The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents
Travels and Explorations
of the Jesuit Missionaries
in New France
THE ORIGINAL FRENCH, LATIN, AND ITALIAN TEXTS, WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS AND NOTES; ILLUSTRATED BY
PORTRAITS, MAPS, AND FACSIMILES
Reuben Gold Thwaites
Secretary of the State historical Society of Wisconsin
COMPUTERIZED TRANSCRIPTION BY
Ottawas, Lower Canada, Iroquois,
CLEVELAND: The Burrows Brothers
Company, PUBLISHERS, M DCCCC
THE JESUIT RELATIONS
The edition consists of seven hundred and fifty sets
The Burrows Brothers Co.
(Scan of Page to be Inserted)
Portrait of Jean-Baptiste de Saint-Vallier, second bishop of Quebec.
Photoengraving from original oil painting in the Cardinal’s Palace, Quebec
The Burrows Company
all rights reserved
The Imperial Press, Cleveland
Reuben Gold Thwaites
| Finlow Alexander
| Percy Favor Bicknell
| William Frederic Giese
| Crawford Lindsay
| William Price
| Hiram Allen Sober
Emma Helen Blair
Victor Hugo Paltsits
CONTENTS OF VOL. LXIV.
Preface To Volume LXIV
Lettre ecrite à M. le Gouverneur Général de la [nouvelle] france Septentrionale. Étienne Carheil; [Mackinac, 1689]
Relation de la defaite des Anglois a Quebec. Michel Germain De Couvert; [Quebec, October, 1690]
Lettre écrite à Mr. le Comte de Frontenac Gouverneur et Lieutenant Général pour le Roi en Canada. Jacques Bruyas; au Sault près Montréal, April 5, 1691
Lettre a Quelques Missionnaires du Canada. Pierre Millet; Onneiŏt, July 6, 1691
Memoire Pour les Iroquois Chrestiens du saut en Canada. Anonymous; February, 1692
Lettre au R. P. Jean Chauchetière; à Limoges. Claude Chauchetière; Villemarie, August 7, 1694
Lettre au P. Jacques Jouheneau, à Bordeaux. Claude Chauchetière; Villemarie, September 20, 1694 [Page 8]
Lettre au R. P. Jacques Bruyas, Supérieur de la Miffion, en forme de Journal de la Misfion de l’Immaculee Conception de N. D. aux Ilinois. Jacques Gravier; [Peoria,] February 15, 1694
Lettre à un Père Missionnaire de Chine. Jean de Lamberville; Paris, January 23, 1695
Pis G. Marest iter et missio in sinum Hudsonium in ora septentrionali Canadasean. 1694. Epistola ad R. P. Thyrsum Gonzales, Præpositum Generalem Societatis Jesu, Romaæ. Gabriel Marest; Quebec, October, 1695
Bibliographical Data; Volume LXIV
[INSERT GRAPHIC HERE]
ILLUSTRATIONS TO VOL. LXIV.
Portrait of Jean-Baptiste de Saint-Vallier, second bishop of Quebec. Photoengraving from original oil painting in the Cardinal’s Palace, Quebec
Facsimile of handwriting of P. J. M. Chaumonot, S. J.; selected from his “Prière en temps de guerre,” sent in the form of a letter to Jacques Bruyas, S. J.; original in the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal. Probable date, 1683
View of old Jesuit college and church upon the Champs de Mars, Montreal, built in 1692-94, burned in 1803.
Plan indicating exact site of old Jesuit buildings in Montreal, relative to the present City Hall and Court House. [Page 10]
PREFACE TO VOL. LXIV
Following is a synopsis of the documents contained in this volume:
CLIX. Étienne Carheil writes to the governor (now Frontenac) from Mackinac, to warn him of the dissatisfaction prevalent among the Ottawas, who are inclined to form an alliance with the Iroquois. Carheil vigorously denounces the inaction and timidity of recent French policy toward the Iroquois, and says that there is nothing left for the Algonkins save to secure peace as best they can, for the French no longer protect them. The Hurons at Mackinac are really taking the same course as the Ottawas, but are more politic and crafty in their methods. If these tribes are allowed to make peace for themselves, the Iroquois and the Dutch will monopolize the fur trade, to the exclusion of Canada. Carheil warns the governor that he cannot count upon the aid of the upper tribes, if he shall decide to make war upon the Iroquois. They have released the prisoners from that nation, and have forcibly indicated their contempt for the French alliance; their reasons for this are given at length. They reproach the French with weakness and cowardice, and taunt them with having accomplished so little in the Seneca campaigns. They regard the French alliance as also injurious to their trade, in which they get [Page 11] more advantage from the English. Carheil, after summarizing the case, adds: “From this it will be seen that our savages are much more enlightened than one thinks; and that it is difficult to conceal from their penetration anything in the course of affairs that may injure or serve their interests.” He urges, accordingly, vigorous measures by the governor against either the Iroquois or their inciters, the Dutch.
CLX. Michel Germain de Couvert writes to a friend an account of the English expedition of 1690 against Quebec. The enemy, on October 16, summon the city to surrender, on an hour’s notice; but Frontenac refers them, for answer, to his cannon. They inflict a heavy cannonade upon the town, but with only slight damage; and make two raids upon neighboring settlements. Within ten days from their arrival, they restore the French prisoners, and depart for Boston. The English sustain severe losses, which are mentioned in detail. Many interesting particulars of the siege are recounted. The success of the French is ascribed to the intercession of the Virgin Mary, which kindles anew the fervor of her votaries. The Lorette colony sends its warriors to repel the English; a false rumor that the enemy is approaching causes the other Hurons to take immediate flight to the woods, whither the missionaries accompany them. The land expedition undertaken, at the same time, by the English against Montreal is also compelled by sickness to retrace its route, — “a second stroke from the hand of our good God to overthrow the designs of our enemies upon poor Canada.” [Page 12]
CLXI. Bruyas also writes (April 5, 1691) to Frontenac, regarding matters at Sault St. Louis. An Iroquois and Dutch army have captured some Sault Indians, but have given these freedom. Three Mohawk chiefs then go to the Sault, claiming to desire peace. Bruyas relates the proceedings of a council held there between these deputies and the Christian Indians. He thinks that the Mohawks really wish peace, and hastens to lay the whole matter before the governor, for his information and guidance. The Dutch have promised to send back certain French prisoners, now held at Albany.
CLXII. Pierre Milet relates, in a letter to some of his Jesuit brethren, his capture by the Onondagas in 1689, and his experiences among the Oneidas, during the succeeding two years. He is seized by the former, while on their way to commit the terrible massacre at Lachine. They present him to the Oneidas, among whom are some influential Christian savages, who cause his adoption into a family where the chieftainship is hereditary; he thus becomes virtually a chief of the tribe. The English are greatly displeased thereat, and make repeated efforts to induce the Oneidas to surrender Milet to them; but the savages refuse to do so, and Milet is thus able to exert among them a strong influence for French interests, against the English. He is allowed liberty to live as he chooses, but within the Oneida village.
CLXIII. This is a sketch of a memorial to be sent to Count de Pontchartrain, recounting the services rendered to the French in Canada by the Christian Iroquois at Sault St. Louis. During the late war, these Indians did excellent service as scouts, and brought in many prisoners. They have refused to [Page 13] abandon their religion, for which they have suffered torture and even death, remaining constant to the last breath. Nearly half of their warriors have perished while fighting in aid of the French; the widows and orphans of these men are in great poverty, and the king is requested to extend them aid.
CLXIV. Claude Chauchetière writes to his brother Jean (August 7, 1694) an account of affairs in Canada at that time. He describes some recent eclipses, and compares their appearance in Canada with that in France. Iberville, who has gone to Hudson Bay to take Port Nelson from the English, wished Chauchetière to go with him; but Silvy has been sent instead.
A bitter ecclesiastical war is going on between Bishop St. Vallier and the Jesuits and Récollets. The bishop has adopted arbitrary measures in various matters; he also inveighs against Callières, governor of Montreal, who has always been one of Chauchetière’s penitents, and even threatens the latter with interdict. The Father relates various instances of his combats with St. Vallier over ecclesiastical affairs.
The Sault Christians, especially those belonging to “Catherine’s band,” continue in Christian fervor and practice. The women have given up gambling; and confraternities are being formed, especially among the young girls. The pious deaths of two Iroquois women, captured and burned by their pagan tribesmen, are recounted in detail. The writer thinks that piety like theirs would prevail among the savages, were it not for the intemperance that has become so general among them; “and our [Page 14] bishop, who is so zealous, has not yet ventured to open his mouth to banish drunkenness from his diocese.” The missionaries wish that they could take their beloved savages far away from the French, to remove them from temptations to vice.
Chauchetière mentions the ecclesiastical relations between the Sulpitians and the Jesuits; and the good work which Milet is doing in his captivity at Oneida. He then describes the comfort and prosperity that Canada now enjoys. Agriculture is successfully pursued; and the Sulpitians have a vineyard of French grapes, which is now producing fruit. Other kinds of fruit are enumerated as growing and ripening at Montreal; and this year is seen, for the first time, a white lily, which grows in the Jesuit garden.
The Sulpitians have recently dedicated their church at Montreal. Chauchière sends his brother some curiosities from the New World — a piece of bread made by an Illinois savage from wild fruit, and a specimen of buffalo’s fur. The summer has been cold and rainy this year; and, for the first time in the history of Montreal, the melon crop is a failure. The Jesuit college there, in which Chauchière teaches mathematics, may have to be given up, for lack of funds to maintain it. Various items of information about himself and others are given; and a postscript pathetically says, “I must preach, but I have no sermons.”
CLXV. Chauchière writes (September 20, 1694) to a friend in Bordeaux. The Cayugas and Senecas are asking for peace, but Frontenac haughtily declines their proposals, and gives them thirty days wherein to accede to his terms. Meanwhile, the other Iroquois tribes are intriguing with the English at [Page 15] Albany. The missionaries, however, find much consolation in the piety and faith of the Sault Christians. The martyrdom of these, described in the preceding document, is again told here, briefly. Two Jesuits have come out this year; one of these is Pinet, who at once goes to the Western missions. Chauchière mentions various matters of interest, — the capture of a ship, with several priests on board, who are sent back to France; the French expedition to Hudson Bay; his class at Montreal in mathematics and navigation; his other occupations; the difficulties with the bishop, etc.
CLXVI. This is Jacques Gravier’s report (dated February 15, 1694) to his superior at Quebec, Bruyas, of the mission among the Illinois tribes. Returning to them from the Miamis, in April, 1693, Gravier dedicates his new chapel at the French fort near Peoria. The savages residing at this place send, in May, envoys to secure an alliance with the Missouri and Osage tribes. Gravier observes among the Peorias great indifference to his instruction, and learns that the leading elders are opposed to the faith; and that, while they receive him in friendly manner, “in order to save appearances,” they try to prevent their people from going to the chapel for prayer and instruction, “until the corn was ripe, and the harvest over.” Gravier also encounters an obstacle in the superstitious dread of baptism as causing death. On June 10, he gives a feast, at which he rebukes the people for their neglect of religion, and warns them of their danger. As most of the adults persist in their infidelity, the Father devotes himself to the instruction of the children. He recounts the conversion of a young widow who, [Page 16] in the midst of corruption, seems to be saintly by nature.
About June 20, the envoys sent to the Sioux tribes return, with deputies from those tribes. Gravier longs for aid in his mission, that he may visit these new tribes and instruct them. He relates some instances of the opposition made to his labors by the Peoria chief, who is a leading medicine-man, and by others of that craft. The Kaskaskia chief has married his daughter to a French trader; through the influence of the latter, he becomes a convert to Christianity, and openly professes his faith. An epidemic of disease appears in the village, “after they began to eat new corn, squashes, watermelons, and other half-ripe fruits.” Gravier tries to baptize the sick, especially the children, but is often repulsed; and many even blame him and his preaching for the disease. He describes certain of the superstitious observances that he has seen among these savages. During the late summer, he visits the people in their cornfields outside the village, and, on September 26, nearly all the inhabitants depart to their winter quarters. He is able, although with great difficulty, to administer some baptisms among these people before their departure; among them is the daughter of the new Peoria chief.
Gravier relates the circumstances attending the marriage of Ako, the French trader, with the daughter of the Kaskaskia chief. At first she refuses to marry, desiring to live only for God. Her father drives her from his cabin, and blames Gravier for her disobedience. All the people are ordered to stay away from the chapel, but some refuse to obey. The French commandant not only refuses to support [Page 17] the Father, but reviles and slanders him. “God granted me,” he says, “the grace to bear all these humiliations in a quite tranquil state of mind, it seems to me.” Finally, the girl consents to marry Ako, and her father makes an abject apology to Gravier. The husband, although a dissolute man, is thoroughly converted by his Indian wife’s piety. This girl, although only seventeen years old, does wonders as a missionary helper, — instructing, rebuking, or pleading, as the case may require.
Gravier accomplished much for the instruction of his flock by a series of pictures illustrating the Bible, in which task Marie aids him greatly, making his explanations even more intelligible to their minds than he can. The Father also gives instruction in the catechism; his cabin is so crowded that people cannot stir, and “the most arrogant become like children,” at this exercise. “It is true that the hope of getting a red bead, which is a fruit of the size of a small bean, which has been sent to us from Martinique and other islands (Oh, that I had a bushel of them!), or a needle, a medal, a cross, or a rosary (especially if it be red), a small knife, or other curious object, given as a reward, incites the children to answer well; but they must answer very well for several days, to obtain either the rosary, the red bead, or a cross, and for the other articles in proportion.” By March, Gravier finds it necessary to enlarge the chapel, because so many come to it. He is greatly encouraged by the docility of these people, and the blessings that follow his labors among them. He had baptized 206 persons during the months of April to November, inclusive, in 1693. The influence of the converted chief and his family is a [Page 18] valuable aid to the missionary’s efforts; “or rather they do all, and I do nothing, or almost nothing.” He requests more missionaries from France for this field.
CLXVII. Jean de Lamberville, now in Paris, writes (January 23, 1695) to a missionary friend in China. He gives an outline of affairs connected with the Iroquois during the last ten years. He mentions his attempts to secure peace between those savages and the French, and the perfidious actions of Denonville toward both himself and the Iroquois; also the captivity and release of Milet.
Lamberville is in great danger, in consequence of Denonville’s treachery toward the Iroquois; and his English friends at Albany offer him a horse and escort to go to them for refuge, which he declines. The Iroquois, learning of French treachery, notify Lamberville to leave their country; he then goes to Fort Frontenac, to serve as chaplain. An epidemic of scurvy breaking out among the garrison, the missionary falls ill with it, and is at the point of death. A French officer removes him to Montreal, — dragged over snow and ice in the depth of winter, during a week’s journey, — where the Sulpitians take care of him. His health being partially restored, he returns to France.
Before leaving Canada, Lamberville goes to meet an Iroquois army who have come to attack Montreal, in order to make peace with them, if possible. He secures a truce; but, two months later, Iroquois envoys on their way to Montreal are treacherously assassinated by Hurons, and war again rages. The Iroquois now declare that the French need not hope [Page 19] for peace with them until they also secure it with the English.
CLXVIII. Gabriel Marest sends to the father-general an account (dated October, 1695) of his recent expedition to Hudson Bay, whither he goes with Iberville’s expedition. Marest describes the capture of the fort; the sickness which prevails among the French during the winter, and his labors in their behalf; the aspect of that far Northern region, and the leading characteristics of its savage inhabitants. Marest uses what little leisure he can secure in learning the language of these people, and does what he can for their conversion.
R. G. T.
Madison, Wis., February, 1900. [Page 20]
Documents of 1689-90
CLIX. — Lettre ecrite ‘à M. le Gouverneur Général de la [nouvelle] france Septentrionale. Étienne Carheil; [Mackinac, 1689]
CLX. — Relation de la defaite des Anglois a Quebec. Michel Germain DeCouvert; [Quebec, Octobre, 1690]
SOURCES: Doc. CLIX. we obtain from an apograph in the Legislative Archives of Quebec. Doc. CLX. is from an incomplete MS. (possibly a contemporary apograph) in the Archives Nationales, at Paris. [Page 21]
Letter written by Reverend Father Carheil,
Missionary of the Society of Jesus, to
Monsieur the Governor-General
of Northern new france.
I amvery sorry to see myself compelled to write you this letter, to inform you that we are at last reduced to the condition to which I have always believed that the hope of peace would reduce us. I have never doubted that peace was impossible — nor have all those who, from the experience of a long residence among them, know the dispositions of the Iroquois, and especially of the onnontagué, the most treacherous of all. Notwithstanding the difficulty that we had up to the time designated for the assembly, in sustaining the minds of our poor savages amid the continual displeasure caused them by the negotiations for a peace, — which they knew to be only begged for, by dint of attentions, of honors, and of presents; and which, consequently, were but so many public proofs of our weakness, — we were, nevertheless, fortunate enough to maintain them in their duty until that time. After that it was for those who Conducted those negotiations to demonstrate by performance the truth of what they had promised; and to let our tribes see the enemy who, as they supposed, had become docile and submissive to their Will. But alas! at the time that this should have been done, what had they obtained? Nothing but houses burned, french killed or captured, scalps [Page 23] taken, and bodies ripped open; but a universal destruction of all la chine — which should, nevertheless, have been the best guarded on all Sides; and, finally, but universal consternation throughout the whole of Montreal. This is not the success promised them by embassies and peace Conferences, but it is that which they Feared, and the dread whereof would constitute all their trouble. What do we wish them to think now; what do we wish them to do? When, as they say, they see Onnontio deceived and vanquished up to the present by the enemy, what hope can they still retain of his protection when they see naught but weakness and impotence? Can one suppose that, after their departure from Montreal, — where they had just seen the Iroquois triumph throughout the whole Campaign, during which he was allowed to do as he pleased, they could take any other action than that which compelled us to carry on war to overawe him? They then undertook to make peace themselves, through their own negotiations with the enemy, who had taken away many of their people, whom they were holding as Captives. Our savages were prevented from doing so, and were induced to resolve upon carrying on war with us. But, instead of continuing it, as soon as the first decision was taken it was Changed, I know not how, into negotiations for peace; that gave the enemy both time and means to vanquish not only them, As formerly, but also ourselves. They now see themselves, by this Conduct of pure inaction, reduced once more to the necessity of again taking the same step, and of doing, without Onnontio's participation, what they would have desired him to do. [Page 25]
Therefore, in their Council held since their return from Montreal, they have resolved by unanimous Consent to regain the Friendship and alliance of our enemy, by means of an Embassy which they are sending to the sonnontouans, And afterward to the other nations, to obtain peace.
They will have no difficulty, because it will separate them from us; because it will take away our greatest strength from us, to give it to the enemy; and because the ambassadors are their own prisoners, whom La Petite Racine, accompanied by some other outaouas, is to deliver into the hands of the Iroquois. Moreover, it is no longer a hidden design that they wish to conceal from our knowledge, and which we have secretly learned from confidential sources: but it is a matter of public notoriety, and one which they have chosen to tell us by a solemn declaration in full Council.
Although the huron be concerned in it perhaps even more than is the Outaouais, nevertheless, as he is always more politic than the others in keeping on good terms with us, he did not speak with so much bitterness and arrogance as did the Outaouas. He contented himself with saying that he was too much of a child to interfere in an undertaking of that nature, or to seek to raise any opposition to it; that he left his brothers to act, as they thought that they had more sense than he regarding that matter; that it was for them to be answerable for the result, and not for him, who had much less penetration than they. I have no doubt that, in the execution of the project, he will do much more than he says; but it is, after all, %he uncertainty of some change of fortune which may happen in our favor on learning of other [Page 27] resolutions, that compels him still to employ this reserve, so that he may thereby have some hold upon us.
Such, Monseigneur, is the state of affairs in this quarter, — that is to say, at the last extremity which they can reach. For the result of that embassy can only be to bring at once both the Iroquois and the fleming — the Iroquois as the master in war; the fleming as the master in trade and in commerce; and both as sovereigns of all these nations, to our exclusion. This is infallible, and will happen with such diligence and promptness that I know not whether you will have time to forestall its execution. They have hastened to conclude the embassy, through fear that, after the defeat of the french at Montreal, and in despair of ever obtaining a firm and lasting peace by means of negotiations, it might be decided once for all to make war; and that afterward an order might come from you to do so. This must no longer be thought of, because it is too late. It should have been done while they were still at Montreal, immediately after the blow struck by the enemy. They then desired it and all would have been found ready for it; but at present they must not be relied upon for the war, since the departure of their ambassadors, which compels them to remain quiet to await their return and the result of their negotiations.
All the Ceremonial honors paid to the prisoners on the eve of their dismissal, by the famous calumet dance, which is a public Token of alliance, shows us but too clearly in what manner And how firmly they will be united against us. But what makes this still more evident is that, at the very moment when they were giving these public proofs of esteem to the prisoners whom they were about to send away, they [Page 29] on the Other hand expressed the contempt they felt for our alliance and for your protection. When we strongly opposed their sending the prisoners away, and represented to them the order given us by Onnontio in his last commands, — to make them keep their prisoners quiet on their mats, until he made known to them his last wishes with regard to their captives, — they nevertheless persisted in the agreement made between them; and to show us that they were not entering upon that undertaking without having considerable cause therefor, they wished to give us their reasons publicly.
These may all be reduced to one prime reason, which is, that Onnontio's protection — on which they had based all their hopes of being delivered from their enemies — was not what they had wrongly imagined it to be; that hitherto they had always thought that the frenchman was warlike through numbers, through Courage, and through the number and diversity of the implements of war that he could make. Experience had shown them, however, that he was much less so than the Iroquois: and they were no longer surprised that he had remained so long without doing anything for their defense, since it was the knowledge of his own weakness that hindered him. After seeing the cowardly manner in which he had allowed himself to be defeated on this last occasion at Montreal, it was evident to them that they could no longer expect anything from his protection; not only was it useless to them owing to his powerlessness, but it had even become injurious to them, because of the difficulties in which it had inopportunely placed them, through his seeking to save himself. [Page 31]
In the first place, then, Onnontio’s powerlessness had been manifest at the very first attack upon Sonnontouans, wherein the unexpected and vigorous resistance of the enemy surprised him and he did not afterward dare to pursue him, — contenting himself with warring against the corn and the bark houses, that did not offer resistance like the foe. Since then, he had never been able, nor had he ventured, to do anything beyond continual negotiations to beg for peace, rendered necessary by his own powerlessness, and accompanied by humiliations of all kinds, which but too clearly manifested his weakness. Moreover, very far from preparing to go to attack the enemy again in his own country, he did not even venture to defend himself when he was attacked on all sides; but in spite of all appearances, and even of evidence and experience, to the contrary, he persisted in waiting for peace, for fear that he might be compelled to fight, preferring to endure all rather than again to have recourse to Battle. Far from compelling the foe to surrender his prisoners, which was the object of the war, he had himself, on the Contrary, been compelled to surrender those whom he had seized solely through treachery; and even to bring back from france those who had been sent thither, — and this when the enemy was very far from thinking of sending back his own, but burned them publicly on the highways and in all the villages. In the last descent of the enemy upon Montreal, instead of opposing army to army, and standing his ground, and giving battle, when he had heard of his approach before his arrival he shut himself up in his forts, — leaving the country open to the foe to burn and ravage, which he did. He did not seem to know [Page 33] that he should go out to reconnoiter, — or, at least, he did not dare to do so, lest he might expose himself to the danger of being the first discovered. From all these evident proofs, it was easy to see that the frenchman is so little in a position to protect them that he cannot even defend himself, — so much so, that he had been compelled to have recourse to the protection of the English, and to beg them, through an Ambassador sent expressly for the purpose to Orange, to check the continual incursions of the Iroquois.
