had Read Them, they asked me whether matters were right. I replied that they were, provided The Iroquois kept their word; that there was, however, one thing wrong, and this was that they had talked too much while With The Iroquois, — that they had said that they had Driven The black gown away from Their country, and would no longer have any Relations with The french. They were so surprised at such a deception that they remained for a Long time without uttering a word. Finally they cried [Page 51] Out: “It is The Iroquois who have invented that; they love not The french. But we love The black gown. We beg thee to Continue to take care of us, to instruct our children, and to love us.”
The 12th. The married men are Beginning to come, with Their wives and children, to pray to God; and The young boys who come to Catechism assure me that every one is pleased with our instructions, and that Their parents exhort Them to come and listen to us. This has Continued.
We observe on The countenances of some of them how much they relish and how well they approve the truths that we preach to Them. We see others who yawn, and hang Their heads, — without, however, venturing to Contradict us. They merely asked me whether The Road that Their souls would follow after death would be The same as that followed by ours. We enlightened Them on that point, and they acquiesced.
The 20th. Two Hundred warriors passed before our Chapel, but none entered it, except one of those whom I had baptized some days before. I asked those who favored prayer to God why they did not enter, and they replied that prayer had caused Them to die during The previous summer. God wills that this Church be tried by tribulations. Last winter, a band of young Outagami defeated eleven Canoes of Nadouessi; and they attributed Their victory to prayer, For they had all come to pray to God before starting. Their account of the aid that God had given Them induced The others to pray to Him. They did So last summer, and marked a Cross on Their bucklers, but out of the 19 that they numbered, 26 were captured or killed; while out of another band of 13, three were captured or killed. This does not now, nor will it ever in future, prevent some of the people from coming to be instructed. [Page 53]
The 21st. The elders enter our Cabin; they have ideas that excite Compassion. Time, and The grace of the holy Ghost, will tame these truly savage minds. Great gentleness and gentle arguments, Such as God’s mercy and the rewards of paradise, are needed to Change these spirits; for some of them seemed to me to be barbarous to the last degree, — As if they were possessed by rage, and resolved to be burned and eaten by their enemies, or to burn and eat Them. Their enemies, after burning Them, cut Them into pieces, As we do an animal or a fish, to Cook Them. The law of love alone can soften such Barbarism. It would be a great Charity to abate such Cruelty. They would like me to devote myself to it, As formerly, at The point of saint Esprit.
The 22nd. Some Saki, who have come from the bay des Puants, cause a certain coldness among our neophytes. They tell Them that only children pray to God. Others say: “How can we pray to God? He does not love us; he loves only our enemies, for he always Delivers us into Their hands, and hardly ever Delivers any of them into ours.”
The 25th. As a small party was going again to war, the old men came into our Cabin, and put to me several questions; to These God gave me The grace of being able to reply, and they admitted that they had hitherto been deceived, and that I spoke the truth. They seem to acknowledge that war is governed by fate; they do not attribute The victory either to The strength or Bravery of Their soldiers, or to The Strategy of their Captains, — but to fate, or to the manitou, who gives one tribe to be eaten by another when it pleases Him. That is why they fast, for they hope that The manitou will speak and show himself to them at night, and will say to Them: “I give thee some of thy enemies to eat; go and Seek Them.” That is why, they said, The Captain of one of those bands would [Page 55] infallibly kill some foes, — because, they said, The manitou speaks to him. I explained to Them that he would kill some enemies because he was valiant, Brave, a good Leader, etc.
March 7th. Having observed some further coldness, I found that it was Due to the fact that The evil spirit had repeated all The old falsehoods, — either Against Christianity, or Against us, — of a Nature to alienate The minds of the savages, which he had invented and spread at The point of saint Esprit. But, with The grace of God, The deceptions of the evil spirit are discovered; The people are disabused, and come as usual to listen to us, and Outwardly perform everything connected with a Christian’s duty.
The 11th. After baptizing in The morning a woman who was grievously ill, I heard in The evening that she was dying. I proceeded thither, and she was, in fact, in The death agony. The women wept for Her, according to Their custom. They were four of her aunts, who sat two at her feet and two at her head, — and who, bathed in tears, Sang Lugubriously of The death of Their daughter, for so they called Her. I drew near The dying woman, and told Them that I wished to speak. They became silent, and had Leisure to dry Their eyes while I made her say acts of faith and other acts to prepare Her for death, and while I said The prayers of The recommendation of The soul. They then renewed Their weeping, while I prayed to God for Some time. I bade them be silent, and did The same as I had already done. When I saw that She had lost consciousness, and that night was approaching, I withdrew. She died That night, shortly afterward. I trust that God has had mercy on Her.
Some days afterward, I baptized some young girls, Whom I had prepared by teaching Them The Catechism [Page 57]and The prayers. There were many who were half- prepared; but, When they were must fervent and were beginning to know Something, a heavy frost coming after rain caused an icy Crust to form upon The snow, which is a rare thing in this country. This made it very easy to Hunt Deer and Elk, so that The young men killed Them, while The girls dressed The slaughtered animals, or carried them to the Cabins. Thus I could get Them to come to The Chapel only in passing, and but seldom. I baptized only four, who knew The Pater, The ave, The Credo, and The Catechism; but I have this Consolation, that the majority of The village have been instructed in the Catechism, and in the mysteries of our holy faith and the prayers of The Church. In, fact, from morning To night I do Nothing else all day long; and my mind is satisfied on this point, that they are convinced that I go to see Them for no other Purpose than to teach Them The Road to Heaven.
On the last day of April, I left for The mission of saint Jacques, among the machkoutench. We arrived there on The fourth of .may; and on The following Day, while passing by, with all The french who accompanied me, we adored The cross that we had planted there The previous summer. In accordance with The Custom of these nations, I went on The following Day straight to The Cabin of The former Captain of the machkoutench, who had died a short time previously, to give for Him a little present, and thus console The whole family.
The 5th. I erected my Cabin at The cross, as I did Last year. It was not necessary to call The savages to come to pray to God; They came quite readily, of their own accord. This continued during The whole time while I was there, so that our rush mats, of which our Chapel is built, were soon broken, while some others were merely [Page 59] pierced through, — and though I made Them pray Outside, When they could not all get inside. We continued to perform our duties in peace as last year: we said holy mass every day; we instructed, without cessation bands that successively filled The Chapel; we taught The Catechism and prayers to all, but especially the little boys And girls, so that they half knew Them. We baptized The children whom The parents brought to us for that purpose, and who in Most instances were ill, — for they found by experience that most of The children who were baptized recovered.
We visited Their sick. A woman of the machkoutench, who was grievously ill, and whom I visited to prepare Her for baptism, after I had made Her pray to God in her own house, was cured on The following Day. Another woman of the same tribe, the mother of one of our Christians, was brought to The Chapel by her son to pray to God, because she could no longer come by herself. I went to see Her, to instruct Her and prepare Her for baptism. She had no trouble; for, after listening to me, she said: “Baptize me, so that I may go to Heaven.” I did so, and she died shortly afterward, — to live in Heaven, as I believe.
Another person, of The miami tribe, received The grace of baptism, — for she seemed to me to be very well disposed when I found Her in immediate danger of death; and God was pleased to restore Her to health The very evening when I went back to see Her after her baptism. At least, she was well when I left. I had no trouble preparing her for baptism and for death, For, at the very first, she Conceived The proper desire for eternal life. As a rule, The sick savages do not think of it, and ask only for The life of the Body. [Page 61]
As this tribe of the miami is very numerous, a portion of them do not approve what we preach to Them; The other portion profess to believe and to obey The black gown, and they even say in Their assemblies that they who obey Him not are unhappy. God has, through a special providence over this nascent Church, given It his Blessing; For all those who love Christianity have not suffered from hunger throughout the winter, While The others have endured such famine that some have died. As a rule, all of them ate Their Dogs, and The skins of the animals that they had Killed in The autumn; and were compelled to return to Their village early, and with great difficulty. This tribe do not know how to waLk on snowshoes; for that reason, they have greatly sufered in this quarter, where there was an extraordinary quantity of snow. But God, by a special protection, has always provided food for those who choose to obey Him.
The same miami have given up The manitous whom they invoked for Their war, their Hunting, etc.; they invoke him alone who has made Heaven and earth. In fact, quite recentl’y, when they went to war, they hang up a white skin on The cross in Their village, — to invoke, as they told me, The God of armies, — who has made men and Heaven and earth.
I visited a considerable portion of the miami. They have large Cabins, made of great pieces of bark, wherein I made Them pray to God, all on their knees, until I caught such a cold — either There or in our Chapel, which was quite open — that I could hardly speak. I went away on The 22nd.
I passed through The outagami, to see our sick people there, who continue to practice Christian patience. They wonder That they die not, and acknowledge that prayer makes Them live. I asked one of them where The Rosary [Page 63] was that I had placed around His Neck after his baptism. He replied that I had placed it on Him, and that his son had It still; that the latter had been ill for the past few days; that he had given Him his Rosary to cure Him; and that, as soon as he had fastened It around His Neck, he had recovered.
This is All that Father Claude allouez writes of his mission. It has no other bounds than those assigned to it by his Zeal, which is ever discovering and teaching new nations. Meanwhile, on the one hand, Father Marquette has gone to discover other more remote tribes, as far as The south sea; and on the other, Father Charles albanel has departed a second time to Seek those whom he had already discovered at the North sea. Thus The south and The north will hear of Their Creator, and The gospel will spread to the two extremities of this America, — where The great multitude of nations will lack instruction solely through dearth of persons who cross The seas to come to teach Them.
[After having sufficiently Instructed the whole of This Village, I was compelled to leave it; for I was called away to others who awaited me, — partly in the bay Des puans, and partly in the Nation of fire. I was therefore unable to return there for three months; and, on my arrival, I found that The evil spirit had made every effort to ruin what I had happily Commenced for The salvation of these poor people.
He had made use of the victory won over them by The Nadouessi, Their enemies, who had captured or killed about thirty of them, most of whom had prayed to God before taking the Field.
It is quite true that, during The previous year, a [Page 65] band Of Young Outagami defeated eleven of the enemy’s Canoes, and attributed this happy result to the prayer that they had said in the Chapel before starting on That expedition. But another band, who had likewise prayed to God after The example of the former, and who had even painted the Cross-on Their bucklers, were defeated. This gave rise to rumors which Spread among The people — who said everywhere that God loves not Those who pray, but Those who pray not, and that to the latter He gives such great advantages.
Add to This that barbarism still reigns Here, and that our Outagami are fully resolved not to treat The Nadouessi more humanely than they are treated by them. Their Cruelty is such that, after burning Their Captives, according to the general Custom of the country, They cut Them up, as one does a moose or a sturgeon, and put the pieces In a Kettle to Cook, that they may eat Them As one would Eat any other meat.
The evil spirit, Therefore, made use of the victories obtained by The Enemy to ruin prayer; and, at the same time, he renewed The old quarrels, and all the Impostures that were formerly alleged Against the faith and Against us.
All These Things had so changed Their minds that I had great difficulty in finding a place wherein I might lodge; and I was compelled to take refuge in an old Cabin, open to all The winds. I erected a small Chapel there, to await with patience The designs that God has for This new Church, which he Doubtless wishes to try by tribulations, but which Gives me no slight hope That I will some Day see It very flourishing. [Page 67]
In fact, I was soon Comforted by The throng of People who came Continually to listen to me. Notwithstanding all These troubles, which The Devil had stirred up, Never did I inveigh more strenuously Against The superstitions and other disorders Of the country, — Until at last These clouds were dispelled; The Spread of The Gospel resumed its usual course, and In my little Chapel we performed all our duties in great peace, and administered baptism with The Rites of The Church to Those who deserved It.
I also went with The same Freedom into The Cabins, to explain our Mysteries. In one of them, I baptized a woman who was very ill. I heard in The evening of the same Day that she was about to die; I returned promptly, and found her, in fact, in The death-agony. The women wept for her, according to The Custom Of the country. This Custom is as follows: four women from among her nearest relatives sat Two at the feet of the Sick woman and two at her head, all dishevelled and bathed in Tears; they Sang Lugubriously, and Deplored the death of Their daughter, for so they called Her. These Tears and Cries Last Until The sick person expires. I Therefore approached, and told Them that I wished to speak. They became silent, and dried Their eyes, while I made the dying woman say The necessary acts to Prepare herself properly for Death. I slowly Said The prayers, as well as the recommendation of The soul, after Which they recommenced Their weeping. But I once more made them Cease it, in order to assist our sick woman, and to make Her renew The acts that she had made. Finally, seeing that she had lost Consciousness, and that night was overtaking me, I withdrew, that I might Continue [Page 69] to pray to God for her in greater quiet. She died the same night, and I have reason to Believe that God had mercy upon Her.
The other sick persons Continue to practice Christian patience. Many are astonished That they die not, and acknowledge that It is prayer that makes Them live.
When I asked one Of them where The Rosary was that I had placed around His Neck after his baptism, He replied that his son had It still ; that the latter had been ill during The past few Days; and, to cure Him, He had given Him his Rosary ; and that, in fact, he had no sooner tied it round His Neck than His health was restored.
Before leaving This village, to make my Visits to the others, I baptized some Young girls whom I had prepared, and to whom I had taught The Catechism and The prayers.
And I have This Consolation, that the whole of this village has been Instructed in our Mysteries, in The Catechism, and in the prayers. In fact, From Morning Until night I do Nothing else all Day long but That; and my mind is satisfied on this point, that they are convinced that I go to see Them for no other Purpose than to show Them The Road To Heaven.
This is a portion of What Father Claude Alloues Writes of his Mission. It has no other bounds than Those assigned to it by his Zeal, which is ever discovering and Teaching new Nations; while, on The one Hand, Father Marquette has gone to discover other more remote tribes as Far as the South Sea, and, On the other, Father Albanel has departed a second time [Page 71] to Seek Those whom he had already discovered at the North Sea. Thus The South and the north will hear Of Their Creator, and The Gospel will spread to the Two extremities of This America, — Where the great multitude of nations will lack instruction solely through dearth of persons who cross The seas to come to Instruct Them.]. [Page 73]
Mission of Saint François Xavier des Prés, near
Montreal, during the years 1672 and 1673.
GOD seems to have permitted, for the spread of the kingdom of his Gospel in this new world, that the Iroquois should carry war into countries that were deemed inaccessible to men, and among nations unknown to Europeans. They brought back thence a multitude of captives; and now these captives and the Iroquois, their conquerors, — who themselves come to dwell here with their victims, — unite, that they may all together become fervent Christians. Habitabit lupus cum agno.
On seeing these new believers gathered last autumn in the fold of Jesus Christ, it was very pleasant for us to count in a single nascent Mission as many as twenty-two nations, several of whom speak entirely different tongues, while the others differ only in their idioms. These were seen, mingled together; Outouagannha, Gentagega, Montagnais Algonquins, Nipissiriniens, Hurons, Iroquois, Loups, Mahingans or Socokis, and other nations, no less opposed to one another through ancient feuds than through diversity of language.
This Mission began, about four years ago, by the gathering in this place of some Iroquois families. These Savages had heard of the Gospel from those of our Fathers who are in their country, and at once resolved to embrace it. But, seeing that the [Page 75] execution of their design would be too difficult if they remained in their own country, where idolatry and vice reign with absolute sway, they determined to abandon it, and come to dwell with those who assured them of eternal happiness if they chose to live as good Christians.
No sooner had they arrived than they clearly showed that God has his chosen ones throughout the habitable earth; for, at the very outset, they might have been compared to the Christians of the primitive church. Some time afterward, other Iroquois who came to visit them were so moved by their good example that they resolved to remain with them, and to imitate them in everything.
Soon the rumor spread through all the Iroquois nations that a new village of their countrymen was being formed at la prairie de la Magdeleine, and that all who retired thither had no other intention than that of becoming Christians; and many of those Savages, touched by God’s grace, came here also, in order to lead the same kind of life.
As their numbers increased daily, it was soon found necessary to appoint captains to govern the village, and especially for the preservation of the Faith. The new captains at once assembled all their people, to declare publicly that no one would be admitted into the village who was not resolved to abstain from three things, namely: the idolatry of dreams, the changing of wives, and drunkenness. It was therefore enacted that no one should dwell among them, unless he first publicly declared that he renounced those abominations; and that, if any one relapsed into them, he should be shamefully expelled. [Page 77]
As all this was done publicly, it soon became known to all the nations who resort from all directions to this quarter, — to such an extent that no Savage comes to live here, even temporarily for two or three months, without binding himself to observe the laws governing the new village.
This solid foundation being thus laid, but little trouble was experienced in introducing among the new-comers the practice of virtue and fervent devotion, which are the usual appanage of all nascent Churches. It is a very rare thing for a Savage of this Mission not to assist at mass on all the working- days, and at the public prayers in the evening. Many even hear the two masses that are said in it; and, if any one is prevented by any reasonable obstacle from assisting at them, he comes, as soon as the obstacle is removed, to say his prayers before the Blessed Sacrament. Moreover, should he fail to do so, he confesses it as a great sin, on the very next Sunday; for the most fervent are in the habit of going to confession every Sunday, while the less fervent do so every month. Communions are regulated by the missionary, according to each one’s piety. On Sunday, in addition to the ordinary mass, they all assist at the high mass said for the French, and at the benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, which occurs after vespers. Such is their devotion for the Sacrament that very few pass the chapel without entering to adore it and recite some prayers. Finally, both Sundays and working-days are concluded, before the Savages retire to bed, with public prayers, which are said aloud in each cabin. As a rule some hymns are also sung there, as well as in the chapel, with such agreeable harmony that the French [Page 79] who hear them say that they have never heard anything like it in Europe.
Hospitality is a moral virtue very common among the infidel Savages of this country; but when this virtue is accompanied by grace, it produces admirable results. The Savages of la Prairie had a provision of corn for two years; but, as over eight hundred of their countrymen have come at various times to sojourn among them, all has been consumed in giving the strangers a warm reception. Seizing the opportunity thereby afforded for instructing them in the truths of our Faith, they touched the hearts of many, who have settled here permanently. Others said, on going away, that they would return the following year to share their abode and their peace. They even added that, if a present were given to the elders of Agnié, it was quite probable that the whole nation would come here to range itself under the laws of the Gospel.
The Savages very seldom contradict those who speak to them; and, when they are taught, they approve everything. This gives the missionaries much trouble in distinguishing those who sincerely believe. The natives of this country usually have much human respect, and would not dare to profess religion publicly when with infidels. But the Savages of la Prairie overcame this obstacle at the very outset. They glory in being Christians, and make so public a profession of it that no one ventures to come and dwell among them unless he is fully resolved to embrace the Faith; for he is convinced that he would soon be driven away if he were not fully inclined to live as a good Christian. This causes the unchaste and the drunkards to say: [Page 81] go not to la Prairie, for there are neither women nor liquor there.”
