The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents
Travels and Explorations
of the Jesuit Missionaries
in New France
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CONTENTS OF VOL. LXII.
Preface To Volume LXII.
Lettre à ——. Jacques Bigot; Sillery, June 24, 1681
Lettre à ——. Jean de Lamberville; Onnontagué, August 25, 1682
Lettre à ——. Jacques Bigot; Sillery, August 28, 1682
Lettre à Mr. de Frontenac. Jean de Lamberville; Onnontagué, September 20, 1682
Assemblée tenue à Québec, dans la maison des RR. PP. Jes.; October 10, 1682
Lettre à ——. Claude Chauchetiere; Sault St. Fr. Xavier, October 14, 1682
Lettre au R. P. Prouincial de la prouince de france. Thierry Beschefer; Quebec, October 21, 1683
Bibliographical Data; Volume LXII.
[INSERT GRAPHIC HERE]
ILLUSTRATIONS TO VOL. LXII.
Photograph of Joseph Sibbell’s statue of Catherine Tegakwita.
Photograph of Chauchetière’s oil portrait of Catherine Tegakwita.
PREFACE TO VOL. LXII.
Following is a synopsis of the documents contained in this volume:
CXLVII. Jacques Bigot, who has been stationed during the past year at Sillery, writes a letter (begun June 24, and ended September 22, 1681), giving an account of that mission and its condition. During the past seven months, over sixty new savages have arrived at Sillery, most of whom are now baptized. They show great zeal in abstaining from strong drink, and in attendance at church services. Bigot considers these Abenaki converts, as a rule, very tractable and obedient; and says of them: “1 hope to have the Consolation of seeing the whole of that nation become Christian, if 1 am only given some assistance to have fields cleared for them, and to provide for a thousand petty needs which the savages cannot supply, although 1 do not allow them to remain idle.” Bigot finds them willing to work, and not so fondly attached to their superstitions as are most savages. He recounts the pious deaths of several converts. New arrivals of savages from Acadia are frequently occurring at Sillery. “As soon as any one arrives, they come to ask me for a picture of hell, to show it to him;” and then the best instructed explain it to him. These converts freely practice severe mortifications of the flesh, in which the Father is obliged to check their fervor [Page 9] A score of Indians arrive who have all been instructed in their own country by one Christian woman, a chief’s daughter. The Sillery Indians receive high praise for their fine voices and their devout manner of chanting the church hymns. These savages are little inclined to intemperance; “1 wonder that among so great a number of savages there are not 10 who give me trouble with regard to drunkenness.” Bigot acknowledges his obligations to the intendant, Duchesneau, in aiding his efforts to prevent excesses among his savages.
CXLVIII. Jean de Lamberville writes (August 25, 1682) an account of the Onondaga mission, where he has spent a year, after a two years’ absence. Upon his arrival (168 1), he finds the village in process of removal to a new site; the people receive him in friendly fashion. He excites their wonder and admiration by showing them a view of Paris and its environs, and recounting to them the wonders of the great City. Lamberville has to give a feast to the chiefs; but he induces the late Garakontié’s successor and namesake to join him in giving the feast, and to announce thereat his own profession of the Christian faith. This man, who has been “one of the worst drunkards of the village,” now surprises all the people by his temperate and Christian mode of life. Another chief, an old man, is converted; but the loss of his wife, and the ill treatment given him by others in his household, lead him to commit suicide; but the good missionary charitably hopes that the ignorance of this poor mari may “exempt him from damnation.”
Drunkenness is the great curse of the Iroquois. Lamberville states that in two months seven murders [Page 10] have been committed by drunkards. He mentions recent Iroquois raids into Maryland, where the savages have committed many murders and robberies; and into Illinois, whence they have brought 700 captives as slaves. A terrible picture of their ferocity is given in a few words: “They killed and ate over 600 on the spot, without counting those whom they burned along the road. They saved the children who could live without the Milk of their mothers whom they had killed; but the others were cruelly roasted and devoured. It is related that they tied living men and women to the stakes, and, as fast as their flesh became roasted, they cut it off, and ate it.” These fierce and arrogant savages are extending their raids in all directions, and have even begun to attack the Miamis, another Western tribe. Some captives from that tribe are burned at Onondaga, and are treated with even more than usual cruelty. The Fathers strive to save them from the fury of their captors, but in vain. By most strenuous and perilous efforts, they succeed in baptizing one of these victims, and later, under cover of the darkness, the others. In another case, they are able to save one man from the drunken rage of the victors; but it is at the peril of their own lives. Still again, they rescue one of the victims, who is suddenly snatched from their care by a party of brandy-crazed savages, tortured to death, and then devoured. The Miami captive saved by the Fathers is to be presented to the French governor, to help in patching up the peace between the Algonkins and Iroquois — now menaced by the warlike desires of the latter nation. Lamberville relates the crafty manner in which the more prudent of the Onondaga [Page 11] chiefs aid him to keep the captive. A Seneca chief having been slain by some Illinois warriors, all the Iroquois tribes are preparing to attack the Illinois, in order to avenge the murder.
Lamberville relates some cheering instances of the piety displayed by his Onondaga converts. Certain medicines sent him from France “have really worked little miracles here, in curing the sick.” As a result, “the care of most of the sick people in this very populous village has been confided to us.... and even the Jugglers have had recourse to us.” Those who have felt the effects thereof are Incomparably more docile in matters regarding their salvation than they formerly were.” An epidemic of disease has appeared in several Iroquois villages, which carries away many people — in one dwelling, seventeen persons. Carheil has been driven from the Cayuga mission by the fury of the drunkards there; and the superstitious savages ascribe the pestilence to his expulsion. He takes refuge with the Lambervilles at Onondaga; and the chiefs and people of that village receive him most kindly and hospitably. A curious specimen of Indian oratory is the speech made in welcoming Carheil, in which a vigorous denunciation of brandy is uttered. The Father has now gone to Agnié. A cornet in the sky causes dread to those who sec it.
CXLIX. This is Jacques Bigot’s report, for 1682 (dated August 28), of the Sillery mission. It is rapidly increasing in population: during the past month alone, “nearly one hundred persons have come hither.” Unfortunately, Vincent Bigot has recently been sent to another mission, and Jacques has a heavy burden of labor and responsibility; but [Page 12] he appoints an Indian convert as his helper, who bravely does his duty. These Abenaki converts are very regular in their church attendance and other religious exercises; and the children are daily instructed by native catechists. There are about 130 communicants. A notable feature of their Christian character is their conquest of envy, “which is the vice that gives me most trouble among the savages,” The chief penance imposed upon them by the Father is silence when they are slandered; “this,” he tells them, “is worth more than any mortification of the body.” He recounts, in considerable detail, his methods of instruction, persuasion, 2nd discipline. Next to their inclination to slander, he is troubled by their idle ways; but even in this he sees a gratifying change in many of his converts. They are influenced by his own example of constant industry, and by his admonitions to “offer their labor to Jesus Christ;” and he tells them that “while they are working the devil will not torment them.” They usually obey his orders not to go visiting the French settlers in the evening; and if any disobey, his catechist or himself goes to find such person, warning him to return to the village. He makes similar exertions to persuade them to avoid drunkenness — in many cases, with gratifying success. Bigot gives his correspondent information concerning several Indians in whom the latter had been interested. He also requests his friend to procure for him “some pictures of the Judgment, of hell, of purgatory, and of paradise,” which he finds very useful in his instructions. ‘ < Most of those who at the beginning left This mission, in order to lead a life with less restraint, have come back, and submit Like children.” [Page 13]
Bigot gives an interesting outline of his daily occupations. He compares himself to a Person in sole charge of a hospital; for one of the frequent smallpox epidemics has attacked the Sillery mission, and the Father must be nurse as well as teacher. His duties go even further — “to provide for marriages, and to make up quarrels.” He says of himself that he is “often so exhausted that he cannot hold himself erect when he wishes to say prayers.”
CL. Jean de Lamberville writes (September 20 1682) to Count de Frontenac, in answer to a letter sent him by the latter. The Father regrets that the governor has been unable to keep his appointment for a conference with the Iroquois tribes, who are preparing for a general onslaught upon the Western Algonkins. The Miami captives whom the missionaries have been striving to rescue (see Doc. CXLVIII. ante) are in imminent danger of death; the only hope for them had been in Frontenac’s personal influence. Lamberville vigorously depicts the dangers to which the French are exposed from the anger and fierceness of the Iroquois, who “are ready to fall upon Canada on the first occasion that shall be given them.” A rumor is current among the savages that Frontenac has been recalled to France; and Lamberville hopes to learn the truth when his messenger returns. He mentions his fear that some unknown person has been slandering him and his Jesuit brethren to the governor, and reminds him that all of the missionaries are doing everything in their power to further his plans and the interests of the country.
CLI. This is a résumé of the proceedings of a council at Quebec, which considers (October 10, 1682) the menacing attitude of the Iroquois, and [Page 14] endeavors to plan for the defense of Canada. The notables therein assembled are informed by the Jesuits and Sulpitians of events and tendencies in their respective mission fields. The council is unanimous in accusing the English of inciting the Iroquois to hostilities against the French. An interesting summary is given of the crafty policy and schemes of the Iroquois, which is thoroughly understood by the men here assembled missionaries, military officers, coureurs de bois, and fur traders. The slender resources of the colony are discussed, and a sudden expedition against the Senecas is proposed, with Fort Frontenac as the base of supplies. Supplies of provisions must be accumulated, and the habitants suitably armed; and, above all, aid from the mother country must be given.
CLII. A letter by Claude Chauchetière (dated October 14, 1682) gives an account of the mission at Sault St. Louis (removed hither from La Prairie). It is a picturesque and entertaining description of the rapids near the Indian village; the fatal accidents that have occurred therein to travelers; the farm at the mission, and the life of the Indians settled there; the Jesuit Chapel, and the religious exercises therein. This mission is steadily increasing, while similar colonies are diminishing, or are at a standstill; the Mohawks especially continue to migrate hither. Chauchetière has, besides his pressing and manifold duties to the savages, the spiritual charge of a hundred French families. The superior of the mission is Bruyas. “The austerities practiced by certain savage women” are described: “these would be admired in france, if they were known there.” One, although in delicate health, stands naked in the [Page 15] falling snow, on Christmas day — which nearly causes her death; others “made a hole in the ice, in the depth of winter, and threw themselves into the water,” remaining there while one “could say a rosary.” One of these, “who Feared that she would be found out, did net venture to Warm herself when she returned to her cabin, but lay down on her mat with lumps of ice adhering to her shoulders.” Both men and women have invented other like mortifications “for the purpose of tormenting themselves. . . . but we have made them give up whatever was excessive.” One of these devout women, Catherine Tegakwita, dies “with the reputation of sanctity;” her tomb becomes a shrine for pilgrims, and “wonders are worked Daily through her Intercession.” The use of iron girdles and other instruments of mortification is “Daily becoming more general.” In this the men will not let the women outdo them, and even ask for permission to torment themselves every day; but the Fathers will not grant this. The most devout among the women lead a sort of uncloistered convent life — among other self-denials, laying aside forever their gala-dresses. One of them has even entered the Montreal hospital as a nun. They care for the poor, who include nearly all the Indians of the place. The savages here are very pious, and lead virtuous lives; but the Fathers must constantly watch against the curse of drunkenness. The French themselves are to blame for this; “for, in order to strip the Savages to their Very Shirts, they follow them everywhere, to make them drink and become intoxicated.”
“War is blazing in The country of the Outaouaks;” the Iroquois have, as mentioned in previous [Page 16] documents, attacked the Illinois, capturing and killing great numbers. They threaten Canada, but it has thus far been safe. The costumes worn by the Indians of the colony are described by Chauchetière; and various peculiarities of savage life and ideas are mentioned.
CLIII. Thierry Beschefer, now superior of the Canadian missions, sends a report of their condition (dated October 21, 1683) to his provincial. He states that in these missions over 2,000 persons have been baptized within three years.
Beginning with the Ottawa missions, the tribes included therein are enumerated, and the stations which the Jesuits have established among them. The pious dispositions and customs of the Christian Indians at Sault Ste. Marie and Mackinac are described at some length. Superstitious and idolatrous rites are seldom openly practiced among them. A solar eclipse is, as usual, advantageously employed by the Fathers to combat the native superstitions. Nouvel has made various missionary journeys along the shores of Lake Huron and has found the savages of that region very friendly, and well inclined to the faith. Drunkenness had almost destroyed them; but the Father’s preaching has aroused them to strive against this vice. Albanel and André have done good work among the Wisconsin tribes, as also did Allouez before them; the latter is now evangelizing the Illinois and Miami savages, and has been able to abolish most of their superstitious fasts. Famine among them has caused him great suffering and hardship. A long and interesting account is given of Allouez’s labors, and of the methods which he employs to win these savages. The superior regrets [Page 17] the necessity of discontinuing the Illinois mission, on account of the hostilities waged in that region by the Iroquois, who desire to exterminate the Western tribes, Beschefer states the need of new missionaries for the West, since four of the seven now there are almost unfit, on account of age and infirmities, for active service; and, were it not for the services of the donnés, the Jesuits could not have maintained those missions to the present time.
In the Saguenay region are two mission Stations, with chapels, at the fur-trade centers. Most of the missionaries’ work must be done in winter, “and consequently amid fatigues that cannot be described.” The Winters there are so severe that navigation does not open until the middle of June; and the Fathers — follow the savages in their wanderings, sharing all the hardships and privations of their wretched life. Crépieul, Dalmas, and Silvy are the shepherds of these roaming flocks.
The Iroquois missions, although they do not involve such physical hardships, are “most fruitful in Crosses;” for those ferocious tribes have become so arrogant through their military success that “they consider themselves masters of the earth.” Moreover, they bear ill will to the French; and drunkenness is so prevalent among them “that it often makes their villages veritable images of hell.” The sufferings and dangers of the missionaries at such times are vividly depicted. Nevertheless, when these barbarians are converted, “it is difficult to find better Christians;” and the missionaries are able to report many baptisms. Lamberville has been especially successful — largely through the cures of sickness which he has effected with medicines sent from [Page 18] France. At Oneida, Millet has succeeded in inspiring his savages with great veneration for the cross; and all, even the warriors, unite in this devotion. He has conferred many baptisms, and his labors are, in the main, successful. The Mohawks are the most inclined to become Christians. Vaillant has baptized many of them, and they are continually migrating from their own country to settle at Sault St. Louis; as many as two hundred have done so within the last two years. One of Vaillant’s native helpers goes with his countrymen to war — not to kill and plunder, but to instruct those who will listen to him, and especially the captives who are burned; to baptize the children; and to prevent all the evil that he can. These pious duties he fulfills until he is killed by an ambushed band of Illinois enemies. The Fathers in the Iroquois country are able to baptize most of the captives who are there burned to death; “God’s providence seeks out these in their own country, and makes them come hither to find eternal blessedness amid the fires of these Man-eaters. The Fathers de Lamberville have obtained from the Captains of onnontagué that all captives shall be Taken to their chapel before being tortured,” where they are instructed, and usually baptized. Among these captives are some “Praying Indians” from Massachusetts.
The Iroquois colony at Sault St. Louis is a shining example of the religious attainment possible to these savages when they become converted to Christianity. “Their most shining virtues are devotion and charity.” Various instances of these are related, including mention of their penances and mortifications. Drunkenness is not allowed, and the elders [Page 19] of the village send some of the most zealous Christians to Montreal, when the trading-fleet comes down in the summer, to check drunkenness among their tribesmen. These men “reproach the French with this Criminal Traffic, and even often threaten them with God’s Judgments.” The chapel at Sault St. Louis is one night wrecked by a gale; the savages ascribe this disaster to their own sins, and weep there at. The leading captain offers his new bark cabin for a Chapel in place of the one destroyed; and he “considers himself the happiest man in his village, since he has the blessedness of giving a Lodging to Jesus Christ.” These Christian savages have, moreover, by their influence restrained their pagan countrymen from making war upon the French; and have even offered the governor 150 warriors, to fight against their own nation if the latter break the peace.
The Hurons and Iroquois at Lorette are equally zealous in God’s service, and charitable toward the poor among them. The same may be said of the Abenakis at Sillery — formerly a noted mission to the Algonkins, but broken up through their intemperance, which has well nigh destroyed them. The Abenakis have come in their place, and manifest “a docility surpassing anything that could be hoped for.” They, like the Iroquois converts, have undertaken to bring hither their relatives and friends from their native land, to receive the benefits of the gospel. Jacques and Vincent Bigot are in charge of them, and are most successful laborers. They have “received positive information from Acadia that the entire nation are thinking of leaving their country, to come and join their compatriots here.” At Sillery, [Page 20] too, drunkenness is a vice which hinders the missionaries, and is one “which the French endeavor every day to foster;” but the Christians do all that they can to prevent it among their people. The mission is daily increasing; and the new governor has granted these Indians a tract of land, situated on the route to Acadia.
R. G. T.
Madison, Wis., January, 1900. [Page 21]
CXLVII — CLIII.
Miscellaneous Documents, 1681-1683
CXLVII. — Lettre du P. Jacques Bigot. A Sillery, 24. Juin, 1681
CXLVIII. — Lettre du P. Jean de Lamberville. Donnontagué, 25e. Aoust, 1682
CXLIX. — Lettre du P. Jacques Bigot. A Sillery, 28. Aoust, 1682
CL. — Lettre du P. Jean de Lamberville à Mr. de Frontenac. D’Onnontagué, 20 Septembre, 1682
CLI. — Assemblée tenue à Québec, dans la maison des RR. PP. Jes., 10 Octobre, 1682
CLII. — Lettre Du P. Claude Chauchetière. Au Sault St. Fr. Xauier, 14e Octob., 
CLIII. — Lettre du P. Thierry Beschefer, au R. P. Prouincial de la prouince de france. A Quebec, 21. Octob., 1683
Sources: In publishing all of these documents, except Nos. CL. and CLI., we follow the original MSS. Preserved in the archives of l’École de Ste. Genevieve, Paris. For the text of Docs. CL. and CLI., we have had recourse to the original MSS, in the legislative archives at Quebec. [Page 23]
Letter of Father Jacques Bigot, respecting the
mission of the Abnaquis at St.
Missel de Sillery.
At Sillery, This 24th of June, 1681.