But what most displeases them is, that the alliance of the frenchman, besides being useless to them through his powerlessness, is also injurious to them, both for commerce and for war. It is so in Commerce, because it takes away from them, against their will, the trade of the english, which was incomparably more advantageous to them, in order to keep them bound to Onnontio’s. This is contrary to all the laws of protection, which consist in maintaining in the liberty of their trade Those whom one protects; for otherwise it is no longer a protection, but a veritable usurpation. The french alliance also injures them in war — because, from its commencement, the whole conduct of the frenchman toward them has consisted in doing nothing on his side against the enemy, and only in expecting them, on their side, to do everything. Thus, if they did not march against the enemy to stop him at Catarokouy, they should strike some telling blows, in order that he might give satisfaction by presents, and weep for the dead; that they should make prisoners, in order that he might free them from their bonds, and send them back to the foes of these tribes. Such had been [Page 35] his whole Conduct up to the present — a Conduct full of duplicity, since evidently it tended solely to induce them to bear the whole brunt of the war, while he completely extricated himself by the peace that he tried to make with that object. They said that, if he had no other protection to give them than a peace of that nature, they preferred to protect themselves, and to go to negotiate their peace by their own acts, rather than let themselves be abandoned by france to the certain vengeance of their enemy. They did not see why onnontio sent back his captives, and would not let them send back theirs, or what protection he gave them in doing this; but, on examining closely, they found nothing that was not entirely opposed to protection, — nothing but a wish to induce them to be the victims of those to whom they themselves had not restored their Captives. In all the Attacks that he had compelled them to make upon the Iroquois, while he remained motionless and inactive, it was rather they who protected him than he who protected them. After all this, they were surprised that, at their last interview in Montreal, he had threatened to abandon them, — As if he had not long done so; and as if his whole conduct had not been a tacit and secret abandonment of all their interests, which could in no wise agree with the negotiations for peace that he would continually carry on.
Such, Monseigneur, are all the reasons that they gave us, to Convince us of the necessity in which they were placed of sending that Embassy to Sonnontouans. From this it will be seen that our savages are much more enlightened than one thinks; and that it is difficult to conceal from their penetration [Page 37] anything in the course of affairs that may injure or serve their interests. The respect that I owe to the rule of all persons to whom God has given the power of government over us would have made me scruple to communicate to you, as freely as I have done, sentiments so unfavorable as these, had I not believed that the public welfare demanded that you should know them, just as they exist among the savages. I do so in order that you may thereby judge of the disposition of their minds, of what they are capable of doing against us in favor of our enemy, and of the remedy to be applied. It is certain that, if the Iroquois be not checked by the extent of the operations against him ‘on your side down below, or of those against the flemings, who originate his movements, he will not fail to come here to make himself master of everything. It is sufficient for us that you should know it, to rely thereafter upon the enlightenment of your wisdom; and, in spite of the danger in which we are placed, to live in entire confidence, waiting to see in what manner divine providence shall please to dispose of us.
I remain with true
And profound respect,
Your very humble and very
ÉTIENNE CARHEIL, religious
of the Society of Jesus.
[Endorsed: “Received by Monsieur the Count de frontenac, At Quebec, September 17, 1690”] [Page 39]
Account of the defeat of the English at Quebec.
TheEnglish of Baston, after having taken port royal and all of Acadia, and after having pillaged Isle Percée in the manner that you have evidently already learned, finally came in the month of October by way of the river St. Lawrence, with a fleet of 30 Ships, to take Quebec. They took possession at the outset, of 3 of our barks, which they encountered in the river. They appeared in the roadstead of Quebec on the 16th of October. On the same day, they summoned Monsieur the governor in writing to give them all the provisions and military supplies, to raze all the forts, and to surrender to them at discretion both the property and persons of the habitans, — adding that, when this was done, they would talk of an accommodation; furthermore, they would give only one hour for deliberation upon this. They were answered, on the instant, that we expected that God would not favor traitors to religion and to their legitimate King; and that the mouths of our Cannon and our muskets would answer their letter. On the 18th, toward evening, they made a descent upon the north shore, between Beauport and Quebec, to the number of 1,500 men, with 5 pieces of cannon carrying balls of 6 or 8 livres. In this raid they killed 4 frenchmen and wounded 7. They remained 3 days encamped on the land, where they burned 6 or 7 farmsteads, Carried off some cattle, killed 2 frenchmen, And wounded 13 in various combats [Page 41] that were fought. On the 21st, they abandoned their camp, and regained their Ships under cover of night. From the 18th to the moth, they cannonaded Quebec terribly, both the upper and lower Towns; they discharged I, 500 cannon-shots, which caused 15 or 20 éscus worth of damage in Quebec, and killed a child between the great Church and our college, but did no other harm. On the 23rd, they retired from before Quebec, and attempted to make a descent upon the isle of Orleans, but without success. On the 2 5th, being by that time 5 or 6 leagues from Quebec, they restored our french people — not only those whom they had seized in our barks upon the river, but others, whom they had brought from port roial to Baston, and whom they had afterward taken from the prison of Baston, to place them upon the fleet and to make use of them in the expedition against Quebec. Upon restoring our prisoners, they received theirs, after which they resumed their way to Baston. They said that they would return in the spring; and we told them that we would have the honor of seeing them before that time.
That was all the English accomplished at Quebec. Now see what was done to them. 1. Nearly 100 of their men were killed; and, besides, a very great number of Them were wounded when they were making their raid, and afterward when they were encamped on land. 2. Our Cannon, which carried balls of 18 [livres], greatly damaged their 4 large Ships which attacked Quebec. The Admiral’s ship lost its flag, at the outset, and had its mainmast cut in two, the mizzenmast broken, its cabin pierced, and its stern-gallery shattered. It sprang several leaks, and was constrained to withdraw precipitately [Page 43] with the 3 large Ships, which were not less injured than it was, in order to get out of range of our cannon — which would have sunk all 4 of them, if they had waited for another of its volleys. 4 [i.e., 3], We forced the enemy to leave us a cable and an anchor worth a thousand éscus (it was the great cable and the heavy anchor of The Admiral) — and, besides, 3 Shallops; the five Pieces of artillery used in their descent, mounted Upon their gun-carriages; a quantity of bullets; a standard, a drum, and several dozen heavy muskets.
The frenchmen who were prisoners in the English Ships said that our cannon had killed a very great number of our Enemies, both above and between the bridges; and that, besides these, a great many were also disabled. They added that the commander of this fleet, who had depended upon what our prisoners from Baston had told him about the forces at Quebec, had complained to them that he had been deceived, and that the bullets of Quebec were too heavy — adding that he had even declared that he would take one of them to Baston, to exculpate himself. Those of our french who had been taken from the prison of Baston to be placed upon the English fleet, and whom the general frequently consulted upon the way about various matters relating to the execution of his enterprise, reported that at Baston the capture of Quebec was believed to be certain. So sure were they that, before setting out on the expedition, the officers of the fleet and others interested had had more than twenty lawsuits settled in regular form on the subject of the rich booty that would be obtained at Quebec, and especially to decide to whom should belong the six silver Chandeliers of [Page 45] the Jesuit Church. These same frenchmen have asserted that the intention of these heretics Was to r drive from Canada the Ecclesiastics and the Nuns, to take the latter to Baston, and to send the former back to france; but, as for the Jesuits, they were to cut off the ears of all these, to make chaplets for the bandoleers of the soldiers, and then break their heads.
From the time when the English appeared before Quebec until their departure, The banner of Our Lady was continually displayed from the top of the steeple of the great Church; it was under this sacred flag that our poor habitants fought and Conquered. And, in memory of the so evident and extraordinary protection of God obtained through the intercession of Our Lady, the name of Notre Dame de la Victoire will be given to a Church which was begun some years ago, and which is to be completed, in the middle of the lower Town. Besides this, a great festival will be held every year, with a Solemn procession, on the 4th sunday of October.
At the same time when the English attacked Quebec by way of the river, an army of 2,000 savages named Loups, and of 4,000 English, were to come by land to fall upon Monreal. Dissension arose among them, at the time when they were to begin the march. A malady which was prevalent among the English having communicated itself to the Loups, and some of them having died, The Loups laid the blame upon the English, and even plundered them. After that, each army withdrew to its own quarter. Therein is seen, in the opinion of the whole country, a second blow from the hand of our good God to overthrow the designs of our enemies upon poor Canada. [Page 47]
Both the Living and the Dead have profited by the expedition of the English. It made some Conversions in Quebec, and in a happy manner, which evidently would not have been made there so soon; and the many miracles that our good God has wrought in favor of his poor people (for it is thus that they are commonly mentioned here) have wonderfully rekindled, everywhere, fervor toward the most blessed Virgin, Under whose protection we have fought and conquered. It is with extreme consolation that we see coming here, from all parts, our poor habitans upon a pilgrimage to our little chapel of Our Lady of Lorette, — some to fulfill vows made in her honor, others to renew their profession of being at her service all their lives, and both to supplicate her to solicit Our Lord for their complete conversion. As for the dead, many masses have everywhere been caused to be said, both at Quebec and at Monreal, for the Souls in purgatory, with the idea that those who should be delivered from that place would come to our help in our need, — as has sometimes happened in other countries, upon similar occasions. It was father Chaumonnot, one of our oldest missionaries, who introduced this work of piety; it was extremely well received by all the people. Monseigneur our Bishop authorized it by his approbation and by his exhortations; and our fervent Ecclesiastics have done wonders.
During the siege of Quebec, our Fathers and brethren distributed themselves in the upper and lower towns, among the guards and the other sentinels, for the consolation of our Combatants. The Reverend Father Superior remained at the College, with some of the oldest among Our fathers and [Page 49] brethren; they were resolved to await our Enemies there, and, when They should arrive, to go into the Church, and there receive the death-blow at the foot of the great Altar.
As for us others, the missionaries of Lorette, who were not so nearly exposed to the danger, we had left the place, to sleep 2 nights in the woods with our huron savages. The day when the English made their descent, our huron warriors were with the habitans of beauport and beaupré, to receive the enemy when they should set foot on land. These habitans, who numbered only zoo, at first fired with our savages three vigorous volleys of musketry upon the English, — after which, he who commanded our people, seeing that the excessive number of the Enemy was about to overwhelm us, ordered his people to fall back and to fight in the savage manner. Then 2 of our hurons took fright and came at full speed to tell us that all was lost, and that all the french were dead; that they had seen among the English 200 Loups (they were Englishmen, disguised as savages); and that these Loups would infallibly proceed to desolate everything with hatchet and fire. This news was brought to us about 10 o’clock in the evening. Upon the instant, all our hurons began to tie up their baggage, and say that, for their part, they were going away into the woods. We could not detain them until morning, and we decided to follow them into the woods to a quarter of a league from our Village, carrying with us what was most sacred in our little chapel. We then recalled to mind the flight of Our Lord into Egypt. Our other huron warriors, who had been more steadfast, came, 2 days later, to find and to reassure us somewhat, — After [Page 51] which we returned, all together, to the Village. We have Just learned that the Admiral’s ship of the English fleet ran aground in the river, not being able to hold out longer against the apertures that the cannon of Quebec had made in it.
The fleet of the enemy was still only 6 or 7 leagues from Quebec, when it was learned that our merchant Ships were in the river. Some canoes were sent along the shore to meet and warn them. The Glorieux, The St. Xavier, and a frigate entered the saguenai river at 25 or 30 leagues from Quebec on the North shore, to wait until the English had passed. It is said that our 3 Ships, going out from the saguenai, found themselves at the mouth of this river at the same time that the English were nearly past it; and we wonder that they were not captured by the Enemy. This event is attributed to St. Anne and to St. francis Xavier, to whom a vow had been addressed expressly for the safe arrival of our ships.
You see, my dear father, that here is a miraculous country; and how could one therein not find God, who makes himself felt in so many and so extraordinary ways? Pray to him a little for me, if you please, that I may have some part in the favors that he bestows, without ceasing, upon a great number of Holy missionaries and of Saintly Ecclesiastics who are here, that I may with them increase from day to day in his knowledge and in his Holy Love.
I am with great respect and with all my heart,
My Reverend father,
Your very humble and very
obedient servant in Our Lord,
Michel Germain Decouvert,
of the Society of Jesus.
Documents of 1691-92
CLXI. — Lettre écrite à Mr. le Comte de Frontenac. Jacques Bruyas; au Sault près Montreal, 5 Avril, 1691
CLXIL. — Lettre a Quelques Missionnaires du Canada. Pierre Millet; Onneiŏt, 6 Juillet, 1691
CLXIII. — Memoire Pour les Iroquois Chrestiens du saut en
Canada. Fevrier, 1692
Sources: Doc. CLXI. is from an apograph preserved in the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal, Doc. CLXII. is from a MS. (probably a contemporary copy) in the Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.; the translation is by John Gilmary Shea, and is reprinted, with a few emendations, from the U.S. Catholic Historical Magazine, vol. ii. Doc. CLXIII. is from an apograph in the Dominion Archives, Department of Agriculture, Ottawa. [Page 55]
Letter written by Reverend Father Bruyas, of
the society of Jesus, to Monsieur the Count
de Frontenac, Governor and Lieutenant-
General for the King in Canada.
At the Sault near Montréal,
April 5, 1691.
You will have already learned that a party of one hundred and forty agniés and Flemings, who captured ten or twelve savages of the Sault, gave them their liberty, and deputed three of their own chiefs to ascertain whether they would be welcome to their father Onnontio, whom they wished to sue for peace, — which they hoped to obtain, and to preserve inviolably with him, in order to prove their ardent desire to put an end to the war. They hastened to arrive in Canada, to inform us that an army of eight hundred Iroquois would soon swoop down upon our lands, and carry off, if they could, all the people between three Rivers and Montreal. When the three deputies entered the fort, without arms and as friends, they were well received by our savages, who were greatly rejoiced at seeing them so well inclined. They gave the deputies four or five small presents, in order to ascertain from them what their true intentions were. By the first collar they thanked them for having sent back the prisoners whom they had taken, and for having spared [Page 57] those whom they could have taken had they wished,
(Scan Of Page to Be Inserted)
FACSIMILE OF HANDWRITING OF P. J. M. CHAUMONOT, S.J.
[“Prière en temps de guerre.” in archives of St. Mary’s college, Montréal. Probable date, 1683.]
[Page (facing) 58]
— As all our savages were scattered here and there, and in danger of being carried away by the first who might discover them. They also thanked the deputies for the warning given them of the large body of Iroquois who were coming down. The second present was to tell the Agniés that their father Onnontio will be greatly pleased to learn their resolution to live under his authority, as true children should do; But that they must really mean what they say, and not do like the Onnontagués, who struck while they were being caressed by him. By the third collar they asked the Agniés to let them know about what time they would be sent back to Montreal, — where they will meet their Father, who is to come up this summer. The fourth present was to remind them that the Christians of la Montagne, of Lorette, and of Sillery are also children of Onnontio, and brothers of the savages at the Sault, and say that they have the same thoughts regarding them. The last present was for the purpose of exhorting them to suspend all hostile acts, both against the french and against the savages who are children of Onnontio. They requested the Agniés to inform the loups, their allies, of this suspension of hostilities, so that they might not embroil matters. They concluded by haranguing them, and handing over to them two Flemings, in order that they might bring back Monsieur the Chevalier d’Eau and all the french who are at Orange, The Agnié replied that he is earnest in his desire for peace; that the warriors ask for it, and have concluded it on their own account, and not through the Elders — whom they would not consult, because they are not always very sincere; moreover, all those [Page 59] among the Agniérs who had sense are dead. He gave back the Collar by which he was thanked for the prisoners he had restored, saying that this was done out of gratitude for the kindness shown them by the late Monsieur de Ste. Heleine on the day of Corlard, when he refused to benefit by the advantage that his good fortune had given him over them, and which would have enabled him to take over thirty prisoners. He asserted that he would promise to make Corlard, and the other Iroquois nations, concur in his design to live in peace with us; and says that, if they will not imitate him, he will leave them to be beaten, and will watch their defeat while smoking quietly on his mat.
As this matter is of the utmost importance, it will take him much time properly to arrange matters. Wherefore he leaves two of his people at the Sault, to await the orders of their father. They will start at once, on learning them from Monsieur de Callières, to whom Onnontio will have the goodness to communicate them; and the latter will make them known to the Aginés through these two deputies.
The Flemings, about twenty of whom are with the Aginés, were greatly pleased to see their countrymen once more.
They sent us word that Corlard, or the person who takes his place, will send back without fail the french for whom we ask.
The Agniérs promised to return at once, and to make all the bands that they might meet retrace their steps. They exhorted our savages to be on their guard, and not to stray from their fort, lest they might be caught by some Loup or Iroquois.
The two aforesaid deputies will also go to meet the [Page 61] great army that is coming, to inform them of what has passed between them and us.
Such, Monseigneur, is a summary of what was said on both sides. If I may be permitted to express my opinion upon what I have seen and heard, I think that they speak sincerely; and that matters tend to a firm peace with that nation, and through them with the others.
Disease, the heavy cost of clothing, and the loss of a number of braves, have disgusted them with a war upon which they entered solely because they were compelled to do so, and in order to repel the violence that was done to them. This is also the opinion of the most reasonable men at the Sault. This time they have no doubt of the sincerity of the Aginé, — all the more so that they see about twenty of them who left the camp to surrender to us, and to risk themselves among our Savages. Had they not struck camp, I believe that one-third of that little army would have disbanded, and have come to dwell at the Sault. Such a change astonishes every one, and with reason. For my part, although I do not wish to be their surety or to answer for their perseverance, I also find some difficulty in concurring in the opinion of those who speak ill of these deserters.
Our poor savages are quite consoled at it, and consider this a kind of miracle. If God give us through you that which the Agniés ask of you, and which every one so ardently desires, I have no doubt that we shall have two-thirds of the Agniés here. That is what I ask of Our Lord every day, and also that he may inspire in you whatever he may deem advisable to contribute to the increase of his glory and the development of the colony. [Page 63]
Such are the prayers offered to him by one who remains with all possible respect,
Your very humble and
very obedient servant,
of the Society of Jesus.
Letter of Father Millet to Some Missionaries in
Onneiout, Octave of
st. Peter and Paul, 1691.
You will be, I am sure, very glad to learn the way in which the Iroquois, and especially the Onneiouts, have preserved my life from my capture at fort Frontenac to this time. It will, I Believe, Console you, and good People will bless God.
I will say but a word of the manner in which I was captured with Surgeon St. Amand, whom I took with me at the Request of the Onnontagués, in order to bleed some of their warriors, as they said, the better to deceive us. They had given us to understand that their people had gone to Montreal to make proposals for peace. The Surgeon was taken to the Cabin of the patients whom he was to attend, and I to that of the sachems and Chiefs, who were assembled there to discuss various subjects, — on which They said they wished to consult me, And have me pray for a pretended dying man, but really to make me a prisoner. I was asked whether the officers and Soldiers did not go out. I answered No, and that I was sent to Learn what they desired of me and the others. “You must pay then for all,” they told me; and at once two of the strong est Fellows, who had been selected to arrest me, Sprang on me, seized me by the arms, and took [Page 67] away my breviary and everything else I had about me. Every one addressed reproaches of one kind or another for having always been very much opposed to the Iroquois; but Chief Manchot of Onneiout told me to fear nothing, that The Christians of Onneiout whom I had baptized would preserve my life. I needed this support, because the English, it is said, had tried me and already burnt me in Effigy. The said Chief commended me to the warriors who were carrying me off, not to let me be stripped and take me in my clothes To their tribe; but as soon as he left me, to Join 300 Iroquois of all tribes, — who were leaving their ambuscade to endeavor to give me some companions in misfortune, and to surprise the fort, if they could, — 1 was demanded, and at the same time my Girdle was taken off, another took my Hat, a 3rd took away my soutane, and a 4th my Shirt. In fine, others pulled off my stockings, and took away my shoes. They left me only my Breeches, and even they were demanded by some men of importance, who said that they had dreamed; But my guard opposed these observers of bad dreams, and rescued me from the hands of Those who wished to massacre me on the spot, and who, Incensed at the ill treatment they professed to have received from the french through my influence, had Thrown me into the Water, and trampled me under foot. The Attempt of the Iroquois on fort frontenac having failed, because they did not succeed in capturing a frenchman who contrived to get in and warn them of the ambuscade, I was untied from a sapling to which I had been bound, to await them on the banks of the lake; and I was put barehead into a Canoe to take me, in Company with 3 or 400 Iroquois, to [Page 69] an Island two leagues below fort Frontenac, where they awaited the main body of the Irroquois army of 1,400 men.
It was there that I was received with great shouts by the Upper Iroquois, who lined the whole shore to see me Bound and brought as it were, in triumph. Some rushed into the Water to receive me as the Canoe neared the shore, where they made me sing a song, in their fashion, as I did on the Spot, and which they repeated and made me repeat several times for sport:
Ongiendu Kehasakchoua — I have Been taken by my Children.
Ongienda Kehasakchoua — I have Been taken by my Children.
To thank me for my song, a honnontouan Struck me with his fist near my eye, leaving the mark of his nails, so that one would have thought it a stroke of a knife. After this I was taken to the Cabins of the Onneiouts, where they did not permit any other insult to be offered me, nor even let them compel me to sing again in the Iroquois style. Some individuals even sent for me and made me pray to God, and sing Hymns of The Church, — either alone or with other french prisoners, who were sometimes brought there, and who sang with me the Veni Creator Spiritus, etc.
Toward Evening, we dropped down eight leagues below the fort, and spent two Days there. It was at this place that a woman of honnontouan, whom I did not know, rendered me an important service, by giving me a Kind of english cap, because I was bareheaded and often exposed to the rays of the sun, which had Affected me greatly. This woman afterward, passing by This place, made herself known to [Page 71] me. She is the mother of Andotiennons, a Christian at la montagne. God reward her for her Charity, which she rendered me so seasonably and with such a good grace.
From that place The army straggled To Otonniata, where It remained 3 Days. There a Council of war was held. I was near passing the line, and being Immolated as a public victim. There were 3 frenchmen prisoners with me, — two whom Monsieur de Valrenne had given to go with Onnonaragon to convey to Montreal the first information of the descent of the Iroquois, and who had fallen into the ambuscade laid for them two leagues from the fort; and the Surgeon who was captured with me. The Onnontagués, who had taken up the war-Kettle at the instigation of the English, had surrendered us to the four nations; and They had no one left to Throw into that war-Kettle which was to rouse the courage of the warriors. The Resolution was accordingly adopted to restore us to the disposition of the Onnontannes,‘ so that they might themselves select the one best suited for their purpose; and the lot would probably have fallen on me, both because putting me to death would have been a signal for war without peace, such as they seemed to desire, and because I was generally held up as a great Iroquois and english State Criminal. One Day at noon an Onneiout Chief came for me, and took me, bound as I was, to the Council of all the Irroquois nations assembled on a neighboring Hill. I was placed beside the surgeon, whom I found in the posture of a prisoner of war as well as myself; the two other Prisoners were not there, because Those who had the disposal of them were [Page 73] scattered hunting, and had taken them Along. This is, in my opinion, what broke up the scheme, or what saved me that time from danger. “We are not all assembled,” said a Goiogoen sachem; and, after looking at me for some time, He told me to pray to God. I asked him whether it was to prepare to die; and I was told No, and that I should only pray to God in my ordinary way. I accordingly rose and made a prayer in Iroquois, in order that all might Understand it. I did not forget to pray in particular for all my hearers. When the prayer ended, I was made to sit down on the ground: one of my arms was unbound, and I was soon after sent to the Camp of the Onneiouts. I had scarcely reached it before several of the leading men among. Them came to express their Joy that I had returned. They had been alarmed’ for me, and told me, that they had not taken part in the Council held to put me into the hands of the Onnontagués, that only the Chief who had led me there had done it, of his own impulse, without consulting them; but that this should not occur again, and that I should be conducted to Onneiout. In Fact, the Next day They detached two Chiefs with about 30 men to Conduct me, while the army pursued its march toward Montreal.