Brandy has ruined the Algonquin missions; and it still prevents many Savages from being converted. The insatiable avarice of the French is the cause of it. They go as far as two and three hundred leagues to seek the Savages in the woods, for the purpose of getting their furs by making them intoxicated. Nevertheless, although this little mission is in the midst of the French who carry on that detestable traffic, not one, through God’s grace, has as yet thought of bringing any here; nor have the Savages thought of going for any, although the latter were nearly all addicted to drunkenness before their baptism. I consider this conduct on the part of both as a miracle of Providence. I believe that there is a guardian angel of this village, who wards off all such occasions for sin; and that, if he were to leave it, and liquor were to come in, there would be no more Christianity in it.
Last winter, all went out, in five or six bands, to hunt. Each band had its leader, and during that journey of three or four months they regularly performed all their usual devotions, without missing a single day, as if they had been in the village and assisted by their pastor. They lived in such innocence that it was difficult to find in them, on their return, matter for confession. In truth, these Savages will rise up against us on the day of judgment.
A catechumen was engaged in hunting alone with his wife, a very good Christian. He met two of the principal men of the Agnie nation, and they joined together for the hunt. The catechumen informs them of all that goes on at la Prairie. They listen, [Page 83] and, as they pray to God together every day, he teaches them the prayers thoroughly. When spring returns, they come here in order, they say, to remain with us and to live as Christians. Before settling permanently, they went to their own country for their wives, and loudly proclaimed their design. Forty- two persons, all influenced by God, joined them. When all arrived here, they gave a present to declare that they abandoned their relatives, friends, cabins, and fields, to enjoy greater facilities for becoming good Christians. In truth, we have never seen souls better disposed.
The name “ Savage ” gives rise to so very disparaging an idea of those who bear it, that many people in Europe have thought that it is impossible to make true Christians of them. But such persons do not reflect that God died for the barbarian as well as for the Jew, and that his spirit breathes where it wills. Good trees bear good fruits, and a man’s virtue is judged when occasion offers. What has been and what will be said suffices to show that not only are there true Christians among these savage peoples, but also that there are many more in proportion than in our civilized Europe. Last autumn, an old man asked to be allowed to live here with his rather numerous family, and this favor was granted him. Shortly afterward, he gives a feast; and, the inhabitants of the village being present thereat, he declares that he is ill, and that he must fulfill a dream in order to be cured. The leader of our Christians rises at once, and says aloud, in the name of .the assembly: “ No, that shall not be done, for it would be a sin. We will eat what thou hast prepared for us but only after having prayed to God. ” This was done. Then [Page 85] they added: “ Do it no more, or we will drive thee away. ” They were obliged to resort to that proceeding, at the end of two months, because it could not be really ascertained whether he were a Christian or not.
Another infidel who came to visit us had no sooner arrived than he began a feast by sacrificing meats to the demon. All the people were indignant. The missionary proceeded to the cabin, and took down the kettle, and the Christians threw the meat to the dogs. The infidel was displeased; he said that dreams were his god, and he feared death neither for himself nor for his family through offending the God of heaven. The missionary retorted that perhaps he would soon feel the effects of the just anger of that all-powerful God. These threats were accomplished before long; for, at the end of three months, that Savage’s three children, who were then in very good health, were all taken from him by death, This example of Divine justice has strongly confirmed our Christians in the Faith, and has inspired the infidels with terror.
It is rare to see a really devout man who is not a true servant of Our Lady. For that reason, a confraternity of the Holy Family and of the Servitude of the Blessed Virgin has been established in this Mission. It is an assembly composed of our most fervent Christians. They meet together every Sunday to ascertain whether all the rules are observed, and to learn what good can be done and what evil prevented. It would take too long to describe in detail all the devotions of this holy confraternity, and to relate their tender devotion to Our Lady, their charity toward their neighbors, their zeal for the salvation [Page 87] of their countrymen. I shall content myself with saying that all the good in this Mission comes from this abundant source of all kinds of blessings. In fact, it is the members of this association who attract the Iroquois hither, who instruct them, who prepare them for baptism. It is they also who preserve and maintain the fervor of the new Christians, and who thus prepare them to reign one day in heaven.
A woman who is a member of this association, seeing her only son about to expire, bore him to the chapel, and, laying him at Our Lady’s feet, said to her: “ My dear Mistress, my All after God, here is my son, or rather yours, who is dying. If you choose to take him, he is yours; if you choose to restore him to me, I will be grateful to you all my life. Until now I have tried all remedies to snatch him from death, but in vain. I will no longer have recourse to them. All the glory must, after God, be yours, and you yourself must cure him. ”
This short prayer ended, in the presence of the missionary, she returned to her cabin with her child. On the following day, when they expected to find him lifeless, they saw that he was much better. Two days afterward, he was out of danger, and his health is thoroughly restored. [Page 89]
MISCELLANEOUS DOCUMENTS, 1674
CXXXL — Relation de la descouverte de plusieurs pays situez au midi de la Nouvelle-France, faite en 1673; Claude Dablon, [Quebec le 1er Aout, 1674]
CXXXII. — Voyage autour de I’Isle Jesus, par le P. Antoine Dalmas; [La Prairie, Octobre, 1674]
Sources: Doc. CXXXI. we obtain from Margry’s Découvertes, t. i., pp. 262-270. The original MS. Of Doc. CXXXII. rests in the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal, and the present is its first publication. [Page 91]
Relation of the discovery of many countries
situated to the south of New
France, made in 1673.
[Quebec, August 1, 1674.)
E cannot this year give all, the information that might be expected regarding so important a discovery, since sieur Jolliet, who was bringing to us the account of it, with a very exact chart of these new countries, lost his papers in the wreck which befell him. This occurred below the sault Saint Louis, near Montreal, after he had safely passed more than forty rapids; he could hardly save his own life, for which he struggled in the waters during four hours.
However, you will find herein what we have been able to put together after hearing him converse, while waiting for the relation, of which father Marquette is keeping a copy. Two years ago, Monsieur the count de Frontenac, our governor, and Monsieur Talon, then our intendant, decided that it was important to undertake the discovery of the Southern Sea, after having accomplished that of the Northern; and, above all, to ascertain into what sea falls the great river, about which the Savages relate so much, and which is 500 leagues from them, beyond the Outaouacs.
For this purpose, they could not have selected a person endowed with better qualities than is sieur Jolliet, who has traveled much in that region, and [Page 93] has acquitted himself in this task with all the ability that could be desired.
On arriving in the Outaouac country, he joined father Marquette, who awaited him for that voyage, and who had long premeditated that undertaking, for they had frequently agreed upon it together. They set out, accordingly, with five other Frenchmen, about the beginning of June, 1673, to enter countries wherein no European had ever set foot.
Their journal stated that — leaving the Bay des Puans, at the latitude of 43 degrees and 40 minutes — at first they voyaged for nearly 60 leagues upon a small river, very smooth and pleasant, running in a west-southwesterly direction. They found a portage which would enable them, by going half a league, to pass from that river to another, which flowed from the northwest. Upon that stream they embarked, and, after going 40 leagues to the southwest, they found themselves, on the 15th of June, at 42 and one- half degrees of latitude, and successfully entered that famous river called by the Savages Mississipi — as one might say, “ the Great River, ” because it is, in fact, the most important of all the rivers in this country. It comes from a great distance northward, according to the savages. It is a noble stream, and is usually a quarter of a league wide. Its width is still greater at the places where it is interrupted by islands — which, however, are very few. Its depth is as much as ten brasses of water; and it flows very gently, until it receives the discharge of another great river, which comes from the west and north- west, at about the 38th degree of latitude. Then, swollen with that volume of water, it becomes very rapid; and its current has so much force that, in [Page 95] ascending it, only four or five leagues a day can be accomplished, by paddling from morning to night.
There are forests on both sides, as far as the sea. The most vigorous trees that one sees there are a species of cotton-tree, of extraordinary girth and height. The savages therefore use these trees for making canoes, — all of one piece, fifty feet in length and three in width, in which thirty men with all their baggage can embark. They make them of much more graceful shape than we do ours. They have so great a number of them that in a single village one sees as many as 280 together.
The nations are located near the Great River, or farther inland. Our travelers counted more than 40 villages, most of which consisted of 60 to 80 cabins. Some villages even contained 300 cabins, such as that of the Ilinois, which contains over 8,000 souls. All of the Savages who compose it seem to have a gentle nature; they are affable and obliging. Our Frenchmen experienced the effects of this civility at the first village that they entered, for there a present was made them — a pipe-stem for smoking, about three feet long, adorned with feathers of various kinds. This gift has almost a religious meaning among these peoples; because the calumet is, as it were, a passport and safeguard to enable one to go in safety everywhere, no one daring to injure in any manner those who bear this caduceus. It has only to be displayed, and life is secure, even in the thickest of the fight. As there is a peace-pipe, so also is there a war-pipe; these differ, however, solely in the color of the feathers that cover them, — red being the token of war, while the other colors are [Page 97] signs of peace. Many things might indeed be said about this pipe-stem, as well as of the manners and customs of those peoples. Until such time as we receive the relation thereof, we shall merely say that the women are very modest; also, that, when they do wrong, their noses are cut off. It is they who, with the old men, have the care of tilling the soil; and, when the seed is sown, all go together to hunt the wild cattle, which supply them with food. From the hides of these, they make their garments, dressing the skin with a certain kind of earth, which also serves them as a dye.
The soil is so fertile that it yields corn three times a year. It produces, naturally, fruits which are unknown to us and are excellent. Grapes, plums, apples, mulberries, chestnuts, pomegranates, and many others are gathered everywhere, and almost at all times, for winter is only known there by the rains.
The country is equally divided into prairies and forests, and provides fine pastures for the great number of animals with which it abounds. The wild cattle never flee. The Father counted as many as 400 of them in a single herd. Stags, does, and deer are almost everywhere. Turkeys strut about, on all sides. Parroquets fly in flocks of 10 to 12; and quail rise on the prairies at every moment.
Through the midst of this fine country our travelers passed, advancing upon the Great River to the 33rd degree of latitude, and going almost always toward the south. From time to time, they met Savages, by whom they were very well received, through favor of their caduceus or calumet-stem. Toward the end, they learned from the Savages that [Page 99] they were approaching European settlements; that they were only three days, and finally only two days distant from these; that the Europeans were on the left hand; and that they had to proceed but so leagues farther, to reach the sea. Then the Father and sieur Jolliet deliberated as to what they should do, — that is, if it were advisable to go on, They felt certain that, if they advanced farther, they would fling themselves into the hands of the Spaniards of Florida, and would expose the French who accompanied them to the manifest danger of losing their lives. Moreover, they would lose the results of their voyage, and could not give any information regarding it, if they were detained as prisoners — as they probably would be, if they fell into the hands of Europeans.
These reasons made them resolve to retrace their steps, after having obtained full information about everything that could be desired on such an. occasion. They did not return by exactly the same route; at the end of November, they reached the bay des Puans, by different routes from the former one, and with no other guide than their compasses.
While waiting for the journal of that voyage, we may make the following remarks regarding the utility of this discovery.
The first is, that it opens up to us a great field for the preaching of the Faith, and gives us entrance to very numerous peoples, who are very docile, and well disposed to receive it; for they manifested a great desire to obtain the Father as soon as possible, and received with much respect the first words of life which he announced to them The altogether diverse languages of these tribes do not frighten our [Page 101] missionaries ; some of them already know and make themselves understood in that of the Islinois, the first savages who are encountered [upon the river]. It is among them that father Marquette will begin to establish the kingdom of Jesus Christ.
The second remark concerns the terminus of this discovery. The Father and sieur Jolliet have no doubt that it is toward the gulf of Mexico — that is, Florida. For eastward there can only be Virginia, the sea-coast of which is, at most, at 34 degrees of latitude; while they went as low as 33, and still had not come within fifty leagues of the sea, to the west. Likewise, it cannot be the Vermilion sea; because their route, which was nearly always toward the south, took them away from that sea. There remains therefore only Florida, which is midway between both; and it is certainly most probable that the river, which geographers trace, and call Saint Esprit, is the Mississipi, on which our French navigated.
The third remark is that, as it would have been highly desirable that the terminus of that discovery should prove to be the Vermilion sea, — which would have given at the same time access to the sea of Japan and of China, — so, also, we must not despair of succeeding in that other discovery of the western sea, by means of the Mississipi. For, ascending to the northwest by the river which empties into it at the 38th degree, as we have said, perhaps one would reach some lake, which will discharge its waters toward the west. It is this that we seek, and it is all the more to be desired, because all these countries abound in lakes and are intersected by rivers, which offer wonderful communications between these countries, as the reader may judge. [Page 103]
The fourth remark concerns a very great and important advantage, which perhaps will hardly be believed. It is that we could go with facility to Florida in a bark, and by very easy navigation. It would only be necessary to make a canal, by cutting through but half a league of prairie, to pass from the foot of the lake of the Illinois to the river Saint Louis. Here is the route that would be followed: the bark would be built on lake Erie, which is near lake Ontario, it would easily pass from lake Erie to lake Huron, whence it would enter lake Illinois. At the end of that lake the canal or excavation of which I have spoken would be made, to gain a passage into the river Saint Louis, which falls into the Mississipi. The bark, when there, would easily sail to the gulf of Mexico. Fort Catarokouy, which Monsieur de Frontenac has had built on lake Ontario, would greatly promote that undertaking; for it would facilitate communication between Quebec and lake Erie, from which that fort is not very distant. And even, were it not for a waterfall separating lake Erie from lake Ontario, a bark built at Catarokouy could go to, Florida by the routes that I have just mentioned.
The fifth remark refers to the great advantages that would accrue from the establishment of new colonies, in countries so beautiful and upon lands so fertile. Let us see what the sieur Jollyet says of them, for this is his project.
“ At first,when we were told of these treeless lands, I imagined that it was a country ravaged by fire, where the soil was so poor that it could produce nothing. But we have certainly observed the contrary; and no better soil can be found, either for corn, for vines, or for any other fruit whatever. [Page 105]
“The river which we named for Saint Louis, which rises near the lower end of the lake of the Illinois, seemed to me the most beautiful, and most suitable for settlement. The place at which we entered the lake is a harbor, very convenient for receiving vessels and sheltering them from the wind. The river is wide and deep, abounding in catfish and sturgeon. Game is abundant there; oxen, cows, stags, does, and Turkeys are found there in greater numbers than elsewhere. For a distance of eighty leagues, I did not pass a quarter of an hour without seeing some.
“There are prairies three, six, ten, and twenty leagues in length, and three in width, surrounded by forests of the same extent; beyond these, the prairies begin again, so that there is as much of one sort of land as of the other. Sometimes we saw the grass very short, and, at other times, five or six feet high; hemp, which grows naturally there, reaches a height of eight feet.
“A settler would not there spend ten years in cutting down and burning the trees; on the very day of his arrival, he could put his plow into the ground. And, if he had no oxen from France, he could use those of this country, or even the animals possessed by the Western Savages, on which they ride, as we do on horses.
“ After sowing grain of all kinds, he might devote himself especially to planting the vine, and grafting fruit-trees; to dressing ox-hides, wherewith to make shoes; and with the wool of these oxen he could make cloth, much finer than most of that which we bring from France. Thus he would easily find in the country his food and clothing, and nothing would be wanting except salt; put, as he could make [Page 107] provision for it, it would not be very difficult to remedy that inconvenience. ”
The above is a brief abstract of matters which are fully related in the journal that was lost. If we can secure the copy of it, we shall observe therein many things which will please the curious, and satisfy geographers regarding the difficulties that they may encounter in preparing descriptions of that part of north America. [Page 109]
Voyage around Isle Jésus.
Y REVEREND FATHER,
After having roughly drawn, according to what remained in my Imagination, this light sketch of the shores of Isle Jesus, which is washed by the river des prayries, I will avail myself of the opportunity afforded by our two habitans, Jean Du Val and Thomas, to point out to Your Reverence what good there is in this route, upon which some Project may be founded. The shore is everywhere Sterile, and difficult of access — Sterile, inasmuch as there is more bad land than good ; difficult of access, because the approaches to it are bordered by rapids, five in number — one at one league, or thereabout, from the entrance at the lower end; two others, about a third of the Way going up from the lower end, which are one league distant from each other; and two others, toward the upper end, also separated from each other by about one league and a half. Most of these rapids are very difficult at this season, when there is no water. Not so in the spring; the Canoes, however, would have considerable trouble in keeping close to the banks of the River, on account of the very low trees, and the trunks of those which have fallen beyond the points of the Rocks; these are very numerous, for the greater part of the river-bed is paved with them and the bank shows almost nothing else, The current is very Rapid; in some places [Page 111] much skill is needed to avoid being carried away by it.
However, the lower point, where Monsieur frison lives, is good land; and there are some other very good coves.
If it were absolutely necessary to decide, the best, after the lower point, is a cove which is two or three leagues above the lower point; but, as it has not a league of good land, There is above the third rapid very fine Country, after one has passed a rather somber and gloomy region. There are, beyond, two fine basins and channels surrounded by fairly good land, which are separated by a beautiful Island about ten or 12 arpents long and two wide. This tract covers fully two leagues, or more; it begins toward the middle of the Island, and extends toward its upper part. This is believed to be the greater part of the Island, which is estimated to be about three leagues through the middle. Among the Inconveniences of this Place, besides the rapids, must be numbered: 1. The proximity of Mont Royal, which will soon be frequented by traders to these regions if they scent any savages there. 2. The narrowness of the passage around one of the two Extremities of the Island, which, not being yours, are likely to be seized by these same traders. 3. The Opposition of those who are said to lay claim to these Places. For Monsieur frison told me that Monsieur Dupuy had obtained, a long time ago, a league of it toward the middle, — and, as others have told me, at his own Option. Even one of our habitans told me that he had been solicited by the said Monsieur Dupuy — and, since he was with the sisters, by those sisters — to take up his residence there. I have been told, [Page 113] besides, that Monsieur Daillibour [D’Ailleboust] has retained half a league of it; I do not know whether this is from the said Monsieur Dupuy. 4. Finally, provisions Cannot be taken to that place except in the spring. It would be necessary, therefore, to ascertain from messieurs Dupuy and Daillibourg their claims, and to be assured by the seigniors of the country, and by their neighbors, that they will not place any one there without binding him not to trade in Liquor, — or, rather, that the prohibition obtained from Monsieur the Count for la prairie be universal for all the posts where the savages may dwell among us. I believe that, in case this prohibition be obtained for this place, it could be easily extended by the King, in france, over all our missions, — availing themselves of this one as a proof that such is the Intention of those who rule. It is said that Monsieur le Moyne has four leagues above the sault st. Louis, and that he is making clearings at the mouth of the river du loup, which is two leagues from the sault. It is, therefore, probable that the river is the middle of his Grant, and that one of its Extremities reaches To ours, near the said sault; and, consequently, that lower down there will be some one who will take up his quarters there, to retail liquors and to secure the sault. It is said that the upper part of the Isles de la paix, and the southern shore toward the lake of the Two mountains, is good land, and that the air is fine; besides, it is on the way, in ascending the river. There would he, perhaps, more advantages there for a settlement of savages, the country being extensive, the lake long and wide, and good for fishing, and the route much frequented by the Irocquois and others. Beside [Page 115] all the nearer country is either taken, or is poor; and it is a prey to the traders, above whom we would be.