My Reverend Father,
Inasmuch as you consider that it will conduce to the glory of God and to the welfare of this mission, if 1 give an account of what passes in it, and of the piety of the savages who compose it, I do so in this letter — all the more willingly since it would be advisable to convince certain persons who are not very far from you that we are not without occupation here, or without obtaining some result therefrom. Since your departure, 7 months ago, the mission has been increased by nearly 60 savages, of whom more than 40 have been baptized after having been instructed, and, in the case of the adults, after a trial of several months’ duration. Of all those to whom 1 have administered that sacrament, not five had been intoxicated; and the few persons who had fallen into that sin had done so to so slight a degree, and had manifested such regret for it that, after 1 had for a long time deferred their baptism, I could not in the end refuse it. All the relatives belonging to the Cabin of a woman named Margueritte have come from their country to receive the same grace. Of nearly 25 persons whom 1 baptized in that household, There was but one woman [Page 25] who had once been slightly intoxicated, and who on that account felt deep regret when she saw her three adult children baptized, without her securing the same happiness. 1 do not Think that there can be any fervor greater than that displayed by all the savages of This Cabin. As They who had gone to get them in their country had Begun to Instruct them in our mysteries during the Journey, as soon as they all arrived They Continually urged me to finish teaching them what was necessary. But As 1 had already many others, who kept me fully occupied, 1 begged That same Margueritte and her daughter, Named Agnes, whose piety and fervor are Known to you, to do so in my stead. They did it for a month, so assiduously that all these fervent Catechumens learned in that short space of time Everything that the older Christians knew. Margueritte’s Second son, seven or eight Days before being baptized, displayed the utmost fervor in preventing one of his near relatives from becoming intoxicated, As It was Night-time, and he was unable to inform me of the evil that was being done, He went with his brother, named Jean, into The House of the frenchman where his near relative was Drinking; and he pressed him so urgently to come out that, at last, He made him leave the wine and Return to his Cabin. But the same man went again the next Morning to get Wine; and, as the frenchman was inconsiderate enough to give him half a bucketful .of it, Margueritte’s son — to whom we have given the name of Estienne in Baptism — seized the bucket, spilled all the wine, and himself went, with his brother and his Nephew, to lay a complaint before Monsieur The intendant against The frenchman who [Page 27] had given that Savage an excessive quantity of liquor. My chief reason for admiring the fervor and piety of that household, consisting of 25 persons, was that they bore in the most Christian — like manner in the world The loss by death of two of their Young Hunters. One of these, Named Estienne, was ill when you left; and the other arrived a few days after your departure. Their deaths occurred at an interval of a month. When their illness was at its height, all Who belonged to their cabin wished me to speak to them frequently of the blessings of paradise; and They were easily imbued with the sentiments with which, 1 told them, Christians should be animated when their near relatives die after receiving the sacraments of the church. Estienne, whom grief at his illness sometimes caused to shed tears, manifested extraordinary joy when 1 told him that he must accept everything from the hand of God; and He repeated, in terms that deeply affected me: “Ah, my Jesus, may 1 see you in heaven after 1 shall have ceased to live On earth.” And He Never had any other sentiments throughout his illness. The other Young Hunter, who died before him, was baptized only 7 days before his death; and, although he was only 12 or 13 years of age, and had received no other instruction beyond that which 1 gave him during his illness, He showed, after He was baptized, that he was Glad to die. He was carried off suddenly by a great vomiting of blood. 1 had just left the Cabin when they came to tell me that he was dead. 1 had made him offer numerous acts of Contrition ever since he had received baptism, and he was a Child who had Never known evil. Nevertheless, admire The faith of the poor [Page 29] mother and The grandmother, whom 1 baptized 15 days after the death of their son, because 1 could no longer defer it for their consolation. They came to me saying: “We would not be afflicted at the death of our Child, if thou hadst administered to him extreme unction. Alas! we fear for him because after his baptism He manifested some Chagrin at His illness.” 1 reassured them, and explained to them what 1 had said some time before respecting the sufferings of purgatory. They could not refrain from Uttering, from time to time, Cries at The death of their son. But as soon as 1 entered their Cabin, they ceased to weep, and asked me as a favor to baptize them as soon as possible; while Those who belonged to their Cabins Joined them in making The same request tome. After 1 had had the body of the Young lad carried to the Church, and had withdrawn to rest myself, they came to inform me that Estienne also had just died. They really Thought that he was dead, but it was only a swoon. He recovered consciousness, and told me that he was prepared to die if God willed It, and that he wished to receive the last sacraments. 1 Confessed him, and administered the viaticum and extreme unction. He lived 3 weeks longer, expecting death at every moment. 1 was compelled at that time to go into my retreat. 1 would gladly have deferred doing so, because that poor savage assured me that he would never see me again. My brother assisted him at his death, and caused him to make all the acts, which he did while expiring in the easiest possible manner. His grandmother and his mother — who, as you are aware, tenderly loved these Young Hunters — Regarded As a great sin the Cries that Their [Page 31] sorrow caused them to Utter from time to time, and they came to me of their own accord and said: “Yes, we Believe that our son, after dying in so holy a manner as he has done, is happy in Heaven. We do what we can to restrain our tears, by thinking of his happiness. But sorrow often overcomes us for a moment.” 1 shall say nothing further respecting the virtue of these two women, whom you know better than 1 do. They Continue their practices of devotion and mortification; and When other savage women, who are not yet so virtuous, sometimes scoff at their devotion, and even offend them by some slander, they content themselves with coming to ask me what remedy they should employ to stifle the Inward resentment Caused Them by Those slanders and railleries. It is not only these two women, as you know, who are animated by such noble sentiments. Tekwerimat, our Captain, françois Xavier, and several others whom you saw here are always animated by the same fervor, and influence the whole mission by their example. They Themselves are so regular in their devotional exercises that, whether the missionary be or be not here, They say their prayers of their own accord, in the Church and in The Cabins, at the hours that have been indicated to them, and at others that they have themselves appointed through their own devotion. We hardly ever go into the Church during the Day without finding some savage at prayer; and we see many more now than last year, because the mission has largely increased in numbers, and those who have come here have followed the example of the others to a degree that astonishes me. 1 have had some trouble this year, although 1 am in a Place where [Page 33] There is not Much to suffer as regards The Body, — except during certain short expeditions, from time to time, night and Day, winter and Summer. But 1 must admit that we are amply rewarded for all our trouble when we see people who are regarded as savages so capable of pious sentiments as are most of those whom God sends me in this mission. 1 have just baptized, this morning, an Abnaquis man and woman after three months’ instruction. You cannot Conceive the ardor with which They awaited that grace. The woman had come from their country in a state of intoxication, and had on another occasion fallen into the same sin. When 1 showed her that This was not the way to obtain baptism, she learned to be devout in the manner that you, while You were here, had seen the most fervent Christian women adopt. Not one of them has been discouraged because we deferred administering baptism to them. There was a rumor of some disturbance, which 1 at once endeavored to check, as gently as 1 could, so as not to spoil anything by being too precipitate. Some evil-disposed persons told me that all those people would return to Acadia if They were treated thus. After showing consideration for the minds of those whom 1 had to humor, and Justifying my own conduct, I declared that 1 was not detaining here any one in order to make of Him a Christian in spite of himself; that Those who did not desire to be Christians, or who would not give up drunkenness, would give me pleasure by going away; that 1 was not anxious to have a large number of savages, but to have savages who would choose to be Christians. Not one person went away. The two savage women who bear The name of Jeanne Preserve [Page 35] an admirable modesty and purity. They continually wish me to remind them of God, and 1 assure you that 1 have no difficulty in believing What you said to me last year respecting these two — that there are few persons, even in religious orders, who better regulate their inner life, who better discern all that passes within their hearts, or who explain themselves better to Those who Guide them, than they do. A woman named Catherine Continually practices patience, for she passes hardly a moment without suffering. When this poor woman feels any regret with regard to her illness, or the harshness with which her husband treats her, she accepts it with admirable resignation, and at once comes to ask me what she should do to drive away Those Regretful thoughts; and whether we will let her practice Continual mortifications, in order to make atonement to God for The sins that she thinks she Commits by not repelling them promptly enough. 1 say nothing unusual, For This is her ordinary subject of conversation when she comes to ask me to instruct her. Since this relation has been begun, several other savages have arrived who have come to dwell here, — For 1 do not Count as belonging to the mission those who stay here only a month or two, but who, nevertheless, are sure to give us occupation. Many others are also expected, who will soon come from Acadia. Several hunters, one of whom 1 recently baptized here, have, moreover, gone to get some of their relatives. 1 hope to have the Consolation of seeing‘ the whole of that nation become Christian, if 1 am only given some assistance to have fields cleared for them, and to provide for a thousand petty needs which the savages cannot supply, although 1 do net [Page 37] allow Them to remain idle. 1 am very well satisfied with the ardor that they have displayed for work during the whole of this year, to save themselves from the privations that I could not Avert, because 1 had so many new people to care for, and The trop was a very poor one last year. A great many savages have died in this mission. Some old savages, both men and women, who hate Christianity, have represented to the christians that the reason why so great a number of them died at Sillery was, because they prayed. Our Christians laughed at such a warning, and They have often made me smile at it. They no longer change Cabins at the death of a person, as they used to; and 1 make them give in public the articles Left by the Savages when they die. A woman who had lost Her only daughter not only gave me her handsome robe when she died, to be sent to Lorette, and to have the Hurons there pray to God for her; But this truly Charitable mother herself removed one of the garments that she wore, and begged me to add it to her daughter’s, in order that still more prayers might be said for her. This daughter had been Continually ill for two months of The winter at the house of a frenchman. She Earnestly requested her mother to bring her back as soon as possible to the place where 1 was, in order that 1 might Instruct Her and administer to Her the sacraments. She received the Viaticum as her first Communion, and she died with profound resignation to God’s will, without any attachment to life, Which greatly astonished me in a savage girl of her age. We have already written you some Account of the very Christian death of the Old Captain yambekount. 1 had Never hoped, any more than You [Page 39] had, that a savage so attached to his juggleries and to drink as this one was, would have submitted at lad. But a holy person, who is truly zealous for the conversion of the Savages, to whom 1 spoke of this old man’s disposition, so earnestly commended to the Blessed Virgin his conversion, by making some promise to her, that, as soon as that person had done what had been promised, a perceptible change took place in the old man. He now Felt so great a desire to see Jesus in Heaven that he said this prayer almost continually: “Ah, Jesus, may 1 see You in heaven.” He Urgently asked for baptism, which he received before his death; and He repeatedly told his wife — who was the only person who could make herself heard By him, because he was exceedingly deaf — to speak to him always of God. This she did Constantly Until the last moment of his life, and after his death she displayed very great fervor in praying to God for him; and she has continued in this fervor for the past 6 months.
Some time Ago, God did not permit another Savage, named Joseph, aged 9 or 10 years, to die without confession — although, from all appearances, it seemed as if he must do so. 1 was going to Quesbek to obtain admission to the hospital for two of my savages who were sick, and whom 1 had placed on a train. My intention was to sleep at Quebek, and 1 had already gone half the distance when a furious gale arose, accompanied by so much Snow that neither men nor Dogs could advance a step. We had to make up our minds to return to sillery. 1 went from there to the woods to visit my savages. 1 found This Young savage very low. 1 Confessed him without delay; and when 1 afterward took the [Page 41] Holy oils to him, 1 found that he had just expired. So great is The disinterestedness of our Christians, notwithstanding their great poverty, that many who come to me to be Instructed sometimes manifest reluctance to receive what 1 wish to give them, although 1 know that they are suffering from hunger. Others, who are in somewhat better circumstances, have come to beg me to send the more needy ones to their cabins for relief. Moreover, There is nothing on which 1 lay greater stress, when 1 instruct them and wish to baptize them, than to seek only God and the road to heaven. But, after 1 have formed Their minds a little, 1 do not fear to represent to them that the country in which They lived is much better than This one with regard to food, to hunting, and to fishing; but that, on the other hand, in that land they are not Christians, and they know not Him who has made ail, and that, after becoming thorough drunkards, they go thence forever into the fire wherein the wicked burn. As soon as any one arrives, they come to ask me for a picture of hell, to show it to him. 1 give it, with some others, and the best instructed explain them; 1 often content myself with listening to them. 1 have induced them to say almost continually This prayer to Our Lord and to the Blessed Virgin: “Jesus, may 1 see you in Heaven; may 1 Never be damned. Keep me from anger, from evil speaking, and from drunkenness. Save me from the evil spirit, ’ ‘ — And the same prayer to the Blessed Virgin. They very willingly practice this brief exercise, Many who had on some occasion given way to anger came to ask me for permission to practice some austerities, that they might obtain grace to repress their anger. [Page 43] Nevertheless, when They are inclined to slanderous talk, 1 generally Content myself with sending them before the blessed Sacrament, to say to Jesus and Mary The short prayer that 1 have just mentioned; and They noticeably correct themselves of their faults. Moreover, when They obtain permission to practice mortification, They treat Their Bodies so harshly that 1 have been surprised at it, and have often been alarmed at the Blows of the discipline that 1 have heard when they had withdrawn secretly to some Spot remote from the cabins. 1 have found some who were weakened by iron Girdles, — one especially, who is the wife of the Captain. Not knowing what made her 31, 1 compelled Her to tell me. She admitted that it was an iron Girdle which she had been permitted to wear, and which she had again put on that day. She accepted like a Child everything that was said to her, although she had been, at The Beginning, probably one of the most violent and most arrogant.
1 Leave untold a great many especial actions of certain fervent Christians, to tell you what Joy 1 felt yesterday (Which was the vigil of The exaltation of the holy Cross) at The arrival of some twenty Savages who manifested to me The ardent desire that they had to receive Holy baptism. Among Them was the most noted of all The Captains of their country. They had all been Instructed, and especially That Captain, by one of his daughters Named Susanne; she was baptized 2 years Ago, and returned almost immediately to their country, to follow her husband. This woman arrived yesterday with all those whom she had Instructed. Previous to her arrival 1 had been told admirable things respecting the fervor [Page 45] that she had displayed in their country in Instructing all the people, — giving no rest, especially to her kindred, until they had learned all the prayers. When 1 notified Them for the first time to come to prayer, 1 told Them that, although they were not baptized, 1 permitted Them to enter the Church. They all uttered a Joyful exclamation; and 1 assure you that at that moment 1 cast my eyes upon certain individuals who gave very evident proofs of the piety with which they had been Inspired. My brother, who was delighted to see such holy dispositions in recently-arrived savages, said The prayers, and made all our savages sing as devoutly as they could, to inspire the New-comers with great respect for our religion. The prayer lasted over half an hour. 1 briefly interrupted it two or three times, and added a few words of instruction which 1 deemed suited to their capacity. 1 did not observe a single person turn his head, or rest against the benches, or squat upon his knees, as The Savages generally do. When the prayer was ended, They all withdrew to the Cabin of a devout Christian woman, where the most fervent of our men began to chant the litanies of the Blessed Virgin. Then They once More began the prayer, which they caused the new-comers to repeat without my saying a word to them about it, for they had said it in the Church not 3 quarters of an hour before. 1 have endeavored to maintain the practice established among our Savages, of saying their prayers Slowly and distinctly; and They have so thoroughly Instructed one another in this manner of praying, that from the evidence of all our fathers, — and chiefly of those who have seen all the different savage nations, — There have as yet been none who [Page 47] have prayed as devoutly as these. Our fathers also attest that they have never heard finer voices; indeed, many of these are very melodious. When we Begin to teach Them an air, They are impatient to teach it to One another. They sing it Continually, even while at work. Yesterday Also 1 had another cause for joy, on seeing the fervor displayed by a woman in teaching Tekwerimat’s sister, who manifested some reluctance to come to The church. She told her that she should not hesitate so much to give herself to God; that she should at once begin to pray She talked with her for a quarter of an hour about our mysteries, in a manner that gave evidence of extraordinary piety. What most pleased me was that, when that fervent woman of whom 1 speak arrived here, this other gave us reason to apprehend everything — both on account of her arrogant temper, and because she is the mother of the girl whom Joseph had married in Acadia, although he was already married here. When the mother and daughter came here, after 1 had spoken to them as gently as 1 could, and, on the other hand, had explained to Joseph the great sin that he had committed in taking another wife, they were greatly surprised when 1 told them, with Joseph’s consent, that the marriage could not hold good any Longer. They told me, Nevertheless, that in order to be baptized and to give themselves to God, they would consent to the separation; and they are now among those who give The best example in our mission.
1 would be very glad if You yourself would mention the excellent sentiments of piety that you observed in the works of this mission, in order that in France they might know to some extent that to teach the Savages is not an ungrateful task. A [Page 49] woman Named Jeanne came to me some time Ago, with her sister, and placed in my hands some ornaments that they wear on their clothes. They told me that they well knew that Christian women should not be fond of such trifles, and that they would not take Them back. Jeanne, in particular, begged me to have a dress with a border of gold braid changed for a plain one for her. But the most admirable thing about these two sisters is that, although they are naturally very irritable, 1 may say that they strive Unceasingly to conquer themselves. The Younger one gave very evident proof of it three months Ago. For, when she was struck and ill-treated by a frenchman who was in our room, — although at first she protested to me that she would Never again set foot in the Place where such Shame had been cast upon her in being struck by a mari, — two Days afterward, when 1 represented to her the danger in which she placed herself by nursing such feelings of hatred, she herself resolved to be the first to approach that frenchman and she relinquished all her resentment. 1 Write these things as they occur to me, for 1 have no time to put them in order. A savage Named francois Xavier behaved in the most Christian manner in the world, while spending The winter with some frenchmen who wished him to go Hunting with them. They could never get him to commit the slightest excess in drinking, although they continually invited Him to divert himself; and at the appointed hours He did not fail to assemble his family, to say their prayers. This they all did, with so much piety that the french with whom he was have admitted to me that it would have caused shame to most of the french. There is nothing more usual than to see savages, both men and women, come to [Page 51] beg me to prevent the french of our district from giving them excessive quantities of liquor; and 1 admit that, although 1 have had a little trouble in this respect, I wonder that among so great a number of savages There are not 10 who give me trouble with regard to drunkenness. 1 may tell you that in this matter 1 am very much indebted to Monsieur Du Chesneau, our Intendant. He has been of very great assistance to me in preventing excesses among my savages, and has always listened to me very favorably When 1 have represented to him the faults committed in this respect by some frenchmen, whom he has at once sentenced. Thus, to make An example, He caused some Savages who had become intoxicated to be imprisoned; 1 did not oppose it. Only four savages suffered for the others; and 1 represented to all of them that he acted thus merely through The affection that he had for all the Abnaquis, whom he wished to see good Christians. They yielded to this argument, and yesterday again (21st of September) They received The harangue that 1 delivered to them at a great feast. Therein, after announcing to them the express orders that Monsieur The intendant had just received from the King to treat The savages Like the french, and to punish The french who dared to strike them, 1 added that The King was very anxious that they should Avoid intemperance. The two Captains, who delivered harangues after mine, urgently exhorted all Their people to do what was desired of them. The little Leisure allowed me by this mission, as well as by the two parishes of french under my care, compel me to end my Letter here. 1 commend myself to your Holy sacrifices. [Page 53]
Letter of Father Jean de Lamberville, respecting
the Iroquois mission at Onnontagué.
From Onnontagué, this 25th of August, 1682.
My Reverend Father,
Providence having granted me the favor of returning to this mission — where 1 have had the consolation of spending the year with my brother, and of sharing with him the little troubles connected with our occupation, — 1 begin once more to Inform Your Reverence, as 1 formerly did, of the chief events that have occurred here.
On my arrival, 1 found the Iroquois of this village occupied in transporting their corn, their effects, and their cabins to a place 2 leagues distant from their former residence, where they had dwelt for 19 years. They made this change in order to have their firewood in convenient proximity, and to secure fields more fertile than those they were abandoning. This is not done without difficulty; for, inasmuch as carts are not used here, and the country is very hilly, the labor of the men and women, who carry their goods on their backs, is consequently harder and of longer duration. To supply the lack of horses, The inhabitants of these forests render reciprocal aid to one another, so that a single family will hire sometimes 80 or 100 persons; and they are, in turn, obliged to render the same service to those who may request it [Page 55] from them, or they are freed from that obligation by giving food to those whom they have employed.
On my arrival, 1 received the compliments usually paid to those who come from a Distance: and 1 had to answer many curious propositions put by those who questioned me. 1 saluted The notable men of the village by means of The presents that 1 gave them, in public and in private. 1 exhorted them ever to maintain peace with the french; to Embrace The faith; not to cause me any Annoyances through Their drunkenness; and to give me liberty to baptize the dying in the Cabins, and the captives destined to the fire.
1 showed Them a Topographical view of the city and Environs of paris, with the portraits of the five principal personages in the Kingdom. They admired the skill of the Europeans in Representing persons to the life, One of them asked me whether, when those whose portraits 1 showed them died, their images did not also close their eyes. They could not gaze sufficiently at the vast Extent of paris. They lost themselves in counting the streets. They were surprised that houses should be built on stone bridges, under the arches of which passed boats, laden with all Sorts of articles necessary to life. They could not understand how, for the subsistence of so large and so populous a town, everything came to it from all sides in such abundance, by land and by water. The Louvre; the Bronze horse; the King’s house, and those of the great; the general hospitals; the number of inhabitants; the rare animals Brought from various parts of the world, that are to be seen there; the superb Churches, in which 3 or 4,000 persons pray to God; the Cemeteries; the Colleges, where 5 or 600 persons lodge [Page 57] in the same house — these are great marvels in a country where people know almost nothing.
The elders and the warriors severally replied to my presents, each by three other presents, that they were rejoiced to see me again; but that, after all, they felt pity for me that 1 had again left my own country in order to subject myself to their miseries; they said that they plainly saw by this, that we had a high regard for the faith, But that the Europeans opposed great obstacles to it by the continual sale of brandy, which Alienates Minds from it, and causes many evils: that we should not Weary of calling them to the faith; that some would Listen, and that their children would be more docile than they were.
They added that no opposition would be offered to the Baptism of those who might wish to receive it; that, as regards the baptism of the Captives, the drunkards alone might raise obstacles to it; but that 1 knew very well that drunkenness was at present an evil without remedy among them, and that it ruined everything.
Before leaving The old village, we baptized two female gannaouen Captives, Brought from merrinlande [i.e., Maryland]; they were led by their executioners into our Chapel, where we were given abundant Leisure for Instructing them. They were burned as usual, at a slow fire, with heated irons, and were afterward eaten.
1 could not avoid giving a feast, in return for my welcome; but, in order to turn this feast to some use, 1 induced a Captain of note who has taken the name of the famous Garakontie, to hold the feast with me, — in order to declare publicly that, in resuscitating his brother’s name, He also embraced his [Page 59] faith and his morals; and that, like him, he renounced drunkenness. This he did, to the great Edification of the Christians and the Astonishment of the Infidels, when they observed that he himself begged the guests, who were present in great numbers, no longer to invite Him to the brandy feasts, since he openly professed christianity. He prays to God every Day, with great assiduity; and all are astonished at seeing that one of the worst drunkards in the village has been able to abandon his habits, and to refuse, as constantly as he has done, all who have urged him to drink.
Since we have been in this new village, we have secretly baptized over 50 children, most of whom have died. We have also consecrated our Chapel by the baptism of sixteen persons, some of whom are adults, who have there received that sacrament with solemnity.
An old Captain, who still retained his rank among the leading men of the Village, was of their number; but most unfortunately He died. 1 had Known him for 12 years. He always inveighed against Christianity on all occasions. God had, 2 years before, taken away from him his wife; father bruyas had succeeded so well in Acquiring an influence over her that he had baptized her, and made her end her days in a very Christian manner. Her husband, who loved her dearly, Thought that he could not better manifest his affection for the deceased than by becoming a Christian, like her. He prayed to God very constantly for two years, and had himself Instructed in our mysteries. After he became a widower, He was at the mercy of an old woman, and of two other women whose lives He had formerly saved, and [Page 61] whom he had adopted in the place of his deceased sisters. Those Slaves were not grateful for the kindness that he had shown them; they stinted his supply of Fuel and provisions. This caused him vexation, that was all the keener because he remembered that He never, during his wife’s lifetime, lacked anything. He took the resolution to rejoin her as soon as possible; He frequently went to visit her grave, two leagues from here; He concealed his designs from us, and very Earnestly asked us for baptism. A two years’ Trial was sufficient for us to grant him that favor. Of his own accord, he recanted all the evil that he had formerly done, and all the slanders that he had uttered against those who embraced The faith. He prayed aloud to God to pardon the great cruelties which He had practiced upon the Captives, and to forget all the sins of his past life. He wished me to say the same prayers to God for him. He received baptism with an outward appearance which gave reason to Believe that he thought of anything rather than causing his own death, that he might the sooner go to heaven to see his wife again. He had a swollen Cheek, which they persuaded him was the effect of the pretended sorceries of certain half- sorcerers or jugglers of the country. This, Added to the bad treatment that the women of his Cabin made him endure, induced him to put an end to his troubles by death. He asked me, on one occasion, whether christians who were tired of life were not permitted to strangle themselves, so that they might the sooner go to the land of the blessed souls. 1 said to him everything that 1 considered fitted to dissuade him from so detestable a purpose, but He always thought that he could abandon life, which he looked upon as [Page 63] something of which He could dispose; and on the very next night He hanged himself, at the same Spot where He usually slept. The women who had been the cause of his vexation were Awakened by some noise that he made, and Immediately hastened to the miserable man; but it was too late, for, after they had untied the rope, He expired in Their hands. The whole village was horrified at this act. God alone knows whether gross ignorance, and the fixed idea — that he had that we can take our own lives, may have exempted him from damnation. My brother had Instructed him very carefully.
A poor blind Old man, nearly a hundred years old, who had formerly been baptized by Father Bruyas, — seeing that he was repelled by his relatives, and continually exposed to the fury of the drunkards, — Weary of his misery, and knowing not where to take refuge to be at rest, or to procure food, was found dead. There are various opinions regarding him. 1 made him pray to God, every sunday, in his own dwelling. He listened very willingly to the short Instructions that 1 gave him. He stated positively that he would not do like him of whom 1 have just spoken, who had wandered from the road to heaven when he had almost arrived there.
There are here several old men and women who are very miserable as regards the Body, but who seem to have the faith, and who pray much to God. Their extreme necessity compels us to console and assist them to the best of our ability. We exhort their relatives not to embitter their minds. Our great poverty opposes many obstacles to the desire that we have to relieve somewhat their wretchedness.
Drunkenness generally causes great disorders [Page 65] among the Iroquois. It corrupts their morals; it nourishes pride; it Introduces the Liberty of killing or beating, with Impunity, those against whom they have any spite. 1 Count seven who were murdered by drunkards in two months. A Christian woman, whom 1 had formerly baptized ten leagues from here, was among that number. While intoxicated, They exhort one another to that spirit of war and cruelty which makes the iroquois terrible throughout North America. In merinlande They killed several englishmen, whose dwellings and storehouses They pillaged, as well as the barns filled with tobacco, which constitutes all their wealth. They have come back with slaves loaded with clothes and booty, after living at their will in the houses of the english, where They ate their cattle. This is the 3rd time that the english of merinlande have come to talk with them at Albanie, a town of new York. They beg them by presents not to continue their massacres and pillage. They have been asked for six hostages and 500 beaver-skins, which they value at 8 livres each, to repay the poor english for the losses that they have caused them. Finally, the Latter have forbidden them, on pain of having war declared against them, to kill in future the people of the tribes who are their neighbors. 1 have heard the Iroquois say here that they would give The English nothing of what they asked, and that they were ready to fight them.
But the greatest evil done here by drunkenness is, that its consequences Utterly estrange the savages from christianity. Nevertheless, God has in the midst of this babylon good people, who profess the faith. You may Judge that great perseverance and great graces from heaven [Page 67] are needed to protect them from the general corruption.
Fifteen, among both those who had been christians for some years and those who Embraced Christianity only at death, have died with manifestations of piety which give us very good reason to hope for their salvation.