On my journey I was pretty well treated in all the Cabins of Onneiout; They Themselves prepared a mat for me, and if they had anything good to eat, they gave me my share among the first; but at night They never forgot to put The Rope around my Neck, feet, and hands, and around the Body — for fear, They said, lest God should Inspire me to escape, and they be deprived of the advantage and glory of [Page 75] conducting me to the nation. But I had no such thought, and preferred to die if God willed it, at Onneiout, which was the place of my former mission, rather than in any other place in the world. I was not loaded with anything during The March, Except that toward the end of our journey, one of the two Chiefs who had charge of me, gave me his bag, which was very light, to carry. At the last sleeping place, ten leagues from onneiout, I met a Christian woman named Marie, who in the name of her father and mother gave me a large Rosary strung on tin, with a fine medal of the holy family. She told me to put it on my Neck, which I did. Happy meeting! which filled my Heart with Consolation, and almost made the Young braves who conducted me lose Hope of being able to enjoy themselves seeing me burnt at their arrival, as it was the custom to do with the first Prisoner brought in, when They had determined on war. But they lost it almost entirely, when two leagues from the town we met another Christian woman, of the first nobility at Onneiout, who awaited me with her daughter, whom I had formerly baptized the same day as herself; and with her husband, who was the second Chief in whose charge I was, — and who having left the army, on Purpose to conduct me more safely, had gone on two Days ahead to notify his wife of my approach. They had all Come there to meet me, with several little refreshments of that country, with which this Christian woman provided me abundantly; and she asked me to whom of Those who accompanied me I wished to be given. Then she took the Rope off my Neck, and unbound my arms. She gave me a white shirt and a Blanket of fine stuff that belonged to her daughter. Would [Page 77] any one have believed that among Savages There would be found such generous friendship, and such deep gratitude for having received baptism, as this? It was the eve of st. Lawrence’s day, And all the morning I had been preparing myself, as well as I could, for whatever might befall me, and to endure the fire, if need Be, in Imitation of that great saint; But I confess that I could scarcely restrain my tears on beholding the Charity and Heart of these poor Indian Christians. Having recovered a little, I asked whether It was to adorn the Victim, and whether I was to die on my arrival. The good Christian woman told me that nothing had yet been settled, and the Council of onneiout would decide in its own time.
A Warrior had already lent me, at otonniata, a little Jacket, perfectly new, of which they did not wish to deprive me then; and, the Christians having already given me new clothes, they made me continue my journey with the livery of the two most important families of onneiout, that of The bear and that of the tortoise.
Messengers were at once sent to notify the sachems that I was near, in order that they should also come to meet me, and kindle a fire of awaiting within the town; they came, but They were not all in the same state of mind as Those of whom I have just spoken. One sachem, after saluting me in Indian fashion, three times tried to strike me in the face with his fist; But, as My arms were free, I thrice parried The Blow, almost without reflection. And, when the Indian had desisted, they made me sit down near the sachems, And Chief Manchot, the husband of the good Christian woman, who had chosen to conduct [Page 79] me Thus far, harangued them and told them, in the name of the other Chiefs who followed the army, that I did not come as a Prisoner, but as a missionary who returned to visit my flock; that it was their will that I should be taken to the Council Cabin and put at the disposal of the agoianders, or people who managed the affairs of the country, and not at the disposition of the soldiery or people, as he now placed me in their hands; And, for himself, he withdrew.
A Sachem of the bear family, a great friend of the English, then made a strong speech, declaring that I belonged to the side of the governor of Canada, who was overthrowing The Iroquois Cabin, and who had completely burned the towns of the Tsonnonwa. He said so much that I feared that the fire which was there was kindled to burn me before I entered the town, as They sometimes do; but his speech at the close grew milder, and he said that, as the Chiefs had recommended that I should be taken to the Council Cabin, which is a privileged Cabin, I must be taken there. This Commission was entrusted to a man of the nation called Skannehokwie, from the country of the Loups, and naturalized among the Iroquois.
I passed that bad country [sc. road] under the Guidance of this protector, who carefully kept aloof several Drunkards who wished to Insult me and stop me on the way. I was Astonished to see the number of people who appeared on all sides; and in this Company I was made to enter the Council Cabin, which had become A Cabin of War by the Intrigues of the english and other Enemies of the faith.
It was The Cabin of our good Christian woman, [Page 81] for She received me there with great welcome; but it was soon afterward necessary to conceal me, drunken men and women coming from all sides to assail us and utter a thousand Insults against those who protected me, — Hurling stones against the Cabin, and threatening to overthrow everything and to set it on fire. “Since war,” said they, “is begun, we must not be deprived of the first fruits that come to us.” The good Christian woman, Gouentagrandi, told me that she suffered great distress, when war was sung in her Cabin, rather than in some other, in order to be able to save my life more easily, or to Preserve that of the governor of Canada or any other frenchman of rank, if they had the misfortune to be taken prisoner. And, in fact, She has not only Preserved me, but she has also preserved several other french, both in her Cabin and in others; and it may be said that, if any good has been done or is now done in this mission, it is to this good woman after God that the first Praise is due.
On two other Days after the fury of the drunkards had passed, my friends wished to have my case Decided, and my fate settled, before matters became more exasperated, in case any Iroquois were killed at monreal, where they had gone in war. I was taken to the place where the chiefs of the two families, the Tortoise and the bear, had assembled to decide on my lot. Both concluded that they must wait for the return of the Warriors, and Know more particularly their Intentions and those of the Onnontaguez before coming to any determination; that meanwhile The town should be assigned as my prison, and that I might visit what Cabins I Chose. I remained in this State About three weeks, where I had nothing [Page 83] to suffer except from the drunkards, who were Importunate and made various threats. In the visits which I made I was generally called Genherontatie “The dead or dying man who walks;” and Those who returned from orange, a little english town, brought no tidings favorable to me. But if on one Hand I had these little Crosses to suffer, our good Susanne and the other Christians, following her example, were a great Source of consolation to me; For, not to speak of the care they took of my temporal well-being, they brought me Children to baptize, they sent the sick or afflicted to me to comfort; adults came to confession, and to give me an Account of the State of their Consciences since my departure. People came to me to pray to God, and for other spiritual necessities, Even in the little lurking places where they hid me for fear of the drunkards. The mat was prepared for me on sundays And holidays; And, when we Were Disturbed in the Cabins, the mat was taken into the fields, to pray God there more Apart and in greater peace.
What also greatly consoled me was two Crosses which I found, planted on the graves of two christians who had died after I left this mission. I shall speak only of one for the present. I had a good Christian who made open profession of Christianity, and who, laying aside all human respect, sang in the chapel when I formerly dwelt Here in the capacity of missionary. He did not in my absence forget the Esteem with which God had Inspired him for his faith, but persevered constantly in his good practices; And Having fallen from the top of a tree to the ground, crushing his whole body, He suffered [Page 85] his pains for 50 [30 — Shea] Days that he survived His fall — with great patience, as the Christians assured me. He made them frequently come together to pray to God for him, especially as Death approached; and he ordered that after his death a Cross should be set up on his grave, to show that he wished to die a christian, and that he did not recognize as true kindred any but Those who became Christians like him. It was The Custom of these poor orphaned Christians to assemble and pray in this way for each other, especially in sickness and the various accidents that befell them. Even those who were not Christians Imitated them, and made little banquets to bring them together and have their Children baptized, and find through their prayers, some remedy either for Body or mind; others sometimes expressed to me how much they had grieved for my absence, having no one with whom They could really console themselves, or who could heal their consciences, And who often found themselves shocked amid a perverse nation and in a strange disturbance of Mind, when the Enemies of the faith and of the french excited all to war. But let us come to the decision of my trial.
The Iroquois army which made the Attack on (Lachine) Having returned, It was found that three of this nation had remained there, — among others, a leading Chief who got drunk and was killed in a Cellar. He would not allow himself to be taken. This had Irritated the Irroquois Warriors, who, not satisfied with the prisoners whom they had brought, demanded that I should be presented with the others, as Being also a Prisoner. Our Christians, Fearing that the Warriors, who love Carnage and glory in killing men might cut off one of my fingers or [Page 87] commit some other outrage on me, to open the way to my death, concealed me more carefully than Ever; they made me sleep sometimes in one Cabin, sometimes in another, and sometimes even in the Fields, so that the warriors And drunkards could not find me. Above all others, my protectress Combined prudence with her Zeal to extricate me from the danger I was in. With this view she went to meet her relatives, who were some of the most influential warriors, in order to anticipate them. She told them how She had preserved me Till that time, and that she Was determined to continue to do so with all her might; that no ill treatment could be done to me that she would feel deeply herself, that she would not bring me forward till the sachems assembled to decide the fate of all the Prisoners, And till I had been set at liberty. They replied that she had done well, and that, so far as they cared, she might adhere to her resolution.
At last the Day came when our sentence was to be pronounced. We were four who ran a risk of being burned. We all Appeared to be given or to be put in place of the Irroquois who had Been killed by the french, And then to be Judged in a final tribunal. While they were Examining our case, I had time to hear the confessions of my comrades in misfortune and give them absolution. Two of them were burned: for my own part, I could only commend myself to the providence and the mercy of God. I was sent back to different Councils or from tribunal to tribunal, — because, on the one Hand, I passed among our Irroquois as a great criminal and great deceiver, who had caused their fellow-countrymen to be seized under pretext of a st. John’s day [Page 89] festival; and on the other, I was protected by our Christians, some of whom were the most notable in the country, and they could not put me to death without afflicting them.
Many, However, thought that I would never get off; the Rosary had already been taken off my Neck, and my face had been painted red and black, as a victim to the demon of war and Irroquois wrath. But the family to which all had been already referred having assembled again, where the most important women were allowed to attend, a friendly act was done me by giving me instead of a Chief who had died long before of disease, rather than for one of those who had been killed in the attack on the french at a place called la Chine above Montreal, or who had been arrested as prisoners at fort frontenac and transported to france, who were reckoned as numbered with the dead. This Chief was named Otassete, which is an ancient name of the first founders of the Irroquois republic. The one named Gannassatiron, who by this donation became sole master of my life, used it very obligingly; He Consulted only the warriors of his family, and asked advice only from the two Christians who protected me most, and who of course Concurred At once with him in the assurance of life which He gave me by these words: Satonnheton Szaksi — “My elder brother, you are resurrected.” At the same time, he had two of the leading sachems summoned to Report it to them: these sachems made fine speeches and congratulations, exhorting me to uphold the Interests of their nation more than I had yet done. Some Days after, a feast was given to the notables of the town. The host of Father de Lamberville, named Garakontié, [Page 91] brother of the Chief of the Onnontague nation, and brother of the famous Garakontie who first bore that name, was invited to the Ceremony, where a new name was given to me, as an authentic mark that the Onneiouts had adopted me and naturalized me as an Irroquois. My Rosary had also been restored to me; and, to crown my little happiness, Gannassatiron, fearing that I might feel hunger in his cabin, where There was not much corn, put me in that of my protectress, who is of the same family, — where I had already remained for 3 Weeks, and where I had been so well defended, And where all the Important Councils are held. It is there that we celebrate the holidays and Sundays, and where a mat has been prepared for me, and a little Grotto which is dedicated to Our dying lord, christo morituro.
The English were not pleased with the decision of the Onneiouts in my favor; They at first reproached my main Protectors Tegahoiatiron and his wife, who had gone to trade with Them, and had given them a little note which an Irroquois had made me Write with Charcoal, in the presence and at the Request of my Protectress, to buy some goods for him which he ordered of an English friend of his. The English, displeased at their sparing my life, and wishing to use this opportunity for my ruin, At once mounted their horses to go promptly and report to all the Irroquois nations that I had written very bad things. The Christian woman, who Knew how reluctantly I had Consented to Write the note, because I clearly foresaw that ill-Minded heretics would make trouble out of it, asked to see the note and recognizing it, “Is this,” She said, “the bad things that have been Written to you? It was I who made him Write them [Page 93] there, And I know that he mentions only such and such things in it. You must have a very badly formed Mind to tell so many lies, to make all this long talk about a wretched note, of which I Know the Contents, and to slander in this way a poor Unfortunate man.” She shut their mouths that time, and her Husband added: “If you are at war with the french, fight them as much as you like; but do not bring false charges against a Man who belongs to us, and whose business is very different from that of war.
This did not prevent the English from appealing from the decision of the Onneiouts to the Irroquois of Annié and Onnontagué. Their Mounted men made several Journeys about the Matter, as well as for their great war project, but to No purpose. So far as I was concerned, all their Intrigues and their Solicitations served only to teach them that, the Indians having once given a person his life, It was not their Custom to deprive him of it.
The English then having gained nothing by this journey, made other efforts to withdraw me from This place. One of their deputies came to me One Day, to compliment me in my little Grotto, in the name of Monsieur The Commissary at Orange, on the Condition of my Captivity, saying that He felt compassion for me, that he was making effectual Plans to deliver me and have me sent back to Quebec; that he would give two Indians for me, etc. Thereupon I assured him that, after the obligations I was under to the Onneiouts, I could not leave them. He Interrupted his Compliments to tell me that the English would not Suffer me Here; I replied that that was the affair of my brothers and of all the Onneiouts, [Page 95] And that he must apply to Them, He said he would do so. I was immediately summoned to attend the harangue of this Envoy of the English general: He Went out after me, And we entered the place of assembly, he by one door and I by another. The place where He was to speak was the cabin of my brother Gannasatiron. He began by saying that three English Governors were holding a Council of War at Orange, But that the Governor of New york especially Invited Them to come and meet them, and form a new alliance with Them. The Deputies of all the Irroquois Nations proceeded to Orange, where great rejoicings were made over the great success which their arms had recently had over the french at the place named La Chine. He again Exhorted them to war by various presents. He told them further that he gave up fort Frontenac to them, and that They could easily become Masters of it, as the Garrison was dying of hunger; but as the Irroquois army Did not reach it till after the french had abandoned it, They had not the glory of having driven them out. Much provision was still found there, which showed that famine had not driven them from that post, But rather that the difficulty of revictualling when necessary had induced The Governor of Canada to recall his Soldiers.
Beside this, the English had formed the project of three armies; The first was to go by way of The River of the Irroquois, The Second by way of Lake saint Sacrement, and the Third by sea, to besiege Quebec, where the three armies were to unite.
But This grand project did not succeed in the way They had flattered themselves: The Two land armies were broken up by a special Providence of God. [Page 97] The smallpox stopped the first completely, and also scattered the Second, in which There were four Hundred English who were compelled to march back by order of the Irroquois, — who, at least at that time, might be said to be more Masters of the English, than the English were of the Irroquois.
Of this Second army nothing was left but a party which attacked the French at la Prairie de la Magdeleine. The Governor of new Yore put under arrest three or four of the principal English Officers, who had brought back their troops Without having Carried out The orders to wrest new france from us, or Sack it. From Quebec we learned of the wretched failure of their third army; And they did well to Write to me about it and many other things, As but for this the English would have made the Irroquois believe them, by rehearsing their victories and prowess. But blessed be God, that he has Preserved Canada. May the danger they have Escaped teach the People of the country wisdom in the future. Bella premunt hostilia, da robur, fer auxilium — O Deus Misericord.
The Fish — That is the name of the Governor of Manath or new York — has earnestly exhorted the Irroquois not to Listen to me, and especially to beware of my Letters. His side must be weak indeed, If my pen can demolish it; But It must be that the Spirit of God is working, And I Believe that it will be the sins of the English, rebels to their King, rather than my pen, which will overthrow them. Here We See and Hear of so many ill-devised plans emanating from the English, that the Irroquois, when They Are not Intoxicated, Seem much more reasonable than They. [Page 99]
The Onneiouts having adopted me for one called Otasseté, who in his lifetime Was a member of the Council, And who was regarded from all antiquity as having been one of the Mainstays of the Nation, They oblige me sometimes to attend the Councils, if only to know what the matter in question is, to explain it to them — at least, when these are Important affairs that concern the country.
It Annoys the English, And Those who uphold their Interests, to see me there, and They would much like to Exclude me, Or deprive me of voting or being chosen to any position. The true Onneiouts, on the other hand, and Those who still support The cause of the faith and their country, give me all the authority there that they can. And, as the honor of God and the Church is often intermingled in public affairs of this kind, I am myself compelled to speak on many occasions which regard the Service of God; because the Indians who depend on the English for their trade, generally dare not say anything that can displease them, And I know hardly any one except our good Susanne Gouentagrandi who speaks to them boldly, and who maintains thoroughly her rank of agoianders for the faith And for the land of Onneiouts.
Gannasatiron, my brother, once spoke to them pretty boldly; For, as They were always Importunate And made several attempts to get me into their hands, sometimes with the sachems, and sometimes with him, because they always referred them to him, They asked him how it came that he Alone was master of my person, and not ‘the sachems. “It is because I took him as my brother, and because I won him in war; And so far He belongs to me, as what [Page 101] you have in your house belongs to you. But, to tell the truth, I am no longer his master. He has become my elder brother, And I have made the Christians his master; And, as you will not find it easy to get much from them, I Advise you to desist.” Yet, as They still pushed the matter, He said to the Commissary, Kwiter, that he must give up all hope of carrying me off, And that he must say No more about it. The Commissary called me Aside The next day, And told me through an Interpreter that up To this time He had done all he could to release me from Captivity, but that I had not supported him, And that I had paid no regard to all his efforts, any more than I had to the obliging offers made to me by Monsieur the Minister at Orange. I replied that I was much obliged to him and to Monsieur the Minister for their offers, but that I would have been still more so, if the offers and Compliments had been followed by any good result; But that they had been only words in the air, which did not harmonize and really Contradicted each other, without my being able to see anything Solid, or even a single word in writing on which I could rely or by which any Kind of Satisfaction was made for all that they had Unjustly made me lose at Onnontague — which was a place in some sort privileged and Devoted to the discussion of affairs of peace, especially concerning the Irroquois nations. I said that, moreover, no matter what tempting offers at Orange might be made to me, I could Never resolve to leave the Onneiouts, to whom I was under too great obligation — which I could Never acknowledge except by sacrificing myself, in Imitation of Jesus Christ, for their temporal And Eternal Welfare. [Page 103]
Thereupon we parted, and since that time The English have left me in comparative quiet, although I know that while Here I am a great Thorn in their sides; but if I could also Serve them before God for their conversion And for the public repose, I would do so with all my Heart, And I would forget all the wrong they have done me.
From all the foregoing your reverences may Judge how much I need the help of Heaven and the prayers of good people. To induce you more earnestly not to Withhold them, I will say a word more of the Zeal of my good Protectress.
The Iroquois of Agnié — who, being very near the English, Are strongly attached to them — tried to carry me off on pretext of wishing me to come on Christmas Day to hear The Confessions of some Christians who are among Them; But our good Christian Gouentagrandi, who was not Ignorant of their designs, Told the Messengers that Any who were so anxious to pray to God and go to Confession at Christmas could Themselves come to Onneiouts, And that she saw through the trick of the English, into whose hands they wished to deliver me.
Besides the porcelain that the good woman has Often given me to speak in the Councils, She has given several feasts to bring people together, And to give greater solemnity to the festivals of Christmas, Epiphany, easter, etc., — to such an extent that in these feasts we have raised the standard of holy peace; And, in case they do not wish to Hear there of Holy war, in the Hope that Heaven will be on our side, And that Those who obstinately refuse to hear ‘the voice of God, who does not love the shedding of human blood, And who does not wish war [Page 105] unless it is holy, will sooner or later be punished, And on the other hand Those who favor us will be rewarded. Yet we put all our little designs in the hands of God, And at the foot of the Crucifix, seeking only the glory of his holy name, and the salvation with the quiet of the nations. I commend them once more to the Holy Sacrifices and prayers of your Reverences, of whom I am in Heart and with respect,
My Reverend Fathers,
Your very humble and very
obedient servant in Our Lord,
of the Society of Jesus.
I would have much more to Write, but time does not permit. This, with God’s help, will be for another occasion. [Page 107]
Memorial in Regard to the Christian Iroquois
of the saut in Canada.
onseigneur De Pontchartrain
Is very humbly supplicated to please remember the services that the colonies of Christian Iroquois established in new france have rendered and are still rendering to the french, — for the defense of whom almost half of these savages have perished while fighting as brave men against the English, and against the Iroquois, their relatives, and other savages, our enemies, of whom they have killed or captured a goodly number since the war. They find them out everywhere, and warn us of their marches, which the french cannot do as they can in the woods, —where, with their ordinary swiftness, they have often overtaken various parties who were bringing back french and savage Captives, to burn_ them at a slow fire. They have attacked the enemy on land and upon the Water, into which they have: often thrown themselves while fighting; and have there, while swimming, defeated the foe, and taken away their prisoners, whom they brought back with them.
Religion has so strongly attached them to us that they have despised the caresses, the presents, and the threats of the other Iroquois, their Compatriots, — who were soliciting them to abandon our side and return with them, in order that all together might [Page 109] make war against us. They have suffered, as brave Christians and constant friends of the french, cruel incisions that have been made upon their bodies, mutilation of their fingers, and the torments of the fires in which many have expired; yet these sufferings could not shake the fidelity they have vowed to God and to the King. So great has been that fidelity that all, both men and women, whose lives the enemy spared after capture, have always returned to us to continue in the Christianity that they have embraced here, to inform us also of the designs of the english and of the Iroquois, and to give us incontestable proofs that they are acting in our interests.
Seeing that the war occupies them too much for supplying their wants by means of the Chase, His majesty had the goodness to grant them last year some gratuity, by virtue of which those who have just killed or captured enemies have been given clothes.
There are likewise many poor widows and orphan children whose fathers and husbands have been killed in the war which they have undertaken for us, who, being destitute of the help they received from their hunting, are in an extreme want of all things. If the King would please to extend his charity thus far to these faithful friends of the french, it would be a great merit to him before God; and to these good Christians a new and very attractive reason for continuing their services, seeing that after their death their wives, their children, and their poor relatives would not be forsaken.
There is no doubt that this liberality would be very advantageous to new france, to which the help of these valiant savages would be assured. Their [Page 111] enemies try in all sorts of ways to take them from us, because their manner of making war in the woods disconcerts the foe, and because it would be easier for the latter to injure us if we were deprived of these allies.
During some attacks that these Christian Iroquois sustained vigorously last year in their fort of the saut, all the artillery that they possessed burst. May it please Monseigneur de Pontchartrain to have them given, if he please, those little cannon, or two culverins. [Page 113]
Documents of 1694-95
CLXIV. — Lettre au R. P. Jean Chauchière, a Limoges. Claude Chauchière; Villemarie, 7 août 1694
CLXV. — Lettre au P. Jacques Jouheneau, à Bordeaux. Claude Chauchière; Villemarie, 20 Sept. 1694
CLXVI. — Lettre au R. P. Jacques Bruyas, Supérieur de la Miffion, en forme de Journal de la Miffion de l’Immaculée Conception de N. D. aux Ilinois. Jacques Gravier; [Peoria], 15e Fevrier, 1694
CLXVII. — Lettre à un Père Missionaire de Chine. Jean de Lamberville; Paris, 23 Jan:, 1695
CLXVIII. — Pis G. Marest iter et missio in sinum Hudsonium in ora septentrionali Canadæ an. 1694. Epistola ad R. P. Thyrso Gonzales, Præpositum Generalem Societatis Jesu, Romæ. Gabriel Marest; Quebec, Oct., 1695
Sources: Docs. CLXIV. and CLXV. are from a copy, in St. Mary’s College archives, Montreal, of an apograph by Father Martin, which is now in Quebec. Doc. CLXVI. Is reprinted from Shea’s Cramoisy series, No. 1. Docs. CLXVII. and CLXVIII. are from Rochemonteix’s Jésuites, t. iii., pp. 613-620 and 628-630, respectively. [Page 115]
Letter by Father Chauchetière to his brother.