To say a word of my Voyage, in the form of a Journal. I departed from here monday, the 24th of September, with Monsieur le moyne and Piere gagnie, the best Canoemen in this Quarter. I reached mont Royal about noon, and in the evening the house of Monsieur de la Chesnaye. Tuesday morning, I said mass there, at which Monsieur frison was present. Then we went to visit him; He told me that he greatly desired that we should live there; and that he wished only to be left the rest of his Days to cultivate his Garden, from which he gave us various seeds. About 9 or ten o’clock, we went up the River des prayries, and Encamped above the third rapid. Before going on, it must be observed:
1. That Isle Jesus has its length to the south-south-west, and the lower point faces the north-northeast.
2. That we left Isle aux Vaches, ascended the 1st rapid, which is about a league from the lower point of the shore of Montroyal, and then coasted along Isle Jesus.
3. That we did not visit the west-north-west Shore of Isle Jesus, inasmuch as there is arapid there of three leagues, and very little water;and that, besides, we visited the upper end, whence, descending by the river Jesus, one finds only had country, all flooded, and dotted with a thousand Islands.
4. In the midst of the first rapid There is a long round rock, level with the water, and very dangerous, especially when the waters are highest.
5. From this first rapid, the land is poor For more than a league.
6. On the Side of mont Royal, from the point To the place where the 1st rapid is, There [Page 117] are many settlements.
[i.e., 7] One league, or thereabout above this first rapid is found a large bay, which seems to be nearly 3-fourths of a league in extent, and to have good land. It is terminated by a Slope, which begins at a point that is a mass of immense and very beautiful Rocks, Extending into the water. This Slope bears a beautiful pine forest, which appears afar off; and the Cedars are very large and numerous, all along these shores. The Slope has many coves, Bordered by Pebbles and stones, — which even pave the Channel, where are seen many Long, flat stones. We passed the second rapid, near Isle Jesus ; and the third near a little Islet, where the force of the current is, which gives considerable trouble to those who are dragging canoes, although they cling to this Islet. The 3rd rapid is one league, or thereabout, above the 2nd. Beyond this, there is a region of rather gloomy, poor, and stony land, Extending a league and a half, or more. There are a few little coves, surrounded by good Land ; then one finds a large bay which, with the Shore of mont Royal, represents, as it were, a trefoil or a goose’s foot. The lower part is good and beautiful, and the land excellent. It is terminated by an Island which appears to be 10 arpents or more long, and one or two wide, of tolerably good soil ; this, being near Isle Jesus, outside of the great channel, ought to belong to Isle Jesus. We Coasted along it, near Isle Jesus; there was a sort of little rapid, which one could easily cross on foot in order to go to this Island. Afterward, the Channel of the river is spacious, the air fine, and a beautiful Island appears off the shore of mont Royal, Beyond, one enters another large bay, where we found some Algonquins [Page 119] Encamped, who shared with us their game ; this served us during the rest of our Journey, furnishing us with Beaver for friday. This great channel is terminated by a strait, which conceals another great channel, or bay ; the latter receives the waters from a country quite far up. We visited the country ; the land is very stony, but has many walnut-trees, beeches, aspens, and red maples, which are numerous along all these Shores. Then follows a wide channel for more than half a league, then a great rapid in a broad space in the river, which there forms a vast basin, made by the bays in the two Shores; and this seems to be sprinkled with Islands in the far distance. Above the basin, the Shore of mont Royal forms a great bend, where the channel of the river turns toward the east. We passed the rapids near Mont Royal, where I disembarked and passed those rapids. Then, seeing the basin end in a large Island, we crossed the Channel and this basin, in order not to leave the Shore of Isle Jesus, and to see if there was any passage between this Island and the Shore. The narrow space made us Think that this Island was still a part of Isle de Jesus, the channel being farther back, and still interspersed with other Islands. After these Islands, the two channels meeting form another sort of basin, toward the end of Isle Jesus. The 4th rapid does not seem far Distant from the fifth, which is almost at the end of the channel of the river des prairies, being more than a league and a half. We passed the 5th rapid near Isle Jesus. Then we went up into the entrance to the lake of the two Mountains ; these heights are seen at a distance, ending the channel of our River, but they are Separated from it by a space of more than [Page 121] 8 leagues. That made us Judge that we were at the end of Isle Jesus, the extremity of which faces the lake of the two Mountains, which opens there and seems parallel with the Corner of Mont Royal; this begins, opposite the entrance to the river des Prairies, another Shore which extends to the south- southwest and faces the width of the lake of the two Mountains. We Encamped at the point of Isle Jesus, in an Algonquin Camp that we found there. We had dined in the place where we visited the land, in a corner of that bay where, as I have said, there seemed to be a discharge of water. We slept at the extremity of Isle Jesus. It was Wednesday, the 26th, when I said holy Mass in our Camp at the 3rd rapid, upon the bottom of our Canoe, in the woods. On the morning of Thursday, the 27th, I said it at the foot of a great Cedar, upon some poles. A drizzling rain fell all night and continued nearly all Day, which delayed us. But having a little Intermission, about two o’clock in the afternoon, I hastened to visit the other Side of the point of Isle Jesus. We passed a violent rapid which flows between some Islands and The western Shore of Isle Jesus. We found very rocky soil; and, farther down, the land was inundated, and mingled with Islands, which are called “the thousand Islands.” Night and the rain compelled us to return, and to encamp at the place whence we had come. Early friday morning we passed the lake of the 2 mountains and entered lake st. Louis. I said mass near the point of the bay of Isle Perrot, where Monsieur Perrot’s house is Built. This point is in the lake st. Louis, opposite some Islets, one of which is called Isle aux Chevres, on account of the goats which have been [Page 123] put there, and which we saw browsing. I said mass upon the natural white marble of this point, and there we had a good meal. Then we descended the river, and passed sault st. Louis after sunset, and in great darkness, in order that we might be here for Saturday, st. Michael’s Day. If it be desired to make these visits more Accurate and complete, more time is needed, and not so much haste. If your Reverence desire others to be made, I will perform the task as well as I possibly can, — even if others should refuse, and even if our brother should assert to our canoemen that it was he who sent me. I commend myself to Your Reverence’s Holy Sacrifices, Very obediently,
RELATION OF I673-74
Source: We obtain this document mainly from Douniol’s Relations inédites, t. i., pp. 219-283, 295-318.
The greater part of the lielation is given in the present volume, the remainder being reserved for Volume LIX.
OF WHAT OCCURRED
in the missions of the Fathers
of the Society of Jesus,
DURING THE YEARS 1673 and 1674;
Sent by the Reverend Father Claude
Dablon, Superior-general of
To theReverend Father Étienne de Champs,
Provincial of the same Society in the
province of France.
Of The Huron Mission of nostre Dame de Foy,
now called The mission of notre
dame de Laurette.
S this mission increases daily, — either through the recruits that come to us from the Iroquois country, or through God’s blessing upon the Huron families in multiplying them anew, — we have been obliged to remove our Savages from Notre Dame de Foye, where they were in need of land and wood, to place them a league and a half farther from Quebec. We have given the name of Lorette to their new village, because of the chapel we have built there on the model and under the name of the Holy House of Loretto.
As this new establishment was begun about the end of the year 1673, we will consider this Mission from that time to the beginning of the year 1675. We will first mention what happened at the same time in both these villages; and afterward relate the most important events that occurred at Notre Dame de Foye, where our Savages were still compelled to go, to sow their fields and gather their crops. Finally, we shall briefly indicate what has happened at our new Lorette.
I. OF THE HURON MISSION CONSIDERED IN GENERAL,
EITHER AT NOTRE DAME DE FOYE OR AT
NOTRE DAME DE LORETTE.
HIS Mission already contained over two hundred and ten Christians when Father Chaumonot and Father Bouvart, who had charge of it, had in the [Page 131] space of fifteen months the consolation of baptizing fifty-two persons there, namely : twenty-seven children, and twenty-five adults, who, with the exception of two or three, all manifest a fervor comparable to that of the faithful of the primitive Church.
As these neophytes are mostly Iroquois, the charity displayed by our Hurons, poor as they are, in clothing, lodging, feeding, and even adopting them, is all the purer and all the more heroic that they have been most cruelly treated by that nation. Those who still bear on their bodies the marks of the blows given by their former enemies have been the most charitable toward these. Witness Pierre Andahiacon, who, although he had several of his fingers eaten by the Iroquois, nevertheless adopted one of that nation, with his wife and two children; all these he lodged and fed for five or six months and gave to them, among other things, a large moose-skin and a fine robe of beaver-skins.
In the same way, one named Marie Thérèse Ouaronha gave her own blanket to an Iroquois woman who was baptized this summer. There are devout women who are careful to conceal their liberality from us, in order that God may reward it in full.
Thus Marie Ouendraka, among others, gave them several minots of Indian corn.
The charity of our Hurons has been no less liberal toward the French of this country. As corn was very dear this year, they have given over a hundred minots of it to the poor French, whom they themselves led through the cabins to enable them to obtain generous alms. François Hotachetak distinguished himself in this work of mercy; and Hélène Andotrahan even surpassed him, by giving [Page 133] them her last chest of corn. The charity that they continually practice among themselves resembles the charity of the early Christians; for, if they possess anything of their own, they act as if they had nothing that is not in common. Thus, — to say nothing of the presents and feasts that they give one another annually, after their hunting or fishing, — when it was necessary to convey their grain and their effects from Notre Dame de Foye to Notre Dame de Lorette, or to cultivate the fields that they have in both those places, they assisted one another, by working first for one family and then for another. And because they expect the reward of their charity from God especially, they also extended it to the sick, the feeble, and the absent, as well as to those who were present and in good health.
Their piety is in no respect behind their charity, and manifests itself not only in the church, but also in their labors and on their journeys. They begin, they conclude, and they even interrupt their work, from time to time, with various prayers, which they recite on their knees before a large cross, or turned toward their chapel. When these prayers are ended, Louis Thaondechoren, their good dogique, in order to maintain their fervor while they work, suggests aloud some pious thoughts to them, and causes them to make some acts of virtue.
On their journeys, one hardly meets them without finding them engaged in praying to God. One of the principal men of the country who comes upon them often, on his way to his farm, lately said in a large company, that the Savages shamed the French. “ In fact,“’ he added, “ where can we find among ourselves persons who perform journeys with rosary [Page 135] in hand, Saying it continually; and who only interrupt their Prayers to make the children pray whom they carry on their backs, and to instruct them? This is what I see nearly every day with my own eyes; and it inspires me with admiration for their Faith, and with shame for our faint-heartedness,”
But let us relate in greater detail the most remarkable events that occurred in the village of Notre Dame de Foye before our Savages were able to leave it; and afterward we shall briefly describe what happened in that of our new Loretto.
II. OF THE HURON MISSION AT NOTRE DAME DE FOYE.
NOUGH has been said in previous relations of the good order and fervor that prevail in this Mission; we shall content ourselves with mentioning here two or three instances of the virtue of our good Savages.
About All Saints’ day in the year 1673, the roads were very bad, and the Fathers in charge of this Mission — who then resided at Sillery, half a league from Notre Dame de Foye — experienced much difficulty in going thither, as they were frequently obliged to do several times a day. Pierre Andahiacon, one of our worthy captains, and Jeanne Asenragehaon, his wife, — the chief of all our Christian women in intelligence, fervor, and constancy, reflected upon the difficulty of the roads, and went secretly, and of their own accord, to mend them at the worst spots.
The missionaries met them, and asked them what had led them to undertake this work. They replied : ‘I We thought that, if our Fathers take So much [Page 137] trouble every day to come and prepare the road to heaven for us, the least that we can do is to prepare the road to our village for them.”
The second example which we shall relate is taken from a family remarkable for its blessings. Its heads are Hotachétak of whom we have already spoken, and Catherine Téouachégnien, his wife, — who may rightly be Surnamed “ the almoner,” on, account of her liberality to the poor. They have, among other children, a daughter, about twenty- three years of age, — very well trained for a Savage, and so chaste that, some time ago, when a young man uttered some wicked words in her presence, she went in tears to the missionary to complain of him. She thought that she had never deserved by her conduct to be treated in such a manner. The Father reassured her, and sent her away quite consoled. This young Savage, whose name is Marguerite Egandarekoui, was married to a man of her own nation, named Jacques Ontagannahoche, who left her three children, a boy and two girls, — the younger of whom was born after her father’s death. A year ago, on the feast of the presentation of Our Lady, while Ontagannahoche was already suffering from the disease that carried him to his grave, his wife told him what Father Chaumonot had said in’ his sermon about the sacrifice that saint Joachim and saint Anne had made of their only daughter, the blessed Virgin Mary. This example touched him, and, in concert with his wife, he resolved to offer to God in the same manner their daughter, Marie Anne Garihonnentha. They informed her of their design, and the child, who was then only four and a half [Page 139] years old, consented to it, — with as much joy and fervor as an adult person could have done who had a decided vocation for a religious life. Father Chaumonot was afterward summoned and the child was placed in his hands, with a request that he would take her to the Ursulines, in order that, after being brought up as a boarder, she might be admitted as a nun, if Our Lord maintained her in that intention. For their part, they added, they offered as a complete sacrifice to God this their eldest child and only daughter, whom they loved better than themselves.
The missionary, who wished to try them, replied at first that he would think the matter over; but the child’s father was not satisfied with this answer, and, before dying, he again particularly charged him to execute his will, — protesting that the missionary would be responsible if his daughter, who was confided to him, was not wholly devoted to God, to whom his wife and he had offered and still offered her.
The pious sick man afterward received the last Sacraments with great devotion, and died in a very Christian manner on the 25th of December of the year 1673. We have, accordingly, reason to believe that God granted him the grace of being born anew in heaven on the same day when he himself was born on earth through love of us. His widow omitted nothing that she owed to her husband’s memory; and, not content with her own prayers, she gave alms of corn and porcelain beads to obtain prayers to God, for the repose of his soul. Even little Marie Anne, on being informed of her father’s death, asked for a rosary, and went to recite the [Page 141] whole of it in the chapel of Notre Dame de Foye, Since that time, she and her mother continually urge us to have her admitted into the seminary of the Reverend Ursuline Mothers; and, because Monsieur — the count de Frontenac, our governor, has, for some time kept little Savage girls there, they both presented themselves before him when he came, quite recently, to perform his devotions at Notre Dame de Lorette. They asked him for a place with the nuns. When he replied that on the arrival of the ships he would see what he could do on their behalf, they were not yet quite satisfied. Therefore, when one of the Fathers of their Mission went to Quebec, they came to him during very bad weather, and begged him to take them to the Ursulines’.
The Reverend Mother de Saint Athanase, the superioress, who was ill, sent several of her nuns to the parlor, at first; but as the latter gave her a very favorable account of our little Huron girl, she herself came to receive the child that was presented to her. On seeing her, she was delighted with her modesty and her answers, as well as with the beautiful voice and the entire conduct of little Marie Anne, whose age was only five years and a half. She would have kept her from that time, had not Monsieur the governor promised to place the child in their seminary the following summer. She even added that, if he were unable to keep his word, she would admit her at that time. As a pledge of her promise she gave her some presents, and adopted her as her daughter, according to the custom of the Savages. The mother and child, well pleased at the evidences of affection given them by the nuns, await the time for her admission. The grandfather, [Page 143] and other relatives of little Marie Anne are of the same opinion with reference to the sacrifice that they wish to make. All these circumstances give us reason to believe that there is something supernatural in this vocation, considering the exceedingly great fondness that the Savages naturally have for their children.
In the spring of the year 1674 there died at Notre Dame de Foye a young man named Zacharie Aouenion, who, during the whole year while his illness lasted, displayed perfect patience and resignation. He received the sacraments in the church, whither he came for the purpose, as often as his sickness permitted. Two days before his death, when his confessor went to visit him, he informed him that he wished to make a general confession of his whole life. The Father approved this pious desire, — with all the more joy, since this practice has hitherto been all the rarer among the Savages. The sick man therefore confessed himself with great accuracy and contrition, and chose, after imitating the Magdalene in her penance, to imitate the humility of the Centurion in his communion; for, not deeming himself worthy that Our Lord should enter his dwelling, he caused himself to be conveyed to the church, to receive the holy viaticum there. He afterward received extreme unction, with the same devotion that he had displayed in receiving communion.
The elders and the more fervent Christians came at night to sit up with him, according to their custom; they suggested to him many acts of the various virtues, and conversed with him at some length on spiritual matters. They asked him whether he [Page 145] would not consent to their speaking of some other indifferent subject, so as not to fatigue him too much. “No,” he said, “ continue, I beg, to relate holy stories and to speak of God; I take pleasure in hearing you.” At last, feeling that he was growing weaker, he devoutly kissed the crucifix, and gently expired while pronouncing the names of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.
III. OF THE HURON MISSION AT NOTRE DAME DE
UR Savages, being under the necessity, as we have seen, of moving their village, found no other place more suitable on all our lands than at a league and a half from Notre Dame de Foye, and three from Quebec. The purity of the air, the level surface of the land, and the goodness and convenience of the water-supply, render it one of the most agreeable dwelling-places in this country. As early as the summer of 1673, while we were having made, nine or ten leagues from there, the bricks wherewith the chapel was to be built, our Savages hastily erected twelve or thirteen cabins, in which to pass the winter at that place. But, before leaving Notre Dame de Foye, they all went on a pilgrimage to Sillery for a general communion, and to make a public vow in honor of saint Michael, the patron of that place. They presented a collar of porcelain beads to that glorious archangel, to obtain through his intercession a successful establishment in the new village of Lorette. They were hardly lodged there when they made another vow and another communion in honor of saint Anne. To her they likewise offered a collar [Page 147] of porcelain beads, to ask from her the grace of’ seeing before long, in the middle of their village, the house of the Blessed Virgin, her daughter, — built on the model and under the name of that which she had left to her at Nazareth, and which the angels. transported to Loretto in Italy.