1 went as Far as 20 leagues from here by land, to baptize a dying Child. When 1 reached the place where the sick one was, 1 learned that he had been Embarked 2 hours before to go to die in the Village. When 1 returned here, 1 learned that my brother had been more fortunate than 1, for He joined him by another road leading to the place where they disembarked. He baptized him, and two hours afterward the Child died. My brother has, by his diligence and zeal, also opened the gates of heaven to several, both adults and children, who were at a distance of one or two leagues from this place. 1 baptized another who was very ill, 14 leagues from here, but God was pleased to restore him to health.
1 cannot forget the noble action of a Christian woman, who has recently returned from the Christian Colony at the saut on this side of Montreal. When she found herself annoyed to an extraordinary degree by some drunkards, She broke in pieces a great earthen jar containing their brandy, after reproaching them with their Indifference to their salvation. One of them, who was furious with anger at the sight of his brandy spilled on the ground, said aloud that we should not survive so great a loss caused by a Christian. About midnight he ran to our Lodging; He furiously entered the Chapel, and, after aiming at my brother a pistol, without effect, [Page 69] grappled with him. 1 came to his assistance, and we disarmed the man; but, as He did not cesse his insolent acts, The Christian Iroquois woman sent for the drunkard’s father, — who, as well as his son, was intoxicated, — to remove him from our Chapel. He entered it, with another man; He snatched an iron rod and a stone from his son Who wished to cripple us with them. The son’s whole fury turned Against the father, whom he Shamefully dragged by the hair, while showering blows upon him. We had great difficulty in making him loose his hold. This action had a good effect; for when the Christian Iroquois woman saw the danger to which she was Daily exposed, she resolved to leave this land of malediction, and to return to the saut, where the faith flourishes and Daily increases.
The great success that God is pleased to grant to the weapons of the Iroquois makes them very proud, brave, and enterprising. Last year they Brought 700, Illinois captives all of whom they keep alive. They killed and ate over 600 others on the spot, without counting those whom they burned along the road. They saved the children who could live without The Milk of their mothers whom they had killed; but the others were cruelly roasted and devoured. It is related that they tied living men and women to the stakes, and, as fast as their flesh became roasted, They cut it off, and ate it.
Six hundred men, women, and Children of the nation of the chats, near Virginia, surrendered voluntarily, for fear that they might be compelled to do so by force. They Bring prisoners from all parts and thereby increase their numbers. They are beginning to attack some of our allies called the Oumiamis, [Page 71] a nation of the bay des Puants; and They have already burned 6 or 7 of these, Without counting those whom they have massacred. The killing of one of their people, They say, through treachery, by an Oumiamis, will cause their ruin. Three of that tribe were Brought here some Days ago, whom it was Impossible to save from the fury of the drunkards. No one would Undertake to Bring them to the chapel before they were burned, through fear of being beaten by the drunkards.
They were treated with great cruelty, even by those who had not been drinking. 1 tried to save them from the hands of those rioters but in vain; for, as soon as 1 proposed it, 1 was told not to say another word about it, and that as the anger of the drunkards was so great 1 would do well to withdraw. Hardly could they be prevented from tearing the prisoners into pieces on their arrival and only The prospect of the greater torture that was being prepared for them induced the Iroquois to restrain their fury. 1 nevertheless made an effort to save one who followed the others, in order that, by restoring this captive to Monsieur our governor, we might still honorably arrange matters, — which are tending to a war against the french, unless God intervene.
He was given to a Christian woman in the place of her son, who had been killed the previous year in the war against the Illinois. Her relatives, who were poor, at Once told her that she must deliver him up, because, as she had no clothes to give Him, to save his life would bring her shame; that moreover, if she saved him, she would be the laughing- stock of the village, and would pass for a woman who had No pity for her son’s manes. 1 went to her and [Page 73] represented to her that the christians adored a God and a Jesus Christ who was full of mercy; that she must have pity on this wretched captive, if she wished God’s mercy to be manifested toward Her. She consented very willingly, but the lack of clothing wherewith to cover him seemed to her to be an Insurmountable difficulty. 1 had thus opportunity to offer her some clothes that madame The marquise de bouché had given me at paris, for such emergencies. On hearing my offer, she gave me her word that his life would be spared. We at once sent off a captain of note, one of my friends (whose nose has been bitten off by the drunkards), to stay the violence of those who might seek to ill-treat him at The entrante of the village; but He himself was beaten and dragged by the hair, and compelled to abandon the prisoner. Nevertheless, he took Courage once more; and, with the assistance of some of his comrades, he succeeded in Bringing him to the dwelling where we awaited him.
We thought that he was in safety there, but the drunkards were informed that we wished to save him. They burst into the cabin, and, in the presence of the Christian woman, near whom He sat on a rush mat, they tore off his nails; they crushed all his fingers with their teeth; They cut off the half of one hand, and They bit off his ears, which they at once swallowed, quite raw. On my return, 1 was much Surprised to find him in a state that you can better imagine than 1 can describe. They tried to drag him outside, to join the other captives who were going to their death-feast, consisting of two boiled dogs — whereof, according to The Custom of the country, they did not get a taste [Page 75]
When 1 saw that this poor captive was about to escape me, 1 begged him who had defended him to amuse the drunkards, while 1 went to get the woman who served as my Interpreter, and whom 1 had told to meet me, in any case, at a certain Spot where 1 was to find her. But she was afraid to show herself, and therefore hid. Having at last found her, and seeing that her dread of the drunkards made her remain Motionless, 1 took her by the arm, and, pushing her through the crowd, 1 drew Her, all trembling, near the captive. It was then no easy task to instruct him and make him pray; for a drunkard, more cruel than the others, came in and would have entirely Prevented me from doing so, had he not been flattered by the attentions of the same Captain who was amusing the drunkards. The poor sufferer received baptism, in full view of all who were present, after which He was taken to join the others. 1 Followed him, to make them participate, if possible, in the same grace which he had just received. The crowd and the insolence of the drunkards were so great that, in order not to have the kettle containing the feast overturned, the captives were taken to another place, where There were nearly as many drunkards. The latter began to quarrel among themselves about their bravery; and this gave me an opportunity of approaching the captives, who were kept hidden in an obscure comer by him who had taken care of them. There, under favor of the darkness, baptism turned them into children of Light. These poor victims several times named and invoked Jesus Christ, whom my Interpreter had just announced to them. They lifted their mutilated hands to heaven; and these good people covered me with blood, by [Page 77]
dint of caressing me and giving me proofs of their gratitude. 1 gave Them in secret two or three prunes to eat, to allay the thirst from which they suffered after losing so much blood; for, besides what 1 have related above, very deep Incisions, of the Length of a cubit, had been made upon their bodies. They died like Brave men, and uttered not a groan, except when Their sides and their eyes were burned or when some finger not already fractured was broken.
Three Days afterward, they brought a captive woman who had been taken with the others. She endured the same tortures; she received the same grace of baptism in the Chapel, whither she was led by two warriors and by an old man of note. These are all people whose good services, as well as those of my Interpreter, We must acknowledge. We must, also, have for friends the greatest drunkards, the most cruel and most brutal men, because they can oppose many obstacles and do much harm, on occasion. And, as The village is the largest one in the Iroquois country, It is not without difficulty that we avoid offending the minds and win The friendship of so many people.
Hardly Is this butchery ended when we hear from afar Koué, Koué, Koué; these are shouts of rejoicing and victory, which denote the coming of as many Captives as the number of times that they are repeated. In fact, these were 3 more Oumiamis, whom another band of Onnontague, who had been away for a year, were Bringing with them. This was a fresh cause of rejoicing for the village, at seeing that the death of one of their people had been Avenged by the capture of several slaves. [Page 79]
1 at once held a little council with 3 of the most notable persons; and represented to them that to seek to exterminate an entire nation that had the friendship and esteem of the french, was to carry too Far their resentment for the death of one man. Then 1 was told that these were neither Algonquins nor Outaouates, who alone were comprised in the number of our allies; But that, if 1 wished to do anything for the captives, 1 must win The head of the family of Those who were bringing them in. They added that, while 1 should be speaking to him, they would go to meet the victorious party, in order to warn them to bring the Slaves by a different road from that by which the rioters and drunkards expected them. The Head of the family, who is a catechumen, consented to everything that we asked of him; and, when we went out together on a height, we saw that a crowd was going toward his dwelling. He hastened thither at once. It was The youngest of the three Captives who had been brought to his cabin by a secret road. But when he saw that he could not defend him against the violence of the drunkards, and as he knew that 1 wished, with some Justice, that he should be spared, He brought him to our house. When 1 perceived this from the place where 1 was, 1 hastened thither, to prevent as far as 1 could this captive, who had not yet been given to any one, from being injured. 1 could not arrive in time to save a finger-nail that was torn out at our door, without its being possible to defend him. For both the drunkards and Those who were not Drunk at once assailed us; and, to satisfy them, It was necessary to make him sing according to custom. Among Those who had entered, both drunkards and [Page 81] others, there were some of our friends who had authority, and who helped us to resist those who Wished to cut off his fingers and to beat him. We were greatly Embarrassed during the whole Day, for we dared not leave the captive, who would certainly, without us, have been reduced to such a state that we could not have hoped to save his life. We were compelled to hide him for two Days, so as not to be always struggling with the drunkards, and even in danger of losing our lives.
Meanwhile the rumor spread that the 2 other captives were approaching. 1 went a 2nd time to him who had brought me the first one. 1 made him promise that he would endeavor to have them brought into the village without being ill-treated, so that they might be given with the first one as a present to Monsieur our governor, to strengthen the peace with the french. That man, whose Intentions were very good, selected eight of the strongest and most noted captains of all his family, so that by their influence and their protection the two other captives might be brought in without disturbance and without Insult.
The better to succeed in this, it was publicly proclaimed that it was contrary to custom to ill-treat prisoners on their arrival, when They had not yet been given in the place of any person who had been killed, or who had died in his own cabin, and when their fate had been left Undecided by the victors.
This declaration, which was approved by the wiser ones, was a fresh incentive to the worst mischief-makers to plot the destruction of Those whom we wished to save; and they resolved to cut off their hands, and to beat them so severely that they would [Page 83] consider it a favor to be at once burned. The number of the drunkards was increased by a half, and the fury of Those who were not drunk excited their anger. Lest, in order to deceive them, the captives might be brought by another road, as had been done on the arrival of the first one, sentinels were posted at all the approaches, to give notice when they would appear.
When 1 saw them so determined, 1 did not wish to run the same risks or to have the same difficulties as when 1 baptized the others of whom 1 spoke above. Moreover, it was not advisable to weary the patience of my Interpreter, or, at the least, to frighten her by the danger to which 1 should have exposed her in the midst of the drunkards, who, in Their fits of anger, strike and bite Indifferently every one who comes in their way. 1 went 2 leagues with Her and three other persons, to meet the captives. We awaited them upon a rock, from which we could Hear them singing their death-sang. 1 stopped the warriors who led them, complimenting them on their glorious return. 1 took hold of their captives, to whom 1 spoke through my Interpreter, while the others took breath while smoking. It happened that one of the two was to be taken to Agnié. Even after 1 had done my best to Instruct him who was Impatiently expected at Onnontagué, 1 could get nothing from him because his mind was so disturbed that, on approaching the spot where his career was to end, he could neither hear nor understand what 1 caused to be said to him. When the warriors perceived this, fearing that the apprehension of death might lead him to swallow some stones, — as He had already twice done, — in order to [Page 85] kill himself, and that they would not have the glory of bringing him in alive, They promptly made him march in their midst, always singing his Doleful air, his Face being painted red. After walking a league He met the 1st band, who were awaiting him At the spot to which those who wished to defend him had advanced. He was first received by loud shouts, repeated 3 times; and when he was made to halt, in order that the war-song might be sung, a drunkard approached him in order to cut off his fingers. The chief men among the eight who had been Sent to protect him harangued those who were present, in regard to the decision that had been made to prevent any Injury being done to the captives Until the question of putting them to death had been deliberated. Then addressing The drunkard, who was armed with a knife, He persuaded him to range himself on his side, and to resist those who were trying to mutilate his prisoner. The captive who was to be taken to Agnié was delivered to an Iroquois of that place; then the warriors handed over the custody of the prisoner to the drunkard and to the eight others, and set out on their march to the village. They had not taken 30 steps when a tall Iroquois stopped them, saying that they must have pity on him; that he had a very bad toothache, and that it was said that The forefinger of the right hand was a good remedy for it, because It was usually placed on the sore tooth; and, consequently, that he should be permitted to cut off only one of the captive’s fingers. He was allowed to talk while the others continued their march. Then the furious man who had a toothache tried to use violence, by suddenly Falling upon the prisoner; but He was [Page 87] vigorously repelled by the drunkard and his followers. This Example prevented Those who had ranged themselves in files along the Road from daring to do anything to The Captive, lest they might experience the same rebuff. When it was found that The usual Liberty to ill-treat the slave was no longer allowed, all proceeded with loud shouts close to The village, where over 600 persons were waiting — some to give the greeting, and some to satisfy their curiosity with regard to everything that was about to happen.
An Iroquois drew me aside, and told me to remain with him on an Eminence, so that 1 might witness, without being pressed by the crowd, the actions of the drunkards and of those who were about to Fall upon the prisoner. The attack was repelled as vigorously as it was delivered. The drunkard did wonders, for, without Regard to any one among those who had designs upon the Captive, He tore out their hair; and he bit and struck them with all the fury of a drunken man. The slave was thrown to the ground more than ten times, and was at once picked up by his guards; one of them, a giant in stature, took him in his arms, while the others roughly repelled the aggressors. After a considerable delay, he was conveyed, without a wound, into the dwelling where he was expected. This was a fortunate beginning; but, as soon as those who had defended him had withdrawn, thinking that he would not be ill-treated in the Cabin, the drunkards — who observe no usages or customs — very inopportunely arrived. They, after Intimidating those to whose care He had been confided, tore out his nails with their teeth; then, after Breaking and disjointing his fingers, they also crushed them between their [Page 89] teeth. This cruelty drove the captive to despair; and, from the elevated Place where He sat, tied by the neck, he threw himself down, in order to strangle himself, but the rope broke. This action, Added to the condition to which he had been reduced, caused him to be abandoned: and finally he was given in the place of the member of the tribe who had been killed by an Oumiamis Like this one. The same drunkard who had defended him brought him to us in the Chapel, in a pitiful condition. This was done at the solicitation of him who had tried to save him. He was Instructed and baptized, and Immediately afterward burned for 4 hours. He was completely devoured. While in a cabin where 1 was engaged in bleeding a sick person, 2 drunkards brought in a thigh. This was at once skinned, in spite of all 1 could say, to prepare a feast for a woman who said that she had dreamed of it; but, as the liver was wanted to fulfill her dream, one of Them went to snatch it from some drunkards, who had already seized it. When he reëntered the cabin with the liver in his hand, He was so drunk that he upset a kettle of boiling water over himself; this scalded his legs, and made him undergo a Long and painful penance for his sin.
All this happened during the time when the great war-fire against the Illinois and Oumiamis was being Rekindled. We were obliged to give up the captive whom we had hidden, and he was delivered up to the mercy of the family of those who were agitating the whole question of the war. This was a stroke of policy, to avoid the shame of taking away from the entire village a prisoner brought from a country to which they were actually about to return in order [Page 91] to kill all its inhabitants. The Head of the family greatly surprised us by this proceeding, which was, nevertheless, intended merely to save appearances; for He came to us at night to say that, if 1 did not remove the captive without delay, he would be Thrown into the great war-kettle. TO attain this end, He had concerted with 3 of the most notable savages that they should secretly present to me a very fine porcelain collar, saying to me: “Here is something wherewith you will redeem the prisoner. By adding to it another one, which you have, you will say that you again ask for the captive, to refresh the mind of your governor — who will probably be greatly displeased when he learns of the death of his children, The Oumiamis. With the 2nd Collar, you will make those who have given the slave agree to your proposal by thanking them for having Cast him at the feet of those from whom you ask him.” They who had suggested this means to me in private strongly supported my request in public; And one of them made a harangue expressing great respect for Monsieur our governor; it secured a great accommodation for us, for The Oumiamis was given to us in full assembly, with the presents that 1 had offered, This will be an honorable way for the french to stay The Iroquois attack upon our allies, if that captive is presented to Monsieur the governor, — as we intend to do in the event of his coming at the time which he has appointed for a general assembly of the Iroquois.
Last winter, they brought to tonnontouant the bones of a captain of renown, who, while returning from the war with the Illinois, had wandered from the main body of the Iroquois army, and had been [Page 93] killed among the Kiskakons by some Illinois who found him there. The tonnontouans brought his head here with great ceremony. They spoke very eloquently about avenging his death upon the Kiskakons, our allies. The Onnontagués, the Agniés, the onneiouts, and the goiogouens cast the blame upon the Illinois, for they were the authors of the murder.
Preparations are being made to start for this war, in which the Oumiamis will not be spared unless Monsieur our governor attend to the matter as soon as possible, and come to an understanding with the Iroquois — who have never had a larger store of weapons and of munitions of war than they have this year.
But let us leave all these stories of war and of cruelty, to tell Your Reverence that we solemnly celebrated the festivals of easter and of Christmas. Those who were baptized gave a feast to all the Christians and all the catechumens, to bring the faith into some repute; and an old man who was baptized six months Ago — at a distance of 14 leagues from here, white in danger of death — made his profession of Christianity. He leads a very Innocent life, and says on all occasions that God has preserved his life because he was baptized.
Some pictures that 1 brought from france are very useful to us in Instructing those who come to the chapel; and the best way to catechize them here is to make them see with their own eyes what we tell them with our voices, — thus things remain more firmly Impressed upon their imagination. The medicines that Monsieur the marêchal de bellefonds had the kindness to obtain for us from Monsieur pelisson have really worked little miracles here, and have procured [Page 95] for many people health of body and of soul. We have applied ourselves to learning how to use them, for it is not easy to procure them here, or to have these precious medicines brought into this region. We endeavored to save them for the sick whose recovery was despaired of by the Jugglers, or for the good Christians. But the great success that they had has given us such a reputation that the care of most of the sick people in this very populous village has been confided to us. How can we refuse so many miserable people who have recourse to us, without assisting them, — especially in view of the fact that the medicines serve as an introduction to the faith? When our ordinary medicines, of which we had a very small quantity, failed us, we Began to use those, which the King causes to be distributed so liberally to the poor. In three months’ time, we found ourselves reduced to the necessity of keeping 2 or 3 doses for ourselves in case of need. At last we deprived ourselves even of these, through charity for the sick, because we saw that God preserved our health. Those to whom they were given were nearly all cured. And even the Jugglers, who are Here the empirics and the gods of medicine, have had recourse to us. The charitable hand of His Majesty, and of those who have given us these medicines by his orders, has Stretched out to the very depths of our forests, and has worked wonders here, since Those who have felt the effects thereof are Incomparably more docile in matters regarding their salvation than they formerly were.
The bloody flux began here When we Had reached the end of these powerful remedies for the poor; 10 persons died of it, through lack of those medicines. [Page 97] Those who make them are called demi-gods here. The effect of those remedies, as we have observed in this region, has been a passing grace, which makes us ardently long for its return.
All the Iroquois of goiogouen tell us that since Father de Carheil left their village, owing to The excessive insolence of the drunkards, more than 60 persons have died of bloody flux; and that in the lodge alone wherein the father dwelt, and where he who most Insulted him resides, are Counted 17 who have died from the violence of the same disease. This makes his absence deeply regretted, and causes maledictions to be uttered against those who were the cause of his withdrawal. Some say that God chastises them as a punishment for their ill treatment of their missionary; others that, on leaving, he Cast spells to cause himself to be regretted, or out of revenge. Some desire him to return to his 1st post; others, on the contrary, assert that this is not advisable, for fear that he might be killed as a sorcerer — As happened to 3 tonnontouan Iroquois who were burned like slaves in The Village of that name, because they were considered the authors of the Present ills.
When Father de Carheil left his mission of goiogouen the 1st time, 1 went to meet him at a place 2 leagues from here. He was so fatigued that the men in authority in the Village, who awaited him, could see him only on the following day, when 1 led him to our lodging. He received in public their condolences, and a poultice which, They said, they brought him so that he might apply it to the part where He felt most sore. As he had been reported dead, and one of us had started 2 Days before to [Page 99] obtain news of him, it was an unhoped-for Joy to see him alive. All the people rushed to our dwelling, to show us the interest that they took in what had happened to him. Nothing more humane can be imagined than what was said to him on that occasion. Their manners and their civilities, accompanied by little refreshments that they offered him, had nothing savage in them. After the father had rested a little, The chief men of the village, who were assembled in a body, said to him by the mouth of their Spokesman: “1 knew not why, during the past days, the Sky was clouded to an extraordinary degree, and The star that gladdens the whole earth hid itself from our eyes. It refused to Shine upon The insolence of the drunkards who have ill-treated you. We grew pale at the description that was given to us of what had happened to you; we felt compassion for you. We have inveighed against the Sellers of brandy, who are the cause of so many evils; and we rejoice that you have found an asylum here. We thought that you were dead; our spirits languished, in the sorrow and the resentment that they felt. But The Sky once more becomes serene; our: countenances beam; our spirits, which had sunk TO our feet through the weight of our sorrow, now resume Their usual place, on seeing you sound and unwounded. It is true that your Cabin has been pillaged; that your Holy house, wherein you prayed, has been profaned. But what has done it? Brandy. Your life has been attempted; what caused that crime? Brandy. Brandy is a pernicious evil, which you Europeans have brought to us.
“Teach us by your example to practice patience When our nephews, rendered furious by drinking [Page 101] brandy, strike us, sometimes kill us, and compel us to leave our cabins to place ourselves in safety. Be not angry; be a man; and remember that in the prayer that you make us say to God you pronounce these words: Ousa sannigon rhenha non gouarihouanderagouan tonnariaouenha itsiongouan igourhens stenchoua ou Rienne unik. ‘Forget our offenses, as we forget the evil that has been done to us. ’ A Captain who goes to war is not always fortunate. He is sometimes obliged, in order to save his life, to abandon his light baggage to the enemy. Several articles belonging to You have been Taken from you; that you should still be alive is a great deal. A slave who is brought in is sometimes ill-treated, — a finger- nail is torn out; a finger is cut off; he sometimes receives blows. But, when he is told that his life is spared, he forgets The past; he recovers his Spirits, which were at his feet, and his face becomes calm. That is what has happened to you. Oréouache “this is The name of him who Insulted father de Carheil — “struck you; he tore your coat; he took away your furniture; but you are alive.” Then, taking a porcelain collar in his hand, he gave it to him and continued in these terms:
“With this present 1 brighten the sky; 1 reassure your Mind; 1 wipe away the blood, if any has been shed. 1 place this dressing on the Wounds, if any have been inflicted. Take courage. Remember that life is subject to many Unforeseen afflictions. We disavow Oréouahé’s action. Rest on our mat until calm returns after the storm. 1 have finished speaking.”