Villemarie, this 7th of august, 1694.
y Reverend Father,
To give you some share in our mathematics, I may tell you that I read, in the little book about the knowledge of the times, that the eclipse of the moon that occurred here on the 11th of january, and appeared to us while the moon set in the west-northwest, could not be visible to you, because there is a difference of five hours between your meridian and. ours; while, as the sun rose on our horizon only at 38 minutes past 7 o’clock, we were able to see the moon. As regards the eclipse of the sun that was visible to you on the 22nd of june at a quarter past 4 in the afternoon, and to us between eleven and half past eleven in the morning, it had this peculiarity, that you saw it as a very small one; for the sun’s disk appeared to you to be covered to the extent of only 4 fingers, while to us it seemed covered to the extent of 8. There remained of the sun merely a crescent, like that of the moon in its first quarter; the eclipse was at its height at half past twelve, and it was over at one o’clock; the eclipsed part was toward the northwest. It lasted about two hours. That of july 7 was not visible to us. I had given notice of it on the 22nd of june; but, as the moon was clouded over on rising, it appeared to us only about 9 o’clock, and the eclipse had begun [Page 117] before 8. Study the next eclipses, and let us know the result. A large bark sailed from Quebek for the cod-fishery, but two english ketches appeared and captured it, landing a portion of the crew, and taking the remainder to Baston. Two vessels that came from France under the command of two worthy Canadian ship-captains, brothers of one of our little pupils, nearly took me with them to Hudson’s bay, where they are going to fight the English and to take port Nelson, which was ours for some time. This would have been a fine voyage for me, and I would have had a little parish of our Saultois, — that is, of our Christian Iroquois who dwell at the Sault. I would have wintered beyond the 50th degree of latitude — that is to say, where the winter sun rises above the horizon only to the height of the trees, and where there is really only twilight. But the father who teaches mathematics in Québek, named father Silvie, who has already wintered in that region, has gone thither. To come to news of the Iroquois, we have some slight hopes of peace; we expect a general diet of the nations at Montreal in a month, if the Iroquois do not deceive us. We have learned from a frenchman recently escaped from the iroquois, who was captured when I was taken to catarakou five years ago, that father Milet — who has been for four years a prisoner among the Iroquois, and who succeeded me at fort frontenak where he was captured — is highly esteemed by the people of his village; but that he has much to endure from the people of the other villages and from the english — although the minister, whose name is d’ollius, and who speaks french well, has greatly relieved the father in his Captivity. The father is a true martyr to charity, and a man of God [Page 119] sent to convert the Savages and to console the captive french. For our part we are occupied in clearing up many affairs with our Bishop. He has established limited approbation's; he has ordered that we shall have no meetings of the congregation on sunday mornings; he has taken away general communions; he has interdicted the Récollet fathers; he has threatened me more than once with interdiction. This last occurred in connection with a matter that I have had to settle with him regarding the governor of Villemarie; he has always been a penitent of mine, but our bishop has styled him an adulterer, a scandalous liver, and a seditious man, who is trying to put himself above the bishop. The Récollet fathers, after presenting a protest to Monsieur the bishop, who refused to hear any reason, have opened their church and raised the interdict. This affair will not fail to produce a sensation in France. Our congregation, which contained over 50 members, meets no more. We were in the habit of holding the benediction of the Blessed Sacrament every thursday. Monsieur the bishop allows us to do so only twice a month, and has given the others to the Gentlemen of St. Sulpice, who did not look favorably upon the religious established in their town. He wishes us to refuse communion, for no other reason than that communions are too frequent in Canada. His predecessor, monsieur de Laval, who sees all this, is a holy man, and says that he was greatly deceived when he divested himself of his bishopric in favor of him who, contrary to his expectations, harasses us, and seeks only to humiliate the religious. My case is this: Monsieur the bishop had issued a decree by which he ordered us to refuse the sacraments to our [Page 121] governor, unless there were an improvement in his conduct. The governor was accused of being on too familiar terms with a widow, — on account of too frequent visits, of suspicions, and of a long-continued habit. I promised him that, for my part, I would act as I have always done, and would do my duty. This happened at the beginning of lent. During lent he held several meetings, and proclaimed twelve reserved cases. There was but one in this diocese, and it related to the french who sinned with the savage women. Monsieur the present bishop says ’ that, on his last journey to France, the bishops in that country told him that such a thing as a diocese without reserved cases was unheard of; for that reason he established some. I went to ask Monseigneur for authority to give absolution in a reserved case. He treated me like a little school-boy: he put many questions to me, and wished to allot the penance without knowing the evil, — asking me whether the persons lived in the opportunity for incest, — that was the matter. I saw that he was very suspicious of me and of my morality. Nevertheless I submitted to everything, once for all. He wished to tempt me and make me speak about our privileges; but I was very reserved on this point. Some days afterward, as easter was approaching, I went to consult him on the measures to be taken with respect to our governor. He acted like a man of the court, treating me to a rigmarole in order to entangle me, and, in the event of his being unsuccessful, to cast the blame on me. Nevertheless, I extricated myself as well as I could; our governor performed his duties at Quebek and my conduct was approved by our superiors; our Bishop alone blamed me. [Page 123]
I have admirable things to tell of the Sault mission. As regards our Savages, they have continued this year as fervent as they are accustomed to be. Catherine’s band (I wrote you her life last year. I know not whether you have received it because one of our ships was lost while returning to France, and those papers were perhaps on it, and you do not speak of it. I had placed her portrait therein.) Catherine’s band continue in the practice of the most Christian virtues, and in the heroic exercises that they have undertaken. Last winter the most hardened were touched by God, and performed an act that deserves to be written down. It was called hotouongannandi, that is to say, “public penance,” because it was done in the name of all. The men, gathered together according to the savage custom, — that is, at a feast, — expressed their detestation of drunkenness, which mastered them. This was done as follows: after agreeing together as to what they could do to give satisfaction to God, they came to the conclusion that each should speak for himself in full meeting; and that they who on account of illness, or for any other reason, were unable to do so, should have some one speak in their names. This was done to prepare for the festival of Christmas. Each spoke as the spirit of penance moved him; and some did so more eloquently by the tears that flowed in abundance from their eyes, than by their voices broken by sobs. Words were followed by results; the women, whose demons were gaming, vanity, and voluptuousness, completely abandoned the first of these; for a year, we have heard no more about it. Confraternities are being founded among them, and especially among the young girls, with the object of mutually [Page 125] assisting One another to live as Christians, and to prepare themselves for the most heroic actions.
Two years ago, two savage women were captured by the iroquois, and burned by the hands of their own kindred, out of hatred for Christianity, as well as hatred for the Sault. The 1st was a widow; the 2nd a young married woman 22 years old, who had a little child. They had gone to gather nuts in the woods, when they were captured. They were carried away as slaves, and were very badly treated on the way. A frenchman who was a witness of the occurrence, and who afterward escaped, related the following throughout the town. When the younger woman reached the village, she received innumerable stabs from a knife, and a shower of blows from clubs — but with such patience and resignation that all the people were touched. The hunters did not fail to load her with their packs and clothes. She reached the cabin after having been thus ill-treated, covered with blood and her shoulders galled. On entering her own cabin she was looked upon by her relatives as a beast; the place where she sat was marked by the blood that continually flowed from the whole of her body; but throughout her great affliction she was heard only to pray to God and to thank him. She died, a true martyr, in the fire, into which she was cast shortly after her arrival. The martyrdom of the widow, who was likewise burned, began in this wise: when at the stake, she knelt and exhorted all present to thank God for the favor that he conferred on her of suffering for him; and she also exhorted them to become christians, and to forsake their evil customs. During the torture she frequently exclaimed: “MY God, forgive [Page 127] them, for they know not what they do." After she had made the sign of the cross, they applied the irons. She gazed on these unflinchingly, and as if the body that suffered were not hers. When she was burned all over, she was untied, and at once knelt on the glowing coals; she fell, but, when some one tried to tear off her scalp, she came to herself and gave still further expression to the sentiments of piety that filled her heart. Finally she surrendered her blessed soul while praying, repenting of her sins, and sighing for the cross, I was for a long time the confessor of both these women; and I can say that this so happy ending was the reward of a good life. This good widow had lost her husband long before, and had but one son whom she left well instructed; she lived in the practice of all the virtues that st. Paul demands of widows. The other woman had been married, when very young, to an exacting and inconstant husband, with whom nevertheless she lived in peace. She was the elder of two sisters, the younger of whom is still at the sault; their mother was taken from them while they were very young. Nevertheless, after the death of that good mother the two girls lived together very happily, and to the edification of all. People in the town still speak of the edifying death of these two persons. If liquor were banished from among the savages, it is admitted that they would shame the old Christians of Europe by their manner of living, and by their noble practice of virtue. But our church must have a share of the persecution that the devil wages against Christendom by means of liquor; and our bishop, who is so zealous, has not Yet ventured to open his mouth to banish drunkenness from [Page 129] his diocese. This vice and war are two great obstacles to christianity, which cannot maintain itself in weak minds amid such strong temptations. We all desire, as did st. Francis Xavier, to see ourselves so far away from the french with our beloved savages that we may no longer have such stumbling-blocks. We see in these savages the fine remains of human nature which are entirely corrupted in civilized nations. Of all the 11 passions they experience two only; anger is the chief one, but they are not carried away to excess by it, even in war. Living in common, without disputes, content with little, guiltless of avarice, and assiduous at work, it is impossible to find people more patient, more hospitable, more affable, more liberal, more moderate in their language. In fine, all our fathers and the french who have lived with the savages consider that life flows on more gently among them than with us. The faith, finding all these predispositions, makes astonishing progress with them. They wish that they had never seen any but the black gowns; and they repeat this to the confusion of our french Christians! My occupation this year will be the same as during the last — namely, that of proto-regent of Villemarie, with 12 or 15 pupils; and I teach mathematics to some young men who are officers in the troops. On sundays we have our confessions, which keep us busy; and on the first sunday of the month it is most often I who preach. And although the gentlemen of st. Sulpice observe only certain outward relations with us, nevertheless on the principal feasts we go with them into the choir to hear the office, and chant vespers, and even in the processions. There is an agreement between them and us that we shall each say a [Page 131] mass for them, and they say one for us once a year, — we on the feast of the presentation of the blessed Virgin, and they during the octave of st. Ignatius; and when any one dies on either side, we say the usual Prayers for the dead. Nevertheless, they are very hierarchical. The order of our college is to enter at 9 o’clock, and the mass is said at ten. In the afternoon, I enter at 3 o’clock; and, at 4, I teach mathematics until five. The Reverend Father Superior is waiting only for the peace to send me among the iroquois. where our captive father, the Reverend Father Millet, is doing a vast amount of good. He enjoys full liberty in his village, and is the refuge of the french who, like him, are slaves, and of the converted savages. He writes to us and we write to him, through the savages themselves; and, were it not for the Dutch, — that is, the english, — we would be once more welcome among those tribes. You inform us of the misery that prevails in france; but it is otherwise in this country. Grain is common; cider is made, instead of wine; and trees are successfully raised, becoming continually more numerous. Last year we had excellent melons; but this country is very unreliable for plants that require heat. However, it is asserted that wine will be made this year; for close by is a vineyard belonging to the Gentlemen, which yields french grapes. What the country can produce is not yet known, because we try to grow only wheat and hay. The wild apple-trees, and those that are raised from seeds, bear very fine apples, and the branches are easily grafted. The peach-trees produce abundantly, but like the vine, — that is, the fruit is all on the ground, because the tree has to be covered with straw or other protection until the month of april, lest it freeze. The pear-trees. [Page 133]
(Scan Of Page To Be Inserted)
OLD JESUIT COLLEGE AND CHURCH AT MONTREAL
[Built in 1692-94; burned in 1803. Photographic facsimile of sketch made under the direction of Rev. Arthur E. Jones, S. J., archivist of St. Mary’s College, Montreal, from contemporary plans and views.]
are more delicate; I saw one that blossomed twice last year — once in the spring, and once during the course of the summer. This year we saw an apple tree loaded with large apples in june, which had one branch all in blossom. The cherry-trees bear hardly any fruit; they do nothing but blossom and shoot out branches and roots — in such numbers that a forest of trees grows up at their feet, but the people do not know how to keep them down. There are black plums resembling black damsons, which remain on the trees during the winter, and are excellent eating in the spring. I have eaten some at the foot of the tree, on ascension day, which had been borne in the previous year. The cold cooks them as does fire, and they become like those that have gone through the oven; the sun softens them. There are quinces that are fairly good, but the tree grows like the peach-tree, and has to be covered during winter. This year we have had a rare flower in our garden, a white lily; there have been none here as yet. The gentlemen are preparing stone to build a fine steeple; theirs is like one of the steeples of our church in Poitiers, but is made of wood resting on the framework; the other will be built of stone. On Pentecost the dedication of their church took place, a ceremony never before witnessed in Montreal. Monseigneur also blessed our Chapel, at which ceremony I acted as subdeacon of honor, and father Vaillant as deacon. He did us this honor on going away; he is a very zealous prelate, but too young for the country. I send you a piece of bread which has come from a place 500 leagues from here. It comes from the ilinois country; it is made of medlars or services, and has a very good taste. The fur [Page 137] that You will see in the package is that of the ox, which has a mane like that of a horse, hanging on the front of its head. I saw father pinet while he passed through here, but he remained only a night and a day; from here he went to the sault, to wait for his canoe, which was to cross the river to get him. We have had no summer this year; for, since the eclipse or june 22, the weather has been very rainy during the moon’s first quarters, and the earth has not become heated. We have had no melons this year; we shall barely have enough for seed. This has never yet been seen at Montreal and every one is surprised at it. Nevertheless, the apple-trees are well loaded with fruit; cider will soon be made in this country, and even wine, — for the gentlemen of the Seminary hope shortly to be able to do without wine from france. Many have vines in their gardens, and the grapes are very fine. We are on the 45th parallel of latitude, as is Limoges, according to the computation of Clavius, — who can be mistaken only as to minutes, because the meridian star still approaches the pole, and the sun’s apogee is at present in the scorpion. I know not what will become of me. As our college of villemarie is not endowed, we are not of opinion that a teacher should be maintained there any longer. We teach, however: and I am preparing myself to continue my mathematics. I have two or three of my pupils on the ships, and one is second pilot on board a King’s ship. Nevertheless, our Reverend Father Superior always tells me to hold myself ready to go to the iroquois, if peace is made; or to go to Hudson’s bay.
I am in fairly good health; only two days ago, however, I Had a very violent headache. I find it difficult sometimes [Page 139] to read without spectacles; however, I do not use them yet. I went only two days ago to see Monsieur the intendant, to ascertain whether it would not be possible to obtain the discharge of Pierre Moreau, who formerly belonged to Monsieur de la chassaigne’s company, and who is now at contrecœur; his discharge cannot be obtained this year. I would like to do something for the sake of father Sadry, through love for you.
I beg you to present my greeting to all of our good friends, to those of my year, and especially to father Jaques de la nouhe; he probably no longer remembers me.
Farewell, my dear Father and dear brother; I never cease to remember you at the altar and elsewhere.
of the Society of Jesus.
I must preach, but I have no sermons.
[Addressed: “To my Reverend Father, Father Jean Chauchière, of the society of Jesus, at Limoges.”]. [Page 141]
Letter by Father Claude Chauchière, mis-
sionary in Canada, to Father Jacques
Jouheneau, at Bordeaux.
Villemarie, this 20th of September, 1694.
y Reverend Father,
We expect peace with the Iroquois and hope that the negotiations that we have had with them will some day be successful. They would already have been so, had not the English opposed obstacles to it by their counsels, by their presents, and by their arms. They are doing what they can to divide the land with us. This year, they have advanced into the interior in the direction of the Illinois and the Miamis, — who live toward the south, at 40 degrees of north latitude; and among whom we have fine missions, which the English and the Iroquois would soon destroy if they once established themselves there. Two iroquois nations came, 8 days ago, to sue for peace; but, while these two came to Montreal, 3 went to Orange to confer with the English, — namely, the aniez, the Onneiouts, and the Onnontagués; the two that came down here are the Goiogwens and the Tsonnontouans. We refused their presents, and told them that our kettle was still hung; and that we gave them a delay of only 30 days. After that, we shall have war on a larger scale than we have had with the savages, unless God, who preserves this country through an extraordinary [Page 143] providence, come to our aid. We hope that he will do so, in response to the prayers of the good Christians of Sault de St. Xavier, our beloved mission, where the same fervor prevails; where God manifests himself in the persons of those poor Savages, who continue to embrace the best practices of a christian and religious life. We count thee or 4 martyrs there, who have been burned by their own kindred in their very cabins, because they refused to abandon the faith and the french. I knew them all, and have frequently confessed some of them. Among them was a young woman who was captured, a year ago, a league from our village. She was nursing, and had a little child, two years old, hanging at her neck. She was taken to her own country, where she was very badly treated. She was beaten so severely that we are informed that there was not a single part of her body that was not covered with blood; and, to prove this, it is related that when she threw down a pack which had been placed upon her back, on the mat whereon she was told to sit, the mat was at once covered with blood. Soon afterward, they bound her little child to her neck, to burn it with the mother. The french who were slaves among the Iroquois were eyewitnesses of all this butchery, and cannot relate these things to us without weeping, and without drawing tears from the eyes of their listeners. After such instances, it will no longer be said that the Jesuits are deluding people when they speak of their Savages who are savages only in name or in costume. The french are continually escaping, and coming to Montreal. The Iroquois have given up 13.
If the european nations did not, with their brandy and their licentiousness, destroy the missionaries’ [Page 145] work, we would have fine churches in this country.
You will have learned of the dissensions between Monseigneur of Quebek and the Recollets. He laid their church under an interdict; they submitted for a month or sot and then opened it. He admonished them; they persisted, and showed their privileges, which state that a bishop cannot lay their church under an interdict unless at the same time the town bind itself to support them. This ecclesiastical war between the Gentlemen of St. Sulpice and the religious is worse than the Iroquois war, on account of the scandal, and of the difference between the present times and those that existed on my arrival in Canada — when I found among the ecclesiastics and the religious cor unum et anima una. God ceases not to bless us, as the harvest has been good, notwithstanding the fact that, since the eclipse in the month of june, the weather has been very rainy at the renewals of the moon, during the 1st quarters. The 2 Fathers sent out this year have reached Quebek safely; while the two priests who were sent from St. Sulpice in Paris, and the Récollet Fathers, who were on a ship named the “St. Joseph,” were captured, 60 leagues from Quebec, by the English, who sent them back without doing them any injury. They were filibusters from Virginia, who take refuge in Baston. One of our two Fathers was at once chosen to be chaplain of a King’s ship sailing to Hudson’s Bay, whither I would have gone, had I had time to go down to Quebek to embark on it, for the purpose of teaching a class in mathematics on board the ship, and of wintering in the north. I have seen Father Pinette, who has come out from our province; he is quite well, and remained only 6 days at Quebek. He came up at once [Page 147] remained two days at Montreal, and went to a place 500 leagues from here. We are greatly edified by his zeal and abnegation. He experienced some of the trials of a missionary’s life while coming to Villemarie in the barks; for the winds were contrary all the time, and they made only fourteen leagues in fifteen days, — amid constant rain, and lodged sub dio, — the usual sign for lodgings in Canada. He gave me some news from the province, and left me with a keen desire to learn more. He told me that Your Reverence was quite well; this has given me much pleasure, and so has the letter which you have done me the honor of writing to me. I am here like a bird on a branch, ready to take flight at any moment. I was very nearly going to hudson’s Bay, where the last chaplain was killed by a wretched frenchman who was in a transport of rage. It was also intended that I should go up to Missilimakinac, to assume the direction of the Huron mission. Finally, I remained here, where we have a sort of college, which is not endowed; but I think that the Gentlemen of Villemarie will not have it long unless they endow it, because the revenues of our mission are very slight. I have pupils who are good fifth-class scholars; but I have others with beards on their chins, to whom I teach navigation, fortification, and other mathematical subjects. One of my pupils is pilot on the ship which sails to the north. Moreover, we hear confessions on sundays and holidays, and preach once a month in our church. Monseigneur has forbidden us to teach catechism or give the tournage — that is, to deliver short discourses on the [blank space in MS.], as is done in Quebek. Can he prevent our doing so, and also from holding [Page 149]
(Scan Of Page To Be Inserted)
SITE OF OLD JESUIT COLLEGE AND CHURCH AT MONTREAL, RELATIVE TO THE
PRESENT CITY HALL AND COURT HOUSE
[photographic facsimile of plan made under the direction of Rev. Arthur E. Jones, S. J., the result of a careful study of records and traditions.]
meetings of the congregations? The Gentlemen of St. Sulpice fear that we shall ruin their parish. That is the reason why we exert our activities in the direction of the Savages more than in that of the french, so as not to give them umbrage. Nevertheless, the whole town is well pleased to have us here, and blames Messieurs the priests for treating us as they do. We hope for the restoration of all our occupations, perhaps through the change of bishop. We are very badly lodged here, as regards the buildings; but very well as regards the view, at an arpent from the town. Our church is half an arpent from us; the garden is between the two. When we go to the church, we are exposed to the rain, the wind, and the snow, because we have no means to build. We ask our Reverend Father Superior for only a small building, twenty feet long, at the end of our church; but he is unable to grant our request, through lack of funds. My usual lot has been to find myself ever in new establishments; and sometimes I have been obliged to build my dwelling myself. May God be pleased to give me a good one in heaven, With all this, it seems to me that I have been only 3 days in Canada because we frequently have no leisure to be lonely. Although the occupations seem slight, they are continual; and one is obliged to supply everything oneself — and, what is most certain, the work done does not show. Two years ago, I had headaches every fortnight. They were due solely to exhaustion, because for a year I have not been so troubled by them, as I have a little more rest. I also had erysipelas at the same time, — which left marks on my legs, and the attacks whereof are incurable in this country, —as well as a [Page 153] bloody flux; and, when I was sent to fort frontenak I felt myself attacked by scurvy, et ex his omnibus eripuit me Dominus. Excuse my writing, my Reverend father; I am told that the ships will soon sail, and I have taken up this letter 4 or five times. Oblige me by communicating it to father Jean Chauchière, to save me the trouble of recopying it. Father Gale has written to me from Cayenne, where he has as much trouble as we have in translating, into the language of the country, in nomini patris, sanctificetur, angelus Domini, and many other things concerning the faith. I am writing to him what we do in such work, My brother has greatly obliged me by sending me a catalogue of the province. I beg him to convey my greetings to Reverend father Tartas, the provincial, and Reverend father Verneuil, the rector of the college. I am almost forgetting the Reverend father Superior of the house of the professed. I beg the Reverend father rector of the novitiate to have his novices say a “pater,” an “ave,” and the “gloria patri” three times for me. This is a devotion practiced here among the Savages and the french, who go to the tomb of Catherine, who is interred in the church of the Sault, when they wish to obtain some favor from God. I began it on the very day of her burial; and I have always believed that it was she who at the end of the year saved me, when our chapel was blown down by the storm. Then, in the opinion of all, I was miraculously saved; and I believed that that virtuous savage repaid me on that occasion for the services that I rendered her during her illness.