As our Hurons had not yet any chapel in their new village, whither they had removed on the 27th of’ December of the year 1673, Father Chaumonot publicly asked whether some one would not lend half his cabin for an oratory, in which an altar might be erected. Immediately François Athoricher — who, has shown himself to be one of the most eager for their establishment at Lorette — and his sister, the good Marie Ouendraka, came to urge us to take the whole of their cabin, saying that God certainly deserved to have an entire lodging for himself. Their offer was accepted, and for ten months, and more, we said holy mass in their cabin, and performed all our duties in comfort there.
For themselves they erected, in close proximity, a wretched bark hut, in which the whole of their’ family lodged, suffering great inconvenience from cold and from smoke.
Some time afterward, the plan of the chapel, and of the cabins that were to be erected the following. summer, was drawn up; and in a spiritual conference it was asked how the new village of Lorette could really be made the village of the Blessed Virgin. Our dogique, Louis Thaondéchoren, delivered a very sensible and solid discourse. While relating, among other things, what he had heard of Our Lady of Loretto in Italy, he said that it seemed [Page 149] to him that all their cabins, which he saw ranged around the chapel, represented in his eyes the great temple enclosing the sacred house of Loretto; that thus they were to consider the whole of their village as a great church, of which all the cabins constituted so many different parts. Hence he concluded that the fathers and mothers of families should regard themselves in their households as so many posts and places confided by Mary to their fidelity, — to be defended against the enemies, which are sins, especially those of drunkenness and impurity. “ Thus,” he said in concluding, “ our village will truly be Mary’s village, while no vice disputes with her its possession and sovereignty.”
How desirable it would be for the proper government of Christian families that all should share the thought of this fervent Savage — who, infirm and sick as he has been for a year and a half, lives with a contented mind, and in a state of indifference to life, that are truly admirable.
His resignation reminds me of a certain widow, named Jeanne Atsigouendia. One day, when her granddaughter had gone to the woods with one of her cousins, they came to tell her that the latter had killed the other with a hatchet-stroke, which she had dealt her by accident. On hearing this news, the noble and devout grandmother addressed herself to the Blessed Virgin, and prayed to her as follows: “ No sooner had you given me this child than I offered her to you. Now you take her from me. Although I feel my loss very deeply, your will be done! I thank you for the time in which you left her with me.” [Page 151]
Although this news turned out to be untrue, and the little one had escaped with the loss of one of her fingers, her grandmother’s virtue is no less praiseworthy.
About the same time, another widow, named Hélène Andotrahon, displayed her virtue to no less a degree during the illness of her brother and grandson. The latter, a child five years old, was attacked by a violent fever, and tormented by a great multitude of worms. Careful as the grandmother was of her grandson’s body, she was still more so of his soul; and she caused him almost continually to make various acts of virtue, which she first pronounced, and which he repeated with admirable docility and gentleness in one so young. When our Helen’s brother fell ill, — just as our Savages were about to return to Notre Dame de Foye, to sow their fields, — she remained at Lorette to attend him. Father Bouvart went to visit them, and asked this faithful sister whether she did not find it tedious to be alone. She replied: “ No, because’ I have quite near me the cabin of Jesus and Mary, where I go to pay my debt to them after I have satisfied what I owe to my brother.”
The same Father, while visiting another sick person, asked him how he passed the day and night, — lying, as he did, so uncomfortably upon his mat and bed of bark. He replied: “ I repeat my rosary continually, and I am not lonely.” He is, in truth, a man who lives in close union with God; and who, in order not to have to divide the attention he displays in serving him with the care that he would have to take of a wife, refused quite recently to marry. He replied to his sister, who proposed a very good match [Page 153] to him, that she would oblige him by leaving him as he was, since he was well off. The name of this chaste and devout Savage is Jacques Onouandousandik.
On the 16th of July of the year 1674, Reverend Father Claude Dablon, superior-general of the Missions of the Society of Jesus in New France, and rector of the Quebec College, came to lay the foundation-stone of the new house of Lorette, — with the usual ceremonies, and not without extraordinary joy on the part of our Savages. From that day to the day when the chapel was blessed and opened, the 4th of November following, they of their own accord practiced the devotion of going every morning to pray to God at the foot of the cross which was placed, as is customary, at the spot where the altar was to be.
Being desirous of soon seeing their church completed, they willingly contributed their labor when asked to help the workmen; and, notwithstanding their poverty, on their return from hunting they gave a present of eighteen moose-skins to the Blessed Virgin. But we preferred to exchange these for garments, which we procured for them, to help to clothe them. We did the same in regard to two other skins, which they had given to manifest their joy because we taught their children to serve at mass, and to purchase for them gowns and surplices; we preferred to contribute to this expense from our own pockets.
The chapel being finished, it was blessed on the 4th of November; and, when the blessing was given, we went in procession to a repository erected in the woods, on the road to Quebec, a quarter of a league [Page 155] from the village. The French and Savages alternately chanted hymns, motets, and the litanies of Our Lady, — whose image, sent us from Italy, we were about to receive. As it was made on the model of the miraculous image of Loretto, and has touched it, it is greatly esteemed and justly venerated here.
After we had placed it on the mantelpiece of the chimney, as the Madonna of Loretto in Italy is also placed, a mass was chanted with instrumental music. Our Reverend Father Superior, who officiated, delivered a devout and solid sermon, in which he drew a beautiful parallel between the Loretto of Canada and the Loretto of Europe, and, in fact, all who have seen both consider that they are exactly similar.
In fact, our new Loretto, as well as the old one, is forty feet long by twenty wide, and twenty-five feet high. The walls are broken by three doors, a chimney, and two windows. Above the door in the lower gable, which is believed to be that by which the angel entered, a steeple has been built, and in the wall on the right side of the altar a cupboard has been placed; and because we possess none of the real pieces of earthenware that were used by Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we have at least supplied their place, by making others exactly like them. They have been touched to and placed in the “ holy bowls ” that were found, during the past century, in the ceiling of the sacred house of Loretto, — which was removed, lest it might catch fire through the great number of lamps that continually burn in the holy chapel.
As, owing to our poverty, there is no reason to fear a similar accident for our new Loretto, we have [Page 157] boldly made a wooden ceiling, like the former one of the true Loretto. As for the small recess behind the altar, the gratings, and other things, we have also endeavored to represent them as well as we could.
The fervor of our Savages has redoubled since the opening of the chapel; even an old man, at least a hundred years old, named Jacques Andaron, has given proof of it. He had, at first, shown some opposition to the establishment of Lorette; but no sooner did he see the chapel finished than he changed his mind, and manifested his joy by a harangue, in which he congratulated his whole nation on having Mary’s house in their midst, He invited all the most distant Savages to come and acknowledge their God in a shrine similar to that which he had inhabited when he was made man; and he declared that he would die happy, since he saw his nephews settled in so fine and so devout a village.
When any religious, ecclesiastics, or other persons of note come here on a pilgrimage, as a goodly number do, he goes to greet them; and afterward he calls out in the village, and harangues, to show how pleased he is with the honor paid to Our Lady.
Even the children have displayed a fervor beyond their years; their great devotion consists in serving at mass in that holy place, in robes and surplices. Thus our little Savages, to the great satisfaction of their parents, now appear in church habited as clerks or choristers, and perform all the offices very well. To show to what an extent, young as they are, they esteem serving at mass, little Jean Atheiaska, who is only seven or eight years old, made a vow to serve twenty masses to obtain the cure of his mother, [Page 159] Marie Ouendraka, who was dangerously ill with pleurisy. The mother’s cure is probably a proof that Our Lord was pleased not only with the child’s piety, but also with his faithfulness in fulfilling his promise. In fact, he was careful to mark all the masses at which he served, up to twenty, on a board of his cabin, by drawing a line for every one with a piece of charcoal.
But God inspired an Iroquois woman of rank with a still more spiritual sentiment. This woman — after having bravely endured great persecutions in her own country, — where, in hatred of the Faith, she had been deprived of her rank in the councils and assemblies — had come to settle here, that she might in greater freedom perform all the exercises of our religion. Some days after the blessing of the chapel, she went to her director, and baring her whole soul to him as usual, she said: “ My father, tell me whether I pray aright. Here is the prayer that Our Lord has inspired me to say, and it fills me with great consolation. I say to him: ‘ Lord, master of our lives, hitherto I have not thanked you for having given me a body, and a soul capable of knowing, loving, and serving you. But, — now that my feet bear me to a chapel similar in all respects to your house; that my eyes see its dimensions, and that my ears hear of its excellences, in the discourses that are spoken to us about it; that my mind is occupied in thinking of it, and that I myself am so often in this shrine, — now, my God, I render thanks to you, joyfully and with reason, for having created me, for having preserved me, and for having given me the senses and powers that I have received from you. ’ ” [Page 161]
Since I have begun to speak of this Christian woman, — so advanced in spiritual life that but few can equal her in understanding and devotion, — I will add some further words in her praise. On the feast of All Saints, she spent the whole night in praying for the souls in purgatory, and recited the rosary as many as thirteen times, — and it is nearly as long again in their language as in ours.
In the second place, when her little daughter, aged eight or nine months, was sick unto death, she went to the chapel to offer her to God, in order that he might dispose of her for his greater glory. In the middle of the prayer and of her sacrifice, being moved to tears by the strength of love which she felt for her child, she ran and threw herself at her director’s feet, to ask him whether she did right in weeping, and whether she failed to conform to God’s will in offering her daughter to him with tears, which are a sign that one does things with regret. The Father replied that, as Our Lord had wept for his friend Lazarus, she might weep for her child; and that as it is not always within our power to shed or to restrain our tears, it sufficed that the heart should be submissive to God’s commands. He afterward ordered her to offer a novena to the Blessed Virgin for her daughter’s health, and the latter began to recover as soon as she had begun it. She afterward admitted to her confessor that she had never yet asked Mary, her good patroness, for anything without obtaining it through her intercession. Thus she knows how to acknowledge the favors that she receives from her, and to profit by them. In fact, to thank Our Lady for her daughter’s health, she endeavored that the first word pronounced by [Page 163] the child should be the holy name of Jesus, She therefore repeated that adorable name to her so often that the first word spoken by the child was “ Jesus; ” and she continually has that beautiful name in, her mouth, thereby causing intense joy to her mother.
The third fact that we shall relate about this virtuous Iroquois woman, named Marie Tsaouente, is that — as she is very intelligent, and thoroughly knows our mysteries — she greatly assists us in instructing the Iroquois catechumens, when there are any. Moreover, as there are a great many Christians in the cabin in which she resides, — for it contains four households, — she gathers them around her every evening, to repeat to them the sacred stories that the Fathers have related, and the discourses that they have delivered. Then she makes them recite their prayers aloud, and sing a hymn, before they retire to rest.
We have reason to believe that Jacques Onnhatetaionk, the leading captain of our Savages, who received her into his cabin, profited by her pious discourses and good examples; for he has, since then, manifested a very extraordinary fervor. Whenever snow falls, this good old man rises secretly, as early as two hours after midnight, to remove the snow from around the chapel and to clear the roads. On the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady, Father Chaumonot told him that it was a beautiful devotion to recite the Ave Maria as many times as the Blessed Virgin had passed days in her mother’s womb, making in all four and a half rosaries. He at once took his rosary, and said five whole ones. [Page 165]
We will select two more evidences of the fervor of our Savages: the first is their devotion in coming to the chapel as early as four o’clock in the morning, either to Offer mental prayers, — a practice followed by the more spiritual among them, — or to recite the rosary and other oral prayers, as the others do. Some remain there two and three hours; and, because they came even before four in the morning and were obliged to pray outside exposed to the cold, as the chapel was not open until that hour, it was necessary to forbid their coming until they should see a light in the church, — because our poverty did not allow of our keeping a lamp burning all the time, as we would have desired.
The second proof of their devotion is that here, as in Italy, a great veneration is justly felt for the small recess behind the altar of Loretto, which is called il camino santo; and our Savages, to honor so holy a place in its representation, never enter the recess which we also have made behind our altar, unless they have received communion. They call it in their language Marie etiondata, “Mary’s apartment,“ — because it is believed that there the Blessed Virgin’s bed was placed; and there, it is asserted, she often dressed and warmed her divine child.
As on festival days our Savages could not conveniently be introduced into this little sanctuary, on account of the French, — who come in great numbers to perform their devotions, and who never enter this holy place until after they have received communion, — they have taken the working-days for themselves. Thus, every day there is a family that confesses and receives communion through that motive. And, when all the cabins have performed this duty [Page 167] in turn, they begin again, — with even more fervor than at the first time. The object of their principal prayers is to obtain that their families may be properly governed, like that of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph; the conversion of infidels, especially of the Savages; and success for France in all its affairs and undertakings. [Page 169]
Relation of what occurred in the Iroquois Mis-
sions during the years 1673 and 1674.
OF THE AGNIÉ MISSION.
HE Agnieronnons, who, among all the Iroquois, have most cruelly waged war against the French, have also been those who, among these savage nations, have embraced the Christian religion in greatest numbers, and with the most fervor. Besides the fact that their villages have dwindled away to an extraordinary degree through the departure of their people, — who have gone to la Prairie de la Magdeleine or to Notre Dame de Foye, to live there as true Christians, — many of those who have remained in their own country are either preparing for baptism, or, having already received it, thoroughly fulfill all the obligations that it entails. Father Bruyas, who has charge of this Mission, has been compelled to ask for assistance; for he writes us that, if things continue as they have for some time, he alone will not suffice for confirming these new Christians in the faith, for perfecting the older ones, for instructing the catechumens, and for performing the other duties that devolve upon a missionary.
The conversion and baptism of one of the elders, one of the most notable men of that nation, named Assendasé, has greatly contributed to furnish him [Page 171] all these occupations. This man, aged about sixty- five years, has always been greatly esteemed in his country, on account of his intelligence and his experience in affairs. In addition to the fact that he is the head of one of the leading families, his arrogance and his treacherous and dissembling character rendered his conversion very difficult. Interest as well as human respect retained him in infidelity, because he derived considerable profit from the practice of superstitions; while, on the other hand, if he renounced them at so advanced an age, he could not avoid raillery, which Savages cannot bear. Assailed by all these motives, he resisted for two years the influence of grace, which constantly impelled him to ask for baptism. But, in the end, the discourse addressed by Monsieur the count de Frontenac at Montreal to the deputies of the five Iroquois nations, to induce them to embrace the Faith, had so powerful an effect upon him that he resolved to overcome all human considerations in order to obey divine inspiration. In fact, as soon as he returned to his country, he earnestly requested Father Bruyas to instruct and baptize him; he manifested such fervor, and renounced all the superstitions of the country in so noble and so public a manner that, although the same Father had resolved to subject him to a rather prolonged trial, he was compelled to shorten the time of his probation, and to grant his request in a comparatively short time. On the day following his baptism, Assendase gave a public feast, at which he declared to all the guests that he had renounced dreams and the other superstitious customs; and he asserted that he would never again be present at the meetings over which he was accustomed to preside [Page 173] when dreams were discussed. He has so faithfully kept this promise, and practiced all the Christian exercises, that he is the model for all the Christians, Animated by holy emulation, he proposes to equal, if not surpass, Garakontié in fidelity; and by his example to bring Prayer into credit at Agnie, as that excellent Christian has done at Onnontague. In the fervor of his conversion, he makes use of energetic words to express his inviolable attachment to the Faith. “ I have,” he says, “ entered into an everlasting brotherhood with him who has baptized me. If the French declare war once more, and come to kill us, I will not, on that account, relinquish the affection I feel for him; and I shall always know how to distinguish him who shall deprive us of the life of our bodies from him who has given me that of the soul, and who will always continue to preserve it for me so long as I obey him.” Father Bruyas asserts that, among all the Christians, he has none more obedient or more docile than Assendase; and that he is every day compelled more and more to admire the power and efficacy of grace in this Savage.
The conversion of this elder has caused a great stir, and has produced a deep impression on the minds of the others, so that Father Bruyas finds himself solicited daily to baptize children and even adults; but he has deemed advisable to grant this favor to a very small number only. There is reason to hope that this willingness will extend to all, at least to the majority of the Savages of Agnie; and that, as the devil formerly made use of the elders in maintaining superstitions, God will also make use of them in overturning the same, and in establishing [Page 175] religion. A still better reason for this hope lies in the fear that the devil himself seems to have of such a result, — a fear which he sufficiently manifests by the fresh efforts that he constantly makes to stay the progress of the Faith. For some time, the Father has daily received new insults from those who will not be converted, and an elder reproached him publicly with destroying their country, because he destroyed dreams and superstitions; and, at the same time, he threatened that, if the Father did not leave the village where he then was, he would have him expelled from the entire country. But a missionary pays little heed to threats of this kind; on the contrary, they are his consolation, because they make his labors resemble still more those of Jesus Christ, which were ever accompanied by similar oppositions. [Page 177]
OF THE ONNEIOUT MISSION.
LETTER FROM FATHER MILLET TO REVEREND FATHER
y Reverend Father,
Since the time when I wrote to Your Reverence last year, I have baptized forty-five persons, — among others, sixteen adults, and as many children, with the rites of the Church; while the others, children or adults, were baptized while ill.
This is much more than I had hoped for, in view of the efforts of the Dutch against us; since they have recaptured Manathe and Orange, and driven out thence the English.
I have already written to Your Reverence how the most notable captain of this village, who had been deputed to Catarokoui, spoke very well on his return: and how he related, as agreeably as advantageously to the French, all that had passed between the Iroquois and Monsieur the Governor. Moreover, he stated publicly that he would favor Christianity in future, and would induce the Onneiouts, as far as lay in his power, to embrace the Faith, I gave him an opportunity of fulfilling his promise; for, at the beginning of Advent, I persuaded him, and another elder who is baptized, to gather the people of the village together for the instruction that I give in public every Sunday. Thus they both came to ascertain the hour when I should be in the chapel; [Page 179] and then they went around the fort, calling out, each on his own side: “Go, my nephews, go at once to the black Gown’s.” After my instruction, one of these elders usually added a short exhortation to support what I had said, and to facilitate the practice of it. So public a declaration, from two of the most notable men, has been a great aid to Christianity. Your Reverence will find the proof of it in what has happened here, in connection with the eclipse of the moon on the 21st of January last, and with several embassies from the other Iroquois villages to Onneiout; regarding these, there are some curious things to relate.