Father de Carheil replied to this harangue on The following day, by another porcelain collar, to thank [Page 103] the onnontaguez for their attentions. While this was passing here, Oréouahé set out with 50 warriors, to go to war. Proclamation was At once made through The village of oiogouen, that everything that had been taken and pillaged from Father de Carheil was to be brought back to His host. This was forthwith done. Some time afterward, 1 spoke by means of a collar to the Oiogouens, who asked their missionary to come back to them. 1 told them that, if they wished to see him again among Them, They must promise to prevent oréouaché from continuing his Insolence. They also replied by a collar, which they sent expressly to me at Onnontagué, that they Requested The father to return to his Lodge, which had been kept for him. He went back. Oréouahé returned from war, with some captives. This inflated his Mind, and he began once more to insult Father de Carheil by words. He would have Added blows to Insults if some drunkards, posted by the elders of the village, had not stopped Him. Finally, The oiogouens — to free themselves from the Apprehension that they felt lest, at some moment When they least expected it, they would learn that the furious man had killed him whom he persecuted to such an extent — sent a deputation to Oréouahé with a very fine present of porcelain beads; they said to him: “Swallow the medicine that we give you, to drive the bile and overheated blood from your body. Let us live in peace, and no longer annoy the frenchman who is among us. Answer, and show us how your mind is inclined.” He merely replied that they covered him with shame; that he was not master of his actions when he was intoxicated. He declared, however, that he would not cease to get drunk; and [Page 105] that brandy alone would be the cause, As it had been in The past, of all the evil that he might do to the father. This answer decided the oiogouens to come to the conclusion of sending father de Carheil back with a warrior, who Brought Him here, where He remained some time. He is now at Agnié, where The Iroquois of that village keep him.
This, my Reverend father, is about all that has occurred here since my return. A Cornet makes its appearance in the west this evening, and causes the Iroquois to ask us to what this extraordinary phenomenon is due and what it Portends. It is greatly to be Feared that it is a prognostic of the war that the Iroquois threaten to wage on the french, Who are certainly not in a Position to resist them without Fresh aid, We greatly need that of your prayers. 1 remain,
My Reverend Father,
Your very humble and
very obedient Servant,
Jean De Lamberville.
[Endorsed: “Letter of Father Jean de Lamberville, respecting the Iroquois mission at Donnontaguè.”] [Page 107]
Letter of Father Jacques Bigot, respecting the
mission of Sillery.
At Sillery, this 28th of August, 1682.
My Reverend Father,
We have not been deceived in the hopes that we last year entertained, of soon seeing This mission greatly increased. During the month that has elapsed since 1 have been separated from my brother, who has been sent to another mission, more than one hundred persons have come hither. Their arrival renewed the regret that 1 could not avoid feeling at his departure, because it made me reflect that 1 was deprived of his assistance at the moment when 1 most needed it. 1 had also Reason to fear that my Savages would be discouraged on account of it. But God gives me this consolation, that 1 see them persevering in The same fervor, and availing themselves of the very sorrow caused by his absence to sacrifice themselves more generously to God, — for most of them come to me to ask me what sentiments they should entertain in the state of dejection into which his removal has cast them. They have admirably received the instruction that 1 have given them, telling them that if 1 am obliged to Separate from him through love for Jesus Christ, they — must accept this separation as I do, Two days after he left, 1 gathered all the savages together in order to appoint a person to take [Page 109] charge of the prayers that he was wont to direct. This man’s chief occupation would be to proceed promptly wherever I might send him; to stop or to prevent misconduct; and to inform all who might come to this mission of the customs observed in it. I told him, in the presence of all the people, that he would have some trouble at the outset; but that, for the sake of Jesus Christ, He must rise superior to everything, and especially human respect of every kind. He whom 1 have selected for this purpose, with the consent of the two captains, is a man named Etienne Neketucant — who, during the 2 years that he has spent here, seems Never to have committed the slightest fault. He it was who, although not yet baptized, displayed such fervor last year in repressing some disorders caused by drunkenness. God granted that this selection was very opportunely made; for, at the end of the feast that 1 had just given them, news was received that nine canoes were about to arrive from acadia. Estienne came to tell me that he was going to do his duty, and that he would prevent them all from drinking on the other side of the river, where They were. Francois Xavier haurawereunt joined him, and They both succeeded in their design, in spite of some frenchmen, who thought to gain much in inducing the new-comers to drink. 1 have not yet found a single one among them who is not resolved to live as a good Christian, and who does not manifest great respect for all the Instructions that are given them. Some persons, chiefly among our fathers, who have taken pleasure in observing the conduct and the ordinary rule that the christians of this new [Page 111] mission prescribe for themselves, have insisted that 1 should reduce to writing their usual Daily exercises; and have assured me that this would delight the best-regulated communities in france. But 1 have so often observed that descriptions of this kind were looked upon as exaggerations, that I have thought it advisable not to comply with their request. 1 shall content myself with saying that The order that 1 found here, with regard to prayer and to all The devotional exercises, has been maintained by all the persons who had already been instructed; and that, of their own accord, they Imperceptibly Inspire the others with The same regularity. No one has yet manifested any objection to observing what the others observe. I have for some time trained them so well that not one leaves the Church after mass when 1 am about to give an exhortation — which 1 generally do every second Day; and sometimes on two Consecutive Days, if necessary. They Willingly complied when 1 represented this to them, and readily acknowledged that 1 could not, while alone, undertake to Teach so great a number of persons privately in the Cabins; and that there is no place where they can better listen to God’s word than in that where Jesus reposes. This is also the argument that 1 generally use to make them Believe that 1 cannot deceive them, or tell a falsehood, in a place where Jesus is present, and When he has just come to dwell in my soul through Holy communion. In addition to the exhortations, 1 give Instruction to those who are not baptized; these The Catechist or dogique seeks in all the Cabins, and assembles them in the Church, to which all come at noon with [Page 113] admirable punctuality. The same catechist teaches the Catechism regularly, every Day, to all the boys in his cabin, and also shows them how to sing the prayers that are chanted in our Church. A woman, on the other hand, does likewise, at the same hour, in her Cabin for all the girls. 1 have charged a woman Named Jeanne with this duty. Monseigneur The bishop, and most of Messieurs the priests of the bishop’s palace, one Day entered by accident the cabin where this Instruction of the savage girls was about to begin for the first time. The bishop stated publicly that all the little girls assembled there displayed greater modesty than the french girls. Their mistress made them sing, for the first time, some chants of The Church, Which surprised all those Gentlemen. As, in the Instructions that we give to all of them, we urge Them as much as we can to approach the sacraments frequently, — especially that of Confession, — They display an extreme desire to keep their consciences ever free from sin of every kind. Most of the persons who are somewhat advanced in age confess at least every Week. One of my chief occupations is to hear confessions. 1 cheerfully take this trouble, when I observe the wonderful effects that it produces in maintaining these savages in great Innocence. Many even confess two or three times a week; and, in truth, they do so with sentiments that would put to confusion the most fervent religious. It was with regret that 1 was compelled, especially after my brother’s departure, to fix the days on which They were to confess; for alone I could not suffice for this, and for the other occupations that are not lacking in so populous a Community, [Page 115] 1 admired the docility that they displayed in accepting this regulation in regard to confessions, without manifesting any chagrin; they left the matter entirely to my Discretion, and assured me that they no longer govern themselves, since Jesus Christ orders me to govern them — for such are the expressions that They use. As regards Communion, There are as yet only about 130 who Receive it. Now, with them, to be admitted to communion suffices to make them openly declare that they desire to avoid even the slightest faults; and, if it should happen that one of the communicants commits a sin in any way grievous, the others do not forgive him, and They at once say: “He receives communion, and He does such a thing.” This has compelled me from time to time to Declare that The faults that they blamed were not so grievous, — when I found that it had the effect of discouraging the most fervent; and that those who reproved them for slight offenses did so to some extent through envy, which is The vice that gives me most trouble among the savages. You would, Nevertheless, be surprised to see the victories that the majority Daily win over themselves by stifling all the feelings of envy that naturally impel them, especially the women, to slander One another. 1 see nearly a hundred of the latter who, on their arrival here, manifested the keenest Jealousy, and Indulged in slander of all kinds; but who have now attained to such a degree of solid virtue that they Allow not a word to escape against those who slander them. When 1 Instruct them privately, they say that it is very difficult to obey me on this point, and to stop themselves from slandering those who slander [Page 117] them; but they finally add that they will do so through love for Jesus, and they admit that it is much harder to burn in the fires of hell. When they ask me to give them some penance, in order that they may atone to Jesus Christ for the faults that they have Committed in The past, — for this is The chief motive that impels them to suffer anything for Jesus Christ, — This is almost The only penance that I Impose upon them: “Endure what that woman has said of thee; worse things were said of Jesus Christ, and He replied not a Word. Keep silence, likewise, when evil is spoken of thee; this is worth more than any mortification of thy body. For at last thou shalt be damned if, while lacerating thy body, thou allowest thyself to speak ill of thy neighbor.” By this means 1 have abolished most of the acts of mortification that were permitted to them when they were unable to accept such generous feelings of charity toward those who treated them ill. Although these Vices of envy and slander are not common among the men, those whom I have found at all inclined thereto have given me much satisfaction through the violence that they have done to themselves in order to overcome their faults. 1 Think that it is difficult for persons who do not see what passes here to conceive how these Savages, who are looked upon As The rudest people in the world, submit so soon to practice that which is of the highest perfection in the Christian religion — to stifle the slightest feelings that we may have Against those who have displeased us. Nevertheless, you yourself have seen striking examples of it in certain savages; and 1 can tell You that since your departure 1 have observed a great many more. All who love prayer regard it as [Page 119] their duty to allow no resentment against any one to find place in their Hearts, without coming to consult me: and without obliging themselves to go to say some prayers in The Church, in order to ask that God may inspire them with deep feelings of charity. 1 have seen some who, even before speaking of it to me, went to those who had offended them, and embraced them, begging Those persons to love them and to live in harmony with them. 1 also Urge upon them this lovable virtue of charity; They preach it to one another; and, when They see any persons having wordy disputes together in The Cabins, the seniors begin, without my being there, to tell each other that Christians should be united. When any slander has been uttered, or any serious misconduct has happened, 1 have prayers said in The Church for The suppression of all slanders and of all offenses Against Charity, — without Naming any person, and Contenting myself with privately informing Those who are in the wrong of the Compassion that 1 feel for them. This makes them gradually assume that spirit of gentleness which maintains all the Savages of this mission in profound peace and great tranquillity. A month ago, three savage women indulged in mutual recriminations in a Cabin. 1 Allowed this outbreak to pass; but, some time afterward, 1 went into the Cabin to tell those who had been guilty of that offense that 1 could no longer enter their Cabin to Instruct Them, unless 1 saw that they loved one another. No sooner had 1 gone out than they all expressed their regret at having thus displayed their anger; and they came to me, to make such reparation as 1 might deem proper. One of the things that has caused me most trouble, after [Page 121] this unfortunate tendency on their part to slander, is idleness. It is incredible to what an extent they have won victories over themselves in this respect since 1 have endeavored to incite them to work, and to offer Their labor to Jesus Christ, in The hope of being eternally rewarded therefor. Thus 1 Continually repeat to them, over and over again, that there is not a single step that 1 take in seeking them — either in the Cabins or the fields; or in the houses of the french, wherein 1 fear that they may fall into some sin; or finally in the town, whither 1 go to procure some assistance for them — that is not counted in heaven, and will one Day be rewarded, if 1 am careful to take it for God’s sake. And 1 ask them what would compel me to do all that they see me doing for them, since 1 am Constantly occupied, did 1 not expect paradise. They also thoroughly understand this other reason that 1 give them for Avoiding idleness — namely, that while they are working the devil will not torment them, and that they will maintain themselves in innocence. They seldom sing their savage songs, but nearly always some of the hymns of The Church, translated into their tongue. One can hardly enter The village without hearing some of them singing. When They return from working in the fields, They never fail to salute Jesus Christ in the blessed Sacrament, although 1 have spoken to them about it probably only two or three times. They never work in the morning without first going to The Church, where They sometimes remain in prayer for over half an hour, while waiting for the first mass, when There are two. And, if their work presses before the first mass is said, when there are two of us, They come to ask me whether 1 think [Page 123] it right that they should go to work without assisting at the second mass. 1 can, moreover, assert that they do all this solely out of respect for matters pertaining to God; for 1 am careful not to constrain them on this point, and 1 frequently oblige them, on Certain occasions, to give the preference to work over devotional exercises. When their labors are over, after sunset, they all assemble in the church to pray. But that which surprises all the persons who quite often spend the night here is to see that, after the long prayers that they say in the church, in all the Cabins each one begins again to pray, in private, before retiring to rest. And, in truth, They pray Thus, of their own accord, more slowly and more reverently than religious would do. 1 have been obliged to call some of them during their prayers, for some pressing cause and to call them more than two or 3 times, before they would turn their heads to answer me. After prayers were said at night, either in The Church or in The Cabins, 1 told them that I could not allow them to go to the french houses when They took at such times even one or two Drinks. Since 1 have given these orders, only 2 or 3 have caused me trouble. As soon as 1 learn that any are outside of the village at That hour, 1 send the person who has charge of the prayers; he takes with him any companion that he chooses, and goes on my behalf to warn those who are outside to come in. When 1 apprehend any misconduct, 1 go there myself with this dogique and some other Savage, although sometimes it is at a rather late hour of the night. 1 have warned the dogique to make these rounds frequently. He has always obeyed me, and has also induced some others to accompany Him on this duty. One of these, you will be greatly surprised to [Page 125] learn, is ouramanadé, whom you formerly knew as being extremely addicted to intemperance. He was baptized only a Week ago, although he has been here for several years. But of late, through The able efforts of our dogique, He has so greatly changed that we could no longer refuse to administer Holy baptism to him. On the Day of the visitation, over 100 savages received the Sacrament of confirmation. After hearing me give an Instruction upon that sacrament, some came to beg me, with tears in their eyes, that they might defer receiving it, because they considered themselves Unworthy of it through having made a bad use of the grace that they had received in baptism. Jeanne, the Younger, made this request in a manner that touched me, and she adduced reasons betraying a degree of spirituality which astonished me. All this did not, however, induce me to grant what she asked. 1 cannot convey to Your Reverence The impression produced on their minds by the words that monseigneur The bishop obliged me to say to them on his behalf. He told them that, on being confirmed, they would receive new strength, which would enable them not to fear anything that might hinder them from living as Christians. 1 have often since then repeated this argument to them, to make them avoid the slightest faults, and render them superior to human respect — which opposes obstacles to them, as well as to the french, in the path that leads to God. Some drink merely out of human respect, without having any great craving for liquor. 1 addressed myself to these persons, as well as to the drunkards, a moment before the ceremony of confirmation; and 1 asked them whom They wished to obey: Jesus Christ, or [Page 127] wretched men — whether french or Savages — who wished to make them drink. The effect produced by this was, that when several of them went to a merchant in quebek to sell some furs, and when the merchant offered each of them a glass of brandy, Not one of them would take it. 1 am careful, however, not to regard as a sin in them the act of taking a few Drinks of brandy or of wine, which they sometimes do while eating in the houses of the french; and 1 have been obliged to defend Those who had not been Guilty of any other excesses, but who were nevertheless blamed by the others, As if they had committed a grievous sin. The savage named Ausitaganassit was cured of The habit of intemperance to which He was addicted, in a manner which will convince you that God truly loves this mission. He knew everything that was necessary for baptism; and, being weary of my remonstrances on the score of his intemperance, He went away, in company with some frenchmen, to the Islands of antikosti. After he had spent some time there, He unfortunately received a gunshot wound in the Leg, which at first greatly endangered his life; and he Persistently asked a Reverend Récollet Father to baptize him. He was brought back to this place, where He has displayed much fervor. He had himself carried to The church, and He now drags himself thither of his own accord, without my saying a word to him about it. On entering The Church One Day, 1 was delighted to find him there alone. He also sent his wife in the morning; to beg me to go to his Cabin, to speak to him of God — assuring me that he no longer takes pleasure in anything else. This is the man of whom you and 1 had so little hope at the beginning [Page 129] Ouambinourtté, the husband of Suzanne, whom you know, has displayed admirable fervor in asking for holy Baptism, which he has received; and He has openly joined those who prevent the newly-arrived Savages from drinking. In truth (My father), 1 shall Never despair of Converting a savage; and I admire The manner in which God changes the disposition in which 1 at first found so many Savages, who were so averse to receiving Instruction in the faith. Thus, when some of the most fervent come to warn me that 1 shall lose my time in Instructing Certain savages, whom they know to have been completely abandoned to intemperance and impurity, 1 tell them to have patience; and that God will have compassion on those whom they have seen thus Misconducting themselves. “Look,” 1 say to them, “at those who now pray so fervently; what a life They led before they prayed!” 1 say aloud to all of them: “Even if you should fall into sin a thousand times, 1 shall never cesse to Instruct you; 1 love you too well. 1 will not lose courage.” 1 have observed that they have been won by this; and some who gave me most trouble are now more docile, when they see the great number of men in this mission who speak in favor of Christianity and Against vice. One, among others, who gave most trouble wished lately, of his own accord, to atone for a sin. Some savages, who Had returned to their own country, while you were here, came back with the intention of taking a greater interest in christianity than they had done. 1 have not seen a single one who, whatever may be the sins into which he had fallen in acadia, has appeared to scoff, even in the slightest degree, at the Instructions that were given them [Page 131] The usual reply that both the men and the women make, when they do not consent to do what 1 tell them, in order to prepare themselves to become Christians, is that they are too wicked for that. Some say this Truthfully, owing to the high opinion that they have of the greatness of our religion; and 1 endeavor to encourage them, by assuring them that the great God whom they have offended is so good that he will freely forgive them, if they are really desirous of serving him. 1 have seen several who were animated by the few words that 1 said to them, and who renounced all their vices in a manner that surprised me; and they have manifested great constancy in this, for 1 have not yet found one in fault from the Beginning of their Conversion. Others say it solely through attachment to their evil ways, which they will not abandon. 1 endeavor, as much as 1 can, to inspire them with Fear of the fires of hell, in which all burn who have ever fallen into the same evil ways that 1 reprove in them. 1 show them some pictures of hell that 1 have; or 1 direct some fervent Christian, who is Capable of Instructing them, to show and explain these to them. Sometimes 1 am present at these explanations, without saying anything, in order to See what ideas our Christians form of our mysteries, and what replies are made by those whom they Instruct. When any new-comer arrives, his relatives come to beg me to lend them these instructive pictures, that they may explain the same to him. Haregouessemit came this morning to ask me for them. If you could procure me some pictures of the Judgment, of hell, of purgatory, and of paradise, such as you know would Suit the minds of these Savages, you would Infinitely oblige me. 1 would [Page 133] like to have them only of the same size as those of father Luc; and on linen, so that they may be preserved. The most Natural picture that 1 place before their eyes, to make them fear The flames of hell, is that representing The fire in which their enemy, The Iroquois, is burning them. We have here some persons who have escaped from their hands, who know the cruel mariner in which They torture their prisoners; and 1 add that these torments are nothing in comparison with those of hell. 1 also say to them frequently, while Instructing them near their fires: “Look at that fire; if some Day thy whole body were in that fire, what feelings of Compassion would not all who belong to thy cabin have for thee?” One, whose name is paul Anmouet, said to me One Day: “In truth, thou frightenest me by telling me such things. 1 Believe thee, and wish to pray in earnest.” He was not yet baptized. He has always behaved well since then. 1 have Known some of our fervent Christians who wept for the death of their relatives who had died in their own country without being Converted, solely because they thought of their being in Hell. Marie Magdeleine, the wife of Estienne Ouramenambe, came to me one Day, all in tears, to tell me that one of her near relatives had died some Days before, without being baptized. “1 would not weep,” she added, “had he died a Christian.” 1 admit to you that 1 had some difficulty in consoling her, and in consoling myself, so affecting was the manner in which she spoke to me. You are sufficiently aware of her virtue to be convinced that she spoke from the bottom of her Heart. Almost at the same time, 1 learned of the death of a Young savage, whom his mother desired to take back to 3 [Page 135] rivers, assuring me that 1 should baptize him on his return. 1 had gone to the waters edge to see the mother, who was already in her Canoe with her son; 1 urged her to wait a little, saying that her son was in danger, and that 1 would baptize Him in a moment, for we were near the church. She told me that she would bring her son back to me. When the savages heard of the child’s death and of The mother’s conduct, they manifested great sorrow to me on that account. When 1 tell them of the Devices to which our fathers among the Iroquois resort in order to baptize the dying children without The knowledge of their parents, they manifest very special Joy; but they cannot understand how the Iroquois have so little respect for those who go to teach them the road to Heaven. 1 astonish them when 1 tell them that, when 1 was in france, 1 pictured the abnequis to myself as being Like the Iroquois, and that 1 expected to be regarded by them as a dog; but that 1 was from the first delighted to observe in them so great a docility in receiving all the Instructions that 1 gave them, and their respect for him who Instructs them. Recently, while on the water in a Canoe with one of our fathers, As soon as we began to recite together some special prayers, a Savage who had just arrived Imposed silence, not only on those who were in our Canoe, but also on those in the other canoe near us, calling out to them that the fathers were about to pray. Another savage who has recently arrived, and who is not yet baptized, was requested last Night to accompany me, to look for A sick man in the woods. He did so promptly, although he had only just returned that Night from a fatiguing journey. Two others exposed themselves very [Page 137] generously, at the Beginning of The winter, in order to cross with me our great river, which is half a League Wide, in a Canoe amid the ice-floes which, during the crossing, split the bottom of our Canoe. This placed us in considerable danger; but The water froze as it entered, and that saved us. We had Continually to break the ice in front of us with hatchets and poles, and even with The Canoe itself. Before reaching our Canoe, 1 was led to it by francois Xavier, who held me by the arm to help me climb over the hummocks of ice that form on the banks of the River. 1 must admit that 1 showed great embarrassment in my Demeanor, for 1 have never seen a man more clumsy than 1 am on such occasions. As soon as 1 reached the forest, nearly all who were there, preparing to go hunting, came to me at night to make their Confession; and then at Daybreak, when 1 wished to say mass in a savage Cabin in the forest, 3 or 4 of them set to work to put up an altar, with a fervor that delighted me. As 1 had heard that one of them, when he found himself at a distance from me, had allowed himself to drink to excess, 1 said only a word of exhortation to tell them that, in truth, 1 would not see them while away, but that God alone would; and that perhaps several of those who were going to hunt would die before their return. There were about one hundred in this forest, near some french settlements where liquor was kept. From that time, There was no dissipation. Catherine, The younger, who was badly beaten in the woods by a man and a savage woman, told me that Her sole regret was that she had felt Anger Against the two persons who had so Unjustly ill- treated her; and that, to atone for it, she would do [Page 139] anything that 1 wished. She has showed every possible kindness to those two persons, and cesses not to pray for them. For four years this woman has steadily persevered in her original fervor. She is Never Without Crosses, As you well Know. Jeanne, The elder, has displayed very unusual virtue in enduring a thousand railleries and a thousand slanders, uttered against her by persons with but little Instruction, when they saw her married to paul Itaouinon. That Young savage also, on his side, gave her trouble; but at last she Taught him so well that 1 find him completely changed; and He does whatever she wishes. 1 kept Continually saying to this woman: “Be not amazed at what may be said of thee; Jesus Christ knows thy Heart. Do the slanders that are uttered about thee make thee more wicked? Continue to Teach Him whom God has given thee for a husband, and to make him behave well.” She strictly observed What 1 told her, and God has blessed her constancy. Her former husband, who abandoned her 5 years ago, has come back within a month. He has manifested to me the utmost desire to do right, and 1 have observed some excellent results of this. He also came this morning to ask me to Instruct his other wife, whom He married in the presence of the Church — “in order,” He said, “that we may live in close union.” Most of those who at the beginning left This mission, with the abject of leading a life with less restraint, have come back, and submit Like children. Joseph Matouetagahani — who had gone to the country of the Algonquins, where He completely Abandoned himself to intemperance and to Juggleries — told the algonquins, some time Ago, that he was going to [Page 141] return to the place where The fervent Christians lived, and that he would pray in earnest. He has led a very exemplary life since he has been here. 1 told him openly that 1 knew the life that he had led; and that, if he reverted to his old faults, He would not remain in this mission, where The Christians have a horror of sin. Margueritte displayed too much zeal last winter in preventing the husband of her daughter Marie from drinking. That savage, on his return from acadia, became intoxicated; she drove him from the Cabin, and told him that, as she and her daughter were Christians, they could not endure a drunkard near them. The savage was at first angry; but after a time He became pacified. At last, in order to appease Him, 1 blamed Margueritte to some extent. She and all her kindred, to the number of 45, all lead a very exemplary life. Manchipin, her brother, will be baptized in 4 Days. When he came back from la Cadie [Acadia], nearly a year and a half Ago, He had no great desire to be baptized. But 1 assure you that he is now greatly changed. His daughter Ursulle is very fervent. She never failed to pray throughout the entire journey that she made to her own country. 1 can think of no further information that 1 can give you; ad, to give you a slight idea of my present occupation, 1 cannot better describe It than by asking you to imagine what would have to be done by a person in sole charge of a hospital, with a great many persons needing both Spiritual and temporal aid. TO Instruct continually; to hear Confessions Constantly; to provide for marriages; to make up quarrels; to Seek provisions; to roam the fields; to visit the Cabins; to nurse the sick, — such are The Daily occupations [Page 143] of your dear friend who is often so exhausted that he cannot hold himself erect when he wishes t. say prayers, either in The church or in his room. Since my brother’s departure, nearly all our savages have been attacked by smallpox, which has given me no slight occupation. I had all the symptoms of the disease myself for some Days, and 1 thought that 1 also would have my share of it. For some months we had false alarms, in consequence of a rumor which had spread that some Iroquois were to make a raid upon our Cabins while our men were away hunting. 1 was obliged to get up at night, to soothe The minds of the women, and to dispel the Fear that they felt on seeing an Iroquois or two in the woods. Would you Believe that 1 have become quite a warrior? It seems to me that 1 am not frightened by Anything that formerly inspired me with fear. Perhaps, if The occasion presented itself, 1 would not ‘be so brave. 1 beg you to entreat Our Lord to grant me The firmness that 1 need to properly perform all that he wills me to do in my present employ. 1 am perfectly Content; 1 spare myself as much as 1 cm, in Accordance with Your Counsel. Nothing can be easier than to wear out one’s Life here, by net taking care of oneself; and 1 even Think that Nature would gain by it. 1 assure you that, when 1 sec any Savages die here, 1 envy rather than pity them; and Most of the savages are readily imbued with This sentiment, with which 1 endeavor to Inspire them when 1 instruct them at the death of any one. Not many persons have died This year in the mission. Two Savage women whom you knew, died a truly Saintly death. The first was little gabrielle, 10 or 11 years of age; after enduring very acute Sufferings [Page 145] for nearly a year, while continually performing acts of love for Jesus Christ and of Resignation to His Holy will, she died in the practice of this devotion. Some time previous to her death, she manifested great eagerness to make her first Communion. 1 granted her this favor. She relished, at that early age, to a degree that astonished me, all That relates to God. When, a few Days before her death, she became delirious, she spoke only of the Virgin; and she exhorted all her relatives to pray. She Continually repeated the ave. All her little effects have been presented to the chapel of Lorette, to which A Collar worth 20 éscus was also given in the name of the deceased. The other woman who died was Marie Magdeleine, aged nearly 30 years, who would Never consent to be married. She died on Whitsunday, after suffering for almost 4 years in a manner that excited the compassion of ail. She suffered with admirable patience, and awaited death with surprising calmness and peace of soul. 1 bade adieu to her when 1 went to make a retreat, thinking that she would die during that time. She also said The same to me, with Joy; but God prolonged her sufferings in order to heighten her merits. Another, a little marie magdeleine, who was 9 or 10 years old, also died after suffering exceedingly; and, if her pain caused her from time to time to express some slight childish Impatience, she at once recovered herself when 1 spoke to her of God. Nicolas, the son of Margueritte The algonquin, also died, as Innocent as when you knew him. This is the Number of adults who have died. Some children have departed this life, who Intercede in Heaven for The happy Success of This mission. 1 beg you to Join with them, to [Page 147] obtain from God The Conversion of all this nation, which is so Dear to you. 1 also commend myself to your Reverence’s Holy Sacrifices, and 1 remain,
my Reverend father,
Your very humble and very obedient
Servant in Jesus Christ, Our Lord. [Page 149]
Letter from father Lamberville to Monsieur de
Onnontagué, September 20, 1682.