Convey my greetings, I beg of you, to all of our year, and ask each of them to give me a slight share of their memento. I am writing to the Reverend [Page 155] father Provincial. I greet Father Lordis, and, in conclusion, I greet all our fathers and brethren of the three houses.
of the society of Jesus.
[Addressed: “To my reverend father, The reverend father Jaque Joheneau, of the Society of Jesus, at Bourdeaux.”] [Page 157]
Letter by Father Jacques Gravier in the form of
a Journal of the Mission of l’Immaculée
Conception de Notre Dame in
the Ilinois country.
February 15, 1694.
y Reverend Father,
I have much pleasure in giving you information respecting the condition of this mission of the Ilinois, in order that you may be able to see, by this sort of journal that I send you, all that has occurred in it since the month of March of the previous year; and how great a blessing we might expect in this mission, were fervent laborers sent hither. After having been among the Oumiamis during the winter, on the ice, I found the Ilinois — who had, some months before, left the places we call Kiskaskia and Kouir akouintauka. They had met every day during my absence to pray to God in the Chapel, night and morning, as regularly as if I had been present, — after which an old man, who had for a long time been infirm, went through all the streets of the Village calling out that the women and children also were to go to adore God, and to say their prayers to him,... and when they informed me that several children had died, without my having had the consolation of having baptized them before my departure.
About the end of the Same Month of April, I [Page 159] blessed the new chapel, which is built outside the fort, at a spot very convenient for the savages. On the eve before blessing the chapel and the cross, which is nearly 35 feet high, I invited the french to be good enough to be present. They promised to be there, and to manifest in public the honor in which they held it. They showed the savages by 4 volleys from their guns their veneration for this symbol of salvation.
About the middle of May the deputies of the savages of this village, accompanied by two frenchmen, went to seek the alliance of the Missouri and of the Osages. These french Merchants, with the view of carrying on an advantageous trade with those tribes, made some proposals of peace to them; to these they agreed solely out of complaisance to the french, through consideration for whom they became reconciled with the Osages. I would willingly have performed that journey to see for myself whether anything could be done there for the glory of God among the Tamaroua and the Kaoukia, who are Ilinois; and to sound the Missouri and Osages, in order to ascertain what could be obtained from them with respect to Christianity, — for I have no doubt that I would have found many dying children and adults to baptize. But, as there are among them some libertines who do not love the Missionary’s presence, because they wish to continue their evil conduct, I contented myself with telling them that I would cheerfully have undertaken the journey with them, as its difficulties and fatigues would have been agreeable to me while working for the interests of God.
About that time, as I showed that I was surprised by the indifference to instruction that I observed among the Peouareoua, notwithstanding the politeness [Page 161] with which the old men received me, one of them told me in confidence that his tribesmen had resolved to prevent the people from coming to the chapel to listen to me, because I inveighed against their customs and their juggleries; that they would, however, receive me well, in order to save appearances. I saw very well that this information was true, for the chief of the Peouareoua, who was the most prominent of all the jugglers, strongly opposed the Christian faith — saying that it was important for the public welfare that no one should go to pray to God in the chapel any more, until the corn was ripe and the harvest over; and that he would then exhort the people to go to be instructed. The period that he fixed was a long one, for he thought that I would offer him a present to shorten it. Seeing that I could not rely in any way upon a man as interested as he, and one animated by no good will, I myself went to ask the inhabitants of the village to come to learn the road to heaven, without heeding the obstacles that the devil might oppose to it. I met a band of weeping women lamenting over a dying child, who expired as soon as I tried to approach him. The grandmother, who was not ignorant of the fact that I had baptized him a year ago, turned all her anger against me; after saying many harsh things against me, she threw herself on me like a fury, and violently pushed me out of the dwelling — for fear, she said, that through the enchantments of baptism I might give to her and to all present some new cause for lamentation. I endured this insult with a calmness and joy that surprised myself, praising God because he did me the honor of allowing me to suffer something for his glory and for the salvation [Page 163] of souls. This woman’s ill humor did not last long. Soon afterward, she told me that some human consideration had led her to treat me thus. The death of some children who have been baptized causes the Missionary’s approach to be viewed with apprehension when he visits the sick; and it is often thought that all is over with them when he administers Baptism to them.
On the 7th of June, a little child — who died shortly after having received baptism without the knowledge of his parents — was the cause of my being exposed to many rebuffs when I sought to approach him. I had omitted nothing that could satisfy his parents, to procure his salvation; but they made me go out when he was about to expire. They told me that man died utterly; and that if the soul lived, as I said it did, men would be seen to come back on earth after their death; that they remembered very well that the sister of the dying child had died after I had baptized her; and, for fear of the same happening to the sick boy if I baptized him, they ordered me to go out of the dwelling at once. Despairing of succeeding in my design, I had recourse to one of my friends; and, as he was not suspected, he approached the child — who, immediately after the sacrament had been administered to him without its being perceived, departed to enjoy eternal happiness, of which the father and mother were trying to deprive him.
On the 10th of June, I gave a feast to all the christians, according to custom. On such occasions, one has a right to say whatever one pleases to the guests, without their feeling hurt by it. I reproached some, whom I named, with their indifference and their want of assiduity in attending the meetings in the chapel to hear the instructions. I explained [Page 165] to all of them the manner of confessing, and the bonds of Christian marriage; I told them of the blessedness of the faithful, and of the favor that God had done them by placing them among the number of his adopted children. I told them that he looked with horror upon their relatives and countrymen who were so many slaves of the Devil, and would burn with him forever in Hell, unless they became converted; and that, moreover, their good or evil example was of great weight in promoting or preventing the conversion of their relatives. As a good many old men and other married people still persist in their infidelity, I have devoted myself, as well as I have been able, to instructing the children and Neophytes until their departure for winter quarters. Among the great number of children who have attended, some already know their catechism very well; most of the older girls confess themselves very well, and some have made general confessions to me of their whole lives, with astonishing accuracy. In the midst of a corrupt nation which indulges in licentiousness of every kind, I find a young widow whose parents, as is their wont, made her marry without taking the trouble of ascertaining whether she wished to be married or not. She had not the courage to manifest to her parents the aversion that she felt for it; but she had enough to remain a long time with her husband without altering her first resolution. As he loved her dearly, he would not take another wife; and, when at the point of death, he told his wife’s parents that he gave her back to them as they had given her to him. He begged his brother, who was unmarried, to marry her — assuring him that he had lived with her as with a sister; but [Page 167] she would never consent, notwithstanding the pressing solicitations of her parents during 3 years. She desired greatly to become a Christian, but she did not venture to speak to me of it, although she made her companions tell me of it, and came to the chapel daily for 4 years. I baptized her last spring. As she has bared the depths of her soul to me, with much ingenuousness, I am convinced that she has a horror of everything that may be contrary to purity. She told me frankly that the resolution she had taken to live always alone — that is, not to marry — was due to the aversion that she felt for all that she heard and saw done by the married people of her country. She did not think that it was because God specially loves Virgins, and she had not been taught to have that idea; but said that, in future, she would always tell God that he alone fully possessed all her affections — that her heart was too small, and he too great, to divide it. Since she has told me of her intentions she has displayed admirable zeal in seeking to be instructed; and, so far, she has not belied herself. I endeavor to strengthen her in her resolution against the inconstancy that is natural to these savages, and to persuade her that she must be on her guard as much against herself as against those with whom she has to live; and that, otherwise, she would soon neglect to perform the duties imposed on her by her baptism.
About the 20th of June, the French and the savages who had left here during the previous month to seek the alliance of the Osages and Missouris, in the expectation of the great profits that they would derive from the trade with the latter, came back with two chiefs from each village, accompanied by some [Page 169] elders and some women. Although these Merchants, in all the dealings of any extent that they have with savages, care very little about telling them of God and of the Missionary, the visitors all came, nevertheless, to see me, and I welcomed them as heartily as I could. I took them to the chapel, and talked to them as if they understood me well; they were present at mass, and behaved with great modesty, following the example of the Ilinois — whom they heard me instruct on several occasions, and cause to offer prayers to God. They manifested great joy when I led them to hope that I would go to see them, to give them sense — such is the expression that they use. But, as I am alone, I cannot assist or visit the other villages of the Ilinois, which are on the banks of the Mississipi river. The Osages and the Missouri do not appear to be as quick-witted as the Ilinois; their language does not seem very difficult. The former do not open their lips, and the latter speak still more from the throat than they.
A young Peouareoua man — baptized long ago and well instructed, but who compelled me during the previous year to forbid him entrance to my lodging, and to threaten him with expulsion from the church — led his countrymen to believe that his chagrin would induce him to say and do everything that might be asked from him against Christianity. The chief of the Peouareoua and of all the jugglers, with some ‘of his relatives, — of the same party, and among the most notable persons of the village, — omitted nothing to embitter his mind against the Neophytes and against the Missionary. “Thou wouldst not believe us,” his relatives said to him; “thou wouldst attach thyself to the Black Gown, [Page 171] and he has... thee, We do not thus despise thee; We have Pity on thee, and thou shalt have a share in our feasts. Let the Kaskaskia Pray to God if they wish and let them obey him who has instructed them. Are we Kaskaskia? And why shouldst thou obey him, thou who art a Peouareoua? Since he has vexed thee, thou must declare publicly that thou abandonest Prayer; that it is worthless.” “I shall hold a feast,” said the Peouareoua chief, “and I shall invite all the old men and all the chiefs of bands; thou also wilt be invited. After speaking of our medicines and of what our grandfathers and ancestors have taught us, has this man who has come from afar better medicines than we have, to make us adopt his customs? His Fables are good only in his own country; we have ours, which do not make us die as his do.” These discourses and other similar ones gave great pleasure to the libertine, whose name was Antoine; but he could not long withstand the reproaches of his conscience, whatever the enemies of the faith might say to make him completely renounce Christianity. In vain they assured him that I had toads, wherewith I compounded poisons for the sick. Convinced as he was of the contrary, he took up my defense; and, impelled by salutary remorse for his sin, he came to me to be reconciled to God. He then related to me all that those charlatans, who were enraged against me, had done and said to make me odious to the Nation. He told me that one of those jugglers had wrapped up a live toad in several folds of ragged linen, in which it had suffocated; and had crushed it, to use it as an active poison, in order to make me perish by the same venom with which, he said, I caused the death of [Page 173] the Sick when I approached them, through the mere smell of a toad. All this was based upon the fact of his having heard me say that I was surprised to see the children handling toads as freely as they did, because we would not touch them thus in our country; and because a toad carried death with it. This empiric rises, therefore, and goes to the middle of the cabin to pick up the bundle of rags in which he has wrapped up his toad; he uncovers it and says to the old men assembled there: “My brothers, you will see that this Antoine will bring about his own death if he merely smells of this cloth, which will be the cause of his decease.” “Let me die,” said Antoine, “I shall be content to do so to expose your malice; I will smell your toad.” All observed profound silence, not doubting that he would at once die. He actually smelled of it several times, and lifted the toad up to his nose. “And still I am not yet dead,” he said to the Juggler. “Thou wilt die shortly,” the latter replied to him. He again smelled of the toad several times and remained in the cabin for over two hours. The juggler, irritated at seeing his poison without effect, hung his head and said not another word — being quite ashamed and also quite surprised that Antoine did not die, and still more at hearing him say that those who were not Christians would be damned. The old men withdrew, saying to Antoine: “We are convinced that Assapita” — that is the Juggler’s name — “has not told the truth, and we are glad to see that you are not dead.” This was kept very secret, for I did not hear it spoken of; and the young man told me of it only long after it had happened. This Neophyte — who for 6 or 8 years was covered with [Page 175] scrofulous ulcers, and who could barely drag himself about — died after making a good confession, and I have reason to hope that God has had pity on him. Disease broke out in this village in the month of August, — that is, after they began to eat new corn, squashes, watermelons, and other half-ripe fruit. Many children and young people were sick, and I had not as free access to all of them as I would have wished. Some are so prejudiced by the jugglers that, through fear that I may give them medicine, they say that they are quite well and disapprove of my frequent visits. They cry out against me as if I were the cause of the disease, and of the mortality — although, in fact, but few people die. Some children would have died without baptism had I waited for their parents’ consent. Strategy must be employed in such cases. The little children who die are grateful to me when they are before God. Some jugglers openly oppose me, and do all they can to cast discredit upon our religion. Those who are more wary show me some politeness, to save appearances, while in an underhand way they do everything in their power to prevent the savages from being instructed. On my part, I also endeavor to maintain and cultivate the spirit of the faith in the adults who have embraced it. The young women here greatly contribute to bring prayer into favor, through the instructions and lectures that I hold for them. There are many who confess frequently and very well; and two young girls from 13 to 14 years of age began by making a general confession of their whole lives — so thoroughly that, in order to forget nothing, they made use of little pieces of wood as we use counters; and, as they mentioned everything of which they accused themselves, or which [Page 177] they considered a sin, they dropped one of these small pieces of wood, like the beads of a rosary. An old man did the same, some time afterward, while at confession; and it is a custom among them to count in this manner when they mistrust their memory.
The chief of the Kaskaskia and his wife have, ever since the marriage of their daughter with a frenchman, been very assiduous at the instructions, and have begged me to prepare them for baptism. Their son-in-law, forced by the reproaches of his conscience, has admitted to his father-and mother-in-law that all the falsehoods which he had told to discredit the missionaries were but fictions. The desire to slander and calumniate had urged him to fabricate these, to prevent people from embracing our holy faith, and, to please certain libertines who had induced him to spread falsehoods, and compel me, if possible, to leave the country. This they wished me to do, so that I might not witness the evil conduct of some profligates. But this frenchman said that, now that he had resolved to become a Christian, he would refuse all the presents that might be given him to speak ill of me in the future. He afterward exhorted the 2 catechumens to be devoted to prayer, and docile to my instructions, adding that, in order not to be deceived they must cling to the missionary whose sole desire was the salvation of their souls; while the other frenchmen chiefly cared for their merchandise, without troubling themselves about rescuing them from the state of damnation in which they saw them, These two worthy savages reflected so seriously on all that their son-in-law and daughter told them respecting the unfortunate condition of those who refuse my good advice that, without speaking to me of it, they agreed that the chief [Page 179] should publicly declare the resolution which he had taken to become a Christian. To make this act more solemn, he gave a feast to the chiefs of all the villages, and to the most notable among the Peouareoua, all famous jugglers; he openly renounced all their superstitions, and urged them in a rather long harangue to be no longer the enemies of their own happiness, by resisting the grace of Christianity which God was offering to them through my instrumentality. He dwelt at great length upon the importance of salvation, and upon the trouble that I took to procure it for them, in spite of all the obstacles placed in my way. All replied by exclaiming Nikana, — that is to say, “My friend” — which is their way of applauding. I learned this from one who was present at the feast, for the chief never spoke to me of it. The same evening, his wife gave a feast to all the women of her village, to inform them also that she intended to become a Christian. The better to try them, I let neither of them know what I had learned. From that time, they urged me to baptize them; I granted them that favor after they had given me several proofs of their desire to perform the duties of Christians. To make the ceremony of their baptism more profitable and more imposing, I proclaimed throughout the village that all were to be present at their baptism. I was very glad that many witnessed it. I took advantage of the occasion to exhort the others to imitate them. I went into their cabins to preach God’s Kingdom to them, without heeding those who scoffed at all my solicitations to win them to Jesus Christ, and to reveal to them the artifices employed by the Devil to deceive them and prevent me from giving [Page 181] them Sense (such is their way of speaking). One of the oldest among the elders — full of zeal for the ancient customs of the country and apprehending that his credit and that of his class would be diminished if their people embraced the faith — went through the village, calling out: “All ye who have hitherto hearkened to what the black gown has said to you, come into my cabin. I shall likewise teach you what I learned from my grandfather, and what we should believe. Leave their myths to the people who come from afar, and let us cling to our own traditions.”
On the 18th of September, a child died without baptism through the obstinacy of the parents, who continually repelled me when I presented myself to administer the sacrament. In order that the calamity of that unfortunate little one might be the opportunity for the salvation of the others, I called out everywhere in the village that I deplored the loss of the soul of that child, who would eternally curse its parents. “Ye who have dying children not yet baptized,” I said to them, “delay not to bring them to the chapel. Have pity on them, as I have.” I walked through the village a long time, in order to be heard by all. On the following day I baptized five, one of whom is already in heaven. I count my trouble as nothing, for I know how much souls have cost the savior. Owing to the obstinacy and resistance of the parents, many have gone away for the six months’ wintering. I occupied myself a good deal in behalf of the sick, that I might not fail to send these little innocents to heaven. I could find time to say my breviary only during the night. Before the disease spread through the villages, I was well received everywhere; and the old men told [Page 183] me that prayer was a good thing. Without themselves praying, they exhorted me to make the women and children pray well, and to instruct them, so that no disease might break out; but, when the contagion spread, I was looked upon in most of the cabins as the bird of death; and people sought to hold me responsible for the disease and the mortality. I attributed the cause thereof with greater reason to jugglery, and pointed out to them that the disease had commenced only since they had practiced those ceremonies, and — in mockery of the holy water, and of the sprinkling with it that I performed every sunday in the chapel — had performed an impious sprinkling in their public jugglery. I reminded them that God had inflicted punishment by the death of an old woman, a few days after she had imitated our ceremonies; that he had punished another by the death of her child; and that disease and death had entered the cabins of all the most superstitious.
As there are always people here who dwell amid the fields, at a distance of more than a league from the village, until they depart for their winter quarters, I continued my short excursions from the month of July to the 24th or 25th of September. After saying mass and prayers very early in the morning, I went to visit alternately those who were in their corn and squash fields. At a distance of a league from the village is a small one, on a hill whose base is bathed by a river, constituting a landscape very agreeable to the sight. I gathered together those who were there; and in order to inform those who were in the fields of my arrival, I called out, as I was in the habit of doing in the village, that all were to come to prayer. I said the [Page 185] prayers in the cabin of the most notable man in the village, — a juggler by profession, who nevertheless manifested a very zealous desire that his people should honor and attend catechism twice a week. Some were scandalized at my entering the dwelling of this man, who was reported to exhibit the Manitous in the cabin every night, and to sing in their honor until daylight; and who had, according to their custom, given a very superstitious feast. In fact, having gone there one day when I was not expected, I saw 3 or 4 serpent-skins hung up, with some painted feathers, and the skins of various very pretty small birds. I pretended not to have seen anything; I strongly inveighed against jugglery, and against those imaginary spirits that have neither body nor soul. They did not make their appearance after that; but, a few days afterward, I saw a little dog suspended at the end of a pole stuck into the ground. I had never seen anything of the kind since I had been among the Ilinois. I was astonished, for I was not yet convinced by actual experience that they offered sacrifices to their Manitous, or that they thus hung up dogs or other animals to stay diseases. All that they are in the habit of doing consists in saying at their feasts: “My Manitou, I prepare for thee, or I give thee, food.” But the cooks eat everything, and offer nothing, or put nothing aside for the Manitou. I asked what was meant by the little dog hanging on the pole. I was told that it had died of a Disease; and that, to prevent the children from touching it, it had been put where they could not reach it. An old man, who saw very well that I was not satisfied with this explanation, told me that it was to appease the lightning, [Page 187] because one of his children had been ill on a day when there had been a great deal of lightning. After pointing out, in the presence of many persons, the uselessness of this superstition, I pulled the pole out of the ground and flung it, with the dog, upon the grass, and continued my visits; for, after making the savages pray to God, I visited from time to time all whose fields were in that quarter. My walk always covered fully three leagues, over a very good road; and the distance seemed short to me, owing to the stay that I made at the various places where I halted.
All the people left for their winter quarters on the 26th of September, excepting some old women, who remained in 14 or 15 cabins, and a considerable number of Kaskaskia. Notwithstanding all the trouble I took to prevent the sick children from being embarked without receiving baptism, some escaped me whose parents would not allow me to baptize them. I followed others as far as the place of embarkation, to endeavor to give them their viaticum for eternity. I did right in not allowing myself to be repelled by the railleries with which the parents and all the women, who were on the point of embarking, treated my anxiety; for God rewarded my efforts with the salvation of several of these little innocents. The chief of the Peauareoua, who was surprised to see me at the water’s edge, asked me what I was doing there, and whether I was waiting for the mother of a sick child. I replied jestingly that I wished to baptize his child, on which he began to joke. “Be not surprised,” I said to him and to those who were present, “if I have been standing here so long. I am much more surprised that no pity is shown to the children, who are and [Page 189] who will be the slaves of the devil, if they die without baptism.” Although this reason was not an obvious one to them, to rid themselves of my importunities I was permitted to baptize several privately. I confess that I have not been so scrupulous this year with reference to the baptism of sick little children as I was in previous years. I have administered it to them without the knowledge of their parents, and have not always thought best to await their consent; because they were affected less by the eternal happiness or misfortune of their sick children than by their erroneous dread that baptism would cause their death. For the enemies of the faith strive to convince them that baptism causes the children to die; and this is the reproach that is frequently addressed to me in most of the cabins, when I speak to them of the necessity of salvation. I often experience great difficulty in persuading a mother whose first baptized child has died, to allow me to baptize the second or the 3rd. One must not be discouraged, and there are many women who, in order not to see me often in their dwellings, where I inquire about the health of their children, have brought them to me in the church to have them baptized. Although this year I met with more resistance from the majority of the parents than in previous years, regarding the baptism of their new-born children, I have nevertheless baptized many more than last year, — many of whom now enjoy eternal happiness, and pray for their parents’ conversion. As in these beginnings I can produce hardly any effect on the minds of the old people, the fathers and mothers, I endeavor to put into practice the advice given by St. Francis Xavier with respect to their children. [Page 191] Nam ut grandiores et parentes celesti beatitudine excidunt, eorum quidem isti liberi ac pueri fruentur qui prius hujus lucis usuram quam baptismalem innocentiam amittent.
That is what this great servant of God says of those on the coast of la Pécherie [land of sin?]. Although there are already many baptized adults in this nascent mission, the inconstancy of all these savages and the corruption among all these southern tribes are so great that there is more to fear for the Ilinois than St. Francis Xavier had to dread in the case of the Indians of the East, — paucos ad Cœlum pervenire nisi eos qui quatuordecim annis minores cun baptismali innocentia excedunt. Moreover, although I do not confer all the rites of the baptism of adults on girls under 19 years of age, I will not baptize one above 6 or 7 who knows not the prayers, and who is not as well instructed as the adults, and whom I do not cause to make all the necessary acts before administering baptism. There has not been one with a little knowledge who did not know that God forbids those who marry to espouse a man who already has a wife; and the last girl, about 19 years of age, whom I baptized previous to their departure for winter quarters, received baptism only after her father, who is the new chief of the Peouareoua, had assured me that he would not marry her to any man who already had a wife.