I. OF THE ECLIPSE OF THE MOON ON THE 2IST OF
OR a long time previously, I had talked to our Onneiouts about this eclipse; and, at the very beginning of the new moon, I had challenged the elders and, in particular, some jugglers who claim to foretell events, to say in how many days it would occur. They all hung their heads, and were compelled to confess their ignorance. “ But,” I said, “ are these persons, who say that they come from the sky, ignorant of what happens up there? Cannot these professional diviners even predict a thing that is revealed in nature? Are these men — who know fabulous stories so well, who relate such extraordinary things about the sun and the moon, who take these objects for divinities, and offer them tobacco to obtain success in war and in hunting — not aware when one or the other is to be eclipsed? ” The more I pressed them, the more they were abashed. “ Is it [Page 181] the moon that is just beginning that is to be eclipsed? ” they asked me. “ Yes,” I replied, “ it is this moon; the only question is to know when the eclipse will occur. Take courage, consult among yourselves, and let us see for a moment how accurate your art is in predicting future events. ” The poor people admitted to me that it was beyond their knowledge, and begged me to go and notify them at the time of the eclipse. After this avowal of their ignorance had been several times reiterated, I publicly announced on Sunday, after mass, that the eclipse would take place on the following night; and that, if they awoke, they must remember to look. Fortunately, the sky was very clear; and, as soon as I noticed that the eclipse was beginning, I went to the orator of the country, and to some others among the most notable men; they arose and, coming quickly out of their cabins, saw that the eclipse was already very perceptible. Immediately, they announced the event, within and without the fort. I warned them that it would not remain as it was; that it would increase a great deal more, and that barely one-twelfth of the moon would remain visible. They asked me whether it would not reappear again, for these simple people thought that it was almost lost. “ It will reappear entirely,” I said, “ and then it will be at such a spot in the sky for it continues to advance; and, just as you now see it gradually growing smaller, so will you see it grow larger in the same proportion. ” Everything happened as I had announced, and they were compelled to admit that we knew things better than they. For my part, I derived great benefit from this, in instructing them [Page 183] and undeceiving them about their myths and superstitions. Such perceptible things have a much greater effect on their rude minds than would all the reasoning that could be brought to bear upon them.
II. OF SEVERAL EMBASSIES FROM THE OTHER IRO-
QUOIS TO ONNEIOUT,
N order to maintain peace among themselves, and make amends for faults committed by individuals, the Iroquois nations have instituted certain embassies which they reciprocally send one another. In these they exhibit their fine porcelain collars, with the utmost magnificence in their power; and their captains endeavor to display their eloquence, — both in relating their fables, their genealogies, and their stories; and in suitably exhorting the elders and warriors, according to the requirements of current affairs.
In each family there are a certain number of men and women of note, who represent, as it were, the nobles of the country. They are called Agoiandères, and they provide the porcelain beads and the collars. When it is intended to send an embassy to other nations, the families first meet, each in private, and collect all the porcelain beads that they can give; then each family displays to the others what its richest members have supplied. Then the oldest or the most eloquent person of the family delivers a harangue, — either standing erect, or, more frequently, walking about. At times, he speaks in lugubrious tones, drawling out his words: at others, in a sharp tone calculated to produce emotion; sometimes in a joyful voice, intermingled with songs, [Page 185] which the other elders repeat in harmony, At the conclusion, he shows all these collars as so many deceased persons, formerly people of note, who come back to life to urge all present to preserve the country for which they, of old, gave up their lives and shed their blood. The whole concludes with a feast and the mutual interchange of presents. The elders of the other families thank him who has spoken; and, on the following day, they do the same as he has done, each in turn. After each family has thus displayed its collars and delivered its harangue, they all assemble on a specified day; and, hanging up their collars in order, each family on its own side, they tell one another who have given these collars, “ Such a person,” they say, “ has given this one, made of so many thousand beads; another has given these two, these three; still another, these four collars.” Finally, they put all these collars together, and hand them over to the elders, who remain the masters thereof. The council is then held, to consider how many shall be carried to each nation to which an embassy is to be sent, and what affairs shall be negotiated by the deputies. Some days before the departure of the ambassadors, they send a present of porcelain beads, to ask that a mat be prepared on which they may sit and lie, and to give notice of the date of their departure or arrival.
As soon as the news reaches a village, the old people assemble; the young men, for their part, go to hunt; and every one contributes the best that he has for regaling the ambassadors.
When they have arrived within a musket-shot from the palisade, a fire is lighted, as a sign of peace, at the spot where the elders of the village are going [Page 187] to wait for them; and, after smoking for some time and receiving the savage compliments that they pay one another, they are led to the cabin set apart for them, They all march gravely and in file. One of the most notable men walks at the head, and pronounces a long string of words which have been handed down to them by tradition, and: which are repeated by the others after him. The ambassador who is to be the spokesman comes last of all, singing in a rather agreeable tone; he continues his song until he has entered his cabin, around which he also walks five or six times, still singing; then he sits down, last of all. There the pledges of friendship are renewed, and presents are given to dispel fatigue; to wipe away tears; to remove scales from their eyes, so that they may more easily see one another; and, finally, to open their throats and give freer passage to their voices. These presents are followed by food served to the ambassadors, by way of refreshment. Then they are asked for news concerning their nation, and they reply by recitals that sometimes last nearly all night, On the following day they rest, and on the third they deliver their harangue, display the collars, and make known the object of the embassy. A reply is given to them on the following day, after a public dance around the collars. The whole concludes with a feast and with mutual thanks.
III. OF SOME BAPTISMS.
o come now to what more directly affects the Mission, most of the people whom I have haptized have been either parents whose children had already received baptism, or children whose parents [Page 189] were Christians, or other Savages, from various cabins into which the Faith had not yet entered. I trust that God will make use of them to attract others to his service. A town is half taken when correspondence can be opened with some one within its walls; and I observe that there is a much better chance for instructing the Savages when some member of the household, or one of the relatives, publicly professes Christianity. I baptized six persons in the same cabin, as if by agreement, one after the other. One of these six has already gone to take his place in heaven. This was a young child, whose mother I had baptized last autumn. After the death of this, her only child, she gave a feast to the most fervent Christians, to request them to be present at the prayers that were to be recited over the body of the deceased, which she had caused to be conveyed to the chapel. She is the first among our Savage women who has had the courage to do so ; for, as a rule, the mothers here think only of weeping at the death of their children. At such a time, too, we hardly venture to remind them that their dead children have been baptized, for fear of confirming them in the idea which they generally entertain, that the Faith and baptism hasten death. I hope that she will not be the last; and that, in time, we shall introduce Christian burial, just as we have introduced many other ceremonies this year.
Another of the adults whom I have baptized, and who has given the greatest edification to this church, is a woman about thirty-five years of age, of excellent character and irreproachable life.
Father Bruyas, who had charge of this Mission before me, had prepared her mother for a happy [Page 191] death — or, rather, in the opinion of that good woman, for being born again to a life of everlasting glory. The conviction that her mother was happy in Heaven Was a powerful reason for inducing her to be baptized; and, on the other hand, her life, which was most conformable to the laws of Christianity, almost gave her the name of Christian before she really was one.
After all, I know not why it was, she found it difficult to submit to Sundays and to the other Christian practices. She even went so far as to tell me, one day, that I should not baptize her. Nevertheless, she had so excellent qualifications for baptism that I could not believe that God would deprive her of that grace, — especially after she had assured me that she had not yet drunk any brandy, which causes great ravages here even among the women; and that she wished to have the consolation of dying without having drunk any. When I gently solicited her to complete what God had begun in her, and to become a true Christian, as she had all the appearances of one, she at last resolved to prepare herself for baptism; and, after a trial of some months, I baptized her, and at the same time completed the rites for one of her children, who had been baptized while ill. I also administered baptism to her little daughter, three years old. They are now all most assiduous in attending prayers and instructions.
A young woman came to get me to baptize her mother whose recovery was despaired of by the physicians of the country. She was a good woman, who had formerly been ill-treated by her relatives, to prevent her from coming to Prayers — I did not consider her as dangerously ill as she was said to [Page 193] be; and, in order that I might be able to prepare her more at leisure, I deferred administering baptism to her. Her daughter became impatient with me, and asked me whether I intended to wait until her mother was dead, to baptize her. But events proved that I was right, for the sick woman began at once to mend; and, when she had completely recovered her health, she came to the chapel. I was therefore able to prepare her as I wished, and I baptized her with the rites of the Church. After that, she said to her relatives who had ill-treated her to prevent her from embracing the Faith: “ Beat me now and kill me, if you will; for I declare to you that not only do I return to Prayer, but that I am baptized and a Christian.” She was allowed to perform her devotions in peace, and is one of the most fervent of our Church.
I shall mention only one of those whom I baptized during their illness. This was a woman about forty years old, who, before falling sick, had resolved to become a Christian. With that object, she had opened her heart to me, and had performed a noble action which was far beyond the usual capacity of Savages; she had scorned all sorts of temporal interests for the sake of her conscience and her salvation. She had already begun to come to our chapel; but she came only once, for she fell ill on the following day. I feared that it might be said, or that she might think, that Prayer had caused her illness; but God inspired her with other thoughts. On the contrary, she told me that one of her regrets was that she had prayed to God so little. “But, at least,” she said, “ pray for me until I die; and if any one should seek to prevent you, do not allow him to do so.” [Page 195] She left two daughters, already grown up, whom she advised on her death-bed to embrace Christianity.
IV. OF SOME OF THE OLDER CHRISTIANS,
CANNOT pass over in silence the edification given us by a Huron captain, Louis Thaond&horen, who had accompanied Monsieur the governor to Catarokoui; thence he had come here with some other captains, to visit those of his nation who are naturalized in the Iroquois country. During his short stay in this village, his conduct was so discreet as to leave us a very pleasant recollection of his virtue. He always wore his rosary and crucifix around his neck, and they served him as a safeguard against all invitations to feasts and other occasions for sin, which are only too frequent here. He begged me to confess him and give him communion, in order that God might fortify his mind in this country of infidelity, and inspire him with the words of life and of salvation when he should speak to the other Savages. On Sunday, he gave an instruction to the Christians during mass; and to his private exhortations in the cabins he added gifts, — both to withdraw some from evil ways, and to strengthen the others in doing good. I learned these particulars only after his departure. Subsequently I went to Agnie, and found him still performing the same pious and charitable actions ; and I had the consolation of conversing with him more privately in the course of some walks that I took with him, while visiting the Agnie Mission. His discourses were solely about God, and he took an exceedingly great pleasure in singing Church chants along the way — as a reparation, he said, for the sins that he had formerly committed by singing profane[Page 197] songs. Charity had despoiled him of everything; and, while I found him at Onneiout provided with many useeful and convenient articles, I found him at Agnié deprived of everything except his virtue, — which seemed to me all the more charming, since it had reduced him to a greater poverty.
We have here two Christian women who are of great use to me in instructing the faithful, and for the advancement of this Church, The first, and the older one, is called Felicite; she had obtained in Quebec from the Ursulines, with whom she lived some Years, so sound a knowledge and so excellent principles of piety, that, through her virtue, she was able to assume and ever to maintain a certain ascendancy over all the other Christians. She thoroughly knows all the prayers, the chants of the Church, and the mysteries of our Faith; and she explains them so clearly that the men themselves willingly listen to her as their teacher. She is seconded by another baptized young woman, who, among other acts of zeal, has distinguished herself by the skill that she displayed in bringing back to the right path one of her friends, who was straying from it. This Savage had committed a sin of superstition, at the instigation of her parents, during a serious illness that endangered her life. It is true that she had atoned for her fault, to some extent, by renouncing her superstitions, and refusing to listen any longer to her parents; nevertheless, the shame of having yielded to their first solicitations, or some other personal consideration, prevented her from returning to the chapel after being cured. In vain did I request her two or three times to come to it; she hardly came to mass on Sunday. I applied to our young [Page 199] Christian woman, who at once went to speak to her, and by her wise exhortations brought her back to the chapel. She still found a difficulty in coming to confession, but the same Christian went to her once more, and instructed her as to the manner of confessing; she fortified her by her own example, and never left her until she brought her to the confessional, and saw her speak to the confessor.
V. OF SOME CAPTAINS IN ESPECIAL, AND OF THE
GENERAL STATE OF THIS MISSION.
HAVE already mentioned the zeal displayed by the most noted captain of this village of Onneiout for the Faith, on his return from Catarokoui, and how he had exhorted his countrymen in public and in private to attend prayers and listen to our instructions He has since continued to act in the same manner on all occasions. One day, he gave a solemn feast, at which he delivered a harangue, according to his usual custom, at the commencement of the feast: he began with these words: “ As we acknowledge Jesus, who reigns in heaven, as the master of our lives and the guide of our actions, we have invoked no other spirit at this feast; the black Gown will say prayers.” Then he exhorted the elders, the warriors, and the women and children to hold Prayer in esteem, as Monsieur the governor had recommended them to do at Catarokoui.
He had invited the most notable persons of the village to a feast, on another occasion; and he desired that I should say prayers at it. Many questions were put to me with reference to the eclipse that had occurred some days previously, and we Soon came to matters connected with Religion and the [Page 201] Faith. After I had spoken for some time of our mysteries, a venerable old man, of very great age and gentle character, exclaimed: “ Yes! I believe that I am indebted, for the many years during which I have lived, to Him who reigns in the sky, and not to dreams. ” Since then he comes very regularly to prayers, with another old man, still more aged than he.
The giver of the feast said aloud in his turn: “ I see very well that our ancient customs are disappearing, and that the Faith is getting the upper hand. Now see what it teaches and what it forbids us; ” and he continued thus, by familiar discourse, to instruct the guests. I may say that he did so on this occasion, and on many others, as well and with better effect than I could have done.
Another captain frequently came to me to be instructed, and he also sent his wife to me in our chapel, for the same purpose. He assured me that on his return from war, whither he was compelled to go, they would both be baptized; and that thereupon he would declare publicly — in presence of the chiefs, the warriors, and the elders of the nation — that he renounced the superstitions of the country, and that he intended to profess Christianity. He is eloquent and bold; I have great hopes for him, if God grant him the grace of becoming a Christian.
Another captain of no less note, whose wife and children are already Christians, also came to beg me to instruct him, some days before his departure for the war. A third made me baptize his only daughter, in advance; and, as a mark of honor, he marched past our chapel with all the young men, when they left to join the army. [Page 203]
All these chiefs, assembled with the elders, sent for me one day to teach them various matters pertaining to the Faith, respecting which they put me many questions. I answered their questions, and since then they have publicly admitted that they believed that what I had told them was true.
Marriages — which, among Savages, are dissolved on the slightest disagreement between husband and wife — are now becoming more stable, even among the infidels, who follow the Christians’ example. The worship of their divinity, whom they call Agriskoué, has greatly diminished; many are no longer so attached to their dreams as they were; and they declare themselves much more boldly in favor of the Faith than they would have done in the past. ‘These favorable tendencies lead me to hope that, in a few years, the majority of the Iroquois of Onneiout will have embraced Christianity. Drunkenness, for which all these poor Savages have a great weakness, is probably the sole obstacle that now hinders their conversion. I commend them, and myself in particular, to Your Reverence’s Holy Sacrifices.
PIERRE MILLET, S.J.
OF THE MISSION OF SAINT JEAN BAPTISTE AT ONNON-
THE Church of Onnontagué: has been blessedly diminished this year by the death of some Christians, who have gone to increase the number of the blessed; and by the departure of many others, who have left their own country — that is to say the abode of drunkenness, of superstition, and of debauchery — to go and dwell at la Prairie de la Magdeleine, and swell the number of those who live there as true Christians. Father Jean de Lamberville does not consider that he has lost either the one or the other; but, on the contrary, he writes of them in terms that sufficiently express the joy of his heart at seeing the fruits of his labors in a place of safety: he rejoices because those whom he has cared for with so much labor have exchanged the company of drunkards, of profligates, and of infidels for that of either the saints in heaven, or those who follow the example of the saints on earth. He also writes various things regarding the death of the former and the departure of the latter which are sufficiently interesting to be repeated here just as they are written.
1. OF THE DEPARTURE OF SOME CHRISTIANS OF ONNON-
TAGUÉ FOR LA PRAIRIE DE LA MAGDELEINE.
AN Iroquois woman, a relative of Garakontié, who was baptized with the usual rites, together with her three daughters, two of whom are adults, [Page 207] bade adieu to our village some days ago, after dividing the little she owned among her relatives and friends, taking only a rush mat. Then, loaded with some provisions and preceded by her children, she happily abandoned this Babylon to go and dwell at la Prairie de la Magdeleine. She was attracted thither by her eldest son, who is as yet only a catechumen; this man, while hunting, by accident, in that vicinity, went to visit some of his relatives there. He was so charmed with the happy condition and the exemplary life of his countrymen in the Mission of Saint Xavier des Prés that he resolved to settle among them; and he urged his mother and sisters to do likewise. One of his aunts and his uncle also followed him with the same intention. Their example was very serviceable here, for they all openly professed the Faith. But God, who has taken these Christians from us, has replaced them by others, who arc very promising.
Nevertheless, the chief fruit that I have gathered has been among the dying.
On the other hand, Garakontié continues to support Christianity by his words and example and he does not deviate from that noble spirit with which he has always declared himself in favor of the 15th. He has given fresh proofs of it this year. While the festival of dreams was being celebrated here, he persistently refused to give his tobacco-pouch, which is quite handsomely embroidered, to a dreamer, who thereby had to endure the shame of being refused. That seldom happens; for such is the deference paid to dreams that, as a rule, everything asked for by the dreamer is given to him. This action is a sequel of the first public declaration made by him, four years ago, that he had renounced all the superstitions of the country on becoming a Christian. [Page 209]
But here is another and no less solemn declaration of his faith, made by Garakontie in the presence of all the Iroquois. Last winter, he was deputed with the most notable men of the village as an ambassador of the Onnontagués, to bear their gifts to the four other Iroquois nations. When he came to relate the genealogy and origin of the Iroquois, the description of which is nothing but a long fable, he always protested that what he was about to say was merely a formula which is usually followed on such occasions, but that it was not true; in fine, that all he would relate about the creation of the world was simply a story, and that Jesus was the sole Master of our lives. He is not content with teaching these truths by word of mouth; he teaches them to the others still better by his example, for he is exceedingly careful in performing all the duties and exercises of a Christian, wherever he may be.
II. OF THE BAPTISM AND DEATH OF SOME
DURING the past year I have baptized only six adults with the rites of the church. Among this number I include a young boy of 15 or 16, of whom I never think without very great consolation. One day, when I went to his cabin, I found him with his face quite emaciated. Upon asking what was the matter with him, I learned that an ulcer, which had eaten away half of his stomach, was killing him gradually; and that he could find neither a remedy for his disease, nor a doctor who would undertake to cure him, I offered him my aid, thinking that God would perhaps bless the service that I should render to this dying lad, and that his soul would be my. [Page 211] reward if I procured some relief for his body. Some ointment had been sent me, which was a sovereign remedy for ulcers; the first Plaster that I made of it so thoroughly cleansed the young man’s sore that maggots ceased to form in it. I dressed it every day for a month and a half, as long as my medicine lasted. The ulcer, which at first was more than half a foot and three fingers long, was so reduced in he that all who had previously seen it could not sufficiently praise the efficacy of my remedy. But, alas! it failed me when it was most needed to complete the cure; and after a short time the disease resumed its course.