I have received through Boquet the letters which you have taken the trouble to write to me. 1 found in them a duplicate of the one that 1 received a month ago, and which 1 did myself the honor of answering through a certain Tegannisoren, — who went to carry you a porcelain collar, in order to attract your canoe to the south shore of Lake Frontenac. If you had been able to come, certainly your journey would not have been useless; at least, you would have saved the Oumiami captives, — of whom one had been reserved for you, — who will very probably be murdered. For, although the brunt of the war is to fall on The Ilinois, as an incident of the Iroquois’s advance, the Oumiamis will be swept away, and perhaps some other people from the bay des puans; for those here who are bent on mischief include under the name of “Ilinois” the Oumiamis, the Pouteatamis, the Ousakis, and others. The Iroquois are merely waiting till you speak; even if you had not checked the thunderbolt which is ready to fall upon the Ilinois, some persons, nevertheless, had intentions in harmony with yours, and had told me that all would depend on what you might say. You would have been the preserver of the Oumiamis — whom 1 account lost, for want of a word from [Page 151] Onontio, who would have spoken to them, and whom they still expect.
All that Tegannissoren shall report here at his return will be attentively listened to; and then will occur the crisis in this year’s affairs. He is that same man whom I think 1 named to you as Niregouentaron in my preceding letter. He loves the French, but neither he nor any one whomsoever of the upper Iroquois fears them at all; and they are all ready to fling themselves upon Canada on the first occasion that shall be given them.
Several injuries done by them to the French, without their having been made to give any satisfaction, persuade them that they are feared. Every year they profit by our losses; they annihilate our allies, of whom they make Iroquois; and have not the least scruple in saying that after enriching themselves with our spoils, and strengthening themselves with those who might have aided us to make war against them, they will all together fall upon Canada, to overwhelm it in a single Campaign. They have strengthened themselves, in this and the preceding years, with more than nine hundred men armed with muskets.
Some Savages coming from the fort have publicly related here that you, Monsieur The Intendant, and Monsieur Perrot were recalled to France by the King. 1 answered that, if that were so, you would probably make it known by the voice of Niregouentaron, who will bring your answer to their collar, and your orders. Although 1 had learned elsewhere that this report was current, 1 did not wish to confirm it until 1 had received your last orders in the capacity of Governor — if it be true that we are about to lose you. [Page 153]
In any case, Monseigneur, permit me to say to you that surely some person has slandered us to you on two or three occasions; and that 1 have been unfortunate enough to be included by him in the number of those who, however, as well as 1, have never thought of anything but furthering, with their very feeble power, all the good intentions that you have had and still have toward Canada. What 1 had quite recently done — to have an Oumiamis presented and sold to YOU — is the latest token thereof; but the past is past, and 1 do not think that you have ever taken much stock in all the testimony that may, without sufficient foundation, have been offered to you.
Allow, me, if you please, Monseigneur, to renew here all the respects that 1 owe you, and all the thanks that 1 have rendered and must still render you for all the civilities with which you have kindly consented to honor me hitherto, — praying God that, if the sea divide us, at least 1 may have the good fortune to join you eternally before the King of Kings.
This is all that 1 can desire of most substantial good for you as well as for myself — who am very truly, and with much Submission,
Your very humble and very obedient
Allow me, if you please, Monseigneur, to Write here my very humble respects to Madame the countess. My brother once again sends you his, which he very humbly begs you to accept. [Page 155]
Assembly held at Québec, at the house of the
Reverend Jesuit Fathers, October so, 1682.
n the assembly held on the tenth of October, 1682, composed of Monsieur the Governor, Monsieur The Intendant, and Monseigneur The Bishop of Québec; Monsieur Dollier, Superior of the Seminary of St. Sulpice at Montréal; the Reverend Fathers Beschefer, — the Superior, — d’Ablon, and Fremin, Jesuits; Monsieur the Major of this town; Monsieur de Varennes, the Governor of Three Rivers; and Messieurs de Brussy, Dalibout, Duguet, Lemoine, La durantais, Bizard, Chailly, Vieuxpont, Duluth, de Sorel, Derepentigny, Berthier, and Boucher:
It was stated by Monsieur the Governor that, from the Documents which Monsieur the Count de Frontenac was pleased to commit to his hands, concerning what occurred at Montréal on the 12th of last September between him and the deputy from the Onontae Iroquois, it is easy to judge that the inclination of these peoples is to pursue their enterprise. That undertaking is, to destroy, one after the other, all the nations allied to us, while they keep us in uncertainty, with folded arms, — in order that, after they have taken from us all the trade in peltries, which they wish to carry on alone with the English and Dutch settled at Manatte and Orange, they may attack us alone. Then they will ruin the Colony by obliging it to concentrate its people and forsake all the outlying settlements, thus putting a stop to the [Page 157] cultivation of the soil, — for labor cannot, except in places where the soil is good, produce grains, and render the meadows tillable.
That, as he is not informed, owing to the short interval since his arrival from France, about the Condition of these peoples and that of the Colony, he begs them to instruct him in what they know of these matters, to the end that he may inform His Majesty and represent to him the needs of this Colony, — in order either to avert this war, or to end and consummate it advantageously, should it become necessary to wage it. Whereupon the whole Company — after being informed by the Reverend Jesuit Fathers about what had occurred for five years past among the Iroquois nations, whence they had newly arrived, and by Monsieur Dollier about what had occurred for several years past at Montréal — were of unanimous opinion, and all with one voice agreed, that for four years past the English have left nothing undone to induce the Iroquois to declare war against us, — by means of the great number of presents which they have made them, or by the low terms at which they have given them goods, especially guns, powder, and lead. They also agreed that the Iroquois have twice or thrice been ready to undertake war, but — having reflected that, if they attacked us before having actually ruined the allied nations and their neighbors, these would rally and, joining together, would fall on the Iroquois and destroy their villages while they should be occupied against us — they have judged it more expedient to delay, and to beguile us while they should attack these nations. With this abject, having begun last year to attack the Ilinois, they obtained so great an [Page 159] advantage over them that, besides three or four hundred dead, they took from them nine hundred prisoners. Accordingly, when they set out, this year, with a body of twelve hundred men, well armed and good soldiers, it was net to be doubted that they would entirely destroy the Illinois, and that on their return they would attack the Miamis and Kiskakons. By the defeat of these tribes, the Iroquois would render themselves masters of Massilimakina, Lakes Hérié and Huron, and the Bay des Puans; and would thereby deprive US of all the trade which is derived from that country — destroying, at the same time, all the Christian Missions which are established among those nations. Consequently, the utmost efforts must be made to prevent them from ruining the nations, as they have heretofore ruined the Algonquins, Andastaz, Loups, Abénaquis, and others, whose remnants we have at the settlements of Sillery, Laurette, Lake Champlain, and others, scattered among us. It was decided that, in order to attain this abject, it was necessary to consider the state of the Colony, and the means for utilizing its resources against the enemies. As for the Colony, we are able to bring together a thousand good men bearing arms, and accustomed to the use of canoes, like the Iroquois. But, when they should be withdrawn from their settlements, it was necessary to consider that, during the entire time of their absence, the cultivation of the soil would be stopped; and that, before beginning their march, it would be requisite to have storehouses of provisions at hand in places distant from their settlements. Thus they might subsist in the enemies’ country long enough to destroy that nation altogether, and not again do as they had done [Page 161] seventeen years ago — cause them a little alarm, without weakening them. At present, we had advantages which at that time had been lacking: the French, accustomed to the Woods, knew all the trails through them: and the route by the fort of Frontenac was open, enabling them to fall, in forty hours, upon the Sonnontouans, — the strongest of those five Iroquois nations, for they alone could furnish fifteen hundred warriors, well armed. Supplies were needed at the fort of Frontenac, as well as three or four barks to convey them, and to embark five hundred men on Lake Ontario, while the five hundred others would go in canoes in order to station themselves on the shore of the Sonnontouans. But this enterprise could not succeed except by the help of His Majesty, who should furnish a small corps of two or three hundred soldiers to serve as garrison at the Forts of Frontenac and la Galette, for the escort of the supplies and to keep the front of the country guarded and stocked while the interior should be stripped of its good soldiers; a hundred or a hundred and fifty engagés, to be distributed among the settlements, in order to enable those who shall remain at home to cultivate the land, so that famine might not arise in the country; and funds necessary for erecting the storehouse of supplies, and for building two or three barks, — without which, including Sieur de la Salle’s it is impossible to undertake anything that will avail. This is a war which must not be begun to be left incomplete; because, with a better mutual acquaintance than existed seventeen years before, if it were undertaken and net finished, there was no hope left of preserving the Colony, as the Iroquois were not the people to be appeased. The lack of any aid from [Page 163] France had begun to inspire these Iroquois with contempt for us, as they believed us destitute of the protection of the great Onontio, our master: and, if they saw that he gave us his aid, there would be some probability that, changing their minds, they would leave our allies in peace, and would make the concession of not hunting on their grounds or of bringing all the peltries to the French. They are now treating with the English at Orange; and thus, with a slight assistance from His Majesty, we might prevent war and subdue these proud and fiery spirits, which would be the greatest good that can be procured for the country. Meanwhile, it was important to arm the habitants; and, as they had this year fairly plentiful crops of corn, oblige them to supply themselves with firearms, in order that on occasion they might all use them to advantage.
Done at the house of the Reverend Jesuit Fathers of Québec, on the day and in the year above stated.
Collated with the original, remaining in my hands.
Le Febvre de la Barre. [Page 165]
Letter Of Father Claude Chauchetiere, respecting
the Iroquois mission of Sault St. Fran-
çois Xavier, near Montreal.
Sault St. François Xavier,
this 14th of October, 1682.
y Reverend Father,
In answer to Your Reverence’s letter respecting what you have asked me, 1 will say that we are in a part of the country where The climate is not as good as in france, although, thanks be to God, 1 am in very good health. We are in a very high and beautiful location, with a fine view, 60 leagues Distant from Quebec, — which is called “the Iroquois mission.” It is the finest mission in Canada, and, as regards piety and devotion, resembles one of the best Churches in france.
The river St. Lawrence here forms a Lake two leagues wide; and The place where we are is so high that the waters of this great river fall here with a loud roar, and roll over many Cascades, which, frighten one to look at. The water foams as you see it do under a mill-Wheel. We nevertheless readily pass over it every Day in our Bark Canoes; and 1 cannot help saying that one must be crazy to run the rapids as we do, without any Fear of being drowned. A Young man who, as was said, came from les sables d’olonne, and whose name was Maillanchau, was Drowned on the 18th of august of [Page 167] this year while going down from sault St. Louis. He was in the service of our fathers among the Outaouaks. A very worthy Ecclesiastic of the Quebec seminary, of which He was the procurer, was also drowned in 1679, with one of the men who guided Him, while passing in a Canoe in front of The Island Of orleans. In truth, One must always be prepared for death in this country. You may Judge by this how much 1 need your prayers, for 1 am obliged to be continually on The water, going and coming alone in a Canoe.
We have here a large farm, on which we keep oxen, cows, and poultry, and gather corn for our subsistence. It is sometimes necessary to take charge of all temporal as well as spiritual matters, now that Father Fremin has gone down in an Infirm condition to Quebec, as well as Father Cholenec. Some savages get their land Plowed, and harvest french wheat Instead of indian corn. It is impossible to describe their Joy when They can harvest 20 or 30 minots of french wheat, and are able to eat bread from time to time. But, as this sort of grain costs them too much labor, their usual occupation is to Plow the soil in order to plant indian corn in it. The men hunt, in order to obtain a provision of meat; The women go to the forests, to obtain supplies of wood. If the savages were fed, they would work much more than they do. Our village grows larger every year, while the Lorette mission, where father chaumont is, steadily diminishes. That of the mountain does not decrease, neither does it Increase much; but ours grows continually. We think that in two or three years all the Agniez will be in this Place. More than eighty have settled here recently, We [Page 169] have a chapel 25 feet Wide, and nearly 60 feet Long. We have three Bells, with which we produce a very agreeable Carillon; and the savages will soon have another bell, weighing two hundred livres, to complete the harmony. The usual exercises of our mission are as follows: In the early morning, the bell is rung at 4 o’clock, which is The hour at which we rise, as in our houses in france. Many of our savages, through a spirit of devotion, come at once to The church, to adore the Blessed Sacrament; and they remain there Until the first mass, which is said in winter at a quarter to 7, and in mid-Summer at 5 o’clock. While they are saying their prayers, 1 withdraw to my chamber, which is 6 feet Long and 5 feet wide, to say my orison; after this, 1 say the first mass, at which many are present although the bell is not rung for It. The 2nd, which is The mass for the savages, is said at half past 5. 1 am present at it; the whole village also attends it every Day, without a single person being absent; and the prayers are said aloud. Afterward the 3rd mass, which is for the children, begins, at which also 1 am present. We make them pray all together, after which 1 give Them a short instruction on the Catechism. Such is my Daily occupation. In addition to this, the savages come frequently during the Day to visit The Blessed Sacrament, When they go to the fields and When they return from them. From eight o’clock Until eleven, which is the hour for our repast, my occupation consists in visiting the savages, or in working to make Books for them (because, as their nature is very fickle, — of which They themselves complain, — they must be often visited, either to give them suitable encouragement, or to prevent [Page 171] and appease their disputes, or to prepare the new- comers for receiving the sacraments). There are sixty Cabins — that is to say, from one hundred and twenty to 150 families, as there are at least two in each Cabin. TO perform these visits with profit demands all the time of one missionary; another would be required for the children, and one for those who are more advanced, who need to be Instructed in virtue. My work is made easier in this way: 1 sketch upon paper the truths of The Gospel and the practices of virtue Invented by Monsieur de Nobletz. Another Book Contains colored pictures of The Ceremonies of the mass applied to the passion of our lord; another Contains Pictures showing The torments of hell; another The Creation of the world. The savages read these with pleasure and profit, and these Books are their mute teachers. One of our Catechists, with the assistance of these books, preaches long sermons; and 1 experienced much pleasure yesterday when 1 found a band of savages at the door of a cabin, learning to Read in Books of this kind.
To return to the manner in which our time is employed, and to our usual occupations: at eleven o’clock the bell rings for our examination of conscience, and, at the same time, The Angelus is rung, which The savages recite with great devotion. Our afternoon is spent in teaching in the Cabins. For my part, 1 visit the sick who would keep one man occupied. 1 have also charge of a Cure, consisting of a hundred french houses. With regard to father bruyas, — who is the superior of the entire mission, and with whom 1 remained alone here during the whole of last year, — He attends to the temporal and [Page 173] spiritual wants of the savages, and he is a father to them for both Their bodies and their souls.
You will be pleased to hear from me respecting the austerities practiced by certain savage women — Although there may be some indiscretion in their doing so; but it will show you their fervor. More than 5 years ago some of them learned, 1 know not how, of the pious practices followed by the nuns in Monreal who are hospital sisters. They heard of disciplines, of iron girdles, and of hair shirts, This religious life began to please them very much, and three of them formed an association, in order to commence a sort of Convent; but we stopped them, because we did not Think that The time had yet come for this. However, even if they were not cloistered, they at least observed Chastity; and one of them died with the reputation of sanctity, 3 years Ago next spring. They, and some others who imitated them, would be admired in france, if what they do were known there. The first who began made her first attempt about Christmas in The year 1676, when she divested herself of her clothing, and exposed herself to The air at the foot of a large Cross that stands beside our Cemetery. She did so at a time when the snow was falling, although she was pregnant; and the snow that fell upon her back caused her so much suffering that she nearly died from it — as well as her Child, whom the cold chilled in its mother’s womb. It was her own idea to do this — to do penance for her sins, she said. She has had four companions in her fervor, who have since imitated her. Two of them made a hole in the ice, in the depth of winter, and Threw themselves into The water, where they remained during the time that it [Page 175] would take to say a Rosary slowly and sedately. One of the two who Feared that she would be found out, did not venture to Warm herself when she returned to her cabin, but lay down on her mat with lumps of ice adhering to her shoulders. There have been several other Inventions of similar mortifications, which men and women have discovered for the purpose of tormenting themselves, and which constitute their usual exercises of penance. But we have made them give up whatever was excessive. During the past two years, Their fervor has greatly augmented since God has removed from this world one of these devout savage women who live like Nuns, and she died with the reputation of sanctity. We cesse not to say masses to thank God for the graces that we believe we receive, every Day, through her Intercession. Journeys are continually made to her tomb; and the savages, following her example, have become better Christians than they were. We Daily sec wonders worked through her Intercession. Her name was Catherine Tegaskouita. During her lifetime, she had made an agreement with a friend to make each other suffer, because she was too weak to do so by herself, owing to her continual illness. She had begged her companion to do her the Charity of severely chastising her with Blows from a whip. This they did for a year, without any one knowing it, and for that purpose they withdrew, every sunday, into a Cabin in the middle of the Cemetery; and there, taking in their hands willow shoots, they mingled prayers with penance. Finally, when one of the two saw that her companion had fallen sick at the end of The year, she was pressed by scruples to reveal The matter, and to ask whether she had net [Page 177] sinned in what she had done. At that time, people here used only Willow shoots, or Thorns, which here are very long; but since they have heard of disciplines, of iron girdles, and of similar Instruments of Penance, The use of this Daily becomes more general. And, as The men have found that the women use them, they will net Let themselves be outdone, and ask US t0 permit them to use these every Day; but we will net Dow it. The women, to the number of 8 or 10, began the practice; and the wife of the dogique — that is to say, of him who Leads the Singing and says the prayers — is among the number. She it is who, in her husband’s absence, also causes The prayers to be said aloud, and Leads The Singing; and in this capacity she assembles the devout women of whom we have spoken, who call themselves sisters. They tell One another their faults, and deliberate together upon what must be done for The relief of the poor in the Village — whose number is so great that there are almost as many poor as there are Savages. The sort of monastery that they maintain here has its rules. They have promised God never to put on their gala-dress (for the savage women have some taste, and take pride in adorning themselves with porcelain beads; with vermilion, which they apply to their Cheeks; and with earrings and bracelets). They assist One another in the fields; They meet together to incite one another to virtue; and one of them has been received as a nun in The hospital of monreal.