Although there is a great deal of corruption among these tribes, after all, the number of nubile girls and of newly-married women who retain their innocence is much greater than those in the a and the fervor of her who is married to Sieur Ako has nothing of the savage in it, so thoroughly is she imbued with the spirit of God. She tells me [Page 193] the thoughts and the elevated sentiments that she has regarding God, — with such ingenuousness that I cannot sufficiently thank God for revealing himself so intimately to a young savage in the midst of an infidel and corrupt nation. Many struggles were needed before she could be induced to consent to the marriage, for she had resolved never to marry, in order that she might belong wholly to Jesus Christ. She answered her father and mother, when they brought her to me in company with the frenchman whom they wished to have for a son-in-law, that she did not wish to marry; that she had already given all her heart to God, and did not wish to share it. Such were her very words, which had never yet been heard in this barbarism. Consequently her language was received with displeasure; and — as I frankly stated that such sentiments were not those of a savage, and that God alone could have inspired her with them — her father, her mother, and still more the frenchman who wished to marry her, were convinced that it was I who made her speak thus. I told them that God did not command her not to marry, but also that she could not be forced to do so; that she alone was mistress to do either the one or the other, in the fear of offending God. She made no answer either to all the entreaties or to all the threats of her father and mother, who went away quite chagrined, and thinking of nothing but venting their anger against me, — imagining that it was I who prevented their daughter from giving her consent.
As I went through the village calling the savages to prayers, the father stopped me when I passed before his cabin, and told me that, inasmuch as I was preventing his daughter from obeying him, he [Page 195] would also Prevent her from going to the chapel; at the same time he came out of his cabin, rating me and inveighing against me, and barring the way to those who followed me. A portion of the Kaskaskia nevertheless came to the chapel, and so did the Peouareoua, who went round the village to escape his sight. He had just driven his daughter out of the house after depriving her of her upper garment, her stockings, her shoes, and her petty ornaments, without a single word of remonstrance or a single tear from her. But, when he wished to take away what covered her, she said: “Ah! my father, what are you trying to do? Leave me; that is enough, I will not give you the rest; you may take my life rather than deprive me of it.” Her father stopped short and, without saying a word, drove her from his house. Not wishing to be seen in that plight, she hid herself in the grass on the water’s edge, where an old man — a catechumen, who was going to the chapel — found her, and threw her his jerkin. She covered herself with it, and at once came to the chapel, where she responded to all the prayers and chants with the others, as if nothing had happened to her. She waited for me after prayers, when I exhorted her to have courage and to do precisely whatever God inspired her, without fearing anything. I had her taken secretly to the house of the savage who had covered her with his jerkin.
That very night her father gathered the chiefs of the four villages together, and told them that, since I prevented the french from forming alliances with them, — and adding a number of other falsehoods to what he said, — he earnestly begged them to stop the women and children from coming to the chapel. [Page 197] He experienced no difficulty in making people who are themselves still but little inclined to Christianity believe all he wished. The prohibitions and threats did not prevent there being 50 persons present on the following day from the village of the Peouareoua, with some Kaskaskia — as well as the girl, who exposed herself to ill treatment, had her father met her. He sent a spy to see whether any persons entered the chapel; and, being surprised to find so many people there, he caused to be proclaimed in the village that it was strange that the chiefs were not obeyed, since, notwithstanding their prohibition, many people had entered the chapel: that therefore they must not be surprised if he ill-treated those who persisted in going there. Those who govern the young women and the grown girls of Peouareoua told me that they would come to prayers in the evening, and that I was not to announce them in the village. I replied that, if I failed to do so, I would lead the savages to believe that I feared the prohibitions and the threats that had been made; and that those who had courage would obey me. They came, in fact, of their own accord to the chapel in the evening; but I nevertheless made the usual announcement. I was told from various cabins to cease my call, and that no one would go to the chapel to pray to God, because the chiefs forbade it. “Let no one go forth from the lodges,” they said; “you are forbidden to pray.” “Call out very loudly,” another said to me; “who will obey you?” In fact, no one came out; and there were only some little girls present who made a long detour to avoid those who barred the way, and came to join those who awaited me at the door of the chapel. The daughter of the chief of the Kaskaskia came also, and there were only 30 [Page 199] persons in all. Hardly had I begun to chant the Vini Creator when a man about 45 years of age entered the chapel, with a club in his hand, saying in a threatening tone: “Have you not heard the chiefs’ prohibition? Obey them, and go out quickly.” He seized one by the arm, to make her go out; but she remained firm. I went straight to him, and said: “Go out thyself and respect the house of God.” “The chiefs forbid them to pray,” he replied. “And God commands them to do so,” I said. “Be silent and go out.” I did not expect that he would give me time to say to him all that I did. I afterward returned to the altar-step, where I continued the prayer. He took another by the arm, to make her go out. “You obey not,” he said to them. “Take care not to offend the master whom we serve here,” I called out to him; “withdraw, and leave us to pray to God. And you who honor the Lord of heaven and of earth, fear not; he is with you, and he guards you.” He remained some time longer, without saying a word; and, seeing that he gained nothing, he withdrew with another old man, who had followed him. I praised all present for having been firm, and for having caused the Devil’s emissaries to lose courage; for he it was who, out of jealousy because the savages in this country are beginning to pray to God, had been the cause of this petty persecution. “But you must not be frightened; it will not last long, God permits it solely to test your constancy. ’ ’
I thought that I should not remain silent after so great an insult had been offered to God. I went to the commandant of the fort who gloated over it. He answered in an insulting manner that I had drawn all this upon myself, through my stubbornness in [Page 201] not allowing the girl of whom I have spoken above to marry the Frenchman, who was then with him: and that, if he wished to marry her, he would do so in spite of me. After several very insulting reproaches, he went so far as to utter a great many calumnies against me, in the presence of the French and of a large number of savages, who gathered near the fort to hear him inveigh against me in a most contemptuous and angry manner. God granted me the grace to bear all these humiliations in a quite tranquil state of mind, it seems to me. In order that the savages might not think that we were quarreling, I replied hardly a word to all the insults that he uttered; and I raised my voice a little merely when I considered that I should maintain the glory and worship of God, and because I always desired to revert to the insult that had been offered in the chapel. For that I demanded satisfaction of some kind, and that whatever was necessary should be done with regard to the chiefs of the savages, lest some other might seek to do as much, or more. He replied coldly that he would speak to the chiefs: but, instead of assembling them at once, he waited until the afternoon of the following day, and even then I had to return to him for the purpose.
For all satisfaction, he contented himself with sending me word that the chiefs asserted that they had not told that man to offer the insult in the chapel; and it was not due to him that the same savage was not again guilty of the same insolence. For, when we assembled to call to mass, a heavy shower fell, and he imagined that they would not come to the chapel. But, when he found out the contrary and came there, he was. only in time to meet them as they came out; and he was not careful [Page 203] enough to hide his Club which showed beneath his clothes. During those 2 days the chief of the Kaskaskia made every effort to obtain his daughter’s consent, by dint of caresses and of threats. He assured her that, if she obeyed him not, she would be treated most rigorously by him; that assuredly Prayers would no longer be said to God; that he would go to war, and that she would see him no more. She came to me, and assured me that God strengthened her; that she was still resolved to consecrate her virginity to God; that she had wept for 2 days on account of this conspiracy against prayer, of which her father was the instigator; and that she feared that her father would become still more furious and proceed to extremities. “All the threats against me trouble me not,” she said, “and my heart is content. But I fear for God’s word, because I know my father and my mother.” “Fear not,” I said to her, “prayer is the homage paid to God.” “My father has had pity on me,” she said, I and I have an idea — I know not whether it is a good one. I think that, if I consent to the marriage, he will listen to you in earnest, and will induce all to do so. I wish to please God, and for that reason I intend to be always as I am in order to please Jesus Christ alone. But I thought of consenting against my inclination to the marriage, through love for him. Is that right?” These are all her own words and I merely translate her Ilinois into French. “My daughter,” I said to her, ‘( God does not forbid you to marry; neither do I say to you: ‘ Marry or do not marry.’ If you consent solely through love for God, and if you believe that by marrying You will win your family to God, the thought is a good one. But you must declare to your parents that it iS [Page 205] not their threats that make you consent to the marriage.” She came to the latter decision. As the urgent solicitations continued, she said to her mother: “I pity my father. I feel no resentment against him for his treatment of me, and I fear not his threats. But I think that I shall grant his request, because I believe that you and he will grant me what I ask.” Finally, she told her father that she consented to the marriage; the father, the mother, and the Frenchman came to me while she was in the chapel to ascertain whether what her father said was true. She replied aloud: “I hate him,” pointing to the Frenchman, “because he always speaks ill of my father, the black gown; and he lies when he says that it is he who prevents me from marrying.” Then in a low tone she said to me: “It is not fear of my father that compels me to consent to the marriage. You know why I consent.” The Frenchman, and the father withdrew, well satisfied to make the preparations for the marriage. But, before concluding it entirely, I wished the father to gather all the chiefs of the villages in his cabin, and retract all that he had said, because it was all untrue; to express his regret for having forbidden them to pray to God; and to tender some satisfaction, at which I wished to be present.
He consented to all this, and did so, in the most submissive and humiliated manner that can be imagined. He begged me several times to forgive him his drunkenness, — that is, his obstinacy, addressing me at every moment, and eulogizing prayer. “I never intended to abandon it,” he said to those who were present, “even when I told you to stop for a few days those who were going to pray [Page 207] it was a trick, when I told you to do it. I beg you, as urgently as I can, to obey now the black gown, your true father, who really loves you, and who does not deceive you. Take courage, my brothers; exhort all to obey him and to be instructed, and when he calls out the summons to pray to God, let every one go.” He said so much, and abased himself to such a degree, that — although I had resolved to tell him all that I thought of him, before so large an assembly — I contented myself with saying that, as I believed that he spoke from the bottom of his heart, I was willing to overlook all that he had done and I prayed God to forgive him; but that he and all who listened to me must remember that all who attacked prayer would be acting precisely as this man had done. Moreover, that all that he had said to them, in his chagrin, with reference to the marriages of the French was false, and was the invention of some scandal-loving Frenchmen; that the black gowns were the witnesses of true marriage; and that to them alone God had given orders to pray for all who wished to marry, and they would be truly married.
On leaving this assembly, all the elders called out the summons to prayers throughout the village; and I think that the whole of it — women, girls, children, and even the old men — gathered around the chapel. But I would not open it to any one, in order to show them that I alone governed prayer, as I had told them at the assembly, and that it depended not on men’s caprice; that, since I had not announced it, or appointed any one to do so in my stead, there would be no prayer that day. As no one knew the reason why I did not open the door of [Page 209] the chapel, they all waited for a long time, and finally withdrew, one after another, not knowing what to think. The commandant of the fort failed not to blame me; and told the savages that, since I did not open the door of the chapel, they need not pray to God, and I had only to go away. The chief of the Kaskaskia, who thought that I was angry, and who feared that in excusing himself he might have said something to offend me, sent the Frenchman, his future son-in-law, to me to know what was the matter. I replied that I was content with the public satisfaction he had given; but that I did not consider as persons desirous of praying those who came to the chapel at the call of the old men, but those who came at mine; and that, as I had called out the summons twice in the village without being obeyed, and as people came to the chapel only by stealth, I would therefore wait two days before I summoned them. In fact, I received in the chapel on the following day only those women who had been constant; and I did not summon them until evening. As the chapel was nearly full, I explained what it meant to be a Christian, or to truly desire to be one; that they who feared men more than God were not Christians, etc....
After the chief of the Kaskiaskia had obtained his daughter’s consent to the marriage with the Frenchman of whom I have spoken above, he informed all the chiefs of the villages, by considerable presents, that he was about to be allied to a Frenchman. The better to prepare herself for it, the girl made her first communion on the feast of the Assumption of Our Lady; she had prepared herself for it during more than 3 months — with such fervor, that she seemed [Page 211] fully penetrated by that great mystery. We may believe that Jesus Christ enriched her with many graces on the occasion of his first visit, and I observed in this girl the manifest effects of a good communion. As she had not forgotten what I had said of St. Henry on the day of his feast, and of St. Cunegonde, his wife, she hoped to persuade him whom she was about to marry to do the same. The number of prayers she said to God with that object is incredible. I left her in that hope, for I had moreover fully instructed her regarding the obligations of marriage, and everything to which she pledged herself. Her husband has told me that she spoke to him in so tender and persuasive a manner that he could not avoid being touched by it, and that he was quite ashamed of being less virtuous than she. She has taken for her special patronesses the Christian Ladies who have sanctified themselves in the state of matrimony, — namely, St. Paula, St. Frances, St. Margaret, St. Elizabeth, and St. Bridget, whom she invokes many times during the day saying things to them that one would not believe from a young savage. The first conquest she made for God was to win her husband, who was famous in this Ilinois country for all his debaucheries. He is now quite changed, and he has admitted to me that he no longer recognizes himself, and can attribute his conversion solely to his wife’s prayers and exhortations, and to the example that she gives him. “And how can I resist,” he has often told me; “all that she says to me? I am ashamed that a savage child, who has but recently been instructed, should know more than I who have been born and brought up in christianity, and that she should speak to me of the love [Page 213] of God with a gentleness and tenderness capable of making the most insensible weep; and my experience convinces me that she tells the truth when she says that there is no joy except for those who are good. Hitherto, I have never been satisfied; my conscience has always been troubled with a great many causes for remorse,” he continued, “and I have such a horror of my past life that I hope, with the assistance of God’s grace, that no one will ever be able to make me abandon the resolution I have undertaken to lead a good life in future.” To make him expiate his past offenses, God permitted that he should displease some persons who have stirred up ugly transactions of his, and have made him odious to every one. His wife is all his consolation, through what she says to him. “What matters it, if all the world be against us?” she says. “If we love God, and he loves us, it is an advantage to us to atone during our lives for the evil that we have done on earth, so that God may have mercy on us after we die.”
Having heard me say that many Christians, penetrated with regret for their offenses and with sorrow for having crucified Jesus Christ by their sins, practice Holy severities upon themselves, she — instead of treating herself tenderly, as some do — made for herself a girdle of thorns. This she wore for two whole days, and she would have crippled herself with it, had she not informed me of this mortification, when I compelled her to use it with more moderation. She has such tenderness for Jesus Christ suffering that she has admitted to me that she often weeps while gazing at Jesus crowned with thorns, — a picture of whom she keeps in a sort of apartment that she has made for herself. I take [Page 215] pleasure in making her say what she thinks of God, and the sentiments she feels toward him. In truth, God alone can inspire her with them. “When I think,” she said, “of the blindness of the Ilinois in not adoring or loving so great a God, I am often afflicted at it.” When I asked her whether she truly loved him, she replied with sighs that she was ashamed not to love him as she should. “He is great, and his love for us is great; I am so insignificant, and my love for him is so small. But at least I desire to love him much,” etc.... On another occasion I asked her whether she loved the Blessed Virgin, and what she said to her.” I know not whether I do wrong in calling her my mother,” she replied; “I pray to her with every endearing term, to be pleased to adopt me as her daughter. What should I do were she not my mother, and did she not look upon me as her daughter? Am I capable of guiding myself? I am still but a child, and know not yet how to pray. I beg her to teach me what I should say to her, that she may protect me against the Demon — who assails me on all sides, and would cause me to fall had I not recourse to her, and did she not receive me in her arms, as a good mother receives her frightened child.” She also told me, very ingenuously, that she begged her not to be angry at her for bearing her beautiful name of Mary; that she always remembered, while saying her rosary, to pray to Our Lady’s beloved son Jesus, our Captain, that she might not sully the Holy name that she bore, and that he might not be angry at her for calling Our Lady her mother. “No,” I said to her, “she is not angry because you call her mother. Continue to speak thus to her; she will cheerfully [Page 217] listen to you, and will look upon you as her daughter so long as you really love her son.” This good girl displays admirable care in getting the children and young girls of her village baptized, and it gives her great pleasure to be chosen as Godmother. She herself brings the children of her relatives, as soon as they are born — in order, as she says, that they may at once cease to be slaves of the Devil, and become children of God. And when she learns that a child who has been baptized is dead, she rejoices at this, and begs it to intercede with God for her, and for the whole village. The grown girls and the young women who have been baptized she induces, whenever she can, to come to her home, that she may instruct them; and she tries to inspire them with horror for dances, for night assemblies, and for evil of all kinds, and to instruct them regarding confession. From time to time, she brings me one that I may confess her; and occasionally she comes to me, quite disconsolate, to say: “I have not been able to persuade such a one; she dreads confession. Try to speak to her yourself,” she says to me; and informs me of all kinds of things that she adroitly discovers. Her discretion and virtue give her marvelous authority, especially over those to whom she speaks of prayer without even any aged women finding fault with her — reproving them sometimes more energetically than I myself would do. What efforts did she not make to induce her father and mother to become Christians! She frequently added tears to her entreaties; and, since their baptism, she ceases not to remind them of the promises that they made to God. It is impossible to imagine all that she said to her mother to induce her to forgive her uncle, her [Page 219] mother’s brother, for the death of one of her slaves — Whom he Cruelly killed, out of revenge for Some slight vexation formerly caused him by his sister. The father and mother of this good Christian had gone out together, the wife being armed as well as the husband, to kill the murderer; but the efforts of this girl succeeded so well that she diverted the blow, and prevented them from executing their design. The mother nearly died from chagrin at not having revenged herself, and she carried her spite so far as to come no longer to church. Her daughter took the liberty of reproving her for this. “I shall go to the church,” she said,” if I am revenged.” “God,” replied her daughter, “forbids revenge, and wills that punishment be left to him.” “Then let him make my brother die,” said the mother,” and I will be a good Christian. If he does not kill him, I will not cease to seek means to destroy him.” “Oh, you offend God,” her daughter replied with tears. After this great rage had softened to some extent, she ceased not to represent to her the scandal that she had given to our new church, and urged her to go to confession: and her constancy in enduring all her mother’s rebuffs and hard words overcame the latter’s obstinacy. One day she heard her father complaining to her husband of the ingratitude of the French, for whom he had made so many sacrifices, and to whom he had rendered good service — and he spoke truly, for without him the French would have been massacred here. He said that the French who had displayed the greatest friendship toward him would not even look at him since he was a Christian; that the commandant, far from manifesting pleasure because he [Page 221] had overcome all the obstacles to his baptism, now despised him; that he knew not what to think or. say of such conduct, unless it were that the French preferred to see him lead the life of a savage rather than that of a Christian; and that they considered him a coward because he had not revenged himself upon his brother-in-law, etc..,. The daughter, who was nearer him than he thought, came out of her little apartment, and, in a most winning manner, said everything to him that a daughter who dearly loves her father can say to allay his sorrow. She afterward whispered in his ear, and withdrew into her room. Her husband, who followed her closely, found her in her oratory, her eyes filled with tears, at the foot of the crucifix. This led him to believe that her father had spoken harshly to her. Being unable to obtain a word from her, he asked me to find out the cause of her affliction. She told me that she feared that the Devil would cause her father to fall, and arouse a desire for revenge in his heart; so she had asked God to strengthen her and to inspire her with what she should say to her father. At the same time, she had come out of her room and notwithstanding the repugnance she felt, she had even said to him: “My father, you speak ill. The Devil wishes to make you sin; pray go to confession, that your mind may be soothed and your soul may resume the original beauty given to it by baptism.” Her father had replied to her Nikana, which is an expression of friendship and approval. “I withdrew at once to my oratory to thank God,” she said, “and to entreat him to touch my father’s heart.” In fact, on the very same day at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, he came [Page 223] to me with his wife to confess, — which I had expected. In order not to be precipitate, — after reminding them of what I had said to them respecting the sacrament of penance, in the instruction that had preceded their baptism, — I put them off to the following day, and told them to come one after the other, which they did. Their daughter was so pleased at this that, on the very same day, she went to her father and mother separately to rejoice with both of them, and to encourage them to maintain themselves in God’s grace. In the month of September, I had drawn up for her a daily order to regulate her prayers and occupations, from the hour of rising until night. I was exceedingly surprised on the following day on hearing her repeat all that I had explained to her at great length, even to the shortest prayer, and word for word as I had told her. It is the same as regards everything that she hears about the life of Our Lord and the lives of the saints. That which I most approve in her is the great distrust and the little esteem that she has for herself. Her most frequent prayer consists in saying: “My God, I am still but a child; I am weak. If you cease to sustain me, the Devil will deceive me and make me fall into sin.”
Inasmuch as, after the departure of the Ilinois to their winter quarters, there remained only some cabins of Kaskaskia in which were several children, I applied myself especially to having them taught the catechism. I chose her house wherein to gather them together, hoping to satisfy her zeal by charging her with the duty of teaching them. I had the pleasure of listening while she questioned them, to see if they answered well. All the children of the [Page 225] village are welcome in her house, and they take pleasure in going there. When I asked her why she was so desirous of teaching the children, she replied that it was because God specially loved them; that their souls still retained the beauty that they had received in baptism; and that as yet they knew not evil. I had but to tell her that, in addition to the prayers that I say every evening with those who are present in the chapel, it would be good to say them in the house for the whole family, before retiring, I told her that it was also advisable to invite some persons from the other cabins to come at that time, so that the prayers might be said and the examination of conscience be made together, — as is done in well-regulated French and savage families; and from the month of October she never failed to do so after supper.
Since the Kaskaskia have returned from hunting, so many people come after prayers all together to catechism — which is taught throughout the winter in my lodge, because it is too cold in the chapel — that there is not enough room for all. As she taught it as well as I, during the day, to the children, there were but few during the months of October and November at the conferences and instructions that I gave them. To the adults I explained the whole of the New Testament, of which I have copper-plate engravings representing perfectly what is related on each page. At the beginning she herself, her husband, who is a Frenchman, her father, her mother, and those of her cabin were the only persons present at the explanation that I gave of these pictures during an hour and a half; but curiosity to see the pictures, rather than to hear the explanations that I gave, attracted a great many. [Page 227]
This young woman, who is only 17 years old, has so well remembered what I have said about each picture of the Old and of the New Testament that she explains each one singly, without trouble and without confusion, as well as I could do — and even more intelligibly, in their manner. In fact, I allowed her to take away each picture after I had explained it in public, to refresh her memory in private. But she frequently repeated to me, on the spot, all that I had said about each picture; and not only did she explain them at home to her husband, to her father, to her mother, and to all the girls who went there, — as she continues to do, speaking of nothing but the pictures or the catechism, — but she also explained the pictures on the whole of the Old Testament to the old and the young men whom her father assembled in his dwelling.
After devoting the month of October to the explanation of the pictures, I continue to assemble the people, after supper, in my lodge to teach them catechism. Two reasons have led me to do so in the evening toward nightfall: 1st, in order that more persons might be present, because the women are busy during the day with their household occupations, and cannot attend the instructions during the rather long time that the catechism lasts; 2nd, because the young men go out hunting, and the children run about everywhere, and are hardly ever at home except in the morning and evening; also, in order to prevent evil conversations that take place in most of the cabins at night. God has been pleased to bless this practice throughout the winter. I have had every evening, during two hours, over three-fourths of the village of the Kaskaskia who are here; and they were so crowded that they could not stir. [Page 229]
It is Certain that this is a special effect of God’s grace, because at present the men and women are not attracted to catechism through curiosity to hear novel things; for I instruct and question them every evening on nearly the same subjects. What surprises me most is the assiduous perseverance of the Young men Of 25, 30, 35, and even of those over 40 years of age. The chief of the Kaskaskia, at their head with his young brother, who is the captain of the young men. The most arrogant become like children at catechism, and not one is ashamed to answer the simplest questions that I put. The fathers and mothers are delighted when I question their children; they themselves encourage them and beg me, when I go into their cabins, to question them. I cannot grant this favor to all who ask it, for otherwise I would never reach an end. It is true that the hope of getting a red bead, — which is a fruit of the size of a small bean, which has been sent to us from Martinique and other Island (Oh, that I had a bushel of them!), — or a needle, a medal, a cross or a rosary (especially if it be red), a small knife, or other curious object, given as a reward, incites the children to answer well; but they must answer very well for several days, to obtain either the rosary, the red bead, or a cross, and for the other articles in proportion.