The assiduity with which I had attended the young lad won his heart, and those of his relations, who could not sufficiently express their gratitude to me. For his part, he thought that he could not better oblige me than by coming sometimes to pray in our chapel. I repeatedly, on various occasions, assured him of my willingness, and expressed my regret at being unable any longer to dress his sore, which, through lack of medicine, would grow worse. In fact, the ulcer increased to such an extent that, in a short time, it attacked his entrails. Then I warned him that death was drawing near; and that, since he was compelled to abandon his body to corruption, he should at least procure eternal happiness for his soul. He replied that he was willing to do so; and, as soon as I had instructed him, he urged me to baptize him. I granted his request, after testing him as thoroughly as his condition allowed. He wished to be baptized in the chapel, where, owing to his extreme weakness, he had great difficulty in remaining during the ceremonies of baptism and [Page 213] still more in returning to his cabin when they were ended. I sustained him with Some refreshing beverage that I had brought with me; and, after exhorting him to endure his illness patiently in the hope of a better life, I absented myself from the village for six days. During that time he gave his funeral feast, as was customary; and at it he invoked no other divinity than Jesus, the master of life, as I learned from those who had been present at it. Nevertheless, the tenderness of his conscience led him to fear that he had offended God in this, and compelled him to ask me on my return to give him absolution for the sin that he though he had committed. I told him that he had not offended God, and I encouraged him to persevere in these good inclinations. He asked me, however, to pray to God; and he wished to receive the sacrament of penance — to efface his sins of impatience, as he said. After repeating with me acts of contrition, and the other acts of a dying Christian, he told me that he was going to join his father, who had died a Christian. There is reason to believe that this has happened, for he died with all the evidences of predestination. My surgery is well rewarded.
In addition to these adults whom I baptized with the rites, I also administered baptism to eight aged persons who, with the exception of a single one, have all gone to a better life. People of this sort are a great trial to a missionary, when their illness is somewhat protracted. Great patience is needed to endure their ill humor and their savage whims, if one desires, in spite of rebuffs, to procure their salvation and render their faith persevering — To these eight persons I must add four old women, at a [Page 215] distance of about nine leagues from here, and three or four leagues from one another. The snow which was beginning to fall had caused most of the Savages who lived by fishing at the place where these old women resided, to withdraw into the village. One was deaf, another deaf and blind, the third was a cripple, and the fourth was dying. I went expressly to see them, at a time when I knew that the two former had each only an old Savage woman as a companion, and that thus I might call out as loud as I liked, without bringing shame on them. Thanks to God, I was successful. I instructed and baptized them during the night, after safely making my way across the river, — into which I was obliged to jump, to avoid being carried away by the waters with the wretched canoe in which I had embarked. The two others died very soon after their baptism. One of them was unfortunately surrounded by the jugglers of the country, and by some hunters who brought her a deer for her last feast. Then I was obliged to make use of the importunity recommended by saint Paul, and of the audacity of the faith of which Tertullian speaks; and, — in spite of the grumblings of the one and the impatience of the others, who, at every moment, interrupted me while instructing the dying woman, — to make her, as it were, enter the kingdom of heaven by force.
XII. OF THE BAPTISM OF SOME CHILDREN.
ERE we not convinced by experience that it is dangerous to administer baptism to little children who are not sick, we would baptize a very large number of them, with their parents’ consent; but we do not venture to risk administering the [Page 217] sacrament, lest they might, later on, profane it by the infidelity in which they usually live when they grow older. Therefore we baptize only the children of Christians and of catechumens, and all who are in danger of death. I count twenty-seven who were baptized this year, — six of whom received baptism with the usual rites, the others without the rites; and they all died, with the exception of three. This is the most certain fruit that we gather in this country, where it is desirable that the children should die before obtaining the use of their reason. It is difficult to baptize them without medicines. These serve to deceive piously the fathers, mothers, and other relatives, — many of whom still have an aversion to baptism, as if it hastened the death of those who receive it. Having been called upon to give some relief to a child, whom all the jugglers and physicians of the village had undertaken to cure, a single one of my medicines had more effect than all the juggleries and remedies of the Savages had produced in six months.
This gave me easy access to the cabin of the sick child. The jugglers pretended that they brought out of the child’s body the teeth of bears and dogs, of pigs and deer, human hairs, and similar things which they call otkis, — that is to say, spells or little demons, — thus abusing the credulity of the simple- minded. My remedy was more efficacious; it brought out a great many worms, which were certainly demons very different from theirs. This relieved the little patient, who would be cured, they said, because the black Gown did not baptize him. Such was the Savages’ conviction, and it was based on the fact that all the children borne by the mother [Page 219] of the patient, and who had been baptized, had died after baptism. Consequently, I was watched very narrowly when I went to visit the sick child, and I was not allowed to sit close beside him, as I previously did. Such was their distrust that I was made to sit on the other side of the fire in the cabin, so that I only went there at nightfall, — in order to baptize the dying child, if I could, without the knowledge of his parents, who watched me too closely during the day. But all my efforts were for a long time in vain. Finally, on learning that the child was very ill, I concealed a small sponge in my hand, and went at night to visit him for the last time. They did not fail to tell me of his dangerous condition, I at once arose and said: “ I can tell at once, by touching his temples, whether he will die soon.” And, without waiting for an answer, I passed my hand under the blanket that hid the little patient, and baptized him.
After a few words of conversation, I withdrew, — resolved to keep aloof, and to require many solicitations, in case I was sent for again. This did happen, for, as the child was about to expire, the father and mother imagined that, if I baptized him, he would perhaps not die like the others, and that the Master of life would restore him to health. But he died before I could be found. The parents were so affected that they brought to me in the chapel a little child a year old, the only one left them, that it might be baptized, — lest it might die, like the older one; and also that it might be preserved from sorceries and from otkis.
A Huron married to an Iroquois woman did not raise so many difficulties in allowing his little [Page 221] daughter, who was dying, to be baptized. He and his wife begged me to intercede for her with the Master of life, that she might be happy in heaven after her death.
It is the custom of the Savages to expose their dead with their faces bare, and to adorn them with their most precious ornaments. I placed upon her neck a small crucifix tied with a ribbon, and prayed over the body for the salvation of the father and mother. They made me repeat this when she was about to be buried. I prayed aloud, and they were so pleased that the mother caused herself to be baptized shortly afterward, and the father made me baptize his two other daughters. He also urged me to grant the same favor to his son; but I put him off to a future time, as I did not find him sufficiently prepared for baptism. [Page 223]
OF THE MISSION OF SAINT JOSEPH AT GOIOGOUIN.
LTHOUGH there have been fewer baptisms in this Mission this year than in previous ones, the Faith has nevertheless not failed to make more substantial progress than in the past. For, whereas it was formerly but the object of the contempt and even of the hatred of the Savages, it has begun to be esteemed and sought by the majority of them. In truth, only twenty-two children have been baptized; but all, with the exception of three or four, were baptized at their parents’ request. This circumstance will seem important when one remembers what has been often said respecting the dread felt by all the Savages who have not embraced the Faith, of having their children baptized, for they think that baptism will cause their death. But it would stem of still greater importance if one knew the spirit of these barbarous people, whose ignorance renders them liable to similar fears, and less capable of casting them off. Moreover, experience seems to confirm them in this opinion, because in this pagan country this sacrament of the Faith is administered only to children at the point of death; and, in fact, nearly all who are baptized die immediately afterward. Hence their affection for their children, which verges on folly, has always led them to devote all their efforts to preventing them from receiving that grace. As to the adults, the five who were baptized [Page 225] all died after baptism. Three were Andastes captured in war; Father de Carheil had time to instruct them before they were burned. Several from the same country, who had escaped after a captivity of some months, had told them of the charity that the black Gowns had for them as well as for the Iroquois. They had related the kindness shown them by the Fathers, and the trouble taken by the latter to assist them in every imaginable way. This report had disposed them to greater docility than had yet been met with in the other captives. One of them even thanked the Father in his death-song for the succor given him, saying that he well knew that he loved them, and that the French nation was not among the number of their enemies. [Page 227]
OF THE MISSIONS OF SAINT MICHEL AND SAINT
JACQUES AMONG THE TSONNONTOUANs.
IF the savages of the village of Saint Michel had detached themselves from the superstitions of the country as thoroughly as they have hitherto preserved themselves from the vice of drunkenness, we would have no trouble in making true Christians of them. Most of them ask Father Garnier for baptism, and he is obliged to refuse them, because they will not renounce some dances and other superstitious ceremonies which they use as remedies in their illnesses. Two things render follies of this kind more difficult to cast off: the first is the false hope of recovering health by this means; the second is the profit that many of them derive from it. This has not prevented two of the poorest families of the village from giving an example of generosity and fidelity to God, — all the more admirable since, in abandoning the practice of these superstitions, they deprived themselves of the sole resource that remained to them for relieving their poverty and extreme indigence. One often sees in these poor barbarians similar effects of a powerful grace, which are an evident proof of heroic virtue.
A Huron woman who had long been a Christian, after living in great innocence added to great delicacy of conscience, was attacked by a serious illness, and at once sent for the Father to assure him, in the [Page 229] presence of all her relatives, that she wished to die as she had lived, averse to everything that was opposed to the profession of Christianity. As she soon found herself assailed by the physicians and diviners of the country, who urged her at least to allow them to learn the cause of her death, she left her cabin to get rid of their importunities; and, dying though she was, she caused herself to be transported far out into the country, whence she sent for the Father to come and suggest some pious prayers to her. So noble an action obtained for her, as a reward in this life, her husband’s conversion. While she lived, he would never hear of being baptized; but, as soon as she was dead, he was the first to ask for this favor with much earnestness. Thus God manifested in these remote countries, as well as elsewhere, that he is the Master of hearts, and touches and attracts them effectively, at such time and in such manner as he pleases.
He seems to await some at the hour of death and to use illness of the body to restore health to the soul. This he did in the case of a young girl, whom the infection exhaled from her body had caused to be driven away from several cabins, although the Savages are not over-sensitive in such matters. The missionary was still less so than they, and the infectious odor did not prevent him from being very assiduous in visiting and instructing her. He found her very well prepared for this, by vivid apprehensions of the sufferings of the other world, and by deep regret for having abandoned herself to a criminal life. The Father deemed it advisable to grant her the grace of baptism, and he had reason to hasten, for the sacrament was immediately followed [Page 231] by death, There are others whom God converts through the agency and exhortations of those who will not themselves become converted. A Savage belonging to the village of la Conception has already procured salvation for several of his relatives, and has not yet been willing to work for his own. He is a man of great common sense, who has always taken pleasure in the missionaries’ instructions. As he possesses much intelligence, he is very well instructed in the mysteries of our religion; he says that he is a Christian by inclination, although his life has hitherto rendered him unworthy of baptism. When he knows that one of his relatives or friends is dangerously ill, he goes to him to instruct him; and, in order to be more readily believed by the other, he assures him that he has long examined what the black Gowns say; and that, after such examination, he has found nothing that is not conformable to truth; he tells him that, moreover, he seeks to urge him only to what he himself purposes to do, and that he fully intends to ask for baptism when he finds his death approaching. He says these things so appositely and cleverly that there are few whom he does not convince, and does not thoroughly prepare for receiving that sacrament. He has recently done this so satisfactorily with regard to one of his nephews, about thirty years of age, that Father Garnier was delighted with the fervor with which that young man asked for baptism, and the rare dispositions that he manifested for receiving it.
But of all the means that God most employees in these three villages of Saint Michel, Saint Jacques, and la Conception, which belong to the nation of the Tsonnontouans, that which most effectively converts [Page 233] the Savages is the misery and abandonment of creatures. None are better disposed to listen to the instructions, and readier to obey the movements of grace than poor slaves, or other persons deprived of all succor and abandoned by every one. It is they who give most consolation to the Father, and who, amid their temporal miseries, most willingly receive the good news of their eternal happiness. This year the Father baptized some of this class, and they all live as true Christians. He might have hoped for the same success with many others, had he had enough leisure to continue instructing them, and at the same time to assist the sick; these were very numerous, and several of them died after baptism. [Page 235]
OF THE MISSION OF LA CONCEPTION AT TSONNON-
FATHER Raffeix, who has charge of this mission, writes of it as follows:
“The great number of superstitions that have gathered here with the tribes who have come hither for refuge, after the destruction of their own country, is a considerable impediment to the propagation of the Gospel. The remoteness of the French, among whom the Tsonnontouans seldom go, makes the teachings of our Faith seem strange to them, because they have hardly ever seen any one who believed and practiced these teachings. Moreover, profligacy and the corruption of morals, which frequently cause all the vices to be publicly upheld and praised, greatly contribute to make them lead the life of beasts, and render them insensible to everything regarding salvation. Not that many of them do not possess a very good character, or that the majority of them arc not much less subject to their passions than are Europeans. But, in the reign of corrupt nature, they allow themselves to be swayed by evil example; and these rich natures which will one day do wonders when virtue shall possess them, are still too feeble to resist considerations of human respect, But few adults would die without baptism, could one find them alone to instruct them; the shame, however, of passing for believers [Page 237] before those who are not, is a great obstacle to their conversion. For this reason, I was able, this year, to baptize only ten adults, who all died after receiving that grace. Many who pray to God when alone in the chapel, would be ashamed to do so before those who pray not, A young woman had poisoned herself, in consequence of serious annoyances that she had experienced. I went several times to see her in her cabin, to speak to her of her salvation; but human respect prevented her from answering. From time to time I took medicines and some comforts to her, in order to induce her to consent more readily that I might speak to her of God, and of the eternal unhappiness or blessedness of her soul. So long as her husband or her mother was near liar, she would not speak at all; I saw very well that I must see her alone, and as soon as possible, for she was at death’s door. I went there sometimes so early in the morning, or so late, that I lost my way in the fields on my way back. At last, one day while her husband was away, and her mother had gone for water, she opened her heart to me, entreating God very fervently to pardon her sins. She afterward listened very willingly to the instruction that I gave her and prepared herself for baptism. It is true, not all are slaves of human respect to the same degree. One of the old men of the village sent for me, and spoke to me as follows: ‘Here are my niece and my granddaughter, who are at the end of their strength; they have been languishing for a long time. Tell them fully all about Prayer, so that thou mayst prepare them to become Christians as soon as possible.’
“I would be very sorry if this old man, who is [Page 239] not Yet baptized were himself to lose the grace that two of his daughters, his niece, and his grandniece received this Year and which there is every reason to believe they carried intact to heaven, for they died shortly after their baptism.
“ While traveling one day with a man who was returning from the war, and while I was conversing with him about religion and the mysteries of the Faith, he related to me that one of the chiefs of their army held a council near the enemy’s country, at which he said that they must go into battle without fear. ‘ For my part,’ he continued, ’ I am far from feeling any fear, for I know that nothing can happen to us without the permission of Him who is in Heaven, whom I adore and invoke ever since I have embraced Christianity. ’ How desirable it would be that all should have the same courage, and that they should rise above human respect!
“ I cannot express the pleasure that I felt in hearing an old man who has been a Christian for some time, and who is not of this country. ‘ Ah,’ he said, ‘ when shall I have the happiness of withdrawing to the land of the Faith, among the French, and to live no longer here, where God is yet unknown and where he is so often offended? How contentedly I would live and die among my brothers, the Christians of Quebec or of la Prairie de la Magdeleine! If I and my family do not soon leave this country, my son, my little daughter, and my wife will be in danger of losing our Faith in the midst of infidelity and profligacy; while, if they lived with the faithful, they would be saved by following their good examples. ’ He therefore intends, at any cost, to set out within a month to go and dwell at Quebec; but [Page 241] he cannot do so without much difficulty and labor. God has his chosen ones everywhere, but this good grain is still very rare in this country; it will be for fervent and zealous missionaries who shall come here to cultivate this ungrateful and sterile soil, to cause this seed to multiply a hundredfold.
“ Of the number of these predestined ones are, above all, the little children, whom we endeavor not to let die without baptism. I have administered it to a fairly large number this year; fourteen among them died after receiving it. As they are our most certain gain, they are likewise our greatest consolation; and we watch over them with most special care. But it must be admitted also that it is especially with regard to those little innocents that God displays the marks of his special providence. On several occasions, mothers who had no inclination for the Faith came to get me to restore their sick children to health. I took advantage of the opportunity to baptize them, and several soared away to Heaven after having received, through baptism, health of the soul instead of that of the body. For six months I had watched a little child who was very delicate. The devil, envious of the glory that this child would render unto God throughout all eternity in Heaven, caused him to be concealed from me. He was taken to a cabin very far from the village, and deep in the woods. I learned in the morning that he was dying. I set out after my mass. The child’s guardian angel made me find people at every place where two roads met. But I would never have reached my destination had not three young boys, coming from the place whither I was going, and on their return home, changed [Page 243] their minds. They therefore came back with me, but ran so fast in the woods that I repeatedly lost sight of them. At last I rejoined them and reached the cabin, where I found neither the mother nor the dying child. I made them seek the mother in an adjacent field, whither she was in the habit of going; and I went there myself three times. On the last of these occasions, as I was coming away, she reached the cabin by another road, with her child; and I remained alone with the little patient while she went for the water that I used to baptize the child, who died shortly afterward.” [Page 245]
Mission to the Iroquois of St. François Xavier,
at la Prairie de la Magdeleine, during
the years 1673 and 1674.
THIS Mission is placed among the number of the Iroquois Missions, although it is not established in the Iroquois country, but because they who compose it are mainly savages therefrom. It differs from the other Missions only because in the latter Christians and infidels are intermingled together; while it receives and retains in its bosom only Christians, or those who really intend to become such. In fact, they who leave their own country to come and settle in this spot effect this change only in order to abandon infidelity; and, if it were found that such was not their intention, they would not be suffered to remain there.
This relation will show that the inhabitants of la Prairie de la Magdeleine work so happily to this end that they should not any longer be looked upon as arrogant and barbarian Savages, but as men perfectly submissive to the laws, full of gentleness and love for the Gospel. Three matters, since the last relation, have seemed to us worthy of being told: the first refers to those who have come to increase the number of the Christians of la Prairie; the second, to the fervor of those who were already settled there; the third is the death of Catherine Gandiakteua, which was the beginning of this Mission [Page 247]
I. OF THOSE WHO HAVE COME TO SETTLE AT LA
PRAIRIE DE LA MAGDELEINE.
HE member of the fortunate residents of this Mission is alone a proof of the blessings that God pours upon it. In fact, during the few years that have elapsed since it was begun, this number has; increased considerably, and still increases every day. But what is Yet more remarkable is the means that God uses with respect to these poor Savages, to withdraw them from the land of infidelity and vice, and to attract them to this place, where Faith and virtue are alone esteemed.