There are married people here who have for a long time lived as brother and sister. There are aged women, veterans in the faith, who Instruct the others as missionaries would do, and God thereby [Page 179] supplies the want of these which we experience. There are women who have shared Their fields, — thus, as it were, taking The bread from their own mouths to give it to the New-comers, — who are not yet in a position to do anything for them in return, — in order to win them to God. When there are widows and sick persons, the Captains make their families work, for the love of God, at building Cabins for those who have none. Some live in the woods in the same state of Innocence as do those in the village; and they return with consciences as pure as when they went away. And 1 may state, without exaggeration, that when they return we do not find in many of them matter for absolution; and yet They are sufficiently enlightened to accuse themselves of the least Imperfections, — Such as Slight distractions during their prayers, petty acts of Impatience, some instance of forgetfulness, and things which, in their case, are often virtues. Modesty is natural to them. When They pray or Sing in The church, they do so with so much devotion that all the french settlers here who see them are impressed by it, and say that they are more devout than we allege. 1 was forgetting to tell you that, when They are in the woods, they have the sundays and feast- days marked by small Lines to the number of seven, one for each Day of the week; we mark Crosses. upon the lines that indicate the feast-days and The sundays, and they observe these very exactly.
There is a savage woman who says the Rosary fully twenty times a Day; and another who says it six times in her day, by dividing It in a very Ingenious fashion. They find out all their devotions by themselves, for they call one Rosary That “of the five [Page 181] wounds;” another, “the Rosary of the ten virtues of the blessed virgin,” as the blessed Jeanne Invented It; another, “The rosary of twelve beads,” Invented by sister Margueritte du st. Sacrement, a Carmelite; another, “The chaplet of st. Joseph;” and all these are recited While they are going to or returning from their Fields. Here is also something very touching. While making My rounds in the Village at eight or nine o’clock, in the evening, 1 have heard The air resound on all sides with voices issuing from all the Cabins. All were saying their prayers aloud, before retiring to rest; and this is done every night, not a single person failing to do so. Thus have these former man-eaters become lambs through The grace of Jesus Christ, in such a manner as to be examples of Virtue and of Religion in Canada.
We have here no other demon to Contend against than liquor and drunkenness, which make a hell of all the Iroquois villages, wherein life is a continual suffering. The french are the cause of its giving us much trouble here; for, in order to strip the Savages to their Very Shirts, they follow them everywhere, to make them drink and become intoxicated.
It is admirable to see how some of our Christian savages distinguish themselves in repressing this evil. They spill the liquor; they Break the bottles, with incredible courage, exposing themselves to insults and to Blows, of which some still bear the marks. And, in spite of all this, They do not lose Courage. 1 Know three or four who would endure martyrdom to prevent anything being done to offend God. They are no longer guided by the french, whom they had Hitherto considered good Christians, but who They now see very plainly are not such. [Page 183]
When they return from the land of the dutch, They relate to us with much pleasure their success in the disputes that they have had with the dutch on Points of religion, to the shame and confusion of those heretics.
War is blazing in The country of the Outaouaks. The Iroquois, especially Those of Onneiout, continue to bear ill will against the Outagamis and the Ilinois. For that reason, they have not forborne to take many captives from the Ilinois, a nation allied to US, after having slain a very large Number of them. In The year 1681, they killed or carried into Captivity a thousand of those people. Among The Captives of this year, 1682, is an Englishman whom They will no doubt burn. All this makes us hope that God will Continue to preserve Canada from Their Cruelty. They bear us malice in earnest, and we were in danger of having A war with them. For four years, we have heard nothing but threats; but God ever preserves us, working miracles of his providence in our favor — As He did Last autumn, when we expected to be attacked by them; but The storm burst elsewhere.
If you wish me to tell you something about the mariner in which the savages dress — although, had 1 time, 1 would have preferred painting some for you — you must know that it is not Wanting in taste, especially on feast-Days. The women have no other Head-dress than their hair, which they part over the middle of the head, and then tie behind with a sort of Ribbon, which they make out of eel- skin painted a bright red. 1 myself have often been deceived, and have taken it for a real Ribbon. They grease Their hair, which thereby becomes as Black [Page 185] as Jet. As for The men, They are ridiculous in dressing Their Hair, and there is not one who does not do it up in a special fashion. On sundays and feast-days, the men and women wear fine white chemises; and The women take wonderful care to clothe themselves so modestly that there is nothing indecorous or uncovered about them, — for they closely fasten the chemise. This falls over a petticoat, consisting of a blue or red Blanket, a brasse or more Square, which they fold in two, and simply gird around the waist; and The Chemise, which falls over this sort of petticoat, reaches only TO the knees. The savages have often asked us if there were any vanity in their dress. They are not accustomed to wear these except in going to church, on Communion and feast-Days. On the other Days They are poorly but modestly clad.
1 would like to give you a more exact description of their Consciences, of which you may have a fair Idea from what 1 have said. But, besides the fact that it would take too Long, and that 1 shall send something about it to one of my brothers, 1 would Fear that it might perhaps be thought somewhat exaggerated.
The savage women sometimes propound to us doubts in spiritual matters, as difficult as those that might be advanced by the most cultured persons in france. The knowledge of the cases of conscience often renders us good service here; without it we would be in danger of making many mistakes respecting proximate occasions, the baptism of adults, and marriages. In truth, the working of The Holy ghost seems admirable in these minds, which have been trained amid the forests and the woods. [Page 187]
When 1 Read Them Your Letter one sunday, as 1 preached to them, They wept while listening to me; and The dogique then spoke to them in a very pathetic manner. They often ask me whether any prayers are said for them in france, and 1 assure Them that there are. From time to time, They deplore the misfortunes of their birth; and, after they become Christians, they live Like angels, fearing to fall into the evil ways from which faith and Christianity have withdrawn Them. [Page 189]
Letter of Father Thierry Beschefer, Superior of
the missions of the Society of Jesus in
Canada, Written to the Reverend Father
Provincial of the province of france.
Quebec, this 21st of October, 1683.
y Reverend Father,
1 Write this Letter to Your Reverence to inform You of The condition of our missions during the past three years, and of the occupations of our fathers who labor therein. If you see not whole nations flocking in crowds to ask for baptism, You will at least have the consolation of seeing how our Fathers there sanctify themselves in a very noble manner, amid great fatigues and amid Continual trials of patience, which are Inseparable from their occupations; and that God Fails not to accord great blessings to their labors. For they have baptized within three years over two thousand persons, a portion of whom have died after their baptism, which is a certain gain for heaven; and — what is perhaps still more important than a large number of Conversions — You will see how people who appear to have but The semblance of man, have really adopted the spirit of Christianity. We divide all our remote missions into three principal ones, each of which has its own special superior — The outaoues; those of Tadoussac, or the Northern missions; and the Iroquois missions. [Page 191]
In The Outaouc missions we include not only the outaouacs or Upper Algonquins, who are divided into several tribes, namely: The saulteurs, who usually dwell at sault de Ste. Marie, at The entrante of Lake superior; The Kiskakons and three other tribes, all of whom have their own chiefs, at Saint francois de Borgia, at the Junction of Lakes huron and Ilinois, at a Place that we call Missilimakinak; the Nipissiriniens and other petty tribes on Lake huron. We also include the hurons who reside at st. Ignace, three-fourths of a League from st. francois de Borgia; the Outagamis and The sakkis; The Pouteouatamis along the bay des Puants, in a south-westerly direction from missilimakinak; The Makoutens and the oumiamis; the Kischigamins, along Lake Ilinois; and The Ilinois themselves, as we more nearly approach the south. We have houses with chapels at sault de ste. Marie, at st. Ignace, at st. francois de Borgia, and at st. francois Xavier, at the extremity of the Bay des Puans — wherein we perform with entire Freedom all the exercises of Religion, and whence The missionaries frequently go on journeys among the surrounding nations.
Father Charles Albanel, although now far advanced in years, and afflicted with a continual trembling of the whole Body, and with other Ailments caused by his arduous labors, has now entire charge of the mission of sault sainte Marie. There He works for The instruction not only of the saulteurs, But also of the Kilistinons and of many savages who dwell to the North of Lake superior, and who come to sault Sainte Marie.
Father Philippe Pierson has had for his share the hurons of st. Ignace; and, although we have not [Page 193] found in them the same docility regarding matters of faith as among those of Lorette, God has nevertheless’ souls there who serve Him faithfully. Father Nicolas Potier has gone to take the place of Father Pierson, who will assume charge of another mission among the Nadouessious, whose Language He already knows, and who dwell a hundred Leagues beyond Lake Superior.
Father Enjalran, the Superior of the Outaouac missions, and Father Bailloquet, who had charge of the sault mission before Father Albanel, labor among the Outaouacs of st. francois de Borgia, and with the french, who often go there in considerable numbers for trade. A portion of these tribes have already embraced Christianity, and the others are gradually throwing off their superstitions, to which They were extraordinarily attached. Therefore we employ every means calculated to undeceive them and to win their minds, which are extremely dull, and would not readily submit to reasons that would Convince others. In order to render our mysteries more intelligible to them, we place These before their eyes as much as possible by representations, or by making them act the part of the personages. They pay especial attention to them, and afterward remember them to the best of their ability. During the Christmas festival, the birth of Our Lord is represented in the two Churches. The french represented there The adoration of the Shepherds at the foot of the Cradle, whither the chiefs of the hurons and of the Kiskakons also came to pay Him their homages, in imitation of Those that he Received from the Kings. The hurons, who had in their Church a Wax Image of the infant Jesus, which might be looked [Page 195] upon as a marvel by the barbarians, wished to share it with the Kiskakons. Accordingly, They bore it to them in procession, at the beginning of the celebration, with all The pomp that could be expected of them. The Kiskakons, not to be outdone in zeal in doing honor to a God-Child, carried the Image back to The huron church eight Days afterward, accompanying It with several banners, and making The air resound with their singing. The entire Ceremony concluded with a harangue delivered to Our lord by The chief of the Kiskakons in the Name of all his Tribe; to this all the others responded with various hymns in french, in Algonquin, and in huron. 1 Thought that Your Reverence would not be displeased with my entering into these petty details. Although this act seems trivial in itself, it Shows nevertheless How the faith is gradually acquiring the mastery over Their Hearts. Thus all the Ceremonies — besides the Sentiments of piety and devotion that they arouse in The Hearts of our Neophytes, and even of the french — have Greatly served to remove from The minds of the others the sentiments that they entertained opposed to religion. They have given them a high idea of the greatness of Jesus Christ, and a very great esteem for everything pertaining to God’s service, and for prayers, — which the parents are careful to make their children say regularly, even in the woods, although they themselves are not yet Christians. They even so esteem the holy places that, when a man Threw a stone at The Church Windows, all the elders after holding a Council, and after exhorting all their Young people to have more respect for the house of God, and for the persons who came on his behalf [Page 197] to give them sense, — Such is their manner of speaking, — themselves came into The Church, to offer reparation to Our Lord for The insult that he had received from one of their Tribe.
Not that there do not still remain Infidels who retain vestiges of Their former superstitions, by which they honor the sun and the moon; but, as a rule, they do so only in secret. And if any of the Neophytes still fall into this sin, they soon admit Their fault. A short time ago, some among them committed an act contrary to the faith that They profess. No sooner were They reproached with their fault than all the Guilty ones came to manifest to Our Lord, at the foot of the altars, the sorrow that they felt for it; they Again renounced all their superstitions, and expiated their sin through The sacrament of penance.
An Eclipse of the sun that we predicted to them — which some Infidels endeavored to prevent by all kinds of means, conjuring the sun not to cast That Shame upon them — has greatly disabused them of Their persuasion that there was some divinity in that heavenly body. God makes use of everything to save souls that have been redeemed by the blood of his son; and, for that purpose, He adapts himself to the weakness of our minds. 1 may say here, in passing, to Your Reverence that this prediction of eclipses has always been one of the things that have most astonished our savages; and it has given them a higher opinion of Their missionaries. This has gone so far that, when one of our fathers, some years Ago, predicted to the Iroquois an eclipse, Those Barbarians desired The Father to tell Them the position of an army of Their Enemies, which, as [Page 199] they had heard, was marching Against them. “Since thou knowest all that passes in the Sky,” They said to Him, “thou canst not be ignorant of what passes on earth.” But what Most contributed to withdraw Them from Their Idolatry was The terrible chastenings — and, above all, The sudden deaths — wherewith God has punished the most obdurate. Some persons having held games in honor of the Moon, for the recovery of a Young man’s health, — notwithstanding all the opposition of The Fathers, and of the more fervent Christians, — nearly all died shortly afterward. This opened the eyes of the others, and made Them Understand that there is a God who wreaks vengeance for the Insults offered to him.
In addition to The care that The Fathers take of the Missilimakinak savages, They also from time to time, as 1 have said, make Journeys among other Tribes, who have not yet the advantage of having Missionaries among them. Father henry Nouvel, before going to take charge of the christians of the bay des puans, whither He proceeded a short time ago, made a voyage on Lake huron on which He navigated more than two hundred Leagues, to visit various petty algonquin tribes dwelling on the Shores of that Lake, to Instruct them and to administer to them the Sacraments. He found at Maskounagoüng four tribes of Nipissiriniens, and the achirigouans, who were celebrating the feast of the dead. This is a Ceremony in which, after bringing the bones of all their kindred who have died within 7 or 8 years, for the purpose of burying them all together, They engage in dances and feasts. They deliver their speeches no longer to the sun, as They [Page 201] formerly did, but to God. They at once erected a bark chapel for the Father, who found them greatly inclined to lead a more Christian life. Drunkenness had almost destroyed them, and had made them completely forget the Instructions that they had received. But They are beginning to have a horror of the evil ways into which it has cast them. Some time Ago, they even twice sent back two Canoes loaded with brandy, which The french brought to them; and many have left Nipissing — which is their country — to avoid occasions in which They do not feel themselves strong enough to resist the excessive tendency that all savages have for drunkenness, and the solicitations of the french, who spare no pains to allure them to it. The Father, after rendering them all the services that they could expect from him, proceeded to Manitoualint, where The Chief at the head of all the Young men, whom he incited by his words and example, erected in less than two hours a Chapel, in which They received the same assistance. The Amikouets, the Nikikouets, and the Missisakis, who were scattered in other places on that Lake, enjoyed The same advantages. All these poor people were delighted to see that so much trouble was taken to procure Them a Happiness that would Never end.
Eighty Leagues from Missilimakinak is St. francois Xavier, at The extremity of the Bay that We call des puans, because we did not correctly understand The savage name, which means “waters smelling of Rushes.” This Bay runs inland from Lake Ilinois or Michigané which We have named for St. Joseph, and extends forty Leagues to the southwest. The Sakkis, the Pouteouatamis, the [Page 203] Oumalouminek or people of folle avoine, and the outagamis dwell along this bay. Father Albanel and Father Louis André have instructed Them for some years. The latter has baptized as Many as one hundred and Fifty in a year. The maladies which prevailed to a great extent among The Oumalouminek compelled Him, although Suffering from gout, to go to reside there, in order to succor them, and to prevent them from returning to their superstitions — to which they are often in danger of reverting, through the desire of recovering their health. His Ailments served him more than anything else in encouraging the Christians to follow his example by patiently suffering The maladies with which God afflicted them, and never to abandon, on that account, the faith that they had Embraced.
Father Alloues also labored among the Pouteouatamis and the Sakkis, by whom He made himself Feared through the energy with which He inveighed Against Their Vices; and at the same time beloved — to such an extent that, when he was compelled to leave them, They manifested all the regret that they felt at it. He has, in truth, a very peculiar gift for winning The Hearts of the savages, even When he Spares them the least; but his special mission is among the Miamis and the Ilinois, where He labors with as much ardor as if he were in the prime of life, and with results that are quite remarkable for a beginning among Nations that have as many obstacles to the faith as these have.
With regard to the superstitions of the miamis, He has not much trouble in disabusing them about these, because nearly all consist in the very strict observance of certain Fasts of several Days’ [Page 205] duration — which the old men cause the Youth to undergo, in order that they may discover during their sleep the abject upon which their good fortune depends; and no sooner had The father shown Them the vanity of those dreams than The Young men, delighted to be freed from that obligation, which to them seemed a very hard one, abandoned the fasts. The old men have also been compelled to admit that their only reason — which they had nevertheless covered with the specious pretext of Religion — was to inure their Young men to fatigue, and to prevent their becoming too heavy.
God, however, compelled even the Father to observe with them a very rigorous fast throughout a winter, during which he accompanied them in the woods. Their food for a somewhat Long time consisted only of a few miserable roots that the women dug out of the ground; and even of these there was but very little for each, owing to their great number, for There were eighty Cabins. Consequently, as He himself writes, He was Like Him qui cupiebat implere ventrem suum de siliquis porcorum et sœpe nemo illi dabat. This did not prevent him from laboring throughout The winter to Instruct them, but with sufferings and fatigue which Might have overcome the most robust. The country through which He journeyed consisted entirely of damp prairies and marshes, or valleys full of water, separated from one another only by a few eminences covered with fine timber and dry soil. He was compelled to pass through eleven or twelve of those marshes in one Day; sometimes even it was one continuous marsh. As the ice is not thick in that country, They frequently sank Up to their knees in water. The cold, which in that [Page 207] region is not great enough to freeze it completely, is nevertheless sufficient to make itself keenly felt. The dearth of food did not allow the savages to remain Long in one spot. He had to turn to the best account the moments that they could give him for their Instruction. Even the time during which they journeyed was entirely occupied in doing this. He approached sometimes one and sometimes another. A few of them occasionally gathered around him; The heavy burdens with which They were loaded, which did not allow Them to take three steps without breaking through the ice, did not prevent Them from listening to the father, or him from Instructing them. Thus these fatigues, which showed them How much the father loved them, were a powerful inducement to make them Believe Those truths, to preach which so much trouble was taken without any other Object in view than their salvation. Many Chaouanons whom he found among the Miamis (these are tribes who live much Farther away Toward the South, whom the Iroquois war has compelled to abandon their own country) were so affected by it that they said aloud that The Father was very different from the Europeans in their land. 1 think that these are the english, from whom They receive no tokens of friendship, and who take no trouble to Instruct Them. In fact, those heretics pay no heed to their salvation, saying that they look upon Them only As beasts; and that Paradise is not for that sort of people. The Father did not fail to Show them that he was animated with very different sentiments toward them; that he looked upon Them As men, in Whom He recognized The image of a God who had Created them, who had died for them, and who [Page 209] destined them to The same happiness as the Europeans.
The Ilinois are The last to whom we have borne The Light of The Gospel. The first who Ever labored for their Instruction was Father Jacques Marquette — who, from time to time, saw some of them at the point of saint Esprit, at The extremity of Lake superior, where He was Then on a mission. He went to their country for the first time ten years Ago, while on a long journey that he made with sieur Joliet, two hundred leagues beyond the first Villages of the Ilinois, descending The great River Mississipi. He returned thither two years afterward, and preached Jesus Christ to them; but He died, while returning from that mission, in a wretched Cabin on the Shore of Lake Ilinois, As has been seen in The preceding relations. Father Alloués continued his mission. But the Iroquois waged war on these people, and these Barbarians persuaded themselves that The french had been concerned in That war, because they were allies of the Iroquois. This irritated them to such an extent that they resolved to slay the first frenchman who should set foot in their country. The father Nevertheless went thither, hoping that the scourge with which God had chastised them for their misdeeds would make them more docile. He made Them See that he knew very well the resolution that they had taken, but that his zeal for Their salvation, and for teaching Them to Know a God who loved them, had made him neglect the preservation of his own life. This Confidence wins Them; They Thank Him, and say that now it is true that The Black Gown loves Them, and that he is their father; that is the name which we assume among them, [Page 211] because that of “brother” does not Inspire Them with sufficient respect, while that of “son” indicates a submission of which They make use to command us, as They do the Slaves whom they have adopted; and this divests the missionary of The authority which is necessary for Instructing them.
The Father took advantage of this ardor to speak to them regarding the matter of their salvation. He erected a Chapel, The walls of which consisted of Rushes only. They hastened thither in so great numbers that, as the Chapel was too small to Contain all of them, They opened It on all Sides to satisfy Their desire of learning Things which, as They said, were of great Importance to them. Although the father inveighed in the strongest manner in the world against Their vices, — such as hatred, murder, and impurity, — They nevertheless listened to Him with admirable attention. They followed him everywhere, so as not to lose a word of what he might say; and They gave him no rest either by Day or by night. But such Importunity is very agreeable to a man who considers it the first fruit of his labors, and one which leads him to hope for something still better. We shall, however, be obliged to discontinue that mission, because the Iroquois, — irritated still further by the death of a Captain of sonnontouan, killed among the Kiskakons by some Ilinois who were there, — have gone to continue the war with more ardor. Their purpose is, to avenge that death, and, if possible, to exterminate that nation — over whom They have already obtained great advantages, although the latter were formerly the terror of the more remote tribes toward The west.
Your Reverence may see, by what 1 have just [Page 213] written, The good that We might do in those vast countries, where there are so many souls that know not Jesus Christ, had we but missionaries and the wherewithal to maintain them. Out of seven of our fathers who are in that mission, four are almost unfit for service, owing to their advanced age, which exceeds sixty and sixty-six years; and were it not for The assistance of some frenchmen, who have given themselves to us to serve us, in the Continual journeys that have to be made in those missions, — with no other reward in view than that which they expect from God, — we would be unable to bear the expense that has to be incurred. We have also two of our brethren here — namely, Our brother Louis Le Boheme, and Our brother Gilles Mazier, who render very important services to our fathers here; and who, by their labor and their Industry, have Most contributed to their subsistence.
The Tadoussac Mission resembles in some respects that of the outaouacs, but it is not so extensive. It includes only the savages who are scattered Along the saguenay and a little higher up. There are many tribes in this country, but they are all very small, and live solely by hunting. They usually have no settled Abode, with the exception of the montagnais — to whom are now Added some Algonquins, who frequently go to Chigoutimy, 30 leagues from The mouth of the saguenay, and to Lake Quinogaming, 20 leagues higher up, where many also reside during a portion of The year. They are attracted thither by the Traffic that they carry on with the french, with whom They trade their peltries for goods from france. And this likewise attracts thither, at certain times during the year, many other [Page 215] savages, who go there with The same abject. We have houses at those two places, and chapels as well adorned as one can have in so Barbarous a country. This is where the montagnais and the Algonquins, who are all Christians, meet to listen to the Instructions that are given to Them. Men, women, and children all receive their instruction separately. They also hear mass every Day, and in The evening They say The prayers and sing, alternately with the french who are there, the Hymns of The Church — the latter in Latin, and The former in Their own Language. These devotional exercises benefit not only those who perform them, — in whom They maintain the sentiments with which we endeavor to Inspire them, — but also many other savages, who come, As 1 have said, from more remote regions where They have never even heard of our Religion; and these return home with A high opinion of Christianity. Indeed, by this means The faith has spread among several other petty tribes in the vicinity. At the same time, this accordingly compels the Fathers to make frequent Journeys in the vast forests, to Satisfy the New Christians who, for the purpose of trading, are Continually arriving at Chegoutimy or at Lake Quinogaming. At such times they impress upon our Fathers The needs of Their kindred and Countrymen, and beg Them earnestly to go to baptize Their children or some sick adults; to administer to them The sacraments necessary to enable them to die a holy death; and to render them other assistance, which they themselves cannot come to procure.