In all the cabins, especially those of the Kaskaskia, they speak to me only of the catechism; and I hear with pleasure the children singing hymns or questioning one another on what they have learned. And, when the young men are in the lodges of their chiefs, they sing, night and day, chants that instruct them and keep them occupied. On their side, the [Page 231] women do as much. The end of February being the end of the cold season, I have no longer taught catechism in my lodge, which is too small to hold all the people who come to it, but in the chapel at the same hour; and I shall continue to teach throughout the month of March, — and longer, if I find the same docility among a portion of the Peouareoua on their return from their winter quarters. Even if a few only of them come to the chapel, I shall have to enlarge it; for it is filled with the Kaskaskia alone. If one may judge by their docility and assiduity in seeking to be instructed, there is great reason to hope that God will convert them.
My sins and the malice of men have not prevented God from pouring down abundant blessings on this mission of the Ilinois. It has been augmented by two hundred and six souls whom I baptized between the 30th of March and 29th of November, 1693. Many children among that number are already in heaven and pray to God for their parents’ conversion. Since the chief of the Kaskaskia has been baptized with his wife and family, consisting of 15 persons, he blushes not for the gospel, and ceases not to exhort and instruct the young men of his village night and day. I observe, thanks be to God, that he is listened to as well as his wife, who is ever in the chapel at the head of all those of her sex. I was greatly surprised, at the end of the night, to see her come, accompanied by all the women, to make a fine present of tallow to the chapel (this is the wax of the country). She told me, in the name of all, that they offered it to God, to light the chapel when I said the great prayer — that is, during mass — and when I taught catechism, begging me to continue to [Page 233] instruct them and their children. The chief of the young men, accompanied by a portion of his comrades, also gave the chapel a similar present some time afterward, with the same compliment, — without my having in any way urged them to that good action, and without my saying anything to them that might give them the slightest idea of presenting anything to the chapel.
The son-in-law of the chief of the Kaskaskia — who is now as zealous for the conversion of the Ilinois as he was formerly opposed to it, and who renders good service to the missions — told me that, while speaking in the family of the ceremonies of our churches, and of the offerings made to God of tapers, blessed bread, etc., his mother-in-law said to him: “Why does not our father who instructs us in the faith tell us that it would be agreeable to God if we gave some offering to the chapel? Have we sense, and do we know what we should do? We will gladly imitate the Christians who give what is necessary to light the altar, and for making the bread that is blessed; and next summer we shall give some of our harvest to the great Manitoua assouv” that is to say, “the great spirit, or genie.” So great are the inconstancy and levity of the savages that we cannot yet rely upon the first steps that they take; but, judging from the assiduity that they continue to display, there is reason to hope that, while acting as sincerely as they do, God will not allow the enemies of their conversion and of the mission to ruin these good beginnings, which are preparing them to embrace our Holy religion. Pray to God, my Reverend Father, to preserve the neophyte chief, his wife, his family, and his son-in-law in [Page 235] their 1st fervor. They are of great assistance to the missionary, and do more than I — or rather they do all, and I do nothing, or almost nothing. If people were really convinced of what the chief of the Kaskaskia does here to induce all to be instructed and to abandon infidelity, I am quite sure that — far from giving any credence to all the calumnies with which he is threatened by all here who are angry at his having become a Christian — they would manifest to him the joy they feel, or should feel. That would encourage him to preserve his first fervor and to urge the whole nation to know and to worship the true God; and the French would thereby call down God’s blessings upon themselves and upon the whole colony. From all these details that I give you respecting this nascent church, you will be able, my Reverend Father, to judge how much these new flocks of Jesus Christ need to be protected against the wolves that seek to scatter them, and to be aided by the prayers of all who take an interest in the glory of God and in the salvation of souls. You who take such a part in it will please have the charity to commend them to the great pastor of souls, to beg the Reverend Father Provincial to send some courageous and zealous missionaries, and not to forget in your Holy sacrifices,
My Reverend Father,
Your very humble and very obedient
Servant in Our Lord,
Letter by Father Jean de Lamberville to a
Missionary Father o China.
Paris, this 23rd of January, 1695,
y Reverend Father,
I have now been here for 3 years, and have no longer found you here, and the remembrance of having once been honored by your friendship confounds me at seeing myself in a place of safety, while you are for Jesus Christ’s sake exposing yourself to the risk of life, and while you are suffering much through the voluntary privation of the conveniences and little comforts that you have in Europe, which those who have returned hither are enjoying. We have learned of the persecution that you are suffering, which envy has incited against you; it is known, and probably Rome will be favorable to you. The Reverend Father General, as you will learn from Reverend Father Tachard and other missionaries who are returning to the Indies, will inform you of all. I entreat our Lord that he will sustain you in a country where you are working advantageously to his glory, and that by means of the sciences you may with much merit open the way to the Gospel. The Dutch have reported that the son of the Emperor wears a golden cross around his neck, and that he is receiving instruction in our religion, in order to embrace it. Fiat, fiat.
Since I had the pleasure of seeing you, there have [Page 239] been great changes in our new france. After many years of peace with the Iroquois, who were beginning to become Christians, some people desired war, although the Iroquois offered to give satisfaction, if they were wrong. There was a pretense of desiring to continue the peace, and then the french came to surprise them. In vain; the savages were found to be ready; and, as I was still among them with my brother, — all the other missionaries having withdrawn, upon receiving orders to that effect from the superiors, — it was considered best that I should remain in their country, if they consented to it. They approved this, and God was pleased to employ me to stop the army of these Barbarians, who were disposed to attack ours, — which was without provisions, far within their country, and reduced to such a bad condition through fevers and dysentery that the place to which it had proceeded was more like a hospital than a camp. The peace was renewed, and it was protested that the 1st one that broke it would draw upon himself the wrath of God. In 1686, a new governor, full of ideas of such war as is carried on in Europe, undertook to ruin and annihilate, if he could, the Iroquois, —.to make, said he, christianity and colonization flourish in the country. He wrote to me to visit him, that he might confer with me about the affairs of those people. I met him at Kebec, where, after many explanations, he told me that the Iroquois would not beat him as they had his predecessors; that he knew how to make war, and how to reduce them to their duty; that the King would give him men, and all the help necessary to succeed in his designs. I replied that I saw clearly that interested people were influencing him to [Page 241] extreme measures, which would be prejudicial to them and to the french colony, and even to Religion. The governor, pretending to yield to my arguments, deputed me to go to the Iroquois and invite them all, in the persons of their chiefs, to be present in the spring at the rendezvous that he designated, to talk there about the continuation of the peace, and the means of properly maintaining it with them, and they with him. I was told to pledge his faith and word that they would be given safety and liberty to come to this rendezvous, and to return thence to their people. I execute my orders; I assemble 40 of the principal chiefs, from all the Iroquois villages. I give them the word of the governor. I protest to them that, as he is a Christian, and chosen by the King to be his lieutenant-general in this country, they ought to believe that he was a man incapable of breaking his word, or of violating the law of nations. Upon that, they yielded to my urgency. They were at the rendezvous, where they were deceived; they were put in irons and in prisons. They were plundered of a quantity of peltries, which they had brought in order to show the french by this traffic that they had confidence in them. They were carried away to france. They were taken to Aix, where they died from destitution, — except 13, who were brought back because their compatriots were going to avenge this perfidy. This was followed by a and instance of treachery, which would astonish you if I were to relate it, and in which Father Millet — a former missionary in Canada, and from our Province — certainly had reason for grief. He himself was afterward captured by the Iroquois, and was about to be burned at a slow fire, [Page 243] after having heard a hundred reproaches that they heaped upon him, — that it Was in vain that he had instructed them in our mysteries; that we were traitors; etc. A man and woman, both strongly attached to Christianity and to Christians, made presents and intrigued so well that they saved this Father Millet’s life. They adopted him in place of their father, who had died a long time before; and of their dwelling they made a chapel, where the Father performed his functions of missionary —. with the result that in the midst of these hostile barbarians he maintained the worship of God, and there converted many Iroquois. After having spent s years among them, — being present at the death of the french prisoners whom they burned, and persuading them to grant life to others, he was brought back to Kebec, to the captain of new france, with 15 french captives. Efforts were then made, but in vain, to make peace with the Iroquois by those who had been most interested in the treacherous act committed in violation of the safety promised them; and, while I was bringing the rest of the deputies, the french went by another route to attack and plunder their Villages. The Iroquois broke off all plans for peace, especially on account of the solicitations made to them by their English neighbors in new france to continue with them the war against us; it was that which caused still more troops to be requested from the King. The war was begun a year before that which the english declared against us; and it was for this reason that the french would have been glad to have peace with the Iroquois in that country, where the french and the Iroquois burn each other when taken alive. [Page 245]
As for me, finding myself among the Iroquois when the french began to arrest their deputies, the english, who were not yet our Enemies in 1686, informed by the french who had gone from Kebec to live among them, of the preparations that were being made against the Iroquois, who are neighbors of new england, — warned me of what was being plotted. They told me that some one was making use of me to betray the Iroquois; that, since I could no longer continue thenceforth my occupation of missionary among them, it was useless to remain there; and that I should take refuge in new York, of which the Governor for king James (who is now in france) was a catholic, and had two english Jesuits with him. But, not being able to persuade myself that certain persons had broken their word, I resolved to refuse this offer, and to induce the Iroquois to follow with me their deputies, of whose arrest they did not yet know. I sent back, therefore, the english troopers and the horse that they had sent to take me away, and to place me in security against the wrath of the Iroquois. While 8 of the most notable Iroquois were with me on the way to the aforesaid rendezvous, — where, unknown to them, their comrades had already been arrested, — some who had escaped from the hands of the french came to bring the news of what had taken place; before this happened, I had received (but too late) letters warning me to make my retreat from the country of the Iroquois by any available means, because an attack was to be made thereon. The chiefs of the Iroquois, with whom I was on the way, had gone about 8 leagues with me; they told me that, as they had just been informed that the law of nations had been [Page 247] violated in regard to them, I must take refuge among the french. For they did not desire that, since I had trusted myself to them and remained in their country, any one should reproach them with my having perished there; and, if I were to be involved in the misfortune of this new war, it should not be in their hands that I were slain, when I was there in good faith; but, if they killed me, it would be among the french, against whom they were going to show their resentment. I therefore parted from them, very sad at all that was taking place, and went to this fatal rendezvous — where I found two hundred Iroquois, both men and women, who had been made prisoners when they thought that they would be kindly received. They clamored against this proceeding; and some who had been in france often named the King, as if claiming justice and his protection. After that, desolation was carried into a region of their country from which a thousand Iroquois armed men were then absent, upon the good faith that had been given them. I could not procure the release of these wretched people, except of 7 or 8 who had rendered us friendly services when they had opportunity. Some time afterward, I was with ten soldiers upon a lake a hundred leagues long, in a little bark, which was attacked by 800 Iroquois, who were in their canoes. We defended ourselves very well for 3 quarters of an hour; but they were about to overwhelm us with their numbers, when heaven was favorable to our prayers and sent us a wind, which swept us away from their fury when they thought to grasp their prey, and to avenge upon us the death of their comrades. I was afterward obliged, through obedience, to remain in this [Page 249] ill-fated rendezvous with 140 soldiers, whose chaplain I was. God preserved me in 2 sorties without being wounded, while near by our frenchmen lay dead at my feet, some of whom had received absolution. Finally, the Iroquois having so closed us in that we could get neither wood, water, nor fresh food, the scurvy broke out among the garrison, and carried off about a hundred men. In assisting them at death, I caught their disease. When I, like the — others, was near dying, an officer of our troops, unexpectedly came over the snow, with 30 men, — 15 of whom were Iroquois, friends and Christians, — to learn privately in what condition we were; for this they had marched 80 leagues over the snow and ice laden with their food, clothing, and arms. They found us in a very bad condition; and, for fear of remaining themselves in this fort, — where the unwholesome air made them feel, from the 1st, the beginning of this singular malady, — they resolved to depart immediately, and to make all possible haste, that they might not be surrounded or encountered by the enemy. This officer, who was my friend, having learned from the surgeon that I had only one or 2 Days to live if they did not get me away from this post, undertook to remove me who was half dead. He refused to accord the same favor to some others, even officers, — who afterward died, but who were less ready for death than I was, alleging the length of the journey, and the inclemency of the season; the necessity of carrying their arms, provisions, and blankets; and the necessity for making great haste on account of the enemy, who were following in their track. He undertook to do for me what he would not do for another. Having [Page 251] entreated him to let me die, and to consent to substitute in my place a sick officer, he absolutely refused. Accordingly, as I had become useless from that time, on account of the condition in which I was, the rest of the garrison received general absolution, while they supported me by the arms; then, having bound me upon a sledge, to which 2 great dogs were harnessed, they set out, passing over a frozen lake. The ice broke, and, carefully bundled upon this sledge, I was in this condition plunged into the water. The dogs which were attached to it kept me above the ice, to which they held fast with their claws. To rescue me from this peril needed great carefulness, because the ice which surrounded me was broken on all sides. Finally, when they were drawing me out of the water, the rope broke, and I ran the risk of being drowned. Being withdrawn from the water and again placed upon the ice, the dogs were too much fatigued; and some french Canadians and soldiers who were with us took the trouble to drag me, now over the ice, now over the snow, by turns, — without discontinuing their march, because the Iroquois were following in their track: and because they wished to keep the advantage that they had over them, for fear that they might attack us. It was necessary, then, all wet as I was, to wait until 9 o’clock in the evening to warm myself under cover of night; and to leave our halting-place early in the morning, and again betake ourselves to the ice, to conceal our footsteps from the enemy. The foe continued to follow us, but at a great distance, on account of the haste that we made during the journey, which lasted 7 days and a half. When I arrived at Montreal, — which is the frontier post, at [Page 253] the head of the french settlements, — I was carried promptly to the hospital, where I was placed upon a mattress in a corner by the fire; there I remained 4 hours, always ready to render up my soul. Through the care of the officers who were there, and of some kindly people, I was drawn from the gates of death. On the following morning, Messieurs the priests of the seminary of Saint Sulpice, who are in this place, took me to their house. I spent two years and a half in partially recovering from this singular disease of scurvy. As I had contracted my illness while serving the soldiers, the king’s officials defrayed my expenses during all this time, and paid those Gentlemen who had so obligingly taken me to their house. It was in february, 1688, that this occurred.
The Iroquois, meanwhile, from the end of 1687, had injured our colony at various places, through the murder and captivity of many frenchmen, whose cattle they had killed, and whose houses and barns, with those who were therein, they had burned. As they were approaching Montréal with their army, it was resolved to employ me to avert the storm, and to make them certain propositions which might be capable of checking them. By that means, we might gain time, until the King should send aid that might resist these Barbarians, and at the same time sustain the war against the English, who declared war upon us a year after we had become embroiled with the Iroquois. I was carried. out to meet these enemies, accompanied by an officer, — one of my friends, for whom the chiefs of the Iroquois had regard. Our negotiation was favored by heaven, and we brought to Montreal — whither [Page 255] all the forces of the country, with the Governor of Canada, had repaired in june — nearly one hundred Iroquois, who came unarmed, with their principal chiefs, to see our governor; meanwhile their little army remained 2 leagues away, firmly resolved to avenge their people if they were maltreated. Their desire to get back their compatriots, who had been treacherously put into irons and taken to the galleys in france, as I have said above, caused them to take this measure, and risk themselves upon the word of the governor and ours. They were well received, and even feasted. They reproached us with our bad faith, and said that, if we again failed to keep a promise to them when they placed themselves in sour power, as they were now doing, their people would know very well how to avenge it. They were reassured in every way that could remove from them any distrust whatever. They even promised to make the cantons of the Iroquois who were farthest away consent to the peace; and assured us that, if we would promise them safety to return and bring news from their people, they would show clearly how good their intentions were. Two months after this parley, which procured us a truce, the Iroquois did really send back four of their people to let the french know the satisfactory result of their negotiation; but those men unfortunately were assassinated, while on the way, by some of our allied savages who did not wish us to make peace with the Iroquois, in order that the brunt of the war should fall upon us rather than upon them. This wicked action — which these perfidious people imputed to us; and which, they informed the Iroquois, was done only at our solicitation — rekindled the war; and, as [Page 257] a result, the Iroquois and the french burned each other in a horrible manner, which has continued for 7 years. The english, united with the Iroquois, have attacked the colony at both extremities and in the middle. Even Kebec has been besieged by the english; but the very special protection of God has been shining upon this poor Canada, which still exists. The Iroquois have desolated a 3rd of it. It is to be hoped that such cruel wars will end in new france when God shall give rest to Europe, which has conspired against France. Last year a new attempt at peace with the Iroquois was made, but in vain. The english of those quarters have so intrigued that they have ruined all the hopes for peace that we had entertained; and the Iroquois say that we need not expect peace with them until we first secure it with the english. They have, however, restored Father Millet, whom they had kept a prisoner for the space of 5 years, with some other captives. This father maintained the worship of God during his captivity among these Barbarians, and there saved many souls who are now praising God in heaven. As for me, my dear father, my mission among the Iroquois being entirely closed by the war, I am here, — where I am procurer of our mission, awaiting the happy moment which will cause me to recross the sea, that I may end in our dear Canada the few days that remain to me. Entreat God, I beg you, that he may show me this mercy, and believe me always, with respectful attachment, Your Reverence’s very humble and very obedient servant in Our Lord,
De Lamberville, S. J.
Journey and mission of Father Gabriel Marest
to Hudson’s bay, on the coast of northern
Canada, in the year 1694. Letter to the
Reverend Father Thyrso Gonzales, Gen-
eral of the Society of Jesus, at Rome.
Quebec, October, 1695.
esailed from Quebec with two ships and three hundred sailors, besides some soldiers, to capture the fort which the english occupied on Hudson’s bay. Setting out on the tenth of august, 1694, we arrived here on the twenty-fourth of september. This was surely the effect of a vow; for toward the end of our voyage meeting head-winds, the excessive cold of winter being close at hand, and our supply of water failing, we had recourse to St. Anne, — who is especially reverenced by the Canadians as their advocate with God, — and laid ourselves under a vow to her; and three days thereafter we landed.
During this whole voyage I was occupied in celebrating mass when possible, often giving pious exhortations; in reading prayers publicly every day, morning and evening; and in hearing the confessions of many.
Two streams empty into Hudson’s bay at no great distance from each other — one called Bourbon, the other ste. Therese. Upon the latter the english fort is situated; into this the smaller of our ships was brought for the winter, while the larger found [Page 261] shelter in the Bourbon, as the deeper stream. After this the english were besieged; but they surrendered voluntarily, and upon humiliating terms. Immediately we celebrated solemn thanksgiving service to God: the cross was raised on high, and at last in this wilderness honor was paid to the sacred standard of christ. Since our arrival here I have been busy continually, owing to three causes: the plenary indulgence, granted by the Supreme Pontiff after the custom of the year of Jubilee; the feast of Easter, which occurred meanwhile; and, besides, a plague which broke out. Accordingly, that I might arouse the piety of all, and not fail them in their increase of zeal, and that I might visit the sick, I found it necessary to hasten, not without the utmost hardship, now to the larger ship, then to the smaller, and sometimes to the fort. The cold of winter raged, bitter beyond conception. My way led through storms and snows, and over marshes scarcely frozen firm, which everywhere afforded but treacherous footing, and cut my feet and legs. I had to sleep beneath the open sky; and meanwhile I was attacked by a fever and the general malady. Still I felt that I must not yield to these lest, above all, I should fail in my duty to the sick. Many were seized by illness, and twenty-four died, — all of whom, except one or two, I have strengthened by the church’s sacraments. Among this number were four sailors, who before their death abjured the calvinistic heresy. So much for the French; now for the nature of this region, and its natives. The fort is situated at the 57th degree of latitude [Page 263] There is here almost continuous winter, — that is, from September to june; and during that time no one can venture out of doors with safety. Indeed, of our party one has frost-bitten ears, another a frozen nose; while one of my legs has become almost stiff. The ground is for the most part marshy, and there are but few trees; only bushes are to be seen, as thorns and willows. But — what will surprise you — partridges, as well as geese, are very abundant; and Caribou, in particular, are found in great numbers. The Caribou is, with the exception of the horns, quite like the deer. The savage natives gather no grain, but spend their whole time in hunting, which forms their sole support. They have no villages, but roam about wherever better hunting offers. In summer they come nearer the sea-coast, while with the approach of winter they withdraw into the interior. They are a lazy people, timid, of no great intelligence, and given to vice. As for their religion, it is like that of the rest of the Canadians.
Next to these, toward lake Superior, are seven or eight tribes, of whom the most courageous, numerous, and intelligent are the Assinoboeli and Krigi. They remain in their villages for three and four months continuously, during which time they might be taught the precepts of the Christian religion. I have felt that among them a beginning ought to be made in sowing divine truth.
But I have been, as yet, able to spend very little time in learning the language of the savages on this coast, because I have had to devote my energies to the French people. However, I have made lists of many words; and I have translated into the native [Page 265] as best I Could, the confession of the most holy Trinity, the Lord’s prayer, the angelic Salutation, the apostles’ Creed, and a summary of the decalogue. Whenever opportunity offered, I have not failed to tell them, although but haltingly, something concerning eternal happiness. Two adults among them I baptized just before their death, also their infants, two of whom died shortly after. The body of one of these I begged from the Father, for Christian burial. He consented, and wished to be present at the ceremonies, together with many of his people. Of course, the natives looked on with amazement, wondering at our rites, and were greatly moved by this proof of our good will toward them. They were disposed to look with favor upon the Christian religion, and begged me again and again to visit them. This is the account I have to give of events from the tenth of august, 1694 to the 24th of august, 1695. [Page 267]
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL DATA: VOL. LXIV
This is a letter which, from internal evidence, appears to have been written at Mackinac in 1689, by Étienne Carheil, and addressed to Count de Frontenac. We follow what is apparently a contemporary apograph, in the legislative archives of Quebec; it is one of the “MSS. relatifs à l’histoire de la Nouvelle-France,” its press-mark being “Series 5, vol. 5, pp. 2637-2649.”
This account of the defeat of the English at Quebec, in the autumn of 1690, was written by Michel Germain de Couvert. The MS. that we follow rests in the Archives Nationales, Paris, its press-mark being “K 1374, No. 80.” It is, however, incomplete, lacking address and date, and, apparently, the opening paragraph; from internal evidence, it appears to have been written at Quebec, in October, 1690. Possibly this MS. is but a contemporary apograph.
Jacques Bruyas’s letter to Count de Frontenac, written from the “Sault près Montréal,” April 5, 1691, we obtain from an apograph in the archives of St, Mary’s College, Montreal. Its place of deposit is a cahier labeled “Quelques lettres.” [Page 269]
Father Milet’s account of his captivity among the Oneidas (dated the octave of the feast of SS. Peter and Paul, or July 6, in 1691) is among the most interesting of the Jesuit documents. The original MS. was discovered in Holland, by Henry C. Murphy, while United States minister to The Hague (1857-61). From an apograph thereof, John G. Shea gave to the public the French text of the document, in his Cramoisy series, no, 18 (Lenox enumeration), a description of which follows: “Relation | de fa Captivité parmi | les Onneiouts | en 1690-1. | Par le R. P. Pierre Milet de la | Compagnie de Jéfus. [ [cut with storks] | Nouvelle-York: | Preffe Cramoify de Jean-Marie Shea. | M. DCCC. LXIV.”
Collation: Title, verso blank, I leaf; “Avant Propos,” by Shea, pp. iii.-v. — verso of p. v. blank; text, pp. 9-56; no colophon.