Here are some instances of this merciful guidance of Providence. A catechumen of la Prairie, while going to hunt, met two or three of his pagan countrymen; and he gave them a simple account of the pious exercises practiced there by the Christian Iroquois. This discourse so touches them that not only do they desire to imitate examples so noble, but they wish also to attract their relatives thither, for the same purpose. They return to their own country; they talk to them and persuade them to come to la Prairie; and they bring them in goodly numbers, to live there as true disciples of the Gospel. Other Christians of this Mission, who had gone toward the north, where their hunting-grounds were, brought back with them more than six families from those distant regions. But, above all, as, la Prairie de la Magdeleine is a place where a great many people pass, hardly a band of Savages stops at it without some of their number being induced to remain, through the example and zeal of those who are already settled there. Thus, during fifteen months, over one hundred and eighty new Savages [Page 249] have settled there and lead an exemplary life. The missionaries who labor in the country of the Iroquois write that many of the infidels of those villages, touched by the same grace, are also preparing to come and live at la Prairie. It may therefore be said, in all truth, that this Mission of Saint François Xavier des Prés is, as it were, the product of those that exist among those barbarous nations, and the fruit of the labors of the missionaries now there, and of the blood of those who were formerly so cruelly massacred in that country.
II. OF THE FERVOR OF THE CHRISTIANS OF LA
PRAIRIE DE LA MAGDELEINE.
ITHOUT repeating what has been said in other relations of the fervor of the Christians of la Prairie de la Magdeleine, it suffices to add that they continue to improve more and more; and that their virtue is all the more solid, since it removes them farther from the vices to which the Savages are most addicted.
Drunkenness, which has wrought such havoc in the other Missions, has not yet found entrance here; and those who were greatly addicted to it in their own country conceive such an aversion to it from the very moment when they embrace the Faith, that they resist with incredible constancy the prodigious inclination that impels all Savages to it. It was a surprising miracle of grace to see over a hundred Iroquois — who, a few years previously, were addicted to liquor to the extent of committing great excesses; and who found themselves last winter surrounded by drunkards, and by the French, who, in order more readily to induce them to drink, offered them [Page 251] brandy in exchange for their furs — remain, nevertheless, firm and inflexible against all these attacks for four or five months, although they were then far from their missionaries. Three only allowed themselves to be overcome by the importunities of the French; but, on their return, the elders endeavored to make them atone for this sin by advising them to make a present to the Church. Matters would not have remained there, and they would have been expelled, had they not been married to three of the best Christian women of the village.
They also have a great horror of impurity. A woman had made a clandestine appointment with a man who, like her, was a recent arrival and a pagan. Father Fremin, the director of this Mission, heard of it, and prevented the interview from taking place; ‘but the good Christians of the village, and especially the relatives of the woman, were not content with this; they notified her that she was to return whence she had come, and this was carried out on the very next day. A Christian woman, very different from that pagan one, had received a garment from a man without imagining that his intentions were evil; but, as soon as she perceived his iniquitous design, she at once brought the garment to Father Fremin, and begged him to give it to some poor person. “I shall certainly not wear it,” she said, “ for I cannot look at it without horror. God forbid that I should ever willingly offend him.” [Page 253]
Relation of Missions to the Outaouac country
OF THE MISSION OF STE. MARIE DU SAULT.
E are sufficiently informed by the preceding Relations as to what mission this is, and How general is the resort to it of the nations, who come in summer-time to take the whitefish which abound in the rapids of the sault, where lake superior discharges its waters.
It is this great Concourse of peoples that has compelled us to establish ourselves in this place, that we may the more conveniently Instruct them; and to build thereat a 2nd Chapel, yet more beautiful than the first, which was burned down in 1671. Little was wanting that this one also had been Consumed by a second fire, — much worse, by far, than the first, inasmuch as it resulted from one of the most tragic occurrences that had Ever been witnessed in this country. This accident had most deplorable results, For it was preceded by an act of treachery that broke up a peace, almost Concluded, which was about to open the door of the gospel to the great nation of the nadoissi; and, besides, it spread terror. throughout that country by the massacre of more, than 230 persons, and by the Fear of a bloody war, which needs must follow so dire a tragedy. It occurred in the following manner, in the spring of’ the year 1674. [Page 255]
MASSACRE OF THE TEN AMBASSADORS OF THE NA-
DOUESSI, AND TWENTY OTHER SAVAGES, PERFE-
TRATED IN THE HOUSE OF STE. MARIE DU SAULT.
HE Nadouessi, a nation exceedingly numerous and warlike, were the common enemies of all the savages Included under the name of Outaouac, or upper algonquines. They even pushed forward their arms vigorously toward the north; and, making war on the Kilistinons who dwell there, rendered themselves everywhere terrible by their daring, their numbers, and their skill in Battle, — in which they use, among other weapons, Knives of stone. Of these, they always carry two, one attached to the girdle, the other suspended by the hair. However, a band of warriors from ste. Marie du sault, having surprised them in their own country and taken eighty of them prisoners, compelled them to sue for peace. For this purpose, they sent to the sault ten of the most daring among them, to negotiate it. They were received with Joy, as soon as the object of their coming was understood. It was the Kilistinons alone, who had lately arrived, — save some others named missisaquis, — who not only expressed their dissatisfaction in the matter, but resolved moreover to prevent the peace from being Concluded. They even determined to massacre the ten ambassadors — a proceeding which made it necessary that the latter, in order to ensure their safety, should be placed in the french house, which had been erected for the Convenience of the missionaries. Father gabriel drouilletes took advantage of that opportunity to instruct them in our mysteries. They listened with so much docility that, when the instruction was over, they all knelt down, and, Joining their hands, [Page 257] invoked Jesus, the lord of life, of whom we had just been speaking to them. Meanwhile, the savages assembled at the french house — part of them to Conclude the peace with the nadoessi, others to obstruct its Conclusion, Everything imaginable was done to prevent those who went in from carrying arms; but, as the crowd was very great, s or 6 Slipped in without having their Knives taken from them. It was one of These latter, a Kilistinon by nation, who Began all the disturbance that ensued. Approaching a nadoessi, knife in hand, he said to him, “ Thou art Afraid, ” — threatening at the same time to strike him. The nadoessi, undismayed, replied to him in a haughty tone, and with a confident air, “ If thou Thinkest that I tremble, strike straight at the Heart.” Then, feeling himself struck, he cried out to Those of his nation, “ They are killing us, my brothers. ” ‘At these words, the men, stirred up to vengeance, — and, moreover, very powerful and of commanding stature, — arose, and struck with their Knives at all the assembled savages, without making any distinction between Kilistinons and sauteurs, believing that they had all equally Conspired in the design to assassinate them. It was not very difficult for them to accomplish a great Carnage in a short time, when we consider that they found that multitude unarmed, and expecting anything but an attack of that kind. The Kilisttinon who had begun the quarrel was among the first to be stabbed; and, he, with several others, fell dead on the spot. Afterward, the nadoessi posted themselves at the door of the house, to guard it, and to stab those who would have taken to flight; but, seeing that many had already escaped and gone in [Page 259] search of arm, they closed the door against these, resolved to defend themselves to the last breath. In fact, they Stationed themselves at the windows; and as, by chance, they had found some guns, with powder and ball, they used these to disperse their enemies, whose desire it was to burn them by setting fire to the Place where they were confined. They killed, in this way, some of those who ventured too close; but in spite of their efforts, some others came close to the house. These men, having piled up against it some straw and some birch-bark Canoes, set fire to them, which at once placed them in danger of being Consumed in the flames. It was this that drove them to give a last proof of their Courage. All ten sallied forth, their arms in their hands, and with an incredible quickness threw themselves into a Cabin made of stakes, which was hard by; in this they defended themselves, and ceased not to slay while powder and ball lasted them. When at last these failed them, they were laid low by the great number of savages who were firing upon them; and they, with two women who had accompanied them, were all slain on the spot. A third woman was spared, because they perceived that she was only their slave, and was an algonquin by nation. All the time while this tumult and massacre were going on, the fire which the savages had kindled at the missionaries’ house was steadily increasing; and, in spite of all that could be done, it soon Consumed the whole edifice, which was only wooden, and Placed the new Chapel, not far away, in great jeopardy of being also burned. Our people did so well, however, that they saved it. It was a horrible spectacle to see so many dead, and so much blood Shed [Page 261] in so small a space: and horrible to hear the Cries of those who warmed to the Battle, and the groans of the wounded amid the Tumult of an exasperated rabble that scarcely Heeded [knew] what it did. Our savages bewailed forty of their number, dead or wounded, among whom were some of the leading and most notable men; while the missionaries, on their Side, had great cause for affliction in losing so soon the hope of going to preach the gospel to the nadoessis, which the peace, about to be concluded with them, had inspired. In addition, they saw themselves abandoned by the savages of the country, who — in the Fear that the nadoessis, seeing the delay of their people, would suspect what had happened to them and be prompted to take vengeance for their deaths — all withdrew, and left them exposed to the fury of the enemy. Thus, besides the danger of being massacred in which they are every day, — not only at the sault, but in every other place as well where they set up their mission — The progress which the gospel was beginning to make by their means has been seriously arrested for some time. God has not failed to derive his glory from these misfortunes, and to make use of them, both for procuring the salvation of some souls and in making manifest the extraordinary effects of his almighty power; For several of Those who had been dangerously wounded solicited baptism, and, having received it, were healed of their wounds. [Page 263]
OF THE MISSION OF SAINT FRANÇOIS XAVIER.
HE church that we have in this Mission summons from a very great distance the Savages who dwell beyond the Mississipi, to come and live among the Machkoutens; it calls the Illinois from a still greater distance to come and settle in their former country, near the lake that bears their name, six days’ journey from the Machkoutens.
“ Those who are called Caskakias [Kaskaskias] have already been here for a year or two, as they had promised Father Dablon when I was his companion in the Mission to the Miamis.
“The other Illinois, called Peoualeas (Peorias), are gradually coming here to settle, in the conviction that the house of Cod will protect them, and keep them safer than they formerly were. Accordingly, all the fine missions already begun in these barbarous countries are no less important through the hope of the fruits they promise, than through the multitude of tribes to whom the Gospel is preached there.
“ I have already visited the Caskakias, and have baptized many of their children; I have borne the first words of the Faith to the Peoualeas, Who dwell among the Miamis, and they have listened to me with much docility. They have even begun to pray, and have promised me to come and dwell [Page 265] nearer to us to have the advantage of being instructed at leisure.
“The Savages of this country show sufficiently, by the honors that they pay to our holy Church, after their fashion, that, if they do not all pray as yet, they at least esteem Prayer. They are far from having an aversion to it, or from dreading it as a dangerous thing, as all the other Savages of this New France did when we began preaching the Gospel to them. Sometimes, even, in their councils they address their speeches to this house of God, and speak to it as to an animate being, When they pass by here they throw tobacco all around the church, which is a kind of devotion to their divinity; and, when they enter it, they think that they never can do enough to satisfy their inclination to honor the true God as the greatest divinity of whom they have ever heard. They also come sometimes and offer presents, to beg God to have pity upon their deceased relatives. The Pouteouatamis came here bringing theirs, to ask pardon from God because, when a cross that we had planted near their village had fallen down, it was burned by one among them who knew not its value.
“God has taught me, this year, by my own experience, that he shows mercy to whomsoever he pleases, and not to those to whom men would often desire him to show it. He has frequently permitted that my labors should be of use to those of whom I was not thinking, and to be useless to those for whose salvation I worked. In the month of January, while passing near little lake Saint François, ten leagues from here, I came upon a Christian Savage who was dying, and I prepared him for death. I intended to [Page 267] go to a Place where, as I have since learned, a young Frenchman died without confession, is a Savage cabin. Four months before, this young man had gone Past Our church; and, when I urged him to come to confession he would not listen to me. Afterward, God would not allow him to find again the opportunity that he had neglected.
“ When I arrived among the Outagamis, I was taken to a Poor Savage who had been languishing for a long time. I prepared him for a happy death by administering baptism to him. At the same place, although I visited the cabins daily, a child who had not been baptized died suddenly, an hour after I had left the cabin in which it was.
“These are the greatest crosses with which God afflicts a missionary; but he consoles him when he pleases. Shortly after this accident, some Savages arrived at this spot. I baptized one of their children, who was just born; and who died a day afterward. Before I left the Outagamis, the Holy Ghost caused two very sick children to be brought to our chapel. I administered holy baptism to them, and their souls soared to heaven a few moments after my departure.
“ When my mission among the Outagamis was ended, I learned that the Miami captain who had been my host was dying. I had deferred his baptism, although he seemed to be very well disposed; but it was difficult for him in his capacity Of captain to dispense, through politeness, with certain superstitions in vogue among their warriors. I went to his cabin, but he was not there; and while he was coming to me to be baptized, he died on the, way, without baptism. God refused me the Salvation of [Page 269] this soul, for which I had undertaken this journey; but my expedition was not fruitless, for, instead of this captain, he granted me two other Savages, whom I admitted to the bosom of the Church shortly before their death. ” [Page 271]
OF THE MISSION OF THE FOLLE AVOINE, NEAR THE
BAY DES PUANTS.
LETTER FROM FATHER LOUIS ANDRÉ,
SINCE the last memoirs which I sent regarding several missions conducted in various places, I have baptized about one hundred persons, partly children and partly adults. I shall begin with those of the Folle Avoine, because among the Savages of these countries they have manifested the most affection for Christianity, especially after an unexpected blessing that God granted them in connection with their fishing, in order to strengthen their Faith at the outset. When I arrived among them at the end of April, 1673, I gathered all the most notable persons, to inform them of my intention in visiting them. I also asked them what was meant by a picture of the sun that one of them had painted upon a piece of board. This picture was tied to the end of a pole, which was also painted in the brightest colors; and on this pole, at the height of a man, was suspended a sheaf of small cedar sticks, cut so as to serve as floats for the nets that are used in catching sturgeon, like the pieces of cork that are fastened to all kinds of nets in France. I therefore asked for what purpose they had set up this sort of votive offering. They replied that it was a sacrifice. — or rather, to use the proper expression in their language, ‘ ‘ an exhortation ’ ‘ — which [Page 273] they had made to the sun, to entreat it to have pity upon them. As they believed that the sun was the master of life and of fishing, the dispenser of all things, they begged it to send the sturgeon into their river, and to make their fishing prosperous. They added that they had long been expecting the sturgeon in their river and feared that they would not come to it. In fact, they had reason to apprehend this, for the sturgeon had already entered the Pechetik river and that of Oukatoum, which are farther from the lake than is the river of the Maloumines. After disabusing them of the idea which they had of the sun, and explaining to them in a few words the principal points of our Faith, I asked them whether they would consent to my removing the picture of the sun, and replacing it by the image of Jesus crucified. They replied, all together and repeatedly, that they consented; and that they believed that God was the master of all things. It was already late when they gave me this assurance of their good will; this did not prevent me from taking advantage of their favorable state of mind, and I put my crucifix in the place of the picture of the sun. On the following morning, sturgeon entered the river, in such great abundance that these poor people were delighted, and all said to me: “ Now we see very well that the Spirit who has made all is the one who feeds us. Take courage; teach us to pray, so that we may never feel hunger.” After that, their confidence in Prayer and their desire to learn it made them so docile and so attentive to me that I was astonished; and although, as a rule, I called only the children to me to pray, the adults themselves listened to us very attentively, and [Page 275] repeated in a low tone what we said aloud, while either praying or singing. But it was chiefly in the evening, when neither the men nor the women were any longer engaged in fishing, that we gathered greater numbers together to pray to God in the chapel. All the elders, except three, came there. Several women were very assiduous in their attendance, a thing that I had not yet observed. The French who were with me could not sufficiently admire such fervor in new catechumens, all the more since it seemed to be inspired by the spirit of God. I had ample evidence of it in the obedience which they showed me, and in their docility in removing the black from their faces and in breaking their superstitious fast. Even the warriors obeyed me in this, and only very few of them blackened themselves and fasted in order to dream of the Nadouessi, their enemy. Even those who had done so removed the black from their faces, when I declared to them that God was opposed to their superstitious dreams; and, before setting out for war, they offered no feast to the devil, nor did they dream any dreams, according to their ancient custom. But they addressed themselves to God, saying: “ We obey thee; we love Prayer; grant us life.” I myself was astonished at such universal obedience, and at the promptness with which they succeeded in divesting themselves of these superstitions; for I know by experience how singularly these people are attached to them. I had previously employed every means imaginable to induce them to abandon them; all my efforts had until then been almost fruitless. But when God wills to bring about the conversion of the most [Page 277] hardened, he clearly shows that he is the master of hearts, as he manifested in the case of this nation, the chief juggler of which showed that he took pleasure in my instructions. This man had an exceedingly great confidence in thunder as a powerful divinity; and, far from hiding when he heard it rumble, he did all that he could to meet it. One day, when it rained, I had an opportunity of witnessing his madness; he ran about in the woods, entirely naked, crying aloud and invoking the thunder by his songs. On seeing him, one would have taken him for a demoniac, so strange were the movements of his body. It is true, he acted thus in order to lead to the belief that he was seized with an extraordinary enthusiasm, of which the thunder-god was the author. He also wished it to be believed that he had a familiar demon, who imparted to him, a great power for curing the sick. I reproved him for his folly, and, making use of a homely comparison, I told him that he had reason to fear lest God, who uses lightning as a hunter does his gun, should discharge it at him, and make him die instantly. He promised me that he would no longer invoke the thunder; and in fact, a few days afterward, although it rained and thundered, I did not hear him cry out or sing as he was wont to do.
I would have baptized most of the people belonging to this nation, had I not thought it was more advisable to test them, and to put them off to another time. I therefore contented myself with baptizing twenty-two little children, and two adults; these latter died shortly afterward, but with very different evidences of their eternal happiness or unhappiness. [Page 279] One of them, a stranger who had been ill for two years, soon slept the sleep of the predestined; the other, who was ill for a few days only, sent for the jugglers after his baptism, although he had assured me that he detested superstitions of all kinds; consequently, his death deeply afflicted us. [Page 281]
OF THE MISSION OF OUASSATINOUN.