These journeys are chiefly performed in winter, and Consequently amid fatigues that cannot be described; for The Winters here are more severe [Page 217] than in any other part of Canada, and so Long that in many places the ice Begins to leave Navigation Open only about The fifteenth of June. One has to follow the savages, who, having much stronger Legs, content themselves with tracing The road by their tracks upon the Snow, through regions covered with mountains. Over these heights One must climb with Snowshoes on his feet, to reach, an hour or two after Dark, the place where the savages are waiting — in some wretched Cabin, open on all Sides to the wind and snow, and frequently even without any Food. For, if The hunting, be Unsuccessful, As happens only too often, One has to pass three, four, or five Days without anything to eat. Father Crepieul has often found himself reduced to this extremity, with some bands of savages to Whose assistance he had gone; nevertheless, he was obliged to Continue his Instructions so as not to Lose favorable opportunities, and to go through the Cabins to assist the sick — of whom, on one occasion, He had so many to attend that The Cabins were really like hospitals. Consequently He himself admits, in a Letter that he writes me, that hunger, thirst, and the pains that he felt in His Legs, his teeth, and eyes — these last being caused by the smoke, and making Him almost blind — had weakened Him so much that he had not sufficient strength to say mass, or to recite his breviary. He was Nevertheless obliged to use The little that remained to him to drag himself from Cabin to Cabin, in order to assist The dying. The savages themselves, accustomed as they are to fatigues of this kind, and who are but little susceptible to Compassion, could not see Him without feeling some for him. And on one occasion a Captain was so touched [Page 219] by it that, after expressing to him The sorrow that he felt for his illness, He exhorted all his people by a public harangue to procure for Their Common Father all the relief within their power. They indeed did so, for they brought him some miserable wild fruits, which they could still find in the woods — a slight relief, but one, nevertheless, which charity obliged him to share with the other sick.
However, these sufferings — which may be called a long martyrdom, wherein the missionary Imperceptibly consumes his strength and his life in God’s service — are alleviated, in no slight degree, by the Joy that he Causes to those poor Barbarians, and by that which he himself feels on seeing the eagerness that they manifest to be Instructed; and, above all, on seeing that providence of God which often seems to Keep many of these poor people alive merely until the arrival of the missionary, who procures for them a holy death. Fathers Dalmas and sylvy, who labor in these same missions, have frequently undergone the same sufferings on similar journeys, in the Company of the savages. On one occasion the former was, during fifteen Days, without other food than some wild fruit, which hunger alone forced him to eat; and The latter admitted that, however great his hunger, The pain that he felt in his teeth, upon biting the meat that was given to him, compelled Him to observe a very strict fast. He once also had a portion of his feet frozen, with the risk of losing them had he not received prompt assistance. They also perform their regular Journeys during The Summer, because at that season the tribes that have been scattered through the woods Assemble in greater numbers, — but often for so short a time that, if we [Page 221] neglect them, we pass a year without seeing them. The Mistassins, whom Father sylvi has gone to teach on Lake timagaming, remain there only three weeks, — after which They separate into small bands, for fear that, by keeping together in too great numbers, They may suffer from hunger. Father Crepieuil goes every year at the end of The summer to pay the same visit to the Papinachois, to the Etechemins, and to other Northern tribes — who assemble at the river de L’assomption, thirty Leagues below the saguenay on our great River. There he hears confessions, extending sometimes over several years, — during which time, however, great Innocence is observed, as a rule, especially among those who are remote from the french; and he administers Baptism to those whom he has Instructed in previous years, when He finds them fit for it.
Although the Iroquois missions do not entail such great fatigues, which are Inseparable from the Long journeys that have to be undertaken in the others, — because these missions are all sedentary; and, if the missionary has to visit the sick in the woods, it is usually only at distances of five or six Leagues, — it may nevertheless be said that they are The most fruitful in Crosses; for These nations are opposed more strongly than any other to Christianity, and every Day afford opportunities for practicing patience to those who seek only their good. The great successes that they have for so many years obtained over all the nations whom they have attacked, — several of whom They have completely ruined, — and The terror that they have inspired in all the others, have rendered them so haughty that they consider themselves the masters of the earth; and they are at the [Page 223] same time very maliciously disposed toward the french, which causes us to feel great apprehensions of war. They often feel naught but contempt for everything that we teach them, and for the persons who desire to instruct them. Drunkenness prevails there to such an extent, and so continuously, that it often makes Their villages veritable images of hell. Then one sees only madmen, who destroy the Cabins and everything in them; who strike all whom they meet; and who often Fall upon one another, Biting and tearing Each other with Their teeth, — attacking chiefly their faces, whereon many bear marks of These quarrels. Many even have been killed in Combats of this kind, which are always bloody. At such times no Captain or elder Can repress these lawless acts; they themselves are compelled to flee from the violence of these madmen, to avoid being ill-treated by them. On such occasions, a poor missionary must open his house to all who take a fancy to enter it, unless he choose to run the risk of having it torn down or Burned; and he has no rest by day or by night, while he listens to all their insolent words, and endures all Their insults, to which often The death-Blow alone is wanting. There was one who, some time Ago, entered the chapel of onnontagué at midnight, armed with a pistol and an iron bar, to avenge the wrong that a fervent Christian woman had done Him by upsetting his brandy. He fired His pistol, but without effect, at Father Jacques .de Lamberville, whose brother hastened to him; but They were both in danger of being killed with The iron bar, had it not been for the assistance of some savages, who rescued Them. Father de Carheil had .a struggle with another, who tried to bite off His [Page 225] nose, and who would have succeeded had not The Father been adroit enough to throw him upon the ground. And It may be said that God’s special providence alone has preserved Their lives Until now. Thus This arrogance — which is, As it were, The peculiar Characteristic of this nation; Their ardor for war, in which They are sometimes engaged for two years at a time, and from which They cannot keep aloof without passing for Cowards — an insult which, to them, is much more bitter than death; And drunkenness, are great obstacles to their Conversion, and, at the same time, give their missionaries great opportunities for suffering. It may also be said that, when They overcome these obstacles, It is difficult to find better Christians; and that God knows well how to make These Crosses lighter by The salvation of a great number of these Barbarians. In fact, although all Hell seems Leagued Against The fathers to render all their labors useless, They nevertheless send many souls to paradise every year. Father Jean de Lamberville, the superior of those missions, wrote me some time Ago that hardly any one died at Sonnontouan, where Father Julien garnier is, without having previously received baptism, — although they, with those of goiogouen, are the most averse to Christianity. He has baptized as Many as one hundred and thirty-eight in one year, among Whom are many adults. It is true that most of the children are baptized in secret only, and that many rebuffs have to be endured before it is possible to approach and win the sick adults; but, nevertheless, these are so many souls gained for heaven and so many intercessors who there pray for their nation. Father Morain had charge last year of a village Distant four Leagues [Page 227] from that where Father garnier usually resides; but an attack of paralysis in the Leg compelled him to come here to seek a remedy.
Those of goiogouen had, When Father de Carheil was there, the same advantage as regards Their sick. But The Continual Insults offered Him by a Captain who wished to drive Him from the village, and who Continually threatened to kill Him, compelled Him to give way for some time. He withdrew to onnontagué, with the Fathers de Lamberville. These Fathers offered a Collar to some elders of Goiogouen, who were Then passing through Onnontagué, to Induce Them to Recall Father de Carheil to their village, and to protect Him against The violence Of oréouache, which is The name of that furious mari. They promised that they would spare no effort to that end. They cause The Father to Return, after placing in his cabin The Corn that he needed They also put some gifts in that of oreouache, so that he may find them on his return from the war to which He has gone. The Father adds others, which he himself presents to his persecutor; but that man only becomes more furious. He enters the Father’s Cabin, after getting intoxicated; He falls upon him, As if to kill Him; and He pillages The chapel and the whole of his house. The elders again present to him a Collar, to beg Him to deliver them from the anxiety in which His persecutions of the Father Constantly keep them, and to swallow the medicine that is to purge Him of all his Bile — thus they express themselves. But He refused it, saying that he could not answer for what he might do while intoxicated, and that he had no intention of abstaining from Drinking. This compelled the Father, upon the [Page 229] Advice of the elders, to withdraw once more. On passing by onnontagué, he Received the Condolatory compliments of the elders; they took the opportunity to inveigh against the Europeans who brought them intoxicating Liquors — ‘ ’ which alone,” They said, “are The cause of all The disorder in our midst.” God did not Allow The insult offered to the Father to remain Long unpunished; for Seventeen persons Of oréouhaé’s Cabin were carried off, shortly afterward, by a bloody flux, — and, what is still more melancholy, without the assistance of any missionary, who might have availed himself of this Chastisement to make them Avoid a still greater one.
The high Reputation that Father Jean de Lamberville has acquired at onnontagué is of Great use to Him in securing entrante into Their cabins; but He himself admits that he is indebted for a portion of the good that he effects there with Father Jacques de Lamberville, his brother, to the medicines that Monsieur the maresshal de Bellefons was kind enough to obtain for him from Monsieur Pellisson. They have, He says, “worked little wonders, as regards health of the Body and of the soul.” They have won Him The confidence of all The sick in his Village; For How can you resist so many unfortunates who have recourse to you, without assisting Them 7 Within three months, They found themselves compelled to keep two or three powders for themselves, in case of Necessity; and They even deprived themselves of these before long, in favor of the sick, when they saw that God preserved Their own health. Nearly all those to whom they gave these medicines were cured. The chief result that they have obtained from this is, that the Barbarians Conceive from [Page 231] it a high Regard for Their benefactors; that they are losing Much of the esteem which they had for the Jugglers, who are there The great physicians; that they call in The fathers to see all the sick, both children and adults, Far from closing to Them The entrante to their Cabins, As They formerly did; and that they afterward become much more docile for receiving The Instructions that are given Them.
Although Father Millet is not free from the Annoyances of the drunkards at Onneiout, He has, nevertheless, the Consolation of seeing every Day very Remarkable fruits of his labors in The conversion of many savages, who there publicly profess Christianity. He has inspired them with such esteem for the Cross That even those who are not Christians look upon It only with respect. All the principal families have vied with one another in erecting very fine ones, without The Father speaking to them of it; and, although many had not yet received Baptism and perhaps had not even the desire of Ever receiving it, They nevertheless all joined together with the same intention. There were old men, women, and even the warriors, who, for the Time, laid aside Their haughtiness; and all accompanied the ceremony with hymns in honor of a Crucified God, of the Cross, and of the King himself — who is Represented to Them as The most powerful defender of the Cross; While The warriors, to honor the feast, continually fired salvos from their guns. This leads us to hope that the Cross will soon triumph in their Hearts; for it is Beginning to receive in them a portion of the homage that is due to it. The Father soon observed the effects of this devotion; for all the most Notable among the elders [Page 233] at a feast exhorted all the people not to content themselves with praying to God, but to embrace the faith in earnest by causing themselves to be baptized; to Acknowledge the true God, who Reigns in the Sky; and to listen to The Black Gown, who was Their father and who had pity on their land. A woman, who gave the feast, shortly afterward set The example by receiving baptism — but with such fervor that she Began from that Moment to perform The duty of Catechist. Most of those whom the Father baptized on their death-beds Implored all their relatives to become baptized as soon as possible; and, if they were already Baptized, to remain faithful to God, “in order,” They said, “that we may all Find ourselves reunited in Heaven.” Even the Children Realize The Happiness of being Christians. The Father Baptized two little ones who were sick, but without The knowledge of their father, a noted Juggler. One of these little Innocents said to his Father, shortly before his death: “My Father, 1 see JESUS, who is calling me to Heaven. 1 am a Christian. 1 am going to Him, and 1 shall not go alone. My brother will also come with me. Farewell, my Father; 1 am a Christian; I am going to Heaven;” and shortly afterward He died. Another, a little girl, who was also exceedingly ill, told her parents that she had just seen Jesus, who had warned her to become a Christian, in Order to Avoid The misfortune of one of her uncles and of some others of her Acquaintance, who had refused to become Christians, and Whom he Showed to her all on fire; while she saw others who had received Baptism, all Shining with Light, in the Company of Their savior. Either because there was something supernatural in [Page 235] those visions, or because the discourses that they frequently hear, that Baptism Leads to Heaven, may Rave had this effect, They exerted no slight influence on the Parents, who Began at once to feel differently toward The faith, and to attend prayers. The same father also writes to me that God frequently employs children to convert the parents. When They see these little Innocents, who speak to Them only of praying and of singing, who kneel in Their presence and who Urge them to do Likewise, They cannot, They say, resist such gentle violence.
The Agniés are those who have The greatest inclination to become Christians. Father Vaillant has in one year baptized as Many as two hundred and twenty of them, who died shortly afterward, besides a great Many who leave every Day to come to settle at sault de saint francois Xavier, three Leagues above montreal. They come hither to learn, from The example of the fervent Christians who compose That Mission, how themselves to lead a truly Christian life. As They now have many of their kindred at that place, The Father prefers to send them to be baptized there, rather than to keep them at Agnié, where The nearness of Orange, and The evil examples of their companions, always expose Them to the danger of being perverted. As Many as two hundred of them have come down to the sault within two years. This does not, however, prevent us from having at agnié many fervent Christians, who hold their own against all the disorders of the country. Many Christian women, of their own accord, resolved to abstain from all kinds of feasts and dances during the whole of Lent, and from Christmas TO Epiphany, — although that is the period [Page 237] When most of these take place, — in order to pass that time in a more holy manner; And They actually ’ abstained, notwithstanding all the solicitations of the others.
It is net my intention to relate here to Your Reverence all The pious actions and sentiments of these new Christians Although nothing can be more touching. But I cannot omit to mention what was done two years Ago by a savage of Agnié, who served Father vaillant in the capacity of dogique; for it is one of the most astonishing things that 1 have ever seen among The savages, This fervent Christian was Continually urged by his Companions to go to war. They reproached him, saying that the faith takes away The Courage of those who embrace It, since they no longer dare pay a visit to The enemy; and he thought that he would go to war, for the honor of his Religion, and to Show them that Christians were not Cowards. He therefore went with Them, but with an intention quite Opposite to theirs. He said to the Father: “1 go not for the purpose of Fighting, of pillaging, or of killing the Ilinois, But to sustain The honor of my Religion. My occupation on the march will be to instruct those who may be willing to listen to me, and to prevent all the evil that 1 can. 1 myself have witnessed The frightful massacre of children that takes place when we make ourselves Masters of any village of the Enemy. I shall baptize As many as possible, and even The adults whom 1 may be permitted to instruct before they are burned.” The Father did not Deem it his duty to oppose so generous a purpose, of which He believed God to be The author. He merely applied himself to teaching him the formula [Page 239] of Baptism in our Language, because The Iroquois Tongue has no expression that correctly renders In nomine. The savage does what he had promised to do; for, when the Iroquois enter A village of the Ilinois, that zealous Neophyte, Instead of taking care to make prisoners, as do the others, Runs in every Direction, wherever He sees children. He tears them from the hands of those who are murdering them, in order to Baptize Them. He begs his comrades to notify Him before killing those whom they have taken, if they are unwilling to Spare their lives; and He himself prepares for death any Iroquois adults who have been wounded. Some of his Comrades have themselves asserted that they saw him baptize ten children, without counting those whom they did not perceive; but some time after, while hunting, He fell into an ambush of the Ilinois, who pierced him with arrows.
It is not only The Iroquois who benefit by the labors of the fathers who dwell among them. As They never return from war without bringing some Captives with them, a portion of whom are destined to the fire, There are but few of them who have not The Happiness of being baptized before death. God’s providence seeks Them out in Their own country, and makes Them come hither to find eternal blessedness amid the fires of these Man-esters. The Fathers de Lamberville have obtained from the Captains of onnontagué that all Captives shall be Taken to their chapel before being tortured. The hope of a happier life, into Which They are about to enter; The charity manifested to Them by The fathers, While all the people are venting Their Cruelty upon them; and, above all, The grace of God, who has [Page 241] compassion on these poor wretches — these things readily win Them. Father Jean de Lamberville writes me that, a short time Ago, he baptized some who were already completely covered with blood from the wounds inflicted upon them, and who raised their mutilated hands toward Heaven, while Invoking the God whom he had just proclaimed to Them. These poor people covered Him also with blood by dint of Caressing Him and giving him tokens of their gratitude. Father Vaillant in one year baptized sixteen captives, who nearly all belonged to a nation near Baston, where they had been Taught the principal articles of our faith by some englishmen — who are very different from those of Orange, and from the other heretics of america, — without speaking to them, However, of Controverted points; and he had no trouble in preparing them for Baptism. In addition to the Fathers who are among the Iroquois, We also have there our brother Pierre Maizieray, who visits them one after another; who Builds their little houses when The savages remove their villages to some other place, which quite often happens; and who renders them all the other services that his zeal and his Ingenuity — which makes him an adept in almost every trade — can suggest to Him.
1 have told Your Reverence that it is difficult to find Better Christians than are the Iroquois, when they have overcome the obstacles that Hinder their Conversion. This we observe in those who are at the mission of sault de Saint francois Xavier, three Leagues from Montreal; and there, especially, do we recognize the Blessings which our lord confers upon the labors of our Fathers who are in Their country. This mission is composed of all the most [Page 243] fervent Christians among The five Iroquois nations; they have left Their country, Their kindred, and their friends, to avoid occasions for offending God, and to lead a truly Christian life. Nothing better shows to us The strength of grace than The change that it works in these Barbarians, in whom is no longer seen that pride and arrogance which make them Unbearable before they are Converted. This is what Delights our Fathers who have lived among them, when they sometimes pass the sault, as they see the Meekness and docility with which the majority allow themselves to be Guided in what concerns matters of the faith. Father Bruyas, who has charge of that mission with Fathers Chauchetiere and Vincent Bigot, wrote Me last winter that he had baptized one whom he had Known for six years, at Agnié, as the most arrogant and drunken of all his village; and who, during all that time, had not once come to prayer, because he Considered that it would be lowering himself too much. This Wolf has now become as meek as a lamb. When the Father Baptized Him, he asked him whether he renounced all his superstitions; but the poor man was so affected with grief at having led so criminal a life that he replied only by sobs and Tears, which continued throughout the ceremony.
Their most shining virtues are devotion and charity. They display so much modesty in going to Church and at prayer that those who have Known them in their own country, and who see them now, have much difficulty in restraining their tears. Their fervor especially manifests itself upon feast- Days. There are some who have abandoned Their Hunting, and have come more than fifty Leagues to adore the infant Jesus, or Jesus dying upon a [Page 245] cross. They prepare themselves for these festivals by more scrupulous Confessions; by Longer and more fervent prayers before the blessed sacrament, which they come to visit several times A Day; and by charitable actions. “Some Days before Christmas,” says Father Vincent Bigot, “1 saw everywhere people carrying loads — some of indian Corn, others of peas, or beans, and others of meat and other articles which they were carrying to the poorer savages. Others went to those with whom They had had disputes, in order to prepare themselves, by a thorough reconciliation, to celebrate the festival in a holier manner. They seem to possess nothing for themselves when It is a question of succoring The poor and The sick. They go to get wood for Them, which they are obliged to carry upon Their backs for a considerable Distance. They provide them with Corn, with meat, and with everything that They think they may need — although, in reality, They give them in most cases only what is Necessary for themselves. Many even would scruple to refuse the slightest Thing that might be asked of them, although They might not have enough food for two Days. They do not lack opportunities for practicing Such Charity, on account of the great number of Iroquois who come from their country — some to visit Them, others to dwell with them. The new-comers are so touched by this that many of them have needed no other inducement to become Christians; while those who return to their own country are filled with high sentiments of regard for The faith, which are not Long without producing their effect. Some came a short time Ago, with presents given them by the dutch, to entice many away and induce them to [Page 247] return to their own country; but They themselves were caught and won wished to pervert over by those whom they Others who were deputed with The same Object refused that Commission — because, They said, They would b e unable to resist the gentle and charitable compulsion that would be brought to bear upon them. Some, in truth, return from time to time to their own country; but That is only that they may preach Jesus Christ, and exhort their kindred and Their Countrymen by their words, and still more by their example, to embrace the faith. One Returned to Onnontagué, where His former Companions in debauchery at once approached Him, offering him brandy, and asking Him to drink with them. He took it, and, after thanking them, spilled it all in their presence, reproaching them with the misconduct into Which it led Them. There was Another, a short time Ago, who, while passing before several french houses, found himself assailed on all Sides with offers of flasks of wine; He received it all in his Kettle, and afterward Poured it into the River, without touching it.”
There are also some among them who truly possess The spirit of the Cross, and whose sole joy consists in sufferings and austerities that would shame many Religious. Iron, ice, bloody disciplines, fasts, and Long prayers are very Common among them, — with great submission, however, to those who direct Them and whose sole care is to prevent this fervor, which has lasted several years, from proceeding to excesses that Might greatly Injure their health. Last year I sent your Reverence the life of one of these fervent Christians, who died two years Ago you will have seen by it what [Page 249] the Iroquois can do When once they have given themselves to God. A short time Ago there died at that place a man forty-eight years old, whose great regret on his death-bed was that God had not made him suffer more, in order that he might atone to his Justice for his past acts of Cowardice. And There is also now a Young man with a Cancer on his face, which disfigures him so much and exhales such a stench that no one can look at him or approach him without a feeling of horror. He nevertheless endures This illness with so much Joy that, some time Ago, he Earnestly begged Father Bruyas to ask Our lord to have The Goodness to prolong his life in order that he might have an opportunity to glorify Him still more. “My joy,” He said, “will be Perfect when my whole Face shall be in a state of corruption. You Black Gowns, who have Influence with God, obtain from his mercy that I may continue ill for at least three years. How grateful 1 shall be to you if 1 obtain that favor from Heaven, and what thanks 1 shall give to st. Joseph, my dear patron, for having been my mediator with Our lord to obtain me That favor!”
Not that they are all so fervent. Faults are committed, but they are not tolerated; and, if any one become intoxicated, He dares not make his appearance in the village while in that condition. One was bold enough, a year Ago, to return in a state of intoxication; The elders at once caused Him to be seized and bound hand and foot. Then, after keeping him in durance for some time, they Expelled Him from the Village, where He has never since appeared. No assembly is ever held now in which the first thing treated is net some matter of faith, [Page 251] and the remedies that must be employed in repressing misconduct, especially drunkenness.
The elders have Appointed some among the most zealous savages to keep watch at Montreal during the whole time while The outaouacs are engaged in trading there, which is the most dangerous time of the year. These people admirably perform the duty entrusted to them. They employ gentleness, The authority that they have over the others, and even force, sometimes with their own people, sometimes with the french — whom They reproach with their Criminal Traffic, and whom they Even frequently threaten with God’s Judgments.