An English translation by Shea, who was then editor of the United States Catholic Historical Magazine, was published in that periodical in April, 1888 — vol. ii., pp. 183-198; it also appeared at the time as a separate, pages renumbered — 8vo.) pp. 18. Reference to this publication is made by Sabin, vol. 19, p. 396. Another translation into English, with twenty-eight notes, a bibliography, and an index, was privately published in May, 1897, by the translator, Mrs. Edward E. Ayer, of Chicago. Following is a description: “Captivity | among the | Oneidas | in 1690-91 | of | Father Pierre Milet | of the Society of Jesus | Edited in French by J, M. Shea | Translated with Notes by | Mrs. Edward E. Ayer | Chicago | MDCCCXCVII.” [Page 270]
Collation: Title, p. (I); colophon on versa of title: “Seventy-five Copies have been printed for Mrs. Edward E. Ayer, during May, 1897, by the Blakely Printing Company, Chicago” — also copyright notice; “Contents,” on p. v.; versa of p. v. blank; “Preface ’ ’ (Shea’s), pp. vii.-ix.; verso of p. ix., blank; text, pp. 11-59; Notes, pp. 60-66; Bibliographies, pp. 67-69; Index, pp. 70-72. Size, 16mo.
In the present publication, we follow an old French MS. in the Library of Congress, Washington; it is probably a contemporary apograph. Our translation follows that made by Shea, save that we have, pursuant to our custom in the present series, restored all proper names to the spelling and capitalization employed by the writer; and have occasionally introduced emendations necessary to correct defects in the text followed by Shea.
For the text of this memoir recounting the services to the French of the Iroquois converts (written in February, 1692), we have had recourse to a MS. now resting in the Dominion Archives at Ottawa, its press-mark being “Correspondance Générale, vol. 12, pp. 287-290."
These two letters by Chauchetière, to brother Jesuits in France, were written at Montreal in 1694 — August 7 and September 20, respectively. The location of the originals is unknown, but they are probably in France. Father Martin’s apographs of them are now in Quebec; we follow copies [Page 271] thereof by Father Larches, which are resting in the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal.
In publishing Gravier’s journal of the Illinois mission for 1693-94 (dated February 15, 1694, and apparently written at Peoria), we follow Shea’s Cramoisy series No. I, which bears this colophon: “Achievé d’Imprimer à Albany, N.Y. par J. Munfell, ce 31 d’Aouft 1857.” We are unable to say from what source Shea procured his text. No large-paper copies of No. I were printed; but James Lenox had a copy inlaid to match the large-paper copies of other volumes of the series, now in Lenox Library. The original price of this volume was $1.50, or seven francs.
A description follows:” Relation | de ce qvi | s’est passé | dans la Mission de | Immaculee Conception, | au Pays des Ilinois, | depuis le Mois de Mars 1693, jufqu’en Fevrier 1694. | Par le R. Père Jacques Gravier, de la | Compagnie de Jésus. | [Cut with storks] | À Manate: | De la Preffe Cramoify de Jean-Marie Shea. | M. DCCC. LVIX.”
Collation: Title, verso blank, I leaf; “Table,” verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 5-65; colophon, versa of p. 65.
As the above title-page was made up by Shea, to accord with the style of others of his series, and was not a part of the original document, we do not reproduce it.
These documents are reproduced from Rochemonteix’s Jésuites, t. iii., pp. 613-620 and 628-630, respectively. [Page 272]
NOTES TO VOL. LXIV.
(Figures in parentheses, following the number of note, refer to pages of English text.)
 (p. 23). — This letter was written probably in November, 1689; it was despatched to Quebec by Zacharie Joliet, a trader then at Mackinac. He arrived at Quebec near the end of December, having accomplished the long and perilous journey partly by canoe and partly by land, with but one companion (Charlevoix’s Nouvelle France, t. i., p. 568; N.Y. Colon. Docs., vol. ix., p. 463). There is a discrepancy, which cannot be satisfactorily explained, in the endorsement on the document as having been received Sept. 17, 1690. Parkman states that Frontenac acted on information previously received (Frontenac, p. 202); and he notes that Charlevoix’s version (ut supra) “does not conform with the original;” but Monseignat’s memoir above cited (N Y. Colon. Docs.) states that a copy of Carheil’s letter was sent to Paris in the spring of 1690; and Charlevoix says that the letter was conveyed to Frontenac by Joliet.
Zacharie Joliet was a younger brother of Louis, the explorer; he too studied in the Jesuit college at Quebec. At the age of 28, he married (November, 1678) Marie Niel, by whom he had three children. As she was married to a second husband in November, 1692, Joliet’s death must have occurred before that time.
 (p. 25). — Here occurs a marginal note, added to the MS. probably by some modern archivist: “During the night of August 5, 1689, the village of Lachine was surrounded by 1,600 Iroquois, who put everything to fire and sword, and killed about 400 persons. This is still called ‘ the Lachine massacre.’” — See Parkman’s Frontenac, pp. 177-179.
 (p. 33). — Reference is here made to the Iroquois sent to France for service in the royal galleys (vol. lxiii., notes 10, 24).
 (p. 41). — Denonville (vol. lxiii., note 10), proving unequal to the task of dealing with the Iroquois, was recalled in 1689; and in his place was appointed Count de Frontenac, who had been governor of Canada during 1672-82 (vol. Iv., note II). The latter now returned with orders from Louis XIV. to attack New York and the New [Page 273] England frontiers, in order by their conquest to crush the Iroquois. In accordance with these orders, French and Indian war-parties surprised and captured, in succession, Schenectady, Salmon Falls, and Fort Loyal (now Portland, Me.). In retaliation for these injuries, the English colonies sent two expeditions against Canada, late in the summer of 1690 — one by land, against Montreal; the other by sea, against Quebec. The latter was commanded by Sir William Phips, who had, but a few months before, conquered the French settlements in Nova Scotia. Both of these attempts were unsuccessful; and Phips’s fleet, on its return voyage, was dispersed by storms — some ships being lost, and many men dying from cold and disease. A detailed account of these events, with numerous citations of authorities, is given by Parkman in Frontenac, pp. 187-190, 208-285. Cf. Rochemonteix’s Jésuites, t. iii., pp. 242-251; also the interesting collection, by Myrand, of nineteen contemporaneous relations of the siege of Quebec — 1690, sir William Phips devant Québec (Quebec, 1893).
The king of England, James II., had become so tyrannical that his subjects invited William, prince of Orange, — who had in 1677 married Princess Mary of England, James’s daughter, — to come to England and deliver them from their ruler. Accordingly, William landed in that country Nov. 3, 1688; James fled to France; and, accepting the request of the people, William and Mary were (Feb. 13, 1689) proclaimed king and queen of England.
 (p. 53). —Michel Germain de Couvert (Decouvert) was born in Normandy, Jan. 5, 1653. Entering the Jesuit novitiate at Paris, at the age of eighteen (according to Rochemonteix; but twenty, as given in Germain’s announcement of his death), he was a student there and at Rouen, and an instructor at Bourges and Alenson, until his ordination in 1687. Three years more were spent as instructor in philosophy, at Arras; he then came (1690) to Canada. He was stationed at the Lorette mission, where he remained twenty years. Compelled by physical infirmities to relinquish this missionary work, he returned to Quebec, about 1710; he remained there until his death, which occurred in October, 1715.
Rochemonteix says (Jésuites, t. iii., p. 561) that St. Vallier demanded from De Couvert, superior of Lorette, that he should surrender the church and clergy-house there, built at the expense of the Jesuits, in order that the bishop “might erect it into a parish, and establish therein one of his own priests, Through his love of peace, the timid Father Bouvart, superior-general of the Canada missions, yielded and agreed to this demand; and Old Lorette was transferred to New Lorette, to the great regret of the Huron savages.” This removal occurred in 1697 (vol. lviii., note 19) [Page 274]
 (p. 59). — Chevalier d’Aux (d’Eau) was an officer sent by Frontenac to confer with the Iroquois. The irate savages would not listen to him, but seized him as a prisoner, and subjected him to much barbarous treatment; he was then sent to New York, where he was detained by the English until August, 1692, when he found means to escape to Quebec. In the autumn of that year, Frontenac sent him to France with an appeal for additional defenses for Canada.
 (p. 61). — Jacques le Moyne, second son of Charles (vol. xxvii., note 10), was born in April, 1659. In February, 1684, he married Jeanne Carion, then eleven years and five months old; they had three children. Jacques is better known as Sieur de Ste. Hélène. He accompanied his brother Iberville in the Hudson Bay expedition of 1686; and, as a lieutenant in the Canadian militia, won a high reputation for gallantry and enterprise. He was one of the commanders at the attack on Schenectady — referred to in the text as “the day of Corlard.” This name is simply a corruption of Corlaer (Curler), the name of the first governor at Orange, or Albany (vol. xxv., note 2).
Ste. Hélène’s career was a brief one; in one of the skirmishes resulting from Phips’s attack upon Quebec he was mortally wounded, and on Dec. 4, 1690, he was buried there at the Hotel-Dieu.
 (p. 67). — Pierre Milet was born at Bourges, Nov. 19, 1635, and at the age of twenty became a Jesuit novice. His studies were pursued at La Flèche and Paris; and the usual term as instructor was spent at La Flèche and Compiègne. Upon his ordination (1668) he came to Canada, and was soon assigned to the Iroquois missions. He remained therein, mainly at Oneida, until July, 1684 — when, with the other missionaries, he was obliged to return to Canada. Soon after, he became chaplain at Fort Frontenac, acting also as interpreter; these duties engaged him during nearly four years (including a year spent at the Niagara fort), until his seizure by the Oneidas in 1689. He remained in this captivity until the autumn of 1694, when the tribe sent him back to Montreal. Little is known of his subsequent life. For a time, he was at Lorette, and he probably ministered, at other places, to the Christian Iroquois settled among the French. In February, 1697, a band of Oneidas came to live at Montreal, and asked that Milet might be assigned to them as missionary. Charlevoix, who was an instructor at the college of Quebec during 1705-06, mentions that he lived several years with Milet, which would indicate that the latter spent his last years at Quebec. He died there, Dec. 31, 1708.
 (p. 73). — Regarding Otondiata, see vol. xlii., note 10. [Page 275]
 (p. 73). — Philippe Clément Duvault, sieur de Vallerenne (Valrenne), was born in 1655, at St. Germain, France. In 1685 he came to Canada, as one of the captains of troops then sent out for the defense of the colony. Two years later, he married Jeanne Bissot, by whom he had two children. He was commandant at Fort Frontenac in 1689; but, by order of Denonville, abandoned that post in the autumn, returning to Montreal. His name is mentioned several times during the next three years, in connection with the Iroquois war; but no further information about him is available.
 (p. 79). — Regarding the clans of Indian tribes, see vol. xxix., note 6; vol. lviii., note 2. Cf. enumeration of clans and totems in N.Y. Colon. Docs., vol. ix., pp. 1052-1058.
 (p. 81). — “The five Iroquois nations in their symbolical language formed a cabin, the Mohawks holding the door and the Onondagas the fire. They called themselves as a nation Hotinonsionni (French notation) or Hodenosausee (English notation), meaning ‘They form a cabin.’ “— Shea’s note, in U.S. Cath. Hist. Mag., vol. ii., p. 190. Cf. vol. xli. of our series, p. 87.
 (p. 91). — “Otasseté was one of the hereditary sachems of the Oneida nation. The title descends in the female line, and Susanna’s adoption of Milet apparently enabled her to bestow the name, which made him actually a sachem." — Shea’s note, ut supra, p. 193.
 (p. 97). — Denonville, feeling unable to maintain Fort Frontenac, sent orders to Valrenne, its commander, to destroy and abandon the fort. That officer proceeded to do so, but the work of destruction was too hastily performed; and the Iroquois, upon taking possession of the place, found large quantities of stores and munitions — estimated by Frontenac (N.Y. Colon. Docs., vol. ix., p. 438) to be worth 20,000 écus. In the following year (1690), Louis XIV. Ordered the walls to be razed to the ground. Later, Frontenac obtained permission to restore this post, which he accomplished in the summer of 1695.
 (p. 99). — “Kinshon, the Fish, by which they meant New England, the authorities of which had sent them a fish as a token of alliance.... The wooden image of a codfish still hangs in the State House at Boston, the emblem of a colony which lived chiefly by the fisheries." — Parkman’s Frontenac, p. 199.
Brodhead (New York, vol. ii., p, 309, note *) says: “As the Iroquois had no labials in their language, they were obliged to say ‘ Quider ’ instead of ‘ Peter; ’ Hennepin’s New Discovery, 24; Colden, i., 16. 116. For this reason, I think it probable that ‘ Kinshon ’ was the nearest they could come to ‘ Pynchon ’ [ambassador in 1677 from Massachusetts to the Mohawks]... Father Millet... [Page 276] wrongly applies the name Le Poisson, or Kinshon, to New York instead of to New England.”
 (p. 103). —By “the commissary Kwiter” is meant Peter Schuyler, the first mayor of Albany (incorporated as a city, July 22, 1686). He was long a prominent figure in New York affairs; see N.Y. Colon. Docs., vols. iii., iv., v., ix., passim.
 (p. 103). — The minister here referred to was Domine Godefridus Dellius, who came from Holland in August, 1683, and was stationed at Albany. He was highly popular with the Indians, and showed much kindness to the Jesuits who instructed the Iroquois, When Jacob Leisler usurped the New York government, Dellius, who had always opposed him, fled to Boston (1690); but, after Leisler’s fall (March, 1691) Dellius came back to New York. He often figured in the affairs of the colony, and was several times sent by the governor as envoy to Canada. In 1696, Dellius obtained from a few Mohawk Indians a grant, to himself and others, of the entire territory possessed by that tribe, a grant which was confirmed by Governor Fletcher. That official was succeeded, in April, 1698, by Richard, earl of Bellamont; he recommended to the Assembly that this grant to Dellius should be annulled — which was done in May, 1699, as it was proved that Dellius had obtained the land by fraudulent representations to the Indians. He was, at the same time, deprived of his benefice at Albany; and, his reputation clouded by accusations of lying, drunkenness, and other scandals, he returned to Europe in the same year. — See N.Y. Colon. Docs., vols. iii., iv., passim.
 (p. 113). — Louis Phelypeaux, comte de Pontchartrain, was born March 29, 1643, the scion of a French house which had, for many generations, been active in the service of the State. Before attaining the age of eighteen, he was admitted as a councilor in the parliament of Paris. In 1677, he was appointed chief president of the parliament of Brittany, and administered with great success the affairs of that province. Ten years later, he became intendant of finance for the whole kingdom; and upon the death of Seignelay, son of Colbert (November, 1690), succeeded him as secretary of state. In 1699, he was relieved of his financial duties, being appointed chancellor of France — a post which he retained until July 1, 1714, when he retired to private life, and to the practice of religious and charitable works. His death took place Dec. 22, 1727.
Pontchartrain was a man of great ability, and in his official life displayed patriotic zeal and devotion, strict justice, and unbending integrity; he was fond of letters, and the patron of authors.
 (p. 119). — Regarding Iberville’s exploits at Hudson Bay, see vol. lxiii., note 27. He was accompanied, in the expedition of 1694, [Page 277] by his brother Louis le Moyne, sieur de Châteauguay — born in January, 1676, and slain at Fort Nelson Oct. 4. 1694.
 (p. 121). — It will be remembered that the Sulpitians had directed the religious affairs of the Montreal colony since 1657, when they came to replace the Jesuits; and that they had been, since 1663, seigniors of the island (vol. xii., note 13). The Jesuits reëtablished a residence at Montreal in 1692. The Récollets had preceded them by ten years; Le Clercq relates (Gaspésie, pp. 568-571) that in 1682 he went thither, by command of his superiors, to secure a (piece of land (which was granted by the Sulpitians) whereon a residence might be established for priests of their order.
 (p. 135). — The bread here mentioned as “made of medlars or services” was probably composed of the dried fruit of the persimmon (Diospyros Virginiana). Gravier, in his Voyage of 1700, mentions cakes of piakimine, presented to him by the savages — apparently ‘the same as the “bread” described in our text.
 (p. 139). — Pierre Francois Pinet was born at Périgueux, France, Nov. 11, 1660; and entered the Jesuit novitiate at Bordeaux, Aug. 29, 1682. He was an instructor at Tulle, Périgueux, and Pau, successively, from 1684 to 1690; he then completed his studies at Bordeaux, and departed for Canada in 1694. He was at first sent to Michillimackinac; but in 1696 he went to Illinois, and founded the mission of the Guardian Angel at Chicago, among the Miami bands located there. This mission was broken up in the following year according to Jesuit writers, through Frontenac’s hostility, but Laval’s influence procured Pinet’s return thither. The latter went, probably early in 1700, to the Tamaroas, an Illinois tribe located on the Mississippi, not far from the mouth of the Missouri — a place known later as Cahokia. By letters patent of May, 1698, St. Vallier deprived the Jesuits of this mission, bestowing it upon priests sent out by the Seminaire des Missions Étrangères. This proceeding was strongly opposed by the Jesuits, and they did not consent to the change until 1701. Meanwhile, Pinet remained with the Tamaroas (by order of his superiors, according to Rochemonteix) until probably the spring of 1702, and then labored among the Kaskaskias. According to Shea (Mississippi Voyages, p. 53, note), he died at Cahokia, about 1704.
Rochemonteix’s account of Pinet’s mission (Jésuites, t. iii., pp. 550-554, 568-572) differs in some points from the above; we have followed allusions in contemporary documents, and Shea’s account as given in Church in Colon. Days. pp. 537-539.
 (p. 141). — Regarding Pierre Moreau, see vol. lix., note 44. Jean Bouillet, sieur de la Chassaigne (Chassagne), a native of. Pamy, [Page 278] France, was born in 1659. In 1690, he commanded the garrison at Lachine; in 1698, he became governor of Montreal, and in the following year married Marie Anne, daughter of Charles le Moyne. Later, he was governor of Three Rivers. He died at Montreal in January, 1733.
 (p. 143). — The Jesuit missions to the Illinois tribes were early extended to the Miamis, located between lakes Erie and Michigan. The St. Joseph River was a favorite route for the voyageurs from Michillimackinac to those tribes, and a site at its mouth was chosen by the missionaries as a suitable location for a residence. They obtained from Denonville a grant upon the river, twenty arpents square (Margry’s Découvertes, t. v., p. 35). Aveneau was residing there as early as 1690 (vol. lxiii., note 11).
 (p. 147). — The two Jesuits who came to Canada in 1694 were Pinet and Gabriel Marest; the latter was the one chosen to act as chaplain for the Hudson Bay expedition of that year.
 (p. 149). — Reference is here made to Antoine Dalmas, vol. lviii., note 18.
 (p. 149). — The word basnage is not to be found in the standard lexicons. A correspondent suggests that it may be tournage, — citing for this Rochemonteix’s Jésuites, t. iii., p. 559, note 1, where the latter word is used in a similar manner, but is not explained. None of the standard lexicons give a meaning of this sort to tournage.
 (p. 161). — The fort here mentioned was apparently at the same place as La Salle’s Fort Crevecœur (vol. lvii., note 2), near the present Peoria (St. Cosme, in Rel. du Mississippi, Shea’s ed., p. 26). Here, was located the village of the Peorias and Kaskaskias, to whom Gravier ministered; it had evidently been removed from its earlier location which Marquette visited (vol. lix., note 42).
 (p. 161). — The Osages and Missouris are Siouan tribes, who were formerly located on the rivers thus named. A paper by J. O. Dorsey, ”Migrations of Siouan Tribes” (Amer. Naturalist, vol. xx., pp. 211-222), gives the best available information regarding the origin and history of these peoples. He thinks that, ages ago, all the Siouan race dwelt east of the Mississippi, — in various regions, but as allies, — and gradually moved westward. Five tribes — the Omahas, Ponkas, Osages, Kansas, and Kwapas — were then together as one nation; they were called "Arkansa” by the Illinois tribes, and lived near the Ohio. At the mouth of that river they separated (prior to 1540), the Kwapas descending, the other tribes ascending, the Mississippi. For a long time, the latter abode on the lower Missouri; but finally, having gone farther up that stream, another separation occurred. The Omahas and Ponkas crossed the [Page 279] Missouri, and, after many wanderings to the north and west, finally settled in Nebraska. The Osages settled on the river bearing their name; and the Kansas on the Kansas River.
The Tamarouas (Tamarois) and Cahokias(Kaoukia) were Illinois bands dwelling on the Mississippi, near the mouth of the Missouri. Their village. was known, later. as Cahokia, and the two bands apparently became merged in one. The Jesuit missionaries labored among them until the expulsion of the order from Louisiana (1763-64).
 (p. 179). — Michel Accault (Ako), who married the daughter of the Kaskaskia chief. was a French trader, who in 1680 was at Fort Crevecœur with La Salle, and in that year accompanied Hennepin in his voyage on the Upper Mississippi. — Hennepin’s Nouvelle Découverte (Paris, 1684). p. 167 and elsewhere.
Shea says (Church in Colon. Days, p. 537, note 1), regarding Accault: "The records of the baptisms, etc., in his family, beginning Mar, 20, 1695. are the first extracts in the ancient Register of Father Gravier’s mission preserved at Alton. They show that the descendants of the young convert of Father Gravier were long prominent in Illinois.” An English translation of the entry recording the baptism, on the above date, of Accault’s infant son (the first entry in the register) is given by Wallace in his Illinois and Louisiana, p. 204.
 (p. 231). — The fruit here referred to is probably the “sea-bean” or "Florida bean;” a round, polished, scarlet seed obtained from the West Indian "bead-tree" or “necklace-tree” — Omosia dasycarpa, of the order Leguminosa.
 (p. 239). — “This letter of Father Jean de Lamberville is found in the British Museum at London — Add: 16913, fol. 173. It is dated Jan. 23, 1695, at Paris, where the Father had resided for three years; and is addressed to a Father, a missionary of the Society of Jesus in China — probably to Father Jean de Fontaney, his friend.“ Rochemonteix’s Jésuites, t. iii.. p. 185, note 1.
 (p. 247). — Governor Thomas Dongan brought with him to New York (1683) an English Jesuit, Father Thomas Harvey; and, within a year or two, Father Henry Harrison and Father Charles Gage also were sent thither. The intention of the English authorities in sending these men was to counteract the influence exerted upon the Indians by the French Jesuits, and to form a village of Catholic Indians under English influence. They also acted as chaplains to the governor, and for a time maintained a Latin school. This school was to be the nucleus of a Jesuit college in New York; but all these Plans failed, on account of the Revolution in England, and the [Page 280] Consequent usurpation of the New York government by Jacob Leisler (December, 1689). The Jesuits were driven from the colony; but Harvey returned in the following Year, and continued his mission for several Years, until broken health compelled him to retire to Maryland, where he soon afterward died.
 (p. 251). — Lamberville refers to Fort Frontenac. He has given a minute account of the combat with Iroquois here mentioned, in a MS. (now in British Museum) printed by Rochemonteix in Jésuites, t. iii., pp. 621-627.
 (p. 257). — A full account of this treacherous deed is given by Parkman (Frontenac, pp. 173-176), who ascribes it to a deliberate scheme on the part of Kondiaronk, the noted Huron chief of Michillimackinac, to embroil the French and Iroquois, in order to prevent them from signing a treaty of peace.
 (p. 263). — The Bourbon River is now known as Nelson River; it is the outlet of Lake Winnipeg, and is navigable for steamers to 127 miles from its mouth. The Ste. Thérèse is now called Hayes River; it enters James Bay not far from the mouth of the Nelson, at Port York (called in early times Port Nelson).
 (p. 265). — Reference is here made to the Assiniboine and Cree tribes (vol. xiii., note 12; vol. xviii., note 15) [Page 281]