FATHER ANDRÉ CONTINUES HIS RECITAL
HAVE been three times at this Mission, and have baptized about forty persons in it. I found strong inclinations to the Faith among these peoples, who bear the name of Ouassatinoun; but these sentiments bore fruit more especially after the departure of the young men for war. For then the majority of those who remained in the village came most assiduously to the chapel, to pray and be instructed. It was not necessary for me, as in the past, to go and seek them in their cabins; they came to me of their own accord; so that several of the French, who had formerly seen these Savages keeping aloof from the instructions and from Prayer, were quite astonished at so wonderful a change. I must say that, among all the others, none were more attentive or more diligent in coming to me than were the young boys and girls; this has given me great hope of seeing the whole of this nation converted to Christianity in the course of time, In fact, if in early youth they arc so ardently inclined to hear and practice what I tell them for their salvation, there is reason to believe that they will not forget it entirely when they attain mature age; and that these first impressions, which become deeper and more lasting through their eagerness to receive them, will not be very easily effaced. This end will [Page 283] be more surely attained if we continue, by frequent Missions, to remind them of the truths in which they now take such pleasure. I find in these thoughts an alleviation of the sorrow caused me by the hard-heartedness of the older persons. There is at least thus much good about these people, that they do not prevent their children from profiting by the instructions by which they themselves do not choose to benefit. Some, however, are not so rebellious to grace. Two sick old men have distinguished themselves: one by ceasing to have recourse to the superstitions of the country for his cure, as soon as I warned him that he was wrong in doing so; the other, by never having had recourse to them since he heard at Sault Sainte Marie that they were criminal.
When the young men returned from war, I found them more docile than they had previously been. Their impiety as well as their cowardice had greatly contributed to this change. Before going to war they had held several feasts in honor of the devil, and had used the wood of the cross to kindle their fires. But these impious men, to the number of two hundred and forty, had not even enough courage to attack the enemies whom they had gone to seek; and they came back as fugitives, without daring to look at a single one. On their return, I paid them a compliment that was not very agreeable to them. “ It is all over,” I said; “ there are no more Nadouessis; you have killed them all, so great was the courage with which the devil inspired you, as a reward for your feasts and for the wood of the cross that you burned.” As I continued to insult them, one of them said to me: “ Be silent, thou dost anger [Page 285] he, and I replied to him in a firmer tone than his: “ Be silent yourselves, ye who hate Prayer and who fear death. I fear you not at all; I fear but Him who has made all; he it is who gives me courage and makes me despise you. Kill me, if you will; I will be very glad, for I shall go to heaven.”
Then I spoke to them of the king’s victories over the enemies of the cross. They begged me to let them enter our new church; but I refused them this favor, and replied to them that I would make them pray to God when experience should have shown me that they had renounced the devil and dreams. Those among them who were the hardest to influence, and the most obstinate, came to me before leaving for their winter quarters, and begged me so earnestly to make them pray that I could not resist; and I thought proper to accede to their request.
One thing that gave great authority to baptism was the cure of a sick young man, to whom I had administered it. Attempts were made to induce him to have recourse to the jugglers’ superstitions, but he would not agree to it, and sent his brother for me. As soon as he perceived me, he said to me that I knew well that he had always prayed, and that therefore I should not refuse him the grace of baptism. I did, in fact, baptize him, and he was restored to bodily health, shortly after he had obtained that of his soul. The cure of this young man, added to the death of a child, for the recovery of whose health the most celebrated jugglers had spared no pains, gave me an opportunity which I did not miss, for casting discredit upon the enemies of Prayer. [Page 285]
As the Savages of Ouassatinoun had all left to go to the extreme end of cape Illinois, I finished my last Mission at this place. If I had had any one who would have undertaken to guide me, I would have followed them, and thus have had an opportunity to instruct at the same time the Illinois, the Pouteouatamis, the Oussakis, the Nessouakoutoun, and a part of the Outaouasinagous. Some other Savages, called Maloumines, had promised me to winter on the shore of lake Illinois, if I would assure them that I would go there also; but, as I was unable to give them this assurance, they had all dispersed when I arrived there. I was without any Savages for a month and a half, shut in and, as it were, besieged by the ice; for, as early as the 16th of November, the river of the Folle Avoine was completely frozen over for the remainder of the winter. I would, however, have started to go elsewhere, had I not fallen ill. I was therefore compelled to remain at the same spot; and I was in great need, at the same time, of patience to enable me to endure the cold and illness, and of confidence in God to fortify me against dread of the Nadouessis. But, in the midst of my troubles, I have not failed to console myself by the expectation that many Savages will arrive, who are to come to the shore of lake Illinois about the end of January. [Page 289]
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL DATA: VOL. LVIII.
For bibliographical particulars of the Relation of 1672-73, see Vol. LVII. The report, presumably by Dablon, upon the “ Mission de Saint-François- Xavier des Prés,” for 1672-73, appended to this Relation, we obtain from Douniol’s Relations inédites, t. i., pp. 179-189.
Of Dablon’s Relation de la Découverte de la Mer du Sud, dated August I, 1674, there are two published versions: (I) In Douniol, t. i., pp. 193-204; Rochemonteix (Jésuites, t. iii., p, 23, note 1) says that this document is “not exactly reproduced” there, (2) In Margry’s Découvertes et établissements des Français, t. i., pp. 262-270 — which, Rochemonteix .says, “gives its text very nearly as we read it in the Roman MS.” We accordingly reprint the document from Margry’s version.
The original MS. of Dalmas’s Voyage Autour de l’Isle Jésus rests in the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal. It has not before been published.
In publishing the Relation of 1673-74, We have had recourse for the greater part thereof to Douniol, [Page 291] t. i. We have, however, changed the sequence as there given, preferring a rearrangement of the material to suit the usual order of publication in Dablon’s various Relations. The account of the “Mission Huronne de nostre Dame de Foy” is from pp. 295-318; the “Relation . . . . aux Missions iroquoises,” is from pp. 235-278; the “Mission des Iroquois de S.-François-Xavier a la Prairie de la Magdeleine,” is from pp. 279-293. Of the “Relation des Missions au pays des Outaouacs,” we obtain Chaps. iv.-vi. from pp, 219-233 of Douniol, as above; but for Chap. i. of Douniol (pp. 205-210), we substitute Chap. I. of Dablon’s MS. Relation of 1673-79, the original of which is in the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal; while Chaps. ii. and iii. of the Douniol text (pp. 211-219) we omit from the present volume for reasons assigned in note 23 (p. 297, post). [Page 292]
NOTES TO VOL.
(Figures in parentheses, following the number of note, refer to pages of English text.)
 (p. 23). — Cf. this enumeration with Dablon’s statement regarding the same village, when hc visited it in the autumn of 1670 (vol. lv., pp. 199, 201) ; with the Mascoutens he then found the Oumami (Miamis), “who form one of the Nations of the Ilinois,” — the two tribes numbering more than 3,000 souls. Allouez now counts, two years later, nearly two hundred cabins of savages, more than double the above population. To the two tribes above named have been added the Kickapoos, who in 1670 were sojourning at a place four leagues distant from the Mascouten vilIage; a large reinforcement of Miamis, and twenty cabins of other Illinois savages; and a few Ouiatanons (called Weas by the English) a tribe allied to the Miamis, who in 1694 were residing at Chicago, and later on the Wabash river.
 (p. 43). — The Outagami village had also become, during the two years since Dablon’s visit, a refuge for other Algonkin tribes. Ouagoussak, here mentioned, means simply “the Fox people.” The Makoua were probably the Bear clan of the Ojibwas; the Mikissioua, the Eagle clan; the Atchatchakangouen, the Crane clan. See the list of Ojibwa clans and their totems, given by Warren, in Minn. Hist. Colls. (vol. v., pp. 44, 45. The Makoucoué are, by Butterfield (Disc. of N. W., p. 56, note 3), identified with the Mantoue of Relation of 1640, and the Nantoué of Relation of 1671; cf. vol. xliv., note 21. The Kaskaskias (Kakachkiouek), Peorias (Peoualen), and Moingonas (Mengakonkis) were all Illinois tribes or clans; the others here named cannot be satisfactorily identified.
 (p. 43). — Dablon relates a similar incident (vol. lv., p. 193) in his voyage up the Fox River in 1670. He found at La Croche rapid, above Wrightstown, a rock to which the savages paid idolatrous honors as they passed it; the Father had his men throw this rock into the river.
 (p. 49). — In the original MS., the page ends here; and there are pasted into the “cahier,” at this point, four pages in Dablon’s handwriting, which replace those deleted by him in Lamberville’s MS. [Page 293]
 (p. 75). — The name of St. François Xavier des Près was now given by the Jesuits to the mission begun in 1669 by Raffeix (vol. xlvii., Note 26; vol. xlviii., note 1) and continued by Frémin.
 (p. 93). — See sketch of Joliet’s life in vol. l., note 19.
 (p. 95). — This route was that of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers: the well-known portage between them has given name to the Wisconsin city of Portage. See the interesting map of the Great Lakes and the portages connecting them with the Mississippi river-system, given by Winsor from a Paris map of Joliet’s time, in Mississippi Basin, pp. 28, 29. The Wisconsin River is nearly 600 miles long, and flows S. and W. into the Mississippi. It is navigable for steamboats as far as Portage (145 miles), where a government ship-canal, cut along the old portage trail, unites the Fox and Wisconsin rivers.
 (p. 103). — At this point are added, in the Douniol edition (p. 201), the words par ce que nouz voyons . . . . and Martin states, in a footnote, that “some words are here lacking in the manuscript.” This, and various important differences in the text, show that Margry and Martin used different copies of this document; the former states that it “is found only in the Roman collection.” the latter does not indicate the source of his publication. Margry’s version is, however, much more satisfactory to the historical student, for it bears reasonable marks of authenticity; while that in Douniol has been so “edited ” that the readcr hardly knows whether or not to rely upon it.
The additional phrase and the hiatus above mentioned may be a reference to the map drawn by Joliet.
 (p. 105). — The river named St. Louis by our esplores is that since known as the Illinois, from the savage tribes dwelling upon its banks. It is about 350 miles long, and flows W. and S. W. into the Mississippi; it is navigable for its entire length.
 (p. 109). — Regarding the fort here mentioned, see vol. lvii., note. 3. Catarakoui (Katarokoui, etc: N.Y. Colon. Docs. Show 52 variations of this name) was at that time probably the most important point above: Montreal, commercially and strategically, and was a centre for military operations in the long conflict between the French and English; in 1758 it was destroyed by Bradstreet’s espedition. After the conquest of Canada, the place was settled by English colonists, and called Kingston; it became incorporated as a city in 1838. its strategic importance has occasioned the city to be heavily fortified; it is, “after Quebec and Halifax, the strongest fort in the Dominion” (Lovell’s Gazetteer).
 (p. 107). — Reference is here made to Chicago harbor.
 (p. 113). — François Frison (Frigon or Frizon, in Sulte), born [Page 294] in 1650, married Marie Chamboy, by whom he had seven children; he died in May, 1724. The census of 1681 shows that this family were then living at Batiscan.
 (p. 113). — Probably Zacharie Dupuis (vol. xliii., note 17). In 1672, he had obtained the grant of Isle aux Hurons and adjacent islets, below Lachine rapids; and, in 1671, the fief of Verdun, from St. Sulpice.
 (p. 117). — This MS. is undated, as to year; but the date here given, “Monday, Sept. 24,” and the fact that Dalmas was at La Prairie only in 1674 during the years when that day of the month could come on Monday, fix the date of the MS. in 1674.
 (p. 117). — For notice of La Chesnaye, see vol. xlviii., note 12.
 (p. 123). — The Lake of Two Mountains is an expansion of the Ottawa River, near its mouth; it is 24 miles long, its width varying from one to six miles. The seigniory of the same name, lying upon its shores, was granted to the Seminary of St. Sulpice in 1717 (with augmentations in 1733 and 1735), and still remains in its possession. The Sulpitians still maintain upon its lands their early-begun mission for the Indians, who long composed two villages, one Algonkin and one Iroquois; these are now practically one, called Oka.
 (p. 123). — François Marie Perrot came to Canada with Talon, in 1670, as governor of Montreal. In the same year he married a niece of Talon, Marguerite la Guide, by whom he had six children. In 1672, he obtained the grant of Isle Perrot and neighboring islets; upon the former he established a trading post, where he carried on an extensive traffic with the savages, especially in intoxicating liquors. Moreover, he encouraged and protected the coureurs de bois in their illicit trade; and finally arrogated to himself the administration of justice, which was the prerogative of the Sulpitians, as seigniors of the island. His conduct became so tyrannical that Frontenac arrested him, and sent him to France (November, 1674). The king imprisoned him in the Bastile for a short time, and then restored him to his governorship, which he held until 1684, when he was appointed governor of Acadia. Having lost this position in the spring of 1687, he remained in the country as a trader. In 1690 he was captured by the English, then in possession of Port Royal; but escaped soon afterward. Perrot was still in Acadia in 1691; the date of his death is not recorded. He was a selfish, unscrupulous, and avaricious man, and did not hesitate to violate the laws of the country when he could thus add to his own gains.
 (p. 125). — Antoine Dalmas was born at Tours Aug. 4, 1636, and became a Jesuit novice Oct. 8, 1652. His studies wcrc pursued at La Flèche, Bourges, and Paris; and he was an instructor at Tours, [Page 295] La Flèche, Hesdin, and Blois successively. Coming to Canada in 1670 (according to Father Jones; Rochemontcix says 1671), he spent two years at the college of Quebec, in preparation for his labors among the savages. During 1673-74, he was stationed at La Prairie; in 1675, at Cap de la Madeleine; during 1676-80, at Sillery, where he spent much time in studying the Indian tongues; and the next ten years were spent in the Tadoussac mission, except that, during 1683, he was teacher in the college of Quebec. In 1691, he went to Hudson Bay to aid Silvy; and there was assassinated by a Frenchman, March 3, 1693. An account of his death (without dates) is given by Marest in a letter written about 1695; it is published in Lettres Édifiantes (Toulouse, 1810), t. vi., pp. 3-7. In this account of Dalmas’s labors, we have mainly followed data furnished by Father Jones, from Martin’s copy of the Jesuit Catalogues; Rochemonteix’s account (Jésuites, t. iii., pp. 273-276) differs in some particulars. An additional (and somewhat conflicting) item of information is furnished by the Montagnais MS. at Quebec (vol. xlvi., note 11; and vol. lvi., note 3), in which Crépieul says, under the head of “Precious Deaths:” “In the year 1693, the Reverend Father Antoine Dalmas, having been withdrawn from the curacy of Notre-Dame de Foy, came with me as far as chegoutimy, where, and at the Lake [St. John] he had wintered for several years. Thence he was sent to the Bay of Hutson, where on March 3, he was slain by a wretched Frenchman; the surgeon also was killed, a little while before, by the same man.”
 (p. 131). — The Huron village was removed at this time (December, 1673) to a site on a branch of St. Charles River, within the limits of St. Gabriel seigniory, the property of the Jesuits (vol. vi., note 8). A village still exists there, known as Ancienne Lorette; but the remnant of the Huron Indians reside at Jeune Lorette (commonIy known also as “Indian Lorette”), eight miles from Quebec, whither they were removed in 1697.See Bouchette’s account of these Indians, in his Topog. Dict. of Lower Canada, under article “Indian Lands and Indians.” Cf. Rochentonteix’s Jésuites, t. ii., pp. 124-127. Bouchette says that in 1821, the population of Jeune Lorette was 137; Tailhan states (Perrot p. 311) that in 1861 it counted 261 Herons.
Martin Bouvart, one of the Fathers in charge of these Hurons, wrote a historical and descriptive account of Lorette, which will appear in vol. lx. of this series. An interesting historical sketch of Lorette written by Rev. L. St.-G. Lindsay, with valuable annotations, is now (November, 1899) appearing serially in Revue Canadienne. [Page 296]
 (p. 131). — Samuel (or Martin) Bouvart was born at Chsrtres, Aug. 15, 1637, and at the age of twenty-one became a Jesuit novice at Paris, His studies were pursued at La Flèche and Rouen, and his term as instructor at Amiens and Eu. Coming to Canada in 1673, he spent three years at Sillery and Lorette; then became a professor in the college at Quebec, where he spent the rest of his life. In August, 1698. he became superior of the Canadian missions, in which position he remained six years. He died at Quebec, Aug. 10, 1705. Rochemonteix says of him (Jésuites, t. iii., p. 373): “The Jesuits appreciated the urbanity of his character, knowing, however, that he was wholly incapable of maintaining their rights in case of a conflict with either religious or civil authority.”
 (p. 149), — We read on the margin of the manuscript: “The plan of the village is to be placed here.” This plan, however, has not come down to us. — Martin’s note on the text, Douniol’s Relations inédites, t.i., p. 307.
 (p. 165). — By “family” is here meant “clan” (vol. xxix., note 6). Regarding Agoiandèr (oyander), see vol. liv., note 15.
 (p. 255). — This chapter begins Dablon’s MS. Relation of 1673-79, part of which. with accompanying bibliographical information, will appear in vol. lix. of this series. That text is here substituted for Douniol’s, as being for various reasons more satisfactory. The next two chaptera (ii. and iii.) given in Douniol are omitted here, because they more properly belong to the État présent of 1674-75, in which they will appear (vol. lix.) — but taken from the text of the above-named MS. In Chap. i. as here presented, letters or words deleted by Dablon are printed in italics; his emendations, in roman within brackets.
 (p. 261). — The Douniol text states that part of the reports written by the missionxries were lost in the fire. Apparently only those of André and Allouez escaped destruction.
 (p. 265): — This chapter is written by Allouez.
 (p. 267). — This allusion to “little Lake St. François,” and its distance from St. François Xavier, would seem to identify it as Little Lake Butte des Morts, the expansion of the Fox River, lying in the township of Menasha, at the north end of Lake Winnebago. The U. S. Government survey gives the distance from Dc Pere to Winnebago Rapids as 30 miles. Cf. Lawson’s claim, vol. lv., note 10.
 (p. 273). — Folle-Avoine: Name of theMenominee River, and of the tribe dwelling on its banks (vol. xliv., note 21; vol. liv., note 14). See Hoffman’s admirable monograph upon this tribe, in U.S. Bur. Ethnol. Rep., 1892-93, pp. 11-338. [Page 297]
 (p. 275). — Reference is here made, probably, to the Peshtigo and Oconto rivers.
 (p. 283). — Ouassatinoun was mentioned in André’s report for the preceding year (vol. lvii., p. 293), as a place where the Pottawatomie band whom he had instructed at Suamico (vol. lvii., note 13) were to assemble later, apparently in the summer or early autumn months. André evidently spent with them the autumn of 1673. The place cannot well be identified, although the etymology of its name leads to the inference that it was a locality abounding in the aspen or poplar (asati, aspen). We may add here that Chouskouabika, mentioned in the above-cited note, is by Verwyst identified (Miss. Labors, p. 234) with the present town of Pensaukee.
(p. 289). — Cape Illinois: the long, narrow peninsula which lies between Green Bay and Lake Michigan; called Longue Pointe on D’Anville’s map of 1754. It is included within the Wisconsin counties of Kewaunee and Door. Cf. vol. lvi., note 5.