Two months Ago an accident occurred at this mission, which showed the special care that Our lord takes of our Fathers, and the affection that the savages have for that Spot. During the night of the nineteenth to the twentieth of august, a furious gale, The worst that we have yet known in Canada, completely wrecked The Chapel, which was sixty feet Long and one of the Handsomest Buildings around Montreal. Three of our Fathers were in it — Fathers Chauchetiere, Potier, and Morin; and it looked as if they would be crushed under the Ruins of the Building. Nevertheless, Father Chauchetiere, at whose feet The two bells fell, received no injury; Father Potier escaped with a Slight wound on his face; and Father Morain’s Shoulder was dislocated, but was cured in a few Days. The savages hastened to the spot, and were in such consternation that they could not recover from it; they were observed to weep over the Ruins of the Church with feelings of Compunction and of sorrow, Imputing the fall of the building to Their sins. “It is we,” They exclaimed, “it is we who [Page 253] have angered Jesus by our sins; we profaned his holy house by our obduracy. He was right in taking It from US; let US, however after this warning, cesse to offend Him.” Father Chauchetiere could not restrain his tears when he saw those of the good Neophytes, and he very skillfully seized the opportunity to encourage them to amend their lives in earnest. The Senior and most fervent of the Captains, who had just finished his Bark cabin, at once offered It to the whole village, to serve them as a Chapel Until another could be built. The offer of the good Neophyte was accepted, and he considers himself the happiest man in his village, since he has the blessedness of giving a Lodging to Jesus Christ. The affection that they have for this Place, where They serve God with more Freedom than in their own country, attaches Them at the same time to the french — who, in the Opinion of all who know the dispositions of the Iroquois Toward us, are under great obligations to those who compose this mission. Those Barbarians have often Resolved to wage war against The french; but They have always been checked by those whose kindred were at the sault. This has been done above ail, by The Agniés, who declared that they could net Consent to such a war; that their nephews and children, who were in the country of the french, must first be withdrawn thence, — and this the others have Never been able to do, although they have spared nothing to effect their abject. Our Iroquois have done still more; For, when Monsieur de la barre, The King’s Lieutenant-general in this country, went to see Them last summer, They offered him one hundred and fifty men to go to war, even [Page 255] Against their own nation, if the latter undertook to break the peace with The french.
There are also some savages of this nation at Lorette, four Leagues from here, who have Joined the hurons under the Direction of Fathers Chaumonot and Cholenec; and in many of them we observe, as among the hurons, the same zeal regarding God’s service. Your Reverence is aware that that Place is called Lorette because The chapel there is built on The Plan of that of Loretto in Italy. This is what attaches many of these huron and Iroquois savages to it; for they wish, They say, to die near the house of our lady; and it has been found impossible to induce them to leave there whatever advantages may have been promised Them elsewhere. The french, who go there in great numbers to pay their respects to our lady, and frequently from a considerable Distance, — which they seldom do without receiving Communion, and often even making general confessions, — have so much confidence in the prayers of the Savages that they often get them to make novenas in order to obtain some temporal or spiritual graces from our lady; and Their experience of The benefits that they derive from this increases This devotion every Day. These Savages are also Very charitable to one another, and especially in providing for the wants of those who are in need; these, through The care of the more fervent, are never obliged to beg. It is now a common custom among these good people to expiate The faults that they have committed, by some difficult service rendered to the poor, or to those whom they think they have offended, — such As carrying wood on Their backs for Them, or [Page 257] helping them to sow or to Gather their grain, and other similar things.
We have here also another mission, which is among the abnaquis settled at sillery, a League and a half from Quebec. It was the last one Begun, and Nevertheless it is in no wise behind the others, as regards The fervor of the Christians who Compose it. Sillery is the home of the Algonquins, where They formerly had one of the most flourishing missions in Canada: but drunkenness caused such disastrous ravages among them that there is only a wretched remnant of that nation, scattered through the Woods and in places where — as they no longer have any missionaries to reproach them with their misconduct — They can Indulge in their vice with greater Freedom. It seems as if God’s providence had brought The Abnaquis hither, with the view of substituting them For the Algonquins.
These tribes inhabit The country that Borders on acadia and New England on the seashore, 60 Leagues from here. The war in which They were engaged with the English, to whom They caused much trouble, at the outset compelled about thirty of them to leave Their country; for they dreaded everything from a war which, however it might have been to their advantage Until then, always threatened Them with unpleasant consequences. They thought that they could not better provide for Their safety than by taking refuge among the french. They were Gladly received at Sillery, where They were adopted by the Algonquins, a few of whom still remained. The Missionary who then had charge of the mission soon learned their Language, and at once set to work to Instruct them, — although drunkenness, to which [Page 259] They were unusually addicted, seemed to remove all hope of producing any great result among them. But the Charity that was displayed toward them in providing them with everything they needed, — for They had come destitute of everything, — and, above ail, grace, soon won their Hearts; and They were found to possess a docility surpassing anything that could be hoped for. These propitious beginnings were soon followed by still more favorable results. For no sooner were They Convinced of the truth of our Religion than their only thought was to make their kindred who were still in acadia participate in their happiness; for they could not bear, without profound grief, to see the persons most dear to them separated from them for all Eternity. This soon made these Neophytes New Apostles. Several returned to acadia: some to bring hither their fathers and mothers; some their brethren; others their best friends, and even all their countrymen, if they could, and with such eagerness for Their salvation that, on Their arrival, the missionary found Them already Instructed in most of our mysteries, — our Zealous Neophytes thus returning, as if in triumph at having snatched these spoils from the demon. As The missionary who was Then at Sillery had been sent elsewhere, Father Jacques Bigot, who had been studying Their Language for only three months, during which He had made great progress, took charge of that mission. By his gentleness in net being repelled by their savage temper, or even by their faults, and by His condescension in taking an interest in the details of all their trivial affairs, he soon became master of their Hearts. Father Vincent Bigot, his brother, who also knew the Language, [Page 261] assisted him for some time, and was greatly beloved by the savages; but the Need of a missionary for the Iroquois compelled us to withdraw Him from Sillery. Father Gassot, who lived there last Summer, and who had studied the algonquin language, could not be of much service to him. Nevertheless, the number of those christians increases Daily; many also have recently come from acadia; and these fervent Christians, who have themselves learned to be missionaries, will soon return with many others. We have even received positive information from acadia that the entire nation are thinking of leaving their country, to come to Join their compatriots here. This gives no little trouble to Father Jacques Bigot, who is obliged to catechize some; to prepare others for baptism; to withdraw some from their evil ways; to maintain others in Their fervor; to settle Their disputes; and even to provide for all The needs of their subsistence. He would therefore have succumbed in consequence of all these labors, had not The savages taken a portion of the same upon themselves. One of them has charge of The instruction of all The little boys, whom he assembles together, and to whom He teaches catechism, The prayers, and The manner of singing them in The Church with the others; a woman does the same for the little girls. As soon as any come from acadia, their friends teach them the prayers, and whatever is necessary to enable them to receive Baptism as soon as possible. But, As drunkenness is a vice which ruins almost all the savages, and which the french endeavor every Day to foster, several have banded together to prevent It as much as possible, by accompanying Those who are most addicted to it [Page 263] to the Places where It is Most to be feared. They all have a very special affection for prayer; and, not Content with mass which they generally hear every Day, and with The evening prayers, which last a short half hour, many also hear a second mass. There is hardly a moment in the Day when There are not some in The Church, who even remain there a considerable time. Moreover, we must Award them this Praise, that we have never seen savages say their prayers with more sedateness and devotion, or whose Singing has been more touching or more harmonious. This outward devotion is in many accompanied by true piety, and by all the virtues that constitute a Perfect Christian; by so great a love for the poor that Father Jacques Bigot was obliged to enforce moderation, especially during The time of the Jubilee; by true humility; by Perfect resignation to God’s will in the afflictions that assail them, and in their sicknesses; by great gentleness and patience in bearing with The ill temper of those with whom They are obliged to live, and in not resenting the Wrongs done to them, — for it is especially in such Matters that their virtues consist. Last year, one of these zealous savages received on the head a heavy blow with a stick from another, whom he tried to prevent from drinking to excess. He replied not a Word. “Since Jesus desires it,” He said to Father Bigot, “1 promise thee that 1 will Never manifest The least resentment against him.”
This mission increases Daily; and as there is not enough land here, Monsieur De la Barre, the King’s Lieutenant-general in this country, and Monsieur de Meule, the Intendant, have been so kind as to grant them a tract of land fifteen Leagues from here, [Page 265] where They formerly dwelt. As that place is on the road that Leads to their country, it will induce many who are still in acadia to come to settle among us.
Such, my Reverend father, are The principal Events that have occurred in our missions during the past three years. Your Reverence sees The Need that they have for your prayers, and for those of all our Fathers and brethren of the province. 1 ask you for them with all my Heart, for the Conversion of our savages; for all our Fathers who are engaged in it; and especially for myself, who am
Very humble and very obedient
servant in Our Lord,
Thierry Beschefer. [Page 267]
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL DATA: VOL. LX11
For the text of these documents, we have had ecourse to the original MSS. in the archives of ‘École de Ste. Geneviève, Paris.
These two documents we obtain from the legislaive archives at Quebec, where the original MSS. respreserved.
These are from the same source as Docs. CXLVIL-CXLIX., above. [Page 269]
CATHERINE TEGAKWITA, THE LILY OF THE MoHAWKS.
[Photographie facsimile of oil painting made in 1681 by Claude Chauchetière, SJ.3.
NOTES TO VOL. LXIII
(Figures in parentheses, following the number of note, refer to pages of English text.)
 (p. 25). — The wording of this passage, and various later allusions, render it probable that Bigot wrote this letter to his predecessor at Sillery, Jacques Vaultier (vol. lx., note 19), who had been missionary there for seven years. The latter was now residing at Paris, and was confesser to the prince de Conti; hence the allusion to “certain persons who are not very far from you.”
Jacques Bigot was born at Bourges, July 26, 1651, and became a Jesuit novice at thc age of sixteen, at Paris — where, and at La Flèche, his studies were pursued. He spent two years as instructor at Clermont (1671-73), and his final year of probation at Rouen, departing in 1679 for Canada. As early as 1681, he was officiating at Sillery; indeed, his entire life seems to have been spent in the Abenaki missions — Sillery, St. François de Sales, Becancour, and on the Penobscot, except for a sojourn in France, 161-94. He died at Quebec, in April, 1711.
 (p. 31). — Vincent Bigot, brother of Jacques, was born May 15, 1649; and both were pupils in the Jesuit college at Bourges. Vincent entered the novitiate of the order at Paris, when but fifteen years old. He was a student at Clermont, La Flèche, and Bourges; and was instructor at Moulins from 1666 to 1673. Ordained at Rouen in 1680, he at once came to Canada. In the next year, he was aiding Jacques at Sillery, and shared his labors until 1704. In 1694, they were sent to Pentegoet (Castine), where they established a mission station. In August, 1704, Vincent was appointed superior of the Canadian missions, whiçh office he held for six years. Returning to France in 1713, he became procurer for these missions; and died at Paris, Sept. 7, 1720.
 (p. 55). — See Beauchamp’s observations upon Onondaga sites, vol. viii., p. 299; vol. li., pp. 293, 294.
 (p. 57). — The cheval de bronze mentioned in our text was a colossal horse of bronze, made by order of Ferdinand de Medicis, grand duke of Tuscany (1587-1609). with the intention of placing upon it his own statue. His death prevented this, and his successor [Page 271] presented the horse to Marie de Medicis. The ship which carried it being wrecked, the home remained a year at the bottom of the sea; but in 1614 it was taken thence, and conveyed to Paris. A statue of Henry IV. was placed upon this horse, with several accessory figures, forming an imposing monument — which was not, however, completed until 1635 — standing upon the Pont Neuf (vol. xxxv., note 26).
 (p. 59). — Gannaouens (Connoys, Kanawhas): the same as the Piscatoways (N.Y. Colon. Docs., vol. iii., p. 322); a tribe in Maryland, friendly to the English. At the early settlement of the colony, these Indians were living near Chesapeake Bay; but the colonial assembly, some tirne before 1674, removed them to the upper waters of the Potomac.
 (p. 67). — A letter written (July 19, 1681) by Charles, Lord Baltimore, describes one of these Iroquois raids into Maryland (Scharf’s Maryland, vol. i., pp. 285, 286).
 (p. 95). — Lamberville had, at the date of this letter, heard only rumors of Frontenac’s recall (vol. lix., note 51). The latter was replaced by Le Fêvre de la Barre, a military officer advanced in years. His administration was a failure, especially in his vacillating and timorous policy toward the Iroquois; and in less than three years he was recalled to France. With him came to Canada a new intendant, — de Meulles, who held that office four years.
 (p. 103). — Belmont (Canada, p. 17) mentions this chief as Horchouasse. He was among the Iroquois treacherously seized by Denonville in 1687, and sent to France; but Frontenac, returning to Canada as governor in 1689, brought Oréouahé back with him. This chief formed a strong attnchment to Frontenac, and spent most of his remaining years in Canada — rendering valuable service to the French on various occasions, notably in the English invasion of 1690. He died early in 1698.
 (p. 129). — The island of Anticosti lies in the mouth of the St. Lawrence, between 49° and 50° N. latitude. It is about 140 miles long, and its breadth averages 27½ miles. As we have already seen (vol. l., note 19). this island was given to Louis Joliet in 1680. Its natural resources are great — excellent soil, good timber, supplies of peat and salt, abundance of game, and, above all, fisheries of great value.
Le Clercq (Shea’s ed., vol. ii., p. 205) mentions, among the Récollet missionaries who accompanied La Salle on his expedition to the Mississippi in 1684, Father Maximus Le Clercq, as having served in the Canadian missions for five years, especially at the Seven Islands and Anticosti. [Page 272]
 (p. 151). — Charles Boquet was a Jesuit donné, who came to Quebec in 1657, with Le Mercier; he was long employed in tbe Iroquois mission, and is several times mentioned in Journal des Jésuites (vol. xliii., p. 49, and elsewhere).
 (p. 153). — Both Lamberville and the Iroquois chiefs had evidently expected that Frontenac would hold a conference with them at La Famine or at Fort Frontenac, in June of this year (1682). In the Dominion archives at Ottawa, Canada, is a copy of the proceedings at a conference held (March 23, 1682) at the Jesuit residence at Quebec. According to this paper, Beschefer and the other Jesuits present advised the governor to meet the Iroquois at Fort Frontenac; but the intendant, Du Chesneau, proposed asking them to come to Montreal. Frontenac considered the latter preferable, for various reasons.
Teganissoren was a noted Onondaga chief, who on many occasions acted as spokesman for all the Iroquois tribes; one of his speeches is given in N. Y. Colon. Docs., vol. ix., pp. 579-581. Like many other savages, he was the warm friend of Frontenac; but, after the latter’s death, he became attached to the English (Ibid, p. 738, and elsewhere), — although, in 1711, he warned Vaudreuil of an intended attack upon Canada by the English. The name of Niregouentaron was that of his deceased grandfather, assumed by Teganissoren, in accordance with Indian custom, four years before the time of Lamberville’s letter (Ibid., p. 183).
 (p. 157). — The major of (the garrison at) Quebec at this time was François Prevost, bom at Paris, in 1638. In 1679, he married, at Quebec, Geneviève Macard. He was in command at Quebec, at least from 1675 to 1690; and Tanguay mentions him as governor of Three Rivers. He died in June, 1702.
René Gaultier, sieur de Varennes, was born in 1634; in 1667 he married a daughter of Pierre Boucher, governor of Three Rivers (vol. xxviii., note 18) — Marie, then aged twelve years, by whom he had thirteen children. Gaultier was govemor of Three Rivers from June, 1668 until his death in June, 1689.
Antoine Lafresnaye, sieur de Brucy (born in 1651). was a lieutenant in the regiment of Auvergne (Tanguay). In 1676 he married, at Montreal, Hélène Picoté, by whom he had five children. His death, although not recorded, must have occurred before November, 1686, as his widow then married Jean B. Celoron, the explorer.
Sidrac Dugué, born in 1638, came to Canada in 1665, as a captain in the regiment of Carignan; two years later, he married Marie Moyen, at Montreal, and by her had nine children. He was commandant of Montreal in 1670, and served in the campaigns of [Page 273] 1684 and 1687 against the Iroquois. In 1672, he obtained the grant of Ste. Thérèse Island, where he lived with his family.
Olivier Morel de la Durantaye, another of the Carignan officers, was born in 1644; in 1670, he married, at Quebec, Françoise Duquet, by whom he hnd ten children. He obtained several seigniories, among them that of Kamouraska (1674). He was commandant at Michillimackinac from 1683 to 1690; four years Inter, he is mentioned as repulsing an Iroquois raid on the St. Lawrence. The date of his death is not recorded.
Jacques Bizard, a Swiss by birth (1642), married at Montreal, in 1678, Jeanne, daughter of Lambert Closse (vol. xliii., note 11), and had by her six children. He was major of the Montreal garrison, as early as 1678 — in which year he was granted the island near Montreal which now bears his name. He died in 1692.
Gabriel de Berthe, sieur de Chailly, born in 1647, settled at Montreal. No further information regarding him is available.
Joseph Godefroy, allied to the Le Gardeur and Le Neuf families (vol. viii., notes 57, 58), was born in 1645; at the age of thirty years, he married Catherine Poulain, by whom he had nine children. In 1674, he obtained the seigniory of Vieuxpont, near Three Rivers. He died before 1716 (Tanguay).
Daniel Greysolon du Luth (du Lhut, Dulhud) was a military officer, and one of the most noted coureurs de bois of this period. According to Tanguay, he was of the Reformed faith. He was a native of St. Germain-en-Laye, France; served in the French army in Belgium; and came to Canada, where he had relatives, probably in 1676, in which year he was at Three Rivers. Two years later, he left Montreal, with seven Frenchmen, to explore the Sioux country; he returned to Quebec from this expedition in 1681, having, in 1679, taken possession of the Sioux country for France. During the greater part of the following ten years Du Luth was in the North-west, exploring, carrying on an extensive traffic with the tribes of that region, — in which both Frontenac and La Barre were accused of sharing, — and acting for a time as commandant there for the Canadian government; he had great influence with those savages, and secured their nid against the Iroquois in 1684 and 1687. In 1686, he built a small fort on the Detroit Strait, near the outlet of Lake Huron. In 1689 and 1694, he is mentioned as fighting the Iroquois on the St. Lawrence; and, in 1696, was commandant at Fort Frontenac. He died early in 1710. The City of Duluth, Minn., is named in honor of this noted explorer.
 (p. 163). — The fortified post La Galette was located on the St. Lawrence, above Ogdensburg; O’Callaghan (N.Y. Colon. Docs., vol. ix., p. 195) places it at the present Prescott, Can. [Page 274]
 (p. 163). — The engagé system originated before 1660, in the Council of Quebec, and was proposed as a means of increasing the population and supplying the need for laborers in the infant colony. Young men were engaged to come to Canada for a term of three years, the employer paying a stated salary, and agreeing to feed and clothe them. The captains of vessels were obliged, as a condition of their passports, to transport the engagés without charge; and, upon arriving in Canada, transferred their contracts with these men to the habitants, for a sum which varied according to the supply of labor, the ability of the engagé, etc. In Talon’s time, the engagé’s salary was 30 to 40 écus a year; about 1720, it had fallen to 40 livres a year. These men usually became permanent colonists, often marrying the daughters of their employers; many of them became coureurs de bois. — See Rameau’s Acadiens et Canadiens, part ii., pp. 34, 35, 287, 288; and Sulte’s Canad.-Français, t. v., pp. 27, 129.
 (p. 167). — Les Sables d’Olonne is a town in Vendée, France, on the Ray of Biscay. It has a good harbor, and is an important commercial port.
 (p. 169). — The Sulpitians founded this mission in 1677, in imitation of the La Prairie reduction; it was composed of Iroquois who settled on Montreal Island, its mountain giving name to the mission. This enterprise — which included a village of Indians, a Chapel, and schools for girls and boys — was largely supported by François de Belmont, the Sulpitian superior; and the king gave it, besides, a small pension. It flourished until the war with the Iroquois broke out, many of the Christian Indians joining the Prench against their own tribesmen. The Mohawks, in 1691, attacked the La Montagne mission, and, after a sharp contest, carried off 35 women and children as captives. This disaster — with the injurious affects upon these savages of a residence in Montreal, enforced for some time by the danger of such attacks at La Montagne — greatly weakened the mission; and it was almost ruined by a conflagration Sept. 11, 1694), lighted by a drunken savage. Belmont, however, rected a large stone building (completed in 1698), wherein the schools were continued. The mission was finally abandoned in 1704, the Indians under its care being removed to Sault au Récollet (vol. LV., note 25). In 1720, it was again removed to its present location, at Oka (Lake of Two Mountains; vol. lviii., note 16).
 (p. 173). — See sketch of Noblets, vol. lii., note 5.
 (p. 177). — Catherine Tegakwita was one of Lamberville’s converts at the Mohawk village of Gandaouagué, where she received baptism in 1675. Two years later, she left her own country, and [Page 275] went to make her abode at the Iroquois mission of St. François Xavier du Sault. There her great industry in toil, with continual austerities and mortifications, gradually reduced her strength, until a protracted illness caused her death, April 17, 1680. Her virtues and sanctity were regarded as so unusual that her grave became a place for pilgrimage, where miracles have been ever since recorded; and various efforts have been made to secure her canonization. Father Claude Chauchetière wrote her biography, and painted her portrait; we give herewith an engraving made from the latter.
 (p. 187). — The Indian women at Lorette wore, thirty years ago, very nearly the same dress as that here described; and the chemise or outer garment, which was of calico, was more properly a tunic. That worn by the men on gala occasions at the present day is very similar. — Crawford Lindsay.
 (p. 231). — Bernardin Gigault, marquis de Bellefond (and a marshal of France, from 1668), was a prominent military officer under Louis XIV., and won honors in several campaigns. He was born in 1630, and died Dec. 5, 1694.
Paul Pelisson, born in 1624, was a noted French writer, — historical, polemic, and literary, — and was no less prominent as a courtier, under Louis XIV., who gave him many favors and appointments. Abjuring the Protestant faith in 1670, he afterward distinguished himself in directing a Catholic propaganda among his former coreligionists. He died at Paris, Feb. 7, 1693.
 (p. 243). — This is evidently a reference to the “Praying Indians” of Massachusetts, converted by English Protestant missionaries (vol. xxxvi., note 8).
 (p. 263). — Henri Gassot was born Dec. 2, 1650, and was a townsman and schoolmate of the Bigots. He entered the Jesuit novitiate Oct. 8, 1666, at Paris. A student at La Fléche during 1668-70, he spent five years more there as instructor, then finished his studies at Paris, in 1680. After two years spent as instructor at Eu, he came to Canada (1683), where he aided Jacques Bigot at Sillery. It is not known how long he remained in this mission.
 (p. 267). — The lands thus granted to the Abenaki mission were on the Chaudière River, near the falls of that name. The document of concession is given in full by Maurault (Abénakis, pp. 234-236). The mission was named by the Jesuits St. François de Sales; it is fully described by Bigot in his Relation of 1684 (vol. lxiii. of this series). [Page 276]